Setting SMART goals

0 May 16, 2017

The theory of goal setting suggests that setting goals can enhance a person’s motivation to change. The process of setting goals provides a sense of direction or purpose by narrowing attention towards a certain objective and directing all effort towards achieving that goal. The SMART criteria are a mnemonic used to help set goals and objectives. Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound Mastering SMART goals is easier then you think. Here are some handy tips on how to set SMART goals. Specific Rather than making a more general goal, be specific when you set your goal. Make sure that your goals are clearly outlined, unambiguous, and without any vague or elusive terms. For example, “I want to lose weight” is far too unspecific and should rather be phrased, as “I want to lose 5kg of weight.” Specific goals will help you to feel more motivated as you will be constantly working towards that specific goal. This gives clarity and focus, and is a hugely important factor in successful

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0 May 11, 2017

Faced with aisles upon aisles of products, the weekly or monthly grocery shop can be a daunting experience. Here are some helpful tips to make your visit to the shops that much more manageable:

  • Do one big monthly grocery shop for all staples, and smaller weekly trips to the shops for fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and bread. You can cash in on some “buy bulk and save” specials which will ease the pocket too.
  • The basic pantry should consist of the following items:
    • Whole grain carbohydrates: pasta, couscous, wild rice, brown rice
    • Snacks: Provitas, Ryvitas, corn thins
    • Cereals: muesli, All-Bran, Special K, Oats, ProNutro
    • Dried fruit: pears, apples, mango, prunes, guava rolls
    • Assorted nuts
    • Long-life milk: skim or low-fat
    • Spices, dried herbs and rubs
    • Tinned and dried legumes: chickpeas, beans, dried beans
    • Tinned vegetables: corn (not cream-styled), tomato and onion mix (various flavours)
    • Tinned fish: tuna, salmon, pilchards, sardines
    • Oils, vinegars and glazes: avocado, olive, canola, peanut, sesam

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0 April 13, 2017

Easter has many different meanings for all of us. For some, it’s a celebration of rebirth and new life, others enjoy quality time with the family and a well-deserved break a quarter of the way through the year. Whichever way you choose to spend this holiday, there is a fair amount of temptation and treats around. Below we give our top tips to ensure you enjoy a Happy but also healthy Easter. Portion Distortion Keeping the size of your meals and snacks in check will go a long way to ensuring your waistline stays in check too. One or two small indulgences over the course of the weekend will not be the end of the world if you make a concerted effort to manage the portion sizes. The same goes for main meals – be cautious when eating out or at functions. The plate and serving utensils can be deceiving and result in you dishing up 3-4 times your usual portions. Ensure that every meal has a vegetable/salad or soup component and that these veggies make up at least half of the bulk of your meal. In between meal feels Watch out that you don’t fall into the “serial snacking” trap whilst on holiday. It becomes all

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0 March 21, 2017

Eating before your workout is very important to ensure that you go into the session with fuel levels topped up enough to sustain energy levels. Eating before a workout can also help you to avoid distracting hunger pangs in your session. Generally, most people can tolerate a meal 2 – 4 hours before exercise, whereas a smaller snack is best if eating 1 – 2 hours before. Find a meal or snack that is carbohydrate-rich, low in fibre to prevent tummy upsets, low in fat for easy digestion, and of course familiar and well-liked. Everyone is different in terms of their preferences, appetite and what they consider comfortable to eat before exercising. Some ideas of foods include:

  • Peanut butter whole grain bread or toast.
  • Fruit smoothie.
  • Sliced apple and yoghurt.
  • A bowl of oats with low fat milk.
  • Spaghetti served with a low fat, tomato-based sauce.
  • Sliced banana and honey on whole grain toast.

Should I only eat protein after a workout? Most people only focus on protein after training. However, according to the Journal of the International Soci

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0 March 16, 2017

The Dietitians at Nutritional Solutions recently tried out the UCook meal delivery service. We thought it was only fitting that we did a write up to share our cooking experience with you, our readers. A disclaimer: this is in no way promotion or endorsement of this product. It is merely a helpful knowledge-share of the service offering for those of you who are interested or may be keen to check it out. UCook is a Cape Town based company that delivers meal boxes to your chosen address with all ingredients weighed and portioned out for 4 meals for the week. These meals are chosen by you according to categories i.e. vegetarian, low-carb and rustic. You also decide the number of people who you are cooking for. The box gets delivered with polystyrene insulation to ensure that all ingredients stay fresh even if your delivery address is a work address and wil

