How to spot a full time uni student in Australia 

You see them walking across the road in packs, or even solo. They look like a strange mix between an adult and teenager, wearing things ranging from designer gym clothes to Kmart sale items. Their hair is either fabulous or a mess (I never understood quite how to make time to do the former, given that I start at 8am most days). 

  
They carry around this huge overpacked baggage, as if they were boarding a flight to some exotic foreign continent (hah *sheds a single tear*), within – a hoard of treasured items can be found. 

Including :

  •  A coffee mug. The best (and most expensive) friend of the University student, guarded fiercely. 
  • multiple assignments with coffee stains – usually printed double sided to conserve funds
  • books with half written lecture notes – usually a friend has “borrowed” a few pages.
  • Gum for emergencies (I.e spontaneous hookups) 

And of course,

  • the 10kg $200 textbook that she/he STILL hasn’t used.

Upon observing (and unfortunately interacting with) these hormonally driven beings for the better part of 3 years now. I’ve noticed the appearance of such mammals  follows a seemingly predictable  trend. 

For females; dead set panda eyes coved dutifully with concealer, sunglasses on forehead and usually one fashion statement item, Nike or converse as the choice footwear. The same outfit is repeated on a weekly cycle – an attempt to hide the fact that the female student doesn’t have the time nor funds to afford luxuries such as clothing items – a tragedy indeed. 

The typical male university student looks very similar in appearance to his fellow “sick c*%#€”, “top bloke” or “mate”, as he adresses them- (amongst other terms), the dialect of the university bogan is hard to understand, even harder to duplicate. Those of the most testosterone driven are found at the “gym” – a communal area devoted to acting like a complete ass. I’d say avoid these types. 

These are of course just generalisations, there are plenty of normally normal personalities in the world. And not everyone is a sleep deprived, financially, socially  and mentally drained, gym fanatic slash full time student with no fashion sense…

Oh wait, I’m just describing myself now.  

I hope you all have a great week regardless, if you see me frothing at the mouth and in a seemingly terrifying state of mental stability – don’t worry. 

It’s just the 4th coffee kicking in.

==Ana Freeman==

==student Dietitian==

Vlad’s back! 

It’s that time again, time to roll up my sleeves and donate that precious liquid of life.

Blood!

The Red Cross donation van greeted me once again with its crimson rectangular trunk as I pulled up outside the Griffith uni bar yesterday morning.

  
The nurse positioned outside – Charlene, smiled as I approached the undercover zone. A clipboard in hand and a tray of sea salt chips and small cakes on the table.

After filling out several forms and taking my weight, Charlene told me to help myself to the selection of cakes, chips or drinks avalable.

The incentives start early right? 

Within 10 minutes, Tom, an energetic nurse in his mid 20’s had appeared at the top of the stairs – and beckoned me up.

Had plenty to eat and drink today?

Yeah heaps,  I responded.

Truth is, I never know if I have. I had been guzzling water like a madman since yesterday- but it never felt like enough.

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cred. giphy
The cold blasts of aircon made me shiver, and, being dry air – it didn’t help my hydration status.

As they started strapping on the torneque and increasing the pressure around my left bicep, I suddenly felt like I hadn’t drank anything at all.

Damnit!

Was I dehydrated already?  My mouth was dry as the nurse started laying on the yellow antiseptic ointment above my median cubital vein, the nurse – Anna (my namesake) furrowed her head as she poked around trying to find the little bugger.

Such small veins, lady-veins I call them, she chirped.

As she prepared the little sachets containing the needle and tubing I heard the steady ‘beep’ of  monitors nearby.

As the needle came close to my arm I looked away,

A sign to my right read:

‘What does donating feel like? Like getting the best biscuit ever!’

A big cartoon cookie with the classic bitemark in it’s side was under the caption.

well, a little cookie never hurt nobody.  cred red cross.
I felt a pinch,  and flinched – a reflex. Almost like a mosquito bite right in the crevice of my arm, then it was gone. The needle was in and all I had to do now was stay still and squeeze a stress ball to keep my blood flowing.

snapchats were of course, neccesary
I had a wonderful conversation with Anna, we talked of the crazy diet fads that dominated the health industry, the strict regulations following safety, the curse of vitamins, and days gone by.

Before I knew it, my 10 minutes of donating was up. Anna was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t give the full 500ml, but since my veins are so small (and my blood pressure a constant 80/60), the blood flow through them is slow at best.

Now the next part is easily my favourite.

The food!!

Cakes, cookies, iced coffee and bowlfulls of chocolate.

Now I’m a Nutrition student so I really should’ve just said “no thanks” and been on my merry way, but they insisted, 

really….

You need to have 450 calories after a donation like that, it takes it out of you! said the volunteer lady overseeing the food.

And out of me it did, as soon as I went home that afternoon I slept for 10 hours.

————————————————————————————-

Now this is the part where I rant about how so little people donate. And it’s nearly always persons who have family members affected by cancer, leukaemia, renal complications or a particular chronic disease  who do actually roll up their sleeves every now and then.

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1 in 30 donate.

That’s like, me out of my entire class.

When you think about it, it’s really not much. You could say 3 in 100 or 33 in 1000.

For an hour of your time you can save 3 lives! Everyone wants to be a hero, well here’s your chance.

 

cred. Aust red blood service
Little Sally or Tommy in hospital rely on donors to get better, YOU can make a difference! Over the course of our lifetimes we pump enough blood to fill 3 Olympic swimming pools.

Surely you can spare a measly 500ml bottle full every 3 months?

and the needle is nothing to be scared of really! a tiny pinprick if that 🙂

Donate today or call up to find your nearest donation centre.

