My favourite nut bars to keep in your handbag

My favourite nut bars to keep in your handbag

Are you a snacker?  Do you like something sweet with your morning coffee?  I am, especially as I am up early with the kids and do my exercise then, so by morning tea breakfast is a distant memory.  A nut bar can be a handy shelf stable option that will survive be kept in your handbag or office drawer.  Here are my favourite supermarket finds.

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Product Review - Huck Energy Gels

Product Review - Huck Energy Gels

I was excited to find a new energy gel for my clients with sensitive tummies needing a low FODMAP sports supplement*.  Here’s my review of Huck energy gels.

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Product Review - Naked Kitchen Black Bean Chilli with Red Quinoa & Paprika

Product Review - Naked Kitchen Black Bean Chilli with Red Quinoa & Paprika

I'm always on the look out for shelf stable products that are healthy and delicious that I can serve up for a quick lunch or dinner.  Since my daughter became vegetarian I've explored some new areas of the supermarket and came across this product in the fridge section which she and I both think is delicious!

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5 Easy Office Lunches

5 Easy Office Lunches

Does this sound like you? Can I guess why? Like a lot of the women I see, you've had a coffee and maybe a slice of toast for breakfast. You've chosen a tuna salad for lunch - because you are trying to be "good". By 3 pm you are all about the easy carbs - picking at the kids’ leftovers and in and out of the kitchen after dinner. That's because you've barely eaten enough to make it from your bed to the sofa let alone provide yourself with enough energy to do all the things you need to do in your day!  Crowd out the junk food by getting your lunch right. 

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Why you should swap your lunchtime tinned tuna for tinned salmon

Why you should swap your lunchtime tinned tuna for tinned salmon

A tin of tuna is a popular lunch choice as it is a good source of protein, cheap and shelf stable.  A lot of people eat tuna for lunch assuming they are getting a serve of omega 3s – essential fatty acids. However tinned tuna is very low in omega3s - tinned salmon or sardines provide much more.

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My favourite yoghurts

My favourite yoghurts

One of the most common questions I get asked is “what yoghurt should I buy”*?  There are so many varieties available with options such as fat free, greek, greek style, pot set – what should you choose? With a group of my colleagues we’ve put together a table of our favourite brands.  What we have considered is taste, protein/fat/sugar content, calcium content and whether the yoghurt contains probiotics. 

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LOW FODMAP SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS

LOW FODMAP SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS

Are you following a low FODMAP diet to manage your IBS symptoms?  FODMAPs are a large group of dietary sugars.  These sugars can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and fermented by bacteria to produce gas. Following a low FODMAP diet can help manage IBS symptoms. 

Endurance runners often suffer from stomach problems.  If you also suffer from a FODMAP intolerance, fueling for your long run can be quite tricky.    Here’s some tips to help you focus on your running, rather than your stomach, or wondering where the closest toilet is. 

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nuun electrolyte tablets

nuun electrolyte tablets

A long overdue post about my most used sports nutrition product - nuun electrolyte tablets.   Nuun tablets are added to water and replenish the electrolytes that are lost in sweat during exercise with only 1g of sugar (dextrose) per serve (compared to 36g of sugar in a sports drink).  Nuun contains the four main electrolytes that are vital in hydration and exercise performance and this year they will be the official hydration partner of the City2Surf

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Product review - HIT 100

As a nutritionist people often come to see me for weight loss, glowing skin or extra energy.  These might be a measure we can see on the outside but  I believe it is far more important to invest in your internal health and do everything you can to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, including silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.  I wrote about pre-diabetes and insulin resistance here.  With more than 100,000 Australians having developed diabetes in the past year it is likely that you know someone living with diabetes.   

I first came across Hit100 when researching a university assignment looking at strategies for managing diabetes and insulin resistance.  Hit 100 is a meal delivery service catering specifically for people living with diabetes.  The meals have been developed by dietitians and prepared by chefs and are aimed at improving blood sugar levels. Hit100 were kind enough to offer me a few frozen meals to try.

We tried:

  • chicken tikka marsala

  • hearty beef stew

  • pumpkin and ricotta lasagna

There are plenty of other choices on the hit100 website including some great looking breakfast and lunch options like corn fritters and oat and berry pikelets.

What are they?

The Hit100 meals are based on the latest healthy eating guidelines containing non-starchy vegetables, good quality carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins.  These are the guidelines we all should be following - whether or not we have insulin resistance, diabetes or not.

If you have diabetes you don't need to avoid carbohydrates - carbohydrates play an essential role in your diet as they are the main source of energy your bodies rely on to function optimally. Many carbohydrate based foods are also a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, which all act together to keep us healthy. 

