Healthy Eating

Empowering little ones to make good food choices

I have been very lucky in having a daughter who loves her food, lots of food in fact and has loved eating a range of nutritious foods! No fuss just simply “More please!!” she loves to say! and all i can think is how does she fit it all into her tummy!

I have recently found though that as my daughter, Chanelle gets older – she becomes more selective in what she would like to eat. I swear it is because she is trying to show me that she can be independent and make up her own mind of what is good for her.Chanelle

To help work around this I find that helping to empower her make good decisions is the key! I do this by getting her involved hands on in picking food from a vegetable garden or helping to pack fruit and vegetables into the trolley at the supermarket (eating some fruit along the way) – this allows her to get connected to the food well before it lands on her plate. She gets to see, smell, touch and sometimes taste it, generally getting used to it and where it comes from. Then I give her options between the fun colourful fruits and veggies we have been handling together.

I truly believe that even at her age (2.5 years), it allows her to feel in charge and well lets face it, allows me to feel at ease that she is still getting all the good stuff into her growing little body.

Rachel Fox, Nutritionist and Fitness Professional (and mum), Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre

Rachel Fox

Do you really need to eat 6 meals per day?

The short answer is no, and here’s why. We are often told we should have six meals per day, not leaving more than three or four hours between meals so we can avoid our blood sugar levels dropping too low. Simply put, the most likely reason your blood sugar will drop substantially within in 2-4 hours after a meal is if your meal was very high in refined carbohydrates and sugar and low in protein and fat.

3d human with a red question markFor example if you eat cereal, low fat milk and juice, a pasta dish, a salad sandwich/roll and an iced tea, a muffin/banana bread etc, they are most likely to be very high in carbohydrates/sugar and very low in protein and possibly fat. These meals due to their high carbohydrate and sugar content will push your blood sugar levels up quite high, requiring your body to produce lots of insulin to bring your blood sugar levels back down as soon as possible. Now your blood sugar levels are low again, you will be hungry and possibly irritable, nauseous etc and craving sugar/carbs. The modern day term for that is hangry (a combination of hungry and angry); in fact these are actually signs of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels).

The short term answer to being hangry is a carbohydrate meal but the long term answer is not eating so much sugar and carbohydrate in your meals that you have the blood sugar spike/followed by the blood sugar drop. Ensure you always have fat, fibre and protein with your meals as they also help keep your blood sugar levels stable for longer. An example would be a chicken and avocado salad with olive oil, an omelette with spinach and onion, fish with salad/vegies. Avoid sugar; your body has no biological need for it. Eat loads of green and colourful vegies and some fruit. Reduce how much high starch carbohydrates you eat, such as bread, pasta, rice and potato.

When you eat a well-balanced meal with a palm sized serving of protein, plenty of fibrous greens along with some oil/fat (eg avocado, olive oil, butter, nuts or seeds), you will stay satisfied for many hours, not having a sudden blood sugar drop within a couple of hours, you will be likely to natural and comfortably have 2-3 meals per day without snacks and won’t be craving sugar.

In the last few years there has been a lot of evidence supporting the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting, the most popular version of this is the 5:2 diet where you eat normally five days but two non-consecutive days per week you limit your calories to 500 calories (women), 600 calories (men). Intermittent Fasting can have great measurable blood test results, it is known for normalising blood sugar and insulin levels, reducing inflammation and weight loss.

Eating many meals throughout the day is believed to increase inflammation in the body. Inflammation drives weight gain and chronic disease. A high carbohydrate diet due to the higher levels of insulin requirements decreases an enzyme called P450 which is made in the liver. The P450 enzyme is a cancer fighting enzyme that allows us to detoxify our body properly. Without P450, more toxins are held in our fat cells, the liver doesn’t work as efficiently. If you lose weight without increasing P450, you will also increase cellulite and decrease your muscle building capacity.

