Friends with benefits - Humpty Dumpty aka The Egg

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Friends with benefits - Humpty Dumpty aka The Egg

Humpty Dumpty is your new friend with benefits! Eggs are one of the best breakfast items you can have on the menu. So versatile and easy to prepare, a great wholefood addition to your daily meal plan. Eggs can also be added to lunchtime salads or boiled as a snack on the run. Why do we love eggs so much?

Eggs contain many important nutrients. In one egg you will get around 6grams of protein. This is great to boost the protein content of your breakfast, keeping you fuller for longer and less likely to reach for that mid-morning sweet snack. Eggs also contain choline, a nutrient for healthy cell membranes in your body and important for your mental and cognitive functions. B Vitamins are also available, especially folate (B9). Not to mention great levels of Vitamin A and E and Omega’s 3 and 6. Eggs do however contain cholesterol, now before you all panic at the mention of the word consider this. Cholesterol in your body is produced in the liver, the amount of cholesterol actually present in the diet may not raise your blood cholesterol as much as what we may believe. In saying that, an optimally functioning liver is crucial to your health, which includes the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels.

Eggs are a wonderful addition to a wholefoods diet, less packaged foods and more fresh items will help to keep you energised and prevent many common chronic diseases faced by our society today. 

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Friends with benefits - The Super Sprout

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Friends with benefits - The Super Sprout

When I think of “food as medicine” I almost always think of sprouts. These tiny little morsels are a power house packed full of nutrients. Almost any seed, grain, legume or bean can be sprouted but some of my favorites are aduki beans, alfalfa, lentils and mung beans. 

The reasons sprouts are so good for you has much to do with their cycle of growth. Anything in a growth phase will be beautifully rich in nutrients. Protein content can increase between 15 – 30%, great news for adding more balance to your salad at meal times, not to mention some added crunch. Other nutrients available in the sprout include increased levels of vitamins B, C, E and K. Beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A is also increased as is calcium, iron and phosphorus. Sprouts also contain enzymes that help with the digestion of foods and contain good levels of fibre. 

A beautiful live food full of vitality and goodness in every bite that will help to support the health of multiple systems in your body including the digestive, circulatory and immune system. So next time you shop don’t walk past the little packet of sprouts, give them a taste and reap the health benefits. 

Just make sure you buy organic or better still consider sprouting your own!

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Meet your new friend with benefits

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Meet your new friend with benefits

You're probably questioning my professionalism at the moment, and if you are get your head out of the gutter!

I'm talking about carrots. If you're not good friends with the humble carrot already you should be, and here are the reasons why.

When we think of a “superfood”, carrots are not something that usually comes to mind. Not with all the exciting superfoods that are in the cool kids group, think kale, chia seeds and maca powder to name a few! While these are superfoods in their own right, don’t underestimate the awesome nutritional value of the humble carrot.

Carrots are a very good source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is then converted into vitamin A in the body. One cup of carrots contain up to 20,000 IUs of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for eye health and can help to prevent diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. It is also useful for respiratory health especially for those people who suffer from asthma. Vitamin A has also been found to decrease the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It is also important in the health of the immune system and great for beautiful glowing skin.

If that’s not enough to get you munching on a carrot (bug’s bunny style) how about these other nutrients available in carrots: folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. Talk about a vegetable that covers all bases, the carrot is good for nearly every body system and is also one of the easiest vegetables to get children to eat. Carrots are readily available and I’d advise you go for the organic option to maximise nutrient content and taste!

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Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

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Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Lets talk about a little something called meal prep. With out a doubt one of the makes or breaks when it comes to improving your health, and yes there is more to it than posting #healthyeating photos on Instagram.

First let me explain what I mean by meal prep and how you should go about it.
The idea is simple. Plan and prepare all the food (and the only food) that you are to consume for the day. This is usually done 3-4 days at a time so as the food you prepare doesn't go bad, but extra meals can always be frozen to extend the amount of days you can prepare for at once.

Here is our top 5 reasons why you should start meal prepping TODAY!

  1. Meal prepping saves money. Plain and simple. I want you to have a think about how much you'd spend buying lunch. $10-$15 a meal sound about right? Well over your working week odds are you're racking up $50-$75 and more in overpriced food. By preparing your meals I can guarantee that you can half the amount of money you spend.
  2. Fueling your body with clean and nutrient rich food is rated pretty high for me. That's why choosing a self prepared meal over take out is always a better choice in my books. You know exactly what you're consuming. So as long as you've put the effort in to choosing whole, organic, unprocessed foods for your meals, you will start seeing and feeling the results of your healthy new habit in no time.
  3. Preparing and planning your meals will give you more time to spend on the things that matter. You know that feeling when you realise you need to make a quick dash to the shops because you've forgotten to buy an ingredient for dinner? Or when you just get home from work, tired and hungry only to realise there is no food to eat? Avoid the stress all together by planning your meals at the start of the week.
  4. Avoid the temptation of the unhealthy option. I don't know how many times I've heard clients say the only time they slip up with their eating is when they are around co-workers who stock unhealthy snacks in the office. Eliminate the temptation by preparing healthy, wholesome snacks at home.
  5. Expand your knowledge. Probably the most important benefit of all. I believe that the more you learn the better off you will be. By preparing your meals and taking the time to understand what benefits or detriments the foods your consume will have on you, the better off you will be. Knowledge is power so always look to learn by doing the research or asking a credible professional like my self or our Naturopath Emma.

