Feed Your Brain – Part 4

Written by bridget on . Posted in Food and Health Education

First featured on Onya Magazine

Wow, we are up to Part 4 already in this series, Feed Your Brain.

There is just so much to know and learn when it comes to this fascinating organ that determines so much of our daily experience.

Personally, I cannot get enough and must say that re-working my diet, and that of my clients, to be more mindful (pardon the pun!) of the key nutrients important for a healthy brain, always results in significant and life-shifting changes.

I hope you too are feeling and noticing the benefits?…

Of course if you have missed the earlier instalments you can check them out here. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.


Today’s focus is on….

Magical Minerals – there are a handful of minerals that are particularly important to the stimulation and levels of certain neurotransmitters.

Zinc and magnesium are two superstars here.

It is important to note that in times of increased stress more of these minerals are used, thus more are required.

Depression can actually indicate a need for more zinc rich foods.

Zinc helps to balance blood sugar levels, stabilise metabolic rate, strengthen the immune system as well as support an optimal sense of smell and taste.

There are no specific storage sites known for zinc and so a regular supply in the diet is required.


Oysters are one of the richest sources of zinc, with a 115g serve containing about 103mg, around ten times more than our daily recommended intake, on average.

Compare this to lamb or grass fed beef, which has about 4-6mg for the same weight, and 0.6mg per cup of broccoli.

Maybe there is a way you could learn to love oysters? I certainly learnt to acquire a taste for these zinc rippers over time.

What are good vegan sources of Zinc?

Beans, including lentils, adzuki beans, chickpeas, lima and mung beans; pumpkin, sunflower, sesame (think tahini) and flax seeds; nuts, including cashews, pecans, pine nuts, almonds and Brazil nuts; oats and seaweeds.

Personally, I love sprouted chickpeas and sprouting can improve zinc bioavailability. These are super yummy in salads and I also buy already sprouted mung beans and dried peas to add to the mix too.

A colourful, varied and plentiful plant-based diet can and will cover so many bases- if you do your research!

As far as magnesium goes, this baby has a huge diversity of roles within the body.

Since it is involved in nerve and muscular relaxation, when we are over-stimulated, stressed, or experiencing greater levels of tension or anxiety, we will be using this macro-mineral like there is no tomorrow.

That is why it is important that we supply our body with a good daily intake.

Deficiency can trigger muscle tension, soreness, spasms, cramps and fatigue.

Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame), green vegies (especially green beans, spinach, swiss chard), salmon, black and pinto beans are particularly excellent sources of magnesium.

As always get inventive and creative with how you can include these foods more regularly.

Greens should be a daily affair anyway, and seeds can easily be added to salads, stir-frys, baked snacks, home-made breads and much more.

As for black and pinto beans, take up the challenge to source delicious and nutritious ideas.

Pinto beans are great in Mexican dishes with lime and chilli, and you can also add them to soups and casseroles.

Black beans are great in salads, soups, chillies, bean-burgers and of course as re-fried beans. Yummo!

Whether you are vego or not, these two essential nutrients are key players in feeding your brain right and living a more balanced and calm life every day.

Reflect over your current weekly intake and see where or how you could make some changes in order to allow for a plentiful daily supply.

Until next time, have fun with the re-modelling.

As always, I would love to hear of any ideas you come up with!


Lotsa love,



Dietitian~Counsellor~Eating Psychology Coach

0421 332243

Founder of The You Method 

You can read client feedback and success stories on my Facebook Page and website

Make sure you’re on my list to get a FREE cookbook and the VIP secrets I share! Click the box below :)  



Feed Your Brain – Part Three

Written by bridget on . Posted in Food and Health Education

(First featured on Onya Mag)

Are you ready for more ideas on how to Feed Your Brain?

Here we are for Part 3 of this series.

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here and I’m sure you will be noticing changes if you have been implementing the tips?

Enjoy the third instalment! Email any questions, or feedback to bridget@newleafnutrition.com.au or comment below :)


3) Essential amino acids –

Amino acids are basically the building blocks of proteins.

Essential amino acids are ones that cannot be made in our bodies and so must be obtained from the foods that we eat.

Furthermore, neurotransmitters are made from essential amino acids, therefore without an adequate dietary supply, the communication system in our brain quite literally breaks down.

One of the most highly studied essential amino acids in this area is tryptophan, as it is vital for the production of the more well known neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Serotonin helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns and mood, therefore getting enough tryptophan in your diet is highly important, especially for conditions such as insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Low serotonin can also be a factor in tension, irritability, PMS symptoms, and aggressive behaviour.

