Our 7 top tips for reducing inflammation

What do I need to know about an anti-inflammatory diet?

Inflammation has been a hot topic lately, with a lot of circulating information about anti-inflammatory diets, foods and supplements. And for good reason – research has now shown that certain foods and eating patterns can reduce the occurrence, symptoms and severity of inflammatory conditions. In particular, an anti-inflammatory diet can supplement the effects of physical therapy and medication for managing arthritis, and has been shown to reduce symptoms of pain, joint stiffness, swelling and tenderness.

Still wondering what the term “inflammation” actually refers to? You’re not alone. As a recent buzz word, many are yet to learn that inflammation refers to the body’s protective response to illness or injury. Inflammation can be either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the body’s immediate response to short term illness or infection, such as swelling when you stub your toe. On the other hand, certain conditions can cause a prolonged inflammatory response that we refer to as “chronic” inflammation. These conditions include arthritis, coeliac disease, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammation can also occur after we exercise as our body adjusts to increased stress and loading. Lastly, many people don’t realise that conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes are in fact “inflammatory” (a.k.a. inflammation producing) conditions.

Inflammation and diet

Whilst certain superfoods and supplements often steal the limelight as “anti inflammatory foods”, the most effective way to manage inflammation through our diet is to consume a wide variety of healthy, anti-inflammatory foods. Foods that reduce inflammation include fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, oily fish, nuts and seeds. These food groups are commonly associated with a Mediterranean diet pattern, which explains why a Mediterranean diet has been proven to lower levels of inflammatory markers and reduce symptoms of arthritis and generalised joint pains. You’ll also notice that that an anti-inflammatory diet is consistent with general healthy eating recommendations.

In terms of anti-inflammatory foods, variety is key, as each anti-inflammatory food functions differently. Different foods contain unique compounds (including types of antioxidants, polyphenols and fibre) which target different inflammatory processes. Because of this, no single food or nutrient will “cure” inflammation. Likewise, we also know that certain foods can contribute towards inflammation and should be avoided, including junk foods, alcohol and processed meats.

7 top tips for reducing chronic inflammation

1. Eat five servings of different coloured vegetables daily

The benefits of our “2&5” are extremely underrated. Vegetables contain many important vitamins, antioxidants and phenolic compounds that help reduce inflammation in the body. Aim to incorporate a variety of different colours, as different pigments provide different nutrients, which each possess different anti-inflammatory properties.


2. Experiment with recipes containing legumes and beans

The resistant starch in legumes and beans is a type of fibre that helps to fuel the bacteria in our gut. Throughout it’s fermentation process, resistant starch helps to reduce inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.

3. Cook with extra-virgin olive oil

Olive oil contains an antioxidant called oleocanthal which produces similar benefits to the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen.

4. Consume oily fish 2-3 times per week

Oily fish such as tuna and salmon contain omega-3, which metabolises into anti-inflammatory compounds called resolvins and protectins. Nuts, chia seeds and flax seeds are also sources of omega-3 that can help to reduce inflammation.

5. Flavour foods with spices such as turmeric, cinnamon and ginger

Spices, especially turmeric, contain chemicals that block inflammatory pathways throughout the body. Plus, they taste delicious and are a fantastic alternative to flavouring foods with salt.

6. Enjoy nuts/seeds as snacks, through salads or as breakfast-toppers

Nuts contain many anti-inflammatory compounds such as omega-3, magnesium, l-arginine and vitamin E. But remember, nuts are easy to over-portion and can contribute to weight gain when consumed in excess. The recommended serving size of nuts and seeds is 30g, or a small handful.

7. Replace refined carbohydrates for wholegrains, and limit fast foods, fatty meats and sugary drinks

Not only will this help to maintain a healthy weight and happy gut, but will prevent the production of inflammation.


Feel like you’re running in circles trying to eat healthy, manage your nutrition and meet your health and fitness goals? Personalised dietary advice is more effective than “dieting” when it comes to losing weight, and keeping it off. Our Accredited Practising Dietitian, Regina Tilyard, will work alongside your needs and preferences to create a nutrition plan that will deliver results.


This post was written by Regina Tilyard. Regina is an accredited practicing dietitian and longstanding member of the Stafford Physio team. Contact us to book an appointment with Regina. 

How can physiotherapy help during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is an amazing time, but it also tends to lead to some pretty significant changes to your body! Physiotherapy can help through all stages of pregnancy, from treating aches and pains to providing exercises and advice to aid in recovery.


