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    Is When You Eat More Important Than What You Eat?

    Many people worry about gaining weight if they eat later than a certain time. But does it matter when you eat? Is this time really more important than what you eat?
    There’s been a ridiculous amount of research into whether you’ll gain weight if you eat (dinner) after 8pm. The results of the studies are not always consistent. In one study, there was no association between eating late and being overweight, while other researchers found that those who ate after 8 p.m. consumed more calories than previous eaters. Those extra kilojoules can actually lead to weight gain. In general, you do not seem to gain extra weight if you eat late at night, but then you should eat a healthy and varied diet during the day.
    READ MORE: Can Acupuncture Really Help You Lose Weight? We Asked The Experts
    Food Choices
    Don’t be blinded by the times. In reality, what you eat is much more important than when you eat. In addition, the problem is that late eaters often tend to eat more, and less healthily. Regardless of the timing, eating more kilojoules will automatically lead to weight gain. So eating in the evening can only lead to weight gain if you eat a surplus of ‘joules.
    Furthermore, eating late can affect certain food choices. Late at night, you are more likely to choose unhealthy foods. These foods often contain little nutritional value, such as chips, soda and ice cream. This is partly due to emotional eating and fatigue. In either case, you crave less healthy, high-kilojoule foods .
    READ MORE: 12 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight While Doing Intermittent Fasting, According To An RD
    Meal Timing
    While the total number of calories you eat ultimately affects your weight, research shows that there are ways to regulate your appetite through meal timing and frequency.
    Several studies indicate that eating a high-kilojoule breakfast can keep you feeling full for longer and potentially prevent overeating in the evening. In one study, people who ate a 2510kJ breakfast had less appetite and significantly less hunger throughout the day than people who ate half the kilojoules for breakfast. In particular, the appetite for sweets was reduced.
    Late night snack
    Also, eating several small meals can help control your appetite and reduce hunger pangs throughout the day. So experiment with the timing and size of your meals. If you still feel like a late night snack, it is best to go for these foods.
    This article was first published on
    READ MORE: 5 Obesity Causes That Prove It’s Way More Complicated Than Just Eating Too Much

    READ MORE ON: Healthy Eating Tips Weight Loss Tips More

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    How Much Water You Should Be Drinking Daily, According To A Nutritionist

    Given the emphasis on hydration in health circles (downing enough of the clear stuff has been linked to improved mood and brain function and a happily functioning digestive tract) it might not be something you think about that much –after all, your reusable water bottle never leaves your side…
    But. Although some experts would have you think it’s as simple as aiming for two litres of liquid per day, in reality it’s far more complicated than that.
    As nutritional therapist and co-founder of Your Body Programme Terry Fairclough reveals, factors such as your activity levels, the weather, your health and whether you’re pregnant all need to be considered when working out how much you should be drinking per day.
    How Much Water Should I Drink a Day: Your 5-Step Checklist
    1. What is your current weight?
    To find the base amount you should be drinking per day:
    Multiply your weight in kg by 0.6
    Divide this figure by 15
    For example, if you weigh 60kg: 60 x 0.6 ÷ 15 = 2.5 litres per day
    “Remember that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables will increase water intake, meaning you can drink less water,” says Fairclough, “while, drinking too much coffee, tea and alcohol will act as a diuretic, meaning you will need more.”
    2. What are today’s training goals?
    Did you know that you can lose up to 6-10% of your body’s water content, via sweat, when you exercise ? Which, considering even just a drop of 2% can have a noticeable effect on your performance levels, is a lot. Helps to explain why that uphill sprint suddenly feels so much harder than it ever has done before. Did you know that muscle is about 80% water? ‘The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking o.5 litres about two hours before exercise, and at regular intervals during your workout to replace fluids lost by sweating,’ says Fairclough.
    “If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 millilitres) of water to compensate for the fluid loss – if you’re doing short bouts of exercise. For more intense training lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon), you will need even more – the exact amount depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise.”
    When undertaking intense exercise, Fairclough also recommends hydrating with a sport drink that contains sodium to help replace that lost in sweat and so reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia (see below). “It is also essential that you continue replacing fluids after exercising.”
    3. What is the weather like?
    Okay, so this isn’t just a question of whether you’ve managed to bare your legs for the summer or are still encased in a pair of tights. The environment that you commute and work in also factors into how much water you should be drinking.
    ‘Hot, humid weather and heated indoor air, can make you sweat, leaving you dehydrated and in need of fluid,’ says Fairclough. ‘Plus, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 metres) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.’
    One to note, if you’ve any adventure holidays in the pipeline.
    4. How are you feeling?
    If you’ve been experiencing illness such as a fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, or conditions, including bladder infections and urinary tract stones, you should be upping your fluid intake to compensate.
    “In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions such as Rehidrat or Powerade,” says Fairclough. Note that a number of health conditions can impair water excretion: heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may require that you limit your fluid intake.
    5. Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
    “The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 litres) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 litres) of fluids a day,” notes Fairclough. Did you know that the water content of the foetus is estimated to be 75-90%?
    Why? Well, water is needed to form amniotic fluid (it is estimated a woman carries from 0.5-two litres during pregnancy), support the increase in blood plasma volume and to produce breast milk. “Remember, that water contained in tea and coffee is not an ideal replacement when dehydrated as they are diuretics and increase your loss of water.”
     5 Ways to Increase Your Water Consumption
    According to the Natural Hydration Council, symptoms of dehydration include constipation, dark yellow urine, a dry mouth, headaches, increased thirst, lethargy and muscle tiredness.
    Research shows that water losses of just 2% can result in reduced mental performance – think brain fog.
    Fairclough shares his top tips for keeping your fluid intake up:
    *Hot or warm water from the kettle is often easier to drink than water straight from the fridge, when the weather is cold.
    *Start the day with a glass of water to flush the body of toxins built up overnight.
    *Aim to have most of you water intake away from meals, as drinking a lot of water close to a meal may dilute digestive acids and enzymes, inhibiting digestion. However, having a glass of water one hour before a meal may help to increase the enzymes and acids.
    *Like tap, sparkling water contains no calories or sugar and, according to the Natural Hydration Council, when consumed in moderation, does not negatively impact dental health, bone density or weight.
    *Naturally flavour your water with slices of lime, lemon, strawberry, ginger or herbs such as mint.
    FYI: Remember that overhydrating can lead to health problems.
    The Natural Hydration Council warns of hyponatremia, which, although rare, can reduce blood salt levels and cause excess fluid to move from the blood into tissue cells, including those of the brain. Space your water evenly throughout the day. Everything in moderation, as they say.
    The article Once And For All: How Much Water Do I Have To Drink Each Day? was first published on Women’s Health US.

