29 April 2013

What is healthy living to you?

What is your definition of healthy living?  Do you wish you were healthier, had more time to do the things you love? Do you feel like you are living life to the full?

Healthy living for me is "smiling everyday, surrounding myself with people that are positive, loving, kind & nuturing" to have "laughter, love, friendships, family" being "kind to myself & giving back to the community, nuturing my body & mind with healthy food choices, meditation for the mind & movement of the body - walking, swimming, weights, stretching, sex"

What is healthy living to you? Being able to get up each day and survive?  Do you look after yourself properly? Go one step at a time and see how things go?  That surely isn't a fun way to live.  What do you wish you could have, what in others do you admire?

Are you on autopilot?  Do you just get up and go to work and wonder why you are left wanting so much more? You need to be challenging yourself, making some bucket list ideas of how you can become the person you want to be.  You are in total control, throw out the rule book and start living.  When was the last time you:

* laughed so hard you couldn't stop
* Mixed up your weekly routine, trying new places
* Had a check up with your doctor
* Shared some quality time with your family aside from routine taskts
* planned a day out
* Drove a different way to work or walked or caught a different train/bus
* Volunteered either for a charity or just giving someone else your time
* Took yourself out for a pamper session (after the check up?)
* Told those around you how much you love them?
* Spent time in your environment making it relaxed and less cluttered
* Watched an arthouse movie, tried a vegetarian dish, practiced yoga near the beach, watched the sunset, sunrise?
* Had an alcohol free week

Break out of some habits and mix things up....LIVE today, be healthy in your surroundings, your life, your friends, your emotions. Be complete within yourself.  Things will be easier, stress less......  

21 April 2013

Skim milk & all that low-fat dairy............

After my post on Facebook the other day mentioning "Anything skim has more sugar in it" or along those lines,  I decided to write up my opinion/rant about skim/low-fat/low-sugar dairy products.   

Right..... think about a calf drinking it's mothers milk... how natural is that, does a cow continue to drink milk after a certain age? No.  Makes me wonder why we do?  Just because we have always done so is not an answer.  Don't get started on the "but we neeeeeed calcium" bandwagon just yet.  Why are we the only mammals that do this, continue to drink dairy (not breast milk) when we start eating solids.  That is a whole other blog. 

My main reason is not to bag all dairy.  The reason for my little rant on Facebook is, we need to be more accountable for what food we shove in our mouths on a daily basis (if we can really call some of the products food?).  Am I the only one that has noticed the supermarkets are getting bigger and filling up with more processed foods?  The fresh food section of the supermarket has stayed relatively the same size, but from deli/dairy fridge section up to the household items has increased drastically.  When did we start needing all this crap? It is all marketing. To make money and to feed our habits, we think we need these items to make us satisfy cravings or to makes us lose weight, grow a third nipple.. whatever we have been conditioned into thinking we NEED all these items.  Newsflash, we don't.  I mean a whole aisle for soft drink and chips..... then chocolates, lollies.... no wonder our kids are obese, they see it and think it is normal (and because some, not ALL parents put these processed foods into the weekly trolley, and not always just as a treat)! Type II diabetes is a lifestyle disease!

Look at the food you eat daily, what process has it gone through to get onto your plate? Do you know or even care where it has come from?  Milk has gone through a huge process to get to your door,  mass produced for supply and demand with a longer use by date (hmm).... The process heats and strips the good content from majority of the milk, what is left behind? What is added to make it taste ok and last longer?  Unless you can get your hands on a cow/goat/sheep for raw milk and to make other dairy products, the stuff you are drinking is purely low quality version of the original.  Would be like having watered down wine, why bother? 

I believe there are better ways to get your protein and calcium than skim milk, low-fat, low-sugar dairy products.  If you can tolerate full cream dairy products, enjoy and mix up the variety of full fat foods into your healthy nutrition (hard cheeses, goats cheese, Greek yoghurt's etc). For those who cannot, you need to really ask the question "what am I eating/drinking' and do you NEED it?  

I have done the skim thing, skim yoghurt's, light cheese and low-fat, shape, skim milks thinking I was giving myself the necessary calcium and consuming less fat. Surely that is good for me right?  WRONG I was giving my body overly processed foods that has had all the goodness stripped out of it and sugar added (carbohydrates & sodium in fact).  Yes there is still a little calcium content in milk but in all honesty you can get calcium sources from other food products and you don't need as much as you are lead to believe.  Just because you ingest calcium doesn't mean your body is storing it ALL. 

