We don’t need complexity to be healthy

Written by MARABOND on March 18, 2013

Many people I know feel that it is too complicated, expensive and impractical to be healthy.


In particular, I am thinking of people who work full time, arrive home and choose some pasta with ready-made sauce, then after dinner the body is starving for good nutrients is sending messages of starvation, then the person chooses snacks such as chocolate, ice cream, packed chips or salted nuts. Our brain does not know how to send different messages for vitamins and minerals, and is loaded with emotional needs.


Well, my tip is to teach your mind and body, to appreciate simple plain foods, without unnecessary or excessive sauces, additives, condiments and spices.


Start by adding a raw grated carrot on the side of your plate. In time, you may be able to distinguish the difference between one organic carrot and a supermarket one.


Then start cooking your vegetables, by steaming them, and leaving them ‘al dente’, to preserve the nutrients, and present them on the middle of the table informally, so everyone can pick and choose.

Another idea: make a simple broth with mild olive oil, orange or lemon, a tiny amount of salt and pepper, and steam your fish. This broth is not made to hide the flavour of the fish, but to emphasize, so you can taste the fish instead of cream, spices, and so on.


Eat consciously, thinking about everyone involved in planting your food, in bringing it to your house. Concentrate on how your choice of food today brings you health and motivation to achieve your health goals. Chew calmly and with positive thoughts. All this seems obvious all these, doesn’t it?


Once I went to a health retreat, where at every meal, we all sat alone, to exercise our conscious eating habits. I remember that I took 35 minutes to eat one piece of farm made organic bread and 150ml of juice, some guest took longer.


Although the act of chewing your food is essential for your digestion, the digestion does not start in your mouth, but in your brain. When we start thinking about food, our body is already preparing enzymes to digest it.


So there is truth on that phase, ‘I can’t even stare at sweets, without beginning to put on weight’


Lots of health and motivation for you


Mara Bond , Nutritionist, Enhance Wellness


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Do you want to stop saying ‘I want to lose weight’?

Written by MARABOND on October 16, 2012


I see, hear and read everywhere this mantra, just take a look at some covers of health magazines, as a nutritionist and wellness coach, I strong believe that the words are very powerful.


If you really WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, and you repeat this mantra several times a day, this will definitely happen …. which means you will continue WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, in other words you are just perpetuating your desire, and unless you have other motivator factors, you will not turn it into action.


One of the things I work with clients is to replace


Each person perceive things differently and find their motivations in very different ways, just giving an example of one client who transformed his ‘I WANT TO EXERCISE’ which is not very inspiring into  ‘I MOVE DAILY WITH ENERGY IN A POSITIVE WAY TO ACHIEVE MY HEALTH GOALS’.


List your daily negative thoughts, or even the ones you don’t think is negative, and then transform them into positive affirmations.


It is true that energy flows where the focus goes, stop focusing what you don’t want, or even on what you want, make your affirmations stronger by bringing them to the present, to speak as the actions has already happened, to manifest your future today.


Instead of saying: ‘I want to be healthier’ , try something like ‘ my health improves today and everyday’.

Find your own mantras.


Good luck on your health journey!


If you need help feel free to contact me.

0424 300 211


Which bread is healthier?

Written by MARABOND on April 19, 2012

I hope this article clarifies some of the issues to be considered, when you choose your bread, as it can be very confusing with so many options.



In the past it was much easier, as most people made their own bread at home, and knew exactly what ingredients were present, and how long it lasted; however this is impractical with our busy lives. So many people have a home bread making machine but do not use it.


First I would like to explain a WHOLEGRAIN


The exterior part is called BRAN, and this is where the fibre covers the grain. Fibre is not only important for our intestines, but also to digest other nutrients, and to excrete fat such as excess cholesterol. The seed of the grain is called GERM, and this is where most of the vitamins and minerals are, such as iron, zinc, vitamin B and so on.


When the grain is refined, like white rice or wheat flour, the bran and the germ is mostly eliminated, and what remains is the ENDORSPERM, or the part that holds some protein (gluten in many grains) and also starch (carbohydrate) which turns to sugar when we eat.


Sometimes the flour is enriched after being refined, but the absorption is not the same as with the original grain.



In theory, wholemeal bread should be mostly made of wholemeal grain flour, however here in Australia (and many countries), this is not regulated, so some bread is only 20% wholemeal and the manufacturer can still label it as wholemeal. You need to be label savvy, and read the ingredient list, being especially careful about its order. For example, if the first ingredient is wheat flour, second sugar and third wholemeal wheat flour, it means that the bread is likely to be more than 50% refined and sweet.


