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Make this a healthy Summer

‘Healthy Chef’ Teresa Cutter bases her latest ‘80/20’ diet on the philosophy that if you eat well 80 per cent of the time, around 20 per cent of the time you can enjoy a little indulgence!

Teresa’s rules for her 80/20 diet are:

  • Shop wisely – plan menus for the week, including healthy snacks. Don’t go shopping without a shopping list.
  • Cook simply and lightly – the healthiest cooking methods are steaming, poaching, baking, roasting, grilling and stir-frying. Sauté meats and vegetables in a non-stick pan with a teaspoon of a healthy monounsaturated oil such as olive, adding a little stock during cooking.
  • Eat the right way – about 80 per cent of the time you should be eating lots of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds.
  • Drink eight glasses of water daily – vital for life, water is an excellent anti-ageing tonic and keeps hunger pangs at bay.
  • Do strength training – weight training increases your metabolic rate, encouraging your body to use more fat for fuel, and keeps you lean and toned.
  • Keep moving – make time to exercise at least five days a week. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you just move!
  • Work on your flexibility – stretching increases mobility helps to decrease muscle soreness and reduces the rate of injury.
  • Set realistic goals – don’t expect to change eating habits overnight or start running marathons without gradually building up an exercise program.
  • Stay positive – a positive approach is the best way to tackle anything.
  • Put yourself first – to enjoy everyday life, you need to look after yourself and prioritise your needs.
  • Make time for relaxation – adequate sleep and relaxation are essential for your body and mind to revive, repair and recharge. Learning to relax can also help reduce stress and anxiety.

Teresa Cutter shares a low-cost, sumptuous summer recipe, as well as her top tips for losing weight this summer.

Chicken burgers with macadamia nut and lemon


• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 2 spring onions, sliced

• 1 small handful coriander leaves, chopped

• Zest from 2 lemons

• 3 egg whites

• 500 g minced lean chicken breast

• 50 g roughly chopped macadamia nuts

• 100 g tinned water chestnuts, drained and chopped


Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Mix together well, then with wet hands, form into small patties. Heat a non-stick frying pan and spray with a little olive oil. Cook over medium heat until burgers are golden and cooked through. This should take 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve hot or cold with vegetables or salad.

The 80/20 Diet, is available in leading book shops and The Healthy Chef Café (17 Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach, NSW). Before changing your diet and starting any fi tness regime, we strongly recommend you get a full check-up by your healthcare professional.

Article thanks to Herbs and Health Magazine Australia

Food to help you slim

Herbs & Health asked ‘Healthy Chef’ and personal trainer Teresa Cutter for her key weight loss tips for spring!

Her latest book The 80/20 diet is based on Teresa’s philosophy ‘eat well 80 per cent of the time and around 20 per cent of the time you can enjoy a little indulgence!’

Teresa’s top weight loss tips

  • Basically if you eat more calories than you burn you’ll gain weight, as all calories can be converted into fat if they are not used in the body for energy.
  • You can control the body into burning more fat by eating regularly and by eating the right kinds of food at the right time.
  • Cut your high fat foods and consume small amounts of good essential fats (EFA’s) needed for optimum functioning of the body. These are contained in avocado, oily fish, and raw nuts and seeds.
  • Eat vegetables and salad with your lunch and dinner time meals. You can eat unlimited green leafy vegetables and salads.
  • Cut your intake of refined carbohydrates which includes alcohol, sugar, white flour, white bread, biscuits, cakes, lollies, chips, processed foods. This is your 20 per cent once a week.
  • Eat regular amounts of good quality protein to repair lean muscle tissue and maintain every cell in your body.

Healthy herbs


Powerful anti-oxidant.

Promotes a healthy heart.





Rich in vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and betacarotene.





Rich in vitamins A, C, iron and calcium.


The 80/20 Diet, is available in leading book shops and The Healthy Chef Café (17 Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach, NSW). It retails for $29.95.


