All Posts Tagged: diet

Weights and running shoes and fitness ball

6 ways to get a spring in your step

Spring has arrived!

So let’s go Pascoe Vale – it’s time to burst out of your caterpillar cocoon and spring into your butterfly wings.

But with coronavirus restrictions still in place, how do you do that?

Well, we’ve put together six quick tips to help you break free.

1. Get walking

Ideally, you should be walking (or doing other cardiovascular exercise) for at least 30 minutes every day.

If walking is too ‘comfortable’ for you, try jogging. We all need to get a little uncomfortable and embrace this for optimal health.

Of course, stop if anything hurts and check in with one of our physiotherapists.

2. Start doing some resistance training

This is weights or strength training. Every adult should get two sessions in per week, or the risk of chronic disease, illness and injury skyrockets.

Don’t know where to start? We suggest you have a chat with our exercise physiologist, Mike. He’s the exercise expert!

Getting started is easier than you think.

3. Break up your day

If you’re like most people and have been working or studying from home, set movement breaks in your day.

Inactivity is one of the biggest factors leading to injury and illness. So, avoid this with short bursts of movement.

You can start by working your way through these fantastic exercises that one of our physiotherapists, Dominic, has written about. There are lots of clear pictures to help you.

Free apps like Stand Up can also remind you to get up from your computer or couch.

4. Get your shoes sorted

Wear comfortable shoes for your activities as you start getting out and about.

If you’ve been living in moccasins whilst in lockdown, grab your sneakers, lace them up and get moving.

If your sneakers are in need of an update, treat yourself to a supportive, comfortable and lightweight pair ready for your daily exercise sessions.

Our team of podiatrists can help with any questions you have about footwear.

5. Get outside your comfort zone

Whether it’s physically or mentally, it’s good to get outside your comfort zone now and again. And there’s no better time to do it than spring.

Try running around the block. After a winter layoff this can lead to what’s known as ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ – or DOMS for short.

Embrace the soreness because it’s a sign you’re doing the right thing! DOMS is the reward and reminder our body gives us after we physically push ourselves outside our comfort zone.

If any muscle pain lingers for more than a few days, get it checked out by our physio, Dom. Dom knows DOMS!

When ramping up your physical activity, it’s always important to rest and recover. Getting a good night’s sleep and solid nutritional intake are vital.

6. Focus on your diet

Last but not least, your diet.

Try squeezing in some more seasonal fruit and vegies into your meals each day. Often the best seasonal food is in abundance, so it’s hard to miss at your local supermarket.

But if you’re unsure about what food is in season this spring, check out this handy guide.

And, as always, our dietitian and team of GPs can answer any questions you have.

We know it can be hard to burst into spring, especially after a winter of restrictions. But with a healthcare team to support you, you know you’re in good hands.

We look forward to seeing you burst out of your cocoon!

 

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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Healthy eating tips

7 easy healthy eating tips

Healthy eating is important, and we know it.

A national Omnipoll survey indicated 52% of Australians want to improve their eating habits and lose weight. However, only 1 in 20 of us meet daily recommended fruit and vegetable servings.

If you’re just a ‘beginner’, changing the way you eat can seem daunting and overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be.

Here are 7 easy healthy eating tips to get you started on your healthy eating journey.

1. Prepare more meals at home

What you make in your own kitchen is probably lower in fat, sugar and salt than if you ate out. You’re also more likely to serve yourself a smaller portion.

2. Plan ahead

Take 5 minutes at the end of each day, or 20 minutes on a Sunday, to plan out your healthy meals and snacks.

Make sure you have the ingredients you need, and if required, schedule some time to buy them. This will cut down your nights of takeaway and two-minute noodles!

3. Follow the ‘Healthy Plate’ guidelines

Have you seen a ‘healthy plate’ before? It’s half filled with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter is filled with lean protein, and the final quarter is for low GI carbohydrates.

Keep to these proportions and you’ll be well on your way!

4. Try one or two new recipes each week

Learn to love healthy food by researching and preparing new recipes that pack flavour. There’s heaps out there!

Make sure you plan these nights in advance. Inviting family and friends over for dinner is the perfect incentive.

5. Make the most of leftovers

When planning your meals for the week, consider when you might benefit from having leftovers, and prepare extra portions on days or nights when you can cook.

You’ll love coming home to a home-cooked meal after a long day, and the money you’ll save by not buying lunch.

6. Always have a fridge stocked with vegetables

Like point number 3, your lunch and dinner plate should always be half-full with vegetables, so make sure your fridge is ready!

Get the most out of your veggies by storing them in the crisper, and become familiar with shelf-lives, so you know which ones to use first.

