Health and Fitness

skin

Happy Tuesday all! I hope you guys have started your week off happy and full of positivity! I thought I would start off this week focusing on a post educating you guys on something I love, something I am passionate about and something I actually get to incorporate in my amazing job, Skin care. Ive been a skincare specialist now for over 2 years and I cannot put into words just how passionate I am about looking after my skin, and helping others look after theres. Today, I thought i would share with you some of my favourite skin care products and why Ive chosen them by giving you an insight into the ingredients and what they do for your skin.

My morning and night routine consists of 14-15 steps, so I thought instead of sitting here and making this posts impossibly long for you all to read, I would pick out some of my current favourites within all my routine and let you in on why they are SO good for your skin!

Guys, I suggest if you haven’t got yourself a skin care routine, to slowly start to educate yourself on the importance of having a routine and using the right products to benefit your skin. Everyone is different and each individual requires their own range of products/range of products to enhance their skin. If you feel lost or need some help with this, please do not hesitate to ask, I’d be more then happy to help you!

So, lets get started, I’m excited to introduce to you guys some of my all time favourites, maybe they will become yours too!

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I absolutely adore this product. I use the micellar water to remove the base of my foundation base, eye makeup and lipstick. The product is super soft on my skin and makes the removal of the rest of my makeup SO easy!

BENEFITS: refreshing, soothing and calming on the skin, leaves a beautiful glowing complexion!

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product contains rose flower extract and cornflower extract which not only soothes the skin, but helps with congestion and redness!

WHEN TO USE:  Morning and Night – Morning: to cleanse skin of dirt/sweat from sleeping and to prep the skin for other skincare/makeup.  Night: to remove foundation, eyes and lip makeup before thoroughly cleansing the skin with other products.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima and Mecca Cosmetica (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $29.00 (150ml)

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This is hands down one of my top 5 favourite cleansers. Not only does it remove any excess makeup but it is super creamy and lasts forever. A small 5 cent piece size is all you need to remove any dirt/excess makeup and leaves the skin feeling so soft!

BENEFITS: This product is a large size, meaning you will get many months use out of it when using it 2 times a day. It is super soft and creamy on the skin and just by using circular motions with your hands on your face, the formula removes any excess dirt/makeup on the skin and prep you for your next skin care steps!

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product contains French green clay and Moroccan Rhassoul clay – these products will work to cleanse deeply and remove the excess oils/sebum to unclog the pores.  These ingredients also purify the skin. This cleanser is filled with Vitamin C and black pepper – these two ingredients work to tighten pores, brighten the skin and help leave it looking fresh and plump. They are also an anti ageing property as they enhance the skins natural collagen production. You will notice when your using this cleanser your skin is left glowing and SO soft.

WHEN TO USE:  Morning and Night – Morning: to cleanse skin of dirt/sweat from sleeping and to prep the skin for other skincare/makeup.  Night: to remove foundation, thoroughly cleanse the skin and to prep for other skin care.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima and Mecca Cosmetica (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $66.00 (125ml)

 

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This has been my go-to eye cream for a while now! Its one of the only eye creams that dont irritate my eyes and leaves my under eye area looking brighter and much more hydrated! It also works so well placed under concealer to help with creasing

BENEFITS: Super creamy formula, and lasts forever as only a small amount is needed. The cream is super hydrating and brightening which is exactly what you want after them sleepless nights from too much coffee!

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product is PACKED with vitamin C and mineral manganese, these ingredients help to reduce any under eye dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles and leaves the area looking fresh and prepped for concealer/foundation.

WHEN TO USE:  Morning and Night – Morning: to help hydrate and moisturise the eye area after a night of sleep, to help brighten the area and prep for makeup.  Night: Used consistently at night to benefit from anti ageing properties, to reduce fine lines and dark circles.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima and Mecca Cosmetica (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $55.00

 

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This mask has become my best friend this winter! Applying the clay-like formula to the skin, letting it dry for 15-20 minutes and removing with warm water, leaves your skin feeling soft and gentle and reveals a plump, glowy complexion!

BENEFITS: This mask is cooling, easy to apply and gives instant results. I use this mask 2-3 times a week to prep my skin for upcoming work shifts when I know ill be wearing a full face of makeup and want my skin to be in the best shape for the products.

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product contains so many ingredients that are super beneficial on the skin! The chamomile extract and Balsam Peru is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient which benefits the skin by helping with redness, sensitivity, and easily irritated skin. The product also contains Kaolin clay and wheat starch to help absorb impurities in your pores. This product is suitable for all skin types!

WHEN TO USE: You can use the mask morning or night depending on your schedule/requirements. Morning: After cleansing and exfoliating to prep the skin for makeup or to help with dehydration and redness  Night: To hydrate, replenish and soothe the skin after a long day of wearing makeup and building up dirt/impurities in the skin.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Unfortunately, this product is not stocked at mecca anymore, however can be purchased on http://www.beautybay.com

PRICE: $25.50 (56g)

 

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This sheet mask has been one of my go-to’s on the weekly and always leaves my skin feeling plump, hydrated and so super soft! I love that it is so easy to apply, SO cheap at only $3.00 a mask, and the excess product once you remove the mask off the skin can be used as moisturiser to further hydrate and plump!

BENEFITS: This easy to apply sheet mask is easy to take travelling and a great option to place in the bag for a go-to mask when you need that extra skin hydration boost.

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This mask is full of collagen enriched properties which work to restore elasticity within your skin, boosting your collagen production and helping increase the skins firmness. The hyaluronic acid will help hydrate the skin as well as soothe the skin for a smoother, brighter complexion. These ingredients are also anti-ageing helping to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

WHEN TO USE: You can use the mask morning or night depending on your schedule/requirements. Morning: After cleansing and exfoliating to prep the skin for makeup or to help with dehydration, leaves the skin glowy and hydrated Night: To hydrate, replenish and soothe the skin after a long day of wearing makeup and building up dirt/impurities in the skin.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $3.00 per mask or a pack of 10 for $20.00

 

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This has been my absolute life saver over winter! My lips get SO dry and I’m definitely a lover of lipsticks, especially matte finishes – this lip scrub helps to prep my lips, remove the dry skin and leaves them hydrated, perfectly preps my lips for any lipstick I choose! I also suggest using the frank lip balm with this lipstick for further hydration!

BENEFITS: this coffee based scrub is the perfect size to place in your bag for a long day, is super easy to apply and smells so delicious! The scrub removes any dead skin while also hydrating and plumping the lips prepping them for any balms, glosses, lipsticks and liquid lipsticks!

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: Ground robusta coffee and coffee seed oil worked together to buff away dead skin and hydrate the lips. Super natural ingredients that all work together to leave the lips plump and prepped for any lipstick/gloss choice. Cold pressed macadamia oil and ethically sourced beeswax will leave your lips feeling smoother than ever.

WHEN TO USE:  Morning and Night – Morning:  Use on clean lips to prep them for your day ahead. Using the scrub will prep your lips for any balms and lipsticks and will leave your lips hydrated and flakey-lip free. Night: to remove any excess lipstick and to hydrate, replenish and soothe the lips after a long day of wearing lipsticks. Use the frank lip balm after for further hydration

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima (www.mecca.com.au) and Frank Body (www.frankbody.com)

PRICE: $12.95

 

This night oil has been my go to oil this winter and is multi use! Sometimes I will use it on its own or sometimes mix into my moisturiser or even my foundation before a night out! Super hydrating, soothing and leaves my skin looking brighter and plumper!

BENEFITS: This night oil is soothing, filled with Vitamin C and E and helps to plump the skin, removing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This serum keeps my skin feeling soft through the drying winter months and always gives me a hydrated, glowy complexion.