Dr Mark Houston, Cardiologist explains that “atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) is a post meal event.  This is when your carbohydrates, triglycerides, inflammatory foods, and bacteria from leaky gut, can cause huge amounts of inflammation”.

There is not one right diet; you need to explore what works for you depending on your health, level of exercise and goals. Most people would benefit from cutting back on snacks. Everyone can benefit from reducing sugar.

Note: You may think it is different for people with diabetes, however in my experience people with type 1 and type II diabetes do better on a low carbohydrate healthy fat (LCHF) diet. If you are diabetic and wish to try this style of diet, book in with a qualified nutritionist who can support you to go LCHF under supervision by your doctor. Make the changes slowly continuing to monitor your blood sugar levels. This is especially important if you are insulin dependent.

Fiona Kane, Nutritionist, Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre

Let’s change our conversation about food

Fotolia_25799805_XSFor many people, particularly women there is a love/hate relationship with food.

There are many things that drive this including body image issues which are fueled by advertising/media/film/tv industry that tend to show only one kind of woman on screen, that being a 25 year old woman with a runway model figure and flawless skin. Apparently 37 year old women are too old to play the partner of a 60+ year old in the movies (the very talented Maggie Gyllenhaal mentioned missing out on a role due to this last year in an interview).

We now also compete with photoshop, an image that is not real, Cindy Crawford was quoted as saying she wished she looked like Cindy Crawford! Until we start to see more women in the media allowed to be natural and look their age we will continue to feel not good enough. Thank goodness for the likes of Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Melissa McCarthy, Maggie Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Bullock and others who are leading the way!

The other major issue is the myth that weight loss is simply about calories in/calories out. Otherwise known as the glutton/sloth theory. I’m sure you have heard it before, if you are overweight, it means you overeat and/or don’t exercise enough and clearly have no self-control. Although science is now uncovering so many factors that effect our weight including our microbiome (gut bacteria), insulin resistance, POPs (persistent organic pollutants), stress, sleep and emotions to name a few. The extremely flawed glutton/sloth theory refuses to disappear!

This is one of the things driving emotional eating. Imagine that every time you ate, people judged you or you hated yourself because they/you know you are a glutton, sloth and have no self control, how would you feel? I know how it feels and wouldn’t wish it on anyone! I am sure many relate to this intense feeling of shame. This of course can become a major driver of the love/hate relationship with food.

For many people the conversation is always about right/wrong, good/bad, self-control/being out-of-control, reward/shame and often numbing ourselves so we don’t feel the pain/stress of this conversation that continues non-stop in our head! The conversation simply should be about what do I need and what will nourish me, that’s it!

To make it worse, all of this has been made worse by the extremely flawed dietary recommendations that have been pushed on us over the past 40 years or so, demonising fat and lots of really healthy nourishing foods such as eggs. We dutifully avoided/reduced fat and turned to refined carbohydrates which stopped our body’s ability to know when it was full, totally messing up our hunger hormones, our metabolism and cutting our connection to our bodies because “the experts knew better than you”, even if it didn’t feel right. Rather than a conversation about nourishment, it became a conversation only about calories.

I now make my food choices based on which foods will nourish my body and soul, which foods give me energy, help me function, balance my hormones etc. I make choices about what I need at the time by checking in with my body to listen to it’s important signals, am I hungry? What do I need? What will help nourish me so I feel good and can get through the day and also be able to sleep well at the end of the day.

When you check in with your body and make an active choice about what you need, your choices tend to be better overall. It also carries a very different much more positive energy than control/good/bad etc. Sometimes my active choice may be to eat some chips/crisps or a cake etc, that’s OK, I choose it, eat as much as I need and move on. No shame, no good or bad, just move on. Now I am connected to my body, I know how different foods makes me feel, I largely make good nutritional choices for myself because I want to continue to feel good!

Next time you stop to eat, ask yourself “what will nourish me”, check in with your body, over time you will learn to read the signals and know what you need. Forgive yourself and be patient if it doesn’t happen immediately. It took a lifetime to get where you are now, give yourself time to get to a better place.