Skim doesn't necessarily make you slim. Having a skim latte twice a day and a skim yoghurt for a snack is still having calories and lots of sugar. Add up how much milk you drink a week and work that out into sugar (then work out that every 5g is 1 teaspoon) then let me know how many teaspoons of sugar you have consumed this week and wonder why you are tired, feel lethargic, cannot loose weight etc, not to mention other low fat, low sugar products you consume.  We need to get out of that skim, low-fat mentality, it is all just marketing to make money, they do not care about your health, they care about their revenue! True.  

If we all ate healthy fresh foods, exercised and reduced/eliminated junk foods, over-eating and binge eating we wouldn't need the "eat/drink skim to be slim" mentality, because we would be healthier, your body would be functioning well and dropped the body fat you have been carrying around due to insulin promoting foods you digest (breathes in and out).   

Choose fat over sugar.  Our bodies know how to process fat as an energy source, eating healthy fats ensures the body's metabolism is firing and functioning on all cylinders. I don't have "cravings" or "high or low energy levels".  Sugar does the complete opposite.  Think about our primal ancestors, they ate fat and used as energy, think that same mentality. We do not need the amount of carbs (bread, pasta, rice) that is recommended, I say reduce your complex carbohydrates and include more fats into your daily nutrition and see how you feel.... see if you get those sugar cravings or energy slumps. Seriously try it. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF FAT.. GOOD FATS...   I am not NO carb... I love my sweet potato, brown rice and the odd rye bread from time to time.... 

If you eat nutrient dense foods that include: complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins, you will eat less, you won't get food cravings, or be hungry.  Your body will function better, you will reduce body fat and have more energy.  Why would we fight that. Just think if we ate this way 90% of the time ...... that still allows you your red wine or your dessert when eating out... your body will thank you for it. 

Quick comparison of two different nutrition plans:

Eater One
Breakfast - two boiled eggs, avocado & blueberries, long black coffee
Lunch - chicken breast marinated in garlic/herbs, mixed green salad with tomato, cucumber, capsicum, olive oil/lemon juice & sweet potato
Dinner - Kangaroo steak with broccoli, snow peas on sweet potato mash
Snacks - greek yoghurt, 10-20 almonds, apple/berries, protein shake before bed
Total Sugar 30g
Total Fat 49g
Total Carbs 78g
Protein 118g

Eater Two
Breakfast - cereal with skim milk, banana
Lunch - ham and salad sandwich, with butter
Dinner - chicken pesto pasta
Snacks - apple, skim latte x 2, cadbury chocolate bar
Total Sugar 67g
Total Fat 34g
Total Carbs 219g
Protein 80g

Eater One - Good fats, keeps the body fuller longer (fat and the protein count) still has relative good carbs for energy but not too high in processed breads and pastas - the main carbohydrate content came from sweet potato, broccoli.  Normally like to get sugar under 25g. Sometimes fruit makes it go higher or the protein powder, but generally 20-25g and under is ideal.  What will this eater experience?  No insulin levels rising and falling, no cravings due to this rise and fall, no stress hormone and little fat storage. Metabolism will be firing once the body is used to using fat as fuel.

Eater Two - The first thing I notice is the sugar and carbohydrate content is higher.  There isn't many grams of fruit and veg carbs in the eater two - most of it is processed carbs (pasta, bread)  this is what drops the insulin levels up and down causing havoc with your metabolism, increasing stress hormones, more cravings with a tendency to binge eat or over-eat,  storing more fat.  Long term lethargic, overall not feeling well and lower immune system.  

Eater One used to be be me about 8 years ago (add lots of beer to that mix also).  Eater Two is how I like to eat now. When I went dairy and wheat free for 28 days, it was hard, trying to work out what to "replace" my meals with. Trying to eat out was hard, plus my body went through a kind of detox phase where it was switching fuel tanks from the usual high carb intake to a higher fat intake.  When that switch happens, amazing things happen, you feel more energised, do not have cravings, sleep better, find that you eat better, have more energy to train and aren't moody or lethargic.  I highly recommend everyone to TRY it. Then see how you feel about skim dairy and also processed foods in general. 

Relying on skim dairy products to get calcium shouldn't be done.  There are many other sources of calcium in many other foods, variety is key.  I am not saying give up dairy, research what you are putting in your body, choose full fat versions over skim/low-fat if you can tolerate it and do not be afraid of fat (olive oil, avocado, coconut oils, nuts, meats (kangaroo is my fav) - NO polyunsaturated fat or vegetable oils)!

