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Food For Thought

Catherine Burns
ISLAND LIFE COLUMNIST
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Catherine Burns (BA Hons, Dip ION) is a Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London, UK. After marrying her Bermudian husband and moving to the Island she worked in the worksite wellness field for seven years. She is currently the Managing Director of natural ltd - a nutrition consultancy offering preventive health solutions. Catherine has been running Nutrifit since 2007 and has been writing a weekly nutrition column for The Royal Gazette since 2005. Food for Thought began as a factual nutrition column that quickly took on some humour as stories of Catherine's domestic highs and lows crept in. Catherine is mum to two girls (1.5 and 4) who are often perfect examples of healthy living and occasionally the polar opposite. Catherine strives every day to nourish her daughters and to help people in Bermuda lead healthier lives. Please note that Catherine is not a Registered Dietitian. For contact details, go to www.natural.bm.

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  • Hot chocolate doesn’t have to be a naughty
    Nov 15, 2019 8:00 am

    Hot chocolate doesn’t have to be a naughty

    I have loved hot chocolate ever since I was little — preferably covered in whipped cream and marshmallows.

    I was definitely sugar-addicted, but there was a comfort element too. A cup of something warm and sweet when you’re growing up in...

  • Always optimise your carbohydrates!
    Nov 8, 2019 8:00 am

    Always optimise your carbohydrates!

    During my nutrition classes, we spend a lot of time talking about carbohydrates. As humans, we’re designed to crave them, to be able to overeat them and to store the excess sugar from those carbs as fat; as hunter-gatherers, that was a genius bit...

  • Pumpkins aren’t just for Hallowe’en
    Nov 1, 2019 8:00 am

    Pumpkins aren’t just for Hallowe’en

    A few weeks ago, we started two Nutrifit classes, our public course and an on-site corporate course, too.

    It’s so exciting getting so many people on to an optimum nutrition strategy, I just have to make sure they don’t bolt during the...

  • Healthy Hallowe’en
    Oct 25, 2019 8:00 am

    Healthy Hallowe’en

    Our most spooky holiday is almost here and I’ve begun to have palpitations. Not because of the fear factor, but because of the sheer volume of sugar that’s floor to ceiling in some of the grocery stores.

    We may have a sugar tax, but...

  • Collagen: why all the hype?
    Oct 11, 2019 8:00 am

    Collagen: why all the hype?

    Recently, the kids got their own phones. Not smart phones, but $30 flip phones. Enough technology to keep them safe, but not enough to lose them to yet another screen.

    They were over-the-moon delighted with this tiny glimpse of adulthood,...

  • Low-sugar pumpkin cupcakes are the ideal Hallowe'en snack
    Oct 7, 2019 9:48 am

    Low-sugar pumpkin cupcakes are the ideal Hallowe'en snack

    Straight out of hurricane eating and we’re into Hallowee'n! Seems like there’s a never-ending stream of natural disasters and holidays determined to trip us up.

    It’ll be Christmas before we know it, then it’s Valentine’s Day and Easter,...

  • It’s raining avocados
    Sep 27, 2019 8:00 am

    It’s raining avocados

    Well, here we are. We’ve survived a hurricane sandwich, although Jerry pretty much fizzled. Still, it’s nice to be on the other side.

    I know we were all lucky (the Bahamas did give us perspective after all), but it’s never easy losing your...

  • Staying healthy during a hurricane
    Sep 20, 2019 8:00 am

    Staying healthy during a hurricane

    It’s been quite the week of horrors over here at domestic HQ. First, a cockroach invasion in the car and then I discovered nests of spiders (vomit) while packing up the garden furniture for Humberto.

    Fortunately, the good people of MAJ’s...

  • Happy Hour? Watch your sugar content
    Sep 13, 2019 8:00 am

    Happy Hour? Watch your sugar content

    Friday the 13th feels like a good day for a glass of wine at my desk, but I suppose 9am is a fraction early. I once shared an overnight train from Pretoria to Cape Town with a crazy older lady who started doing shots of vodka at...