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    What Exactly Is The Low-FODMAP Diet And How Do You Do It?

    Struggling with symptoms like diarrhoea, bloating, and gas isn’t exactly a recipe for a good time. And, if it goes on long enough, you’ll probably do a little online detective work to try to figure out what’s causing your issues and how you can clear them up ASAP. You may stumble across mentions of a low-FODMAP diet.
    FODMAP is an acronym that stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. It’s a fancy medical way of saying that foods that fall into this category can mess with your stomach and GI tract, explains Dr. Lea Ann Chen, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. A low-FODMAP diet encourages you to weed out certain foods that tend to produce gas – and then slowly reintroduce them to see what’s the most problematic.
    READ MORE: Is Eating A Vegan Keto Diet Even Possible? Here’s Everything You Need To Know
    A low-FODMAP diet usually isn’t a long-term thing. But, Dr. Chen says, “it really depends on why you’re on it. It’s driven by symptoms. If you’re on a low-FODMAP diet and it doesn’t help you, there’s no reason to be on it indefinitely.” Other people may find that the diet helps with symptoms as they’re working through an illness or trying to identify food sensitivities, she says. And some people, like those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), find that a low-FODMAP diet combined with medication is the most effective treatment over the long run. “The trade-off is how much it helps you and if you think it’s worth it,” Dr. Chen says.
    If you’re interested in trying a low-FODMAP diet, Dr. Richa Shukla, an assistant professor of medicine and gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine, offers this advice: “Don’t be overly restrictive.” She recommends doing a trial run for a few weeks and seeing how you feel. “If it’s not making a difference, it’s time to reevaluate things,” she says. Because it can be tricky to navigate on your own, your best and safest bet is to work with a registered dietitian or gastroenterologist to do a low-FODMAP diet.
    Want to see if a low-FODMAP diet will help with your gut issues? Here’s what you need to know about the ins and outs of this eating plan.
    How does the low-FODMAP diet work?
    The low-FODMAP diet is an elimination diet, and there are three phases to it. You start by cutting out high-FODMAP foods for several weeks to allow your gut time to neutralize, Dr. Shukla says. During this phase, you should start to notice some improvement in your symptoms.
    After that, you’ll start to slowly re-introduce those foods back into your diet. You may discover that certain high-FODMAP foods give you issues, while others don’t—or you may learn that all of them are a problem for you, Dr. Chen says.
    Finally, you’ll work on maintaining the right diet. This means steering clear of your triggers and focusing on the foods that don’t aggravate your issues.
    READ MORE: 10 Signs You May Have a Magnesium Deficiency
    What are the best low-FODMAP foods?
    There’s a whole range of foods that are considered low FODMAP, and it’s hard to know for sure what is best for each person, says Kathy LeBarre, a dietitian at Spectrum Health. “During the restrictive phase, we may find that some foods are better than others,” she adds. Here are a few examples of foods that fall into the low-FODMAP category:

    Brown sugar
    Maple syrup
    Almond milk
    Bell peppers
    Brown rice

    READ MORE: How To Go Vegan: 15 Easy Nutritionist-Backed Tips
    Eating a low-FODMAP diet doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be all low FODMAP, all the time, but it can help. “For the most part, it would be ideal to stick to a low-FODMAP diet, but there is some wiggle room to incorporate a serving of a moderate FODMAP at a meal,” says Laura Manning, a clinical nutrition coordinator at the Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Centre at Mount Sinai.
    What are high-FODMAP foods?
    What may be a bad high-FODMAP food for you could cause zero issues in the next person. In general, though, “high-FODMAP foods contain short-chain carbohydrates that are rapidly fermented in the digestive process and poorly absorbed,” Manning explains. “They can cause digestive upset such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea when consumed.” A few examples of high-FODMAP foods to avoid include the following:

    Ice cream
    Soft cheeses yogurt
    Soy milk
    Lima beans
    Brussels sprouts

    READ MORE: 9 Cauliflower Benefits That Make It A Superfood, According To A Dietitian
    What does a low-FODMAP diet plan look like?
    It depends on what phase of the diet you’re in, according to Keri Gans, the author of The Small Change Diet. This means you’re going to be a little more restrictive in the elimination portion of the diet vs. when you’re reintroducing some foods.
    Below are some sample meal plans you can follow when you’re on a low-FODMAP diet:
    Day One

    Breakfast: Cooked oatmeal with peanut butter, a drizzle of maple syrup, and one cup of strawberries
    Lunch: Grilled chicken with herbs over arugula salad with cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes with lemon Dijon dressing and a gluten-free roll
    Snack: Lactose-free yogurt and raspberries
    Dinner: Baked salmon with dill, brown rice, and sautéed spinach with olive oil

    Day Two

    Breakfast: Avocado toast on sourdough bread topped with two poached eggs
    Lunch: Quinoa bowl filled with chicken, pumpkin, carrots, and kale
    Snack: A handful of olives
    Dinner: Pasta tossed with shrimp, sautéed spinach, olive oil, salt, and ground pepper

    Day Three

    Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with a side of berries
    Lunch: Chicken sandwich with lettuce on sourdough bread and a side of baby carrots
    Snack: A handful of almonds
    Dinner: Steak with a side of sautéed carrots and green beans

    READ MORE: Caffeine Effects: “What Happens When I Go Hard on Coffee?”
    Overall, a low-FODMAP diet is “considered to be safe and healthy” when you do it right, Manning says. But, she adds that “it is important to ensure that the diet is adequate in fibre, protein, calcium, and certain B vitamins” because deficiencies can happen if the food variety is limited or the diet is followed for a longer period of time than suggested.
    If you’re planning to do a low-FODMAP diet beyond what was prescribed, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor or a registered dietitian, just to make sure you’re covering all your bases.
    The bottom line: The low-FODMAP diet is meant to be used as a short-term eating plan to identify food triggers that worsen your GI symptoms or condition. If you plan on following it for a longer period of time, be sure to talk to a doctor or nutritionist.
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health US

    READ MORE ON: Diet Advice FODMAP Diet Nutrition Nutrition Advice More

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    Is Eating A Vegan Keto Diet Even Possible? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

    The keto diet has built up a reputation for being able to help with losing weight and keeping it off. But it is also known for how much meat people eat to try to achieve their high-fat, low-carb goal. So is there a vegan keto diet that allows plant-based folks to also follow this way of eating? Surprisingly, yes.
    Just as you can still go out to eat on keto by making a few tweaks, you can adapt the diet to fit whatever eating restrictions you have – you just need to get creative about it. So, it is possible to be vegan and keto at the same time. But even dietitians acknowledge that it may not be the easiest to do.
    READ MORE: How To Go Vegan: 15 Easy Nutritionist-Backed Tips
    Eating a vegan keto diet is “difficult, since you’re not eating any animal protein,” says registered dietitian Vanessa Rissetto, a co-founder of Culina Health. Jessica Cording, a registered dietitian and the author of The Little Book of Game-Changers, agrees. “Technically, this is possible, but it takes a lot more planning and careful consideration than if someone was incorporating animal proteins,” Cording says.
    Still, there are a lot of potential hurdles to overcome and it all revolves around how to find the right foods to eat. Rissetto points out that most foods that could help you stay vegan and go on keto would be overly processed, which would work against you if your goal is to be healthier as a whole.
    So, what’s the best way to go about the vegan keto diet and what kind of foods can (and can’t) you eat on it? Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know, plus how to pull it off.
    What are the perks of being vegan and keto?
    A big one is that you don’t need to think about cholesterol as much as you would if you were on regular keto. “One of the downsides of traditional keto is that if someone is eating too much red meat, it can reflect poorly in their cholesterol,” Cording says. “With a plant-based approach, there is less risk of that.”
    Another benefit is weight loss. If you can follow a vegan keto diet appropriately, Cording says you should be able to lose weight.
    What’s on a vegan keto diet food list?
    A vegan diet focuses on plant-based foods. And, in order to hit ketosis, where your body starts to burn fat instead of carbs, you need to hit all the right macros: 60 to 70 percent of your calories from fats, 15 to 30 percent from protein, and five to 10 percent from carbs.
    You need to have a good sense of what provides enough calories, fat, protein, and fibre without contributing more carbohydrates, Cording says. “A lot of mainstays of plant-based proteins like beans are much trickier to incorporate if someone is doing a vegan keto diet because beans do have carbs,” she explains.
    READ MORE: 9 Cauliflower Benefits That Make It A Superfood, According To A Dietitian
    It can be pretty easy to cover your bases with fat and still get adequate fibre – protein is the bigger struggle. Cording recommends leaning heavily into nuts and seeds, which are great sources of healthy fats and have some fibre and protein. You should also scale back a little on traditional vegan protein sources like tempeh, which is higher in carbs.
    To do the vegan keto diet, Cording says you’ll want to go big on these foods:

    Nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
    Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter)
    Coconut milk
    Olive oil
    Non-starchy veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, peppers)
    Vegan “dairy” products (coconut yogurt, cashew cheese)

    You can have the following in moderation:

    Grains (rice, pasta)
    Starchy veggies (potatoes, peas)
    Beans (chickpeas, blank beans, pinto beans)
    Fruits (although berries are your best bet)

    You’ll also want to avoid these foods:

    Animal products (meat, honey, whey protein)
    Dairy (milk, eggs)

    READ MORE: 4 Ways to Support Healthy Ageing
    What does eating a vegan keto diet look like?
    A lot depends on your personal preferences and tastes, but Cording suggests trying these meal plans out, complete with dishes and snacks.
    Day 1

    Breakfast: A smoothie with coconut milk, greens, a handful of berries, nut butter, and hemp
    Lunch: Vegan soup with MCT oil and hemp hearts
    Dinner: A salad with avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, olive oil dressing, and sunflower seeds
    Snack: A handful of almonds

    Day 2

    Breakfast: Sautéed greens and tofu scramble with vegan cheese
    Lunch: Coconut cream of broccoli soup with a side of nuts
    Dinner: A seitan burger with a side of greens
    Snack: Celery sticks with peanut butter

    Day 3

    Breakfast: Coconut yogurt with nut and seed topping
    Lunch: A green salad with avocado, peppers, and broccoli, with a side of nuts
    Dinner: A cauliflower pizza with vegan cheese and greens on top
    Snack: Coconut fat bombs

    Who should *not* follow a vegan keto diet?
    Dietitians are hesitant to actually recommend this diet, given how restrictive it is. If you have a history of an eating disorder, Cording says it’s definitely best to take a pass.
    But, if you feel confident in your ability to pull off the vegan keto diet and know you will be okay with the parameters, nutritionists still recommend bringing in a professional to help figure out how to make this work in the healthiest way possible. “Definitely consult an RD,” Rissetto says.
    Just know this, per Cording: You’re probably going to need to add a supplement to the mix. “Even when you’re covering all your bases, you likely will need some kind of supplementation because this diet is so restrictive,” she says.
    The bottom line: You can go keto if you’re vegan, but you should definitely work with a nutritionist to make sure you’re doing it right and getting all your essential nutrients.
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health US

    READ MORE ON: Keto Ketogenic Diet Vegan Vegan Tips More

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    9 Cauliflower Benefits That Make It A Superfood, According To A Dietitian