The free food is always a bonus too of course.

13 95 96 is the number, you know what to do.

cred google

Have a great day,

===Anna Freeman ===

=== Student Dietitian ===

Cooking up some anti-diabetes

The obesity epidemic. 

I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, the national crisis on our television screens, the invisible enemy, the first world at war with their own waistsizes. 

At University, we’re prepped to know all about diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and drug interactions. Yet knowledge is useless unless you act on it. 

Too many times I’ve met very educated people who have the equivalent of Masters in health, feeding their kids cheese and bacon balls. 

 

these dreaded things
 
Retirees who’ve been in the health industry for over four decades- giving children cocopops cereal at midnight just before bed. I’m no saint of nutrition, but it’s the ignorance of intelligent people who really grind my gears. 

According to the 2014 Australian health survey data:

Around 92% of adults were not eating enough vegetables, and only 49% were eating enough fruit for optimum nutrition

Abs.gov.au

We’re obviously eating ENOUGH, we’re just eating the WRONG THINGS. 

In the end, I believe it comes down to Time. Time and your level of giving a sh*t. 

So this week, I’ve decided to really give it a shot, is it that hard to just prepare food yourself? 

Now I’m at university everyday, and I go to the gym usually twice daily. I work on the weekends. Usually, my parents are off globe-trotting so I have the house empty for weeks at a time. 

 I’m looking at the average weekly diet of Australians and recreating it, making it not only healthier BUT ALSO CHEAPER. 

Now who doesn’t want that?

I’ll start next week, when the parents are both off on a cruise.

#mastercheftimesahead

let me know your thoughts, have you noticed friends, family, associates who blindly eat doughnuts like there’s no tommorow? Don’t you just want to scream at them? 

Maybe you should.

Side note: apologies for the lack of posting as of late, I got caught with the flu and have been idly bedbound for the past few days, staring at the ceiling and plotting my revenge on the kids that infected me.  
===Anna Freeman===

=== Student Dietitian===

 

10 things that’ll make you a happier person

I usually shock people with my enthusiasm. 

It’s funny to see their reaction, people hear me before they see me most of the time. I have a very loud voice – perhaps that’s why they stick me in vendors so the guests can get a headache (*spruiking is my favorite part of the job).

Or perhaps, it’s so I get away from as many workers as possible – before they get a headache.

ten-screaming

*spruiking: imagine one of those wackos at the fishmarket/circus/marketplace that yell at the top of their voice to come try/come buy/come see their certain product…

THAT’S ME

My Dad will often bring my attention back to how close we are, distance-wise; when I’m having a heated conversation with him.

Ana, you’re 30cm away from me. You don’t need to shout.

I just get carried away and yell to prove my point, it happens all the time.

Thanks+for+proving+my+point+_c1b56194758419906f86d139794247e8

At the gym, at the shops, in my bathroom.

My Highschool (And now Uni friends), often dare eachother to see how far I’d go, they usually spark the fire with a completely absurd statement, one I possibly cannot resist.

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Things such as….

 

It’s not because I’m angry, it’s because I’m excited.  

Whilst public speaking may scare the living daylights out of many, it’s something I completely adore. The thrill of walking on stage, the eyes festooned on you whilst you deliver your speech. After all, YOU did all this research, all this preparation, why not blow them away with your presentation?

Another thing I’ve come to notice is that people always comment on just how happy I am.

How are you SO happy? All the time?!  – my supervisors mostly

or,

What drugs is she on? – whispers from my coworkers.

Perhaps they think it’s all an act.

It’s not. 

 

I genuinely feel happy.

Not all the time of course, but it’s like a plateau of happiness. Sometimes it peaks and sometimes it dips a little. But all in all, it’s stable.

 

So I’ve noticed some core things in my life that really make me happy. It’s not some magic pill (although coffee does do wonders for me in the mornings).

So here we go, my top 10 things that make me genuinely happy.

  1. Finding what you love, and doing it!                                                                                May it be cooking, gardening, gaming (hehehe), helping people, travelling, learning or tempting the wrath of my cat (guilty) – find what you love and do it a little every few days.

