The story of the elephant who couldn't stay trim

An overweight elephant expends more energy than a mouse, which make sense right? It takes a lot more fuel to power an aircraft than it does a car.  So the elephant needs to eat more than the mouse because he burns more fuel.  He has a group of trim friends that always look great and he is sick of being overweight.  Let’s say the elephant decided to start exercising and limit his calorie intake and he lost quite a bit of weight, yah for the elephant!  So now the new trim elephant needs less fuel as he did before. Once the elephant lost his weight, he thought he could eat the same way as his forever trim friends eat because he was the same size and weight.  But as he eats just like them, the weight starts to creep back on.  Oh no!  This is confounding for the elephant because he doesn’t too badly and it just the same as his mates and they aren’t getting fat, WHY WHY WHY????  He pleads….

The unfortunate but true answer is “adaptive thermogenesis”.  From a technical definition it can be defined as the decrease in energy expenditure beyond what could be predicted from body weight or its components (fat-free mass and fat mass) under conditions of standardized physical activity in response to a decrease in energy intake.

But basically it means that a the formerly overweight elephant is going to burn LESS energy than his trim mates even though they are the same weight.  So the formerly overweight elephant is going to have to EAT less than his trim mates.  Our bodies have an overwhelming tendency to maintain a status quo, which I can see would have served us during periods of starvation to adapt energy expenditure, but doesn’t bode well for losing weight.  Best thing to do?  Shock your body!  No, don’t plug the hairdryer in and fill the bath.  But a rigorous change in diet and exercise can exactly the thing you need.  Think a juice cleanse or brand new exercise regime to help get your body snapped out of adaptive thermogenesis.  The trick is to maintain the new weight for at least 4 weeks so your body thinks this weight is a new “normal.” 

Cravings, does your body really need it?

I have recently been thinking a lot of cravings mostly in regard to pregnancy, but also in general. There is a common belief that if you craving something, like really craving it, like you just simply can’t think past getting that thing in your belly, then your body must need it.   And that is true to a certain extent. But not to the extent that you are really craving KFC therefore your body must be subliminally telling you that you simply must have deep fried seasoned chicken or you will be nutritionally deficient. The truth doesn’t quite stretch that far.

So how far does it stretch? Well quite far, but it isn’t as simple as craving chocolate there I must have chocolate. You might be craving one of the minerals FOUND in chocolate and your brain associates that mineral with that food type. So if you are craving, there are healthy options to look for to no only satisfy the craving but help stop them in future.

Here is a list of common cravings, what they mean and a healthy option to replace them:


Calcium deficiency

Sesame seeds/ tahini, broccoli, kale, legumes, mustard and turnip greens

Pasta, white bread, pastries

Chromium deficiency

Onion, romaine lettuce, tomato, cinnamon, grapes, apples, sweet potato

Bread and toast

Nitrogen deficiency

Foods containing proteins, i.e.. Green leafy veg, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains

Red meat

Iron deficiency

Beans, legumes, unsulphured prunes, figs+ other dried fruit, seaweed, spinach, cherries, Vitamin C for iron absorption

Potato chips

Chloride deficiency

Celery, olives, tomato, kelp, Himalayan sea salt



Magnesium deficiency

Raw cacao nibs/beans/powder, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, greens, fruit,magnesium

Soft drinks

Calcium deficiency

Sesame seeds/ tahini, broccoli, kale, legumes, mustard and turnip greens

General sweets

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Fruit, high fibre foods (beans, legumes), complex carbs (grains), chromium (cinnamon)

Tryptophan deficiency

Spirulina, pumpkin/sesame/sunflower seeds, raw cacao, oatmeal, sweet potato, spinach, raisins

Chromium deficiency

Onion, romaine lettuce, tomato, cinnamon, grapes, apples, sweet potato

Sulphur deficiency

Cruciferous vege (kale, cabbage, etc), cranberries, horseradish, asparagus, carob powder, garlic, onion

Phosphorus deficiency

Whole grains, pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, lentils






Is it really better to go for diet drinks over the “normal” version?

