The Carb Fear

Carbohydrates;
I could list multiple definitions for you, the scientific breakdown, flow charts, pie graphs, you name it. But the one thing they will all tell you, is the carbohydrates are a majorly important fuel source for our lovely little bodies!

Why oh why is everyone so afraid of carbs?!

I hear people say that even just hearing the word can make them gain weight, like come on Susan – get a hold of yourself and sit back down.

Our bodies use glucose (glycogen) for energy, glucose is sugar which is broken down from the carbohydrates that we eat.
Now we need this glucose to do our everyday activities and require even more so when we exercise. As soon as our bodies run out of glucose sourced from carbohydrates, it will turn to fat stores and then protein stores (amino acids) which will break down and deteriorate our muscle mass in order to keep our body going.

Now if you are like me, and find yourself building your strength every time you hit the gym, to tone up and get lean, you definitely do not want this occurring.

Not only will you hit the wall (fatigue) quicker, you will begin to put your body under stress, which can have all kinds of implications for your overall wellbeing.
Especially if we keep our bodies under stress for extended periods of time.

It’s often that when we think of carbs, our minds go straight to pizza, pasta, bread and sweet pastries. Of course these contain carbs, but they also contain high amounts of sugars and fats, and not the good fats either!

Have you ever thought of a Banana as a carb? An apple as a carb? Or carrots as a carb?

Believe it or not kidlets, vegetables and fruit are mainly carbohydrate based!

One medium banana is roughly 105 calories and 27grams of carbs, now pair this with peanut-butter for your protein and healthy fats, and you have a pre-workout snack on point!

Even more so I hear people that are so concerned with their potato intake too.
One medium sized baked potato totals to 110 calories, with 26 grams of carbohydrates, pair this with shredded chicken, avocado and cheese and you have a nutritious post workout meal!

I always urge those to take the time and do a little research.
It can be as easy as downloading an app that can breakdown your food intake for the day (My Fitness Pal is a legend for this). It is a great tool to allow yourself to be more aware of the foods that we so often mindlessly consume.

Whole foods should always be our first point of call when we prepare our meals. Ensure that each brekky, lunch snack and dinner is sourced from a nutrient rich, wholesome source – that often means wrapper free! 

I would like to know how you tackle food fads and misconceptions ?

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Top Five Protein Power Snacks

Protein. Protein. Protein


It’s now what my days meal planning is pretty much based on!
It is also super important to get enough protein in our daily food consumption, to allow ourselves to fuel our bodies, muscles to recover and reach our fitness/wellness goals!

Each and every individual will vary on how much protein their body will thrive off – click the link to work out your own macro nutrient content as a base line for your daily intake here Macro Calculator.

More often than not I am on the old Google machine, or My Fitness Pal, researching and whipping up protein based snacks to fuel my body each and everyday. Nothing too complicated of course! Just simple, nutritious sources to allow me to reach my macro target along side the main meals for the day (brekky, lunch and dinner!)

I have listed my top 5 protein packed snacks and meals that allow my body to power through the day and hit the gym by the evening!

One. Greek Yoghurt + Cinnamon + Mixed Berries
 Just 100 grams (just under 1/2 Cup) of Greek Yoghurt totals to 8 grams of protein and 80 calories. Pair this bad boy with the anti inflammatory, cholesterol butt kicking cinnamon and 1/2 cup of warmed mixed berries and you have yourself a combo made in heaven.
I often opt for this option for dessert to end off my day balanced and nutritious.


Two. Cottage Cheese + Carrot Sticks
It had been a very long time since I last swallowed a spoonful of cottage cheese (we are talking years and years here) but it wasn’t until last month that I forgot how delicious and versatile it can be!
Just 1/2 a cup of cottage cheese comes in at 12.2grams of protein and 97 calories! I often mix up the veggies, but you cannot go past the good old classic carrot sticks to pair this creamy delight with.


