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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Omega 3 and DHA

Ok I know I have posted while ago about this issue.
I am posting this again because it is so important! Everyone needs to monitor their omega3 intake, especially if you are vegetarian and vegan or if you eat lots of processed food.
There is a study done on vegetarian and vegan. We all know now that increasing the amount of vegetables, legumes, fruits and decreasing animal products is good for us. But vegetarians and vegans don't necessarily live longer. And one of the reasons they said was low level of omega3 and vitamin B12.
Normally people have high intake of omega6 because it is everywhere in nature. Beans, vegetables oils (if you have lots of processed food and food that is cooked with vegetable oils your intake of omega6 shoots up), seeds and nuts. they are all high in omega6. I am not saying that omega6 is not a good thing. we all need it. but ratio of omega3 and 6 are important. If you have too much omega6 compare to omega3 you cannot expect optimal health.
Omega3 is harder to find.
Fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel is high in omega3. But I don't recommend having fish often because fish can be contaminated with methyl mercury, PCBs and dioxins, all of which can present a risk of health. Of course if you are vegetarian or vegan having animal product isn't an option.

So what we are going to do?
Oils from flax are rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is not identical to DHA and EPA but it has similar biological activity so it too can have an effect on mental acuity and heart diseases. Furthermore some ALA is converted to DHA and EPA in the body. (please note that amount of ALA conversion varies. Some can convert very well and some don't)
Other good sources of ALA are canola, soy (though it also has quite high omega6), leafy green vegetables and walnuts.

Flaxseed is more than ALA. It is high in fibre. This indigestible part of plant provides a laxative effect by allowing wastes to absorb water through the digestive tract. It binds cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed
Also flaxseeds are sources of lignans, which are compounds that are found to have anti cancer properties.

Omega3 oil oxidise quickly so I usually store the oil in the freezer. it doesn't take long to be liquid again before using it. (do not use if for cooking) Even better way is to either grind to make fresh flaxseed meal or soak them whole and let them sprout for easier digestion. This way you get the great fibre they provide as well. If you have tried to eat the whole seeds as they are you may remember seeing them again in your toilet bowl... :-) Yes. they just go straight through.

Another way to get DNA and EPA is to get it from Krill. Krill has naturally occurring antioxidant so it doesn't oxidise as quickly as fish oil and it is more environmentally friendly to produce.
You can also get it from algae. which is a vegan source of DHA. That is where fish get their DHA from!

My choice is algae. the one that I am taking is a liquid concentrate, which only needs 0.50ml per day. I do have to remind my daughter to take it as well as it is very important for developing children. it is only 0.25ml for her. it is easier than getting her to swallow a pill.
I sell these DHA concentrate as well if you find it hard to find elsewhere. ( sorry to advertise...)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

vegan day in Melbourne demo

I will be doing a brief demo at World Vegan day on 6th of November. My schedule time is at 1pm.

Here is the info on my demo

Yoko Inoue
Yoko Inoue always had a passion for good food. But she first discovered the importance and relationship of the good health, diet and lifestyle choices when her daughter was born. The desire to feed her and herself right she explored the world of healing natural foods. She studied macrobiotic, which emphasizes the use of organic unrefined grains, beans, vegetables and seaweed, with Kushi institute in Japan. After studying to become a holistic nutritionist as well she discovered another world of raw and living foods philosophy.

Her company introduces whole foods cooking, using healing organic ingredients like unrefined grains, soy products, beans and legumes as well as fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as those super foods such as goji berries, raw cocoa, coconut, maca powder etc. It offers the diet that includes nutrient-rich whole foods, creating balance through an awareness of the natural energies of food, taking into consideration the individual’s constitution and health condition. The cooking style is based on japanese cooking, which is enhanced with contemporary and traditional ideas from cuisines around the world using macrobiotic and raw diet, living foods philosophy, integrating the knowledge from both East Asian system and modern nutrition.

The services include catering, regular cooking classes, meal deliveries and private chef services.