It’s never too early to start working on your posture and core muscles, including your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles are stressed during pregnancy, even if you have a caesarean birth. Your physio can assist you with pelvic floor and core strength exercises to help prepare your body for pregnancy and help prevent incontinence during and after pregnancy.


During the first trimester your body is getting used to many new hormones. You might be feeling great, but you might also be feeling tired and nauseous. It’s important to listen to your body and be kind to yourself during this stage of pregnancy. Gentle exercise such as walking, Pilates and yoga can be beneficial, but if you feel too exhausted then let your body rest. It is not recommended to start a new type of high intensity exercise that you have never done before, such as running or weight lifting.

If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to start your pelvic floor exercises.


During the second trimester your body generally gets more used to the changing hormones and this is often said to be the most comfortable trimester. From week 16-20 it is recommended that you avoid lying on your back if possible as this can place extra pressure on the vein suppling the blood to you and the baby. If you find you wake up on your back, gently roll onto your side and try to get back to sleep.

Continue gentle to moderate exercise during this trimester. Light weights can help to build muscle strength in both arms and legs, which will come in handy when bub arrives!


Your body releases more of the hormone called relaxin during the third trimester. This is to prepare your joints for childbirth. The downside of this hormone is that all your joints become a bit more stretchy. Aches and pains may start to hurt in your neck, around your lower back and pelvis or other joints. Our physiotherapists are here to help so don’t suffer in silence. A heat pack at home can also help reduce those aches and pains.

Your stomach muscles may also start to separate due to the size of your baby. This is called rectus diastasis. Your physiotherapist can assess this now and again after birth and advise you of appropriate abdominal exercises.

Walking can become difficult especially if you have put on weight or are carrying twins. Swimming is a great form of exercise for the third trimester. If possible, try to find a pool with a ramp rather than a ladder to get in and out with.

Leg strength is important for labour. Wall squats are a simple home exercise that you can perform daily. Start with 10 second holds and build up your endurance as able. Breathing exercises can also help prepare you for labour.


The hormone relaxin stays in your body for at least 3 months post birth. This means you need to be careful when lifting and returning to exercise. If you’ve had a caesarean then you need to be extra careful in the first 6 weeks. Pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscle exercises can be started early under the guidance of your physiotherapist.

Other common problems in the post-natal period include neck and shoulder pain from feeding and carrying baby, carpal tunnel, thumb pain and pelvic floor incontinence. See your physiotherapist as soon as possible to ensure an accurate diagnosis and management plan.


Please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.


This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 


7 Tips to reach your goals this running season

As the days are finally starting to cool down, the winter running season is fast approaching. Whether you’re a weekend park runner or training for a marathon, it’s important to prepare your body and prevent overuse injuries that could stop you running for the season. Here are Ally’s 7 top tips to help you get through the season without time out due to injury.

1. Start training early and often

It’s ideal to get out for a run at least 3 times a week if you are training for an event. Aim to do 2 shorter runs and a third longer run, increasing these distances as you get closer (and fitter) to your event.

2. Warm up

It’s important to slowly increase your heart rate and generally loosen up your joints in preparation for a long distance run. Start with a few minutes of walking progressing to easy jogs including acceleration and deceleration over 100m. Finish your warm up with dynamic stretching rather than Static stretching. Dynamic stretching has been shown to better prepare your muscles giving you more power and a lower injury rate than static stretching.

3. Stretch cool down

A stretch cool down helps to flush out lactic acid and restore normal muscle length. Conclude your run with 5 minutes of gentle aerobic exercise (fast walk, slow jog) with deep breathing to return the body to its normal resting rate. Follow this with long static stretches i.e 30 second holds, 3 repetitions. Think gluts, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calves.

4. Hydrate and get appropriate nutrition

See our dietitian Regina Tilyard to help you fuel your body appropriately pre-during-and post exercise. Always consume 2 litres of water daily, but increase this if you have exercised.

5. Take 2 rest days before the event

If anything, do a slow, very short 15min run to burn off nervous energy but definitely don’t set out for a long, hard last-minute training session. You will only fatigue your body and then underperform on race day and potentially be at risk of injury when you try to push harder.

6. Include strength and core stability training

Endurance athletes can be prone to overuse injuries of the lower limb. You can help safeguard yourself from these tendon injuries of the hip knee and foot by staying strong. Include 3 strength sessions a week of squats, lunges, heel raises, glut bridges, balance and abdominal exercises. If you are inexperienced in these types of exercises, or already suffering pain in your hip knees or feet consult one of our physiotherapists.

