Wednesday, 31 October 2012

You can never go wrong with chicken and vegetables, it works on a busy week day or for a nice weekend dinner.

Pesto chicken with grilled zucchini
Serves 4
Cooking time 25min

6 medium zucchini, sliced thickly lengthways
1 tsp lemon rind
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
4 chicken breast fillets, cut into thirds
Drizzles olive oil over the zucchini, cook on heated oiled grill plate until tender. Place zucchini in a medium bowl and sprinkle with rind. Season.
Combine pesto and chicken in a large bowl. Cook chicken on heated oiled grill plate, brushing occasionally with pesto mixture, until cooked.
Serve chicken and zucchini with some baby rocket leaves.


Yours in Health & Fitness,

Monday, 29 October 2012

Sugar the “drug” that is making us fat and lacking energy

The whole world is facing an epidemic with the population getting fatter, and even though the medical professionals are able to treat more and more of deadly diseases, we are getting unhealthier; we are overfed but under-nutritioned.
For a long time we thought that fat was the villain in the drama, but we are now realizing that sugar is the bigger threat.

The reason we get fat from sugar is that we don’t realize that we are eating it; this is due to a hormone called leptin. After insulin has stored energy in the cells there is a hormone called leptin which is supposed to let us know that we have eaten enough. So, if the insulin is bypassed the leptin is not triggered and we don’t know that we have eaten enough.

Sugar is a carbohydrate, which provides our bodies with energy. Carbohydrates can be classified into two kinds, high GI and low GI carbohydrates. GI stands for Glycemic Index, which is the scale that measures how fast certain carbs are broken down into our bodies.

Low GI takes longer time to break down whereas high GI carbs, breaks down very fast and you get hungry again quicker.

Although we might think that it is relatively easy to just cut out the food containing   sugar, it’s not that easy.

On a food label sugar can be listed in a many varied ways, usually you have an indicator about the direct sugar content and that can be 7gr but if your look at the carbohydrate content, which can be 48gr, you suddenly have a product with 48gr sugar. Sugar can be, brown sugar, cane sugar, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose and so on.

All sugar contain 4 calories per gram, and simple sugar on its own have no nutritional value.

Sugar increases our blood sugar and insulin levels which will cause our body to begin storing and stop burning fat, if we don’t exercise on such a high level that we use all the energy straight away.

Due to the impact sugar has on our insulin levels with a drop after its initial high, it’s like a drug and it leaves us feeling tired and hungry and craving more sugar.

Although there are still many opinions surrounding sugar’s impact on our bodies, sugar is said to contribute to suppressing the immune system, upsetting the body’s mineral balance, contributing to hyperactivity, and anxiety and depression, these are just a few of the effects that sugar has on our bodies.

The problem is that many of us don’t realize how much sugar we are actually eating. Most sugar comes from processed food that we eat, not the sugar we add when we cook ourselves.  A lot of us look at processed food as fast food, but processed food is food that has been altered from its original, like “fat free yoghurt”, yes the fat is gone but to save the taste the manufacture has added sugar, or the “sugar free lollies”. How can we have sugar free lollies that still satisfy our taste buds, artificial sweetening, which will still keep playing havoc with your insulin level.

So if you would like to reduce sugar in your diet you might try:

·         Learn to enjoy foods that are naturally sweet, like fresh fruit

·         Use spices and herbs to enhance flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

·         Make homemade sauce and toppings

·         Use dried and fresh fruit to sweeten yoghurt and cereal

·         Understand nutrition labels, 7gram of sugar is equal to 1 tbsp of sugar

·         Remember that the less processed food you eat and the more whole food with fruit and vegetables you eat, the less craving you will have for sugar.

It’s your health and you are in charge!!

Yours in Health & Fitness,


Monday, 22 October 2012

Slow down and enjoy every minutes

My daughter Isabel and I went shopping the other week, and as we come down the escalator we saw a sign with “Christmas Shop Level 1”, this was on the 13th of October 10 weeks before Christmas (and I’m sure it has already been there awhile but I just hadn't see it). Isabel said –Oh, that’s too early, and it just hit me how we live our lives from one occasion to the next without actually enjoying any of them.

No wonder we don’t have the motivation to look after ourselves or exercise. We are just trying to keep up until next event, that needs to be prepared for and celebrated with all the routines and expectations.

Maybe we shouldn’t live our lives so strict after the routine. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe in a physical active life, but maybe we don’t have to do 4-5 walks a week as long as we are active. We could go to a dance class with a friend or try rock climbing. Be active and creative, and you will enjoy your active life even more.  

I’m not going to go on with the good old, “time flies” saying; but maybe we can slow down and enjoy every minutes with our weeks not so much on a routine.

