The 6-step lifestyle change program for a happier, healthier body, for life.
Get Lean, Stay Lean is an inspiring, evidence-based lifestyle program that will give you all the tools you need to embrace great health and take control of your weight.
Are you overwhelmed by misleading health messages and fad diets? Confused about food? And do you want to know how to lose weight and have a healthier, happier body, for life? Look no further, Get Lean, Stay Lean is perfect for you.
Dr Joanna will guide you through the six steps of Get Lean, Stay Lean to help reboot your body's computer and change the way it works, for the better. As a result, you'll become better at burning fat, controlling your appetite, controlling blood glucose and insulin levels, better at exercise, you'll perform better at work, and you'll have more energy to enjoy your life. Dr Joanna's program includes: A flexible template for eating, so you can build your own healthy diet, rich balance of smart carbs and good fats; Over 100 delicious, nutritionally balanced recipes the whole family will love; Nutritional breakdown, notes and portion guidance for every recipe; A sample weekly meal planner for the Get Lean phase of the program; Inspiring ideas for making exercise a rewarding part of daily life; Tips on how to manage stress and how to get a good night's sleep.
Dr Joanna McMillan is one of Australia's favourite and most trusted health and wellbeing experts. She is a PhD qualified nutrition scientist, an accredited practising dietitian and a former fitness instructor, giving her the sound credentials required to help us all make our way through the increasingly confusing nutrition and health messages in the media. Joanna is a regular on television, radio and in print media, and a proud ambassador for Diabetes Australia, The Skin and Cancer Foundation, FoodBank NSW/ACT and Muscular Dystrophy. Born and raised in Scotland, Joanna emigrated to Australia in 1999.
Get Lean, Stay Lean
Author: Dr Joanna McMillan
This is the smoothie I make most often. It's all plant food and so has a seriously low number of kilojoules, yet delivers some serious nutrition. It has B group vitamins for energy, folate for cell protection, vitamin C for immune function and healthy skin, antioxidants galore for anti-ageing and it even has almost 2 mg of iron. All up it's a fantastic addition to your daily Get Lean, Stay Lean menu plan.
Time 5 minutes
DF GF NF V Ve
1/2 celery stalk
1/2 Lebanese (short) cucumber
20 g (3/4 oz) baby English spinach leaves
1 thin slice of lemon
6 mint leaves
Small handful flat-leaf (Italian) parley leaves
80 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) fresh or frozen pineapple pieces (see note)
A few ice cubes
Put all the ingredients into a Vitamix or high-speed blender with 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of water and the ice on top. Blitz for about a minute or until completely smooth.
Note You might not think of a pineapple automatically when we list superfoods, but there's more to this tropical fruit than you might realise.
A cup of pineapple chunks provides you with over 60 per cent of your RDI for vitamin C. Since we know vitamin C aids in the absorption of plant iron, adding some pineapple to smoothies like I have done here, or to a legume or quinoa salad will boost your uptake of iron from these foods.
I always chop up my pineapple soon after purchase so they are ready to eat immediately. I keep one tub in the fridge for using fresh over the next few days and pop the rest, ready in ice cube-sized chunks, into zip-lock bags in my freezer. These are ideal for then using in your smoothie and frozen dessert recipes.
My family love Mexican-style food and we regularly have tacos or fajitas with various fillings and combinations. The best way to serve them is to pop everything in the middle of the table so that everyone can make their own. Here I've used tofu in place of meat and, if you have a vegan in the group, they can simply omit the yoghurt. Corn tortillas should be gluten free, but do check the ingredients list on the packet"they should be made entirely from corn.
Time 20 minutes
GF NF V
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 brown onion, diced
1 red capsicum (pepper), diced
600 g (1 lb 5 oz) firm tofu (see note)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt flakes
1 small cos (romaine) lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, diced
2 limes, cut into wedges
Handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
80 g (23/4 oz) natural yoghurt
4 large or 8 mini corn tortillas
1/2 avocado, diced
Preheat the oven to fan-forced 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3). Drain the tofu, slice and press gently between two pieces of paper towel to remove the excess moisture.
