Maintaining.. but wanting more..

Hi All !!

While I’m super happy with my weight, of course there’s still areas.. mainly my tummy… that I wish were firmer.  Also, if you’ve followed me over on fimum23, you know that I LOVE toned arms.

So, it’s my new plan to up the strength training in these areas.  Yes, I know… I’ve said this before.. and it’s not like I didn’t do any of it… I do.  But I clearly need to do MORE in order to get the specific results I’m after.

Fitness Girl Vector. Different Poses. Doing Fitness Exercises. Lunges, Squats, Plank. Woman Fitness. Flat Cartoon Illustration

There’s a couple of practical/housekeeping things I’m needing to sort out in order to make these changes as optimally as possible… but that’s in the works.

1.  I need to sell my X-trainer as I literally NEVER use it.  I used to really enjoy it, but now… not so much.  I know that it’s probably a seasonal (kinda) thing and I may come back around… as is proven by my now LOVE of my treadmill, which I did once detest the idea of getting on.  There’s also the undeniable aspect that the X trainer gives a full body workout.. and seeing I’m wanting to improve my upper arms, it would seem like a great plan to actually use it regularly, but the fact of the matter is, if you don’t enjoy being on there.. you simply won’t get on there.  (proven by the fact that I haven’t stepped on the darn thing in like 6mths). It’s also a rather bulky item to have in your rumpus room being unused.  At present it sits kinda under the workout cage, making it not 100% useable itself.  So….  that is a MUST DO item for next weeks ‘to do list’.  Advertise X Trainer !!

Achieving #1 will make #2 actually happen.  Using my workout cage to it’s full capabilities.  I absolutely LOVE doing weighted squats…. they just make me feel crazy strong (LOL).  I used to do them with my PT all the time (because it’s obviously way easier when someone can hand it to you…. or better still, place it across the top of your shoulders). But, doing them on your own is harder… and throw in the element of me having rather garbage balance due to my eyesight… basically impossible.. or at most… a rather bad idea.   Having the added safety of being able to pick up your bar at your optimal height and place it back in that same position…  just so great.

Workout cage

It’s hard to see in this image, (as this isn’t actually my cage), but there are holes top to bottom, so you can place your bars at whatever height suits.   This is super handy in my house seeing I share with my son, who is 194cm tall.  😂

Another thing I’m yet to achieve, and REALLY want to, is early morning workouts…  As much as I try… I just love sleeping in the morning too much.  I also KNEW that this was going to get even harder as the mornings got cooler, so I really wanted to have achieved this BEFORE winter.  I do still have time for this, so I”m being optimistic and saying I’ll reach the goal.

I’m still loving my smoothies…. to the point where I am pretty bummed that I actually didn’t have one today.  (I mean seriously.. look at just a couple of smoothies I’ve concocted … pretty darn appealing)   I made my son the Healthy Mummy chia choc chip pancakes a couple of months ago, and he LOVES them…. so that’s what was on the brekky menu for today.  Then, of course, I had a healthy hamburger craving at lunch…  so there’s that… and then for dinner… I did actually have a smoothie, but just a simple meal replacement one, as I was crazy busy making stovetop lasagna for the fam, so needed to down my dinner before it was too late.

I absolutely LOVE (yeah, I know.. I capitalise a LOT) (See what I did there? 😂) finding different ways to get extra nutrients in by way of staying hydrated.  I’ve started making both cucumber water (which I actually fell in love with onboard Pacific Aria last March), and also Celery juice.

When I went to make the Celery juice for the first time, I was bummed to realise that I needed a nutbag to strain, but I’ve found that my Norwex dish cloth does a fantastic job.  (Yes, a shameless Norwex plug.. I have re-activiated my account too.  LOL)

OK… just a quick update for now….  I’ll make an effort to blog more in the days to come.. as I have soooo much info to share.  My niece has just given me two apparently fantastic books to read….  ‘Diet for a new America’ by John Robbins (I’ll just read ‘Australia’ every time it says America..lol.. and ‘Food for life’ by Neal Barnard, MD.  I”m super bummed to get into them as they do seem packed with great info, even just by flicking through briefly so far.

Continuing to #respectthetemple peeps !!

37400913_10156599517509540_438102688714981376_n

Healthy on the hols

Hi all !!

I just wanted to jump on and share 3 things with you ….  how much I LOVE my smoothies of a morning, how easy it is to make simple substitutions in order to still have a ‘treat’ when out & about…. and lastly, how creating a yummy healthy dinner is actually fun to do !!

So, EVERY single morning starts with a Healthy Mummy Smoothie….  I’m in a bit of choc cherry or Raspberry Ripple phase at present, but really any flavour is divine !!

My husband is constantly in awe at how much I actually pack into my brekky smoothie, so here’s a run down on what goes into every morning smoothie.

I used to put almond milk in my smoothies, but ran out one day, so simple threw a handful of almonds in with water.. and it tasted just as good.  So I thought…  well, that’s gotta be a healthier option.  If you look at the nutritional info on a carton of almond milk (even the good organic activated almond milk), the % of almonds is pretty darn low.  This way, I know I’m actually getting a good amount of almonds in.

