Forever Natural Article
Are You Overtraining?
By Sarah Fehlberg
Are you eating “well”?
Working out – Everyday?
Not able to connect the dots as to why you feel the way you do even though you are doing everything you think you should? Groggy when getting up? Hard to get to sleep? Exhausted and have a constant feeling of being “run down”?
Have you ever considered the concept of Overtraining?
As a Personal trainer and Naturopath these are some of the themes that can come up with clients I see who fall into the trap of overtraining
- Inability to shift weight especially in the abdominal area even though you may think you are exercising correctly and eating well
- Thinking training means you can eat anything
- Under eating and over exercising, especially restricting carbohydrates
- Personality – not being able to say no to commitments, over scheduling, the need to feel busy and always doing something, never resting.
- Perfectionism – constantly having to tick off the to do lists
- History of emotional or physical trauma
- Shift workers
- Overtraining – over exercising and not allowing rest, recovery and restoration
- Hours at Job – satisfaction of one self at work
- Poor diet or current dietary habits are shifting for example reaching for snacks or packaged goods you wouldn’t usually have all the time, increased need for Caffeine and consumption of chocolate or sugars
- Fatigue – unrelenting – sudden, need for more sleep but more sleep doesn’t help
- Waking unrefreshed
- Loss of libido
- Loss of energy and drive, ambition
- Increased fear and anxiety – racing heart upon waking
- Foggy thinking, concentration and memory problems
- Snappy, short fuse, angry for no reason
- Hormonal dysregulation – for women changes in period, for men changes in mood
- Hypoglycaemia syndrome or as I like to call it “hangry”, feeling angry when you haven’t eaten.
- Sugar and salt cravings
- Immune system taking a dive
- Nausea – unable to eat in the morning
- Need for too many stimulants to get you through the day
- Stimulants no longer working – needing more and more Caffeine
- Feeling better in the evenings – more energy at night
- Sudden allergies
- Changes in bowel movements, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea
- Infertility – hormone changes, premenstrual syndrome worsening
- Inability to loose weight even when “eating right”
- Weight Loss
Everyone knows that exercise has long been prescribed and has positive effects for our health. It Lowers blood pressure, increases cardiac output, reduces stress, helps keep that extra weight off and so on.
There is a point however of training where I often see people get to when it starts to become detrimental. That’s right detrimental. Stressful & Damaging to one’s health.
I get it, you are now saying – how can exercise do this? …
Firstly, lets talk about how the body perceives stress.
Stress comes in all shapes and sizes in today’s modern world. Whether that be emotional (trauma, dealing with negative people around you, work stress), situational (traffic, relationships, circumstances, lifestyle) the list goes on. Believe it or not exercise is perceived by your body as the same stress, whether you like it or not, the body biochemically goes under load and stress when you exercise, the same as when you are under emotional stress. Chronic stress states occur with overtraining (and often under eating, but more on this later) this can be common in runners and be linked to problems via the hypothalamic pituitary axis altering the nervous system which then goes on to effect sleep, mood, libido, the immune system and hormones, to name a few!
Over a long period of time if someone already has a stressful life, job, worries, busyness, and adds in overtraining to their schedule this can cause a physical depletion creating a cascade on the endocrine system (The system involved in regulating metabolism, hormones and the like). This is often gets named adrenal insufficiency – most of the time this is when people can reach for pre-workout mixes high in caffeine or supplements to try and boost their energy to be able train some more. (AHHHH!) The reduction in proper hormone synthesis can cause the individual over time to reduce their ability to cope with said stress….
|Cortisol slows the immune systems inflammatory responses and balances insulin which is important for the metabolism of glucose for energy (you won’t have enough glucose for energy if you are on a low carb diet, carbohydrates are needed for your first line energy fuel and even more so if you are doing high intensity exercise.
I’m not talking about Bread and Pasta, I’m talking about complex carbohydrates, Low glycaemic index foods to sustain you and balance your blood sugars.
|Thinking about your Macro counts all the time? Did you know if you deplete your cortisol you are messing with the metabolism of said Macros? Metabolism of Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates, this metabolism you speak of heavily relies on Cortisol’s healthy balance. Cortisol stimulates the liver to raise blood sugar as we need it, often in response to metabolic demand such as exercise and you guessed it…. STRESS.
