Access Allied Health

Recipe: Tandoori Chicken and Kachumber Salad

Access Allied Health - Thursday, December 07, 2017


This is a super quick, super easy, mid week meal that tastes fantastic and can be flexible to suit the whole family.  We have this nearly every week!  It's served with a kachumber salad which is very refreshing and compliments the tandoori chicken amazingly.  You could serve it with any basic salad or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, green beans or cauliflower, just depends what you have on hand.  The kachumber salad is one of our favourites!  We've added some little cucamelons too which taste like a cuecumber with a hint of lime....amazing!!  You probably won't find these in your local supermarket....we got ours from our gardening guru friends...but you could try growing some, it's very easy we're told.  We also like to leave a couple of pieces of chicken free of the tandoori marinade for our little ones.  We coat these with some olive oil and salt. The optional side of crusty bread is exactly that, an option, allowing for a super low-carb meal.  Enjoy!

 Ingredients

  • Chicken breast x 3 about 800gm (chicken thighs or tenderloins work equally as well)
  • 2 tbs Tandoori curry paste (store brought)
  • 2 tbs Greek yoghurt
  • Extra greek yoghurt to serve
  • Optional - crusty bread to serve

For the Kachumber Salad

  • 1 continential cuecumber, halved lenthways and sliced on the angle
  • 1 250g punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 eschalotts sliced or you can use 1/2 a red onion sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 125g cucamelons halved (optional)
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. If using chicken breast, slice the breast into slices about 2 -3 cm thick.  For a large breast you should get about 4 - 5 slices.  This reduces the cooking time and means it's ready to serve once cooked.
  2. Combine tandoori paste and greek yoghurt in a bowl.  Add chicken and coat well.  This can be done in advance which further enhances the flavours but can be done prior to cooking also.  
  3. Our preference is to cook the chicken on the weber barbecue but it cooks really well in the oven too.  If cooking on the barbecue, preheat to hot.  Cook chicken pieces on the grill with the hood down, 5 minutes per side or 10 minutes total.  As mentioned, you can alternatively cook in the oven.  Place chicken pieces on baking tray and place in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. To prepare the kachumber salad, place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
  5. Serve tandoori chicken with a dollop of greek yoghurt, the kachumber salad and some optional crusty bread slices.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 10 minutes cooking time



Recipes: Dahl with a Difference

Access Allied Health - Thursday, November 09, 2017




This is a great low-carb AND vegetarian AND gluten free dinner that tastes fantastic too!  The secret is there are no lentils.  Yes the word dahl does mean 'lentil' but we think this tastes so close to the real thing that we can still call it dahl....with a difference. We've used cauliflower rice which gives the dahl the same gritty texture.  The hidden pumpkin pumps in the sweetness and compliments all the spices, not to mention adding a thickness to the sauce.  We often hide pumpkin in curries as it breaks down when softened, adding thickness and no little people would even know it was there.  Surprisingly, this is quite filling.  You can serve it with a side of steamed broccoli and some pappadams make a nice touch for those at the table who are wanting a little bit of carb.


Ingredients:

1 large brown onion, finely diced
20 gm / 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons grated ginger
3 large cloves crushed garlic 
1 whole butternut pumpkin (about 1kg), peeled and diced into small cubes
4 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional depending how much heat you like)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk
juice of ½ lime
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 600 - 700 grams)
Handful of fresh coriander to garnish
Greek yoghurt to serve

Method:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat, add oil and fry onion until softened and golden.
  2. Add the ginger, pumpkin, garlic and stir for a minute.  Add the spices and stir through.  Then add stock, coconut milk, lime juice, salt and sesame seeds and stir through.  Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on.  Cook for about 10 minutes when the pumpkin is starting to soften.
  3. Now process the cauliflower florets into small crumbs.  The food processor works really well for this, do in a couple of batches for a couple of seconds each.  Be careful not to overdo it, it really only takes a couple of seconds and you need it with some form to give your dahl it's texture.  You can achieve the same thing by chopping with a knife but it will take a little longer.
  4. After the pumpkin has been cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the cauliflower and cook for a further 8 - 10 minutes, covered with a lid, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once cooked, turn off the heat and use the back of a large spoon or potato masher to squash up the pumpkin so it disintegrates into the dahl forming a nice thick sauce.
  6. Serve with greek yoghurt and garnish with fresh coriander

This recipe yields about 8 cups and Serves 4 - 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Time Saver Tip - Although not as authentic, using minced ginger and garlic from a jar is still adding flavour and saves time....good for the quick midweek meal.

Adapted from a recipe we found online from Irena


Have your Easter bun and eat it too!