Check out this list.  Research yourself what other foods you like are high in calcium.

I love full cream dairy products from time to time, cannot tolerate too much milk in any form, love hard cheese (Parmesan) and have so many different ways to use Greek yoghurt and include them in my nutrition regularly. My rant is purely about understanding WHY skim products are not the best for you and how we need to get out of the MENTALITY we have about these foods, think about how many of our population are obese, how many children are obese.... Work out how much sugar you have in a week - include ALL processed foods as they have sugar in them (cereals, breads, pasta, sauces), not to mention take-away meals, soft drinks, sports drinks...

Our bodies need healthy high quality fuel to function, if we give it top grade fuel we will also help reduce diseases (type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc). Learn about other products, find out how much you are ingesting, if you are lactose intolerant (probably for a very good reason) do not drink SOY! The nut milks are probably a good vice for you if you NEED that milk substitute... find raw milk and high quality products and see how your body goes.  

Your BODY requires different nutrition than your MIND does. Remember this. You are conditioned and eating is a habit. You are what you eat. Change your mind, change your body & how it functions (oh and how it looks of course).

Have a little squizz....... 

17 April 2013


Writing goals can seem like a tedious task & you are probably wondering why bother as they normally don't happen or change....

Goals don't have to be set in stone, your goals are simply things you want to achieve within a certain timeframe. If the timeframe changes so be it.

When writing your goals/list/things-to-do keep in mind the SMART method - are your goals:

Specific - significant for you now, simple
Measurable - motivational, manageable
Attainable - appropriate, achievable, adjustable, aspirational
Relevant - timely result-based, resourced, realistic
Timely - time specific, trackable

Use a calendar, whiteboard, vision board & honestly work out what you can achieve if you set out steps to guide you, little milestones if you like to tick off.

Whether you’ve always dreamed of running a marathon, long to start your own business or aspire to see your name in lights, we all have ambitions and goals in life. However, often we don’t feel good enough, lucky enough or talented enough to get what we want, so too often our dreams go unrealised. To make sure your aspirations don’t remain a distant dream, check out these 10 steps for achieving your goals.

step 1: Prioritise

Most of us have hundreds of things on our wishlist of things we want to do, from losing our muffin top to buying our dream home. However, if you want to effectively tackle an important goal, it is important not to overload yourself and to go after one ambition at a time, starting with the goal most important to your overall happiness. Also, while it is good to aim high, it is also important to choose a goal that is attainable and which fits with your talents, lifestyle and who you are as a person – don’t go after a goal just because it is something you feel youshould do.

step 2: Get specific

We often make broad declarations about what we want out of life, such as “I wish I was fitter”, “I’d love to have more money” or “I want to make a difference to the world”. However, these vague, intangible goals are hardly ever accomplished as, in order to achieve your goals, you need to be specific about what exactly it is you want; how do you want to make more money? What could you do to make a difference? Set specific and measurable goals such as “I want to start exercising three times a week” or “I want to become the manager of my company” so that you have something to aim for and can measure your progress.

step 3: Research your goal

In order to get where you want in life, you need to understand exactly how you can get there, and the best way to do this is to ask those who know. Whatever your ambition, there is bound to be someone out there who has already achieved it, and their advice and experience could prove invaluable. Browse the internet, take a course, read books on the subject and get in contact with people who have achieved your goal. By getting a clear of understanding of how others have achieved the same ambition, you will be well equipped to follow in their footsteps.

step 4: Break it down

When you first look at your goal it may seem slightly overwhelming. How on earth are you ever going to score your dream job/run a marathon/write that novel? However, by breaking your overall ambition down into ‘mini goals’ (such as completing a 5K race or writing 200 words a day) you will not only make your goal seem more achievable but you will give yourself specific things to aim for along the way. Write down your plan of action – what you want to achieve and how you can get there, step by step. Then tick off each ‘mini goal’ as you achieve it to give yourself a visual representation of your progress.

Step 5: Take action

Often the reason we don’t achieve our goals is because we keep putting them off until a “better time” in the future. However, this better time may never come, and in actual fact the best time to start chasing your dreams is right now. Ask yourself what you can do this week to make your dream happen. What can you do right now? Also, evaluate what it is that is stopping you from going after your goal (such as lack of time or financial restraints) and see how you can work around these things. Don’t leave your goal as a distant dream; take action and start pursuing it right now.

