GIVE BACK

Want to keep everyone occupied and create a feel good factor for all??

Do it by getting involved in some community volunteering over the holidays. There are so many ways that you, your partner in crime and the small people, of all ages, can get involved.

These are my fave ways to give back:

Green fingers – you may not know this but most towns/suburbs will have some sort of gardening club/community who help out with public areas. Toddlers are able to play around in the dirt and pull up weeds (under supervision, of course). Older kidlettes can plant seeds and bulbs, and you can do all of the above. It can prove to be a great workout, too!

Rid the rubbish –  This may not sound appealing but it has soooo many good benefits you may very well become addicted, honest. Almost all communities will have a group of volunteers who help out with the collection of litter from the streets, beach, local park and play areas. The reward for getting involved in this is more than you could imagine. Not only does it create an abundance of ‘feel good’ it also teaches the children about the importance of not littering (this includes in the house so is a win, win for you), it promotes interaction and builds social skills and again, it can be a killer workout.

Get animal friendly -all animal rescue organisations with have volunteer opportunities. This could be helping out with clearing out pens, walking dogs, feeding etc. all of it will have you fully involved and feeling fuzzy. It will also teach your small people about caring for an animal, which is a great lesson for them to learn. Also another great potential workout opportunity – does anyone else see a pattern here??

Go back in time – And what if your little ones are too little to get involved in any of the above? A priceless way of giving back when you have tiny people is to visit the elderly at a retirement home. Staff and residents at retirement homes are immensely grateful of visits from young families. You will usually be placed with an elderly resident who doesn’t have a family of their own to visit. The conversation to be had will usually take you back in time with old stories told lovingly. And seeing the joy a small baby can bring to a senior soul is the very best thing you can do for your soul.

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Now what??

Are you a new Mummy? How good does it feel? You grew a little human being and brought them in to the world all by yourself – how amazing are you and your body?

I am betting that you spent the past 9 months (and likely a fair few months in the lead up) taking great care of yourself; giving your body what it needs, when it needs it and caring for that small being growing inside you.

So what happens now that lil’ human is here?

The postpartum period is classed as the 6 weeks post childbirth. It is where you, the mother, return to your physiological non-pregnant condition. This is the period where you require the upmost care.

And now that small being is here in person and is still the number 1 focus of your every waking moment, how do you maintain that level of care and nourishment for your own body?

Here is how:

Zinc: zinc is essential for the development and maintenance of immune function before and after birth, it speeds up healing and helps prevent postpartum depression. The recommended dose of zinc post partum is 30mg per day.

Get more of it in you by munching on: meat, liver, eggs, seafood, legumes, wholegrain, miso, tofu, brewers yeast, mushrooms, green beans and pepitas.

Iron: iron might be necessary after birth to restore circulation and stored iron, preventing anemia due to blood loss during labor. The risk of acute post partum hemorrhage is also decreased with optimal intake of iron. Intravenous iron has been found to be safe and efficient in restoring iron levels but is only used in extreme cases of deficiency and the recommended dose of iron post partum is 25-80mg per day, depending on your individual levels.

Get more of it in you by munching on: liver, organ meats, red meat, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes, fruit, dried fruit, grains, tofu, molasses, green leafy veggies, beetroot, and yolks.

Vitamin E: – vitamin E can be depleted within 24 – 48 hours after delivery, even in none complicated births. When vitamin E is depleted it affects the ability of the body to heal and if this is the case the recommended dose to replenish is 400 IU per day.

Get more of it in you by munching on: cold pressed oils, nuts and seeds, spinach, kale, sweet potato, avocado, brown rice, egg yolks, liver, soya beans, asparagus, butter and milk.

Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) – EFA’s assist in reducing post partum depression and aid in infant growth development. DHA (an EFA) is particularly important for infants and this is transferred through breast milk.

Get more of it in you by munching on: deep sea cold water fish i.e. salmon, trevally, cod and herring.

