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The Monthly Nutrition Bite - jan 22

What’s in this one?

About –How do I change my eating habits when I don’t like the taste of healthy foods?

Comparison Muesli comparison: Swiss Style Versus Baked

Nutrition Tip – Healthy habits for the holidays

Recipes – Stuffed Strawberries & Hat Brownies



How do I change my eating habits when I don’t like the taste of healthy foods?

Thousands of taste buds are located on our tongue and are responsible for us being able to enjoy the 5 different tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. When in contact with food, the taste buds send a message to the brain about the detected taste.

Taste helps us evaluate foods and drinks to determine whether or not it is safe to consume. As babies, we can’t differentiate between what foods are safe or harmful to us. The taste buds therefore have a strong preference for sweet foods while hating bitter foods. This is due to the fact that sweet foods contain sugar, which is the brain’s primary energy source, while a bitter taste is a cue for poison. Our taste buds also have a strong preference for salty foods, as salt is needed by the body for our nerves and muscles to work properly among other things. It’s therefore no surprise where cravings for sweet and salty foods come from!

The taste buds can however be trained to like different food tastes, as we grow older and learn what is safe to eat or drink. It takes watching parents or friends eat the food and having multiple experiences with the food for it to start becoming more appealing.

If you are predominantly eating processed sweet and salty foods, you won’t give your taste buds the chance to adapt to and get used to the other food tastes found in whole foods such as veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds and lean protein sources. A taste bud’s normal life cycle is around 10 days to 2 weeks so it can take time for your taste buds to adapt to a less salty and sweet taste when incorporating less sweet and salty whole foods into your diet.

Conclusion: The key is to be patient, to allow your taste buds time to adapt to less salt and sweetness in the diet when changing your dietary habits. Remember too that you need to let yourself taste different foods numerous times, so don’t give up if you don’t like a taste first time round. Take small bites every day for at least a week and then decide if you like it or not.



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Muesli comparison: Swiss Style Versus Baked

This or that Kim Nutrition

Reading labels is important to ensure that you pick the right food product for you.

Although both Swiss style and baked muesli have similar calories, there are some big differences between the two.

The main difference between the two is that baked muesli contains added sugar to sweeten the product, and oil to bind it together during baking. On the other hand, Swiss style muesli has no sugar added (dried fruit is added to give it some sweetness), no oil added (fat comes in through the nuts and seeds added), and is not baked.

This makes Swiss style muesli the better option when compared to baked muesli.

Be sure to carefully read labels and choose products with whole ingredients like raisins, seeds, and nuts that are high in protein and fibre.

Remember that the ingredients in the ingredients list on a nutrition label are listed in descending order by weight. So the ingredients listed first are present in the largest amount while the ingredients listed last are present in the least amount.

The closer to the front of the list sugar is, the more the product contains of it! Watch out for ‘hidden’ sugar though, because sugar goes by many different names. So just because you don’t see “sugar” in the ingredient list does not guarantee that the item is actually sugar free. This makes it easy for manufacturers to hide how much sugar is actually in a given product.

Below are some different names that sugar can go by in the ingredient list of the food product:

  • Any syrup (glucose syrup, brown
  • rice syrup, corn syrup, high fructose
  • corn syrup etc.)
  • Anything ending in ‘ose’ (dextrose,
  • fructose, galactose, glucose,
  • maltose, sucrose)
  • Beet sugar
  • Dextrin/ Maltodextrin
  • Barley malt
  • Molasses
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Caramel
  • Coconut sugar
  • Cane juice crystal

🎄 Healthy Habbits for the Holidays 🎄

Holiday season may make sticking to your healthy eating habits challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be if you remember to implement the basics of healthy eating. Your favourite treats, drinks and desserts can still fit in without you having to feel guilty or worried about the calories or nutrients.

