Education

Food, Fitness, f45 & a Whole Lotta Ab’s!

 About a month ago I met the awesome Nina Studenko. Super-mum, all round amazing woman & owner of f45 Stafford & Newstead and was lucky enough to be asked to be an ambassador for them. Whoop Whoop!
I had heard a LOT about this f45 craze and because I was doing a heap, ok a bit, alright maybe once a week, of HIIT training at home anyway I thought I’d give it a crack. I’ll be fine…. Ah no. Not fine. Not even slightly fine. Dying. Death. I am literally drowning in my own sweat. Aaaaannnd of course then I became addicted because not only does it appear that I love pain, I also love results & fun and this team bring it in spades. PLUS, I figure if I keep going I am going to wake up with ab’s like Nina….. Hopefully by tomorrow. That’s how it works right? RIGHT?
So here’s the lady behind the ab’s to tell you all about her food, her life & how the hell she got that body. I’ll have what she’s having!

1. Tell us about Nina in a nutshell-

Happy, fun, determined, caring and an observer.

2. You are built like a real athlete, I mean seriously, those ab’s!  What is your fitness background?

Thank you! Fitness background is a bit of everything. I LOVE variety. It’s important for me to continually shock my body that activate and wake up different muscle groups – for me this is the key to my definition and symmetry.
Currently I train 5-6 times a week with a focus on F45 training and throw in a little bit of gymnastics, crossfit, running and yoga into the mix.

I competed in Body Sculpting last year in the Figure division so traditional weight training played a massive part in my training to achieve the required physique.

Over the past few years I have kept things exciting with Crossfit, Triathlons, lots of running up to the half marathon length. I absolutely love the conditioning side of Crossfit which is why F45 is so appealing to me. I find I respond really well to HIIT training and in the last year my body has physically gone through so much change.

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3. What’s a day in the life of an F45 owner look like?

  • Alarm goes off at 4:15am
  • Out the door at 4:30am
  • Coaching 5:15am-8:30am
  • Training 9:30am
  • Admin 10:30am-12pm
  • Coach lunch time sesh 12:30pm
  • Admin until 3:30pm
  • Mummy duties from 4pm
  • In bed by 10pm

4. Why f45 & why do you do what you do?

From the moment I tried F45 training for myself, I fell in love! F45 stands for Functional 45 (minute sessions).  The style is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and this training style is right up my alley. It is fast, furious, tough, intense and gets results!

The results I have seen over the past year amongst members is nothing short of amazing.  The variety keeps our members guessing and my favourite part is the fact that the body is continually shocked because sessions are not repeated.  I love that there is a focus on both cardio and resistance – so many people focus on either one or the other in their usual routines whereas the importance of both is showcased with the programming.

F45 is innovative and HQ are continually changing things up to stay ahead of the game and remain the leaders in HIIT training worldwide.

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5. Talk us through a day on your plate?

After competing last year I got into the habit of eating a lot of white meat and fish and a ton of leafy greens and veggies.  My diet since then has remained very similar, although I obviously allow myself treats now.  Essentially though I exclude gluten and minimise grains as my body doesn’t respond well to these.

Breakfast:  Chicken or salmon and green veggies + avo (zucchini, beans)

Lunch:  Turkey with green veggies (zucchini, beans) + sweet potato.  If I am eating out during the week I will usually go for a nutritious meal or healthy salad from somewhere local.

Dinner:  White fish, steak with green salad and veggies

Snacks:  Protein drink, coffee, protein bar

Weakness:  Coffee (i drink too much!)

6. What is your nutrition philosophy?

Eat the foods that benefit your body – do what works for you and makes you feel your best and allows your body to perform at its best.

For me, it is high protein, low carb.  I feel my best when I eat healthy meals that are unprocessed.  I feel that sugar can easily become something my body relies on and craves, so I try to limit this where possible.

7. What is the best piece of nutrition advice you could give?

Very similar to the above – Your diet should include things that allow your body and mind to perform at its best.

