Author Archives: Bryan Henry

5 minutes with February 2018 cover model Ellie Giffen

 

We sat down with February 2018 cover model Ellie Giffen to chat about all things health, fitness and lifestyle. 

 

EAT

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.

MOVE

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).

THRIVE

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.

BE

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!

 

 

{nomultithumb}

 

How to maintain motivation over the holiday season

 

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.

 

Strength building core finisher workout

 

A strong core will support everything else you do, but when most people think of core they only think of abs. Head trainer Alexa Towersey and Jenna Douros show us how to build up your core. 

 

 

 

alexa-and-jenna.jpg

 

The core includes all of the abs (deep and superficial) in addition to the muscles of the hips and lower back. These four exercises are designed to target as much of the core as possible. When combined with the flexion, extension and rotation exercises in the DB Complex and HIIT workout, you have a very comprehensive workout plan. Where possible, think of squeezing the inner thighs together and drawing the pelvic floor in and up (think holding your pee mid-flow) – this is the most surefire way to activate the midline and the ‘lazier’ lower and deep transverse abdominals. We don’t just want a washboard stomach on the outside, we want a corset on the inside. You can do the exercises in any order but I like to start with the lower abs (reverse crunches) and finish with a neutral spine (reinforcing correct posture for the day).

Reps: 20 of each

Progression:

Week 1: 1 set | Week 2: 2 sets

Week 3: 3 sets | Week 4: 4 sets

 

Reverse Crunch x 20

core-finisher-crunch.jpg

 

Lying on your back, lift your legs in the air with your knees slightly bent. Place your hands on the floor beside you. Without momentum, use your lower abs to slowly curl the hips off the floor as if you want to touch your toes to the ceiling. Slowly lower them back to the starting position. This is one rep.


 

Knee Hugs x 20

core-finisher-knee-hugs.jpg

 

Sit down on the mat with your knees bent, your hands hugging your knees and lift your feet off the floor. Open your arms, extend your legs as long and as low as possible without arching your back. Lift your torso, bend your knees, and return to the starting position.

 


 

Window Wipers x 12

core-finisher-wipers.jpg

Lie on your back and raise your legs 90 degrees. Spread your arms straight out to your sides for support. Rotate your legs to one side, stopping short of touching the floor. Rotate to the other side. Try and reach the top hip on the rotation while keeping the opposite shoulder on the ground to make sure you’re not only working the abs but getting a great stretch through the upper (thoracic spine). As you improve, bring your arms closer in to your body so they offer less stability.

 


 

Plank-Ups x 12

 

core1-finisher-plank-ups.jpg

 

 

The goal is to maintain a solid plank position throughout the whole exercise and to not let your hips sway. Start on your elbows and toes. Keep your hips as still as possible, push up with one hand, then the other, until you are propped up in a push-up position. Lower back down to your elbows one arm at a time. Halfway through, change your leading arm so you strengthen the other shoulder as you press up to your hands. Note: hand placement should be where your elbows were – don’t cheat the movement by just trying to straighten your arm.

 

Models/Trainers: Alexa Towersey (@actionalexa) &
Jenna Douros (@jennalouise_jl)

Photographer: Jason Lee // @jasonminilee

Wearing: Douros – P.E. Nation // Towersey – Heroine Sport
(shoes by Athletic Propulsion Labs) via Stylerunner

 

 

 

 

 

 

{nomultithumb}

 

Superfood strawberry protein milkshake recipe

 

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

 

Method

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

 

 

{nomultithumb}

 

Jenna Douros’ HIIT workout sampler

 

Designed to get your heart rate high and burn max calories this HIIT circuit by Jenna Douros will also help you improve your muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

 

 

 

 

jenna-workout-hiit.jpg

 

It requires only your body weight, so you can perform the workout literally anywhere. Complete all exercises back-to-back, as quickly as possible, with only transition time as rest. At the end of the round, rest for 30 to 90 seconds. Complete 2 to 5 rounds.

Kick-sits x 20

 

 

jenna-kicksits.jpg

 

 

 

 

Start in a bear position, hands directly under shoulders and elbows/knees hovering approximately an inch off the ground, under hips. Keep both hands planted on the ground while you thread one leg though to the opposite side until your hip taps the ground. Bring your leg back through the same way and repeat on the opposite side.

Plyo Push-tucks x 10

jenna-plyopushups.jpg

 

Start by lying on your belly with your hands flat on the floor, tucked just under your shoulders. From this position you want to push your body up into a raised plank position while simultaneously tucking both knees towards your underarms. Return the same way and repeat for a total of 10 reps.

In and Outs in Squat Position on Toes x 20

 

jenna-inandouts.jpg

 

Start in a squat position. Now raise up onto your toes before jumping both feet out wide and back in again. That’s 1 rep.

Wall Walks x 8

jenna-wallwalks.jpg

 

Start by lying on your belly with your feet touching a wall and hands above your head. From this position, reverse/push your body up the wall, walking your hands all the way in so that your chest meets the wall. Return the same way and repeat for a total of 8 reps. You ould regress this exercise to reverse burpees, where you just place your hands on the ground as if for a regular burpee and jump your feet up the wall.

Travelling Mountain Climbers x 10 each direction

 

jenna--travellingmountain.jpg

 

Just like your standard mountain climber; the difference being you will move left for 10 reps and right for 10 reps.

 

{nomultithumb}

 

Keeping fit with Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson

 

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.

 

ON CAREER

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.

ON PERSONALITY

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.

ON GOALS

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

 

{nomultithumb}

 

The real reason why you may binge on food

 

 

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.

Problem: Disconnection

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.

Problem: Overwhelm

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.

 

{nomultithumb}

 

Tiffiny Hall’s ‘Glow Bowl’ recipe

 

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

 

 

 

Method

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.

 

{nomultithumb}

 

A dietitian’s advice on flexible dieting

 

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.

 

 

 

 

A day in the life of Laura Henshaw

 

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. 

EAT

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.

 

MOVE

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.

THRIVE

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.

BE

I relax by running and switching off from social media for a few hours, or even a full day if I need it.

 

Model: Laura Henshaw // kicgirls.com // @laura.henshaw // @keepitcleaner
Photographer: Ren Pidgeon // @renpidgeon
HMU: Monica Gingold // @monicagingold_beauty

 

 

Grab the January 2018 edition of Women’s Health and Fitness for her full cover model story!

{nomultithumb}