7. Get enough sleep

6-8 hours before exercise is ideal to allow the body to repair and prepare for exercise. Not enough sleep and you could already be fatigued before your event! This puts you at risk of a muscle tear, especially when trying to power up that hill that always seems to be in the last kilometre before the finish line!


This post was written by Allyson Flanagan, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 

The 2 most common running injuries and how we treat them

Your knee doesn’t have to hurt when you run!

Did you know 80% of runners will be injured in a 12 month period? Studies show that at least 1 in 4 runners will suffer from knee pain during this time. ‘Runner’s knee’ can be caused by two conditions: patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or iliotibial friction syndrome (ITBFS) and both are preventable and treatable conditions.

PFPS is the most common cause of pain at the front of the knee. The patella (kneecap) sits in a groove at the end of the femur (thigh bone). When the knee is bent and straightened the patella should glide up and down in this groove. Often a muscle imbalance is present which causes the kneecap to sit laterally in the groove. Knee movement now irritates the cartilage behind the patella when it doesn’t glide smoothly. Over time this can lead to a condition called chondromalacia patella or softening and wear and tear of the patella cartilage.

Pain at the side of the knee is typically caused by ITBFS. The ITB is a thick piece of connective tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh. Similar to PFPS, ITBFS is often due to a muscle imbalance around the knee. Weakness through the gluteals and inner thigh combined with tightness in the outer thigh cause the ITB to rub over the end of the femur.

Other factors that can lead to knee pain include excessive training, poor or old footwear, wider pelvis particularly in females, weakness in the calf and gluteal muscles and poor running technique.

If you are a runner with a sore knee the first thing to do is make an appointment to see one of our physiotherapists for an accurate assessment and treatment plan.

wall squat | best exercises for skiing | ski stretchesTreatment of Runner’s Knee can involve:

  • Massage
  • Taping
  • Footwear advice
  • Training advice
  • Technique advice and modifications
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Core stability
Please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.


This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates. 

How to pack a healthy lunch box for work (including snacks!)

Do the words ‘work lunch’ get you dreaming about Uber Eats, dreading squished up bananas at the bottom of your bag, or lusting after your coworker’s delicious home-cooked meals? Although packing a healthy lunch – and actually eating it – seems like a huge effort, it’s valuable time spent on achieving a nutritious diet and healthy metabolism. After all, most of us eat five lunches and ten morning or afternoon snacks at work every week! Read on for some inspiration and tips on packing a healthy, delicious lunchbox, that will leave you as the envy of your office.

The science

Recent studies show that meal preparation is associated with reductions in body weight and improved dietary quality and variety. Packing a healthy lunch gives us the chance to plan what foods we need the most of, and deters us from a tempting vending machine, local takeaway or meal delivery option. Eating regular meals is also associated with an improved metabolism, improved energy levels and concentration, and reduces the risk of excessive hunger leading to over-eating.

So what should we have in our lunchbox? We should be eating a balance of fruit, vegetables and legumes, wholegrains, dairy or dairy alternatives and meat or meat alternatives.


Try following this portion guide that illustrates the types and quantities of foods that we should be aiming to incorporate in every main meal (lunch and dinner):

  • ½ plate (1.5-2 cups) of vegetables or salad
  • ¼ plate (80-120g) of lean protein such as red/white meat, eggs, tofu or legumes
  • ¼ plate (1/2 cup) of carbohydrate foods such as potato, sweet potato, corn, pasta, rice or bread
  • 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds

A healthy salad, homemade stir fry or curry, sandwich or wrap would definitely fit the bill.

