Magnesium Rich Protein Balls

by Lauren Nugent on February 2, 2017

Magnesium Rich Protein Balls!

(Low GI, high dietary fibre)


  • 80g Brazil nuts [soaked in boiling water for ~1hr]
  • 100g Cashews (raw/unsalted) [soaked in boiling water for ~1hr]
  • 100g Flaked almonds
  • 250g (1 cup) light peanut butter or natural peanut butter (if you use natural add a pinch of salt to recipe)
  • 1 cup pitted dates [soak in boiling water for ~10mins]
  • 3 tbs coconut oil (melted)
  • 3t tbs cocoa powder (can use 4 tbs if you want a strong chocolate flavour)
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut (for rolling in only)


  1. 1.    Prepare dates, cashews and brazil nuts in boiling water and drain when ready.
  2. 2.    Place all ingredients (not coconut), into a food processor and blend until well combined (nuts should be completely broken down)
  3. 3.    Make into balls and roll in the coconut.
  4. 4.    Refrigerate and enjoyJ

Note:  Makes ~20 balls.  1 ball = ~20% of a person’s magnesium requirement daily*


Magnesium nutrition facts:

1 cup light peanut butter provides 99% of a person’s magnesium requirement*

80g of Brazil Nuts provides 85% of a person’s magnesium requirement*

100g of Cashews provides 73% of a person’s magnesium requirement*

100g of Almonds provides 67% of a person’s magnesium requirement*

4tbs Cocoa powder provides 24% of a person’s magnesium requirement*


*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Survive the Silly Season – Avoid the Weight Gain!

by Lauren Nugent on December 21, 2016

So we are well into the Christmas and New Year holiday season, with more social events filling up our dairies or maybe planned vacations to finally let your hair down you most likely will find yourself surrounded by MORE food and drinks and MORE often. Resist the temptation to over indulge and set back all your good nutrition and exercise efforts over 2016. Here are some hot tips to start 2017 ahead of the game.

1.    EXERCISE- One of the easiest ways to help keep your weight down is to counteract your energy in (food and drink) with your energy out (exercise). Try new things to keep active, organize family outdoor activities or games, go for a walk with friends rather than coffee and cake. Whatever it is, commit to one hour of physical activity every day (minimum 30minutes). Yes, even Christmas Day!

2.    Planning: Fail to prepare- prepare to fail.

2.1  Keep regular meal times: Just because you know there’s going to be extra food on offer at meals don’t skip meals in the lead up. This will likely leave you feeling hungry and overeating on unhealthy foods. Keeping regular meal and snack times will also prevent constant grazing. Really try to plan your meals around your daily schedule and any social events so you are adequately fuelled and also not starving finding yourself at the cheese platter.

2.2 Plan your shopping list will help you avoid stocking up on unhealthy treats just ‘because they were on sale’. If it is in your shopping basket or house then it is eventually in your stomach… and therefore stored as fat if not used up as energy!

3.    Choose foods wisely – At meal times fill up on fresh seasonal salads, vegetables and lean meats. Make use of the gorgeous summer fruits available. Limit stuffings, gravies and fatty cuts of meat. Pick your treat foods you really enjoy rather than nibbling on stale chips or cheap chocolates….hold out and enjoy that piece of Christmas pudding!!!!



4. What are you drinking? – Alcohol and sugary drinks can pack a punch with calories. Did you know that if you were to drink 10 standard glasses of wine (150ml each) you would be consuming over 3350kJ or 800 calories!! This is the same amount of energy as 7 ½ slices of meat lovers pizza!!  Watch your alcohol intake by switching in some non-calorific drinks such as soda water with fresh lemon or lime.  Not only will this keep your calorie count down for the day but will also help to keep you hydrated!

5. Relax and Enjoy – Eat slowly, enjoy and savour every mouthful of your favourite foods. Ditch the food guilt, don’t dwell on a bad meal and don’t let a bad day turn into a bad week. Take time out for yourself, relax and enjoy the time with family and friends. 

