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My 8 month old baby won’t eat fish. Is it necessary for me to supplement his diet with certain good fats?0 Comments

admin | 10:11 am | November 12, 2012 | Pregnancy and Baby Feeding

babyeatingfish The essential fats found in oily fish are known as omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also known as essential fats, because the body cannot make them and they must be taken in the diet. There are other sources of these fats, but the most important component of omega-3’s – DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid) are found exclusively in only two sources: breast milk and fish. DHA is important for infants because it is the main structural component of brain tissue, and the first year of a baby’s life is when most of their neural pathways are formed. This is why breast milk is so rich in it- because it’s essential to baby’s development. A deficiency of DHA has been linked to reduced brain development and certain developmental disorders, like ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). So if you breastfed for at least 4 months, are still breastfeeding, or are using a DHA enriched formula, he may still be meeting his needs. If not, you can consider supplementing his diet with a DHA supplement or fish oil supplement designed for infants. Remember too, that babies can be really fussy. It’s advisable to not give up and try introducing fish regularly until he succumbs. You could also try introducing a flaxseed oil supplement. It’s rich in other omega-3 fatty acids that can be converted to DHA in the body, although some people lack the enzymes to do this. Other food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, tofu and green vegetables. Breastfeeding mom’s who supplement with DHA also have a higher DHA level in their breast milk.

Do I have to give up my morning cup of coffee now that I’m pregnant?0 Comments

admin | 10:08 am | | Pregnancy and Baby Feeding, Uncategorized


Not necessarily, but the issue of caffeine intake during pregnancy is still a hotly debated one. The caffeine found in coffee passes through the placenta and onto your growing baby, where it can exert its effects. However, most research has found that moderateintake (that’s no more than 300mg caffeine per day or 2 cups of coffee per day) won’t harm your baby. So that one cup in the morning may still be OK.

It’s still sensible to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy. For one thing, it’s a diuretic, causing you to lose water and minerals. It can also cause insomnia, anxiety and nervousness. And if you’re sensitive to caffeine’s effects, it’s likely that your baby will be too. Babies born to caffeine drinking moms also tend to have faster heart rates and spend more time awake in the first days after birth. Some studies found that women who consumed more than 300mg of caffeine a day had a higher rate of miscarriage, preterm labour and low birth weight babies.

It’s not just coffee intake that you need to watch. Caffeine is also found in black Ceylon teas, green teas, chocolates and cola flavoured cold drinks. Your average cup of brewed tea can contain anywhere between 25mg and 175mg of caffeine, a chocolate bar contains 10mg to 30mg per bar and a can of Coco-Cola comes in at about 35mg per can.

My advice is that it’s still wiser to cut caffeine out or limit it as much as possible. Decaffeinated coffees are fine, but should also be kept to a minimum. Why not try Chicory and other caffeine free coffee substitutes that taste almost identical to the real thing? Rooibos, honey bush and herbal infusion teas are also a great way to enjoy a caffeine free hot beverage.

Interview with Tao Porchon-lynch0 Comments

admin | 10:25 am | August 29, 2012 | Yoga


Totally blown away and inspired by Tao Porchin-lynch, the worlds oldest yoga teacher!

At 94, Tao is more exuberant than most of the so-called “youngsters” I know. Since hearing about Tao, I have become friends with her on Facebook and enjoy looking at her pictures and following her posts. I am a firm believer that we really can get better with age and that growing old is merely a belief that gets us there. So I decided to ask Tao about how she keeps herself young, vibrant and happy. I am delighted to learn that drinking wine is one of Tao’s enjoyments. Cheers to you darling Tao, you rock my world!

Could you tell me a bit about your dietary habits? For example, what does a typical day look like? Are you vegetarian etc?
Yes, I’m a vegetarian. I never eat meat because I can’t kill anything. For breakfast I have a half a grapefruit. People say I eat like a bird. That’s a good example how to feed the body. In the U. S. we eat too much which creates a heaviness in the body and stifles the energy.  I usually skip lunch and have some vegetables or soup for dinner.  I do love milk chocolate and wine!

What do you believe is the key to a healthy diet?

Don’t eat too much. Eat slowly. I eat mostly fruit, fruit juice and green vegetables. The juices of fruit cleanse my blood stream. Too much water washes out the good nutrients. I don’t drink water. I like cooked greens as well as salads. I’ve never liked large portions of any food.

