Mindful Eating – Why is it so underrated?

Mindful eating

You only need to look around your office or at your own lunch time habits to see that we are a society that likes to eat at our desk to squeeze every minute of working time out of the day. Kudos to us for being so dedicated to our work, but what about our health?

What is supposed to be an enjoyed task, eating has become much of a chore or inconvenience to us, something we must simply do to survive the day.

healthy lunch

A look at the nervous system and mindful eating

Our nervous system has different pathways for working and eating that do not operate well together. One is dealing with the stress or activity in front of us and switches off digestion to focus our energies on that pathway. The other is the rest and digest pathway. With digestion switched off, you can easily see how bloating, reflux and constipation may become an issue.

Work is not the only lifestyle factor to blame

Let’s be fair, work is not the only culprit here. I’m sure you can relate to scrolling through social media, sending an SMS or checking emails on your phone at dinner. Maybe you even find yourself with your food on your lap in front of the TV binging your favourite Netflix series. All of these contribute to MindLESS eating.

Do you admire your food and salivate at the sight? This is the beginning of digestion. If you are looking away, busying your mind, you are not effectively starting the digestive process.

As you continue to shovel food in, do you recognise when you are full before you are ‘overstuffed’? Many of us don’t, we sit there after a meal feeling bloated, full, and uncomfortable.

Hunger Scale

What is MindFUL eating?

MindFUL eating on the other hand is focusing on your hunger and fullness cues. It is being present with your food and the people who are enjoying the food with you. It’s sitting down to admire the aroma, the colours and anticipating every delicious mouthful. It is being thankful that you can fuel your body with something nutritious. It’s focusing on chewing each mouthful slowly and completely.

A healthy relationship with food rewards us with less bloating, better toileting habits, healthy weight and a healthy mind. Eating mindfully puts us in control of our body and how it feels.

Tips to support your MindFUL eating goals

  • Look for signs of emotional or boredom eating.
  • Enjoy the process of preparing food that nourishes your body.
  • Consider what you want to eat and why?
  • Is your body telling you it is hungry? Could it be tired or bored? This will avoid MindLESS snacking.
  • Think about how the food is fuelling your body. Think vitamins and minerals, protein, fibre, healthy fats etc.
  • Thinking of seconds? Allow 20 minutes before deciding on a second course, after the 20 minutes, determine if you are still hungry.
  • Sit at the table to eat meals with the TV off.
  • Take 10-15 minutes, at least, away from your desk to sit and eating your meal.

Food should give us enjoyment, nourishment, and fuel. Eating should be something we put thought into, just as much as our work. Without nourishment, our abilities to accomplish working and family tasks diminishes with our health.

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Health Tips to Get You Fed – The Joys of Parenthood and Forgetting to Feed Yourself

Busy Parent Tips

Before parenthood, the concept of ‘forgetting to eat’ is inconceivable to most. Insert children and soon the days of waking up and thinking about what you are going to have for breakfast, sitting down to enjoy that HOT breakfast and shortly after thinking about what, when and where your next meal is going to come from turn into a distant memory. This blog was designed to provide you with some of the health tips and tools I use to ensure I remain nourished and on top of my game when it comes to caring for my son and being a working mum, with a business to run.

Tips for parents

Once your children arrive, sacrifice and selflessness quickly become part of the parental territory. Busy days feeding the baby or taking kids to school and sport, all while trying to maintain the household and your career interrupt your appetite and you soon say goodbye to HOT and seated meals. Your days are now a whirlwind fog.

You are certainly not alone in the neglect of your own needs. Parents and caregivers, mums and dads all over the world experience the same struggles, whether you are a stay-at-home parent or full-time working parent.

To your kids, you are a Superhero. A superhero can only be the kind of super they need if YOU are healthy and happy.

Superhero parent tips
You can only be the superhero they need if you have YOUR OWN health

Your health should be your priority and because everyone else relies on you to keep them healthy, it is also your responsibility to keep yourself healthy.



  • you deserve it!
  • your kids need it.
  • children need role models to show them HOW to be healthy, not simply be told.

