Tag Archives: nutrition

Giveaway: Balancing Health and Wellbeing with Blackmores!

2 Dec

I was recently contacted by Blackmore’s to do a review of their new “Personal Health System”.  At first, I was a bit wary.  I get asked to do a lot of product reviews and I like to align myself only with things that I truly believe in and things that I think are relevant to mine and my reader’s interests.  So I had a quick squiz (yes, squiz, I’m standing by that word!) at the site and I was actually pleasantly surprised by what I saw!

Developed specifically for time-poor Australians, The Blackmores Personal Health System (PHS) takes Blackmores’ expert understanding of nature and science a step further, providing an individually tailored online health program which combines the latest interactive technology with personal support from Blackmores’ team of naturopaths.

Basically, it is a 360 degree holistic approach to health including menu plans, nutrition advice, fitness suggestions, and a community of support as well as a lot more. It gives time-poor people the opportunity to stay fit and healthy wherever they are, whenever they want, with the support they need.  Blackmores has also welcomed Asher Keddie (Australian actress and star of TV show OffSpring) as their inaugural PHS member and ambassador.

I decided to trial the Sport & Fitness Program as it was most relevant to my goals.   The first thing I did was get stuck into the Health Assessment which was VERY thorough!  I may have giggled at how many questions about pooh it asks but hey, a healthy pooh is very important!  😉  My overall score was 82/100 which is 14 points above the average of all females.   It went on to show the areas that are letting me down – vitality and digestive health being the main culprits.  But after having a chat to one of their wonderful naturopaths and being sent some awesome supplements to try, I’m pleased to report that these issues are no longer such a problem for me!  I’ll provide a review on these products in another post!

Once I had completed the assessment I started browsing the other areas of the program.  There was really nothing that it didn’t cover – it has everything!  It provides you with a menu plan, a workout plan, a food and workout diary, a My Body tracking system (where you can record PBs, your weight and measurements – SO motivating!), access to email your assigned naturopath whenever you see fit (my FAVOURITE feature) as well as an awesome resource library that has great articles on nutrition, exercise and healthy living.   There is also a great forum with over 308,000 members and growing!  I personally think that being a part of a community is highly beneficial to reaching your goals as it provides an invaluable amount of support and motivation.

I honestly can not speak highly enough about this system!  I have only covered the basics of it too, it offers so much more!  And lucky for you guys I have TWO FREE one-month passes to giveaway (valued at $49.95 each)!

To win just leave a comment below on why you think you are deserving to win this prize!  A winner will be drawn at random on Monday the 12th of December at approximately 9:00am EST.

Get in quick guys!  This is a great way to help you start your new year (and new you!) with a bang!


I’m Mind F&*king You Right NOW

23 Aug

Eating at maintenance calories is, as Diddy would say, a total mind fuck.

After spending so many years meticulously counting calories, making sure I never go over 13oo/1400 calories, the prospect of eating a whopping 1900 calories was extremely exciting at first.  YES!  MOAR FOOD WILL GIVE ME STRENGTH AND ENERGY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

And then it was daunting and overwhelming.  I found it hard to eat all of my meals and was even leaving food on my plate (GASP!).

Now, it’ just damn confusing.  I’m eating all of my food (although sometimes  it takes me an hour or more to finish a meal) but I’m still hungry.  I feel like I could literally be munching on something for 24 hours straight.  I’m a hungry beast, I’m ravenous, I’d eat your face if you let me.   Some say this is due to an accelerated metabolism but I don’t know if that is just bro-science.  Whatever it is, it’s messing with my head.

Also, there is the fact that the numbers on the scales are all over the place.  Losing, gaining, losing, gaining – I should just throw the damn things out but I’m also fretting the measuring tape as my mind is telling me, “You’re eating so much food, surely you’ve gained centimetres!  All your hard work is coming undone!”.

It’s stupid and lame and I HATE having these thoughts.  I now think that losing weight is the easy part, it’s maintaining or gaining strength that is the hard part.  When you’re losing weight it’s just a matter of following the program and if you follow it right, you will see results.  At the stage I am at now, trying to increase lean muscle mass, it’s hard to envision that there will be results at the end of all this as all I can think about is all the damn food I am eating!

I’m not sure if any of this is making sense to you guys, feel free to call me a lunatic, but all I know if I can’t wait until this recomp phase is over and I can start cutting to reveal the sexy, lean muscle that I hope I am building underneath the bulk!

So, usually I would have taken some updated bikini pics by now but I am still getting used to my new eating and exercise program so I’m going to hold off for a few more weeks.  I did take a couple of pics the other night though to gauge where I am at.

Now I just need to switch of and allow my body to do what it needs to do.  All I have to do is train hard, fuel my body and allow recovery and everything will fall into place… *breathe*

Have you lost weight and are now at maintenance stage?  How did you adjust?

