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Your Best





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Love, love, love!!

Absolutely brilliant

“These are great. never buying plastic straws again. I keep one in my handbag for when I’m at work or out and about. Brilliant!” Written by Rochelle on 8 December 2017

“This is without a doubt one of the best natural exfoliatiors I’ve tried. It leaves my face feeling so smooth and soft.” Written by Sarah on 9 June 2017

Impressive! “So surprised how easy to use and effective this shampoo is! Foams up on long hair and cleans perfectly. ” Written by Lauren on 12 June 2017

My go to “Love this cream. This is my go to for sore tight spots and it never fails to provide some relief ” Written by Jo on 19 March 2017

PRACTISE SAFE SETS DO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY We thoroughly analyse your DNA to create your individual training and nutrition plan.. Stop guessing what to eat or how to exercise. ±ùǨĩĩđùĩŔƆĺŬČùŦƧŦLjĩĺŜùƀùĕČđŦLjëŬĕĩòİŬŜìĩù ĺŗČùŦĩùÒıǞŦđùŽİÒŗŦ±ÒƆ -ſùŗƆŦĕİùƆĺŬùıŦùŗŦđùČƆİĺŗŦđùĦĕŦìđùıLjƆĺŬ ƀĕĩĩëùÒŗİùòƀĕŦđŦđùİĺŜŦòĕŗùìŦŗĺÒòİÒŔ ŦĺÒìđĕùſùŦđùëĺòƆĺċƆĺŬŗòŗùÒİŜƀĕŦđıĺ ƀÒŜŦùòŦĕİùLjùƦĺŗŦLjĺŗİĺıùƆǍ


w w w. f i t n e s s g e n e s . co m

cover model q&a Ellie Giffen is the quintessential girl next door, both in her looks and her journey to health, fitness and self-love. After dabbling in everything from midwifery to journalism trying to find the right profession for her, university student and part-time model Giffen now spends much of her time with her nose in the books studying social work. WH&F chats to this keen women’s health advocate about her passion for helping others and how she maintains a healthy lifestyle in amongst a busy schedule.




ON CAREER Over the years, I’ve dabbled in a few different career options, but I’ve only recently found a vocation that truly gives me purpose: women’s mental health. I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Social Work, due to be completed by the end of 2018, with the hope of helping the many women who endure or have escaped domestic violence.

ON HEALTH AND FITNESS I first became involved in health and fitness in an attempt to alter my body shape. After a few years of proper training and nutrition, I had reached my aesthetic goals but I was still left feeling disappointed and unmotivated; I was in a place of constant self-criticism. This made me realise


that goals around my ‘looks’ were not sustainable or a positive influence on my mental health, and that true change had to come from within my mindset. I switched my goals and continued to eat healthy and exercise – not because I wanted to look shredded in a bikini but because I wanted to feel good about myself as a person. I now fuel my body well because it deserves it and I get my sweat on daily because it takes my day from zero to 100 in a matter of minutes.

ON PERSONALITY I’d describe my personality as sparkly with a sprinkle of sensitivity. Rarely does a day go by where I don’t crack a smile and find something to giggle about. But underneath that is a sensitive and emotional person. When I was in my early twenties I used to wish that I could toughen up and just ‘get over it’, but I have learnt to accept this side of my personality because it allows me to connect with people on a much deeper level.

ON LOVE I don’t have a partner, but my life is filled with love. My beautiful mother is one of my best friends and we keep each other incredibly motivated. Whether it be spurring each other on in an RPM class, dropping over a healthy meal or telling each other to be kinder to ourselves. I think it’s so important to have someone in your life (a partner, family member or friend) who keeps you in check and reminds you of your worth.

past, I gave no consideration to how I spoke to myself, but I’m now much more aware of my inner voice. I have learnt that self-love is not about being happy all the time. Part of loving ourselves requires us to sit in moments of fear and darkness, and remind ourselves that these feelings are part of being human but they will pass.

ON TRAINING My training style is dependent on my mood and my time. I have found that planning a whole week’s worth of workouts doesn’t work for me and that flexibility is key. Ultimately, I try to get an even mix of weights and cardio; I swear by functional movements such as deadlifts and squats to build the booty and create shape, and I love doing a few HIIT sessions per week to induce fat burn.

ON MY FAVE MOVE My favourite workout is one that leaves me dripping with sweat and I can feel my heartbeat reverberating through my face. I love the rush I get from HIIT and how it pushes me both physically and mentally.

An example of one of my HIIT workouts is: » 10–15 calories on the Airdyne » 10 squat presses (with a choice of using dumbells) » 10 pull-ups (with or without a band) » 10 burpees » 20–30 continuous rope slams


I aim for 5 rounds within 25 minutes.

Healthy relationships are built around respect, open communication and loyalty. Laughter is of utmost importance too – whether it be between lovers or friends.


ON SELF-LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE It’s taken me a long time to implement self-love and self-acceptance myself. Often self-criticism and self-blame are our default: ‘I didn’t get that job’, ‘No-one has asked me to do anything this weekend’ or ‘There must be something wrong with me’ are easy enough thoughts to fall back on. In the

I draw inspiration from many people – typically those who exhibit internal peace and who are unapologetically themselves. I admire Melissa Ambrosini, who wrote the book Master Your Mean Girl, which tells her journey of self-love in an honest, relatable and empowering way.

ON FAVE CHEAT MEAL Cheese, hands down. I can’t go past a killer cheese plate with my favourite Saint Angel Triple Cream Brie.

HOW TO BE GIFFEN EAT There isn’t much I won’t eat. I love food and have mastered a happy medium between my love for gourmet ingredients and clean eating. For example, I love eating fresh fish but I season it with freshly squeezed lemon, coriander, ripe cherry tomatoes, ginger and cracked pepper. Instead of having it with plain steamed vegies, I might throw together a salad with some sweet mango, mint and fresh chilli. My nutrition needs to excite me and be ever changing.