    tumblr_m7muzxpNn51r9sm3yo1_250
    spread the happiness! (Even if they don’t want it) 
  2. Exercise in some form – everyday or every other day.                                                         This is a big one, for me exercise is a way to socialize and keep my body healthy. I love the feeling you get after working out, it’s like toothpaste freshness but for your whole body. It doesn’t need to be intense, do whatever you feel comfortable doing. But make it for at least half an hour.a4d2c3006f9613e0aeec9ea32205f654.jpg
  3. Having a broad range of social contact                                                                                   You don’t need to be the most popular kid on the block. I just have a handful of really close friends and family whom I go and talk to once or twice a week. It really helps the soul to have a good laugh and a bit of banter.
  4. Listening to or playing music                                                                                                    If you (like many of us) are stuck using one side of their brains, we overwork ourselves. Much like muscles, you can’t just focus on one area – it’ll end up looking disproportionate. Unleash your creative side, music has a real soothing effect on people. Enya, Matt Corby, Sam smith, Coldplay and Hozier are some of my favorites.
  5. GOALS and Plans                                                                                                                         They don’t have to be huge, no one’s expecting you to go out and cure cancer in your 20’s. But do set yourself a series of short term and long term goals. The short term goals should be things that you aim to strive for daily. Whilst long term could be monthly – in saying that, set ‘checkpoints’ to make sure you’re keeping up to date with what you set out for yourself
  6. Spoiling yourself 😉                                                                                                                     Too often we forget the simple pleasures of a specialty massage or even the odd coffee. Don’t forget that the world around you has so much to offer, part with some of your cash and enjoy it, even if it only lasts the whole of 3 seconds. large.png
  7. Working towards something – always                                                                                   similar to Goals, don’t ever get to the point in your life when you wake up and have nothing to strive for. If you have time – FILL IT. I used to go out and volunteer because I just had THAT MUCH spare time. You really meet some amazing people. Work towards something, be it your career or your personal goals (getting fitter, getting more social, getting smarter) whatever!
  8. Letting go                                                                                                                                     Now this might rattle a few chains, sometimes we have things that hold us back. Regrets, grief, mistakes- things that haunt us from the past, in fact we become scared to do new things because of our fear. Letting go is one of the hardest things that we can do, because usually – we’ve invested so much into something that we’re scared to let it slip through our fingers. Personally, this is one of the things I struggle with most, critical reflection on past mistakes. But that’s just it, it’s called the past for a reason. we can’t change it. Letting something go is difficult, but in the long run – you’ll feel better for it.
  9. Sleeping and waking properly                                                                                                    Last year I really struggled with sleeping. Full weeks at Uni paired with late night study and chatting kept me up until 2am in the morning (sometimes later) – it was disastrous for my sleeping health. I often skipped core lectures because I simply couldn’t wake up in time. As you can expect – my grades (and my attitude) plummeted. I’ve come to realize the importance of adequate rest now, it’s actually so important to hit those pillows early. Not only for your mental and physical performance – but also to keep the inner b*tch at bay. Like the saying goes, the early bird DOES catch the worm.
  10. Believing in yourself and your abilities                                                                                 If not the most important, it should be high up there. Having confidence in yourself and knowing that you’re an amazing person is really the key in keeping happy. It’s not selfish or vain or superfluous in any sense. People are attracted to confidence – it shows a level of maturity and self-respect. Believe in yourself (I know it sounds cheesy), but it’s really not complicated at all.

(Extra) Be a bit of a wacko: If I ever find myself in a silent room with well dressed, well behaved people; i’d be the first to say something absurd. Everyone being the same is boring, people don’t remember sameness. They remember silliness! Have a genuine laugh at yourself. And if other people laugh at you, laugh with them!

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Eat well, think well, smile often

=====Anna Freeman=====

=== Student Dietitian ===

Spotlight: Natto (Fermented Soybeans)

Being half Japanese comes with it’s perks, one of those being a broadened spectrum in all things regarding gastronomy.

Natto may scare the living daylights out of some, or have the others sighing in pleasure – the wafting aroma that can only be oxygen deprived bacterial growth accumulating on week old soybeans definitely stirs up some mixed reactions in people.

The little pocket usually comes with two sauce-type sachets, one is an amber fluid (soy sauce) the other is a yellowish smaller packet of mustard.

These little white mystery packs contain a deliciousness that is hands down one of my staples. 
You can add both, or none! (though I would personally recommend adding the soy sauce) – otherwise the end product is quite bland.

Mix the two together and you create a marriage of flavoury goodness.

FYI: The sticky- ladyfinger/okra snail-like slime enveloping these once vibrant green legumes comes as a shock to many Westerners. Or maybe it’s just the smell?

Forget your Spirulina shakes or poached eggs with avocado for brekky. Like most health foods – Natto boasts some of the best macronutrients around.

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Breakdown: Nutrient style.

A cup of this stuff contains HALF your recommended protein and Magnesium and over 80% of your recommended iron intake! (Take that steak!) Not to mention the generous addition of calcium and vitamin C contained in there too (1).

Add some avocado and you have yourself a… (yes I’m actually going to do this)

vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, gluten free, meat free, whatever the hell else superfood!

I just had this delightful beauty for lunch!

The combination of high protein, paired with the fiber and iron of this breakfast staple in japan will refuel my muscles with energy (still aching from that body attack class I did an hour earlier).

There was also a japanese study in the journal of nutrition stating that Natto had the highest single source of the vitamin K2 in foodstuff, this was linked to an endemic population that had significantly higher levels of bone health (2).

Maybe this is why you don’t see many Obachans (Grannies) confined to wheelchairs in their mid 80’s?!

You won’t find Natto in your local Coles or Woolies – check out japanese specialty stores such as GoGo Mart.

A few weeks left of my Uni holidays, can’t wait to go back and learn some more. My brain is yearning knowledge!

Eat well, sleep well, eat some more. 

===Anna Freeman===

=== Student Dietitian===

Biography:

  1. http://www.nutritionvalue.org/Natto_nutritional_value.html
  2. Kaneki, M., Hedges, S., Hosoi, T., Fujiwara, S., Lyons, A., & Crean, S. et al. (2001). Japanese fermented soybean food as the major determinant of the large geographic difference in circulating levels of vitamin K2. Nutrition, 17(4), 315-321. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0899-9007(00)00554-2

Spotlight: B vitamins 

No, I’m not talking about the ones that are stuffed into an overpriced plastic container in pill form that boast of having ALL the essential vitamins.

Nor the ones advertised as ‘ARE YOU UGLY AND DON’T HAVE NICE HAIR?’

 – ‘BRITTLE NAILS THAT DETRACT FROM YOUR FABULOUSNESS?’

– How about my personal fave: ‘TIRED OF BEING TIRED ALL THE TIME?!’ WELL, HERE’S THE SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS! ONLY $45.85!’

…….No

I’m talking about the ones in SIMPLE food. Food that certainly doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg (no activated charcoal here)!