Project Tighten Up: Update 5

9 Jun

It’s been a little while since my last Project TU update. I’ve still been following the plan but life has gotten in the way of updating this blog as often as I would like!

Two of the things that have gotten in the way lately are I’ve started studying to become a personal trainer and I’m also apart of a joint-venture in starting a weight loss directory called Weight Loss Pages (don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook page!).

I’m overjoyed to be following my passion and making steps to change my career. I think something that will set me apart from the rest as a trainer is that I have been in my clients shoes – I’ve lost weight and done the hard yards so will be able to give solid advice to them based on things that have worked for me. Would you let me train you? 😉

There was a small speed-bump in my Project TU journey though – I got sick on Monday and had to take additional rest days. So, I haven’t trained since last Saturday. That’s 4 days! Woe is me! But thank god, my awesomeness is almost at 100% capacity again and I’m smashing out a session with my trainer today (yay! She’s back! She’s back!).

I feel like my body is really changing now. There’s new definition and shape appearing every week and it’s so exciting! The best thing about this plan is that I get to eat a lot. I’m a hungry, hungry beast most of the time so this appeals to my interests greatly.

I’ve changed the meal plan slightly (as I do every 3-4 weeks anyway) as oats have turned on me. I had a hunch they would. I became very bloated and uncomfortable. I do miss them because I love porridge but I don’t miss that awful feeling.

I’ve also substituted the brown rice with quinoa as I’m concerned about the GI value of the brown rice. Some reports say it is high GI other say low. Personally, I don’t want to risk it.

Meal 1:

Gluten Free Muesli


I love this muesli! One thing though, the puffed rice and rice bran in it is not low GI but it is paired with other low GI items so that brings the overall GI of the meal down.

AND two scrambled egg whites with light cheese and chilli flakes (thanks Cooper – this is now my favourite part of the day!)

Meal 2:

Green apple and natural peanut butter

Meal 3:

Lean protein, quinoa and steamed broccoli

Turkey Larb - recipe coming soon!

Meal 4:

Double Barrel Nutrition WPI with skim milk, teaspoon of instant decaf coffee and a few drops of vanilla extract

Meal 5:

Lean protein, steamed vegetables and sweet potato

So, how is everyone else doing?  Still going hard?  I sure hope so! 🙂

What’s In My Fridge?

15 Apr

Happy Fridge Day Dudes & Dudettes!  Oops, I mean Friday! 😉

The most important part of losing weight is nutrition so I always make sure my fridge is stocked with lots of  goodness so I can quickly and easily prepare healthy meals.  So, I thought I would do a short post on what you can usually find lurking in my fridge! 

This is riveting business people, strap in your seatbelts and feel the G’s!  Or is that the cheese?  I’m never quite sure…

Top shelf – butter, lindt dark chocolate

Second shelf – ham, salad I prepared for lunch, parmesan, light tasty cheese, pre-made quinoa g

Third shelf – apples, strawberries, margarine (Justin’s!), fresh ginger & garlic, mini frittatas

Fourth shelf – grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, bag of lettuce, fresh thyme, cherry tomatoes

Crisper – oh god, where to begin… asparagus, more lettuce, baby spinach, carrots, capsicum, avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin, plums, zucchini, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot… Just a whole bunch of fresh fruit and veg!

Fridge door – olive tapenade, low-fat whole egg mayonnaise, horseradish, dijon mustard, hot english mustard, wholegrain mustard, capers, bottles of low alcohol sparkling wine (I bought a whole box about 6 months ago and I have barely made a dent in it!), flaxseed oil, lemon juice, jam, pizza sauce, satay sauce, rice milk, sparkling water, still water

Freezer – chicken breast, chicken thigh, chicken tenderloins, lean cuts of pork, beef and lamb, lean mince, frozen soups, frozen berries, puff pastry

What are your healthy fridge staples?

Creamy Chicken Tenderloin Salad

24 Mar

I love this salad.  If it had lips I’d kiss them and gently thank the salad for being so delicious, filling (oh hai protein!) and kind to my waistline.  It’s perfect for either lunch or dinner and super quick and easy to whip up.   I prefer it for dinner because of its low carb content!

The dressing is inspired by Natalie’s Faux Caesar Salad but slightly tweaked (I omitted the olive oil and added lemon juice).


Two handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves

1 medium tomato (sliced into wedges)

Handful of capsicum strips

3 chicken tenderloins (120g)

15g of shaved parmesan cheese (no more than this!  It is unexpectedly calorific and easy to go overboard on)

Dried or fresh rosemary

Salt & pepper

Olive oil spray




1 tablespoon of natural, low-fat yoghurt

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of lemon juice


Sprinkle the chicken with a little rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat a little olive oil in a pan and grill the chicken for about 3 minutes a side or until cooked through.

