Finding The Perfect Shoe For You- #FreeToBe

We all are looking for that perfect pair of shoes that will help us get the most out of training and help keep us injury free.

I have put the latest range of Nike Free’s to the test to help you find the right fit for your workout.

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NIKE FREE TR 5 FLYKNIT – for Training

If circuit training and HIIT are your thing, then you can’t go passed these babies!

The Nike Free TR 5 Flyknit’s design is based on the fundamental movements from all walks of training, from circuits and weightlifting to group fitness classes and boot camps. Each feature of the shoe helps enable natural movement, supporting you all the way through your workout.
The sole includes hexagonal flex grooves that support multidirectional movement. Each groove permits the shoe to flex and follow the movement of the foot; rubber pods on the outsole lend added traction and stability where needed for popular training moves: the toe (i.e., mountain climbers), the side (side plank) and the heel (lunges).
The shoe fits like a glove and provides a great springy foundation for those plyometric moves I love so much!
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Is running your jam? Then this shoe is for you!
I am in love with the sock like design of this shoe, it is incredibly comfortable and stretches with the foots natural arch when running.
The Flyknit’s sole allows the foot to sit close to the ground and move as nature intended. The extra bulky support of most running shoes takes away the foots capacity to work and strengthen itself to help you achieve that natural stride on and off the track. The hexagonal flex grooves on the outsole of Nike Free running shoes provide a fuller range of motion, letting the foot adapt to the ground, while the Phylite foam offers lightweight cushioning.
These will give you that light, springy feeling every time you run!
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These are your shoes for work and play. If you’re like me, and always on your feet, then these shoes are great.
Constructed of breathable mesh reinforced with Nike Flywire, the upper allows for seamless flexibility, ventilation and a secure fit. The cute ankle cutouts help keep them light and fresh, with a built in sleeve which allows you to slip them on and off with ease!
Working, shopping, lunch dates: I wear them just about everywhere. They are so cute and compact that they will suit most outfits and will let you get through your day without tired and aching feet.
 So which shoe is your perfect fit? How do you find your #FreeToBe moment?

Break the binge

I know how it goes. You’re emotional, stressed and maybe a little bit hungry so you turn to the pantry looking for answers….. and before you know it you’re down half a jar of peanut butter and a crunchy box of granola.

Binge eating is defined by its mindless and compulsive nature. When the emotions run wild…Food seems to shut it off. Lets face it one Tim Tam can easily turn into a whole packet when you’re in that mind frame.

But believe it or not….its not the calories that you need to worry about, its the feeling of guilt, regret and disgust afterwards that are going to be the most damaging. Unfortunately, this depleting self-worth and unhealthy relationship with food is how a lot of eating disorders begin.

So here are a few tips that help break that vicious binge cycle.

1. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself.

When you make something forbidden, you will crave it and it will always be on your mind……we all now how this ends. So instead of making your favourite foods ‘taboo’ keep them as a mindful treat.  It’s ok to have these foods every now and then, even a little bit of chocolate every night isn’t going to hurt you. Just don’t go over the top, plan for it and be mindful. That way it doesn’t become a “forbidden” splurge.

2. Don’t skip meals.

Binge eating is often brought on by restrictive dieting and skipping meals. Eat a sensible breakfast and lunch, and you’re less likely to clean out your pantry in that frantic hunger kick when you get home from work. This also goes for post-binge. Don’t ever try to ‘make up’ for a binge by skipping a meal. It doesn’t work that way, all you will end up doing is freak out your metabolism.

3. Do something. 

Take your mind away from your forbidden food by focusing on something that takes all your concentration, read a book, draw,  go for a walk, meditate? Once your mind is engaged in a task that you enjoy and must pay attention to, you’re less likely to be fixated on food.

4. Call a friend. 

We almost always binge alone. With friends, you’d be able to talk out your feelings instead of eating them away. So next time you’re feeling down and you’re about to turn to your friend in the fridge, call a real friend first. A good old rant can be a more effective way to take your mind off things.

5. Regain mindfulness.

Usually when you’re mid-way through a binge you’re not really thinking and you’re not exactly enjoying your food either. Stop and think, what are you eating, is it worth it, are you enjoying it? Chances are the answer is no. The ability to stop and regain mindfulness is a powerful tool, you have it, use it!

6. Change your relationship with food.

Food nourishes our body, it provides us with essential nutrients and fuel to help us build strong healthy bodies, it should also be  enjoyed. It’s not a friend we can turn to when we’re upset or stressed but it’s also not an enemy and we shouldn’t let it make us feel bad about ourselves.  Don’t let the food consume you.

