My day on a plate – National Nutrition Week

It’s that time of the year again – National Nutrition Week is running all week from 16-22 October 2016. People who have been following my blog over the years know that I always get involved with this event! This year’s theme is ‘Try for 5’…. 5 serves of vegetables, that is.

  • The average Australian only eats around half of the recommended 5 daily serves of vegetables.
  • Less than 4% of Aussies actually eat enough vegetable serves each day.

So this year’s National Nutrition Week will focus on improving that statistic!

I was recently asked to write an article for work showing a typical mid-week work day and what I tend to eat. See the article I wrote below and notice some easy ways I snuck in serves of vegetables while still keeping my meals interesting, tasty and filling!

My day on a plate

Breakfast, 0645hrs

I like to change up my breakfast options to keep things interesting as it is my favourite meal of the day! Today I am enjoying rolled oats porridge cooked with low fat milk and topped with sliced banana and crushed nuts. This meal contains a good portion of fibre and warms me up while Melbourne mornings are still a bit too chilly for my liking.

On the way to work, 0745hrs

Most mornings I walk the 40 odd minutes from Flinders Street Station to work. Today is one of those mornings I need a coffee to wake me up (and warm my hands on the walk). I choose a skinny latte – the low fat milk provides me with a serve of protein and calcium, and it helps to fill my stomach so that I can concentrate throughout my morning.

Lunch, 1230hrs

Leftovers!

I like to spend a few dollars every day on a coffee. And it’s public knowledge that I love to indulge on overpriced sweet brunch options most weekends. So during the week I try to save my money at lunchtime and instead bring food from home. Leftovers are my favourite because I feel like I am filling up on a hot meal but don’t go to any additional effort to get this.

Today is leftovers from last night’s vegetarian pesto pasta. I made high fibre fettuccine pasta with pesto paste and also mixed in some zucchini noodles, green peas, garlic, pine nuts and crumbled feta cheese.

While I am not vegetarian I think it’s important to get protein from non-animal sources every now and then (e.g beans, legumes, nuts, tofu, eggs or dairy products) as they can provide you with a range of nutrients that you may not necessarily get from animal proteins.

I also find this dish to be an easy one to sneak in a couple serves of vegetables. I am a big fan of enjoying my carbohydrates (i.e. pasta) but not at the expensive of missing out on my veggies. Here I can still eat the same sized meal as always, but now I am having half the amount of pasta I would usually eat as the other half is replaced with zucchini and green peas.

Afternoon tea, 1630hrs

It is 4:30 and I need something to stop me from getting home at 6:30 and invading the pantry. So while I sit at my desk and do my daily admin, I enjoy a tub of low fat yoghurt. Other days I may have a piece of seasonal fresh fruit.

Dinner, 1930hrs

By the time I get home I am starving! So I listen to some music to distract me as I prepare dinner for two (well, three if you include the serve of leftovers I will prepare for lunch tomorrow).

Dinner tonight is Moroccan fish fillets with an orange and greens salad. The salad contains cooked wholemeal couscous, a range of greens (rocket, steam asparagus and green beans), sliced fresh oranges, slivered almonds, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of olive oil and a squeeze of remaining fresh juice from the orange. The white fish fillets are coated in Moroccan seasoning and a small amount of olive oil before grilled on a non-stick frying pan.

This recipe was adapted from the 2012 Healthy Food Guide recipe Moroccan fish fillets with orange and date salad.

Eating a combination of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables at main meals provides the perfect proportion of macronutrients and micronutrients. Try to aim for half of your dinner plate to contain vegetables or salad, a quarter to contain lean protein, and the last quarter to be a carbohydrate option such as my wholemeal couscous.

On the couch, 2100hrs

As I unwind on the couch while watching the latest episode of Australian Survivor, I enjoy a teddy bear biscuit with a cup of herbal tea. The herbal tea is caramel flavoured – so while I feel like I am having something sweet, the low-calorie drink curbs the craving without all of the added sugar a sweetened beverage or dessert would give me.

Bedtime, 2230hrs

I am already looking forward to my leftover Moroccan fish and salad in my lunch break tomorrow…

 

– Jenna

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How to keeps the lungs healthy – MiNDFOOD magazine

I was recently featured in the September issue of MiNDFOOD Magazine in an article written by Naomi Mead on how to keep the lungs healthy.

We touch on dietary strategies to ensure optimal lung health and discuss some of the scientific evidence out there.

If you didn’t grab a copy of the magazine in stores, you can read the article online here.

Happy Spring!