Yoko Inoue will be talking about the importance of not high calorie but high nutrition diet as well as foods as medicine to heal your body and mind, changing ones diet and cooking style according to the environment and his/her individual needs. Small sampling of some of healing ingredients she often uses in her cooking will be offered throughout the demonstration. (numbers limited)

check out their website

There will be heaps of things happening throughout the day.
different talks, arts, kids activities, and of course food stalls!

look forward to seeing you there

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Amarant retreat catering

1475 Don Road, Yarra Valley, VIC 3136

what a great weekend I had!
I had a pleasure of catering for a workshop at Amarant retreat near healsville. such an amazing place...
This retreat is set in lush mountain ash forest, next to Yarra Ranges National park. totally secluded and is the perfect location to relax, unwind. The view from Dining and commune living area is just stunning, so cozy with beautiful wood heater warming up the rooms, hearing parrots and cockatoos in the morning. The place is very eco friendly with all the double grazed windows and their rain water tanks. Their drinking water is so clean and delicious as well. They have been planting herbs, vegetables around the house.
They run workshops and different amazing events through out the year.

The catering was for Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea

Split pea and grated carrot bake with crusty brown rice and amaranth topping
cumin and rosemary rubbled roasted sweet potato and zucchini
Green salad with arame seaweed served with tahini and mustard dressing
raw goji and chocolate cheez cake

homemade granola served with freshly made almond milk
sprouted sourdough bread with mustard and coconut butter spread
lightly steamed kale with lemon juice
tofu scramble with coriander

tri colour quinoa
warming almond stew with vegetables
green salad with grated beetroot and segmented navel orange
raw tropical fruit and coconut bar

Afternoon tea
carrot and celery sticks served with
-beetroot dip
-cashew and macadamia cream cheez balls

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ADHD in children and nutrition

I always stressed how important nutrition is to your body and mind. This is another connection between what you eat and a behaviour.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is diagnosed more than the past. Estimates of the percentage of children and adolescent who have ADHD in australia is 1.7% to 17.8%.

ADHD is characterized by restlessness, fidgeting, difficulty focusing, poor impulse control, distractibility, and in some cases overactivity; These symptoms often have negative consequences on the child’s academic performance, social skills, and relationships with family members, teachers, and peers.

It is a complex disorder and the exact cause is unknown, however thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy, micronutrient deficiencies, excessive television watching early in life, and inadequate omega-3 fatty acid intake etc.

Nutrition and ADHD

Some of the dietary factors that have been linked to ADHD risk are

High sugar intake is also associated with hyperactive behavior

Inadequate micronutrient intake. Supplementation to correct micronutrient deficiencies has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms.2,8

A low-nutrient diet high in processed foods and soft drinks at age 4 ½ has been associated with hyperactivity in children

Food additives and dyes: many colored foods are marketed to children, and hyperactivity in children following ingestion of food dyes is well documented in placebo-controlled studies.

There is preliminary evidence that certain pesticides (called organophosphates) commonly found on some fruits are associated

Omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) are the building blocks a child needs to build a healthy brain. Insufficient omega-3 levels are common in children with ADHD, and there is evidence that omega-3 supplementation, especially in combination with the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA; found in borage oil and evening primrose oil) improves behavior and ADHD symptoms.

Children diagnosed with ADHD are given a management plan, with the aim of reducing the effects of ADHD on the child's social, emotional and academic functioning.

There are some medications that doctors give to those children such as dexamphetamine or methylphenidate (Attenta, Ritalin). These are thought to act by normalising the imbalance in the brain's neurotransmitter chemicals. They may need to be continued for months or years.

Like all medications the stimulants can have side effects.
I am not against science and western medicine. They do work wonders and sometimes there is no choice but to take them. However there are alternative treatments available as well. Nutrition, exercise, stress managements are all proven to be very effective in ADHD in children as well as adults.

feed your mind!

thanks to Real Foods at RMIT I went to a great event on Tuesday.
there were food demonstrations and great crowds. well done for organising this Event!
I was fortunate enough to supply their bento boxes, salads and brown rice sushi rolls that night.