Back to basics

Vitamin B is one of the WATER soluble vitamins, this means that an excess is excreted in the urine (so generally, they aren’t toxic).

Water soluble vitamins are thus: NOT STORED, with the exception of B12- Coablamin.

The vitamin B complex is the broad term for the 8 major B vitamins, all of which are essential in the diet.

I’m not going to cover all 8 here because seriously;

no one cares.

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So I’ll get right to it; (the important stuff).

The B Vitamins, in layman terms; have the principal role of making sure you extract energy from your macronutrients- fat, protein and carbs.

I know this image just makes you want to hate life (it sure made me think so). But have a look, these are the co enzymes of the B-vitamin complex. In each bubble you’ll most likely see a  TPP,FAD or NAD (these are the first 3 B vitamin co-enzymes derived from the vitamins I mentioned earlier – Vitamin B1,B2 and B3 respectively)
This just highlights the sheer IMPORTANCE of these little vitamins in our lives. Glycogen being converted intoglucose and then

pyruvate on the left via Glycolysis. Triglycerides and fatty acids entering the TCA as the 2 carbon CoA in the middle,

and Proteins transaminating to amino acids and entering the TCA on the right.

If you are deficient in a certain co-enzyme you can slow this whole reaction down – you’ll NEVER stop the TCA, that’s impossible and would mean you’d be dead.

B what

Vitamin B1,B2 and B3 are my chosen vitamins of choice, I could go all the way to B12, but we both know that’s not going to happen.

  • B1   = Thiamine

  • B2   = Riboflavin 

  • B3   = Niacin 

That’s a mouthful already right

Where can I found them & how much do I need?! 

Don’t buy overpriced pills, eat some bread instead!

I won’t give you an intense encyclopedia on the foods that contain the highest amounts of B1,B2,B3 etc… But I will give you a basic understanding of cheap and healthy food that will give you what you need.

  • B1   = Thiamine

Now, B1 is really easy to get your hands on. If you live in Australia (yay) or NZ, the food industry has actually FORTIFIED many staples of grain to be enriched with B1; Including bread, cereals and pasta.

Nuts and Soymilk are also a relatively good source of B1. One 85g lean Porkchop has over 90% of the RDI for thiamine (making it an excellent source) So unless you’re on some intense diet without carbohydrate you’ll probably be meeting this without thinking about it.

This was the only image I could find with a moderate amount of vegetables, I’d be happier if the salad made up 3/4 of the plate and the pork was a quarter of the size and not barbecued… but hey; beggars can’t be choosers.

——NB—–

Was just doing some research on the side, and found that drinking loads of tea >1L a day can hinder your ability to adequately absorb B1 by interacting with the tannin compounds (1). I know this won’t affect many of you but just thought i’d point it out.

Ah tannins, responsible for that so called ‘tannic’ flavour in your mouth after you have some tea – bitter and tart.
  • B2   = Riboflavin 

Another important vitamin in the metabolism of energy, remember FAD? If you don’t I don’t blame you, it’s boring AF. 

The highest concentrations of B2 are found in animal sources, especially liver (with over 150% RDI in an 85g fried serve).

Mmm, not that appetizing in truth is it? Though it does boast some EXCELLENT health benefits.

Not a fan? try some yogurt or eggs instead. If you simply can’t do that, fortified breads and cereals will also give you an adequate shot of Riboflavin goodness.

And for those… Gluten-free,Organic, Vegan, Frutarian, (whatever I’ve missed) try 2 and a half cups of mushrooms or 11 bananas, that should do the trick.

  • B3   = Niacin 

Another one which is relatively easy to get into you without noticing. Nician can transaminate with Tryptophan (it’s an a-amino acid), so if you’re ever too low or too high in one or the other they’ll balance each other out (the body is amazing right?).

Fun fact, since Christmas has just passed us… If you’re anything like me; you would have stuffed your gob with turkey a few days past and fallen into the deepest sleep ever?

It’s widely (and wrongly) accepted that tryptophan induces sleep, and for some reason… people associate tryptophan levels to be particularly high in turkey.

A common misconception, it’s like the nutritious MYTHBUSTERS!
However studies have shown that tryptophan levels in the big bird are actually not significantly different to that of other poultry! (2)

“Paradoxically, what probably makes people sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner is…dessert,” he adds, “Eating carbohydrates increases brain serotonin in spite of the fact that there is no tryptophan in carbohydrates” Ballantyne, 2016

So it’s not the turkey – but the trifle, that takes you onto the fast shuttle to snoozeville, post Christmas lunch.

The more you know right?

Niacin is found in…. like the above, fortified breads and cereals (you’d probably now know why you feel so lethargic without carbs – Carbs contain alot of the B-vitamins).

It’s also found in meat sources such as chicken breast, tuna and liver.

Veg lovers don’t worry, mushrooms and peanut butter also have a good hit of the stuff, you just need 2 cups of cooked mushies or 2 tbs of Pb.

The NRV’s (Nutrient Reference values) from the Australian Dietary guide will give you a brief overview on how much of each B vitamin you need daily. Ugh does that mean I need to click the link?

So much effort.

It’s alright guys, I’ve condensed a table for you all.

b129f7227abad5debbf1529d0eb727ee
Courtesy of the Australian and NZ NRV guide
*already you can run into some confusion with this table (Damnit! why does Nutrition have to be so complicated!).

Two different terms:

RDI: or Recommended Dietary intake, RDI is centered around an average adult. Of course this value changes depending on such a host of different factors that it’s moreso a average framework rather than a set-in-stone guideline.

and

AI: or Adequate Intake: AI measures the adequate intake for the health and well being of at least 50% of the population.

