Summer BBQ Food Cheat List

What does a nutritionist eat at a BBQ?

Summer BBQs don’t have to be based on processed and additive full sausages on white guaranteed-to-make-you-bloat-bread. Get out of the hot kitchen and take your taste buds with you with these Summer BBQ delicious dishes that won’t leave you full of regret

Vinaigrette Slaw

Simply switching up the mayo-based dressing in coleslaw can turn an otherwise fat-laden side dish into a superfood salad. Cabbage, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, helps protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer. Using a vinegar based dressing helps boost satiety (a feeling of fullness) and suppress body fat accumulation. Team shredded cabbage with a dressing of apple cider vinegar, freshly squeezed orange, grated ginger root and minced garlic to liven up the party


Grilled Corn

A rich source of fibre, grilled corn is a summer favourite of mine. Rub a teaspoon of olive oil on it and wrap it in aluminium foil. No need to slather it with butter, the sweet summer taste will when you over and with other beneficial nutrients like folate, thiamine and vitamin A, grilled corn is a regular at my BBQs.


Whole grain Pasta Salad with Veggies

How you make a pasta salad can make or break it. A mayonnaise based pasta salad with refined white pasta is loaded with fat, useless carbohydrates, and sodium but sparse on vegetable power and fibre. Turn that around with a wholegrain pasta base, try spelt, add a generous amount of Mediterranean vegetables such as zucchini, artichoke, tomato and fresh spinach and finish it off with a lemon vinaigrette and you have a pasta salad with style and benefit.


Lean Meat Protein

BBQs don’t have to be about processed, sodium and saturated fat rich snags.  Lean cuts of lamb, beef, chicken, kangaroo and turkey provide protein, iron, zinc and B12 without blowing your calorie budget up. Choose lean cuts and season with garlic and rosemary, Cajun spices, cumin or lemon and cracked pepper. Slice it up and add to a salad or serve on skewers. Got a vegetarian in your group? BBQ tofu or tempeh and Mediterranean vegetable skewers


Seasonal  Salads

Summertime bursts with plenty of seasonal produce –so make use of it! Start with a mixed green salad and add some pizzazz. Think hazelnuts with figs, roasted vegetables with a tahini dressing, beetroot and fetta. Try a Vietnamese inspired salad of cucumber, bean sprouts, mint, cabbage, and carrot or take a page from the Greek with olives, tomatoes, capsicum, plenty of spinach and a drizzle of olive oil. Salads should be rich in flavour with healthy fats and antioxidants – a wholegrain mustard dressing or dried Italian herbs in olive oil and apple cider vinegar.


Potato Salad with a Lighter Dressing

Potato salad is quintessential BBQ food. Swap white potatoes for their healthier sweet potato relative which is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene – a strong antioxidant. Add colour with chopped red onion, fresh parsley or mint leaves, cherry tomatoes, capsicum or grated carrot and finish it off with few spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt, pesto, chives and a lemon juice.


Grilled Vegetables

So often I hear “how can I get more serves of vegetables every day?” It’s simple, replace nutrient lacking carbohydrates like bread with good old fashioned vegetables. Baste freshly sliced vegetables with a brush of lemon juice, garlic, herbs and olive oil and grill them until they are golden brown. Only grill them minimally – just until they are tender – as the nutrients are heat sensitive.


Bunless Burgers

Not just a new foodie trend, nutritionists have been enjoying their bunless burgers for years. Lean burgers in between lettuce pieces allows you to enjoy the BBQ favourite without wasting calories on refined white bread. Serve with slices of tomato and whole seeded mustard. Bonus points if you make the burger patties yourself


Raw fruits and vegetables

Summer is all about enjoying the harvest of Spring, so be sure to include plates of freshly cut up produce. Strips of carrots, zucchini, capsicum and cucumber will keep you and your guests cool and it isn’t a Summer BBQ without a juicy wedge of watermelon

The So Called “Life Changing Bread” A review and a baking attempt

I first came across this recipe a few months ago, but it wasn’t until now that I had a chance to trial the recipe and see just how “Life Changing” it is. No idea what I’m on about? Let me start from the beginning

A quick google search of The Life-Changing Bread will give you the recipe from My New Roots, a qualified nutritionist in the US who coined the title. Why is it life-changing? She explains that taking steps to eating healthier led to a reduction in nutrition-less refined grains and consequently little to no bread. Enter: The Life Changing Bread. Made from nuts, seeds, some himalayan salt and the magical psyllium husks. Magical? Yes magical! It is one of those things that are kind of like food, kind of like a supplement and kinda like a medicine. A healthy poop needs enough water and enough binding agents as well as just the right amount of time in the intestines for it to eliminate toxins that are built up everyday. Anyone who hasn’t had a poop in a few days will tell you how awful it is and how important a healthy poop is to make you feel good.

