We’ve uncovered five healthy snack ideas to get you through your day and the 3 pm hunger pangs.
1. Homemade popcorn: Unlike our favourite buttery movie companion, this version is a low-calorie and high-fibre snack. Just add ½ cup of corn kernels to a brown paper bag and microwave for a couple of minutes, until the popping slows down to one or two pops per second.
“Homemade popcorn is a fun wholegrain snack that provides you with roughly 1g of fibre and 1g of protein per cup for as little as 30 calories!” says wholefood dietitian and nutritionist Larina Robinson.
The best part? You can top with a touch of Himalayan salt and nut butter or spices such as turmeric or cinnamon for anti-inflammatory benefits. Or if you have the tastebuds for it, seaweed flakes are high in iodine, which is important for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland.
2. Fibre One™ snacks: Sucker for a 3pm sweet hit but don’t like making your own healthy treat? Try Fibre One™ squares and brownies: these delicious snacks taste just like your traditional brownie, but with only 90 calories per serve.
Plus, they come in two mouth-watering flavours: Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Salted Caramel Squares. For only $5.49 for a pack of 5, it’s hard to resist.
3. Tuna with wholegrain crackers: For a healthy alternative to cheese and crackers to get you through those never-ending emails, a handful of wholegrain crackers and a tin of tuna in springwater contains around 163 calories.
This combo is high in protein and slow-releasing carbs, keeping you full for longer while not spiking blood sugar levels – the perfect afternoon or pre-workout fuel.
4. Overnight oats: Add Greek yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, shredded coconut and cinnamon to a cup of rolled oats in a jar and leave to set overnight. Top with your favourite berries when ready to eat. A standard breakfast-sized jar contains around 370 calories but you can halve the serving amount for a morning or afternoon snack.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and are high in fibre, aiding digestion, and cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll reap myriad benefits from all of the ingredients, according to Robinson.
“It contains protein for muscle repair and to keep you feeling full for longer, slow-releasing carbohydrates for sustained energy and for stabilising blood sugar levels, fibre to support digestion and control weight, antioxidants to fight free radical that damage the body’s cells, and healthy fats for supple skin and healthy hair,” she says.
5. Homemade hommus with vegie sticks: Ditch the packaged store-bought dips with unhealthy oils and additives and grab a tin of chickpeas and make your own hommus.
Chickpeas are rich in protein and soluble fibre, aiding digestion, reducing inflammation and helping with heart and bone health and maintaining weight. A 2-3 tablespoon serve is roughly 100-150 calories.
Cut carrot and cucumber into sticks for dipping and you have yourself a low calorie afternoon pick-me-up, plus it’s a great way of getting in an extra serve of vegies.
This piece was produced in partnership between Fibre OneTM and Women’s Health & Fitness magazine.
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Calmness is key:
Creating a space that provides a sense of relaxation and restfulness is the most important factor and freshly washed bed linen can really help you drift off. Try washing your sheets once a week and adding a fragrance such as lavender (which research shows has calming and soothing effects) to help you unwind.
Use bedside lamps, pendants or floor lamps to create soft, ambient lighting. Add a dimmer to downlights if possible and try turning bright lights off at least two hours before bedtime to help you fall asleep more quickly. Insufficient window coverings also won’t help, so try block-out blinds, heavy curtains or shutters to make sure you rest in the dark.
Keep it green:
Bringing plants into your bedroom can have purifying benefits – think lavender, jasmine and peace lily, which have cleansing effects to help you sleep.
Make sure your bedroom isn’t stuffy. If possible, open your window slightly or invest in a ceiling fan to circulate the air. Although air flow is important, it’s not so at the expense of quietness – only open your window if your neighbourhood is quiet.
When choosing colours for your bedroom keep them simple and calming. Try white, grey, pale blue or earthy, muted tones. If your style is bold and more about statement, try choosing navy over bright blue, blush and burgundy over bright pinks, or a soft sea mist over lime green. Avoid bright colours as busy patterns don’t promote rest and relaxation. When choosing furniture, bed linen, artwork and décor items, keep it simple: less is more; you are trying to create a sanctuary, not a child’s play room.
Keep it simple:
Remove anything distracting, such as bills, paperwork and reminders of work, which might promote stressful thoughts. Keep any clutter at bay by organising items and investing in functional wardrobes that will hide mess easily.
A chaotic room will cause disturbed sleep patterns. Arrange your furniture so that it’s centred and symmetrical, helping you to feel centred and peaceful.
Make it cosy:
We spend one-third of our lives in bed, so it’s important to invest in a quality mattress. A big bed is ideal if you sleep next to a partner to prevent rolling over and waking each other up. Make it cosy and inviting with layers of gorgeous bed linen, throws and cushions.
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Dish out the goods with this healthy lunch option by Tiffiny Hall.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1 baby beetroot, grated
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- 100 g firm tofu, grated
- 20 g feta, grated
- ¼ cup quinoa flour
- 2 large eggs, roughly beaten
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 small wholegrain (or gluten free) rolls
- 4 iceberg lettuce leaves
- 1 medium tomato, cut in 4 slices
- 2 tbsp tzatziki
- ¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
Combine beetroot, onion, tofu, feta, flour, eggs and parsley. If mixture is too wet add a little more flour. Divide mixture in half and form 2 patties.
Heat a non-stick frypan over medium heat and cook burgers for a few minutes each side until golden and cooked.
To assemble, top bun with lettuce, burger, tomato, tzatziki and alfalfa.
This recipe was first published in nourish magazine.
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We sat down with February 2018 cover model Ellie Giffen to chat about all things health, fitness and lifestyle.
There isn’t much I won’t eat. I love food and have mastered a happy medium between my love for gourmet ingredients and clean eating. For example, I love eating fresh fish but I season it with freshly squeezed lemon, coriander, ripe cherry tomatoes, ginger and cracked pepper. Instead of having it with plain steamed vegies, I might throw together a salad with some sweet mango, mint and fresh chilli. My nutrition needs to excite me and be ever changing.
A typical week of training includes a variety of workouts. I typically only spend two days in a gym and the other days are either spent in a Pilates studio (KX Pilates in Adelaide is incredible), on the beach (running or walking) or on a yoga mat at home (I invested in a TRX, which is amazing for bodyweight workouts and is responsible for my strong core).
My short-term goals are simple: I’ve accepted that life does not need to be extravagant all the time for it to be fulfilling. If we are constantly striving for the next big thing we will miss what is right in front of us. I aim to continue with the little things that bring me joy such as painting, eating good food, swimming in the ocean, camping and spending my time with people who make me feel good.