You’ll also notice the measures: ug and mg 

THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING 

The latter is Miligrams the former is Micrograms! the difference between 1mg and 1 ug is 1000 units! You don’t want to be eating 100ox the recommended intake of the vitamin because…. well, for one it’s a waste. Secondly, (rarely) you could get a toxicity by ingesting that much.

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Deficiencies : (now the interesting stuff!)

  • B1 deficiency can be nasty on the body to say the least. The deficiency itself can manifest as the condition known as ‘Beri-Beri‘.

And it can certainly be…. Beri Beri bad

I’m sorry, that was terrible.

There’s two forms of Beri beri that can be diagnosed;

Wet Beri beri or Dry Beri-beri.

The former causes weakening of the circulatory capillaries leading to odema (swelling of the tissues with fluid) due to the reduction of oncotic pressure at the venous end.  Patients may have increased heart rate, confusion and labored breathing (as milder symptoms).

Odema in the left arm, note the significant change in size. This is purely due to a build-up of fluid. 
Dry beri-beri is associated with nerve parenthesis (losing the sense of touch or pain), Emancipation and difficulty walking, talking or breathing.

Similar in appearance to those campaign adverts you see on television regarding malnourished  children right?
Because this particular vitamin is most abundant in carbohydrate rich sources, first world countries do not often see persons afflicted with Beri-Beri.

In the first world it’s  much more common to see conditions such as Wernikie’s Encephalopathy or WKS; in persons who are chronic alcoholics. Chronic Alcohol abuse can actually diminish the body’s stores of B1 and over time and can cause symptoms shadowing that of Beri-beri.

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  • B2 deficiency can manifest itself as Arabinflavinosis;

A scary dermal condition which can effect your eyes, skin and practically anything on the outside of your organs – reports of anemia have also been documented in these individuals.

B2 deficiency is often observed in the poorer provenices of  south east Asia or Africa – where corn, rice or potatoes are the main carbohydrate source of the population.

Chelosis at the corners of the mouth, common in Arabinflavinosis. We’ve all experienced this atleast once right? Credit: vitaminstore

Fun fact: want a party in your toilet?

 No… Not the type you were thinking; 

An excess consumption of B2 produces fluorescent urine!   (I’m not saying to go do it for the lols by the way 

literally…. credit wikipedia
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  • B3 (and to a lesser extent tryptophan) deficiency is witnessed as Pallagra. 

Pellagra can manifest itself as a particularly severe deficiency. Usually characterized by the three D’s: Dementia, Diarrhea and, (left untreated) Dermatitis. 

I call it ‘Sandman disease’ because patients can develop sandpaper like skin, the consistency of which eventually turns a grey-blue- black colour.

Since NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and it’s phosphorolated version NADP are the cofactors of Nicain – a deficiency in Nician would lead to the eventual decline of all NAD available to the body. NAD is an EXTREMELY important co-enzyme in the body’s metabolism (remember that really ugly diagram)? NAD was practically everywhere.

So what’s it like to have Pallagra? 

Credit: Itg, 2016
Imagine yourself with a inflamed beefy tongue that hurts when you talk, large angry scabs appearing everywhere on your body. Your constantly tired- but unable to sleep, hence you’re going to naturally be pissed all the time. You’re also now very sensitive to sunlight and you’re losing your hair. And to top it all off, you’re losing the ability to perform simple co-ordinated movements and eventually forget who you are and what you’re doing.

Doesn’t sound that great does it? 

Final thoughts

I think the main thing I wanted to emphasize in this post was the importance of having a balanced diet. Like I mentioned; it’s very uncommon to see these conditions in first world countries such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and parts of Asia. But they still exist to remind us of the importance of meeting those RDI values.

——- Anna Freeman, student Dietitian ——

Bio

1. BALLANTYNE, C.Does Turkey Make You Sleepy?

In-text: (Ballantyne, 2016)

allantyne, C. (2016). Does Turkey Make You Sleepy?. Scientific American. Retrieved 1 January 2016, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-does-turkey-make-you-sleepy/

2. NLM.NIH.GOV

Thiamine (Vitamin B1): MedlinePlus Supplements

Chemicals in coffee and tea called tannins can react with thiamine, converting it to a form that is difficult for the body to take in. This could lead to thiamine deficiency.

In-text: (Nlm.nih.gov, 2016)

Nlm.nih.gov,. (2016). Thiamine (Vitamin B1): MedlinePlus Supplements. Retrieved 1 January 2016, from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/965.html

3. NRV.GOV.AU

Nutrient Reference Values | Nutrient Reference Values

In-text: (Nrv.gov.au, 2015)

Nrv.gov.au,. (2015). Nutrient Reference Values | Nutrient Reference Values. Retrieved 1 January 2016, from https://www.nrv.gov.au/

4. ITG.AUTHOR-E.EU

Illustrated Lecture Notes on Tropical Medicine – Pellagra

In-text: (Itg.author-e.eu, 2016)Itg.author-e.eu,. (2016). Illustrated Lecture Notes on Tropical Medicine – Pellagra. Retrieved 6 January 2016, from http://itg.author-Websit

5. THEFREEDICTIONARY.COM

ariboflavinosis, (TheFreeDictionary.com, 2016). TheFreeDictionary.com,. (2016). ariboflavinosis. Retrieved 6 January 2016, from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/ariboflavinosis

Spotlight: Avocados

Avocado, or as our friendly Aussie neighbours call them:

“Avos”

So why should you eat them?

The best way to start the day – Avo and Vegemite( credit Google)



Relatively low in sugars, commonly mistaken for a vegetable and described as having a ‘creamy’ or ‘neutral’ flavour.

