Category Archives: General

Madalin Frodsham on body image and healthy living

 

It was this exact photo that Madalin Frodsham posted after being featured in our Body Issue that broke the internet – here we share her feature interview featured in the magazine.

 

ON INSTAGRAM

Growing up, I was always the sporty one in the family, playing basketball and climbing trees. This stopped when I left school, and I didn’t actually start actively working out until January 2016 when I downloaded the Sweat With Kayla app. There’s a mix of factors that contributed to my social media following: a few of my posts went viral on online news publications, my transformation photos garner a lot of followers each week, and (hopefully!) I motivate and inspire people to work out. 

ON KEEPING IT REAL

I constantly felt put down when scrolling through my Instagram feed. Seeing image after image of perfection, I wondered if people felt the same way going through their feeds, and whether my photos contributed. So I decided to share more pictures that were honest and relatable. I receive a lot of comments from people saying it’s their goal to have my body, and I want people to know I have flaws just like everyone. We’re so used to seeing perfect pictures of women in our feeds that it’s nice to see a bit of real life sometimes.

ON BODY IMAGE

I think because people view social media influencers as being more ‘real life’ than the touched up celebrities in magazines, social media is very influential when it comes to body image. However, Instagram is now just the same because it’s easy to smooth out your cellulite or reshape your body. I think the problem is even worse as we compare ourselves more to these unattainable images of perfection. And instead of a magazine, which you have to physically go to the shop and buy, you have these images in your pocket and accessible at all times. 

ON KEEPING FIT AND HEALTHY

I find it easier to stick to a routine, so I make sure I go to the gym first thing in the morning, no matter how I’m feeling or how busy I am. I make healthy food choices when I buy food from the supermarket (if it’s not in my cupboard, I don’t eat it!), but I also make sure I don’t restrict myself too heavily so I don’t blow out on the weekend. 

ON FEELING COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN

Always remember that the images you see are carefully selected, filtered, angled and lit to display people in the best possible light. Don’t let somebody’s perfect selfie dictate your confidence – most people don’t actually look how they do on Instagram. If someone is making you feel bad about your body, unfollow them. Follow women that make you feel confident, who are open about their bodies and don’t follow the conventional standards of beauty. 

 

My day on a plate

Pre-workout: protein shake

Post-workout: warm oats, berries and apple porridge 

Snack: toast with peanut butter or Philadelphia cheese

Lunch: paprika chicken with green vegies and yoghurt 

Snack: carrots and avocado dip 

Dinner: vegetable patty and lentil curry

Dessert: chocolate chip cookies

 

 

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Top stress management techniques

 

Learn how to cope with stress by eating healthy and taking a closer look at your nutrition.

 

“The right diet is crucial for managing stress,” says health coach and wellness blogger Nic Makim. “Eat regularly and consume yoghurt and low-fat milk to boost your calcium levels and settle your nerves. If you have an intolerance to dairy, make sure you’re getting enough calcium and magnesium from other food sources. Chamomile tea is an age-old tonic to relax and soothe – you may also want to consult a naturopath about herbal support to help decrease the impact of stress on your brain and body.”

Eating right will supercharge your body’s natural immune and healing systems, and exercising regularly goes a long way too. Breathing, meditation and visualisation exercises can help you let go of anxieties, and there is strong evidence to suggest that yoga therapy and meditation help reduce stress and its associated symptoms.

A 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation can help ease psychological stresses such as anxiety, depression and fatigue, and therapeutic yoga programs were also shown to reduce markers of stress and inflammation.

More importantly, recognise that some stress is inevitable.

“If you have unproductive worries, try to remember that as much as we may strive to, we are never going to rid our lives of stress entirely,” says Dr Lishman. “Stress is a vital part of being alive. In fact, without feeling stressed now and again, we would be so carefree and blasé about everything that we would have been killed off years ago! It’s not stress itself that matters; it’s what you do with it that counts.”

The symptoms that we associate with a stressful lifestyle such as sleep deprivation, social isolation, weight gain and major depression are all associated with higher rates of heart disease. It is clear, therefore, that finding effective stress management strategies is essential to our overall health and wellbeing.

 

However, don’t stress about it! Just concentrate on the following:

  • eat nourishing foods to meet the nutritional demands of the body
  • exercise regularly to naturally reduce your cortisol levels
  • unplug from digital devices when you need to chill out
  • pay active attention to your emotions
  • distinguish between problem-solving thoughts and the unproductive ones that simply make your mind race faster
  • disengage, but don’t detach from your feelings

Find a balance between rest and activity, and create a maintainable chill-out routine for when you get home to prioritise calm and relaxation.