MULTIGRAIN is another marketing term, which means is a mix of grains, and mostly likely to be refined, with wheat, rye and rice flours for instance. Then sometimes they add some seeds like sunflower, soy or flax seeds so it looks healthier, and sometimes they charge much more for a additions of little or no real benefit.


Another very important item to notice when you buy your bread are the additives, like preservatives added to increase shelf life or emulsifiers, natural or artificial flavours. Some additives can cause diseases like asthma, eczema, learning difficulties, especially in children who are more vulnerable to toxins. If you want to avoid additives, buy the book or download an application called CHEMICAL MAZE, to see the consequences of every chemical in food and cosmetics.


Many large manufacturers love to hide ingredients in processed food. Remember that if the substance represents less than 5% of the total package, they do not need to add to its label, unless it is a specific compulsory ingredient.


If you are gluten intolerant, there are many options in the marketplace these days, but also look for healthier options than refined rice and potato flour bread.


Therefore, the best breads are the ones who are closest to the traditional home made ones, using wholemeal flour, without unnecessary additives to increase colour, texture and shelf life, and those bought from reputable companies that do not hide ingredients.


Mara Bond

Nutritionist and Wellness Coach

0424 300 211


Are you safe drinking tap water?

Written by MARABOND on February 22, 2012

This is a very controversial topic and I hope I can help to clarify some questions around drinking water.

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines specify that water “should contain no harmful concentrations of chemicals or pathogenic micro-organisms, and ideally it should be aesthetically pleasing in regard to appearance, taste and odour.” But the reality is that during the process of cleaning the water and transporting to your home, some chemicals are added to the water.




While tap water’s cost is less than a cent a gallon, with a very low carbon foot print, and no packaging or shipping is needed, it still contains small amounts of chemicals including heavy metals, such as lead and copper, basically from the pipes that bring the water to your house, as well pesticides and fertilizers. It also contains chlorine, a disinfectant widely used, which may leave an after taste, plus added fluoride.

Fluoride, reduces tooth decay, but in excess fluoride may be harmful. There is fluoride in toothpaste, rinses, cooking and shower water, food, medicines and even the air that we breathe. All the water we do not consume has added fluorine for no reason, and is a pollutant; this could be another debate!


Just to summarise: high doses of fluoride, as with arsenic and lead, can accumulate in our bodies causing a blockage in the way cells breathe and leading to the malformation of collagen. There are several diseases which are linked to chronic fluoride ingestion. Going back to the water choice:



Filtered tap water, has just a slightly higher cost per litre, as you need to add the installation and maintenance of the filter. Good filters remove most heavy metals, and other nasties, and improve the taste by removing chlorine. Notice that some filters leave the same amount of fluoride in the water. The micro-organisms are usually not filtered out of the water in a common filter. So if you’re not connected to town water, and use rain or bore water, invest in a high quality filter such as a distillation one or using reverse-osmosis methods.


Water authorities use different methods and disinfectant to ensure the safety of our drinking water, to stop the re-growth of microorganisms as water travels through the pipe system to your home. Usually in Australia the water is tested regularly to ensure that microorganisms like bacteria or viruses are not present.




So Why do Australians spend around $385 million a year on bottled water, despite all the negative press around the amount of energy wasted, costs of transporting and cost of bottle recycling (or not) ?


Before 1998, bottled water was a rare sight, but after a ‘The Sydney Water Contamination Crisis’ happened, when giardia and cryptosporidiumwas were found in water. Everyone rushed to buy bottled water, despite the fact that the biggest issue was the misinformation of the authorities at the time, which shook popular trust in tap water. (Read Sydney Water Contamination Crisis: Manufacturing Dissent By Lyn Carson and Stuart White)


While some organisms are extraordinarily difficult to avoid and detection used to be a challenge, today’s testing methods have improved, and safety levels are better defined worldwide. The main reason Australians spend so much on bottled water that they do not need was basically a result of media and social hysteria.


I personally wonder if the bottled water companies did not encourage or even created this fear of contamination.


Bottled water cost is between $2 and $5 a litre, with a huge carbon foot print, high costs related to packaging, shipping, marketing, profit and others. Usually it does not contain heavy metals and chlorine, unless the supplier is sub-standard, and this applies as well to microorganisms and other chemicals in the water.The suppliers do not need to disclose how much fluoride it is added. If you want fluoride free water, you’ll have to check with its supplier.