A nutritious, diet is essential for good physical health but BALANCE is essential for holistic health.

Finding Your Winter Mojo

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As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder it gets increasingly difficult to find the motivation to get out and be active. Let face it as a nation a lot of our recreation revolves around summer activities and we are more likely to participate in incidental activity in the warmer weather. So how do we beat this winter slump and keep fit year round? Well here are a few tips and strategies I use to find my winter mojo.

Picture it

Use yourself as motivation. One of the best ways to stay motivated in winter is to keep a photo handy of yourself from a time when you were your most fit… It might be a picture of you in a bikini, inspiring you to get back to that summer bod. It might be a picture of you exercising, smashing it out at your fittest. Setting rational and achievable goals is key to success. Remember what you are capable of with a little mind strength and determination. If you have yet to reach your fitness goals, write a list of your strengths, how far you have come and your short term and long term goals. Make it tangible and make it visible!

Embrace the challenge

Instead of avoiding the cold, embrace it. Training in adverse conditions can be character building, letting you see what your body’s capable of and strengthening your resilience. (I mean how badass do you feel when you’re smashing it out in the rain).

Getting outside for some fresh air and open space will be good for your body as well as your mind. Outdoor exercise can pump up your energy levels and can be quite invigorating.

Most people try to avoid working out outside in winter because of the weather, but as long as you have the proper gear and its not pouring down with rain, sleet or snow you will be okay. Your body has to work harder in the cold; firing up your metabolism to keep itself warm.

Kit up

If you’re going to face the cold you are going to warm yet breathable activewear (long compression tights and a good running jacket). You may not need to wear it the whole time you are exercising, but at least it will help you get out the door.

Have fun at home.

There’s no need to use the bad weather as an excuse to not exercise. Instead, work out at home, where’s it’s cozy and warm. Believe me, you can definitely work up a sweat in the comfort if your own home. I love working out in my living room it’s fun, it’s convenient and it means I can wear my ugly comfy clothes. If you’d like some inspiration for home workouts check out my Instagram page or head to Youtube (there’s all sorts of fun workouts you can do!).

Reward yourself

No not with donuts…… but with something for yourself, something you can really enjoy. One way you can do this is by giving yourself a gold coin or a token  every time you complete your workout, then use the money to buy yourself a gift. It may be as simple as a massage or a facial or it may even be a new summer wardrobe to match your new fit bod. It’s nice to be able to reward yourself when you’ve achieved your goals.

Get excited.

Ok so winter may not be your favourite season and it may not be easiest time of year to get motivated but you can’t tell me there aren’t some thing’s you enjoy.  If you’ve never been a fan of winter, start focusing on what you do love about it and how this time of year provides new opportunities for your fitness and health. From eating delicious in season food (oranges, pumpkin, kale), experimenting with soup recipes and curling up with a big mug of a healthy hot cacao and long warm showers after a challenging workout. There is much to love about winter when you embrace it  🙂

Clean Raspberries Cookies

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What if I told you that these babies had;

No flour

No butter

No sugar

and tasted incredible!

You better believe it!

These heavenly little cookies will change your life!

A sweet, protein filled snack perfect for an afternoon treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Chickpeas, drained
  • 3 Tablespoons of Nut butter (I used a mix of peanut and tahini)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Norbu (or sweetener of choice, honey, date syrup or maple syrup will work but calories won’t be as low)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
  • Raspberries

Combine all ingredients except raspberries in the food processor. Blend until well combined.

Will wet hands roll into small palm sized balls and place on lined baking tray.

Place 2-3 raspberries on each ball gently pushy down (to make a cookie shape).

Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for 15 minutes.

And hey presto! Gooey, guilt-free, cookie goodness right at your finger tips!

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Another Side

Last weekend I shot with some beautifully talented friends of mine, each working towards their own amazing projects. If there is one thing I can appreciate, it’s when friends from different fields can band together to create something great. Here is a bit on an insight into the end product.

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A little bit about the artists:

Photographer/artist: Jessica Ashley Unknown is an incredibly talented, film-based photography artist bringing her creative mind to life through a plastic or vintage lens. She uses film manipulation, multiple exposures, film scanning techniques and experimentation with other mediums to create the stunning, dream-like effect evoked throughout her images.

Visit her blog for more incredible images, prints and bookings:

http://www.jessicaashleyunknown.com

Stylist/Floral designer:  Adelaide (Zingara Blooms) is a master in creativity and design. Using her keen eye for style to create amazing floral arrangements and statement pieces, perfect for special occasions.

