Hey guys, if you’ve got a question, it’s very likely you’ll find the answer here whether it’s about nutrition or cooking advice, or wanting to work with me. Thanks for getting in touch! Nadia x
EVENTS AND SPEECHES
If you are interested in having me at your event please send a message here and we’ll get in touch with you.
I don’t offer personal or group cooking lessons, however if you want to learn how to cook delicious, nutritious food, I suggest you check out My Food Bag! My step-by-step recipes, delivered with all the ingredients, have taught thousands of people of all ages and skills to cook! It’s like having me in your kitchen cooking by your side every night ???? And check out the Nude Food Channel and My Food Bag YouTube channels for more cooking tips and guidance too.
I’ll be honest…I’m not the best person to cater for your event as I don’t specialise in cooking for large groups! I’m much better off spending my time in my kitchen at home creating recipes for my cookbooks and My Food Bag for you to try at home!
I wish I could offer a prize to every charity that is doing amazing things. Due to the volume of requests I receive for donations I can’t promise that I can contribute to all of them unfortunately, however you can enquire here for us to consider your request. A lot of my charity efforts go towards the Cambodia Charitable Trust that supports children’s education in poverty-stricken Cambodia (find out more here).
If you would like a recipe for your fundraising cookbook, send us a message here.
NUTRITION AND RECIPES
Thanks for asking! Take a few minutes to check out what my food and nutrition philosophy is here.
The nutrition analysis of my recipes is calculated using a theoretical nutrition data programme. Nutrition per serve is calculated by taking the average e.g. if a recipe serves 4-5, it is based on 4.5 serves.
Yes, I sure do and you can find them here. I worked as a diabetes dietitian for a few years, so have lots of diabetes-friendly recipes. The criteria I base these on is:
- The recipe uses low GI (glycaemic index) ingredients
- Has <45g carbohydrate per serve (of which less than 15g is sugar)
- Less than 20g fat per serve
- Less than 5g saturated fat per serve.
However if a recipe is very close to meeting this criteria and is still a very healthy meal with lots of vegetables (and therefore vitamins and minerals) in it, I will still consider it to be diabetes-friendly because of things like the extra fibre in the recipe which can help stabilize blood glucose levels.
Yes, there are lots of gluten-free recipes here. These recipes are either completely gluten-free or can be modified easily to be gluten-free (the recipe will tell you how to do so).
Yes, there are lots of dairy-free recipes here. These recipes are either completely dairy-free or can be modified easily to be dairy-free (the recipe will tell you how to do so).
Yes, I love vegetarian recipes and eat vegetarian meals a few times a week myself. You can find lots of vegetarian recipes here.
You should check out my cookbook Fresh Start here! It’s a book I created in response to the myriad of people asking me this question! It contains recipes that fit into a few levels of diet plans to lose weight, and even three different exercise plans created by my good friend and super-awesome personal trainer Michael McCormack from ReDefinedU.
There is unfortunately heaps of hidden added sugars in processed foods that are readily available today. My philosophy on sugar is that a little bit is fine, but preferably from more naturally occurring sources like fruit and milk (which have fructose and lactose respectively). I think 2-3 peices of fruit a day is fine as it is packed with lots of other goodness (fibre, vitamins and minerals etc), and same with dairy (or non-dairy milk) products; 1-2/ day is fine (if using yoghurt get a natural one with no added sugar though). Any sweet treats, even if they have added natural sugars in them (like honey, pure maple syrup, apple syrup etc) should still be treated as just that a treat – i.e. a little bit every now and again (like one small piece of my caramel slice in a week is fine!).
The Ministry of Health and WHO recommendation is “no more than 10% of your calories/day coming from free (added) sugars”. What this means is that someone with a calorie intake of 1,800kcal/day (standard for a woman) should have no more than 180 calories coming from sugar which equals 45g added sugar. Each teaspoon of sugar is 5g, so that’s 9 teaspoons of added sugar. So if you want to make sure you’re not having too much you can count by the teaspoon! However my personal opinion is that 9 teaspoons a day is still too much, so I would aim for less than than half that! And don’t forget to remember the big picture – on some days you will have less, and on other days you will have more (e.g. if it’s a special occasion), but hopefully it balances out.
I don’t believe you have to cut sugar out completely, however most of us do eat far too much of it and could really benefit from reducing the amount we eat, and my nude food philosophy and recipes aim to help people to this.
Too much sugar is one of the reasons why we’ve seen this weird paradox in many developed countries where people are starved of proper nutrition yet are very overweight. And it’s not just the calories that are the problem. Eating sugar increases your blood glucose levels, to which your body reacts by pumping out insulin (a hormone that helps to bring down your blood sugar), and pumping out too much insulin is not ideal for us either. So too much is a huge contributing factor to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other things like tooth decay.
Note is that sugar can be divided into different categories:
- Refined added sugars – this type of sugar is highly processed and includes stuff like your typical white/brown/raw sugar that is added to food and drinks, as well as sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, glucose syrup, and a lot of commercial sweet syrups like maple flavoured syrup.
- Unrefined/natural added sugars – like honey, pure maple syrup, apple syrup, fruit juice and other fruit juice concentrates that are naturally occurring and less processed, but still very concentrated and generally added to foods and drinks to sweeten them.
- Naturally occurring wholefood sources of sugar – basically fruit and milk fits this group. Fructose and lactose are the naturally occurring sugars in these foods respectively.