“Tuning in to your beautiful body is always at the top of my agenda with all my clients,” says Makim. “I’m also loving this whole mindfulness trend at the moment. Less judgement and negativity and more acceptance and appreciation go a long way towards managing stress and life in general.”   

In other words, when you’re stressed you’re unable to function at your full potential, so make time for yourself. We can’t stress that strongly enough.

 

 

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Raw caramel slice with ‘shortbread’ base

Whether your sweet tooth needs a 3 pm fix or you’re looking for something delicious to serve the gals over afternoon tea, we’ve got you sorted.

This low-sugar caramel slice courtesy of Health Synergy is a refined sugar-free and vegan alternative that’s just as tasty (if not more) as the high-sugar version.

 

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • Shortbread
  • ½ cup buckinis, ground to a flour
  • ¼ cup cashews, ground to a flour
  • ⅓ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2½ tbsp coconut butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar
  • 2–3 tbsp boiling water

Caramel

  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted (soak in warm water for a few minutes to soften)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup coconut butter or coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp hulled tahini
  • 1 tbsp mesquite powder, optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt

Chocolate

  • 100 grams raw dark chocolate (we use Loving Earth 85%)

Method

1. Combine all base ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until it starts to stick together (it is easiest to use your hands to make sure it is well combined).

2. Press into the base of a greased and lined baking tray and place in the fridge while you make the caramel.

3. Combine all caramel ingredients in a high-power blender, blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Spoon on top of the base, spreading evenly.

5. Place in the freezer for 2–3 hours or until fairly firm.

6. Using a double saucepan, melt dark chocolate in a shallow saucepan and spread melted chocolate on top of the caramel.

7. Return to fridge for another 10–15 minutes to allow chocolate to set.

8. Using a sharp knife, cut into small slices, serve and enjoy.

 

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Stylerunner’s Julie Stevanja on success

We caught up with CEO and founder of Stylerunner Julie Stevanja to chat about health, fitness and her career.

ON CAREER

I launched Stylerunner in 2012 and we have enjoyed some great success so far. We have so many plans for the future so it’s an extremely exciting time. Prior to starting Stylerunner, I was working for a tech start-up in Europe.

ON MY DEFINITION OF SUCCESS

Defining success is a bit of a trap that some people fall into. For me, success should include a number of elements to ensure you are really seeing the whole picture. The fact that I am working for myself, feel challenged every day and have a great team around me makes me feel more successful than any amount of money could ever achieve.

ON MY TOP THREE SUCCESS TIPS

Prioritise your work better: focus on what’s important not what’s urgent.

Exercise before work rather than after it: you will activate your brain, meaning you will be more alert and effective by the time you hit the office.

Read more professional books: I am a sucker for an inspiring paperback and find that I gain so much new knowledge through learning about the experiences of others. It’s also a great way to keep you motivated and rest your eyes from our digital world. Set a goal of one book per month to start with.

ON MY MENTOR

I have a number of mentors that I am lucky enough to consistently learn from – old bosses, investors and even my sister Jasna. It’s important to ask for advice when you need it. It’s impossible to know everything but it is possible to learn most things.

Stylerunner.com // @juliestevanja // @stylerunner

 

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Spiced post workout shake

 

Get your protein fix post workout with these delicious spiced shake by personal trainer Tegan Haining.

 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup roasted sweet potato 
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ½ cup ice
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 scoop BSC Naturals Vegan Protein

Method

Blend well to combine, drink immediately.

 

NUTRITION (per serve)

Protein: 48.2g // Fat: 10.7g //Carbs: 39.9g // Calories: 448.05

 

 

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Healthy sushi bowls recipe

This is the perfect meal when you feel like sushi but don’t have the time to make fiddly nori rolls.

Adding vinegar and nut butter to the rice helps it to stick together and makes it really tasty.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp nut butter (any kind)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 250 g firm tofu or tempeh (or both), cubed or sliced into batons
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 8 cos lettuce leaves
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cucumber, peeled lengthways into ribbons
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup pickled ginger
  • ¼ cup cashew cream cheese (see recipe below)
  • 4 nori sheets, shredded
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Cashew cream cheese (makes 2 cups)
  • 1½ cups cashews, pre-soaked
  • 1 tsp garlic flakes
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

To make the cashew cream cheese, drain the cashews and transfer to a food processor or blender with the rest of the ingredients and ¼ cup of water. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding extra water (in ¼ cup increments) until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. (Store the extra cashew cream in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.)

Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain well. Stir in the vinegar and nut butter and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the tofu and/or tempeh and fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the pan, then add the mushrooms and sesame seeds to the same pan and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until golden.

Divide the rice among four bowls and top with the fried tofu and/or tempeh and the mushrooms. Add a splash of tamari, nestle two lettuce leaves on the side of each bowl, then arrange a quarter each of the carrot, cabbage, rolled cucumber ribbons, avocado and pickled ginger on top. Dab on a tablespoon of cream cheese (or use an icing bag to pipe it on) and top with the shredded nori and lime wedges. Eat as you would a salad or challenge yourself with a pair of chopsticks.

Recipe by Ellie Bullen (@elsas_wholesomelife) as featured in nourish magazine.

 

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4 spices to spice up your meals and their health benefits

 

A spice a day may help keep the doctor at bay according to recent research. So add these to your personalised meal plan to help make food more flavoursome:

 

Wasabi: boasts anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects in your digestive system and may also help reduce the risk of blood clots and cancer.

Chilli: women who eat meals containing chilli have fewer spikes in their glucose levels after food, lessening their risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes, according to research at the University of Tasmania. Capsaicin, which gives chilli its spicy punch, speeds up our metabolism. Research suggests it may also reduce bad LDL cholesterol, help combat prostate cancer and blitz the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers.

Turmeric: in India, where they call curry ‘the spice of life’, the incidence of Alzheimer’s is lower. Turmeric, one of the main curry ingredients contains curcumin which helps reduce the build-up of damaging proteins that cause Alzheimer’s. Further studies also suggest that turmeric can reduce spread of breast cancer and joint swelling caused by arthritis.

Cayenne Pepper: boosts circulation and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, aiding digestion and in some studies, reducing minor heartburn.

 

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Treatment options for coping with stress and anxiety

Everybody has moments of anxiety, deep worry and high stress; here are a few treatment options available during those times.

Counselling

 

The good news is that treatment for anxiety – for those that seek it out – is usually successful. Your first port of call is your GP to discuss your options and receive a referral to the best psychologist or counsellor, for your needs, in your area.

“The most recommended psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioural therapy,” says Rudy Nydegger, psychologist and author of Dealing with Anxiety and Related Disorders.
“It is not a template therapy method where each patient and each disorder is treated in a predictable and specific way. Rather CBT is an approach that relies on the use of many different techniques that are designed to deal with each unique situation and individual and focus primarily on the changing of particular behaviours, developing better strategies for managing troublesome situations, and learning how to think about, perceive and interpret circumstances in ways that lead to a healthier adaptation to conditions that are producing the symptoms.”

This could include learning how to self-monitor symptoms, relaxation and breathing retraining, and experimenting with behaviour, visualisations and relapse prevention techniques. While it’s not a quick fix – compared to medication, for instance – it will ultimately produce longer-lasting results.

“Using cognitive rehearsal and imagining how to do things differently help a patient to initiate new behaviours,” says Nydegger. “A technique called reframing is frequently employed to help people learn new ways to think about particular problems or situations.”

Mindfulness

A meditative practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is increasingly used as part of a holistic approach to the treatment of anxiety, as well as for chronic physical illness and pain.

“Mindfulness is a way of noticing how our attention gets pulled in different directions, and it’s a way of practicing the gentle, persistent art of returning our attention to the present moment,” says Dennis Tirch, cognitive therapist and author of Overcoming Anxiety.

“Mindfulness training has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for a range of psychological problems, such as depressive relapse, anxiety and emotion-regulation difficulties. By developing our ability to be mindful, and by learning how to apply mindfulness to more healthy methods of coping with stress, we may become able to change our habitual and unhelpful responses to anxiety.”

Talk to your psychologist about mindfulness training and check out some of the free mindfulness meditation apps available.

Lifestyle changes

Is your lifestyle increasing your vulnerability towards anxiety? For a majority of anxiety sufferers, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Perhaps it’s time to de-clutter, delegate and slow down.