Step 6: Believe in yourself

It may sound cheesy, but to achieve your goals in life you have to get in the right frame of mind, and that means believing you can do it. Confidence in yourself and your abilities can get your far, and setting out with a positive mind set is important. However, while many of us start out brimming with confidence, setbacks and perceived failures can soon diminish this, so it is important to take measures to stay motivated. Reward yourself and take pride in every little achievement, and remember that everyone who has achieved anything difficult has had little setbacks from time to time, so don’t let this take away from your successes.

step 7: Share your dream

To help boost your motivation and stay on track towards your goal, it can help to share your ambitions and tell people about your goal. The more people you tell the more committed to the goal you will be, and the more people you will have to help you. Not only can friends and family offer you support when you need it, but they may be able to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities and people who can help you to achieve your goal. Also, if you know someone else who is striving for the same goal, sharing your experiences and offering each other support is an even better way to boost your motivation.

step 8: Clear your schedule

It can be easy to get so caught up in day-to-day life that there’s no time to strive for anything out of the ordinary. However, if you want something enough, it is important to make time for it. We often spend far too much time on things that aren’t that important to us or that don’t really need doing, but by cutting back on these times you will give yourself more time to go after your goal. Write down all the things currently clogging up your schedule and then identify those things you can cut back on. You can also maximize your time by getting up earlier or using your lunch hours more effectively.

step 9: Be flexible

Sometimes, no matter how much background research you do, how many hours you put in and how meticulously you plot your route to success, things just don’t quite go to plan. However, the key to achieving your goals is to be flexible and ready to come up with a plan B (or C or D) when this happens. Rather than focusing fixatedly on minor setbacks in your plan, try to formulate several backup plans to help you bounce back from any setback and stay on track towards your ultimate goal.

step 10: Remind yourself why you want it

While rewarding your progress and striving towards mini goals is a great way to stay motivated towards your overall dream, if you still find yourself feeling disillusioned from time to time it is important to remind yourself why you want to achieve this goal. Picture yourself having achieved this goal already and consider what it means to you. What will you gain from achieving this goal? How will it make you feel? If you do find along the way that you have forgotten why you want your goal at all, then perhaps this is a good time to reassess your goals and strive for a new ambition.

15 April 2013

Wedding Dress Challenge commences today.

Wedding Dress Shopping Day Number 1 booked in the diary for July.....

The one thing I do know I will require on that day is a fitter, healthier version of myself.  At the moment most of my clothes are tight on me.  I have dropped the ball lately with my headspace, training and my nutrition.  No excuses, I dropped the ball. I haven't been consistent.  Nothing like a wedding dress challenge to get that ball back up and thrown around with some extra health & fitness goals thrown into the plan to mix things up.

This has inspired me to start a challenge on my FitbyDons Health & Fitness Challenge Facebook page. To get others healthy, fit and feeling great about themselves. It isn't always about weight loss (even though that is a bonus) it is about shifting the mindset to being healthy, living a healthy, full and active life.  Making choices that will look after us in the long run.

So I look forward to sharing my journey with you on my blog and also with motivation and support stories on my facebook page.  I am also being inspired by some amazing friends on Facebook and even doing a great challenge by the inspiring Kat Loterzo - check out her skinny jeans challenge she has setup!

Love how connected the health and fitness community is, so inspiring! Everyone has a different approach, different stories to share, motivate and inspire... we should all work together!

So my main focus is to have my clothes fitting me again without feeling like they are sprayed on.  This for me involves cutting back on the things that have snuck back into my eating plan more than I should allow it (wine, cheese, chocolate, processed foods). 

10 April 2013

We are busy, but are we productive, do we achieve our goals?

If we can manage our time and to do lists we would all be much happier and healthier versions of ourselves, do you agree? Do you find that you are super productive at work but your home and social life is a mess? Or vice versa?  Do you achieve the things you want outside of work or do you achieve your goals at work, in the gym, with friends, family?

Ask someone today how they are; top responses would be something like “I am so busy” or “I am flat out today”, “So much to do, not enough time”.  Yes yes, we are all very busy and important (in our own lunch boxes).  But why do we say that? Of course we are busy, we are living, and we know we would complain if we were bored. So what gives? We perceive busy sometimes as a little out of control, we have SO much to do and not enough time to do it in.  Do we? Do we utilise the time we have? Are there healthy levels of busy? Obviously we have those days that are run a little slower, does that mean we are less productive?  Do we achieve more when we are flat out running around? Or should we embrace the quiet times?  Do we make a mountain out of a molehill? Hmmm wondering who is nodding at the moment. Do we make things harder for ourselves?