If you are not having enough Carbohydrates for Training you deplete Cortisol and therefore the body responds by HOLDING ONTO FATS as it automatically goes into safety mode and will not budge as it thinks its in trouble – true story!
|So many patients will have high blood sugar or perhaps even leaning toward insulin resistance BECAUSE OF STRESS… for this very reason.|
Overtraining is a Syndrome and can result in or be described as Chronic Fatigue and/or Burnout. An imbalance between competing and training versus recovery is the main culprit.
Training alone is not the primary cause rather the amount of stress the person feels exceeding the capacity to “cope”. A triggering of stressful events or series of them, or even “no time to rest” followed by excessive periods of overtraining and lack of sleep pushes individuals into the development of symptoms as listed below
|Adrenal Insufficiency – Further Nerdy Tips|
|Long term, chronic overtraining, leads to serious health problems including adrenal insufficiency. Proper hormone levels become unable to be maintained causing performance in all areas of life to be compromised.|
|Evidence suggests prolonged overtraining causes autonomic imbalance which reduces the adrenal response to Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (Known as ACTH). Compensated by an increased pituitary ACTH release. During early stages of over training despite the increase ACTH released by the pituitary the decreased adrenal response is no longer compensated because its been overworked and the cortisol response that usually occurs goes into sudden decline. In advanced stages the pituitary ACTH release will also be effected. It is plain and simple, continue to overtrain and have incomplete regeneration then continue to chronically effect your hormones, immune function and ability to deal with stress! Wonder why you always feeling run down? Its probably because you quite literally are!
Epinephrine and nor epinephrine are released during fight or flight response to stress.
Again this reaction happens with all types of stress whether it be physical, mental, emotional or even perceived. The way stress effects our bodies has the same chemical reaction in that the release of hormones is decreased.
Aldosterone, cortisol and cortisone are regulated within the adrenal cortex, which originates from our HPA axis as mentioned earlier.
Aldosterone helps the kidneys excrete potassium and retain sodium, when this production is shunted by stress the kidneys stop regulating salt and water balance causing changes to blood pressure. Changes in blood pressure may be why you sometimes can see low blood pressure when someone is dehydrated and high blood pressure when someone is “under the pump”, both are forms of stress.
Cortisol is a commonly heard hormone however often misunderstood. It has so many functions! Cortisol production is regulated by Adreno Cortico Trophic Hormone (ACTH) – this is made only in the pituitary gland. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA)
Is involved in our response to stress. In early stages of depletion hormones can be in short supply or they can be found to be abnormally high. The HPA axis maintains hormone levels by balancing hormones at each level of the axis, in the simplest explanation, it happens like this
· The Hypothalamus Releases Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH)
· This causes the pituitary to release Adreno Cortico Trophic Hormone (ACTH)
· ACTH causes the outer cortex of the adrenal gland to increase in size to be able to produce cortisol
· ACTH can sometimes present as low when Cortisol may be at a normal level
· Depletion overall involves the entire HPA axis, and the earlier we resolve the issue of excess stress on our bodies the easier the damage can be reversed and the less the axis will be effected
So yes now I’ve provided you with the WHY’s – now the HOW’s
I’m not saying don’t exercise. I’m saying – look after yourself when and if you do.
Don’t overstress your body, listen to yourself, consider self care and down time in between your high intensity days such as long slow walks, time in nature, bathing, reading, listening to music and if its for you some form of meditation – for some people this may mean colouring in or dancing, whatever works for you.
Overall prevention, proper nutrition, balancing the recovery and training, stress management – are so important to consider for the general public who go to intense classes everyday as well as athletes who push themselves without adequate rest and recovery and most of the time without proper dietary guidance.
Know how to read the signs of your body, your personal and perceived adaption to stress, fatigue levels, libido, hormone changes, sleep patterns, eating habits and time to recover will aid in the intervention and prevention of complete exhaustion and fatigue.
If you’d like the know further or need help with your training plan, dietary intake or overall health in general feel free to get in contact, I’d be happy to guide you on a more holistic path to wellness.
GINGER SNAP COOKIES
1 cup of dates
2 cups of cashews
1 pinch of vanilla powder (you can use a teaspoon of essence if you want!)
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
tapioca flour to sprinkle
BLEND ALL TOGETHER IN A BLENDER TILL IT MAKES A STICKY PASTE
ROLL INTO BALLS AND FLATTEN BETWEEN YOUR HANDS, SPRINKLE WITH TAPIOCA FLOUR AND PLACE ON BAKING TRAY
COOK FOR 10-12 MINUTES ON 180 DEGREES
BE CAREFUL CASHEWS BURN EASILY BECAUSE OF THE NUTRITIOUS OILS INSIDE!
