Saturday, 17 August 2013

Should I Eat Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are an important part of the human diet, so important in fact that the Australian dietary guidelines recommend that 45-65% of your daily kj intake should come from carbohydrates. But what exactly are carbohydrates? Carbs are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. They are the basic building blocks of plant structures. Plants store their energy as starch and get their structure and strength from cellulose and dietary fibre. Dietary sources of carbs include grains, legumes, fruit, root vegetables, dairy food and processed foods.

The media has a lot of people scared of carbs. Lets get one thing clear, carbs are good, as long as they aren't refined or processed. Once they are processed, then they become scary. Refined and processed carbs include white bread, pasta, cakes, white, raw and brown sugar, and sweets. Excessive intake of refined carbs can cause insufficient fibre intake and depletion of nutrients and may lead to stroke, dyslipidaemia, inflammation, diabetes mellitus, polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, and gall bladder disease. This is pretty worrying considering that the western diet consists of 40-50% carbs with the majority being refined or processed and that in Australia the mean daily intake of refined sugar in 2-18 year olds is between 26.9 to 81.6 grams.

Carbohydrates are not to be feared though! Good quality, whole food carbs such as whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables are a healthy energy source that are packed with nutrients. When eating grains its important to choose ‘whole’ grains over ‘refined’ grains eg) brown rice over white rice. They still have their bran and germ attached which contain fibre, B vitamins, trace minerals, antioxideants and vitamin E, whereas refined grains only have their endosperm as the bran and germ is removed during the processing and are therefore missing those nutrients. A deficiency of carbohydrates in your diet may lead to low energy levels, muscle tissue loss, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and constipation. Apart from whole food carbs being good for you, eating them is also good for the environment. By eating a lot of veggies and a little meat, instead of a lot of meat and a little veg, or an apple instead of a packet muesli bar you are reducing the amount of energy used to create your meal.

So to sum it up, don't be afraid, eat your whole food carbohydrates! Oh, and one last note, if you choose to cook your carbs, they are best steamed or cooked slowly. Using dry heat such as baking in the oven or grilling on a hot plate can form advanced glycation end products, which may lead to disease.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Review: 14 Day Tiny Teatox

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock it is almost impossible to be unaware of the latest craze to hit instagram; detox and weight loss teas. To be honest when I first heard about them I didn’t trust them at all. So, when I tried the 14 Day Tiny Teatox from Your Tea, to say I was surprised with the results is an understatement. Your tea uses chinese medicine principles to blend organic herbs to make some amazing tea blends to aid in digestion, weight loss, bloating, and more.

The instructions advised to drink the tea 30 minutes before each main meal. This meant that my meals for the day had to be planned and organized. I couldn’t walk past a shop and think ‘ooooh that looks yum. I might just buy that.’ I had to use self-control, which I’m not very good at. Knowing that I couldn’t eat my dinner until I had drank the tea 30 minutes before severely reduced my snacking. I am fortunate that I usually eat pretty healthy so whilst on the teatox I didn’t have to change my diet too much at all. I found that the tea worked really well as an appetite suppressant. I usually eat a lot! But after drinking this tea I wasn’t really hungry at all.

I started seeing results after the first day! I could see my stomach shrinking. The first few days after drinking the tea I did feel quite nauseous as my body was starting to detox and de-bloat but that is the only bad thing I can say. The tea has an earthy taste and is easy to drink. I didn’t feel the need to add lemon or honey. The tea didn’t affect my energy levels until the last couple of days of the teatox, when I noticed myself jumping around the house. I felt great!
Over the 14 days I lost 5cm from my waist and 2 cm from my hips, I gained so much body confidence and I just felt fabulous! I would definitely recommend this tea for anyone who wants to de-bloat and feel amazing. I will definitely be ordering this tea again in the future.

I have done some research and below is a list of ingredients from Tiny Tea and what they do, so here they are:
  • Hawthorn Berry – Improves cardiovascular health and releases water retention by expelling excess sodium from the body.
  • Adzuki Bean – Reduces blood pressure and supports kidney and bladder function.
  • Alismatis Rhizome – Alleviates water retention.
  • Indian Bread – Causes dieresis, supports spleen functioning and calms the mind.
  • Tangerine Peel – High in antioxidants. May also aid digestion, balance blood sugar levels and activate liver detoxification.
  • Germinated Barley – Assists in digestion by eliminating retention of food and harmonizes the stomach.
  • Prunella Spike – Detoxicant and antimicrobial agent.
  • Cassia Seed – Relieves constipation by moisturizing the intestine and easing the bowls.
  • Semen Phascoli – Reduces water retention and dispels toxins.
  • Chrysanthemum – Reduces skin conditions such as acne and boils, aids in the digestion of oily food and restrains the growth of some bacteria’s in the body.
  • Semen Raphani – Eliminates food retention.
  • White Tea – Contains a great amount of antioxidants.
  • Herba Agastachis – Relieves bloating, indigestion, nausea and vomiting
You can purchase your Tiny Teatox from

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Secret To Fighting Colds This Winter

Colds are the most common form of illness known in adults and children. There are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold which are spread through hand contact, sneezing and coughing. Common symptoms include sore throat, headaches, coughing, sneezing, tiredness and a build up of mucus in the nose.

