RECIPE: Creamy pesto gnocchi with green vegetables

My mum has been asking for my creamy pesto sauce recipe. She said ” you should just put it on your blog as I’m sure others would want the recipe too”.

I’m not sure if that’s actually the case, but if anyone else other than my mother wants this recipe, here it is😉

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 70g butter (approx 3.5 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour (wholemeal flour is fine to use)
  • 1.5 cups skim milk
  • 1 small jar basil pesto (approx 120g). If you want to make pesto paste from scratch, see my recipe here.
  • 2 x 400g packs of gnocchi (or use a 500g of any pasta)
  • 2 cups of blanched green veggies such as zucchini, broccoli, green beans and peas.

METHOD

  1. Firstly, cook the gnocchi/pasta.
  2. Place butter in a pot on medium heat. Let it melt and then add in the flour. Whisk until a thick paste is formed.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Continue to whisk until milk is brought to the boil (you may need to bring the heat up higher, but not too high or the milk will burn to the bottom of the pot!).
  4. Once the sauce comes to the boil, turn the heat down to low and continue to whisk until thickens.
  5. Once thick, take off the heat. Mix in the pesto – give it a good stir.
  6. In one large pot, combine the cooked gnocchi, creamy sauce and blanched green vegetables. Mix all ingredients together well.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 

– Jenna

Time flies when you’re in your mid-twenties

Last week I had my 26th birthday – which means it has been a whole year since I moved back to Melbourne. I just can’t believe how time flies.

These days I have been busy but still very much enjoying life (with the exception of a cold that just hung around way too long).

A year on in my current job and I am loving it. There are so many areas of dietetics to dabble in and learn about – I just can’t see myself getting sick of clinical dietetics.

My weekends since an adventurous April with James have been less about adventuring outside of the city and more about staying in. A lot of that has to do with the weather which has cooled down dramatically in Melbourne. But we have been busy in the inner suburbs checking out some new brunch scenes around Melbourne amongst other things.

Little Henri cafe – Thornbury

Reading about cronuts while looking across the room at said cronuts at Rustica – Fitzroy

At home I have been making quite a few cream-based sauces to accompany my dishes. It must be the winter blues kicking in and I must admit, I have indulged on the creamy sauces a little too often (weekly) at home. I think it’s time to hold back now.

The sauce I make is the good old butter, flour and (skim) milk trick. Creamy pesto pasta with green beans and peas has been a favourite. And I have finally found a packaged pesto paste that I like from Terra Madre, Northcote. I previously disliked all packaged pesto and would only get my fix by slaving over the food processor to make my own. I am a little relieved to know that now I can have a jar in the pantry if needed.

I’m also enjoying warm roasted vegetable salads as I do every winter.

A recipe that I have made this chilly season, much like last year, is the Moroccan fish with orange salad by Healthy Food Guide. It would have to be one of my favourite autumn/winter recipes. I enjoy changing it up with the green veggie options, as well as the grain (works well with couscous, quinoa, brown rice etc).

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See my article in the Medibank Be magazine from last year on fresh produce that I love during the winter months.

Fitness-wise I have finally returned to cheerleading after a long 14 month break and a dragged out injury. The comeback is proving harder than I thought at the ripe old age of 26. I now know why the elite gymnasts are in their peak at 16 years – a pulled hamstring every two weeks at 26 doesn’t make for a productive training schedule.

I can also say I am a regular swimmer now. I love the low impact sport (especially when battling with niggling muscle pains) and the feel of the water as I swim at a fast past on a keen day or a slow and steady pace on those days I just don’t feel like doing all that much. It is such an easy way to stay fit and a good excuse to wash my hair.

The colder weather has seen less of the hiking but I look forward to doing some small hikes on my upcoming trip to Washington state in the USA next month. I’ll blog about it the first chance I get.

Catch you all a little later in the season.

– Jenna

5 lunch ideas for the weekday worker

I started working as a dietitian nearly two years ago.

And less than two years in the workforce I am already struggling to think of lunch options for every day of the week.