    For the last few years, one vegetable has been the star of the produce aisle, outshining all the rest. And while images of kale or even sweet potatoes may come to mind, the owner of this impressive title is actually cauliflower. C’mon you know your famous cauliflower tacos and those yummy cauliflower buffalo wings are a staple in your house, so this can’t be a total surprise.
    And now that you’re thinking about it. If you’re realizing you eat way too much of it, that’s not a bad thing. The cruciferous vegetable, long used interchangeably with broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts, is one of the more popular veggies thanks to its low-carb and low-calorie values as well as its immense versatility. It’s hard to name a dish you can’t throw cauliflower into.
    READ MORE: Caffeine Effects: “What Happens When I Go Hard on Coffee?”
    Whether you prefer white, green, purple, or any other of the vegetal varieties you can find out there, cauliflower has proven itself as a compelling alternative to traditional ingredients and is now regularly used to make everything from rice and pizza crust to mac and cheese and Christmas stuffing.
    But the vegetable is not only an extremely healthy option for those looking to cut back on carbs and calories. It’s also a great source of plant compounds that are known to reduce the risk of certain diseases, including cancer. Ready to dive into all of cauliflower’s amazing bennies? Below, we break down everything you need to know about cauliflower benefits and nutrition, according to a registered dietitian.
    What does cauliflower’s nutrition look like?
    “Cauliflower is rich in nutrients, including dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and folate,” explains Gena Hamshaw, a registered dietician and the author of The Full Helping blog. “Plus, cauliflower is relatively low in calories and has a high water content.”
    According to the USDA, a medium-sized head of cauliflower contains an estimated 146 calories, 29 grams of carbs, 1.6 grams of fat, 12 grams of fibre, 11 grams of sugar, 11 grams of protein, and 176 mg of sodium. Obviously, these values will differ depending on preparation and any ingredients used alongside it, but the vegetable’s nutrition makes it an appealing addition to almost any diet.
    What are the benefits of eating cauliflower?
    There are many advantages to eating cauliflower, from satiating your body’s need for certain nutrients to the range of ways it can be prepared. Here, we look at nine of the vegetable’s foremost benefits.
    1. It’s high in fibre
    It’s no secret that fibre is a necessary part of any diet or that it can be a huge help to overall health—and lucky for us, cauliflower is rich with it. With 10 percent of your daily fibre needs fulfilled with just a single cup of cauliflower, the vegetable can lower the risk of various illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. Eating it regularly is also a great way to promote digestive and cardiac health more generally, which is something everyone wants, Hamshaw says.
    READ MORE: 24 High-Fibre Foods That Should Be On Your Plate Every Day, According To Nutritionists
    2. It’s a good source of choline
    “Choline is a nutrient that plays a role in nervous system function and metabolism, and adequate choline intake may aid with memory function as well,” notes Hamshaw. Many people are deficient in the nutrient since relatively few foods contain it, but one cup of cauliflower contains about 11 percent of your daily need.
    3. It aids immune health
    There’s a reason vitamin C has become such a hot topic in recent years, as the world has prioritised immunity in the face of widespread illness. The antioxidant is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to boost immune function, Hamshaw says, and cauliflower is famously high in it.
    4. It’s high in vitamin K
    You’re likely less familiar with vitamin K than many of its counterparts, but believe us when we say it’s just as important. The fat-soluble vitamin plays an essential role in bone metabolism, regulating blood calcium levels, and blood clotting, which means that it helps your body heal from any kind of injury. And cauliflower offers roughly 20 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K, so your body will thank you for eating it.
    5. It can aid weight loss
    With only 25 calories in every cup of cauliflower, the vegetable is an obvious choice for anyone looking to lose some weight. In addition to being rich in fibre, which can work to slow your digestion and make you feel fuller longer, it has a very high water content. With 92 percent of its weight made up of water, eating cauliflower can assist with keeping your body hydrated, and when added to a proper diet, weight loss.
    6. It can help reduce the risk of cancer
    “Cauliflower contains phytonutrients – chemical compounds found in plants – that are associated with protection against chronic diseases, including cancer,” Hamshaw says. The vegetable boasts high contents of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, two groups of antioxidants that have been shown to reduce cancer and especially protect against breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
    READ MORE: 15 Crazy-Delicious Cauliflower Recipes To Help You Lose Weight
    7. It contains some of almost every nutrient you need
    It’s rare that a single food can cover nearly every one of your body’s nutritional needs, but cauliflower does just that. Putting aside the more obvious vitamins B, C, and K, the cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of folate, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and more, all minerals you need to maintain overall health.
    8. It’s a good alternative to grains
    Whether you follow a low-carb diet and are looking to eliminate more grains or you’re simply hoping to increase your veggie intake, cauliflower can be a big help. With about nine times fewer carbs than rice and a myriad more of vitamins and nutrients, it’s a great alternative to traditional grains. You can find cauliflower-based rice and pasta at many grocery stores these days, or you can try your hand at recipes like cauliflower pizza, cauliflower mash, and cauliflower tortillas.
    9. It’s incredibly versatile
    “In addition to all of this, cauliflower is versatile, satisfying, and useful in a huge range of recipes, and it’s especially useful in plant-based cooking,” Hamshaw explains. “You can transform cauliflower into steak, dip, or mash. It can be baked, roasted whole, or pureed into pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless!” You can also eat the vegetable raw or simply roasted, steamed, or sautéed, so preparation can be as minimal or as maximal as you’d like.
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health US

    READ MORE ON: Food News Nutrition Nutritional Advice More

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    Caffeine Effects: ‘What Happens When I Go Hard on Coffee?’