Remember, these are general guidelines and you should always consult your doctor to assess your own individual needs.

See more new mummy options, here.

Escape with confidence

Providing transformational packages for women means I am asked a lot questions about health, fitness, beauty and the body. By far, one of the most popular questions I am asked is: ‘What are the best beauty treatments for cellulite / saggy tummies / stretch marks and other trouble areas’. My answer…

Firstly, I tell women that they are not alone in this. Everyone has something they would like to change about their body; it’s a natural part of being a woman in our society. I reassure them they are beautiful as they are but if addressing those trouble spots is going to make them feel more empowered, these are my top shouts:

  1. A treatment I swear by is Decleor Perfect Slim Effect.It never fails to provide outstanding results!

The targeted slimming ritual works by stimulating blood flow to the area and ridding toxins through lymphatic drainage. This is done with specific exfoliation, specialised massage techniques and a potent mask. With the precise blend of plant extracts and essential oils in the decleor products the all-natural treatment packs a real punch to those wobbly bits.

One treatment will see skin looking smoother and tighter, but for head turning toned goddessness a course of six treatments over one – two months is best. 

  1. For an instant 2 in 1 hit I can’t go past a skinny tan spray tan. We all know that a tan creates an instantly slimmer appearance and can hide a multitude of sins.

This treatment provides a double whammy by combining natural tanning with slimming, firming and toning. Skinny Tan is the first bio-organic spray tan designed to offer sunless tanning while visibly improving the appearance and texture of the skin. Using natural tanning and smoothing actives, Skinny Tan has been expertly formulated to create beautiful bronzing whilst also targeting persistent cellulite.

The more it is used the more effective it becomes. One tan will give you a goddess glow and 5 + treatments is where the magic starts happening with skin tone and cellulite reduction. and you know what they say – if you can’t tone it tan it)!

  1. If you want to approach it from a natural, cheap, at-home angle, my go to has to be good old-fashioned food!

I don’t like wastage and that includes on food and money. The targeted treatments above will work wonders when managed by a professional, with the professional products. However, if you want to take this in-house using what you already have this can work just as well. Create your own body scrub using olive oil and salt followed by a slathering of organic coconut oil applied to trouble spots using upward, circular motions – trust me!

Get it right this mothers day

For women in their 20’s:

Get her:

A Make-up lesson

Because:

Women will generally wear more make-up in their 20’s than at any other age. However, make-up can be tricky to get right, especially when trends are constantly changing and information can be inconsistent. During a make up lesson she will learn:

  1. Why truly good makeup application comes not from trying to make a face conform to the latest fashion trends, but from enhancing her natural beauty.
  2. How to prepare her skin for make-up application.
  3. Why the products she chooses are important and how to get the most from them.
  4. Tips and tricks on enhancing, correcting and highlighting her individual features.
  5. Best of all she will receive a full professional Make-up application and schedule of how it was done.

How:

Choose a day when she has plans for that evening; book the lesson in for her a few hours before she is due to go out. As well as being on a high from a fantastic lesson, she will be ready to hit the town with confidence having been made over by a professional make-up artist – fitting for super star she is!

For women in their 30’s:

Get her:

A Deluxe Manicure and Pedicure

Because:

During their 30’s most women are at the stage in their life where they will be their busiest. They often don’t have time for themselves and certainly don’t take the time to pamper themselves. It is unlikely she is going to be able to relax through a massage or facial treatment, so get her something both practical and pampering. A deluxe manicure and pedicure elevates a practical treatment to facial standards for the hands and feet. And because we come to you, she can even work on her laptop while we work on her feet!

How:

Find out when she usually heads to that cheap, quick nail bar and schedule this as an alternative. She will float away feeling pampered and relaxed without any of the guilt.