With Fibre being the key to keeping your bowels in tip top shape, and aiding your body in getting rid of nasty toxins, it has been suggested that it could be the vitamin we are all missing out on. Spouting health benefits like lowering cholesterol, cleansing the intestines, binding stools together, picking up some of the detoxification process to give your liver a break and making you feel lighter, we could all do with more fibre. But how? Metamucil says take their sugar and chemical laden product, but it is essentially just made out of. You guessed it. Psyllium husks. See now how this bread can be so life changing!

So let’s get to it then

Life-Changing Bread

1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds – I used hazelnuts as my Mum’s name was Hazel 😉 
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia) I didn’t have any maple syrup and swapped it for honey, works just as well but only use 1 tsp as it is sweeter
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. I don’t trust baking with those plastic things but a $5 loaf pan from Coles did just the trick Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

So the verdict? Unlike many other recipes I have tried and tested, my final resut looked remarkably like the recipe example above, even down to the perfectly in half hazelnuts. First I smeared beetroot dip all over 2 slices.

Soft on the inside, crusty on the outside. Solid to smudge hummus on, but not a solid brick that can’t be sliced into. I’m sold so far! Stand by to hear about my life-changing results, in the mean time, start throwing this gem together today

**some photos and recipe are courtesy of the owner’s


What’s so good about Bone Broth?

Although popular in culinary use, broths made from bones have been used across the globe throughout human history. Nearly every traditional society boiled bones of meat-giving animals to make a nutritive broth.  Bone broths are remarkably inexpensive to make by using bones and vegetables saving you money on expensive supplements.

As the bones cook in water – especially if that water has been made slightly acidic by the inclusion of cider vinegar – minerals and other nutrients leach from the bones into the water. The homemade broth becomes is rich in:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroiton
  • Supplementary protein


In this easily absorbed form, these nutrients can:

  • Support connective tissue
  • Improve gut health
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase vitality

Chicken Bone Broth


1-2 chicken carcasses (approx. 1kg of bones)

1 or 2 medium onions, unpeeled & quartered

1 head of garlic, unpeeled, finely chopped

2 celery ribs with the leaves on, diced

2 carrots, cut in 3 cm pieces

Any other vegetable scraps

5 sprigs of fresh thyme

5 sprigs of fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

1-1/2 teaspoons peppercorns

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3 L water (enough to cover above ingredients)

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to a large slow cooker. Make sure it is not fuller than ¾. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. While still hot, pour through a wire mesh strainer to remove the solids.

FREEZE IT. Broth can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. For extended storage, it should be frozen. It’s convenient to freeze it in 1 or 2 cup portions for easy use in recipes. You can reduce it first by gently cooking it for some liquid to evaporate to save space in your freezer

Beef Bone Broth


1 ½ – 2 kg beef marrow and knuckle bones
1 Kg meaty beef neck or rib bones
½ cup apple cider vinegar
3 ½ – 4 L water
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
3 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
Several sprigs of fresh thyme tied together
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1/2 bunch fresh parsley (stems and all)

Directions: Place the knuckle and marrow bones in a very large pot with the vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for an hour. Meanwhile, place te meaty bones in a roasting dish and brown in oven at 180 degrees.

When the meat is well browned, add to pot along with all other ingredients, except bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley. Once the meaty bones have been added to the stock pot, pour the fat from the pan into the pot.

A significant amount of scum will come to the top, remove with a spoon. After skimming, reduce heat and add bay leaves and peppercorns.

Allow the broth to simmer for at least 24 and up to 72 hours. Remember to regularly check the stock and top up with a little water if needed.

Just before finishing, add parsley and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Once simmer is completed, remove bones with tongs and strain the stock into a large bowl. Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Use immediately or store as appropriate





Breathe your way to Better Health

But Don’t I Already Breathe?

Correct breathing is slow, deep and rhythmic. Deep means that the initial movement is from the abdomen. When you breathe, the movement starts in the low abdomen and then moves up to the chest. To check your breathing, put one hand on your low abdomen and one on your chest and take a deep breath. What do you notice? If your chest rises up first you are probably using your neck muscles to breathe, not your diaphragm. Incorrect breathing contributes to:breathingguy.jpg

  • Muscle tension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Digestive concerns
  • Gastric reflux
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Purifies the bloodstream, develops chest and diaphragm, strengthens lungs and abdomen muscles, increases resistance to colds, aids digestion, clears up phlegm, helps to lift depression and calms the nervous system.

