Whole food for the whole body

As we know, foods impact on the body is huge – inside and out. So far we have proven the brilliance of the avocado, discovered why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is referred to as liquid gold and explored natures very own multivitamin – the egg. This week I will be finding out why people around the world turn to chamomile tea as a cure-all.

Nourish from within:

Relieve stress, anxiety and get a good, nightmare-free sleep with chamomiles mild sedative effects.

Relieve menstrual cramps by reducing muscle spasms with the increase in glycine chamomile produces.

Recover more quickly from a cold with the antioxidants contained in chamomile.

How to:

Simply – Purchase chamomile tea bags and make tea. There are plenty of choices out there. Make sure you choose either German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) or Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and a good quality brand. My favourite is pukka tea golden chamomile http://www.pukkaherbs.com.au/golden-chamomile-tea-bags/

Creatively – Mix it up. If chamomile on its own isn’t to your taste, you can still benefit from this incredible herb by mixing it with others teas, herbs, fruits and much more. Check out some of these options, below:

  • Chamomile + mint (fresh mint or mint tea) is a great, refreshing blend. Simply place both ingredients in to a tea pot with boiling water and brew to taste.
  • Chamomile + honey is a sweet, comforting treat. Simply add a teaspoon of honey to your freshly brewed tea.
  • Chamomile + hibiscus gives you a delicious fruity tea. Make in the same way as chamomile and mint.
  • Chamomile + fresh apple pieces are a calming, tasty combination. Pour boiling water into your teapot to warm it and then add fresh apple slices, using a wooden spoon to mash them in the pot. Add the chamomile and leave to brew to your liking, strain and serve. Add honey for extra sweetness or rooibos to ramp up the calming flavours.

All sound like too much effort? You can find many good, blended teas around these days. My all time favourite is serenity by mayde tea – chamomile, lavender and rose is a perfect blend that never fails to make me feel serene, get it here: http://www.maydetea.com/products/serenity

Dress –Tea can make a pretty delicious salad dressing, don’t believe me? Give this recipe from Art of Tea a go: http://www.artoftea.com/wordpress/2007/10/08/dress-your-salads-with-tea-2/

teapot


Treating the outside:

Chamomile has amazing healing properties that can accelerate the healing of minor skin irritations and wounds; it also has a natural bleaching effect on the skin. These properties make it an essential for evening skin tone and reducing the appearance of skin imperfections.

How to:

Eye treatment – reduce the appearance of dark circles and soothe tired eyes.

Ingredients:

2 organic chamomile tea bags.

Method:

Steep the tea bags in boiling water for 5 minutes; remove from the boiling water and gently squeeze out the excess liquid, pop the teabags in to the fridge for a few minutes to allow them to cool. Remove the teabags from the fridge, lay back, place a teabag on each, closed eye and enjoy. This is a great relaxing treat for tired eyes and will naturally reduce dark circles and puffiness.

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Eggcellent

Foods impact on the body is huge – inside and out. Food is energy. We need to put food in to the body to power the body, just as a car needs fuel. What we choose as fuel determines the quality of power the body gives us – quality fuel = quality power. It should come as no surprise then, when I tell you quality food works miracles from the outside too. So far we have proven the brilliance of the avocado and discovered why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is referred to as liquid gold. This week I will be exploring natures very own multivitamin – the egg:

Nicknamed nature’s multivitamin, the egg is a true super food.

Nourish from within:

  • Reduce the risk of age related eye conditions with the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin, contained in egg.
  • Increase lean muscle mass with eggs essential amino acid profile.
  • Improve memory by nourishing your brain with the choline nutrient found in egg.

How to:

  • Bread – Yes, you can make bread from eggs! Egg bread is fantastic as a nutrient packed alternative. Check out my favourite recipe here: http://fitterlondon.co.uk/food/brunch-loaf/
  • Snack – A boiled egg is a quick, simple, satisfying snack. Add paprika and other spices for a kick.
  • Add – Add an egg to stir-fries, soups, curries and other dishes for a great texture and flavour.

