Nutrionist

Spiced Christmas Cookies

Christmas and cookies go hand in hand. Whether it's leaving them out for Santa with a glass of milk, gifting them as a special treat, or snacking on these delights after a Christmas feats, cookies are a Christmas tradition. 

Our Nutritionist and Dietician, Andrea has made some Spiced cookies just in time for Christmas. We have tasted tested them here at City Cave HQ, and safe to say they didn't last long. Quick, easy and perfect to have around the house for Christmas.

Christmas, Christmas cookies, Spiced cookies, dietician, nutritionist,

Stay tuned as Andrea will be having her very own Christmas Healthy Eating workshop coming up in December to give you all lots of ideas and taste testers of things you can make to stay healthy at Christmas time!

Spiced Christmas Cookies

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp ginger

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp mixed spice

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup sweetener OR golden syrup

30g unsalted butter, melted

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup molasses

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice, sweetener and salt. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, egg, vanilla and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together with a spatula until a dough forms.
  • Roll into balls and press to flatten on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Note: if you are using golden syrup, mix this in with the wet ingredients.

Looking for a personalised meal plan that will help you to figure out your gut problems, get your goals on track and make sure that you're eating all the right things? Book in with Andrea and get a tailored guide for your body to make sure you're feeling 100%.

The Power of Probiotics

On the back of our two Gut Health 101 workshops with our amazing Jess Blair (Naturopath) and Andrea Love (Dietician), we thought it would be a good chance to delve into some knowledge on Probiotics. Our very talented Health and Liaison Officer Emma (who also studied Dietetics), delves in a little deeper to help us get to know what Probiotics are, when to use them and why they are so good for your gut! 

The idea of consuming good bacteria for health is not new. It dates back to the early 20th century, when shortly after, the term “probiotic” was coined meaning “for life” or “for health”.  Probiotics are a type of friendly bacteria that, when introduced into our bowel, stabilise the intestine's resident microorganisms, restoring our natural balance of good ‘bugs’ in the digestive system. If we get the right balance of bacteria then the whole system works.

We have all seen drinks in the dairy cabinet at the supermarket claiming to “keep you healthy on the inside”.  And then there are the yoghurts with Lactobacillus acidophilus or ABC cultures, which advertise that they are good for your digestive health. Friendly bacteria or probiotics are one of the latest health trends. But do they work and how often do you need to take them?

HOW PROBIOTICS KEEP YOU HEALTHY:

Friendly bacteria can create the right environment in your digestive tract which helps to:

  • Replace normal bacteria that have been killed off by a course of antibiotics; 
  • Produce substances that make your internal environment unwelcoming for Salmonella, rotavirus and other harmful bugs;
  • Stop episodes of diarrhoea including travellers’ diarrhoea;
  • Create a barrier so the internal lining of your intestine is less likely to let allergens through; 
  • Stimulate the immune system; 
  • Regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation and flatulence; 
  • Ease irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease;
  • Digest the lactose from milk; 
  • Deactivate harmful enzymes in the intestine.

To be classified as a probiotic the strain must be present in sufficient numbers in a product. Most importantly, the bacteria must be able to survive the gastric acid to arrive at the small intestine and then the large intestine where it grows and multiplies.  Most probiotic yoghurts contain booster substances called pre-biotics to aid delivery of active cultures to the digestive system. In other words the booster acts for the friendly bacteria so they can grow and multiply inside you and do their good work.  These boosters usually include inulin, fructooligosaccrides and polydextrose. 

WHEN DO YOU NEED PROBIOTICS:

You generally need a probiotic if something has disturbed your digestive system:

  • After a course of antibiotics; 
  • After a bout of Gastro or diarrhoea; 
  • Major diet change; 
  • Stress.

For general health and wellbeing, the use of a probiotic two or three times a week is fine. But if you are ill or need it to correct an imbalance, then twice a day doses are recommended.

It is important to note that probiotics that have passed their use by date or that are not kept cold simply won't have the number of viable bacteria present. So follow these tips:

  • Store it correctly - keep it chilled at all times especially during the trip home from the supermarket;
  • Buy from a large supermarket which has a fast turnover so the probiotic is fresh;
  • Consume the product within a couple of days.

Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are exceptions if you don't eat fermented foods on a regular basis. 

- Emma Williams

If you think taking a probiotic could be beneficial for you, book in to see Andrea or Jess and get a personalised treatment plan that will cater to your needs, diet and goals.