For women in their 40’s:

Get her:

Aroma Expert Facial

Because:

Being slightly less busy than in their 30’s, it is in their 40’s women start thinking about skincare more seriously. This facial and skincare prescription is customised depending on scents that resinate with the client when the therapist completes a specific consultation process. Each facial features a concentrate of very targeted active ingredients with renowned properties that will fulfil even the most demanding skin requirements. The education provided on skincare is individualised to the client; this combination makes it a really special gift for a really special woman.

How:

She will want to have absolutely nothing planned following this facial, and to be prepared for 90 minutes of pure luxury. We think it is best to get her a gift voucher for this one – an individual treatment at an individual time.

For women in their 50’s:

Get her:

Body Essential Ritual

Because:

In my experience women in their 50’s can start to lose a little bit of body confidence as hormonal changes and ageing start to kick in. This treatment will recover radiance, vitality and leave her with soft, silky, revitalised skin. It is a wonderful sensory-stimulating ritual that chases away all signs of fatigue and will make her feel 100% body confident – exactly what she needs.

How:

Book this on the day before a big social event, an important work presentation or a break away. The confidence will still be soaring for days after the treatment and she will feel wonderful walking in to any situation.

Still unsure of what to treat her with? Contact us and let us help you decide.

What is DR

Depending on many factors including your stage of motherhood, your pregnancy and birth experiences, the number of children you have and various other factors, you may have diastasis recti, otherwise known as DR. If this is the case there are some things that you need to be aware of.

If you aren’t quite sure what diastasis recti is or if you have it, don’t worry I have you covered. Below is a little information on DR, how to know if you have it, and how to work within your limits when exercising.

What is Diastasis Recti (RD)?

Also referred to as rectus or abdominal separation, diastasis recti is the separation of the 2 sections of the Rectus Abdominis (your 6 pack) muscle. Diastasis recti is very common, especially in mummys who have had larger or multiple babies.

The research shows that all women will develop some degree of separation in the third trimester of their pregnancy. The issue for a lot of women is that if this is left untreated postpartum it can remain for 12 months +.

When you have diastasis recti the structures of tissue that form the meeting point of the 2 sides of the rectus abdominis no longer provide the tension and stability it did prior to the separation occurring. The lack of protection and stability affects the whole body both aesthetically and functionally, which is why women with DR need to modify certain exercises.

The sure fire signs you have DR, are:

  • ‘Pooching’ or ‘doming’ of your stomach
  • Appearing a few months pregnant
  • A weak core and pelvic floor
  • A lack of strength and stability in the entire pelvic region and midsection

The Test:

I have a great little test I complete to assess for DR in my clients and you can do the same test at home. If you have no issues at all when completing the test, you are good to go girl! If you do find you have some form of separation when you have completed the test, it is best that you consult with a physio or an experienced PT to learn how to modify your exercise regime accordingly.

Start by laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Relax your head and shoulders and place your fingers (palm down) just above your belly button.

Lift your head and neck very slightly off the floor and press down with your fingertips. If you feel a gap (separation), that’s the diastasis. You will feel the muscles close in around your fingers as you lift your head and neck. Repeat the test directly over the belly button, and then a couple of inches below.

A diastasis recti gap is measured in finger widths. If you find you have a 1-2 finger gap or less, that’s super common. If your separation is 2-finger widths or more I strongly suggest seeing that physio.

 

BAD FOOD TURNED GOOD

Many things contribute to us being the happiest, healthiest versions of ourselves. Moving and nourishing our bodies plays a huge part in this, as is enjoying our favourite luxuries in life. It can often seem these two things are in conflict, yet that is far from true!

Turn some of your sinful, luxury indulgences in to saintly treats with my bad foods turned good…

Clever Chips ‘n’ dips

The moreish social snack can be extremely dangerous when it comes to your clean eating resolutions. Wow your social circle with my danger-free re-vamp.