It’s important to remember that if there is some holiday weight gain, it should generally be small, because it’s really just one month of the year. And if you’ve been eating well through the year and supported your physiology, it really can’t be much if there is any at all, because your body is in a state of using calories not storing. But the weight gain can be worse if there has been fad dieting through the year – this will lead to the metabolism slowing down and much more weight gain will happen over the holidays, because your body is in a holding back energy state. So learn to do the right thing for your body during the year so that the small changes in eating over the holidays won’t lead to any unhappiness!

While what you do through the year is most important, it is also important to continue mindfulness and portion control during your holiday. Here are some ways to be mindful of your eating habits and to continue the good healthy habits into the festive season and holidays.

  1. Don’t eat out on a hungry stomach! Make sure you have eaten regularly throughout the day so that you are not starving by the time you head out to eat. This will help keep portions controlled. Consider having a small snack before going out if it has been a while since you last ate. This will hold you over to the next to meal. Keeping calories for later promotes obsessing about food and takes away from the enjoyment of the food.
  2. Starting the day with an early breakfast will make staying on track for the rest of the day so much easier.
  3. Balance your meals with veggies, high fibre carbohydrates, protein and some fat to keep you feeling fuller for longer and to prevent mindless snacking.
  4. If eating out at friends or family, ask whether you can bring a dish filled with vegetables or a big salad to ensure there is a healthy side to add to your meal.
  5. Don’t forget about your water! If you are not drinking enough, the body will stop sending out the thirst signal and will send out a hunger signal instead, making appetite control challenging. Keep your water bottle on you at all times. Try flavouring the water with sliced fruit/ cucumber/ mint if you don’t like the taste of plain water. Try drinking glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Aside from all the calories, drinking also makes us less inhibited around food, and it becomes far harder to remember health.
  6. Don’t deprive yourself of your favourite holiday foods. This will only increase your desire for them and lead to bingeing when you do eventually allow yourself to have those foods. Incorporate small portions of your favourite holiday foods and savour them by eating slowly and mindfully so that you don’t need a large portion.
  7. Very important is that you don’t feel guilty when you do have something that you would normally not choose to eat. If we decide to have some dessert, and enjoy a small bit of it, guilt will only spoil the enjoyment of the dessert! Remember too that you don’t need to have something ‘special’ every time it is presented. Consciously choose the times that you are going to indulge. This is part of the planning!

Don’t let the festive season get in the way of your goals. Be proactive and identify your challenges in advance so that you have a plan when faced by them. By sticking to the basics you can still enjoy the special and delicious foods and festive meals that make the holiday season special to you.

kims nutrition recipes
Stuffed Strawberries Recipe
Santa Hat Brownies Recipe

Stuffed Strawberries


1 punnet fresh strawberries large
150 g cream cheese
¾ tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp icing sugar


  1. Beat cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar until well combined.
  2. Wash strawberries and cut off the stalk end.
  3. Stand the strawberries on the cut end.
  4. Cut the pointed end to form a cross.
  5. Pipe or spoon cream cheese mixture into the cavity.
  6. Chill until ready to serve.

Hat Brownies


125g butter, chopped
1⅓ cups (200g) dark chocolate, plus 1/2 cup (75g) extra
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (300g) plain flour
¾ cup (140g) milk chocolate bits
16 strawberries, hulled and trimmed
½ cup (125mL) thickened cream, whipped


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Grease and line base and sides of a 19 cm square cake pan.
  2. Combine butter, dark chocolate and sugar in large microwave safe bowl; microwave uncovered on MEDIUM (50%) for 1 minute; stir. Repeat process in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth; cool 2-5 mins.
  3. Stir in eggs, then flour and then milk chocolate bits. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, smooth top. Bake 25 minutes, or until mixture is just firm to touch. Cool in pan. Turn out and use a 4cm round cutter to cut 16 rounds.
  4. Place extra dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl; microwave uncovered on MEDIUM (50%) for 1 minute; stir. Repeat process in 30 second intervals until melted. Drop a little melted chocolate on the cut-side of each strawberry and adhere to brownie round.
  5. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle, pipe cream on strawberries to make hat pom poms and trimming.


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