News

Fad diet

What are fad diets, and are they good for your health?

We’ve all heard of fad diets.

Do they work? And can you lose weight by going on a fad diet?

Fad diets explained

A fad diet is a popular diet that makes promises of weight loss or other health advantages without backing by solid science.

Fad diets are often highly restrictive. In some cases, they eliminate whole foods such as dairy or grains. They often consist of unusual, expensive and unnecessary food products and ingredients.

Essentially, they deprive you of the essential nutrients that only balanced eating can offer.

You may be looking for a fast way to lose weight and look to a fad diet to solve your problems. Although these diets may provide short-term results, they’re difficult to sustain over the long term.

Any weight you initially lost may be put back on. Some dieters end up in a worse position than when they started.

How can you spot a fad diet?

Typically, a fad diet shares some, or all, of the following characteristics:

  • Promises a quick fix
  • Promotes ‘magic’ foods or combinations of foods
  • Implies that food can change body chemistry
  • Excludes or severely restricts food groups or nutrients, such as carbohydrates
  • Has rigid rules that focus on weight loss
  • Makes claims based on a single study or testimonials only.

Examples of some common fad diets

Paleo

Focusing on eating lots of fresh produce and having minimal amounts of sugar and salt in your food – like our ancestors did – has numerous positive health benefits.

However, removing dairy products and wholegrains is not recommended for a well-balanced diet.

Raw food

This diet requires a lot of time and preparation of unprocessed plant-based food and some raw animal products, and it can be hard to get adequate energy.

However, adding raw foods to your regular diet is a great way to boost health, like having salad with your dinner.

Flexitarian

A flexitarian predominantly eats a plant-based diet, but occasionally eats meat when the urge strikes.

There’s no need to cut out meat to be healthy, so if a flexitarian diet sounds appealing, build your meals around vegetarian protein sources (legumes, beans and eggs), vegetables and wholegrains, and enjoy meat on the weekend.

Sometimes you need a special diet

Of course, some medical conditions do require special eating plans. In these instances, any recommendations from your Pascoe Vale doctor should be followed.

Fad diets can cause health problems

Because they often cut out key foods, fad diets may cause the following symptoms:

  • Dehydration
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea and headaches
  • Constipation
  • Inadequate vitamin and mineral intake.

Fad diets may be unsafe over the long term, and could even lead to an increased risk of various diseases.

So, what should you do?

Try to avoid fad diets.

You can achieve and maintain a healthy body weight by having a balanced diet, and you won’t have to cut out any foods because you can eat everything – in moderation.

If you’re not sure what moderation means or you need any help with diet, nutrition or just food in general, please reach out to us. Our team of experienced doctors and in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller, can help you.

Remember to combine a balanced diet with regular physical activity too. Our exercise physiologist, Mike Fitzsimon, can help you get active and live life to the fullest!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Sports Dietitians Australia

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Speech pathology for preschool kids

Speech pathology for preschool kids – why it’s important

Have you seen the movie, The King’s Speech?

King George VI tries to overcome his stuttering problem with the help of a speech therapist and makes himself worthy enough to lead the UK through World War II.

What does this have to do with speech pathology for kids, you may ask?

Well, early intervention from a speech pathologist is recommended for those who have speech, language and communication difficulties (though you can seek help at any age).

For stuttering in particular, it’s important to catch it and get it resolved prior to your child starting school.

So, had King George been helped much earlier, he may not have found himself in such a predicament.

Stuttering is only one aspect of speech pathology for kids. Let’s look at the stages of preschool children’s speech development.

Speech – 0 to 3 years

Learning to speak is a crucial part of a child’s development. The most intensive period of speech and language development happens in the first three years of life.

You generally can’t understand babies when they start making noises and try to speak. However, by 18 months, parents can start to understand a bit.

How well words can be understood by parents

By this age A child’s speech is intelligible by
18 months 25%
24 months 50-75%
36 months 75-100%

Source: Lynch, Brookshire & Fox (1980), p. 102, cited in Bowen (1998).

While most children are fully intelligible by 36 months, many toddlers have difficulty saying sounds correctly all the time.

Some words are more difficult than others for children to say, so they may make some sound errors (e.g. “tat” for cat and “pam” for pram).

Sometimes, children are difficult to understand when they’re using longer sentences.

What can parents do to help?

Parents can continue to help their toddler’s speech development by modelling the correct way of saying words, particularly when children make occasional sound errors.

However, if a toddler’s speech is very difficult for parents to understand, or if children are using gestures (and grunts) in place of words, parents should contact a speech pathologist for further advice.

You can see our in-house speech pathologist, Naomi DeNicolo, here.

You can also have your child’s hearing checked by an audiologist.

Speech – preschool (3 to 5 years)

Progress made in the preschool years is crucial to mastering the rules of language.

Preschool children start to use much longer sentences, yet their speech should still be understood by unfamiliar people (outside of the family) about 75% of the time.

By 5 years of age, anyone (including unfamiliar listeners) should be able to understand the child’s speech in conversation 95-100% of the time.

Some sounds are later to develop and children may still have difficulty with them at this age.

For instance, preschool children commonly have difficulty with “r” (e.g. saying “wed” for red), “v” (e.g. saying “berry” for very), and “th” (e.g. saying “fank you” for thank you).

What can parents do to help?

If you’re concerned about your child’s speech development, their hearing can be checked by an audiologist (as hearing is important in learning how to say sounds correctly).