“If you feel that your life is spiralling out of control – with too many demands from your work, home, partner, family and friends – maybe it’s time to simplify,” suggests Wendy Green, author of Anxiety – a Self-Help Guide to Feeling Better. “If you regularly feel under pressure and stressed because of a lack of time, try reviewing how you structure your days. Keep a diary for a week to see how you spend your time and then decide which activities you can cut out or reduce to make more time for the things that are most important to you.”

It won’t hurt to be a little selfish, occasionally, for the sake of your mental health.

“Try saying ‘no’ to the non-essential tasks you don’t have time for or just don’t want to do,” says Green. “It’s a little word, but it can dramatically reduce your stress levels. If you find it hard to say ‘no’, then perhaps you need to develop your assertiveness skills.”

Diet

Nutrition can have a powerful impact on anxiety, for better and for worse, and can form an important part of an overall approach to rehabilitation.

“We use a number of therapies to treat anxiety, including exercise physiology, psychology, nutritional, medical and naturopathic support, gut health work and detoxification support for clients dependent on alcohol, medications, illicit drugs, sugar and caffeine, which we see a lot of in people living with anxiety,” says Pettina Stanghon, founder of mental health rehabilitation centre Noosa Confidential.

Dr Malcolm Clark, Melbourne GP and author of Doctor in the House, says that stress and anxiety play a major role in irritable bowel syndrome, both in triggering and worsening symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramps, flatulence and loose, frequent bowel motions or constipation.

“Sufferers often report the return of their rotten symptoms when they are under increased stress at work or at home,” he says. “Depressed or anxious people seem to suffer from this problem more often than the rest, suggesting these may also be causes.”

To combat ‘gut anxiety’, eat a low GI diet (which also helps regulate blood sugar levels), reduce fatty foods and alcohol, and increase fibre intake.

Exercise

Developing a healthy exercise habit is highly complementary to an overall anti-anxiety approach.

“Exercise is likely the oldest form of self-management of anxiety, although alcohol is a close second,” says Bret Moore, psychologist and author of Taking Control of Anxiety. “Numerous studies have been conducted over recent years showing that exercise alone, or in combination with psychotherapy, is effective in reducing anxiety associated with a variety of anxiety disorders.”

In fact, one study found that regular exercise can be as effective as medication in people with panic disorder.

“Vigorous and sustained physical activity promotes the release of endorphins: neurotransmitters in the brain that promote a sense of euphoria and contentment,” says Moore. “This phenomenon allows joggers to overcome fatigue and pain during long-distance running.”

Medical support

A number of medications are available that provide effective relief – but not a cure – from anxiety. The first option, usually, are SSRI’s (or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Traditionally used to treat clinical depression, and a little slow to kick in from the outset (they can take a couple of weeks to ‘build up’ to the complete benefits) they have proven to be very successful for many people. MAOI’s (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), which inhibit the breakdown of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, are a similar option that may be recommended.

The old-school anti-anxiety tranquilliser meds – still used for individual cases – are benzodiazepines; immediate and highly effective, they do come with a catch.

“As effective as tranquillisers can be, they are less frequently prescribed today because they are addictive if taken for a long period of time and at a high enough dose,” says Nydegger “Also, increased tolerance can become an issue, which means a patient needs to continually increase the dosage for it to be effective.”

Beta-blockers may also be used for planned events, such as a speech or presentation, where anxiety can go into overload. They work by calming the heart, reducing hand trembling and may even be helpful with blushing and sweating.

For more information about anxiety and mental health go to mindaustralia.org.au.

 

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Healthy eating with Rachael Finch

We caught up with mum and author Rachael Finch to chat about her healthy eating habits and discovered how she stays on track.

Who’s that girl? Mother to Violet and Dominic, wife to Misha (her partner on Dancing with the Stars), certified Health Coach, author of Happy, Healthy Strong, and founder of B.O.D (Body of Dance).

Exercise Goal: My exercise goals vary depending on the season and what’s going on in my life. Currently I’m enjoying getting back into my dance workouts and stretch sessions since having Dominic. I also have a little personal goal to make five unassisted chin-ups by the end of the year. Wish me luck!

Typical day of exercise? I always try to workout in the morning: it’s when I have most energy and Violet loves coming out on the balcony with us in the morning air. I balance cardio, especially dancing, with stretch and tone workouts, and pair it with beautiful fresh food and meditation every day.