So, along with the almonds and water, goes a frozen banana, 2 or 3 frozen strawberries, (usually some frozen blueberries, but I actually forgot them this morning, .. whoopsie), a big ole spoonful of LSA (Yes, I know I’m doubling up on almonds.. but hey, there’s worse things to double up on, right?), Organic cacao, Maca powder, Chia seeds, Hemps seeds & the HM mix.   This one had some organic cacao nibs on top with the blueberries and strawberry too.   Whip it up in the trusty Ninja Auto IQ.. and you’ve got yourself a nutrient dense, yet delicious, breakfast !!

I literally go to bed each night looking forward to my smoothie… it’s crazy right?  I did wonder when I started with HM whether I’d get bored with them, or get sick of making them each morning, but no… I still LOVE it.  I also wondered how I’d go thru winter.. whether I’d like getting up and having a cold smoothie on a cold morning.. but I actually went through last winter still having one each day.  There was one morning that I made a warm smoothie, using the thermomix, after seeing a HM recipe for it. I really did like it, but didn’t actually make another.. so who knows if I’ll do more of that in winter this year.

I also have come to love using my ‘smoothie time’ as my quiet time with The Lord.  I make my delish smoothie, make it pretty (a totally unnecessary part of smoothie time.. but hye, it makes it more special.. like you’ve having a smoothie from Charlies Raw Squeeze.. lol).. and then go sit somewhere nice and get into the Word.  I GREAT way to spend part of your morning.  I’m still working on ‘becoming an early morning person’…  (says the blogger at the computer after 10pm).  It just seems to make so much sense to me.. to get up by 6, have a solid hour with The Lord.. and then tackle the day… but I’m not there yet, so currently have a quiet time of about 20-25mins.

OK… jump forward into the day.. and we decided to head to the beach around lunchtime as there’s not too many of these opportunities left before school goes back.  I totally could have taken something with me to eat, but part of the fun of a ‘beach trip’ is the chips on bread lunch/arv tea you have after a swim in the ocean.

Sooooooo, here’s how I still have my ‘treat’ with the kiddos, while fueling my body the best way I can in the situation.

If you’re not Australian, and you’re reading this…. that pic on the left, is a VERY Aussie beach meal.  A ‘chip sanga’.  Not many would choose to have it on multigrain, but hey…  I actually like it.. and it meant I was actually adding some nutrition to what would normally not have much.

In years gone by, the chip sanga would have gone down VERY well with a Pepsi Max, but today… a delish Watermelon water was my selection.. and man, it was no sacrifice.  It was downright divine !!  I have had this one before, so knew it was going to be yum.. but still.  It meant that I ate alongside my kiddos.. enjoying the beach lunch experience with them.   Being healthy isn’t just about the food & exercise peeps !!!  However, I can’t help myself, I did walk out a mere 5000 steps along the beach while the kids rode the waves.

OK… an hour drive home… and it’s time to tackle my challenge for the week….  instead of ‘meat free Monday’.. I decided to challenge myself to a ‘meat free week’.  It’s too much to go into right now, but when my niece went vegetarian a few years back, I decided to look into and do some research as to why people think it’s a better option.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my chicken and beef far too much to go vegetarian, but after all the research I did, I certainly do believe there is too much meat production in the world.  As a result, I made the decision to go one night a week without meat… but I’d like to aim for 3 or 4 nights per week as meat free.

What had me seeing it as difficult tho is I didn’t think I could come up with enough options to reduce our meat intake, but after I came across a page last night, I’ve put together a list of options.

Here they are  – Vegetarian lasagna, soup, fritters, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, veggie bake, mushroom risotto, chick pea & veg curry, flafel burgers, sweet potato and feta sausage rolls, veggie nachos with guacamole, veggie frittata, roast pumpkin and quinoa salad, quesadillas with beans, spinach & ricotta pastries, bbq halloumi & veg kebabs.. and vegetarian pizza.

Tonight, I decided to simply start at the top of the list and make veggie lasagna.  We actually ended up having friends over for diner last minute, so they were my little guinea pigs.  lol.

I was honestly just making it up as I went along (see, it’s fun !! )….  randomly putting in whatever I thought would work…  actually being so lazy that I didn’t even make a cheese sauce, but only poured a can of coconut cream over one of the layers.  I also used lavash bread instead of the lasagna sheets.  One, because it’s a healthier option.. and two, because it gets dinner on the table WAY faster.

My method was – Slice up 2 sweet potatoes and lay the pieces on a pan and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top, then season with S & P.  In a 180 degree FF oven for approx 20mins.  While they’re cooking, slice up 2 big zucchinis and 4 large carrots and microwave them for 10mins (if I had more time, I would’ve steamed them though).  Once everything is ready, simply start constructing layers in an oven proof rectangular dish.  I added a can of diced tomatoes, a can of corn kernels, the sweet potato, carrot and zucchini slices, some cream cheese spread dollops, some chopped mushys,  the coconut cream.. and some grated cheese on top.  It only took maybe 10mins in the oven as there’s really nothing to cook.