Some health tips

parent health tips
Get the whole family involved
  • Start and end your day early.
  • Plan out healthy meals and snack wisely.
  • Keep a good supply of healthy grab-and-go one handed snacks in the pantry/fridge (see tops and ideas below).
  • Even if you cannot get a complete meal in, eat several small meals across the day to keep your energy up and prevent crashes.
  • Ensure snacks and meals are high in fibre to sustain you for longer and prevent cravings for sugary/carb rich junk foods.
  • Ask your Nutritionist to help you with a simple meal plan that is achievable.
  • Nurture friendships and extended family who support you and your own need to be healthy.
  • Be a team
      • Get your kids involved in helping to cook meals.
      • Ask your partner to help with meal preparation or other chores, so you can meal prep.
    • Ask a family member or friend to take the kids for a few hours while you prepare meals in advance.
  • Stay active, not only chasing children but walk, run, dance, swim, gym, do whatever you enjoy to stay active, keep your mind clear and maintain energy for planning and preparing healthy meal options and supporting a healthy appetite.
  • Reduce the stress and clutter in your mind, to allow your body to remember to eat (with the above)
  • Set alarms for yourself as reminders to eat regularly.
  • Use healthy ready-meal services (speak with your nutritionist on healthy options available).
  • Have a health plan in place (e.g. a mummy/daddy pamper day, a meal prep day, massage once per month etc.)

Quick Snack Ideas

  • Boiled Eggs (done the night before while the kids are sleeping)
  • Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts are all great choices, pepitas, sunflower seeds.
  • Fresh fruit – berries, bananas, apples are all quick and easy.
  • Smoothies
  • Chia pots – (done the night before while the kids are sleeping)
  • Yoghurt pouches
  • 70% or more Dark Chocolate (limit to 2 squares)
Healthy Snack Ideas
Healthy Snack Tips

Could in-activity or over-activity be affecting your digestive health?

digestive health and exercise

Most of us are well aware of the benefits of exercise and movement for heart, mental, bone and muscle health. There is also no disputing its benefits in maintaining a healthy weight. What most of us are oblivious to, is the impact exercise can have on digestive health, in a positive or negative way. Especially if you suffer from some of the more common digestive health complaints that I see in clinic including, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), IBS or reflux. As well as the ever increasing IBD (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis) and diverticulitis.

What are the BENEFITS of regular exercise for digestion?

  • Your gut microbiome (the healthy guys that live in her gut), rely on good and consistent circulation to the stomach to perform their duties. Duties such as immune support, mood, metabolism, the creation of hormones and to regulate the digestion of food.
  • Exercise also alters the diversity (variety) of our gut friends, to ensure the good ones outnumber and are stronger than the bad ones.
  • Sure, we know about the importance of building the muscles that we can see from the outside. But the gut also has particularly important muscles along the digestive tract. These muscles need to be toned and strengthened by exercise to perform digestive functions.
  • These same muscles are required to twist, churn, and push leftover food and metabolic waste through the digestive tract to be eliminated. Imagine if you did not have those important muscles you use to do number two! Moving makes sure your bowels also keep moving.

It is best to clear it with your doctor to make sure that the level of exercise is safe for you. Whatever you do, just get moving. Walking, jogging, riding, bushwalking, hiking, Pilates, yoga, gym classes are all great options and can be tailored to your fitness and mobility levels.

What about the flip side, how might my digestive health symptoms worsen with exercise?

  • Exercising too quickly after food may increase reflux.
  • Eating heavy foods before exercise may increase flatulence, bloating, reflux and abdominal discomfort. This, due to the body’s ability to switch off digestive function to activate its “fight or flight” response in exercise.
  • While adequate exercise can be effective at reducing inflammation in the long term, over exercising is inflammatory and can stress the body. This causes an increase in a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to digestive complaints and fatigue.  
  • It is important to incorporate recovery days or low impact and gentle exercise into your regime to reduce inflammatory damage and digestive disturbances.
  • High intensity exercise is great for keeping your heart in shape. However, overdoing it can contribute to diarrhea, especially in those susceptible to loose bowel motions (e.g. IBS). Why? When we run, the flow of blood is diverted to the legs and digestive organs are being thrown around creating disorder in the gut and bowels. 

Thinking Holistically

So, while food can absolutely be a major contributing factor to digestive discomfort, other lifestyle factors such as exercise and sleep can also play an important role.

If you are newly taking up exercise, start slow, set small, achievable goals such as a 10 minute walk for the first week and slowly increase from there, but be CONSISTENT.

