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    Merging good taste and good nutrition

    At Wholesomeness, we’re all about fusing the latest nutrition research via Harvard Medical School and other evidence based peer reviewed resources with healthy cooking by delivering healthy prepared meals to your home, providing hands-on cooking classes and health coaching.

    For those who are time poor or going through a busy or stressful period, we have our Meal Plans because we know from our own experience that life can get crazy sometimes – and these meal plans take the thinking out of healthy eating by providing you with a nutritionally balanced week (Executive Pack), fortnight (Slim & Tone Plan) or our 30 Day Reset plan at the touch of the keypad.

    But when things simmer down a bit, and you find you actually have the time to shop at the farmers markets and do some awesome meal-prep for the week we have some practical tips for nutritious and delicious home-cooking from our family to yours.

    Make plants the main attraction

    A substantial amount of research shows that people who eat a plant-based diet — mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes — live longer and enjoy better health than people whose diets consist mainly of animal-based foods like meat and dairy.

    Many cultures developed their cuisines around plant foods out of necessity. Traditionally, animal protein was expensive, so limited quantities were available. Mediterranean, Latin American, and Asian cultures are known for pairing healthy plant foods with lean protein (fish, chicken) and monounsaturated fat (olive oils, nuts).

    These diets can have substantial health benefits. For example, a Mediterranean-style diet has been found responsible for:

    • longer life expectancy
    • reduced heart disease
    • relief from rheumatoid arthritis
    • lower rates of Parkinson's disease
    • lower rates of Alzheimer's disease

    Here are five tips to get creative with your plant-based meals:

    1. Follow the motto ‘If it grows together, it goes together.’ For example, try the Spanish sauce called Romesco over grilled vegetables. It's made from roasted red peppers, olive oil, and nuts.
    2. Make olive oil really shine by matching a bold olive oil, such as a Tuscan varietal, with other bold flavours, such as rosemary and pine nuts.
    3. Complement a milder olive oil, such as a French varietal, with subtly flavoured foods such as a garden salad with fish
    4. Blend green herbs (parsley/coriander), raw garlic, olive oil and lemon juice – a little chilli - and fennel seeds and add generously to roasted vegetables for a potent health elixir (also called Chermoula)
    5. Tabouli is so easy to make – and goes with any meal – finely chopped tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint leaves, green onions are combined with lemon/lime juice, olive oil and some soaked cracked bulgur wheat.

    Eat locally

    Locally grown foods may be fresher and have higher nutrient content. Since they spend less time being shipped and handled, they may look and taste better. Shop at your farmers market or arrange a local vegie box delivery from a local business such as Sprayfree Farmacy. We're actually one of their pick-up points, at our Healthy Grill Bar Cafe in Grange.

     

    Spice it up

    Despite the lack of research on their health benefits, spices, herbs, and aromatics (any plant, herb, or spice that adds lively scent to a beverage or food) make other plant foods mouth-watering treats. And they are definitely a healthier option than piling on the salt. Unlike salt, spices have not been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.

    Here are four ways to ensure the quality and flavor of your spices:

    1. Buy them in small quantities and in their whole form to ensure freshness.
    2. Store them in a cool, dry space.
    3. Grind them right before use.
    4. Toast them dry in a hot skillet or stir-fry them in oil over medium-high heat (both for just 10-20 seconds).

     

    Get excited about whole grains

    Rich in fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium, whole grains (such as quinoa or brown rice) are far better nutritionally than refined grains (such as bread or white rice). And they make you feel fuller longer. Because the starch inside of them is absorbed more slowly, they're less likely than refined grains to be quickly stored as fat. Regular consumption of whole grains also reduces the risk of:

    • diabetes
    • Cancer
    • heart disease
    • stroke
    • diet-related depression

    Here are four ways to incorporate different types of whole grains into your diet:

    1. Try grains from around the world such as teff, spelt, farro, kamut, and amaranth.
    2. Blend whole grains such as quinoa with colourful vegetables, spices, and olive oil.
    3. Eat whole-grains as cold or hot cereals, adding fresh fruit, spices (e.g. cinnamon and nutmeg) and nuts.
    4. Season whole grains with sweet spices like nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and garam masala spice.