Some days I find myself staring at the array of food options from my workplace cafĂ© and I am not always impressed with the creamy pasta options. Or the soggy salads that don’t cater to my picky dressing preferences.

So being the good list-writer that I am, I decided to put together a collection of my favourite quick, easy and exciting lunch options to help keep the working week interesting.

Here are my top 5 picks…


 

  1. Not your typical sandwich

Sandwiches don’t have to be boring and dreaded. After all, isn’t your lunch break the best part of your day? Make sandwiches exciting with leftover roast meats, vegetables, falafel. Use hummus, smashed avocado or even light cream cheese as your butter or sauce alternative.  Even a thin layer of plum or cranberry jam can be a nice addition to a turkey and salad sandwich. Sandwiches don’t have to be boring. And if you’re workplace have a sandwich press; a hot toastie can completely change your lunch.

Roast vegetable and goats cheese toastie anyone?

  1. Tasting platter

Why not go gourmet every now and then? Enjoy a homemade tasting platter for a range of flavours and foods. Pita bread, olives, cheese, vegetable sticks, dip, crackers, dried fruit, unsalted nuts. Even make some mini egg and veggie frittatas in a muffin tin on lazy Sunday and freeze – pull one out and pop on the tasting plate for a small serve of protein and vegetables in amongst your antipasto goodness.

  1. Salad jars

Glass jars aren’t only making a comeback for food photography purposes on instagram, but turns out they are also super practical.

The night before work, place all of your salad ingredients into a long, upright jar. Start by placing the wet ingredients such as salad dressing or lemon juice at the bottom of the jar, and stack your ingredients upward. Chickpeas or canned beans are great around the middle. Top the jar with those ingredients that are likely to go soggy quickly, for example the crisp lettuce and spinach leaves. When it comes time to serving up the next day at work, tip the contents of the jar out into a serving bowl. Chances are you don’t even need to toss the salad as the dressing drizzles down on the ingredients. Enjoy!

  1. Warm roast vegetable salad

Leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast? Step 1: Keep some single serve cup of 90 second microwaveable brown rice. Step 2: pack the vegetables in a container to take to work. Step 3: in a separate container place some fresh spinach leaves and a small serve of feta cheese. Step 4: at work, zap the roast vegetables in the microwave along with the microwaveable brown rice. Step 5: Throw everything into the same bowl, along with the fresh spinach leaves and crumbled feta cheese on top of the dish for a small hit of protein and calcium.

  1. Lazy leftovers

If you are lacking motivation to get creative with your lunches, just make more dinner the night before and pack leftovers! Portion out your lunch into a container when you are serving up your dinner meal with the family. This way no one will go back for seconds and accidentally eat your lunch. This is particularly great as the weather cools down and you want to enjoy a hot, sit down meal with your colleagues. The difference is, you prepared your meal so you know exactly what ingredients went into the dish. No hidden additions of extra butter, salt or cream, and prepped by yours truly.

When you make green curry and hope there are leftovers for the next day...

When you make green curry and hope there are leftovers for the next day…

Leftover baked salmon and veggies

Leftover baked salmon and veggies

Happy lunching!

– Jenna

 

Lighthouse adventure at Wilson’s Prom

I recently mentioned on Dietitians Day (Friday 11th March) I would be hiking around the southern point of mainland Australia.

On our 6th visit to Wilson’s Promontory National Park, James and I decided to finally make our hike to the lighthouse happen. We hiked a total of 46km over 2 days and I clocked up 66,000 steps on my FitBit. It was tiring carrying large packs on our backs but so rewarding with the amazing views we saw.

The day started at 5am on day 1 with a nutritious breakfast and then we drove into Wilson’s Prom having stayed the night before in Leongatha. We were greeted by deer at the entrance of the park and then on our drive towards our hike starting point we saw wombats, wallabies and the amazing sunrise.

The hike started at 8:30am after a second (easier to digest) breakfast from Telegraph Saddle.