Egg

Treating the outside:

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain all of the essential amino acids required to replenish and repair our skin. The zinc found in eggs makes them especially beneficial for treating acne and pimple prone skin.

How to:

Body mask – Clear a spotty back in time for bikini season.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

 Method:

Whisk the egg whites and fresh lemon juice in a clean mixing bowl until the mixture becomes fluffy then mix in the honey. Once mixed to an even consistency apply immediately to a clean back. Relax for 15-20 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Follow with your chosen moisturiser.

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WHOLE FOOD FOR THE WHOLE BODY – LIQUID GOLD

There is a good reason people in the Mediterranean refer to Olive oil as liquid gold. Here are just a few:

Nourish from within:

  • Improve circulation with the proven effects of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Strengthen your immune system with the antioxidants it contains.
  • Keep your cholesterol levels in check with the role olive oil plays in lowering total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides.

How to:

  • Dress – A simple drizzle of olive oil brings any meal to life. Infuse with any number of fresh herbs (I love rosemary) or team with vinegar’s for yummy combos.
  • Cook – Roasting a big batch of veggies in extra virgin olive oil and a few dried herbs is quick, easy and super tasty.
  • Dip – My favourite is pesto. Check out this awesome recipe from the I Quit Sugar website – IQS kale pesto

Olive oil

Treating the outside:

Extra virgin olive oil is full of anti-aging antioxidants, is naturally a low allergen and has a silky smooth texture making it perfect for dry sensitive skin.

How to:

Scrub – reveal beautiful radiant skin with this DIY alternative.

This scrub can be made based on your skin type and personal preference. Finer salt crystals will result in a finer scrub. My rule: make the crystals larger as you work down the body i.e. finer crystals should be used for the face, neck and décolleté. Whereas larger crystals can be used for areas such as elbow, knees and feet.

Combine the chosen salt (rock salt, Epsom salt, even table salt will do) and oil in a jar, mix thoroughly to ensure all crystals have been distributed. The amounts will depend on the salt type and area you are treating, aim for a fairly runny consistency. Using a small amount of the scrub in the palm of the hand, apply in a gentle circular motion concentrating on dry/rough areas. Rinse thoroughly and follow with moisturiser. If you don’t have allergy issues you can add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture, my faves:

  • Rose – great for any mature skins, adds to the anti-aging properties of the olive oil.
  • Lavender – great for relaxation and a scrub before bed.
  • Tea-tree – anti-bacterial and great for acne prone skins.

Stay tuned for more wholefoods for the whole body.

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Whole food for your whole body – The amazing avocado

Who doesn’t love the humble avocado? It’s versatile, affordable and oh so good for you.

Nourish from within:

  • Improve heart health with avocados healthy fats and abundance of vitamins.
  • Support weight loss and help regulate blood sugar with their slow release of energy.
  • Help prevent arthritis, osteoporosis and other inflammatory issues by benefiting from their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Reduce the signs of aging with the antioxidants contained in avocados.

How to:

  • Salad – Avocado makes for a welcome addition to any salad, it’s easy to incorporate and goes with just about any style. Winner!
  • Smoothie – Not only does avocado add a thick, creamy texture to smoothies it also adds some serious vitamins and minerals. Yum!
  • Spread – Avocado used in placed of butter and other spreads is a tasty, healthier alternative.
  • Dessert – Not the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of avocado, but trust me, avocado makes a perfect base for chocolate mousse. To prove it’s true, try one of my all-time favourites from the foodfixup app, here’s the recipe:

Cacao & Ginger Mousse

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup (I use rice malt syrup)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Method: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, roughly 40 seconds. Add toppings of your choice and serve.

C&G Mousse


Treating the outside: 

Avocado contains nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fibre, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and a natural fatty rich texture, making it perfect for nourishing any skin type.