Visit her Facebook page for orders and bookings:

https://www.facebook.com/zingarabloomsfloraldesign

If you like the outfits pictured below, Adelaide is also working on new fashion project called gathering a unique collection of clothing and accessories for an online shop.  Visit https://instagram.com/hazelandfolk/ for details.

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Snack Hacks

Snacking is a great way to fit extra nutrients into your diet and stop you from overindulging at mealtimes. People often avoid snacking because they are afraid that they will hinder their weight loss. However, a healthy snack can actually do wonders for your metabolism and mindfulness when eating. Here are a few of my favourite ways to combat ‘between meal’ hunger pangs.


IMG_5473 1. Toasty combo’s

Toast is one of my favourite snacks. It can be savoury or sweet, it is satisfying and it is healthy…..all you need to do is choose the right ingredients! Bread gets a lot of slack in the “diet industry” but with all my own research and experience, nothing has turned me off eating it. In moderation of course. When choosing bread I look for ‘wholewheat’ or ‘buckwheat’ flour and an ingredient list where I can identify all the ingredients. My local deli makes amazing breads rich with seeds, grains and essential minerals.

Toppings When choosing my toppings for my toast I look for a good combination of fats, proteins and tastiness. Here are a few of my favourites;

  • Tahini, iodised salt and grated beetroot
  • Tomato, garlic, basi and balsamic
  • Avocado, iodised salt and chia seeds
  • Natural peanut butter and banana
  • Tahini and dates

2. Simple trail mixes Putting a little bit of this and a little bit of that in a bag to create a ‘dry’ portable snack to keep you munching healthy on the go. Here are some great examples:

  • Almonds and goji berries
  • Sulphate free apricots and cashews
  • Sultanas, dried apple and walnuts

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3. Veggie Fingers and Hummus dip.

An oldie but a goodie. Cut up you veggie/s of choice and dip away. Hummus is full of essential fats, fibre and protein, making it the perfect snack to satisfy greasy afternoon cravings.

Hummus recipe:

•400g Cooked Chickpeas (or canned) •1 Tbspoons Tahini •1/2 Lemon squeezed •1/2 teaspoon Cumin •1 Tbspoon of Olive Oil Blend until well combined!


4. Veggie/fruit dipped in nut/seed butters

Now if you don’t have time to make hummus, this is a great alternative! Just choose your preferred fruit or vege and drizzle or spread your butter! Carbs, protein and essential fats….good snack in my opinion.

Here are a few of my favourite combos;

  • Tahini and carrot
  • Apple and natural peanut butter
  • Strawberries, cacao and natural peanut butter
  • Dates and tahini
  • Celery and cashew butter

IMG_6523 5. Smoothie time!

Absolutely loaded with ‘easily accessible’  antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Enjoying a smoothie in between meals or post workout is a great way to satisfy hunger and rack up those nutrient points.

Green smoothies are my favourite, great for getting leafy green nutrient hit…..without having to eat your greens.

All you need is:

•Banana •Spinach •Coconut water or plain water if you prefer. •Protein (optional~ I use IsoWhey® Pea Protein) •Tbspoon of Avocado (optional~ makes it super creamy ).


6. Popcorn

Once prepped this is a great low calorie snack that you can easily pack up and take to work or school.

I prepare mine with a little bit of coconut oil over a hot saucepan and season with a little iodised salt.

To mix it up a little throw in a handful of chopped dates for a salty caramel flavour!


IMG_2608 7. Blissful Bliss Balls A nice way to fix those naughty afternoon cravings and so simple to make. Play around with variations, I just recommend trying to get ingredients that will give you some protein, good fats and antioxidants. Here are a few simple recipes for you to try and experiment with.

Cookie Dough: Blend 400gm can of organic chickpeas, 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup of ground oats, 2 T maple syrup (or sweetener of choice) **Optional- 1/2 cup of Cacao nibs (or a healthy substitute eg. Dark chocolate, dates, sultanas). Roll into bite-sized balls.

Salted Caramel: Blend 1 cup of dates, 1 cup of ground oats or almond meal, 1 scoop of vanilla protein ( I use Isowhey Wholefoods), 1/2 tsp of Iodised salt. Roll into balls and top with coconut (optional).

Chocolate Fix: Combine 2 Tbspoons of cacao, 1 cup of dates and 1/2 cup of almonds in the food processor, roll into balls and dust with cacao. Measurements are a guide, experiment with ratios as needed.

Functional Fitness at Home

Functional Fit~Home Workout

Video of exercises can be found on my Facebook Page

This workout is designed to take your body through a large range of movements both efficiently and effectively. Helping you to develop strength, power and flexibility through the body’s full range of motion.