I also place huge importance on balance – so eating healthy most of the time, but allowing yourself a treat. I am a clean eater, but I also allow myself things that I enjoy that are not necessarily apart of my meal plan.  I like cheese and I like wine and I like chocolate.  I also grew up eating delicious Spanish and Russian dishes so whenever we have a family get togethers I cut loose.  This is how I treat myself.

I think it needs to be noted that everyone is different and I will always consider my members and their lifestyle, work schedules etc. when advising about diet and nutrition.  I don’t follow or suggest my members follow a specific diet, because I believe it is important to eat wholesome foods that haven’t been altered or processed.  As a general comment though, I really believe that we all need to take time out to listen and learn how to read our bodies, how it’s feeling and then educate ourselves on what this means.

8. What’s your fave food?

My grandmothers silverbeet, smoked ham and egg pie.

9. My perfect relaxing weekend would be….

Spent somewhere by the beach – we are so spoilt for choice in QLD, so up or down is fine.  Get a work out in at the local F45 studio or go for a run, get some breaky + cawfeeee, head to the beach for some vitamin SEA, head to the local shops to trawl through the shops, lunch, more beach time.

10. My favourite things are…

My son Alastair and my family, my friends, and girlfriend catchups and of course my business. Work is not work anymore and this is such a gift.

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11. My go to meal when I just CBF (Can’t Be Fu$ked)….

Nandos chicken tenderloins or Guzman y Gomez Chicken salad!

So now you know all about Nina and you should definitely go and give this f45 bizzo a whirl and sign yourself up to their FREE 14 DAY TRIAL. See you there!!

Gasp!? OMG how dare I feed my child REAL FOOD???!!

So I was approached by a big blog called Kidspot to talk about Paleo, then The Daily Mail. Well what a goddamn scandal. Who knew that NOT eating processed cr@p every day would upset so many people!? Well, actually, I did because people get upset at things that challenge what they think they know and things that might make them question their own choices.  People also become VERY brave on the other side of their computer screen…. Even when they haven’t even bothered to READ the article in question. As Ms Swift aptly sings,”And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”.

How dare I deprive my child of what is basically kindergarden grade glue (flour & water…. Also known as bread) as a staple in her diet in place of whole foods!! Man, I’m a jerk. Grace might end up with ‘gluten-deficiency’….. Oh hold on, there’s no such thing. Now don’t get me wrong, what they left out of the article (OF COURSE) is that I am not going to have a melt-down if my kid shoves some bread down her gullet at some point, or eats a piece of cake at a kids party. If Grace  (and I) eat things on occasion that are less-than-ideal, so be it but those things will not be making up the majority of our diet. Do I think a bowl of pasta is going to cause her or I major health problems? Hell no, BUT, what I do think, is that if she’s chowing down on on a big bowl of pasta, she’s not chowing down on a big bowl of veggies and they win in the nutritional stakes. Every. Single. Time.

There’s a few things I’d like to rant about from up here on my soapbox. Firstly, this is NOT a strictly Paleo blog. It’s a real food blog it’s just that many of the things that I choose to cook (because it’s MY blog) fall into that category of Paleo because that is what makes me feel good.  Secondly, there is no ONE Paleo diet. There never has been, there is only your version of Paleo, based on a template, that works for you. The Paleolithic Aboriginies would have had a very different natural diet to the Inuits, or the American Indians, neither right or wrong but what worked for them based on what was available. Eating in this manner is not designed in any way to mimic our Paleolithic ancestors completely, rather provide a framework based on real food so that we can work out what works for us as individuals. Seriously, caveman had no Paleo cookies but I’m damn sure he would if he could. If dairy & grains make you feel good, fill your boots. My point is that no-one is reaching optimal health from coco pops, microwave pizza & Doritos.