MOVE A typical week of training includes a variety of workouts. I typically only spend two days in a gym and the other days are either spent in a Pilates studio (KX Pilates in Adelaide is incredible), on the beach (running or walking) or on a yoga mat at home (I invested in a TRX, which is amazing for bodyweight workouts and is responsible for my strong core).

THRIVE My short-term goals are simple: I’ve accepted that life does not need to be extravagant all the time for it to be fulfilling. If we are constantly striving for the next big thing we will miss what is right in front of us. I aim to continue with the little things that bring me joy such as painting, eating good food, swimming in the ocean, camping and spending my time with people who make me feel good. Long term, I see myself working as a social worker in women’s mental health. At the risk of sounding cliché, I really do want to help others or at the very least let women know that they are not alone and have an important place in this world.

BE To de-stress I hug my dog, put on a good playlist or watch an epic make-up tutorial on YouTube. I also enjoy shopping, reading a novel until 3am and running through sand dunes. I used to believe that every waking second of my day had to be productive, but I’ve learnt that the more relaxed I am, the more productive I become!


february 2018




every thrive month 6







Girl next door Ellie Giffen talks to us about her two major passions: women's health and fitness


move 46 READY, STEADY, SHRED: THE EVENT SPECIAL Your guide to speedy body transformation in the lead-up to your big day


Can full body treatments really rid your body of toxins and cellulite? WH&F asked the experts

Lose body fat and maintain muscle mass – efficently – with this high-intensity bodyweight workout courtesy of NBA dancer Madison Murray



What happens to your brain in each stage of sleep and how to maximise your time under the sheets

Make your body work for you rather than against you using clever training protocols that align with your lady cycle and hormones

36 IT’S ALL IN THE AESTHETICS Look good, feel good – perform better. Why your activewear choices could be impacting your PBs

42 SWIPE CULTURE Has the era of dating apps increased our chances of finding true love? Or led to ‘relationship shopping’, making it even harder to find the real deal?

64 FIT MUM CLUB How to train safely during pregnancy and postpartum, plus health and fitness tips from a few of our fave fitfluencial mamas

70 ACTIVE TRAVEL The active girl’s ultimate adventure holiday

72 EXPERT THINK TANK: CLOSE CIRCLE Is your posse preventing you from reaching your health and fitness goals? How to get your friends/family/partner involved in your journey

78 TALKIN’ WITH TOWERSEY WH&F head trainer shares her top tips for injury prevention and treatment

80 FIT FOOD Healthy granola inspired by Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream











Lose the excess holiday fluff in just one week

88 SPREAD YOURSELF SLIM Don’t undo your results before your workout has even begun. The best of the best brekkies to fuel your day

Couples that sweat together, stay together. Your health and fitness getaway guide for two

112 LOOK WHAT I HAVE The art of being grateful even on days when you’re down in the dumps

Skincare tips for women of every age

122 DATE NIGHT WH&F beauty editor brings you an exclusive guide to looking your best this V-Day, be it with your other half or the gals

92 HERO INGREDIENT Time to taco bout a healthy Mexican dish courtesy of our friends at Chobani

94 BRINGING HOME THE SALMON We chat to Nude Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen about adding salmon to your plate for taste and health

96 NUTRITION ROUND TABLE: DIETING TIPS Our nutrition experts explain the catabolic weight loss plateau – and how to dig your way out of it

100 FAD FOOD Trending diets of 2018

The digital version of the magazine enables the reader to access the magazine on any desktop, tablet or mobile device. Amazon, Kindle, Fire, and all related logos are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Apple, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


editor’s letter I’m not going to lie, I’m probably the least qualified editor in the history of editors to talk to you about love. My love life for the past 10 years has been equal parts depressing and funny (in an ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ kind of way), and I’m the butt of more than one workplace/ friendship group joke; at one stage, the WH&F team had the basic show notes, pitch and marketing plan for a reality TV show titled Dating Katelyn – yes, my experiences with the opposite sex are that bad (avoid my mistakes via our exposé on modern dating, p. 42). So, when it came to putting together the February ‘love issue’ of WH&F, it initially seemed ironic: advice on love by the chick who is seemingly unlovable. But on greater reflection, maybe I’m the perfect woman for the job. Because this issue is less about your immediate partner – although theey are, off course, important – and instead ab bout the array of relationships that determine whether your own mental and physical health h flourishes (find how to make your p posse work for your fitness goals ra ather than against them, p. 72). Think T friends, family and, most imp portantly, yourself. Like it or not, w we are part of a social landscape that prioritises everything butt our own wellbeing and our relatio onships with others: we hav ve never been more stressed, time poor and technolog gically reliant than we are rig ght now. Selflove often getss put on the


back-burner, only causing problems for our health and happiness later down the track. The last guy I was seeing (‘the one who got away’) sent me a picture of two bucks locking horns after our first date – meant as a summary of our similar sense of banter and temperament, but an equally adequate symbol of my relationship with my self at the time. It’s hard to find the energy to love others when you are busy trying to work out how to like who you are. So, for this February, I invite you to side-step a typical Valentine’s Day and instead delve deeper into your own self-care: put on a pretty face for dinner with the girls or your other half (our beauty editor’s make-up and body blueprint, p. 122), take just seven days to reset your nutrition and metabolism (p. 82), learn the benefits of self-indulgent spa dates (p. 26) and get more in tune with d and dh k g your your b body hormones b by working e (p. 58). training around your monthly cycle And, when you get a chance amongsst all this self-affection, feel free to email thiss dateless editor the number of any suitable beaus. Casting for Dating Kateelyn starts soon. Wishing you a treasured month,

Katelyn Swallow // Editor

Hosting A Fitness Retreat?

h e idea of hosting h your fir st retreat can be both daunting and exhilaratti n g. T e s t t in g to c ons id er is the venue. Hotel Komune Bal i tic ks a l l the boxes. B a l s u r ro u n d , e pic food, 5 st a r t ra i ni ng f a c i l i t i e s a nd l u x u r y a c c o m m o d a tii n


The comfort of your guests is crucial. Komune features 66 impressive 4 star rooms as well as 1,2 and 3 bedroom villas plus 38, 5 star beach front pool suites.