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This oil is full of beautiful natural plant oils such as clary sage, pomegranate and cranberry seed which works while you sleep to lift dead skin cells, as well as soothe and plump the skin. This product is high in salicylic acid and vitamin C an E.

WHEN TO USE:    NIGHT: I use this oil in different ways. I like to use it nightly after cleansing, exfoliating and after applying a mask. I use it before my moisturisers to give my skin the extra hydration boost it needs. If i’m heading out for the night, Ill place 2 drops into my foundation for a more dewy, brighter complexion.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $62.00

 

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Now that we have gotten through the tongue twister name, I NEED you guys to know about this product! This elixir is SO versatile and is sometimes the only skincare product I need, I ALWAYS take this life saver travelling with me when I dont want to weigh my bags down with too many products!

BENEFITS: This elixir is suitable for ALL skin types and is infused with the immense antioxidant power of one-day fresh Greek saffron to universally correct all visible signs of ageing. The elixir can also be used in foundation for a 12 hour glowy complexion.

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: A fun fact, Korres do 5 years of research when creating each product to ensure they are the perfect formulas with the most beneficial properties for each skin type. This elixir contains Organic Greek Saffron Extract: Rich in crocin, a potent antioxidant found in Krocus flowers that enhances the action of other antioxidants.  This product also contains Beta-glucans, these work to strengthen the skins resistance to daily damage, helping to improve the skins appearance and aid in keeping the skin stay younger longer, while correcting all visible signs of ageing.

WHEN TO USE: Morning and Night – MORNING: I use this product after cleansing, toning, exfoliating and after the use of a mask. I use it on my face as well as neck and chest. NIGHT: after cleansing, toning, exfoliating and after the use of a mask to prep my skin before bed and to help with dehydration and fine lines.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: http://www.sephora.com

PRICE: $98.00

 

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One of the lightest serums I have ever used! Ive been using this serum daily for just over a month and I have been blown away by the hydration boost and the moisture the serum gives to my skin! Not to mention the high list of natural based ingredients!

BENEFITS: This serum is anti ageing and will help reduce the appearance of fines and wrinkles. It also helps to restore the skins hydration and radiance.

 

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product contains powerful botanicals and anogeissus which are anti ageing properties. The ingredients will help the skin and create a firmer, smoother and more radiant complexion.

WHEN TO USE: Morning and Night – MORNING: I use this product after cleansing, toning, exfoliating and after the use of a mask/oil – I use it on my face as well as neck and chest. NIGHT: after cleansing, toning, exfoliating and after the use of a mask and facial oil to prep my skin before bed and to help with dehydration and fine lines.  I also use this product to help boost my collagen production.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $85.00

 

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Have you guys heard of the peel off mask craze thats been going around? multiple videos of poor gals and guys in tears trying to pull off masks that are stuck to their face like glue, and ruining their skin? Well this mask does NOT do that and is so easy to remove off the skin. What I love is that there are 3 steps that help you soften the blackheads, easily remove them and prevent them from coming back!

BENEFITS: 

STEP ONE: HEATING GEL THAT OPENS THE PORES – This gel used in circular motions on the skin will help open up the pores preparing them for the black mask. You can physically feel the mask warming up your skin too!

STEP TWO: PEEL OFF BLACKHEAD MASK: Easy to apply, easy to remove and you can physically see your blackheads be removed once you peel the mask off!

STEP THREE: CLOSING PORE COOLING SERUM: I love this product most, its soothing, cooling and prevents the pores from being clogged up!

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product contains charcoal, black garlic and milk proteins which work to remove blackheads without drying out the skin. The 3 steps will help remove excess oil, unclog the pores and dissolve dead skin cells leaving your t-zone area fresh, cleansed and excess oil free.

WHEN TO USE: Morning or Night  1 x a week – I suggest using it after cleansing, toning and exfoliating before continuing with other skin care.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $26.00

 

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Guys! If you haven’t heard of this product you have not lived! This is another one of my favourite go-to life savers for both summer and winter. The spray is super hydrating and can be used for a daily hydration boost or to set the makeup leaving a dewy, glowing complexion!

BENEFITS: Super beautiful, refreshing spray that hydrated the skin, helps with tightness and soothes the skin instantly. Can be used after moisturisers and creams for an extra hydration boost, to set the makeup or through the hair for extra moisture.  Safe for all skin types, gentle, non-irritating.

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: Completely Vegan, the rose water will calm, soothe and hydrate the skin while the fragrant herbal extracts will hydrate your dry skin, boost your makeup looks and help your dry hair!

WHEN TO USE:  You can use this product literally all day, every day, I use it first thing in the morning, after applying all my creams/serums. I use it to set my makeup, through my hair after using other drying hair products. I also use it during the day to keep my complexion looking dewy and fresh, then again at night to give my skin that extra refreshing hydration boost!

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: 118ml: $9.00  |  236ml: $17.00

 

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Im absolutely adoring this cream at the moment! i use this formula for its anti ageing properties, as its clinically proven to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

BENEFITS: this super buttery formula is not only anti ageing, but hydrating and brightening on the skin. The hydrating cream leaves the skin looking youthful, radiant and plump.

Concentrated Restorative Treatment is a powerful anti-aging cream that helps to resurface the skin’s texture whilst visibly smoothing lines and wrinkles. Formulated with DMAE and Vitamin C Ester, elasticity is improved to firm and tone the skin, while wrinkles and fine lines seem to disappear. As skin is resurfaced, discolouration and pigmentation appear brighter while pores appear smaller. This hydrating treatment leaves skin looking more radiant, even and youthful.

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product contains DMAE and Vitamin C Ester – these products help with the elasticity and plump the skin. The ingredients in this product will also help resurface the skin, help with discolouration and pigmentation. This product will brighten the skin and hydrate, also leaving the skin looking fresh and radiant.

WHEN TO USE:  i suggest using this product at night on the face, neck and decollete in gentle circular motions before bed.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima/Mecca Cosmetica (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $168.00

 

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Guys, this product is definitely a traveling essential as you can multi use it! This mask is used at night but is one you keep on while you sleep. Its basically a bottle of water for your skin and leaves it feeling soft, hydrated and super replenished!

BENEFITS: This mask is all about replenishing hydration. By using it your skin will restore moisture, leaving it plump and glowy! It is the perfect product to take traveling for the extra hydration boost!

INGREDIENT INFORMATION: This product contains apricot kernel oil, avocado  and Japanese seaweed which all work together as a team to replenish, hydrate and nourish the skin. They also work to minimise the signs of ageing, preparing the skin for the next day!

WHEN TO USE: I suggest using this product at least twice a week. right before bed, leaving the mask on to let the skin soak up the product. You will wake with soft, plump, radiant and replenished skin!

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Mecca Maxima (www.mecca.com.au)

PRICE: $37.00 (100ml)

 

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Just a few of my current favourite skin care products that Im using and loving! Like I said earlier, skincare and knowledge on your skin is SO important and i hope you guys learnt something about some of these products and what the ingredients can do! Please do not hesitate on reaching out to me if you would like any further help with your skin or would like to know anything else about the products I use, I love talking about skin and love getting my brain picked when it comes to skincare so ask away!

I hope you all have an absolutely beautiful week filled with positivity and good vibes!

Until next time,

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Hi All! I hope you are all having an incredible week and enjoying hump day! With easter coming up, I know I’m going to be eating chocolate and eating some bad foods, so I always try to ensure that the weeks leading up to Easter I am as healthy as possible, this however doesn’t stop me from having a sweet tooth! So this past weekend, I decided to gather up some healthy, nutritious ingredients and make a sweet banana and blueberry bread. The bread is super tasty warm or cold or just to take as a small snack to cure your sweet tooth!