Functional fitness is well….just that, “training for function”. Conditioning your body to go to and beyond the requirements of everyday life. For me functional fitness is a path for me to improve the way my body moves and achieve skills that I never thought possible.

If you’d like to read more about the benefits of Functional Training read my previous blog

Equipment

All the equipment used in this workout are objects you can find at home. I am using a bag filled with my boyfriends engineering textbooks as my weight as well as a towel to add some upper body resistance.


Complete 3-4 sets of the following.

Twist Lunge

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Start holding your bag at your chest with your right leg forward and left back, in a comfortable hip-width position. Engage your core and sink down into a lunge, whilst twisting from your torso to lower the bag by your side.

Repeat 10 on each side.

Jump Squat

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Begin in squat position. Engage your core and push up from your heels into a jump.

Repeat 10 times

Squat Press

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Begin in squat position holding the bag so that it just touches the ground. Squat up, engaging the core pushing up from the heels and lifting that bag so it is inline with your chest. With one last lift, bring the bag so that it is above your head.

Repeat 15 times.

Wide Grip Russian Twists

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Grip on to your towel so that your hands are placed just a little bit further than shoulder width apart. Sitting up into a V position, engage your core and twist to either side.

Repeat 20 times.

Thread Rows

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Keeping in the same position, extend your legs out straight and hold the towel at your hips. Engage your core and bring your knees towards your chest, whilst ‘threading’ the towel around your feet. Pull the towel pack over your feet.

Repeat 10 times.

Bag Swings

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Begin with feet just wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Gripping on the a comfortable point of the bag (with two or one hand), push the hips forward with a strong core and pull the bag through the legs. Use the power from the back of the legs and the core to bring the bag up to chest height (no higher).

Repeat 10 times.

Happy Sweating! x

Sip it, Sip it Good!

My Top Tips for Keeping Hydrated All Year Round!

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So we all know that we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep our system healthy, happy and hydrated….but how many of us actually do it?

Some of the main reasons people are not meeting their daily water intake is a) failing to pack and prepare a drink bottle and b) they don’t actually enjoy drinking water.

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Set yourself hourly reminders:

Either using the memo feature on your phone or downloading an app such as ‘Waterlogged’ to help spur you on and remind you to keep on sipping.

Set yourself a challenge:

I like to set myself a daily challenge, aiming to drink 4 refills of my bottle while I am at work to help keep my mind on the drink and to keep myself accountable.

Keep it handy:
Always bring water! Wherever I go I am sure to take my trusty water bottle with me. There is nothing worse than being stuck somewhere feeling parched with that oh so frustrating headache beginning to take charge. If you work at a desk always keep a glass or bottle handy while you work. To help you sip throughout the day.

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Style it up:

Ok so you are probably not going to want to carry around that old school sports bottle with the chewed lid or that scrunched up Mount Franklin bottle now are you? I recommend investing in a quality bottle that you can carry everywhere you go. I love this one from Made by Fressko. BPA free, inbuilt infuser for tea, roots and spices, stylish compact design and made from completely organic materials! There is no way I am leaving this bad boy behind!

Add some Flavour!

Here are some great summer flavours                       IMG_8182

that will motivate you to drink:

Infuse these fruity combinations overnight for the best effect.

  • Lemon & Ginger
  • Blueberries and mango
  • Watermelon and lime
  • Cranberries

Or put on the kettle and help beat the winter chill by enjoying a nice warm glass of infused water or tea;

  • Lemon & Ginger
  • Mint leaves
  • Apple Pie- sliced apple, ginger and cinnamon

Functional Training

IMG_3970Functional training and functional fitness are definitely amongst the buzz words in the fitness industry at the moment but what do these words actually mean and why are they important to you?

So you have been having a few good sessions at the gym. You feel like you are getting stronger. I mean yesterday you shoulder pressed 40 kgs for goodness sake… but then you go to lift your 20 kg child out of the high chair and you put your back out. So you can bench press 20 kgs but can you lift your own bodyweight? So you can squat 40 kgs but can you jump over a puddle of water? So you can walk on the treadmill for an hour but can you run up a flight of stairs?

These are all questions I ask not to undermine your level of fitness but to try an open a new perspective towards health, fitness and traditional sense of working out.


What is Functional Training?

Functional training is a type of exercise which prepares the body for various forms of activity common in our daily lives.

It was a style of training first adopted by physiotherapists to help balance out the body’s movements and allow the body to function more efficiently to prevent, reduce and rehabilitate injury.