Now before I have to hear one more time that WE NEED CALCIUM from dairy, how about a bit of education around that. Calcium is BUT ONE of the factors that influences bone health. Other integral & equally as essential things are magnesium, vitamin D, reducing inflammation that is caused by excessive sugar & processed carbohydrates, adequate collagen, vitamins A & K2. It’s also worth keeping in mind that there are PLENTY of non-dairy sources of calcium that are an excellent option for people who don’t tolerate dairy or choose not to eat it. That being said, no, Grace has not had dairy yet because she is still being breastfed & eats loads of other calcium rich foods, not to mention the fact that I don’t tolerate dairy so it’s not something I have at home right now, BUT, I will certainly try her with it in the future and provided she tolerates it well then I think it can be a very healthful food. As with all food, quality matters, so I will look for the best quality organic dairy I can for her but you can do whatever floats your boat. Here’s a great graphic from Eat Drink Paleo to show non-dairy calcium sources.

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Anyone who actually knows me, knows that I am not dogmatic in my approach and if you’ve been following me for a while you would know that I am far more passionate about improving your health in whatever way that looks like for you than preaching about the evils of non-Paleo foods. The purpose of this blog is to help you get back in their kitchen and get back to eating real food in the hopes that it will improve your health & wellness. I love to cook & eat delicious & nutrient dense food. If that’s not what you like, that’s cool, no-one’s forcing you to be here so with all due respect, rack-off.

Now I’m going to make like Tay-Tay & Shake It Off. Thanks for stopping by and a word of advice from my mum, ‘if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all’, she’s smart like that.

Paleo Treats….. Friend or Foe

They are sure as hell my friend but they might be your foe. I see so many ‘Paleo police’ getting their loin cloths in a twist over paleofied sweet & treats. Eyes on your own plate people. No-one’s forcing that Paleo Donut down your pie hole….. Though what a delightful form of torture if they did! You just go back to eating your kale and keep your cranky-treat-deprived-opinions to yourself. 

Now come on, let’s get real. Cavepeople (because PC) would if they could! I guarantee that if Mr & Mrs Grok (or Mr & Mr/ Mrs & Mrs) had come across a Paleolithic bakery on their travels they would have dropped the jerky quicker than you can say Choc Chip Caramel Cookie Sandwich and dove in. Same as they would have if they stumbled across a fruit tree, it’s just a different version of a ‘treat’. 

Treats for me have their place because food, cooking & eating should be a joyful experience and I for one, love to bake and make sweets and experiment with food and I don’t do well with the dairy or gluten in the non-Paleo counterparts.  It all depends on where you are at with your health as to whether your food journey should involve a treat once a week, once a month or once a year. Heck, if you are a well-oiled machine with thriving gut health, glowing skin, boundless energy, excellent sleep patterns, a sharp mind & you feel like you are at the top of your game…… Treat yourself as often as makes you feel good. If you have sluggish digestion, skin breakouts, rubbish sleep, high stress, brain fog and are pretty-much flat-lining in the energy department, I’d suggest their are far more important foods for you than treats. 

I think the main thing to keep in mind is the very word ‘treat’. The definition I found said ‘an event or item that is out of the ordinary that gives great pleasure‘. That’s the thing, it’s not for all the days, all the time. It’s not meant to take the place of a real, nutrient dense meal. It’s for celebrations (Friday is a celebration right?), it’s for dinner parties (Wednesday night standing at the kitchen bench in my pj’s count?), it’s for those times when you really just want to smash a tub of Ben & Jerry’s in your gob but instead you can make my  Hardcore Choc Crunch Ice Cream and don’t have the guilts for days. 

What do you think about Paleo treats? Might as well just eat the real thing or are you all over them like a fat kid on a smartie? 

Oil Me Up

If you hadn’t yet realised, I am a little bit CRUNCHY, not in the ‘live in a commune & wear hemp pants’ kinda way….. Though we have been spending our Sunday’s hanging at the Northey St Organic Market and the shoeless, hemp-pant-wearers do look mighty comfortable. I’m kinda more crunchy hippy in the ‘make my own non-toxic cleaning products’ & ‘look for natural alternatives’ kinda way. Never fear, I still shave my armpits & wear deodorant, albeit the natural kind, and absolutely believe in the amazing assistance modern medicine has to offer in combination with natural solutions. Each has their place in my life.

I was recently introduced to the awesome powers of doTerra ESSENTIAL OILS and have been going mad with them.

* In my cooking (um peppermint or orange oil in anything CHOCOLATE!)