Next time you go to judge someone for being overweight, my advice would be to mind your own business and if the topic is of interest to you, get educated, help people, don’t judge them. Be part of the solution not part of the problem!

Fiona Kane

Nutritionist, Holistic Counsellor and Transformational Life Coach

At the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre, we help our clients reconnect with their body, change the conversation and learn how to nourish themselves. Call 47 222  111 for more information.

Reboot and Revitalise for Your Ultimate Wellbeing

Are you feeling blah? No energy? Overweight?

Did you go off track over Christmas?

Just not feeling quite right?

The Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre are running a 6 week Reboot and Revitalise Group Program.

Results you can expect from this program include:

  • Fat Loss
  • Increased Energy
  • Improved Overall Wellbeing
  • Get rid of that sugar addiction before Easter!

You will get back on track with eating plans that are about real food and nourishing your body for sustainable long term results. This plan eases you into healthy eating habits that will last you a lifetime. Stop punishing your body and start nourishing it! (We are happy to offer alternatives if you have food sensitivities).


What’s included?That sugar film 2016

  1. 1 x one on one 30 minute consultation with a Clinical Nutritionist
  2. 6 x weekly 30 minute group sessions with a Clinical Nutritionist
  3. 6 weekly Eating Plans (Transition, Detox/Cleanse, Digestive Healing, Metabolism Boost, Anti-aging/Anti-inflammatory and Nourishing Lifestyle)
  4. Education and support to achieve Your Ultimate Wellbeing.

All of this value for just $327

If you bring a partner/friend you will get the program for $297 each, it’s great to have someone to share the experience with, that extra support can motivate you and enhance your results!

Whether you are trying to lose a few kg or just wanting to feel better and have more energy, this program is for you!


Your one on one consultation time is flexible.

Group times are as follows:

  • Week 1: Tuesday 9 February 5.30pm
  • Week 2: Tuesday 16 February 5.30pm
  • Week 3: Tuesday 23 February 5.30pm
  • Week 4: Tuesday 1 March 5.30pm
  • Week 5: Tuesday 8 March 5.30pm
  • Week 6: Tuesday 15 March 5.30pm


  • Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre, 1 Lemko Place Penrith (map here)

Call now to book your program for Your Ultimate Wellbeing! 47 222 111 or email (Ensure you clearly provide your name and number).

Note: Minimum numbers are required for this program to go ahead. If the above times don’t suit you but you would still like to do this program, contact us and let us know when you would be available. If we have enough interest we will try to cater to more times/days.

The photo/meme is thanks to That Sugar Film, if you haven’t seen it yet we highly recommend it!

Paleo – a dangerous fad or healthy way of life?

Those who are interested in health and nutrition would have noticed lots of talk recently about Paleo, it seems everyone has an opinion. Since Chef Pete Evans has weighed into the story it is getting more press than ever! Last night it appeared on 60 minutes Charles Wooley talked about going paleo since a recent health scare and on Sunday Night, Mike Willesee had a similar story. Caveman

The 60 minutes story was ridiculous, referring to cannibalism and knocking women over the head and dragging them back to the cave, give me strength! The Sunday Night program was much more sensible. As usual, social media response and bad reporting has people saying, they would have improved their health anyway because they were now eating a healthy diet. Paleo is a dangerous fad, paleo is about eating loads of meat, blah blah blah.

When I talk to fellow Nutritionists, most of us agree that paleo is a good template for a healthy lifestyle – a clean diet high in fresh vegies & fermented foods that also includes moderate amounts quality protein wild fish/seafood, quality meat and broth (grass fed/finished/free range etc), free range eggs, raw nuts and seeds, quality fats and oils (avocado, coconut oil etc). Seasonal fresh fruit and real whole fat dairy for those who can tolerate it. Paleo is not at all high in meat as the media like to promote it, it is actually highest in vegetables!