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  • 4 Bananas ( ripe cooking banana’s as they need to be mashed)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
  • 3 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 1/4 Cup of Melted Coconut Oil (60ml)
  • 150g bag of Almond meal
  • 150g of crushed Almonds
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 Punnet of Blueberries (100g)

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STEP ONE: Cut up and mash your 4 Bananas. I simply used a fork to do this. They should look like this when you’re done.

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STEP TWO:  Add wet ingredients; eggs, coconut oil, honey and vanilla to your Bananas. (you may need to do this in a bigger bowl) and mix well. After mixing, your ingredients should look like this:

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STEP 3: In a seperate bowl, mix your dry ingredients – This is your almond meal, crushed almonds, cinnamon and baking soda – Mix well, as shown below:

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STEP FOUR: add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix through thoroughly. Your ingredients should now look something like this:

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STEP FIVE: Fold the blue berries into your mix slowly.

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STEP SIX: Line your bread tin with baking paper, then poor your mixture into the tin.

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STEP SEVEN: The fun part! Baking your bread! Bake at around 180 for 45 minutes to an hour. As it can vary, keep checking your bread and place a knife in – if the knife comes out clean, your bread is cooked. If it comes out wet with ingredients still on it, it needs more time.

STEP EIGHT: Cut, serve and EAT!

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This bread is not only healthy, guilt free and delicious but as you can see its very simple to make, ingredients are not expensive and its quick and easy! Trust me guys, if i can make it, I know all of you can too! I hope you guys enjoy this recipe just as much as I do, Happy baking guys!

Until next time,

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Hi All! Long time no talk! I am so sorry for being MIA lately, Ive recently gone back to school and its been a massive week of emotion for me so Ive had a break from blogging- I also started kickboxing and plan on up-skilling in that so my focus has been elsewhere and Im so sorry about that! But, Im back! And because my health kick for 2016 continues, I thought I would share with you guys some of my favourite healthy meals I eat to contribute to weight loss and be as nutritious as I possible can! Ive added a few breakfast,  options and in more posts, ill show you guys what i also eat for lunches and dinners as well as snacks!  If you would like to know more you can hit me up with questions on my Qooh account (link in social media tab).

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we all know that! If you didn’t.. well now you do! I love breakfast because I ALWAYS feel so hungry when I wake up, due to heading to the gym at 5:30 in the morning, by 7:00am I could eat the whole house down so breakfast before starting my day makes me feel A LOT better. I usually like to mix up my breakfast depending on what my day looks like, how active ill be or what I will be doing, but these are usually my options:

  • BERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE:

Anyone who knows me personally knows how much i LOVE my smoothies, and its always the same one because I seriously love it so much! If you have a look in the recipe tab I actually posted all about my smoothie, what it looks like and the recipe, however ill recap whats in it now:

  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 2 tablespoons of protein world slender blend protein (vanilla flavour)
  • 6-10 strawberries
  • handful of raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of low fat greek yoghurt natural
  • 200ml almond milk/skim milk
  • 200ml of cold water
  • optional: tablespoon of chia seeds.

Blend all the ingredients together and thank me late, because its like a strawberry milkshake, without the guilt, is super nutritious and fills you up for the morning!

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  • PROTEIN OMELETTE

Okay when I know Im going to have more carbs during the day I like to keep my breakfast nice and protein packed and as natural as possible! My favorite omelette recipe consists of:

  • 1 full egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tblsp of skim milk
  • Mix these 3 ingredients together in a bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper
  • handful of baby spinach
  • small handful of red onion sliced/diced.
  • small handful of diced tomato
  • small handful of diced capsicum (whatever colour)

Heat up small amount of coconut oil in a pan, add all your vegetables and fry for 30 seconds. From this, then add wet ingredients (egg) to the pan and cook until golden.

Remove from the pan and serve!

This omelette is great, full of protein and vegetables and is very, very yummy!

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  • Smashed Avocado, Fetta and poached Eggs

Okay honestly, I cannot begin to explain how much I LOVE this breakfast. I sometime have it for lunch instead of breakfast too! Its just that damn good and fills you up for either meal! Its easy and simple to make and only has a small amount of ingredients which makes it super quick too!

  • 2 eggs, poached
  • half an avocado smashed onto x2 pieces of low gi rye toast
  • as above, 2 pieces of rye toast
  • 30grams of fetta, crumbled
  • baby spinach placed on toast as base for eggs
  • salt and pepper.

I have the toast, then the avo, handful of spinach, crushed fetta, then add the eggs on top of that – for extra flavour you can even drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top of that to! Its to die for, nutritious and super yummy!

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  • Natural Oats with apple and cinnamon and honey drizzle

These are usually my go to for cold winter mornings, Im literally obsessed! They taste so good, they are so easy and so filling!

  • 45 grams of natural, unsweetened oats – I use uncle Toby’s.
  • 1/2 cup of cold water, 1/2 cup of almond milk mixed with the oats, then placed in the microwave for up to 2 minutes mix and check until soft.
  • 1 cut up, peeled granny smith apple mixed into made oats.
  • tbsp on natural cinnamon ground added to mixture.
  • drizzle of honey added to top for flavour
  • mix altogether and eat

Its absolutely delish, a heart warming, filling meal and is so good for you and will set you up for the day!

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These are my go to breakfasts and I hope it gives you guys some tips and ideas for a healthy, nutritious meal! Let me know if you guys have any questions or want to know more about what i eat! I will be posting my lunch and dinner options for you guys ASAP too so make sure you look out for them!

 

Until next time,

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Happy Thursday all! I hope you guys are having a fantastic week and are kicking your goals! This week I had some time to play around with some recipes/ingredients and come up with a pretty tasty, no added sugar cupcakes! I researched some recipes online, removed some ingredients I felt were not needed and I also added my own ingredients that i felt would work really well with the cupcakes to make them as easy and cost effective as possible! Please remember these have no added sugar, so they may not be sweet enough for your liking – if thats an issue for you i suggest adding in 3 tablespoons of honey for extra sweetness!

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WET INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium-large ripe bananas.
  • 1/3 of a cup of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of almond milk, or skim milk depending on what you prefer (not pictured)

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups of wholemeal flour
  • 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of bi-carb soda
  • 12 whole almonds (or crushed walnuts, whatever you prefer)

Pre heat your oven to 220 degrees and prepare muffin tray (12 cup) by either lining them with baking cups or brushing it with coconut oil.

 

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  1. Mash up all 4 Bananas in smaller bowl – Use a fork to make it easier for yourself. Make sure your bananas are mashed to the consistency shown below, with minimal chunks.

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2. Add in other wet ingredients to your mashed up bananas (Egg, Vanilla Essence, Coconut Oil, Almond Milk)

3. Prepare your dry ingredients in larger bowl all together  (wholemeal flour, cinnamon, bi-carb soda) Leave the almonds/nuts out at this stage. This should be what you have in front of you: Wet Ingredients in one bowl, dry ingredients in a larger bowl.

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4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until all has been folded through.

5. Fill your muffin tray with your mixture and top each muffin with a whole almond (or crushed nut of your choice)

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6. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, check to ensure soft in middle and top crunchy, then remove, let cool and serve. I suggest serving the muffin with sugar free ice cream or stewed fruit such as apples, they are a great combination together, or simply great for your lunch box without feeling the guilt of a muffin that is full of sugar!

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Healthy, Guilt free, tasty and so easy to make! Not only is the recipe easy, the ingredients are cheap to buy, so you will not be spending too much money on ingredients!

I hope you guys have a great weekend and this recipe can help you from being naughty and reaching for a sugar packed chocolate muffin! If you have any questions or would like to see me post about something in particular please let me know on my qooh me, which you can find the link in my ‘social media’ page!

 

Happy Baking!