Often labelled as a ‘superfood’, this green ancient wonder has been around for millennia, and was believed to have originated from Mexico.

Particularly high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; the avocado is in actuality a fatty berry of sorts. Which may be why the berry flourished as a source of valuable fatty acids and nutrients in the past. It’s high energy content would have kept many ancient Aztecians alive during famine.

Origin

“A-voe-cah-doe”

Some literal translations from the Spanish, Mexican and Aztecian language believe the tropical berry resembled the human testicle, hence the translation would be ‘testicle berry’.

lol.

Don’t let that put you off though. In the English language, the name Avocado sounded relatively similar to the Latin ‘Advocare’ aka ‘Advocate’ (lawyer), and thus, was renamed so in the north.

It is theAvocado whom is responsible for that common green dip (Guacamole), you may see accompanying nachos at your next family gathering.

The versatile berry has nowadays spread across the world as an international favourite, smushing its deliciousness and health benefits onto toast, sushi (USA and Australia), milkshakes (Brazil, Vietnam and Thailand) – even ice cream!

Breakdown: Nutrient-style

High in monounsaturated fats (these are good. Eat more of these), high in the fat soluble carotenoids (Vitamin A); Beta-carotine (think: rich orange pigment responsible for eye health) and zeaxanthin. Not to mention the potent shot of Folate (important in pregnancy regarding the health of the fetus’ neurological development), and Vitamin B5 (which makes up 20% and 28% of Avocado’s composition respectively). Vitamin B5/Panthothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin important for the synthesis of CoA; I can’t emphasize enough how important CoA  is in the body’s metabolism of fatty acids and energy….

The nutrient composition tells all

So I’ll just stick with: IT’S VERY IMPORTANT. 

Claims to fame

I haven’t even started on the mineral composition either, but I think by now you’d understand that the host of nutritional benefits, make Avos a truly incredible fruit to be eating. The nutritional journal of 2013 even stated that:

Avocado consumption is associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome(1).

Anna’s translation: eating Avocados means you eat better on the whole, have a better range of nutrients in your diet, and are less likely to die from heart disease or lifestyle-related mortality. 

The American Heart foundation also added in their site ‘Circulation’:

Including one avocado per day in a heart-healthy diet lowers plasma oxidized LDL and lutein concentration; the benefits extend beyond their fatty acid content. The change in oxidized LDL by diet was correlated with a change in small LDL but not large LDL particles (2) .

Anna’s translation: Eating even ONE Avocado a day (alongside a healthy diet) reduces your body’s concentration of the fatty Low Density lipoproteins (aka low protein particles that can block your arterioles in the heart circulation and cause a plaque to form (embolism). If this plaque ruptures this can cause a MI (heart attack) as blood can no longer pass through the artery. If this clot decides to move, you’ve got yourself a thromboembolism which can get into your carotid arteries and give you a stroke) both of which: are bad. 

So maybe now you have some improved insight on the incredibleness of Avocados, and I highly recommend adding them to your diet if you havent already.

I usually just chop up half of one, blend it with a clove of garlic, a quarter of red onion and half a medium tomato, add a dash of herbs and lemon juice…. And bam Guacamole – with the added anti-aging lycopene of tomatoes! It’s perfect on a slice of toasted turkish bread drizzled with olive oil.

~Until next time! Sayonara

——- Anna Freeman, student Dietitian ——

Bio

  1. III, V. L. F., Dreher, M., & Davenport, A. J. (2013). Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008
  2. Wang, L., Tao, L., Stanley, T. H., Fleming, J. A., Lambert, J. D., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2015). One Avocado Per Day Lowers Plasma Oxidized-LDL and Increases Plasma Antioxidants in Overweight and Obese Adults.Circulation, 131(Suppl 1), A17-A17.

I WANT YOUR BLOOD

Not literally.

But that is how i felt today when the friendly Bloodvan came along to Uni and parked quite squarely into my usual parking space.


What’s a bloodvan you ask?

well, It’s pretty much; a van.

A van that takes blood from willing volunteers.

Now, before you run off telling all your friends that vampires are real and they’re making a comeback with six wheels, lets not get carried away.

The Bloodvan, lets just call him Bloody, comes along maybe every 5 months or so and he stays for around a week before it’s off to get more blood from somewhere else, kinda like a massive mechanical mosquito.

without the malaria.

Or the wings for that matter.

Or any weird high-pitched screechy noises that wake you up in the middle of the night and make you hyper anxious and flap your blankets wildly in the air at any attempts to thwart the little bastard.  And you’re just like….

kill_it_with_fire

where was I.

Oh yeah,

Bloody is roughly a trapezoid shape with some windows, about 10metres long and completely red. It’s got a massive Blood droplet on its side with some very happy people on the side with a speech bubble saying

I survived x because of you, thanks!’

and on the other side;

‘save a life today!’

 

Bloody couldn’t have been more  propagandistic if he tried.

I remember the first time i donated blood…. It was only a  year ago. it was with my best friend, and we were well, young 18 year olds with a newfound sense of independence and daring.

No idea what to expect….

So we rolled up our sleeves, we drank at least 4L of water before and patiently sat outside, waiting for the unknown. I swear we ran to the toilet 10 times within a space of 2 hours that day.

The process was relatively simple, you sign up, or call. Tell them what day and what time you can come in, and then wait….

Alot.

When you walk into the van it takes a little while to adjust to the area. When i was young, I attended musicals and theatres where the dancers disappear behind the curtain after their part is done, I found that entering the Blood van is a lot like that.

