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Winter workout – Indoor exercises to keep you active in the colder months

Winter workout – Indoor exercises to keep you active in the colder months

As the weather gets cooler, it may seem tempting to spend most of your time rugged up with a blanket watching you favourite TV show, but remember: summer bodies are made in winter!

Get off the couch and keep active with these simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. No equipment is required and each exercise will help you increase your strength and mobility throughout the winter.

Wall push ups: Place your hands on a wall at shoulder height. Slowly bring your chest into the wall and then push away until your arms are fully extended. Repeat 20 times.

Squat hold: Place your back against a wall and lower until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back straight and chest up. Hold for 30 seconds.

Calf raises: Holding onto the back of a chair for support, lift one leg so you are balancing on one foot. Slowly raise your heel until you’re on your tiptoes and balancing only on the ball of one foot. Lower back to the ground slowly. Repeat 20 times on each side. 

Bridges: Lie on the ground with your hands by your sides. Bend your legs and bring your heels up to your bum. Push into the ground with your arms, lift your hips up as high as you can and then lower. For an extra challenge straighten one leg and keep it off the ground. Repeat 20 times.

Reverse crunches: Lying on your back, keep your lower back pressed into the ground as you crunch your knees up to your chest, then straighten them out again. Repeat 20 times, trying to make sure your feet do not touch the ground throughout the exercise.

Submitted by Ashley Hunt

W: www.ashleyhunt.com.au

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Why Use Fermented Foods

Why Use Fermented Foods

I mention fermented foods and most of my clients screw up their faces and head for the hills…but why? 

I recall being the ripe old age of 23 and visiting Germany.  I was absolutely horrified that every dish was accompanied by sauerkraut!  How could anyone possibly eat it, let along it be good for you?… and then I got sick and my whole perception changed as my journey to heal my gut began.

Fermented foods have been around for a very long time, but we have become a fast food nation where convenience has over-ridden healthier food choices and as a consequence our digestion and overall health have suffered.  The literature around fermented foods and its traditional uses is phenomenal, so why is it only now we are standing up and paying attention?

Your gut is your second brain, so doesn’t it make sense to nurture it?  The majority of people I see in clinic have in one shape or another compromised digestion, so here are a few reasons as to why you should incorporate fermented foods into your diet:

  • They are CHEAP! – especially if you make your own. 
  • They are pre-biotics so they enable our gut to absorb more nutrients from our foods and work to help boost immunity.
  • Fermented vegetables mature in their own juices and remain in their raw state, so less nutritional loss.
  • They are rich in B-vitamins so they support healthy gut function and support  the nervous system.
  • Fermented foods stimulate stomach acids which decline as we age
  • Many grains contain phytates and other enzyme inhibitors that block the absorption of calcium and other important nutrients.  The fermentation process neutralises these and also breaks complex starches into simpler sugars facilitating better absorption.

The scope of fermented foods is huge so I encourage you to try incorporating some into your diet or even try your hand at fermenting your own foods – there are some fantastic workshops around so why not try making your own kimchi, sauerkraut or even cheese! 

Submitted by Juanita Emmerton, ND Red Suva Natural Therapies

W: 2borganic.com.au

F: facebook.com/redsuva.naturaltherapies

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What is coffee doing to your health?

What is coffee doing to your health?

For many busy Australian mothers, coffee has become more of a survival tool than the backdrop to a blissful retreat and gossip session with friends. To get a good coffee a few years ago would require you to stop by your local café and stand in line to order, but with the invention of pod machines these days a good coffee can be speedily extracted in the kitchen of most residential homes.

Few of those who drink coffee would consider themselves drug addicts, but under strict definition, coffee is indeed a drug. In fact, caffeine is the most popular and commonly used drug in the world today. More people are more addicted to caffeine than any other substance. Caffeine addiction is felt in the form of withdrawal symptoms when coffee is removed from the diet. These symptoms can include headaches, dizziness and nausea. Research suggests that 3-4 cups of coffee regularly can be enough to form a reliance on caffeine. 

What are the health consequences of coffee?

If coffee is a drug, then surely it’s bad for you, right? Well, don’t throw out your coffee bean just yet…

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, recent studies have been surprisingly positive when testing the health of regular coffee drinkers. A large study recently conducted in Finland,  that included 60,000 men and women, showed that moderate and regular coffee consumption had zero adverse health effects and no increase in heart-disease risk. Similar studies in Sweden and Japan have even shown that consumption of up to 3 cups of coffee per day can REDUCE the risk of heart disease. Now that’s reason enough to celebrate with a coffee! Other health benefits may include reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, reduced risk of Dementia later in life and less risk of stroke and gout.

Most of the negative health issues associated with drinking coffee are for NON- REGULAR drinkers. These are generally short-term symptoms that may include increased heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, shaking and disturbance to sleep. The good news is that when coffee intake becomes regular, the short- term health effects seem to subside.

How much is too much?

The positive health effects of coffee are evident when consumed at up to 3-4 cups per day. Early research indicates that drinking any more than this may be detrimental to your short and long-term health and can lead to dependence. Don’t forget, by definition, caffeine is a drug, and therefore, it is wise to treat it with caution and moderation.

For those coffee lovers, my advice would be to enjoy 1-2 cups of good coffee daily. Drinking at this level will avoid dependence and at the same time may result in some long- term health benefits. Enjoy!
 

Article submitted by Accredited Practising Dietitian David Finn

W: www.dietforyou.com.au

F:  http://www.facebook.com/DietForYou

 

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Keep It Moving To Keep Off The Kilos

Keep It Moving To Keep Off The Kilos

Christmas can be a dreaded time of year if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body shape.  I’m often asked for advice on how to get through Christmas without piling on the kilos. My favourite tip? You can’t always control everything you’re going to eat during this period, but you can control how much you burn off. Here’s some tips for fitting in regular exercise during the festive season.