– 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 café 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

 

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

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

Healthy actions now for a strong and durable future

This week has been Healthy Bones Action Week – a legendairy initiative driven by Dairy Australia.

Healthy Bones Action Week encourages Australians of all ages to take the three actions to build up and also maintain healthy bones. These three actions are:

1. Bump up your calcium intake through milk, cheese, yoghurt and other high calcium foods;

2. Stay actice through regular exercise to maintain bone strength; and

3. Spend time outdoors to get more vitamin D.

As everyone who reads my blog is aware, I love dairy products. Whether I am enjoying a Chobani yoghurt + oats tube on the way to work, having the most amazing skinny hot chocolate from Barry in Northcote, or using feta, haloumi, ricotta and goats cheese in a range of my dinner meals, I always tend to sneak in my three serves of dairy each day.

But if you’re not a fan of dairy products (or want a bit of diet variety in your life), there are plenty other calcium containing foods out there. Regular intake of salmon, soy products and calcium-fortified milk alternatives are perfect ways to ensure you are reaching your calcium goal of 1,000 -1,300mg per day.

Some bone-healthy actions I’ve been enjoying lately:

That skinny hot chocolate from Barry in Northcote.

That skinny hot chocolate from Barry in Northcote.

Decadent porridge made with milk

Decadent porridge made with milk (I swear there is porridge under there!)

Chai from Crompton Coffee in Richmond

Chai from Crompton Coffee in Richmond (the new toast cafe).

Veggie pho with tofu.

Veggie pho with tofu.

Building strong bones exercising with friends and soaking up the vitamin D.

Building strong bones exercising with friends and soaking up the vitamin D.

New Chobani flavours make it very easy to meet my daily dairy serves..

New Chobani flavours make it very easy to meet my daily dairy serves..

Oven baked lemon-butter-dill salmon

Oven baked lemon-butter-dill salmon

Oh heres another Barry hot choc.

Oh here’s another Barry hot choc pic.

Osteoporosis:

“Osteoporosis affects more than 1 in 5 women over the age of 65 years, compared with around 1 in 20 men. Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis because of the rapid drop in the hormone oestrogen during menopause” as reported by Dairy Australia.

So particularly all the women out there, it’s important at all stages of life to start building strong, durable and non-brittle bones.

The only brittleness I want in my life is the peanut kind.

– Jenna

The great debate: olive oil vs coconut oil

Coconut oil: Most commonly used as the binding ingredient in my quinoa chocolate crackles recipe. Also used as a hair treatment. 

But how does it rate in terms of  our health?

Last week I attended a Heart Health and Diabetes Update day hosted by the Dietitian’s Association of Australia where a range of medical and nutrition experts presented the latest evidence on all things chronic-disease-friendly (and not so friendly).

A very enjoyable, yet still scientific, session was the debate between olive oil and coconut oil.

In one corner of the ring was Catherine Itsiopoulos who debated the case for olive oil. Catherine has conducted extensive research in the Mediterranean diet with olive oil being such a major component of this lifestyle.

The ‘Skeptical Nutritionist’ Bill Shrapnel was in the other corner and was debating the case for coconut oil. His “thing” so to speak is looking at dietary fats and carbohydrates, and analysing their impact on the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

So how did the debate turn out?

OLIVE OIL (predominantly non-saturated fat)

Well Catherine argued a superb case for olive oil with solid evidence to back it up.

  • Research shows that people have seen improved health benefits from following a diet with monounsaturated fats. Less benefits are evident for those who follow a diet with saturated fats.
  • The Mediterranean diet, which includes approximately 4 tablespoons of olive oil throughout the day, has shown through research to reduce inflammatory biomarkers and blood pressure.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) contains a good amount of polyphenols, which has shown to significantly improve HDL cholesterol – more so than the lower polyphenol olive oils (e.g. light olive oil).

COCONUT OIL (predominantly saturated fat)

Bill discussed a vast range of high quality evidence that has been conducted on fats and carbohydrates on the outcome of heart disease over time.

What the evidence tends to lead to is that:

Carbohydrates and saturated fats have very little effect on heart function. However, mono and poly unsaturated fats have clear beneficial effects on heart health.  the Total/HDL cholesterol ratio and reduces risk of coronary heart disease.

After a thorough assessment of the evidence, the Skeptical Nutritionist conceded his argument and stated that there is no case for recommending coconut oil in modern diets.

The bottom line:

Coconut oil is not bad for us. But when there are so many other oils on the market that have evidence of providing health benefits, why wouldn’t you choose one of those instead?