I’d love to show you a picture, as it actually came out of the oven looking gorgeous.. but it got eaten too quickly.  I do have 2 serves left tho… so I’m now hanging out for lunch t’row.  ha ha.

OK..  so there you have it… a day of Fi’s meals.  A little bit of a treat with the chip sanga, but overall, a very good food day, nutritionally speaking.

Still #respectingthetemple

37400913_10156599517509540_438102688714981376_n

 

Let’s talk healthy food !!

I’ve never been one to ‘meal plan’ so to speak, and am far more a ‘decide at 4pm’ kinda gal.  Now, this is perfectly fine IF you have good ingredients in your house.  The biggest trap when it comes to eating un-healthily is going for the ‘easier’ option, usually because it’s faster.

So, as long as I have a can of tuna or lentils in the cupboard… then I’m all good for a 4pm (or even 5.30pm) decision.  (Side note – I do live only a 10min walk to the supermarket, so I can literally decide on a roast at 4pm if I really wanted to… I never have though. ha ha)

But, seeing as we can’t live on Tuna & Lentils, I need to be more self disciplined and actually think of the evening meal the night before, or at least first thing in the morning.  I totally realise I can defrost in the microwave, and against my better judgement,  I do sometimes, but I prefer to let it defrost on the side of the sink overnight.

I’m not telling any big secret here when I say that mince is your biggest versatile friend when it comes to the evening meal.  So much can be made from it, but be sure to not scrimp on the quality .. your tummy won’t thank you for that 2 star mince people !!  I’ve recently been making the Healthy Mummy stovetop lasagna (Recipe HERE). It is so great in so many ways…..  one less pot & wooden spoon to wash, hidden veggies, great ingredients… and it’s a WINNER with the family.  The recipe calls for lasagna sheets, but I’ve also made it with spiral & shell pasta, GF pasta, wholemeal pasta, egg pasta, pulse pasta…. so basically it’s great whichever way you want to make the meal.  It is also a FANTASTIC leftovers dish for those hungry 16yr old boys that eat you out of house and home. 😂

Rissoles or meatballs are also fantastic as you can, once again, hide all sorts of goodness in them (grated zucchini, carrot, celery, chia seeds etc).  Also they can be served for dinner with great fresh veggies or salad, and then save some leftovers to have with a yummy finger food lunch.  Here’s my lunch from yest where I had some leg ham, but this is the kinda lunch I’d pop a couple of meatballs onto.

45441941_1624151074352513_9051848837102043136_n.jpg

Yes, it’s a little heavy on the cheese, but that’s because my Great Nephew was here and he likes to steal my cheese.  :0) (PS, those cheese filled bell peppers were THE BOMB.COM .. they were actually a b’day present from my daughter, so I’m having them super sparingly!!)

This plate is a fairly good illustration of what I have for lunch a few days per week, just with the protein sources swapped around……  quite often it’s tuna or chicken on the plate as a great low fat protein option.   Don’t forget the added goodness you get with each addition.   eg. Tuna is a great source of iron and potassium.  Chicken is a very good source of selenium (enhanced immune response), vitamins B2 & B6 (helps with inflamation, as well as lots more).

Basically, whenever you eat wholefoods, there are AAAAHHHmazing health benefits in everything….  because, guess what.. GOD DESIGNED THEM THAT WAY !!  (Although, He may have some questions about some of the variations nowadays. lol)

You know I LOVE finding new wholefood cafes to try… and today was another victory in that department.  Soul Harvest Wholefoods Eatery at Margate (HERE is their Facebook page) is in a street just a block up from the beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula.  Really great atmosphere, loads to choose from.. and friendly staff.  I’ve been following their FB page for awhile and had been super keen to try it out, but didn’t get there until today.

45463039_271992963426986_7321254634910121984_n45496814_493398244483087_2769627033968312320_n.jpg

 

 

My Brekky choice – ‘Eggs your way’ (my way is poached :0) on activated charcoal sourdough, with a side of bacon and some homemade relish.  (I so wish I could master poached eggs at home… I have one of those magic egg thingos for the microwave, but it’s just not the same..plus there’s the whole ‘I don’t want to be using the microwave thing.)

 

 

 

You’ll also see on their FB page that they’re not just about eat in food & drinks, but takeaway, catering, picnics (Look for future blog post on this as it is so our next date day option !!) as well as classes on things like making your own Kombucha, essential oils, Beeswax wraps etc.  They also have loads of stuff going on around healthy living and wellness.. yes, some of it sounds a little new-agey, but just do your homework before going along to something.

As I’m typing, I’m enjoying my darn stinking delicious HM Choc Cherry smoothie.  This is normally my breakky routine, but as I had brekky out, I’m having it now.   I LOVE how I can add in all sorts of goodness and not even taste that it’s there.  I just ate an entire zucchini and it was like it wasn’t there at all.  BAM

OK….  that’s today’s lunchtime thoughts.  I actually got my mince out on the side of the sink at 11am today, so let’s see what #nutritiousdelicous meal I can whip up with it.