So you have decided to jump on this quitting sugar bandwagon, which is great! But you love your soft drink and you figure “easy, I will just start drinking the diet version” but really you should be considering giving up soft drink, period.

Here is why:

Most diet drinks have got aspartame as the replacement sweetener. This is something you should look to avoid as the chemicals that make up the artificial sweetener aspartame may alter brain chemicals, nerve signals, and the brain's reward system, which can lead to headaches, anxiety, and insomnia, according to a review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Aspartame ranks 200 hundreds times sweeter than table sugar. Splenda? 600 times. In fact, brain scans show that diet soda alters sweet receptors in the brain and prolongs sugar cravings rather than satisfies them

Diet soft drink may get you drunk a lot quicker than drinking normal soft drink. An Australian study in the American Journal of Medicine concluded that if you mix diet soft drink with booze, for example, vodka and diet coke, your stomach empties out faster, causing a drastic increase in blood alcohol concentrations.

It can make you fatter. Apparently a study in Diabetes Central showed that that drinking two-thirds of a diet soft drink before eating a meal primed the pancreas to release a lot of the fat-storing hormone insulin.   This triggers your body in fat storage mode and leads to you gaining weight.

April 29, 2015

Posted in diet, vegan recipe, vegetables, weight gain

My go-to Soup recipe

When it gets cooler, there is no need to throw healthy out the window and shut it tight against the wind.  Healthy dinners are easier than you think.  Hot and satisfying, soups are perfect for the wintery months because you can pack them full of goodness and they carry no guilt.  If you are worried about not being full from a soup, beans, chickpeas and lentils are an easy way to add in healthy vegetable proteins that will help keep you satisfied.

So here is my easy go to soup recipe (please exclude the impreciseness, the measures are not exact)

Roasted Mushroom and Blackbean Soup

1 brown onion, chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

500g Swiss brown mushrooms

1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed

1 bunch brocolini, chopped

About 5 sticks celery, chopped

½ teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

Massel Vegetable Beef Flavoured stock 2 cubes

4 cups water

Fresh parsley to finish


Use a baking tray and use 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, to line the tray.  Add the mushrooms in the tray, toss them in the oil and sprinkle with rosemary and salt.  Roast the mushrooms for at least 30 mins (go for a quick run).  Chop the onion and garlic and use the other tablespoon of coconut to sauté the onion and garlic, till translucent, add in chopped celery and chopped brocolini.  Add in water, stock and mushrooms and allow to simmer for about 20mins.  Add the washed and drained beans at the very end and serve.  Add fresh parsley to finish.

Has your relationship changed your weight?

I read an article recently on how falling in love makes you fat.  They claim that 52% of women eat as much as their male partner. Some 62 per cent of people admit gaining up to a stone since being in a relationship, while 72 per cent also think their partner has put on weight.  Why does a relationship change our eating and/or exercise habits?

It could be the comfort you feel around them.  I know for me, sometimes it is easier to come home and if my partner is home, then just say to myself “oh well, lets just hang out” but if I came home to an empty house, I would drag myself out for a run.  The increase in portion size happens easily too when my partner starts cooking. He doesn’t understand that I only eat half as much as him, but yet when serves it out, my portion is about 9/10 of his. 

How can you avoid the partner fat trap?

* Set an activity you like doing together. On the weekends, we will always run together (well not together, but we start off at the same time), which means that we are both out of the house together – no-one is sitting on the couch

* Find a set of bowls and plates that fit the portion size that you want to eat.  So it may be a small bowl that you have somewhere in your cupboard, and if that matches the size you only ever want to eat, make sure whoever serves dinner knows this is your bowl/plate

* Make yourself accountable for the changes, it isn’t your partners fault.  If you are gradually changing your eating and exercise habits, be aware of it and be accountable

* Partners that cleanse together, stay together.  We do special 10% off, plus only 1 delivery fee for 2 people at the same address that cleanse together.  You will appreciate the support and come out the other end, cleaner, happier and more committed to a healthy life