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    News — weight

    Tips for Restoring & Strengthening Your Gut Microbiome

     

     

     

    When we talk about “gut microbiome”, we’re referring to the millions of microorganisms that inhabit our gut, or our gastrointestinal tract. Interestingly, each microbiome is unique and contributes to different health benefits and that’s why a rich and diverse gut microbiome is incredibly important for overall health. However, there are different factors that can influence the diversity and density of our gut bacteria, including stress, lifestyle and environmental factors, excessive alcohol consumption, food allergies, antibiotic usage and artificial sweeteners.

    The health of our gut is deeply connected to our hormone levels, brain health, skin health, metabolism, body weight, immune system and mood. In fact, researchers continue to find remarkable links between a diverse gut microbiome and certain illnesses and diseases, including cancer, heart disease, liver disease, asthma, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.

    Although we know that diet is not the only factor that contributes to good gut health, research has shown that it is incredibly important. The more diverse your diet, the more diverse the nutrient supply is to your gut microbiomes.

    Happy and well-fed gut microbiomes = a happier and healthier gut!

    Here are a few key things you can do every day to optimize your gut microbiome:

    👉 Incorporate prebiotics (apples, almonds, chicory root, asparagus, legumes, onions, raw garlic, cabbage).

    Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and discourage dysbiotic growth (pathogenic bacteria). 

    👉 Incorporate probiotics (yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, tempeh)

    👉 Eat the rainbow

    Have as many different varieties and colours of fruits and veggies that you love over the course of the day.

    👉 Eat foods rich in polyphenols (blueberries, green tea, broccoli, grapes, olive oil)

    👉 Drink teas that are good for your gut (e.g. liquorice root tea, fennel tea, green tea)

    👉 Avoid GMOs

    👉 Plan your meals ahead of time, or stock your freezer with healthy prepared meals. Click here to order.  

    👉 Avoid endocrine disruptors

    Some endocrine disrupters include air pollutants, BPA’s, pesticides, parabens, mercury and phthalates. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals has been shown to disrupt the gut microbiome, which may result in dysbiosis.

    👉 Minimise unnecessary antibiotics

    👉 Decrease stress and have good sleep hygiene

     

    Responsible health advice: There is no one size fits all approach to nutrition or the healing properties of food.  If you are unwell please seek professional advice.
    References:
    Gálvez-Ontiveros, Y., Páez, S., Monteagudo, C., & Rivas, A. (2020). Endocrine Disruptors in Food: Impact on Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Diseases. Nutrients12(4), 1158. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041158

     

     

     

    Author:
    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness

    New 2021 Meta-Analysis: Fried-Food Consumption is Linked with an Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

     

     

    A new meta-analysis of 17 observational studies, involving a total of 562,455 participants and 36,727 major cardiovascular “events” has found a significant connection between fried-food consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

    The analysis, which was recently published in the Journal Heart, discovered that with every 114 weekly serving (that’s a medium McDonald’s fries), the risk of cardiovascular disease rose by 3%, 2% and 12%, respectively.

    Compared with the participants who were consuming the lowest amount of weekly fried foods, the participants with the highest intake had a 28% heightened risk of major cardiovascular events, a 22% increased risk of coronary heart disease and a 37% increased risk of heart failure.

    The problem with fried-foods

    Frying means cooking food in hot fat, usually some kind of oil. This significantly increases the energy and fat content of the food, and generates harmful trans-fatty acids from the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils which are often used in restaurant deep fryers. A diet high in trans-fat has been known to increase your risk of heart disease and contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.

    The process of frying also requires considerable high temperatures, which causes changes in the vitamin and antioxidant content of the food, and generates carcinogenic compounds, which have proven to be harmful to our health.

    Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is currently the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for 16% of the world’s total deaths. The strength of current research and evidence highlights the importance of healthy dietary patterns and lifestyles for the prevention of CHD and stroke. A healthy balanced diet that contains no to minimal fried-foods will play an important role in the management of crucial risk factors of CHD such as diabetes, hypertension and excess weight. 