As with all nutrients, tryptophan works synergistically with other nutrients including vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium. For this reason, it is best to obtain tryptophan from food sources, as opposed to supplements, as food sources will typically also contain the other nutrients vital for its proper functioning.

Tryptophan is found in plentiful supply in foods such as seafood, chicken, turkey, red meat, soy beans and tofu.

Green vegies also supply a good amount, however, on average there is 5 times as much in the aforementioned sources.

To boost your brain power, as well as enjoy more regulated sleep patterns, moods and sense of calm, try turkey, cranberry and salad rolls or wraps for convenient work lunches; seared tuna steaks and greens for a happy dinner; or perhaps fresh soy beans (“edamame”) or prawns as yummy afternoon snacks.

You can also make amazing curries based on lamb, chicken, beef, seafood or even tofu, including loads of vegies to create winning combinations. Have fun experimenting.

For purely vegan sources of the magical tryptophan, go for beans (soy, lima, black, red kidney, pinto, lentils, dried peas); nuts and seeds (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, tahini); and wheatgerm. Easy!

At the moment, I am LOVING sprouted dried peas and lentils, flaked almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds as yummy additions to my ripper raw vegie salads. I also make a morning ritual out of cashews and walnuts.

This week reflect on and re-work your weekly menu to include daily sources of tryptophan.

You are guaranteed to feel and function 100% better when you are getting adequate amounts. With a little preparation and forethought, imagine how much more smoothly life could run?

Low moods are no fun for anyone. Kiss them goodbye with a loving, daily dose of some of the ideas suggested here.

I’m sure you too will come up with loads of other ideas and, of course, I’d love to hear them. Please send them through or comment below!

Until next time, to your happier self,


Food Body Lifestyle Guru
Writer, Speaker, Consultant

Founder of The You Method 

You can read client feedback and success stories on my Facebook Page and website

Make sure you’re on my list to get a FREE mini cookbook and VIP secrets I share only with my list! Click the box below :)  



Not Quite Top Deck

Written by bridget on . Posted in Ravishing Recipes


I just LOVE sharing healthy, delicious and nutritious treats with you all :)

One of my GOLDEN RULES is that when we embark upon healthy lifestyle change, it MUST be enjoyable!!

If we DO NOT enjoy the journey, we are unlikely to enjoy the destination! 

Lucky we have clever and creative people like Bianca from Whole Food Simply

We need NEVER go without all our most INDULGENT favourites :)

Im not actually much of a chocolate person myself, however as a kid I LOVED Top Deck and white chocolate :)

You can eat this version of a favourite with the satisfaction that it is LOADED with good fats, protein fibre, anti-oxidants and the oh so good for you mineral- magnesium, just to name a few things! :)  

Enjoy this beauty and be sure to let me know your thoughts and any variations you create! :) I also LOVE receiving piccies of your yummy creations!

Email bridget@newleafnutrition.com.au

Without further ado, over to the lovely Bianca :)

Not Quite Top Deck

the vanilla

1 cup cashews
3 tablespoons coconut cream
2 tablespoons honey*
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

the chocolate

100 grams 90% dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons honey*
1 tablespoon cashew butter

Method - 

Place the cashews into a bowl and cover with water while you gather your ingredients and line your tin.

I used a 20=cm square tin lined with baking paper over the sides for easy removal.

You can also use a silicon loaf tin or mini silicon muffin moulds.

Strain the cashews and place them into your processor.

Blend until they are forming a paste.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, level it out and place it into the freezer.

To make the chocolate mix the ingredients together until smooth and well combined.

Pour the mixture over your vanilla layer and return to the freezer to set.

Once set, slice, serve, eat and enjoy!

*you can use rice malt syrup if you prefer.


There you go guys! :)

NOTHING is off limits if you use your imagination, or research skills :) Pinterest, Instagram and Google are wonderful side-kicks when you’re looking for inspiration, ideas and insights :)

Of course too, you always have newleafnutrition.com.au as a reliable go to! ;)

Until next time, enjoy and LOTSA LOVE!



Mind, Body, Soul Wellness

Dietitian~Counsellor~Eating Psychology Coach


Founder of The You Method 

You can read client feedback and success stories on my Facebook Page and website

Make sure you’re on my list to get a FREE cookbook and the VIP secrets I share! Click the box below :)