7. Have a contingency plan

Some days, all planning and good intentions go out the window. So, always keep some frozen veggies and steamed-fish pouches in the freezer.

Soup is also a great option – just make sure there aren’t too many preservatives or salt (you can read the label if in doubt).

Help is at hand

If you need help with your diet, don’t hesitate to contact Jessica Fuller. She’s your friendly and knowledgeable Pascoe Vale dietitian who can help answer nutrition-related questions, prepare personalised meal plans for you and much more.

 

Source: 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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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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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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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 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

The first week of September is National Stroke Week. It’s an annual opportunity to raise awareness of stroke and the Stroke Foundation in Australia.

The theme for National Stroke Week is F.A.S.T heroes. These heroes are everyday Australians who know and can recognise the signs of stroke. They call 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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Healthy eating

Smart, healthy eating – do you do it?

Eating well is key to feeling your best, both now and in the long term.

We know healthy eating plays an important role in keeping your body healthy and strong, as well as preventing illness.

Go for 2 and 5

Eating 2 serves of fruit and at least 5 serves of vegetables each day is the single most important dietary change we can make to be healthier.

But how do we fit them all in?

Spreading fruit and vegies over breakfast, lunch and dinner (plus snacks if you need them) makes it easier to get our 2 fruit and 5 vegies per day.

Not sure what constitutes one serve? You can find out here.

Clever ways to enjoy more fruit and veg

Try the following simple meal and snack ideas. They will not only help you get your 2&5 but can save you time, money and even help shrink your waistline!

  • Chop vegies ahead of time and store them in containers in the fridge
  • Buy fruit and vegies that are in season – it’s cheaper and they’re generally tastier
  • Look for fruit and vegies that are cheaper per kilogram or unit
  • Try steaming some frozen vegies in the microwave or adding to a stir-fry when you’re pressed for time
  • Canned fruit and vegies are also good options to have on hand (choose canned fruit in natural juice or water, and canned vegetables with no added salt)
  • Try steaming, grilling, baking or stir-frying with just a small amount of oil
  • Make fruit and vegies more fun for kids, like cutting them into interesting shapes.

Healthy Eating Quiz

The Healthy Eating Quiz is a general guide, designed to help you rate how healthy your eating habits are. It will help to identify areas in which you’re already eating a wide variety of foods and areas where you may be able to improve.

At the end of the quiz, you will receive a score with general feedback on your current eating patterns. It will also give you suggestions for ways to increase the variety of foods in your diet.

If you have any questions about your score, or for tailored advice on healthy eating, please make a booking with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller.

How does your diet stack up? Take the Healthy Eating Quiz now to find out.

Smart Eating Week

When it comes to food and nutrition, do you know how to make the right choices for you?

Find the answer to your questions by participating in Smart Eating Week! It runs from 10-16 February, 2020.

You can get involved by spreading the word, attending an event, reading up on smart eating, as well as joining the conversation on social media with hashtag #SmartEatingWeek.

We make getting dietary advice easy

For dietary advice and nutritional wellbeing, make a booking today with our Pascoe Vale dietitian, Jessica Fuller. You can book online – it’s easy!

 

Source: Dietitians Association of Australia and SA 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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Healthy new year’s resolutions

5 healthy new year’s resolutions for you and your family

New year’s resolutions are a great idea. After all, what better way to start the new year than with a fresh outlook on life?

In reality, however, new year’s resolutions often don’t last because they’re unrealistic and poorly executed. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of achievable, healthy resolutions for you and your family to try.

Let us know how you go!

1. Say goodbye to fad diets

Losing weight is a common new year’s resolution. But instead of following the latest diet craze, focus your efforts on eating simple, healthy food like fruit and vegies as much as you can. Just one extra serve of vegies a day can make a big difference, says PVH Medical Dietitian, Jessica Fuller. “It can reduce your risk of mortality by 5% which is pretty impressive,” she says.

2. Find a gym buddy or do group exercises

We all know that going to the gym can be daunting. But what if a friend came along with you? Your buddy can keep you accountable for meeting your goals. You could also consider a group exercise class, like the one we run at our practice in Pascoe Vale. Qualified exercise physiologist Mike Fitzsimon runs classes every week. “Group exercise classes are a great way to prevent injuries and chronic diseases,” Mike says.

3. Ask for help if you need it

Life can throw us some curveballs, causing problems at home, work or school. Often the hardest step is the first step – asking for help. Family, friends and loved ones can offer a great support network. But if you feel like you’ve got no one to turn to, or you need extra support, you can always seek professional help. The team of psychologists at PVH Medical – Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts – treat each client with respect and dignity. “Every discussion is kept confidential,” Jenny adds.