In addition, speech pathology is recommended if:

  • kids can’t be understood
  • they’re frustrated with attempts to communicate
  • their speech appears very effortful
  • they’re using very few words, or
  • they’re not using sounds at the start of words (e.g. saying “ish” for fish).

Address and resolve issues early

By school age (5+), kids’ speech should be easily understood by everyone. So, it’s important to address any issues early, ideally before your child starts school.

For all ages, you can check your child’s progress according to these milestones. If you’re unsure about your child’s development, or have any questions, please reach out to us.

We’re only a phone call away on 9304 0500. We’d love to help your child reach their full capacity.

 

Source: Speech Pathology Australia

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Tips to survive the heat

Do you know the 5 tips to survive the heat?

Do you know the 5 tips to survive the heat?

It’s been pretty hot and dry lately. In fact, 2019 was the hottest and driest year on record in Australia.

Heat can kill

Did you know that heat kills more Australians than any natural disaster?

In addition:

  • Extreme heat can affect anybody
  • Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to heatstroke (it’s fatal in up to 80% of cases)
  • Those most at risk are older people, young children and people with a medical condition.

 

So, how can you protect yourself and your loved ones during the hot summer months?

5 tips to survive the heat

1. Drink plenty of water

  • Keep a full drink bottle with you.
  • Take small sips of water frequently.
  • If your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much you should drink during hot weather.

2. Never leave anyone in a car

  • Never leave kids, adults or pets in cars – the temperature can double in minutes.

3. Stay somewhere cool

  • Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings, e.g. shopping centres.
  • Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers.
  • Block out the sun at home by closing curtains and blinds.
  • Open the windows when there’s a cool breeze.
  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
  • Dress yourself and those in your care lightly.
  • Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton and linen.
  • Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
  • Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored.
  • Avoid intense activity like exercise, renovating and gardening.
  • Watch or listen to news reports for more information.
  • Don’t forget your pets – keep them cool and give them plenty of water.

4. Plan ahead

  • Keep up to date with weather forecasts.
  • Cancel non-essential outings and plan essential activities for the coolest part of the day.
  • Stock up on food, water and medicines so you don’t have to go out in the heat.
  • Visit your doctor to check if changes are needed to your medicines during extreme heat.
  • Store medicines safely at the recommended temperature.
  • Check that your fan or air-conditioner is working.
  • Prepare for power failures – ensure you have a torch, battery-operated radio, fully charged mobile phone or battery back-up, food items that don’t require refrigeration, medications, plenty of drinking water and other essential items.
  • Look at the things you can do to make your home cooler such as installing window coverings, shade cloths or external blinds.

5. Check in on others

  • Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, older people, young children, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family who may need help. Call or visit them on any extreme heat day.
  • Encourage them to drink plenty of water.
  • Offer to help family, friends and neighbours who are aged over 65 or have an illness by doing shopping or other errands so they can avoid the heat.
  • Take them somewhere cool for the day or have them stay the night if they are unable to stay cool in their home.
  • If you observe symptoms of heat-related illness, seek medical help.

We’re here for you

As always, we’re here for you.

If you’re affected by extreme heat, please don’t hesitate to make a booking with your Pascoe Vale doctor. In the case of an emergency, call 000.

Stay safe this summer!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel

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Our top reads for 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, let’s look back at our most popular health news articles for the year.

From recipes and exercise tips to getting the flu vaccination, here are the top five reads of 2019.

Happy reading and have a wonderful new year!

#5. Summer recipe – Potato salad with egg

Summer recipe

Tasty, nutritious recipes are always popular with readers. This summer-inspired recipe serves six people and would be a nice addition to any Christmas lunch! Why not give it a go?

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#4. Five exercise tips for spring

Exercise in spring

Our spring exercise tips really resonated with people. Why? Whether you’ve lost strength, gained weight, been depressed or a bit unwell, these exercise tips can change all that.

READ MORE

#3. What do your feet have to do with diabetes?

Diabetes foot disease

When it comes to our feet, we rarely think about diabetes. Instead, things like calluses and ingrown toenails usually spring to mind. So what do our feet have to do with diabetes?

READ MORE

#2. Winter is coming. Get your flu shot

Flu shot Melbourne

Each year Melbourne braces itself for the flu. Some years are relatively good, while others are bad. Getting the flu vaccination is your best chance at stopping the flu.

READ MORE

#1. The Strong Room – our specialised gym in Pascoe Vale

Targeted exercise to help diabetes

Back in May we introduced our gym in Pascoe Vale known as The Strong Room. It’s a friendly place where our allied health professionals work with you to achieve your goals.

READ MORE

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Improve your diet without even trying

10 ways to improve your diet without even trying

Changing your food habits may seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you follow our top 10 tips to eating healthy, you will notice results – without even breaking a sweat!  

1. Go brown or wholegrain

White cereals and grains are often highly processed, with a high glycaemic index (GI). This means they behave like sugars. By choosing low GI wholegrain breads, brown basmati rice, and grains such as barley, quinoa, amaranth and teffyou increase your fibre intake and stay fuller for longer! Quinoa, amaranth and teff are also sources of protein, calcium and iron, making them great for vegans and vegetarians!

2. Use legumes

Legumes are the humblest of super foods. They are a rich source of dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants, and consumption has been linked to reduction in colorectal cancer, diabetes and heart disease risk. Furthermore, studies have shown that replacing meat with vegetarian alternatives can add years to your life! If you can tolerate legumes, try a Meatless Monday burger, replacing mince patties with chickpea patties. Also, replace your regular potato chips with roasted chickpeas, which contain less than half the fat, and over double the protein and fibre.