Feeds: 2-4

Cooking Time: 8-12 hours

For the chips:

Veggie chips

Ingredients

  • 1 whole beetroot
  • 1 whole swede
  • Coconut oil spray
  • Pinch Himalayan rock salt

Method

  • Turn your oven on to its lowest possible heat setting, if you have a fan oven turn the fan on. You are aiming to dehydrate rather than cook the veggies.
  • Slice the beetroot and swede very thinly; this is done best with a mandolin.
  • Line a shallow oven dish with baking paper and spray to finely cover with the coconut oil. Lay the sliced vegetables on the baking paper without overlapping, sprinkle with the salt and place in the oven.
  • Leave for 8 – 12 hours; turning the chips occasionally (every 2 hours or so).
  • Remove from the oven and serve.

For the dip:

Spicy chilli and basil dip

Ingredients

  • 40g Pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Handful fresh basil
  • Pinch rock salt
  • ½ Red chilli chopped

Method

  • Add all of the ingredients to a food processor / blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with a basil leaf and serve along side the chips.

Top tip: Play around with the veggies you use. The above also works really well using pumpkin, parsnip and sweet potato

chips n dips 1

Eggemplary McMuffin

Replace the fast food fail with this nourishing, tummy-pleasing winner.

Feeds: makes 1 muffin

Cooking time: 20 minutes

For the bun:

Ingredients

  • 1 Large eggplant
  • 1 Tsp Olive or Coconut oil

For the filling:

Ingredients

  • 1 Organic free-range egg
  • 50g Smoked salmon
  • ½ Avocado
  • 1 Large beefsteak tomato
  • 1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, cut the eggplant in to two (2) 1 inch slices and heat the olive oil in a griddle pan on a medium heat. To poach the egg, add the eggplant slices to the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side, then place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • While the eggplant is cooking through, prepare the remainder of the ingredients by slicing the avocado and tomato and bringing a pan of water to the boil. Add the apple cider vinegar to the boiling water and stir using big circular motions to make the water swirl, while the water is still swirling crack in the egg and cook to your liking (3-5 minutes for a runny egg).
  • Remove the eggplant from the oven, transfer to a plate and layer the egg, smoked salmon, avocado and a slice or 2 of tomato on one half of the eggplant, top with the second half and serve with a handful of rocket leaves.

Top tip: Experiment with different filling combos. This also makes a mean steak sandwich with a grass-fed steak.

Eggplant 1

Perfectly packed Pizza

Taste buds are never disappointed with pizza; unfortunately the rest of our body doesn’t benefit quite as much from traditional pizza ingredients. Try my nutrient packed version to please the whole body.

Feeds: 4

Cooking time: 50 minutes

For the base:

Ingredients

  • 350g Pumpkin
  • 100g Almond meal
  • 20g Coconut flour
  • 1 Egg
  • Pinch Himalayan rock salt
  • Olive oil

For the topping:

Ingredients

  • 8 Truss tomatoes
  • Handful fresh basil
  • 1 Small garlic clove finely chopped
  • Green capsicum
  • Anchovies
  • Eggplant
  • Kalamata olives
  • Rocket
  • Pinch black pepper and Himalayan rock salt

Method 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Place the truss tomatoes in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, remove and place to one side to cool.
  • Steam the pumpkin for 5-6 minutes until soft; allow to cool fully before transferring to a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeezing out the excess fluid.
  • Add the pumpkin along with the remainder of the base ingredients (except for the olive oil) to a blender / food processor and blend until a smooth.
  • Sprinkle a clean work surface with a little coconut flour / almond meal and roll the base mixture out to form a healthy dough.
  • Top a 91/2-inch baking tray with baking paper and brush with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Now add your dough mixture to the tray and spread out to make a circle around 1/2 an inch thick and place in the oven (still at 180 degrees) for 40 minutes, carefully turning the over half way through.
  • Add the cool tomatoes, garlic and basil to a blender / food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Chop the green capsicum, eggplant, anchovies and olives.
  • Once the base has cooked through, remove from oven and spread evenly with the tomato mixture, sprinkle on the additional toppings, season with the salt and pepper and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  • Finish with a handful of rocket and serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Top tip: Play around with toppings, but keep them clean!

