<strong>Common Myths About Back Pain</strong> - Physio Direct NZ

Common Myths About Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common conditions treated by physiotherapists and if you are unlucky enough to have been a sufferer, you know that severe back pain can take over your life. With improved understanding, health professionals have come to identify some common myths about back pain that are inaccurate, misleading or even counterproductive.

Myth #1 – Discs can ‘slip’ out of place

Sitting between the vertebrae of the spine are soft discs that provide flexibility and shock absorption to the spine. In the past, many health professionals including doctors and physiotherapists told patients that these discs had ‘slipped’ as a way of explaining their pain to them. While this was helpful to some extent, it is not entirely accurate, as these discs are actually very secure and rarely, if ever ‘slip’ out of place. Discs may bulge slightly or in some cases tear, however more often than not these injuries will heal without any permanent damage and exist in many people without causing any pain at all. Thinking that a part of your spine has permanently ‘slipped’ out of place can cause you to move differently, which can create more pain and dysfunction in itself.

Myth #2 – If you have low back pain, you should stay in bed

When back pain strikes, our natural instinct is to rest, avoid movement and wait for the pain to pass. However, studies have shown that being active and performing targeted, gentle exercises can help improve low back pain. In fact, our impulse to stop moving and protect our spines can actually cause abnormal movement patterns and stress, leading to ongoing pain after the original injury has healed. If you are unsure of what kind of exercises you should be doing, your physiotherapist can help guide you with a targeted exercise program.

Myth #3 – Severe pain means severe damage

Pain that is severe, and strikes suddenly, without warning can be a very scary experience. If this happens to you, you could be forgiven for assuming you must have sustained a very serious injury. The fact is, however, that the spine, being surrounded by nerves is a particularly sensitive area of the body and pain in this area can be very strong without significant damage. A small ligament sprain or muscle tear can actually cause a large amount of pain and it is common for severe pain to settle down quickly, even disappearing within a few days. In many cases, symptoms that last for longer than 2-3 weeks are caused by changes to your movement patterns in response to this pain and not the original injury itself.

If you are suffering from back pain, the best person to see is your physiotherapist. They can help you to recover without any complications or side effects and help you safely return to your usual activities while also ruling out any serious damage that might need further investigation.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

Roasted Carrot, Date & Almond Salad - Physio Direct NZ

Roasted Carrot, Date & Almond Salad


Ingredients: 

6 Large Fresh Carrots

6 Medjool Dates

1 Handful of Sliced Almonds

1 Garlic Clove

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Fresh Parsley for Garnish

  1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel carrots and cut into large sticks. Crush one clove of garlic and add to baking tray along with carrots. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 20 minutes, in the meantime, cut dates into quarters and add to the baking tray. Cook for a further 20 minutes before adding sliced almonds to the baking tray. 
  3. Continue baking for 10 minutes more and remove from oven. Mix ingredients together gently in a large bowl and set aside to cool. 

Garnish with parsley and serve when ready. 

Homemade Apple Crumble - Physio Direct NZ

Homemade Apple Crumble

Ingredients:

Filling

500g Apples, peeled and chopped

50g Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Plain Flour

1 pinch ground Cinnamon

1 tsp. Ginger, finely grated

 

Crumble

250g Plain Flour

150g Brown Sugar

200g Rolled Oats

250g Butter, melted

2 Tbsp. Honey

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Place flour, sugar, and oats into a mixing bowl. Melt butter and add to bowl, mixing through dry ingredients until well combined.
  3. Place filling ingredients in a saucepan with ½ cup water and cook on medium heat until apples begin to soften.
  4. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter or line with baking paper and spoon in the fruit mixture and cover with crumble mixture. Drizzle honey over the top of mixture.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until browned.
  6. Serve hot, use custard, ice-cream or vanilla yogurt as an optional side.

 

Ready to serve for four.

LCL Tears - Physio Direct NZ

LCL Tears

What is the LCL?

The knee is one of the largest joints in the body and has only one plane of movement. This means it bends and straightens but does not twist (much) or move from side to side. To keep the knee from moving in other directions, the knee is supported by many strong ligaments, with two of these being found on either side of the knee. The inside ligament is the ‘Medial Collateral Ligament’ (MCL) and the outside one is the ‘Lateral Collateral Ligament’ (LCL). The primary role of the LCL is to prevent the lower leg from moving too far towards the midline in relation to the upper leg.  Both the LCL and MCL are extremely strong ligaments and provide lots of support to the knee during movement however, they are still vulnerable to injury.