When you turn on your tap, you should see clear, un-cloudy water, without any taste or smell, otherwise you may opt for a water filtering system. If you want to invest in a good filter, look for one with these certifications NSF 42 (covers chlorine, taste, odour and particles.) and NSF 53 (covers organisms such as giardia, cryptosporidium and a range of organic chemicals such as THM and pesticides) and heavy metals.


Which bottles are safe?

Recently, many councils have decided to discourage the use of bottled water and added fountains in public areas, but which re-usable bottles are safe to re-fill with water?


While plastic bottles are hugely popular for their convenience, reusing them is not recommended, as it increases the likelihood of impurities, bacteria and the potential leaching of plastic compounds into the water.


The plastics used for bottles are numbered 1 to 7. 1 is the PET plastics, used for disposable plastic water bottles; 3,6 and 7 are considered unsafe for this purpose. Some contain bisphenol A (BPA), which is under much scrutiny for its potential health risks.


All plastic bottles, when reused are subjected to high levels of bacteria due to contact with hands and mouths, creating moist conditions that encourage bacteria growth. When these bottles are washed, chemical compounds can be released.


Even the most common PET plastics and BPA plastics have been shown to leach after being exposed to sunlight, heat and time. BPA may affect reproductive development in animals and is also linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans.


Some aluminium bottles may also leach chemicals. Stainless steel bottles are considered durable and the safest alternative to plastic bottles. Glass is another safe alternative but less practical.


Concluding, I would recommend consuming filtered water. Even the cheapest filter bring benefits over tap water, and when going out invest in a stainless steel container, or buy occasional bottled water from a reputable supplier.

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Psychology of losing weight

Written by MARABOND on December 3, 2011

Have you noticed that when contestants on The Biggest Loser TV Program do some emotional work, and cry a lot, they shed more kilos during the week?


Well, it’s not a coincidence! By engaging their emotions they’re giving their rational decision-making that extra boost it needs, and getting the result they want.


So how does that work?

Research on dieting behaviour paints an initial gloomy picture: of all the people who intentionally try to lose weight, only around 20 per cent are able to lose just five percent of their body weight and keep that off for five years.


So just eating less and exercising more is not enough, even when you try to hold it together with willpower. In fact, the more brutal you are with yourself, the less likely you are to sustain any loss you do make.


When you think about it, it’s obvious – nobody wants to starve, and feel restricted, and go against their pleasures in life, and put their bodies though some exercises they don’t enjoy, and keep doing this until the end of their lives !!!


So what’s the secret?

Don’t worry – I’m not saying it’s a mug’s game to even think about trying to lose weight!


I am saying that success rests on three strong foundations, not just two:


• nutrition, which means good eating and drinking habits with possible needed supplements


• movement, I prefer to say movement, because most exercise is performed informally


• and awareness and good management of your emotions.



The main reason fad diets and exercise programs don’t work for most people, is that they don’t work in the most important leg of the tripod, which is the EMOTIONS.


It’s a truism that changing a habit for life is an emotional journey. Short sharp shocks are not sustainable. You need to discover your real motivation – find the right buttons to press – and then work at integrating the change into your subconscious so that it becomes automatic.



When you wake up, you don’t consciously think: ‘I am going to take two minutes to brush my teeth’. Most of us just do it without thinking about it. So wouldn’t it be good to choose healthy foods and move our bodies without even thinking about it? To make what’s good for us automatic, not some distant, unattainable goal we have to think about all the time?


And it CAN be done!

Yes it can – though it’s not a quick fix. (Nothing worthwhile ever is, is it?) Shifting the mind from ‘restrictions’ to ‘delicious choices’ can be difficult, otherwise we wouldn’t have this epidemic obesity we’re experiencing today. But with real one to one coaching to remove stress around eating and self-sabotaging thoughts and beliefs, and some nutrition counselling, it’s something you can achieve.


Some people may need deep level psychotherapy to deal with emotions attached to food, due to past traumas and family of origin issues, but for most people, it is very beneficial working with a qualified wellness coach, for some sessions to find their real motivation, an inspiring health vision broken into achievable goals, and work though the strategies to achieve these goals, building new thoughts and beliefs around health, and lastly implementing sustainable habits to stick with them for life ! ! !