Remember this is not going to be perfect the first time you do it. Trial and error is ok. The more you practice, the more efficient you will become so go stock up on your Tupperware, lock in your weekly day/s you want to prepare on and get started.

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The only drink you'll ever need

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The only drink you'll ever need

You've probably guessed it by now. Good old H20. It's the only liquid you're body will ever need and odds are most of us probably aren't getting enough of it. Although the traditional 8 glasses a day may have been a bit misleading (we consume water through the foods we eat also) here are some reasons why you should keep your fluid levels high.

  1.  Drinking water helps maintain functions of the body such as digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
  2. Water can help control calories. No it doesn't burn though calories but by opting a glass of water (or possibly a hot tea) over a soft drink or coffee you are cutting out calories that would have otherwise been consumed.
  3. Water helps energize muscles. Dehydration and muscle fatigue go hand in hand so make sure you're staying hydrated when you're exercising.
  4. Water helps keen skin looking good. Our skin holds water which acts as a protection barrier of excess fluid loss. Stay hydrated to avoid dry and wrinkly skin.
  5. Water helps your kidneys excrete harmful toxins from your body.
  6. Water helps maintain normal bowel function.

information sourced from webMD

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There is something wrong with your office job.

Kyphotic postural issues are one of the most common problems when it comes to proper posture in the sedentary working population. Is is commonly brought on through either weak posterior postural muscles such as our rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff muscles and/or overly tight pectorals muscles and lats. Often these irregular weaknesses are brought on through extended periods of time spent sitting at a desk, driving a car or just generally slouching throughout the day. The muscular imbalances lead to inward rolling shoulders and a forward extended head position which can cause strain on your upper back, neck and shoulder socket.

 

 

How to fix it?
If you know these symptoms can relate to you then don't stress, most of the time it can be easily corrected. Begin with regular chest stretches by placing your forearm against a door way, start rotating your body away from your fixed hand position until you feel the stretch. A secondary stretch is that lat stretch as shown in the photos below. You should hold your stretches for 30 seconds to a minute per side and repeat a few times per set. This should be done a few times throughout the day and can be performed if you find yourself standing around waiting or just with a few minutes to spare. Secondly we want to start strengthening those posterior aspects of your shoulders and upper back. Exercises like wall sliders are a great place to start. Start with your heels, hips and shoulders pressed against a wall. Raise your arms to a shoulder press position and squeeze your scapular together as you press your elbows and wrist into the wall. At this stage you should be striving to maintain contact with the wall from your ankles, hips, shoulders, elbows and wrists. From here focus on maintaining a fixed scapular position and begin to extend your arms up the wall until they are fully extended overhead. You may find you are unable to keep contact throughout this phase which is fine, with practice and repetitions it will come in time.

For more exercises to help improve posture and get you standing tall and proud like you should be, make sure to check out our classes at PICK !T UP group fitness.

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Let's catch up over a coffee

Coffee has become a large part of many peoples lives. From your morning hit, to that end of the day 'wake me up', to catching up with friends over a cup of your favorite beverage.

Oblivious to most however, is the hidden calories you consume when indulging in your caffeinated drink of choice.

(Nutritional information from Gloria Jean's Coffee)
Latte: 219 calories
Cappuccino
: 173 calories
Flat white: 223 calories
Long black: 9 calories

Vanilla chiller: 490 calories
Iced chocolate: 560 calories

Have a think about these three important tips next time you've hit a craving or are organising a catch up;

  • Hidden calories in your coffee comes from your milk and added flavoring, so when you can, avoid milk or at least swap to a skim milk option.
  • Size down to a small or medium rather than going for the large option.
  • Instead of sitting at a cafe, grab a take away and go for a stroll. A light walk can burn up to 3 times as many calories as sitting.

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Take the stairs

Time to take the stairs!

Have you ever thought about how many times you're faced with the decision of whether to take the stairs or elevator per week? Well here is some food for thought.

Taking the stairs will burn up to 4 times as many calories as taking the elevator. Lets break this down a little. A 70 kg individual will burn about 8 calories walking stairs for one minute. 8 calories. Is that all? Before you go dismissing this as useless information, think about how many times you could choose the option of stairs per day. 4 flights? 8? maybe even 10? If you spend 5 minutes a day walking stairs everyday you're at work you'd be burning an extra 200 calories per week. Now that's not too bad if you ask me.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, nobody is going to get ripped abs and a slim toned body just by taking the stairs, however if you take this small tip and combine it with a clean diet, and a regular exercise program like we offer at PICK !T UP group fitness, you'll be one step closer to your dream summer body.

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