Access Allied Health - Friday, March 15, 2013

Weight loss – a taboo topic in most polite social conversation, but even more so in the run up to any festive season.  This has never been truer with Easter just around the corner with the eager anticipation of freshly baked Hot Cross Buns and more chocolate than you can poke a stick at.  Up-sizing our wardrobe seems an inevitable reality and we don’t want to ruin our Easter fun by talking about that now!

 Well, I want to let the rabbit out of the bag when it comes to weight loss over Easter and stake my claim that it can be done!

 For far too long we’ve believed that enjoying ourselves and being healthy are so diametrically opposed that they cannot exist in the same universe together.  Such is our belief in this dichotomy that one little 60-calorie egg-shaped ball of chocolate, can cause intelligent people to make some not so clever decisions.  ‘Oh well, I’ve had one now, I may as well eat the whole packet’.  Sound familiar?

 Well let’s put a stop to it and make those days of ‘all’ versus ‘nothing’; ‘good’ verses ‘bad’; ‘weight loss’ versus ‘enjoyment’; ‘lettuce leaves’ verses ‘elastic waist pants’ a thing of the past.  Let’s make those moderate decisions we know we’re all capable of.  C’mon let’s start a moderation revolution and this Easter let’s have our cake and eat it too.

Weight Loss - Diet vs Exercise

Access Allied Health - Thursday, February 28, 2013

In the minds of many a weight loss aspirant, the quest to find the silver bullet often pits diet and exercise against each another in a showdown with all the intensity of a boxing showpiece.  “In the left corner, backed by a multi-million dollar weight loss industry and weighing in less-than-it-did-last-week: DIET! (Cheer) And in the right corner, wearing the not-so-flattering bike shorts and carrying the hopes of personal trainers everywhere: EX-“no pain, no gain”-ERCISE. (Cheer).  And now ladies and gentleman, we are about to see the end of decades of speculation and crown the victor of this bout with the one-size-fits-all title of weight loss king of the world! So let the battle begin!” (And the crowd goes wild).

Now, in my profession, I come across those steadfastly camped in either corner of the ring ready to defend their champion and point out the flaws of the opposing force.  “Diets don’t work” some will say, while in response others will look to point out the unsustainable demands of rigorous exercise both on our knee caps and our time.  So what’s the answer – who wins the fight – who is the champion between these two formidable opponents?

Well, perhaps not surprisingly, I am one of those with both feet planted firmly in the diet camp, rubbing the shoulders and singing the praises of the champ to be (metaphorically speaking).  But my support of food (or less of it) as the superior weight loss process is not just a biased opinion, but rather a position steeped in scientific studies and research.

Now, don’t get me wrong, one of my favourite quotes is from WM Bortz of the American College of Sports Medicine who said, ‘There is no drug in current or prospective use that holds as much promise for sustained health as a lifetime of physical exercise” – well said Mr Bortz!  However, when it comes to weight loss, exercise not only can’t hold its own against diet, but is actually fairly useless.  What?  Useless?  Yes that’s what I said and yes I realise that this is going against the most commonly held assumption going around today (i.e. If you exercise you will lose weight).  So let me explain.

A few years ago, Dr Wayne Miller and his colleagues reviewed 493 weight loss studies to determine whether adding exercise to a restricted calorie diet would accelerate weight loss[1].  25 years of research showed that exercise provided only a marginal weight loss benefit when compared to diet.  That is, from all the studies reviewed, dietary restriction alone resulted in an average weight loss of 7.8kg over a 15 week period. Adding exercise to dietary restriction merely added another 1.2kg giving a total of 9.0kg loss (while 1.2kg is nothing to sneeze at, I know who’s side I’d rather be on in a fight).

Further to this, in their published research[2], Dr Timothy Church’s team described a principle of compensation.  That is, those who exercised more in his study, ate more or compensated in another way (like moving less when they got home from the gym) which resulted in a less-than-expected weight loss.

While I don’t expect the two above mentioned studies to end the discussion once and for all, they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to seeing inconsistent (at best) weight loss from exercise.  I do however hope this helps to answer that frustrating question “How come I’m not losing weight?”  Well, it’s probably got less to do with the gym workout you missed and more to do with the muffin you had with your coffee this afternoon.

Again, please don’t get me wrong – exercise has many amazing benefits for our health – so please keep incorporating it into your lifestyle.  However, simply find something you enjoy and if you’d like to lose weight, speak to an accredited practicing dietitian.


[1] Miller WC, et al. (1997) A meta-analysis of the past 25 years of weight loss research using diet, exercise or diet plus exercise intervention, International Journal of Obesity, vol. 21, pp. 941 - 947

[2] Church TS, et al. (2009) Changes in Weight, Waist Circumference and Compensatory Responses with Different Doses of Exercise among Sedentary, Overweight Postmenopausal Women. PLoS ONE 4(2): e4515. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004515

Image from: www.goodhealthyadvice.com.au

Detox Diets

Access Allied Health - Thursday, January 31, 2013

There is a vast array of ‘Detox’ diets available – in books and magazines, on the internet, and in your local pharmacy.  However, while they often promise amazing results, there is a lack of evidence to support these results.  So is the ‘detox’ experience worth the high price tag many are willing to pay?