How did they taste?

I heated the dishes in our oven (microwave for 5 mins is also an option) for 35 minutes and tried the meals with my two teenage kids.  We enjoyed all the meals with the favourite being the hearty beef stew closely followed by the chicken tikka marsala.  What I loved was the generous serve of veggies on the side.  I was concerned that the veggies would not heat up well in the oven but they had a delicious lemon salsa on them and were all eaten up.  

I liked that the meals had a decent amount of protein (17 for the lasagne to 29 for the beef stew) and you could see real pieces of chicken and beef.  The sodium levels are less than 120mg/100g which means they are considered as low in salt.  The portion size was ideal for a woman, an active teenager or man might like these for lunch or need some extra veggies at dinner.

When would I use these?

While I am a big fan of cooking and believe you can put together a quick healthy dinner in less than 20 minutes, I realise not everyone likes cooking and also sometimes even 20 minutes is too much to ask.  These are a great option to have in the the freezer and much much healthier than takeaway pad-thai.  I also think they would be a great option to get for an older parent or friend who might not enjoy cooking for themselves.  

Want to know more?

You can head over to the Hit100 website and try an introbox.  

Want to know more?

You can head over to Hit100's website and try an introbox - which is a great taste tester of what they're all about.  For $69.95 you’ll get:
+ 5 main meals
+ 2 mini meals
+ 2 breakfasts
+ 2 yoghurts

Enter coupon: ‘racheleagleton10’ at checkout to receive this exclusive $10.00 discount (valued at $79.95)!

* As mentioned Hit100 provided these meals free to me for my review.  I only post reviews of products that I like and am happy to use. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

 

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Product Review - Huma Chia Energy Gel

Are you training for the Blackmores Running Festival, Trailwalker or the City to Surf?  Not sure if you need to take gels?  Looking for a gentler alternative?

Recently Fletch from Running Science gave me a couple of Huma Chia Energy Gels to try.  Of course being a nutritionist, the first thing I did was to go straight to the Nutrition Information Panel to see what I was getting:

 

So what’s in a Hüma Chia Energy Gel?


Pureed fruit. Sea Salt. Water. Ground Chia seeds. Brown Rice Syrup. Evaporated Cane Juice. Citric Acid. Coconut Water.  I could see that I was getting 24g carbs, 100 calories and a good range of electrolytes.  From a macro and micronutrient point of the Chia Energy Gel was very similar to a GU. Fantastic.  So I set off on my run.

What does iT taste like?

I tried the Strawberry Lemonade flavour and I have to say - it is absolutely delicious and such a great change from the normal overly sweet taste of most energy gels that I have tried.  It had a very strong limey taste - like Lime Marmalade.  If you suffer from "flavour fatigue" towards the tail end of a marathon this would be fantastic to add in.  

I was concerned I would have tiny bits of chia seeds floating around my teeth but the chia is milled very fine and not noticeable.  The consistency was slightly thinner than a GU gel but not watery.  

When would I need this product?

If you are running or cycling for more than 75 minutes you will benefit from ingesting approximately 30-60 grams of carbohydrates every hour.  The use of a mix of Glucose (short and long chain) and Fructose increases carbohydrate absorption which is important in multi-hour events.

If your stomach doesn't handle traditional gels or sports drinks you might find the Huma Gels gentler on your stomach.  

Several of the the Huma Chia Energy Gels contain caffeine, and caffeine is proven to reduce the perception of fatigue with the ideal dose being 1-3mg per kilo of bodyweight.  The Strawberry Lemonade flavour had 25mg of caffeine so for a 60kg runner you could take several of these over the course of an event (assuming you are used to the effects of caffeine).  If you don't react well to caffeine there are caffeine-free flavours.

Don't forget to always consume your energy gel (regardless of brand) with water so that your body can process the gel.

Huma?

Where have you heard that word before?  If you've read Born to Run you'll remember the Tarahumara - a tribe of Mexican Indians who regularly compete in epic 100+ mile races as part of their culture. To fuel themselves on these ultramarathons, they use a special chia seed blend.  You can't read Born to Run without getting inspired to run on chia!

Are you training for an endurance event?  Did you know that using a scientific approach to nutrition in a marathon takes, on average, nearly 11 minutes OFF an amateur runner's finish time?  My 8 week Endurance Nutrition program focuses on supporting your marathon training with making nutritious food choices a priority so that you can get to the start line feeling great.  On race day you will be armed with well trialled strategies that work for you and will help you run your best fuelled marathon, half marathon or triathlon.

If you are interested in trying Huma Gels drop in to  Running Science and check them out. 

 

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