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Many foods have immune boosting effects and it's easy to include them in your diet on a daily basis. By eating these top 11 super foods you can be assured that your diet will be super rich in vitamins and minerals to help fight off colds and flu this season. 

Mushrooms - recent studies have found they make white blood cells act more aggressively against foreign bacteria. Look out for shitake 

Garlic and Onion - antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal and increases immune function. They are also a good source of sulfur which is important for healthy live function

Cruciferous vegetables - boccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale are all good sources of betacarotene, vitamin C and Calcium which help protectagainst free radical damage. Spinach and other leafy greens are also high in betacarotene

Orange vegetables - sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and squash are a good source of vitamin A and kiwi fruit, blueberries, strawberries and oranges are good sources of vitamin C

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Why are the last few kilos the hardest to lose? Plateaus are part of your weight loss process and they occur for a very simple reason. Once your body has lost weight, your body works better, but it perceives weight loss as a negative energy state and will do everything it can to slow this loss. Your body slows its metabolism as you reduce food intake to conserve energy so it's important to understand whether you are eating enough of the right foods that are high in protein, good fats and slow release carbohydrates. Also start looking at your portion sizes - there may be a bit of wiggle room to cut the size of your meal by 10% to help shift a little more and as fitness improves, you have to go harder with exercise for additional weight loss. Try changing the type of training you do. I like to suggest to clients that they do body weight, resistance training with weights, pilates/yoga, HIIT and Boxing to mix it up. This keeps your body guessing and burns calories!

Despite what the num...

The smell of pizza, the sight of biscuits or the chocolate brownie in a cafe window - soon you can think of nothing but indulging in that food. Experts believe that a complicated web of stimuli, memories and hormones drive us to crave certain flavours and textures of food. When the brain detects sugar, protein or fat it releases reward signals. There was once fewer resources and less calories to eat so these cravings encouraged our ancestors to eat natural sugars, lean protein and healthy fats found in berries, fish and avocado. Unfortunately today's cravings lead to burgers, fries and chocolate that are readily available. Here are some healthy swaps you can make when the cravings strike!

When you want SUGAR from cakes, biscuits and chocolate to provide you an energy burst and feel good signals when you're stressed and tired try natural sugar sources such as greek yoghurt, berries and cacao nibs. You can also try a mug of boiling water with cinnamon and honey to curb sugar cravings when...

It's winter so many of us are eating more stodgy (high carb) foods such as pizza, pasta, bread, rice and potatoes and have started noticing a creep up the scales or a little extra around the middle. Belly fat is a tough area to shift for most people but there are a few things you can do to help trim the tum and in turn feel more energised.

The first thing to do is cut down on refined carbs - highly processed foods like white bread, biscuits, chips, pastries and cakes cause rapid increases in your blood glucose levels which trigger an insulin response. The result is your body stores excess glucose as body fat if you aren't doing enough exercise to burn it off. Whole grains and slow release (low GI) such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and wholegrain sourdough breads are healthier alternatives than the white food varieties especially pasta, bread and sweets. Just try to eat strchy carbs at lunchtime and restrict them at dinnertime, opting for a plate of greens and protein for dinner.

Th...

There's something going on with children's health - children are less active and eat more junk food than ever before. So how do we keep kids healthy and active and set them up for lifelong good habits? Here are some simple routines you can implement in your home and day-to-day lives.

Move together every day - Kids are active in a different way to adults. While we might set aside time for the gym or a walk, most kids will play happily play and run during school time. But at home, where there are numerous electronic gadgets, kids now spend only 8% time outdoors playing and spend a whopping 2 hours a day on average on devices for non-homework purposes and take on average 1000 steps less a day, instead spending time on screens. With extensive research finding that long periods of time sitting and spending time on screens is linked to obesity, diabetes and behavioural issues.

Try to allocate time for your kids to do at least 30 mins of physical activity with you every day such as walking the...

Not all packaged foods are bad for you, but you do have to be careful when making choices on which packaged foods are best when you're trying to lose weight. So here's a list that will help you the next time you're in the supermarket.