What forms of exercise do you do? Just yoga or do you practice anything else and how often?
Stay away from calling yoga exercise.  It is the linking up of body, mind and spirit. Get in tune with your inner self with yoga. Learn to breathe and you will open up the door for what you want to do.  Yoga is part of my life every day. When I can’t sleep at night I get out of bed and practice yoga.

What attitudes do you think can help people live longer, more energetic lives

Use the life force to activate the body, tune into the inner energy of the breath. Know that each action of your heartbeat is the inner life force. Watching the dawn makes everything in nature pulsate with our life. Renewal of the life force makes us aware of it.

Any other pearls on what some of your secrets are to having so much energy at your age?
Know what ever you put in your mind materializes. Do not think negative thoughts. Keep the body moving at any age. Stagnant muscles cause stagnant minds. Don’t procrastinate. Tomorrow never comes.

Know the secret of life dwells with every  breath we take. Live, live, live. Don’t waste your life restricting. Look how dawn awakens nature and makes the darkness and ignorance of night fade away. Let your body feel the freshness of the energy of a new day. Open up to help your body and mind become renewed! Don’t allow it when you are young to become stagnant. There are so many wonderful things to do and so little time to do them!


The Humble Egg: A Nutrition Powerhouse and Dietary Essential0 Comments

admin | 10:57 am | July 17, 2012 | Healthy Foods

eggsandhealthThe egg has often received bad press, mostly due to its high cholesterol content. However, research is pointing towards an only very weak association between egg intake and high levels of bad cholesterol (called LDL), in the blood. What’s more, eggs are n exceptionally good source of many needed vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids.

Egg Nutrition

The nutritive components of an egg are divided between the albumin (egg white) and the yolk (egg yellow), with the majority of the nutrients being concentrated in the yolk. Egg yolks actually contain most of the vitamins the human body requires, with the exception of vitamin C. One jumbo-sized egg has an energy content of around 378 kilojoules (or 90 calories), 6g fat, 8g protein, 266mg cholesterol and no carbohydrates.

One single jumbo sized egg contains the following nutrients:

Protein. The egg albumin contains around 8g protein per egg, which is about the equivalent of 30g raw meat. The protein in egg is complete, which means it contains all eight essential amino acids.

B Complex Vitamins. Eggs are a particularly good source of the B vitamins riboflavin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and pantothenic acid. B complex vitamins have a wide range of function in the body including energy production and nervous system health.

Fat Soluble Vitamins. Since the yolk is a fatty substance it acts as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins and is a good source of vitamins A, D and K. In fact, eggs are one of the only valuable sources of vitamin D in the diet.

Minerals. The egg yolk is a good source of most minerals and is particularly rich in selenium and phosphorous. Other minerals found in good amounts in eggs are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper and manganese.

Fatty Acids and Cholesterol

Approximately seventeen percent of an egg’s fatty acids are polyunsaturated, forty-four percent mono-unsaturated and thirty-two saturated, which means that two-thirds of the egg’s fats are unsaturated. This means that two thirds of the fat in eggs is of the healthy, unsaturated kind.  When hens are fed a special diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eggs will also have the added benefit of being rich in these anti-inflammatory fats. Omega-3 eggs will be labeled as such.

Lecithin and Choline

The egg yolk also contains a fat-like substance known as lecithin. Lecithin, a phospholipid, is a constituent of all cell membranes, plays a role to repair tissue cells and is also an important component of HDL, the “good” lipoprotein that helps to transport fats to the liver for excretion, lowering the risk of CHD.

Another constituent of egg yolks, choline, may hold even more promise as a heart protectant. Choline is one of the substances (together with B vitamins) that help remove the potentially harmful amino acid homocysteine from the bloodstream. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers. One egg a day provides twenty five percent of the recommended daily choline intake.

Egg Recipes

Low-fat virgin eggnog (serves 4)

Combine 1,5 cups of milk and the citrus zest in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds. Add the seeds and the pod to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl until light yellow. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion until the eggnog begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 1/2-cup milk to stop the cooking. Transfer the eggnog to a large bowl and place over a larger bowl of ice to cool, and then chill until ready to serve. Remove the zest and vanilla pod. Garnish with nutmeg.