Clean and fresh at the start of the hike

The trek to the lighthouse was peaceful and quiet as we didn’t see a single other hiker the whole day. There were three main legs to the hike. The first part was mainly downhill, so we were still quite energetic once we arrived at Telegraph Junction. We then trekked predominantly uphill through Halfway Hut towards Roaring Meg. The walk uphill was tough because there was a lot of fog and no views to help our motivation levels! The only motivation I had was our snacks and the knowledge that we had an amazing destination at the end of this.

"We are walking towards there!" Jokes, we couldn't see a thing.

“We are walking towards there!”
Jokes, we couldn’t see a thing.

Hummus and Bakers Delight mixed seed sourdough

13km to go. This calls for hummus and Bakers Delight mixed seed sourdough

The last leg to the lighthouse wasn’t too bad as we knew we were getting close. The final paved track up to the lighthouse, however, was the worst part of the whole hike to the destination.

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Giving our shoulders a break with 3.1km to go.

When the lightouse comes into view. So close yet so far!

When the lightouse comes into view. So close yet so far!

The hardest struggle at the very end. So steep.

The hardest struggle at the very end. So steep.

Once at our destination we were greeted by a wombat out front of our accommodation and the Wilson’s Prom lighthouse keeper (so to speak). We were lucky enough to be the only ones who hiked to the south-east point that day, so we received a personal tour of the lighthouse and learned about how the technology of lighting up the sea and sky over the years has now turned to being completely self managed.

Our cottage was definitely the best part. Self contained with a bed that felt like sleeping on clouds, a clean shower with hot water, and a fully equipped kitchen. A telescope and comfy couch were also great to appreciate the views outside our living room window.

We experienced the sunset, an early sleep, and sunrise the next morning before leaving heaven and hiking back.

With sore and stiff muscles we took a different route to get home, via Waterloo Bay. This was a much more scenic way to walk, but overall about an hour and a half longer than the way there (also more difficult).

We again broke up our walk into three parts, with the first part being the most difficult.

My not so favourite part of the walk was the leech infested stretch. On the track from the lighthouse to Waterloo Bay, James and I had to remove a fair few leeches from our shoes and even some that had made their way up our legs. Eager to get out of the damp track and into a dryer and more open section, we finally started to feel a sea breeze and hear the waves of the beach. We were then rewarded with the most amazing views of Waterloo Bay and Little Waterloo Bay. The view looking back on the lighthouse where we had come from was also a nice spot to take photos and have an early lunch.

Lunch time. Resting the legs.

Waterloo Bay

Waterloo Bay

From Waterloo Bay we walked inland towards Telegraph Junction on a relatively easy leg of the trip – a lot of this part was on a boardwalk or flat sand track. Because this day was the start of the long weekend, we passed many hikers who were beginning their camping trip.

Once we got to Telegraph Junction we needed to walk back the way we came on day 1 – to Telegraph Saddle. We remembered this part of the hike on day 1 was easy and downhill. Therefore it would be hard and uphill on day 2. And that it was.

The final push back to the carpark at Telegraph Saddle was exhausting and tough to say the least. But knowing there was a bottle of Gatorade and snacks in the car waiting for our return was the final bit of incentive I had to keep pushing. Well, that and my supportive other half encouraging me.

A sweaty kiss and hug at the end of our loop marked the end of our beautiful adventure.

We did it.

Highly recommend this hike for those interested in seeing the south-east point of Victoria.

Already looking forward to our next visit back to the Prom.

– Jenna

Celebrating the broad scope of dietetic practice this Dietitians Day

This Friday is Dietitians Day in Australia. On Friday I will be busy hiking to the southernmost point of mainland Australia with no internet or technology in sight (except my overworked FitBit). So I plan to celebrate Dietitians Day a little earlier than the rest of the country.

And what better way to celebrate our profession than to look at a snapshot of successful dietitians! I spoke with a small collection of dietitians and asked them exactly what they do in their day to day jobs.

Some science-focused readers could say I conducted a cross-sectional study on the diversity of dietitian’s roles within the Australian workforce. Note that I may have some bias in my selection process as I only chose to interview inspirational dietitians who I have learned from or had the pleasure of working with throughout my career.