Love to you all….  let’s continue to #respectthetemple in all that we do (& eat).

37400913_10156599517509540_438102688714981376_n

Back in the blogosphere

Hi all.. yes, it’s pretty darn embarrassing that I haven’t written a blog since the end of July… and not only embarrassing, but confronting, as it’s an actual ministry calling I’ve been ignoring.  Not cool, not cool at all.

So, as always….  repent, forgive yourself.. and move on with every intention to do better.

I’m still powering on in the healthy body stakes and am pretty much just maintaining my weight now.  I’ve become a 42yr old since I last blogged.  A lot of people seem to be bothered by the number, but it seriously does not bother me at all.  If anything, I actually feel pretty happy with where I’m at as a 42yr old.  I don’t only mean physically, but mentally and spiritually too.  Of course, it goes without saying that there’s ALWAYS room for growth & learning in all of those areas, but just keeping on walking forwards is always a great plan.

As well as the birthday, I’ve had a rather full-on overseas trip (blog soon to appear over on my life blog site), plus other family events etc that are common ‘full off the healthy wagon’ kinda triggers.  I’m pleased to say that I’ve remained firm in the healthy lifestyle choices, both food & exercise, throughout.

It certainly helps that 1.  It becomes a habit and you full-on crave it.  2.  Your body tends to not like it when you feed it rubbish when it’s been loving goodness.  3.  Loving what you see in the mirror is always a huge motivator to keep going. (once again, not just about the physical).  It’s also a great thing that there is more and more wholefoods cafes popping up, which makes it so enjoyable to head out for a catch up, knowing that you’re having a ‘treat’ and yet still nourishing your body.  This is one of my absolute fave smoothies from Charlies at Clontarf.  If you’re local, here is their website.  Go check them out as they are AMAZING !!  They also double as a little grocery store and they stock all sorts of great stuff.

42723529_10156773195669540_2553132249566412800_o

It’s very interesting that the body shape or type that was your goal in the beginning quite often isn’t what you desire as you travel further along the journey.  I’ll admit, I started off just wanting to be THIN !!  I wanted to look good in size 10 clothes.. and maintain it.  But I’ve found that a HEALTHY body trumps a THIN body every single time.  This is not just about body shape or size, but skin, hair, nail, posture, overall attitude.

I walk EVERYWHERE, and I also love to squat, so as a result, I have really firm thighs, and they’re not as thin as my original ‘goal’ body.  But I love it that way.  That saying is so true….  ‘Strong is the new sexy’.  ha ha.

Along with physical goals, I set myself some spiritually healthy goals too.  For years, my 1st action every morning was to pick up my phone and look at FB & insta..  I was confronted big-time with the fact that I was allowing my head & heart to be filled with useless chatter, outright garbage, or just nonsense, first thing in the morning… instead of beginning my day immersed in God’s Word.  (PS.. for friends reading this.. your posts are not useless chatter.  LOL )

I would always do the daily bible reading from the You Version app on my phone, but it would be whatever time of day I got to doing it, and I’d just read the one verse/s highlighted, nothing more.  I would get into a plan fairly often, but other than that… it was mainly just the daily bible verse.

My original goal was to do 2 things…  1.  Do not allow myself to look at anything else on my phone in the morning until that bible reading was done.. and 2.  to hit that ‘read full chapter’ button under the verse.  Except for those times that the verse happens to be in Psalm 119 and you realise you’re gonna be late (lol), it’s been so great to read an entire chapter each morning.   Like the food and exercise, it’s also become a ‘craving’ each morning and one that quickly becomes the BEST way to start the day.

I’ve recently set a new goal, which is to use an actual physical bible instead of the app.  While I actually love the idea of doing this as I just love to hold and read a bible (same with a fiction/non fiction book),  the ability to enlarge the font on the phone/tablet and have it set to something that’s really easy for me to see, even without reading glasses, is hard to go past.  But, I’m determined !!  I’m going to push on and I must say, I’m pretty excited to see what I’ll learn from this.  It’s one thing to allow an app to guide you, but to take that responsibility on yourself….  it’s daunting, but exciting.

43346159_10156798685344540_712882000389734400_o

On the exercise front, I’ve recently bought a step… sounds riveting right?  Well surprisingly, it actually was.  After the first day of having it, I said to my husband “This is the best $35 with free postage (ebay) I’ve ever spent.  I Youtube searched ‘workouts using a step’ and have found some amazing ones that have quickly become a great part of my week.   Here is one of my favourites at the moment.  It’s a killer, but it’s GREAT !!!  If you can take a good walk, and add in a step workout, you’ve got yourself a great day of moving your body.

I’ve also not long ago bought a booty belt (& no, you’re not seeing a picture of that. lol).  I’m yet to decide if it’s a gimmick or a legit piece of workout equipment.   It definitely does target areas, which is great… but we’ll see.  I’ll keep you updated.