The Health Hub

Delicious, fresh and healthy food and world class health and wellness facilities. This is the Health Hub. A child free area where our award winning chefs cater to your dietary requirements. Located next to our 25m lap pool it’s the perfect place to enjoy a cold pressed fresh juice after a morning yoga session.

The Facilities

Our Health Hub facilities include 3 large yoga shalas a fully equipped functional training gym, sports ground, spin bikes, barre and pilates equipment plus a full service spa for those looking to relax and unwind with a massage or some beauty therapy.

For more info head to: m/keramasbali or email us at m





WH&F Head Trainer

WH&F Associate Beauty Editor @kristinaioannou

Dietitian & Nutritionist






Psychologist / Body Image Expert





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EDITORIAL Executive Editor // Rebecca Long Editor // Katelyn Swallow

Editorial Assistant // Angelique Tagaroulias

Copy Editor // Molly Morelli Associate Beauty Editor //

Chief Executive Officer // Silvio Morelli

Kristina Ioannou

General Manager // Ben Stone

Managing Editor // Ben Stone

Chief Financial Officer // Stefania Minuti

Contributing writers // David Goding,


Raymond Viola, Ronelle Richards, Hilary Simmons, Lisa O'Neill, Madeleine Neale

ART Art Director // Javie D’Souza Lead Designer // Diep Nguyen Graphic Designers // Henry Lee, James Steer, Zeenia Bhikha

DIGITAL & ONLINE Head of Digital Strategy // Karl Nemsow Senior Web Developer // David Ding

Finance // Min You Subscriptions Manager & Customer Service // Angelina Modica Email // Phone // (03) 9574 8999 Fax: (03) 9574 8899 PO Box 4075, Mulgrave, 3170 Web // Articles published in this issue of Women's Health & Fitness are Copyrighted © 2018 and are published by Blitz Publications and Multi-media Group Pty Ltd under licence from Bushi Pty Ltd.

Online Editor // Christine Assirvaden Video Editor // Karl Nemsow



Graphic Impressions Australia Pty. Ltd. Ph: (03) 9574 9211

COVER IMAGE Model // Ellie Giffen


Photographer // Dannielle McPherson

MARKETING Marketing & Events Manager // Frances Ricchetti

ADVERTISING SALES National Advertising Manager // Erica Caldwell

Advertising Manager // Natalie Grosso


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Self-talk using personal pronouns before a stressful business meeting or other event could improve confidence by imposing a fly-on-the-wall perspective, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Study participants who used self-talk such as ‘Sarah is thinking’ (self-distancing) rather than ‘I am thinking’ (self-immersive) correlated with lower stress responses to giving a speech. Third-person self-talk may also help to increase confidence longer term.

The estimated worth of all the clutter owned by Australians. Eeek. The average Australian home has $6,623 worth of clutter according to findings from The Choosi Clutter Report, with a quarter of those surveyed admitting that clutter creates stress or anxiety in their lives. Might just be time to do a run to your local Vinnies!

Apart from providing efficient calorie burn, one study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience has found HIIT training can also boost memory. Ninety-five per cent of participants took part in 20-minute HIIT sessions for six weeks and showed significant improvements in high-interference memory. The participants who experienced greater fitness gains also gained an increase of a protein in the brain that supports the growth and function of brain cells.


MATERIAL GIRL Materialists spend more time on Facebook and have more Facebook friends, viewing them as ‘digital objects’. A study out of Germany found that materialists have a greater need to compare themselves to their Facebook friends, but they also use Facebook to aid reaching their goals and to make them feel good. So while shutting down your social pages may not be entirely beneficial, awareness of its pitfalls is key.

We’re obsessed with these cuff bracelets set with clear quartz crystal – equal parts fashionista and yogi! Quartz is intended to clear and focus your mind, with Stoned Crystals’ founder and Melbourne gal Ashley Bellino hoping to change the perception that crystals are only for hippies via her jewellery line. Clear quartz also refracts light so you can bounce rainbows off the wall (because why wouldn’t you?) and the cuff is availabile in gold, platinum and, our personal fav, rose. $219, 14



Activate your Beauty within Collagen exists naturally in your skin as structural support. Amazonia Raw Açaí Skin Active has been scientifically tested to show antioxidants which may help support collagen production. As you age your skin loses some of the elasticity and firmness, reducing the collagen levels. Nature has provided us with something wonderful, the Açaí Berry. It is rich in many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that may benefit skin and collagen production. By supporting the connective fibre of the skin you may help slow the process down.

3150mg Fermented organic Açaí per serve


12 billion probiotics per serve

1 Shot Per Day Available Online & At All Good Health Stores: @amazoniaco


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If you put your hand up as being one of the one in six Aussies who suffer back pain each year, thiss nifty little device might be for you. Worn discretely onn your upper back and underneath your training gear or work attire, the UPRIGHT GO detects when you are slumping – be it at the computer or the squat rack – omitting gentle vibrations to make you more aware of your posture. All the t intel is then wired back to the iPhone app sso you can track trends and improvements. Litterallyy train yourself to avoid ‘screen slouch’ and ditch the pain-killers for good. $119.95, available from outlets listed on

Rest-pause Trying to build strength fast? Try incorporating rest-pause into your workouts. Unlike drop sets where you lift to failure then reduce weight and repeat, with a rest-pause you’re taking a short break between sets and keeping the same load, building strength rather than muscle hypertrophy.