Yours in Health & Fitness,


Monday, 15 October 2012

Your body need a bit of TLC before bed time!

A few years back my body started to feel a bit stiff and not as flexibly as it use to (NO, it’s definitely not an age thing probably just a bit too much single way training). So anyway, I began a short night routine with a bit of yoga breathing, stretching, same Pilates exercises to strengthen, mobilize and stabilize the body and it’s really nice.

The routine of doing a short program most nights may seem overwhelming at first, but hang in there as soon you’ll be in tune with your body and your little routine will feel very rewarding.

Here are a few benefits that I feel my short little relaxing routine has given me.

1.    It increases your flexibility
Stretching increases range of motion in all joints and movements of the body.
2.    It helps you develop body strength and awareness
If offer functional strength, meaning the body must maintain correct posture, which will help you develop a balanced body less prone to injuries
3.    It gives you great core and posture
You working your deep core muscles, which will make you aware of your core and back muscles the whole day
4.    It reduces stress and keeps you younger and happier
The focus on breathing, stretching and correct posture will release endorphins into the body and boost your mood and good feeling
5.    It prevents and repairs injuries
Due to the soft stretching, strengthening and core work, you can prevent injuries but also help repair something that is already there.

If you start your 20 minutes relaxing/stretching routine today before the injury, it is less likely you will get one and if you do get an injury you body is stronger and more flexible and will recover quicker.

Send me an email if you are interested in my 20 minutes relaxing/stretching routine, and I will tell you all about it.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

I was talking about kale the other day and all its health benefits.  You'll want to include kale as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. You can eat kale fresh or steamed, and if you dress the fresh kale with some olive oil dressing and leave it for about 5-10 minutes if becomes nice and crispy.

Try this; nothing complicated a basic salad but a bit different with the kale.

Kale salad

Serve 4-6

500g kale leaves
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
2 tbsp mixed seeds


2 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of ginger
½ lemon squeezed

Pour the dressing over the salad and allow resting for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Yours in Health & Fitness,

Monday, 8 October 2012

Have you added a little protein to you meals today? 

Protein heals and repairs your muscles and cells, and it renews your body. Generally people think about protein as coming from animal meat but milk, eggs, fish, and cheese are all good forms of protein. This is because the body can use most of the protein absorbed from these sources. 

Protein can also come from legumes and nuts. Plant proteins such as grains and nuts are not complete proteins so it is good to mix, but it is a great way of adding extra protein through the day.

Try adding chia seed to you afternoon green smoothie or a handful of nuts to your oats in the morning.  

Some of you might have tried my overnight porridge the other week, here is another one with chia seeds which is really nice. Give it a try for a change from the other one.

Blueberry Maple Porridge


¼ cup uncooked rolled oats
1/3 cup skim milk
¼ cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
1-1/2 tsp dried chia seeds
2 tsp maple syrup
¼ cup blueberries


In a bowl, add oats, milk, yoghurt, chia seeds and maple syrup. Mix until well combined. Add the blueberries and stir until mixed throughout. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Eat chilled.

This lovely breakfast (or afternoon snack) porridge contains 12gr protein.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Try this salad with chicken, lamb or even by its self, it’s easy made and a nice change to your normal green salad or steamed vegetables.

Vegetables chilli

Serve 4

1 red capsicum, chopped
1 yellow capsicum, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
10 mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 spring onions
1/3 cup Sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup pine nuts
Fresh parsley


2 tbsp olive oil
Juice from ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp deseeded and chopped red chilli


1.    Quickly fry the mushrooms
2.    Place  the vegetables in a bowl
3.    Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad

Perfect for a summer dinner.  ENJOY!!!

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Monday, 1 October 2012

This is for all the chocolate lovers out there!

Real Raw Chocolate is actually super good for you. There are amazing health benefits and it actually helps us decrease our sweet cravings.

Here Are the TOP Reasons You Should Eat Real Raw Chocolate (Cacao)

1. It has no sugar in it!
2. It is a great source of Iron
3. It is a super food with tons of Antioxidants to make you feel and look young!
4. It is a good source of magnesium
- Ladies raw cacao is actually the #1 source for magnesium. This is why we crave chocolate during that time of the month because the magnesium levels in our body decrease. Eat real raw cacao and it will help improve your mood!
5. It is a good source of fiber
6. It also has Vitamin C!
7. Real raw cacao improves your mood, gives you energy and is the love drug! It produces the same reaction in your body that you have when you fall in love.

So swap to a piece of dark chocolate or even better the Double Chocolate Pecan Treats (the recipe I had in my blog a couple of weeks ago) with your afternoon tea or coffee, and if you keep it to one piece with you afternoon coffee you can have another one with your evening tea.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Yours in Health & Fitness,