Monthly Archives: December 2012

5min 45sec Eggs

So I have found ANOTHER great person to follow on instagram & Facebook. He goes by the name of The Healthy Tradie which up until now I would have considered an oxymoron. Get over, check out his stuff. You will be pleased. Anyway, he does these eggs, not just any eggs, 5min 45sec eggs and they look freaking amazing so I am getting on board.

Here’s what you do.

Place room temperature egg (prevents the egg from cracking) in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes and 45 seconds. Set a timer, the master, Dane, tells me this is not a “guessing” kinda deal. Remove the egg after the time is up and sit in icy cold water for a few minutes. Gently peel the egg and it’s ready to top whatever fabulous thing you have in mind. I rolled mine in some dukka but toasted sesame seeds would be pretty delicious too.

Check out this brekkie!! Squash Fritters, smashed avocado, grilled mushrooms, amazing eggs & some smoked salmon. Best. Brekkie. Ever.


Shan Shan Noodles

Weird things are happening to me!! I have not eaten red meat in 16 years (don’t like the taste) and in the past few weeks I have tried and ENJOYED steak, lamb, bacon & ham on various occasions! No, I’m not pregnant. The big problem here lies in the fact that, having not been a consumer of said items, I have no idea how to cook any of these things now, and so begins my foray into meat recipes. $hit could go bad and I apologise in advance for any “Disaster-Chef” moments that may arise as meat & I “re-meat”… Ordinary phun I know.

This is a variation of the recipe that saw me eating steak a few weeks ago. My dad makes an awesome version of Jamie Oliver’s “Dan Dan Noodles”, I think he only tried it to begin with because his name is Dan so it was like “same same but different”, anyway, they are delicious so I thought I’d give a Paleo version a crack. Here goes nothing. I am calling them Shan Shan Noodles, if dad can have Dan Dan, then I can have these. It looks like a lot of ingredients but I promise, it’s really not.

Serves 4

500g organic grassfed beef strips
1 heaped teaspoon szechuan pepper, crushed in a mortar & pestle
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
1 tbs olive oil
A 2cm piece of fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
½ a red chilli, deseeded
2 clove of garlic, crushed
1 lime, juiced
1 tbs honey
A few sprigs of fresh coriander
Salt & pepper

150g snow peas
2 bok choi
200g broccolini
1 heaped tablespoon coconut aminos
1 lemon or lime

Shan Shan Noodles
6 tablespoons chilli oil (or olive oil if you don’t have this)
4 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 clove of garlic
200g beansprouts
½ a bunch of fresh coriander
4 spring onions, finely sliced
6-8 zucchini – “noodled” either with your Veggie Twister or use a julienne peeler
½ a lemon

Prepare the zucchini. Top and tail your snow peas, 1/4 the bok choi, trim the ends of the broccolini. Boil a big pot of water with a pinch of salt. In a serving bowl add the Aminos (from the “greens” list) and the lime and set aside.

For the steak- In a big bowl add the steak, 5 spice, szechuan pepper, garlic, pinch salt and oil and give a good mix around to fully coat the meat.

For the greens- Boil a pot of water with a pinch salt. Blanche the snow peas, brocollini & book Choc until cooked al dente. Remove from pot with tongs (keep the boiling water for the noodles) and allow to drain for a few minutes (I used a pasta colinder) the pop in the already prepared serving bowl & toss to coat with sauce mix.

Steak- Heat a fry pan and cook steak to your liking. It should only need a couple of minutes on each side then remove from heat. While still in the pan, top with chilli & ginger, honey & lime juice and give it a good mix around. Allow to stand while you prepare the noodles.

Noodles- pop the ‘noodled’ zucchini into a colinder or strainer that will fit inside your saucepan. In the same water you blanched the greens in, we will blanche the noodles, they will okay need a couple of minutes or else they will turn to mush. Seriously, 2 mins MAX. Blanche the noodles, pull the colinder out & allow to drain water off. Pop in a big serving bowl, top with all remaining “Noodle” ingredients and steak mix from the frypan & gently toss to coat.