    Go a little nuts

    In a large trial of men and women, eating nuts five times a week or more lowered diabetes risk by 27%. In another large study, women who ate nuts just about every day lowered their risk of heart disease by 32%.

    However, since a 30g portion of nuts can pack 700Kj or more, eat them in moderation to help prevent weight gain. Two tasty suggestions: toasted pine nuts sprinkled over a salad or brown rice, or almonds and fresh herbs added to the top of a vegetable curry or casserole.

     

    Following the above advice will not only make your meals nutritious, but will also allow you to enjoy some of the most delicious food you've ever eaten.

    Like any advice, listen to your body first and choose to use the information that works for you - for example some people thrive on a vegan diet while others need to include animal foods. Bio-individuality is the key to nutrition, and what works for your friend or someone in the media may not work for you.

     

    For more delicious healthy recipes, sign up for a Wholesomeness cooking class

    Or talk to Georgia our in-house Nutrition Consultant and Certified Health Coach about a free introduction to Health Coaching today via peeps@wholesomeness.com.au.

     

    Who’s growing your food?

    Food glorious food... we all need it, most of us really like it (some a little too much) but how many of us actually know where it’s come from? Do you know the name of the farmer who grew it, what was sprayed on it, how fresh it actually is?

    Read more

    10 easy packed lunch ideas for busy days

    I reckon it is pretty easy to eat healthy lunches……that is if you only have healthy food in the fridge, and as an extra precaution you also hide your car keys to make sure you do stay at home to eat said healthy lunch. (p.s. This may cause problems if you hide your car keys and then can’t remember where they are when you are already running late for an appointment.)

    But, how do you have a healthy lunch when you have to actually leave the house and go to places like …..say…. work.

    Here are 10 simple lunch ideas that will save you time. From salads, to healthy and hearty warming lunches that you can make ahead. These delicious ideas will help you stay satisfied throughout the afternoon, and because you made it yourself you will have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you are eating, no nasty preservatives or hidden sugars thanks very much. Just think of all the extra time you’ll have to sit down and enjoy your lunch, rather than waiting in line to order it. You will also save money, as well as the obvious benefit of eating nutritious and healthy meals.

    Wait! Before we get started it is a good idea to take a bit of time on a Sunday to plan and prepare your lunches for the week. By packing your lunch the night before it is one less thing to worry about in the morning. Not saying all this will be easy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, and it does take a level of commitment to do this.

    Here are 10 ways to make it easier:

    1. Make double dinners

    This option is quite obvious as it is quick, easy and cost efficient.

    a) Heat at work, or heat at home and pop in a thermos before you leave for work. Think Bolognese, stews, soups, chicken drumsticks and curries. These are all easy to make in bulk, especially if you have a slow cooker.
    b) You can keep some for lunches or freeze portions for later.
    c) If you already order your dinners from Wholesomeness, add some more delivered meals to your order to use as serves for lunches.

    Photo courtesy of www.wellnourished.com.au

    2. Salad

    Before you say ‘booorrringgg”, salads are packed full of everything your body needs to get through the day, full of fibre, vitamins and nutrients. Here are some tips to making salads easy and fun.

    Salad jars – Get your hands on some mason jar and fill with different salads.

    Add dressing first: Balsamic and olive oil options are a good choice. Then add tomato, capsicum, red onion. Anything that would taste good pickled and acts as a barricade layer to the liquid.

    Then add more vegetables: Mushrooms, beans, avocado, sprouts, celery. Add your grains: brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat. Then add your protein: egg, ham, chicken, tuna, roasted or leftover meat from dinner, feta or mozzarella cheese or beans. Protein is what is going to fill you up and get you through the afternoon. Add your base: spinach, leafy greens, nuts/seeds

    Options are endless: cobb salad, greek salad, sweet potato salad. They do stay fresh as the dressing stays on the bottom. See more great recipe ideas here.