Take a look at the varied roles us dietitians currently work in…

 

Claire Saundry, Sports dietitian

IMG_2519I work as a Sports Dietitian at the Western Bulldogs Football Club. I help elite athletes achieve their sports nutrition goals using the latest scientific evidence and turning this into practical sports nutrition recommendations. My favourite part of my job is conducting cooking classes and supermarket tours with the boys and developing menus for interstate travel. I love my job because I am able to see how strongly nutrition correlates with optimal performance.

I also have a passion for culinary nutrition. I couple my work at the Bulldogs with some part time consultancy work with Scoop Nutrition for restaurants, food service and food industries.

 

 

Teri Lichtenstein, Tech dietitianthumb_IMG_6626_1024

I juggle two jobs – one as director of my own nutrition and digital marketing agency called FoodBytes and my other job as a mother! No two days are the same as my work is unbelievably varied, from presenting nutrition presentations to a wide variety of audiences, to helping dietitians conduct an audit of their social media channels, providing digital and social media training to dietitians and food brand teams, writing nutrition content for websites and so much more. My “office” is my laptop and a good wifi connection (with good coffee of course). I love the flexibility and the variety of my work, which helps to keep me motivated and it reminds me how much opportunity exists for dietitians to help companies and individuals raise their nutritional profiles.


Alice Downing, Community health and private practice dietitian

I work in community health anIMG_9050d private practice in 7 clinics across Melbourne and Victoria. I work under the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program, which provides patients with access to allied health services through Medicare. I receive referrals for patients with a variety of conditions and chronic diseases including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, weight management, paediatric nutrition and food allergies. I provide nutrition assessments, education and assist patients in achieving long-term diet and lifestyle modification to support health. I see many patients throughout the day and spend time talking to doctors and allied health staff to promote dietetic services for patients.

 

Ash Jones, Industry dietitianheadshot

I work as a dietitian for Lite n’ Easy which is an Australian company that produces and delivers great tasting, healthy meals.  My job involves building the national menu, and working as part of the product development team.  I love my job because I am able to promote healthy food on a large scale, and actively change the way Australians eat.  And it doesn’t hurt that sampling the product is part of my job description!

 

Jane Kellett, Academic and research dietitian

I am a lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra, where I have been the course convener of the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics course since 2005. I love teaching students and sharing my knowledge and experience. My research interests include malnutrition, aged care, clinical dietetics and work-integrated learning. I am currently enrolled in a PhD investigating malnutrition in the elderly.

 

Emma Stubbs, Rural dietitian

I work for a rural health service in Western Victoria. My job typically involves helping patients meet their individual nutrition requirements, cardiac rehabilitation group education programs and the odd supermarket tour to inform people on healthy choices. I also visit local nursing homes and assist residents in optimising their nutrition status and preventing unintentional weight loss/muscle loss.
We also have a large number of patients coming through our health service for bariatric surgery so I am involved in assisting patients in both their pre-op and post-op nutrition journey.

 

Emma high res with wineEmma Stirling, “Slashie” dietitian

I work as a slashie these days after 20+ years as a dietitian. I’m a blogger/academic/business owner/writer/mentor and I love every minute of it.
Dietetics has given me such a diverse platform to grown my career that has taken me around the world and from fine dining restaurants to teaching cooking to the navy!

 

Denise Burbidge, Food Services dietitian

Denise Burbidge

I am a clinical and food services dietitian, working within private practice and as part of a research team. I love the variety that my job brings. From helping someone better manage their diabetes to creating and testing recipes or formulating menus, no two days are ever the same. As a dietitian I bring my love of food and cooking together with the backing of nutrition science to help clients and organisations achieve their nutrition goals.
Being part of a research team also means that I’m contributing to the ongoing development of nutrition science.

 

Maree Ferguson, Company director

I am a dietitian who decided to start my own business called Dietitian Connection. The vision for Dietitian Connection is to inspire and empower dietitians to realise their dreams. We do this by being the one stop shop for busy nutrition professionals for nutrition, leadership and business resources, exciting job opportunities, upcoming podcasts, webinars and events, new products, latest news and research, and more. I especially love working with students and new graduates and seeing them flourish and having the confidence to dream big.