What is a detox diet?

The purpose of a detox diet is to remove toxins from the body.  Although there are many types of detox diets, generally they involve a strict regime of eating raw vegetables, fruit, fruit juices and water.  It may also involve a period of fasting and using herbs and other supplements.  Detox diets also encourage severe restriction of whole food groups such as meat or dairy food, therefore they will not meet nutritional requirements and if used for a prolonged period of time may result in nutritional deficiencies. 

Natural Detoxification

Our bodies have organs and systems in place, designed to filter out toxins.  Our kidneys, lungs, skin, lymphatics and liver all play a role in the removal of toxins.  Excessive consumption of highly processed foods such as sugary snacks and fatty fast food as well as drugs such as caffeine and alcohol make these systems work harder and perhaps leave us feeling a little run down.  If this is the case, simply decreasing our intake of these foods and replacing them with core foods such as bread, fruit, dairy, meat and vegetables as well as increasing our intake of water will have us feeling much better in no time.

Who shouldn’t try a detox diet?

A detox diet can be potentially dangerous.  Pregnant or nursing women or children should not try these styles of diet.  Also, people with health conditions such as liver or kidney disease or diabetes may be putting themselves at risk of serious medical conditions due to the restrictive nature of these diets.

The Bottom Line

This type of diet is not a long term solution and can be quite dangerous for some people.  For lasting results consult an accredited practicing dietitian who can help you achieve healthy eating, everyday – the best health solution there is!

Fast or slow weight loss - which is better?

Access Allied Health - Thursday, January 24, 2013

”Is it better to lose weight slowly?” I get asked this question all the time and the short answer is ‘no’.

I’m not sure where it came from, but there seems to be this idea that losing weight slowly is somehow much more meritorious and honourable than losing it quickly.  And I, for one, don’t buy into it.

Be it fast or slow, weight loss is one of the most effective health improvement strategies for anyone carrying a few too many kilos.  But motivated new-years resolutioner’s beware.  Losing weight will only improve your health if your lost weight stays lost.  In fact, should you pile on the pounds after losing weight you end up unhealthier than if you’d never lost weight in the first place!

Given that reported statistics tell us only five per cent of weight losers are successful in keeping their tummies trim, a maintenance strategy is something that needs to be incorporated into any weight loss plan.

I guess this is one advantage of a slower weight reduction, as it does suggest that some moderate lifestyle changes have been made and stuck to over time.  This, in turn, may make maintaining that loss easier.  Now this doesn’t at all invalidate faster weight loss.  But should it be fast or slow, improvements to your health will only be seen if you keep the weight off long term.

So before you head down to the chemist to pick up a month’s supply of meal replacements, spend some time considering the day-to-day changes you’ll need to make once the replacements run out.

For help with a weight maintenance plan, see the experts – an accredited practicing dietitian.

Worried about weight gain this Christmas?

Access Allied Health - Friday, December 23, 2011

With the festive season fast approaching, some of us may be casting a thought as to what the ‘silly’ season will do to our waistline.  And fair enough too!  With the seemingly endless supply of festive food that Christmas has to offer, weight gain seems like an inevitable reality.  And yet weight gain is no-one’s goal, it’s just not something we want to think about in the season to be jolly.   So the approach seems to be ‘eat all you want and worry about it later’.  Now I don’t go for this.  I’m convinced we can enjoy all the culinary delights that Christmas has to offer without needing to up-size our wardrobes up at the New Year’s sales.  Here’s how:

Top 3 tips to keep the weight off over Christmas

1. Eat Breakfast

Simply put, starting the day with a decent breaky will help to control your appetite.

2. Don’t avoid the good stuff, just have one (that is – 1)

One serving of anything (be it Christmas dinner, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, a glass of wine), will not lead to weight gain – provided that one serving is a sensible one.  If being sensible is not something you’re into over Christmas, you can eat garden salads until they are coming out of your ears and you won’t put on weight.

3. Get outside

With longer days and a little more time on our hands, the Christmas break is an ideal time to increase our activity levels.  Bowl a few overs in backyard cricket, get down to the beach or a park for a stroll or have a hit of tennis – whatever takes your fancy.  Remember, you burn fat exercising at light levels, so it doesn’t need to be strenuous - just have fun.

Need more help?

If you do find that you do gain a few kilos over the holiday period, consider a tailored weight loss program to help get you back in shape.  Access Allied Health is offering comprehensive weight loss programs ranging from three to six months in length.

Contact us to book in for your FREE INITIAL ASSESSMENT to discuss with our dietitians how we can design a program to help you to lose weight and keep it off long term.