It is a good template but each individual needs to embrace what works for them, we all have different needs and some people have food sensitivities that require specific changes to suit them. It is not necessarily low carbohydrate, you can adjust amount of carbs to suit your needs.

It is important to note that the paleo way is not a diet, it is a way of life! It is not about trying to eat like a caveman, it is about eating real, good quality, locally grown food. A great template for a healthy life, that is all! The bottom line is that, yes, if you stop eating junk food and drinking soft drink, you will feel better! Whether you call that the result of paleo or just eating a healthy diet, who cares, it’s the same thing! Call it what you like! But don’t rubbish paleo, it is encouraging people to eat good, real food. If calling it paleo makes more people try it, great, the fact that it is the latest “popular” word doesn’t make it any less valuable to health.Richmond Good food market shopping 1

As a Clinical Nutritionist, I encourage other health practitioners not to jump to conclusions or get their knickers in a knot about paleo. Surely we are all encouraging the same thing, just eat real food, do what works for you, give it a name, or not, up to you!

Fiona Kane, Clinical Nutritionist

Call 47 222 111 to make an appointment with a Clinical Nutritionist at Informed Health who can help you. We have clinics in Penrith and Kurmond (Sydney). Skype consultations are available.

Health Talk – What drives weight gain, type II diabetes and fatty liver

The Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre is holding a health talk on Saturday 6 December 2014! A day where you can come along and find out what treatments are available and how they can help you.  The clinic will be open from 10am til 12pm.

There will be one free health talk on the day:

10.30am – Fiona Kane, Clinical Nutritionist presenting: What drives weight gain, diabetes type II and fatty liver

This talk will go for approx 1 hour including question time.

There will also be giveaways on the day so don’t miss out!

When: Open on Saturday, 6 December 2014, 10am til 12pm, talk at 10.30am

Where:1 Lemko Place front
Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre
1 Lemko Place (corner Borec Rd)

Phone: 47 222 111

Entrance off Lemko Place, limited parking available on site with plenty of street parking.

Map can be found here:


Everything in Moderation, right?

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard this line, I would be very wealthy by now! As a Clinical Nutritionist, every day people say this to me, especially at functions involving food, whilst tucking into the cheese or mud cake!

It is a junk food advertising guru’s favourite line – I actually think the junk food industry’s very clever marketing campaigns have taught us to use this line so we don’t feel guilty about eating their products! If you don’t believe me, read or watch any interview done with food industry representatives for fast food, junk food, soft drink companies and you will realise it is their clever language! Now they have your friends, co-workers and health experts using it to make eating junk food OK. If that is not clever marketing – I don’t know what is!!!

Most of us are guilty of using this line, it is really only justifying our current behaviour! In my experience it means this “I am not prepared to change, and therefore, what I already do is moderation, so I don’t need to change”. It is a way you get to keep doing what you are doing and not have to feel bad about it! Not having to take responsibility for your current state of health. That muffin, bag of lollies, chocolate bar, doughnut or sugary drink you like to have every day is moderation, surely? I would encourage you to think again.

The word “everything” casts a very wide net; I don’t agree that “everything” is OK to eat. For example sugar drives obesity and disease such as type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even cancer, is there really a safe amount?

What is the definition of moderation anyway? It is “the avoidance of excess or extremes”. Who defines what is excessive or extreme? Did you know that a recent study of about 28,500 people over 15 years published in Diabetologia found that all it takes is one can of sugar sweetened soda/soft drink per day to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%!

Would you consider one can of soft drink a day to be extreme? In my experience, most people would consider it to be “moderation”! Don’t think that diet soft drinks are any better; the chemicals in those can have many side-effects one of which is cravings for more sugar!

I suppose it is up to the individual. If you want to eat “everything in moderation”, think about what that really means. Are you happy, healthy and full of energy or are you struggling with your health, motivation and energy? This will give you a clue as to whether your definition of “moderation” is working for you!