OK…  I hope you’re all doing fabulously, respecting the temple, and walking alongside our Lord and Saviour, the best PT ever !!!

37400913_10156599517509540_438102688714981376_n

So, what’s my secret ?

Since getting full-on serious about dropping unhealthy weight from my body last September, I’ve shed 15kgs.  The thing I get asked most often is “What’s your secret?”

37933189_10156620309934540_9215250601590390784_o

Well, this is one secret I’m not gonna keep…. you’re all welcome to it. ha ha.

2 key words…. and neither of them is exercise..  (calm down…  exercise is certainly one of the secondary key words.)

OK.. so #1 is DIET !!  Now, let’s be clear…  when I say ‘diet’, I DO NOT mean I ‘went on a diet’.. and you’ll never hear me telling you to ‘go on a diet’ either.   By ‘diet’, I mean what goes in your mouth each and every day, for the rest of your life.    Don’t think you can make changes by not making any changes.  (yeah, I know.. that’s a meme.)

I had to examine my diet and work at eliminating the foods that didn’t feed me in a 100% positive way.  I had been finding for years that I felt pretty sluggish after each time having dairy, mainly milk.  I seemed to get away with cheese and butter ok…  but pretty much all other dairy has had to go.  This was a little sad for me, as I really used to love a tall glass of super cold milk !!  But never fear, it’s all good, as now I love a tall glass of super cold almond milk (preferably with coffee in it.. lol) !!

I also upped (as I was already pretty good with fruit & veg etc) my wholefoods intake.  The dead-set easiest way to add fantastic nutritional goodness to your diet is with brekky smoothies.  for example, adding a small zucchini to your morning smoothie may sound kinda gross, but honestly, you don’t even know it’s there once blitzed up, and you’ve just added amazing life giving nutrients to your body to start your day.

Unhealthy carbs had to go too !!  Did you know that many fruit juices are super high in carbs?  I once heard Candace Cameron Bure say that she’d rather eat her calories than drink them.. and I so agree.  I’d so rather add some ‘treats’ to a healthy meal with a similar amount of carbs to a glass of OJ, that you knock back a glass and be done & dusted.

Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains. These foods are generally healthy (when had in moderation). On the other hand, refined carbs include sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice and others.

To put into perspective the goodness within healthy carbs, check out these 4 popular choices and their differences…

  • Corn (1 cup): 41 grams of carbs, 5 of which are fibre
  • Potato (1 medium): 37 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
  • Sweet potato/yam (1 medium): 24 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
  • Beets (1 cup, cooked): 16 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fibre

Soft drink went from being a once a week treat, to a ‘maybe when out for dinner, but hardly ever’ treat.  I thought it would be hard, but it actually hasn’t been.  I keep good quality iced tea sachets in the house, and whenever a full on craving hits me, I just grab one of those, and it hits the spot.  (PS.. I buy X50.. here is a link to their website to check out their products. ) . Remember though, that these drinks do contain sugar, so be sensible about when you have them.  Post workout is a great idea, or just prior to when you know you’ll still knock some calories off.  ie.. an evening walk, or tready sesh.  :0)

So, #2 key word is SUBSTITUTION !!  The two do overlap a fair bit, but let’s look at the easy ways you can budge that unhealthy weight by implementing some really simple substitutions.

Bread…  if you must have it, avoid white bread, and grab the multigrain or mixed seed etc.   (better still, make your own using a healthy flour choice like coconut or spelt.)

Cereals – If you tend to lean towards the sugary cereals, find something with grains & fruit in it.  Muesli is a fantastic option.. or overnight oats, chia pudding etc etc.   (let’s be real… I’m a brekkie smoothie girl all the way, but hey, if you like cereal… knock yourself out, but do it with a healthier option.)

Milk (we’ve already covered this… but here’s some additional info ) – swap to a dairy free option. While cows milk is still packed with nutritious goodness,  almond or coconut milk are a far better option.  Almond milk generally contains fewer calories than cow’s milk, but it depends on the type of milk you buy. Unsweetened almond milk provides just 30 calories per cup, vs. 90 calories in a cup of skim cow’s milk. One-percent low-fat milk contains 110 calories, two-percent milk provides 130 calories, and whole cow’s milk contains 150 calories per cup. Sweetened vanilla-flavoured almond milk generally contains 90 calories in each cup. (Praise the Lord for Espresso Almond Milk !!)

Yoghurt – Change over to a greek yoghurt, and sweeten it with berries etc.  Adding healthy nuts etc adds a fantastic texture sensation.

Pasta – As with the bread, reach for the wholemeal option… or go really crazy like me and whip yourself up some zoodles to have with your fav bolognese mince sauce.  It’s crazy easy to do with a spiralizer from ebay.  There’s some big price differences, but I honestly paid approx $12 for mine and it works a treat.  If you’re thinking it’s too much of a pain to do something different for you than the rest of the fam… it’s really not.  As you don’t actually need to cook the zucchini, it only really needs a minute dunking in boiling water.  (Don’t take the pasta from your kiddos diet, as they kinda need those carbs for their ever growing, ever active bodies. )

You can also change over to Pulse Pasta.  Pulses are part of the legume family, the term “pulse” referring to the dried seed. Dried peas, dried beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fiber, antioxidants, and low in fat!