It’s best to get your sugar intake from the naturally occurring wholefood sources like fruit and milks, because they also contain heaps of good stuff like useful vitamins and minerals (like vitamin C, potassium, calcium, to name but a few). Fruit also contains antioxidants, and fibre which helps to slow down the release of the natural sugars into your blood stream. So fruit is good food for you, just don’t over-do it – 2-3 pieces a day is enough. Milk (whether dairy or dairy-free) also contains protein and fat which also helps to slow down the release of the natural sugars into your blood stream; the recommendation is to have 1-2 servings per day.
Refined added sugars are basically ‘empty calories’, providing no useful nutrition to your body, just heaps of calories. Eating or drinking sugary foods like fizzy drink and candy will just spike your blood glucose levels, put on weight (if you don’t use the excess calories/energy up), and provide no useful nutrition to your body.
Unrefined natural sugars are just as high in calories and have just as much effect on our blood glucose levels (so too much of these is also not good for you), however the difference is that at least these natural sugars generally provide some useful vitamins and minerals. However the bottom line is that both these sugars should be had in very small amounts. Try and cut out as much added sugar from your diet as you can – leave it to special occasions/treat foods that you only have very occasionally, in small quantities, and as a treat.
You will find that a lot of my baking recipes use natural sweeteners like honey in them (to improve the nutrition content a bit) and try to cut down on the amount used compared to many traditional baking recipes, however I would still only ever deem these recipes as a treat (small amounts, occasionally). I also use some refined sugars in tiny quantities in some of my recipes (a teaspoon or tablespoon in a whole recipe) as this amount is so small – for example you might find a couple of teaspoons of sweet chilli sauce in a dressing for a recipe that serves a few people, which is a tiny amount that’s not harmful.
So all in all, the best way to eat and reduce your sugar intake is to cut out added sugars where you can (keeping them to very minimal amounts and to special occasions), and get the majority of your sugar from naturally occurring wholefoods.
While blood cholesterol levels are largely genetic, you can improve/influence them through your diet and other lifestyle changes. The most effective dietary changes to make are to reduce your saturated fat intake (mainly from processed and takeaway foods, but also high fat dairy and meat fat); increase your intake of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from food sources such as avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish; eat lots of vegetables and some fruit. The other biggie you need to avoid is trans fat, which is mainly found in highly processed foods. Regular exercise helps with increasing your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, as does quitting smoking (if you’re a smoker).
In an ideal world, we would all eat true organically grown food. However the reality is that this is not possible for each and every one of us today. Organic food is more costly and there is not the availability/supply yet. While conventionally grown produce still offers lots of good nutrition (and the amounts of sprays used are deemed safe), it is believed that organic produce may have higher levels of antioxidants because they have to develop a natural defense mechanism that conventionally grown produce doesn’t because it is sprayed. Always wash your fresh produce well and where you can, I recommend buying some organic produce because if we start the demand, hopefully in the future it will become more readily available and at a lower cost.
I strongly believe that getting kids to cook from a young age (or just being involved in the process) is one of the most important skills they can develop for their health and happiness. If every kid was confident cooking about 10 dishes from scratch by the time they were in their teens, imagine the impact that would have on our future health? – we wouldn’t have to rely any where near as much on processed foods and takeaways! So involving kids in the kitchen is super important.
MY FOOD BAG
In a nutshell, My Food Bag delivers dinner recipes and all the ingredients to cook those recipes, to your door, solving the ‘What’s for Dinner?’ dilemma for thousands of Kiwi families. I’m the head chef and dietitian at My Food Bag and work with a team of talented recipe developers, nutritionists and dietitians on the recipes and sourcing the ingredients. Find out more about My Food Bag here.
In New Zealand we currently deliver to Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Matamata, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Taupo, Hawke’s Bay, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Mosgiel regions. If we don’t currently deliver to your area, and you would like us to, register your interest with the customer services team here and they will keep a record of your interest, and hopefully we will be able to deliver the goodness to you someday soon!
If you would like to send samples to My Food Bag with the possibility of them being used in our recipes, please send the buying and development test kitchen team and email here.
Practice, practice, practice. Cooking is an art form that requires practice. The more you do, the more you’ll learn about what flavours go well together and different cooking techniques. I like to say, “learn the basics first, and then start putting your own creative spin on things”. It’s also helpful to get some cooking experience in a commercial kitchen (I worked in restaurants in the kitchen and front-of house for a few years). If you are passionate about nutrition, I recommend studying for a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition degree (I studied three years at Otago university). If you want to become a dietitian who is able to give clinical nutrition advice I recommend you also study Dietetics which is either a Post Graduate Diploma or Masters degree (I studied another 2 years on top of my nutrition degree).
Unfortunately I don’t have the resource to offer business advice or mentor-ship, however if you’re interested in learning more about business, I highly recommend checking out my business partners’ website The Robinson Duo and watching some excellent clips on successful business people via Unfiltered.
I’m always very flattered when I get asked if I can help out with a school/university project, so thanks for thinking of me! I can’t always answer your questions in time personally, however here are the most common questions I get, so I’m hoping you’ll find most of what you need here! PS. Good luck with your assignment/project!
BUYING BOOKS FROM MY WEBSITE
Books can only be delivered within New Zealand sorry. If you are overseas and would like to order a book, I suggest ordering from here (however note that the books will not be signed as this is a different retailer). If you’re in Australia, my books can be found in some good book stores, however your local bookshop can order in any of my books at no cost for you if you ask them too (as all my books are warehoused in Australia).
Yes! If you buy your cookbook through this website, it will be signed by Nadia herself.
The courier cost within New Zealand will only be a $9 flat fee and delivery is within 2-3 working days