Long term, I see myself working as a social worker in women’s mental health. At the risk of sounding cliché, I really do want to help others or at the very least let women know that they are not alone and have an important place in this world.
To de-stress I hug my dog, put on a good playlist or watch an epic make-up tutorial on YouTube. I also enjoy shopping, reading a novel until 3am and running through sand dunes. I used to believe that every waking second of my day had to be productive, but I’ve learnt that the more relaxed I am, the more productive I become!
Model: Ellie Giffen // @miss_elliesue
Photographer: Dannielle McPherson //@danniellemcphersonphotography
HMU: Sophie Williams // @sophiewilliamsmakeupartistry
Grab the February 2018 edition for her full cover story and more!
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Whether it’s a detox coming out of the festive period or a weekend getaway with the girls minus the extra holiday kilos, there’s no denying that health and fitness retreats are in high demand. But are they really worth your hard-earned coin?
We sent WH&F editor Katelyn Swallow to world-renowned Golden Door Elysia Health Retreat & Spa in the Hunter Valley, NSW, to find out what all the fuss is about.
I've been to a fair few health retreats in my time, but nothing could have prepared me for the rolling hills and glimpses of grapevines my friend Tiffany and I experienced as we drove up to the iconic gates of the Golden Door Health Retreat. Perched on a hill overlooking the valley’s wineries and Brokenback mountain range – about two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Sydney and just 45 minutes from Newcastle – we were welcomed by Golden Door [hyperlink: goldendoor.com.au] staff in their luxe marbled foyer. Almost instantly, I felt the stresses of the week’s work begin to melt away thanks to the steady trickle of their indoor water feature.
As a self-confessed gym junkie, I was a bit wary of bringing a friend with differing interests along for the ride. But on closer inspection of Golden Door’s program, I realised there was something for everyone – no ‘go hard or go home’ bootcamps here. Whether you’re wanting a week-long wellness reset with the girls or just a romantic two-night getaway with your significant other, Golden Door’s all inclusive packages have you covered.
Designed as an oasis for the mind, body and spirit, you can opt in or out of any activity on the retreat timetable, accommodating meditative yogi to squat enthusiast – and everyone in between:
For the lover of creature comforts
Both Tiffany and I are unapologetically fans of a good night’s rest and Golden Door’s voguish accommodation did not disappoint. A leisurely two-minute stroll from the front desk found us outside one of their 74 on-site villas (there are one, two or three bedroom options available), which we would call home for the next two nights. Stunning views from the balcony, huge ensuite bathrooms, a spacious king bed and even a self-contained kitchen, it was the perfect place to curl up with a book and recoup after a ‘busy’ day exercising, eating and relaxing.
For the foodie
If there isn’t food, don't invite me – particularly if I need to step a toe into the kitchen. And it seems Golden Door knew I was coming. All main meals plus two snacks are delivered daily by the in-house chef, including a buffet-style breakfast, so all you have to do is eat.
Meals are mostly plant based and dairy free, aside from small portions of chicken and fish, and coffee was banned to give your hard-working adrenals a rest. But who knew healthy cooking could taste that good? And that’s coming from a self-confessed carnivore!
“Our Golden Door menu is not completely vegetarian and we do provide options for a caffeine non-detox [if requested] to guests wanting a soft landing into health and wellness cuisine. However, limiting animal proteins to poultry and seafood keeps the menu nice and lean,” says executive chef James Knight.
“Our menu has been crafted to nourish guests as well as inspire them, so we limit things that tend to be consumed in excess and show them how it’s possible to use this variety of produce at home. With plenty of colourful fruits, salads and vegetables (many straight from our organic kitchen garden), our guests experience a cleaner way of eating that is still incredibly satisfying.”
By the end of the first day, once the detox headaches subsided, my digestion had improved, the bloat was gone and I slept through the night for the first time in a long time. And if, like me, you hate beetroot on your salad – no fret. Kitchen hand Lita (who knew all 30 guests’ names by the end of day one, just FYI) will accommodate all your dietary preferences.
For the yogi
If you think sweating it out in a HIIT class is akin to torture, or if injury is a concern, choose to take the path to Zen. Tiffany and I started our first day at the retreat with an early morning tai chi class, overlooking the valley as the sun was just peaking over the horizon, followed by a walk around the adjacent golf course.
Beginner to advanced yoga and Pilates classes are offered throughout the day, or learn how to harness the power of breath in one of the evening workshops.
But whether you’re a budding yogi or as conservative as they come, don’t skip the daily Meditation 101 classes. The experienced instructors can get even the busiest brain to relax, trialling different techniques so you, too. find your best fit.
“A huge block when it comes to meditation is that people believe they have to empty the mind and completely stop thinking. When that fails to happen, a barrier is formed, ‘I can’t meditate,’” says program and guest experience manager Damian Rocks.
“But meditation is not about not thinking, it is simply about finding a point of focus for a period of time. This focus can be on anything, as long as it is with intention, and can last for three seconds or 30 minutes; focused intention, regardless of length of time, is still a form of meditation. And just one physiological benefit of many is an increased capacity for problem-solving in the pre-frontal cortex, allowing the brain to work more efficiently.”
For the gym junkie
If you’re using the retreat as a way to get back your fitness mojo, prepare to be sore but inspired by the end of your stay. Each morning starts with a short and sharp stretch session to loosen tight and tired muscles. You can then choose to sweat through a high intensity spin class, tough it out in their fully equipped gym as part of a group circuit, book a one-on-one personal training session or work out your frustrations with a boxing lesson.
Our pick? One of the AM low-impact deep water running classes! Far from your typical aqua aerobics class, you’ll leave the huge heated pool with a definite sweat. Follow it up with a quick sauna and spa and, like us, you’ll feel light and satisfied – all before breakfast.
For the self-indulgent
Many of our fellow retreat guests took a day to simply de-stress, sipping herbal tea and getting pampered at the retreat’s in-house spa. Offering all your standard spa treatments such as manicures and facials – plus a few just left of centre – you get one to two treatments complementary, depending on your package. Tiff and I opted for the Cleopatra: essentially a full-body exfoliation treatment and mud wrap – we had skin smoother than a baby’s bottom for weeks.
After just three days at Golden Door Health Retreat, I felt completely at ease: my skin was glowing, my stomach flat and the usual ball of stress and anxiety in my stomach had unknotted. My digestion and sleep were improved, and I was two kilos lighter on the scales.
