Great Ideas in Nutrition – useful Christmas secrets


Great Ideas in Nutrition has some great resources for enjoying food but staying light. Here’s some of their Christmas wisdom.

One day of overeating does not a disaster make, but it may equate to indigestion and a lot of lying on the couch.  Put your Portion Perfection knowledge to good use so you feel better at the end of the day.  Useful secrets below…..


SECRET 1 – 1/4 plate of turkey or ham + 1/4 plate of baked potatoes + 1/2 plate of salads or steamed greens + a swish of gravy makes a perfect Christmas meal.


SECRET 2 – The smaller the bowl of nibblies you put out the smaller the handful you will take.


SECRET 3 – Plan not to have too many leftovers.


SECRET 4 – Cherries make a great gift when dropping in on friends.

SECRET 5 – Take time out to relax and restore.

SECRET 6 – Whatever happened it isn’t a disaster. Enjoy your day and then get back on track.


Merry Christmas!

(* FREE POST for orders of Portion Perfection products valued over $50 within Australia – Use COUPON CODE XMAS2014.  Valid till 22 Dec 14, however order before 12 Dec 14 for pre-Xmas delivery).


Love Travel Guides – a handy tool for a foodie trip to India


Love Travel Guides truly are beautiful and it is like being shown around by a good friend who introduces you to all the best spots.

However, while all inclusions are high quality experiences, some can be quite expensive, so it’s good for the travel toolkit, but best used in conjunction with other guides and tips.

Sharrell Cook does a good job of describing and appreciating the Love Travel guides. In fact her GoIndia website is very useful in lots of ways.


A Tale of Samurai Cooking



 A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story, was a fitting finale to Canberra’s Japanese Film Festival, 15-19 October 2014.

Set in feudal Japan, the attention and appreciation of beautiful food is matched by the exquisite costuming, the delicate and gracious interactions and movement, the engaging characters and story and the mountain back drop.
Well worth watching if you have the opportunity.


A new, one off Intrepid Real Food Adventure to Burma – makes interesting reading


Intrepid are running a one off, comfort (top) level Real food adventure to Burma next February 2015.
Approximately $3000 for 11 days, includes breakfast and around half the lunches and dinners.
A good opportunity to explore the food of Burma (but not necessarily the best), even the promotional material makes interesting reading.

A virtual tour of Mumbai with Rick Stein


Watch Rick Stein's India on ABC TV for great India itinerary ideas

The first half of BBC’s ‘Rick’s Stein’s India’ second episode is all about Mumbai and you can travel there yourself, without leaving home.

Visit Sassoon Dock fish market, eat Berry Pulao at Brittania & Co and meet Mr Kohinoor, go with Krishna from Reality Tours & Travel as he takes Rick to his favourite fish curry restaurant and on a tour of Dharavi slum, and play cricket on Oval Maiden.

The Penguin Food Guide to India – an excellent read for food lovers travel



I am truly loving Charmaine O’Brien’s Penguin Food Guide to India. An Aussie author, her style is infinitely readable and it really is like having as good friend to guide you through the delights of Indian food. I’ve used it to plan each meal for a visit to Mumbai later this month, based on the best spots for the best dishes.

From Charmaine recommendations I know to go to Sassoon Docks early to see the historic fish market of Mumbai’s original Koli inhabitants who supply Mumbai’s seafood, to visit Victoria Station at noon to catch the city’s dabba-wallahs in full swing delivering tiffin lunchboxes to office workers and not to miss India’s best street food, easily explored at Chowpatty beach in the evening.

I’m told Mumbai is famous for Parsi cuisine and I’m heading to the iconic Brittania and Company for their berry pulao and to Jimmy Boy for a full Parsi wedding feast.

Cheaply available from iBooks ($15) (an easy version to take with you) or the Book Depository ($19), I agree wholeheartedly with Penguin Books who say:

‘This first-ever comprehensive guide to regional food across India takes you on a mouth-watering journey through the homes, streets and restaurants of each state, exploring exotic and everyday fare in equal measure.…..Laden with historical information, cultural insights and personalized recommendations, The Penguin Food Guide to India is your ideal companion to the delightful world of Indian cuisine.’


‘Weight loss for food lovers’ Dr George Blair-West



Australian Psychiatrist, Dr George Blair-West has useful ideas, that make good sense of why it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off. He also tells us what makes it easier, especially if you enjoy and appreciate food.

I particularly like his explanation of the ‘what the hell effect’ , ‘restraint theory’, and the ‘last supper effect’ . He has good logic as to why it’s so important for success, to be able to keep incorporating the foods and food sharing occasions that are important to you. This is what he calls the ‘low sacrifice diet’ and involves working out which are your food priorities and what you can do without.

He is big on the concepts of mindfulness and savouring and explains why depending on will power and trying to just use exercise to lose weight, doesn’t work.

George also helpfully unpacks the ‘law of diminishing returns’. This explains why the first mouthful is always the best and pleasure declines rapidly after that. However, the good news is, that if you stop after the first few mouthfuls and then enjoy it again later, the pleasure of the ‘first’ mouthful, returns – a great reason to take the rest of a beautiful meal home with you if you can, once you’ve enjoyed enough the first time.

To listen to several radio interviews that give a good overview of George’s ideas go to:


For more about George and his helpful book go to:

1 – Landing Page – New Homepage


Why I Write?