From November to March I wasn’t working, not by choice, and I was amazed at how “unproductive” I became.  I had this voice constantly in my  head (and from others) telling me I “should” be doing something, should be training up a storm, finishing off my studies, cleaning the house, making dinner, seeing friends, going to museums, laying on the beach,  but it was hard to get into the “busy” mode.  I got what I needed done, but why did I feel the unnecessary pressure to put further expectations on myself? I needed to be consistent with looking for work, networking with connections, meeting with my transition company, keeping the house relatively in order plus the occasional gym visit and food shopping excursion.  It wasn’t hard but I felt like I wasn’t meeting expectations, then I had a thought, whose expectations? It was those who were frantically busy at work wishing they weren’t wishing they too had been made redundant and had the whole day to do whatever the hell they pleased, you know the saying, the grass is always greener?  Well it isn’t, or wasn’t for me.

I actually think I was very productive (apart from those couple of days sitting on the couch crying watching day tv thinking what on earth am I doing). I  put HUGE expectations on myself, why did I feel that I needed to prove how I was spending my time to show I was being productive? I didn’t.  Society tells us to be busy, our environment will predict how we must behave, if we live in the city, it must be all go go go, right? Wrong.

Being productive does NOT mean running around like a blue arsed fly, even though sometimes that does happen and some days just do not go to plan, that is LIFE people.  Being productive is all about smart planning (and this is where we lose a few readers). Yes planning, boring as all feck but true.  Some people plan better than others. Some people don’t like to plan (or they do it without registering).

Everything is connected together. Life, love, work, play, travel. They aren’t separate. They are connected to us all. We have the option to achieve ANYTHING we set our hearts and dreams on.  Your schedule needs to be flexible and change. BAM! If you are banging your head against a brick walk because you cannot achieve one goal, how about you pick it up later? Stop expecting yourself to achieve everything at once.  Put it in the L basket for LATER!

Being productive is about ensuring you give yourself adequate time and set expectations/goals to fit your schedule. What is important to you, what will you make time for?  Do you make time for yourself if you have a busy family, career? Do you plan trips, do you plan time out?  I thought that once I went back to work I would kick myself for all the things I didn’t do whilst being out of work.  But I didn’t, because I can do that anytime.  I thrive on being busy; I find I am more productive when I have man things to do because I am a natural born organiser.  That doesn’t mean I don’t stress myself out, I do… But I have learnt to plan.

So what do you need to do?  Take time, NO plan the time (coffee shop, somewhere where you won’t get distracted) and work out what you want to achieve in the next few months, work, personal, travel, write it down on a board, book, diary, somewhere YOU will read it and take notice. Do up a vision board for those bigger goals (they are awesome). Don’t just let life go by and you sit there wondering where it went.  Live YOUR life. Achieve YOUR goals. YOU can be the only one to do it.

**pet peeve, people blaming others – get over yourself…. you just need to learn how to plan, how to make it all fit. Life is a gift. Don’t use your friends, family as an excuse. **

You may have tried a few times before and not achieved your goals or action list – that isn’t failure, that is giving it go, obstacles sometimes get in the way, it is overcoming those and keeping on with the goals you have set yourself. You know what, sometimes goals change! Yep true fact that, stop living in the past of the goals you once thought you wanted, scratch the other list and start a new one….

Some tips to being productive and organised?

·         Work out a system and what gadget you will use to plan – diary, online calendar, whiteboard

·         Put in the big events you know are happening – birthdays, conferences, goal dates – WORK BACKWARDS!

·         If it suits mix business and personal – big events will allow you plan accordingly

·         Be flexible, move dates around to work in with you

·         No such thing as failing

·         Advise relevant parties of big events, travel dates etc

·         Check your goal dates every 4-6 weeks to see how you are tracking, amend accordingly

·         Be Flexible!

·         Try not to multi-task, organise action lists accordingly, complete one task and then switch

·         Only check your email a couple times a day, read only the ones you need to action

·         Make time to call friends and family, tell them about huge goal plans…

·         Limit time on social media – we ALL love distractions!

