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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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  • 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...

  • 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...

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