3. Add vegetables to (almost) everything

There is no dish or snack a vegetable cannot feature in, in our opinion. Try adding more vegetables and less fruit to your next smoothie, and reduce the sugar content. Avoid the mid-afternoon snack attack by bulking up your wrap or sandwich with at least 3 varieties of vegetables to keep you fuller. Reduce the calorie content of your meal by cutting your portion of meat and starch, and adding a veggie side dish. Remember, the aim is 5 serves a day!

4. Eat from a smaller plate

Forget what grandma used to eat. It’s how much grandma used to eat. Our standard dinner plate size has increased by nearly 37% since the 1960s. Eating from smaller dishes can help you feel fuller even though you may be eating the same amount, or less. One study showed that participants switching from a 30cm diameter plate to the recommended 25cm diameter plate ate 22% less. What size are your plates at home?

5. Buy unsweetened varieties

Many low-fat foods contain large amounts of added sugars, particularly dairyIn fact, a typical flavoured yoghurt contains 2-3 tsp of added sugar per serve! If you like a little sweetness, buy the plain option, and create your own flavours. Frozen berries, when defrostedswirl nicely into yoghurt, as do unsweetened apple puree and fresh passionfruit. Even adding 1tsp of honey will result in less sugar. 

6. Opt for Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked with reducing cholesterol, improving eyesight, reducing joint inflammation, and even treating depression. Tapping into these benefits requires an intake of marine-sourced Omega-3 at least three times a week, or daily intake of plant-sourced Omega-3. Opting for tinned salmon or sardines instead of tuna, and choosing walnuts, linseeds and chia seeds over other nut and seed varieties, will help you reach these targets. 

7. Look for calcium fortified

There are so many milk substitutes available today, including nut milks, soy milk, rice milk, etc. Not all of these are fortified with calcium. Calcium is the major mineral responsible for bone heath, and studies show that less than half of us are meeting our daily needs. It’s no wonder, then, that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men develop osteoporosis later in life. The time to develop your peak bone mass is in adolescence and young adulthood. So if you’re choosing a milk substitute, make sure it’s calcium fortified!

8. Choose reduced salt varieties

Did you know, most of our salt intake (about 75%) comes from consuming packaged and processed foods, rather than salt added during cooking or at the table? High salt intake can harden arteries and contribute to high blood pressure, fluid retention and kidney damage. If you’re using packaged foods regularly, which many of us do, look to see whether your favourite items come in a reduced salt variety. Common examples include soy sauce, stock powders and liquids, and tinned soups. Even Vegemite has released a reduced salt option!

9. Trim your meats before cooking

When you cook chicken with the skin on and porterhouse steak untrimmed, the saturated fat melts into your meat flesh. I know you might say – that’s why it tastes better! – but it can also send your cholesterol soaring, even if you don’t eat the remaining fat layer. There are healthier ways to keep your meats tender, for example, marinating in olive oil and fresh or paste herbs, or cooking in a stock or tomato-based sauce.

10. Carry a water bottle

Water is the most underrated, yet arguably the most important ‘nutrient’ for protecting our health. It forms the basis of blood, which flows through all parts of our body, providing nutrients, oxygen and other life essentials. Unfortunately, our bodies are not very intuitive when it comes to hydration, and often, we mistake it for hungerTo avoid fatigue and unnecessary snacking, carry a water bottle with you, sip throughout the day, and aim to drink between 1.5-2L! 

Need nutrition advice?

We hope you liked these tips to improve your diet without even trying. If you need professional nutrition advice, it’s easy with our dietitian in Pascoe Vale.

Simply make an appointment online or call 9304 0500. We’d love to see you soon!

 

This article originally appeared on The Nutrition Code.

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Good night's sleep

How can you get a good night’s sleep?

Like oxygen, food and water, sleep is essential for good health. It refreshes the mind and repairs the body.

But how do you get a good night’s sleep?

It starts with making a commitment to improving your ‘sleep hygiene’. This basically means habits that help you have a good night’s sleep.

Common sleeping problems (such as insomnia) are often caused by bad habits reinforced over years or even decades. You can dramatically improve your sleep quality by making a few minor adjustments to lifestyle and attitude.

1. Obey your body clock

Getting a good sleep means working with your body clock, not against it. Suggestions include:

  • Get up at the same time every day. Soon this strict routine will help to ‘set’ your body clock and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night
  • Don’t ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready
  • Don’t go to bed if you don’t feel tired. You will only reinforce bad habits such as lying awake
  • Get enough early morning sunshine. Exposure to light during early waking hours helps to set your body clock.

2. Improve your sleeping environment

Good sleep is more likely if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. Suggestions include:

  • Invest in a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft
  • Make sure the room is at the right temperature
  • Ensure the room is dark enough
  • If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs or loud neighbours), use earplugs
  • Use your bedroom only for sleeping and intimacy. If you treat your bed like a second lounge room – for watching television or talking to friends on the phone, for example – your mind will associate your bedroom with activity.

3. Avoid drugs

Common pitfalls of drugs include:

  • Cigarettes – accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure (caused by the nicotine) are likely to keep you awake for longer
  • Alcohol – alcohol disturbs the rhythm of sleep patterns so you won’t feel refreshed in the morning, and you may wake frequently to go to the toilet
  • Sleeping pills – these can cause daytime sleepiness, and after a period of using them, falling asleep without them tends to be harder. These drugs are generally prescribed under strict conditions.