 

Then of course there is me!

Jenna Obeid, Clinical dietitian

I work as a clinical dietitian in a Melbourne based hospital. I work with patients who require certain foods or nutrients to meet specific requirements while overcoming illness. I also see patients who are unable to physically eat, so I initiate tube feeding and determine what route of feeding and formula type is most appropriate for that patient. In my job I use science and high quality research to guide my practice. I find my work challenging but rewarding as I am an important part of the multidisciplinary hospital team that provides care to patients.


So there you have it. We all walk out of university with the same degree to our name, classified as specialists in nutrition, clinical dietetics, food service management, and community and public health. But what one person does with their degree is so different to the next person. And over time, many dietitians move and evolve into different areas of nutrition and dietetics.

That is the true beauty of our profession.

Happy Dietitians Day to all the dietitians out there!

– Jenna

Best brunch dishes of Melbourne in 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s not hard to guess from the title what my latest blog post is about. I have to admit that it is totally biased towards the sweet breakfast options (I enjoy a sweet over a savoury about 75% of the time).

On New Year’s Eve I posted my #2015bestnine – my top 9 instagram photos from 2015. And surprise surprise, 7 out of the 9 photos were of breakfast food.

So what better way to wrap up 2015 than to post my sweetly biased opinion on the best Melbourne brunches dishes of 2015.

1. Hotcake, Top Paddock / Kettle Black (Richmond / South Melbourne)

Much like in 2014, this is hands down the best brunch dish in Melbourne. Now with a bit more of a personal love for this dish as one of the hotcake chefs is due to marry into the family next week (not that I needed another excuse to love this dish). I feel that over time the hotcake continues to grow higher and the toppings get more generous. One thing that remains is the fluffy cake texture with the large chunks of ricotta and handfuls of fresh blueberries baked into the meal.

With many trendy cafes now baking a similar one-pan baked hotcake, this one is still the best, and original, hotcake in Melbourne.

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2. Corn Fritters, St Ali (South Melbourne)

It’s been too long since I’ve had this dish. I’ve only had the pleasure of eating this once in 2015, but the St Ali staple “My Mexican Cousin” is a filling and satisfying vegetarian savoury breakfast dish. Secret recipe corn fritters with poached eggs, grilled haloumi and some salad (I order it without the tomato salsa of course).

A while back I even tried to replicate the fritters they were that amazing. A must try.

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3. Omelette, BARRY (Northcote)

I only got to taste this dish once back in May before the BARRY Winter Menu (and new omelette dish) took over the cafe. Now they are onto another new menu this Summer. The Omelette that was the winner was the pumpkin, spinach, ricotta, pine nuts and sage omelette on grainy bread topped with mico-herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

Since then they have had a great potato/leek/comte/rosemary omelette and now most recently a lovely omelette filled with zaatar and goats cheese.

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4. French Toast, A Fan’s Notes (Carlton North)

Now this was a sweet one. But it has some great flavours and this dish pretty much got me through the winter blues and cold weather that Melbourne provided in 2015. Pear and ginger layered french toast with cardamom cream. #winning

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5. French Toast, The Left Handed Chef (South Melbourne)

The amazing Left-handed chef cooks a mean Banoffee French Toast. It was my go-to brunch dish for my 25th birthday. I really don’t need to explain much more as I have mentioned this dish on my blog so much already.

6. French Toast, Auction Rooms Cafe (North Melbourne)

With a great mixture of flavours, the brûlée french toast has that crunchy outside with an amazing soft inside. Back in Winter this dish had some in-season citrus additions. It looks like the new menu has replaced it with a new Brûlée french toast dish (I would assume equally as good). Give it a try.

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7. Porridge, Rustica Sourdough (Fitzroy)

Their menu, breads and pastries are to die for. It’s always so hard making a decision as all the options are amazing, but I always somehow wind up ordering their amazing porridge. And it never disappoints. Topped with coconut, honeycomb (!!) and banana, it’s such a filling and exciting porridge.