NATURALLY FITTER One small study out of Canada gives women the edge over men when it comes to adapting to exercise. In the study, nine men and nine women of similar BMIs jumped on a treadmill, increasing speed and incline until they reached 80 per cent of their maximum heart rate. It took men about 42 seconds to adjust to the exercise, but only 30 seconds for women – about 30 per cent faster. Women were also better at transporting oxygen to tissues throughout their bodies.

HERE’S HOW TO DO ONE REST-PAUSE: » Choose your exercise and a weight you can do 6-8 reps with. » Complete 1 set, working to 1 rep short of failing. » Drop your weight and take 10 deep breaths. » Pick up your weight, lift again to 1 rep short of failure. » Repeat your 10 breaths » Lift again to 1 rep short of failure


Adding in an extra 15-minute walk each day can reduce the risk of heart disease in nine out of 10 Australians. That’s one of the main takeaways from a recent study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Try it: add in some extra kms by getting off the train/bus a few stops early or parking the car a few blocks away from the shops or office.




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The average number of teaspoons of sugar being consumed by women on the daily (30 teaspoons for men), according to a New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. The 24 teaspoons is equal to 96g – much more than the World Health Organization guidelines recommendation of no more than six teaspoons of sugar for adults and three for children on any given day.

Our DNA might determine whether we succeed on a diet or not, according to research from Texas A&M Univeristy. As part of an animal study, animals were grouped and placed on different diets – including American, Mediterranean, Japanese and Atkins versions – or a control group at any one time, with each group trying each diet once. Rather than the diet itself, similar genetics seemed to determine whether the animals stayed slim or gained weight. The takeaway: diets are not a one size fits all – although most did poorly on the American diet, which was high fat and high refined carbs.

Skinny cinnamon

Kick-starting your morning with a coffee and sipping three to four a day is linked to living longer, according to a review of over 200 coffee studies. Coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of heart disease compared to those who forego the beverage, and is also associated with a lowered risk of some cancers, liver disease, dementia and diabetes. That said, drinking more than three cups lessens the benefit, and women at risk of fractures or who are pregnant may experience harm, so choose your dosages wisely.

Sweet, spicy cinnamon could be helping fight obesity. A study published in Metabolism found that cinnamaldehyde (the essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavour) induces our fat cells to start burning energy. More research is needed to determine how best to maximise effectiveness but we’re still sprinkling a little extra on our oats anyway. Scientists have found that mushrooms contain the highest amounts of two antioxidants together – ergothioneine and glutathione – which have been studied for their anti-aging and health-boosting properties. Wild porcini mushrooms have the highest amount of the two antioxidants, but Penn State researchers say eating five button mushrooms a day will have you on par with ergothioneine-rich diets from countries such as Italy and France.






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Attention coffee lovers! If you think you know what makes a good drop of espresso – think again. There’s actually quite an art to understanding the quality, taste and texture of the best brews. Luckily for you, coffee hub ST. ALi has created the world’s first take-home ‘Learn to Taste Coffee’ course, so you will never again pick a bad bean. The course comes with everything you need, including a cupping kit and learning modules on roasting and how to taste quality coffee like an expert. There’s also video classes for those who hate heavy text. The full pack is $199 (including postage) and for those who already have some equipment, it is $120, available at

COOK FRESH FRIDGE MAKING VEGIES APPETISING Are you struggling to stick to your new year vegie resolution? Accountability can be a key factor in making (or breaking) habits. Well, the CSIRO is here to help with their VegEze app, which helps you keep track of your vegie intake by providing reminders and rewards if you meet your goals. Start with their 21-day challenge. Free from the app store, for more info check

NEED: » 1-2 shots of espresso coffee » 15ml or 1 tbsp organic ghee or butter » 15ml or 1 tbsp Melrose MCT Oil » 80ml boiling water DO: » Place coffee, ghee, MCT oil and water into a small blender, and blend on high speed for about 10 seconds until coffee is creamy and smooth. Remove from blender and serve immediately. NOTE: » If using cold drip coffee, use 50ml. » If using filtered coffee use 100ml. » If you are new to using MCT oil, start with 1 teaspoon in your keto coffee and gradually build up to 1 tablespoon.

As if you weren’t already obsessed with fit mum Sophie Guidolin, her new book MACROS: Eat What You Love will have you falling for her all over again. Packed with clean eating recipes, a seven-day meal plan, exercise programs, plus a full macro breakdown and calorie count for each of her meals, it makes If It Fits Your Macros eating completely idiot-proof. $49.95 for hardback

(Bauer Books), available at 20


One of the most important steps toward achieving good health is to cut down on processed foods and eat more vegetables, according to Flinders University nutritionist Dr Kacie Dickinson. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up a couple of must-have items that may help:


What better way to enjoy the company of your loved one this Valentine’s Day than over a (super healthy) cup of coffee. For those wanting to save their macro ratios in the AM and ditch the milk, this keto recipe courtesy of Melrose ( using ingredients via Low Carb Emporium Australia ( is for you. Prep time: 2 minutes


Forty per cent of the average household garbage bin is food – a waste, right? Enter FreshPaper: this biodegradable paper can be inserted into any food packaging to make it stay fresher for longer. Whether it’s the fridge drawer or the fruit bowl, the organic spices infused into the paper inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. A win for the environment and your pocket. $9.95 for a one-month supply, available at


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FULLY COMMIT Fear of getting dumped lessens the intensity of our love and can cause couples to break up, according to research. Scientists in Italy found that when participants hear relationships have either a high or low risk of ending, they reduce their feelings of romance and commitment as a way of protecting themselves. THE TAKEAWAY: don’t get swayed (too much) by other people’s opinion about your relationship.




Having intense or passionate feelings for something.

