"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Just Stop It!

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, September 22, 2012

I was reminded of this again last week.  Ever wish you could just... "Stop it!"

 

To be Successful, You Must Play!

Lisa Cutforth - Thursday, September 20, 2012

Did you know that the origin of the word "play" is "plegian" which means "to exercise". 

As you go about your life, it is critical that you remember to make time for PLAY!  Play engages the prefrontal cortex (our most highly evolved and recently acquired brain areas), which is responsible for nourishing our highest level of cognitive functions - those related to incentive and reward processing, goal and skill representation, mental imagery, self knowledge, and memory, just to name a few (Gilkey & Kilts, 2011).  Play therefore improves your ability to reason and understand the world and be more successful. 

What is play time for grown ups? I like to call it "outcomeless" activity.  You do something for the joy of doing it, not because you should or you have to or to achieve a specific outcome.  It can be anything from painting, to dancing, to having a candlelit bath, to going to the museum or the art gallery, going for a skip or a swing in the park of watching your favourite movie that you have already watched 20 times again.  "Play time" for grown ups, and it's SOO important for your productivity, and your sanity and your physical health!

"Imagination is more important than knowledge"  Albert Einstein

Who would have known that playing could be soooo good for you?  Well... probably our children!

 

Gilkey, R & Kilts, C. (2011): Cognitive Fitness

Edible Fingerpaint

Lisa Cutforth - Friday, August 31, 2012

I was looking for crafty activities to do with my little one, but have to be conscious of what we choose because she is still in her oral phase, the stage where she puts everything in her mouth!!!

That's why I was very excited to come across Edible finger paint (made from organic veggies).  The texture is a bit grainier than paint but we still had fun smearing the different colours around... and nice to know it's perfectly safe for her to eat (even dairy and gluten free).  Brooke was a little suspicious at first, but she did think it was fun to watch mama!

Evidence that a plant based diet prevents and treats most of the leading causes of death

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nutritionists Choice Product of the Week is: Pitango Soup

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This week, my nutritionist's choice product for the week is the Organic Moroccan Chicken Soup with Mint, Chickpea and cumin.

I have a few favourites in the Pitango range as part of my "Emergency Convenience Options".  I usually have 2 of their soups in my freezer for the times something pops up and I haven't got it together to prepare dinner... yes, it happens to me too :)

This particular Soup: The Organic Morrocan Chicken and chickpea one was healthy (it even won the the 2011 Healthy Food Awards Best Soup) and delicious! 

We enjoyed it with some dark rye and sesame sourdough freshly baked bread.

Price wise from the supermarket:  $6-9 per 600ml bag.

Nutritionist's Three Favourite Wheat Free Products

Lisa Cutforth - Thursday, July 05, 2012

As someone who generally avoids wheat and who works with people with a lot of allergies, I have discovered a few favourite wheat free products.

My favourite wheat free Bread: Ancient Grains Organic Oat Sourdough bread. 

One of my favourite quick sweet treats: Rolada: a yummy dried fruit and nut sweet treat.

My Stock:  Massel, vegetable or chicken salt reduced, wheat and trans fat free!

See, just because you are wheat free doesn't require you to do without good tasting yumminess :)

Sustainable Living

Lisa Cutforth - Wednesday, June 06, 2012

My father does a lot in the field of sustainable renewable energy.  He has a real heart and passion for humanity and is a freaky genius when it comes to grass roots, hands on, practical solutions to many "third world" problems like: access to running water, affordable gas and electricity to cook with, and food security.   Many of us living in the modern world can barely even conceptualize what it would be LIKE to not have access to these.... My father gets up every day to try to make a difference to these people in rural areas... and to the world.

Here is a video clip of him having his say on "BRAVE", which makes me proud, a message we all need to hear, even though we all won't or can't hear it. 