Until next time,

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Hi All! Happy Friday! I must admit I am so glad its almost the weekend. Ive been working out every single day and putting 110% into every single workout Ive done, and from being at the gym for hours everyday recently, Ive noticed a few things being done by other individuals working out, that really grind my gears. Now, dont get me wrong, I’m all for personal fitness and think its incredible when anyone takes on a fitness regime and dedicates time to their health, however when you attend a gym that is open to the public, and you know other people will be using the equipment that you are using, It’s only fair to take that into consideration and respect the rules of the gym. When I was at my local gym this morning, I found myself frustrated and unmotivated because of some of the people around me, and the selfish things they were doing, so I thought what better way to get out my frustration then to write a blog post about it (right!?) So lets get into it. I call this post ‘If you want to have a good relationship with the fellow members at your gym, dont do this type of bulls%^$”

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Now, dont get me wrong, I know that sometimes this can’t be helped. If your doing super sets, It obviously needs to be done, but when someone is hogging two machines and either not using the other one, but leaves there towel there, or is to busy talking to someone else and the machines aren’t being used, or someone who literally just puts their sweat towel and drink bottle on a seat or weight just so the machine is theirs when they want it – these type of people really grind my gears. Most of us who go to workout just want to use the machine for our set, then move on, or go home! If your one of these people who hog machines and hardly use them but have got your sweat towel there or your water bottle- use your brain! Have a think. If you can see that someones standing around or someone is keen on using the machine, and you really aren’t using it at that stage, let them use it! Its probably the last machine they need to finish their workout. Trust me when I say, if your doing a super set, the rest of us understand that- Its when we see you standing there, on your phone, talking to other people for a long time, or not even using the second machine is when it gets frustrating and you become one of ‘them’ people at the gym!

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Now, I’m okay with someone taking a few seconds to look to see if I’ve finished using a machine, Or checking to see If i have the barbell they want or a dumbbell set they need- But when I’m trying to complete my sets and there are people staring or watching – Not only do I feel judged, but I cant focus properly. Some people might read this and think Im being picky, but when you are trying to stay focused and get in a good workout, it definitely gets frustrating if someone is staring at you. If your one of these people, just do you! focus on you and what your doing. Im sure if someones using the machine you wont or the weights you need, they will be done soon. Just think about it, you probably wouldn’t want someone staring you when you’re pumping weights, dont do it to someone else!

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Ah, the lingerers. If you’re a starer, then you are usually a lingerer too! Lingerer’s are those people in the gym who are waiting for a machine, which is fine- but then they come up to you and ask ‘how many sets have you got left? and you kindly let them know, yet they still stand right behind you or so close to you, to the point where you cant focus. I always feel like telling them ‘ Look ill let you know when Im done, Please give me at least a metre of space so I can finish my sets!’ I understand if someones waiting for a machine or a weights bar, but you dont need to keep asking or standing right behind the person until their done. Its frustrating, makes us lose concentration and focus, and will honestly, probably make me want to use the machine or weight, longer then I have to, so just back of a little, it will be yours once the sets are done!

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These ones are probably some of the worst kinds of people at the gym. I actually have 2 of them every single morning when I work out. When I dont have work in the morning or i start a shift in the afternoon, I head into the gym early so I can get my workout done and dusted for the day. If I’m training in the morning there are always 2 men in there who obviously take their training very seriously. They’re both big and always lifting heavy, however they both NEVER take the weight off a machine or bar once they have finished with it – and I find myself CONSTANTLY having to pull these heavy discs or weights of machines and it adds so much more time to my workout- what makes it even more frustrating is the fact that my gym has a speaker and it constantly reminds people to take their weights off machines once they have finished- but these two are too selfish to do that! If your one of these people, I’m being honest when I say this, but 85% of the people you go to gym with, probably highly dislike you! Its not that hard, If you can rack it, you can stack it back.anigif_original-10447-1433249479-5.gif

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Look, I totally get it. Sweating is a massive sign of an intense, hard workout, but its also really unhygienic in a gym for a range of people who use the same equipment as you! Its crucial to have a sweat towel, but there are a lot of people who chose not to use their sweat towels once they’ve finished with a cardio machine or a bench and leave traces of their perspiration all over the machine or bench! It takes 2 seconds to use your towel and wipe it down, 2 seconds! Not only will the fellow gym members respect you for it, but you wont be called the ‘unhygienic’ one, because trust me, I can point out the unhygienic gym goers from my gym from a mile a way – Just wipe down your machine or place a towel when you sit or lay on a machine bench!

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I am SO for people starting a new years resolution and working out, I totally am, And this is just me being selfish but you all know I’m honest with my posts, so its going in here- but the gym in Jan! Its always so packed, I struggle to find machines, weights and even room! Sometimes I literally try and get a workout done at a ridiculous time in the morning like 5:00am so I dont have to even try and attempt to get a good workout in in the afternoon – because you spend so much time waiting for a machine, cardio equipment or just tools like dumbbells, barbells and benches! Its always funny when Feb/March hit and the gym slowly becomes less busy though- I secretly love it when this happens!

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Now I’m always up for a chat, but in the right times! If I’m doing a simple workout or arms or something like that, and my headphones aren’t in then sure! lets have a chat between sets- BUT if I’m doing HIIT cardio or trying to do a superset or a PB and you can tell I’m in the zone, lets talk after! I always make sure I check to see if someone is okay to talk or if i should just wait until they’re done. It can be really annoying and frustrating if your trying to run or push yourself and someone wants to have a chat right at that point!

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I’m all good with people using their phones while they work out – If its not effecting me, then i dont understand why people always say ‘get off your phone’ to others in the gym. If its not effecting your workout then who cares, HOWEVER when someone is having LOUD phone convocations yelling on their phone or using it in between sets and just sitting on it forever and hogging a machine because of it – Thats when it becomes super frustrating and annoying. If you want to do that- step out of the area and do that elsewhere. People going on social media in between sets think its just gonna make their rest stage go quicker but they sit their for minutes and minutes before doing another set, then repeat the process- I once waited 25 minutes for a guy to stop using the Leg Press because he was checking social media in between sets! Its annoying and super frustrating, and if you do it, stop it!

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The Experts. Now I dont mind if people have some tips for me.. No.. actually i DO! If I wanted tips or someones opinion when I’m at the gym.. I’d ask! Ive been working out for over 3 years and have a good idea how to make sure I’m using machines correctly or working out the right muscles correctly, and If I’m not sure- I ASK. I dont need other people at the gym suggesting things to me. I see this all the time at the gym where others think its okay to go up to someone else and give them advise. For example I man that goes to my gym has to squat a different way due to a knee issue, he cant go down to a certain point and its a way a PT/ doctor has told him to adjust until his knee is better, and someone had the nerve to tell him he isn’t squatting deep enough- You dont know whats going on in someones life. They could have injuries or discomfort- people know their OWN bodies, so back off and look after your own! Im sorry if that comes across as rude- but this ones a big one that gets on my nerves!

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And there you have it! My main tips on who NOT to be while your working out! I know some people might ask me why I didn’t add in ‘people who take selfies or videos while working out’. Simple, these people dont annoy me, they make me laugh! I think its funny when I see people tensing and taking photos and videos at the gym so people on social media know they worked out -Ill even admit sometimes I’m guilty of it, but I ensure to take my photos at home! Haha!

Let me know your pet peeves when working out! Id love to hear them and see what else happens in other peoples gyms!

Until Next time,

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder, also known to some as ‘Body Dysmorphia’.

There are many people who will read the headline of this post and think nothing of it, many people who will be reading this just to learn about a different type of disorder, or some of you may just be intrigued to know what exactly it is and what it means, but there will be some readers who have this disorder, and these few will know how this disorder,  can seriously control many aspects of your life.

