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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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  • Healthy habits to structure your day
    Apr 3, 2020 8:00 am

    Healthy habits to structure your day

    Well, things are getting a little feral over here. Every “tips for working from home” article I read says that the first thing you should do is shower and get dressed.

    Why is that so difficult? The moment I wake up, I have a quick reality...

  • Healthy snacking when you are stuck at home
    Mar 27, 2020 8:00 am

    Healthy snacking when you are stuck at home

    Given that this is our first apocalypse, Bermuda seems to be doing well so far.

    Kudos to the Government, medical staff and local businesses for their action and communication.

    Of course, it’s early days, but the sense of community is...

  • Consider your nutrition action plan!
    Mar 20, 2020 8:00 am

    Consider your nutrition action plan!

    How are we all doing out there, folks? It’s amazing how much can change in one week, isn’t it? Last week, I was writing about healthy pasta and we were having a perfectly sensible conversation about portion sizes.

    This week, the world has...

  • A healthier way to enjoy pasta
    Mar 13, 2020 8:00 am

    A healthier way to enjoy pasta

    The sun popped out this morning and, for the first time in ages, I felt the promise of summer heat. After 15 years in Bermuda, I’m a baby when it comes to the cold now. And there is something about our dampness that makes it feel extra cold! But...

  • Go bananas … or not if the shortage continues
    Mar 6, 2020 8:00 am

    Go bananas … or not if the shortage continues

    Well Bermuda, it appears we’re on the edge of a national emergency. so let’s get serious for a second shall we?

    Forget coronavirus, I am way more concerned about the island-wide shortage of bananas, which has had my clients crying into...

  • Take away the stress to please picky eaters
    Feb 28, 2020 8:00 am

    Take away the stress to please picky eaters

    It’s my six-week optimum nutrition programme and we cover everything from blood sugar balance to liver detox pathways.

    The goal is to make sure that people get a really sound understanding of exactly how their nutrition choices influence...

  • Lighten up your carbs with cauliflower rice
    Feb 21, 2020 8:00 am

    Lighten up your carbs with cauliflower rice

    There’s nothing like an article on libido to get people pulling you to one side and asking some extra questions. I’ve had some eye-opening conversations this week!

    It’s just a good thing that the kids haven’t seen it, as we’ve arrived at...

  • A cookie that’s actually good for you!
    Feb 7, 2020 8:00 am

    A cookie that’s actually good for you!

    Beat the Couch season is upon us and I’ve been busy rounding up a gang of beginners who are ready to start running either the first time, or the first time in a long time!

    As usual, we’ve started to gather a very eclectic list with people...

  • Is The Game Changers really a game changer?
    Jan 31, 2020 8:00 am

    Is The Game Changers really a game changer?

    “Ok, we need to talk!” said Belle.

    She patted the spot-on the sofa next to her and indicated (with a tilt of her head) that I should sit down.

    I looked into her extremely solemn eyes and tried to remember everything they say...

  • The only chicken recipe you will ever need
    Jan 10, 2020 8:00 am

    The only chicken recipe you will ever need

    Yesterday morning I woke up a little late and catapulted myself out of bed with my heart racing at 100mph. I looked at the clock and figured I could just about shower, get dressed, feed the veritable farm of animals and get to work within a...

  • 2020: make your goals bite-sized!
    Jan 3, 2020 8:00 am

    2020: make your goals bite-sized!

    Well here we are, the other side of Christmas, emerging from our canapé coma. We’ve probably set some New Year’s Resolutions and are teetering on the edge of success or failure.

    How’s it looking for you so far? Which way is it going to go?!...

  • How one can offset the Christmas Creep
    Dec 13, 2019 8:00 am

    How one can offset the Christmas Creep

    I’ve only just recovered from Hallowe’en candy and here comes Christmas racing towards us with all its mulled wine and boxes of Quality Street chocolates. It’s my absolute favourite time of year.

    I’ve never grown out of Christmas magic —...

  • Supercharge your pancakes
    Nov 29, 2019 8:00 am

    Supercharge your pancakes

    There is nothing like making 21 unicorn pancakes at midnight to remind you that you don’t quite have it all together. Needless to say, there I was — flipping these magical beasts into crispy perfection because I’d forgotten I’d promised Chloe...

  • 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...

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