“Our kids look up to us and copy us more than we know, so being a good role model and teaching them the importance of wholefoods and natural ingredients is a big one for us. We should always know and trust what we are putting into our body…” - Alex Pendlebury
We sat down with nutritionist, health coach, model and busy mum of two, Alex Pendlebury, to chat about what sparked her passion for Nutrition, the importance of eating a balanced diet and to pick her brain on some easy, anti-inflammatory recipes we all can use to kickstart 2021 on the right foot.
Let’s start by asking, how was your Christmas break and what are you most excited about for 2021?
Christmas break was so nice! We spent it with my husband Scott’s family in the country and the kids all had a ball. Apart from that we just chilled out at home with lots of family time which was so nice.
Why did you become a nutritionist and what excites you about your job?
I was a gymnast growing up and during that time we were educated on what foods and food groups would give us energy to thrive and sustain the long training sessions and comps. Once I started learning about health and nutrition during VCE, I didn’t want to stop! So, I decided to study Food Science, majoring in Nutrition at Deakin university. I still love to keep up with all the current research around Nutrition - even long after my studies. Good nutrition is something that is important for everyone, so it’s great knowledge to have and pass on to empower others to make healthy choices.
What are some of the most common concerns you hear from your clients?
Weight gain, energy issues, inflammation, confusion of all the fad diets that go around and how to eat enough to gain muscle correctly.
What does eating an anti-inflammatory diet mean to you?
Eating a mostly whole, unprocessed diet, with plenty of plant-based foods! Making sure to avoid too much unhealthy fats in the diet (trans and saturated fats, like fried food, processed or fatty meats, animal fats, butter, processed oils, cakes, pies, ice creams etc) and to avoid processed (added) sugars which are often found in pre-made foods.
But rather than talking about foods to avoid, I find it more beneficial to focus on all the healthy foods you CAN eat when talking to people about a healthy diet, like lots of whole unprocessed, foods such as:
- Veggies and fruits, herbs and spices. The list is endless, try to include them in every meal, bulk your meals up with greens and other veggies! eat the rainbow.
- Whole grains; brown rice, oats, quinoa, sourdough or wholegrain bread, whole meal pasta
- Legumes, chickpeas, lentils and beans like black beans.
- Fish, eggs, seafood, chicken or some lean meats, some dairy if you like it.
- Healthy fats, like avocado, hummus, a little bit of olive oil, nuts and seeds, natural nut butters.
Can you share any of your favourite foods that are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits?
Turmeric is a great one. It’s the golden spice that has been used to treat inflammation and other problems like digestive issues for thousands of years in traditional Western herbal and Ayurvedic medicine. It contains curcumin, which has proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Other great foods with anti-inflammatory properties include ginger, garlic, omega 3 sources, oily fish like wild salmon or nuts like walnuts, berries, mushrooms, greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts! I love to incorporate as many of these ingredients in my cooking as possible.
Nageze products are 100% naturally derived, made from active ingredients such as turmeric and ginger. How important is it to you as a mum to use all-natural ingredients?
Really important! When you are pregnant and breastfeeding it’s obviously really important to use natural ingredients, but it’s just as important afterwards. Our kids look up to us and copy us more than we know, so being a good role model and teaching them the importance of whole foods and natural ingredients is a big one for us. We should always know and trust what we are putting into our body.
How does Nageze Every Day help you in your day-to-day?
I love it as it’s a quick and easy dose of natural anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and ginger. I don’t always get to cook with enough turmeric (as it has quite a distinct taste, it can be a bit overpowering for my kids’ tastebuds!) so having a concentrated form of turmeric/curcumin that you can take in one sec is awesome.
Why do you think it’s beneficial to eat foods with anti-inflammatory properties?
Evidence shows that anti-inflammatory foods can help play a part in reducing inflammation associated with many health problems, like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic inflammation, which in-turn can cause health implications like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and osteoarthritis.
Inflammation in the body can be caused by genetic factors, and other factors like stress and exposure to chemicals in the environment (cigarette smoke, heavy metals, pesticides and pollution), as well as eating excess trans-fats (fried and processed foods), too much saturated fats (found in many animal foods and processed products) and consuming excess omega-6 fatty acids (found in many processed oils & processed foods). Reducing these foods in your diet can help decrease inflammation and improve overall health!
But just as there are pro-inflammatory foods, we can protect against inflammation by eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties like mentioned above! These foods contain antioxidants and polyphenols, which are protective and help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of some common health conditions.
Do you have a go-to, fool-proof anti-inflammatory recipe?
A morning smoothie is a great one! As you can chuck awesome ingredients into a really delicious smoothie. You can add berries, greens, nuts, healthy carbs and protein into one smoothie that’s easy to make and have.
Here is one of my fav recipes:
- 1 frozen banana or a handful of frozen mango
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup spinach or kale (you can’t even taste this!)
- 1 scoop of protein powder of choice (or for kids use 1/2 cup oats or yoghurt)
- 300ml nut milk or milk of choice or water
- Give it a good blend!
A great lunch or dinner recipe is a veggie stir fry. Sautéing garlic and onion with some olive oil, adding a bunch of your favourite veggies (think broccoli, bok choy, capsicum, beans, corn, zucchini, Brussels sprouts), a teaspoon of turmeric, pinch of ginger, 1-2 Teaspoons of soy or tamari or fish sauce and half a cup of coconut milk. Stir, cover and simmer until the veggies are cooked to your liking. Serve with brown rice, or as a side with grilled fish or chicken!
Nageze is a natural anti-inflammatory capsule, made from the earth’s best analgesics, to keep you moving each and every day. For more exclusive interviews and Nageze news, join our mailing list or follow us on Instagram.