How do tears happen?

The LCL is injured less often than the MCL, however tears do still occur. The most common way the ligament is damaged is through a force causing the knee to move inwards in relation to the upper leg, or a twisting of the knee. This can be seen in sports that involve changing directions or with a direct force, such as a rugby tackle. This injury can also occur from a simple fall and as with all sporting injuries, it is not only athletes who can be affected, anyone can tear their LCL in the right circumstances. 

What are the symptoms?

Following an injury to the LCL, common signs and symptoms are a ‘popping’ sound at the time of injury, immediate pain with weight bearing and swelling and a feeling instability. The severity of the injury will impact how much each of these symptoms are felt and LCL tears are classified as either Grade I, II or III, which helps to direct treatment. A grade I tear is where a few fibers of the ligament are stretched and damaged, a grade II is where this a partial rupture of the ligament with some instability of the knee and Grade III is a complete tear.

How are LCL tears diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist is able to perform clinical tests to evaluate if there is any instability of the knee from an LCL tear. An MRI can confirm this diagnosis and an X-ray may be required to rule out any associated fracture. It is possible for nerve damage to occur at the same time as an LCL Tear, which will result in weakness and loss of sensation in the lower leg. Severe injuries are more likely to involve injury to other parts of the knee and your physiotherapist will make a full evaluation of all your injuries on assessment.

Most LCL tears are managed well with just physiotherapy and support of the joint, however severe tears and associated nerve damage may require surgery. Your physiotherapist and medical team will work together to help determine the best course of action for each individual injury.

 

How can physiotherapy help?

For tears that don’t require surgery, your therapist will advise you on how to best support and protect the injured joint. In the first 48 hours, RICE protocol (Rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is applied to reduce any pain, swelling, and inflammation. Following this period, you will be advised on how best to mobilise the joint whilst preventing any further damage. Return to sport will be dictated by healing times with a full recovery expected by 6-12 weeks.

Following ligament damage, balance, strength, and proprioception are often impacted and your physiotherapist will develop a program to address this, which is an important part of preventing further injury. Tears that are repaired surgically will require a longer program of rehabilitation and close liaison with the medical team.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

If you require professional advice or treatment, please see our range of treatment options, or book an appointment online. Physio Direct has many clinics located throughout New Zealand, with no GP referral required to make an appointment.

How Does Diabetes Affect Healing Times? - Physio Direct NZ

How Does Diabetes Affect Healing Times?

It can be surprising to many people that one of the questions their physiotherapist will ask them when assessing an injury is ‘do you have diabetes?’. This may seem more like an issue for your doctor than your physiotherapist!

The reason why your therapist is asking is that diabetes can actually have quite a large effect on healing times of body tissues. At times, injuries can take up to twice as long to heal properly in patients with diabetes and your physiotherapist will need to update their training and rehabilitation programs to factor this in.

How does this happen?

From what most people know about diabetes, it seems strange that it would affect healing times. However, the more you understand about the processes that cause diabetes the more sense it makes.

It all comes down to blood flow. Our veins and arteries are made of flexible and elastic tissues that expand and contract when necessary to allow the optimum amount of blood flow to an area. Sometimes is it better for tissues to have less blood flow and other times they require more. This flexibility of the blood vessels is essential for controlling and modulating the amount of blood to an area at any given time.

When someone has diabetes, they have an excess of glucose in their blood. This occurs because the body is unable to regulate insulin, which is used to break down glucose and provide the body with energy. This can be due to an autoimmune disorder that affects the cells that make insulin (Type I) or insulin resistance due to dietary choices (Type II). Over time, this excess glucose sticks to the blood vessel walls and they can become harder, losing their elasticity and ability to change size rapidly. Primarily this will affect the ability of the blood vessel to expand reducing the amount of blood flow available to the tissues.

Diabetes can also affect the health of the nerves in they body, particularly in the hands and feet. This can result in poor sensation, which means that the person may not realize when the injury is being further injured.

What does this mean for recovery times?