  1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position or in a chair.
  2. Straighten your back, which will straighten your thorax for easier breathing.
  3. Inhale slowly through the nose, breathing deeply, consciously looking upward.
  4. Take five seconds to fill the lower part of the lungs, expanding the ribs and pushing the abdomen out.
  5. Hold the breath for 1-5 seconds.
  6. Exhale slowly until you have emptied the lungs, looking downward.
  7. Repeat 4-5 times more.
  8. It is recommended that you practice the complete breath technique 5 – 10 minutes a day, for about 3 months. It is also a great technique to do when you are stopped at a stop sign, red light or standing in line.

Alternate Nostril Breath

Alternate nostril breathing is an effective way to calm the body and to relax. It is ideal to do as you are going to sleep or to assist you in calming your mind and relaxing. It has a calming effect on the nervous system, purifies the bloodstream and aerates the lungs, improves digestion and appetite, helps to overcome insomnia, soothes headaches and helps to free the mind of over thinking.

  1.  Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, back straight or lie flat on your back.
  2. Raise your RIGHT hand and place your ring finger against your LEFT nostril, closing it off.
  3. Inhale deeply and slowly through the RIGHT nostril to the count of four.
  4. Close off the RIGHT nostril with your thumb and retain the breath for 1-4 seconds.
  5. Open the LEFT nostril and exhale to the count of 4-8 seconds. The longer you can make the exhalation, the better. Concentrate on completely emptying the lungs.
  6. Breathe in through that same LEFT nostril to the count of 4.

Cleansing Breath Technique

The cleaning breath is a quick and efficient technique to relax the nervous system when you are stressed or upset. It is helpful when used on a daily basis to strengthen the body organs. During the cleansing breath you are listening for a deep, strong, full exhalation that is coming from the base of your abdomen. It aids digestion, clears lungs, sinuses and nasal passages, purifies the bloodstream, clears the head, relieves colds, strengthens lungs, thorax and abdomen, stimulates liver, spleen and pancreas and tones the nervous system.

  1.  Inhale deeply, pushing the abdomen out, taking in as much air as possible in the space of 1 second.
  2. Tighten your abdomen in forcefully to expel the air through the nostrils.
  3. Inhale again by pushing the abdomen out and letting the air rush back into the lungs.
  4. The whole process, inhalation and exhalation, should take not much more than 1-1/2 seconds. Both should be forceful and will be quite audible.
  5. Do five to ten cleansing breaths a day

The Gut Brain Connection; An Introduction

Leading a happy life is often difficult when you aren’t feeling well. Since happiness is the foundation that health is built on, how do we achieve either without the other.  This conundrum lead me to focus on what is known as The Gut Brain Connection, which has been revolutionising medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.


Researchers and doctors previously thought that stress contributed to gut problems such as constipation, upset stomach, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and bloating and impaired immune protection. But new research suggests that it is a two-way street, with the brain and gut in constant communication, each capable of altering the other’s state. A sluggish gut can cause mood changes just as stress can change your available energy.

bacNot only is our gut linked to our brain far more than we originally thought, we have also found that 70% of our immune system is located along the intestinal walls, monitoring microbes as they come in and out. Communicating with the gut bacteria, the immune cells are capable of coordinating a faster and more effective response to incoming threats. Without a healthy range of gut bacteria, the body can not respond as well to bacteria before it has a chance to take over.

Signs and Symptoms of Poor Gut Health

  • Digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, upset stomach
  • Food allergies or sensitivities such as reacting to lactose or gluten
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability
  • Skin problems like eczema, acne, dryness
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases such as thyroid imbalances, rheumatoid conditions and Crohns
  • Frequent Infections like UTIs, thrush, cold and flus
  • Poor memory and concentration, low or sluggish energy or hyperactivity

What can you do differently to be more HAPPY?healthhappiness

How can what you EAT change how susceptible you are to getting a cold or improve your energy?

How do you cultivate happiness AND reduce your risks of chronic conditions?

  • gut-relief-150gLIMIT gut damaging irritants such as sugar, alcohol, wheat, processed foods and excessive pain killer medications
  • INCREASE your water intake to 2 litres every day to encourage your body to flush out what it can
  • INTRODUCE fermented foods such as natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha into your diet to supply the digestive system with a variety of healthy bacteria
  • REPAIR the lining along the digestive system with cell repairing glutamine, healing turmeric and soothing aloe vera
  • FEED gut microbes with fibre such as slippery elm powder as well as 5-6 serves of fresh vegetables every day woman-yello-grass-happy-850x400.jpg