QUICK FIX THE STICK: Feeling stressed out at work. THE FIX: Grabbing yourself a selfhelp book based on acceptance and commitment therapy can reduce burnout, stress and symptoms of depression, according to a study at the University of Basel. Our pick? The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ Harris. Available from


ROSÉ GUMMY BEARS Set the mood this Valentine’s Day with rosé- or champagne-infused gummy bears, which are oh-sopretty-in-pink. Unbearably cute (we went there!) and made with real French rosé! $24 from


Are you a worrier when you have to wait? – think in the doctor’s surgery or when waiting on a doc from a colleague. Mindfulness meditation may be the answer. A study from University of California observed 150 law students who were encouraged to focus on the present using mindfulness practices. The result? Students reporting coping far better when waiting for the news of their bar exams. Researchers said just 15 minutes per week of focused mindfulness is enough to provide benefits.




FACE FIRST We can’t all be blessed with naturally radiant skin, but we can be smart about what we put on it to help. Lumity’s new Anti-ageing Skin Nutrients Facial Oil uses 14 nutrient-rich plant oils to deliver antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids – all critical to cell growth, and protecting, healing and repairing the skin. Just a couple of drops to the face each night can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. £60.00 (105 AUD),

MISTY MAKE-UP NV Mist Foundation is the busy girl’s latest find. Rather than spending 15 minutes sponging or brushing, you can now spray your foundation on in a matter of two. You can have light to full coverage (depending on how you layer the make-up) and it’s available in seven different shades. No streaks or mismatches here. $89.95,

GLOW HAIR SPEAKS VOLUMES Add some serious volume to your locks for your hot date or drinks with the gang. Director of Heading Out Hair and Beauty (@headingouthair) Caterina Di Biase shows you how. THE LOOK: vivacious, voluminous and wavy Victoria’s Secret-style hair

NEED » Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Session Label Volumising Mousse » Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Session Label Miracle 15 » Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Session Label Powder Cloud Schwarzkopf » Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Session Label Super Dry Flex Hairspray 24

BODY BLISS THE NATURAL WAY Emu oil has long been associated with easing painful skin conditions, but one study conducted by Victoria University found that both external application and internal supplementation of emu oil provided significant relief from osteoarthritis. So for sufferers of arthritis or aches and pains, emu oil may help to ease the discomfort. Available in oils, creams and capsules to suit whatever your ailment. Talyala Emu Oil Capsules

SCRUB UP Feel like your skin needs a wake-up call? We love Organic Care’s Coffee Bean Exfoliating Body Scrub and Charcoal Detox Body Wash – the affordable range contains no harsh chemicals, so your skin and purse will thank you. $5.99 for 725ml,


DO 1. Apply the volumising mousse, starting at the roots of the hair and slowly working it through to the ends. 2. If your hair is dry, apply the Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Session Label Miracle 15 to hydrate and protect your hair from the heat and static. 3. To create bouncy curls, blowdry your hair, then section and pin into hot rollers and leave them in to cool – this helps to set your hair. 4. Once cool, remove your hair from the rollers and use a big tong curler to apply extra curls. 5. Finish by combing your hair back and applying a texturising powder to the roots for added texture and volume. Use hairspray to lock in the do.



thrive devil’s advocate


Devil’s Advocate:

The growing health and wellness spa industry has seen consumer demand extending far beyond the conventional female customer – to men, corporate users, couples and families all concerned about their health and appearance. It has an estimated revenue growth of about three per cent each year, bringing in $433 million annually and providing over four thousand jobs


in Australia, according to IBISWorld. In other words, pampering is big business. Such surges can be explained, at least in part, by our hectic modern lifestyles and a growing awareness of stress and its consequences to mental and physical health. People need a place to switch off their phone and get away from the hustle and bustle of the real world, according to beauty therapist and spa director of

endota spa in Bourke Street, Melbourne Emma Byrne ( Case in point: one of endota’s most popular treatments, the full body mud wrap. Involving the use of warm clay applied to bare skin from neck to toe, the heat is effective for slowing down and relaxing the nervous system, while the clay rubs away dead skin cells, improving the texture and appearance




of your complexion, explains Byrne. Sourced directly from varying rivers across Australia, clay is thought to provide antibacterial properties that improve skin circulation and repair tissue. Warm mud baths might also relieve achy joints and even decrease the inflammatory response to arthritis, according to the most recent research. One study published in the journal Joint Bone Spine found that mud therapy can reduce pain and improve the functional capacity of patients with knee osteoarthritis. Eighty sufferers of osteoarthritis underwent a range of therapies over 10 sessions, with pain assessed post-treatments using a pain scale. The therapy was deemed effective in reducing pain for the majority of sufferers. So while a dip in mud or a full body wrap may cost you a pretty penny, can you really put a price on health and comfort?

THE VERDICT Would I go back for more? I would certainly welcome spa vouchers for a mud wrap or similar for my birthday, Christmas or a Valentine’s Day gift (hint hint), and although I’d love to get a weekly dose, there are probably less expensive ways to de-stress and detoxify – i.e. a sweat session at the gym, a trip to the sauna room or a good old-fashioned DIY job with an

Full body spa treatments are certainly the rage, especially come Valentine’s Day. And while I don’t doubt the enjoyment of being in a zen-like state, its use for treating more serious medical conditions seems questionable. When it comes to ridding my skin of dead skin cells, I can honestly say I spend the bare minimum (time and coin) and much prefer to splurge on delicious brunches and activewear. That said, I was undoubtedly excited to spend an hour of my Saturday afternoon having someone pamper me from head to toe. Someone has to do it. I walked in to endota spa one cold and rainy summer’s day in Melbourne, quickly ruining their pristine whitegreen waiting room with my muddy shoes and wet umbrella. Greeted by the friendly spa therapists, I was led to the upstairs waiting area to sip on warm herbal tea. The lighting was slightly dimmed, the lounge chairs comfortable, there was a subtle smell of essential oils in the air and the soft sound of zen music playing in the background. I felt instantly relaxed and soon forgot about work deadlines and the 10 kilometre ‘fun’ run I was embarking on the following day. While a full body mud wrap sounds icky, here’s how it went down: Once I was changed into one of endota’s fluffy robes, I was spoilt with a foot bath involving a coffee and coconut scrub and an avocado and mint foot cream to finish. I was then