But far beyond the physical were the nutrition and exercise habits and education I took away home with me. In a sentence, I would describe Golden Door as an intensive health, fitness and mindset overhaul – with beautiful long-term benefits. And with 2-night weekend programs starting at just $1,210pp twin share, it’s worth every penny.
GOLDEN DOOR SPECIALS – VALID UNTIL MARCH 31 2018
$1000 off: 7-night program
$800 off: 5-night program
$1000 pp weekend offer
To book, visit their official website.
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Struggling to stay on top of your exercise regime because you're simply not motivated enough? Here are three ways to maintain it.
The key is to tone down rather than completely halt your exercise regimen, but maintaining motivation during times of temptation generally comes down to how you think about your training. If heading for the bench press doesn’t excite you, you’ll likely forego exercise for the call of cosmos.
Follow the experts’ top tips for maintaining motivation:
» Look on the bright side: “The relationship you have with exercise will depend on how you prioritise it and whether toning down your training will have positive effects or not. If you view exercise as punishment or to purely burn calories rather than seeing it for its mental and physical health benefits, then you’re less likely to enjoy it and remain consistent. When you value and enjoy exercise – you prioritise it,” says Brooke Turner.
» Develop an exercise routine before summer hits so motivation isn’t an issue next season: “The development of positive habits and routines is important for mental wellbeing, with a holistic and flexible approach. Ideally, a good exercise routine should be sustainable and easily modified and adapted to take life changes into account, and having a number of different activities you participate in can help,” says clinical psychologist Dr Yuliya Richard.
» Modify your routine: King suggests experimenting with outdoor activities during this time that take advantage of summer’s social theme and heat. Think learning to surf or a game of beach volleyball with friends. Try mixing up such activities with bootcamps, walking, swimming, running, yoga, Pilates and gym sessions; this way you have options depending on the season and weather moving into the new year.
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Alleviate the brain fog and keep your mood in check with this protein smoothie.
Ingredients (makes one smoothie)
- 1 cup coconut, soy or almond milk
- 1 scoop Activated Nutrients Vanilla Bean Daily Protein
- 1 teaspoon Activated Nutrients Daily Superfood powder
- Approximately 7 frozen, sliced strawberries
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
2. Blend until smooth
3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
NUTRITION (per smoothie)
Protein: 19g // Fat: 5g //
Carbs: 16g // Calories: 213g
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Model, law student and entrepreneur rolled into one, Laura Henshaw knows how to take care of business. Co-founder of Keep it Cleaner, a health blog and fitness program with a healthy food range to boot, she is inspiring women all over Australia to chase their dreams and start their own side-hustle. This is how she does it.
I started modelling when I was 19. My first agent approached me at my cousin’s engagement party, and I started by doing mostly runway and editorial. As I grew into my body and became curvier, I moved into more commercial work, which I love because I don’t feel any pressure to be a certain size.
On shifting direction
I got into the health and fitness industry when I started a health blog, simply as something to do while I was modelling overseas. Soon after I got back, my business partner and friend Steph [Smith] and I created our first Keep it Cleaner project, which was our eBook. I now do more model jobs that reflect my new direction, which is often with amazing health and fitness brands. I am really lucky now that my modelling is booked for who I am and not just for what I look like.
On studying law
I have always found law really interesting. I never thought I would ever get a good enough score to get into it and couldn’t believe when I actually got in. I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore, but I am so grateful for everything I have learnt so far and still plan to finish the degree. It has helped me to problem solve and think analytically, which I have to do in our business every day.
On social media success
I still can’t understand why people want to follow my life, let alone 125,000 people! The biggest ‘Is this for real?’ moment was seeing our Keep it Cleaner products in Coles. If you told me we’d be in Coles two years ago, there is no way in the world I would have believed you. It really is a dream come true.
On achieving a summer body
I believe that if you have a body and a bikini…you have a summer body! Although I do understand that feeling healthy makes you feel so much more comfortable in a bikini. One of the main messages from our KIC Girls program is to avoid fad diets and make healthy living your lifestyle so you don’t have to panic diet before your beach holiday. If you find a healthy balance, you will find your healthy weight, be full of energy and feel more confident in your own skin. It should never be about trying to look like someone else; being unique is special and we should all celebrate that.
On my personality
Bubbly and positive…and maybe a bit nerdy – is that a personality trait?
On my favourite workout
I love running – it is my form of meditation. No matter what kind of day I have had, I can always rely on a run to declutter my thoughts and to feel less stressed. Running is also amazing for toning legs.
On my cheat meal
Hot chips…I simply cannot resist.
On role models
I suppose I have different role models for different parts of my life. My mum has taught me to work as hard as I can and to believe in myself. In a business sense, Janine Allis and Lisa Messenger are big role models for me. And of course Steph is an amazing business partner, best friend and inspiration to me.
On the future
Long term, I hope to grow the Keep it Cleaner brand as much as I can with Steph. We aim to expand KIC Girls, reach more women and expand our range in Coles to make more healthy food options available to everyone. Short term, I want to start appreciating and celebrating my small achievements more; it’s so easy to let them pass without stopping and letting it sink in.
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Say good-bye to boring lunches and tuck into this refreshing turmeric chicken salad.
Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, so technically falls under the paleo-approved foods banner. However, not everyone agrees on quinoa as a healthy grain. If you’d prefer to swap it out, try adding ‘riced’ (finely chopped) cauliflower instead.
Rather than the regular cut of meat you buy, you could try buying the whole animal. Such as a chicken and either using the varying parts in different ways or roasting it whole and using the bones afterwards in stocks, sauces and stews. This recipe calls for chicken breast, but any part of the bird will do.
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- (200 g each)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 heaped cup fresh parsley and mint leaves
- 2 tbsp almond flakes
- 1 heaped cup baby spinach leaves
- 2 tsp olive oil
Combine oregano, turmeric, and oil in a bowl. Add chicken breast, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large frypan on medium-high heat and cook each side for 4 to 5 minutes or until completely cooked through. If chicken is particularly thick, butterfly the breast for optimal cooking results.
To make the salad, roughly tear herbs into a mixing bowl and add remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine.
Divide salad between plates and top with cooked chicken and serve immediately.
Recipe & Photography: Nadia Felsch
This recipe was first published in nourish magazine.
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Treat yourself to this delicious nice-cream this Valentine's Day.
- 4 frozen bananas, chopped
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp mesquite powder
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
- ¼ tsp salt
Choc tahini sauce:
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp hulled tahini
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar
- Boiling water, add until desired consistency is reached
1. First prepare the choc tahini sauce. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
2. Combine all nice-cream ingredients in a high-power blender, blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Transfer to four small bowls and top with choc tahini sauce.
