Quick and delicious meal planning …..without repeats or apocalyptic stockpiling

Quick and delicious meals are imperative but how do I  plan as a busy mother/carer? Wherever you are in the world when the clock hits 4pm there is a collective intake of breath, eyes roll skyward, as everyone considers “What’s for dinner?” Continue reading

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Hot Chilli for Emily!

As Emily has to stick to 1200 calories or 5000 kilojoules a day I aim to make them tasty!

Vegetables are our staple ingredient as delicious and healthy. Emily was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe for vegetable chilli so with a few minor adaptations I  cooked up a hot chilli dinner! Continue reading

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Healthy eating takes me to a raw place!

I admit I could be a carbohydrate addict. I could quite happily live on fresh breads, home-made pasta, buttered potatoes and sticky rice but especially soft bagels, warm cakes and chewy cookies. I have been weaned off excessive carb consumption by nutritional education and my tight jeans!

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Good food and exercise …research aims to establish and implement programs to aid SCI health.

We all know that good food is important …..lots of green vegetables, salads and fresh fruit.  I met an aged tortoise that reminded me of that fact recently at Singapore Zoo but there is another important factor to human longevity – exercise!

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Avoid toxins and unnecessary calories for a healthy SCI and carer diet

I love lists, I make lists for Monday, I write lists for Woolworths, I mark on my hand, to remind me with a single letter, of something I would otherwise forget for another week. But did I miss the memo telling social media that all articles have to devise their contents into an ultimate list of ten? I wish life could be addressed with a list, a top ten easy steps to everything or ten bullet points for life! Now I am enlightened into the magic significance of ten I  am trying to tackle all things in sub ten. I can’t lay off listing but I can attempt shorter lists; brief, succinct notelets to myself, it’s a challenge but I set about it with my healthy diet for SCI and carer piece below.

I was reading about making every calorie count which is important in a SCI diet as fewer calories are needed during a regular day. Eating healthy ingredients maximizes benefits within the daily allowances. I was reading avidly about ingredients that would enrich a diet without overdosing on calories. In one article it declared the benefits of antioxidants which help lower the risk of stroke according to research published in the journal Neurology but the article didn’t give any actual antioxidant examples. I delved further and looked up antioxidants in food; Google gave me a list of ten which included: Purple, Red, and Blue Grapes, Blueberries, Red Berries, Nuts, Dark Green Veggies, Sweet Potatoes and Orange Vegetables,  Tea,  Whole Grains,  Beans,  Fish. A pattern was beginning to emerge along with lists always coming in ten, the super-foods, antioxidants and healthy choices overlapped.

I have compiled my own list although mine only runs to six, as I endeavour to rebel against the number ten. The foods below are an amalgamation included in many of the lists beneficial to us all in our diets.

  • Tomatoes – high in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and Vitamin A
  • Salmon – packed with omega – 3 fatty acids
  • Oats – our daily intake can slash the risk of heart related conditions and stroke by at least 15 – 20% reports a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  • Berries – higher intake of berries can reduce the risk of heart disease by a third – Nurses’ Health Study in the US
  • Yogurt – according to a study in the Nutrition Research journal yogurt eaters, who eat at least one serving a week, have healthier diets and are less likely to be nutrient deficient.
  • Broccoli – high In vitamin C and K . As an anti inflammatory compound it has been found to slow down the wear and tear of joint cartilage so lesson the symptoms of arthritis. Men who eat broccoli a few times a week run a lower risk of developing prostate cancer according to a study in the journal Plos One.

I appreciate  these one-dimensional lists of healthy foods and but life is a complex blend of interactions so although we must all be more aware of our food choices we have to consider our lifestyle to really address health.

It’s the connection between what we eat and our lifestyle that really interests me.  I started reading wellness practices at wellnesspractices.com. I read several subjects which were pertinent for Emily and me. I reckon we all gain if we practice living well whether we are able-bodied or wheelchair users. The basic messages were:

  • Eat fresh food
  • Avoid heavily processed and refined foods
  • Eat food high in antioxidants – bright coloured fruits and veg, grains and beans
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Wash fruit and veg thoroughly before using them
  • Avoid heating food in microwaves in plastic containers
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Surround yourself with clean air
  • Keep use of over the counter medicines to a minimum.
  • Use non polluting products in the home, phosphate free.
  • Use solar sources of energy
  • Use personal hygiene products that are free from artificial chemicals
  • Support the environment – don’t use plastic bags, support environment friendly industry.
  • Reduce stress – manage mental and environmental stress in your life

Wow that’s quite a list, fifteen, but reducing toxins improves body functions and reduces the stress on our kidneys ,liver,  lungs and digestive systems. The reason this list extends is because it also tackles environmental issues; basically lifestyle choices combined with healthy food choices. I’m not doing well on succinct , short or brief yet!

So more reading ensured I was educated widely on the subject but reading more and more doesn’t expand this topic much. It comes down to a simple logic; eat fresh and modestly, be aware of your carbon footprint in all your choices. That’s two points so I can rest easy now as succinct, brief and healthy in under ten points.

  • Done.

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A practical guide addressing SCI health through nutrition

Our SCIA Walk On therapist asked me to read and review – Eat Well, Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury and other Neurological Conditions written by Joanne Smith and Kylie James. The book is dedicated to Cooper Pulini who attends Walk-On next to Emily.

A practical guide addressing SCI health through nutrition

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What healthy options are there when eating out?

Today we decided on a vegetarian curry for dinner using fresh ingredients, recipe below. Cooking healthily for Emily, and my family, is always uppermost in my mind when meal planning. I think about nutrition and calories as Emily needs lots of vitamins and minerals with only 1200 calories (5000 Kilojoules) a day. Eating enough food to provide valuable energy without excess which would lead to weight gain. Emily, as a wheelchair user, has to be more careful than others not to consume more than she requires. At home I can cook with fresh ingredients and limit processed foods, sugar and salt but what healthy options exist when we are out and about in restaurants?

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Turmeric all round for a healthy spinal cord…

A recent study showed that a diet rich in turmeric aided spinal cord health. In a bid to do the right thing I have upped the turmeric in Emily’s tea, coffee and all things consumed! I jest for those that don’t know me, we only put milk in our English breakfast tea.

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