Foods you should not eat together

Merge of pepper and apple

Have you ever been told not to drink coffee with your breakfast or have cheese with your steak? There is a very good reason.  Caffeine affects your ability to absorb calcium and other nutrients and increases the rate of excretion of calcium and other nutrients from the body. Breakfast is often the time when most people would have their serving of dairy. We know dairy is full of calcium, yet when you have milk in your cereal, or yoghurt with your fruit salad and wash it down with a cuppa, you can almost forget counting that serving as your calcium source. It is best to wait at least 30 minutes between having your cuppa and eating food.

Calcium and iron compete for absorption and high intakes of protein increase excretion, so enjoy your steak, without the cheese and don’t calcium rich foods with iron rich foods to aid absorption of both nutrients.

Avoid having fruit after a meal and eat fruit on its own. Fruit is digested quickly, yet proteins, fats and some starches can take a long time to digest. This can cause the fruit to ferment in your gut leaving you with a bloated and gassy stomach. This is not nice for anyone. Melons digest faster than any other food, so also choose to eat melons on their own. Wait about 2 hours after eating fruit before eating other foods.

Alcohol affects the absorption of many vitamins and minerals and increases the excretion of important nutrients. So while it is important to drink alcohol with food to control the effects of the alcohol, it causes havoc with your overall nutrition. It is definitely best to drink alcohol in moderation.

Remember the ‘Fit for Life’ diet? This diet was all about food combining and claimed the body is not designed to digest more than one concentrated food in the stomach at the same time. Any food that is not a fruit and is not a vegetable is concentrated. So this would mean avoiding starches and proteins together. For example, no meat and pasta together, fish and potato, chicken and noodles, eggs and toast! Starches and proteins require different enzymes and different levels of acidity to be digested. Eating two concentrated foods simultaneously can cause the food to rot and increase gas. By eating a concentrated food on its own, you can allow for proper digestion, no putrefaction, no fermentation, no gas, no flatulence, no heartburn and no acid indigestion requiring medication. However; by filling up on vegetables rather than more starchy food or protein can only be good for your health. Allow about 3-4 hours between meals that are properly combined to allow for good digestion. Meals that are not properly combined allow between 4-8 hours for good digestion.

Soft drinks affect absorption of nutrients too, so if you are going to drink them, drink them away from food. Soft drinks can erode tooth enamel and make teeth soft. Soft drinks also contain many harmful substances so are best avoid altogether.

One combination anyone wanting to lose weight must avoid is high fat and high sugar foods together. Foods high in sugar cause the body to release higher levels of insulin to control blood sugar levels. The only issue is, when insulin tells your cells to take more sugar out of the blood to keep blood levels stable, it also tells the body to take up more fat. So essentially the combination of high fat and high sugar foods together, is telling your body to place that fat straight into your fat cells. For example, chocolate, ice-cream, dried fruit and nuts and many processed foods contain this combination should be avoid. If you are unsure if a food is high in fat or sugar, consider downloading the ‘Food Tracker’ app, where you can add in the total grams per 100 grams for fat and sugar and it will display a traffic light colour either green, amber or red if it is considered an unhealthy level.

We all need to drink more water, yet drinking water with your meals is not the best time to do. Drinking large volumes of water with your food can dilute your digestive juices and affection the digestion of your food. Your water intake is best drunk in between meals, however if you do like to have water with your meal, just make sure you sip and not gurgle.

Step It Up in Winter Challenge 1 – results


Congratulations to everyone who stuck it out with a pedometer strapped on their hip for 6 weeks! The following participants managed to record over 70,000 steps every week of the 6 week challenge with their total steps equaling;

1. Nicky – 592,368
2. Nui – 577168
3. Kay – 561,663
4. Julie – 520,611
5. Kimber – 503,781
My steps don’t count but just in case you’re wondering – 754,929.

Weekly summary of results

All weekly prize winners received prizes to the value of $30 including items such as Healthquarters Cap, ‘Never, Never Give Up’ Bracelet, Water Bottles, Health Magazine.