  • 1 medium piece of fruit (apple, banana, orange or mandarine, pear), 2 smaller fruits (apricots, kiwi fruit, plums) or 1 cup of diced, free fruit (melons, berries).
  • Yoghurt covered berries: using a toothpick or clean hands, coat fresh blueberries, strawberries or raspberries in reduced fat yoghurt. Freeze for one hour.
  • Banana toppers: Slice a banana once lengthwise and once widthwise. Coat with thin spread of nut butter (eg. low salt/sugar peanut butter) and topping of your choice (try shredded coconut, chia seeds, blueberries, muesli).
  • 1 cup raw or salad veg dippers (try carrot, celery, capsicum, sugar snap peas) with nut butter, hommus, or cream cheese (reduced fat).
  • Spiced chick peas: drain and pat dry a can of chickpeas. Coat with 1 tsp olive oil and spices of your choice (try cumin, paprika, ginger, ground coriander). Roast for 30 minutes at 180 degrees. 100g = 1 serve of veg
  • Veggie chips: Peel veg of choice (try sweet potato, beetroot, kale, carrot) into thin slices. Drizzle with olive oil and coat with dried rosemary or oregano. Bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden, turning halfway.
  • If packaged snacks are your go-to for convenience and shelf life, look for snack packs of roasted chickpeas, fava beans, low-cal popcorn, sugar snap peas or edamame.
Breads and cereals:
  • Home made pita chips: brush a wholegrain wrap lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with chilli flakes, parmesan cheese or dried rosemary. Bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees or until golden. Cool and cut into chip-shaped triangles.
  • 1 slice multigrain bread, 3 crispbreads or ½ medium multigrain bread roll. Topping suggestions: Avocado and tomato, cream cheese and tomato with rocket, nut butter and banana, hommus with cheese and tomato, cheese and pear slices, cream cheese with blueberries or banana.
  • 30g muesli (look for no added sugar, check the nutrition panel for >4g fibre per 100g, and read the ingredients list to avoid excessive dried fruit, clusters and honey/maple syrup). Great with: 200g reduced fat yoghurt
  • Packaged options: rice wheels or corn thins are often available in snack-size packets.
  • 250mL reduced fat milk, or a calcium fortified milk alternative (check the nutrition label for at least 100mg of calcium per 100mL). Serving suggestion: serve with ice and 30mL espresso for a tasty iced latte. Or blend with fruits of your choice for a tasty smoothie. These store well in a sealed glass bottle to keep in the work fridge.
  • 200g reduced fat yoghurt. Label suggestions: look for 2% fat or less. The healthiest choice is a plain yoghurt, which you can sweeten with fresh fruit if necessary. If choosing flavoured yoghurt, try to find an option with less than 12g of sugars per 100g.
  • 2 slices or 40g hard cheese (a matchbox size). Great with: tomato and a multigrain cracker
Lean meat/alternatives:
  • A boiled egg Great with: sliced avocado, a spread of hommus, cracker pepper or chilli flakes, sliced tomato and cheese on a multigrain cracker
  • 30g unsalted nuts, seeds or nut butter. Create your own trail mix by mixing nuts and seeds of your choice in an airtight container. Try almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds. Add dried fruit with caution, as they have a high concentration of natural sugars and can easily contribute extra calories!
  • Home made bliss balls – at 120 calories per bliss ball, these homemade alternatives are a great low-kilojoule alternative to processed, sweetened options available on the supermarket shelf: combine ¼ cup seeds of your choice, 300g raw whole nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews or a combo of your choice!), 2 tablespoons cacao powder and one teaspoon cinnamon in a food processor. Add 8 pitted dates, 1/2 cup desiccated coconut and 2 tsp vanilla extract and continue processing. Loosen with ¼ cup of water (or as needed). Roll into 3cm balls, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month. Makes 20 bliss balls.


This post was written by Regina Tilyard. Regina is an accredited practicing dietitian and longstanding member of the Stafford Physio team. Contact us to book an appointment with Regina. 

5 Steps to reduce your headaches

Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates neck treatment by Allyson FlanaganIf you suffer from headaches or migraines, you’re certainly not alone. It is estimated that 1 in 20 people do! In many cases, the pain in the head actually stems from issues with the upper spine and neck. This is why around 80% of people are able to get headache relief through physiotherapy treatment.

We’ve chosen to train in the Watson Headache® Approach, allowing us to assess the joints of the neck and their potential involvement in head pain. Here are 5 tips from Allyson, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor, on how to reduce your headaches. You can also download this handy cheatsheet to refer to later.


You might wonder why your physiotherapist is treating your neck for headaches. Research at the Watson Headache Institute has found that issues with the top 3 neck joints and very first cervical disc can impact the brainstem, leading to pain in the head. With specific assessment and treatment of these 3 joints and muscles we can desensitise the brainstem therefore reducing and even resolving many headaches.

Combined with some simple home exercises, good posture, heat or ice, dry needling or segmental needling your Physiotherapist is well equipped to help headaches and migraines.


Sustained forward head positions or ‘poked chin’ positions commonly aggravate headaches. Have a think about the ergonomics of your workspace and how you sit throughout the day and talk to your physio if you need guidance.