Serve at the table with the greens. Pop some extra lime wedges, coriander, chilli & beansprouts on the table so everyone can “pimp” their own meal as Jamie likes to say in his Pommy accent

Toasted Coconut & Black Sesame Ice Cream

This photo may look less than impressive but that is likely because it was about 40C when Trav was trying to take the photo and it ended up looking like a bowl of melted mush. It is actually the most creamy, delicious, amaze-balls Paleo ice cream in all of the land! If you are not going to eat this as soon as it comes out of your ice cream maker (what is wrong with you??) and you don’t want it to freeze rock solid in the freezer overnight, you can add a couple of tablespoons of vodka to the mix just before you pop it in the ice cream maker. Weird, I know, BUT pure alcohol doesn’t freeze so this just helps it stay a bit less like concrete without adding nasty $hit to it like they do in the supermarket. Not ideal, but it’s the best I have come up with. I am open to suggestions….

500ml full fat coconut cream
2 whole eggs + 2 extra yolks
1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1 cup Coconut Butter (I used toasted coconut to make my butter)
1 tbs coconut oil (for extra creaminess- optional)
Stevia (or maple/agave/ rice syrup to taste)
2 tbs lightly toasted black sesame seeds
1 cup toasted coconut (if not using toasted coconut butter)

In a small bowl lightly whisk the eggs (including extra yolks) and stevia (or sweetener of your choice) and set aside. In a saucepan gently heat the coconut cream, coconut butter, oil and vanilla, stirring often (probably about 5-10 mins). Now, whisk at the ready, add about 1/2 cup of hot milk liquid to the egg yolk mix while whisking to combine constantly. You can now add about another 1/2 cup milk to the egg mix and whisk that in too. Now add the egg mix back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and mix well. Return to a low heat and cook stirring for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool, transfer to a container and pop in the fridge to cool completely. Once this is completely cold you can pour this into your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing. About 5 mins before you are ready to turn it off, add the sesame seeds and toasted coconut. Seriously, it’s delicious, go and eat it.


Surprise Chicken

This was a “surprise” that it actually tasted delicious, I threw random things together and thought it would be average at best. Trav says it’s the best thing I have ever cooked…. Not that reliable, he says that at least once a week, and often about things I don’t find that impressive. Regardless, it turned out to be pretty tasty so here it is.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, stomach-soothing and also has liver and heart protecting effects. Turmeric has been shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation and assist in protecting our liver agains toxins like alcohol- somewhat essential this time of year. Paprika contains loads of vitamin C, it contains an antibacterial protein that has been found to naturally control certain bacteria, it can also help improve circulation and normalize blood pressure!

1kg chicken thighs, chopped into big chunks
1 tbs ground turmeric
1 tbs smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
2 cups almond milk
1 tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

You can do this in your slow cooker, in a crockpot or just use a frypan and a baking dish like I did. Preheat your oven to 150C. Heat the oil in your fry pan or crockpot, add chilli, garlic, turmeric & paprika and cook until it is fragrant and chilli is soft. Add chicken thighs and brown the outside. Add stock and almond milk (liquid should be covering the chicken, if not, add some extra almond milk) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 mins. If you are using a frypan, now transfer the contents to a baking dish, ensuring it allows the chicken to be covered with the liquid. Pop it in the oven for about 2 hrs uncovered. The liquid will reduce and become thick, the chicken will be so tender it just falls apart. OMG yum! Sprinkle with parsley and eat it! I served mine on a bed of rocket with a side of broccoli & beans. Some Cauliflower Rice would be delicious with this too!


Paleo Fried Rice

This is kinda like a cross between fried rice & roast veggie cous cous…. Fried Rous Cous?? Roast Veggie Ricous? Not that catchy. I don’t know what to call it except delicious, yes, that is definitely what I would call it.