Three. Tinned Tuna  + Salmon
I’m not ashamed to say I am totally that guy that whips out a can of tuna in the office #sorrynotsorry …. #wellalittlebitsorry!
Just one can of Tuna weighs in at 16.8grams of protein and just 110 calories. Tuna not your thing?
Tinned Salmon is just as good, coming in at 13.4g of protein and only 86 calories! Tinned fish can be a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are brilliant for aiding in the reduction of risk of heart disease, promote eye health and reduce inflammation, plus so much more (Omega 3 Fatty Acid Benefits)

Four. Quest Bars + Protein Shakes
I won’t lie, I am a sucker for quest bars.
The brilliant thing about these ridiculously protein packed snacks is that there are so many flavours to chose from. Spoiled for choice much?
I often opt for a bar instead of reaching for a chocolate or some other sugar filled snack. Each bar roughly comes in between 20 – 21grams of protein and varies between 119 to 121 calories per bar. See the nutritional and flavour list here Quest Bars.


Five. Edamame Beans
You can locate these bad boys in your local japanese joints, or alternatively pick up a bag frozen from most supermarkets!
Just 100grams of these bad boy beans total to 11grams of protein and 122 calories. Adding edamame to your salads or simply roasting a few in the oven with sea salt can really boost the nutritional value of your daily intake. They contain no cholesterol, and are also a great source of iron and calcium.

I would love to know what you guys do fuel your bodies throughout the day?
What’a your protein packed go to snack?
Drop me a line via email or in the comments xx

Macros & Meal Prep

Macros
You hear the word thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean??

Well pretty’s, I am here to break it down, super simple style.

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrates

These three beautiful things are your macronutrients, super important to fuel your body to keep it running at its best potential all day long.
All three will give you an individual percentage and the total amount of calories for your day.

For Example

Carbs: 39%

Protein: 36%

Fat: 25%

Total Calories: 1,629
These percentages will be based on your age, height, weight, gender and physical activity. Keep in mind this is not the be all and end all number, the trick is to ensure you are getting the right amount of each macronutrient for your own body. Of course the more dedicated you are, the easier it will be to reach your daily target.
Each percentage of each macro will be totally individualized. There’s no magic number or a “one size fitz all here”!

Before giving anything a crack I always like to spend the time researching away.
I jumped on the Google machine / YouTube researching the many benefits, individuals fitness journey’s and what this all actually involves.
To my surprise, it didn’t seem that complicated after all – and with a few clicks of a button I had my set of macros for my daily intake staring me smack bang in the face.
I have listed a few trusty lil websites below for you lovelies to head on off too!
https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator
https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNxdDwx-F1w

Before I knew it I had downloaded “My Fitness Pal” (for roughly the 17th time…….Rome wasn’t built in a day), upgraded to “premium” because health is an investment not an expenseand starting tracking my days intake.

I will be brutally honest with you, I was pretty damn shocked.

I realized how much I snack and graze throughout the day, which is in no way a bad thing, but it seemed to be my choices that were high in fats (a lil too much peanut butter..or way too much whoops), very little carbs (not overly good if you are wanting a balanced diet) and pretty average protein intake (which I need to up to support a new gym regime).

As much as I did not want to see those figures in minus or red, I kept doing this for the next few days. I really wanted an insight into what percentage of macros my body was actually getting.

It was uncomfortable I won’t lie, but I’m so glad I did!

I have now found that simply pre-planning and working out my macros ahead of time has worked to my advantage.
Like anything practice takes perfect, and getting to know what your body thrives off is just as important and reaching that goal target.

After a few days of planning, prepping and tracking, already the benefits are showing:

  • I no longer feel the need to excessively snack in between meals
  • Each meal has me full by the last bite and totally satisfied
  • Energy levels have upped, that 3pm fatigue is no longer a thing
  • Recovery time in between sweat sessions has decreased (along with the help of some L Glutamine – read the benefits of recovery here: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/glutamine.htm )

This is where it’s meal preps time to shine!
Thank you to this gem of an app, I can plan out my daily meals knowing exactly what is going into my body to fuel it for the day ahead.

For all you macro counters out there, I will be stating the stats for meal prep lunches and brekky’s for all new recipes going forward.

I would love to know how you meal prep, macro count, or ensure you set yourselves up for the week with your own health routine!
Please feel free to send me a message or email with any questions or your own self health journey.

xx

Gym Phobia

We have all been there…

One day we are super motivated, protein shake in one hand and our gym bag in the other!
We find ourselves powering through our sweat sessions, with the personalised playlist on point and confidence sky rocketing.
Feeling super good about ourselves, and we wonder why we ever stopped going to the gym?