4. Relax your mind

Insomnia is often caused by worrying. Suggestions include:

  • When going to bed, remind yourself that you’ve already done your worrying for the day.
  • Try relaxation exercises, like consciously relaxing every part of your body (starting with your toes and working up to your scalp).

In addition to these four areas, there are other lifestyle adjustments that may help improve your sleep. This includes exercising regularly and avoiding caffeinated drinks (like coffee and cola).

Our Pascoe Vale doctors can help you make the right adjustments to get a better night’s sleep. In some cases, we may even refer you to a sleep disorder clinic.

If you’ve tried and failed to improve your sleep, it’s time to talk to us. You deserve a good night’s sleep!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Skin cancer

Checking for skin cancer

Skin cancer is a disease of the body’s skin cells. Skin cancer develops when the cells which make up our skin are damaged and grow abnormally.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of skin cancer. Each time your skin is damaged by UV, changes take place in the structure and function of the skin cells.

If UV damage keeps adding up, skin cells become less able to repair, increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Early treatment is key

Most skin cancer can be successfully treated if it’s found early. But without treatment, skin cancer can be deadly.

Get to know your skin and what looks normal for you to help you find changes earlier. Get into the habit of checking your skin regularly.

This is also important if you have naturally dark skin. Although your risk of melanoma is lower, it is more likely to be found at a later, more dangerous stage than people with lighter skin.

Checking your skin

Most skin cancers are found by people checking their own skin, or are noticed by a loved one.

So how do you check your skin? First, find a room with good light and a full-length mirror.

If you’re on your own, use a hand-held mirror as well to check skin you can’t see (e.g. your scalp, back, etc.).

Undress and check all of your skin, not just sun-exposed areas. This includes your underarms, scalp, groin, and the soles of your feet.

Examine your skin, body part by body part, until you have checked your whole body.

Watch the video below for a step-by-step approach to a self-examination.

 

You can read about the signs of skin cancer here.

What if you find something?

If you notice anything unusual, including any new spots, or change in shape, colour or size of a spot, visit your Pascoe Vale doctor as soon as possible.

If you’re unable to do a self-examination, you can book in a regular skin check with one of our doctors.

Remember to be sun smart!

It’s never too late to protect yourself from the sun. Remember to follow these five steps:

  1. Slip on clothing
  2. Slop on sunscreen
  3. Slap on a hat
  4. Seek shade
  5. Slide on sunglasses.

Using sun protection will cut your risk of skin cancer at any age. Ask us if you have any questions!

 

Source: SunSmart

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Wendell Vagg

Getting to know Pascoe Vale physiotherapist Wendell Vagg

We sat down with physiotherapist Wendell Vagg to find out about his passion for physio and what makes him tick.

Remember, if you need any help with physio in Pascoe Vale, please reach out to us.

So Wendell, a question that physios often get asked, why physiotherapy?

During school I loved subjects such as sport and science and hated the idea of spending my life doing a desk-based job.

Trips to the local physio as a teenager made me very aware of what a physiotherapist did and it seemed to fit the bill for what I was looking to do.

I have a very down-to-earth and understanding personality, qualities which fit perfectly into this profession. I also really wanted to move to Melbourne to study so chose to do physio and haven’t looked back. 

How does this philosophy translate to a physio consultation in Pascoe Vale?

A consultation with me involves a very open and relaxed environment with a lot of the client talking and me listening to help fully understand what they’re struggling with.

Once we have identified the main issue(s), I work with them to problem-solve the steps and processes involved to achieve their goals.

A large part of the initial consultation will be education to ensure the client fully understands what is happening, how to put the steps in place to improve and have realistic expectations of time frames.

It’s all about developing a trusting and understanding relationship with the client.  

How does your personal academic, family and sporting history influence your physiotherapy practice?

I grew up on a farm, moved to the city to study/work and have also lived overseas.

I have worked in public hospitals, private practices, aged care facilities and with sporting clubs so have extensive experience with all sorts of clients across all sorts of settings.

Like most Australians, I love sport. And just like most participants I have had my fair share of injuries over the years including foot, ankle, achilles, calf, knee, hamstring, shoulder, thumb and back issues. So I know what it’s like to be in pain and have gone through many rehabilitation journeys.

All of these experiences have helped mould me into the understanding and experienced clinician I am today.

In Pascoe Vale, we see many of our valued clients from diverse population groups, with many different problems. How do you personalise your service?

I have extensive experience across many different settings. The majority of my early years were spent working in public hospitals in West Melbourne, a highly multicultural area.

I also spent two years working in London which has a very similarly diverse cultural population. I have been lucky enough to travel to more than 40 countries across the world, spending time in places where many of my clients originated from.

These experiences along with the many different physio settings have equipped me perfectly to easily develop a professional relationship with each patient and appropriately tailor their physio journey to achieve their goals. 

Is there anything that we can do as sub-elite sportspeople to help reduce our own injury risks?

A lot of it comes down to common sense.

Overloading is a very easy thing to do without realising, e.g. running 6km instead of 3km because you missed a session.

Often you will not realise you’re doing too much until afterwards or the next day when symptoms become more obvious. Injuries in elite athletes are inevitable because they are pushing their bodies to their limits on a consistent basis.

However, we can learn from their preparation and incorporate this into our own habit.