* Using them to flavour my Kombucha (ginger & lime is ah-mazing)

* Making my own cleaning products

* Skincare

* Sleep aid & calming

*Diffusing them for their therapeutic benifits.

I have been using things like Easy Air for congestion, hayfever & snotty noses (think Vicks but super concentrated and without the petrochemical byproducts), OnGuard for immune support if anyone is feeling under the weather, DigestZen for crook guts (this was my indigestion savior in my last trimester of pregnancy!), Deep Blue for muscle aches & pains, & Lavender Peace for diffusing in our room & Grace’s to assist in sleep & calming.

There is also a friggen awesome website you can go to & plug in your ailment & it gives you ‘oily’ suggested protocols! I found it a great option to try & naturally relieve things like your headache or period pain before reaching for the drugs. You can check it out HERE. Obviously it’s not meant for medical diagnosis or treatment blahdy blah blah. Don’t be a fool.

Anyway, here’s my video on how to make your own baby wipes but these can be used as make-up remover wipes, bench wipes or hand wipes. MUCH cheaper than anything I could find in the health food shop & nothing but natural ingredients.

I’ll be doing more videos soon on homemade cleaning products to help you detox your home & save on all those chemical laden cleaning products. This is my video on how I make my own bench spray & bathroom cleaner because bleach…. Awful $hit.

If you want to get your mits on the doTERRA oils I use & recommend you can pop over HERE and find out how to get started detoxing your life & home and find out all the amazing ways that essential oils might be able to make a difference in your life too.

CBF Paleo is here

Guess what? You can’t? Oh, you already did? Right, well that wasn’t the surprise I was envisioning then. So my ebook is DONE!! Yep I actually completed it. I am a master of procrastination so there was every chance it was going to end as another half-ar$ed, discarded project of mine but I actually finished it and you can now get your mits on it!! It’s called CBF Paleo- For people who really want to eat well but…. Can’t Be F*cked.

In case you missed the memo, it’s available as an EBOOK RIGHT NOW.

Recipes with 5 ingredients or less, super fast, super easy but jammed full of nutrition & taste. Boom. You are freaking welcome.

CBF Paleo

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Five Minutes with Pete Evans

As you all know I am passionate about creating a ‘Real Food Revolution’. Do what works for you but keep the food REAL. Some think ‘PALEO’ is extreme. You know what I think’s extreme? That weird packaged ‘food-like-product’ with 72 ingredients, none of which you know (biologically) or can pronounce, that you are comfortably shoving in your pie hole. That, my friend, is actually the real crazy $hit.

I think we all need to take responsibility for our own health and realise that if you don’t feel at the top of your game, have ailments plaguing you, digestive issues, skin problems, brain fog etc, it’s NOT because you have an *insert drug of choice* deficiency. Ever heard of a paracetamol deficiency? No? Me neither. Wise up peeps.

Those problems are far more to do with what you are feeding the cells of your body with every bite, with every cream, lotion or potion you slather on, the stress you expose it to, the sleep you don’t get, the movement you are not doing (or doing too much of). All of that matters but I truly believe it starts with food. Just JERF. Just Eat Real Food. It’s not a diet, it’s common freaking sense.

I was lucky enough to get along to The Paleo Way tour last year when Chef Pete Evans created quite the stir with his entourage of Paleo advocates. He has since launched a very successful TV series by the same name to help educate people about getting back to our primal roots and helping to make the lifestyle more accessible and understood by the masses… I was lucky enough to interview the man of the moment below.
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Enough of my ranting, here’s the interview. Enjoy.

Me: If you could bust 1 nutrition myth what would it be?

Pete: That Paleo is a DIET or a FAD. Paleo is so far from these types of things and if it’s a fad, then it’s the oldest fad diet in the world due to the fact that it’s been around for over three million years. This way of life is not at all restrictive – there is no counting calories or cutting down meals to the point that you’re constantly hungry and weight loss or weight stabilisation is actually just a bonus. The real goal with this way of life is to reclaim your health by eating the most natural foods available, straight from the source.