How to:

Facemask – Kick back, relax and treat yourself with these homemade alternatives.

Ingredients:

  • ½ a ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey

Method:

Combine the avocado, yogurt and honey in a clean mixing bowl and mix well. Immediately apply the mixture to a cleansed face and neck. Relax for 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly, tone and moisturise to complete.

Hair Mask:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil

Method:

Mix the ingredients in a clean mixing bowl until they form a paste like consistency. Apply the mixture to damp hair and leave for 20 minutes. Shampoo and condition hair as usual to remove and reveal super glossy locks!

 

 

What is Pelvic Floor?? Test yours…

As a trainer specialising in pre and postnatal personal training, I have to be in the know about the pelvic floor. In reality the pelvic floor is something all girls and guys need to be aware of. However this particular information is for all of the new mums out there!

As a mum (especially a new one) your pelvic floor is something you need to be aware of and vigilant with when embarking on any fitness plan. Remember, to get started on a postnatal fitness plan you need to be at least 6 weeks postpartum (natural delivery) and at least 12 weeks postpartum if you had a C-section. The most important thing, no matter what stage you are at, is for you to ensure you have your doctor’s clearance before you begin. Remember – look after your body!

Here I fill you in on all of the fun facts about the pelvic floor; what the issues are, how to know if you have them and how to modify your program to work around them.

Depending on many factors including your age, stage of motherhood, your pregnancy and birth experiences, the number of children you have and several other factors; you may experience varying degrees of pelvic floor issues. From your own experiences you might already be well aware of what your body and pelvic floor are capable of when it comes to exercise, and that is great!

If you aren’t quite sure, don’t worry we have you covered. Below is a little information on the pelvic floor, what to look out for, and how to work within your limits.

What is the Pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form the base of your core muscles; it’s a bit like a sling that holds everything in place. The pelvic floor works along side your tummy muscles, back muscles, and diaphragm to help support your spine and your abdomen. As the name would suggest your pelvic floor also supports your pelvic organs, and plays a large part in bladder and bowel control.

 The sure fire ways to tell you have a problem pelvic floor:

  • Leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
  • Needing to go to the toilet urgently / not making it to the toilet in time
  • Needing to go to the toilet frequently
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder / bowel
  • A prolapse
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Poor sensation or loss of bladder control during sexual intercourse.

The test:

I have a great little test I complete with my clients to assess the strength of the Pelvic Floor. You can do this test in the comfort of your own home. If you have no issues at all when completing the test, you are good to go girl! If you do find you have difficulty with the test, no problem; it is simply a case of modifying exercise – no biggie. Here is the test:

Simply complete 10 starburst jumps in quick succession, one immediately following the other. If you manage to complete 10 in a row with no bladder weakness, pain or an urgent need to go to the toilet – you have got this! If you do experience any of these issues, you need to keep your exercise program / any exercise you partake in low impact and continue with kegal exercises. If you have no idea what I am talking about when I say kegal exercises, it is a good idea to consult a specialised physiotherapist who can help you with this.

For more information and a consultation to make sure you are keeping your pelvic floor safe, contact me.

 

Valentines day victory

Whether you are in a relationship, lovin’ the single life or ‘its complicated’; Valentines Day is a social occasion for all. When working toward a health, fitness and beauty goal, any social occasion can seem daunting – don’t let this Valentines Day be that occasion. Rather than compromise your goals or become a loveless recluse, read my guide to showing your body some love this Valentines Day.

Tradition is overrated; whomever you are spending it with Valentines Day doesn’t have to mean a 3-course meal, copious amounts of alcohol and feeling guilty as a result. In fact large amounts of heavy food and alcohol will actually have a detrimental effect on any romantic intentions you have, keep that in mind when tempted.

Try our first-rate date ideas to score big in both your health and romance goals.