Crustless Quiche (Serves 4)

Beat eggs and milk together.  Mix salt pepper and a little nutmeg into vegetables. Place vegetables into a baking dish with spray and cook. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake in the over at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Avgolemono – Greek Chicken and Egg Soup (Serves 4)

Bring the chicken stock to the boil and add the cooked rice. Beat the eggs with the lemon juice in a bowl. Add ladles of the hot stock mixture to the beaten egg mixture until the egg mixture is hot (this prevents curdling of the egg) and then add the egg mixture to the soup. Stir and serve.

Curried fish with mango salsa (Serves 4)0 Comments

admin | 10:19 am | June 13, 2012 | Recipes


1 mango – peeled and diced

1 red onions, chopped

1/2 bunch coriander

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt to taste

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp curry powder

4x small fish fillets (120g each)

For the mango salsa, combine the mango, red onion, coriander, lime juice and salt in a glass bowl. Set aside.

For the fish rub, mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil, curry powder and garlic pepper in a small bowl. Rub this mixture onto both sides of the fish fillets.

Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes on each side or until it flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with the mango salsa.

Orange Roasted Chicken (Serves 4-6)0 Comments

admin | 10:12 am | | Recipes, Uncategorized


2 Tbs olive oil

125ml chicken stock

1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry (remove skin id desired)

2 oranges, halved

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 sprigs rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh sage


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Pour the chicken broth into a small roasting pan, and set aside.

Squeeze the orange halves over the chicken, and stuff the orange halves into the chicken cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, then rub in the minced garlic, then lay the herb sprigs onto the breast and around the legs.

Cover the dish with aluminium foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and baste the chicken with the pan juices. Continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), 1 to 2 hours. Baste the chicken every 10 to 15 minutes after you uncover it. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before slicing.


The Health Benefits Of Beer1 Comment

admin | 12:28 pm | May 11, 2012 | Uncategorized

beerGood news for beer lovers: your favorite pint may actually have some amazing health benefits you were probably not aware of! But before you get too excited about that next drink, remember that alcohol is a double-edged sword- with moderation and responsibility being the keys to a healthy balance.

Research has shown that drinking beer in moderation may help reduce heart disease risk, and may help strengthen the bones, thus preventing osteoporosis. However, in excess too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and triglyceride levels (thus increasing heart disease risk) and can leach calcium from the bones (thus increasing osteoporosis risk). The key therefore to enjoying beers health benefits, is moderation. And what is moderation? It means no more than two to three 340ml cans of beer per day for men and no more than 1 to two for women. For those who can practice moderation, these are some of the health benefits you may enjoy.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Most of us associate alcohol with an increased disease risk. Although alcohol in excess can contribute to overall heart disease risk, small amounts can have an opposite, protective effect. It has long been known that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of heart disease, when compared to heavy drinkers and even teetotalers. The main mechanisms by which alcohol lowers heart disease risk is by increasing our levels of HDL, or good cholesterol and by preventing clotting (by lowering clotting factors like fibrinogen) and therefore thinning the blood. However, people with high triglycerides or hypertension are still encouraged to exercise caution when drinking alcohol, which exacerbates these two risk factors for coronary artery disease. When using an alcoholic beverage, like beer, for protective purposes, the overall risk factor profile needs to be examined.  A 2011 study in the British Medical Journal highlighted studies spanning from 1950 to 2009 on the effects on moderate alcohol consumption on disease risk and concluded that favourable changes in several cardiovascular biomarkers (like higher HDL and lower fibrinogen) provide indirect pathophysiological support for a protective effect of moderate alcohol use on coronary heart disease.

Stronger Bones

Beer is high in the mineral silicon, which can act as a powerful bone strengthener. According to a 2009 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, moderate beer drinkers had a higher bone mineral density when compared to people who drank more or fewer beers. Pale Ale tends to have the highest silica content of all the beer types.

Reduced Cancer Risk

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are carcinogenic compounds produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures. Marinating meat or chicken in beer or wine has been shown to reduce the formation of carcinogenic HCA’s by up to 88% with beer to be the more effective HCA reducing marinade according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Reduced Risk of Diabetes

Alcohol lowers blood sugar and may also improve the sensitivity of insulin, the blood sugar balancing hormone. A large 2011 Harvard study of about 38,000 middle-aged men found that when those who drank moderately (around 2 drinks per day), dropped their diabetes risk by 25%. Beer, however, has a high glycemic index of 100, which means it can cause spikes and then drops in blood sugar levels. In moderation, however, the effect is not severe because beer has a moderate glycemic load of 6, due to its relatively low carbohydrate content.