TAKE THEM OUT AND ALLOW TO COOL, THEY WILL HARDEN AS THEY COOL OFF.
SIMPLE, EASY, NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS
Spring means sprouts, fresh greens and cooling foods – this was a recent food assignment I thought I’d share cause I really loved how it turned out, mostly its the dressing that really hits the spot – you can add this to most salads for a bit of “POP” and “ZING”
2 handfuls of Rocket
Tablespoon of Mung bean sprouts
Tablespoon Lentil sprouts
Tablespoon of pickled cabbage carrot, onion, celery and capsicum (Apple Cider Vinegar, water, salt, raw sugar to pickle)
Half a cup of Finely chopped celery
Mix all together in a bowl
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
Wisk till blended all together or shake in a jar and lightly pour over salad mix
This salad provides a great mix of important nutrients, has minimal impact on your blood sugar levels, and will help fill you up and keep you satisfied! Also – its not too complicated and hasn’t got 100 fancy superfoods or unattainable sourced foods. Simple. Honest, Whole food for your health and your blood sugar.
Serves 2 – double for 4 (Obviously!)
Ingredients: 3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pepper to season
3-4 handfuls of mixed salad greens
1/2 cup crumbled fetta – sheeps, goats, cow – whatever you prefer – can even do vegan with macadamia or cashew cheese!
2 hard boiled free range eggs cut into quarters
Handful of olives
1/2 cup mixed almonds, pecans and walnuts, roughly chopped – or a handful of mixed nuts if you can’t be bothered to buy individual nuts – Brazil nuts are great also!
Method: Combine the olive oil, vinegar and pepper to your taste in a small glass jar and shake until blended. Place all the other ingredients in a bowl, sprinkling the nuts over last. Just before serving add dressing to your taste.
Note: This salad is delicious with some roasted vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, onions, potato, etc). If you do roast some vegetables, toast the nuts on an oven tray in the hot oven for a maximum of 5 minutes, its a delicious way to eat nuts!
The most common cause of Hypothyroidism is Hashimotos disease, with the association of anti-thyroid peroxidase (aniTPO) antibodies and the development of autoimmune hypothyroidism present (Duere 2008, p.805). The progression of subclinical hypothyroidism often presents with elevated TSH alongside in range thyroid hormone levels (Duere 2008, p.805). Prevalence of antiTPO is often higher in a TSH range of above 2.5 (Sofia 2016, p.111). Those with upper-normal TSH show the prevalence of antiTPO, with a high-normal TSH having more clinical relevance in women (Sofia 2016, p.111).
Autoimmune thyroid disease causes altered thyroid gland function by cell-mediated and humoral actions as well as causing cellular damage. Cellular damage results in sensitized T-lymphocytes or autoantibodies that bind to thyroid cell membranes causing cell death and inflammatory reactions (Spencer 2016). The action of the stimulating or blocking affect this has on cell membrane receptors leads to alterations in thyroid gland function (Spencer 2016). Three auto antigens become involved in autoimmune thyroid disease, Thyroperoxidase (TPO), the TSH receptor and Thyroglobulin and are often used in the diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disorders (Spencer 2016). TSH receptor autoantibodies are heterogeneous and mimic TSH action. When this action antagonises the action of TSH, this causes hypothyroidism (Spencer 2016). TPOAb are involved in the destructive process of the tissues associated with hypothyroidism as seen in Hashimotos disease (Spencer 2016). Hence the appearance of TPOAb correlating with the development of thyroid dysfunction (Spencer 2016)
Stay with me here…
Fatigue is a common aetiology of endocrine dysfunction, hormone interactions, releasing factors and regulation of inflammation (Kaltsas p.393). Clients can commonly present in clinic with anxiety disorder and an increased prevalence of mood disorder is seen in patients with overt thyroid disease. Adequate levels of thyroid hormone are critical for normal brain function (Shinkov 2016, p.25). Proper function of the brain involves transport and metabolism of T4, 2 deiodinase being one of the enzymes responsible for regulating T3 and T4 in the brain (Hage 2012). All T4 in the brain is derived from serum, therefore thyroid hormones are transported across the blood brain barrier and are crucial for thyroid action in the brain (Shinkov 2016, p.25).