Sustained pressure on certain joints of the upper neck can stop a headache in its tracks. Your physio can teach you these!


We can help prescribe some appropriate at-home exercises to help. This simple exercise that can help relieve a headache.

Stand with your back against a wall, with a pillow behind your upper back.

Gently retract your chin keeping your head level. Then use the space between your thumb and index finger to apply pressure to your chin. Hold for up to 20seconds or until the headache subsides. Repeat up to 5 times in a row.


If your headaches or migraines have been around for 3 months or more, it may be worth talking to your doctor about migraine preventative medication. These medications, if taken at the very first signs of your migraine, can stop the full attack.


A forward head position can increase the stress on the upper neck joints, as it increases the perceived load of the head from 5.4kg to 27.2kg! You can reduce this by:

  • Sitting with your head centred on your shoulders
  • Using a pillow under books, tablets and iPhones so you don’t have to look down
  • Correcting your workstation set up

Everything you need to know about deep vein thrombosis

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the vein, most commonly occurring in the veins in the calf. Many people will be familiar with this term in relation to long-haul flights, but there are a number of other risk factors including:

  • inactivity from injury or occupation
  • pregnancy
  • smoking
  • heart disease
  • oral contraceptive pills
  • a family history of DVTs

One key concern with a DVT is that it can result in pulmonary embolism. This is when the blood clot breaks off from the leg vein and travels up to the pulmonary artery which can cause blockage affecting the lungs.

Symptoms that you have a DVT may include:
  • pain and tenderness in the lower leg
  • pain when flexing your ankle
  • swelling in the lower leg, ankle and foot
  • red and warm skin on your leg
What should you do if you think you have a DVT?
  • A DVT is diagnosed using Doppler ultrasound
  • It is best to see you GP as soon as possible to organise this scan
  • Your physiotherapist can refer you to your GP if needed
How to minimise your risk of DVT
  • Avoid smoking
  • Minimise alcohol consumption especially when travelling
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Move about whenever possible before, during and after travelling
  • Don’t sit with your legs crossed
  • Perform leg and foot exercises while seated to encourage circulation
  • Wear compression socks when travelling or if inactive for long periods
  • See your doctor before travelling if you are worried
Circulation Exercises

Lucy has prepared this handy sheet of exercises that you can use to help prevent DVT, particularly when travelling long distances. Try to perform 10 reps of each of these exercises every hour during your trip.

Our favourite dietitian-approved recipes

An essential part of a healthy diet is enjoying a wide variety of fresh, flavoursome foods to keep our taste buds happy, help us stay on track and most importantly, provide our body with an array of important nutrients. For a sustainable approach to a healthy diet, focus on enjoying more of the right foods, rather than trying to limit the “wrong” foods. To provide some recipe inspiration and help us appreciate the nutritional value of tasty home cooking, we asked our physiotherapists here at Stafford Physio and Pilates to provide us with their recipe go-tos. Our consulting dietitian, Regina, has provided some commentary as to why the meal is a good choice.

Allyson: Salmon Soba with Ginger and Citrus Dressing

Click here for the recipe by Jamie Oliver from Jamie Magazine

Regina says: Salmon, soba and citrus: a nutritious and flavoursome combination to add excitement to any weeknight dinner. Oily fish such as salmon are not only tasty and refreshing, but a powerhouse of important nutrients. Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3, which is an essential fatty acid that the body can’t produce on its own. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and protect against heart disease. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein, making this dish a great post-workout choice – especially when paired with soba noodles. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which is a high quality protein based on amino acid composition and digestibility. Soba noodles are also packed with fibre to keep our digestive system healthy. Lastly, the addition of citrus fruit provides us with antioxidants for reducing cell damage, including the powerful antioxidant vitamin C that assists with the synthesis of collagen, connective tissues, bones and teeth. Overall, this nourishing combination provides one serve each of wholegrains and lean meat. To boost the vegetable content to two serves, dish up each portion with a side of 100g steamed green and/or orange vegetables per portion (fresh or frozen).