  • Sleeping well should be a priority
    Sep 6, 2019 8:00 am

    Sleeping well should be a priority

    Last week we were discussing how to get our children sleeping well, knowing that if they slept better then we would too.

    Although mine were terrible sleepers as babies, I was saying how good they are now …. I should have known I was...

  • Sleep like a baby (depending on the baby)!
    Aug 30, 2019 8:00 am

    Sleep like a baby (depending on the baby)!

    During Nutrifit, our six-week optimum nutrition programme, we dedicate a whole week to learning more about stress and sleep. Both have such a major influence on our health, so it’s essential that we get to grips with them. The problem is, that...

  • Keeping it simple through the summer
    Aug 23, 2019 8:00 am

    Keeping it simple through the summer

    Several years ago, I pulled together a savoury snack list, after discovering Belle helping herself to handfuls of icing sugar for breakfast.

    I’d tried to lie in and then kind of slept while I heard the children crashing around downstairs. I...

  • Keep it simple for summer
    Aug 16, 2019 8:00 am

    Keep it simple for summer

    Back at my desk and down to earth with a bump … except, when your bump is Bermuda, you just can’t really complain! And though our holiday was amazing, I’ve never been so happy to be home … the journey was a little epic and the flight from Athens...

  • And now for something Greek …
    Aug 9, 2019 8:00 am

    And now for something Greek …

    For a little while now, every other year, my amazing dad has sent us tickets and flown us over to join him for a holiday in Europe.

    He’s not an extravagant man usually. It seems like the opposite right now though.

    Hidden away in a...

  • A new perspective: it’s all about the habits
    Jul 26, 2019 8:00 am

    A new perspective: it’s all about the habits

    Almost every parent I’ve ever met has been united by some common themes: total exhaustion, addiction to caffeine, wide-eyed bewilderment (how can something so small poop so much?).

    Yet, even if we’re hanging on to our sanity by a thread,...

  • Keeping your office healthy through the summer
    Jul 12, 2019 8:00 am

    Keeping your office healthy through the summer

    I was at a meeting discussing the health crisis in Bermuda the other day and the drink options were: coffee, soda, fluorescent juice cocktail or water.

    Obviously given the context, the done thing would have been to drink water ... and most...

  • Icy treats to keep you cool this summer
    Jul 5, 2019 8:00 am

    Icy treats to keep you cool this summer

    I always take the first week of the summer holidays off with the kids and, while it should mean lots of downtime, I’m still writing this from the kitchen at 11pm.

    I have working-mum guilt. And so while I am squeezing in one hour of work...

  • School’s out: send me your teenagers!
    Jun 28, 2019 8:00 am

    School’s out: send me your teenagers!

    Well ... school’s out and the children practically made a bonfire out of their uniform in celebration.

    We were barely out of the school gates before the shoes came off and the hair came down. I was shown approximately ten thousand bits of...

  • Your go-to summer side
    Jun 21, 2019 8:00 am

    Your go-to summer side

    A quick note from the edge today as I’m writing this at home with a string of repairmen going in and out of the house.

    The washer is on the blink, the bath taps are leaking and the air conditioning has given up the ghost. Everything...

  • Cleanse-friendly, gluten-free mini chocolate tarts
    Jun 14, 2019 8:00 am

    Cleanse-friendly, gluten-free mini chocolate tarts

    I’m pretty sure I’m writing this from my deathbed.

    I’ve already Googled meningitis, man-flu and the plague — fortunately, I don’t seem to have any of those but I do have something that has totally levelled me.

    I’ve dosed up on all...

  • Guilt-free dessert for the holiday weekend
    Jun 7, 2019 8:00 am

    Guilt-free dessert for the holiday weekend

    Life is short. What that means in my book is there is definitely room for dessert and wine.

