Thursday, 25 June 2015

Simple Healthy Cooking - Warm Nutty Lettuce and Eggplant Salad


½ head of lettuce, soaked, washed and broken into small pieces
1 long eggplant, cut lengthwise into 2 inch strips
1 kumara, cut lengthwise into 2 inch strips
1 small carrot, grated
100g shelled pistachio
50g pine nuts

3 tablespoons hempseed/ flaxseed oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoon maple syrup, optional

  1. Drizzle olive oil onto eggplant pieces and kumara pieces and roast in the oven for 20 minutes (eggplant) to 30 minutes (kumara).
  2. Mix dressing ingredients together.
  3. Combine warm vegetables once cooked into the raw vegetables and mix in dressing. 
  4. Add in the nuts just before serving.

How to reduce the risk of Osteoporosis

Age-related bone degeneration due to osteoporosis had been accepted as a normal part of ageing in the past.  Elderly folks with stooped backs and brittle bones often suffered from fall and left them incapacitated due to broken bones. It is estimated that around 15% of women and 3% of men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis.  

Osteoporosis occurs when there is a loss of calcium and other minerals from your bones, undermining the normal bone structure and therefore strength. A reduction in mineral content (also referred to as a loss of bone mineral density) can result in porous, brittle bones that can be easily broken in a fall or merely carrying out everyday activities, such as lifting a heavy object.  As there may be no indication that a loss of bone density is happening until a fracture occurs, Osteoporosis is often called a ‘silent disease’.  While broken bones are a concern, reduced bone mineral density can also lead to significant pain, immobility and ultimately a loss of independence. So what can you do to maximise your bone density and reduce bone mineral losses?

Your Diet

Your diet is one of the most important sources of calcium right from your growth years. Peak bone mass is achieved during your 20s.  Calcium and other minerals from your diet form the foundation of strong healthy bones.  A diet incorporating dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, nuts and seeds, as well as dairy products all offer excellent sources of calcium. You also need to ensure that you are getting sufficient vitamin D through moderate sun exposure, or supplementation, to support calcium absorption.  Regular weight bearing exercises can help promote bone density and help create a solid foundation for skeletal health. 

Bone mineral density begins to wane naturally by mid-30s.  Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake, as well as the onset of menopause in women can all accelerate this process. At this time diet becomes even more essential to ensure you are obtaining sufficient calcium to keep your bones strong. However, obtaining your daily calcium needs through diet alone is not always achievable. Fortunately, you can help support bone mineral density by utilising a highly absorbable form of calcium.

Calcium and Mineral supplementation

When taking calcium supplementation, it is important to know that you are taking a good form of highly absorbable natural calcium together with all the elements required for bone reconstruction in a protein-mineral complex.  These elements should include the two key minerals required to maintain bone density - calcium and phosphorus, in ideally 2:1 ratio, trace minerals including zinc, boron, chromium, copper and iron. In addition to the bone-building minerals, specific proteins needed to ‘cement’ the minerals together such as collagen and bone amino acids should also be needed. As vitamins K and D play important roles in the regulation of calcium movement into and out of bone, these form an important addition to any bone supporting formula. Last but not least, soy isoflavones help enhance bone reconstruction, particularly in postmenopausal women, making this ideal for
women in particular.

You now know that there is a great deal you can do to support your bones and help prevent osteoporosis, even if your bone mineral density has already started to decline.  So, take action now so you can live a longer, stronger life!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Simple Healthy Cooking - Spiced lamb with pistachio pine nuts and buckwheat

In the cold winter nights, having some warming (or 'yang' in TCM terms) foods is great for balancing. The black pepper and cumin add to the warming effect.