Low carb and grain free- yee ha people! Cauliflower is from the same family as broccoli and cabbage, it contains many essential B-complex vitamins and loads of vitamin C. Cauliflower contains several anti cancer phyto-chemicals which have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers. You can jam as many other veggies in here as you like. You can stick to the traditional “fried rice” stuff or go all random like I have and chuck in everything you’ve got.

1 head raw cauliflower, chopped into chunks
3-4 tbs Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)
1 red onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Veggies- whatever you like, I used a heap of roast veggies
Optional- shredded omelette
1 tbs coconut oil

In your food processor, pulse the raw cauliflower until it is the size of “rice”- do not over blend as it will just turn to mush. Set aside. Heat a large frypan or wok, add coconut oil and sauté onion, garlic & chilli until onion is soft. If you are using raw veggies, chuck them in now and stir fry until they are 1/2 cooked. Add cauliflower rice and stir fry for a few minutes, add Aminos and any remaining ingredients and cook until “rice” is al dente. It won’t take long. Doneski. Enjoy.


Orange & Almond Cake

This next guest post comes from Sarah at My Nutritional Bliss. I have just recently discovered Sarah’s blog, I hope you like it as much as I do. I for one freaking LOVE orange & almond cake so I cannot wait to give this recipe a go myself in the next few weeks!

By Sarah Nicholls – Nurse, Nutrition Student & Natural Food Lover. Stay Healthy This Christmas with these tips. We all know that the time of holidays, celebrations & feasting is upon us. It is also the season of bikinis & short shorts, so the 2 don’t exactly mix too well together. Here are some ideas of how to stay healthy & fabulous this holiday season.

For More recipes, health & wellness advice visit her blog My Nutritional Bliss

Bake your own treats!!
Store bought cakes are pretty much full of sugar, butter & white flour.
If you’re entertaining or going out, bake a cake yourself. This way you can:
Swap sugar à Raw honey
Swap butter à coconut oil or nut butters/spreads like almond or sunflower seed butter
Swap white Flour à almond meal or coconut flour.

Simple but delicious

Orange & Almond Cake
2 oranges
3 eggs
3 cups almond meal
1/2 cup raw honey
1 teaspoon GF baking powder

Preheat oven to 170°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) pan with melted coconut oil. Line base with non-stick baking paper
Place the oranges in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return to pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes (this will reduce the bitterness of the peel). Refresh under cold water. Drain. Coarsely chop oranges. Remove and discard any seeds
Place the orange in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth
Use an electric beater to whisk the eggs and honey in a bowl until thick and pale. Add the orange, almond meal and baking powder and gently fold until just combined. Pour into prepared pan
Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 orange over the top & gently drizzle some honey over the top


Berry Piklets

I am feeling in the “giving” mood today, must be Xmas just around the corner…. I have already posted today but thought you might like a food post too. You’re welcome.

Chia has long be touted as a superfood and can be dated back as a long term staple nutritional food to the Aztecs. Chia is a natural source of Omega-3s, antioxidants and phytonutrients and is a superior plant-based source of protein and fiber. Flaxseeds may be tiny but they are a mighty seed! They are low in carbohydrates, rich in many B group vitamins, contain loads of Omega 3’s which help reduce inflammation and are loaded with fibre.

1/3 cup chia
1/3 cup plus 2 heaped tbs ground flaxseeds (flax meal)
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
Stevia to taste or maple/honey/agave/rice syrup
1 tbs nut butter or coconut butter
1 cup berries (I used frozen mixed berries)
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp Acai berry powder (optional)
Coconut oil- for cooking

Blend everything together in the food processor. Spoon into a hot frypan with coconut oil, you can make them whatever size you like, I made baby ones. Cook like a pancake. Top with organic natural yoghurt or coconut cream and some extra berries.


Lose Weight at Xmas Time? Huh??

My very good friend Erin, is the owner of an amazing boxing and cross training facility called Sweat Depot in Brisbane North. She is a pocket rocket, freakishly strong, amazingly fit and man can she box! She looks very cute and sweet but if you ever have the joy of being part of one of her classes, the lady is 100% mean, in the best possible way. At Sweat Depot you WILL get results, you will get fit and you will get strong. You will also meet some pretty awesome people along the way. Here’s Erin’s advice for the festive season…

My tips will actually REDUCE the amount of time you are in the kitchen and have your oven on, save money, your sanity…. and your waist line.