    We promote a healthy balanced diet with our nutritious and wholesome ready-made meals. Our meals are rich in whole foods, nutrients, bioactive compounds and antioxidants. They contain low sodium, and no processed sugars, preservatives or additives. Our meals contain no processed or fried foods, and we use minimal oil in our cooking (typically extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil for our Asian dishes).

    Find out more about us here.

     

    References:
    Pei Qin et al. Fried-food consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Heart, 2021; heartjnl-2020-317883 DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2020-317883

     

    Author:
    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness

    3 Healthy Mindset Shifts to Embrace These Holidays (manage holiday temptations, eliminate food guilt and enjoy the festive season)

     

    For anyone working on health or weight loss goals, the beginning of a new holiday season can sometimes feel a little bit stressful. There’s usually lots of parties and socialising with friends and family, and decadent holiday foods play a huge part in the festivities.

    The thought of the approaching holiday season can sometimes spark fear of overindulging or gaining weight, so we thought it would be beneficial to put together 3 healthy mindset changes that you can make this festive period, so that you can enjoy holiday eating, and have more time for celebration, family and friends.

    One: Be flexible

    Be flexible, aim for improvement, not perfection (especially during the holidays). Striving for perfection with the “all or nothing” mentality with no middle ground or compromise will let you down. Goals and intentions are amazing to set up, but make sure that they’re realistic and achievable. If you have made a plan for yourself for the holidays, make sure that it’s not going to make you feel restricted and deprived. Having realistic goals in place will make you feel more empowered around your food choices and you’ll be less likely to overindulge, compared to if you had set up rigid goals that were unattainable.

    Take home: Create goals that you know you can achieve  

     

    Two: Enjoy what you love (and leave the rest)

    The holidays always involve amazing selections of delicious foods, from appetizers and cocktails to beautiful roasts, cookies and desserts. You know yourself better than anyone, so you know what foods you absolutely love and have been looking forward to all year. When you arrive at your holiday party, ask yourself “what would I enjoy here?” and then fill your plate with those things, and leave the rest. This will help to avoid the mindless “eat everything in the room” mentality, which is often prompted by strict expectations that you may have first put on yourself (not always, but often).

    Take home: Take the time to choose the foods you want to enjoy

     

    Three: Give yourself permission to enjoy

    Holiday foods are known to be super indulgent and yummy, and are usually “special” unhealthy foods that we only eat on celebratory occasions. These foods have the purpose of bringing us pleasure, because they taste amazing and someone we love usually made the food for us. When we are eating food that is meant to bring us pleasure, it’s hard to receive that pleasure if we have feelings of guilt, or we’re checking ourselves out from the eating experience. Being present while eating and using our senses to smell, taste, chew and enjoy the food allows us to really receive the pleasure that the food is giving us. When we make pleasure the priority during eating, it becomes harder to overeat because we’re more in check with ourselves during the eating process (and overeating is also not very pleasurable!).

    Take home: stay present with your food choices throughout the holiday season

    We hope that you found this short list of holiday mindset-change tips helpful. As December creeps up on us remember to keep your health goals in mind, but stay mindful and stay open…maybe even let the holidays guide you a little bit! 

    Creative Ways to Include Movement in Your Day Without Having to Schedule Special Workout Time

     

    Too busy to hit the gym or schedule a structured workout into your day? Don’t sweat, because there’s lots of easy things you can do during the day to boost your movement and activity levels, without even realising it!

    GO FOR A WALK WITH A FRIEND. Instead of meeting at a coffee shop to sit down and catch up, get your coffees to go and hit the local neighbourhood for a walk. If you have a beach nearby, taking a walk with a friend along the beach boardwalk is a nice thing to do as well.

    WEEKEND FAMILY BIKE RIDE. Dust off the bikes, lace up your shoes and head outside for a weekend bike ride with the family! You’ll be getting active, getting some sunshine and keeping your family connected all at the same time.

    RUN UP THE STAIRS INSTEAD OF WALK. Running up a flight of stairs is an awesome way to burn calories (ever seen those stair climbing machines at the gym?).