Lucy: Sticky Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Rice Noodles and Pickled Veg

Click here for the recipe from Delicious Magazine

Regina says: When it comes to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, it’s crucial to find ways to truly enjoy the foods we’re putting on our plate. This recipe is a taste explosion providing a great example of how we can combine fresh, whole foods to maximise flavour. Chilli, lemongrass and herbs are an excellent way to flavour food without contributing additional kilojoules or sodium. However, this recipe does contain a high amount of salt and high sodium sauces, making it an occasional treat to enjoy. But for those looking to reduce their sodium intake or those with high blood pressure, there’s a few easy replacements that can be made to enjoy similar Asian recipes. Try using salt reduced soy sauce, and diluting high sodium sauces with lime juice, pineapple juice or even water. Peanut oil, chilli oil and sesame oil are also delicious, low-salt alternatives that don’t sacrifice the desired taste. Once again, this recipe is protein packed due to the contribution of pork. Red meat is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that help us build muscle amongst other functions. Red meat is also a fantastic contributor of many important nutrients including iron for carrying oxygen and making red blood cells, zinc for wound healing and cell growth, and B12 for DNA synthesis and energy production. Lastly, this recipe highlights a recent health trend of “pickled”veg. However, it’s important to keep in mind that pickling foods with vinegar such as this recipe does not have the same fermentation effects of pickling food in brine. Again, these pickled veg are a high sodium choice making this recipe a tasty treat to be enjoyed on occasion. For a low salt alternative, simply julienne or grate some fresh veg such as carrot, zucchini and cabbage. Follow these steps for this tasty, Vietnamese favourite:


Fun fact: Ever wondered why our population is split into those who love coriander vs. those who can’t stand it? Based on genetics, some people have highly sensitive smell receptors resulting in the perception of coriander as a soap-like taste!


Sandra: Baked Salmon Fishcakes

See recipe below, this one is a family favourite from Sandra’s Mum!

Regina says: Passed down from Sandra’s mum, this seafood favourite is without a doubt worth adding to your repertoire. We’ve spoken about the sensational nutritional value of salmon, which might be made more appealing to the kids and non-seafood lovers when packaged into a tasty fishcake. The Heart Foundation recommends that we consume fish or seafood 2-3 times per week for a heart-healthy diet. As an added bonus, tinned salmon is a cheaper and longer lasting alternative to salmon fillets, making this a perfect dish to whip up as a last minute dinner or to meal prep tomorrow’s lunch. Next up, we have the benefit of carbohydrates from the bread crumbs and potatoes. Despite receiving a lot of negative attention, carbohydrates are a vital part of a healthy diet to assist with chronic disease prevention, weight control, and general wellbeing. As the preferred fuel source for our brains and muscles, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of the total daily kilojoules we consume. Carbohydrates are not something to fear, containing the same amount of kilojoules per gram as protein. Carbohydrates not only provide us with energy, but assist with boosting exercise performance, maximizing post exercise recovery, and improving brain function, mood and concentration. Try swapping half of the white potato for sweet potato for the added benefit of vitamin A. Lastly, plating these fishcakes with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables will make a delicious light meal that boosts your daily vegetable servings. Try including vegetables of different colours, to incorporate a variety of different nutrients and antioxidants. Try a fresh salsa with diced tomatoes, cucumber, yellow capsicum, red onion, mint and pineapple. Did someone say delicious? This recipe definitely deserves a regular spot on your menu:


4 brushed potatoes with skin

4 slices of whole grain bread

1 415g can of red salmon

1 free range egg, beaten

Natural yoghurt.

Coriander to garnish



Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line an oven tray with baking paper.

Boil potatoes for 20 minutes until cooked. Drain and mash with skins on.

Put bread in food processor or grate it. Add to the potatoes with the salmon.

Add in the egg and mix well.

Form the mixture into little cakes.

Roll in natural yoghurt and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with coriander on top and with a green salad or steamed veges of your choice.


Megan: Jamie Oliver’s Veggie Enchiladas

Click here for the recipe by Jamie Oliver

Regina says: Carbohydrates, protein, fibre, plenty of nutrients from hidden veg, and a mouth watering taste combination = dietitian approved! This recipe is a perfect example of a balanced meal that provides plenty of nourishment at a low kilojoule cost. As we discussed, the carbohydrates provided by the wraps and blackbeans are the preferred fuel source for our brain and muscles, and will help us last through a busy week of work and training. Secondly, this meal is another high protein option given the protein content of beans. Although plant based proteins are not naturally complete on their own (meaning that they are lacking in one or more essential amino acids), the combination of legumes and grains in this recipe provides what’s called complimentary proteins. In short, pairing the black beans with a wholegrain wrap provides an adequate amount of each essential amino acid, resulting in a complete amino acid profile that is desirable to support health. Together, they pack a protein punch that is highly bioavailable, making them a great occasional alternative to lean meat to reduce our saturated fat intake. Beans are also high in fibre, which functions to keep our digestive system healthy and can help prevent diet-related chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Fibre has a low glycaemic index, meaning that it helps stabilise our blood sugar levels and keeps us fuller for longer to assist with weight control. Lastly, apart from providing us with melted, tasty goodness, reduced fat cheese is an important source of calcium. Calcium is important for the development and maintenance of bone, as well as proper cardiac and neuromuscular functioning. Adequate calcium and vitamin D paired with a pilates class involving weight bearing, resistance exercise is an excellent recipe for preventing osteoporosis and skeletal injury. If you’re interested in how this tasty Mexican favourite can be adapted into such a nourishing, healthy meal, here’s how you can give it a go (serves 4):