Then you find yourself having an “off” week, you’re not feeling like exercising and find a netflix and snack session much more appealing.
Which is totally fine, everyone needs a rest once and while.

But then, it seems the next day you scheduled to sweat up a storm, you feel way too tired, its been a stressful day and you want an early night. Totally okay.

And it seems time after time again, we find excuses not to go? As soon as we started feeling fit and healthy again?

Sound familiar right?
I have been on and off this train more times than I can count.
& really, I can only narrow it down to self sabotage. Totally annoying and totally my own fault. Not only do I not fully understand this pattern of behaviour, I also get so frustrated at falling into this cycle.

So! If this sounds like you, listen on up team! Because I have listed life hacks that will get your butt to the gym and feeling motivated and confident in the process.
#selfloveforall

Hack #1.Always pack a gym bag
I always, always, always pack a gym bag in my boot. Because I know after a day in the office I often try and find an excuse as to why I cannot possibly go to the gym. Even though I drive right on past it on my commute home.
Ensuring that you have the right gear, really there’s no excuse not go .
**Extra life hack** – Females! Always have a spare pack of hair ties in your bag.
Yup, I’ve even driven to gym, realized there’s no hair tie for me to use and gave up on my workout.

Hack #2. Customise a playlist on the day
If you head to the gym, either morning or night, be sure to have a fresh playlist ready to go!
Prepping your tunes before the gym can help get your mind set focused. It’s also a great way to get motivated, tuning into the songs you know will get you through any workout is a great way to start the day and set your intentions.

Hack #3. Think of the benefits
Both mentally and physically!
We all know the endless benefits of moving our bodies. Factors like increased endorphins, lowering blood pressure, weight loss, the list is pretty much endless.
But why not find something specific to you, that personally you benefit from when you hit the gym.
For me it’s not just fitness, its how mentally clear and calm I feel.
It’s all psychological, and I find I can get through my days, stick to my goals and set clear intentions with so much more ease.
Plus life just seems a whole lot brighter after a solid week at gym.

Hack #4. Create a routine.
Like I previously mentioned, I always pack a gym bag in my boot before leaving the house. This is all apart of my gym routine to keep me on track.
I also ensure I have my supplements and protein shake packed and ready to go first thing in the morning!
I’ve also found working out my brekkie based on the workouts I’ll be doing that evening are a great motivator.
For example:
Monday = Sprint Class (HIIT Cycle Class)
* So brekkie would be a big protein packed green smoothie
Tuesday = Weights
* so brekkie would involve a bowl of wholesome rolled oats with an abundance of goodies, including peanutbutter of course
Wednesday = Yoga Flow Class
* So brekkie would be a little lighter, gluten free granola with fresh berries and greek yoghurt

You get the idea!

I hope these little hacks help you get off your bum and into those nikes for a solid sweat sess this week.
We all want to feel good and we all want to feel healthy.
And surprise, surprise that feeling we want to obtain both starts and finishes with us.
So what are you waiting for?

I would love to get in touch and hear about your own fitness routines or motivators.

Never hesitate to shoot me a DM or drop a line via Instagram, happy sweat sessions lovelies. xx

 

Self Care Tips

 

It seems all too often we become swept up in life’s chaos, and forget to do that one simple action that our lives depend on….to simply breathe

The concept of self care has grown massively this year, with a focus in ensuring we as humans, are actively  meeting our most basic needs. This ranges from incorporating whole foods into our meals, giving ourselves time for relaxation techniques and daily mindfulness.

I couldn’t endorse this more!

Although the advancements of technology and scientific breakthroughs have been something to celebrate in the last few decades, it appears that more and more people are focusing their energy into climbing the never ending corporate ladder of big business.

I see this daily, with time and effort put into a company, that quite frankly is materialistically driven. It’s all about the money.  The profit. The end result.

But time and time again we know (and studies have shown) money plays a very small part in our happiness. There are many a factor that individuals value more so than just monetary endorsements.

So why do we focus so hard on this aspect of life?