Optional: add peanut butter, raw peanuts and cacao nibs (*these ingredients aren’t included in the macro calculation)
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Gear up for success with these top tips for setting successful resolutions.
1. BE SMART: A workable, successful resolution should involve the SMART principle.
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Timely
“So, to be successful with your resolution you should be specific about what you’re wanting to achieve, and make it measurable. You need to make sure that what you’re trying to do is in fact achievable and realistic; and if you feel that the goal meets all these criteria, then set a timeframe to help keep you on track,” says exercise physiologist Naomi Ferstera.
“Give yourself mini-goals within your goal. If you have 20kg to lose, set a goal for 5kg. It’s incredibly motivating to tick these off along the way.”
2. WRITE IT DOWN: Write all your achievements down in a little logbook to track your progress.
3. PHONE A FRIEND: Have a qualified individual on speed dial who can support you and hold you accountable to your goals. Choose somebody you can confide in, who’ll get excited for your little victories and give you support when you’ve strayed.
Even better, find a resolution ‘buddy’ to share the load. But again, choose wisely.
“You need to partner with people who will bring a positive mindset and share your determination,” says Kusal Goonewardena, sports physiotherapist and founder of Elite Akademy.
4. FIX YOUR ATTITUDE: What you don’t want is for the resolution to feel like a burden that is controlling you. Remind yourself that you are calling the shots and try to keep your attitude as relaxed – yet focused – as possible.
“It’s important to ‘remain in choice’ about your goal,” says Irving. “If you set a goal and then tell yourself you ‘have to’ do it, you’re undermining your own intention. Remain in choice – that you’re choosing to do whatever it is you’ve agreed with yourself to do – and it won’t begin to feel like a burden. You’ve chosen it and you continue to choose it.”
5. PICK A BEAT: Don’t forget the soundtrack.
“Make sure you’ve got some motivation music,” says Ferstera. “When I feel like quitting, I think about all my goals and put on my ‘pump up’ music. This distracts me from my negative feelings and gets me focused on my goals again.”
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This pretty creation is a nutritional goldmine full of all the good, healthy and delicious stuff. Try it for a satisfying lunch!
With the avo and olive oil providing some lovely healthy fats, the eggs giving you lots of complete protein and the sesame seeds adding plenty of the iron needed for the body to produce energy, along with a big hit of calcium too. I spend so much time making these bowls look pretty that they often look too good to eat … almost!
- ½ kent pumpkin, chopped into 2.5 cm chunks (I keep the skin on but you don’t have to)
- ½ head of broccoli, florets chopped
- Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 handfuls of rocket
- ½ punnet (100 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 eggs, boiled and halved lengthways
- ⅓ cup sauerkraut or kimchi
- 1 tbsp black and white sesame seeds
- 1 avocado, halved lengthways
- Lime wedges, to serve
- ½ tsp dulse flakes
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Spread the pumpkin chunks and broccoli florets over the prepared tray and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes (if using), drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the veggies are nice and crispy.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. To assemble your salad, take two serving bowls and place a handful of rocket in each one to make a bed for all your other goodies.
On top, in separate mounds, arrange the cherry tomatoes, egg halves, sauerkraut or kimchi, pumpkin and broccoli. Place the mixed sesame seeds on a plate, then gently press the cut side of each avo half into the seeds to coat the surface evenly. Place the avo halves on the salad and season.
To serve, add the lime wedges, drizzle over the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with the dulse flakes. Take a pic for social media (you’ll be so proud of how amazing this looks), then pop the phone aside and take a moment to reflect on how lucky you are to be able to create and enjoy this awesome meal.
Recipes: Lola Berry
Photography: Armelle Habib
These recipes are a taste of Food to Make You Glow by Lola Berry, published by Plum. Available now, $39.99.
This article was first published in nourish magazine.
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We caught up with December 2017 cover model Alexandra Kiedorf-Robinson to chat about all things health, fitness, passion and purpose.
Alex Kierdorf-Robinson has had a far from easy life. With parents suffering from addiction in her home country of Sweden, she had to grow up early – and fast. But rather than weakening her resolve, Kierforf-Robinson used these challenges to her advantage, and is now a Swedish-qualified physiotherapist, group fitness instructor and personal trainer for her own business, 360Health. She spoke to WH&F about fostering a positive attitude in the face of adversity, finding love, and working to create a healthy and fit lifestyle.
I have always loved sports and training. It began with my passion for figure skating as a child, followed by soccer in high school and then I joined the gym for the first time when I was 17. I remember walking into my first group fitness class and thinking that one day I’d like to be an instructor on stage. It looked like so much fun to teach, motivate and train with a room full of people.
After school, I did a bit of travelling and working before finally deciding to study physiotherapy in Gothenburg, Sweden. I had always been fascinated by the human body and movement; by its musculoskeletal and physiological systems. It was during my years at university that I started my career as a group fitness instructor. I started out teaching old-school freestyle aerobics and step, but have since moved more toward Les Mills pre-choreographed classes such as Bodypump, RPM and Bodybalance. I also teach yoga, which I absolutely love!
ON FINDING LOVE
It was during a study abroad in 2006 that I met my now husband, Mark (@healthmanmark). We did long distance for three years while I completed my physiotherapy degree before I finally made the move to the Gold Coast, Australia. These days I work as a personal trainer for our own business, 360Health, that Mark runs with business partner Rob Quatro. I train people of all ages and fitness levels, and enjoy helping clients rehabilitate and prevent injuries. I also train clients preparing for bodybuilding competitions, as well as providing online coaching services.
ON PASSION & PURPOSE
My aim and goal in any field – whether it be during PT, in the cycle studio or in a yoga class – is always to promote the benefits of physical exercise. In a society with so many lifestyle-related metabolic conditions, and abundant healthcare and medicines to aid almost any condition, using exercise to promote health is sometimes forgotten. I want to spread the knowledge that training can help treat and prevent a whole range of ailments.
I love what I do because I get to see so many lives completely transformed in this industry. And I’m not just talking about the physical transformations (which of course are rewarding) but the changes to a person’s quality of life: improved confidence and motivation, better energy levels, and a better social and family life too.
ON AN AVERAGE DAY
I get up early – usually by 4.30am. I train clients or take a class or two until about lunch. Most afternoons I teach group fitness as well.