There are many factors which help to reduce injury risk including:

  • Consistency
  • Specificity of training
  • Gradual progression/load increase
  • Healthy diet
  • Good sleep habits
  • Incorporating strength training into your routine.

At the risk of alienating the majority of our audience, who are you favourite teams?

Essendon in the AFL, the men’s and women’s Australian cricket teams, Melbourne Storm and Tottenham in the EPL.

And I will happily jump on board the bandwagon of any Aussie national team or individual who is doing well!

For weekend warriors, what are your top 3 tips to reduce injury risk?

  • Don’t overcomplicate it – keep it simple and consistent, and never increase a parameter by more than 20%
  • Strength training is the most underrated tool to prevent injury
  • Prioritise sleep!

And finally Wendell, for all those who need physiotherapy care in Pascoe Vale, how would they book in for an assessment with you? Where are you located?

I’m located within PVH Medical, 124 Kent Rd, Pascoe Vale. It’s easy to book an appointment online or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Tips for healthy eating on a budget

8 tips for healthy eating on a budget

On a budget, and worried about increased grocery bills?

The truth is – eating healthier will probably save money overall, because you will be purchasing less takeaway, and making more meals from scratch. However, your grocery bills are likely to increase, and this can seem overwhelming!

To help ease you into heavier grocery demands, we’ve compiled eight tips for healthy eating on a budget.

1. Select recipes with fewer ingredients

During your healthy eating journey, you may be experimenting with new recipes using fresh produce.

Why not select meals with fewer ingredients to reduce your costs? Or, consider what ingredients you already have in your fridge and pantry, and select recipes to complement this.

2. Shop seasonally

In-season fruit and vegetables will be cheaper to purchase, so opt for meal ideas and snacks that feature seasonal produce.

For example, spring vegetables include leeks, Asian greens, beetroot, broccoli, peas, asparagus, silverbeet and cauliflower. Fruits include avocados, apples, mandarins, strawberries, rhubarb, pears and bananas.

Also, make sure you check out your local farmer’s markets, and larger fresh food markets. Some greengrocers will have daily specials on seasonal fruits and vegetables.

3. Buy home brands where you can

Sure – for certain products (e.g. bread, crackers and cereals), there may be key nutritional differences between the ‘big brands’ and the supermarket home brands.

However, for wholefood products such as rolled oats, natural yoghurt, frozen berries and nuts – there is little or no difference. So why not save yourself a dollar or two!

4. Choose recipes using mince

Mince is usually the cheapest way to buy meat and chicken, gram for gram.

Mince-based recipes are usually great for cooking in bulk and freezing too, reducing the number of times you need to cook in a week. You know what that means – more time to hit the gym or spend time with family and friends!

5. Incorporate plant-based meals

Including vegan or vegetarian meals in your menu plan will definitely save you some hard-earned cash.

And, studies have shown that transitioning towards a more plant-based diet carries many health benefits, including reduced risk of certain cancers and metabolic diseases.

We suggest looking for plant-based meals that include at least 15-20g of protein per serve, so that you feel full after eating.

6. Make your own yoghurt

If you devour yoghurt like we do, you’d recognize how expensive this habit can be! Specifically, 1kg of Greek yoghurt can set you back at least $5-7.

If you have time on your hands, you can make your own yoghurt for less than $2 per kilogram, using milk and a starter culture.

7. Keep your eye out on specials

This is an obvious one, and applies to all ingredients, from vegetables through to meat. With regard to meat on special, don’t be turned off if the impending use-by date.

If you don’t plan on using this product until later in the week, stick it straight in the freezer straight away and defrost on the day you wish to cook it. When you freeze raw meats, the use-by date no longer applies – in fact, you can extend their ‘life’ for up to 6 months!

8. Don’t feel pressured to buy organic

Organic products are always more expensive. That is, unless they are on special.

And, whilst organic products may be more environmentally friendly (note – this is not always the case!), the jury is out as to whether there are any nutrition or health benefits for the extra dollars you spend. If you are on a budget, consider whether it’s worth spending the extra on organic food.

If you still prefer to buy organic, perhaps you can select some organic products and not others (e.g meat but not vegetables), or make cost savings elsewhere using the tips above.

Need nutrition advice?

We hope you liked our tips for healthy eating on a budget. If you need professional nutrition advice, it’s easy with our dietitian in Pascoe Vale.

Simply make an appointment online or call 9304 0500. We’d love to see you soon!

 

This article originally appeared on The Nutrition Code.

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Foot Health Week 2019

Celebrating Foot Health Week in Pascoe Vale

There are many exciting weeks on the calendar, but for the podiatry team at PVH Medical, none come close to Foot Health Week (October 14-20).

Why? Because we love feet, and loving healthy feet is much easier than loving the not-so-healthy feet.

Foot Health Week is an annual campaign spearheaded by the Australian Podiatry Association (A.Pod.A) where everyone is encouraged to think about those weird things on the end of our legs.

They’re not just for stubbing against the coffee table, or cramming into the latest and greatest shoe. For most of us, feet are the foundations that we live our life on.

Here’s what the A.Pod.A has to say about Foot Health Month 2019:

Now is the time to stand up for your health and well being. Check in with a podiatrist, the experts in foot health that will help you understand and manage your feet so they can support you in leading a happy and healthy life.

So, what do our podiatrists have to say?

Let’s have a chat with them about what good foot health means to them, and how you can get healthy feet, and keep them healthy too!