It does not take much thought to know sitting in front of a computer 8 hours a day is not healthy or natural for us. More or less so we are doing the task at hand for someone else’s end goal.

But the majority are swept up in accepting this lifestyle choice is the norm, and myself am no exception to this.

It’s a hard cycle to break, especially if you are still finding your feet and working towards your passions.  This is the place I am at currently and I find that incorporating self care rituals into my weekly routine not only gains peace of mind, it also allows clarity for the path I am wanting to walk down, and the path I currently am on.

Here’s 5 little tips to allow you to breathe, clarify your goals and treat your body:

Tip #1 Breathe.
Simple hey?
Yet when stressed, anxious or deep in thought we often forget to pay attention to our breath.
Take moment  to stop, allow yourself to take note of your current breathing, your jaw and any tension you hold.
Breathe in deeply through your nose, expand your tummy and then your chest, hold for five counts and release deeply through the mouth,
Repeat this practice 3 – 5 times throughout your day.
Simply notice the difference before and after each practice and take note of the below questions:
Is there less tension held in my body?
Is my jaw and forehead relaxed opposed to tight?
Can I seek clarity in my decisions for the day?
It’s  a handy little tip to utilize whenever you feel overwhelmed, defeated or stressed.

Tip #2 Drink Tea.
A cup of warming tea, whether it is caffeinated or herbal, can do wonders for our bodies.
Consuming a cup of tea or simply hot water, can warm up our tummy’s and digestive system before a meal. This allows our bodies to aid the stomach in the digestion of foods consumed.
It’s also a brilliant way to centre yourself, simply by focusing on the heat, the taste and the awakening and comforting sensation you feel while sipping on your cuppa.
Green Tea especially has endless benefits, including
– Quality source of antioxidants, these can reduce the formation of free radicals in our bodies and protect both cells and molecules from damage
– It can aid in the balance of cholesterol levels in the blood
– it also aids in regulating glucose levels, allowing for a slow rise in sugar levels from those suffering from diabetes
– Relaxation, green tea contains an amino acid Theanine which studies have shown to link this to providing our brains with a relaxing and tranquilizing sensation
– Skin Health, due to its anti – inflammatory agents, this cuppa can aid in the outcome of wrinkles and ageing, such agents also aid in digestion

Tip #3 Yoga.
We often forget how good and important it is to move our bodies, daily.
Yoga is a practice which I love for many reasons, firstly I do not feel as in tune, at peace or proud of my body and my mind as do when I finish a yoga class.
Secondly, it is for all ages at all levels of health – so no one should ever feel like they are not “good enough” to join in on a flow.  It’s your time, your movement and your pace, do what you can because each practice will be different, and acceptance of such is so important to embrace.
Thirdly, it’s been around for centuries upon centuries. The health benefits of such a practice allow us to align our chakras (energy points though out our bodies) to gain balance, aids in detoxification and digestion through flows, and builds strength whilst centring our mind and increasing relaxation.
Lastly, shavasana … you get to lie down and thank your body for all it’s done for you after your practice. What’s not to like!

Tip #4.Create.
I believe it is so important to put your energy into something that love, and scheduling time in your day to simply create can be extremely therapeutic. We can’t all be talented artists, working on our painting masterpieces, but we can create in very simple, every day ways to gain peace of mind
This can range from
– journaling future goals and intentions
– and it’s an excuse to buy a stationary… hello Typo!
– baking, cooking or preparing a meal
– refreshing a certain space that you reside in most days, either your workspace/desk or bedroom, kitchen etc.
– this method is great for mental clarity and detoxing the space that may become to feel tired and neglected
– updating your online platforms, or creating your own inspiration board

Tip #5. Meditate
We have all heard of the “Fight or Flight” mode our body can kick into when we are feeling stressed.
Now this response was great once upon a time when we relied on such to keep us alive. Survival was priority.
In todays modern world, we aren’t walking around fearing wild animals and dramatic weather changes that threaten our livelihood. However, when we do feel stressed, whether at work, at home, driving or simply food shopping (trolley rage), our bodies will not discriminate against the situation and kick into this mode, again and again, over and over.
This is detrimental to our current health as it is continually putting our bodies under pressure, raising our blood pressure levels and contributing to todays chronic diseases.
Meditation is one of the most therapeutic and calming methods to counteract this.
The health benefits are endless, and all you need is 15 minutes a day to switch off, turn in and allow your body to heal and regenerate.
I still struggle to meditate on my own some days, so if I cannot get to a yoga or balance class, I rely on apps to get me through.
I highly rate “One Giant Mind” found on the app store. Its a gem of an app and each meditation teaches you something new with a different focus on each session.

