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When eliminating refined sugar from your diet it can be very overwhelming. I know from personal experience. Before I went to university to become a Holistic Nutritionist I actually worked in the corporate world. I have a Bachelor of Business and worked in digital marketing for a few years. It was at this time my sugar cravings and binging was at an all-time high, and after 20 years of health struggles I decided enough was enough! It was at this point when I took my health seriously that I quit sugar, almost 8 years ago now.

Now don’t get wrong, I do still love something sweet and have a sweet tooth, however I have been able to break free from my sugar addiction (where I would eat ½ a block of chocolate in one sitting, ½ a tub of ice cream in one sitting, a packet of biscuits at night), to learning how to enjoy treats in moderation.

Refined sugar has such a negative impact on our health, it increases anxiety (it used to make me feel so anxious and worried all the time), it causes all sorts of gut problems (IBS for me) such as bloating and constipation, skin problems (it made my eczema so bad), also breakouts, acne, it causes unstable blood sugar levels, cravings, diabetes, feeds cancer cells, causes weight struggles and fatigue to name a few.

Anywho, moving on … I want to give you some sugar free snack ideas because I know when I was trying to quit sugar and improve my health I struggled with what to snack on, and this is also something I help many clients with in clinic today. Sugar is seriously addictive, I totally get it, I’ve been there, but finding ways to reduce your sugar intake can change your health (mentally and physically) dramatically.

Here are my top 10 suggestions for healthy sugar free snacks made from wholefoods:

If you feel too overwhelmed to quit sugar alone and you need extra support, guidance or a personalied put together for you please don't hesitate to get in touch with me today via my contact page, or send me an email at hi@nataliebrady.co.nz, or book in a consultation today!

Nat xx

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If you’ve been following me on Instagram lately you’ll more than likely know that I’ve been obsessed with waffles. I recently got a waffle maker and don’t know why I didn’t get one sooner! I wanted to share with you some simple recipes that I’ve been enjoying for breakfast lately. These waffles make a yummy, quick and nutritious breakfast option, and are great for kids too! They are all really high in fibre which is great to support bowel health and blood sugar levels.

Banana Buckwheat Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup almond/coconut/rice milk
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  • Options to serve: ½ banana, 2-3 tbsp coconut/greek yoghurt, small drizzle of maple syrup

Method

  1. Pre-heat waffle iron. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend together until combined.
  2. Pour into waffle maker and cook until golden brown, roughly 4-5 minutes. (You can cook them more or less, depending on your personal preference).
  3. Top with your favourite toppings. I top mine with coconut yoghurt and banana.  
Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup almond/coconut/rice milk
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  • Options to serve: a handful of berries, 2-3 tbsp coconut/greek yoghurt, small drizzle of maple syrup

Method

  1. Pre-heat waffle iron. Add all ingredients except the berries into a blender and blend together until combined. Stir through the berries.
  2. Pour into waffle maker and cook until golden brown, roughly 4-5 minutes. (You can cook them more or less, depending on your personal preference).
  3. Top with your favourite toppings. I top mine with coconut yoghurt and berries or tahini.  

 

Matcha Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tsp matcha
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup almond/coconut/rice milk
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  • Options to serve: 1/2banana, 2-3 tbsp coconut/greek yoghurt, small drizzle of maple syrup

Method

  1. Pre-heat waffle iron. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend together until combined.
  2. Pour into waffle maker and cook until golden brown, roughly 4-5 minutes. (You can cook them more or less, depending on your personal preference).
  3. Top with your favourite toppings. I top mine with coconut yoghurt and ½ banana or any other fruit I have on hand.  

 

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Stress wreaks havoc on our body, in particular our digestive health, hormones, sleep habits, moods, energy levels, it can cause weight gain or make it difficult to lose weight, it increases inflammation which causes a range of health conditions, to name just a few. Yes, stress is inevitable, but being mindfulness of this and finding ways to manage stress can be a game changer to your health.

A lot of people think of meditating as sitting in silence, however, this doesn’t come easy for many people, including myself. When I first started meditating almost 10 years ago I really struggled to get into it, or would only do it sporadically. But did you know there are many different ways to meditate. I personally can’t sit in silence, my brain runs wild, so I listen to guided meditation. I do this via the  Headspace app or on YouTube (I type in – 15-minute guided meditation).

If you're new to meditation it can take time to get into it, it’s like anything in life, you can’t run a marathon tomorrow if you haven’t been training. The same goes for meditation, start off small, start with 2-3 minutes meditations, build this up by 1 minute daily until you get to 10-15 minutes. Some people like to meditate for much longer, I personally find 15 minutes is enough for me, sometimes I might go for 20 minutes, and sometimes it’ll be 10 minutes. The most important thing is to ensure you do it regularly, then you’ll notice the difference. I would love to do it daily, but I don’t right now, so I am for 5 times per week, Monday – Friday.  