Rice – Once again, stay away from the white rice and grab for the brown rice… or better still, swap over to Quinoa. Both foods’ calories come primarily from their carbohydrate content, and a serving of brown rice or quinoa offers 22 or 20 grams of carbohydrates, respectively. However, quinoa offers more dietary fibre and protein than brown rice, so it should make for a more filling addition to your diet than brown rice.

Spreads – Before you grab for that strawberry jam off the supermarket shelf, consider making your own, or if you’re not into that, find a local market that stocks 100% fruit jam.  You won’t regret it, and you’ll soon wonder how you ever ate that other stuff.  If it’s peanut butter that you love to smear on your toast…  grab the 100% version.. whether it be peanut, almond or cashew butter.  If you’ve got a thermomix, or a good food processor, grab some raw peanuts from a good health food store or stockist, and blitz up your own.  It really is a super easy thing to do.  (& you’ll feel super clever for doing it.. ha ha)

Meats – Go for your leaner options, (and watch your portion size).  Chicken breast over chicken thigh for example.  Salmon is a great choice also.  Pork chops used to be on the doctors’ hit list. Today, however, pork is “the other white meat” and is a healthy alternative to red meat. And when it’s eaten in moderation, a pork chop can be quite good for you. Pork chops can be relatively lean, but they’re typically not as low-fat as chicken or fish.  If you love yourself a good steak every now and then (as I do), don’t deprive yourself, just stick to a better cut (sorry, yes, it is dearer), but it also usually comes in a much smaller portion size too.  eg..  an eye fillet piece (also known as fillet steak, beef fillet and beef tenderloin) is usually only around 200g.  (bear in mind that is still about double the recommended intake for a woman at a meal, so factor that in with what the side dishes are…  in other words.. skip the fries, go the salad.) .

Still on the meat substitutions, make sure you are buying the best quality sausages you can, if that’s something your family likes (as mine do).  There are lots of great healthy meals you can make with sausages, so source some good ones, and go your hardest.  Same theory with mince… buy the 5 star (but having said that, the Aldi 3 star is pretty darn good at my local Aldi store.)

Drinks – We’ve covered this a little, but the best piece of advice I can give you for fluid intake is WATER WATER WATER !!!  Yes, I know some of you are probably cringing right now, but it really is true that LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE !!  Get yourself an app on your phone.. and start drinking more water… you really will be so glad you did !!  You’ll feel so much better across the board..  hair, nails, skin…  and just in yourself in general.

When water just won’t hit the spot (there are ALWAYS gonna be those times), as I said, make yourself up an iced tea, or if you really can’t go without a soft drink, at least go for a sugar free option.. but let’s be real…  just think chemical poo storm.. and you’re right on track.  That info alone is usually enough to keep me away from it.  There is also great options you can source when out and about, without having to grab a sugary soft drink.  Just take not of where you find them, so you know where you can and can’t source a healthier option.

I’m afraid I can’t really speak much for hot drinks as I really don’t have a lot of them, but we all know tea is good for you.. and coffee has it’s benefits too.  Just watch the frequency in which you’re having them.. and if you need to sweeten, look at a Stevia option, or something similar.

Eating out – I know we talked about the steak option when eating out, but there’s other great healthier options you can go with when out with friends.  There is usually a low carb bread option available for a burger, steak sandwhich or toastie, and if you want those fries with it, go the sweet potato ones (they’re way yummier anyway.)

31120880_10156382905619540_448326463226118144_o

One tip I can give though is that it is far easier to eat a meal out and eat healthily, than it is to have a snack/coffee date out.

Snacks at home – I’ve never been a real bikkie eater, but if you are… let’s think about breaking that habit.  There is little to NO nutritional goodness in a biscuit.. just a whole pile of sugar to make you sluggish, clog your pores and rot your teeth. (sorry..  not sorry).  If you have a sweet tooth, you may find this a more difficult transition, but try and swap over to savoury snack options, rather than sweet.  You’ll be glad you did.  You can still add some sweetness to your snacks by including things like plums, dates etc etc.

(PS.. if you’re organised, you can also take this out with you when you’re having that coffee catch up that you know will not have any healthy choices on offer. )

30415455_10156346759819540_95811683762569216_o

And finally.. and this isn’t a food one….  Go to bed early and GET MORE SLEEP !!!!  It’s beyond beneficial for your body, your mental health.. and your general wellbeing.  So, turn Netflix off, and go to bed !!!

I hope this has given you a bit of an idea on some simple substitutions that can make a big difference to not only your waistline, but how you feel in general.

