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Happy new year!  We hope you had a happy and healthy festive season and look forward to bringing you more nutrition news and healthy eating tips in 2015.   In this issue we look at ...

  • Green smoothies vs. green juices
  • Summer low-GI eating cookshop
  • Cinnamon spice and all things nice
  • Why you should grab a bunch of grapes
  • The EasiYo yoghurt maker

Green Smoothie vs. Green Juice – Which Should You Drink?

You know you need to eat more vegies.  But are you struggling to get them all in during a busy day?  Or are your children screwing up their noses each time you mention the words salad or broccoli?  Maybe you could drink some.

Green juices and smoothies seem to be everywhere these days.  With popular juice cleanses and juice bars popping up on many street corners.  But how do they compare to each other nutritionally, and to eating the whole food?  And which should you choose?

What is a green juice?

A green juice is made by juicing vegetables (and usually a little fruit for sweetness) – a process which extracts water and vitamins but discards the fibrous pulp.  In the past, juices were most often made exclusively with fruits.  But fruit/vege combos have become increasingly popular.  Right now a focus on green colour seems all the rage.  Typically, green juices contain mostly green vegetables and possibly some fruit e.g. kale, celery, cucumber and apple.  The fruit adds sweetness and the vegetables provide the vibrant green colour, usually also signifying high levels of the antioxidant lutein that is equivalent to sunscreen for your eyes!

What is a green smoothie?

A green smoothie is made from blending ingredients.  This process retains all the fibre from the fruits and vegetables.  Green smoothies, just like juices, can be made with fruit and/or vegetables and may even include a milk or yoghurt component.

All-in-all, the main difference between juices and smoothies is in the processing.  Juices are juiced and smoothies are blended.  Neither is identical to eating the whole food where you need to munch and crunch through your greens.  But the smoothies come closest.  Although the fibre is broken down mechanically so you don’t have to chew at all, but simply swallow, you at least don’t lose it down a chute.  Fibre works together with phytonutrients to promote bowel health, so retaining as much as possible is a clever idea.

At-a-glance: smoothie vs. juice

Green Smoothie

Green Juice

  • Retains all fibre, vitamins and minerals
  • More beneficial for digestive health and helps to keep your bowels regular
  • Keeps blood sugar more steady
  • More filling which assists with weight control
  • Blending is a faster process than juicing
  • Less clean up is required
  • Convenient way to help you achieve your 5 serves of veggies daily
  • Healthier alternative to milkshakes and processed juices
  • Majority of fibre is lost with juicing
  • Quicker rise in your blood sugar, especially if more fruit is included
  • Not as satisfying for your appetite and weight control
  • Quick energy source (but not long lasting)
  • It takes longer to juice
  • Longer clean up with multiple pieces of equipment to dissemble and scrub free of pulp
  • Healthier alternative to processed juices that contain added sugar
  • Not as beneficial as consuming whole fruit or vegetables!

To blend or not to blend…?

When it comes to your health, fibre is an important nutrient that should not be ignored.  People with low rates of chronic disease consume at least 40 to 50 grams of mixed fibres daily.  But getting your daily dose of fibre is more than just adding bran to your breakfast cereal.  Including unrefined plant foods with a range of different fibres can help you obtain antioxidants and phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory power to fight many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, diverticular disease and many cancers.

One easy way to add more vegetable fibre (and unique green vegie phytonutrients) to your diet is to drink it!  

The verdict                                                     

When it comes to a green smoothie versus green juice, the clear winner is the smoothie.  Blending your fruit and vegetables will help to retain the important fibre you need to stay well.  Just be sure you don’t use too many fruits at the one time.  Both blending and juicing break down cell walls and will release fruit sugar into your bloodstream much more quickly than munching through a whole apple!

Don’t forget the best drink to quench your thirst is still water.  But when you are looking for something more robust, say in lieu of a light meal, and to help push up those greens, why not check out Sue Radd’s Green Monster Smoothie recipe.


