Coffee is once again in the news, good news that is. A Swedish study of almost 35 000 women aged 49-83 years who consumed at least one cup and even up to 5 cups of coffee per day were reducing their risk of suffering from stroke by up to 25%. The Swedish researchers do acknowledge that these results are preliminary and further research is required into this area but in the meantime I will continue to enjoy my coffee.
Keeeeen-Waaaa or Quinoa?
A few weeks back I was having dinner with my dear friends Jude and Dan and whilst solving the problems of the world we hit upon the subject of fancy-pants names. Have you ever noticed that sometimes things that are out of date suddenly become new, sometimes just with the change to a fancy name? This happened to a suburb of Perth called Balga, that became like new when it was renamed Westminster a few years ago. To me it conjures up images of the Queen and palaces and is infinitely more poshish. So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that a a simple grain that I learn’t about in uni a few years back has had its moniker altered too. I am referring to good old Quinoa, a crop that originates in South America and was held sacred by the Inca’s, in fact they called it ‘mother of all grains.’ Quinoa is actually a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal or grain and it is closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. Yum.
Quinoa has a very high protein content and like oats, it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) for humans making it an unusually complete protein source in the plant world. Quinoa is gluten free, a good source of fibre and a source of iron (although the iron is not easy to absorb) and magnesium.
My first taste experience with Quinoa was at a picnic on the shores of the Swan River. It was part of a tabbouli like salad and it was no taste sensation. Thankfully Jude has come to the rescue via a cookbook written by Michelle Bridges of the Biggest Loser fame. She claims to have found the answer to enjoying Quinoa in the form of Quinoa Porridge (see below).
So when, Jude and I proposed, did Quinoa become Keeen-Waaaa? Ok, so I am exaggerating a little. The food is known as quinoa in English but the spelling and pronunciation differs depending on the region in South America. In some parts it is known as ‘kinwa’ or ‘keen-wah’ or ‘kwi-NOH-a.’ I don’t care, I am sticking to Quinoa. Its not fancy or trendy but hello, its just a pseudocereal.
Recipe of the Month
Quinoa Porridge with Cranberries and Raisins
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
375ml low fat milk
1/3 cup dried cranberries and 2 tablespoons raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Combine the quinoa and water in saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the milk and the dried fruit and nuts. Cook, covered, for another for another 10 minutes and then stir in the remaining milk.
We are both trying this together, I’m new to this sensation as well. Let me know how you go.
Don’t be a slave to the scale!
Is it usual for my body weight to be higher at the end of the day in comparison to the beginning?
Yes. Some people find that their body weight differs, sometimes significantly, from morning to night. It is likely that you will be lightest first thing in the morning before breakfast because you have had nothing to eat or drink for several hours. As the day wears on, body fluid may increase due to food or fluid intake and be reflected in an increase on the scales. But this is not permanent and is gone again the following morning. Of course, if you are eating more than you need to on a regular basis, extra weight may become a permanent fixture.
Weighing yourself every five seconds is a great way to make yourself upset. There is no need to weigh yourself more than once per week, really. It gives you a chance to see some real action and not just fluid playing games with you.
Have you heard?
For those of you who are able to listen to talkback radio in the mornings, my segment on 6PR is aired alternate Wednesdays (next on air 30th March) at 10am with Paul Murray. We will be talking about the latest nutrition hot topics and answering listeners questions. Just tune the dial to 882AM………
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 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.
Finally, don’t forget to check out my Peak Performance Blog – a weekly post about improving your every day health and productivity.
Yours in health and performance,