There are several proteins capable of transporting thyroid hormone such as Organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) and Monocarboxylate (MCT8), MCT8 has been characterised as an active thyroid hormone transporter with its mutations leading to brain disorders and irregularities in mood, brain development, cognitive impairment and depression (Shinkov 2016, p.25). OATP also plays a significant role in delivering serum T4 to the brain. OATP1C1 is seen to up-regulate hypothyroid and down-regulate hyperthyroid, hence any changes in the transporters function will directly influence thyroid hormone transport and cause a shift in regularities of the brain (Deure 2016, p.805), (Shinkov 2016, p.26). This could explain fatigue, depression and changes in mood as are often presented in thyroid disease.
The association of Hashimoto symptoms are linked to autoimmune processes such as inflammatory bowel disease, anaemia, celiac disease and diabetes (Ebert 2010). Symptos such as fatigue, dry skin and hair, intolerance to cold, inflammatory bowel symptoms, excessive thirst and deficiency in iron. Iron playing an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism (Khatiwada 2016).
Secretion of acid within the Gastrointestinal Tract can often be reduced in hypothyroidism, this often is correlated to the changes that take place within the gastric mucosa. Hashimotos disease is associated with reduced acid output relating to a high incidence of parietal cell antibodies, the epithelial cells that secrete hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor. This reduced output linking to autoimmune conditions such as gastritis or reduction of gastrin levels that affect gastric emptying because of the damage to smooth muscle (Ebert 2010, p.403).
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can be seen in a majority of patients with hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone dysregulation can also result in diminished motility of the oesophagus, stomach, colon and small intestine (Ebert 2010, p.403). This can explain abdominal discomfort, flatulence and bloating in some cases!
A Decrease in stool frequency, often constipation can be noted in hypothyroidism sometimes due to the layers of the GIT separating and causing muscle degeneration (Ebert 2010, p.403).
The thyroid is responsible for regulating energy expenditure and metabolism with the production of thyroid hormone being regulated via the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (Mebis 2009). The activation of thyrotrophic-releasing hormone (TRH) within the hypothalamus increases thyroid hormone (T4/T3) (Munzberg 2016, p.173). Thyroid hormone acts on many tissues to promote cellular metabolism and energy expenditure and as such is an important regulator of Basal metabolic rate (Munzberg 2016, p. 174). The changes that occur in nutritional state or temperature lead to the activity of TRH neurons within the hypothalamus. This results in release of thyroid hormones from the gland making TRH neurons and HPT axis directly involved in the regulation of energy expenditure within the body and its response to changes both internally and externally (Munzberg 2016, p. 175).
In regards to fluid retention and persistent thirst, it is seen that the anterior hypothalamus contains the primary hormone Arginine vasopressin (AVP) that controls renal water clearance, synthesized within cell bodies of the paraventricular nuclei (PVN). Axons created from these nuclei project inside the posterior pituitary where it is stored and released in response to stimulation of the central osmoreceptors, detecting change in osmotic pressure (Stanchenfield 2010, p.2011).
Within the anterior hypothalamus, it is indication that thirst stimulation is regulated here (Stanchenfield 2010, p.2011). Any changes in central volume such as inflammation, stress and thyroid hormone irregularities, can initiate a response including thirst sensation, sympathetic nervous system activity, sodium appetite and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activity, thus affecting body fluid regulation and thirst mechanisms (Stanchenfield 2010, p.2011).
Age, Menorrhagia and irregular menses can also be considered in patients of post menopausal age, oestrogen-related osmotic AVP threshold can be linked with water and sodium retention and urine output can become reduced, resulting in greater overall fluid retention (Stanchenfield 2010, p.2011)
Frequent dosages of antibiotics can also be the cause of lowered immunity and an imbalance of microflora. All immune cells have receptor sites for thyroid hormone. In a thyroid deficient state, the immune response becomes affected because of the thyroid hormones influence on the activity of immunity and modulation of immune cell cytokine release (Popko 2015, p.473). Immune cells require thyroid hormone for regulation and maturation of T and B Cells (Popko 2015, p.473). Thyroid hormones dampen cytokine load, causing the receptor sites to stop responding effecting the conversion of T4 to T3 and the receptor sites response leading to systemic inflammation (Popko 2015, p.474). This cycle creates autoimmune responses that result in an increase of cytokine load, directly impacting on thyroid metabolism (Popko 2015, p.473). The impact on thyroid metabolism suppresses TSH, making the receptors less responsive by decreasing the conversion of thyroid hormones, this explaining the in some client why low immunity is common (Popko 2015, p.473).