“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever." – Chinese proverb

What’s Cooking? – Simple Summer Meal & Snack Ideas to Make Low-GI Eating Delicious

Have you been avoiding carbs to try and shift weight or lower your blood sugar?

Not all carbs are created equal.  Research shows wholegrain, low-GI carbs can actually help you better sustain your weight loss for the long term, feel more satisfied and regulate blood sugar levels – all without having to starve yourself!

They also reduce inflammation in your body and help protect against cancers and heart disease!

Learn how to use the Glycaemic Index (GI) in your kitchen to create delicious meals with superstar carbs.Become enlightened by new research that shows some starchy foods (previously called “complex carbohydrates”) are just as bad (or even worse) for your body than sugar!  And discover nifty seasoning and portioning tricks to lower the blood sugar raising effect of an entire meal.

Perfect if you or your loved one has diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS, fatty liver or is struggling to keep that weight off!

Join us to become a mini-carb connoisseur and share your learnings from this cookshop with your family and friends.

When: Tuesday, 3rd February 2015, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm             

Where: Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic, Castle Hill (Sydney)

Learn more about our cookshops

Enjoy a delicious tasting menu throughout the evening and take home recipes and handouts!

This event could change your life and your love/hate relationship with food!

Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place as this event is very popular.  Bring your partner!

Food Matters with Sue Radd – Dieting Do’s & Don’ts

Planning your goals for 2015?  Read Sue Radd’s article to discover what works and what doesn’t when it comes to weight loss.  Save yourself disappointment and money from unrealistic and expensive fad diets!

New Chronic Disease Management Plan for 2015 – Are you Entitled?

If you were seeing one of our dietitians in 2014 under a special Medicare CDM plan, you may be entitled to another for this year.  Not everyone qualifies to receive a rebate through Medicare, as strict criteria applies.  Ask your GP to assess whether you qualify for a new referral through this program targeting chronic disease.

What’s Fresh? – Grapes

Did you know there are more than one hundred species of grapes? The grape is one of the world’s largest fruit crops and most commonly eaten fruits. Table grapes are the name given to the commercially cultivated fresh fruit. These are large fruit berries with thin skin, compared to the wine grapes, which are smaller with thicker skin.

Grapes were first cultivated several thousand years ago.  The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used grapes for wine production.  Even though the grape was recognised for its cultivation on wild continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, North America), travel and exploration led to the transport of grapes across the world. Grape vines were carried to Sydney Town on the First Fleet in October 1787.

Grapes have numerous health benefits.  Regular consumption of grapes has been associated with a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.  Grapes and grape juice have been shown to improve biomarkers of heart health, including blood pressure and cholesterol.  Additionally, there is emerging evidence to support protective effects against other chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related blindness and urinary bladder dysfunction. Grapes contain a variety of bioactive compounds particularly phenolic antioxidants, which are believed to be largely responsible for these health benefits.

Grapes vary in colour from green to purple/pink and red, and they come in many varieties.  The most common types of grapes seen in Australia are Thompson Seedless, Menindee Seedless, Crimson Seedless and Red Globe. They are best purchased in season, which for Australia is between December and May.  It’s the perfect time to pick up a bunch now!  Select grapes that are plump, vibrant in colour and attached firmly at the stems. To store grapes correctly, keep in the refrigerator unwashed as contact with moisture will decrease their storage life.

7 Fun ways with grapes:

  1. Snack on frozen grapes instead of ice blocks during the summer
  2. Add to fruit salads for a refreshing burst
  3. See our recipe for Japanese-style Grape Jelly  the kids will love
  4. Add to cheese platters for a burst of colour and to cleanse the palate
  5. Bake in strudels and sauté or simply heat in sauces
  6. Make your own grape jam
  7. Slide onto skewers between other pieces of fruit for a fun snack

Food InFocus – Spice Up Your Life with Cinammon

Watch this short TV episode with Sue Radd to discover surprising health facts about this gorgeous and versatile spice.  Learn how your health can benefit!