Putting my legs up the wall is my absolute favourite way to meditate, while listening to guided meditation. I’ve been doing this pose for years, and it’s something I often recommend to my clients who are busy, anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, have an active mind or have trouble sleeping.

This pose has so many incredible health benefits such as:

  • Calms your nervous system (allowing you to enter your "rest and digest" parasympathetic nervous system response)
  • Help with poor digestion and circulation
  • Stretches the hamstrings and relieves sore and tired legs
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Helps to lower cortisol levels and restore the adrenal glands
  • Relieves stagnant energy from sitting down all day as it get’s the blood flowing in a different direction            

I like to do this pose in the evenings before going to bed, sometimes I lie on the floor, and sometimes I just lie on my bed. It’s also a great pose to do when you get home from work, to disconnect from the day, calm the mind and body and recenter yourself.

I highly recommend giving this a go. Try it with an open mind for 1-2 weeks and see how you feel. If you want to lower your stress response and anxiety levels it's about finding a mindfulness practice or meditation practice which works for you. But do try this out, the more you practice this pose the more you will reap its amazing benefits and the longer you may want to lay there and enjoy the stillness. It's also great for those who struggle to fall asleep or have insomnia. I sleep so much better when doing this post before bed, my sleep is so much deeper and I wake up feeling more refreshed. Research has shown that 15 minutes in this position is equivalent to one hour of sleep, crazy huh!

When lying like this it's also important to pay attention to your breath and breathe slowly and deeply into your belly to really get into your "rest and digest" mode.

To get into this pose all you need to do is sit with your bum and hips against the wall, roll onto your back taking your legs up the wall and your hands out wide, or over your head (whatever works for you), then breathe slowly and deeply into your belly. You could also place a cushion/folded blanket/bolster under your pelvis if that is more comfortable.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on in the comments below!

Nat xx

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Ingredients

It can be very challenging to enjoy smoothies during the cooler months. I’ll be the first to admit that a warm, nourishing bowl of porridge soothes my souls and keeps me grounded for the day. However, on occasion, I do still like to enjoy a smoothie as smoothies truly are one of the best ways to give our body an easily digested dose of nutrients. This winter green smoothie is one I’ve been enjoying recently either for breakfast or an afternoon snack. It contains ginger which is great to support circulation, cinnamon which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, apple which is high in fibre, kale with is also high with fibre as well as vitamin A, C, K, folate and flaxseed oil which is omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 3 kale leaves, de-steamed
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder or collagen powder
  • 1 cup almond/coconut/rice milk
  • ½ cup water

Method

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend together until smooth. Enjoy for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

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The more natural products you can incorporate into your lifestyle the better! Why... because it decreases your toxic load which lessens the load on your liver (your main detoxifying organ). 

This is a great option instead of using regular toothpaste which Triona from Wendyls has create – even her 13-year-old Son uses it from time to time without grimacing! "It’s taken me about a year of trialing different blends to come up with this one. I love the addition of Cacao Butter as it gives the toothpaste a slightly chocolate flavour that goes really well with the Peppermint Essential Oil. Also, the Cacao keeps the paste from going too runny in the summer months".

Coconut and Cacao Toothpaste

  • 70g Coconut Oil
  • 30g Cacao Butter
  • 1Tbl Hemp Seed Oi
  • 320g Wendyl’s Premium Baking Soda (not man made as it’s toxic)
  • 1.5 – 2ml Peppermint Essential Oil to taste

In a glass bowl over hot but not boiling water melt the Cacao Butter and Coconut Oil, stir to combine, take off the heat and sift in the Baking Soda. Stir again, then add the Hemp Seed Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil, make sure you’ve combined all ingredients, then pour into a glass jar. I put a little wooden spoon into ours so it’s easy to scoop out onto your brush. This will be firmer in winter and softer in summer.  * I wouldn’t give this to small children, and if you have any questions ask your Dentist.   **There is no fluoride in this mix

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I see so many clients who suffer from fatigue. I’ve been there myself and it’s becoming almost too common with adults these days. In fact, fatigue is one of the top health issues I see clients about in clinic, along with weight loss and gut health issues.

With our face-passed busy lifestyle, never-ending to-do lists, long hours at work, families to look after, house chores to keep on top of, errands to run, family/friends to catch up with the lists never ends. It’s easy to put ourselves at the bottom of the list, but what happens if you get sick, run down, get adrenal fatigue and can’t get out of bed for weeks or months? Who will run the show?