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0 February 23, 2017

Did you know that today is World Banana Bread Day? What better way to celebrate this than baking these delicious guilt-free Sugar-Free Banana Muffins! This recipe is a sure winner – perfect for lunch box treats, tea-time snacks or a health weekend breakfast brunch. Sugar-free Banana Muffins Makes: 12 – 16 muffins Ingredients 4 large ripe bananas 1 egg 1/3 cup of canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 ½ cups of whole-wheat flour 2 teaspoons of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of baking soda 1 teaspoon of baking powder ½ teaspoon of salt Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a 12 – 15 cup muffin pan by brushing it with oil or using silicon baking cups.
  2. Mix the bananas and other wet ingredients until the mixture is mostly smooth and only slightly chunky.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients well.
  4. Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Fill greased muffin tin with the mixture.
  6. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool.

Nutritional Information per serving:

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0 February 16, 2017

Trying to slim down but getting frustrated at the slow pace? We all make mistakes along the way, often without even realising it. Here are some tips to prevent you from falling into the diet trap: Not eating enough   It is logical to think that if we eat less than we lose more weight. However, skipping meals and/or eating portions that are too small can actually do the opposite of the intended effect. This way of eating does not save kilojoules but in fact may just be setting you up for blood sugar lows and the consequent cravings that follow.  In the long run eating too little sends your body into conservation mode so you end up slowing down your metabolism. Not to mention the headaches, moodiness, and energy dips that come with eating too little. Be sure to eat regularly throughout the day by including healthy snacks like fruit, yoghurt and small portion of lean prote

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0 February 6, 2017

Smoothies are a tasty and refreshing meal especially when you are on the run. Is there anything to consider when making your own smoothie or can you just throw in whatever you want & blitz?Smoothies can potentially be very high in energy which is not helpful when trying to shed the kilos. They become energy dense as too many fruits, nuts, other fats and sometimes flavour syrups are added. It is more preferable to make your own smoothie at home than it is buying one as you will have control of what goes into the smoothie, making it much healthier and lower in total energy. Follow these tips to make your own healthy smoothie:

  • Keep to 1 – 2 fruit servings per smoothie. This manages the total energy and sugar content. Fruit servings differ depending on the fruit. For example, one fruit serving is 1 medium apple (150g), 1 small banana (90g), 1 medium orange (150g), ½ small mango (110g), ¾ cup berries (150g), 10 medium strawberries (250g) or 160g pineapple.
  • Use the skin of the fruit and pulp to maximise on fibre. Fruit contains a type of sugar called fructose. The fructose in fruit is found within a fibre matrix or casing. Fructose has to be first removed from the fibre matrix and then converted by the liver to glucose before it enters the bloodstream. This process takes time, so it takes longer for glucose to enter the bloodstream. Steady glucose levels hel

2 January 19, 2017

goalsIt’s half way through January and we all know the familiar drill…‘New Year, New You’. By this time of the month you are already thinking “I don’t know how much longer this can last!” or perhaps even feeling guilty because already you haven’t kept a resolution or two. The majority of people make New Year’s resolutions but also don’t stick to their resolutions. Here are a few tips from our Nutritional Solutions Dietitians on how to set smart goals for your health, all year round, and stick to them!

  1. Be Specific:goal-setting

Think about the specifics of your goal, the more specific you are, the more likely it is that you will reach your goal.

  • ŠWhat will you do?
  • ŠWhen will you start?
  • How will you do it?
  1. Make your goal Measurable:

As the saying goes, you cannot manage what you don’t measure – ideally goals should be measureable as this will help you track your progress.

  1. Set small, achievable Action-oriented goal

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0 December 14, 2016

Holidays are here! Many of us are setting off down to the coast or on holiday somehwere n our beautiful SA to celebrate the festive season with family and loved ones. Road trips are not easy to navigate –  not only because the men won’t ever ask for directions! But, also when it comes to choosing snacks that are healthy but still satisfying. These cinnamon bran muffins are quick and easy and great to make ahead of time and keep handy as a snack en route. Smear them with low fat plain cottage cheese or a dollop of low fat plain yoghurt for a perfect breakfast on-the-go.  Cinnamon Bran Muffins Makes 24  Ingredients 1 Ready Made Woolworths Bran Muffin Mix (500g) 175g Plain Low Fat Yoghurt 80ml Sunflower Oil 250ml Low Fat Milk 1 Extra Large Egg 3 Cups of Bran Stick Cereal 1 Cup Grated Carrot 1 Cup Grated Apple 2 tsp Cinnamon Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Place oven racks in the middle of the oven.
  • Place paper cup cake holders in a 12 Cup muffin tray.muffin-1
  • Pour muffin mix into bowl & make a well in the centre.

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