    Picture courtesy of www.optimiseyourselfskinny.com

    3. Canned Tuna

    A great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B12 and protein

    a. Sustainable brands are becoming more common – Fish 4 Ever is Australia’s # 1 Sustainably fished Skipjack Tuna as rated by Greenpeace for the past 5 years. 100% Pole and Line caught. Click here for a list of Fish 4 Ever stockists in Queensland.
    b. Combine tuna with good quality mayonnaise, or a baby spinach salad, or combine with tomatoes and basil
    c. Top tuna on rice crackers or other wholesome crackers d. Keep a few cans of canned tuna at your work

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    Image courtesy of: www.firstray.com.au

    4. Fermented food

    Fermented food has been used by different cultures for many years. Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, fermented vege’s/fruit and yoghurt.

    a. Adding a small amount of fermented foods to every meals provide a number of benefits including: increased vitamins, boosting your immune system, improving digestion, and adding good bacteria to your gut.
    b. Add chopped fermented pickles to tuna, or salads.
    c. Have some tzatziki with ham or as a dip.
    d. Add raw sauerkraut as a side to ham or meat dishes.
    e. Drink some kombucha or kefir.

    Image coutesty of: http://draxe.com

     

    5. Boiled egg

    Eggs are a great source of protein, boil half a dozen eggs on Sunday night and store them ready in the fridge.

    6. Dips and vegetables

    Use vegetables (carrots, capsicum, beans, cucumber) for dipping into guacamole, tzatziki, hummus, beetroot or pesto dips.

    7. Leafwhich

    Use leaves such as lettuce, silverbeet or ‘massaged’ kale as a wrap or ‘taco’, with a filling of grated carrot, beetroot, shredded chicken or whatever else takes your fancy.

    8. Avocado

    Avocado’s are a great source of vitamins and full of healthy, beneficial fats that help to keep you full and satiated.

    a. Avocado Shell Salad: halve an avocado and top with red onion, tomato and humous.
    b. Or spread avocado on rice crackers with a little lemon juice, salt and pepper.

    9. Green smoothie

    Green smoothies are great because they still provide fibre (as opposed to juices). Dark leafy greens contain plenty of antioxidants and vitamins. You can prep and blend and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. A good green smoothie is made up of a few things, leafy greens, vegetables, some fruit, liquid and other extras:

    a. Leafy greens: spinach, kale, bok choy,
    b. Fruit: berries, banana, pineapple, apple, avocado, pear (you can also use frozen berries,
    c. Liquids: water, almond milk, coconut water/milk, and cultured drinks (kefir, whey, kombucca)
    d. Extras: chia seeds, green superfood powders (Spuralina, maca etc), cacoa powder, nuts, spices
    e. This website is a good guide to green smoothie making.

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    Image courtesy of: http://simplegreensmoothies.com

    10. Choose Water to drink!

    You don’t want to ruin your healthy lunch by adding a sugar-laden soft drink or juice. So there you go, I hope you found some of these ideas helpful. Good luck! Mix it up and add variety.

    Remember to pack it right, invest in some good quality lunch containers or thermos. There still might be times when you need to purchase your lunch, so plan ahead and choose places where you know they have healthy options. And remember you can always get chef prepared healthy meals delivered from Wholesomeness. Easy Peasy!

    Now I would love to hear from you guys – what are your tips for packing healthy lunches to work?

    CoreyOUR GUEST BLOGGER: Corey is a wife and mum of 2. Seeing so many sick people around (including herself) inspired her to research what foods we should be eating for optimal health. She began implementing changes with amazing results. She now has a new love for delicious, wholesome and nutritious food. She believes healthy nutritious eating is a key to a happier life.

     

    So, I thought I was pretty healthy...

