Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Written by Michelle Nearchou, Dietitian at Sylvania. Article from January 2017

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

vegetable lasagna

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 10.44.33 am

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Portions: 4


  • 4 medium zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large (750g) eggplant, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 large field mushrooms
  • 1 large red capsicum, sliced
  • 1 large bunch silverbeet
  • 2 x 420g can mixed beans (salt reduced)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10g (2 tsp.) margarine
  • 1 x 500g jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 4 instant lasagne sheets
  • ½ cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated reduced fat tasty/mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and brush a 2.5 litre capacity ovenproof dish with margarine.
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What Is The Core?

Written by Hamish Hall, Exercise Physiologist at Sylvania. Article from August 2017
the core

What is the core?

Many patients that I deal with, go by the understanding that the ‘core’ is just your stomach muscles, however the core is a much more complex system. I like to use the term Core stability rather than core strength because strength is just one component of the dynamic stability required. Dynamic stabilization refers to the ability to utilize strength and endurance and motor control in a functional manner through all planes of motion and action despite changes in the centre of gravity.

Panjabi’s three system core model

Nearly 30 years ago, Panjabi created a model that still resonates with today’s understanding of the core.

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Fats: Friend or Foe?

Written by Chloe Horne, Dietitian at Blacktown. Article from July 2017

Fats: Friend or Foe?

healthy food composition

Fats are one of our major food groups which are essential for good health but the public perception seems to be continually changing over whether they are good or bad. Some people avoid fats like the plague while others such as some modern food bloggers are telling us to eat more fat. Even dietary guidelines around fat consumption have evolved with new evidence so it can be extremely confusing for the everyday person to decide whether fats are good or bad. The confusing thing about fats is that they can be both!

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Lifestyle Cancer Risk

Written by Susannah Keppo, Exercise Physiologist at Ashfield Article from July 2017

The Impact Of Your Lifestyle On Cancer

lifestyle impact

Recently I was watching a documentary about the effects of lifestyle on cancer and risk of developing cancer. It discusses more so on what the patient can do themselves to improve their chances or lower risk of cancer rather than simply accepting that there is nothing they can do once they have been diagnosed with cancer. The documentary is not against conventional cancer treatments but how the patient has the power to change lifestyle habits to improve their health and cancer diagnosis.

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My NDIS Experience – By Brad Sculley, Studio Manager

Written by Brad Sculley, Studio Manager at Blacktown.

NDIS has been extremely fun and rewarding for me as a practitioner and for the staff here at Optimum. We are really loving that we have the opportunity to make a real difference in peoples lives.  Across the whole Optimum network we have over 50 clients now who have chosen us as their provider for Hydrotherapy, Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology and Dietetic treatments. Currently I am seeing 6 clients personally and it really is bringing me great joy, all with their own unique need for Optimum to help them live life to the fullest.

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Optimum’s NDIS Service Offerings

NDIS Banner

At Optimum, our mission statement has always been “to enable people to live life to the fullest”. This statement is applicable none more so to our NDIS clients! We firmly believe that the NDIS is crucial in the development and evolution of the support structures for the differently abled population within Australia.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is designed to offer people with permanent and significant disabilities the ability to choose what sort of care and support they need. It is estimated that by 2019, nearly half a million Australians will be covered by the scheme – providing reasonable and necessary support through individualised support packages.

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Stress & Weight Gain

Written by Michael Zajc, Exercise Physiologist at Homebush. Article from April 2017

Stress & Weight Gain

Stress weight gain

Is stress affecting your weight?

Have you ever gained weight during a stressful period of your life? Did you notice you were putting on the kilograms around your stomach? If so, there might have been a more complex reason behind this.

Weight gain during times of stress can be attributed to changes in the body’s hormone balances. Even if you are already physically active, having chronic high stress for long periods of time can prevent you from losing weight and even add weight on.


One particular hormone that affects our weight during stressful periods is cortisol.

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Why Is Incidental Physical Activity Important?

Written by Susannah Keppo, Exercise Physiologist at Ashfield. Article from July 2017

Why Is Incidental Physical Activity Important?

Incidental Exercise

As exercise physiologists we not only work with people to improve their structured physical activity but also incidental physical activity i.e. activity that is built up in small amounts during the day, without a specific end goal. Both types of physical activity are important – structured exercise has a specific goal e.g. improving flexibility, joint mobility, and strength or achieving certain heart rate target zones to improve fitness and aid calorie expenditure.

Incidental activity helps reduce the risk of health conditions associated with sedentary behavior, for example cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

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Creating A Rich Language Environment For Your Child

Written by Siri Burke, Speech Pathologist at Blacktown. Article from July 2017

Creating a rich language environment for your child

language environment

It is important to cultivate a rich language environment to help your child’s language grow and flourish. There are lots of things you can do every day to increase the language input your child receives.

Give them a reason to talk to you

You understand what your child means most of the time, even if they aren’t telling you with words.

Maybe they hold your hand and take you to the fridge to tell you they want a snack, or maybe they point at the high shelf to tell you that they want what is on top.

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Hamstring Strains: Are They Avoidable?

Written by Matthew Craig, Exercise Physiologist at Blacktown. Article from July 2017

Hamstring Strains: Are They Avoidable?

hamstring strain

We’ve all heard the devastating news that our favourite team’s best player will miss the next few games due to a hamstring strain, but did you know they are also quite common in the general population, particularly us “semi”-professional athletes. Hamstring strains are one of the most common injuries in sport of all levels. For example, in the last 20 years the AFL has experienced nearly 3000 hamstring injuries resulting in over 7000 games lost. And possibly even more concerning is the chance of re-injury is 20% in that same year.

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