2-3 pcs lamb loin chops cut into cubes, marinated in some Himalayan salt and ½ tsp of cumin and black pepper
½ large onion chopped
2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons buckwheat, dry roasted
1 bowl cabbage sliced
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon nutmeg and cinnamon spice powder mix
Chicken stock (from boiling chicken frames with ginger and garlic)


  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry chopped onion until limp and fragrant. Save half of the onions for the cabbage buckwheat mix. Add in lamb cubes.  Fry until lamb is just cooked, add in pistachios and pine nuts, stir through and dish onto serving plate.
  2. Add a small amount of olive oil onto the pan and fry cabbage, dry roasted buckwheat and onions (the half saved from above).  Once cabbage turns bright green, add in chicken stock and allow it to boil, cook and soften buckwheat.  Add some nutmeg and cinnamon mix into the pan. Once the stock dries up, it is ready to be served.  Garnish with some extra pistachio and pine nuts.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

How to boost your sex drive naturally

The media always reminds us that there is another pill to increase sex drive, deal with erectile dysfunction or increase our libido. Your sex drive and libido is a reflection of what you are doing to your body.  Nature typically has it that fertility and libido is appropriate when a person’s health is in a good state.

So, if you are having trouble in the bedroom, you may want to consider these factors:

  1. Are you on a low fat diet, or a bad fat diet?  Hormones are fat soluble substances and having adequate good fats is important for the body to maintain a good level of hormones.  It may surprise you, but cholesterol is a precursor to the making of hormones!  Bad fats create oxidative stress in the body and can affect the body’s optimal hormone production.  So make sure you are having adequate good fats from raw seeds, nuts, cold water fish and avocado.
  2. Are you not exercising enough?  We all know exercise helps to increase our output of endorphins, our feel good hormones.  Adequate endorphin is important to the making of sex hormones and manages the making of stress hormones.
  3. Are you overweight? Increased abdominal fats, imbalance in blood sugar levels, diabetes and inflammation often affects peripheral circulation and will have an impact in your sex drive.
  4. Are you not eating enough real food and having adequate antioxidant support?  Food as close to its naturally occurring state as possible supplies nutrients for the making of cells in the body, including those of the reproductive system.  Good, lean protein from fish, egg, chicken, lean meat, nuts and seeds help the making of good cells. Antioxidant from fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs has a protective effect on our cells and assist in making healthier cells.
  5. Are you stressed?  Stress and sex typically do not go together.  In a fight or flight situation, stress requires us to “run from danger”.  In the “danger” situation, our body shuts down the reproductive system and focuses on giving energy to the muscles and pupils to “run from danger”.  If you have persistent, high levels of stress, take time out for yourself, do some yoga, meditation, prayers or your own de-stressing activity, some people de- stress by tending to the garden, play a musical instrument, play a sport, watch a comedy or do some handicraft.

If you still have trouble in the bedroom after answering “No” to all of the above questions, it is worthwhile to run a hormones test to see what is going on.  You can run a blood sex hormones test but blood is not a good indication of free hormones (the ones that matter) as it measures bound and unbound hormones.  The better choices are salivary or dried urine hormones tests.  We offer these tests at NutriActionz.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Simple Healthy Cooking - Quick tasty tofu curried vegetables in 20 minutes

1 block firm tofu, cut into 8 pieces
1 bowl cabbage
6 okra, cut into 2 inch lengths
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt.

Blended ingredients:
2 cloves garlic
½ onion
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 chillies

  1. Prepare blended ingredients.  Blend with stick blender.  I usually prepare a few portions at a time and freeze them for future use.
  2. Put a tablespoon of olive oil and pan fry tofu pieces
  3. Remove from pan when golden.
  4. Add a tablespoon of oil into pan and put in curry leaves.  This gives a fragrant aroma.  Add blended ingredients and fry till blended ingredients look translucent.
  5. Add cabbage and okra.
  6. Add water and tofu back into pan to absorb the spices.
  7. Add umeboshi vinegar, salt and maple syrup.
  8. Serves 2.
 I prepared this in 20 minutes, with my blended ingredients.  It is blissful to enjoy a warm lunch on such cold winter days.