In short, scientific research shows that by consuming what our ancestors and modern-day hunter-gatherer tribes continue to consume today, we can take back control of our health and live a life of optimal wellness. Research has also shown these societies don’t tend to suffer from the modern chronic diseases that plague the developed world and for me that is powerful information that’s worth investigating.

Me: Who is one chef you’d love to cook with and why?

Pete: I was really honoured to be able to get the chance to cook with one of my favourite chefs Seamus Mullens, who owns restaurants in New York. Like me, Seamus overhauled his own life through healthy eating and now he’s inspiring others to do the same. He’s truly passionate about connecting people back with their natural food sources and creating a positive conversation about the future of food. We cooked together for my television show The Paleo Way and it was a real joy and a pleasure and I know we’ll be back on the tools together again in the future.

Me: You have been fortunate to meet so many amazing people on your ‘Paleo Way’ journey. Who has been the most influential?

Pete: By far, the most influential of all is nutritional therapist Nora Gedgaudas, who has become a very good friend and someone who I enjoy working with immensely. In many ways we are kindred spirits. It was Nic who introduced me to Nora’s book Primal Body, Primal Mind, a couple of years ago and what she wrote made so much sense to me. To say I was inspired is an understatement and in many ways it changed the way I looked at everything.

That’s why I got in touch with Nora about four years ago by sending an email saying how transformational her book had been for me. We eventually met in 2012 at our home in Sydney and that’s when Nora and I agreed that we wanted to find a way to somehow work together to help create positive change in others and in the way the public looks at food.

Nic and I have since spent time at Nora’s home in Portland, Oregon, where we filmed segments with her for The Paleo Way television series, which is currently screening in Australia. And I’m delighted she’ll be back in my homeland again this year for some of The Paleo Way’s nationwide tour. Over time, we’ve become a close-knit family – even though there is a significant distance between the places in which we live – and we are working on lots of other ways of collaborating. It’s going to be an exciting year!

Me: School canteens, hospitals & retirement homes are in dire need of a nutrition overhaul. How can we start to make that change on an individual level?

Pete: Get into the kitchen, choose a recipe you love, get on the tools and go wild! It’s all about connecting with your ingredients and taking a keen interest in where your food comes from. But most of all it’s about having the power to create food that tastes great and is good for you.

Creating your own dishes in the kitchen helps spark a relationship with food and appreciation for it and that understanding is the first step towards successfully being able to make healthier, more informed choices.

I also can’t recommend enough the power of getting kids into the kitchen and making each and every meal a bit of a celebration. It’s also things like being conscious about the food choices you make and listening to the scientific research and the influential people around the world and what they are discovering about how healthy eating lifestyles, such as Paleo, can have a massive impact on someone’s health and longevity. Remember, knowledge is power.

Me: What is your go-to 5min meal that anyone could whip up at home faster than they could order take-away?

Pete: I don’t think you can go past a chicken salad by throwing together some leftover roast chicken, some leafy greens, a handful of your favourite toasted nuts and taking a few minutes to whiz up a green goddess dressing made with a base of avocado, coconut milk and lemon juice.

Me: Let’s talk real food on a budget. If you only have $10 what items would you buy to create a meal?

Pete: I’d probably opt for a salmon and vege miso with some sliced mushrooms. It’s packed full of antioxidants and minerals, plus it’s great brain food.

If you are interested in learning more about real food cooking and getting some hot tips from Pete you can book a spot at his upcoming ‘Learn to cook the Paleo Way’ tour HERE.

An Exposé- The $hit they forgot to mention to the new mum

Let me preface this by saying that I wouldn’t swap this for the world. A child is the most precious gift and a complete miracle and I could not be more grateful that Grace is in our lives. I really enjoyed being pregnant and feel very blessed that I was able to have a natural labour that was only 4 & 1/2 hrs (it felt much longer). BUT, there is a number of things they left off the memo and the cutsie brochures in the hospital that I need to get off my chest….. That seems like a good place to start actually. My chest.