We hope this has given you some inspiration for some delicious new meals to introduce to your repertoire in 2019!

New Year, New You: Pilates + Dietitian Packages

Health, fitness and body shape are amongst the most common topics for new years resolutions. Most people have a goal to make positive change in one or more of these areas! This year, we’ve decided to put together some packages to help you do just that!

Our New Year, New You packages offer a strong foundation to kick off 2019 with a bang while learning sustainable exercise and diet habits with the help of our qualified team.


Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientThis package is designed for new Pilates patients. It doesn’t matter whether you have never done Pilates before, or if you’ve done loads of Pilates at other studios; we create an individualised program for you, incorporating an appropriate level of challenge and the best exercises to help you meet your goals. This package includes:

  • Initial private Pilates consultation + musculoskeletal assessment
  • Private Pilates follow up session
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 4 Pilates classes within a 4 week period (check our timetable here)

$450 (valued at $557)

Any existing physiotherapy patients will receive an additional 15% off



Clinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Sandra DayThis package is designed for patients who have done Pilates with us previously and would like to return. Perhaps you got busy, were on a budget or decided to try another type of exercise; there’s no judgement here and we’d love to see you back in the studio! This package includes:

  • Private Pilates reassessment
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 10 Pilates classes within a 12 week period (check our timetable here)

$500 (valued at $605)



Initial private Pilates consultation

In this one-on-one appointment we assess your body, including any existing or previous injuries. Before your next appointment we use this information to develop your personalised Pilates program, ensuring that it is safe and that it addresses your needs for maximum benefit.

Private Pilates follow up session / reassessment

In this one-on-one session you learn your tailored Pilates program and how to use the Pilates equipment included in your program.

Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian

Your one-on-one consultation with our consulting dietitian Regina Tilyard will involve:

  • Discussing your current dietary patterns, and other factors that relate to nutrition and health (e.g. other health conditions or health goals, budget, work, lifestyle factors, stressors or barriers).
  • Setting realistic nutrition goals related to what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. These can be focused on the scales, or may simply involve feeling healthier and less lethargic, increased confidence, or incorporating new foods/recipes for yourself and your family.

You’ll go home with:

  • Specific dietary strategies, such as introducing new foods or recipes, swapping foods or finding alternatives, and/or developing techniques to address any emotional eating or food cravings.
  • Tailored and personal dietary education to increase your knowledge of food and nutrition, including written resources and tools.
Pilates classes

After learning your customised Pilates program in your private Pilates session, you’re ready to join our small group Pilates classes. Our classes are fully-supervised by a Pilates-trained physiotherapist, with a maximum of three other people who are all doing their own Pilates program.


If you’re ready to book, or have any questions, please call us on 3857 5815.


Terms and Conditions

Full payment is required at the time of your first appointment, which must be before 28 February 2019. Pilates classes must be completed within 4 weeks (New Patients Package) or 10 weeks (Existing Pilates Patients Package). If a refund is requested, any used portion of the package will be charged at full price, with the balance being returned. Appointments subject to availability; early bookings recommended to secure your preferred date and time. 


5 Healthy Nutrition Habits for the New Year

It’s no surprise that one of the most commonly made New Years resolutions is to eat healthier. And for good reason – the new year is a great opportunity for a fresh start, by setting up simple and sustainable strategies to improve our nutritional status in the long term. To help you achieve and maintain your nutrition-related New Years resolutions, try incorporating some of the following healthy habits into your everyday routine.