    JUMP ON THE TRAMPOLINE WITH YOUR KIDS. You may not believe it, but trampoline jumping actually works out your entire body. A 2019 study on the effectiveness of a mini-trampoline jumping program for people with osteopenia (low bone density) found that trampoline jumping helps to improve balance, strength and functional mobility. Jumping is for everyone!  

    HAVE A DANCE PARTY. Make exercising fun again! Make sure to include moves that get you down low, jumping up high and moving your arms.

    PARK IN THE FURTHEST PARKING LOT AWAY FROM THE SHOPS. Okay, so this might not be the most fun idea to do all the time, but have you ever tried to steer a full shopping trolley full of groceries around the parking lot, while attempting not to smash your trolley into someone or get yourself run over? It requires a lot of muscle strength and body movements!

    GIVE YOUR KIDS PIGGY BACK RIDES. If your kids are young, they most likely love to get piggy back rides. If you start thinking about it as a way to get some more exercise into your day, you might enjoy it and want to do it a lot more!

    LET YOUR DOG MOTIVATE YOU. Grab the leash and your dog and head outside. Your body and your pooch will thank you later! 

    BE CREATIVE ABOUT ADDING MOVEMENT INTO YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES. For example, you could do hand and wrist stretches while waiting at stop lights, squats while you watch your kiddies bath, or even star jumps while you wait for the microwave to ding.

    Getting movement into your day doesn’t have to involve intense HIIT sessions or specific “scheduled” workout time. Remember that every step counts!

     

    Author:
    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness and Wholesomeness-on-Roma

    Why Wholesomeness is a Great Choice for Healthier Eating and a Healthier Life

     

    When it comes to making decisions about what’s best for your health, and for your lifestyle, it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we created our gourmet home delivered meals, because we know (from firsthand experience!) that people are busier than ever, often juggling multiple balls at once.

    Sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day to plan healthy meals, go out to buy the ingredients (and not forget anything!), then spend the time cooking and doing the dishes each night.  Perhaps you are doing all of the above, and are feeling a little rundown. Well we’re here to let you know exactly why our meals are better for you, for your health and for your lifestyle…

    SUPERFOOD PACKED MEALS DESIGNED BY CHEF’S & NUTRITIONISTS

    We know that food tastes better when it’s cooked from scratch, that’s why all of our dishes are cooked on site in our small kitchen in Brisbane. Our team of chef’s and nutritionists personally plan each meal (ensuring that it’s nutritionally dense and calorie controlled), shop locally for fresh quality produce, and cook each meal with extreme love, care and attention. Our nutritionist is onsite to ensure that every single meal is packed with superfood benefits, looks beautiful and tastes just as good as it looks!

    OUR FOOD IS FRESHER THAN FRESH

    Did you know that food starts to deteriorate right after it has been cooked? That’s why we use the benchmark method of blast-chilling and freezing which basically snap freezes the meals before they have any chance of spoilage or growth of microorganisms. Freezing also helps to maintain top nutritional quality of the food, by retaining the vitamins and minerals present in the food. In some ways, frozen food is actually nutritionally better than fresh, because fresh food loses micronutrients over time (that’s why we say fresher than fresh!).

    GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY

    Fact: 2.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown out by Australian households every year (that’s 300kgs per person!).

    At some point, we’ve all opened our fridge to find soggy lettuce that we just didn’t get around to using that week. If you find yourself throwing out lots of unused produce each week, we can help. Our meals are only around $13-14 each, including delivery. With this price comes lots of time saving (no long grocery shops, meal planning, cooking, cleaning up), plus no wasted ingredients and no wasted money spent on those ingredients! We full support the idea that healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  

    WE SUPPORT YOU

    We’re here to answer any question you might have, and to support you on your health journey. Whether you want to free up time, lose weight or simply just start eating healthier, as soon as you join us you become a part of the friendly and supporting community that is Wholesomeness!

     

    Click here to check out our nutritious, healthy, delivered meals. 


    Author:

    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness and Wholesomeness-on-Roma