Every Christmas I actually lose weight: not because I diet. I have never been on a diet in my life. But ‘tis the season for the perfect conditions to trim down – a big layout of fresh festive food to make good nutrition choices from, hot weather and a big bum break from sitting at your work desk… all reasons your basal metabolic rate should rise over the Christmas break. But only if you think about food and holidays as a healing joy – not a gorging excuse.

Stop being apathetic about your health with bullshit statements like “It won’t hurt to eat crap out of packets and play computer games for a week”. Because it will, and the older and lazier you are, the harder it will be to undo all your compacted poo. Literally.

Follow these REALLY easy simple steps that take less time then you heading for the shops for a trolley full of chips and cheerios’ and a crate of soft drink.

1. Make AT LEAST ONE MEAL A DAY a routine, nutrition fibre packed meal to keep you regular and the good bacteria in your tummy operating. Mine is breakfast: a glass of aloe juice, a probiotic tablet, wholemeal oats soaked in full cream milk, walnuts, and frozen berries…. coming up the rear with a green tea to get both my mind and my bowels moving.

2. Make better “hors doeuvre” choices. Don’t indulge from a slab of cheese, peanuts, white flour crackers and a bottle of wine or six pack of beer before the main even is even served. You could try serving Coconut Chips or Kale Chips.

I usually serve my main meal ASAP so that appetisers aren’t even an issue. But if you feel the need to conform to the out-dated 1960’s finger food options, then here are some healthier, simpler, tastier, more crowd pleasing gluten free options:

Fruit platters with Goats Cheese homemade wholemeal spelt or preservative free flat breads toasted on the BBQ and while you are there BBQ’d haloumi and squeeze fresh lemon juice to serve.
Devils on horse back: smoked bacon or left over free range ham wrapped around prunes or fresh pineapple or dates. Freaking delicious.
Stuffed capsicums or mushrooms.
Make you own dip!!! Hummus, pesto , or whole egg mayonnaise, or if you don’t have time make your own use the a quality preservative free store bought option and mix 1 part mayonnaise with 3 parts whole fat unsweetened yoghurt. Wiz up with fresh vege and you are good to go. Serve with crisp carrot, capsicum and celery sticks instead of crackers and bread.
Freeze small stone fruits and berries and use them as ice cubes in drinks and cold desserts. It looks fantastic, keeps drinks and food chilly, and the fruit at least adds a little more nutrition and festivity.

3. Indulge in the MAIN MEAL. This is my biggest tip yet: chow down on fresh seafood, BBQ’d meats, roasts and fresh salads to make alcohol, snacking and desserts less of a priority. If you do want to have some sweet treats that won’t undo your good work try these Apricot Balls or Rum Balls.

Avoid: processed meats, sausages and cheeses, store bought salads, white breads, peanuts, pre-mixed alcohol, fruit juices and soft drinks. All these things make you fat and whine like a pig.

4. Alcohol makes you fat. Period. So here are some consumption tips and low sugar options:

Drink a massive glass of water or mineral water before indulging in alcoholic beverages. Alcohol should never be consumed when thirsty or hungry.
Drink vodka, fresh lime and soda.
Drink good quality white wine mixed with soda and frozen fruit and enjoy the tiny alcoholic burst at the end of your drink.
Do easy, 5-20 minute workouts that will elevate your mood so you can enjoy your down time (and the wine spritzer) more…

Like the NO SANTA TUMMY 5 minute workout..

Or join me on Facebook and I have 20 – 30 minute workouts with your weight of choice (sandbags, kettle bells, slam balls or just your body weight and a race against the clock!)

And finally AVOID these things which lower your metabolic rate and decrease the quality of your precious holiday naps…

TV, movies, DVD’s, computer games, shopping in fluorescent lights and the internet.

Increase more fun….