1. Eat breakfast every day

This one seems counterintuitive – most people think that skipping a meal equates to skipping kilojoules. Unfortunately, it turns out that our bodies are smarter than this, and studies have shown that regularly skipping meals, especially breakfast, can have the following consequences:

  • Excessive hunger that leads to overeating later in the day and subsequent weight gain
  • Storage of kilojoules as body fat, as our bodies interpret missed meals as “starvation”
  • Decreased concentration, productivity and mood

To improve your metabolism, regulate blood sugar and increase energy levels, it’s best to eat regular meals including breakfast. For some nourishing breakfast options your body will thank you for, try:

  • Whole grain toast with avocado or nut butter
  • Scrambled eggs or an omelette with spinach, tomato, capsicum, or veg of your choice
  • Rolled oats with skim milk and fruit, which can be prepared and refrigerated overnight if you are time poor or tend to overuse the snooze button
  • A fruit smoothie with reduced fat milk or yoghurt is a great option for those who find it difficult to stomach a full meal in the morning
2. Ditch the fad diet

To match the influx of nutritional-related goals, the New Year often graces us with new radical and misleading diet trends. A fad diet refers to any weight loss technique that is not supported by scientific research, often promising that a pricey, restrictive “diet” is the key to weight loss. However, research shows that fad diets lead to weight regain in the long term, and put our health at risk by restricting specific foods or food groups. Instead, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is better accomplished by making small, sustainable changes that assist you to enjoy healthy foods in the long term. Be wary of any diet, product or promotion with the following warning signs:

  • The diet involves skipping meals or excluding food groups
  • The person providing dietary information is unqualified
  • The diet is expensive or involves the purchase of “revolutionary” supplements or products
  • The diet takes the enjoyment away from eating with excessive rules and restrictions
  • The diet is based on anecdotal evidence or celebrity endorsement rather than scientific research
3. Variety is the spice of life

Enjoying a wide variety of healthy foods is useful strategy for maintaining healthy habits in the long term, especially for those who become bored of repetition. Incorporating a variety of foods within each food group, especially fruits and vegetables of all colours, will also help us achieve our recommended intakes of important nutrients, antioxidants and fibre. Exploring the supermarket for new foods or undertaking a weekly “mystery ingredient” challenge are great ideas to start with. Be sure to look for mostly unprocessed foods, and check the nutrition label to limit excessive sugar, fat and salt. For some unique dinner inspiration, try searching for a recipe that incorporates:

  • Salmon, to provide a generous amount of protein and omega 3
  • Whole grain couscous, a high fibre and high protein grain that takes just minutes to prepare
  • Chinese cabbage, an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants
  • Pomegranate, an anti-inflammatory and nutrient packed summer salad favourite
4. Practice mindful eating

Every food choice we make is influenced by factors other than nutrition, including taste preferences, the social aspect of eating, stress and emotions. However, our fast paced lifestyle can make it difficult to recognise and account for these factors. Mindful eating is a helpful skill for maintaining a positive outlook on food and reducing harmful eating behaviours. Eating mindfully involves recognising our body’s signals, engaging our senses, and eating without judgement. Some mindful techniques to practice may include:

  • Rating your hunger levels from 1-10 before having a meal or snack, to help distinguish physical hunger from psychological hunger, emotional hunger or boredom
  • Take breaks when eating to re-evaluate your hunger/fullness levels, by placing your cutlery down every few minutes or taking a sip of water
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your meal by considering the taste, smell, and texture of the food
  • Finish a meal when you feel full or nourished, rather than always eating until your plate is empty. Remember that leftovers can be stored for later.
  • Eat slowly, to help tune into your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Avoid eating when standing, watching TV or working. Eating with friends or family is a great way to eat slowly and take breaks by letting the conversation flow
5. Plan, plan and plan

Taking the time to plan for potential barriers to healthy eating can help us maintain our New Years goals when the going gets tough. After identifying what personal barriers may interfere with your positive food choices, allocate some strategies that may help you overcome these. For example:

  • If you’re time poor and work long hours, try to prepare food in advance or keep spare meals in the freezer (labelled with dates of course!)
  • If you have concerns about your budget, it might be helpful to create a shopping list, purchase fruit and vegetables that are in season, and peruse the specials advertised at your local supermarket
  • If you cook for someone who’s not on board with new foods or recipes, plan how you can adapt existing recipes or improve the nutritional value of your own serving (e.g. having spaghetti bolognese with zucchini noodles rather than pasta)

Hopefully these suggestions are useful for helping you enjoy healthy foods and improve your nutrition habits throughout 2019!

This post was written by Regina Tilyard. Regina is an accredited practicing dietician and longstanding member of the Stafford Physio team.