While not everyone with diabetes will have this issue, it is something that needs to be made known to your physiotherapist so they can be aware of the possibility. These changes are more likely to occur after having diabetes for a long period of time and if it is poorly managed.

Ask your physiotherapist for more information on how diabetes may be affecting your recovery and for tips to ensure the best outcomes possible.

 

Lizzy’s Prawn Laksa - Physio Direct NZ

Lizzy’s Prawn Laksa

Laksa Paste:

1 Onion (diced)

1 Red Chilli (diced)

1 Inch Fresh Ginger (sliced)

1 Inch Tumeric

1 Tbsp Fresh Lemongrass

1 Tbsp Fish Sauce

1 tsp Shrimp Paste

1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Coriander

3 Tbsp Oil

Salt/Pepper to taste

 

Serve with:

1 tin Coconut Cream

2 cups Vegetable Stock

200g Vermicelli Rice Noodles

1 cup Pumpkin (diced)

6 Fresh Prawns

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, roast pumpkin pieces for 20 minutes or until cooked through, and set aside to cool. Prepare vermicelli noodles according to packet instructions, drain and set aside.
  2. Place all ingredients of laksa paste into a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Sauté paste mix in a pan on high heat and slowly add coconut cream and vegetable stock. Continue to heat for five minutes.
  4. Pan sear prawns on high heat in a separate pan with a small amount of olive oil. Add noodles to soup mix.
  5. Divide soup mix into two bowls and place roasted pumpkin and cooked prawns on top. Garnish with coriander.

Recipe by Lizzy Carson from

Vknow Winebar and Restaurant

Fernhill, Queenstown, NZ

Gluteal Tendinopathy - Physio Direct NZ

Gluteal Tendinopathy

What is Gluteal Tendinopathy?

When tendons are repeatedly placed under more tension than they can deal with, they can have a failed healing response. This can cause changes to the structure of the tendon and is known as a tendinopathy. When this occurs in the tendons of the gluteal muscles it is referred to as gluteal tendinopathy.

The gluteal muscles are three large muscles located at the back of the pelvis that provide most of the muscle bulk of buttock region. These muscles work together to keep your pelvis level when standing and are responsible for many movements of the hip. They play an important role in standing, walking and running.

The two deepest gluteal muscles, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, attach from the center of the pelvis (the sacrum) and insert into the bony outer region of the upper thigh, called the greater trochanter via the gluteal tendons.

What causes tendons to develop tendinopathy?

Tendons, like muscles, skin and bones are living tissues and their strength and elasticity is influenced by a variety of factors, including hormones, age, how often and how much they are used. Rapid changes in activity levels or simply performing the same tasks too often can place a tendon under more stress than it can tolerate and it begins to break town.

Recently it has been shown that tendon health is also negatively affected by compressive forces, which can occur from blunt trauma or even habits such as crossing the legs, or sleeping on your side on a hard mattress.

What are the symptoms of Gluteal Tendinopathy?

When gluteal tendons are affected by tendinopathy, a typical pattern of sharp pain at the outside of the hip with specific movements is present. The pain is usually worse with walking, going up and down stairs and running.  The pain can become quite severe, and eventually can impact day-to-day activities.

How can physiotherapy help?

A thorough assessment is required for an accurate diagnosis and once gluteal tendinopathy is confirmed, your physiotherapist will be able to identify which factors have contributed to your condition and help to address these. It has been shown that specific loading exercises and muscular retraining can stimulate the tendon to heal and remodel the collagen fibres into a more organized pattern again. Your physiotherapist can investigate any postural habits or activities are contributing and address these as required.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

10 Facts About Tendons - Physio Direct NZ

10 Facts About Tendons

Tendons are found all over the body and while you may know a little about them, you might be surprised to learn a few of these facts.

1. Tendons can be found at the ends of muscles. Tendons are simply connective tissues that attach muscles to bone and help them move our joints when they contract.

2. Tendons come in many shapes and sizes. While the most recognizable shape is the long thin kind (such as the Achilles tendon), they can also be flat and thin or very thick, depending on the     shape of the muscle and attachment of the bone. A thin flat tendon is also known by the name aponeurosis.

3. Tendons are able to act like elastic bands, they can stretch and bounce back into shape. Like elastic bands, if too much force is applied they can stretch or tear.