Pizza

 

Not so Daim bar

This was my absolute favourite chocolate bar as a child. But there is good reason the term ‘You Daim bar’ became a playground insult – it really isn’t a smart bar when it comes to your insides. Not willing to give up this nostalgic treat, I transformed the sugary baddie in to a tasty goodie.

Feeds: makes 4 Bars

Time: 12 hours

Ingredients

For the centre:

  • 3 Pitted dates
  • 65g Rice malt syrup
  • 10g Unhulled tahini
  • Pinch sea salt

For the chocolate:

Ingredients

  • 25ml Melted coconut oil
  • 20g Raw cacao powder
  • Coconut milk
  • ¼ Tsp Stevia

Method

  • Add the ingredients for the centre to a food processor and blend until well combined.
  • Lay a sheet of baking paper on a flat surface, spoon the blended mixture on to the paper and use a spatula to flatten and spread the mixture evenly, forming a thin, square layer.
  • Place a second sheet of baking paper over the top to sandwich the layer and place in the freezer for 4 hours.
  • 10 minutes before you are ready to remove the centre from freezer, mix the coconut oil, raw cacao and stevia until well combined and runny.
  • Remove the centre mixture from the freezer but DO NOT remove from the baking paper, using a pair of scissors cut into 4 bar shapes.
  • Stir a dash of coconut milk in to the chocolate mixture and one by one remove the baking paper from each bar to dip and coat in a generous layer of the chocolate. You need to work quickly here because the centre will melt quickly and the chocolate will set quickly.
  • Wrap each chocolate-coated centre in a single square of baking paper and place back in the freezer for a further 8+ hours.

Top tip: For a yummy dark chocolate option omit the coconut milk from the chocolate mixture.

Daim bar

 

Top Choc tops

The ultimate Australian movie snack no longer fits with the Australian clean eating way of life. My version is as clean as a whistle and super simple to make.

Serves 4

Time: 8 hours

Ingredients 

  • 400ml Can of coconut cream
  • 20 ml Melted coconut oil
  • 15g Raw cacao powder
  • 2g Stevia

Method

Mix the coconut oil, raw cacao and stevia together in a bowl until smooth and runny, add a teaspoon each of this mixture to 100ml ice-block moulds, top with the coconut milk and freeze for 8+ hours.

Top tip: For a double chocolate hit, mix a teaspoon of raw cacao in to the coconut milk too!

choc top 1

 

Survive the sugar

Have you decided to give the sugar the big heave hoe?? If so, good on you! The no Sugar revolution is as popular as ever and for good reason. In 2015, the world health organisation changed guidelines to recommend adults and children limit their daily intake of sugar to no more than 6 – 9 teaspoons of sugar per day (there are around 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon).

Being sugar-free brings with it so many amazing benefits, but I am not going to sugar coat it (see what I did there)?? it can also be pretty tough some times. With Easter on the horizon, the tough can ramp up.

That’s why this Easter rather than a sugar-laden egg you get the gift of my own experience.

My top survival 10 tips from my sans sugar journey:

  1. Tea, tea and more tea! After reading the IQS book, I replaced sweet treats with tea treats. Many teas have a sweet flavour and can be just enough to curb that sweet tooth. Drinking tea also gives you something to do with your hands and mouth, which is often all we need to keep us away from that chocolate bar. As an added benefit, herbal tea counts toward your daily water intake – its win, win! Experiment with flavours to keep your mind and mouth excited about something other than sugar.
  1. Put everything you learned about fat and calories to one side while you focus on giving the white stuff the heave-ho. I grew up in a time when calories and fat were the enemy, not sugar. I was always interested in the latest health and fitness craze and ironically this lead to me becoming a total sugar addict. This was because the majority of low calorie, low fat foods contain huge amounts of sugar. Sugar is used to replace the taste removed when the fat is removed. When I gave up sugar, it took my body a very long time to repair and since giving up sugar I can safely say I will never go back to it; it has made such a huge impact on my health, my immunity, energy, and skin.
  1. Keep the end goal in sight. For me, giving up sugar was about reaching optimal health not the number on the scales. In fact I haven’t weighed myself in a very long time. The way I feel off sugar proves that whatever is happening inside is a good thing. Why do I need a set of scales to determine that?
  1. Crowd out. A technique stolen from Sarah Wilson I found that coming off sugar left me with a bit of a ‘what now?’ feeling post dinner (I had always followed dinner with something sweet). When I started crowding out I found that I had more variety in my meals and after although the feeling of needing something sweet was still there it wasn’t as powerful. Eventually this crowding out technique lead to the feeling disappearing completely. Fill your plate with extra veggies, all the colours of the rainbow – have fun with your crowding!
  1. Coconut oil. I LOVE coconut oil for so many things. Being a beauty therapist and aromatherapist, I love to use it on skin and as a base oil when blending. I also love to use it in the kitchen. Because fat is super satiating and coconut oil has a naturally sweet flavour, a spoonful of the oil when that sweet craving hits is an instant way to curb it. Either add it to your tea or enjoy it straight from the spoon – yummmmm!
  1. Add a little natural sweetness. Use spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla to add natural sweetness to dishes. Cinnamon especially is known to balance blood sugar levels and therefore stamps all over those cravings. A favourite ‘dessert’ of mine (if crowding out hasn’t done the trick) is mashed carrot with coconut oil, cinnamon with vanilla powder – hello easy sugar free carrot cake!
  1. Move! When we are craving something sweet, the majority of the time it is because we are bored. If you feel that 3pm need for a sugar hit creeping up on you, head out for a walk instead. By the time you have walked for 10 minutes the need will have passed. You will also get the added benefit of a little extra exercise in your day – bonus.
  1. Find none-food rewards. We often use food as a reward for a hard day at the office, a challenging task completed or a good workout – stop this mentality. In reality, there are far nicer rewards you could be giving yourself over sugar. Try a nice soak in the bath, some meditation, read a book, give yourself a DIY beauty treatment. Find something that nourishes your soul, as well as your bod.
  1. Make it fun! When I first started my sugar-free lifestyle I was terrified I wouldn’t find anything to eat. I was busy and a terrible cook. I soon realized that cooking sugar free didn’t have to be a huge time consuming task. It was quick, easy, and fun! I started experimenting with recipes and played with it. I am now a great cook (even if I do say so myself) and have created a bunch of my own sugar free recipes. This exercise also made me far more mindful of what I was putting in my body and what types of foods my body thrived on – double win.
  1. Be confident in your decision. It can be really hard to embark on this journey alone when you have saboteurs asking why you aren’t eating such and such or telling you ‘just one won’t hurt’. Learn to exercise your confidence here. Be polite and inform those around you that you are doing this for you and would appreciate they allow you to find out for yourself – it’s your journey.

To get even more support, join me and the rest of the team at IQS for the next round of the IQS program. Details can be found, here.

Weather or not….

Exercise gives you way more than a perky butt and toned abs – it reduces stress, eases tension, sharpens your memory and focus, helps you sleep better and much, much more.

When you feel those weather blues kicking in is when it is most important to continue your regular workouts.