If Fitzroy happens to be out of your way in terms of a brunch or coffee location, be sure to check out Rustica Canteen in Guildford Lane in the CBD and also the new Rustica Canteen which is due to open up in Richmond soon.

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8. Porridge AND Apple Pie Waffles, Mixed Business (Clifton Hill)

If you’re after a porridge that isn’t overly sweet but much more interesting than your weekday Quick Oats, then Mixed Business’s porridge is one to try. Cinnamon porridge with golden syrup poached pear, honey yoghurt, rhubarb jam, seeds and nuts.

On the other hand, if you’re after something sweet and decadent – go for the Apple Pie Waffles. I had been to this cafe a few times before trying the waffles and I wish I did it sooner. They are actually amazing – I’m talking maple baked apples, pecan crumble and a creamy scoop of ice cream.

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9. French Toast, The Merchants Guild (Bentleigh East)

The fourth and final French Toast in my top ten. Only experienced this one just last week and highly recommend it if you are bayside. “Espresso infused french toast with house made nutella, vanilla bean mascarpone, banana, baileys anglaise and amaretti crumb”. Nuff said.

10. Mixed Greens, Tall Timber (Prahran)

A solid go-to savoury dish. An oldie but a goodie. Poached eggs, grainy bread, lots of greens. A healthy savoury option to top off my top ten.

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Well those were my favourite brunch dishes around Melbourne in 2015. I look forward to new menus and specials to try at the countless number of Melbourne cafes in 2016!

Happy New Year to all that pass through my blog. I know I haven’t been posting as often as in the past, but I am finding there is little time to write about how busy and amazing life is getting. When I am not at work I am making the most of my spare time eating out in Melbourne, enjoying the outdoors, socialising with friends, or on adventures outside of the city with my man.

But be sure to stay up to date with my movements on Instagram and enjoy my [less frequent] blog posts here on Cheering for Nutrition in 2016.

Thanks to everyone for the support throughout 2015 and I wish everyone a safe and healthy 2016, full of fun adventures and good brunches.

– Jenna

October update on life, adventures and food

October has been a pretty busy month, hence the lack of blog posts. So I thought I would share some photos and updates of what I have been up to.

  • My best friend had a baby! She lives in Sydney so I have to wait another whole month to meet baby Braxton.
  • Last week I presented at the ‘How To Get That Job (or promotion)’ workshop that was run by Dietitian Connection. The two that ran the show were Maree Ferguson AdvAPD and Rhiannon Barnes APD and I was lucky enough to present on my experience as a new grad in this tough job market.
  • I recently went camping to Wilson’s Prom (like we do every year) and it was a great weekend of hiking, cooking with the camping stovetop and playing cards while the wombats walk around us. Here are a couple of photos:

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In other news, I have tried a couple of other things for the first time recently too…

  1. A matcha latte (from Organica Cafe & Foodstore in Prahran). It was an interesting experience. It was like a creamy, potent green tea with milk (and added honey). It gave me a caffeine hit and everytime I had a sip I was surprised with it’s flavour. I’m not sure how regularly I will be ordering a matcha latte, but if you haven’t tried one yet I recommend you do it at least once!

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2. A Chatime iced tea. I can’t really call myself a Melbournian without sipping on one of these in the heart of the city while smelling the La Petite CrĂȘperie stall on Swanston St and listening to buskers.

3. The third thing I tried recently was the food trucks at Welcome To Thornbury. I went for the first time last night and it was a great atmosphere being a warm and still Friday evening in Melbourne’s inner north. A must-go this Summer and one visit isn’t enough as they rotate their food trucks quite regularly. So chances are if you go a couple of times, you will have different food and desserts to choose from.

Well that’s what I’ve been up to this month! Hope everyone is well x

– Jenna

National Nutrition Week 2015

Well it’s coming up to that time of the year again. Nutrition Australia’s National Nutrition Week is on from 11-17 October 2015.