I hope the above has given you a little insight into how simple it can be to treat yourself to some self love, that we all deserve.

I would love to hear how you all take time in your day or throughout your week, to focus on you, your body and your mind.

What routine or techniques do you use?

 

21.1kms, again.

Follow Up from post “Running a Half Marathon”

You would think that once you accomplish a task you never thought you physically could, that would be you’d be well and truly done.
Tick the box, I’m satisfied, what’s next?

But after completing my first half marathon (Run Melbourne – July), with just 6 days off, I found myself out on the track revving myself up for another one come October.

I can’t express the feelings and thoughts that went through my head on race day. I was nervous, anxious and  doubts of being able to do this started to creep in.

I had trained my body since January from complete scratch.  I’d never run before, if anything I was super proud if I got two cycle classes in a week!

And here I finally was, after all those training runs, whether that be treadmill or track. I was finally here, on race day, with 21.1kms ahead of me.

And I was shaking.

Luckily enough for me, I had an amazing support group.
As we stood there, 6am, in the frosty winter air in the middle of Fed Square I honestly hadn’t felt such strong nerves in such a long time.
It took one look to see their smiling faces, and hear their supportive words to have my nerves melt away.
I can totally do this.

Running with thousands of people through the streets of Melbourne at dawn was breathtaking.  That’s one memory that will stay with for a long, long time to come.

I had 3 goals going into race day.
1. Finish = Check!
2. Do not stop running = Check!
3. Complete it in 2 hours. = Almost check!

My overall time was 2 hours 8 minutes.

I honestly think that was my drive to do it all over again. I had set 3 goals and I wanted to achieve them all.
I was stoked with my first race day performance, but I knew with more training, getting under two hours was well achievable.
So 6 days later, I set off again!

Never had I thought having a goal like this could drive me to my fitness breaking point, and then push onwards and upwards from there.

No training run seems to be easy now.
The distance I can do.
Keeping to goal speed is the challenge now.

And with less than 7 weeks until Race Day, its all pedal to the metal my friends.

xx

Running a Half Marathon

21.1km to be exact.

I’m not a runner.
I’m not overly enthusiastic about cardio.
My knees are constantly back and forth with recovery.
& I’m only just hitting the week four bench mark of 6km.

So why do it then?

As cliche’ as it sounds, 2016 is year I will stop saying no to the things that intimidate me, that “weren’t apart of my plan”, that 99% chance I would have said no to.

And when the offer for the half marathon came about, I found myself saying yes before I could give it a second thought.
Before it sunk in how far 21.1km is, how dedicated I would have to be to my training, and how much I realized that …… I really, really wanted to do this.

Last year, I could not picture myself coming home from work, tired, hungry and moody and STILL putting on my runners, going out onto the local track, in the rain, and sticking to my program. No stops, until my target distance was reached.

I have doubts. What if I don’t make it the whole way? What if my music stops, or my headphones break? What happens if I fall, or twist an ankle?
I’ve even doubted the running gear I’d wear on the day, and whether that would throw me off! How silly.

Every run I picture myself at that starting line and it gives me chills. But I also picture myself crossing over that final line and the faces that will be there to greet me.

That thought right there, that’s the one that pushes me through.

I don’t believe this experience is directly focused on the 21.1kms.

It’s stepping outside my comfort zone. It’s pushing my fitness to a level I didn’t think possible. It’s proving how amazing a change in positive mindset can be and what can come from it.

We’ve always been told how powerful our minds can be, how a happy and healthy perspective of all things in our lives can benefit us.

And it’s so silly that it has taken me until 22, out on that running track, reaching my targets, for me to realize this.

Push yourself. say yes and take a leap, you’ll thank yourself in the long run. Literally.