Product Review – The EasiYo Yoghurt Maker

Ever tried making homemade yoghurt?  It sounds complicated with all the live cultures and fuss about fermentation.  But with a gadget such as EasiYo it couldn’t be simpler.

The EasiYo system was invented about 20 years ago by Len Light, a school teacher from New Zealand.  As a father of eight, Len wanted to provide his kids with a healthy snack that could be made in bulk.  And presto!  The EasiYo maker was launched in Auckland in September 1992 before being introduced to Australia in May 1993.  Len’s humble idea for homemade yoghurt has since grown into a thriving business crossing international boundaries.

For those who choose to buy it, the EasiYo starter pack includes a yoghurt maker, 1 kg yoghurt jar, one sachet of natural yoghurt powder, one berry squirt, a yoghurt recipe book and an instruction manual.  The system basically works like a thermos flask that traps in heat to encourage the growth of live cultures, which give the yoghurt its characteristic flavour and aroma.  The best part?  “It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3”, according to the EasiYo Company.  All you do is fill the yoghurt jar half way with room temperature water, add the EasiYo sachet, shake well to dissolve, then fill the rest of the jar with water and, again, disperse the contents.  Next, pour boiling water into the yoghurt maker (“thermos” part of the system) and place the yoghurt jar inside it. Then leave everything undisturbed for 8-12 hours while the EasiYo maker does its magic.  Too easy!

Where can you buy it? The EasiYo maker is available in select stores in Australia including, Woolworths, Big W, Foodland and IGA.  We bought it online from Golden Glow.  You can also source it from the EasiYo website and other online stores including Aussie Health Products, Australian Naturalcare, Brewers Choice and Going Green Solutions.  Prices for just the yoghurt maker range from $20-$30 and the individual yoghurt sachets are between $4.39 - $4.69.

Yoghurt is a popular snack providing useful amounts of protein and calcium for healthy bones. It can also be a source of probiotics (depending on the brand), to promote gut health.

Pros: The EasiYo is quick and easy to use and is a great little kitchen tool for yoghurt lovers.  If you’re not into additives, you have more control over the ingredients if you make yoghurt yourself.  It’s also something fun to do with the kids!

Cons: If buying the EasiYo sachets, it may prove to be expensive over time in comparison to buying yoghurt from the supermarket.  For example, we found that 1 sachet makes up 1 kg of yoghurt at $4.39 compared to buying a 1 kg Coles Vanilla yoghurt for $3.80.  The most cost effective way to regularly enjoy yoghurt is to make it yourself by using some culture from the last batch and adding milk or milk powder and water – you can still use the EasiYo system. 

The other downside If you’re not into dairy is the sachets are all dairy based. You can try our recipe for home-made soy yoghurt using EasiYo.

We’re also not impressed with the plastic yoghurt container.  It’s well known that acidic foods and drinks tend to leach more endocrine disrupting plasticisers from plastic containers into your food and drink!  Even BPA-free plastic is not entirely safe, according to research on mineral water.  Could EasiYo sell a glass option of the same size to fit into the yoghurt maker?  We’d be among the first to buy it.  Luckily, we’ve just discovered that Maxwell & Williams do sell such a glass container (Peek Canister, 1 litre) that fits perfectly in the EasiYo to replace their 1 kg yoghurt plastic container.

Overall, we love the concept of the EasiYo yoghurt maker for its simplicity.  It’s akin to what a rice cooker is for rice.  If you plan ahead, use a glass yoghurt jar (preferably) and a little culture from some leftover yoghurt, it can also be a real money saver.

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Published by the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Copyright 2015.

Suite 10, 80 Cecil Avenue, Castle Hill NSW 2154 Ph: +61 2 9899 5208 Fx: +61 2 9899 2848 www.nwbc.com.au

We are a boutique Dietitians clinic in Sydney, Australia, offering one-on-one consultations, culinary medicine cooking workshops, motivational health seminars and nutrition advisory services to businesses in the local and global area.

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