Nutrition Talk at Scenic Cycle – Part 3 Environment

This extract Part 3 Environment was taken from Claire’s talk about Nutrition for Weight Loss and Healthy Living at Scenic Cycle on Monday 24th November, 2014.

For more information or a copy of the full transcript please contact Claire at

The point I want to get across to you tonight is that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many things you can do in your daily life to make sure that you are keeping your body as healthy as it can be! So I will share with you some of the advice I give my patients so YOU can create some lasting habits! But before I get into these habits I want to run through some of the “conflicts’ which hinder us from being healthy and losing weight, because its not as simple as exercising more and eating less.

Our bodies are very complex. Each one of us is made up of billions of cells which affect our health and wellbeing. So what I have found is that some detective work can be helpful to get to the root cause of stubborn weight, or illnesses that just wont go away.


I don’t understand why I’m not losing weight? I eat well and exercise every day.

This is something I hear often. And in my experience there are two reasons why this person isn’t losing weight:

  1. They are not doing what they’re saying. They might eat well 5 days a week, but then binge drink on the weekend, eat pizza, ice-cream, and chocolate and think that because they are exercising they can justify these choices. OR
  1. There is an underlying problem, like a behavioural issue, metabolic disorder, or environmental disturbance.

So to overcome this problem I start to look into the following three areas:

  1. Behaviour
  2. Metabolism
  3. Environment

And this is what I am going to spend time on tonight to help you get a better understanding of what good health should look like, and why you might not be there yet.


Part 3 Environment & Nutritional Guidelines for Weight Management

  • Increased energy diet:

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that we do not live the same lifestyle our forefathers led. 95% of the foods we eat are packaged and processed. This means food isn’t really plain food any more. All you need to do is look at the list of ingredients on a packet of bread you buy from the supermarket:

Helga’s Sunflower and golden linseed bread Water, wheat flour, sunflower seeds 7.5%, linseeds 7.5%, wheat gluten, wheat bran, defatted soy flour, yeast, vinegar, canola oil, iodised salt, cultured wheat flour, soy flour, vegetable emulsifiers 481, 471, 472e, vitamins (thiamin, folic acid).


It’s not just flour, water, salt and yeast like it used to be. They put in stabilisers, emulsifiers, preservatives, acidity regulators, bluking agents, sweeteners, and thickeners, and then add the vitamins back in again. This is what I mean by an increased energy diet. The foods we are eating are dramatically different to the food our grandparents grew up on. Our breakfast cereals, breads, pre-made soups, 2 minute noodles, pre-marinated meats, and most foods available to us are full of this rubbish. It’s affecting our health, and contributing to the obesity epidemic in Australia.

So what is the alternative?

  • shop at a farmers market on the weekend
  • support local produce
  • start a herb garden or growing some veggies on your window sill.
  • Get involved in a community garden
  • Join a fruit and vegetable co-operative
  • Do a couple of cooking courses and get interested in making your own food
  • Purchase your meats from a butcher and ask them what’s good today?!
  • Take a trip to the fish market and pick out a nice fresh fish and get them to fillet it for you.
  • Urbanisation:

The problem with our urban environment and access to eating out, is how easy it is to make the wrong choices. The extra additives found in your take-away Thai, and home delivered pizza is very different to the food you would be making at home yourself. These cuisines along side; McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Red Rooster (the list goes on) are filled with ingredients that are harmful to your health, your fertility, and will stop you from maintaining a healthy weight.

There are other options around in the city:

  • Iku- vegetarian food which is delicious and very high in fibre
  • Thrive, a paleo style café in Martin Place. High in good protein and fats, low in carbohydrates and sugars
  • Vietnamese pho, or herb and beef salad. Again low carbohydrate, nutrient dense, fresh, and very accessible.
  • OR, go to Coles on your lunch break, buy a jar/tin of salmon or tuna, a packet of rocket, a tub of cherry tomatoes, and an avocado. It will cost you $10-12 and take 10 minutes to assemble and then you have a perfect complex meal:

* high in fibre (rocket)

* good carbohydrates (tomatoes)

* adequate protein intake (fish)

* good serve of health fats (avocado)

  • Stress:

It’s unavoidable isn’t it? I spoke about the effect stress and cortisol can have on your health and weight, but didn’t explain that if we let it, it can really follow us everywhere we go.

Create strategies that work for you!