  • SPB– Stand up paddle boarding is not only fun and great for the core; it is also a great excuse for you to show off some skin. All of that giggling and bare skin will have those romantic hormones pumping by the time day turns to night.
  • Kayaking– As with SPB, kayaking is a great way to get a sneaky core workout in while having lots of fun. Sharing a double kayak It is also a great way to get nice and close to your date.
  • Walk – A long walk in nature is great for every part of your body and mind. It can also be very romantic and insightful if you are with your man, a great way to avoid awkward silences if with someone new, and it can give you and your girlies a chance to chat away to your hearts content. A perfect date for every relationship.
  • Camping – Want to make a weekend out of it? Camping is one of the best ways to reconnect with partners/friends, as well as with your own body and mind – no TV, no computers, just you, your chosen V-day companion/s and the great outdoors. If your intentions are romantic bring just the 1 sleeping bag…
  • Theme Park – Remember how much fun you had there as a kid?? Believe it or not, it can be just as much fun as an adult. Running between rides and releasing endorphins will do wonders for your body, and mind. Just make sure you avoid those hotdogs and jumbo colas.
  • A picnic – Pack a basket, grab a rug and head to the beach, the park or settle in for a romantic carpet picnic. Wherever you do it, a picnic is the perfect safe date. You have complete control over what you put in to the picnic basket, and your mouth! My fave inclusions: vegetable crudités, clever chips ‘n’ dipsperfectly packed pizza, and a couple of different salads. Finish with some fresh berries (feeding to each other optional) and voila – picnic heaven.
  • Romantic meal for 2 (or 3 or 4) – If you want to go more traditional it can still be done. The great news is that a lot of the best ‘romantic meal’ foods not only have great aphrodisiac properties but are also packed full of nourishment. Do it over breakfast, lunch or dinner with these nutrient dense aphrodisiac recipesI put together especially for the big day.
  • Massage – No explanation needed here. Simply grab pre-blended massage oil, or check out our top 5 essential oils for massage.

Get gifting

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.

Sneaky secrets for tanning perfection

  • Fingers and toes – it is better if you have nail polish on before your tan, even if it is just a clear coat. Your fingernails and toenails will be wiped down at the end of your spray tan, and it prevents your nails from staining the nails.  A spray tan will not have any negative impact on Acrylic or gel nails.

 

  • Brows – Threading and waxing of eyebrows and lips should be done prior to your tan.  And any tinting is best done a couple of days before, too. The tint in eyebrow tint works by opening up the hair, allowing colour to stain it. If you have your spray tan while the hair is open in this way you are guaranteed orange brows!

 

  • Lashes – Eyelash extensions are best done in advance of your tan.  They can be applied the same day, as long as it is before your spray tan. The tape that is used in the application process of lashes will remove the tan if it is done following.

 

  • Boobs – DO NOT put your bra back on immediately after your tan and avoid sports bras in particular. If you do need to wear a bra before your initial shower, hook your bra to the loosest setting.

 

  • Skin – try not to touch your skin after your tan has been applied. Touching your skin will see the insides of your hands turn that icky orange colour. Palms of hands are not supposed to come in contact with the spray tan solution.

 

  • Pee’ing – when washing your hands post pee, wash only the insides of your hands while the spray tan is developing. The best way to do it is with hand sanitizer or a cleansing wipe.
  • Water – be careful around water while your spray tan is developing, this includes doing the dishes, cleaning your teeth, doing laundry. Water can splash on to the tan and remove it from your skin so if you can – steer clear.
  • Sleeping – if you are sleeping in your tan, cover your hands with cotton gloves or socks while you sleep.  This will prevent the spray tan from transferring to your hands while you’re sleeping.

 

A shiny fresh start

Can you believe we are already a week in to the New Year??

Many of us will have entered it having made grand plans and resolutions for the health and fitness goals we plan to achieve this year. With the excitement and promise of a shiny fresh start we can often place huge expectations on ourselves and by doing so we subconsciously rebel.

