Congratulations on the success of your recent book, KIS (Keep It Simple) and Lose Weight. What motivated you to write a health book?
To be honest, I was simply getting sick of coming across so much misleading nutritional information and ‘rubbish diets’ put together by nutritionally unqualified individuals.
Being part of the Health and Wellness industry for many years now, I have seen many health and weight loss fads come and go. What I also noticed through observation as well as past personal experience was the end result of dieting, accompanied by a great big feeling of deprivation and low self esteem, can quite often be health - compromising nutritional depletion. To top it all off, although short term weight loss may occur, decreased metabolic rate and actual weight gain is the long term effect.
After helping many individuals get slimmer and healthier through working at my clinic, as well as working through my own health and weight related struggles, I have come up with balanced simple solutions to becoming the healthiest (and sexiest!) possible. In this era of information overload, I decided it’s time to put a book together that will take the stress and confusion away from achieving a healthier you. By teaching individuals to enjoy their food as well as learn how to better communicate with their bodies, while allowing them to enjoy an occasional treat, I am helping many people bring more balance into their lives and take control of their weight. And I do all of this without counting calories, weighing food or calculating fat content. Just KIS. Simple and stress free.
There are many great recipes in there using coconut. Could you tell us one of your favourite coconut product recipe and why?
My favourite coconut recipe would have to be my Brainy Chocolate Balls. I love making it because it is a delicious, wholesome treat for adults and kids to enjoy, it is soooo simple and quick to prepare, and you don’t need to use any ‘fancy’ equipment to make it. A true essence of KIS.
What advice would you give to someone who is currently struggling to lose weight?
Keep It Simple!
Eat wholesome unprocessed foods that your body can ‘understand’ – foods that come from the ground, have a mother, and haven’t been ‘messed’ with.
Focus on foods that you can have rather than foods you can’t and enjoy an occasional treat with a smile.
Learn to love and respect yourself and your body as you focus on bite size personal results and achievements rather than becoming obsessed with parts of your body you dislike or air brushed celebrity shots in magazines. The less attention you give those, the better your body will respond to the healthy changes you are making.
What is your stance on eating fat for weight loss?
We really do need to understand that in order to get the body we want and desire, we need to give our body what it needs. Fat is one of those important macro nutrients we simply cannot survive without. We need it for the basic function of each and every cell in our body as it helps our cell membranes become more supple and allow nutrients to flow into the cell. We also need fat to absorb our fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as Co Q10.
Obsessing over fat content and opting for low fat products can actually lead to an over consumption of sugar, as it is quite often used in abundance in order to compensate for the lack of fat in low fat products. Our bodies are then clever enough to synthesize fat and cholesterol from the sugar.
Can you explain why many nutritionists recommend cooking with coconut oil as opposed to other fats?
Coconut oil contains saturated fat, which is the safest form of fat as it is most stable when heated in high temperatures. The word ‘saturated’ actually refers to the fact that all of this fat’s chemical bonds are ‘taken’. This means the chemical bonds are very stable and there is no room for other molecules to attach and cause oxidation, even in high temperatures.
Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are unstable when heated. Especially polyunsaturated fats. They have many free chemicals bonds, which make them very unstable, even at room temperature.
Why do you like to recommend coconut oil to your clients?
Because it’s a very stable oil, as I mentioned before, and very safe for cooking. It is also a great plant based vegan option, which smells and tastes fantastic. It is the only plant based saturated fat we can use as an oil, and the health benefits, including cardiovascular health and even contribution towards weight loss in active individuals make it even more attractive.
What are your three top recommendations for “keeping it simple” when it comes to health and fitness?
Eat clean: food that comes from the ground, has a mother and hasn’t been ‘messed’ with.
Never ‘stuff yourself’ - eat regularly and consciously. Eat until you are satisfied but not stuffed.
Choose a physical activity you enjoy and fit it into your weekly routine.
What do you find personally is the biggest challenge with respect to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and how do you manage this?
Time is a great big challenge for many people, in terms of getting organized and preparing healthy meals, as well as finding time to exercise. The way I manage this is by Keeping It Simple: when you do your weekly shopping, always make sure you top up your basic ingredients around the kitchen for food preparation. For example, your fresh fruit and veggies, coconut oil, herbs and spices and protein sources such as beans, fish or free-range eggs. This way, you will always have ingredients to work with when preparing meals and will not be tempted to order takeaway. I have plenty of delicious recipes in my book that are very quick and easy to prepare which the whole family can enjoy. Simple dinners such as grilled fish and steamed or stir fried vegetables (in coconut oil) are also highly nutritious and quick to prepare. Herbs and spices can always make those even more flavoursome. I also always recommend cooking a bigger batch, so that you and the family can enjoy the same meal again later in the week, or for lunch another day.
Exercise is something we all need to make time for by scheduling it in our diary, like an important appointment or a paying client. Make it a priority.
On a scale of 1 – 10 how coco crazy are you?
I have to be a 9 as I love love love using different coconut products regularly, especially your coconut oil, but at the moment I am still experimenting with the delicious coconut nectar in a few recipes and coconut vinegar.
AUTHOR: SHARON ROSENRAUCH
Maya Brosnan, author of ‘KIS and Lose Weight’, is a registered naturopathic nutritionist, iridologist and fitness instructor based on the sunny Gold Coast, Queensland. She loves the challenge of treating a range of age groups with different health issues and promotes a holistic, natural approach to wellbeing. Having worked in the health and fitness industry for over 17 years, Maya is passionate about incorporating diet, exercise and a healthy mindset to help clients reach their optimum health potential. Maya is also a wife and mother to 2 young children and so is a firm believer in creating realistic, healthy living habits that fit in with a busy life and family environment.