4. Unlike elastic bands, tendons are living tissue and their properties are affected by many different factors. Seemingly unrelated things such as hormonal changes, autoimmune disorders and nutrition can all affect a tendon’s ability to withstand load.

5. Tendons don’t only attach muscles to bone, they can attach to other structures as well such as the eyeball.

6. Tendons can tear however; more often they are injured through overuse. Healing of tendons can be quite slow as they have less blood supply than other tissues of the body, such as muscles.

7. Tendons are mostly made of organized collagen fibres. Areas of tendon degeneration have been shown to have collagen fibres that are disorganised, with this area having less strength and elasticity.

8. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. This connects the large calf muscles to the back of the heel to point the ankle away from the body. Most tendons are simply named for the muscle they attach to, however the Achilles has it’s own name, named for the mythical Greek character who’s heel was his only point of weakness.

9. The smallest tendon is located in the inner ear, attaching to the smallest muscle in the body.

10. Tendons and muscles work together to move your joints and are called a contractile unit.

Japanese Pancake (Okonomiyaki) - Physio Direct NZ

Japanese Pancake (Okonomiyaki)

Ingredients:

½ Large Cabbage

2 cups Flour

2 ½ cups of Water

4 Eggs

2 tsp. Chicken Stock Powder

4 Tbsp. Okonomi Sauce

8 large Prawns

1 Tbsp. Pickled Ginger

2 Tbsp. sliced Spring Onions

1 handful fresh Mint

3 Tbsp. Japanese Mayonnaise

4 slices of Lemon

  1. Slice cabbage into fine pieces and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Mix flour, water and eggs in a large mixing bowl, add chicken stock and cabbage, mixing until ingredients are well combined.
  3. Heat some oil to medium in a frying pan and spoon the pancake mix onto the pan to make medium sized pancakes. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Pan sear prawns on high heat in a separate pan with a small amount of olive oil.
  5. Prepare pancake on a plate and decorate with Okomiyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. Place cooked prawns, mint, ginger and lemon on top of pancake for garnish.

Ready to serve, makes four large pancakes.

Hip Pain and Labral Tears - Physio Direct NZ

Hip Pain and Labral Tears

What are Labral Tears?

If you are experiencing pain in the front of your hip along with clicking, locking or catching of your hip joint you may have underlying labral damage. The acetabular labrum is a fibrous rim of cartilage that covers and seals your hip socket. This lining of cartilage provides stability for the thigh bone (femur) inside of the hip socket (acetabulum).

The labrum seals the hip socket, providing a suitable appropriate rotational axis for the thigh bone in the hip socket as well as helping to maintain the nutritional fluid within the joint that is important to maintain joint health.

How do they happen?

Labral tears can occur from an injury such as a twist or slip, or damage can occur from repetitive stresses. Anatomical changes in normal hip movement, which may also be associated with neuromuscular imbalance most commonly causing labral tears, are repetitive movements where there is decreased joint clearance between the femur and the acetabulum. For example athletes such as gymnasts and ballet dancers who have to repeatedly pivot or flex their hip are more likely to damage their labrum than those who do not. Over time this repetitive impingement of the hip joint can cause the labrum to tear and damage to the labrum if not managed properly may lead to early degenerative arthritis.

What are the symptoms?

 Pain in the front of the hip, groin, side of the hip or buttock often described as deep are symptoms of labral damage as well as clicking, locking, catching or giving away of the hip. Prolonged sitting, standing, walking or pivoting can cause pain for someone with a labral tear and this may cause a limp when walking. Other signs and symptoms include joint stiffness or a feeling of instability in your hip.

How are they Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is not always possible to confirm in the clinic, however, magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) has been found to be very accurate in diagnosing labral tears. An MRA is when a dye is injected into the hip joint before the hip joint is scanned and specialist photographs of the joint are taken. Arthroscopies are another option but as they are more invasive they are often not the first port of call.

It is advised to speak to your physiotherapist about your symptoms who will gather a thorough history of your problem and may undergo a series of tests as part of the physical examination. A physiotherapist can inform you if they think your symptoms are coming from labral damage or if they suspect a different problem.

How can Physiotherapy help? 