Steal her Science: Immunity

Rachael’s food plan provides the body with a variety of proteins – found in the quinoa, legumes, chicken and nuts – and healthy essential fats including omegas and vitamins A, E and D. Accredited nutritionist, Tracie Hyam Connor (tracietalkshealth.com.au), says Rachael’s food plan has a great combination of flavours, and the use of homemade foods and fresh ingredients satisfy some nutrition requirements. “High protein diets from a variety of sources provide nutrients needed for sustained energy, muscle building and recovery. Good inclusion of essential fats and nutritious greens nourish the body and assist with stronger immunity and resistance to disease and illness, as well as faster recovery when needed.” Hyam Connor says if you’re adopting the food plan, focus on balancing your ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. For an extra health kick, we recommend adding some spinach to your morning smoothie, or try loading your chilli bean salad with your favourite vegies.

 

Sample Day on a plate:

Breakfast: Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! If I need something quick, I love a good blitz like my B.O.D Choc Espresso Smoothie (think: cold drip coffee, protein powder, banana, almond milk and rolled oats), full of antioxidants and espresso buzz. Sundays are my day for long brekkies and relaxing, so we usually go out to eat and I will have eggs on toast with lots of sides.

Lunch: For lunch I usually have filling salads or left-overs from dinner, such as haloumi and quinoa, or my chilli bean salad with avo, lime and feta.

Dinner: My go-to winter warmer dinner at the moment is my coconut chicken zoodle soup. There’s loads of green, so lots of good stuff going on! (Think: onion, garlic, chicken, zucchini, coconut milk, coriander leaves, kale etc).

Snack: Almond and date power balls and cookie dough protein balls are the best to grab when I’m on-the-go.

 

Photography: Bayleigh Vedelago

 

 

 

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4 ways to increase fat loss

 

Progressively burn more fat with these top tips from personal trainer, Pilates instructor, and owner of KE Fitness Kris Etheridge.

 

 

Body fat is simply stored energy, so giving your body a reason to use it is vital. This can be done through diet or exercise, but most commonly a combination of the two.

“To lose body fat, you need to place your body into a calorie deficit, forcing it to use its fat for energy. Muscle is also your body’s engine – the bigger the engine, the more fuel it uses and the more calories you burn, making it easier to lose fat,” says Etheridge, who suggests any good fat loss plan contains gradual progressions in both fat-burning cardiovascular activity and resistance training.

“Strength training is the most important element; the amount of cardio you need to do to achieve fat loss depends on how strict you are with your diet and what kind of strength and conditioning program you’re doing,” he says.

“Utilise progressive overload to make your resistance workout more difficult than what you can comfortably perform in your current program. Whether it be using different training principals, such as supersets and circuits, or increasing the weight or reps, keep progressing by asking more from your body.”

Etheridge suggests increasing your weight, sets, reps or intensity each week for six weeks, followed by one week of lighter training (aka. a deload week) to allow the body to recover.

“Lighter weeks or rest weeks are imperative to minimise overtraining and reduce the chance of overuse injuries. This is the optimal way to increase your strength,” says Etheridge.

“For weight loss, it’s not as important to use progressions with your cardio. The cardio is purely for fat burning – but if you want to continue to improve your cardiovascular fitness, aim to increase your workout intensity by approximately five per cent each week for six weeks. Take a week off and then start your new program.”

Here are her top four tips:

 

1. Change your exercises from basic compound movements to compound movements that require a higher level of skill, coordination or strength. For example, single leg or unilateral work. Examples: think pistol squat, TRX suspended lunge, Bulgarian split squat, single-leg deadlift, squats and step-ups using a bosu ball; single arm work such as one arm dumbbell or chest press on a fitball, single arm rows or renegade rows.

2. Reduce rest periods. Depending on how much rest you’re currently having, aim to drop it by five per cent per week for six weeks, or until you’re only having approximately 40 seconds rest (if performing straight sets) and 20 seconds rest between exercises (if you’re performing a circuit).

3. Split your program up and focus on two to three muscles groups per workout rather than full body. This is a more advanced way of training and a great way to continue progressing. Splitting the body parts up means you can perform more volume (sets) on each muscle group in each workout, and workout more days each week while still allowing adequate recovery time.

4. Add plyometrics to your workouts. Plyometric training is high impact and high intensity, and involves a lot of jumping where your muscles exert maximum force in short intervals – great for power and agility, and can be a quick and fun way to burn fat given its higher calorie output.

In order to track your progress, keep yourself accountable. Regularly weigh yourself or take measurements, and keep a food and training diary to understand how training and nutrition protocols affect you on a weekly basis.

 

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