3 words people. Porn Star Boobs. This shiz is ridiculous. Day 2 my milk came in and I woke up fairly certain that someone had given me a boob job while I slept. I had these rocks on my chest that were shooting milk every which way and were uber painful! Unless you are a small human who needs that milk to survive, do not touch them, I might punch you in the face. On a positive note, if I were a cartoon superhero I could use them as my secret weapon. Take that villain! Pow pow! That is the sound of milk shooting up the bad guys nose. How’s that for a super power. Not even joking. Up noses. In eyes. Across the room. No-one is safe. Geoffrey Edelsten’s PVC yellow suit would actually have an appropriate use here.

Further to the boob discussion let’s talk breast feeding. I am all for it (or whatever you decide is right for you & your baby. Not here to judge.) but seriously, it is freaking hard! I get that it is all natural and intuitive and totally primal but it can also be a total $hitfight. You will no longer care who sees your boobs. Anyone who is breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to ask for help, from as many people as you need to. Probably not your mail guy. I reckon he’d have no clue… Or maybe he would. Go on then, ask him too.

Everyone has different ideas, try them all, something will stick. Remember that both you and the baby have no freaking idea what you are doing for the most part. Sounds like a recipe for success, no? Just know that it sometimes ends in tears, for both of you. It will get better…. Generally when your boobs finally get the memo about the laws of supply & demand. Apparently that gets lost in the mail often. Bloody mail guy. I told you not to talk to him about this.

Next up. Maternity Pads. Seriously people. What the cr@p?! Make sure you check out those bad boys BEFORE you need them because trust me, you are going to need some fairly hefty underwear to hold them up… Like the kind you probably don’t own. I think they were created so you could have empathy for your baby wearing that massive nappy. On a positive note, if you don’t have enough pillows on your hospital bed, these could certainly serve a dual purpose.

Next topic. Haemorrhoids. You push a baby out, sometimes other things come out too. Makes you grateful for the nappy-sized pads you are wearing. That cushioning comes in handy. That is all.

Now to the midwife who asked during labour if I would like a mirror….. Does my hair look that bad? Pretty sure I don’t care because it currently feels like someone is giving my vagina a Chinese burn times a million….. Oh you mean to watch that? I think my response was something along the lines of ‘are you smoking crack?’. That is like someone saying ‘hey, I’m about to break your leg with this hammer. Wanna watch?’. Ah, no. No I sure as hell do not. To those women out there who do, power to you. You are far braver than I…. And possibly a tiny bit mental.

There is some false advertising around gestation. Pregnancy is 40 weeks. On what planet does that equate to 9 months? It’s 10 people. 10 months. That last month feels like a year. I signed up for the 9 month contract. I feel cheated. Who do I sue? Someone get that information changed ASAP. New legislation or something. Surely the G20 people can sort that out.

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On a more serious note (not that I wasn’t serious about the previous agenda items, I sure as hell was), this past 3 weeks is the hardest I have ever had. I am surprised Trav didn’t have me committed. I was also scared that sharing this would make me seem weak and that admitting my struggle would make others feel let down or disappointed in me, like I was in myself, like I should cope better. Here it is anyway…

Day 3 after Grace was born I could not wait to get out of the hospital. Could. Not. Wait. The minute I got into the lift to leave I burst into tears and proceeded to cry the whole way home. Why? A friend of mine Libby summed it up perfectly when she described this clusterfu&k of emotions as- “Hello hormones! You did well to get this far tear free. I think the first week after giving birth is the most vulnerable time as a female. What you have just done is massive! It’s hormones, sleep deprivation, anxiety about not fucking them up, discomfort from feeling as though a Mack truck just drove through your bits, and relief that they are healthy and alive”. Um. Yes. Nailed it Libby. I have probably cried every day since for no reason or every reason. All those lovely ‘feel good’ pregnancy hormones have definitely left the building. I have felt completely overwhelmed & completely helpless at times. Each day does get a little bit better. By the time Grace is 12 I should have my $hit together.