4. Help your child with developmental delays

Do you have kids? If so, you want them to get the best start in life. This includes ensuring that they keep developing as they grow older. Developmental delays like speech and language problems can be addressed by working with a qualified speech pathologist. With 20 year’s clinical experience, PVH Medical Speech Pathologist Naomi DeNicolo can help your child with speech and/or language difficulties, and even with problems swallowing food or drink.

5. Get that niggling pain looked at

Life’s too short to put up with niggling pain. Whether you have a sore back, an injured knee or even a headache, seeing a physiotherapist can help. We recently welcomed Naveena Seethapathy to the PVH Medical team. For Naveena, physiotherapy has been a career where she has found her calling to help those injured or in pain. “It’s never too late to seek help for niggling pain,” says Naveena.

Are you ready for a healthy 2020?

So there you have it – five healthy new year’s resolutions anyone can achieve.

If you need help with any of them, we’d be pleased to help. Simply call 9304 0500 or make an online booking today.

 

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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Eat more vegetables

8 tips for increasing your daily vegetable intake

To celebrate National Nutrition Week, here are eight tips to help you increase your daily vegetable intake.

Let us know if you have any questions or need help!

1. Try and cover half your plate at dinner with vegetables.

This guarantees at least two to three serves of vegies at dinner! You can even use this strategy at lunch and breakfast. Adding 1-2 measuring cups of vegetables to these meals will definitely help you get your five serves of vegies in.

2. The vegetables you eat can be fresh, frozen or tinned.

It doesn’t matter! All contain the same nutritional profiles. So, if you’re getting home late tonight and don’t have time to chop up the vegies, feel free to use some frozen vegetables, or even try the pre-cut vegetables from the supermarket.

3. Add some vegetables to your breakfast (or even an easy Sunday night meal).

Add diced vegetables to scrambled eggs or an omelette or frittata. Capsicum, mushrooms, spring onion, spinach, zucchini and tomatoes are good options that go well with eggs. Or, you could sauté some spinach, mushrooms and tomato to have on the side.

4. Try and have one meat-free day a week.

Eat a dish based on lentils and legumes instead. ‘Meat-free Monday’ is a health promotion that started a few years ago that many people like to follow.

5. Add grated vegetables.

Add grated vegies like carrot and zucchini to sauces and any dishes that involve mince such as pasta sauces, tacos and burritos.

6. Try making poke bowls.

These have become super trendy in 2018 and are also easy to make at home. Choose at least three different vegetables to have (such as sweet corn, shredded cabbage, avocado, lettuce, spinach, tomato and capsicum) to go with some protein and wholegrains (such as quinoa or brown rice). Minimal cooking required!

7. Add vegetables to your smoothies.

Adding greens such as spinach, kale, avocado, broccoli or cucumber is a great way to boost the nutritional content of your smoothie and help meet the five serves a day.

8. Snack on some vegetables if you’re hungry in between meals.

Vegie sticks such as celery, carrot, capsicum and cucumber go well with vegetable-based dip such as hummus.

Makeover your meals

It’s a good idea to take some of your favourite meals and give them a bit of a makeover to see where you can add extra vegetables in.

Take pasta bolognese, for example. You could grate some vegetables through the sauce, or bulk the sauce up with some lentils, or you could have a side salad or plate of cooked vegetables to accompany your bowl of pasta.

Getting nutrition advice is easy

For help and advice about eating more vegetables to improve your diet, make an appointment with our in-house dietitian today.

 

Source: 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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Talk to your GP about prostate health

Prostate cancer. Get the facts.

Only men have a prostate. It is a small gland that sits below the bladder near the rectum.

The prostate is often described as being the size of a walnut and it is normal for it to grow as men age. Sometimes this can cause problems, such as difficulty urinating. These problems are common in older men and not always symptoms or signs of cancer.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.

Three facts about prostate cancer

  1. In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men
  2. More than 3,000 men die of prostate cancer in Australia every year
  3. More men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer.

What are some symptoms of prostate cancer?

In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. In the later stages, some symptoms of prostate cancer might include:

  • Feeling the frequent or sudden need to urinate
  • Finding it difficult to urinate (for example, trouble starting or not being able to urinate when the feeling is there or poor urine flow)
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • Finding blood in urine or semen
  • Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips.

These symptoms may not mean you have prostate cancer, but if you do experience any of them, please see your doctor at PVH Medical.

What are the risk factors?

Factors that are most strongly linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer are:

  • Age – the chance of developing prostate cancer increases as you grow older
  • Family history – you have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer if you have a first degree male relative with this cancer.