Why:

  • Exercise will ensure you have more energy throughout the day, and sleep better at night. That means taking an hour out to exercise will actually make you feel much brighter all day long.
  • Regular exercise is a powerful pick-me-up. As the sun disappears earlier in the day choose a circuit over coffee to significantly reduce that mid afternoon slump and feel more energetic.
  • Ever get that brain-dead feeling when the weather changes? I do. Moving your bod will give you a sharper memory, help you concentrate and stimulate the growth of new brain cells – winning.
  • Getting those endorphins flowing will lift your mood and have you feeling more positive, no matter how many layers you have to add. How do we get endorphins flowing?? Yup, you guessed it – exercise. 
  • Exercise increases self-esteem. And when your self-esteem is soaring you can take on anything – rain, hail or shine!

Still not convinced you can drag yourself there? Try changing your approach:

  • Make exercise a social activity. Exercising with your girlfriends is guaranteed to be fun and will take your mind off the weather. As well as giving you back some of that social time we tend to lose due to rainy days.
  • Make exercise the reward. With all the benefits exercise brings it is the best reward you can give yourself. Rather than sitting on the couch and watching TV as your ‘timeout’ pull on those runners and get outdoors.
  • Be grateful for the weather. It is actually much nicer to be cooler rather than warmer when you get in to it, promise! Dress in layers that you can remove as you start to sweat.
  • Make a list of non-negotiables. Sure, you would love to manage a session every day but we all know that that isn’t always going to happen. Choose your favourite days and make these non-negotiable just like you HAVE to attend a meeting you HAVE to complete these exercise sessions.
  • Do it early! Set out your workout clothes the night before and put them on as soon as the alarm goes off. Once you are dressed you may as well do it, right? Getting it done early will mean you feel incredible for the rest of the day!
  • Make it work for you. Enlist the help of a personal trainer who will take all of the thought work out of it and come to you, to push you through that cold snap. If you don’t have to think about what you are going to do; where you are going to be and how you are going to get through it, that is half the battle won, right? Check out how I can help you, here.
  • Make yourself accountable. Whether it’s your personal trainer or your girlfriends if you have someone to show up for you, you will show up!

And remember these things:

  • Consistency is key. Remain committed and you won’t feel guilty if you miss just one session in favour of a cosy night in with a warming red wine.
  • You don’t have to train like a pro athlete every time. Sometimes when you envision going to a workout where you have to go hard or be the best, you just don’t feel like it. On these occasions, take it a little easier, listen to your body and think about it more as getting out there and just having a bit of fun.
  • As well as exercise, good nutrition also plays a huge role in our mood, productivity and stress levels. Make sure you are eating good mood food. See my favourites, here.

WHOLEFOOD FOR THE WHOLE BODY

We know foods impact on the body is huge – inside and out. Since the beginning of the wholefood for the whole body journey, we have proven the brilliance of the avocado, discovered why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is referred to as liquid gold; explored natures very own multivitamin – the egg, we’ve found out how to cure-all with chamomile and have benefited from ‘the fruit of the Angels’ – papaya. This week I found out how nature’s ultimate energy snack can do more for you than you might think.

Nourish from within:

Beat depression with bananas high levels of tryptophan.Tryptophan is an amino acid which converts to serotonin; serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for balancing mood.

Sleep better with the combination of serotonin production and the magnesium contained in this fruit. It is the perfect before bed snack.

Make quitting easier with the high levels of B-vitamins, potassium and magnesium bananas contain. This vitamin and mineral combo speeds up recovery from the effects of withdrawal.

How to: 

Banana Bread – this convenient comfort food has endless, healthy variations. Don’t be fooled by the shop brought banana breads that are likely to be laden with refined sugar, give this recipe a go instead: http://trainerluke.com/recipes

Banana Brekkie – who doesn’t love pancakes for brekkie? The experts at Bottoms Up! Fitness show you how to excite your taste buds and nourish your body with this brilliant recipe:

Easy-Peasy Protein Pancakes:

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana (the larger sugar bananas work best, or 2 small lady fingers)
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of nutmeg and a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A little organic butter, or coconut oil (for frying)
  • Toppings of choice. BUF loves frozen berries and CoYo coconut yoghurt. We’re also partial to a little almond butter, or a drizzle of organic maple syrup.