Poached chicken with wok tossed snow peas


• 4 cups chicken stock for poaching

• 4 organic chicken breasts

• 4 large handfuls of snow peas

• 1 tsp sesame oil

• 1 – 2 red chillies, sliced

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 3 tbsp wheat free tamari

• 6 tbsp mirin

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander and parsley combined

• Zest from 2 lemons


Bring the chicken stock to a low simmer. Add the chicken and gently poach for about 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Turn off the heat leaving the chicken in the stock while you prepare the snow peas. In a hot pan, sauté the chilli and garlic in the sesame oil for a few seconds then add the snow peas, tamari and mirin. Toss well for a minute until heated through but still crisp. To assemble, divide the snow peas between serving plates. Slice each chicken breast into three to four pieces and sprinkle with combined herbs and lemon zest. Arrange over the snow peas and eat.


Teresa Cutter – the healthy chef © 2007

Article thanks to Herbs and Health Magazine Australia

Snack attack

It’s 3pm your stomach emits a violent growl that says, ‘what happened to lunch?’ Nutritionist Elizabeth Yarwood* explains why a quick fix fat-drenched morsel or brain-snapping sugary snack is not your best option.

According to a study by the Centre for Culinary Development (CCD), snacks are increasingly becoming time-savvy meal replacements, instead of the between-meal or after-work options they once were.

“Snacks are less and less the hunger soothing bridge between formal meals,” says CCD CEO Kimberley Egan. “They have become valuable gastronomical events in their own right.”
The good news is, snacking is now more acceptable than ever. The bad news? Some popular snack choices might actually be doing you more harm than good.

Research by Australian consumer magazine Choice has revealed only a handful of the hundreds of snack bars marketed as ‘healthy’ actually contain any real nutritional value. In fact, many were found to be loaded with high levels of sugar, salt and saturated fats, with one popular yoghurt and nut bar delivering even more kilojoules than a Mars Bar.

Further, most of the ‘fruit’ ingredients promoted in health bars come from a laboratory instead of an orchard, and so contain none of the beneficial nutrients found in real fruit.

For snacks to be a legitimate hunger bridge between meals, the CSIRO says they need to add to your daily nutritional requirements of fibre, calcium, vitamins or protein. It also suggests packaged options should be less than 600 kilojoules per serve.


Potato chips Rice crackers

with low-fat


Potato chips have a high fat and salt content, plus loads

of artificial flavourings. Rice crackers are a low-fat

alternative and deliver energy-boosting protein when

combined with ricotta or cottage cheese

Jelly lollies or

boiled sweets

Trail mix with

dried fruit, seeds

and nuts

The massive sugar hit in lollies sends your blood sugar

through the roof, then crashing through the floor. The

natural sugars in dried fruit are a better choice, while

raw nuts and seeds add protein

Chocolate bar Fruit salad with a

dollop of low-fat


Fruit is naturally sweet, without being full of sugar and fat.

A spoonful of yoghurt adds calcium and protein

Muesli, nut or

‘health’ bars

Bowl of plain

popcorn, or


crispbread with

peanut butter

Many muesli or nut bars are full of sugar and fat, with

few nutritional benefits. A bowl of plain popcorn or

wholegrain crispbread is high in fibre and vitamins


donut or slice

of cake

Fruit toast or


A piece of fruit toast or a light fruit scone is much higher

in fibre and lower in saturated fat than a slice of cake

or fried donut – and still deliciously tasty

Ice cream or

ice block

Tub of yoghurt or

frozen yoghurt

Yoghurt contains calcium, protein and a lower glycaemic

index than ice cream

Cream biscuit Carrot and

celery sticks with

hommus, tzatziki

or avocado dip

Vegie sticks deliver vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates,

while low-fat dips contain essential fats, protein and

calcium. Cream biscuits contain no nutrients and loads

of sugar and fat

Can of soft


Fresh fruit or

vegetable juice

Swapping the refined sugar in soft drinks with natural

vitamins and minerals of freshly squeezed juice still feels

just as sweet on the lips, but your teeth and bones will

thank you for it

*Elizabeth Yarwood is a degree qualified nutritionist who is passionate about using diet and nutrition to improve quality of life.