Partner these simple substitutions with some gentle exercise 3 times per week (obviously more than gentle, based on how quickly/the results you want to achieve.) . If there’s a stand-out that I’ve learnt in the last 10months, it’s that the 80-20 rule is TOTALLY true.  It’s 80% diet, and only 20% exercise.  I’ve been exercising very well for 4 or 5 years now, but it was only when I seriously looked at my diet that I saw real change.

The point was also proven in recent weeks when I couldn’t exercise at anywhere near my normal level after my foot injury, and then surgery 2wks ago… but the scales still showed a loss each Saturday morning.  Not huge, but a loss nonetheless.

OK…  let’s keep respecting the temple together

37400913_10156599517509540_438102688714981376_n

Who wants flat abs ? ME !!

Hi all.. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve found that the most stubborn excess weight to budge is on my tummy.  Now, lots of people will say that if you’ve had kids, you can’t achieve flat abs, but I respectfully, but strongly disagree.  There’s just too many fit healthy Mummas out there with gorgeous, healthy abs to make this ‘theory’ stand up.

fit-belly-and-tape-measure-1483641386MwY

I mean, let’s be real..  our tummy muscles are torn in half with our first pregnancy, and there’s no glueing those babies back together, so if you’re asking if your tummy will get back to looking the same that it did pre-kids.. than the answer is a resounding no.  It’s kinda like your facial features before and after braces.  Structural change creates changes to the surface of our body… ain’t nothin’ gonna make that go back to the way it was before (well, maybe some super fantastic plastic surgeon could achieve it for a price… but hey, I’m not a big advocate for that course of action.😂)

I’ve spend lots of time in recent years doing crunches and sit-ups.. but I’ve gotta say, I’m not too keen on those methods.  I end up with a sore neck/back/butt (I kinda ‘broke’ my tailbone as a kid, so anything where you pivot constantly on your butt isn’t the most comfortable thing to do.)

When I spent a solid year working with a PT 2 times per week in 2016, she had me planking as the predominant core strength exercise.  While it takes a bit to get the knack, and concentration to ensure you continue to use the right form every time etc, it really is the best way to work your core.

While getting into the proper form is straightforward, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core. The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance.

I had started to think it was a little boring, until I discovered, and created, different variations to the exercise.  These not only help to work different muscle’s etc, but keep things more interesting, as well as distract you from the burn.  (yes, it burns, but it’s worth it !!)

Some of my favs are shoulder taps, reaching sideways and front to back with a resistance band, side plank where you reach your hand in the air, single forearm plank reaching alternating arms in front of you, knee to inside elbow plank, knee to outside elbow plank…. I could seriously go on.. but in general, you just need to keep them interesting so you don’t get bored.   YouTube search ‘plank variations’ and you’ll find loads of videos to check out.

Planking is such a versatile move and is best known for working your core, but planks also engage more than 20 muscles, including your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and glutes. To perfect proper form of the good old fashioned basic plank, start with the basic plank. Practice holding that plank, starting on knees to begin with, until you can go up on your toes.. for 30 seconds at a time, adding 15 seconds each time you work out. Once you can hold a basic plank for a minute, move on to more interesting variations … and before you know it, you’ll begin to see real transformation.

Click here to see one of my absolute FAV ab workouts with Danette May.  This chick is 40yrs old, and she’s had 3 kids people… so no excuses.  It just requires commitment and dedication.. and not a whole lot of time each day.  I really love Danette’s principals as she has really practical methods for busy Mums.  We don’t have all the time in the world to be at the gym 5 days per week.  We need quick but effective workouts that will achieve results.   Workouts that don’t require a lot (if any) equipment are also fantastic !!

In general though, I really think the plank was the great base that helped me train myself to hold my core in. Not only for all workout exercises, but also just in general throughout the day.  So, while the planking itself gets results, it’s the flow on effect that helps overall too, as holding in that belly (& tucking ya booty under) makes a subtle but really noticeable difference to your stance.   And let’s face it, it’s subtle improvements like these that make us happy with what we see in the mirror, and happier with how we appear in a photograph etc.

Some people say it’s vanity to want to look good, but it’s important to remember that Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s handiwork…  as well as in Genesis 1:27, So God created mankind in his own image.  Personally, I want to feel that I’m presenting myself at my best (at HIS BEST).  When it comes down to it… are we respecting the temple He gave us if we don’t ?  Are we reflecting His image if we don’t?

Points to ponder I’m sure.  Until we chat again, happy planking !!

37400913_10156599517509540_438102688714981376_n

 

Guddah bowl anyone ??

Hi all,  It is the most glorious winter morning here in Brisbane.  I’m actually soon to go throw a towel down on my back lawn and lay in the sun for a bit… but first, I have to tell you about the most delicious nutritious meal I’ve just had.

37671789_10156612414129540_572956389702369280_n.jpg

I wasn’t even thinking to eat when out getting some things done this morning, but when I was heading home and I knew there wasn’t a huge amount at home (you know, that 2 days before grocery day feeling.), I thought to stop by this fantastic local coffee shop not far from my house.  If you are on the northside of Brisbane and haven’t tried it, do yourself a favour, and don’t walk, RUN to Wheelhouse Coffee in Lawnton.   (Support local business peeps !!) The staff are always super friendly and the place has a really vibrant feel to it.   Lots of solid timber pieces, greenery & colour.   (Hopefully the lovely ladies in this photo won’t sue me for putting them in my blog.)