Now that i've let you know about the illness that will haunt the majority of people this winter, I thought I would let you in on a little secret of mine....
Garlic is my winter wonder food!!
It's amazing! Whenever I feel a cold or flu coming on I either chew on a clove of garlic or cut it into fours and swallow it like tablets and within minutes my headache starts to fade, my nose clears and my throat stops hurting. I'm not making this up. During the 18th century gravediggers in France drank crushed garlic to reduce the risk of catching the plague and in both World Wars soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene. It is pretty cool stuff and its clinically proven to help with the common cold. A study done in the UK proved that taking a garlic supplement lowered the severity of cold and flu symptoms. Whilst a study done by the University of Florida concluded that garlic reduced the chances of an individual catching the common cold.

So the next time you wake up with a blocked nose and sore throat think twice about reaching for those cold and flu tablets and try eating some garlic instead.


National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 2012, Common Cold, viewed 18 May 2013, <>
 University of Maryland Medical Center 2011, Garlic, viewed 18 May 2013, <>
 Josling, B. Sc. 2001,  ‘Preventing the Common Cold With a Garlic Supplement: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Survey’, Advances In Natural Therapy, Vol. 18, No.4, pp. 189-193, viewed 19 May 2013, <>
 Nantz, Rowe, Muller, Creasy, Stanika, Percival, 2012, ‘Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention’ Clinical Nutrition, Vol.31, Issue 3, pp. 337-344, viewed 19 May 2013, <>

Sunday, 26 May 2013

SFL Body Transformation

My sister Cassandra and I are on a body transformation mission. During the HSC last year and going to Europe on a holiday I put on 8kg. It might not sound like much but for me it is huge! I used to always wear shorts and now as soon as I put a pair on I feel like a sausage. Over the past year I have felt my clothes get tighter and tighter and now I only feel comfortable wearing a loose long sleeve dress. As for my sister, she has just given birth to her second child and is wanting to lose the baby weight.

I dont want you thinking that I have low self confidence or hate my body, because I am the total opposite. I love my body! I love what it can do! And I love my curves! I have embraced the fact that i'm probably never going to be a size 6 and i'm happy with that. I love my body so much that I don't want to abuse it through binge eating and being lazy anymore. I want to treat it to whole foods and exercise.

So Cass and I over the weekend decided to take some before shots. Whilst she was taking a photo of me she murmured 'you're not going to like this one.' Thats what I love about our relationship. We have a no lying, no bullshit friendship. We tell it like it is and that's what makes us so close. We also took our body measurements to keep us on track. We won't be using the scales because they can't tell the weight of our brains and boobs and thats just unfair.

So how will we be transforming our bodies?
Clean eating and exercise! That's the only way to do it. We won't be counting calories, we will be counting nutrients. I'm usually a grazer and an over eater so I want to cut my food intake to 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. But I will listen to my body. If I need more, i'll eat more. If I need less, i'll eat less. I will not be eating past 7pm. I will exercise a minimum of 3x 45 minute workouts a week. I will have one cheat meal a week. Every two weeks my sister and I will be taking more photos and taking our measurements to check our progress.

What do I want to achieve from this?
  • More energy
  • Lower body fat percentage
  • Visibly more muscle tone
  • Run 7km without stopping
  • Decrease cellulite 
  • Clearer skin
  • Increase flexibility

I'll keep you updated with our progress!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Eat Well, Feel Better

I recently wrote an article for The Roar Effect and I thought I would share it with you.

From a young age we are made aware of how the foods we eat affect us emotionally. Think back to being a child and the sugar high’s we would experience at a birthday party and then the tantrums we would have that evening that would drive our parents crazy. We discovered that the processed sugary foods that gave us all that energy also had adverse effects.

Out of the many factors that contribute to the development of depression, nutritional imbalances may be one of them. So what can we eat to give us energy and make us feel great all the time?

Below is a list of feel good foods that are great for those days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed.

  • ·      Salmon is full of Omega 3, which is important for brain function. Surveys have shown that the more fish a population of a country eats the lower is their incidence of depression.
  • ·      Spinach is high in folic acid that has been reported to alleviate depression and fatigue. It is also packed with magnesium that serotonin needs to stabilise your mood and ensure a good nights sleep.
  • ·      Quinoa is a high protein complex carbohydrate that means it won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar level leading to unstable moods. It helps the body to produce serotonin, giving you a relaxed feeling.
  • ·      Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which is essential for the proper conversion of tyrosine into dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenalin, which are ‘feel good’ chemicals.
  • ·      Beef contains high levels of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. Studies have shown that quite often people suffering from depression are deficient in vitamin B12.

If you would like to find out more about the wonderful things The Roar Effect are doing to eliminate youth suicide check out 

Monday, 8 April 2013

A little bit about me.

Hey! I'm Asha.

I was born on the far south coast of NSW into the most amazing, fun, loving, crazy family. I was so blessed growing up having such hardworking, generous and loyal parents. My mother was a beautician and my father was a windsurfing instructor. They are the two most beautiful people I have ever met. And then there are my sisters. A sister truly is a girls best friend and I have two! How blessed am I?! And it doesn't stop there.... my nieces and nephews are the most incredible things on the planet.

Growing up on the coast there was always incredible places to explore and many adventures to have with my amazing friends. I was a shy child and I wasn't really into sports. I dreaded PE at school. I really found myself in my later teen years. I gained a new found love for health, food and fitness.

After living in a tiny beach town for 17 years I moved to the big smoke (Sydney) where I met more amazing people. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) and I love it! There's nothing else I would rather be doing.