Medically, Body dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) is described as a ‘distinct mental disorder in which a person has symptoms of a medical illness, but the symptoms cannot be fully explained by an actual physical disorder. People with BDD are preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see’ (webmd quote/explanation of the disorder). To simplify this, BDD can be described as an individual who has a very negative view on their body, looks and self image, but to me and so many other BDD it is so, so much more.

For some, Body dysmorphia can start from bullying, for others, from their own insecurities, and some can even develop the disorder from growing up in an abusive family environment, and sadly these only name a couple of the reasons each individual can develop BDD. Every individual with this Disorder has their own story, their own struggles and their own thoughts on suffering with Body dysmorphia,

This is my story.

I didn’t always have BDD. Growing up, I was actually a pretty confident kid. I started Swimming at the age of 4, Gymnastics at the age of 5 and even gave Taekwondo a go at the age of 9. Swimming, however was always my favourite- and I stuck with it all the way into year 9 of highschool. Throughout Primary school I began to get bigger, yes. Was it something i noticed? Of course it was, but I was a kid, and I certainly didn’t let it bother me. The early years of Primary school, Kids weren’t cruel, everyone respected everyone and always played nice, however leading up to year 5 and 6- thats when the bullying began. Now looking back on it I laugh, because it was just young boys, being boys, trying to get a quick laugh from their mates, but back then being an 11-12 year old girl, it was something that definitely affected me, thats for sure.

Moving into Highschool and becoming a teenager, now thats where I would have to pin point the starting point of developing BDD. Highschool was tough. It can be for a lot of students, and not just females but males too. I feel like now looking back on it, everyone just wanted to get a laugh out of their friends, they wanted their friends to think they were cool or tough- but half the time It all was an act. I had a group of friends, A descent size too, I mean we were teenage girls and often our friendship groups changed. The worst thing about going to an all girls school? The amount of backstabbing. Every day it was something new. If you did something embarrassing, of course everyone knew about it but you would only have to wait a day and everyone would be talking about some new piece of gossip on someone else. Looking back on it, it was actually kind of sad. Looking back on it, I think a lot more discipline should have been taken on students who thought it was okay to put down others because they weren’t their definition of beautiful or perfect. If anything, now, It only reflects badly on the ones who did the bullying and the ‘body shaming’.

I was actually quite a big girl during the start of Highschool and leading into my last 3 years of Highschool. I knew it, I hated it, and I would cry over it every single night. I would come home from school and cry to my Mum and Dad about how I looked. Id constantly ask ‘Why?’. ‘Why me?’. I would often have a pity party for myself, and looking back at that now I shake my head. The turning point was going from an all girls School in year 9, to transitioning to the Co-Ed Boys and Girls Campus to complete year 10, 11 and 12. Luckily, for me I never got a crush on any boy from my Highschool, not one. I had boyfriends, yes – but none of them attended the same school as I did, and personally I was too ashamed in my body, my self image and the way I looked to fully be happy in any relationship I was in, so they all faded pretty quickly and were nothing too serious.  I was scribble my face out in photos, hide my face in photos, crop my photos – Anything that would stop me from having to look at myself any more than I had to.

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(As you can see from the above photos I found on my still existing myspace page that I uploaded from 2008-2010, I hid behind black and white photos, my side fringe and often covered my face in every single photo that was taken of me. Yes, I wasn’t a skinny girl but hating myself this much, wasn’t healthy)

 

In year 10, My Best friend dropped out of High-school, My Dad became extremely ill and my motivation to do anything was lost. My grades dropped, my happiness dropped and I honestly felt as if nothing was going right. I was depressed, I felt alone and I felt like i had nothing. Add a load of homework, bullying and a bunch of gossiping teenagers to that and It was a great mix of disaster for any teenage girl. Now, I’m not trying to throw a pity party for myself here again, As everything that happened through high-school has made me who I am today, but going through it, and knowing still what so many young woman and men go through throughout their High school experience breaks my heart. I hid behind baggy clothes and a hideous side fringe.

Towards the end of year 10, I wanted to make a change. I decided to start ‘eating healthier; and joined a local gym. I would starve myself by eating 400 calories a day then going and doing endless hours of cardio to burn off the calories I ate, then destroy all that work by binge eating on a weekend because I was always SO hungry. I knew it was the wrong way to go about it, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I wasn’t losing weight, But I was and I would cry about it every single day. I knew I was doing it the unhealthy way, and I think doing this to my body back then has ruined my metabolism now. I kept this up all through year 10 and all through year 11. Starving myself, then binge eating, then starving myself, then binge eating. It was a rotation that went around and around and around again. I lost a few kilograms, however every time I looked in the mirror i hated what was staring back at me. i hated my hair, my face, my teeth, but most of all- my body.

The extent and depth of my emotions and feelings were, and still are incredibly deep, which I do speak about in the novel I am currently writing, and will release to you all once completed,  however I still find it hard to explain the pain, hurt and hate I had for myself. When year 12 finally came around I was more body conscious then ever. I wouldn’t wear anything other then black leggings and clothes that would hide my weight. Year 12 was hard, especially the first half. I struggled to keep up with study, working out and eating healthy, and then I met my Boyfriend, Ryan. I was honestly amazed he even showed interest in me to be honest, Here was this fit, good looking football player.. then there was me, this chubby, shy, no confidence 17 year old who hated the way she looked – but he stuck by me, through it all, and honestly I cannot thank this incredible man for everything he has done for me over the last 4 years, that’s for sure.

Once year 12 was done, My happiness definitely boosted. Although I still hated the way I looked and how I presented myself. I was away from the negative High school environment. I got my license, a full time job and was enrolled in my Beauty Course however my Dysmorphia got worse. I started eating a lot healthier, however in 2013/14, I was over exercising – sometimes doing up to 4 workouts a day, spending thousands on products, plans, boot camps and anything I thought would help me lose weight and love my body, but nothing would work. I was 2 dress sizes smaller from high school, however to me – I still looked horrible, I still felt horrible, and I still had no confidence. I had Ryan telling me I looked great,  old High school peers messaging me asking for advise on how to lose weight and telling me how great I looked, however none of it sunk in. To me, It wasn’t good enough – and If I’m honest it still isn’t good enough.

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(Here is a photo I uploaded to my Facebook in late 2014- after starting a new fitness regime. I was getting comments telling me how great I looked, but to me, there was hardly any change. I hated my body so much in the first photos, And hated my body just as much in the second set)

Focusing in on the last year- I began my Beauty course and was suddenly surrounded by young, skinny, beautiful, fit girls my age and older who ate like shit, but still had incredible figures, who were confident and so happy with themselves.. then there was me. Who wasn’t shy, I had a great relationship with everyone in my class- however would never even think about showing my body to anyone in the class and would even struggle to contribute to some classes if it meant I had to take my top off or do anything like that. Even sitting here, writing about it now gives me major anxiety and worry. Towards the middle of 2015 I got doctors to run tests, body comparisons, anything I could to see If I had anything wrong with me – and that’s when I was diagnosed with BDD. I had no idea what it was, had no Idea why he was diagnosing me with it, and had no idea why he was asking me to see a therapist about ‘hating myself’. Luckily enough I accepted my disorder and didn’t have to go on to seeing a therapist for the issue but accepting the fact that I had BDD wasn’t easy for me. I always put up a front of a strong, independent girl and it was hard for me suck up my pride and just accept the fact that i had a mental disorder, but accepting it was the first step to what I know will be a long recovery. I went to 3 other weight loss specialists towards the end of 2015 trying to see if they could help me – and they were all disappointing, one place (Melbourne Weightloss Clinic) had the main specialist tell me to “Just drink weight loss shakes for 3 year and you will definitely see a change” but that I was “Overreacting because the clients she usually sees are 5 times as big as me”. And i think that is a major issue. Its not about being a certain size. Having BDD is an issue for girls, woman, men and boys of all ages, sizes and shapes. I personally know a beautiful, fit, thin young woman who has BDD but sees herself as chubby and unattractive. It comes down to your own perception and your own image of yourself.