exfoliating mitt and coffee scrub in a warm bath. That said, I left feeling more relaxed then I had in ages and my skin felt beautifully soft and supple for the days following. It’s also important to note: some experts warn of a placebo effect associated with many natural treatments, so it’s probably best to not rely solely on visits to the salon

moved to the sheeted bed to begin the full body detox treatment. “We begin with a sensory journey, choosing an essential oil that best resonates with the patient on the day and then do a full body dry body brush, which assists circulation, blood flow, lymphatic drainage and treating cellulite,” says Byrne. “The clay wrap is applied to the body, which is calming and soothing and detoxifying for the skin. The patient is then wrapped into a cocoon to allow the clay to work in to the skin; while this is happening we do a scalp or facial massage.” Full body spa treatments offer a range of health benefits, says Byrne, including:

» Clay draws out skin impurities from the body and the warmth helps to flush out toxins. Drinking plenty of water posttreatment aids the process. » Switching off and slowing down your breathing helps to alleviate any builtup tension, helping the mind and body to relax. » Time away from electronic devices and the ‘real world’ is beneficial to overall mental wellbeing.

» Body brushing increases blood flow and circulation and assists stubborn cellulite to move. » Full body treatments are safe for most, says Byrne. However, because the treatment is quite stimulating and elevates body temperature, those who are pregnant should first receive clearance from their doctor.

for treating more serious medical conditions such as eczema or arthritis – seeking advice from a suitable health professional in more extreme cases is best. At $140 for a 60-minute treatment (which varies depending on the treatment and the salon), I’d probably leave it for special occasions only (unless your Valentine is a billionaire).


Belinda Hughes

Dr Ingrid Tall


ON FULL BODY TREATMENTS A spa outing is the ultimate de-stresser, where someone else is focusing on you and indulging your senses.

ON PROS AND CONS Someone is touching you and breaking down the ‘private space’ barriers that normally exist. It’s about living in the now and centring yourself, or ‘mindfulness’ of the body. It forces you to stop, put down your phone, focus on your senses and consciously relax; its about being kind to yourself and not flogging yourself at work and expecting more outcomes. The tables have turned and someone is giving back to you. Cost is the biggest hurdle. Having the undivided attention of someone else for an hour is expensive! The health benefits might not live up to all the hype but it is the same with popping vitamins, which we still often do. Sometimes the placebo effect is more powerful than the treatment itself – believe in it and it often works. Most detoxes are hype but if they help you live a healthier lifestyle and mop up some free radicals, then go for it.

ON SAFETY Treatments aren’t invasive, so the risks are minimal. You can get an infection from a mosquito bite so why worry about a mud wrap or skin cream? Enjoy it and don’t take it too seriously – it’s more about hedonism and pleasure than anything else.

ON HEALTH AND WELLBEING THERAPIES Treatments and therapies claim to be the panacea for many illnesses, and while they probably do help to some extent, it comes down to the right foundations for life: regular exercise, not smoking, eating fruit and vegetables, minimising deep fried foods, etc. If you can add an attitude of gratitude and foster positive self-esteem, then you are ahead of the pack.

ON ALTERNATIVES A specific diagnosis of a condition will hone in on required treatment. Some people look for a panacea such as intravenous vitamin therapy, creative visualisations, cryotherapy and floatation tanks – even if they don’t work per se, the placebo effect can be powerful. Stress has a negative impact on many areas of our lives, but there are several ways to minimise it, such as doing what you love, listening to music and getting enough sleep. For some, visiting a day spa is fun and a preferred way to de-stress.


ON FULL BODY TREATMENTS Luxury treatments are often an indulgence booked on holidays at destination day spas. More than just a standard massage, they usually involve a scrub and wrap combination, leaving skin feeling soft, smooth and hydrated.

ON PROS AND CONS I believe the biggest health benefit is wellbeing. A two-hour scrub and massage pamper combo gives the body plenty of time to relax. Depending on the products used, they can assist the detoxification processes, remove dead skin and provide hydration, leading to healthier skin. One of the biggest drawbacks is cost. If you’re only having one annual spa treatment while on holidays, then promoted health benefits such as weight loss or cellulite reduction would not be achieved in just one treatment, making it more of a wellbeing experience.

ON SAFETY A reputable spa would be safe and adhere to hygiene and contraindication standards, but I’d be wary of a day spa that’s ‘off the beaten track’ while travelling. Knowing some key safety and hygiene rules helps. For example, don’t get a wrap if you’re pregnant, and wear thongs in communal public showers.

ON HEALTH AND WELLBEING THERAPIES I’m all for complementary therapies, they have a profound impact on our mind, stress levels and wellbeing. But that’s exactly what they are, complementary, to help our bodies cope with stress, illness and medical conditions. They do not replace modern medicine, but rather give our bodies a safe and gentle space to cope with day-to-day pressures – an important aspect of our lives.

ON ALTERNATIVES There are plenty of treatments offered at urban salons that won’t break the bank and are time-friendly. For example, the right facialist can give you an amazing facial experience with results you’d expect from a dermal therapist. Other effective treatments to help you switch off or detox include float tanks, salt rooms, infrared saunas and cryotherapy.





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thrive in the zone









There’s a reason why mum used to make you go to bed earlier than you wished despite you obnoxiously arguing the toss about staying up to play. Whether you’re a kid, teen or adult, sleep is vital to your physical health, supporting a range of bodily operations from cognitive abilities and metabolic function to hormonal balance and immunity. Sleep disturbances can also have adverse effects on mental and emotional wellbeing, including negative thinking, emotional vulnerability, anxiety and depression.