    The problem is if we stretch the “life is short” philosophy too far, then we risk life getting infinitely shorter.

    I don’t know about you,...

  • What are the ‘right’ carbs for you?
    May 31, 2019 8:00 am

    What are the ‘right’ carbs for you?

    If any of you were watching the Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby last week, then you might have seen a couch on wheels flying by.

    “Flying” is possibly an exaggeration. We did well for the first six miles and then the rubber burnt off our...

  • Antioxidants: your best asset against ageing
    May 17, 2019 8:00 am

    Antioxidants: your best asset against ageing

    A few days ago I was watching TV with Belle when a black and white clip came on.

    “Mummy,” she said, “is this what TV was like when you were a kid? You had cars though, right?”

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry … I feel young most...

  • Omega 3 is food for your brain
    May 10, 2019 8:00 am

    Omega 3 is food for your brain

    It’s been a crazy week over at Natural HQ. First we had Beat the Couch race day, then I began the Ignite Bermuda entrepreneurial accelerator programme and we’ve just launched the third round of Nutrifit for this year.

    You could say that...

  • Hydrate like a professional for May 24!
    May 3, 2019 8:00 am

    Hydrate like a professional for May 24!

    I love this time of year for sports in Bermuda. Everyone is pumped following the triathlon and the May 24 half-marathon is on the horizon.

    Seeing lots of friends and clients ace their sprint or Olympic distance last weekend was totally...

  • Is your daily coffee habit healthy?
    Apr 26, 2019 8:00 am

    Is your daily coffee habit healthy?

    Once upon a time I was so tired I put the iron away in the fridge. I arrived at work with no shoes on, I misspelt my own name, I signed off an e-mail “best retards” (horror). I left water running into the tank until it overflowed; I forgot to pay...

  • Healthy tips for grilling meat on the barbecue
    Apr 12, 2019 8:00 am

    Healthy tips for grilling meat on the barbecue

    After a back-to-back morning in the clinic, I lay in the park in the sun for a few minutes at lunchtime. After weeks of wondering if the weather was ever going to warm up, it really feels like summer might be on its way.

    I’m longing for...

  • Fussy eaters? Here’s what you can do
    Apr 5, 2019 8:00 am

    Fussy eaters? Here’s what you can do

    Becoming a mum was without doubt the biggest milestone of my life … and I’m not sure that will ever change. After eating Lays the whole way through my pregnancy, I genuinely thought I might give birth to a crisp packet. So, having a baby was a...

  • Supplement mistakes you might be making
    Mar 29, 2019 8:00 am

    Supplement mistakes you might be making

    I’ve been approaching this moment with fear and dread, but it’s recently become official.

    At the tender ages of 11 and 8, based on a high volume of eye-rolling and “Muuuuum, you’re sooo embarrassing”, I suspect I’m now living with...

  • How does your mental strength measure up?
    Mar 22, 2019 8:00 am

    How does your mental strength measure up?

    Last week we talked about how to reset when your nutrition goes completely off the rails. So, how have the last seven days gone for you? Did you ace it? Or end up face down in a pint of ice cream?

    Maybe it was a mix of the two. Some...

  • Off the rails? Let me help you reset
    Mar 15, 2019 8:00 am

    Off the rails? Let me help you reset

    I’m having one of those days where it’s all going to hell in a handbasket. I have no idea what that really even means (even Google doesn’t know and if Google doesn’t, who does?) but it feels strangely accurate.

    I was barely awake before...

  • Changes to make pancakes healthier
    Mar 8, 2019 8:00 am

    Changes to make pancakes healthier

    Earlier this week, Belle and I made pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. Chloe wisely retreated to the sofa and Belle ran back and forth between the kitchen and the TV brandishing a large spatula and yelling: “Just call me when it’s time to flip!”...