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(Here is another image I uploaded to Facebook much more recently, In October of 2015 to be exact. I look at myself there in 2010, and had no confidence, unhappy and overweight. I look at the photo on the right that was taken recently and although I do look like a different person, the feeling inside it still much the same. I’m wearing black because wearing anything else for my boyfriends football presentation would have made me look ‘obese’ as I would say. It took me 4 weeks to decide on an outfit for the night and only chose this because to me it was the only thing that looked half decent and the only outfit that to me, didn’t make me look how I felt.)

Now I am by no means skinny or fit. I am being very honest and raw when I say this, but I still cry myself to sleep every night thinking about my body, how I look and how I present myself in clothes. I dread Summer for having to wear more revealing clothes, I dread bikinis and I dread anything that means my skin will be showing, but that’s me being real with all of you. I may not be skinny, fit or confident, but one thing I am – Is healthy. I began 2016 with a goal. A goal to be healthy, a goal to be strong and a goal to push myself and be the best version of myself, emotionally, physically and mentally. I look at my body still with disgust on a daily basis, but I nourish it correctly, I train it correctly and I am on the road to trying my hardest to change my perception of myself, my opinion of myself and I’m trying to learn to love the skin I am in, while I try to better it.

Some days are worse then others, but all have its challenges and the best piece of advise I can give is to surround yourself with people who make you smile, who are positive influences on you, who have goals, ambitions and are striving for a happy, successful future. Get rid of any negativity, any negative people or anything that can hold you back from bettering yourself.

How do I cope with it? Well.. that’s a hard question.. really. Some days I do, some days I don’t. Some days I can stand myself in clothes, and others I will cry my eyes out at every outfit I try on until I have no strength to even attempt to go out in public. There’s good days, and there is bad days but the road to recovery is there and you don’t need to battle your disorder alone. So many young woman and men keep so quiet about it to the point they feel like they have no one – I’ve done that, and its far from the truth. There are so many organisations and other beautiful woman in the communities surrounding you and close to you who are also suffering. The best thing I do when I’m feeling really negative about myself is I ensure to surround myself with the people I love and the ones who lift me up. My family, My parents, My incredible boyfriend, My close friends and my Pups. I surround myself with the people who love me and support me, I know I don’t have to go through it alone. Another way I cope is sticking to a healthy, nutritious diet and balanced exercise. I workout 6 days a week with a program that was written up for me and follow a MACRO diet, which is the right amount of carbs/proteins/fats for my body and have one cheat meal a week to keep my cravings satisfied. Its about balance and healthy living. If I know I’m treating my body right, then that’s one step in a positive direction. Have motivation. 4 years ago I would have told you my motivation and inspiration would have been a woman was sickly skinny, not that this isn’t beautiful, as all woman of all shapes and sizes is beautiful but for a woman like me who grew up swimming, who is tall and bigger built naturally it wasn’t practical nor healthy. My inspiration now is woman like Ronda Rousey (who as a fact also suffered weight issues and overcome this) and woman within female MMA/UFC as well as various strong, fit, healthy, fitness professionals.

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How can you get help? If you suffer from BDD you are not alone and I’m telling you, you do not have to suffer with it alone. I personally am here for you no matter what and you can reach me or direct message me at any of my social media’s listed on my ‘social media’ tab. When I turned 21, I wrote a list of 21 things I want to do while 21, and one thing on the list was to create a forum for anyone suffering from BDD, And I am well on my way on doing that and will post the link asap and make a blog post about it as soon as its available- It will be a forum for anyone- a support page for anyone and you will see you are NOT alone and that you don’t have to battle it alone.  I highly suggest speaking to a trusted GP and therapist if you feel like this outcome will help you also. I’ve also listed some incredible websites below which will give you information/support services:

http://www.bddfoundation.org, http://www.anxietyaustralia.com, eatingdisorders.org.au, http://www.betterhealth.vic,gov.

 

The truth is, some people overcome BDD, Some others don’t, but the reality is there is support, there is help and there is ways to improving your relationship with yourself and the view you have of yourself, and I’m here to do that with you. BDD is not something to laugh at or look at lightly, but you can get through it, you can live with it, and you can use it as a tool to be the best possible version of yourself. No matter where you are based, there is support, there is help, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thankyou so much for reading the simplified version of my story and I am very excited/nervous to release my novel once its completed for everyone to read, If they wish. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to understand the struggle and if you are here simple to look at getting help or gain support, then I am so super proud of you. Please do not hesitate to take up my offer if you need someone to talk to/support you on your journey. Do not by any means feel embarrassed or nervous to speak to me regarding it, I am here to help- and totally understand how you are feeling.

You are not alone, We fight together.

 

Until next time,

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Happy Thursday all! Only one more sleep until the weekend, thank god! I find that when my days get over packed and super busy finding time to cook something let alone cook something healthy can be super hard. It can always seem so much easier to opt for a frozen meal or fast food- but we all know that thats not what our body needs, It isn’t rocket science! I’m currently on a meal plan that was written by a certified PT and nutritionist and 2016 has become a really important year to me already. I am super focused on my training, nutrition and health and I’m definitely making it one of my highest priorities. I know how hard it can be to stay healthy, I struggle with it still sometimes! So I thought while I was cooking my meal tonight, how it may be helpful to some of you guys to show you how simple, easy and quick it can be to have a simple, healthy meal. This meal took me no longer then 30 minutes and cost under $5.00 for the serving! If your organised, it isn’t hard or expensive to eat healthy so there really is no excuse!

Tonight I used 3 vegetables, a protein, an oil source, salt and pepper and 2 sources of flavouring and thats it. From this I created a Medley of vegetables (beetroot,pumpkin and asparagus) and BBQ flavoured chicken.

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  • 100g of Chicken Breast
  • 100g of Kent pumpkin chopped into cubes
  • 4 stems of Asparagus
  • 100g of Beetroot
  • 1 teaspoon of BBQ seasoning (simply can get this from Coles or any brand you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme herbs
  • Pinch of seasalt and cracked pepper
  • Coconut oil (enough to spray pan and pumpkin)

 

 

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  1. Cut up your pumpkin into small cubes. I choose to cut the skin off for my pumpkin. I then weigh my pumpkin to ensure I’m having a serving of 100grams. If you dont have scales 100g is usually 1.5 handfuls when it comes to pumpkin or sweet potato if your doing simple cubes.  Also at this stage preheat your oven to around 180 degrees. From the photo, you will be able to see the size of the pumpkin cubes.

2.   Once my pumpkin is diced I get a oven safe dish or tin and line it with baking paper. I            then transfer the pumpkin into the dish and spread it out.

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3. Spray the pumpkin with Coconut oil spray. If you do not have the spray, melt a small amount of coconut oil and toss the pumpkin through it before adding it to the oven dish/tin. If you aren’t a fan of coconut oil you can use olive oil also, just ensure its a small bit as its just to coat your pumpkin.

4. Use a teaspoon of your favourite herbs (I use thyme however rosemary or any of your favourite herb mix would work) and sprinkle them over your pumpkin.

5. Use a pinch of rock salt and cracked pepper and sprinkle over your pumpkin (As shown below)

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6. Once your pumpkin was prepared, place your dish into the oven ensuring its on a 30minute timer placed at around 180-200 degrees. I usually keep my pumpkin on for 20 minutes at 180 then up it to 200 to crisp it up for the last 10 minutes.