I’ve always taken part in the festivities of National Nutrition Week so I am very excited to join in on it all once again next week. See what I’ve done in the past for National Nutrition Week here, here, here and here.

So what is the theme of this year’s Nutrition Week?

We are so fortunate to have an abundance of healthy, natural fresh produce available in Australia and New Zealand. By simply choosing fresh fruit and vegetables over processed foods, we can increase healthy eating and reduce our risk of chronic health conditions like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. For the benefit of every generation, it’s time to ‘Pick Right’ and ‘Feel Bright!’


 

If you are ever unsure, just follow the recommendations as per the newly revised Healthy Eating Pyramid. To read up on all you need to know about the new pyramid, see my blog post.

I look forward to seeing everyones minimally processed and fresh food choices all over social media next week!

– Jenna

A professional trip up north + food and fun

This past week and a bit I have been up to Queensland for the Australasian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition annual conference. This year the event was part of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) and the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) International Congress.

So my brain has been filled with knowledge on diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and when to provide nutrition through a food source, a tube or straight into the bloodstream.

I also had the opportunity to undertake two postgraduate courses through the Life Long Learning Program in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism – and thankfully passed the tests!

But this week hasn’t been all study and learning…

I made sure to head up to Queensland a couple of days before the conference so that I could soak up some sun and experience a mini holiday before putting my professional cap back on. I also brought my other half because it wouldn’t be an adventure without him. We headed up further north to the Sunshine Coast and Noosa for a day, and then by Sunday morning we were back in Brisbane for the Red Hill Farmers’ Market. But rather than me just rehashing it all through words, I thought I would just explain it all through the photos I took.

Aeroplane reading with a 4/5 Health Star Rated snack thanks to Qantas.

Aeroplane reading with a 4/5 Health Star Rated snack thanks to Qantas.

Corn fritters from Raw Energy in Peregian Beach.

Corn fritters from Raw Energy in Peregian Beach.

Noosa Main Beach

Tropical fruit and ginger juice, plus some sliced fruit at the Red Hill Market.

Putting my professional cap on at the conference - but still keeping my blogging cap on! Dont forget to check out Storehouse for your latest credible nutrition blog posts).

Representing the dietitian bloggers at the conference! (Be sure to check out Storehouse for the latest credible nutrition blog posts).

Donut Boys

Gingerbread Man doughnut from Donut Boyz – a shipping container doughnut shop in Brisbane’s West End. Reminded me a little too much of Melbourne so I couldn’t resist.

Amazing French Toast from The Bakery Cafe in South Brisbane.

French Toast from The Roastery Cafe in South Brisbane.

After the conference and some great social outings in Brisbane, James and I headed down to the Gold Coast for a couple of days to see my close friend Jessie. We checked out some great eateries, one of which was Greenhouse Factory in Coolangatta, which was a vegan restaurants with loads of greens in their dishes. We also hung out on the sunny beaches of the Gold Coast and reminisced about our World-class cheerleading days together. We even played late night card games that were part of our childhoods. It was a good couple of days to say the least.

Great breakfast on some pretty amazing bread - pumpkin bread with 5 seeds and perfectly poached eggs. At Vivre A Vie in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast

Breakfast on the Gold Coast: house-baked 5 seed pumpkin bread and perfectly poached eggs. At Vivre A Vie in Mermaid Beach

Burleigh Heads Farmers Markets - organic chai from one of the stalls.

Burleigh Heads Farmers Markets – organic chai from one of the stalls.

Reminiscing on this moment - 3rd place at Worlds in 2012.

Reminiscing on this moment – 3rd place at Worlds in 2012.

Cheers to all that made this week a great one. Especially Jessie who was our personal tour guide for all food and beach related adventures on the Gold Coast. And also to Ash from Off Duty Dietitian who took me out for a mega pho in Brisbane – nearly on par with the pho from Lam Lam in High Street, Northcote.

Now it’s back to Melbourne and back to work so I can apply all the knowledge I learnt earlier on in the week!

– Jenna