ON ‘SUMMER BODIES’
I think it’s great that people want to get fit for summer. It’s a great time to start a new fitness regime given you will likely have more energy thanks to the light and warmth outside. However, I always try to promote staying fit and training year-round. Making your healthy nutrition and training part of your routine 365 days a year will ensure it feels natural and you will never have to struggle making drastic changes to your physique because of one season.
Make the commitment. Set pen to paper and write down your plan of attack. Set progress goals and when you want to achieve them by. Make sure you stick to the plan and keep yourself accountable – either by hiring yourself a PT or coach, or telling your friends and family what you hope to achieve.
I’d describe my personality as happy and positive. I try my best to support and inspire friends, family and people around me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, but I am learning that I also need rest and time to look after my body and mind.
My childhood was a tough one. I had loving parents, but both suffered from addiction – so I had quite a chaotic life growing up and I pretty much looked after myself from a very young age. I lost my mother when I was 18 and my father has since passed as well. I like to think these life experiences have made me persistent, strong and determined in life rather than weakened me.
ON MY FAVOURITE EXERCISE
It would have to be teaching a crazy, tough RPM class! But I also love participating in group fitness and hot yoga classes.
ON MY FAVOURITE ‘TREAT’ MEAL
A big bowl of pasta, I love it! And for a sweet treat anything including chocolate, lollies and ice-cream works!
ON MY ROLE MODEL
I think Roger Federer is an absolute legend! He is so much more than the greatest of all time (GOAT) on the court, but also a humble, intelligent, kind man with absolute integrity.
Short term, I am looking forward to getting back into a full training load. I have been dealing with an injury in my elbow for about six months now and it is continuously getting better with rest and very specific rehab training, but I can’t wait to lift some heavy weights again.
Long term, I would like to become a person who inspires health and physical activity nationally and globally, through face-to-face meetings, coaching and group fitness. Becoming a master trainer for group fitness instructors has always been a dream.
Model: Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson // swedishalex.com // @swedishalex
Photographer: Jessica Apap // jessicaapap.com // @jessicaapap_photographer
HMU: Cynthia Smyth // cynthiasmythmakeup.com.au // @cynthiasmyth_makeup
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We caught up with model, law student and entrepreneur and January 2018 cover model Laura Henshaw to talk about a typical day in her shoes.
6:30am: wake up and have an espresso. I can’t stomach food before training.
8am (breakfast): protein-packed smoothie bowl or two whole eggs with ½ an avocado, spinach and smoked salmon. I always ensure I refuel my body with a high-protein-packed meal after training.
12pm (lunch): tuna or chicken salad with loads of greens, crunchy seeds and avo. I dress my salad with olive oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
3pm (snack): I always crave something sweet at this time, so I will have a homemade KIC smoothie ball or a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit or some berries.
6:30pm (dinner): this is different every night, but usually I have heaps of vegies with either salmon, chicken or beef. I am loving baked salmon at the moment with a roasted Brussel sprout salad and some roasted sweet potato. The dinner recipes on KIC are a combination of my favourite dishes plus a whole heap of crowd pleasers.
8pm (after dinner): I always crave something sweet after dinner. I will have Greek yoghurt and berries, homemade banana ice-cream (just blend frozen bananas), or dark choc and a peppermint tea to aid with my digestion.
I am loving the training combination I have at the moment; I always change it up so I don’t get bored or plateau. My training every week is a combination of HIIT, boxing, strength and running. I do boxing one or two times per week, HIIT twice a week and run about three or four times per week. I always make sure I have one rest day to let my body recover.
I don’t have many days that are the same, but I always get up between 6 and 7am and get my workout done early. I get back from the gym and have breakfast, and then if it is a quiet day I’ll head to my office to catch up on emails. If I’m busy, I’m usually between shoots and meetings. Or sometimes I do all three! It really depends on the day. I also always ensure I switch off (or try as hard as I can to by 8pm) so I can spend quality time with my partner, Dalton.
I relax by running and switching off from social media for a few hours, or even a full day if I need it.
Grab the January 2018 edition of Women's Health and Fitness for her full cover model story!
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If sometimes is becoming often, here are some of the reasons why you may be eating too much – and what to do about it.
Problem: Unbalanced macros
New research found our drive for protein is so powerful we overeat in our pursuit to consume more of it. A University of Sydney study published in Cell Metabolism reveals calorie intake increases as protein intake decreases.
Solution: The researchers recommend that high-quality protein – low in fat and high in good-quality complex carbohydrates – comprises 15 to 20 per cent of your daily calorie intake. Chow down on lean meats, legumes, fish, eggs and tofu.
Whether it’s the portion sizes at your local, a bout of intense work stress or mindless nibbling in front of the telly, there’s a whole gamut of reasons why we eat more than what we need or when we’re not hungry at all.
Solution: Try to eat intuitively – only when you’re hungry. Focus on eating when you feel hungry and stopping when you feel full.
It turns out the expression ‘feast your eyes’ is accurate. Research suggests that when we can choose from a wide variety of foods – say, at Christmas lunch or a hotel buffet breakfast – we eat more. Called the ‘smorgasbord effect’, new flavours are thought to stimulate renewed eating, whereas we quickly grow bored of a single flavour and stop eating sooner.
Solution: Limit yourself to a few choices rather than sampling a little of everything to keep the smorgasbord effect in check.
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Tuck into this delicious glow bowl filled with healthy goodness by trainer Tiffiny Hall.
Ingredients (Serves 2 // Prep: 10 min // Cook: 10 min)
- ¼ cup mixed quinoa
- ½ fennel, shaved
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup blueberries
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 8 walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 eggs, boiled, peeled and cut into quarters, to serve
- ½ bunch mint, leaves picked
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 2 tbsp water
1. To cook the quinoa, bring 3/4 cup of water to the boil, add the rinsed quinoa and simmer for 10–12 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Drain and spread on a plate to cool slightly.
2. To make the dressing place mint, lemon juice, yoghurt and water in a blender, blend until smooth.
3. Arrange ingredients into 2 bowls, drizzle with dressing and add boiled eggs to serve.
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While flexible dieting has become a buzz word du jour, but what does flexible dieting mean when it comes to macros and calories? We asked accredited practising dietitian and founder of Bites for Health for her expert insight.
Macros v calories
Counting macronutrients rather than calories can ensure a more balanced overall diet; however, counting anything around food can be exhausting. The value of attending to macronutrients is to ensure that each meal contains a balance of protein, carbs and fats, which contributes to satiety – and pleasure of eating.
What are the basic rules for setting a goal-appropriate macro ratio?