7. Use a medium size saucepan and fill it up half way with water. Let this simmer on the stove until it starts to boil.

8. Once it starts to boil you can add in your Asparagus sticks. I personally cut the bottoms off, but its totally up to your preference. I use 4 sticks for a serving.

9. Place your Asparagus sticks into the boiling water. As the sticks are hard they will stick out of the water at first, just allow them to soften up. You can either have asparagus soft, or you can have it crunch by just blanching it for a small amount of time – this is the way I like it. I never have it in the water for more then 8-10 minutes.

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10. While the Asparagus is blanching, you can then move onto the chicken. I cut up 100g of chicken breast, place it in a back and ass one teaspoon of BBQ seasoning to the bag and mix it through.

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11. Turn on your stove to a low heat and spray your pan with coconut oil (or olive oil depending on your choice). Let the pan rise in heat and then place your 100g of chicken into the pan and cook accordingly. Some prefer just cooked, some prefer it a little crispy. I personally dont mind, just make sure its fully cooked.

12. I was lazy tonight and only brought a can of beetroot, however you can always prepare it yourself or buy full beats- thats differently the healthiest way. My father who is also on a health kick, choses to make a sweet beetroot himself with vinegar and full beets- it tastes like the beetroot from the can, its incredible! either way weigh 100g of beetroot and you can leave it in slices or dice it up.

13. Once your chicken, beetroot and Asparagus has been prepared, you can check your Pumpkin and once you can tell it is crispy and cooked all the way through (check with knife or skewer) then you can also pull that out and present it on your plate just the way you want to! I choose to seperate it all.

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Such a simple, easy, quick and HEALTHY meal! Theres no excuses when this is so easy, so yummy and so quick!

 

I hope you guys liked this little tip of mine and can enjoy this easy healthy meal from your own home. Please do not hesitate to message me if you have any questions or tips on anything else you would like me to cover!

Until next time,

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Happy Tuesday all! How crazy is it that we are already 12 days into January? I cannot believe how fast the time is going and that its already 2016! Im finally back after a long break over Christmas/New Years and I thank you all for being so patient! So, My main Goal/Focus for 2016 is weightloss/health and fitness. The 3 components have always been extremely important to me, however this year I have noticed I am a lot more focused, driven and passionate about it! Im definitely eating cleaner, working out harder and my fitness planning/mindset is a lot clearer! I thought, to kick off the New Year on a healthy note, why not share some of my favourite tips for creating a perfect Salad! Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am not actually.. a massive fan of a plain salad.. No way! I cant do a simple no dressing, no protein salad- I find it SO boring and SO un filling, to me its seriously something i CANNOT eat, However if i fill my salads with incredible tasting veggies, healthy dressings, healthy cheeses and a protein source, I find them SO yummy! Lets do this!

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GO GREEN! Okay.. i know this doesn’t sound that yum.. But your salad needs to be nutritious and good for you- Choosing greens (the tasty ones) the right way can make sure your getting a great serve of nutrients that also easy to eat! My go to greens for a Salad are:

Iceberg Lettuce: I love this form of lettuce, its easy to eat, basically tastes like water, very low in calories and so super cheap too! You can pick up a whole lettuce for around $2.00 and that lasts me the whole week!

Spinach: As iceberg lettuce is basically water, I know the nutrition value isn’t too high! I love to add some spinach leaves to my iceberg lettuce to up the nutrition value, the two actually taste very nice together!

Mixed lettuce: this is another type of lettuce I enjoy. Its a few different lettuces put together and are a variety of colours- this type of lettuce tastes amazing with a vinaigrette and sea salt!

These are my favourites, personally- But other choices you can chose that are incredible for you and so super nutritious are wild rocket and kale- these two I personally don’t like the taste too but they are both so incredibly great for you! Try mixing 2 or more of the greens into your salad!

Greens are so full of folate and minerals such as calcium and magnesium, so don’t forget them!

 

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The rainbow medley of fruits and veggies are just important as the greens! This is one of the most fun parts of creating a salad, because you get to add some of the vegetables and fruit which have the most incredible flavour! some of my favourite go to vegetables are:

Beetroot, Red Onion, Carrot, Zucchini, Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn kernels off the cob, Cucumber, chickpeas, green beans – My favourite way to present these veggies are to either grate them, finely chop them or shred them! Not only does it make them easier to eat but i personally think it looks better (ha-ha!)

Another thing I love to do is bake off some sweet potato or pumpkin in the oven and add it to the top of my salads! these are my favourite veggies by far!

Some of my favourite go-to fruits to add into salads are:

Apples, Mango, Strawberries, Avocado – All though i have to ensure the type of salad I’m having will mix well with fruit. A dinner salad with meat, a find mango goes lovely with and a lunch salad (simple and on the side, strawberries are lovely with) I find because I love avocado so much, it goes with everything, and apples, well the green ones are incredible in a tossed side salad!

My best advise here is to play around with your favourite fresh fruits and vegetables, try different things and experience with flavours! Just make sure they all mix well together!

 

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Another ingredient that adds loads of flavour to a salad is a beautiful herb! Some of my favourites are fresh basil, chives and parsley. I also have a whole 12 herb and spices rack so I often play around with different herbs from there such as rosemary and thyme. I personally don’t like these herbs in a salad, but some other popular herbs are fresh mint and coriander- These I strongly dislike but a lot of my family and friends adore it, so they are always options to try! If you have a range of fresh herbs that you grow or a family member grows, take advantage!

 

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To me, this is a component that can really make a salad super tasty.. however it also can be a component that can change your salad from being a beautiful, healthy, nutritious salad to one thats full of fat and sugar. Make sure you stay away from the creamy dressings and mayo type dressins such as ceaser and stick to creating your own healthy blends. Some of my favourite are:

  • Balsamic Viniger- this is my go to salad, I always add it to majority of my salads. Its tangy, yet super tasty and goes so well with so many types of veggies!
  • Mixture of olive oil (3tblsp) and apple cider vinegar (1teaspoon) and a pinch of salt and pepper- this is another beautiful dressing. Keep it tasty, simple and healthy!
  • Fresh lime or fresh lemon – Squeezed- Healthy, zesty and refreshing!

 

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Now anyone who knows me knows i am a MASSIVE fan of cheese! I love it 0 but too much diary and having too much cheese can be unhealthy- so when creating a yummy salad I like to keep that in mind and to do so I always ensure I choose the following cheese and only a small handful!

  • FETTA: Im obsessed with fetta, and it goes SO well with balsamic vinaigrette and tomato.
  • GOATS CHEESE: This is a very different cheese which is great in all types of salads- its not that expensive either!
  • FRESH PARMESAN: Who doesn’t love parmesan! a shaving with salt, pepper and balsamic vinaigrette is to die for!

 

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If I’m super hungry or I’m making a salad for my family and friends- I always love to add some extra crunch. I do that by roasting a handful or two of healthy nuts in a pan and placing it through the salad! My favourite nuts are:

-Sunflower Seeds

-Pine Nuts

-Slithered Almonds

They add a beautiful crunch and flavour to the right Salad!

 

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This is my favourite component to a salad, It can turn a salad from a simple side dish, to a main meal! My tips for this is to ensure your proteins are rich and healthy, not something soaked in marinades or something fatty- opt for a lean, healthy protein form! Some of my favourites include:

1- Roast, Poached or Pan fried Chicken (100grams) I love chicken! Its so yum and super good for us! If your adding chicken opt for 100grams of chicken breast- for flavour you can add herbs or a healthy BBQ seasoning, Cajun seasoning and so on.

2- Roasted or Pan fried Turkey (100grams)  Another protein which is super good for us and very similar to chicken, in my opinion! You can add a healthy seasoning to this also!