Naturopathy can help support the body through its natural healing abilities through herbs, nutrition and lifestyle.
Below are some simple herbal aims that we can naturopaths can help with to name a few
Herbal Treatment Aims
- Improve fatigue, brain function, anxiety, depression, and forgetfulness.
- Help client adapt to stress
- Modulate Thyroid hormones by helping up-regulate T4
- Improve energy and sleep
- Improve GIT symptoms and gastric motility
<3Like what you are reading? want to know more or intrigued how Naturopathy can help? Contact me, I’d love to hear from you!
In health and with love
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Indigenous Populations Review: Brazilian vs Australian Indigenous Health States in local communities
Indigenous Populations Review: Brazilian vs Australian Indigenous Health States in local communities
The diet of indigenous Australians has changed since the 1800’s with a shift that has happened more recently in the mid 20-th century. Originally indigenous traditional diets consisted of fish, insects, plants and non-domesticated animals, a diet seen to protect from the indigenous from disease (Brimblecombe et al. 2014). A healthy mix of proteins, good fats and fibre were consumed, today we are seeing high intake of salt, fat and sugars, flour and sugar being the main staple due to social disadvantages, this diet is now being linked to diseases such as kidney failure, type 2 Diabetes and vascular disease (Brimblecombe et al. 2014).
There is a divide that still exists between the health of indigenous Australians and non-aboriginal Australians (Keast 2015, p.18). Indigenous Australians have poorer health outcomes and at a younger age than those that are of non-aboriginal background, there is increased risk of chronic diseases and mental health conditions that are associated with disability, alcohol and drug use (Keast 2015, p.18).
Closing the gap reports show only a minor improvement in health and education within indigenous Australian groups, the report showed increased mortality rates for Aboriginals due to the lack of funds and resources for primary healthcare, the campaign concluded that the only way to improve health equality would be continued investment surrounding health in all aspects including mental health, emotional wellbeing and health as a whole (Keast 2015, p.19).
Budget cuts have a lot to do with programs being adhered to and without engagement from the community and representative organisations the programs can be seen to fail just weeks after they are initiated (Keast 2015, p .19).
Case studies within Brazil showed their indigenous people suffering more from morbidity and mortality rates than the rest of the population (Coimbra 2013, p.52). A national survey was conducted in 2008-2009 to obtain information regarding the characterization of nutritional status in indigenous women and children from all four major regions of Brazil (Coimbra 2013, p.52). Clinical measurements, interviews and data were collected regarding nutritional status, prevalence of disease such as hypertension & diabetes (Coimbra 2013, p. 52). Access to health services, programs and general characteristics of diet and economic status were also considered (Coimbra 2013, p. 52).
113 villages were studied which included over 5000 Brazilian households.
Obesity was the common thread with lower socioeconomic status in the North when compared to other regions (Coimbra 2013, p. 52). Obesity was seen to be near 20% for the overall study with 15% of those having hypertension and a shocking 40% of people presenting with anaemia across the board (Coimbra 2013, p. 52). Disparities in health concluded to basic healthcare and sanitation services not being as widely available within Brazils indigenous communities as they are with the rest of the population as well as socioeconomic status and financial struggle (Coimbra 2013, p. 52).
With Brazils ongoing changes in the public health profile and increasing rates of malnutrition and obesity amongst indigenous Brazilians, a nutritional program was put in place in 2013 (Da Silva 2013, p.1200). The program ran for 28 weeks involving 238 Indigenous patients (Da Silva 2013, p.1200). Patients participated in activities involving nutrition education included was a seminar for 50 minutes once a week and physical activity of 1 hour, 2 times per week (Da Silva 2013, p.1200). Changes were recorded using body mass index, the effect then evaluated using models to generally estimate basic body changes throughout the participants (Da Silva 2013, p.1200).
It was seen among the obese patients a reduction in BMI of 64% among the group had made at least a 3% improvement. 26% improved their nutritional intake, with most increasing their physical activity. Three physical fitness tests showed significant improvements in performance (Da Silva 2013, p.1200).
The intervention program for indigenous Brazilians was seen to be successful having an effect on those who were overweight, with a significant improvement in nutritional status and physical fitness overall (Da Silva 2013, p.1200).
