Energy Enhancing Raw Cauliflower Rice Salad

Say what? You want me to eat RAW cauliflower Audra?!! I sure do, because when it’s raw, it’s wonderful nutritional benefits become even more pronounced.

Being part of the cruciferous family, it helps with detoxification, which, if you’re struggling to lose weight whilst working 24/7 can be super helpful.  This is because toxins create chemical stress in the body, leading to raised levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Sadly, high cortisol levels increase body fat, especially around the belly or torso region, as it wants to protect your organs from any impending “danger” brought on by stress.

When we eat too much processed food (which is full of manufactured chemicals), the liver also has to work harder to filter out these toxins, which can lead to cellular damage.

Cauliflowers are not only rich in antioxidants, they contain a compound called glucosinolates, which fuel and strengthen the liver during all stages of detoxification.  The glucosinolate sulforaphane (yeah, it’s a mouthful I know!), actually helps to boost production of enzymes that sweep these toxins out of the body.

Pretty clever hey?

They’re also high in vitamin C and zinc (hello immune system) and bursting in B-vitamins which are necessary for supporting energy production and adrenal glands, which get hammered when sleep is curtailed as a result of irregular shift schedules.

Hot Tip: for those not used to eating raw, the secret is to slice it very thinly or chop it finely, then marinate with oil, citrus, and spices.

For added protein, feel free to throw on some feta cheese, sliced chicken or whatever your heart desires!

What’s In It? (Serves 2)

1/2 head cauliflower, very thinly sliced or finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped cashews
1/4 cup sultanas (or finely chopped dates)
1/2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 tablespoon lemon (or lime) juice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Sprinkle black pepper
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons almonds, sliced

How To Make It?

In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, cashews, and sultanas.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and pepper. Add it to the cauliflower mixture and toss evenly to coat. Serve immediately, or place in a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to take into work. It will keep for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!

Audra x

How To Eat on Night Shift to Reduce Fatigue?

Back in my Uni days of studying to become a nutritionist, I remember overhearing a discussion between a lecturer and student about what would be the ideal meal option for someone who work’s the night shift.

The lecturer’s reply was:

“Just get them to flip their meals around. As in have their big meal around midnight and 1am”.

The thing is, that never really sat right with me.

Given the functionality of our circadian rhythm varies enormously between that of the day versus the night, I instinctively knew that nocturnal food intake, especially in large quantities, was bound to cause havoc on our digestive system. Not ideal, given most shift workers are plagued by gastrointestinal complaints at the best of times!

However, it doesn’t stop at the digestive system.

It can affect our cognition, amongst other things, which if your work involves making complex decisions, operating machinery or performing surgery, can be extremely important.

This is because each time we eat, blood is diverted away from our brain and into our digestive tract to help support digestion.

In a small, but clinically relevant randomised controlled trial published in the journal Chronobiology International (2019), a comparison was made between having a main meal versus a small snack, or not eating at all and how that influenced alertness during and after night shift.

Throughout the night they underwent various tests to assess behavioural alertness, reaction time, memory, along with completing 40-minutes in a driving simulator.

The results?

Those who ate a small snack, compared to a bigger meal, or nothing at all …

– Spent more time driving within the speed limit and sticking inside the lane,
– Had a faster reaction time and enhanced memory.

So based on this small but clinically relevant study, from an alertness perspective, I’d recommend consuming a small serve of food versus anything large or heavy (or not eating at all), when working throughout the night.

Ideally things like soups, stews, broths or a small serve from a plant-based slow cooker meal are great as they are easy to digest, nutrient-dense and have minimal impact on blood sugar levels.

Audra x

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References:

Gupta, C, Centofanti, S, Dorrian, J, Coates, A, Stepien, J, Kennaway, D, Wittert, G, Heibronn, L, Catcheside, P, Noakes, M, Coro, D, Chandrakumar, D & Banks, S 2019, ‘Alterning meal timing to improve cognitive performance during simulated nightshifts’, Chronobiology International, vol. 36, no. 12, pp. 1691-1713.

Gupta, C, Centofanti, S, Dorrian, J, Coates, A, Stepien, J, Kennaway, D, Wittert, G, Heilbronn, L, Catcheside, P, Noakes, M, Coro, D, Chandrakumar, D & Banks, S 2019, ‘Subjective hunger, gastric upset, and sleepiness in response to altered meal timing during simulated shift work’, Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 1-24.

Are You Scared of Eating Fat?

If your answer is yes to this question it’s not surprising given, for many years, we were lead to believe that fat and cholesterol causes heart disease.  

However, this diet-heart hypothesis was later discredited as fraudulent science when the real culprit was, and still is, sugar.

For a quick overview of this – watch this short video titled Big Fat Lie’s.

If you want to learn even more about this topic, I recommend reading Coronary Heart Disease: The Dietary Sense and Nonsense by G, Mann who stated in his book “the public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century”.

Anyway, getting back to the facts on fat.

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Does Your Workplace Have A Lollie Jar?

I was speaking at a conference on the weekend, and I asked the attendees the following question:

“Do you have a lollie jar stashed in a drawer at work? There were quite a few nods in the room, and one guy even said they have a Lollie Locker!

Whooska. Well, at least he was honest.

The thing is, they’re pretty much in every shift working workplace on the planet.

Incredibly, (but not surprisingly), they line the drawers of most hospital wards … but don’t get me started about the food in the hospitals. I’m going to save that for an entirely different email!!

Anyway, I digress.

Getting back to the lollie jar. Does your workplace also have those “fundraising choccies” that make several appearances throughout the year??

It’s for a good cause, right?

Well … yes, I’m not going to disagree with that, but at what cost to those who are consuming these sugar-laden treats?

You see, when we’re constantly sleep-deprived our bodies are essentially in a state of ‘fight or flight’ which leads us to crave sugar.

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Are Ingredients Important?

Do you read ingredients labels? Do you even pay attention to them?

When it comes to the food that we eat – are the ingredients even important?

Many years ago when I worked for a multi-level marketing nutrition company (please don’t hold this against me – we live and learn!), one of my mentors said that he never reads ingredients labels. In fact, he used to put those who did into a basket of sorts, calling them “label readers”.

Now I don’t like it when people slander others using labels at the best of times, but as a newbie learning about nutrition, I figured I should just trust what he was saying and deem it to be true.

However, as time marched on, it didn’t sit right. It left me with a bit of a niggling feeling that ignoring the ingredients was not a good approach to take.

That being said, if you’ve ever taken the time to read a nutrition label, you will know it can be like a minefield.  Lots of numbers and hard to pronounce words you may never have even heard of.

Shouldn’t that be an alarm bell in itself?

If we don’t know what’s in something or we can’t even pronounce it – shouldn’t that trigger us to investigate further?

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