If your physiotherapist does suspect you have a labral tear, different treatment plans are available. Physiotherapy management may include a stretching and strengthening program to correct any neuromuscular imbalance; movement re-education and a variety of manual techniques that can be performed by your physiotherapist may reduce or abolish your symptoms. Other options are available or may be used in conjunction to physiotherapy including pharmaceutical medicine, corticosteroid injection and surgery and you should speak to your physiotherapist and doctor about this.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

If you require professional advice or treatment, please see our range of treatment options, or book an appointment online. Physio Direct has many clinics located throughout New Zealand, with no GP referral required to make an appointment.

Understanding Hamstring Strains - Physio Direct NZ

Understanding Hamstring Strains

What Your Hamstrings Do

Let’s get clued up on hamstring strains; why you may have one, what you can do to help and how to prevent a future injury. The hamstrings are a group of three muscles; the biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus. You can feel these muscles if you place your hands on your sitting bones where the muscles originate and slide your hands down the back of your legs. The main action of these muscles is to bend your knee, take your leg out behind you and to assist rotation of your knee, especially when performing accelerating and decelerating actions.

What is a Hamstring Strain?

A strain/pull/tear is when the muscle fibres are overstretched. Injuries are frequently felt as a short sharp pain in the back of your thigh whilst exercising. A hamstring strain will typically happen when running just before your foot hits the ground. At this point, the hamstrings are working eccentrically to control the forward motion of the two lower leg bones, your tibia and fibula. Pain is often the most debilitating symptom affecting your ability to continue exercising and may cause a limp. Other symptoms include swelling, bruising, muscle spasm and reduced movement at your knee.

Different Kinds of Hamstring Strains

Strains can be categorised into 3 different grades. 1 being the mildest with a small number of fibres being torn to grade 3 being the most severe which can be a complete muscle rupture. The good news is muscles have a fantastic blood supply and should heal within 3-12 weeks depending on the degree of injury. However, the flexible skeletal muscle fibres, which your muscles are made up of, are replaced with much more inflexible tough scar tissue, which is where physio’s come in. Specific rehabilitation such as specialist stretching, strengthening, taping and soft tissue techniques can dramatically influence how muscle fibres are restructured reducing the amount of scar tissue speeding up the healing process helping you return to sport quicker. With any soft tissue injury, R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) should always be your first response.

Why Strains Happen

A physio will be able to perform a thorough assessment and educate you on why you sustained a hamstring strain in the first place. Common factors that can predispose you to hamstring strains are not warming up or cooling down properly, tight hamstrings or hip flexors, weak hamstrings or gluteal (butt) muscles, training at a high intensity without adequate training or altered biomechanics.

What You Can Do

Runners often have short, weak hamstrings, tight hamstrings will restrict the length of your strides when running meaning you have to work harder to cover the same distance as you would with adequately lengthened hamstrings. Chronically tight hamstrings can cause not only hamstring strains but can contribute to back pain, knee pain and leg length discrepancies. So even if you have never stretched before it may be a good time to start stretching!

So to prevent yourself pulling a hammy make sure you warm up and cool down properly including effective stretching of not just your hamstrings but hip flexors, quadriceps and calf muscles, do sport specific strength and conditioning and avoid sudden increases in intensity of exercise. On your next visit why not ask your physio and find out how healthy your hamstrings are.

If you require professional advice or treatment, please see our range of treatment options, or book an appointment online. Physio Direct has many clinics located throughout New Zealand, with no GP referral required to make an appointment.

Proprioception and Balance - Physio Direct NZ

Proprioception and Balance

Started a new exercise regime lately and noticed your balance isn’t quite up to scratch? Chances are, you need to dial things back a little and return to the basics. Balance is an important part of fitness and improving your balance can dramatically improve your performance.

What is balance?

Balance is a state in which weight is evenly distributed in order to prevent falling.  Balance has major parts:

  • Sight
  • Vestibular system (the inner ear)
  • Proprioception

Change any one of these three variables and you’ll challenge your balance in different ways.

What is proprioception?

Proprioception refers to the awareness of a person about their body’s position in space.  The origin of the word is derived from Latin, and it translates as “one’s own perception”. The central nervous system gains sensory input from receptors in the skin known as mechanoreceptors. This information is processed by the brain, and helps to translate data sent from the body in the form of vibrations, pressure, motion and joint position.  Proprioception helps to maintain stability.