A healthy lifestyle program began in 1993 named the Looma healthy lifestyle program amongst Indigenous Australians from WA (Monash University 2015). The program was put in place due to the fact that 42% of adults were overweight or obese, 25% had diabetes (Monash University 2015). The program was originally targeted to those with diabetes but later the program was extended to the whole community. Food education, cooking classes and food shopping to teach healthier eating habits, traditional cooking practices, education surrounding diabetes and regular exercise and hunting groups were introduced (Monash University 2015).
The aim of the program was to reduce CVD disease risk by educating indigenous groups about the importance of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and the reduction of saturated fats (Monash University 2015). Activities included informal education sessions to increase the awareness of diabetes, sport and walking groups which included hunting trips, the promotion of traditional cooking methods such as cooking on an open fire and cooking classes to promote healthy eating (Monash University 2015).
After four years the evaluation proved to have succeeded with the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, but there was little to no change in those with diabetes or obesity (Monash University 2015). In 1997 the program extended to encourage and promote health to children. School breakfast programs were introduced and changes to what was sold in the school canteen were seen. Weekly education classes on health were also implemented (Monash University 2015).
While the Looma healthy lifestyle program is a part of the WA country service for health and the school breakfast program still runs from a collaborative effort with Foodbank WA. Health assessments of Looma were recorded in 2009 showing there was no increase in the incidence of diabetes since 2003 and BMI ranges within the community also were remaining stable. In addition 84% of children were in a stable weight range compared to the 77% in the broader Australian community (Monash University 2015). The Looma program proved to be successful in that its aim to target all age ranges from children to adults in particular who were at risk of obesity and diabetes worked and there was a general improvement in health overall.
Traditionally Aboriginals had the skills and means to access and hunt for the food they needed (Brimblecombe et al. 2014). Barriers to health were found to be similar in both Australian indigenous groups and Brazilian. Participants to the programs both had low incomes and financial security, making the contemporary diet out of reach for most which was the number one thing contributing to their health. With priorities for money not being food foremost, more-so money for phone credit, basic household items, and within most groups, elicit substances (Brimblecombe et al. 2014).
Participants agreed that long life foods were cheaper and sustained their stomachs and cupboards greater than the healthier options. With Flour and sugar the cheaper option for such communities this is seen as a barrier toward their long-term health, with education being the key enabler to real change here (Brimblecombe et al. 2014).
To compare and contrast Australian indigenous groups versus Brazilian indigenous groups there was a major disconnect within the community understanding of the native background of Aboriginals in terms of the ways they find, hunt and gather foods and its social importance. While the program coordinators seemed to be aware of the background and traditional heritage, more consideration was needed when implementing the programs to factor this in. Whereas Brazilian groups were more accepting of change as it wasn’t imbedded socially as deeply as with Australian Indigenous.
In conclusion it is apparent that for indigenous health programs to work a number of factors are involved, government funding, community participation, awareness, financial freedom, education from an early age, to name a few. Not one factor would fix the health concerns of our indigenous people today, all factors need to be considered, respected and thought about in order for a program to truly succeed.
Australian Indigenous Health Info Net, 2015, Looma Healthy Lifestyle Program, viewed 10th October 2015, http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/key-resources/programs-projects?pid=614
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2015, What works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage, viewed 13th October 2015, www.aihw.gov.au/closingthegap/what-works/
Brimblecombe, J, Maypilma, E, Colles, S, Scarlett, M, Garnggulkpuy, D, Ritchie, J, O’Dea, K, 2014, ‘Factors Influencing Food Choice in an Australian Aboriginal Community’, Qualitative Health Research, Vol. 24(3), pp. 387-400
Coimbra, C, Santos, R, Welch, J, Cardoso, A, De Souza, M, Garnelo, L, Rassi, E, Foller, M, Horta, B, 2013, ‘The First National Survey of Indigenous People’s health and Nutrition in Brazil, rationale, methodology and overview of results’, BMC Public Health, vol. 13, p. 52, viewed 27 October 2015 <www.ebscohost.com>
Da Silva, L, Fisberg, M, Pires, M, Nassar, S, Sottovia, C, 2013, ‘The effectiveness of physical activity and nutrition education program in the prevention of overweight in school children in Criciuma Brazil’, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 11, p.1200, viewed 20 October 2015 <www.ebscohost.com>
Keast, K, Dragon, N, ‘Stepping into the gap, Australian Nursing and Midwidery Journal, March 2015, vol. 22, no. 8, p. 18-22., viewed 20 October 2015, <www.ebscohost.com>
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OVERNIGHT CHIA PUDDING
Firstly – you can get your kids to make their own, secondly – it looks cool, thirdly – it can sit in the fridge for a few days and be eaten later (at the end of the week when all hell breaks loose!)
oh and one last point – you can work on what your kids like or don’t like and adapt it to them
This is a protein rich, fibre and omega power punch – without all the fillers, preservatives and sugars of your usual cereal – plus it will keep them full!