·         Do one thing at a time

·         Mix things up during the week if you can especially with meeting friends, gym

·         Take power naps

·         Don’t plan too many evening or weekend events at once, keep some time for down time

·         Are you mixing emotional, physical, mental and spiritual goals into your plan

8 April 2013

Dons Questions I ask

What truly makes you smile, what makes you feel all giddy with goosebumps?

What do you wish you had more time for?

What do you waste your time & life dreaming about, why don't you go out and get your dreams? Are they your dreams or others expectations?

How many hours a day do you think about being a different version of yourself?

If there were no hurdles what could/would you achieve?

5 April 2013

What? No dairy?

But what about calcium they asked… yes, the questions from the new ladies at work about my no eating dairy, having eggs for breakfast (and kangaroo some days) has sparked intrigue (again).

So why NO dairy, well I do eat Greek yoghurt when I fancy it because I like it, tastes good and helps my tummy.  Yes there are other ways to get good gut health but they don’t taste as good.  But for the 2-5 yoghurts I have a month, I do not notice any change. 

 I know for me milk is not a friend, or cheese (goats cheese is super-duper ok). I do not cope well with the lactose or the casein in dairy products (even protein powders affect me, pea protein is the best).  If I have it I notice it.  Some days I have a dash in my long black coffee and that is enough for me to notice.

I find that my body functions better on no dairy and no wheat.  I find my body can get the same nutrients from other foods, if not more from NOT eating dairy and wheat I find my calcium levels are higher, my iron levels are higher and I feel healthier with no gut issues (bloating etc)! 

I am not the sort of person that will do something just because that is how it has always been done. I like to work out what suits me and I am suitably nosey, curious etc.  I am also a conspiracy theorist, but that is another blog (did man land on the moon, is Elvis dead).

Milk – from cows, why do we NEED it? Yes yes for calcium I hear you yell at me, but that isn’t the best source of calcium for your body, why do we need milk that has been damaged by processing it – if you were to milk a cow and drink it straight away I would say awesome but the stuff that you get from the shops isn’t really a good source of calcium. Try sugar and hormones that do not help our bodies at ALL.  Some milk products can increase your insulin levels more than white bread, insert gasp here. Yes.  Insulin is usually released in response to the carbohydrates in your diet which are mainly found in grains, sugar and fruits.  Cut out these products and reduce diseases like PCOS, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels etc.

Best dairy products are those from pastured, grass fed and free range animals. Full-fat is best also. Fat is better for you than sugar. Yes even for weight loss, actually FOR weight loss and overall health.

If I feel like something “milky” I have coconut milk (so delicious) even nut milks are a little better not that I really like them. Soy is a no-no.

So let’s say you don’t think you struggle with dairy, try giving it up for a couple weeks and see if you notice an improvement. Whilst you are there cut out the high-processed cereals that accompany the milk (they are NOT good for you) and breads, yes ALL breads.  You will have to re-work your habits. You will have to think about what foods to eat, but you will notice a difference.  I used to have three-four skim lattes a day because they are good for you right? Wrong. I love my long black, sometimes with a dash of coconut milk. I love black tea. I used to have white tea with three sugars, ugh. Yuck.  Your taste buds WILL change.

A big thing to cut out is chocolate. Especially high processed ones like Cadbury – you think they taste nice hey.  Try cutting out ALL dairy for two weeks, and then introduce dark chocolate. Actually notice how your cravings decrease from eating more nutrient rich foods (lean meats, eggs, seafood, vegetables, seeds, fruits, nuts). Get good fats in every day. You replace sugars with fats in your diet and your body will function.

I do not have cravings for foods, I will eat sweet stuff if it is around but I don’t get the 3:30pm must have sugar. That is from your insulin levels dropping after eating all the processed carbohydrates for breakfast (toast, milk, cereal).

What other foods provide you with calcium?  Non-dairy products? Can you name three?

·         Sesame seeds, flax seeds

·         Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans

·         Leafy greens (broccoli)

·         Salmon, sardines


4 April 2013

Do you use social media etiquette?

Connecting with others all over the world is so much easier now thanks to social media.  I personally love connecting with others both in person and online but I feel that there is a lack of etiquette online.  Finding out a very close friend is engaged on Facebook or even sad news like a death is the impersonal nature of these online social tools.

This raises the question, do you still contact those close to you via phone if they live a distance or meet regularly for face to face visits rather than just relying on social media tools? Even the younger generation should still have quality 'real time' in person with friends and family whenever they can.