From the outside looking in, it looks really mysterious, your mind drifts away with imagination. What are behind those doors? are there blood bags lying around everywhere?  are the nurses who run the program actually mad scientists who strap you down and poke you with things like they do in those horror movies? Are there blood drained bodies and vampires lurking around?

Let me just say…. it is nothing like that.

It’s also very interesting. As you walk inside you find it hard to believe that in such a confined space there is SO much room!  As one of my favourite TV characters says ‘

‘It’s bigger on the inside!’

See what i did there David Tennant…..

Doctor-Who-doctor-who-for-whovians-28293698-426-240
Why do i even bother

There’s no straps or blood bags lying around, there’s no mad scientists and certainly no vampires.

In fact the whole procedure is over in around 5-10 minutes, they’re VERY accommodating and make you feel very comfortable. If at any time you feel uncomfortable they let you go

And I know a lot of people will never give blood, because the mere thought of needles is enough to freak them out…. but!

Watching the venous blood drain away from my arm, it was fascinating.

Not in the freaky, psychopathic kind of way, but in the way that this blood, MY blood was leaving me and going to someone else.

Someone who could be a few hundred metres away ( the local hospital is attached to my University). And it was my life force, my precious scarlet fluid.

Thousands of litres of it circulated around my body every year, tonnes of it in a lifetime, a tsunami worth of blood; held captive in us all.

And what do we do?

keep it all for ourselves.

When they only take around 400ml of it, that’s less than a water bottle worth. Once every year, if everyone did that we would NEVER run out of blood. Hospitals wouldn’t need to plea with the public to donate a portion of your blood.

Everyone wants to be a Hero.

And saving a life?

Well, I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty heroic to me.

TIPS AND TRICKS

– don’t go if you’re tired, afraid of needles or dehydrated

-don’t go if you’re anaemic

– drink HEAPS of water, like you’re literally going to explode amounts

– you need to be ATLEAST 50kg and a healthy weight.

Update: this is how your arm looks a day after…

PROS!

– you get your blood results and blood type!

– you get FREE FOOD!!!!

– your blood ( that’s free in your body) IS SAVING A LIFE!

CONS:

needles ARE pointy.

– no exercising that night.

– you feel a little tired afterwards.

Remember! the number is 13 14 95

Look away from the lemon water 

Marketing will inadvertently shift with whatever is ‘hot’ at the time.

It’s a vested intrest.

You, like millions of others may have heard of the myriad of benefits surrounding ‘lemon water’ in early 2013, or been swamped by the ‘kale’ epidemic last year, you may have even fallen victim of both.

The superfoods, as they are known are quickly becoming homologous to high end fashion. I had previously NEVER heard of kale in my life prior to 2013. As for lemon water, I would rather eat a slice of red capsicum and get 50x the vitamin C, than force myself to chug that diluted acid.

It seemed that overnight ‘kale’ (an otherwise overgrown spinach), had wrapped the marketing world in its fibrous storm.17a3

Kale smoothies, kale ice cream, kale chips! You couldn’t escape the onslaught of kale-ification!
I remember reading article upon article preaching the miracle that was Kale.

So give it a few weeks, a year or so and now we’re in 2015.

What have you heard recently about kale? I look around the supermarket and see kale on special, again.

Fluorescent yellow tags sticking out like childrens tongues after a 7th birthday party.

Dominating the bottom shelf in a desperate attempt to get noticed, ‘Reduced to clear‘ splayed across the side.

  
No one wants you anymore Kale.

Your moment in the sun has passed, and now it’s onto something else. Some strange exotic seed or tongue tying agalmalation of vowels that we’re probably prounouncing wrong anyway (see; my quinoa confusion for years)

See just typing the word ‘new superfood’ gave me this… Oh joyous internet.

So I decided to highlight some laughably sad diet fads that seem to be mindwashing society.

Digging a little deeper; these have to be some of my honorouble mentions, 

  1. Freekeh; sounds more freaky then foody
  2. Farrow; i could do a better job at inventing names then this, honestly. 
  3. Bone broth jelly, isn’t this the same as every single jelly constituent out there?
  4. Bee pollen; and I thought Bees were under threat enough as it is recently, now we have to go out and just hunt them to extinction. 
  5. Vouge magazine even went as far as to say this about Chlorophyll

“Also called nature’s green magic, chlorophyll has the power to regenerate our bodies at the molecular and cellular level.”

Thank you Vouge, I had no idea that I have actually been a plant for the last 19 years of my life.

And now for the winner of 2015s shameful waste of money award thus far. 

drumroll please…..

  • ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

When I saw this I really had to rub my eyes.

Charcoal. Really.

WHAT IDIOT CAME UP WITH THAT IDEA.

do you know what charcoal is primarily made out of?

  • Carbon

Do you know what we breathe out on a daily basis?

  • Carbon

WHY ARE WE PUTTING SOMETHING IN OUR BODIES THAT WE WANT TO NATURALLY GET RID OF?

#rant

Perhaps im not looking at the full story here, okay fair enough, maybe because the person or persons (ahem Vouge.com) who came up with (a majority of) this list took into consideration that you’re keeping up with the latest ‘superfoods’ of 2015 list and do Infact, ingest chlorophyll too.

So with Vouge’s logic, yes, you eventually do turn into a plant and via Photosynthesisyou can miraculously convert that activated charcoal into glucose.

Thus energising you!

* sigh*

In another sense, I find it great that the Australian marketing Accosiation  is atleast making an effort to get society to shift it’s 1 in 4 overweight arse. Even if it means there is a sum of money behind the process

  
I for one find it halariously comical that everyday (otherwise useless) items (barely passed off as edible at that) are having their time in the spotlight. 