37745293_10156612414239540_4262801310962679808_n

It’s been open a few years now but has really grown into the most amazing, inviting place to stop and eat.  I’ve always loved that they’ve had some healthy options on their menu.. but today when I went in, sooooo much on the menu was packed full of wholefood nutrition, it was honestly hard to choose.

37704199_10156612414414540_1087748193388593152_n

I decided on a Guddah bowl…..  Let’s be real, I’d never heard of it before, but I was assuming it meant a Buddah bowl from a Christian standpoint ??  😃   When I googled ‘buddah bowl’ to clarify, it said ‘sometimes referred to as glory or hippie bowls, are hearty, filling dishes made of various greens, raw or roasted veggies, beans and a healthy grain like quinoa or brown rice. Sometimes they also include toppings like nuts, seeds and dressings for added texture and flavor.’ Yep !!  Sounds about right to me !!

Similar dishes can be called ‘Nourishing bowls’ .The root of the Nourish Bowl is choosing nutrient dense veggies, fruits/carbohydrates, healthy fats, and quality proteins to make a filling meal in a bowl.

or a ‘macro bowl’.. .Similar to a rice bowl and a simplified form of balanced eating, they’re typically comprise of a grain base, raw or cooked veggies, a protein of your choice and a healthy fat like avocado, hummus or a tasty homemade dressing. They’re called macro bowls because they hit all your macronutrients: carbs, protein and fat.

Let’s look at the amazing life giving, nutrient rich ingredients within my Guddah bowl.

Grated carrot – Carrots contain vitamin A, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Evidence suggests that eating more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, can help reduce the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Carrots are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

Black rice – Haven’t heard of black rice? It’s not surprising really, it’s pretty rare compared to its brown and white relatives.   Black rice is rich in antioxidants, a natural detoxifier, a good source of fibre, reduces the chance of diabetes, aids in weight management, a richer protein source than white, or even brown rice. It also aids in better heart health.  A pretty good choice to include in your diet I’d say.

Avocado – Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 100g serving

  • Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
  • Folate: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
  • Potassium: 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
  • It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).

This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fibre, so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.  Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat.

Cherry tomatoes – Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of vitamin K and potassium.

Leafy green mix –These vegetables also contain an abundance of carotenoids-antioxidants that protect cells and play roles in blocking the early stages of cancer. They also contain high levels of fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Furthermore, greens have very little carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol.

Roasted zucchini – Aids in weight loss, maintains optimal health, prevents infection & disease, protects the cardiovascular system, gives relief from symptoms of arthritis, as well as tasting AMAZING.. and so much more !!

Mushrooms –  are rich in the B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health. Riboflavin is good for red blood cells. Niacin is good for the digestive system and for maintaining healthy skin.

Capsicum – The presence of vitamin B6 and folate helps lower the level of homocystein, which is a major contributor to cardiovascular illnesses. The compounds found in capsicum such as fibre and lycopene helps reduce the level of fat in your body. Potassium in capsicum is also responsible for maintaining adequate blood pressure.

& homemade relish (OMG, the relish…. don’t get me started on how good that was.).

I also added pan fried diced chicken to the meal as an additional protein source.   I do like my lunch meal to be on the larger side, and my dinner to be quite a bit lighter.  My tummy thanks me for doing it this way.

My first bite was into a cut cherry tomato.. and oh my word….  flavour sensation, and I’m not even exaggerating.

I didn’t get a drink today as I’d not long had my brekky smoothie, but I’ve also had fantastic dairy free cold & hot drinks at Wheelhouse before.

If you aren’t in this neck of the woods, or don’t have a great cafe nearby that uses top quality wholefoods etc, get busy making yourself one of these bowls, as they really are so beyond easy to throw together, and the nutrients you’re packing into your body are fantastic !! You’ll be really pleased with the results you’ll see when you’re body is nourished with wholefoods, instead of processed items.  I’m not even talking about the number on the scales here…  Like really does attract like, so if you begin to fuel your body with wholefoods, you’ll begin to crave those yummy wholefoods.

You’ll notice improvement in your energy levels, your skin, hair & nails, your mental health,  and so much more !! I used to deal with so much ‘glugginess’ or ‘fullness’ after most meals.  I’d feel so uncomfortable and bloated after a meal that I’d find myself regretting eating it more often that not.  Now, this is a problem, as I LOVE food… like LOVE LOVE LOVE it !!  I love to buy it, prep it, cook it, display it… the whole kit & kaboodle.. so to feel a bit yucko after all that effort and time invested, is a bit of a drag.

After eating a wholefoods meal, full of life giving nutrients, vitamins and minerals, you come away feeling energetic, happy.. and most importantly.. SATIATED !!!

Let’s respect the temple together !!

37400913_10156599517509540_438102688714981376_n