I imagine for some, the line is blurred with relationships online and real life relationships – do we say things differently online to a friend’s post, would we speak the same to their face?  Just as it is hard to take back words spoken it is the same for online posts, they remain online, with more people viewing, forever, with the chance of people reposting.

Even if your social media channels are for personal use only, you still have to think about your brand and reputation.  How do you want people to perceive you? Did you know potential employers check out your Facebook profile, page, and pictures? Do you have your access settings set up properly so only those you know and trust can view your posts?  If you could look back in five years would you be happy with yours posts? Your information is ALWAYS available, even if you shut down your Facebook page. The web is permanent.

Are you using Facebook as an emotional dumping ground? I know I cannot stand people whinging on Facebook, wrong communication channel people!!  Now and then it is ok engage in a conversation about something that happened that day, but to constantly bag other people and complain on Facebook, please! For some it might make them feel better, but think about your audience (friends, family, colleagues). 

Understanding that other people have different opinions also is something people need to be aware of and respect.  Yes you can have your opinion, but you need to think about others also, it is called respect, again would you mention this face to face with your friends etc? 

I know I try to think about the repercussions of a post, picture or article I post.  Sometimes I do push the barriers but I have respect for my audience, I know most of my friends (online and also f2f friend) understand my point of view and know that I do put posts up there for comments and opinions, that they won’t get argued with, purely a place for people to have their opinion.  I know at the end of the day it is out there, on the web, for people to share, print screen and copy if need be, that is what I think about before hitting the post button, I am comfortable with my post because I have thought about others possible reactions.

When I got engaged I was so happy, so excited and couldn’t wait to share with friends and family and of course update my Facebook status for all my online friends and family to know my good news.  But first I spoke to my parents, and sent a quick celebration text off to my closest friends, only then when I knew our nearest and dearest friends had been told and conversations exchanged that I updated my Facebook page.  Some of you are probably not too sure of the whole Facebook thing, people sharing personal information, I find it very liberating.  I cannot tell you how many comments I had from my online community, they were all so exciting that just made me smile for days, some tears too! How amazing to be able to share this with the people I admire and respect. 

The main thing to remember when posting anything on ANY social media site is that it is permanent.   You have to be polite and respect others.  You can still have your opinion, but choose what is appropriate for your audience.  If you don’t like people sharing your pictures or words, set up your account properly, understand your options. Take responsibility.

Not everything is personal.  If someone doesn’t add you as a friend on Facebook or doesn’t engage, don’t take it personally, it isn’t always a true reflection.  I have friends who I hardly see, speak too anymore from Western Australia, so those who I don’t engage with I have taken off my friends list.  This doesn’t mean I do not care for them.  

If you are a business on Facebook, ensure you address your audience and post appropriate post, pictures in relation to that business. You have a personal page (Jane Smith) and a separate business page (Jane Smith’s Cupcakes).   Your clients won’t have to know about your wild dress up party from Saturday night that got a little messy or your friend’s being bombarded by pictures of your cupcakes.  Brand is everything and everyone has a personal brand.

Think before tagging is the best etiquette also.  Would YOU be happy with that drunken picture of you with your eyes rolling back in your head posted for all your audience (mum, dad) to see? If you don’t like people tagging you, set that up in your settings and also remind your friends. Courtesy is key.

Bullying anytime anywhere is not on. Those who bully others on social media are cowards. Parents should know the passwords to their children’s Facebook accounts if under 18.  Both should sit down and talk about the importance of privacy and setting up the account with appropriate settings, education is key.  If you are not on Facebook yourself, learn about it and accept that it is a channel that your child will want to explore. An understanding has to come with the parent/child agreement with Facebook use.  There are too many perverts out there to keep everyone safe from bullying and online misconduct.  Being able to talk about it is key also.

Adults can sometimes be the bigger bully. Grow up.  Be kind or get off social media tools.  Posting on someone’s Twitter feed you wish they would die, is bullying or commenting rudely on a post is bullying.  I am excited to hear that there are a few cases that have gone to court, being charged with attacking others on social media sites.  It is the same as doing it in person, wrong.

Be polite, be kind, be funny, challenge your friends on topics but do it with respect.  Ensure you have your profile on any social media tool set up to your preference.  If you do de-friend a person on Facebook because their posts annoy, upset you, be honest and tell them why.  Or hide their posts from your feed if you feel it will cause unnecessary tension (family members).