-veggie loaf layered with marinated brown mushrooms, creamy spinach and cashew filling with a miso almond crust.
served with almond mayo and salad
-walnut, cranberry, orange "rice" with spiral vegetables in a spicy tahini sauce

-Beetroot and apple with creamy ranch style dressing
-Cabbage and seaweed coleslaw with Asian style garlic dressing

Brown rice sushi
-sweet and salty tempeh/tofu cubes, grated beetroot and natto miso paste
-sunflower pate, curry oven baked zucchini strips and coconut flakes

Hope they will be organising more of these fantastic events next year!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

sprouted legumes raw or cooked?

There are so many reasons why including more raw foods are so beneficial to your body. Refining and cooking affects phytochemical contents of foods dramatically. It also reduces the activities of beneficial enzymes that have been found to be anti cancerous, anti arthritic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and lipid lowering abilities.
And of course the oxidation of foods from cooking with high heat, especially the foods with high protein and fat contents, form free radicals, which are very damaging.

There are times that cooking is beneficial. Today I want to write about sprouted legumes.
Sprouting is a great way to activate and increase vitamin and mineral contents of foods, as well as improving digestibility.
Though you need to be aware of health consequences when you are eating raw sprouted legumes.
Legumes are high in anti-nutrients. They inhibit the action of enzymes that help break down protein and starch. These anti-nutrients can be toxic to the body.

One of the anti-nutrients is hemagglutinins. It is destroyed by a conventional cooking. Germination can reduce it by 75-100 percent.
The activity of trypsin (enzymes to break down protein) is inhibited by compounds in legumes. Boiling can reduce it by 80-100 percent. Where as soaking only reduces it by 10-25percent and germination 15-65 percent (average of 30 percent). How harmful it is to your body also depends on how much of these compounds are already present in different legumes.
Soy beans are most concentrated and peas are low.
About 5-10 percent reduction of trypsin activity was reported after eating sprouted lentils and mung beans. 20-25 percent with sprouted chickpea.

It is not my intension to scare you away from sprouted legumes and seeds. Sprouts are a living, enzyme-rich food with so much energy. Their vitamin A, various B and C are higher.Their protein content becomes easily digestible, and rich new nutrients such as enzymes and phytochemicals are created. They contain significant amounts of bio-available calcium, iron and zinc, potassium.
A study found that small amounts of trypsin inhibitor and phytic acid can help to lower cholesterol and may provide some protection from cancer.

It is a good idea to make a note on which you find digest the best, or which have any side-effects. Try lightly cooking the less-digestible raw sprouts in stir-fry's; the light cooking makes them much more digestible. Keep changing which beans you use, so that your body is not exposed to using the same sprout for days or weeks at a time. I would not recommend use or raw soy beans or red kidney beans.

Monday, October 3, 2011

service update. meal delivery, catering and christmas pudding order!

Due to more demands on a wholesome meal delivery options we are excited to tell you that we have started meal delivery services.
All our meals are prepared with fresh, local, seasonal and organic produce as much as possible, using wholesome and healthy ingredients that are so nutritious for your body as well as tasty and enjoyable.
They are vegan meals with no dairy, eggs, refined sugars.
The options are balanced cooked and raw meals as well as we offer 100% raw meals.

raw vegan meal delivery yesterday...
+cauliflower and coriander rice with three nuts burger, served with green leafy salad and apple and citrus dressing
+zucchini pasta and fresh green peas dressed with cashew cream sauce and goji berries
+creamy sweet potato soup with almond and macadamia milk. served with zucchini and almond bread
+marinated broccoli, seaweed and red cabbage coleslaw with tahini miso dressing
+sprouted red lentil pate with flapjack bread
+lemon kiss
+chocolate truffle

A festive season is coming up. So if you are planning a function or an event and looking for a caterer I'd be delighted to cater your next event. Places fill up pretty fast over this season so contact me early to secure your spot.

Also like last year, I will be taking orders for best ever christmas pudding! Please order before November.
They are vegan with no eggs, dairy or refined sugar.