Improved Cognition

In high amounts alcohol can cause brain damage, but in moderation it can actually sharpen the mind and even prevent dementia. Results from the Nurses Health Study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005, which looked at the health of 11,000 older women showed that moderate drinkers (those who consumed about one drink a day) lowered their risk of mental decline by as much as 20 percent, compared to non-drinkers. In addition, older women who drank moderately were found to benefit the most from moderate drinking.

Can Beer Be Used as Part of a Calorie Controlled Diet?

The term “beer belly” is somewhat of a myth. The real reasons for increased weight gain are too many calories relative to the amount of energy burned off. While beer may contribute to this calorie intake, it is only a small part of the equation. Beer drinking is often accompanied by heavy eating, which could cause issues with weight gain. A beer contains around 150 calories, and around 12g carbohydrates which is less than that found in a slice of bread. Moderate consumption in conjunction with a healthy diet should not therefore lead to weight gain, provided calorie and carbohydrates are controlled elsewhere in the daily diet.

What’s in Beer?

Beer is traditionally made from natural ingredients, namely malted barley, cereals, hops, yeast and water.  It is produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat. Beer is a nutritional substance in which vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can all be identified. Yeast contains a rich array of nutrients and beer can contain significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorous, biotin, chromium and B complex vitamins. Beer contains around double the amount of antioxidants as white wine but half of that of red wine, according to a 2001 antioxidant food review in Nutrition Reviews. Beer is a good source of soluble, or water holding, fibre, with 1 glass of beer contains around 5% of the recommended daily intake.

Beer contains a special substance called hops, which has been revered as a herbal medicine for centuries. Some studies have pointed towards the use of hope in preventing heart disease, cancer and diabetes, although its is not known whether the amount found in beer is enough to illicit major health benefits. Hops is also known for its calming effect, which could aid in stress management helping to boost the effects on a relaxing drink after a stressful day at work.

An average 340ml can of beer contains:

Calories :150

Fat(g): 0

Carbohydrates(g): 12

Protein(g): 1.5

Cholesterol(mg): 0

An average 340ml can of lite beer contains:

Calories :100

Fat(g): 0

Carbohydrates(g): 5

Protein(g): 0.7

Cholesterol(mg): 0

Beer Recipes

Beer Marinade


Mix ingredients together and marinade meat or chicken overnight in the refrigerator

Lemon Beer-Shandy


Mix together the raw honey and the lemon juice with a whisk or a fork. Add the mixture to the beer and soda water and garnish with mint sprigs.

Black Velvet Cocktail


Fill a champagne flute halfway with chilled beer stout and float champagne on top of the stout. To ensure that the two liquids remain separated in the glass, pour the champagne over a spoon into the stout so that the liquid runs in gently

A Copy of the article appeared in Business Day Health news

Diet without Dieting!0 Comments

admin | 10:39 am | April 17, 2012 | Weight Loss

dietThat dreaded “D” word! It has an uncanny way of conjuring up visions of impending failure- and rightly so. Dieting is not quick. It’s not easy. But it is do-able. According to renowned life couch Dr. Phil McGraw in his book, The Ultimate Weight Solution, “Diets fail because we rebel and we don’t have a system in place to support us when we are not in the mood to stick to our plans”. As a practicing dietician, I have seen this scenario far too often. It’s all very well having the best meal plan in town, a contact at the hottest new gym and all the good intentions in the world- but when a person doesn’t deal with the psychological and emotional aspects of weight loss, failure is imminent. This has led me to the conclusion that weight loss is not so much about the dieting itself, but rather about getting tuned in to the correct dieting mindset and developing a healthy attitude towards food and eating. So, forget the dieting for a moment and meditate on these 10 steps, which I’ve developed to help you achieve nonsense free, diet free weight loss:

Have an action plan. No successful venture is possible without proper planning. Plan shopping, meals and exercise ahead of time so that you are always pre-prepared.  Stocking up that work fridge and cupboard with some fresh fruit, wholegrain crackers and low fat cheeses before-hand may well prevent you from visiting the canteen for a greasy toasted cheese or a chocolate bar.