Getting enough sleep also makes you more likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to one study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Specifically, smokers who regularly got enough sleep were less likely to be smoking four years later. Similar results were found in relation to participants’ likelihood of high-risk alcohol consumption and physical inactivity, which were higher in instances of sleep deficiency. Essentially, there are unique physiological functions that can only

be performed while we sleep, according to international sleep expert and Fitbit spokesperson Dr Carmel Harrington (, “We build and repair our muscular and cardiovascular systems, we cleanse our brain of all the toxic by-products that build up during the day, we consolidate memory, reset the brain, and allow the brain to trickle through information, storing information it needs and getting rid of information it doesn’t need, and use it for emotional stability,” she says. All functions we are unable to complete when awake.

Stage by stage While sleeping may seem like a simple process – awake one minute, in a deep state of slumber dreaming about sailing the Croatian islands the next, then suddenly waking to your annoyingly loud alarm – there are actually unconscious stages to the sleep cycle that each play a vital role in our wellbeing. Rising from a 20-minute kip might leave you feeling refreshed, whereas a two-hour sleep probably has you walking out the door in a zombie-like state. While it may seem illogical, this phenomenon can be explained by the sleep stages we all cycle through on a nightly basis. If awoken from a lighter sleep stage, you are more likely to bound out of bed. But if awoken by the shrill of an alarm during deeper sleep, it’s an entirely different story. Sleep comprises two main parts. Non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep, or dreamless sleep, is where breathing and heart rate slow, sleep is light and the brain works through the necessary process of cleansing and maintaining your state of sleep. After about 90 minutes of slumber, the all-important restorative rapid eye movement (REM), or deep sleep, takes over and the brain becomes very

active, processing and consolidating information from the day for long-term memory storage. Bodily functions are restored, and muscle is built and repaired. Adults need roughly 1.5–1.8 hours of deep sleep, according to New Health Advisor. “In REM (also known as dream sleep), our neural activity is very high and our brain is as active (and in some parts more active) than when we’re awake. So the brain is very busy,” says Dr Harrington. “It’s busy doing the neural functions of consolidating memory, sorting information, stabilising your emotions, and cleansing and resetting the brain. Behaviourally, we are paralysed. If we weren’t, we would act out our dreams because our dreams are very vivid.” Throughout the night, you cycle through stages of wakefulness, light sleep and deep sleep on a continuing basis, often unconsciously. So, realistically, you could be awake multiple times throughout the night completely unaware. One complete sleep cycle (wakefulness, light sleep then deep sleep) can take between 90 and 110 minutes. Generally, adults go through about five sleep cycles per night, says Dr Harrington.


Let’s get physical Non-REM sleep is vital to our physical health: if we don’t get enough, our risk of developing a number of diseases skyrockets. Being sleep deprived on a regular basis increases your chance of obesity by 60 per cent, high blood pressure by 50 per cent, and your risk of a heart attack, stroke and dementia (in old age) doubles, according to Harrington. One study published in the journal Brain has also linked poor sleep with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers monitored the sleep of 17 healthy middleaged adults, with half of the participants being disrupted through the night. The two groups’ brainwaves were compared and the one who had their sleep disrupted had a 10 per cent increase in amyloid beta – a brain protein associated with Alzheimer’s. With our busy modern-day lives making it difficult to organise regular coffee dates with the bestie let alone getting enough time under the doona, it’s no surprise that our average sleep time has dropped by 20 to 25 per cent and obesity rates tripled since the 1960s. And the research backs this notion of cause and effect. As little as 30 minutes less sleep can cause weight gain, according to one study by the Endocrine Society in San Diego. Over 500 newly diagnosed patients of type 2 diabetes completed sleep diaries to measure sleep debt against waist circumference. After 12 months, it was found that getting 30 minutes less sleep each weeknight raised participants’ risk of obesity by 17 per cent. A lot of this has to do with a lack of sleep’s effect on hormones. Ever wondered why your carb cravings skyrocket when you’re feeling tired? Fatigue is linked to an imbalance in hunger hormones, and you experience muscle loss, a slowed metabolism and food cravings as a result. Research shows that when you don’t get enough sleep, your body goes into conservation mode, producing less of satiating hormone leptin and more of hunger-inducing ghrelin, increasing your appetite by 20 to 25 per cent, according to Dr Harrington.


“Clinically controlled studies have found that people who are only getting about five hours’ sleep per night require an extra three to five hundred calories per day – without an increase in metabolism – which quickly results in weight gain,” says Dr Harrington. You’re also more likely to fall ill if your siesta time is minimal. The immune system fires up during sleep, activating natural killer cell activity, which provides a defence against bacteria, viruses and even cancer. “When we don’t get enough sleep, we drop our killer cell activity by about 50 per cent, and studies have shown that we’re more likely to succumb to colds and flus because we haven’t got the protection of the killer cell activity,” says Dr Harrington.

Crunching the numbers So how many hours of shut-eye is necessary? It varies between individuals, but generally seven to nine hours according to Dr Harrington. On average, women need more sleep than men, so if you’re sharing a bed with your beau, it’s probably best to not match his sleep time. The best way to work out how many hours of sleep you need is the number of hours you would get on a holiday and feel good the next day. Not in the first week when you’re catching up on sleep debt, but the second week when you settle into a more natural routine, says Dr Harrington.