How to burn 100 calories quickly?  Just do:

  • 40 Jumping Jacks  + 30 Sit Ups + 20 Squats or Sit-to-Stands  and 10 Push Ups

▪    Riding a bike (Casual riding) for 25 minutes

▪    Swimming (moderate intensity) for 15 minutes

▪    Running at 10km/hr for 9 minutes

▪    Playing Frisbee for 30 minutes

▪    Mowing the lawn for 20 minutes

▪    Washing the car for 20 minutes

▪    Spend 20 minutes playing a dance video game

▪    Playing with children 23 minutes

▪    Shopping for 38 minutes

▪    Walking the dog 26 minutes

▪    Take the stairs- spend 14 minutes walking up stairs

▪    Easiest way to burn off 100 calories? Don’t eat them at all- skip the unnecessary lollies or chocolates on offer over the silly season

Challenge yourself to burn an extra 100 calories per day on top of your normal exercise regime this silly season!

From all of us at Eat Smart Nutrition we hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  We look forward to seeing you in 2017 to help you achieve your nutrition goals.

Written by our Eat Smart #sportsdietitians, Zara Nance.


Our Eat Smart Christmas Menu!

December 19, 2016

I love this time of year when I get to do the menu planning for Xmas Day.  This year I won’t be cooking on the day but have done up an Eat Smart menu that we all sampled at our Xmas party last week.  I was cooking for 10 Dietitians with a love of good [...]

Read the full article →

Pre-Season Nutrition Strategies

December 8, 2016

Pre-season is that time of year to start getting ready for the season but it is important to remember you don’t need to achieve an entire seasons fitness in the preseason.  It’s great to aim to be fit but also fresh as you have the whole season ahead of you!  Depending on what sport you [...]

Read the full article →

Ever had a gut wrenching experience? Had butterflies in your stomach? Been sick with nerves?

November 24, 2016

There is a nerve, the Vagal nerve, that directly connects your brain with your gut, and vice versa.  So these turns of phrase we often use are true to the human body. Now if only they spoke in words rather than symptoms!   The language of communication between the bowel and the brain is symptoms [...]

Read the full article →

Cholesterol Management – What’s New In Research?

November 15, 2016

Cholesterol is generally a word that brings lots of negative thoughts like ‘heart disease’ and ‘diets’, but what does the latest research actually tell us? Cholesterol is a lipid (fat) molecule important in our bodies for cell structure, hormone synthesis and bile production. Different types of cholesterol in the blood can be measured with pathology [...]

Read the full article →

Fuelling Sports Performance in Triathlon

November 15, 2016

Background Triathlons are a sporting event that combines swimming, cycling and running into one race. There are several race distances that can be classified into sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run), Olympic distance (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run), half Ironman or 70.3 (1.9 km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run) and Ironman races [...]

Read the full article →

Keeping Type 2 Diabetes In Check

October 18, 2016

Each day 280 Australians develop diabetes! Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia and type 2 diabetes represents about 90% of all diabetes.   But a diabetes diagnosis does not mean that the scary complications often associated with the disease, such as kidney disease, blindness and foot ulcers are inevitable.   You CAN significantly reduce [...]

Read the full article →

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones… But Not Without A Fight!

October 18, 2016

In previous blog pieces, we have looked at individual nutrients, but this edition, we are going to look at the effect of nutrients on what very important part of our body – our bones. In a perfect world, we would all pay particular attention to building strong bones as children and adolescents and in our [...]

Read the full article →

Quick Snack Ideas

October 4, 2016

Healthy snacks between meals can help to balance energy and blood sugar levels as well as keep meal portions in check. Try these satisfying snacks, super fast to make and super tasty!   Avocado and ricotta on toast 1 slice sour dough toasted 1/2 a ripe avocado sliced 1 tablespoon ricotta Lemon juice Cracked pepper [...]

Read the full article →