  • Quick dinners for when life gets nutty
    Feb 22, 2019 8:00 am

    Quick dinners for when life gets nutty

    This week has been a little chaotic. We’re on the cusp of Season 13 for Beat the Couch and I feel as if I’ve been sending e-mails at 1,000mph. I think every mum (working or not) has moments where they feel totally torn, but this week I had Belle...

  • Nutrition: a powerful differentiator for sports performance
    Feb 15, 2019 8:00 am

    Nutrition: a powerful differentiator for sports performance

    There’s something about the number 13 that puts a tiny shadow of doubt in my mind!

    I’m not into superstition (unless it’s Stevie Wonder) and I’m not worried about black cats, or breaking mirrors or walking under ladders, but the number 13...

  • How to make your exercise habit stick
    Feb 8, 2019 8:00 am

    How to make your exercise habit stick

    I’ve been tidying up the clutter lately and last night found some black-and-white photos that were taken when I was 17.

    Belle picked one up this morning and said: “Oh wow mummy!”

    I thought she was about to deliver some kind of...

  • A soup that is packed full of flavour
    Feb 1, 2019 8:00 am

    A soup that is packed full of flavour

    And now for everyone’s favourite subject …

    Well there’s nothing quite like writing an article on poop to prompt a reaction!

    It’s been e-mail overload this week with a lot of jokes and an equal amount of curious questions coming in.

  • Five-point plan for the perfect poop
    Jan 25, 2019 8:00 am

    Five-point plan for the perfect poop

    And now for everyone’s favourite subject … Well, over here at Natural HQ, the digestive detox is under way.

    We have 50 people taking part in a clean sweep, so they are all busy drinking green juice and taking psyllium husk.

    There’s a...

  • Chipotle chicken with maple and lime
    Jan 18, 2019 8:00 am

    Chipotle chicken with maple and lime

    I’m having one of those moments when all my deadlines seem to be colliding at once. I’ve been planning my butt off since December to make things more streamlined over here at Natural HQ.

    It had all been going so well, but throw in four...

  • So easy an eight-year-old can do it
    Jan 11, 2019 8:00 am

    So easy an eight-year-old can do it

    Back on the rock and it’s full steam ahead into the new year with a whole load of new intentions or, more accurately, renewed intentions.

    My resolutions can take a while to kick in and sometimes I get distracted by something completely...

  • Rules for 2019
    Jan 4, 2019 8:00 am

    Rules for 2019

    Two more nights left in the UK and I’m writing this with a large glass of wine and some chips by my side.

    There’s also been a box of Millionaire’s Shortbread this afternoon (yup, the whole box.)

    It was gluten-free, dairy-free,...

  • A winter salad to ease the ‘Sunday Scaries’
    Dec 28, 2018 8:00 am

    A winter salad to ease the ‘Sunday Scaries’

    I’m back in the stairwell office, clinging on to a golden thread of internet connection in a far-flung corner of Somerset in the UK. It’s Boxing Day, which after all the excitement of Christmas, is giving me a Sunday-evening kind of...

  • Does Santa prefer cookies or avocados?
    Dec 7, 2018 8:00 am

    Does Santa prefer cookies or avocados?

    We’ve had some rainy days lately and I’m all in favour of this shift in the seasons.

    Not sure there is anything more soothing than lying in bed listening to tank rain thunder down on the roof, especially when that early-morning half-light...

  • Christmas calories – how to navigate the madness
    Nov 30, 2018 8:00 am

    Christmas calories – how to navigate the madness

    Here we go. The tree is up outside City Hall. The Rat Pack is on the radio, it is floor-to- ceiling Quality Street in Phoenix … Christmas is on its way.

    This is without a doubt, my favourite time of year. But I am also, without a doubt,...

  • Chocolate chip cookies get a makeover
    Nov 23, 2018 8:00 am

    Chocolate chip cookies get a makeover

    No Sugar November has been rolling along and so far, most people have survived.

    I did get one e-mail from someone on the verge of sugar-withdrawal hysteria, but we have since brought her back from the brink.

    She was being tormented...

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