HOW I STAY HEALTHY

By lead­ing di­eti­tian Susie Bur­rell As a new mum to twin boys, ‘busy’ is Susie Bur­rell’s mid­dle name. She shares with us her non-ne­go­tiable health short­cuts and how she beats sugar crav­ings.

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS - Susie Bur­rell has pub­lished three weight-loss books and is the founder of the per­son­alised diet and life­style program, Shape Me (shapeme.com.au)

Author and di­eti­tian Susie Bur­rell shares health tips for busy mums

One thing I do ev­ery day is drink plenty of water. It re­ally im­pacts my en­ergy and skin, so I pri­ori­tise 1–1.5 litres per day. I also try to walk ev­ery day, be­cause I feel slug­gish if I don’t. Some­times I just take the twins to the park, and that helps me get to 10,000 steps a day.

Since I’ve had my twins, the ‘proper break­fast’ is over. I used to en­joy a lot more meals out, but there’s just no time now. Usu­ally I have cof­fee the minute I wake up, and then I’ll grab a piece of whole­meal toast with cheese and Vegemite. It’s quick and gets me go­ing for the day.

Lunch has be­come my main meal, at around 11am. If I’m at home, I’ll make my­self an egg scram­ble, which is ba­si­cally eggs and heaps of ve­g­ies cooked in a pan with goat’s cheese and a few bits of toast. That keeps me full all day, and it’s also a great way to eat more veg­eta­bles.

My hus­band and I tend to eat re­ally sim­ply for din­ner at home. It’s usu­ally grilled lean meat or fish, along with two or three dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles. It’s a light meal — pasta and rice are a bit too heavy for me at that time of day. I also like to have a glass of wine with din­ner.

I’m not a big snacker, but I al­ways like some­thing sweet be­fore bed. At around 8pm I make sure that I sit down with a cup of tea and a bis­cuit, or per­haps it’ll be a small piece of choco­late. It’s not a lot — just a small treat, so that I don’t feel that I’m be­ing de­prived in any way.

As a busy mum, I like rou­tine and plan a lot of my meals in ad­vance. There’s noth­ing worse than find­ing your­self starv­ing in the car, and then hav­ing to stop and buy some­thing to eat. It’s of­ten hard to find healthy op­tions when you’re away from home. Sal­ads are usu­ally just too ex­pen­sive and lack pro­tein, and most of the sand­wiches are pre-made and huge!

My best short­cut is to cook once, eat twice. For ex­am­ple, I’ll cook din­ner and then eat left­overs for lunch the next day, or buy a cut of meat that I can use for two meals. I also love buy­ing pre-cut veg­eta­bles and stir-fry mixes — we shouldn’t be afraid of us­ing con­ve­nient, time-sav­ing op­tions.

I don’t re­ally think too much about my weight, and for me con­sis­tency is key for main­tain­ing a healthy weight. One thing about di­eti­tians is we have fairly con­sis­tent eating habits — there’s no binge eating fol­lowed by rapid di­et­ing. As you get older it’s im­por­tant to main­tain your me­tab­o­lism and pre­vent weight gain. Other­wise sud­denly you have 10kg to lose.

Sur­pris­ingly I’m not overly strict with what the twins eat. They’re only 18 months, but I don’t want them to be ob­sessed with food, so I let them have a bis­cuit here and there. The only thing I’m re­ally strict about is liq­uid sug­ars like juices, smoothies and soft drink. They only drink water and a lit­tle bit of milk. Some kids fill up on too much milk.

Be­cause I have some­thing sweet ev­ery day, I hon­estly never have crav­ings. As soon as you feel de­prived, that’s when the crav­ings come along. Se­vere crav­ings are of­ten a re­sult of poor blood sugar con­trol, which sug­gests your base­line diet isn’t bal­anced. So maybe you’re not eating enough pro­tein in the morn­ing, or you’re not hav­ing enough carbs with lunch.

There’s a huge amount of plea­sure that comes from eating. I love good qual­ity cakes, slices and dough­nuts. There’s some­thing about the den­sity and mouth­feel. But it’s hard to find a good one, so I don’t have them very of­ten. It’s all about choos­ing what you spend your calo­ries on.

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