Week 1 – random prize winner – Kay
Most steps;
1. 99,925 Leticia
2. 94,345 Kay
3. 84,889 Liska

Week 2 – random prize winner – Leticia
Most steps;
1. 108,440 Nui
2. 87,228 Julie
3. 75,704 Aloma

Week 3 – random prize winner – Julie
Most steps;
1. 106,186 Nui
2. 104,050 Nicky
3. 100,511 Kay

Week 4 – random prize winner – Dom
Most steps;
1. 110,782 Nui
2. 95,884 Leticia
3. 95,595 Kay

Week 5 – random prize winner – Nui
Most steps;
1. 98,275 Kay
2. 90,061 Nicky
3. 88,483 Julie

Week 6 – all participants achieving the target of 70,000 steps every week for 6 week received a prize
Most steps;
1. Nicky – 592,368
2. Nui – 577168
3. Kay – 561,663

I hope you enjoyed the challenge. Stay tuned for the Shape up for Summer Challenge commencing October 2014!

Why Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?

why walk 10000

Well, it all started in Japan many, many years ago…

The recommended 10,000 steps a day originated in Japan in the early 1960s. Japanese researchers led by Dr Yoshiro Hatano determined the average person took 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day, and that if they were to increase their steps to 10,000 steps per day, the result would be healthier, thinner people!

Dr. Hatano’s calculations also showed that we should walk 10,000 steps a day to burn about 20% of our caloric intake through activity.

It took a couple more decades for the modern pedometer and Dr Yoshiro Hatano’s research of 10,000 steps to reach a wider audience, such as America, even though millions of Japanese had been using this amazingly simple but highly effective motivational tool for many years prior. With obesity steadily climbing due to inactivity and high consumptions of fast foods, it wasn’t until the early 90s that researchers and the consumer market turned to the humble pedometer and Dr Hatanos’ 10,000 step research to try to increase activity levels of the ever-growing inactive population.

Today, the World Health Organisation (WHO), US Centre for Disease Control, US Surgeon General, American Heart Foundation, US Department of Health & Human Services, and the National Heart Foundation of Australia all recommend individuals take 10,000 steps a day to improve their health and reduce the risk of disease.

10,000 steps a day is a realistic goal that is achievable by people of all shapes, sizes and ages.

Interesting facts about Japan and pedometers

  • In Japan, pedometers are one of the most popular fitness devices with a typical household owning an average of 3.1 pedometers.
  • Japanese call pedometers ‘Manpo-kei’ meaning 10,000 steps meter.
  • The Japanese government set an industrial standard that any pedometer sold in Japan must be accurate within 3% of actual steps taken.

So… now you know why you need to walk 10,000 steps, you need to ‘Just Do It’!

Step it Up in Winter Challenge Week 1

step it up

Congratulations to everyone who have taken on the Step It Up in Winter Pedometer Challenge. We have 20 people participating, ranging in ages from 10 to 71!  The challenge is a 6-week pedometer challenge, where the goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day and each over 70,000 steps at the end of each week. Those reaching over 70,000 steps go in the draw to win a prize.

Week 1 Statistics
38.8% reached the weekly target of over 70,000 steps, well done!
Most steps;
1. 99,925 Leticia
2. 94,345 Kay
3. 84,889 Liska

Week 1 Prize Winner
Congrats to Kay who has won the week 1 prize.

Step It Up and keep walking to achieve over 70,000 steps for week 2.

Want to join?
Healthquarters will run another 6-week Step It Up Challenge starting Monday 14 July. Register NOW. Click here.

Oxfam – HQ Trailwalkers


The HQ (Healthquarters) Trailwalkers are walking to raise funds for Oxfam to help communities suffering from poverty and injustice. We need your help to help Oxfam, every little bit counts and donations are tax deductible (over $2). Donate now and follow our training blog.

