Juicing: Finding the Truth Between Fact and Fiction

juicingThere are many benefits of juicing. It’s an easier and delicious way to consume your daily fruit and vegetable intake and ensure that your body has all the necessary nutrients to live life to the fullest. But with the latest craze of juice cleansing, which can last anywhere from 3, 5 or even 10 days, the question needs to be asked: Is juicing really good for you?

There is a misunderstanding that drinking the juice of 2 fruit and 5 vegetables will give your body the same benefits of eating the recommended daily intake. The fact is, drinking the juice of a carrot is not the same as eating a carrot. There is one essential thing missing: fibre.

According to Dietitian Bonnie Hancock, the first step that a Dietitian will suggest to increase fibre in one’s diet, is increasing their consumption of raw fruit and vegetables. “Fibre intake is really important every day, and the easiest way to get it is increasing our fruit and vegetables. But that doesn’t mean a juice. That means actual vegetables, the original version of it.”

But there is an added concern of what is going into the juice. “If you were to have a juice, say, it might take 4 oranges or whatever it may be to get to that juice, to get to the adequate amount of juice. But you wouldn’t sit there and eat 4 oranges. Fruit does have carbohydrates, it does have sugar in it so we can have too much fruit as well. We can go a little bit too far with fruit. That’s why it’s 5 serves of vegetables, 2 serves of fruit,” Ms Hancock says.

Overall, juicing isn’t bad, indeed, it is far from it. A freshly squeezed juice is much better than soft drink or flavoured milk. However, it is important not to go overboard, and realise what you are actually drinking. If you are going juice, ensure that it contains mostly vegetables, with a few choice fruits to sweeten. And do not forget to receive the necessary intake of fibre, whether that be through consuming other foods, without going above the recommended 5 and 2, or through supplementation.


Top Tips for Staying Mentally Healthy

Eat well

Ok, so it’s a lot harder than it sounds but when you eat the right foods, your body thanks you. Instead of being grumpy because you’re bloated fruit and vegand have a headache (the pizza did look good though), eating a well-balanced diet with the appropriate mixture of fibre, fats, vitamins and minerals will improve your energy levels and general wellbeing.

Be Thankful

Let’s be honest, here in Australia we have it pretty good. Sure everyone has their fair share of bad days but overall we’re exceptionally lucky. Remember that.

Take time for yourself

Remember when your mum used to yell at you and made sure you shared with your siblings? Forget that, be a little selfish once in a while. Get a hobby, or even watching a movie by yourself, whatever makes YOU happy.mental health foundation


The Mental Health Foundation recommends 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. It may not be the easiest task, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Despite the physical benefits, you’ll experience less stress, more energy and experience less mental fatigue.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you feel like you’re having more bad days than good, or like you’re in a rut and don’t know how to get out, ask someone for help. It could be as simple as asking someone to back off when you’re having a bad day, or out to coffee to talk. Whatever you need, no matter how big or small, don’t be afraid to ask for for help obtaining it.

Alternative Food Blooms: A Gold Coast Perceptive

By Jessica O’Donnell

The Gold Coast has always been the forefront of health and wellbeing in Australia and the emergence of healthy and alternative food restaurants has cemented that belief. Though the vegan and vegetarian community are surely happy with the change, the people of the Gold Coast with allergy issues are also delighted.

asciaAustralia has one of the world’s highest level of food allergy sufferers in the developed world with approximately 1 in 20 children and 2 in 100 adults developing an allergy to a specific food type. The most common according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Inc. are eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts and tree nuts, but can include seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat.

Though some allergies can be life threatening due to anaphylaxis, most reactions tend to be in the form of hives, eczema, asthma, vomiting, abdominal pain, nasal congestion or diarrhoea.  Due to the broad and mostly non-life threatening symptoms, some do not even know they suffer from a food allergy, however, the many that do, understand the issues involved in eating out, myself included.

42fifteen sign

42Fifteen Display Case
42Fifteen Display Case

It is now commonplace for normal restaurants and café’s to have gluten free options as well as
alternatives to dairy milk. Included in this list is 42Fifteen, a popular Southport café that has surged in popularity in the 18 months it has been open.

Peter Batley, the owner of the popular eatery, noticed aIMG_4708 need in the market for allergy friendly alternatives. “We noticed a need once we’ve been opened a few months, and then we just started adding a few things in. The gluten free thing we’ve always done, every business we’ve had, because it’s become such a big thing.”

There are many businesses like 42Fifteen that choose to offer alternatives but still make the conscience effort not to go overboard and become a wholly vegetarian or vegan restaurant. However, these types of restaurants have also become more prevalent on the Gold Coast. One of the more well-known is the vegan restaurant Mandala Arts Café in Mermaid Beach.



IMG_4702Healthy and vegan restaurants on the Gold Coast may not intentionally be allergy friendly, but the alternative options, such as being dairy and egg free, and often gluten free, makes them ideal for food allergy sufferers.

This being said, even with all their options, Mandala Arts Café has also had to adapt in this ever growing niche market. Bronte Alexander, the Office Manager for the café, acknowledges the challenges.

“Allergies was not originally a main concern when opening Mandala, I believe it was more about providing veganism to a mass audience. However, over time we have realised that a lot of people come to Mandala with allergies to dairy and gluten and we are more than able to provide a nourishing meal for them. We have also noted a need for onion & garlic free meals, as well as mandala arts cafe logopeople with nut allergies whom we also do our best to cater for.”

Even with the dietary issues related to allergies, it is possible to maintain a healthy diet. Dietitian Bonnie Hancock explains. “With dairy, looking at calcium and looking at protein, so calcium you can absolutely find in your dark green leafy veg, so concentrating on things like that. A lot of alternatives to dairy, you’ve got soy milk, and once again, people have soy allergies, so you’ve got nut milks, so your almond milk and you’ve also got your rice milk, and those are often fortified with calcium so they actually add extra calcium to them.”


Sometimes extra help is needed in the form of supplements, however, from a dietary standpoint, this is always a last resort. “It’s always about food first and looking at ways we can integrate other food groups into the diet, but using supplementation if that is necessary,” Ms Hancock said.

Adelaide Review , 4 July 2013
Adelaide Review , 4 July 2013

The market for healthy and allergy friendly foods has undoubtedly grown in recent years and many foodie websites have recognised the need and produced lists of the best healthy,vegetarian or vegan restaurants in various cities, Gold Coast included. Top newspapers around the country have reported the rise of vegan restaurants and how restaurants have embraced a healthy spin on eating out.

This is not a passing fad. Though still a niche market, the demand for health and allergy friendly foods has grown astronomically in the last few years, and still has plenty of room to expand. A belief echoed by people in the industry, including Ms Alexander.

BroadSheet Melbourne, 5 June 2013
BroadSheet Melbourne, 5 June 2013

“I love to think that organic, vegan and wholefoods are becoming mainstream and more globally recognised. I think this trend is blossoming on the Gold Coast but is definitely growing worldwide.”