Tim Mulholland – Podiatrist

Tim Mulholland

To me, good foot health means no worries.

No worries whether I’m going to go for a long run in my lightweight training shoes. No worries if I decide to go for a long walk on the beach barefoot. And no worries because I know my good foot health gives me plenty in reserve to try to test my feet without too much grumbling.

This doesn’t mean I take good foot health for granted, you’ve got to work at it. For me this work is making sure I get my calf raise exercises done most days, wearing the right shoes, tidying up any callus before it gets out of hand.

To get or keep good foot health I recommend a variety of different things for different people. However, two of the universals are:

  • Calf raises. Truly. The calf raise is one of the greatest exercises for increasing the capacity of your feet to handle different activities. A quality calf raise doesn’t just strengthen the back of the leg, your intrinsic muscles in your feet will also work hard.
  • Well-fitting shoes for the right activities too. If you’re running, wear runners. If you’re hitting the town, go for shoes that look the part but don’t cause too much grief.

Ben Westaway – Podiatrist

Ben Westaway

To me, good foot health is having feet that you don’t have to think about. Feet that allow you to do whatever it is that your life involves.

If you ever think to yourself “I better not do that, my feet won’t be happy” that doesn’t mean bad foot health. It probably means that with a foot-focused strength and mobility plan from your podiatrist you won’t have so much of that ‘can’t’ approach to your own foot health.

To maintain good foot health I recommend using them regularly.

Sit down in the office, or on the couch at home and lace up your running shoes. Head out the door and move for 20 minutes. Walk if it’s comfortable, run if you’re feeling more energetic, meet some mates for a PT session in the park.

Whatever it is, move. If you get into the habit of doing it three times a week it might just change your life.

Rachael Leary – Podiatrist

Podiatrist Rachael Leary

To me, good foot health means taking the time to look after them, whether that be getting a foot massage, buying yourself a new pair of runners or booking in with your podiatrist to have your feet checked!

It doesn’t matter how small or big it is, taking the time to make sure our feet are healthy is important.

We spend a lot of time making sure we look after our bodies by doing things like going to the gym, taking vitamins and eating healthy. When we consider how much our feet have to do every day, it is just as important to add them to our list of things to take care of.

To get or keep good foot health I recommend:

  • Comfortable, supportive footwear! This one is at the top of my list because a really good pair of comfortable, supportive, stable shoes is what our feet need.
  • Wash and dry your feet thoroughly – making sure you get in between those toes!
  • Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with a nail file if needed, to avoid those stubborn ingrown toenails.

We hope that everyone is celebrating Foot Health Week every week, and particularly October 14 to 20. If you’re in need of some assistance getting that good foot health, you can book in with our expert team online or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Source: PridePlus Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Dietitian Pascoe Vale Melbourne

What to eat before and after a workout

Physical activity is important for so many different reasons.

It can help lower your risk of chronic diseases, improve mental health and aid in weight management.

Your nutrition and diet in conjunction with your exercise is important too.

We’re often warned not to ‘undo all our good work’ by making poor food choices when exercising. But equally as important, you should not deprive yourself, or you will have a poor quality workout and increase your risk of injury and exhaustion.

Consider your energy goals

When choosing appropriate pre- and post-workout meals and snacks, it’s important to consider your energy goals.

To lose weight, your energy targets will be smaller, so select foods and portions that pack only just enough of the right nutrients to fuel your exercise and recovery.

If you’re looking to add muscle mass, you will have higher energy targets, and may opt for larger pre- and post-workout meals.

What should be in your food pre-workout

Your pre-workout meals should be centered on low GI carbohydrates, which provide a constant and stable stream of energy for periods over an hour. The best meals will also contain:

  • Electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, which assist in nerve and muscle function
  • B vitamins, which assist in energy metabolism
  • Proteins, to protect and repair the working muscle.

It is recommended to limit fats pre-work out, as they delay the digestion and availability of carbohydrates and protein.

Good meal options

Some good options include:

  • Oats with low fat milk and berries(for higher energy targets, add banana and a drizzle of honey)
  • Fresh or frozen fruits with low-fat natural yoghurt (for higher energy targets, add ½ cup of natural muesli)
  • Green smoothie with 1 piece of fruit, a variety of vegetables and your choice of milk (for higher energy targets, add an additional fruit and ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1-2 slices of grain toast with low fat cottage cheese, sliced cucumber and tomato (for higher energy targets, add an additional slice of toast or a glass of Milo).

What should be in your food post-workout

While pre-workout meals are all about low GI carbs, the ideal post-workout meals will focus equally on high quality proteins.

This includes all essential amino acids, mostly sourced from animal products including eggs and dairy.

For vegans, soybeans and their products are a reasonable alternative.

Proteins are most important after a workout, and studies show that the ideal target is 20g for both men and women. This can easily be reached without splashing out on expensive protein powders.

Include low GI carbs as well, otherwise the protein in your meal will be used instead to replenish your energy stores.

Good meal options

The following examples contain at least 20g of high quality protein, low GI carbohydrate, and electrolytes:

  • 2 poached eggs on 2 slices of grain toast and roasted tomato
  • 1 small tin of tuna and 20g of low fat cheese in a wholegrain wrap with salad
  • 100-150g of lean chicken breast or fillet steak with 1 cup of mashed sweet potato and greens
  • Vegan curry of 100g of firm tofu with ½ cup of chickpeas, ½ cup basmati rice and mixed vegetables.