– Jenna


For more information:

My take on That Sugar Film

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) added a guideline for sugar intake in adults and children. The guideline recommends we reduce our daily intake of free sugars to no more than 10% of our total energy intake. WHO have also noted that a further reduction to below 5% each day would provide us with additional health benefits.

Free sugars are basically referred to as any sugars that are added to food products. So the sugar we find in our fresh fruit is exempt from this guideline. However, the sugar added to a bottle of orange juice is considered a free sugar.

5% of our total daily energy intake would equate to approximately 25 grams which is about 6 teaspoons of sugar. Eating less than 6 teaspoons of sugar seems pretty do-able, doesn’t it?

It does. But we also need to be very aware of all of the sugars that secretly sneak their way into the food products we eat each day.

Which leads me to That Sugar Film.

Last night I attended a viewing of That Sugar Film. Before watching the movie I made sure not to have an opinion on the film.

(It seems that I am quite critical of those who demonize sugar, or any particular food group or nutrient for that matter. With many people religiously following fad diets or going through programs that see specific nutrients as the bad guy, I feel that it’s just not a positive approach to take towards food).

So walking in to the movie with a punnet of fresh strawberries (natural sugar) in one hand and a salted caramel choc top (containing free sugars) in my other hand, I decided to enjoy both forms of sugar and watch the movie in it’s entirety before forming an opinion.

What information did I get from watching the movie?

Well other than being very cautious to listen to the medical and nutrition advice provided from the lawyer and the “Wellness Leader”, which are careers that are not medically driven, I did learn some things based on the clear evidence brought up in the documentary…

Many low fat food options are replaced with sugars

Yes many food products that claim to be low in fat can be supplemented with sugar instead. I’m sure many of us are aware of this. Unfortunately manufacturers still want their products to taste good, so they replace the extracted fat with sugar. However this is not the case for all low fat food products.

Take yoghurt for example. In the film, Damon chose a yoghurt that was low in fat yet high in sugar, however there are products out there that can be low in both.

Jalna Natural Greek full fat yoghurt contains 10g of fat per 100g serve and 4.8g of sugar. Whereas a fat free alternative such as Chobani Fat Free Plain contains 0g of fat and still only 3.8g of sugar. Also, the Jalna Fat Free option contains quite low amounts of sugar too!

So low fat does not mean high sugar in all instances. Read the ingredients list and Nutrition Information Panel when choosing food products in the supermarket.

Sugar is sugar is sugar

In the documentary, Damon and others discuss the different ways sugar is classified in the ingredients section of common food products.

Sugar, raw sugar, agave, cane juice, honey, coconut sugar, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, etc. It is all sugar at the end of the day.

The bigger thing we need to look at when consuming sugar is whether it is a processed form added to foods (ie. free sugars) or whether it is naturally found in the food (e.g. fresh fruit). As shown in the movie, it is very easy to drink the juice of 4 apples in one sitting. That is because the juice is basically just the water, the sugar and some vitamins from the fresh juice that don’t really fill you up. But when it comes to eating an actual fresh apple, we would probably have to stop after one or two due to being full. This is because of the high fibre content that we consume in fresh fruit that we do not experience when fruit is juiced.

Sugar is bad for our teeth

If you have seen the movie then you know what I am referring to.

Unfortunately tooth decay/dental caries is a major issue in Australia for children (and adults) who have high intakes of sugary foods and drinks.

So parents: please watch the amount of sticky or sweet foods provided to kids in their lunchboxes.

penny university cronut

Basically we should eat as per the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

A diet low in discretionary foods. Low in sugary drinks and food products. Low in processed foods. Low in saturated fats and high in good, unsaturated fats. Full of whole, fresh, high fibre, low sugar options. With water as a main drink and physical activity a regular occurrence in our lifestyles.

All of these recommendations are what makes up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. A resource that is free to all Australians. It recommends the types of foods we should be eating more of and makes mention of the food we should be keeping to an absolute minimum; the discretionary foods. Go to the Eat For Health website for more.

Evidence Evidence Evidence

That Sugar Film is what researchers refer to as a “case study” – that is the results of one specific case is analysed. The film follows the life and dietary intake of one individual and then conclusions based on health outcomes are made depending on the results of the case study.

The highest quality evidence out there, however, is not a case study. The highest quality evidence is what we call a “randomized control trial” (RCT). That is when a randomly selected group of research participants (representative of the wider population) are randomly assigned to one of two groups (an experimental or a control group). A good quality RCT is highly controlled and an even better RCT is one with a high number of participants, rather than just one participant that is found in a case study.

Therefore, That Sugar Film is a great way to analyse the effect of a high sugar diet on one specific person. But a study that looks at this in multiple people and compared the results to a control group would make it a better form of evidence.