Yes, fatigue is very common, but it doesn’t mean it’s normal, especially if it’s not relieved by a good night’s rest. There is a difference between feeling tired and being fatigued. Tired is temporary, and can be relieved from sleep and some r &r. However, feeling tired all day every day which isn’t relieved with sleep and some r & r, that’s no longer temporary.

In order to perform at your best every single day whether that’s at work, at the gym, keeping up with the kids and doing everything you want to do you need to look after #1, YOURSELF!

As a holistic nutritionist, I consider all aspects of my clients lives (sleep habits, exercise habits, stress levels, functions of body systems), but one of the biggest things I consider is diet. What is my client eating, what nutrients are they getting, are they getting the right nutrients, what’s missing from their diet?

What can cause fatigue
  • Iron deficiency
  • B12 deficiency
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Lack of sleep
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Over exercising
  • Under exercising
  • Mitochondria dysfunction
  • Gut issues
  • Long-term stress
  • Immune system dysregulation
  • Unhealthy eating habits - food restrictions
  • Food sensitives
  • Regular use of alcohol or drugs

As you can see there are numerous things to consider when it comes to fatigue, which is why when addressing this issue diet is a crucial place to start as it plays a huge role in fatigue. Poor dietary choices can affect so almost all of the above concerns.

Foods to reduce to improve fatigue:
  • Processed and refined foods
  • Caffeine (yes, it can actually do harm sometime when fatigued)
  • High sugar foods
  • Energy drinks
Foods to increase to improve fatigue:
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit
  • Good quality rotein – organic meat, eggs, fish, beans, legumes, tempeh
  • Healthy fats – nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut milk/cream, yoghurt, cheese, olive oil
  • Whole grain carbohydrates – oats, brown rice, quinoa, millet, sweet potato, potato, pumpkin
How can nutritional medicine help?

As a registered clinical nutritionist, I can help you get to the root cause of your fatigue. I can help you work out what nutrients are missing from your diet and together we can implement some dietary and lifestyle changes to suit your needs. There are also specific supplements which can help beat fatigue and can be extremely useful when wanting to feel better faster. We can discuss this option and if there any specific supplements necessary for you during your consult (if you are interested).

If you’re at that point, where you’ve tried it all, don’t want to say any more excuses, or are overwhelmed and confused with all the information out there please get in touch and let me help you get back to being your energetic, happy self. You deserve to feel good!

Click here to book your appointment today!

If you’ve never felt energetic, maybe this is something we need to explore. Have a think about it. Often you don’t realize how bad you feel until you start to feel great again. 

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It doesn’t get much easier than this! There is zero excuses to not make a healthy dinner with this recipe. All you’re required to do is put aside 10 minutes to chop up some ingredients, add them into a slow cooker, turn it on and walk away! Come home 8 hours later and you’ve got yourself a warming, nourishing, soulful dinner. My husband and I have been loving this recipe over these chilly winter nights, it’s a cook once, eat twice kind of meal we like to enjoy for two nights in a row.

Ingredients

  • 500g beef
  • 4 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 4 carrots, halved and cut into half moons
  • ½ head of celery, cut into half moons
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups of water

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours, or high heat for 4 hours.
  2. Serve immediately, garnish with parsley if desired.
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The core to eating well, keeping it simple so you can feel amazing is PREP! If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while you’ll more than likely know that almost every Sunday I prep meals for the week ahead. It changes on weekly basis but I often try to prep a few snacks, breakfasts and lunches when I know my husband and I have busy schedules the following week.

With so much going on, never-ending to-do lists, kids to look after, household chores to keep up with, errors to run, work/family/friend commitments (sound familiar?), one of my top tips for eating well and feeling amazing during the week is healthy meal prep. If you’re new to meal prepping it can feel overwhelming and initially take longer than expected, once you’ve done it a few times you’ll become a pro, and it won’t take as long. I personally always recommend putting aside 1-2 in the weekend to prep a few basic ingredients so you can throw together healthy meal during the week, if you’re new to meal prepping here are some tips on how to stat food prepping.

This week I decided to make actual meals instead of prepping ingredients, so I wanted to share with you what I did and how I kept it simple. This took me 80 minutes, and now I don’t have to think about breakfast or lunches for the next few days, which trust me, save you SO much time during the week. If your health is a priority, 80 minutes in the weekend shouldn’t feel like a chore.

What I prepped this week are breakfast, lunches and some snacks which I made for myself and my hubby to enjoy Monday – Thursday.