Play, swim, buy all your food from the markets and roadside farmers produce, go for lazy afternoon walks in un-explored suburbs and cafe lanes, meet friends in parks with a picnic and a ball, your kids and dogs, paint a piece of neglected furniture rather then buy something new in the sales, go camping in your backyard and love each other. Love each other…. we have stopped preparing and eating food with love, playing with each other and loving the simplicity and beauty of each other. Just love each other…

And stay safe so that you can look forward to another Christmas with your family x


Step Away From The Scales

Todays exercise. Pick up your scales. Go to the highest point in your house (roof is best). Lift said scales above head. Throw said scales with as much force as possible onto the hard surface below. Workout over.

Special guest starring Bel from Intensity PT, apart from being a great friend, gorgeous woman and all round top chic, Bel is a fabulous trainer and the amazing transformations of her clients and their positive attitudes are testament to this. I am CONSTANTLY telling people to get OFF the scales and Bel has some great reasons to help you make that shift.

Achieve your goals by focusing on something else. Yep! You read that right.

Almost all new clients say that their aim is to lose 5 kilos. No matter what weight they are now, more often than not they say that they need to lose 5 kilos.

Unfortunately, this kind of mentality (focusing on a number on the scales) can set you up for failure and can be very demotivating.

If I went on weight on the scales and reduction in ‘body weight’ as an indicator of my success as a personal trainer, I would have thrown in the towel ages ago. Clients can have a complete transformation without losing much (if any) weight on the scales. Yet, as women, we’re so hung up on what the scales say.

Many of us have a magic figure in our head – the ultimate weight or the ultimate dress size. Much of the time, the magic figure is totally unrealistic and generally irrelevant. Sometimes we’re chasing a particular weight on the scales because a hot-looking friend is that weight or a favourite actress is that weight – so it becomes our own goal.

I can’t count the number of times a client has changed the way they look, acknowledged that they feel better and that they are getting compliments about the way they look, acknowledged that they are stronger, fitter and feeling healthier, and then get all down on themselves when they hop on the scales and see that they weigh more/the same/marginally less than last time they stepped onto the scales.

It’s like a switch is flicked and their success is diminished by the number on the scale.


Seriously, this stuff is just completely nuts.

Wouldn’t you rather focus on goals that have you feeling good about yourself on a regular basis, goals that give you confidence and help build self-esteem?

Ultimately women want to look good and part of that is having confidence in their body shape, but they also want to feel good about what they are doing. There is limited fun in training and dieting for fat loss alone. I honestly believe there needs to be more to it than that. You need to enjoy what you’re doing and get satisfaction from it. When you enjoy what you’re doing and you see results and feel benefits (whether that be lifting more, moving better, doing something faster or with less rest), it motivates you to keep going, it inspires you to dig a little deeper.

Thankfully the majority of the women I’m working with have come to the realisation that focusing on getting fitter, stronger and healthier is a more positive means to the end (that being a better body and better body confidence). Being part of a community and making physical activity and good nutrition a lifestyle is also important.

In my experience, when clients focus on fitness and strength goals, they are more positive and more committed to eating a healthy diet to support their training. Focusing on strength goals instead of weight loss can change the way a woman thinks about her training and nutrition, and can lead to a more positive attitude towards her body. Being capable becomes a motivator, rather than being skinny.
Clients get excited when they realise they’re lifting more weight or doing more reps than the week before. When they achieve their first chin-up, or can do push-ups on their toes, it motivates them to work harder.

I believe women are more likely to get a sense of achievement and empowerment if they focus on strength goals because they experience results weekly, providing recognition of the effort they’re putting in and reinforcing to them that any sacrifices they’re making are worth it.

Women who constantly focus on their weight and on weighing themselves don’t get frequent positive reinforcement and are often disappointed by the results, which can lead to a loss of enthusiasm and commitment to the goal. Negative results from a weight-loss perspective can also lead to sabotaging behaviours like more restrictive dieting or engaging in excessive cardio.