I’ve been invited by Gary Lum from to join in a writer’s blog hop. It’s been great fun already and a really good way to get to know what inspires other bloggers and find out how they create their own individual style.

As I’m new to blogging, Gary has been a great help in getting connected to the Canberra food blogging community and introducing me to other energetic, welcoming people like Liz at . Elias from has also been terrific and was the person who really got me started. He is also committed to connecting up Canberra foodies, so I’m very pleased Gary has passed the blog hop baton to Elias too.

So as it’s my turn to share…

Why do I write?

I’ve always had opportunities through work to talk and write about food, eating and healthy weight…and I love it! So blogging about good food and healthy weight just seems so right to me.

Having moved back to Canberra fairly recently, I’m spurred on by all the fantastic opportunities to eat out and discover all Canberra has to offer.

Also, for me, my blog is a really good way to organise and collect my thinking together in one place. And if someone else reads it and enjoys it as well, that’s a very lovely thought.

And being part of an interactive food blogging community just adds to all the joy.

How does my writing differ from others in the genre?

I think my writing is a bit different because I’m passionate about finding ways to enjoy foods I love and eat out often, without the inevitable ‘scale creep’. I also love the way people come together around good food and enjoy each other. So to be able to do this often and still keep a healthy weight, is really important to me. In fact, I think one of the big reasons it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off, is because, traditionally, it’s involved feeling deprived of favourite foods and social eating occasions.

My style is strongly influenced by my work experiences. As a sole country dietitian in small towns, I became very pragmatic and tended to stick to the important stuff. I still like to work out the ‘take home tip’, to use less words and more images and pick photos that ‘say 1000 words’. I love seeing photos of meals that others post on twitter. It quickly tells me where and what the dish was, and often how good, how large and how much. (I also enjoy reading the descriptive narrative in others reviews!)

Over the years, I’ve learnt what works for people (and what doesn’t) and where to put the most effort for best effect. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding out what works personally and doing more of it, and just tweaking what you love, not giving it all up.

But it’s often also good to try out new ideas that work for others and that’s what I want to share.

How does my writing process work?

Ideas for writing are everywhere for me. Wherever I go to eat, when I read what others post, when I cook, I always seem to have an eye on ways to make it also work well for a healthy weight. (There’s always lots of posts in draft, waiting to see daylight.)

I’m still working in the nutrition space, so as new ideas come through, I think about how they would work best in real life, and that’s the start of another idea to write about.

What am I working on?

I’m still working on a series of suggested menus for sharing food at Canberra restaurants….. Discovering Canberra’s World Food Delights with friends.

But I’m soon heading to India, with some very fine eating planned, so hope to write about enjoying all the pleasure of food travel, but only bringing back extra kilos in the luggage. (The other blog where I write about my other passion is

I really want (need) to work on the technical aspects of blogging. There’s immense room for finessing there!!!

And I’m really loving being part of the local Canberra food blogging community who share similar passions but where everyone contributes something unique and special. I’m finding a lovely generosity, honesty and willingness to share, both of ideas and of self.

Speaking of which…two fellow Canberra foodies whom I admire and appreciate are Eileen Tang from and Shari Wakefield who blogs at

Eileen Tang from

Eileen from

Shari from

Shari from

Eileen was born in Taiwan, which she tells me is a food-obsessed country, where the national pastime is eating. (Sounds wonderful!) Her blog,, is her online diary – where she documents her food adventures. She says she likes to think she’s helping her readers find the best dishes to order, but it’s really just an excuse for her to photograph and eat ALL the foods! She also likes to post about her other interests and uses her style blog section as an excuse to buy ALL the fashions!

Eileen’s posts have a precious eye for detail – just the kind of detail I love to have before I head out – what’s on the menu, cost, value for money, decor, ambience, taste, texture, visuals. Many Food Avenue posts end up on my wish-list, but even if I can’t get to them all, Eileen helps me feel like I might have already been.

Shari‘s blog is also something special. It looks beautiful and is a work of art. But it’s even more impressive, given what Shari shares about the busyness in this season of her life. It’s encouraging to me, to see Shari still sharing the joys of her life while holding down all her other busy roles.

But I’ll let Shari tell you more herself…….

‘I’m in my mid-to-late twenties and I’m on the greatest journey of all … motherhood! I have a 14 month old and am currently pregnant with my second (due in October).

GoodFoodWeek started in 2008 as a way of sharing recipes with uni friends and family who were spread near and far.

It has evolved over the years to contain my ramblings as I’ve searched for a house, planned the perfect veggie patch, stumbled through farmer’s markets with my eye half open (because you need to be there at 6am to get the fresh eggs), gathered family and friends around a shared table, laughed out loud and enjoyed life to the fullest!’

GoodFoodWeek now covers four main topics: RECIPES, GARDENING, MOTHERHOOD and LIFE.

Monday to Friday Diet by Suzie Burrell


Suzie is a dietitian who shares many of fineeating’s thoughts on eating well, while staying lean.
Her book has lots of interesting, but light ideas for what to eat on lean days (which she calls ‘Mondays to Fridays’) and strategies to manage but still enjoy social eating (which Suzie calls ‘weekends’).
My favourite idea of Suzie’s is her ‘Healthy Benedict’ using a light hollandaise sauce made from 2 Tbsp light sour cream (although I use natural low fat yogurt) and 1 tsp Dijon mustard.


She also has a nice recipe for Corn Fritters with Smoked Salmon.