3- Seafoods such as prawns, flake, fish, calamari, Salmon, Tuna – Adding a high protein form of seafood is another great option! We should always remember to be as healthy as possible and changing up your types of protein are also SUPER important! There is such a great tasting range of seafoods and they are all SUPER good for you, so don’t forget to change it up and watch the portions.

4-Mushrooms- A VERY high protein packed veggie that is super tasty in a warm salad and a great protein for vegetarians/vegans.

5- Eggs: I opt for only one or a few egg whites and the yolks are high in calories and fat. Egg whites are super high in protein and taste great in a hearty salad!

 

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Now that you’ve spent a good amount of time creating the perfect salad, enjoy it and enjoy not having any guilt like you would after eating a Big Mac meal (you might not even feel guilt for that.. but lets just say you should haha!)

I hope you guys have got some healthy tips and ideas from my favourite salad options! Dont forget to subscribe for other handy/healthy tips and if you have any suggestions/questions please do not be afraid to ask!

Have a great week all  X

ghh

 

Hi All! I hope you had a fantastic weekend and are ready for everything that this week throws at you! I thought to start off the week I would post my favorites, low calorie breakfast smoothie that I aim to have 3-4 times a week Post training, or if I’m on the run! I actually use to hate the taste of protein smoothies, and to be honest if its just the protein and milk or water, I still hate it! So I came up with a smoothie blend that is SUPER easy, super affordable and super good!

 

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A Blender– Obviously! To mix up all the yummy ingredients!

X2 scoops of Vanilla Protein powder – I use Protein worlds ‘Slender Blend’ collection. You don’t need to use vanilla, but I personally think for this berry smoothie, it tastes the best with Vanilla! A serving is usually 4 scoops, but because we are using other ingredients, I use 2.

X2 table spoons of Greek style natural yoghurt You can use any brand for this, it doesn’t matter. Yoghurt (Natural) doesn’t go off for over a month, so don’t worry about wasting too much of it, you can keep using it for all your smoothies.

X1 Handful of Ice cubes- The ice gives the smoothie a fuller, colder taste. I love adding ice to my smoothies!

250-300ml of skim milk or nut based milk such as almond– You can use water, but as I have this as a meal (breakfast) I use milk so I am not tempted to snack badly or eat more foods due to hunger. I think the milk thickens the shake nicely also! I also sometimes do half milk/half water if I want to lower the calories even more!

Handful or Strawberries (works out to being around 6)- I always cut in half 6 strawberries, Its weird- but it’s the number I’ve always worked with as the taste is always perfect t with that amount!

Frozen or Fresh Raspberries (handful of frozen OR 10 fresh) I personally think the taste is the same with frozen or fresh, But when my Dad has a shake, he prefers it with fresh- I guess it depends on the person/budget. Frozen is a lot easier!

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:

Tea spoon of ground cinnamon OR nutmeg – I love adding either of these too spices! Cinnamon is great for your metabolism and nutmeg adds such a milk-shakey flavor!

Teaspoon of Chia Seeds- Chia seeds can hold some calories, but they are super good for us! I often just sprinkle teaspoon to the smoothie just before I blend it!

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As you guys can probably guess, it’s a smoothie- there isn’t anything hard about it. The only tips I can give you is the order to add your ingredients to the blender to avoid blockage/spill/mess

  1. Ice
  2. Greek Yoghurt
  3. Fruit- Strawberries and Raspberries
  4. Milk
  5. Protein Powder
  6. Seeds/Cinnamon/Nutmeg is desired.

Blend all ingredients and enjoy! Honestly- It is such a great tasting, healthy shake that will keep you energized and ready to tackle the day!

 

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XO

 

MY TOP 10 TIPS TO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT!

Happy Monday to all you beautiful bloggers and readers! I hope you all had an incredible weekend and are ready for the week ahead. One thing I know, is that over the weekend I certainly eat a lot of foods I am not proud of, or foods that I wish i didnt eat, but its the weekend, and I do like to enjoy myself over the weekend, but never like the fact of putting on weight! I have a massive weight issue that I struggle with- and keeping healthy is very important to me. If you know me personally, then you would know that in the past I did lost 15kg. Im currently on the journey to shed more weight and become happier with my body, but of course, that takes time. I remember when I originally started losing weight how hard I thought it was. I didn’t know what rules to follow, what to eat, when to eat, what to do and when to do it! Fitness and weight loss is so hard to understand as there are so many different specialists saying so many different things- Who knows what to believe! I know its a hard path, trust me I know- I’m still trying to achieve my goals and its been over 5 years! Its easy for some, and very hard for others, and for me, its definitely very difficult! I have written up 10 tips that I used to help me, personally shed my first 15 kilos. I have learnt alot from personal trainers, my industry, my instructers and nutrition and weightloss specialists throughout my journey and these are some tips from all of them that I have gained, and ones that deffinetley work for me! Please remember that we are all individuals and what might work for some, will not work for others. Please also remember it is so important to love yourself first. This is something I struggle with everyday! You need to love your body and look after it- Remember that before you embark on any weightlos journey! Be safe, Be healthy and Be happy!


MY 10 TOP, YET SIMPLE WEIGHT LOSS TIPS:

1

  • ADDING LEMON TO YOUR WATER: I absolutely love doing this! Not only does it make the water taste super refreshing but it definitely helps me reduce my bloating and is such a great, natural detox. Al you need to do is squeeze a small triangle into your water and a few slices and you are good to go! Its also great to chuck into your water bottle if you are on the go!

2

  • Hidden sugars in foods are the worst! Processed foods are full of sugars that are so bad for our bodies, this is why natural whole foods are foods we should be eating- not processed foods like cakes, pies, frozen foods, fast foods- the list goes on and on! Its important to stay as healthy and natural as possible. Just think about what you are eating and if it will benefit your body.

3

  • This is a big one for me- Its definitely what helped me shed at least 6kg! A lot of people do not believe in it though, they believe it is total BS, But I personally swear by it, and think it definitely helped me a lot! All i did was either go for walks, bike rides, or go on the cross trainer, not for long, only 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week.

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  • This is the tip I struggle with the most. I am definitely a massive stress-er! I stress about everything! Especially my weight.. So I know how hard it can be to not stress. The best tip I have for this is to do things that keep your mind off weight loss and surround yourself with positive, loving people!

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  • Water is so so so good for us! I cannot begin to explain how important it is to keep yourself hydrated! water definitely is such a contributor to weight loss. Carry around a water bottle wherever you go and keep as hydrated as possible!

6

  • Soft drink has NO nutritional benefits! There is literally nothing that is good about it! Try and avoid soft drink as much as possible. Yes, I get it, its hard and we all have to live a little, but remember that the less soft drink you have the more the calories can be used on food! .. Healthy food though ha-ha!!

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  • I always here that woman are ‘scared’ to lift weights- but its honestly such an important factor in losing weight and toning up. Weights burn calories, tone and build muscles, even when you finish exercising! They are super important and aren’t as boring as doing Cardio all the time!

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  • This is another really important tip! So many people i know end up starving themselves trying to lose weight quick, and it is SO unhealthy and will only stuff you up in the long run. Your body is like a car, food is our Fuel!

9

  • It is crucial to always mix up your workouts! Dont let your body get use to it. If it doesn’t challenge you, it really will not change you! Remember that!

10

  • Always keep yourself moving. I work in an office, and as a Beauty Therapist a swell as sit in a classroom when I’m studying! I am always sitting! You need to make the effort to stand up, stretch and go for a small walk around the office or just around a few desks. It will burn calories and it keeps your body warm and active.

There you have it guys! 10 of my most simple, useful weight loss tips! I really hope some of them, or all of them help you guys to achieve your goals as I continue on my journey as well! I am always here if you guys have any questions or need support. Do not Hesitate to message me! Happy Monday!

Until Next Time,

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XO