Winter warming foods

winter warming foods

As the temperature drops, we naturally begin to crave foods that keep us warm. Choose more soups, stews, slow cooked and roasted meals filled with plenty of vegetables and spices to keep you warm and ensure your immune system stays in tip top fighting shape during winter.

Just by adding a few of these ingredients, you’ll be sure to feel warm and healthy inside and out!

Cinnamon, ginger and garlic all pack heat. They boost your metabolism and carry all sorts of medicinal marvels to keep winter colds at bay. Garlic stimulates immune functioning and contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Ginger also promotes blood flow to your extremities, literally helping to keep you warm from your nose to your toes.

Choose plenty of vegetables rich in beta carotene such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, kale and spinach. Foods rich in beta carotene boost immunity against viral and bacterial infections.

Including plenty of hot foods in winter, not only keeps you warmer, they may help to thin out mucous secretions acting as a decongestant and expectorant. Include more foods such as chillies, onions, ground pepper, mustard, horseradish, wasabi, Tabasco, capsicum, curry powder, paprika, mustard seeds and cayenne pepper. Just a small amount greatly enhances the flavour of a meal.

By adding in these ingredients you will boost your immunity. Choose more dark green leafy vegetables for their iron, and Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables like kiwi, strawberries, oranges, carrots, pumpkins, turnips and cabbage. Also include foods rich in zinc as your immune system cannot function at its best without it. The greatest source of zinc is found in oysters.

Other helpful tips to remember during winter include avoiding processed foods, sugar and soft drinks. Get sufficient sleep. Inadequate rest and sleep can cause the breakdown of your immune system making you more vulnerable to the cold and flu’s. Keep calm and avoid stress! Don’t smoke and limit alcohol consumption. Drink plenty of fluids and maintain regular light exercise – movement assists in loosening up built up mucous and fluids.

OH! Magazine – June Edition

In this month’s edition, you’ll meet Sharon Basset, who recently completed her journey on The Biggest Loser TV show. Plus, you’ll learn about:

  • The notion of ‘executive athletes’
  • Michelle Bridges’ formula for flat abs
  • Why recovery is as important as your training
  • The truth about salt
  • What you need to know when choosing a puppy
  • Photo tips for taking amazing wedding pics
  • And so much more!

You can get into this month’s issue by heading here:

Seven bad desk habits and how to break them

bad desk

From sugar cravings to slouching, Eat Fit Food’s nutritionist and personal trainer Katherine Rothwell, talks us through the worst work habits and how to reverse them today.

“Nutrition is vital to your focus, attention, energy, stress levels, productivity and sleep. If you are munching on processed foods, sugary foods and high-fat foods, you need to change your food choices or your health and work will suffer. Ensure your lunch plate is filled half with vegetables, a portion of protein and a portion of whole grains, nuts or seeds. Don’t let yourself get too hungry or you will grab anything in sight.”

Read more

Diet drinks link to heart attacks and strokes

diet coke

Women who drink two diet drinks or more a day could be 30 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke later in life., research has shown.

A study of 60,000 women in their fifties and sixties found a strong link between consuming large amounts of apparently “healthy” soft drinks and heart disease. Researchers from the University of Iowa found that women who drank two or more diet drinks a day were 30 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke and 50 per cent more at risk of dying from a heart-related problem.

The scientists suggested that this could be because diet drinks tend to be popular among the overweight and diabetics, who are more at rick of heart disease in the first place. Another theory is that aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in most diet drinks, interferes with chemicals in the body that cause us to crave sugar.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday April 3, 2014.

Harper’s Bazaar – Diary of a whole food cleanse


Harper’s Bazaar recently published an article about an editor’s experience following a 5-day cleanse diet plan through Eat Fit Food. The boutique food delivery service, offered across Sydney and Melbourne,  offers a variety of programs, including a 5 day cleanse, 10 day detox, 20 day overhaul and ongoing food delivery. As Eat Fit Food’s resident nutritionist, I have been “quoted” and answered a few burning questions about following a cleanse diet. Read more here.



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