    While a moderate flat white habit is nothing to be worried by, persistently going hard on the java can prove problematic. Here, WH speaks to the experts about what happens in your body, when you mainline caffeine.
    What happens after my first cup of coffee?
    A thirst for Vida e Caffè’s finest is usually the result of a few things – from a late bedtime to a longstanding habit. But caving to your craving is no bad thing, particularly as that first cup is likely to perk you up. ‘Caffeine mainly works by plugging the adenosine receptors in your brain,’ explains GP Dr. Serena Rakha.
    READ MORE: Is Coffee Helpful (Or Harmful) For Weight Loss? Experts Weigh In
    ‘Caffeine and adenosine (a compound that usually promotes sleepiness when it hits the receptors) are similar in structure, so caffeine can bind to adenosine receptors, like different keys fitting the same lock, and cause stimulation across the brain.’ After that first coffee or two, this manifests as you feeling alert, with increased concentration to boot.
    And my fourth?
    Blocking some of these receptors is all good, to an extent, but sipping on four and a half cups of coffee (around 450mg of caffeine) per day can block up to 50% of them. ‘This allows stimulating neurochemicals, such as dopamine, to flood your system,’ says Dr Rakha.
    ‘When your body catches on, it responds by churning out more adenosine receptors in an attempt to restore equilibrium.’
    The upshot? Adenosine starts binding to the free receptors, which slows down neural activity in the brain (winding down for sleep) –thus, your energy begins to wear thin.
    READ MORE: How Much Coffee Is Too Much Coffee? Here’s What Experts And Studies Say
    The obvious solution is, well, even more coffee. But as well as blocking sleep-promoting adenosine (so you struggle to nod off hours after your last espresso), caffeine also triggers the release of adrenaline, the-called fight-or-flight hormone, says Dr Rakha.
    This rushes through your body, giving you the power to blast through that session on your treadmill – at higher doses, though, It’ll leave you tense and anxious, and it contributes to the classic ‘coffee jitters’.
    So potent are the effects that caffeine-induced anxiety disorder is recognised by the American Psychiatric Association.
    So how much coffee is okay?
    While the European Food Safety Authority has determined that 400mg of caffeine per day – around four cups of coffee – is fine for most adults, what works for you may be different. ‘There’s also some evidence that caffeine ingestion can increase your circulating stress hormone cortisol,’ says dietitian Sophie Medlin.
    ‘Cortisol levels peak in the morning, which helps you get up and get on with your day, so if you want to optimise what your Americano is doing for you, you might want to delay it until mid-morning, when your cortisol levels start dropping.’
    READ MORE: 10 Delicious Coffee Smoothie Recipes That Will Give You A Morning Buzz
    Otherwise, think about when you might need it most. A recent review concluded that caffeine was an effective workout performance enhancer, particularly for aerobic exercise.
    And how do I cut back on coffee, if I need to?
    If you want to wind down your dependence, try eliminating one caffeinated beverage at a time.
    ‘If you experience headache, that’s your previously caffeine-tightened blood vessels widening, creating pressure-like tension in your brain,’ explains Dr Rakha. Pop a painkiller if you need to.
    ‘Often, it’s the ritual of making coffee and sitting down with it that you really crave,’ says Medlin. ‘If you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake, use that time to brew caffeine-free rooibos instead.’
    Still fatigued? Get moving! 10 minutes of climbing stairs will boost your energy as much as an espresso. Plus, the endorphin rush will drown out irritability. Step to it.
    This article was originally published on Women’s Health UK

    READ MORE ON: Drinks Health Advice More

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    Your Guide To Intuitive Eating: The 10 Principles You Need To Know About