How can I test and improve my proprioception?

  1. Stand with two feet together.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Count how long you can maintain your balance for.
  4. Try again, this time standing on one foot. Close your eyes only once you have found a steady posture with your eyes open.
  5. To increase difficulty, stand on an uneven surface, like a pillow on the floor. Start by standing with two feet together; stand on one foot if this becomes too easy.

While this isn’t a definitive test, if there is a significant difference in your balance when your eyes are open to when your eyes are close, or from the right side to the left side, your proprioception might be a little diminished.

 

Speak to your physiotherapist for more practical tips on how to reduce injury incidence by improving your balance and proprioception.

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Meniscal Tears - Physio Direct NZ

Meniscal Tears

The knees take a lot of impact when doing medium- or high-impact activities such as running, jumping, hill-walking and playing field sports.  The meniscus is commonly damaged during these activities, and can be a cause of significant pain and movement dysfunction if damaged.  What exactly is this mysterious meniscus, and why is it so important?

 

What is the role of the meniscus?

The meniscus is a thin, fibrous cartilage lining the bones of the knee.  Its main function is to absorb shock when performing weight-bearing activities such as walking, running or hopping.

The meniscus in the knee is c-shaped, and there is one on the outside (lateral) and one on the inside (medial) knee joint. The medial meniscus is more commonly damaged than the lateral meniscus, because of the fact that more weight is transferred through the medial knee joint in normal movement.

What causes meniscal damage?

Twisting forces most frequently damage the meniscus.  For example, if a soccer player’s foot is planted on the ground and their body rotates around the knee, the meniscus will often be unable to withstand the pressure and will sustain a strain or a tear.  This can be of varying degrees, to a few stretched fibres right up to a large tear involving multiple areas of the cartilage. A locking, clicking or clunking may be felt in the knee upon movement.  Your physiotherapist will be able to perform clinical tests to check whether the meniscus is likely to have been damaged or not.

Can I recover from a meniscal injury?

Depending on the extent and location of the injury, many patients have excellent functional outcomes with physiotherapy management. This typically involves strengthening the muscles around the knee as well as increasing the range and training task-specific activities. Sometimes, a referral to an orthopaedic doctor can help to determine whether or not surgery may be appropriate.  If you have any doubts, talk to your physiotherapist about your options.

 

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

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Lizzie’s Toasted Museli - Physio Direct NZ

Lizzie’s Toasted Museli

Ingredients:

2-3 cups Quick Cook Oats

2 cups Bran

1-2 cups All Bran

2 cups Sunflower Seeds

2 cups Pumpkin Seeds

1 cups Linseed

1 cups Coconut Chips

1 cups Shredded Coconut

1 cups Almonds or Brazil nuts

1 cup Cold pressed oil

1 cup Honey

2 Tbsp Quinoa

(cooked for 5 mins)

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

(soak for 10 mins)

1-2 cups Dried Fruit; Raisins Apricots, Goji Berries and Dates

 

  1. Mix all ingredients in a roasting pan. Roast at 150° Celsius for 15 minutes.

 

  1. Turn ingredients gently then place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Roast until golden brown and cool. Once cooled, add dried fruit.

 

  1. Keep in a sealed container. This toasted muesli will keep for a month.

 

Note from the chef:

‘This is a super-food breakfast. The combined ingredients provide great nutrition for the start of your day by including vitamin A, Vitamin E, selenium, fiber, protein and omega 3.”

Recipe by Lizzie Carson of

Vknow, Fernhill Queenstown, NZ.

 

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Traditional Greek Salad - Physio Direct NZ

Traditional Greek Salad

Ingredients:

4 medium sized tomatoes

1 medium sized red onion

1 cucumber

200 g olives, stoned and quartered.

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

200g feta cheese

1 Tbsp fresh basil

1 Tbsp fresh mint

 

  1. Chop tomatoes into small cubes. Slice the onion very finely and add to the tomatoes. Peel and chop cucumber into similar sized cubes as the tomatoes.
  2. Roughly chop the basil and mint, reserve two basil leaves for garnish. Gently mix into the rest along with the olives.
  3. Chop feta into 1cm cubes; add the rest of the salad ingredients along with the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Toss together gently with your hands.
  4. To serve, garnish with basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 as a side salad.

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