Combine the salad ingredients and parmesan in a serving bowl.  Shred the chicken and place on top of the salad.

Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the chicken and salad.

Now, if I weren’t watching my calories like a damn hawk at the moment I might also add a boiled egg or some crispy prosciutto.  OR (gasp!) both.  Drool.

Nutritional info: 324 cals, 9.3g  fat, 4.2g sat fat, 47g protein, 8.6g carbs, 7.6g sugar



Healthy Diet Additions

10 Mar

Just like Charlie Sheen, I have one speed – GO! (Are we over him yet? Or are we all still winning?)

Your faithful road-tester is at it again! I’m constantly on the look out for new and exciting things I can add to my diet and last week I purchased chia seeds and agave nectar. Look out yo! I’m on fire!

Chia Seeds


Nutritional Info

There’s been a lot of buzz around chia seeds lately but I have to admit, I didn’t really know what they were all about. Bad, BAD health blogger! Slap on the wrist!

My trainer gave me a sample to try and it was at that point that I did some research on what these little seed’s benefits were.

After Googling (pretty much my favourite thing to do in the whole wide world), the first thing that stood out to me was that these little suckers hold up to 12 times their own weight in fluid. So you can add them to juices, smoothies and even water and they will thicken and form a gel like consistency. For this reason, when you ingest them, they make you feel fuller than what you actually are. That’s a real positive when it comes to trying to lose weight! Banish hunger for good!

There are also packed with:

  • Omega-3’s
  • Antioxidants
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Phospherous
  • Potassium
  • Protein

I bought 1kg of chia seeds from CHIA Life for $20 + postage. I considered that quite a reasonable price compared to other online sellers! They arrived within 3 days too – speedy!

Apart from adding them to juices, smoothies or water, you can also sprinkle them on salads, stir-fries or cereal. In fact, because they take on the taste of whatever they are paired with, you can add them to almost anything! Apparently you can bake with them in place of butter! Goodbye saturated fat and clogged arteries! I won’t miss you in the slightest! Maybe I’ll get around to baking more cakes and slices? Probably not, let’s face it, it’s not really on the ‘Lose these last pesky kilos’ plan that I’m currently on!

Agave Nectar

This deliciously sweet and golden sticky nectar comes from the agave (uh-gah-vay) cactus and can be used in place of sugar or sweeteners. It is made up of 90% fructose sugars and 10% glucose sugars. Honey has 33% glucose sugars so I have been using agave in place of honey in my morning smoothies.

It has 16 calories per teaspoon, the same as granulated sugar, but because fructose is 42% sweeter to the human brain than granulated sugars you only need to use the smallest amount to get that sweetness hit.

Also, because agave is mainly fructose, and not sucrose like granulated sugar, it does not result in huge spikes in blood sugar levels therefore it has been reported as being a suitable sugar replacement for diabetics and the insulin resistant (although no conclusive studies have been conducted).

Like most health food products there has been a fair amount of debate around the benefits of agave nectar as, after all, it is still a sweetener and we all know too much sweetener leads to weight gain and other health problems. I recommend buying organic, good quality agave nectar and use sparingly for the best results.

Have you tried chia seeds or agave nectar?  What do you think of them?

Cumin-Crusted Lamb with Chickpea Salad

26 Feb

I got inspiration for this meal by a recipe I found in Donna Hay’s Beef, Lamb & Pork, one of the cookbooks in her Simple Essentials series.  If you don’t own a Donna Hay cookbook I suggest you go out and buy one, quick smart.

Donna Hay is all about simple, fresh and easy food that is low fuss and maximum quality and taste.  This philosophy usually means that you can trust the recipes will be healthy and nutritious (except when it comes to desserts!) and that’s exactly what I like.

Donna’s recipe calls for lamb fillets however I used lamb steaks to cut cost.  It also calls for mint which I don’t generally use in cooking (not for any reason other than I’m not keen on the taste) and I used no-fat yoghurt in the yoghurt dressing and added garlic (it needed a little kick).  In the salad I added cherry tomatoes as I had some lovely, fresh cherry tomatoes given to me straight off the vine from my uncle.

Cumin-Crusted Lamb with Chickpea Salad (serves 4)

4 x 150g lamb steaks (or lamb fillets)

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Sea salt and cracked pepper

2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved

100g of baby spinach leaves

Yoghurt Dressing

1 cup of natural, nofat yoghurt

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 small clove of garlic, crushed

sea salt

Place the lamb, cumin, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Add the lamb and cook for 2 – 3 minutes per side or until cooked to your liking.

Slice the lamb, divide the lamb, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and spinach among plates.  Drizzle over the yoghurt dressing and tuck in!