For higher energy targets, increase your portion size of protein and low GI carbohydrate.

Need help?

We understand that eating the right food and managing your diet can be difficult. That’s why we have an in-house dietitian who can help.

Enjoy your workout!

Further reading

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Exercise in spring

5 exercise tips for spring

Spring is here and it’s time to get moving!

If you’ve been hibernating, you’re not alone. Let’s face it, sometimes it just seems too hard to keep our motivation and enthusiasm for exercise during winter. The days are shorter, colder and the sofa seems more appealing!

So if you’ve had a break from exercise, lost some strength, gained some weight, felt depressed or been a bit unwell, exercise is the perfect way to change this. Spring is here and it’s time to take control.

Getting back in shape is an exciting but difficult journey so here are some essential tips for doing it right:

1. Get help from a pro

Avoid the common pitfall of too much too soon.

After a break you’re not the athlete that you were a few months ago. Chances are you’ve lost some fitness and therefore you need to plan your journey back to full health.

Exercise physiologists (EP) like me (Mike Fitzsimon from PridePlus Health) are the perfect professional to help tailor an evidence-based exercise routine to your needs. An EP will assess your capacity and recommend an appropriate training routine to get you back in shape whilst avoiding injury and/or burn out.

If you’re in pain and need physio to help get you started, a physiotherapist will diagnose and treat the cause and help you get moving again.

If you’re struggling with foot pain, not sure about what shoes you should be exercising in or wanting advice on changing your running gait, then a podiatrist would be your first port of call.

And finally, your GP in Pascoe Vale should also be part of your ‘Exercise Pro Team’. If you’re battling a chronic medical condition and need clearance prior to returning to exercise, your doctor can give you some guidance too.

2. Join a group

Exercising with others keeps you motivated. It’s fun to share a common goal and exchange stories.

Be part of a group that improves and achieves whilst maintaining an individual routine.

Being part of a community of exercisers helps you stay on track and gives you a focus.

We have lots of group exercise class options in our clinic in Pascoe Vale. Check out our group exercise timetable here.

3. Mix it up

Exercise should be varied to stimulate the right outcomes.

Cardio, weights, exercise bands, mobility exercises, balance exercises, indoors, outdoors – it’s like eating a well-balanced diet – get a bit of everything to help you improve.

If you’re running then you need resistance exercises. If you’re losing weight you need cardio and weights.

Your EP will help you work it out.

4. Move smarter

The quality of your movement will help you stay fit and healthy for longer.

Work on technique and posture before load so that you develop good habits and don’t get injured.

A simple walking or postural assessment or core strength assessment before you get started will help you stay on target to reach your goals and help you exercise whilst minimising injury.

5. Wear the right gear

Starting with the right footwear, and wearing workout clothes that breathe, will make you feel better and more comfortable.

As the days get warmer you should consider wearing breathable clothing and stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. When exercising outdoors make sure you slip, slop, slap to protect your skin from harmful UV rays as well.

This spring we’re looking forward to helping you hit your exercise goals. Book in with your Exercise Pro Team member here to get you going.

Further reading

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Stroke Pascoe Vale Melbourne

What is a stroke?

Stroke attacks the brain – the human control centre.

A stroke happens when the blood supply carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is interrupted. When brain cells do not get enough blood, they die at a rapid rate (up to 1.9 million brain cells every minute).

Stroke can affect people physically and emotionally, as well as the way they think – from muscle weakness and speech difficulties, to memory, hearing or vision issues.

Every stroke is different. It all depends on where in the brain the stroke occurs and how severe it is.

What are the symptoms of stroke?

Think F.A.S.T. It’s an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke:

  • Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

How can you manage your stroke risk?

There are some risk factors you cannot do anything about, like:

  • Age – the older you get the greater your risk of stroke.
  • Gender – stroke is more common in men.
  • A family history of stroke – having a parent or sibling who has had a previous stroke.
  • If you’ve had a previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

The good news is more than 80% of strokes can be prevented. Here are some things you can do to help reduce your stroke risk:

Raising awareness of stroke

Monday 2 to Sunday 8 September 2019 is National Stroke Week. It’s an annual opportunity to raise awareness of stroke and the Stroke Foundation in Australia.

The theme for 2019 is F.A.S.T heroes, recognising the people who spotted the signs of stroke and called an ambulance straight away, potentially saving a life.

Our team of doctors and allied health professionals at PVH Medical can work with you to help manage your stroke risk.

Make the first step by booking a health check online today.

 

Source: Stroke Foundation

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Eczema Melbourne

What is eczema, what causes it and how can you get help?

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a recurring, non-infectious, inflammatory skin condition affecting one in three Australians at some stage throughout their lives.

The condition is most common in people with a family history of an atopic disorder, including asthma or hay fever.

Atopic eczema

This is the most common form of the disease. The skin becomes red, dry, itchy and scaly. In severe cases, it may weep, bleed and crust over, causing the sufferer discomfort.

Although eczema affects all ages, it usually appears in early childhood (in babies between two-to-six months of age) and disappears around six years of age. In fact, more than half of all eczema sufferers show signs within their first 12 months of life and 20 per cent of people develop eczema before the age of five.

Most children grow out of the condition, but a small percentage may experience severe eczema into adulthood.

What causes eczema?

Eczema is caused by a person’s inability to repair damage to the skin barrier. Once the skin barrier is disrupted, moisture leaves the skin and the skin will become dry and scaly.