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Sleep deprivation is the worst form of torture. Do not underestimate how much that is going to screw you over. “Long term total sleep deprivation has caused death in lab animals” according to WIKI. That, my friends, is some serious $hit. I, for one, turn into a complete mental person after too many nights without reasonable sleep. I have had many days lately of being a complete basket case. Normal things in day to day life can become completely overwhelming & unmanageable. You feel anxious & stressed and not sure what the hell you are doing. Then you sleep and the world rights itself again. Any chance you get to catch some z’s, take it. The first week at home I felt like when Grace was asleep that was my cue to cook, clean, wash etc. Needless to say that ended badly. Very, very badly.

I have also had to adjust my expectations of what is actually going to be achieved in any given day. This is a real struggle to do when you are someone who is used to being able to juggle all those things and more. Now my view of a successful day means that Grace is still alive and thriving and I managed to eat enough food as well. Getting dressed is no longer high on the priority list and forget about brushing your hair. Over-rated anyway. If you come to my house at the moment set your expectations to low. Chances are there is dog hair on the floor, random spots of baby puke that I have missed cleaning up and dried breast milk everywhere. You’ll probably have it on you when you leave. Bring your Geoffrey Edelsten suit for protection or wear a raincoat.

I have learnt that I can’t do this on my own. That when people offer to help, the answer is ‘yes’, always ‘yes’. Saying ‘no’ doesn’t make you strong. It makes you a real live crazy person. Without the support of family & especially Trav & my mum, I don’t think I would have come out the other side of this sane. Whether I am actually sane now is still up for debate.

I am sharing these things because I would hate any other mums to feel like they are alone in this journey or with these feelings. Does it make me weak? Maybe, but I’ll cop that. Say it to my face and get ready to see the wrath of my sleep deprived state & prepare to shield yourself from my superpower. Pow pow.

Dream Big Chase Hard

‘Holy cr@p, check out those ab’s’….. Was one of my first thoughts when I first met Revie Jane  about 12 months ago. Followed closely by ‘what do you mean she is only 23 years old??’.

This amazing young entrepreneur is the founder of Crossfit Babe Miami , an all female crossfit box on the Gold Coast, a huge inspiration to thousands of Instagram & Facebook followers, Lululemon ambassador, athlete, and, most recently, the author of her new book, Dream Big Chase Hard where she shares the struggles of her upbringing, her philosophies on food, fitness & life, and allows her readers to see exactly what makes this gorgeous young woman tick.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book and was both surprised and inspired her story and I think you will be too. Here’s a taste of Revie’s story and be sure to jump on over, check out the BOOK and follow her on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM.

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* How did the book idea for Dream Big Chase Hard come about?

Dream Big Chase Hard was something that naturally occurred over the past 12 months. I knew I wanted to share my story and experiences in the hopes to inspire those I cannot see or visit in real life. I share the highs of my life everyday but I wanted to show people there have been some dark times as well. I also noticed there was a growing number of questions on my social media accounts, which held answers that deserved more than an Instagram comment. I started writing these questions down and answering them with the best of my ability and voila! The ebook is a great source for quick workouts, nourishing meals or just a platform for a positive frame of mind. I want to be the rare but empowering example that no matter who you are, you have not good but great potential and can make the world a better place.

* You are living proof that people don’t have to accept the status quo and become a product of their circumstance and environment. Can you give people a brief insight into your childhood?

Growing up I learnt to be independent fast. From 13 years old, I didn’t have any support emotionally and financially from the people in my life and basically I put myself through high school by working as a waitress after school and as a retail assistant on the weekends. I was very alone in this difficult period of time. I suffered a great deal of depression and anxiety through my teen years, there were a lot of unanswered questions as I tried to figure out an identity for myself.

I dug myself a big hole of negativity and I had no idea how I was going to ever get out of it, my self worth was nearly non existent. By using a positive and grateful mindset that I demonstrate in the ebook, I was able to build a better life for myself. There were times I was sure I would fail but I am so happy that I persevered as the life I live today contains so much happiness, fulfilment and love. I do not blame anyone in my life for my past, I am just grateful for what I have and that really seems to have worked out for me.

* Health & fitness is obviously your passion. What are your top 3 tips for those who are yet to find their fitness mojo or need help getting back into it?