    Whether you want to lose weight or eat better, there are a lot of diets out there vying for your attention. Keto? Whole30? Plant-based?
    If all of the options have your head spinning (same), I’ve got just the thing for you. This diet actually isn’t a ~diet~ at all — but it can still help you with your eating goals. It’s called intuitive eating, and it’s a movement that’s gaining major followers.
    On a basic level, intuitive eating is all about getting in touch with body cues (like hunger and fullness) and learning to trust your body when it comes to food, explains nutritionist Keri Gans. There are no restrictions or forbidden foods; just an effort for you to eat well, feel healthier, and enjoy food more.
    “For many people, the traditional diet approach leads to nothing more than years and years of weight loss and weight gain and a negative relationship with food and their body image,” Gans says. Intuitive eating is here to put that crap to bed.
    Clearly, there’s something to it. Instagram is filled with comments from people who rave about how intuitive eating has helped them stop obsessing over their weight, quit binge-eating, and end feelings of guilt around food.
    Of course, there’s a little more to making this whole intuitive eating thing work. Here’s what you need to know about the eating approach — and how to make it work for you.
    What Is Intuitive Eating And Will It Help With Weight Loss?
    As the name suggests, intuitive eating is all about following your own innate intuition.
    “The biggest difference between intuitive eating and diets — or ‘lifestyle changes’ —i s the focus on internal signals and cues rather than external rules,” says nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counsellor Alissa Rumsey, owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness. “Intuitive eating uses feelings of hunger, fullness, satisfaction, and body knowledge to dictate eating choices in the moment. Traditional diets, meanwhile, use external factors like nutrient counts, calories, or food groups to plan food ahead of time without room for flexibility.”
    While you can lose weight by following an intuitive eating approach, it’s not necessarily the goal. Instead, the goal with intuitive eating is to foster a healthier, happier approach to food.
    Yes, it sounds suuuuper simple — but it definitely takes work to achieve. “We’re all born knowing how to listen to our body’s hunger and satiety signals but, as we go through life, our natural intuition is blunted on so many levels,” says nutritionist Karen Ansel. “As children, adults are constantly feeding us snacks, whether we’re hungry or not; we’re told to finish our meals even though our bodies may be perfectly well-nourished; we’re rewarded with food for good behaviour. At the same time, we’re told that hunger is an emergency, even though it’s a completely natural sensation, just like being tired.”
    Though intuitive eating offers the alluring promise of no food being off-limits, the process of reestablishing (and following) your natural cues is a tricky one.
    “It’s long and time-consuming, and sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed,” Ansel says. “The upside is that once you learn to eat intuitively, weight control often becomes infinitely easier, as your body naturally possesses all the tools to guide you.” At this point, you can easily eat only when truly hungry and stop when satisfied. No stress.
    How Intuitive Eating Got Started
    The intuitive eating movement has been around in some form since the 1970s, but the term “intuitive eating” was coined in 1995 by nutritionists Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, authors of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works.
    In their book, Tribole and Resch encourage people to reject diet culture, find satisfaction in eating, and listen to their body cues around food. They also ID three different eating personalities that help define the eating difficulties you might have:
    The careful eater: This person spends a lot of time thinking about what they eat — reading labels, asking restaurant servers about details, and meticulously planning out each meal.
    The professional dieter: This person, meanwhile, is always on some kind of diet. They carefully count calories and monitor portions, all with the goal of weight loss.
    The unconscious eater: Unconscious eaters can be broken down further into different camps but, as a whole, they are not as meticulous about what they eat as careful eaters and professional dieters. Unconscious eaters tend to eat what’s available, whether it’s inexpensive, whatever is lying around, or stuff they just don’t want to go to waste.
    The ultimate goal, according to Tribole and Resch, is to become an intuitive eater, someone who listens to their internal hunger cues. When they’re hungry, intuitive eaters pick something to eat without debating about it or feeling guilty.
    The 10 Principles Of Intuitive Eating
    So, how does one become an intuitive eater, exactly? To help you get there, Tribole and Resch came up with the 10 principles of intuitive eating, which all focus on creating a healthier relationship with food.
    “The principles of intuitive eating are guideposts that help you unlearn the dieting behaviours and diet mentality you’ve been taught and instead learn to tune back into your own body,” Rumsey explains. “While it’s not always a linear experience, rejecting the diet mentality and learning to honour your body’s hunger cues are some of the foundational experiences.”
    Live by these principles, she says, and you’ll not only find a happier relationship with food, but more positive self-care and coping behaviours, body respect, and more intuitive, joyful movement, too.
    The 10 principles of intuitive eating, according to Tribole and Resch, are:
    1. Reject The Diet Mentality
    This means ditching diet books and avoiding articles that tell you how to lose weight quickly.
    2. Honour Your Hunger
    Learning to listen to your hunger cues is crucial, Tribole and Resch argue. Focusing on keeping your body nourished with the right foods can help prevent overeating.
    3. Make Peace With Food
    This means giving yourself permission to eat what you want, when you want it.
    4. Challenge The Food Police
    Tribole and Resch urge people to remove “good” and “bad” thinking from eating. Have a bowl of ice cream? Don’t feel guilty about it; it’s just food, and it’s part of your overall healthy diet.
    5. Discover The Satisfaction Factor
    Eating should be a pleasurable experience and, if you enjoy what you’re eating, should help you feel satisfied and content. Identifying this satisfaction can help you learn when you’ve had enough of a food you enjoy.
    6. Feel Your Fullness
    Trust your body to lead you to the right foods and listen for the signals that you’re not hungry anymore. Tribole and Resch also recommend pausing in the middle of eating to ask yourself how the food tastes, and how hungry you are at that moment.
    7. Cope With Your Emotions With Kindness
    Learn to recognize that food restriction can trigger loss of control and emotional eating. Learn to ID your emotions and find ways to deal with them that don’t involve food.
    8. Respect Your Body
    Embrace your body, so you can feel better about who you are.
    9. Movement — Feel The Difference
    Be active for the sake of moving your body, instead of tracking how many calories you burn during exercise. Focusing on the energy you get from working out can help keep you motivated.
    10. Honour Your Health With Gentle Nutrition
    Make food choices that are good for your health — and taste great — while making you feel good. Know that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. That one snack, meal, or day of less-healthy eating won’t torpedo your goals.
    How To Get Started With Intuitive Eating
    If you want to rethink your relationship with food, Ansel recommends picking up the Intuitive Eating book to get the full view of what it’s all about.
    It’s also a good idea to really immerse yourself in the concept. “You have likely been absorbing years and years of diet culture messages, so surrounding yourself with alternative messaging will be helpful,” says Rumsey, who recommends checking out different podcasts, books, and blogs created by registered dietitians and therapists certified in intuitive eating. “These will help you weed through a lot of your long-held beliefs about food and your body to start developing a new relationship,” she says.
    Some of her recommendations:
    Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison
    The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner
    This Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
    Food Psych podcast
    RD Real Talk podcast
    Nourishing Women podcast
    Love, Food podcast
    Another question to consider: What do you really want to eat right now? “Allow yourself to have whatever the answer is,” Rumsey says. “By allowing yourself to eat whatever you want, you stop the diet cycle in its tracks.”
    It can take time, but your mind and body will eventually learn that you have access to all foods and, with time, cravings and overeating should decrease. “If you’re unsatisfied, you’ll probably keep looking for that one thing that is going to make you feel satisfied and content, and you’re more likely to overeat,” Rumsey explains. “When you eat what you really want, the feelings of satisfaction and pleasure you feel will help you be content.”
    You’ll also want to start tuning in to your hunger signals, Rumsey says. Start noting when you tend to feel hungry during the day — and what you tend to do in those moments. “Honouring your hunger — eating each time you are hungry — is an important step in building back body trust,” she explains.
    If you’re looking for extra support, a registered dietitian can help guide you through the first few months of intuitive eating. “Each person is different and an intuitive eating registered dietitian can help you work through your unique challenges and questions,” says Rumsey.
    The bottom line: Intuitive eating is a great way to feel healthier in your body and create a happier, easier relationship with food. Experts say that it’s never too late to work on intuitive eating — and that it really does work for most people.
    This article was originally published on

