Author Archives: Bryan Henry

Bedroom makeover: how to get a good nights sleep

 Interiors blogger and stylist Eve Gunson shows you how to design the perfect room for catching plenty of sleep.

 

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.

Lighting:

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.

Air flow:

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.

Colour palette:

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.

Furniture positioning:

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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Uncovering the health benefits of meditation

For many, practising meditation is akin to pulling teeth. WH&F contributor Hilary Simmons shows you how to find the bespoke approach that will have you bounding out of bed in search of the omm and its array of health benefits – from boosted immune system to improved posture and sleep.

 

 

The history behind meditation

It’s a practice you either love or you hate, you swear by or you just don’t ‘get’. In recent years, meditation has gone mainstream; but some of the earliest written records of the custom date back to circa 1500 BCE, as part of the Hindu philosophic tradition of Vedantism. However, historians guess it was practised as early as 3000 BCE.

The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditatum, which literally means ‘to ponder’. So in practice, the history of meditation may have started when a heavy-browed caveman or cavewoman sat down one evening after a long day of hunter-gathering, stared at the fire, and slipped into an altered state of consciousness.

Regardless of tradition, today the word ‘meditation’ comes with a very specific set of associations. The image of an Instagram model sitting cross-legged by the ocean may spring to mind, or that of a Zen Buddhist monk’s face beaming beneficently beside a gently flowing stream. According to naturopath Melinda King, these images create the misapprehension that meditation is only for the healthy and enlightened, and unattainable for the slightly cynical or the busy.

“Meditation needs to be recognised as a tool that benefits all human beings,” says King.

“We all have emotions and an inner world that needs nourishment and support. It is commonly and mistakenly thought that meditation is about ‘emptying the mind of all thoughts’. Not only is this impossible, it’s inaccurate. Most meditation styles are about bringing your attention into the present moment by focusing on the breath or an object – not eliminating thoughts altogether, which, generally speaking, are free to come and go.”

 

Uncovering the health benefits

So how, in 2018, can we reap the benefits of meditation if we’re not the stereotypical meditation ‘type’ – or if we find the idea of fitting a regular meditation practice into a modern, cerebral, hectic lifestyle a bit of a tall order?

It starts with understanding that meditation is a learned practice, and that it’s also deeply personal. While meditation needs to be integrated into your lifestyle to be effective, there’s flexibility in how to do that. You need to find a routine that suits you.

“We have very high expectations of ourselves when it comes to meditation,” says meditation facilitator and founder of Meditate Now Sabina Vitacca. “I find that people overestimate what it takes to learn meditation techniques, which can set them up to fail from the get-go. People often feel so intimidated by meditation that they automatically strike it out as something they should do but can’t find the time, money or circumstances for.”

Similar to many people’s exercise routines, while you understand the benefits and recognise the guilt associated with not hitting the gym, excuses are easy to cling to.

“Some people approach meditation with a performance-based attitude, as if it’s something they’ll be assessed on,” says King. “This can intimidate the inner perfectionist who worries they won’t be able to do it right and makes them end up avoiding it altogether. To be honest, meditation can also be scary if you’re afraid of the emotions that might arise when you sit too long with nothing but your thoughts.”

Both King and Vitacca agree that instead of seeing meditation as part of a mindfulness trend that we may or may not subscribe to, we should see it as a valuable life skill. Or simply as a healthy habit akin to going to the gym – hard to get started, but you won’t regret it.

“The most common misconceptions I hear are along the lines of ‘I don’t have time, I’m not disciplined enough, my mind never stops, or it’s a bit fluffy-new- age for me,’” says Vitacca.

“A lot of people assume that meditation is only for stress reduction. However, it has been proven to also enhance creativity, improve sleep, improve posture and increase immunity. It’s not all about counting to 10 and cooling your jets, although it can definitely achieve this!”

How to reap the health benefits

According to King and Vitacca, integrating meditation into your life in small increments is the best way to go. The basic exercise of taking three deep breaths while counting to three in your head, then, as you exhale, releasing your shoulders and counting down from three again, is a simple yet effective practice that takes all of five seconds and can be completed while standing in line at the supermarket.

“Just start with five minutes a day, at a time that suits your lifestyle,” says King. “This makes meditation achievable and less overwhelming. It could be during your morning shower or a bedtime routine to replace scrolling through social media feeds as so many of us do. A simple breathing technique for 30 to 60 seconds can do wonders for calming the central nervous system and moving out of the fight-or-flight mode caused by stress.”

Vitacca agrees. “Meditation can take five seconds or 20 minutes – the timeframe is actually not important. You’ve got to make it work for you,” she says.

“Different meditation styles will suit different lifestyles, temperaments and preferences. People are more likely to adopt an ongoing meditation practice if they come across the form or mix of techniques that is a good match for them. So experiment – not all meditation techniques will be the right fit and you can have more than one form of meditation in your toolbox to use for different reasons.”

For some people, creating a specific meditation zone at home can help remind and inspire them to tune out: simply unplug and be still. Think a cushion, blanket, a candle, affirming words or motivating images on display. Whatever inspires you to take five minutes to yourself – do that!

 

For the techno savvy, there are also a range of high-quality, effective apps available to guide you through a variety of different meditation routines. Play around with ones that speak to you and your personality: this can be a great way to experiment with the role meditation can play in your life before committing to classes or finding an instructor.

“We are all so unique; to expect everyone to find satori [sudden enlightenment] from a 10-day, silent vipassana meditation retreat is as absurd as claiming that every ’90s kid likes punk rock,” says Vitacca.

“Meditation is really a very personal journey, and different forms will suit you and your lifestyle at different points in your life, as your needs may change. Fortunately, with the rise of the internet and easy access to so many inspiring teachers and facilitators, there really is something for everyone. You just have to find what your individual ‘something’ is. This has partly inspired my work at Meditate Now, where the benefits of having a personalised meditation program help people adopt what will become a lifestyle with ease.”

 

The last word

Like anything else, meditation requires a skill set to get the most out of it and, fortunately, the skills required to meditate are innately within us.

“In the beginning, it can feel overwhelming trying to decide which meditation style to try,” says King. “Just choose one and stick to it for a period of time or until you get the urge to try another. This way you’ll give that particular style a chance to see if it’s suitable for your needs. One of the key lessons from meditation is that the mind and body are deeply interconnected; when you practise meditation you’ll notice the effects not just mentally, but also physically.”

Ultimately, meditation is free, timeless and accessible for everyone. Some people may be more drawn to it than others, particularly if they’re already into yoga or mindfulness; but on a core level, it’s just a matter of prioritising yourself – which is something we should all be doing, say the experts.

“A teacher once told me that our bodies are always present, so we should access the present moment through our bodies,” says Vitacca. “And this is true; our bodies are forever living in the present moment; it’s the mind that likes to wander. Luckily, all we need to do is focus on our breath to fast-track us back to the now.”

 

 

 

 

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5 tasty low-calorie snacks

 We’ve uncovered five healthy snack ideas to get you through your day and the 3 pm hunger pangs.

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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.

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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.

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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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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!

 

 

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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. 

 

 

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

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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

 

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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

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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

 

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

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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