Tip 1- Find something FUN!
if you don’t enjoy something and you don’t get a thrill out of doing it, chances are, you won’t stick to it! Find something you love and get a kick out of, by the end of a session you’ll want to go back for more. If you struggling to find it, keep looking, try new sports and one day you’ll find the fitness activity for you.

Tip 2- Be patient
I personally can be impatient with results, but giving your body the time and space it needs to get back into it or start is really important. You cannot demand something of your body it is not used to immediately. Which leads me to my third tip!

Tip 3- Celebrate each achievement
No matter how big or how small your achievement for the workout is, CELEBRATE it! Acknowledging your progress is vital, without it you are likely to give up or become unhappy with where you are at. Whether its running your first 5km, doing a yoga pose you’ve never done before or squatting 30kg, ensure you are grateful that you and your body have worked together to make that happen.

* Crossfit can be really intimidating to many people, especially females. How would you describe the environment at Crossfit Babes?

I understand completely how intimidating new environments can be. I dreamt of creating an environment where each woman supports the next, no matter how different their goals were. I wanted a community of chicks from different backgrounds, occupations, roles in their families to empathise, encourage and support each other through everything: goals in strength, running, triathlons and then hoping it also transfers to situations outside the box.

With the community that I have today at CrossFit Babes Miami that dream came true. I am so thankful the women in my life and am very lucky to have them make my dream come true.

There are also some little rules to eliminate any sort of initial awkwardness between any new comers. For example, I installed a rule at CrossFit Babes where if you haven’t met someone before you are to introduce yourself during that session and if you cant tell me their name and something about them by the end of the session you have 50 burpees as a penalty.

* You have a pretty hectic training schedule, especially with the Ironman coming up, how do you support your body in recovery and ensure you don’t end up fatigued?

I fuel myself very well. I think nutrition and listening to your body is my biggest priority when I have a huge event like this coming up. No matter what is on in the day, I eat every 3 hours and ensure they are filled with clean, fresh and nutritious foods. My food for the day and 10 of my favourite go to recipes are all in the ebook Dream Big Chase Hard.

On top of that, I think sleep is also a key factor. With a heavy workout load/ training schedule this can be challenging at times, but I promise myself at least 6 hours every night.

* While exercise & movement is crucial to our wellness, it is only part of the equation. In Dream Big Chase Hard you shared your philosophy around food & nutrition which is very much aligned with mine. What is your go-to-slap-together-meal when there is slim pickings in the Revie Jane fridge?

Omelettes! They are so easy to make and they literally take 5 minutes tops to slap together.
Ingredients for my omelette when I am time restrained, usually include:
a handful of spinach/ rocket,
1/2 avocado,
1grated carrot,
1 chilli (I love hot food!)

* 2 words…. ‘Paleo Treats’…. Friend or foe?

I know you hear it all the time, but it’s the truth, it is all about ‘In Moderation!’ If you are having Paleo Treats as a snack replacement everyday, then I would say that is not ideal. However, a paleo treat on a Saturday night while watching a movie? I am all about it! And I tell my members often that just because it is Paleo doesn’t mean it is good for you.

* I love to hear great book recommendations from like-minded peeps. What are the last 2 you read?

I am a super light reader. When I read, I want to relax so chick lit’s are my favourite. My last two reads were “Rock My World” by Sharisse Coulter- Loved every page of it! Fun, exciting and it felt like real life!

“The Carrie Diaries” by Candace Bushnell- Sex and the City’s Carrie in her younger years, it’s the ultimate girly- girls read.

* What are the last 2 blogs you visited?

lululemon athletica’s blog: HERE

WodNut: HERE

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Sano Sports

You know what I love? Apart from chocolate, coconut & bacon… Gym clothes. Love them. I would easily spend more on gym gear than regular clothes. Easy. I mean, I wear it far more than regular clothing anyway, at least once a day, often more, it’s the only thing I wear generally on weekends, if I could wear it to work I would. You know what I don’t love? The price tag that often comes attached to quality gym clothing. It’s just mean. Well lucky for you and I, Jade from Sano Sports is coming to the rescue with great quality gear with a more affordable price tag! You can keep up to date with her latest new products on her Facebook page and see what she is thinking about getting in stock!

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