National Nutrition week

It was National Nutrition week from the 12th of October to the 18th of October 2020.

Because of the Coronavirus and people staying at home a lot more, nutrition and gut health is essential. During the last six months of lockdown, it is reported that many people put on weight (myself not included, but other bloggers like Thanh).

This week it is essential to focus on heart-healthy food. For lunch, on the 1st day, I had a salad with Moro Olive oil. I had a homemade steak with mushrooms and Birds eye chips. There is nothing wrong with Pub food, but if you are going to the pub all the time or having takeaway pub food, then it is an issue. Pub food all the time is not healthy for the gut. Pub food is full of bad fats, and it’s usually frozen. The food is generally cooked in cheap vegetable oil.

I have been trying to up my vegetable game, and that is good. I had a salad for a couple of days for lunch, and some multigrain rolls from Coles. It was awesome. I also had watermelon, pear, bananas, and a wide variety of fruits. Even though it is not cold, I enjoyed some oats. Oats are full of fiber and can help lower cholesterol. They are also good for the heart.

I enjoyed tacos from Dingo Ate my Taco. They do the best homemade tacos ever, and I tried the pork one with beans and loved it.

On Friday it was my flatmate’s birthday, so I enjoyed some homemade spaghetti marinara and a small piece of black forest cake from Fergusson plarre.

Overall it was a good week, and I could do this at home while in lockdown.

Some ways to add more fruit into your diet

Eating fruit does not have to be boring. Kaylielacey supports that idea. There are many different varieties of fruit, and we should eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

Eating fruit can help you maintain a healthy weight, and many people do not like to eat many fruits. 

Fruk magazine says that about 50% of people in the UK do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

The USDA guidelines say that many Americans are not eating enough fruit. You need to have about two serves of fruit a day, and here’s how:

You can make a fruit smoothie. In one of your shops, you can buy some frozen fruit to put into the freezer for when you can’t be bothered to go out. You can also make your own fruit juices.

Fruit can be added to a salad. Think chicken and orange with the spinach salad.

If you don’t like to eat fruit whole, why not do a green juice

You can add fruits to your morning cereal or oats. It can be added to oats.

Some people love fruit and yogurt as a snack.

Banana pancakes are a great way to enjoy fruit and pancakes together.

In summer, we love our icy poles. At home, fruit can be used to make homemade icy poles. Not only do these taste good, but they have a lot less sugar, and they are cheaper.


The case against sugar: is natural sweetener better

We talk about sweetener vs. sugar and which is better for you. Most of us in COVID isolation has put on weight, and over 50% of Americans eat way too much sugar, which is bad for you. We add it to our coffee, and it is found in cakes, biscuits, some cereals, and jam.

There are 42 varieties of sugar, some of which are artificial. White sugar is one of them.

White sugar

White sugar is the calorie-laden sugars that are normally added to everything. There are 16 calories in one teaspoon. So 2 teaspoons of that are 32 calories.

What is sweetener?

Sweetener is natural sugars which have saccharin. It has 0.4 calories in each sachet. You can find them in the health food stores, and some cafes might have them. It can be added to baking and everything else that you make at home with sugar. You can also add it to coffee instead of your sugar.

Over the years, we got so many packets of sweetener at health expos that we decided to try the Norbu ones during isolation. These are naturally healthy for you, and I normally add two sachets to oats and one to coffee.

Stevia is a type of sweetener, and there was a study done on this in the States. It has zero calories, and The Journal of Nutrition has said that stevia beverages reduced appetite in healthy people. Thus it meant that they were less hungry before lunch

Next time when you are in the supermarket, do try sweetener instead of sugar. You might find that it tastes better and it’s better for your health. They are not as sweet as white sugar. After a while, you’ll get used to the taste. At first, you might find the taste a bit weird but keep trying, and you’ll get used to it.

The key to Optimal health is to eat better not less

Sun Basket wrote about this issue on Healthkickny. We spend billions of dollars and months of research on finding the best ways to be healthy even though we already know-how. We want to be skinnier and lose weight so we eat less. But sometimes and for some people, less is not on option. Some people have super skinny genes that some say that they may need to put some weight on.

Some days I just want to eat more and its perfectly ok.

About $8 million is spent on research every year and its on the things that we already know.

There is an article about this by Jamanetwork which turned the research on its head and says that the quality of the food we eat is what matters the most. They did a study on 609 participants and they were instructed to maintain a low fat or low carb diet. They also had to maintain their exercise for eight weeks and they had to attend a few healthy eating sessions held by a Registered Dietician. There wasn’t a lot of weight loss due to genetics and other things but their blood pressure, insulin, and glucose were lowered and the lipids had improved.

They say that dietary modifications are needed to lose weight. It takes 12 months just to lose the weight and keep it off for good. Healthy habits take time to develop. Not one diet suits everyone. We should be eating low-fat foods and more vegetables according to the USDA.

Yep like we say you should eat better for optimal health not less. And don’t worry about that weight loss. It’s just a number on the scale. Your health is what matters to you.