Bread and wraps
Bürgen Wholemeal & Seeds: Despite the relatively small slices, it’s packed full of protein and fibre to help keep you full for longer.
Sonoma or Bowen Island Bakery sourdough

Mountain Bread 

Muesli
Homemade muesli made with rolled oats, seeds, chopped almonds and fresh berries is the absolute best start to the day without the additives of store bought and a lot cheaper! Recipe can be found here http://www.thelifestylist.com.au/single-post/2015/10/11/My-healthy-yummy-brekky-in-1-min-for-1

Yoghurt
Chobani plain greek yoghurt reduced fat & Yopro are the best yoghurts on the market for protein and are lower in fat and sugar than the rest

Table spreads
Flora Ultra Light Spread: This sunflower-based spread has 70% less fat than the original version.
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Inhaling salty chips, gorging on chocolate, eating biscuit after biscuit. Do you know the feeling? The need to eat and eat and eat and the hideous guilt that comes with it. Studies have shown that people who eat their feelings are commonly suffering from excessive stress, anxiety and depression and binge eat as a way of coping with how they're feeling. Binge eating is where you eat large quantities of food in a small amount of time (within a 2 hr period) with an emotionally charged aspect to your food frenzy. You will probably feel that you just can't stop eating or that you don't want to stop eating. Sufferers eat much faster than normal gobbling down food until uncomfortably full and eating when not feeling hungry. Sometimes eating alone and feeling guilty, depressed or disgusted after eating. Binge eating is on the rise due to the convenience and abundance of cheap food at almost any hour of the day combined with the increase in mental illness and stress related illnesses.

Evide...

There's so much misinformation about belly fat and how to reduce it that are unrealistic and simply not true. The first

thing you need to know is you can’t spot reduce fat. Diet and exercise are the critical factors in getting a flatter tummy and a 6 pack.

What’s hiding those abdominals is subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that's just under your skin. If it jiggles and you can grab it, it's subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat on the other hand is a more more dangerous fat as it wraps around your organs. Either way you look at it, holding onto excess fat around the middle is the most dangerous fat of all compared to fat on your thighs or arms.

When you see someone with washboard abs, they had to burn off excess fat to reveal the abdominal muscles and exercise is the best way to accomplish that. For this reason, HIIT and Tabata workouts, exercises that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously (like push ups, squat jumps etc.), and weight lifting are going to be the...

Every new year we set about making New Year's resolutions. These 20 tips will help improve your physical, emotional and mental health for life not just for the new year:

  1.  The more we learn about the relationship between the gut and the brain, the more evidence we get about the role of nutrition in mental health. People who consume more fruits and vegetables have lower levels of depression than those who eat less fruit and vegetables.Nutritional improvements over time (a balance of vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins) can improve your mental health and quality of life. Eating leafy greens and vegetables in the broccoli family (cabbage, cauliflower, kale) may even help slow cognitive decline.

  2. Include a handful of nuts mid-afternoon – they’ll satisfy the 3pm munchies, help with weight management and reduce blood cholesterol

  3. Consider seeing an accredited practising dietitian or personal trainer. There’s no quick fix, but professional help is a worthwhile investment

  4. ...

Breakfast is an extremely important part of the day, especially when you are trying to maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight and keep it off. In fact, there are many more reasons to eat breakfast than there are to skip it. If you want to avoid feeling hungry, deprived and sluggish, and if you want to lose more weight, eating a healthy breakfast will help set you up for the rest of the day. A healthy breakfast also promotes greater heart well-being and cholesterol a new study has found so why not give my homemade muesli recipe a go and you will find you will want to eat it every day because it tastes as delicious as it looks! Because it's homemade there are no added sugars, no artificial colours or flavours or fats like granola that is toasted in oil or loads of dry fruit that is high in sugar. Not to mention it's healthier than store bought, it's also a whole lot cheaper than buying boxes of muesli. This is really my favourite meal of the day because it tastes like a delicious dess...

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