Get it out of the way early.

Exercising at the start of the day works for 2 reasons. Firstly, you can get it done and dusted before your day gets hijacked with extra shopping trips, traffic delays, and those Christmas gatherings where you swore you weren’t going to drink (honest!). Secondly, it’s summer, and it’s often more comfortable to exercise before the day gets too hot, especially if you’re doing it outside.

Keep it short and sweet

Find effective workouts you can do in a short amount of time.

Tabata training is so hot right now! This is a type of high intensity interval training that gets serious results from super short workouts. Look for personal trainers in your area which include Tabata as part of their programs.

Most gyms do quick spin classes, serious calorie burners which usually go for 30-45 minutes. Also based on interval training principles, short spin classes will leave you feeling like you’ve burned off more than your Christmas cake.

Work out from home

Most people spend at least 15 minutes getting to and from their gym (and often more if you have to deal with Christmas traffic or car parking in a busy area!). In order to sneak in a daily workout, make a list of things you can do from home, so that you can cut out travel time:

Running – you can do this right from your front door! Need help getting started? Get yourself a “Couch to 5km” app for your smartphone – aimed to have you running longer distances in no time at all.

Yoga – there are some fantastic websites where you can download or stream online yoga tutorials, which you can do anytime from the comfort of your own living room. Yogaglo is a fantastic one, or search on YouTube for yoga classes.

So there’s no need to pile on extra kilos over Christmas. Keep your body moving and there will be no need for those dreaded new years resolutions!

Submitted by Jules Galloway

W: http://julesgalloway.com
F: http://facebook.com/JulesGallowayHealth

 

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Use your freezer for a stress-free Christmas!

Use your freezer for a stress-free Christmas!

Coming up to Christmas, your freezer can be your best friend. Start NOW.

Clean out your freezer so there’s plenty of room and let’s get cooking. You can make sure you enjoy a stress-free Christmas season by preparing and freezing ahead of time, leaving you free to enjoy the festivities.

Here’s a few Christmas freezer tips for you:

  • Traditional Christmas cakes/puddings/mince pies freeze very well and for a long time, so get those in now.
  • Very popular for the hot Aussie Christmas, ice-cream pudding’s & roulades are obvious winners for the freezer!
  • Make all your cookie dough now and roll it in glad wrap and freeze. Thaw the day before you’re ready to make cookies and then it’s just roll and bake.
  • As well as stocking up for yourself, use your freezer for presents. Home-made truffles, fudge’s & chocolates are beautiful gifts. You can make and package now and just pull out when you need (and how great to have a few “just-in-case” presents in your freezer)
  • Finger foods like quiche, frittata, pies, sausage rolls and fish cakes are fantastic to have on hand for quick dinners and impromptu visitors too. These all have long freezer lives.
  • Raw desserts are not only healthy, but quick to make and very freezer friendly. Make up a few bases now and get them in the freezer, ready to pull out and top with a nice healthy filling in a few minutes flat
  • Don’t forget your stuffing and even gravy can be made ahead of time and frozen as well! Even if you don’t do the stuffing right now, start using your stale bread to make breadcrumbs and freeze those to save yourself time and money for when you need them at Christmas time.

As you fill up your freezer, package and label, everything carefully and remember to make sure you allow sufficient time for things to defrost so that you can truly have your freezer working for you this festive season.

Happy Christmas!

Submitted By Kris Barrett – Nourish Me

W: http://nourishmehealth.com.au/

F: https://www.facebook.com/nourishmehealth

 

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Revamp your Leftovers!

Revamp your Leftovers!

Research shows Australian’s toss out $2.18 billion dollars worth of leftovers every year.  The biggest reason for this? “We don’t know how to use leftovers.”

“Revamps” as we like to call it (rather than leftovers), is a brilliant way to get on top of your weekly menu, cut down the waste in terms of food, time and money!  Growing up it was the way my parents taught us about creativity and the value of food.

Quite simply the “Revamps” philosophy is all about transforming ‘leftovers’ from a boring re-run to an exciting sequel!

When you aren’t sure what to do with leftovers you can apply one or more of these four “Revamp” principles.  To see this in action let’s take a look at something simple like Chicken Fajitas.  If you cook extra quantities of the chicken, you could:

  • Vary the INGREDIENTS to make it interesting and different e.g. a Indian inspired pizza drizzled with rocket and yoghurt, or for an Asian Style Salad you can add the extra added ingredients of cellophane noodles, cucumber, lettuce and basil
  • Add a new FLAVOUR to make it different e.g. Mexican to Asian Style Salad using fish sauce lime juice to the chicken
  • Adjust your COOKING METHOD so it is different e.g. bake, stew, soup, stir fry
  • Adjust your TEXTURE to make things interesting e.g. crunchy noodles, soften the meat by cooking in coconut milk and making a Laksa

The goal is to introduce new elements so your “Revamp” will be different enough from last night’s dinner for the family to love!

Where do you start?

  1. Write down your stock standard favourite recipes. 
  2. Next to each brainstorm at least one or two new “Revamps” using one or all of the revamp principles.
  3. Think also about the meals your family love. Get them involved in coming up with these ideas to build their creativity and food knowledge!

Giving your leftovers a revamp makeover will help you convert your leftovers into an exciting sequel and get you cooking weeknight meals in no time at all!

Article submitted by Louise D’Allura – Meal Planning Your Way

W: www.MealPlanningYourWay.com

F:  www.Facebook.com/MealPlanningYourWay

 

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