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    Avocado Is One Of The Most Versatile Fruits You Can Cook With

    Is mealtime your favourite time of day? Are you always up for a treat, no matter what day of the week it is? We get you! But, we also get that nutritional value and a healthy body is super important too. That’s why we totally recommend avo-liciousness — you literally can have your cake (avo) and eat it too…
    It’s comfort food but it’s good for you!
    Avocados are both a rockstar in texture and in taste, and it totally enhances Mexican dishes, toasted sarmies, desserts, and so much more. But, incredible creaminess aside, avocados are also loaded with healthy fats that have protective properties against heart disease and cancer. Avocados are also a source of potassium, are high in copper, and are a source of fibre and antioxidant nutrients such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Together these powerful food components can help maintain and regulate immune function.
    Super versatile
    Perfect your meals at home, and even your take-aways, by topping them off with thick slices of yummy avo.
    Yes, salads, pasta, burgers and pizza should never be served without crescents of fresh, creamy avocado. It’s hard to think of another fruit as versatile as an avocado when it comes to snacking and mealtimes morning, noon and night. Mashed, diced, sliced or puréed, avos are always a delight, with a generous ability to make all other ingredients taste that much better!
    Plus, avo season is currently in full swing with dark-skinned (Hass-type) and green-skinned avocados on supermarket shelves everywhere. You can totally allow your inner chef unrestricted kitchen privileges! Wink-wink. And if you’ve been feeling slightly demotivated by the state of current affairs in South Africa lately, know that there still many up sides to being a local… Having access to avocados available almost all year round, is one of them. SA farmers grow both green-skinned and dark-skinned avos, which means we get an almost year-long supply of these two equally delectable (slightly addictive!) fruits.
    Ripe and ready
    Buttery, creamy green-skinned avo varieties include Fuerte, Edranol, Ryan, Reed and Pinkerton, and are available from March until October. Hass, Maluma Hass and Lamb Hass are all rich, nutty dark-skinned avos that are available from March until November. While a green-skinned avocado remains green when ripe, the dark-skinned Hass-type avos turn purple-black when ready to eat. And while they may vary in colour, shape and size, they are all extremely beneficial and versatile.
    When it comes to getting creative in the kitchen, dark-skinned and green-skinned avos shine equally brightly, as there’s no end to their uses in snacks, light meals, starters, main meals, desserts, bakes and even sweet treats.
    So go on, satisfy your hunger and add some delicious, versatile and nutritious South African avos to your meal today. Check out this cool avo-inspired recipe idea…
    Avocado, naartjie & caramelised pecan nut salad, with poppy seed dressing

    Preparation Time: 20 minutes
    Serves 6
    Salad ingredients:
    6 ripe avocados, peeled & sliced
    1 red onion, sliced
    2 naartjies, broken into segments or sliced
    1 orange, cut into segments
    100g caramelised pecan nuts
    herbs to garnish
    Dressing ingredients:
    ¼ cup honey
    ¼ cup cider vinegar
    ¼ cup poppy seeds
    Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a screw top bottle and shake to combine.
    In a small bowl marinate the red onion slices for 5-10 minutes in the dressing.
    Arrange the avocado on a platter, with the naartjies, orange segments and pecan nuts. Pour the dressing and marinated onions over the salad.
    Serve immediately.
    For avolicious recipes visit or follow @iloveavocadoSA on Facebook and @iloveavosSA on Instagram.

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