Making a meal of nutrition: Amanda Clark

Amanda Clark is one of the Gold Coast’s top nutritionists. She has  received several Australia-wide awards for her clear, practical and realistic advice to consumers. We asked Amanda for her opinion on some of our readers’ dietary questions:
You are well known for the idea of ‘Portion Perfection’. How did you arrive at this concept?

I’ve watched portion sizes increase steadily over the past 30 years, led largely by the food industry. The evidence is that the larger the serve, the more we eat. I knew that people were mindlessly overeating and aimed to change awareness around this. I’m currently working on a 4-week menu plan and recipe book.
How would you explain ‘Portion Perfection’ in simple terms?

Portion Perfection includes a physical dinner plate and breakfast bowl along with photographs of correct portion sizes of most foods for all meals and snacks.  It’s about serving the appropriate amount of food, buying the right sized packages and eating with awareness.
What are ‘superfoods’? Which are the best ones to eat?

Superfood is a loose term used to describe a food that has a special property – usually high levels of antioxidants which protect against cancer and ageing. While many foods are hailed as superfoods, they usually aren’t something that eaten in large quantities, so their contribution to our overall nutritional intake is small. Look at the humble broccoli – a long known superfood that contains a substance called sulforaphane, which boosts production of a vital liver detox enzyme and has long lasting effects. It’s easy to eat every day – raw in a salad or cooked with your evening meal – add dressings or sauces for variety. You can get even more sulforaphane by growing broccoli sprouts or buying them.
I feel like cheating on my healthy eating plan. What’s the best ‘bad’ food I can eat? 

The best bad food is exactly what you feel like eating – nothing else is likely to hit the spot. The key is to set yourself up for a guilt free experience by buying just the right portion size, eating it slowly, enjoying every morsel and when it’s gone it’s gone. Never buy a whole cake. Go to a coffee shop, order a single slice and enjoy the whole experience – you’re unlikely to request a second slice.
When my body feels sluggish, what would you suggest as a detox?

It’s amazing just how good you can feel when you improve your diet. I’d suggest detoxing from one or more of the following substances: additives, sugar, salt, caffeine or alcohol. Pick whichever ones you currently consume the most of. You don’t need to swallow any potions or cut out whole food groups, so it’s not antisocial and you will feel a difference. I’d recommend two weeks of detox and a clear plan for how much you will allow back in.

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