This needs to be assessed by a sports dietitian or other specialist as the commonly professed means to calculate energy output with the aim of balancing energy in and out is unreliable. The total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) – based on basal metabolic rate multipled by a factor related to activity level – is almost always an estimate. Unless you have paid to get your actual energy expenditure measured, it’s not reliable.
What’s a general guide for balancing macros?
The human body is such a diverse thing – we are all different. Because of that there is no ‘perfect diet’ that fits everyone. The 40/40/20 espoused by many nutrition professionals ignores this. Certain people will feel tired having only 40 per cent of their diet from carbs, for example, and others will feel tired if they have more than 25 per cent of their diet from carbs. It’s about finding what feels good for your individual body.
Is ‘flexible dieting’ such as ‘If it fits your macros’ (IIFYM) as liberated as it sounds?
I think the theory that counting macros is flexible eating is a bit ridiculous. Flexible eating implies not having to follow rules around food, and not having to calculate or fiddle around with specific numbers. Focusing on having foods that nourish you, satisfy you and give you pleasure, without the numbers and the rules, is a real example of flexible eating.
However, there are some people who count their macros and have a very balanced, enjoyable lifestyle – and this works well for them. In my view, for its amount of effort, it’s probably not worth it.
Doesn’t counting macros circumvent the tyranny of food protocols?
This is a tough one. I agree with the concept of moral neutrality – no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods. However, the message that you can eat what you want if it fits your macros doesn’t emphasise eating nourishing foods for good health. There is a big difference between eating whatever you like and eating well.
What are the drawbacks of selecting foods by macro count?
You could have a day’s eating that fits your macros but comprises energy-dense, high-GI foods that would likely not keep you full for very long, making you starving later in the day. Ironically, it can lead to a nutrient-poor diet. Counting macros can be very counterproductive for people who are chronic dieters or who have an unhealthy relationship with food. Many people have been on numerous diets, and macro counting is just the next one. These people are generally advised to see a dietitian or therapist specialising in the non-diet approach.
If not macros, what approach do you advocate for weight loss?
Focusing on having balanced meals is not only easier, but often more enjoyable. We have no evidence that calorie-, energy- or macronutrient-controlled diets work long term for weight loss and know that it is much better to focus on having a nourishing diet that fuels your body with good food. A diet high in fibre is recommended to assist with overall health and is known to help stabilise blood sugars, assist in lowering cholesterol and help prevent certain types of cancers.
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Prep yourself this Christmas with our extensive game plan that will see you enjoying the festivities without the guilt. Stephanie Osfield writes.
Christmas dinner is one of the biggest culinary deals of the year. If you only had to navigate that one day, things would be sweet – but it’s the drinks and parties and picnics and BBQs throughout the festive season that can bite. This means you’re out of your usual routine and not always cooking. You don’t want to look like you’re being all bah-humbug and not getting into the Christmas spirit, so you’ll be eating festive food. But you also don’t want to spend each event battling recriminations because you had too many chocolates.
Overthinking it? Absolutely not. Recent research published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that in Germany, Japan and the US, holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Golden Week do lead to weight gain. But the biggest kilos spike across the board occurred in the 10 days after Christmas. During this time, Germans gained an average 0.8 kilograms, Americans 0.6 kg and Japanese participants an average of 0.5 kg. And although most of those study participants shed roughly half of that weight, some of it remained. Consider the cumulative impact over time (the term ‘kilo creep’ persists for a reason).
If you’re torn between sanctioned excess and an ascetic festive season with BYO almonds, follow our experts’ plan to have your Christmas cake and eat it.
1. All Or Nothing Thinking
You Think: ‘I just broke my eating rules – I might as well eat whatever I want for the rest of the night.’
“All or nothing thinking is a worrying cognitive distortion that contributes to overeating,” says Sarah McMahon, psychologist and body image expert at Sydney’s BodyMatters Australasia. “It can lead you to eat far more than you would have done if you had just given yourself permission to have a little of what you like.”
Your Christmas Comeback:
» Be compassionate towards yourself: “The fact is that most of us will eat more ‘sometimes’ and ‘occasional’ food at Christmas time,” says McMahon. “The best thing to do is to allow yourself this pleasure, enjoy the food and trust that you and your body can handle it.”
» Eat mindfully: “When you slow down to savour each mouthful of food, you not only enjoy it more, your body and mind connect, so you start to notice when you are full,” says McMahon.
» View treats as a temporary detour: Yes, last night you had garlic bread and canapés. And today? You’re back on your usual track, eating three healthy meals and healthy snacks.
» Plate up your snacks: Even at parties where you can bring a food contribution like sushi and paper plates to serve it on. “This helps you to see how much you are eating so it is easier to realise when you’ve had enough,” says dietitian and nutritionist Rebecca Gawthorne.
» Serve your leftovers to go: If you’ve had friends over for dinner and know you won’t be able to resist the rest of the cheesecake or lasagna, serve it into take-away containers and send your guests home with the leftovers.
You Think: ‘I love fruit pudding, mince pies, White Christmas and the turkey stuffing – they all remind me of when I was a child and how easy and uncomplicated life was.’
“Christmas foods typically have many layers of emotion attached to them,” says McMahon. “Firstly, some of the foods on offer, such as crackling or Christmas pudding, are things you only eat once a year. This in itself can make the food more desirable.
“Often we feel comfort and nostalgia in relation to Christmas food. Unfortunately this can lead us to keep eating more and more to fill an emotional void with food, when in reality, eating that is driven by emotions and not hunger is rarely satiating.”
Your Christmas Comeback:
» Reality check: “Ask yourself ‘Am I hungry?’ and, in particular, ‘What am I hungry for?’” suggests McMahon. “If you know that what you really crave is closeness or connection, honour those feelings and respond to them. Talk to your partner or a trusted sibling about your feelings or write them down. Satisfy those emotions but don’t feed them. Ask someone for a hug or do something nostalgic – look through old photos, or maybe write a journal about your feelings.”
» Give old favourite foods a health spin: For example, if you associate Christmas with fizzy drinks, buy some mineral water and add a dash of a colourful juice like grape juice. Or if Christmas chocolate was your favourite thing, still have a little, but make it a handmade dark chocolate so that it looks amazing (and has health benefits for your heart), and only eat two.
» Channel your inner child: Engage in some games you used to play as a child rather than hoeing into the food. Try board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly, or charades, or picnic games like tag and stuck in the mud.
3. Using Food To Self-Pamper
You Think: ‘I’ve had a really difficult year and I deserve to give myself this reward of lashings of yummy food and wine.’