Environmental allergens (irritants from the person’s surrounds) can enter the skin and activate the immune system, producing inflammation that makes the skin red and itchy.

You are more likely to get eczema if your family has a history of eczema or allergic conditions, including hay fever and asthma.

In most cases, eczema is not caused or aggravated by diet. If you feel that food is to blame, see your doctor or a dietitian for proper allergy testing and dietary advice.

While eczema causes stress, and stress may increase the energy with which you scratch, stress does not in itself cause eczema.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

  • Moderate to severely itching skin
  • Rash – dry, red, patchy or cracked skin. Commonly it appears on the face, hands, neck, inner elbows, backs of the knees and ankles, but can appear on any part of the body
  • Skin weeping watery fluid
  • Rough, ‘leathery’, thick skin.

How does eczema affect people?

Although eczema is itself is not a life-threatening disease, it can certainly have a debilitating effect on a sufferer, their carers and their family’s quality of life. Night-time itching can cause sleepless nights and place a significant strain on relationships. Eczema ‘flare-ups’ can often lead to absenteeism from work and school.

Is there a cure for eczema?

Although there is no known cure for eczema and it can be a lifelong condition, treatment can offer symptom control.

Have a chat with your PVH Medical doctor about the treatment available. In some cases you may be referred to a dermatologist (skin specialist).

If you have any questions about eczema, please come and see us. To make a booking online, tap on ‘Book an Appointment’ at the top of the screen or download the Appointuit app on your phone.

 

Source: Eczema Association of Australia and BetterHealth Channel

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Patient survey

We’re listening to you and improving patient care

We recently carried out a patient survey called the Practice Accreditation and Improvement Survey. We asked for your honest opinions on the service we provide.

We’re pleased to announce that 98% of all patient ratings about our practice were good, very good or excellent. Thank you!

We listened to your concerns and have taken the following actions to make improvements to patient care where you feel it would be most useful.

Waiting times in the surgery

Our doctors and staff endeavour to start on time and work as efficiently as possible. At times emergencies can arise, which cause the doctors to run late or sometimes people just require extra time.

We now keep at least one appointment free per session for catching-up time.

We ask patients when making an appointment if they have several matters to discuss, and if so, a double appointment will be made.

Please ensure that you have made an appointment for each family member to be seen.

If you’ve been sitting in our waiting room for more than 20 minutes, please ask the receptionist to check that you have not been overlooked.

This information has been included on the TV in our waiting area, our patient newsletter and our website.

Telephone access to a nurse or doctor

You may contact the clinic at any time. If you call during a doctor’s consulting session, our reception team will usually take a message and have the doctor return your call.

If it’s an emergency, we’ll put your call through to a doctor or nurse for advice.

Patient flow around the reception desk

We are considering ways to make this a smoother process and avoid unnecessary waiting, particularly once you have seen the doctor.

Using the check-in kiosk can avoid the queue on your arrival. Ask us if you don’t know how to use it.

Thank you

Thanks for your valuable feedback. We look forward to continuing to look after your health needs.

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Physio Pascoe Vale

Building your buckets (how physio can help with diabetes)

A condition that physiotherapists often treat is called tendinopathy.

Also known as tendinitis, it’s a tendon disorder that results in pain, swelling, and impaired function.

People with diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing tendinopathy than those without diabetes.

Most tendinopathies take months to rehabilitate and get back to full, pain-free function. That’s why finding out what you can do to reduce your risk is really important.

The bucket analogy

To develop a tendinopathy you have to ask your tendon to do more work than it can handle, consistently.

Think of the tendon working as filling up a bucket. Each contraction leads to a little more water filling the bucket.

Contract and load equals a splash more in the bucket.

Contract and load again equals another splash.

When the bucket is full, the metaphorical tendon it represents is also full of work. This is where tendinopathy and pain often starts.

All of us have tendons which can do bucket loads of work. Where diabetes comes in is the size of the bucket – it’s much smaller.

We know from research and clinical practice that if you have diabetes your ability to work your tendons is reduced. In other words, your bucket size is smaller.

This sounds like bad news but there is a silver lining.

You can increase your bucket size

That’s right. You can increase your tendon’s ability to tolerate load.

How? With exercises and training.

Pre-injury, this can be guided by exercise physiology (EP) and is often part of a regular exercise routine. Loading muscles, bones and tendons together increase their ability to work.

When you’re injured, trying to live your life with a full bucket of work in your tendons means you need to get really specific with its management.

With the help of our physiotherapist, Naveena Seethapathy, a little bit of work can be taken out of your overloaded tendon, the work can be removed completely, or moved to another bucket (tendon).

This might be hands-on therapy, gait or movement re-training, shoe or aid use. Naveena can then work on that bucket capacity by training your sore tendon to be able to do more work in the future.

Physio Pascoe Vale

Pascoe Vale physio, Naveena Seethapathy

Help for those in pain

For those with diabetes, tackling full-bucket tendinopathies via this structured and evidence-based approach is proven to be the most effective method of treating tendinopathy.

You also get some great side effects. Those relating to building bigger buckets include:

  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased physical activity
  • Decreased usage of medications.

This can have a profound effect on your life, even if it just means you can now go for a walk to the shops!

Want to get on top of your pain?

If you want to build bigger buckets and get on top of your tendon pain, make a booking with our physiotherapist, Naveena, today.

The quickest way to do this is by tapping on ‘Book an Appointment’ on our website. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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