 

The Top Five Bad Eating Habits I see as a Nutritionist

Lisa Cutforth - Thursday, May 31, 2012

As a nutritionist I see all sorts of eating habits: bad eating, good eating habits and nutritional habits.

I got asked a great question that other day:  What are the five worst eating habits or things people do that you see all the time?

Here is what I said:

1. They eat in front of the T.V. or at their desk: lunch "al a desk".  There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea.  Multi-tasking while you are eating encourages overeating and it encourages mindless eating.  Have you ever observed the case of the missing chocolate bar?  It happened all the time to me when I was a student!  I would set myself up, study books surrounding me, a cup of tea and a chocolate bar.  Then I would reach for the chocolate bar only to discover in severe disappointment that I had EATEN IT ALREADY!  Either that or someone had stolen it!  You don't enjoy your food as much, and often you don't even REGISTER that you have eaten it.  Finally when you are stressed as you often are while working at your desk or studying, you are not in the ideal state to receive or digest food.  Your blood and body "task force" is diverted elsewhere: thinking, "fight or flight" away from your digestive tract!  So, rather stop, take time out and eat... And if you always eat in front of the TV you can set yourself up a little trigger that says: Eat now. And research shows eating while watching TV or a movie will affect the rate and amount you consume!

 2. They eat for the wrong reasons.  Eating is not separate to life, and so it is easy to make it mean or associate it with all sorts of things, events, triggers and feelings.  Eat to nourish 80% of the time, eat to please your psychology (emotions, comfort, treats, boredom, procrastination) 20% of the time... not the other way around.

3. They don't eat enough REAL food.  Eat more whole food most closely resembling it's natural form... you are going to get more nutrients from it... IT MAKES IT EASIER TO BE HEALTHY!  Don't fall too deeply into the convenience trap if you can help it- mostly its just clever marketing tactics. And often convenience foods are highly processed and lack good nutrition.  Real food can be quick, tasty and convenient too.  Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. (A banana is very convenient).

4. They drink too much caffeine especially with their meals. If you are going to drink tea and coffee, have it away from your meals and try to limit yourself to maximum of 2 caffeinated drinks a day. 

5. They don't plan their eating well enough so they skip meals or have to reach for take out or junk food or convenience foods which are often unhealthy and expensive. 

 

Gratitude Walking

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alphabet Gratitude Walks

It is funny, I have been getting all the "gratitude" messages this month. Personally I have been on a gratitude journey lately, reminding myself daily about the things I choose to be or can be grateful for and positive about.

Last night I had a friend for dinner and she told me her gratitude story... it has such a wonderful creative and "healthy spin" on it I had to share it.  She goes for "gratitude walks" and doesn't come home until she has completed her A-Z.

Here's Myrna's Gratitude Story:

I believe strongly that Gratitude is the doorway to Joy and Prosperity.  It has helped me to
become more effective, loving and more generous....it's a constant work in practice.

I started with doing Gratitude Walks everyday, just saying I am thankful for God allowing
me to participate in the day, being grateful for my family and friends and for all the things
that were coming my way.

I then increased my Gratitude by including the letters of the alphabet from A-Z  That has become
a very interesting exercise.  It's a great barometer of my "attitude" for the day.  Sometimes it
is easier than others.  One day I was really struggling with my attitude...got to the letter "Y"
and thought what could I be grateful here....so said "I am grateful for the tub of Greek Yoghurt
in my fridge.  It's such a simple exercise and life empowering.

I will remember when I get to the letter "L" to say I am grateful to Lisa being my friend!!

Thanks Myrna Widlend for sharing your story :)

What's happened to playtime?

Lisa Cutforth - Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Play is an essential part of the development and learning of our children... yet... 45 % of kids aren't playing every day!

Research shows that a perceived lack of time, inspiration and over reliance on technology are to blame.  What has happened to our society that kids also feel like they can't play outside like they used to and that so many feel like they have no one to play with!

Check out the results of this study on "The state of play"


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