Other factors that may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer include genetics, diet and lifestyle.

Reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer

There is no evidence that the following protective factors can stop prostate cancer from developing, but they can improve your overall health and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer:

  • Diet – eat meals that are nutritious. What is good for the heart is good for the prostate.
  • Physical activity/exercise – there is some evidence to show that physical activity and regular exercise can be protective factors for cancer. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

If you need help getting more physical activity into your day, we offer an exercise physiology service – both one-on-one sessions and group classes.

As for your diet, our on-site dietitian can help with nutrition advice and things like increasing your vegetable intake.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is asking Australia to get involved and help create awareness and raise the much-needed funds to help in the fight against prostate cancer.

If you’re male and over 50 – or over 40 if you have a family history – you’re encouraged to talk with your GP about prostate health.

Make an online booking with your friendly doctor in Pascoe Vale or call 9304 0500 today.

 

Source: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

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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Migraine help in Melbourne

The pain of migraine

Headache is one of the most common health-related conditions in Australia, with around 15% of us taking pain-relieving medication for a headache at any given time.

A migraine is a particular type of headache. It can be experienced from as little as once or twice a year, or as often as two or three times a week.

Three times as many women (15%) as men (5%) suffer from migraine, and scientists believe that hormones play a large role.

What is migraine pain like?

The pain is severe, throbbing and usually on one side of the head.

A migraine attack can last from four hours to three days. It’s associated with a spasm of the blood vessels leading to the brain.

Triggers for migraine

No one really knows what causes migraine, but it may be an inherited condition. Attacks can be triggered by a combination of factors, such as:

  • Diet – cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol (especially red wine)
  • Sleep – too little or too much
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Physiochemical – excessive heat, light, noise or certain chemicals
  • Emotional causes – stress, excitement or fatigue
  • Relaxation (weekend migraines) – often triggered by a period of stress and overwork followed by relaxation.

Fortunately, we have a large team of doctors and allied health professionals in Pascoe Vale who can help you manage your condition.

Headache and Migraine Week, 9-13 September 2019

Headache Australia, a national charitable organisation, proudly runs Headache and Migraine Week. It aims to raise awareness for headaches and migraines which affect millions of Australians.

You can register to attend events, watch live streaming or recorded presentations during this special week.

If you suffer chronic headaches or migraine, you could even consider joining the National Headache Australia register to receive information about treatment options, research findings and so on.

Three facts about migraine

  1. Migraine is a type of headache and a recognised medical condition
  2. Young women are most at risk
  3. There is no cure for migraine, but the right treatment can reduce the number of attacks.

Get help for your headache or migraine

There are numerous treatment options to help with headache and migraine. So don’t delay – make a booking with your healthcare professional in Pascoe Vale today and get the relief that you deserve!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Headache Week

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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It's Coeliac Awareness Week.

What is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is a lifelong condition that means your body cannot tolerate gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats and can be found in food such as bread, pasta, cereal, biscuits and cake.

People with coeliac disease must be careful not to eat any gluten.

Who develops coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease can develop anytime during your life. You cannot catch it from other people but you are more likely to develop the condition if you have a family member affected by the disease.

How do you know if you have coeliac disease?

People with coeliac disease feel unwell if they eat foods containing gluten. The symptoms can vary from person to person as some people feel very unwell while others won’t have any symptoms at all.

Common symptoms include:

  • Constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Growth problems
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Fertility problems.

How is coeliac disease diagnosed?

It’s important that you see your doctor if you think that you might have coeliac disease. PVH Medical is open extended hours, including every Saturday.

How is coeliac disease treated?

If you’re diagnosed with coeliac disease, the only treatment is to maintain a lifelong strict gluten-free diet.

There are no tablets or medications available. Most people feel better soon after they stop eating foods with gluten. It can feel challenging at first but Coeliac Australia (a not-for-profit association that supports people with coeliac disease) provides information and support for people with coeliac disease to help self-manage it.

Our in-house dietitian, Samantha Stuk, can also assist with things like dietary management and meal plans.

Coeliac Awareness Week

Coeliac Awareness Week runs from 13 March to 20 March. This year, Coeliac Australia’s Face of Coeliac Disease campaign highlights the fact that people from around the globe are affected by coeliac disease.

The aim of the campaign is to create awareness of the many ‘faces’ of coeliac disease and its wide range of symptoms and associated medical conditions.

Help is at hand

If you think you might have coeliac disease, please make a booking with one of our friendly doctors today. You can book online, on Facebook, on the Appointuit app or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Source: Coeliac Australia

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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