Method:

  • Pop bananas, eggs, a pinch of nutmeg and generous serve of cinnamon in your blender and mix well.
  • Pour your batter into a slightly oiled or buttered pan and cook as you would regular pancakes. Recipe makes one large, or two small cakes.
  • Serve with your topping/s of choice.

BUF Tip: Best eaten on a sunny balcony, with the Jack Johnson song, ‘Banana Pancakes’ playing in the background. Sigh…

For more marvelous recipes, a wealth of knowledge on all things health and fitness, or to train with a bunch of inspirational women, visit www.bottomsupfitness.co.au

Banana Break – of course, a simple banana alone is a great, easy, old-fashioned snack. Try freezing one for instant healthy ice cream – perfect!

 

pancakes canva

Treating the outside:

Packed with all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy, glowing skin, the benefits of a banana don’t stop at eating them. Available all year round the banana is the perfect addition to anyone’s beauty regime.

How to:

Face mask

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Table spoons honey

Method:

Mash all the ingredients together in a clean bowl, apply to the face and neck avoiding the eye area. Lay back and relax for 15-20 minutes then rinse thoroughly. Follow with your favourite moisturiser.

Tips:

  • If your skin is on the oily side add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • For a dryer skin add a couple of drops of almond oil.
  • If you are looking to reduce those wrinkles, replace the yogurt with ½ an avocado.

banana pic 1

Final thought:

Bananas are a great source of energy. It has been proven here that they really are a great addition to any grocery list, in more ways than one. However, as with all foods moderation is the key. Too much of any food can lead to an increase in weight and poor nutrition. Although there is no set rule for how many bananas to eat per day, if the amount you eat affects your nutritional balance, then you’re eating too many.

PUMPING PAPAYA

Nourish from within:

Improve digestion with Papain, an enzyme contained in papaya that helps to digest proteins. This enzyme is often extracted from the fruit for use in digestive enzyme supplements.

Fight colon and prostate cancer with the vitamin and mineral profile of papaya, namely: carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; potassium, copper, magnesium and fibre.

Protect against Macular Degeneration with the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids found in papaya.

How to:

Salad – I became addicted to papaya salad whilst on holiday in Thailand. Traditional recipes contain a lot of sugar and when I arrived home I got to work creating my own, reduced sugar version. Give it a go:

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 75 grams green beans
  • 1 large unripe papaya, peeled, seeded and julienned
  • 150 grams carrot, julienned
  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp good quality fish sauce (check the ingredients to make sure it isn’t full of nasties)
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tbsp cashew pieces
  • Spring onion, finely sliced

Method:

Combine the raw, washed green beans, papaya, carrots and tomatoes in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the lime juice, rice malt syrup, crushed garlic, chilli, fish sauce and coriander. Then pour this mixture over the green beans, papaya, carrot and tomatoes and mix well, toss through ½ of the cashews and the spring onion. Use the remaining cashews and spring onion to top the salad and serve.

Dessert – Make tropical fruit kebabs with papaya, pineapple and mango. Simply cube the fruits and slide them on to a wooden kebab stick – delish!

Tip: soak the kebab sticks on water before hand to prevent splinters.

Snack – Most people discard papaya seeds, but they are actually edible. Their flavour is quite peppery and an acquired taste, try it!

Pap seeds


 

Treating the outside:

The enzymes contained in papaya make it the perfect natural exfoliator.

How to:

Peel

Ingredients:

The skin from one green papaya

Method:

The easiest of DIY beauty treatments; this miracle of nature treatment can be used on the face and neck for younger looking skin, the back of the hands to correct age spots or anywhere else on the body you need a peel. Simply work the fleshy part of the papaya skin over the area of the body you wish to treat, leave the residue from the flesh on the skin for 10-15 minutes and rinse well and follow with your preferred moisturiser for perfect peeling.     

pap shop