Hey who knows, maybe you should think twice before giving those tomato stems the flick to your compost, you might be around the corner from discovering the new superfood of the coming year.

Low fat? It’s actually making you fat

So I was at Uni the other day and just casually talking to one of my closest friends about diets over coffee. How we keep in shape and such, when we stumbled along the topic of nutritional contents of foods.

Now talking about this stuff with people is my passion, absolutely love it. And I’m always surprised at how little the majority knows about nutritional contents of food when they’ve been bombarded by millions of health messages each day.

Well here’s the comparison, she asked why she had stayed at this persistant weight when we both go to the gym, probably 5-7 days a week. We do high intensity cardiac workouts for around an hour before heading home.

So excersise wasn’t the issue here. I turned instead to her diet,

She eats well but has a knack for going for ‘low fat’, high protein foods.

See  things such as; tuna, rice crackers, low fat yoghurt and emphasises minimal carbs.

Compared to myself; 

I eat a whole range of carbs (possibly 5+ serves daily), proteins (only fish and legume based), a few serves of diary and an emphasis on vegetables.

The crucial difference?

  • She has BMI of 25
  • I have one of 20

Sure, she’s still considered ‘healthy’ for her weight and height. She is still regarded on the outer parameters of ‘healthy’.

Now the literature, if you’re familiar with the Atkins diet for instance will tell you about all these trials of people substituting low fat and carb for high protein , emphasising weight loss.

And you’re probably moreso familiar with the seemingly endless meatheads that seem to amass on the bench press machines at the gym like barnacles attached to a ship hull.

Another obvious highlight is, it seems they are never far from those ghastly fluroscently coloured liquids known as ‘protein shakes’.

Do you notice a crucial difference here though?

On the whole;

  • MEN want to GAIN WEIGHT
  • WOMEN want to LOSE it
  • And BOTH genders are integrating  high protein into  these diets hoping that it will achieve their goals.

More often than not, which of the sexes is it that we see with the visible results?

  • MEN.

Fair and simple, muscle mass weighs more than fat. We all know that.

I bet you didn’t know that you only need 15-25% of your dietry energy intake  to be sourced from protein.

15%-25% that’s actually tiny. And that 25% is only relative to those of us doing insane amounts of excersise and a high need for protein for muscle repair. Most of us should be aiming for  the15% mark.

Women in fact need LESS protein then men. to work out how much protein you need daily

If you’re a female;

  • .75(amount of protein in grams) multiplied by (your weight in kilograms)

So for instance;

I am 62 kgs

  • . 75 * 62kg

= 42.5g

I only need 43GRAMS of protein a day.

Do you know how much 43grams is worth weight wise?

  • Half a bar of soap
  • The size of a standard chocolate bar
  • 5 mushrooms.

And do you know the best part?

When you eat an excess, (that’s anything over 43g for me)

IT TURNS TO FAT ANYWAY.


This is because your body has this thing called the amino acid pool, contrary to belief, exess proteins are NOT stored as muscle, they’re broken down like any macronutrient and released to provide energy.

And your body can only absorb so much. It’s like sugar, you only need 120g of glucose daily to maintain brain function. You can get that from 2 slices of bread.

Which beings me to my next point, how about low fat?

Hah.If you believe low fat what’s going to change your life around, check again.  I BET MY LIFE THAT YOU CAN GO PICKUP ANY LOW FAT (not including artificially sweetened) MANUFACTURED FOOD….SUCH AS NATURAL YOGHURT.

  1.  TURN IT AROUND
  2.  LOOK AT THE SUGAR CONTENT
  3. PICK UP A FULL FAT NATURAL TUB
  4. GASP

IF you did it correctly the sugar content should be significantly higher in the ‘low fat’ example.

Another consideration,

‘Low fat’ has only been a recent integration into our lives. 70 years ago, there was NO such thing as fat free milk or reduced fat margarine. And you’d think that being absolutely bombarded by the incursion of these items into our society would atleast FORCE people to lose weight.

So why hasn’t it?

It’s really simple,

SUGAR IS THE NEW FAT.

Why is fat given such a bad Rep??? It’s ESSENTIAL for life! Ever heard of vitamin D?

Yeah you need FAT to break that down so you can absorb it properly!

Vitamin A?

As a kid you were probably bombarded by your parents telling you;

Eat your carrots Sarah! So you can see in the dark!

Guess what, you need FAT  to absorb those beta caritinoids to make you get those benefits!

EVERY SINGLE CELL that makes up who you are has a membrane, a covering of sorts; to keep things protected inside.

You guessed it, YOU NEED FAT TO MAINTAIN THAT TOO.

Now sugar, what can you POSSIBLY achieve with sugar.

Energy.

Nothing else. No nutrients, no vitamins, no breakdown of anything.

And what happens if you eat too much energy?

It gets stored, AS FAT.

So why don’t I just eat heaps of sugar Anna? Because logically that will just turn into fat anyway, and my body can absorb all those things right?

Wrong.

A lot of dietry sourced fat, such as omega-3, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids CANT be synthesised through ‘sugary fats’ as I call them.

Classic example, marshmallows.

 Commonly labelled ‘low fat‘, whilst that may be true, look at the sugar content.

I guarentee. YOU WILL DIE QUICKER eating a diet of marshmallows, then  a diet based purely of avocados.

So keep it in mind next time you’re browsing through your local supermarket.

Do I want to live a low life?

Look no further than Low fat. 

——- Anna Freeman, student Dietitian ——