Set reasonable goals. According to Lori Lea, Johannesburg based life coach, “Set small, attainable goals with a time frame attached to them and commit to a start date.” Don’t jump the gun by trying to lose all the weight or change all your bad habits in one week. Rather set mini-goals, like losing 3-5 kilograms in the next month or fitting into those old jeans by December. With food, start with the worst villains first and eliminate them. So if chocolate is your problem- get rid of it first. Congratulate yourself for each small goal reached.

Deal with cravings. If cravings are a problem, you need to deal with their source, whether it be emotional, psychological or physical. When a craving hits, ask yourself “What need am I really trying to fill?” Dr Phil recommends “slowing your thoughts down and listening attentively to what’s really going on.” If its emotional need you are trying to fill, deal with the issue out of the kitchen. Ensure that you have a good emotional support system in place to help prevent you from inappropriately turning to food.

Be a visionary. Think ahead and think thin. In your dream time, imagine the body of your dreams and hold that vision in your head. Imagine yourself a few months down the line looking and feeling better and younger than you ever have.

Become accountable. According to Lori Lea, “You need to establish to whom you are accountable during your weight loss plan, whether it’s to yourself, your best friend, your therapist or your dietician”. Commit to checking in with someone for a weigh-in, a personal training session or a general motivational chat once or twice a week. With this type of accountability comes responsibility, which helps keep us on track.

Be enthusiastic about losing weight. Nothing great can be achieved without enthusiasm. Become enthusiastic about making changes, about vitality, about meal planning and about healthy eating.

Love and nurture yourself. At the heart of it, successful weight loss is about self-love, it’s about loving yourself enough to allow your body to achieve optimum health. Do something for yourself for at least 3 hours each week, like a yoga class, a quiet meditation or a walk along the beach or in a park. Nurture your body by feeding it only wholesome, natural foods. Be careful not to fall into the trap of self sabotage.

Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Thought leads to action which leads to habit. Instead of bombarding your brain and body with negative thoughts, shower yourself with positive affirmations and miracles will happen. Instead of telling yourself that you feel deprived and hard done by, focus on the positive consequences of avoiding unhealthy foods, like improved health and increased energy levels.

Act; don’t react to life’s stressors. According to Dr. PhilWe cannot always control situations, but we can always control our reactions to them”. The events of your daily life have only the meaning you assign to them. Dealing with a blow up with your boyfriend by guzzling through a bag of potato chips and devouring a tub of ice cream is typical reactive behaviour. Rather deal with things in a proactive fashion; for example, with effective communication.

Turn obstacles into opportunities. Set yourself up for success by remaining true to your weight loss mission. Failure is not an option here. As a great man once said “There are no problems, only solutions”. That chocolate cake that somebody brought to work for their birthday is not an obstacle, but an opportunity to prove your willpower, self love and endurance.

Shiitake Teriyaki (Serves 2)0 Comments

admin | 2:05 pm | March 27, 2012 | Recipes



1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms

¼ cup sake

¼ cup soya sauce

2 tbs. Light brown sugar

2 chopped spring onions

Few drops roasted sesame oil


Reconstitute 1 cup dried shiitake by covering with hot water and let stand till caps are completely soft. Cut off and discard stems.

Squeeze excess liquid from caps and slice into 1 cm thick pieces.

Place pieces in a pan with ¼ cup sake, ¼ cup soya sauce and 2 Tbs. Light brown sugar. Bring to boil and simmer uncovered till liquid is almost evaporated, tossing mushrooms occasionally. Remove from heat, cool and chill. Sprinkle with finely chopped spring onions and a few drops of sesame oil. Serve as an appetizer, side dish or over rice.

Mushroom Risotto (Serves 4)0 Comments

admin | 1:49 pm | | Recipes



4 ½ cups vegetable broth

3 Tbs. olive oil

1 leek, sliced

500g assorted fresh mushrooms (button, black, oyster and portabella)

¾ cup brown Arborio/Risotto rice, uncooked

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¾ tsp. fresh thyme, chopped


Bring vegetable broth to the boil, reduce heat and simmer in a medium sized pot. Reduce heat to low, cover and keep broth hot.

Sautee the chopped leaks in a little white wine. Add mushrooms and cook until tender and juices are released. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the olive oil, add risotto rice and stir until coated.

Add remainder of the wine and stir until absorbed.

Gradually add in stock, about 65ml at a time, stirring constantly, and allowing almost all the stock to be absorbed before adding the next addition. Cooking time is about 35-40 minutes.

When rice is tender, stir in the mushroom mixture, parmesan cheese and thyme. Serve hot.

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