The Variations here are really endless but I will give you a base recipe to start
Mix 2 heaped tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut milk and a teaspoon of your choice of sweetener – I usually use manuka or raw honey, mix together in a small bowl or mason jar or container if kids are taking to school.
Let this set in the fridge overnight. In the morning remove from the fridge, making sure your pudding looks thick and the chia seeds have gelled. Chia seeds will soak up the liquid you use and make it thick like yoghurt, delicious!
Top your pudding each day with your choice fresh seasonal fruit and a handful nuts, and devour and enjoy immediately
here i have just pulled some photos from pinterest to get you thinking.
Kids like Banana? Top with banana and Tahini or peanut butter!
Kids like berries? top with a handful of mixed berries – can also use frozen overnight and the flavours will seap through.
How about Kiwi fruit ?
Chopped nuts and seeds.
NOM – as I said the ideas can be endless, make it fun to make with your kids and then the enjoyment of eating it is so much better when they have made it themselves.
If you find they don’t like coconut thats ok – you can use your choice of milk and play around with the flavours!
You can also layer and get creative with fruits and wot not!
We love to top it with ‘Jane’s Brekkie Crunch’ – Just quietly!
Get up early for work or the gym and “don’t have time for breakfast?”
Rushing with the kids and finding that sugary cereal too easy to serve in the morning?
Have fussy kids who don’t eat their veg, but they like egg?
Skipping meals and eating on the run happens, its just life sometimes we have to be realistic about it, sometimes that extra 10 min sleep in means we don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast, or the kids have had a rough night which means you actually got no sleep and again we reach for sugary cereals and top it with milk and call it breakfast – even the ones in the ‘health’ aisle of the supermarket – are yes, you guessed it , still PACKED with sugars.
This isn’t a new thing, a lot of my friends at uni make these up in batches and then at least have a snack, or brekky or even lunch tossed with salad that we know is healthy, nutritious and full of veg.
I know my mum used to make quiche and it was an all time fav!
Its even nice to get home to some nights when you just can’t be bothered!
I call them “Eggy Muffins” or sometimes – empty the fridge mini quiche!
Onion – red or white – up to you
One clove of garlic
3 vegetables of your choice
if you can’t choose these are the ones I mostly use
Capsicum, Zucchini & Sweet potato
If you can’t be bothered with sweet potato – tomato is also good!
6-8 eggs depending on the size
Herbs – Oregano and Parsley
you could also do Parsley and Basil or just Basil
Or Paprika and Cayenne if you like it HOT
Even Cumin seeds are good on their own
or Dill – Dill in eggs is devine!
Anyway – point is choice of your herbs depending on your taste and if making for kids what they like.
1/4 cup of your choice of milk – I use almond or macadamia (if they have nut allergies – rice milk is good)
Chop onion, garlic, veg and herbs finely and place into a mixing bowl or as I like to use a jug so I can easily pour once I’m done.
If you have REAL fussy eaters but want to get their veg in you can blend this all together in a blender or mixer/thermo to make it really fine.
Up to you – can do it super chunky or really fine.
Crack the 6-8 eggs over the mix
Whisk up till it all blends through
add milk (optional, i often cook it without milk at all)
Notice there is no pastry in this recipe. you don’t need it.
Once all blended through – pour into previously greased (with olive oil) mini muffin tray about 3/4 full
Place in oven on 180 degrees for 30 minutes
Keep an eye as ovens DO vary – you want them to rise and also be a little golden on top and not goey in the middle.
These can be frozen and later used for snacks, breakfast, lunches – they fit easily into kids lunchboxes!
But usually they are just too good and everyone gobbles them up!
everyone can have these as they bolt out the door! or even to sit down to if you find the time!
I also add some goats fetta on top for yummy salty flavour but thats up to you!
Would love to see your photos if you make a batch!
Send them to
4evanatural on instagram!
This is the first of the 4 part series of School Lunch Ideas