Ultimately it is your choice, do you want health in moderation? Or do you want disease in moderation? I personally want health in abundance!

Here is a chat that Fiona had on 1 October 2016 to Darren De Mello on 6PR 882 Weekend Wake-up about the term Everything in Moderation and what is really means as well as health effects of stress, inflammation and sleep issues.

You ought to be congratulated? Really?

No, not if you are feeding margarine to your family! Those ads drive me nuts, especially the cute little kids explaining why their mum has changed them from “unhealthy” butter to “healthy” margarine. Advertisers know how to make parents feel good about healthy choices, it is a shame they don’t actually promote healthy choices!


Eye experts are getting it right, many are warning their patients against eating margarine, because of the vegetable oil in it – which they believe speed up macular degeneration, cardiologists advise their patients the complete opposite, even though some cardiologists have reviewed the evidence; many are still caught up in old beliefs about cholesterol and heart disease, go to Cholesterol, what you need to know.

Dr Paul Beaumont, founding Director of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia, nine years ago warned those with a genetic risk of getting macular degeneration to stop eating anything with vegetable oil in it – eg. margarine. Even though there was an enormous backlash at the time, there have now been multiple studies supporting his recommendations, so his  advice remains the same. “Whilst there’s a cloud of suspicion over vegetable oil, they’re best to avoid it, and have a scraping of butter,” Dr Beaumont said.

Of course we are supposed to believe that vegetable oils are bad for your eyes but healthy for your heart! Cardiovascular Disease is a disease of inflammation. Nasty fats such as vegetable oils, oxidised oils/hyrogenated oils cause inflammation – they drive disease!

There is a new book out on the dangers of vegetable oil “Toxic Oil – why vegetable oil will kill you & how to save yourself” by David Gillespie. At the moment many dieticians are advising the public to ignore this book, after all David is not qualified in health, he is a lawyer! The same argument they used when he started telling us rightly about the dangers of sugar/fructose in his book “Sweet Poison”.

I have to disagree, as a lawyer he knows how to gather information and examine it, looking for facts, looking for proof, that is exactly what he does! The problem with being “qualified” is that many are afraid to really look at the truth let alone tell it! They quote the same old tired lines, and most are influenced/sponsored by food companies in one way or another! Who wants to admit that their bad advice is harming people?

I have received my copy of Toxic Oil and although I haven’t read it yet, I am happy to support David in his quest to change the way we think about food and get people to start eating real food again, avoiding sugar and vegetable oil! My advice as a Clinical Nutritionist, start eating real butter and use coconut oil, stay away from margarine!

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or

Being slim = good health, right?

I see people make this assumption all the time, and they are wrong. Slim does not automatically mean good health!

Don’t get me wrong, being slim is good for your health (as long as you are a healthy weight and you are eating well). I know that in my life, when I am slim, I feel better, I have more energy and overall am in better health.

What is frustrating, is seeing slim people judge overweight people, blaming them for being overweight, when they eat much the same diet. There is an assumption that overweight people are unhealthy but slim people are examples of wonderful health. The other assumption is that overweight people’s issues are caused by “glutton and sloth”, this is far from the truth.

Dr Robert Lustig does a good job of dispelling this myth in his latest book “Fat Chance – the bitter truth about sugar”. Here is an excerpt from the book, (page 7): “Being thin is not a safeguard against metabolic disease or early death. Up to 40 percent of normal-weight individuals harbor insulin resistance – a sign of chronic metabolic disease – which will likely shorten their life expectancy. Of those, 20 percent demonstrate liver fat on an MRI of the abdomen. Liver fat, irrespective of body fat has been shown to be a major risk factor in the development of diabetes”.

As I have explained before, you really are what you eat. The body continually breaks down and renews itself, making new skin cells, new blood cells, new bone etc. To do this well, it requires good quality building materials, especiall good quality fat and protein, along with many vitamins and minerals etc. Before you judge anyone else, have a look at your own diet, are you eating foods that nourish your body and provide great building blocks or are you eating rubbish?