The bottom line

So the movie was a great way to open up our eyes to the issue of over-consumption of discretionary foods and the ease of purchasing such foods in the Western food supply.

But at the end of the movie, Damon concluded that while sugar contributes to the issue of obesity, it is not the sole cause.

Perhaps the sole cause is a mixture of all less-than-healthy behaviours, including but not limited to high sugar intake.

Perhaps it is as simple as eating a well-balanced diet full of natural and wholesome foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, unsaturated fats, lean protein and dairy, with very minimal amounts of energy-dense foods that are high in free/added sugars and saturated fats.

Perhaps it is as simple as that.


Want more info?

If you want to achieve that simple yet complex well-balanced diet, please see an Accredited Practising Dietitian to help you achieve your weight and health goals. Dietitians have university qualified degrees in human nutrition and dietetics with major fields of study in nutrition across the lifespan, medical nutrition therapies, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, food science, epidemiology, public health, health psychology and research.

For some quick hits, see:

– Jenna

Four ways with figs

It’s fig season and I have access to fig trees full of those amazingly sweet balls of joy.

Did you know that a medium sized fresh fig (with the skin on) is only 25 calories and contains up to 2 grams of fibre? Considering that most Australians should aim to reach at least 25 grams of fibre each day, added to the fact that we can never stop at just one fig, I think this small little sweet fruit can definitely help us get closer to achieving our daily fibre needs.

Take a look at four of my favourite ways to enjoy figs this season…

As a snack with natural yoghurt

Perfect afternoon snack.


 

Coupled with ricotta cheese

A cheeky weekend snack should most definitely include a warm crepe, ricotta cheese, a sliced fresh fig, a squeeze of pure maple syrup, and an English Breakfast tea.


 

In a salad

My new favourite salad recipe (partly because I have a fruit bowl full of freshly picked figs and apples), is this beauty from SBS Food. Figs, apple, walnuts, goat’s cheese, lemon rind….

I tend to swap the dates for double the amount of figs though as they are easier to source.


Lastly, just eat them fresh and whole

I have gotten into the habit of just grabbing one from the fruit bowl when on the way out to do something. Easy, quick and super yum for a quick hit of energy!


 

So I highly recommend you give these four ways with figs a try.

Have I missed any? Comment below!

– Jenna

My long weekend (inc. fruit trees and tow trucks)

After a stressful Friday night involving a loud engine noise and a tow truck, I woke up on Saturday morning at my parents house with no car but somewhat refreshed and ready to tackle the long weekend.

A filling breakfast involving eggs, tea, my mummy and my boyfriend was the perfect start to the day.

Homemade French Toast with fresh berries, pears poached in Earl Grey tea and cloves, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and Chobani 2% plain.

Homemade French Toast with fresh berries, pears poached in Earl Grey tea and cloves, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and Chobani 2% plain.

There's nothing a few cups of English Breakfast tea can't fix.

There’s nothing a few cups of English Breakfast tea can’t fix.

Then it was straight to the foosball table where the reigning champion (me) was defeated when my opponents decided to play as a two-man team.

After that I decided that I have only one true friend in this world…..

But onto a more serious topic. In light of the recent berry saga, I am now more consciously aware of where my food is coming from. So what better way to be conscious than to eat produce that is hand-picked right before your eyes!

So at some point on Saturday afternoon, we decided to go for a walk around my parent’s property and look at what fruit we could snatch off the fruits trees.

Figs ready for picking

Figs ready for eating

Mum giving James a lesson in fruit picking

Mum giving James a lesson in fruit picking

Figs, pomegranate, apples, pears. All fresh and chemical free!

The remainder of my weekend was spent eating fresh fruit and enjoying some activities that didn’t involve a car. I have to admit, not stressing over directions and petrol was a nice change.

Sunday brunch was at Two Little Pigs in Brunswick. The long weekend special of Nutella-stuffed doughcakes with blackberry ice cream was to die for. Apparently the Croque Madame was a winner also.

Then came Monday.

  • Watched old episodes of Saved By The Bell
  • Went to the nearby park to work out on the equipment and throw the frisbee around
  • Nourished my body with this bad boy…
Tangy quinoa salad with oven baked salmon cooked in a pocket of lemon pepper, butter and fresh dill

Tangy quinoa salad with oven baked salmon cooked in a pocket of lemon pepper, butter and fresh dill

While the weekend did not at all go to plan, it was a relaxing weekend and I couldn’t have asked for more. Except maybe a working car.

I hope you all had a lovely long weekend.

– Jenna