Good health made pleasurable and practical with personalised advice from a multi-award winning Registered Clinical Nutritionist, Author, Educator and Speaker. Let Maria help you address ALL your health concerns - from large to small.
How many different plant foods did you eat in the last 7 days?
The average American consumes just 5. Dr Jeff Leach, of the Human Food Project, says good health starts with 25 per week. He aims for 55 to 70 (my breakfast alone has 20). A robust, well populated gut microbiome of diverse friendly bacteria is now linked with less risk for obesity, gut and mood disorders, heart disease and cancer. Read more
Picture yourself seated at the dining table and devouring one kilo bag of sugar. New Zealanders average even more added sugar than this each week.
Auckland University Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences hosted a two day symposium: Sugary Drink Free Pacific by 2030? Rarely have I heard esteemed scientists so vehement in their views. Endocrinologist Robert Lustig (his expose on sugar has over 4 million views on YouTube) said, “Sugar is the alcohol of the child”. He explained how this food is processed differently than other fuels, which leads to fatty liver. Dr Richard Johnson, kidney disease specialist, diagrammed how sugar lowers ATP production – our key vitality provider. He employed a verb used with caution in science, “Fructose causes metabolic syndrome”. This cluster of markers is associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity,kidney disease and dementia. Read more
Your survival depends on cells receiving fuel in the form of just the right amount of glucose or blood sugar. It is the job of the hormone insulin to courier this into cells. The Brain is your most glucose hungry organ and the first to feel its lack. All carbohydrates – from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains or legumes – eventually get broken down into glucose. What differs is the speed at which they do this.
Individual foods have been measured in this regard and placed on a scale called the Glycemic Index or GI.Carbohydrate foods that are slow to break down – such as Legumes (dried peas, beans and lentils; see TIPS), nuts, seeds, most vegetables and fruits, plus hearty, crunchy wholegrain products – are termed low GI. Those that digest rapidly into glucose such as Sugar, most white rice, and finely milled bread, baking and cereals (of one highly refined, uniform texture) are high GI.
Eating too many high GI carbs at a meal stimulates a surge of excessive glucose. The pancreas then produces and releases more insulin as extra courier vans. Over time though, high levels of insulin are life threatening and the cells start to refuse it entrance. But by becoming resistant to insulin they are also unable to access its critical glucose fuel. Read more
One diet cannot possibly fit all. Just as people are varied in shape, size and personality, they also have diverse biochemistry. Discovering your individual metabolic and personality type can provide the easiest path to maximum health and pleasure. A customised dietary plan can at last free you from the frustrations of weight problems, food cravings and erratic energy levels.
Visit the food pyramids but don’t try to live there!
Living well and eating well are not simply reliant on good advice; equally important to success are tailored psychological strategies. The Shape Diet contains simple, innovative methods for identifying self-sabotage and inner guidance. Also outlined are the contrasting key approaches that men and women require to initiate and sustain change in all areas of health.
Synthesising scientific, psychological, spiritual and practical approaches, The Shape Dietwill help you enjoy great food and great health.
• Discover the distinct foods, strategies and stressors for your metabolic body-type.
• Understand and access governing brain/body links.
• Enjoy sustained and pleasurable health and weight management.
• Identify and manage food sensitivities.
• Benefit from research and history-ratified nutrition information made time-savvy and tasty.
• Learn the 5 core concepts to all cooking: your liberating key to easy and endless variety.
• Increase your dining satisfaction with 100 pages of recipes for international favourites that let you choose your preferred animal or plant protein options, and which are dairy- and gluten-free.
• How to prevent mid-morning or mid-afternoon ‘slumps’, and maintain optimal mental and physical performance.
• The unsung dietary hero that is more significant than protein – or sugar – in how it affects your energy levels.
• The most therapeutic recipe developed in my 35 years of practice. This has transformed the lives of thousands of clients and readers, plus it’s tasty and inexpensive. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, was demonstrated on national television to popular reception, and is the #1 dietary way to assist the following conditions:
Medicine is inclined to a mechanistic approach when problem solving. Weight has been viewed as the result of calories in (through food) and calories out (through exercise). Thus high-fat foods get pilloried due to their greater kilojoule or calorie count compared to carbohydrate or protein. But there is a bigger buffet of contributors to consider such as stress, hormones – and food quality, not just quantity.
How To Dine, Travel and Stay Well
PLUS Australia’s Top Restaurant: Surprise Trumps Expectation
For over a decade my foodie must-do bucket list has included dining at The French Laundry and Tetsuya’s, which have placed near the top among the world’s finest restaurants. Remarkably I accomplished both within a few months – yet both were surpassed by an unexpected contender.
No matter how you dress, there is a small bowtie at your throat that is critical to your appearance and joie de vivre.Your thyroid gland lies wrapped around the windpipe in a butterfly shape, just behind and below the Adam’s apple or larynx. It weighs less than a tablespoon of butter yet is responsible for enabling energy and activity throughout the brain and body.
Hormones are like food. Too much is as bad as too little.Men and women produce the same sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, but what differs is how much and the ratio of one to another. For everyone, if a hormonal imbalance is in the mix – due to inflammatory foods, drinks or other habits – this is most likely to be high estrogen in relation to progesterone and/or testosterone. Some of the complaints I hear most frequently from patients are about fatigue; weight, sleep, skin, bowel, fluid/urination problems; moods and mental function. Addressing hormonal triggers can prove transformative. Read more
Your adrenal glands are only the size of large grapes. Yet from this tiny power base comes your ability to manage challenges, vitality, sleep, weight, direct master hormones, and thwart illness.
A triangular cap-like adrenal gland sits on top of each of your two kidneys. These are situated just below and under your lower rib cage on either side of the spine. The adrenals are part of the endocrine system that produces and releases minute but transformative chemical messengers called hormones. These direct the transformation at puberty, enable reproduction, and respond instantly to every emotional trigger. Yet over your lifetime the entire volume of hormones released would not even fill a thimble.