Support our farmers

Our farmers are doing it tough at the moment. First, there were the bushfires and the drought and now the Coronavirus pandemic. They need all the support they can get. They are trying to get back on track

During this time and as Australia gets back on its feet we should support our local farmers by shopping locally and not going to the supermarket. All the produce that you get at the supermarket is usually from overseas and they have been in cold storage for a few days. The fruits and vegetables that you buy at the local greengrocer or farmers market are usually fresh.

If you buy from the supermarkets usually it’s the supermarkets that get most of the profit.

The National Farmers Federation has launched a campaign to back our farmers as they assist with the COVID recovery. Throughout the pandemic, the farmers worked really hard to produce the food that we need. They struggled every bit of the way.

I encourage you to shop locally and visit your local farmers’ markets. You can also visit Queen Victoria Market as well as the Prahran market if it’s allowed.  In Victoria, you can go to those within 5km. I also encourage you to get online and Click for Vic. There you can buy your favorite produce online and get it delivered.

Tofu Burgers

I love vegetarian food and I enjoy eating tofu burgers. Pre Covid19 I went out for Tofu burgers a lot. But you can make your own at home.

A tofu burger has no meat in there so it is perfect for Meatless Monday

Image courtesy of Vegan Crunk

You do everything the same as a normal burger except you grill the tofu. You use extra firm tofu and you grill this. According to Threemanycooks, “Wrap tofu in paper toweling or a clean tea towel and place on a plate. Place a second plate on top and weight to drain additional liquid, about 10 minutes”

Instead of tomato sauce you can use sweet chilli sauce. I like the ones from the Asian grocery shops as they are authentic.

All the vegetables and the bun is the same as a normal one.

Australian Organic Awareness Month

Australian Organic Awareness Month happens every September. Here this a good chance to promote healthy organic foods to the Australian consumer and our way of eating. I know we can’t be there in person but we can do our best online.

Pre COVID I loved going to Realfoods and Realfoods would make the best curry and they would do the best vegetarian pies.

Why choose organic?

Organic food is free of pesticides and other added ingredients. According to Bud Organic club, they say that organic food is free-range and not tested on animals. For them to be really organic they do have to carry the certified organic labels.

They are more nutritionally dense than other foods. At Realfoods and TOWFD I was always full afterward and very happy.

Certified organic food protects our environment from harmful chemicals and gases. These gases are used to produce normal food.

What we did

This month we went to a few organic places on our runs. The Organic Wherehouse is one of them and another one is the Ladybird Organics. Here they had all sorts of healthy snacks that I enjoyed post-run. When we buy chicken we buy the Macro range which is healthier and tastier.

Post-COVID when we are all allowed back into the city, I’d go to TOWFD and Realfoods if they are still open. I’d also visit Lentils as Anything. I’d also visit the Cruelty-free shop in Fitzroy.

How COVID19 is changing the food market in Southeast Asia

Now that with people staying at home and not going out, the food scene has changed in Asia. People are opting for eating at home services and takeaways.

agriculture cherry tomatoes cooking delicious

Photo by Pixabay on

Mintel says that more people are looking for immune-boosting foods as they are worried about their immune systems. More people are turning to health food stores. After the pandemic, we would see health stores bounce back fast and make a profit.

Online shopping is becoming the new normal and we will see that for some time. Online grocery shopping is the norm seeing as they have experienced a surge in online orders. RedMart in Singapore has experienced “Unprecedented demand” for food and other household items.

During the pandemic, many restaurants and cafes have lent a helping hand to those that are doing it tough by giving away free food.

Most people are eating at home and brands are conscious of that. Many brands are spreading the COVID 19 message about eating at home and safe practices. Brands such as Ensure and Knorr spread messages about being immune to protect yourself against this deadly virus. Consumers are being reminded about having adequate sleep.

What brands need to know

Even after this pandemic has passed brands need to practice strict hygiene and remind customers to do so. They also need to know that online shopping will be around for quite some time as customers have gotten used to the convenience of having everything home delivered. Home cooking will be the norm after the pandemic has passed

Kale and what to do with it

Kale is a dark-colored leafy green that has lots of iron in it. It has lots of fiber and antioxidants in there that can prevent various health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and the like. They are part of the broccoli family which means that they are easy to grow. They grow well in the colder months.

You can put kale in smoothies as it has been done before at Shape up.

They can be added to vegetable and lamb soups in winter.

You can eat them raw, steam them, cook them, or sautee them to make a side dish.

Kale chips

This is good as a pick me up snack at 3pm. You can bake the kale leaves in an oven at about 275F for about 15-30 mins to make chips. Before they go in there brush a bit of olive oil on top.

Pasta with kale

You can add kale to all sorts of pasta dishes. 

Pizza with kale

You can add kale to your pizza.

Kale salad

This is a great summer dish. You can add kale to any salad for that little bit of iron.

You can add kale to your breakfast eggs if you like. Simply scramble some eggs with kale in there. Or you can do avocado smash with kale


Pasta Bolognaise with baked beans

Pasta Bolognaise is good as a winter dish as it is comfort food.

This video is from Kitchen Sanctuary. This recipe uses the Baked beans, pasta and canned tomato sauce from inside the Woolworths Basics box which you can buy online for $80. You still need red wine, mince and onion to make the Bolognaise sauce. The wine you can buy from BWS and the mince you can buy from your local butcher.

You can add the baked beans to the end if you like.