The Most Common Nutrition Questions I am Asked and my Answers:
1) I take a probiotic every day, is that good?
There is a lot of evidence that probiotics and prebiotics are important for digestive health, psychological wellbeing and overall functioning of the body-mind. But there are more benefits from eating probiotic-containing foods such as yogurt, kefir and miso then an actual pill. When eating the whole food, we also eat nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein which will provide a greater benefit than the probiotic alone.
2) Should I be eating collagen?
Please no! Eat fruit and vegetables, drink water, move your body often and practice some type of mindful activities like meditation. These will slow the age-related degeneration and inflammation far more than a processed product.
3) What's a healthy breakfast my kids will eat?
If you bring the kids into the kitchen and include them in the preparation, they will be more likely to eat the food the made :) Also banana pancakes, smoothies and dippy eggs are a good option.
4) How do I lose all of the weight I have put on during isolation?
Look at the reasons that have caused the weight gain. Some may include moving less, sleeping more, stress/anxiety, life changes, frequent snacking and/or eating when tired or bored. Ultimately I think we need to be kinder on ourselves at this time, the weight will come off. Focus more on activities that make you happy that are not food-related.
5) I can't stop eating sugar - help me!
How well do you sleep at night? Are you stressed? Do you eat breakfast? Do you eat enough dense carbs like sweet potato and whole-grains?
All of these factors will drive sugar cravings. Also some research suggests low chromium levels may promote sugar-cravings so eat almonds, peanuts and peanut butter.
6) I'm plant-based eating now but it's difficult knowing if I get enough protein. Any recommendations?
Protein is not such an issue with plant-based diets if including nuts, nut based milks and butter, seeds, tofu and tempeh. Lack of iron may be more of an issue, so it is best to have regular blood tests to see if an iron supplement is needed.
7) I'm eating Flexitarian now, is that good?
Flexitarian by definition is balanced and varied. So it is good.
8) What are your views on intermittent fasting?
There is a lot of evidence of losing weight, assuming no over-eating at the allocated meal times/stages. But you have to be on it to lose weight. Once returning to normal eating, the weight usually returns. It is also restrictive on socialising, which even though in iso now, long term I don't recommend it considering sharing meals with loved ones increases endorphins.
9) What do you eat for breakfast?
I mix it up a lot! Today I had toasted rye sourdough with extra virgin olive oil, cheese, tomato and Vegemite. I also love fruit salad and yogurt, smoothies, smoothie bowls with toppings, pikelets, muesli, eggs with sides and warming porridge on a cold day. I vary my breakfasts often.
10) I am always bloated! What should I do?
There are hundreds of reasons people feel bloated! It could be any or all of : drinking too much water, drinking too little water; too much salt; not enough or too much exercise. See here for my article on bloating.
11) What do you think of the keto diet?
There is some evidence to suggest benefits for Type 2 Diabetics and Epilepsy treatments. However for the 'average healthy' person, I hate it. Ketosis is the body in a sub-optimal state that slows metabolism in the long term. It is the current trend but in a few years it would've been replaced with the next trendy diet.
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