Or, enlist the support of an Exercise Physiologist or other exercise specialist along with your Nutritionist to build a holistic, supportive and motivating approach to your digestive health goals.

Happy and safe exercising!

Danielle x

Want to know how your Digestive Health measures up?

Take the Digestive Health Quiz today to see if improvements can be made to your health.

COLLAGEN – The gut and skin wonder nutrient


The collagen market has hit the health and wellness industry by storm. Everyone wants a piece of the beauty pie. Claims of increasing skin elasticity, firming up sagging skin, healing damaged skin and on a less vein level, supporting joints and healing the gut have people scrambling at local health food stores, pharmacies and beauty houses for all things collagen. Now I have suggested here that the vanity side of things might be completely separate from the gut, but in reality, the gut and skin are very closely connected.

We all begin life as just one lonely little cell, in the comfy and warm womb of our mothers. From here, we very rapidly divide into many cells and develop until we become a fully grown baby. As we continue this growth some of our original cells and remain linked together. Our gut, skin and brain are connected closely by our original tissues.

This has led research to identify a clear link between the gut, skin and associated skin conditions.

Did you know the skin is our body’s largest organ?

As a structural organ, the skin plays a very important part in maintaining a healthy body from:

  • UV damage (from the sun)
  • Dietary and environmental factors that cause free radical damage
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Physical stress placed on the skin

Other factors may affect the health of our skin including:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • A poor diet
  • Alcohol
  • Dehydration
  • The dysfunction of other organs such as the liver and gut

So, what about collagen then?

Collagen is found naturally in the structural makeup of our skin. It plays a large role in skin elasticity, ensuring that our skin does not sag and wrinkle, which is why the beauty industry has made a fortune out of topical collagen products. Collagen is also found in the gut lining playing a similar healing and protective role, but on a deeper level that we cannot see. Although, those with gut problems such as leaky gut will soon discover the benefits after taking collagen supplements or increasing collagen naturally with food.

PLUS Vitamin C

Collagen is heavily reliant on the incredibly famous antioxidant known as Vitamin C for production in the body. Including several sources of Vitamin C rich foods in the diet daily can boost your chances of producing enough collagen to achieve that beautiful, firm glow you have been searching for, as well as do some fabulous healing work in the gut. Because both organs are so connected and so vital to overall health, it is important to work on both the skin and gut.

Here are some vitamin C rich food sources:

  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Capsicums
  • Chillis
  • Leafy greens (spinach, cabbage, kale etc.)
  • Sweet potatoes, pumpkins
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • All berries
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Lemons, oranges, grapefruit

Sources of Collagen

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lean beef
  • Citrus fruits
  • Egg white
  • Garlic
  • Berries
  • Cashews
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Soy products
  • Tomatoes
  • Capsicum

The road to healthy skin

The diet plays a key role in the health of our skin. The skin relies on essential nutrients to preserve its integrity and elasticity. Eating nutrient-rich foods often can ensure we are getting the variety of nutrients require for that all-important glow and youthfulness.

Enjoy Your Fruit & Veggies Plentifully

Fruit and vegetables are a given, we all know it, but we sometimes need to be reminded of this in these times of fast food and time-poor lifestyles. The antioxidants and phytochemicals (plant chemicals and nutrients) found in our fruits and vegetables help to maintain skin elasticity and integrity below the surface of the skin, as well as what we can see in the mirror. Fruit and vegetables also offer the gut the nutrients it requires to produce collagen and stressless hormones.

Eat Seasonally

Eating seasonally increases the nutritional profile of fruits and vegetables meaning you will get the most out of them!

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are important in helping to build cell membranes and hydrate and plump the skin. Omega-3, omega-6 and monounsaturated fatty acids are the best of the fats.

Sources of healthy fats include:

  • Avocado
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Eggs
  • Oily fish (salmon, tuna, cod, sardines)
  • Olive oil
  • Olives

Prebiotics – Improve the health of your friendly gut bacteria

Our colon (the large bowel) has an enormously diverse number of healthy bacteria. Like us, they are living. These very live and operating healthy bacteria require fuel, much the same as we require fuel (food) to live, notably prebiotics.

What do they eat?