The (funny) thing is, when you focus on getting fitter, stronger, healthier, improving your posture, moving better, improving performance; when you get off the scales and get off restrictive diets that have you anxiously counting calories and weighing food, you actually end up feeling and looking better. And don’t get me started on how much better you’ll feel and look if you choose strength training over steady-state cardio… that’s a topic for another blog post if Shannon invites me back!

For the record, I’m not saying it’s not hard work focusing on these strength, fitness, performance goals, but it’s a hell-of-a-lot more rewarding along the way than just focusing on weight loss goals.

So, with 2013 upon us, many of you may be contemplating goals for the year ahead. Will your goals say “I love my body and want to nourish it, care for it, challenge it and improve it” or “I hate my body and want to punish it and change it”?

Choose your attitude.

If you want to read about my own battles with the scales and see photos that clearly demonstrate how different you can look at the same weight, visit my BLOG.


It hurts to run? This might be why…

Chris Miller is my acupuncturist & massage therapist and one of the smartest people I have ever met. Chris is a qualified massage therapist, acupuncturist, personal trainer, has studied naturopathy, dietetics, nutrition, and managed a sports supplement company. I have been to a LOT of physio’s, massage therapists, podiatrists, chiro’s, doctors & acupuncturists in my time, Chris is by far more knowledgable than all of them rolled together. I am fairly certain he takes a perverse pleasure in causing pain and continues to smile slyly and chat away whilst he jams his elbow into my glute and I breathe like I am in labour…. BUT, I always walk out of that room in better shape than I entered and with a much better understanding of why I have the problem I do. If you are a Brisbanite, you need to see him, you won’t be sorry…. Well you’ll be sorry while he’s torturing you, but you will be thanking me after it’s over. He does treatments out of St Lucia & Newstead, you can contact him on 0424168784 or check out his Facebook Page for details.

Lower back and Calf Pain when Running?

Do you suffer from lower back soreness when running? Do you get tight calves or fatigue first in your calves when running? Maybe even sore hammies, sore knees? I bet you have had your lower back and calves stretched, massaged or strapped. You might even have started Pilates or progressed to doing “core exercises”. It – pain – is persisting however.

Well the problem is not so much in your lumbar, calves, or core control, but rather, excessively tight hip flexors (Tensor Fascia Late) and external rotators in your hips combined with poor activation of your gluteals and external rotators.

Tight TFL’s (hip flexors) can contribute to an anterior rotation in your hips, which can cause a reactive strain in your lumbar muscles to maintain trunk position. Following this alteration to your hip position, significant changes in your gait can occur. When running this leads to a shortened stride and the impact of foot to ground occurring on the forefoot as opposed to heal. Consequently, the weight bearing aspect of running is taken through the calf, patella and hip flexor. This causes the fatigue and pain in the calves, patella, and further tightness in the lumbar. Whilst exacerbating the weakness in your glutes and hamstrings.

So what does this mean? How do I fix this? Continue with your calf and lumbar stretches to relieve the local site inflammation. Maintain the strengthening of your glutes and core (abdominal) in your training and Pilates. To fix the problem however, much work needs to be done on your hip flexors and associated soft tissue structures. This involves;

• Trigger points in a circle around your hip joint. Find a sore spot and trigger it for 30-90 seconds. Use a tennis ball, trigger ball, golf ball, friends elbow…anything, just get in there. Score you pain out of 10, 10 being unbearable, and try to sit on about 8. Painful yes, but manageable….
• Stretch hip flexors
• Foam roller ITB and lateral Quad
• Glute control – clam shells, lateral leg raises, glute lifts, posterior bridges are all good. However, the simple squat is the best for hamstring and glute development. To complete a proper squat, make sure your feet are slightly wider then your hips, feet turned out marginally, take your hips below your knees, and as you drive up focus on pushing your knees outwards to help activate your external hip rotators.

If you can’t manage to trigger it yourself, get into a therapist and get some deep tissue work done in the area. You will find that you will experience huge changes in all aspects of your training, mobility and general wellness with a freer hip region.