    CoreyGUEST BLOGGER: Corey is a wife and mum of 2. Seeing so many sick people around (including herself) inspired her to research what foods we should be eating for optimal health. She began implementing changes with amazing results. She now has a new love for delicious, wholesome and nutritious food. She believes healthy nutritious eating is a key to a happier life.

    I am Corey, I am not an expert health professional, but like most of you I DO want to be an expert at looking after my health, and doing everything I can to feel great, be healthy and have loads of energy.

    I have spent many years in administration roles in hospitals, but one particular job changed everything for me. I would leave work at the end of the day feeling immensely frustrated.   Every day there were piles of medical reports detailing patient’s health issues; diabetes, heart disease, obesity, the list goes on. However, the most frightening part was that the children’s pile of medical reports was always higher than the adult’s. It got me thinking:  Why are there so many sick kids? Why the sudden rise of autism, diabetes, heart disease and cancer? What is going on here?

    It made me look at my own health, and I realised it had slipped considerably. You see, I came from a fairly “healthy” childhood, eating within the Australian dietary guidelines, lots of home cooked meals and very rarely any junk food.  However as I child, I was always sick with stomach issues.  I also suffered from sinus and hay fever. I would sneeze A LOT! My family stopped saying, “bless you” after the 3rd sneeze, they thought it was hilarious.  For me it was no fun at all.  My mum had me treated by a naturopath who put me on a wheat and dairy free diet. I started feeling a lot better.  I would take my brown rye bread to school and tell everyone it was “chocolate bread”.   I decided not to mention the Easters eggs were made from Carob.

    Things changed when I moved out of home.  My diet went from wheat, dairy and sugar free, to loads of processed food, sugary breakfast cereals, plenty of take-away, and very little exercise.  Sorry Mum!

    I also LOVED baking. I would make cakes and biscuits for parties and for my family all the time.   My husband is German and afternoon “Kaffee and Kuchen”  (Coffee and cake) is a big tradition.

    I never thought about the sugar or the wheat that I was eating – I figured I was baking from scratch and that was good..….right?

    Around this time my husband suggested we do a “cleanse” as he had not been feeling that great.  At first I was a bit defensive, but then though, ”Well I haven’t been feeling the best either, and I was starting to worry about the high levels of sugar and processed food in our diet.  Hey it was just for 2 weeks – I could do that”. So it was settled– two weeks with no wheat and no sugar (whole fruit was okay). The first few days were crazy with migraines. It was horrible!  I felt sick!  Why was I doing this again?!?   It wasn’t until day three that I started really feeling better, it was like a cloud had lifted.  No headaches, no sinus issues, and plenty more energy.

    During this time I started doing my own research about sugar and it’s effects. I read almost every health book in the library, including David Gillespie’s “Sweet Poison”, Mark Sisson’s “The Primal Blueprint”, and Dr William Davis’ “Wheat Belly”. All the books claimed new research showing no links between saturated fat and heart disease.  What?!?  If you want to read more about it here is a link to the latest study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    The information I was reading was conflicting almost everything I had been taught about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.  I watched documentaries and discovered the links between sugar, heart disease and diabetes. I was astounded!  I didn’t want to eat so much sugar anymore.  I did a big cull of the cupboards and starting experimenting with wheat free and sugar free recipes. Let’s just say some were a disaster, but over time they have improved remarkably.

    The two week cleanse, turned into a month, and then 3 months, and now over 1 year on, and our family are so much healthier. I can honestly say I am feeling the healthiest I ever have felt. Although losing weight was not the main issue for me, I was always conscious of my “baby belly” after having 2 children. I would wear those horrible spandex underwear to hide my belly. I don’t have worry about that anymore. Yah! I have gained lots of muscle, even with doing very little exercise. I have more energy; kids are doing better at school, and very rarely get sick. My children (8 & 10) are now aware of what they are eating. They still have occasional treats, however, they now look at food, and food labels and make healthier choices. It has been amazing to watch.

