Sporty, sports drinks

Yesterday I was on the sidelines of a Netta (pre-netball) match cheering on my daughters school team. At half time, one of the 9 year old team members was given a 600ml bottle of sports drink and she proceeded to drink the entire bottle. Funnily enough, I was interviewed by the West Australian newspaper a couple of days ago on the exact same topic so my sports drink antenna were on high alert. At half time in a Netta game, each team member has only played two ten minute quarters and will do the same again in the last half, with a grand total of 40 minutes with breaks in between.  Not surprisingly, this does not warrant the consumption of sports drink in any circumstance. Excess sugar, salt and calories, come on down. Despite the misconception of some people who think buying a sports drink is equivalent to doing exercise, they should only be used before, during or after extended bouts of exercise lasting one hour or longer. Most good sports drinks contain between 4-8% carbohydrate and the combination of the sugar (carbohydrate) and sodium (salt) increases the absorption of water, keeping you hydrated..  Sports drinks also act to delay fatigue by sparing muscle glycogen stores (carbohydrate) and topping up blood glucose Sports drinks are very useful and even essential for extended exercise sessions but all too often kids playing weekend sport and even adults are seen knocking these drinks back when just plain water will do the trick.

Shampoo makes you fat – doesn’t it?

A couple of weeks ago, a story hit the media which I commented on during my segment with Paul Murray at 6PR radio.  The concept of shampoo being a cause of obesity was flung about and it appears the offending fat promoting chemicals in particular are known as phthalates.  Phthalates, phthalates, phthalates (trying saying that three times quickly) are found in everything from shampoo to toilet cleaner to perfume to canned food tins and there a number of international studies currently looking at our everyday, cumulative toxin exposure.  I am not discounting the importance of minimising toxin exposure in our bodies but just in case you were getting excited about throwing out your shampoo and never needing to exercise again,  sorry. ‘Chich’ of Churchlands in Western Australia had the best solution I thought. Here is her response to the claim that shampoo makes you fat. “Its the shampoo I use in the shower.  When I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body.  Printed very clearly on the shampoo label, it reads, FOR EXTRA VOLUME AND BODY. I have gotten rid of the shampoo and I am going to start using Dawn dish detergent. Its label reads, DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.  Problem solved and it sure does pay to read the label.” It just keeps coming back to that irrefutable equation, In vs Out, In vs Out….. with not a single drop of shampoo in sight.

Hannah Hotpants

Extremes in life do keep things interesting so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that November 2010 saw me watching ‘Humpy’ perform with my Nan and this weekend grooving to the beat of Miley Cyrus with Miss 6 and Miss 8. If the weekend papers were to be  believed, Miley was going to present herself in some rather risque outfits and possibly be a BAD role model for the young girls that form a large part of her fan base. Continue reading “Hannah Hotpants”

Whole Grains (Part 1)

Whole Grains (Part 1)

Whole grains provide the 3 principle components of grain – the bran (fibre-rich outer layer), the germ (nutrient rich inner core) and the endosperm (middle starchy layer). Processed grains, which have been milled, baked, or temporarily split out and separated during processing, are still considered to be whole grains as long as all the components of the edible grain are present in the same proportions as the natural grain.

The goodies in whole grains include carbohydrates, protein, and B vitamins in the endosperm, fibre and minerals and high concentrations of B vitamins in the bran layer and last but not least the germ contains unsaturated fatty acids and some essential fatty acids like linoleic acid. Both the germ and the bran provide the majority of the phenolic compounds and antioxidants plus other health promoting substances such as resistant starch, oligosaccharides, lignans, plant sterols, phytic acid and tannins.

So all in all, they are a great package. But, where can you get some?

Whole grain or not whole grain?


Next time we will take a look at how much you need every day. A little hint though, the recipe below will go a long way toward helping you meet your daily requirement of whole grains by adding the rice.

How sweet it is


I am often asked if honey is healthier than sugar and its true that honey is often perceived as the more natural form of sweetener. The last time I looked though, sugar cane is right up there in the natural food stakes.

Honey and sugar (white, raw and brown) both contain the same amount of carbohydrate (sugar) and therefore calories. Honey does have a sweeter taste than sugar, so less is required but this can be hard to achieve if you are using the squeezy bottle over your morning porridge.

However, limiting your intake of both honey and sugar is best.

Mini byte

National Healthy Bones Week runs from the 1-7 August and it is always a reminder to stop and do a quick audit of where your calcium intake is at. Aside from food, there are hereditary and lifestyle factors to consider too. I love dairy products, but still need to do a daily check just to make sure I’m ticking all the boxes. Depending on your age group you will need somewhere between 1000-1300mg per day. There are plenty of good sources (see box below) but it becomes obvious that it is not easy to get what you need from non-dairy sources. Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables but I can’t eat almost 400 grams to get one serve of calcium!


HFG Teriyaki Chicken


¼ cup reduced salt soy sauce
2 tablespoons BBQ or steak sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Cooking oil spray
400g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
3 cups green beans, sliced and blanched
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 spring onion, finely sliced
2 cups cooked brown rice

Step 1
In a small bowl, combine soy and steak or BBQ sauces and brown sugar and mix well.

Step 2
Spray a frypan or wok with oil and place over medium-high heat. Cook chicken and spring onion for 8 minutes, until chicken is nearly cooked through and browned all over. Add broccoli and green beans to pan and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.

Step 3
Reduce heat, add soy sauce mixture to pan and toss to coat chicken and vegetables. Simmer for 1 minute, until sauce reduces slightly. Serve over brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

The final word

Have you ever walked through your office around 3pm and noticed your staff gazing into space or getting up close and personal with the desk? Many businesses are surprised to learn that their staff are may be productive for only 2 hours each day and certainly not after 3pm. The health and performance of your employees increases your bottom line. Give me a call and I will tell you how.

Don’t forget to check out my blog for interesting info that I come across on a regular basis too.