Added paragraph after publishing:
Further to a valid point made by Amy on my published post on Facebook today - those people expecting to find out about your baby, dog, cat, life on Facebook, if you aren't a close friend, or close work acquaintence, you will find out when the user is ready to post, do not RELY on these social media channels for information. This is also etiquette! Be respectful of the person, especially in Amy's case when she had a baby, she surely was busy, resting, tired, contacting family to do a selfie or baby piccie for you!


2 April 2013

Energised and revitalised after the Easter break…..

Something happened in my head over the weekend, a penny or three dropped and I realised that in TWO MONTHS time I will be trying on wedding dresses!  All of a sudden hot cross buns and Easter eggs/chocolate didn’t appeal to me as much (ok there was that little bit of disappointment come Easter Sunday morning when I remembered we had agreed NOT to buy each other Easter Eggs). But we survived.... well red wine became a good distraction...

I had done so well last week eating clean & training mean and was feeling really good, energised, full of beans and motivation was WAY HIGH.  This is the feeling that I wish everyone could feel at least once or twice if they are embarking on a healthy lifestyle change, so they realise how easy it is to not feel lethargic and tired all the time.
Easter weekend, so much chit chat on Facebook about eating chocolate, making chocolate, buying chocolate and eating hot cross buns and the like I was thinking, nope, not for me.
Friday I embarked on a 6km walking trek from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach, it truly is a gorgeous walk and accompanied by a good friend we got a bit side-tracked taking pictures of all the gorgeous flowers, plants and small little coves hidden that we missed the turn off to Balmoral Beach, going the longer way through the Gunners Barracks, a nice detour I must admit, stunning beach at Chowders Bay and Clifton’s Gardens.  Was so nice to be back with nature, I miss bushwalking! We had a delicious lunch on the beach and headed back by ferry into the city.   My knee was being a bit of a princess.

Saturday I had a great session at the UFC gym! Love love LOVE that place, the vibe is just awesome, not busy and bustling in the weights area and they play the best tunes LOUD and not like a radio station repeating the songs over and over… it is varied for the time of day and goes well to pump up my motivation during training (not to mention the UFC fights broadcast on TV)!  I am enjoying functional training and HIIT training – good solid full body workouts, less time and smarter training.  Less cardio for me!  The HIIT gets that heart rate up enough!

Sunday & Monday did a couple walks around here and there – meeting friends for lunch and checking out wedding venues with the boy – gorgeous weather, nice to get out and about and explore new places – going to be fun finally picking our wedding location!! So many options wonder which one will just jump out at us and say YES THIS IS THE PLACE!  It will happen soon …..

Yesterday I did some good food prep, got my salads ready for lunch at work, baked some chicken thighs, cooked up some quinoa with coconut milk for breakfasts (serve with cinnamon and berries), baked sweet potato in coconut oil and whipped up some of my protein balls! So prepared it got me so excited and motivated for the week ahead to continue eating clean with no excuses and training mean with all this great fuel!

This morning after a couple days off the gym I was so excited to train I was wide awake at 4:30am… so got to the gym at 5:10am, was so dark and quiet outside, there were a few people already inside the gym, got to love shift workers and I had a cracking workout!  My knee was being a princess again (for those who don’t know I need knee recon on both knees, wear and tear from too much sport over the years, so it plays up from time to time and I have to focus properly and work on stabilising muscles to alleviate the muscles pulling the knee cap also… fun, games!)  The good thing about the knee feeling it is it improves my technique ten-fold!! So this morning I did my favourite circuit which I like to smash a couple times a week:
One warm up round, then four complete rounds
Single arm db clean (db from ground)


Single arm db. row

Barbell upright row first two rounds & then clean and press

Single leg reverse lunches with db stabilising same leg

Full body push-ups on bench or medicine ball

Bent over row with same barbell weight as deadlifts

I mix and match some of the exercises, today I added barbell curls into the mix also as was feeling good, alternate with triceps dips also and plank holds to mix things up.

I am getting some good weights going now, also with good form, so feeling strong! Deadlifts today was 40kgs (same for barbell rows), single arm clean with 15kg, upright row 25kgs (same for bicep curl today), reverse lunges with 15kg db! My pace, my challenges.

I am feeling so focused, so in control which is great, New Year, new job and so many great things to look forward too!  Let the fitness goals challenge continue, onwards and upwards.  I love change, love adapting to change and amending my body and mind to cope with these challenges and changes, keeps me intrigued and excited!  This week am trying a new class at the UFC gym - called Adrenaline (makes me think of PINK) plyometric drills with intervals of strength, power & resistance using bodyweight!!