Some foods are what I like to call nutrient foods, they supply energy and wonderful building blocks for the body eg. vegetables, quality meat, coconut oil, organic blocked butter, avocado etc. Some “foods” are anti-nutrients, they add loads of sugar and nasty hydrogenated fats/vegetable oil to the body – all of which are inflammatory and cause harm to the body. This kind of “food” takes important nutrients from the body and puts the body under great stress. Eg. most fast food, frozen dinners, confectionary, biscuits, cereals, bread, cakes, muffins, chocolates, margarine, sugary drinks including soft drinks, fruit juice, flavoured milk, flavoured iced tea  etc. If you regularly eat these foods you will always be under-nourished and not have quality building blocks for your body to use! This will ultimately lead to aging and many inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and dementia!

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or

Childhood Obesity – are parents to blame?

This week I had a high school student attend the clinic to interview me for a school assignment. One of the questions was about how much parents are to blame or if parents are to blame for the obesity of their children. It really got me thinking.

I will admit here straight away that I am not a parent and this makes me a “perfect parent” because the only perfect parent that exists is the one in your mind before you actually have kids! Of course, once you have kids you learn that “perfect parents” and “perfect kids” do not exist. It is the real world and we all have strengths and flaws!  Oprah’s mentor Maya Angelou’s famous quote “when you know better you do better” is absolutely true. Except for a small number of people, most parents actually do their best.

It is not unusual now for there to be three to four generations in a family who have not been taught how to shop and how to cook. In my experience most people are not taught to be “in tune” with their body. Eating is often followed by feeling bloated, sick, tired etc and this is considered normal.

Our bodies continually break down and rebuild themselves, new blood cells, new bone etc. For this to work well, the body needs a continued supply of good quality “building materials” and “energy”. Not many people truly comprehend that you really are what you eat!

When parents go looking for answers, they find a whole bunch of food company sponsored information that does little to help, sometimes much to harm. How can you blame parents for getting it wrong if they are been given bad advice from doctors, dieticians and other health professionals?

Then we have the media, besides all of the usual tv commercials for toxic “foods” that infuriate me such as “you ought to be congratulated” for feeding your kids toxic margarine! There are also all of the movies, tv shows and reality weight loss or cooking tv shows etc, where you constantly fed really bad information. You often hear lines like “we are cooking a low fat healthy meal” or “this is bad for you or fattening because of all the fat”. It seems that if you hear the same message enough, it becomes the “truth” whether it is based in fact or not.

Or maybe they look to the Heart Foundation which is unfortunately a BIG mistake as of course they don’t consider sugar at all when they “tick” foods for money, that ensures they can tick that breakfast cereal that is jam packed with sugar!

Every so often you will see someone giving great advice such as, Dr Robert Lustig and David Gillespie advising people on the dangers of sugar (particularly fructose) but of course they are usually drowned out by the junk food sponsored dietician explaining that they are wrong and of course we all know that sugar is part of a healthy “balanced” diet!!!

No wonder parents are so confused, they either don’t know why they should care about these things, or get fed really bad advice! I am currently reading “Fat Chance – The bitter truth about sugar” by Dr Robert Lustig, as he explains in this book, obesity is much more complicated than most of us understand. It is not simply about calories in calories out. Not all calories are the same and sugar, particularly fructose is a major cause for concern. Since the war on fat in food started approx 40 years ago we have replaced the fat with sugar/fructose in our foods resulting in increased obesity and diabetes.

Yes parents do need to set a good example, you can’t complain that your child eats too many chips or too much fast food when you supply it or when you eat it yourself! Though I really feel for parents today trying to navigate a “healthy” diet and life for themselves and their family when the overwhelming message is that obesity is about “gluttony and sloth”, therefore blame and shame! We need to teach ourselves and our kids to listen to your body, and eat the way nature intended, real foods that nourish and energise you, with fat and all!

What are your experiences?

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or