Combine the cumin, oregano, paprika and chilli in a bowl. Crumble the tofu slices into the spice blend and stir to coat.
Wrap the tortillas in foil and pop them into the oven to warm.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and capsicum and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the remaining oil and the spiced tofu. Cook for 3 minutes until heated through. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Divide the lettuce, tofu mixture, tomato and avocado across the warm tortillas. Top each with a dollop of yoghurt, and serve with lime wedges and a scattering of coriander. Alternatively, pop everything in bowls in the middle of the table and each person can make up their own.
Note Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing together the resulting curds. It's a terrific source of protein and the soy bean is one of few plants that contain all of the essential amino acids. This makes it ideal for vegetarian and vegan diets. Tofu also provides good amounts of iron and zinc, B group vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus and the antioxidant mineral selenium. All up it's a pretty impressive nutrition package, worthy of any diet. A tofu serve of 100 g (3½ oz) provides 500 kJ (120 Cal), 12 g protein, 7 g fat (mostly as polyunsaturated fat), no carbohydrate and 3.5 g of fibre.
Farro is often used in traditional Italian cooking, but is less well known here in Australia. It's a type of wheat, but is in wholegrain form and has a delicious nutty, chewy taste. Here, it's teamed with a medley of seafood. I'm a huge fan of using more shellfish, as they are packed with nutrients, including iron, zinc and iodine, while the oily fish adds those essential omega-3 fats. Serve with a gorgeous, generous green salad to boost the plant food content.
Time 45 minutes
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
140 g (5 oz/1 cup) frozen green peas
Handful basil, leaves picked
Freshly ground black pepper
100 g (31/2 oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into large cubes
100 g (31/2 oz) raw prawns (shrimp) peeled, deveined and tails left intact
100 g (31/2 oz) smoked mackerel, cut into bite-sized pieces
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pipis (or vongole or clams), scrubbed 12 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
175 g (6 oz/1 cup) farro (see note)
1 corn cob, kernels sliced off with a small sharp knife
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) fish, crab or vegetable stock (preferably homemade, see note for fish stock, or good quality store-bought)
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) dry white wine
Pinch of salt flakes
Put the farro, stock and 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the farro is cooked. If there is any liquid remaining, drain.
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Add the wine and simmer for a minute to cook off the alcohol.
Add the seafood to the pan and stir gently. Put the lid on and cook for 2–3 minutes until the shellfish shells have opened.
Add the cooked farro, corn and peas. Stir gently to ensure you don't break up the fish, adding a little water or stock if it looks too dry.
Add the basil, season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Notes: Farro is the Italian name for emmer, which is an ancient variety of wheat. It's relatively high in protein for a grain with 14 g per 100 g (31/2 oz) and is a terrific source of fibre. You'll find farro in better grocers and health food stores. If you can't find it, try using brown rice, freekeh or barley instead.
How to make your own fish stock: Soak 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) of fish heads and bones (you could also include prawn shells) in water and a teaspoon of salt for an hour. Rinse well. Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté for 3–4 minutes, add a diced onion, finely chopped garlic clove, diced fennel bulb and a sliced celery stalk. Add the fish bones and heads and cover with water. Add a teaspoon of black peppercorns, a slice of lemon and a handful of parsley stems. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and leave to cool for an hour before refrigerating. Fish stock will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days or pop it into freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This one is sure to become a family favourite. The crunchy nut and seed topping is divine with the chicken, but the real winner is the smash. Even the kids ask for extra veggies when I serve them this way! Bigger eaters can simply take two pieces of chicken (with each piece counting as 1 Protein Block and 1 Fat Block). You could further boost the plant content by adding steamed leafy greens or a simple green leaf salad.
Serves 4 Time 45 minutes
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
1 garlic clove
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon tarragon, finely chopped
200 g (7 oz/1 head) broccoli, chopped
140 g (5 oz/1 cup) frozen peas
2 handfuls mint, leaves roughly chopped
6 basil leaves, finely shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 x 200 g (7 oz) skinless chicken breast fillets
40 g (1 1/2 oz) goat's cheese (or labne)
400 g (14 oz) small potatoes in their sk ins (chat or kipfler are ideal)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (see note)
40 g (1 1/2 oz/ 1/4 cup) raw macadamia nuts
30 g (1 oz) raw almonds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chia seeds
+ Pinch of salt flakes
Preheat the oven to fan-forced 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line a bak ing tray with baking paper.