“Using food as the ultimate holiday treat puts food on a pedestal, as though it can magically fix everything that’s not working in your life and make you feel better,” says McMahon. Fast-forward a few hours after the chocolates and chips or second serving of dessert and you will still be carrying the same emotional baggage. But now you’ll have some food guilt to add to it.
Your Christmas Comeback:
» Take just a few bites: Serve yourself a little of the foods you wouldn’t normally indulge in but just take a few bites to satisfy you and don’t eat the rest. Or enjoy just a small sliver of dessert. Research from Cornell University shows that people who eat small serves of treat foods feel just as satisfied 15 minutes later as those who ate far bigger portions. Another study at Stanford University has found that people who ate only three salty crackers were more satisfied than those who ate 15 crackers.
» Seek non-food rewards: Treat yourself to a few great books for Christmas and daily indulgences over the holidays such as enjoying breakfast al fresco or going for a sunset walk with all the family. “Remind yourself that the major perks of Christmas are not the meals but spending time with family and friends and enjoying a break from work,” says McMahon.
» Avoid second serves: Instead, have a tall glass of water or a nice hot cup of tea. If that doesn’t work and you still feel hungry, go back to have a second serve of salad and vegetables.
4. Suffering Clean Eating Fatigue
You Think: ‘I’m tired of being good. I’m going to feast all through the holidays and work it off at the gym later.’
“Gorging yourself during the holidays and thrashing yourself at the gym later is a dangerous trap that perpetuates an unhealthy and disconnected relationship between food and your body,” says McMahon. “A feast and famine kind of approach is not helpful to maintaining a healthy weight.” Losing weight is also a trickier prospect than many people realise so you may find that your holiday weight does not all come off, even if you’re working out hard and eating clean.
» Stick to your usual eating pattern: “If you’re eating out, choose the grilled fish and vegies instead of the creamy pasta," says Gawthorne. Meanwhile, skip foods you would never normally have, such as soft drinks, bread rolls at dinner, gravy and sour cream on your potatoes.”
Eating at a friend’s house? Offer to bring a huge salad so that you can serve a big plate of that and eat less of the more kilojoule-laden healthy fare.
» Work out as usual: Abandoning your exercise routine at the very time of year that you normally eat more doesn’t make any sense. “Exercise makes every cell more sensitive to insulin, so glucose enters your cells more easily,” says Christine Armarego, exercise physiologist from Sydney’s Glucose Club. “This means your pancreas doesn’t need to send out as much insulin to manage your blood glucose levels.” In turn this helps to reduce weight gain over the festive season.
» Remember – this effect is dose-dependent. “Twenty-four hours after you work out, your insulin sensitivity peaks,” Armarego explains. “Within 48 hours it has returned to what it was. That’s why daily exercise is best to keep insulin sensitivity at its highest. If you can’t manage that, try not to let more than 48 hours pass between exercise sessions.”
By contrast, if you’re a couch potato all holidays, “Higher glucose levels and insulin can lead to increased fatigue and make it harder for your body to access fats stores to burn for energy,” Armarego says.
So keep up some kind of exercise all through Christmas. And if at all possible, exercise on Christmas day – either by engaging in a workout after the present opening, or by enjoying a long family walk over lunch.
5. Starving to Save Up Kilojoules
You Think: ‘I purposely haven’t eaten a thing all day so that I can let my hair down at Christmas lunch.’
“This is a classic Christmas mistake,” says Gawthorne. “You are likely to be so ravenous that you serve a huge portion and then go back for seconds, which could cause a huge kilojoule blowout.”
» Eat three meals: Have a simple breakfast of eggs and rye toast and eat a salad for lunch. This will ensure you’re not starving with hunger and supersize your helpings at Christmas functions and then regret it the next day.
» Go for vegies first: “Serve a stack of salad and vegetables (at least half your plate) first then serve the other foods,” Gawthorne suggests. “The more vegies you eat, the more nutrients and fibre you enjoy and the less likely you will be to overindulge in other foods. It will also help portion control the other high-kilojoule foods because you will only have a little room for them on your plate.”
» Choose a smaller plate: Put a larger plate underneath it so it has the illusion of looking even bigger. When you serve your meal, you will feel that you are eating a huge feast even though you are not overdoing your intake of kilojoules.
» Pick three favourites: Rather than go for everything from the roast potatoes and gravy to the crackling, pick three favourite high-kilojoule foods to really savour in small portions. Then fill the rest of your plate with super-healthy salads and vegetables.
6. Using Alcohol to Unwind
You Think: ‘That champagne is really giving me a nice buzz after weeks of stress. I’m going to help myself relax by having a few more.’
Because it’s a drink, we often completely ignore that alcohol can pack a powerful kilojoule punch. “Beer, wine, spirits and cocktails are all high in calories and devoid of any good nutrition, so there is no nutritional benefit gained from consuming them,” says Gawthorne.
“While I don’t think there is too much of an issue with consuming small, safe amounts of one to two standard drinks of alcohol on social occasions, it’s important not to look at Christmas and New Year’s as an excuse to drink to excess. This will lead to weight gain and could cause potential health issues (such as hangovers and stomach irritation).”
Remember, alcohol often comes alongside foods like salty nuts and chips that may be harder to resist once we’ve had a few. “And if you’re feeling worse for wear the next day, you may also indulge in a big fatty breakfast,” Gawthorne adds.
» Make a trade-off: Decide how you are going to spend your kilojoules before each function. “If you want to indulge, for example, in a slice of your favourite Christmas cake after dinner, then you won’t want to be drinking lots of alcohol,” Gawthorne says. “Or if you want to enjoy a few alcoholic drinks, then you might need to forgo the dessert or avoid the high-kilojoule cheeses after dinner.”
» De-stress without alcohol: Not only is the lead-up to Christmas rushed and stressed for many people, but being with family is often super stressful too. So take time to stop and recharge your batteries. That may mean you engage in daily meditation, a morning swim or time out to read a book from cover to cover. The less stressed you are and the more enjoyable your Christmas holiday, the less likely you are to use food as a Christmas feelgood crutch.
NEXT: Beat the Christmas snacking blowout with these top tips.
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Macadamias are a rich source of monounsaturated (omega-3) fatty acids and come with a host of health benefits in just one handful. Whether you eat them as a snack or use them in a recipe for added crunch, here are five reasons why you need this healthy tree nut in your diet and two delicious recipes to get you started.