If the first week of the year has seen you rebelling already I want to come to your rescue right now! With my top tips for getting fit and eating well this year:

Drink more water: It is always important to maintain adequate water consumption. Water will not only ensure a healthy body, improved skin appearance, support digestion and detoxification, it will also maintain a healthy mind and increase energy levels. Try adding some mint and cucumber or making some sugar free iced herbal tea for that added summer feel.

Do it with friends: it has been proven that training with a buddy / buddies makes you more likely to stick to a training plan. Exercise becomes a social activity, you use it as a time to catch up / chat and this makes you look forward to it more. Training with friends also keeps you accountable. No one likes the thought of letting another down. If someone else is relying on you to be there, you will be there!

Do it early! This is the perfect time to take advantage of stunning summer mornings– make the most of them by getting up to do your workouts 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 and can say a big fat yes to those evening social events.

Make it easy. Enlist the help of a personal trainer who will take the thought work out of it. A personal trainer will be there to push you through when you most need it. If you don’t have to think about what you are going to do; where you are going to do it and how you are going to get through it, that is half the battle won, right? Book an initial consult and introductory Personal training session to find out more!

Eat for the season. Summer brings a whole heap of new, beautiful fruit and veggies in to season. Play with in-season produce and recipes to create healthy, tasty nutritious meals.

Get creative – vary your workouts to avoid boredom. You have so much more opportunity this time of year because the weather is kinder, meaning workouts can be done outdoors as well as in. This gives you more opportunity to test lots of new things out – find something you love!

Shift your focus – Your body is truly incredible, and it is essential you take care of it. Change your focus this year and put the priority on being healthy, happy and feeling good in your own skin, rather than trying to reach the unrealistic ideals you see in your instagram feed. It is important to move your body every single day, however that may be. Find a way of moving your body that fills you with joy and excitement, rather than seeing exercise as a punishment. Eat real food to nourish and care for your insides, rather than worrying about the amount of calories it contains. And don’t sweat the odd treat – because in reality who would be truly happy without dark chocolate and wine in their life??

 

 

 

 

BE PREPARED

  1. Eat / drink your greens – Greens are full of vitamins and have a natural detoxifying effect. Eating greens (or drinking your greens in a quality greens powder) to nourish your bod in the lead up to and post a big night will aid recovery and help toxins leave the body sooner, shortening or putting a stop to any hangover.
  1. Choose the right drinks – It is often the sugar in the alcohol you consume that gives you the horrible hangover symptoms, such as: dehydration, sleeplessness, headaches…you know the ones. Reduce the sugar in your drinks and reduce these effects. Go for clear spirits and soda water (diet soft drinks are also a no go because they are full of nasties that interfere with the way your body metabolises alcohol) and quality red wine. Avoid pre-mixed alchopop drinks like you avoid your drunk boss at the office party. And if you must go for a cocktail, choose something like a bloody mary which has less sugar and a lil’ goodness.
  1. Water, water, water – you’ve heard it before but its true. Matching alcoholic drinks one for one with water will have you high fiving yourself the morning after.
  1. Go for another green and choose green tea over coffee the morning after. Coffee on top of the alcohol gives your poor liver a hell of a lot to deal with and will leave you feeling not so good. Green tea on the other hand will still give you the boost you need but its antioxidants will help with the flushing of rather than building up of toxins.
  1. Sweat – there is no need to hit the gym or get your cross fit on, in fact this won’t do you too many favours at all. But it is a good idea to get out there and walk it off or if you are lucky enough, take a dip in the ocean. As appealing as it sounds, lying around in bed all day will only make you feel worse in the long run. Get that blood pumping to help move toxins through, and out of the body.
  1. Your mum was right when she told you to line your stomach before a night out. Eating a quality meal with a balance of carbs, protein and good fats before a night out will not only help you avoid that late night naughty munchies but it will also set you up for a better night (think stamina over stammering) and an easier morning.
  1. Supplement with activated charcoal – this powerful detoxifier will aid in the removal of toxins from your body quickly.