The exercises within functional training aim to get the muscles working together through both fast and slow, controlled multi-joint movements. Its aim is not only to strengthen and build muscle but to increase range of motion.

In short objective of functional training is to be able to do awesome stuff with your body so that you can live your life to the fullest and continue to maintain your active lifestyle right up in to your later years.


The Benefits of Functional Training

  • Because our bodies were made to move! Our bodies are amazing machines, there were designed to run from predators, build shelters, hunt for food…..they weren’t designed to sit in front of the tele or computer desk all day. Functional training allows us to develop the strength, motion and coordination so that we can make the most out of these amazing machines we have been given.
  • Functional training focuses on training movement patterns rather than isolating individual muscles to ensure no muscle group gets left behind. One of the most common causes of injury is imbalances created between opposing muscle groups. The multi-joint movements adopted by that of Functional training helps prevent this from happening.
  • One of the main focuses of Functional training  is to strengthen and connect the core and back to other working muscles; assisting to correct bad posture  and muscle imbalances caused by the daily grind, stressful jobs and hectic lifestyles.
  • Functional training provides fantastic fat burning workouts, The full body nature of functional training means that it is a fantastic fat-burner. Adopting exercises that improve strength, endurance and boost metabolism to provide you with a more efficient way to train.
  • It develops strong lean bodies, have a look at these particular athletes; dancers, gymnasts, pole-vaulters. They are constantly training movement patterns and lifting their own bodyweight but I don’t know how often you would see them doing a bicep curl.
  • Functional training will aid your overall performance in any sport; enhancing speed, power, range of motion and coordination.
  • In Functional training every exercise involves core activation, teaching the core to stabilise and work with the spine throughout an array of different movement patterns and body positions. Therefore mimicking the demand placed upon the core and spine in our every day tasks and recreational activities. Way more effective than your traditional crunches.

So what do you think? Is functional fitness for you? I am writing this article out of pure interest. I am finding myself falling in love with the concept of functional fitness and wanted to share a few of the main reasons why I am starting to adopt it principles in my own routine.

Keep posted. Later on in the week I will share a great Functional Workout that you can try at home.

In the meantime get cracking with my workouts on Instagram and checkout my Facebook for additional fitness and health tips.

A Cleaner Way to Cocktail

IMG_1520 Strawberry Daiquiri (low sugar)

– Squeeze fresh lime juice

1 shot vodka

– 3 strawberries

1/2 cup mineral water

– 1 tsp agave or natural sweetener of choice (optional)

Mix lime, vodka, agave, mineral water and strawberries in a blender. Pour into serving glass with chilled mineral water. Stir until combined. IMG_1671 Pina Colada

2 rings of fresh pineapple

1/2 cup of coconut water

1 shot of rum (white or dark)

– Squeeze of fresh lime juice

(optional – 2 Tablespoons of Coconut cream)

Juice or blend pineapple (I juiced mine so it wasn’t stringy), pour it into a glass. Separately blend coconut water, coconut cream, rum and lime. Once combined pour on top of pineapple mixture.

IMG_1672 Margarita (low sugar)

– 1 squeeze fresh lime juice

– 1 squeeze fresh lemon

– 1 tsp agave or natural sweetener of choice

– 1 shot of tequila

– 1/3 cup mineral water

Blend all ingredients with some ice and pour into a cocktail glass. IMG_1519 Vodka Cranberry (low sugar)

– Small handful of cranberries 

– 1 shot vodka – 3 mint leaves chopped

– 1/2 cup mineral water

– 1 tsp agave or sweetener of choice

Mix cranberries, vodka, mint and agave in a blender until well combined. Pour over ice along with some chilled mineral water. IMG_1669 Mai Tai

– 1/2 cup coconut water chilled

– 3 strawberries

– 2 rings of fresh pineapple  

– 1 shot spiced rum

Mix strawberries, rum and coconut water in blender, until well combined. Pour in glass. Juice or blend pineapple separately then pour on top of strawberry mixture. IMG_1674 Grape Freezer

– Small bunch of frozen grapes

1 squeeze fresh lemon juice

– 1 shot of vodka

– 1/3 cup of Mineral water

Mix grapes, lemon and vodka in a blender until well combined. Pour into a cocktail glass along with the mineral water.

Simple Spritzer: One of my favourite drinks is made simply with mineral water, vodka and fresh lemon. It is simple, cheap and low in sugar! Too spice it up a bit you can even add fresh fruit pieces i.e.. blueberries and raspberries.

Virgin cocktails can be made simply by omitting the alcohol. This would work best with the Mai Tai and the Pina Colada.

Safe and happy partying! Remember unwind but stay wise 🙂