Cut the potatoes in half, toss them in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and spread out on the prepared baking tray. Roa st for 30 – 40 minutes until a lovely golden colour.
Using a food processor or Vitamix, use the pulse setting to gently grind the nuts, seeds, garlic, lemon zest, spices, tarrago n and parmesan until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs " don't over-blend or you'll end up with a paste.
Cut the chicken breasts horizontally to give you 4 chicken fillets.
Place the chicken fillets in a casserole dish or on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spoon the crumb mixture over the chicken, pressing softly to form a crust topping, then scatter over the rosemary. Pop the dish into the oven alongside the potatoes to roast for 15 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through.
Meanwhile, to make the pea smash, bring a saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Put the broccoli and peas into a steamer, cover with the lid and place on top of the pan. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. (Alternatively, place the peas and broccoli in a microwave -proof bowl with a little water, cover and cook on High for 3 minutes.)
Strain any water from the vegetables, then mash roughly with a fork. Mix thro ugh the mint and basil, crumble over the goat's cheese and stir to just combine. Season with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper and serve warm with the crusted chicken and roast potatoes.
Note: Don't worry about the fat content in this dish as it is almost all coming from those fabulously healthy nuts and seeds, along with a little extra virgin olive oil. This makes the overall recipe low in saturated fats, while you get the benefits of those good unsaturated fats. The fibre content is also boosted by the topping and the veggies, giving you a healthy 10g per serve.
I'm always looking for ways of improving the nutritional profile of recipes made with flour, while keeping the end result delicious. Lupin flour is well worth looking for with this in mind. Lupin is a legume, but it's unusual in that it has a low carbohydrate content (less than 10 per cent dry weight) and is higher in protein than almost all other plant foods. It works really well when used to substitute some of the flour in a baking recipe or, as I have done here, to make hotcakes.
Time 30 minutes
Juice and grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)
125 g (4 1/2 oz) blueberries, plus extra to serve
2 free-range or organic eggs
375 ml (13 fl oz/1 1/2 cups) buttermilk (or mix half and half milk and na tural yoghurt if you don't have buttermilk)
140 g (5 oz/1 cup) lupin flour
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
140 g (5 oz/1 cup) spelt wholegrain flour (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
+ 1 / 4 teaspoon iodised salt
Whisk together the eggs, extra virgin olive oil, buttermilk, ora nge juice and zest, vanilla seeds and maple syrup in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift in the flours and add the baking powder and salt.
Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry, and gently comb ine, taking care not to over-mix. Fold through the blueberries and set aside to rest for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to fan-forced 140°C (275°F/Gas 1).
Heat a pancake pan or hotplate over medium heat and spray or brush with olive oil. Pour 60 ml (2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup) of the batter into the pan to form a circle. Depending on the size of your pan, you will be able to cook more than one hotcake at a time. Just ensure you leave enough room between hotcakes so they don't stick together. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until beginning to bubble and then flip. Cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes until a nice golden colour. Place on an ovenproof plate lined with paper towel and transfer into the oven to keep warm while you cook the remainin g hotcakes. Repeat, until all the batter is used " this quantity makes 12 hotcakes. Be sure to place a sheet of paper towel bet ween each layer.
Serve the hotcakes topped with light cream cheese or ricotta and, if you like, a teaspoon of pure fruit spread or raspberry purée.
Note Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat that is making a comeback, largely due to anecdotal accounts of people claiming they have problems digesting regular modern wheat, yet are fine with spelt. Any differences have not yet been conclusively confirmed in research, but I'm all for diversifying the grain types in our diets and if you do have trouble with wheat, why not try it? For those without any intolerances you can happily subs titute a regular whole-wheat flour here " they're certainly cheaper.
Get Lean, Stay Lean
Author: Dr Joanna McMillan