    It was well and good to read all the books, but to try this whole new lifestyle and know that it has worked says more than any book or film can.  My friends and family have seen my transformation, and now many have also chosen to take steps to eating more wholesome real food.

    We eat better than we ever have, and are still looking at ways to improve. We now eat loads of grass-fed meat, vegetables, eggs, fermented vegetables, nuts/seeds and a small amount of diary. I even went and bought cauliflower for the first time ever……crazy stuff….right?  Still might take me awhile to buy Brussel sprouts. Yuck!

    I now find myself loving meals and food, and my taste buds have improved remarkably, and I have learnt to make super delicious food that is nourishing, wholesome and delicious. The best part is that I am no longer craving sweets like I used to. I had such a “sweet tooth”. I now can happily decline a piece of cake. I honestly never would have thought that was even possible. I can’t believe the foods I used to eat, and what I thought was healthy was really doing me no good at all.

    Over this time I realised that Industry processed foods are not nourishing us, and the massive rise in diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes most likely have a lot to do with that. I truly believe that eating wholesome food will make a huge difference in the health of this country.

    The North Side's Newest Paleo and Gluten-Free Cafe – Gourmand & Gourmet

    Living in the ‘burbs in Brisbane is no excuse for not eating fresh and healthy anymore, especially not on the north side with the organic and paleo feeds that Wholesomeness is dishing up!

    Our fave healthy meal delivery service now has their very own café in the Grange, complete with a juice bar, a cabinet full of fresh salads and nutritious treats and a sunny deck for sitting down to a wholesome meal.

    Whatever your excuses usually are for ditching your health resolutions and instead resorting to a sugar-filled, unhealthy feed, Wholesomeness has the right stuff to get you back on track.

    Pop by on your way to work and you’ll be able to start off your day with a bulletproof coffee (said to be the best in Brisbane!) and a nutrient packed acai bowl topped with crunchy granola while you pick up a takeaway paleo meal or salad for lunch while you’re there. You can even treat yourself to a sweet snack from the counter for that mid-morning hanger. Who wants a bag of chips when you could have protein balls and coconut bread?

    If it’s the gym you’re heading to, stop in for an energising pre-workout smoothie – and a protein-packed post-workout smoothie on the way back! Wholesomeness uses Raw protein powders in all their goodies, so you can rest assured they’re vegan and organic.

    On the weekends, when nobody feels like slaving away in the kitchen, Wholesomeness are there for you with their all day breakfast and lunch menu. Weekly specials like their pulled pork and potato rosti and chicken schnitzel with a coconut and almond crumb, sweet potato chips and avocado salsa will push all thoughts of takeaway burgers out of your mind. Add in an organic cold-pressed well-being juice packed with pineapple, carrot, turmeric, passionflower, jasmine, lemon, lime and lavender (all for $6!) and you’ll be set up for the most productive weekend you’ve ever had! Best of all, you can get it all right up until 7.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays! What were those excuses again?

    Almost all of the produce Wholesomeness uses is organic and local, so it’s not just good for you, it’s good for the community and the environment. Every meal, both dine in and takeaway, is gluten-free, dairy-free, contains no artificial nasties and is 100% delicious!

    If you live life at a frantic pace and just can’t find a single minute to stop by the café, you can also order Wholesomeness’ fresh paleo meals online and get them delivered right to your door or workplace. Talk about time saving!

    Conveniently located at 8 Days Road, Grange (with plenty of parking, we might add), Wholesomeness are open from:

    • 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday
    • 6am to 7.30pm on Friday
    • 7am to 7.30pm on Saturday and
    • 7am to 3pm on Sunday.

    No excuses!

    Words by Ranyhyn Akui

    Keeping the G&G up to date with all the latest tasty tidbits requires a lot of double lattes and espresso martinis, so we occasionally need to give out some sponsored love. But rest assured that we only work with businesses that we think are really nifty, as the sponsor for this post is!