The preferred fuel source of our healthy friends are called indigestible carbohydrates known as prebiotic fibres to undertake the vast array and very important roles they play in our health.

What do they do for us?

Our healthy bacteria are responsible for regulating the immune system, metabolism, energy production and much more.

It is important to ensure we are consuming enough prebiotic fibres from our food to sustain our friendly colonic bacteria. Because, let’s face it, without them and their health, we would be sick, tired and lethargic and that is just the beginning. Unfortunately, many of those who presented to clinic have already reached the sick, tired, and lethargic stage and require supportive treatments to reorganise, rebuild and repopulate their healthy bacteria.

Why are prebiotics considered indigestible?

  • They are resistant to the acid and enzymes found in our stomach.
  • They are fermented by our healthy bacteria (as their food and energy source).
  • They become a source of fuel to help the healthy bacteria grow and produce the materials. required to keep us healthy and happy.

What is Guar Gum?

Guar gum is a prebiotic fibre that is popular in many packaged food items and baked goods. In these food forms, guar gum may not offer its full nutritional potential. However, on its own guar gum is seen as a gut friendly ingredient that feeds our little gut ‘besties’.

What are the benefits of Guar Gum?

This gum is tasteless, odourless and helps to improve toileting habits. It does this by increasing the bulk of the stool, drawing in water and reducing the straining that often accompanies constipation.  Guar gum has been praised for its positive effects in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other digestive complaints such as gas, bloating and discomfort thanks largely to its prebiotics properties.

Some popular dietary fibres have demonstrated risks for nutrient absorption. Guar gum however, has not shown the same risks and is therefore suitable for those suffering from iron, zinc and calcium deficiencies under the care of a health professional.

Simple use tips

You can add Guar gum to smoothies or protein shakes to make them like thick shakes or play around with the quantities to blend protein powder and water into a mousse. You may also like to thicken home-made soups, stir fry sauces or salad dressings.

Want to know how your Digestive Health measures up?

Take the Digestive Health Quiz today to see if improvements can be made to your health.

Be Nice To Your Gut & Yourself This Festive Season

It is safe to say, Gut health and Christmas rarely go hand-in-hand. Christmas parties and family feasts are an exciting time for social interaction and for treating your taste buds. It is lovely to sit around the table with friends and loved ones chatting and enjoying each other’s company, telling stories of the year that has passed.

But the indulgent meals and snacks that hit the Christmas table can cause your tummy to do backflips and cartwheels, for some, even by just looking at it. Your eyes and taste buds are saying “oh goody yes, yes Christmas food!”. But your gut is saying “nooooo don’t do this to me!”. Then, come the New Year celebrations not long after. Where is the time to rest and digest?

Here are some tips and tricks to guide you through the silly season.

Stress is enough to churn your gut

Preparing large meals for a big group of people can be stressful. By doing the majority of the prep work the day or night before, you will reduce your stress levels, make your gut happy for Christmas day and be able to enjoy yourself as you should.

Christmas lunch/dinner doesn’t have to be unhealthy

Turkey is a fantastic source of tryptophan, which helps us make our happy hormones serotonin and melatonin, both helping you to feel more relaxed and happier. Also, a lean source of vitamins B and protein, turkey is a great way to fill you up and give you energy for the socialising ahead. Remember to remove the skin to reduce the saturated fat you eat for the day. Fill your plate with mostly vegetables to fill your tummy with goodness and leave less room for dessert and nibbles that are not so tummy friendly.

You booze you lose

Well kind of. Its okay to have a drink or two with loved ones to celebrate gathering together but take care of the types of alcoholic beverages you choose. Reduce your champagne, wine and beer intake to just 1 and opt for vodka or gin and soda. These carry less calories and little sugar to disrupt your friendly little guys in the gut reducing impact on gut health. Alcohol in general is enough to aggravate some gut conditions so know your limits.  Stay hydrated between alcoholic beverages.

Get ahead of the dreaded post feast bloat

Stick to one smaller size plate with half vegetables and some protein. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Teas can be beneficial in reducing any bloating and nausea post meal, including ginger and peppermint tea.

Get your move on or your groove on

Exercise in the form of walking, pre-event gym or dancing with some Christmas music can help your body to prepare, process and digest food. It will also help you to burn off some of those extra calories.

Have fun, be merry and enjoy your Christmas.

Danielle x