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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 hurricane supplies
    Sep 18, 2020 8:00 am

    Healthy hurricane supplies

    With five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic at the same time — for only the second time in recorded history — it’s hard to ignore the fact that hurricane season is here.

    It says a lot about climate change and, on Monday, I was thinking —...

  • UTIs: a burning issue!
    Sep 11, 2020 8:00 am

    UTIs: a burning issue!

    It’s Week Three of Nutrifit and I’ve just taught the class all about poop! It’s always a bit of a lottery teaching this instalment. I think it’s such a funny topic — although massively important, too — but not everyone shares my sense of humour.

  • Bermuda’s health beyond Covid-19
    Aug 28, 2020 3:44 pm

    Bermuda’s health beyond Covid-19

    I’ve been thinking lately about the incredibly radical changes that we’ve all got accustomed to over the last five months.

    Social-distancing, masks, designated shopping days, hand sanitiser in every doorway, online meetings, happy hour on...

  • Cool off with an iced golden latte
    Aug 22, 2020 8:00 am

    Cool off with an iced golden latte

    I always forget just how hot it gets in August. That is, until I start burning my thighs on the car seat.

    I both sat down and leapt up within a nanosecond yesterday, throwing my belongings everywhere.

    One of my belongings was a...

  • Don’t have time to cook? Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
    Aug 14, 2020 8:00 am

    Don’t have time to cook? Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

    Last week Belle turned 10 and we celebrated with the now customary combination of pug-related gifts and cheesy crackers.

    There was also a stuffed llama, marshmallows and a Shirley Temple.

    She is easy to please although we all know...

  • Choosing healthier options on the menu
    Aug 7, 2020 8:00 am

    Choosing healthier options on the menu

    Post-Cup Match blues anyone?!

    Who doesn’t love a four-day weekend? It’s so nice to have the extra days to unwind.

    While I’m pretty sure that a four-day weekend would be a good long-term strategy for our mental health, it might not...

  • Healthy Cup Match boat and beach snacks
    Jul 29, 2020 8:00 am

    Healthy Cup Match boat and beach snacks

    And here we are, Cup Match eve! I’ve always loved, loved, loved this long weekend. The whole island hops with good vibes and happy summertime activity — not to mention the fact that it celebrates the Slavery Abolition Act (August 1, 1834).

  • Your summer grill guidelines
    Jul 24, 2020 8:00 am

    Your summer grill guidelines

    I’m a little late with your grill guidelines this summer! Judging by the delicious aromas wafting around our neighbourhood, the barbecues have already been out in full force.

    It’s all I can do not to invite myself over for dinner,...

  • Pineapple on the grill!
    Jul 17, 2020 8:00 am

    Pineapple on the grill!

    Last weekend, the standard barbecue got a little shake-up when someone threw pineapple onto the grill.

    Be still my nutrition-loving heart, it was totally delicious and shot me straight back to being 18 in Uganda when we used to do the same...

  • Better options for ice cream
    Jul 10, 2020 8:00 am

    Better options for ice cream

    A few weeks into the summer holidays and I wonder how Horseshoe Bay is faring? I say that because there’s approximately two tonnes of sand in my car. If everyone else is the same, is there any sand left on the beach?

    I don’t really...

  • Grilled Bermuda corn salad — your go-to summer side
    Jul 3, 2020 8:00 am

    Grilled Bermuda corn salad — your go-to summer side

    Nothing says summer like warm sunny days and, oh wait, a lot of tank rain! The kids are finally off their laptops but Mother Nature is not co-operating with all the plans I had for outdoor summer days just yet. Ah well, we’ve gone headlong into...

  • School’s out! Healthy snacks for summer
    Jun 26, 2020 8:00 am

    School’s out! Healthy snacks for summer

    School’s out and the kids are delighted! I did point out that school has basically been out since March, but apparently there have been way too many online tasks and Skype calls for it to classify as a complete break.

    I think they’re...

  • Bringing back the comfort of banana bread
    Jun 19, 2020 8:00 am

    Bringing back the comfort of banana bread

    This is the year we said goodbye to bananas and hello to a pandemic, when we opened our eyes wide to racial prejudice and stood up for Black Lives Matter, when our National Heroes Weekend descended into violence and when Chavelle went missing...

  • Feeling overwhelmed? Just concentrate on one thing
    Jun 5, 2020 8:00 am

    Feeling overwhelmed? Just concentrate on one thing

    Somewhere during the middle of shelter-in-place, probably around “friwednesday, the ninetwelfth of Maybruary”, I lost my exercise mojo.

    I never really knew what day it was and was so caught up in the juggle of homeschool and work that I...

  • Cooking in reverse
    May 15, 2020 8:00 am

    Cooking in reverse

    Following a recipe in Bermuda used to look like this:

    1, Pick a recipe

    2, Drive round multiple stores collecting ingredients for said recipe

    3, Get home and start making recipe but realise you forgot one thing

    4, Send...

  • Covid-19: a refresher on vitamin D
    May 8, 2020 8:00 am

    Covid-19: a refresher on vitamin D

    My granny turned 98 this week and we sang Happy Birthday over Zoom and watched her blow out candles.

    Not 98 of them, thank goodness; my aunt had the forethought to just use two … two years to 100!

    I would love to...

  • Recognising what you are in control of is a helpful strategy
    May 1, 2020 8:00 am

    Recognising what you are in control of is a helpful strategy

    Well here comes May, and with it the beginning of the most unusual summer we’ve ever known.

    I’m a sucker for real-life video interviews of nursing staff around the world and I just can’t wrap my head around the magnitude of what they are...

  • The easiest bread you’ll ever make
    Apr 24, 2020 8:00 am

    The easiest bread you’ll ever make

    Life in the trenches of homeschool and work is somewhat crazy but, in between episodes of wanting to throw the laptop at the wall, we are surviving.

    Fortunately, school seems to be done by early afternoon and then we all take a break from...

  • Feeling anxious? How your nutrition can help
    Apr 17, 2020 8:00 am

    Feeling anxious? How your nutrition can help

    Remember when we just used to worry about the banana shortage? There’s nothing like a new virus going on an unauthorised rampage around the globe to shake things up a little.

    Whether you’re nervous about your own health, worried for...

  • 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...

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