1. Gives you a dose of antioxidants which boost the body’s natural defenses
2. Naturally gluten-free, low in sugar and very low in sodium
3. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, keeping your heart healthy
4. Contributes to strong and shiny hair and nails
5. Contains vitamin B1, magnesium and potassium for increased energy and muscular function
Wondering how to incorporate this healthy tree nut in a recipe? Try these tasty picnic recipes courtesy of Australian Macadamias.
Macadamia, pumpkin and blue cheese tartlets (picutured above)
These tasty tartlets use store-bought pastry, so they’re quick and easy to make. The pumpkin, blue cheese and coriander combination makes them a classy work lunch option, or the ideal addition to a long and leisurely picnic. But don’t be fooled by their simplicity – the golden macadamias on top ensure they’re anything but ordinary.
300g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
2 tsp oil
450g pack store-bought short-crust pastry
¼ cup thickened cream
50g blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped, or chives if you prefer
¼ cup macadamia halves
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place the pumpkin pieces on a small tray and drizzle with oil. Roast for 15 minutes, or until just soft.
3. Place pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut out 6 x 14cm rounds, to fit tartlet tins. You may have slightly smaller or larger tins, so cut according to your size. Press the pastry circles into the tins.
4. Cut 6 rounds of baking paper to line the pastry. Line the pastry and weight with pastry weights or an appropriate weight – rice or dried chickpeas work well. Bake for 5–7 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Remove the baking paper and weights.
5. Whisk together the eggs and cream. Pour the egg mixture into the empty tart shell so that it comes halfway up the sides. Divide the pumpkin and blue cheese between the tarts and sprinkle with coriander. Dot with macadamia halves and return to the oven for a further 5–7 minutes, until puffed and golden.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Macadamia and three seed crackers recipe
These deliciously moreish crackers are perfect with cheese and add a little macadamia magic to any picnic platter. Best of all, the super-easy, blend-and-bake recipe means you can whip up a batch in no time and hit the picnic rug sooner!
¼ cup wholemeal flour
¼ cup oats
½ cup macadamias
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp water
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place all the ingredients except the water in a blender. Blend until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Note that many of the sesame seeds and all the poppy seeds will still be whole.
3. With the motor running, add the water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Place the ball on a sheet of baking paper that will line a baking tray.
4. Flatten the ball to a rectangle about 1cm thick. Place a large piece of plastic wrap over the flattened mixture and roll out to a 2mm thick rectangle with a rolling pin. Remove the plastic wrap and use a ruler and knife, or a pasta cutter, to score the flattened dough to create small, cracker sized rectangles.
5. Transfer the dough and baking paper to a tray and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the edges have started to go golden and the inner areas are cooked. Remove and cool for 5 minutes on the tray before gently breaking into pieces along the score lines and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
This piece was produced in partnership with the Australian Macadamias.
NEXT: Packed with nourishing good fats, here are 11 other healthy nuts to add to your healthy eating regime.
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Can you tell us a bit about your career background and how you came about becoming an ambassador for M-Active?
I was scouted by Chadwick Models management when I was 15 after doing the Dolly Model Search. Modelling was on the back foot due to my basketball and school commitments but it’s now something I would love to do full time. I did M-Active’s second campaign in the middle of this year and the concept and styles they have created was something I loved. Being someone who lives and breathes fitness, they thought I fit their brand image perfectly.
What’s it like to represent Australia in basketball in an international championship?
Representing your country in any aspect is an absolute honour and I was lucky enough to do it several times. It’s demanding and a big commitment that requires a lot of work. I spent every day in the gym getting fitter and stronger and on the basketball court improving my shot and ball handling and training with my team. Physically, you have to push through so many barriers and look to the end goal knowing it’ll all be worth it.
I discovered the benefits of boxing a few years ago, which allows me to zone out and to push to another level, and I believe this has given me a mental edge in not only sport but in everything in life. Playing sport at such a high level was hard for me because I didn’t really have a lot of time to spend with friends and family, but everyone understood that these were some of the sacrifices I had to make in order to be competitive.
What is it like to compete at that level as a female and at such a young age?
I can’t even describe it – it was something I worked hard for, for so long. So many times I wanted to quit because it didn’t happen. Being away from home for weeks at a time gets tough (especially because I’m such a homebody), but my teammates and coaches became my second family. We achieved incredible wins together, taking home two gold medals at the Pacific Youth Championships and bronze at the World Championships in Russia.
How do you keep fit and healthy?
A lot of people think my training schedule is crazy but it’s always been like this for me. I train in the morning at around 5–5:30am, doing high intensity cardio and strength work at either F45 or Tribute Boxing & Fitness. When I’m not working, I practise Pilates or shoot a ball during my study break, and in the afternoon I train again or shoot ball.
What does your day on a plate look like?
I start every morning with a pre-workout and make sure I stay hydrated with plenty of water. But nothing happens until I’ve had my morning coffee!
I love smoothies or juices for breakfast as they allow me to consume extra nutrients and it’s an easy way to get more vegetables in for the day. Lunch and dinner are usually a source of protein such as chicken, steak or salmon with a salad or vegetables.
Throughout the day I love to snack on nuts or a protein ball.
On weekends I usually go out for brunch with the girls after a workout and have scrambled eggs on sourdough bread with all the sides!
M-Active is a good example of a brand offering on-trend activewear that can be worn in the gym or down the street. What are the key features of the M-Active range that make it a pleasure to train in?
M-Active has done an amazing job at capturing all aspects of the market. I’m someone who loves to wear black or dark colours to the gym, and I love that their range offers these muted shades with just a touch of colour for those who like to keep it more subtle. All the M-Active tights and crops are so flattering for a woman’s body – they hold you in and make you feel secure while complementing your natural curves.
What are the key design elements of the M-Active range that you think contribute to its aesthetic appeal and sets it apart from others in the market?
The ‘seamless free’ range is a winner for me because I travel a lot and want to feel comfortable – they’re super comfy and easy to move in. I also love their ‘everyday wear’ range – everything from mid-length dresses to jackets – which you can wear to brunch, out shopping or to work, but are made out of the same fabrics as their active range. Again, comfort is my number one priority when it comes to clothing.
What’s your biggest tip for staying healthy during the holiday period?
Be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking but don’t stress about it too much. During the holidays I train every morning, whether it’s a HIIT session, weight training, Pilates or a long run or power walk with my mum, because it allows us to set good intentions for the day. Enjoy the little time you get to relax and know that once the new year arrives, it’s time to whip back into gear!
Step out in style and shop M-Active gear here.
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