Breakfast:

I kept it simple by making, his & her overnight oats

Lunch:

Mon/Tues : Brown rice, roasted chicken drumsticks, stir-fried cabbage and carrot with sunflower seeds, drizzled in olive oil.

Wed/Thurs: Roasted purple sweet potato, roasted kale chips, stir-fried frozen vegetables (to keep it simple and quick), drizzled in sesame oil, sesame seeds plus boiled eggs, and one day I’m going to add in a can of tuna in olive oil.

Snacks:

Nuts into a ziplock bag for hubby.
Chocolate brownie cookies – these were an added extra we will probably enjoy after dinner with a cup of tea.

I didn’t prep snacks for myself so I’ll be keeping them simple this week with either fruit + tahini, a protein smoothie or rice cakes + hummus/tomato/tuna.

If you enjoyed this and would like to see more posts like this please give it a like and let me know in the comments below. I hope this inspires you and motivates you to get into meal prepping because it truly is one of the best ways to keep your health on track!

Nat xx

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Beetroot Carrot Quinoa Fritters - YouTube

This is a simple, healthy meat-less dinner which you can whip up in no time! What's great about them is that they are a good source of protein + fibre which helps to fill you up + keeps blood sugar levels stable, making these beetroot carrot quinoa fritters the perfect food if you're watching your weight and wanting to boost your nutrition intake.

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I’m seeing more and more clients who want to lead a healthy lifestyle and make positive changes but are struggling to find the time. I get you, and I’m in the same position as you. Lucky for you, this is also an area I specialise in!
 

I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people. My approach is practical, evidence-based and is shaped by many of my own experiences, which is all about creating balance in life.
 

I get how crazy busy life can feel and how feeling overwhelmed on a daily basis can make you put your health on the bottom of your priority list. However, in order to perform at your best every single day your health needs to be a priority, not just for you, but everyone around you. If you’re feeling good, healthy, positive and vibrant, you cannot give your best to your family, friends, and work. Make yourself and your health a priority, and remember, it’s not selfish to prioritize yourself.

So, trust me when I say it’s possible to still live a healthy life when you’re feeling overwhelmed and at your busiest. Here are my top 5 non-negotiable tips that I personally use and recommend to clients to keep their health on track through crazy times.

1) Stay hydrated! This goes without saying. On average, our body contains 60% water. If you’re not drinking enough water your body is going to be dehydrated, and studies have shown being dehydrated by only 5% can decrease your performance by 30%. Yup! So get yourself a nice (glass) water bottle and drink up! At least 2L daily.

2) Commit to 1 hour food prep in the weekend. This will save you SO much time during busy weeks. But keep it simple, make 1-2 healthy snacks (my chocolate bliss balls are a staple in my home along with my homemade paleo protein bar). Wash and chop veggies, boil up lots of eggs, roast a chicken, make a big salad, roast a whole lot of veggies, boil up quinoa, have cans of organic beans/legumes on hand. This really set you up for the week so you can throw together meals quickly throughout the week. I also like to make my green goddess dressing to toss through stir-fries, roasted veggies, GF pasta). For more on food prepping click here.

3) Make breakfast non-negotiable! Skipping breakfast when on-the-go all day can lead to afternoon crashes and cravings, this can make it difficult to stay focused at work or look after children. Try to have a protein-rich breakfast to help keep blood sugar levels in check like my go-to breakfast smoothie or super green omelette, or prepare breakfast the night before (his & hers overnight oats are mine and hubby’s fave).

4) Avoid foods and drinks which zap your energy. Yes, that means throwing out all fizzy drinks, energy drinks, juice (except for freshly squeezed vegetable juice), sugar-rich foods and refined foods (they just send your blood sugar levels on a roller-coaster ride) and be mindful of too much caffeine!

5) Be kinder to yourself. The all or nothing approach does not work. Instead, learn to be okay with doing your best during these busy times, if you don’t eat perfectly, don’t beat yourself up over it, you’re human, we all do it, just go back to eating healthy at your next meal. And when you get the change, slow down, take the weekend to rest and unwind and enjoy a nap if you can. Say no to social occasions (your friends will understand), and avoid over-exercising, it just adds more stress to your body.

Remember, healthy living is not about doing everything perfectly, it’s about finding balance and moderation. This is what I help teach my clients.
Health is wealth! Never forgot that!
 

I hope this helps! If you’re still struggling, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me today (hi@nataliebrady.co.nz, or give me a call on 0211264274)! I’m here for you, and I will put together a simple, easy to follow plan for you, tailed to your lifestyle with quick healthy recipes that are easy to make and taste delicious, alongwith any necessary lifestyle tips if required!

Nat xx

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