How to Dehydrate Mango

You’d have to be mad to not notice that it’s mango season. These gorgeous fruits of the gods packed with naturally occurring enzymes that aid the

breakdown and digestion of proteins, about 2.5g of fibre per fruit for plenty of prebiotics, vitamin C, vitamin A  and cholesterol lowering pectin. I was able to pick of a box of 15 ripe mangoes for just $10 at my local farmers market and decided to make some mango chips to have on hand as a snack.



The Dehydrator

My dehydrator was purchased from ebay a few years ago for about $40 and it’s made plenty of dehydrated fruit and vegetables and seeded crackers in its time. You can of course spend quite a bit more money on a more intelligent dehydrator with temperature control but mine work just as fine.

Try this one for about the same price that is BPA Free


or invest in the more robust dehydrator for $107 

Always line the trays with baking paper so that your home made produce doesn’t stick to the trays. You can buy purpose made round paper sheets to fit your dehydrator, but I find ripped up sheets works just as well

How To

  • Start with fresh ripe mangoes and wash them in lukewarm water to remove any residue from the skin
  • Mango pulp can be very slippery to cut so be very careful. Start by slicing them in half, avoiding the pip. Peel the skin off each of the halves and slice the pieces into thin (1/2 centimetre thick) slices
  • Place the mango slices onto the trays and dehydrate for approximately 14 hours (depending on the room temperature they make need more or less time so check them after 10 hours. I personally like them still chewy and not dried to a crisp
  • Store in airtight containers

Enjoy your mango slices all year round for extra fibre, digestive enzymes, vitamin C and because they are just so delicious!

6 Foods to Eat Before Bed That Can Help You Lose Weight

You’ve heard the standard weight loss advice “Eating before bed is bad for you”. But is it true? Late night cravings for food tend to be high calorie and loaded with sugar or fat which will always cause weight gain.  But some late-night snacks can be good for you.


Sleep, nutrition, and weight loss are all connected. To lose weight, you need to sleep well and eat nutritious food.

Studies have shown that small, nutrient-dense bedtime snacks can benefit metabolic health and help build muscle, especially if you exercised during the day.  And sleep. Sleep is highly underrated. With poor sleep being one of the single strongest risk factors for obesity, improving your sleep can start you down the road of weight loss. Double that with late night snacks that contain the nutrients to improve your sleep quality as well as low calorie and you have yourself a winning formula.

So next time you are hunting around after dinner for a snack, make the following foods your go to choices.


Cottage Cheese Helps Build Muscle While You Sleep

Cottage cheese is high in nutrients, and tends to be low in fat and calories. While this is great for watching your waistline, it is not what makes it a remarkable bedtime snack. Cottage cheese is predominantly made up of a milk protein called casein. Casein is a slow digesting protein that is well-known to sustain overnight muscle repair and growth.

This means it can actively help build muscle while you sleep, which is why it is such a popular late-night snack in bodybuilding communities.  A small bowl with berries or smudge some on some carrot sticks. The high protein content of cottage cheese will ensure you feel full for longer whilst providing muscle repairing nutrients.

Bananas Boost Weight Loss and Relaxation

If you have more of a sweet-tooth, bananas are a fantastic late-night snack choice. They are full of important nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibre. If you choose bananas that are greenish (not fully ripe), then they are also high in resistant starch. Fibre and resistant starch may help you feel full and less hungry, which leads to a reduction in calorie intake.  

Bananas are also a great source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that can make you sleepy. It is converted into the sleep hormone melatonin, helping you get a good night’s sleep. Remember, people who do not sleep enough tend to be much more overweight than those who do. At only 100 calories per banana, they are a nutrient dense snack that can help you catch more zzzs whilst keeping your healthy eating intact.


Almonds Promote Restful Sleep

Almonds are rich in magnesium, a nutrient vital for maintaining melatonin levels and sleep clocks. One handful of almonds contains about 150 mg of magnesium, which is a very healthy dose of this mineral that has been shown to improve sleep quality, sleep duration and other measures of insomnia.  Sleep is crucial to weight loss, and almonds may be just the snack to ensure you get a full, restful night’s sleep.  Just be careful not to go overboard with a bag of almonds beside you, keep it to a handful of natural non-roasted almonds.


Turkey for Protein and Regulating Sleep

Turkey is a relatively low-calorie meat that contains high-quality protein. Increasing the amount of quality protein in your diet is incredibly important for weight loss, as it reduces appetite much more effectively than either fat or carbs. And, just like bananas, turkey also contains high amounts of relaxing tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep faster.

Turkey is a great weight-loss food that also promotes improved sleep. It is high in nutrients and low in calories — a thin slice or two before bed won’t cost you more than 100 calories.


Canned Tuna for Overall Health and Well-Being

Omega-3 fats are incredibly important for optimal body and brain function. Frankly, we should all be eating far more omega-3 fats. Optimal body and brain function, as well as restful sleep, are important for weight loss. A lean source of protein and the ease of eating it straight from the pantry cupboard makes canned tuna or salmon a must for the weight conscious.


Cherries Improve Quality of Sleep

Still battling the sweet cravings? A cup of cherries contains only 50 calories, so they are a weight-friendly choice. Several studies have shown that cherries can help improve sleep; one small study of people with chronic insomnia found that cherry juice greatly reduced the severity of sleeplessness. In fact, the effects were equal to or even exceeded treatment with valerian. Cherries cause a great increase in the body’s secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is thought to be responsible for the sleepiness effects.



Bedtime snacks are not inherently bad for weight loss diets. In fact, some foods may promote both weight loss and restful slumber — all while you’re sleeping.

As with many other aspects of nutrition, what matters is what and how much you eat.


For a customised dietary plan to fit your particular needs and taste, book your consultation with Carly, the Naturopath Melbourne CBD today.

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