  1. Exercise- try and do some form of exercise every day. And vary it up a bit. Spin classes here are awesome! Yoga, Pilates, walking, swimming, personal training, gym work, team sports. Find a routine that works for you and make time to fit a little exercise in every day (30 minutes daily).
  2. Massage/Acupuncture- massage is a beautiful way to wind down. It can help with moving stagnant fluid around the body, improve sleep, and stimulate serotonin production. I always recommend my patients try and book in a massage when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed and this can take the edge of a stressful time. Acupuncture has a more targeted approach in where by various meridians which may be out of alignment can be balanced. Another great tool for stress.
  3. A nutrient dense diet- this is what I am going to wrap up with talking about. Foods that are un-processed, un-refined, whole foods diet. This means the less packaging, and less human intervention with the food, the better it is for you and the more nutrients they contain. Reduce sugar, reduce carbohydrates, caffeine, and alcohol.
  4. A healthy sex life- an active (safe) sex life is normal and good for you! Enjoy responsibly and let the serotonin flow 😉


Nutritional Guidelines for Weight Management and Wellbeing

  1. Vitamin D– you get this from sun exposure (20 minutes a day), alternatively get a supplement from the health food store to use for 2 months.
  2. B complex vitamins– these come from animal protein like meat, chicken, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. B vitamins help with energy production and help regulate the body’s stress response.
  3. Essential fatty acids– there is nothing better for weight loss and fat loss then supplementing with good fats. A good quality fish oil supplement at 4000mg daily has shown to help men/women lose fat in controlled studies. Also make sure you are eating fish 2-3 times per week to get all of those good omega 3 essential fatty acids into your diet.
  4. Zinc– one of the forgotten minerals essential for hormone regulation and immune function. Also needed for sex drive in men and women. We get zinc in our diet from sea food, oysters, red meat, and cooked spinach. Another good mineral to supplement with for a short period of time. But if you aren’t sure about supplements come and speak to me after the talk.
  5. Magnesium– one of the most important minerals for blood sugar regulation, sugar cravings, muscle recovery (post exercise), and this lovely mineral gets depleted when under large amounts of stress. Your green leafy vegetables, almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds are the best sources of magnesium.
  6. Probiotics– not yakult, or probiotic yoghurts, I mean a good quality probiotic from the health food store to help stimulate good bacteria growth in your gut. It can take time, but once the good bugs re bug in numbers they will improve your digestive function and help support healthy weight management.

Okay! So now you guys have a bit more of an understanding about how behavior, metabolism, and environment can affect your weight and your well-being I want to run through with you what you can do to super charge your health, and kick start some healthy weight loss!

  • See a practitioner who can do some testing and identify if there are any metabolic issues at play.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake to keep the liver healthy and metabolizing fats, carbs, and proteins more effectively.
  • Increase your dietary fibre to 50g per day: remember foods like nuts and seeds, oats, green leafy vegetables
  • Address your blood sugar regulation, dramatically reduce your sugar and carbohydrate intake, and try not to have any carbohydrates after lunch.
  • Maintain good hydration levels. Drink plenty of water every day. Aim for 2 litres a day, plus 0.5 litres for each hour of exercise you do.
  • Foods to avoid: all “diet” products, deep fried foods, excessive fruit consumption (limit to 2 serves per day), breakfast cereals, soft drinks, fast food/takeaway (especially Thai food), excessive grain based products eg. Wheat and rice, refined carbohydrates, and most importantly sugar.
  • Foods to include: a nutrient dense diet which is unrefined and unprocessed. 3-4 serves of fresh vegetables per day (1 serve = ½ cup vegetables), fermented foods like sauerkraut, raw dairy when possible, 1-2 serves of fresh fruit (berries are best), green juices (have 2 or 3 per week), animal protein (good quality organic meats, chicken, fish, and eggs), and try for one vegetarian day per week (eggs allowed).
  • Habits to focus on: portion sizes, eating until you are 90% full, chewing your food, eating slowly seated without distraction.
  • Exercise: spin classes here at Scenic Cycle, team sports, walking, swimming, yoga. What ever you get enjoyment out of. Our bodies are designed for moving, not sitting. So give yourself a 2 week challenge and try and exercise for 30 minutes per day.
  • Mindfulness: being aware of your food choices and how they will affect your health. Ask yourself if it’s good for you, and will it help you be the healthiest person you can be? Don’t always reach for the sugary snack which is convenient, have healthy foods in your house and at your workplace (nuts and seeds, a punnet of berries etc).

So what is the best diet? A nutrient dense whole foods diet, low in processed and packaged foods! It’s all about making small and lasting changes, and doing the best you can do tonight, tomorrow, and for the years to come. If we don’t take responsibility for our health and wellbeing ourselves, no one is going to stop you from getting sick. The cleaner and healthier you eat the more energy you will have, you will have lower risk of injury, your chances for fertility will increase, you will have a lower risk for dementia and mental illness, as well as many other inflammatory conditions (irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, asthma etc.)

Remember you only need to make small changes to create results. Thank you for your time, and thank you to Tom and Verity for having me along tonight!

I hope you got something out of the talk tonight and please contact me if I can help you with your health goals! x Claire