HOW TO FOSTER A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP Sleep and mental health REM sleep is particularly important for cognitive function and mental wellbeing. We’ve all experienced the groggy feeling that comes with not getting enough sleep, and there’s a scientific reason behind it. Cognitive tests of a well-slept brain versus a sleep-deprived brain shows vast differences in brain functioning. Less sleep also results in an increased emotional centre, affecting our mood – might explain the grumpiness on non-PMS weeks. “The sleep-deprived brain is acutely affected the following day because we haven’t given the brain time to do the functions that it needs to do in order for it to be ready for the next day’s set of information and decision making,” says Dr Harrington. “There’s a really important part of the brain called a prefrontal cortex – situated behind the forehead, and this gives us our smarts. If we don’t sleep well, it’s very difficult to access our pre-frontal cortex the next day. Because we aren’t able to activate it, we think slower, and we can’t access different memories and processes that our brain goes through.” Studies show that chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increased chance of developing depression. If you are regularly not getting enough sleep, you’ll be five times more likely to develop depression over a 12-month period. One study published in the journal Sleep has linked sleep duration to the genetic influence of depressive symptoms. Over 1500 adult twins reported their sleep duration and feelings of depression. Of the twins who slept for seven to 8.9 hours, 27 per cent reported depressive symptoms compared to those who slept for around five hours per night, where 53 per cent reported feelings of depression.

Considering one in three adults get less than seven hours’ sleep on average (and are thus sleep deprived) and 20–30 per cent of Australians have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, according to the Sleep Research Society, it’s important to work out your individual needs. Dr Harrington shared her expert tips on getting a good night’s sleep: » Set an alarm about one hour before bedtime where you switch off all technology, dim lights or light candles. Blue light causes the body to produce less melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. On the other hand, candles send very strong messages to the brain encouraging it to produce the feel-good hormone serotonin, making you feel relaxed. So ditching the smart phone for a vanilla candle preslumber might be the way to go. » Make sure there is no technology present in your bedroom. The bedroom is for having sex and sleeping – nothing else. » Invest in the best bedding you can afford. Many people spend a fortune on fast cars and the latest flat screen TV, but their mattress is decades old. Who wouldn’t want a quality bed where they spend around eight hours of their day? » Do breathing exercises or yoga. Studies indicate that yoga can help to improve sleep quality and quantity. » Avoid meditation, which actually makes the brain alert, so is best done in the early morning or mid-afternoon, not late at night. » Take a warm to hot shower. The body likes to fall asleep on a falling temperature. If we have warm skin as the temperature starts to fall, we can feel that drop more significantly, helping us to doze.


DIY BEDROOM MAKEOVER Interiors blogger and stylist Eve Gunson (, @dotandpop) shows you how to design the perfect room for catching plenty of ZZZs.

CALMNESS IS KEY: Creating a space that provides a sense of relaxation and restfulness is the most important factor and freshly washed bed linen can really help you drift off. Try washing your sheets once a week and adding a fragrance such as lavender (which research shows has calming and soothing effects) to help you unwind.


less is more; you are trying to create a sanctuary, not a child’s play room.

KEEP IT SIMPLE: Remove anything distracting, such as bills, paperwork and reminders of work, which might promote stressful thoughts. Keep any clutter at bay by organising items and investing in functional wardrobes that will hide mess easily.

LOFT Concrete Pendant, $350.00,

LIGHTING: Use bedside lamps, pendants or floor lamps to create soft, ambient lighting. Add a dimmer to downlights if possible and try turning bright lights off at least two hours before bedtime to help you fall asleep more quickly. Insufficient window coverings also won’t help, so try blockout blinds, heavy curtains or shutters to make sure you rest in the dark.

KEEP IT GREEN: Bringing plants into your bedroom can have purifying benefits – think lavender, jasmine and peace lily, which have cleansing effects to help you sleep.

FURNITURE POSITIONING: A chaotic room will cause disturbed sleep patterns. Arrange your furniture so that it’s centred and symmetrical, helping you to feel centred and peaceful.

MAKE IT COSY: We spend one-third of our lives in bed, so it’s important to invest in a quality mattress. A big bed is ideal if you sleep next to a partner to prevent rolling over and waking each other up. Make it cosy and inviting with layers of gorgeous bed linen, throws and cushions.

Alma Custom Designs Candle Bestie, $39.00,

AIR FLOW: Make sure your bedroom isn’t stuffy. If possible, open your window slightly or invest in a ceiling fan to circulate the air. Although air flow is important, it’s not so at the expense of quietness – only open your window if your neighbourhood is quiet.

COLOUR PALETTE: When choosing colours for your bedroom keep them simple and calming. Try white, grey, pale blue or earthy, muted tones. If your style is bold and more about statement, try choosing navy over bright blue, blush and burgundy over bright pinks, or a soft sea mist over lime green. Avoid bright colours as busy patterns don’t promote rest and relaxation. When choosing furniture, bed linen, artwork and décor items, keep it simple:


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Fitness isn’t a seasonal hobby, it’s a lifestyle.

Activewear Delivered The latest boutique & big name brands Stocking a huge range of gear & styles Shipping to women worldwide


ACTIVE STYLE CONCEPT & RETAIL STORE 98 Flecter Street, Essendon +61 3 9077 8657




Never before have we seen quite so many hightop Nikes, hooded crops and statement leggings making their way to the squat rack. As the YouTube videos and Insta memes depict so succinctly, activewear is now a high fashion statement in itself, no longer reserved solely for working out. But far from a reflection of our modern-day vanity, looking good and feeling good in your activewear might actually fast-track your results, says research. Cue the excuse for a shopping splurge. In a landmark study published in 2012 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that clothes can put the wearer into a different psychological state, which affects how they approach and interact with the world. Study participants who wore a white coat they




believed belonged to a doctor performed better on an attention test than participants who believed the coat belonged to a painter, or participants who simply saw – rather than wore – a white coat while completing the test. Donning the signature garment of a professional known to be careful and attentive has a rub-off effect on the wearer, experts concluded. And so the psychology term of ‘enclothed cognition’ was born. “When we put on our clothes for a specific context – work, a date, a wedding – we are also likely to ‘put on’ the behaviour and attitude that we think accompanies those clothes in that environment,” says Dr Jessica Wolfendale, an assistant professor of philosophy at West Virginia University in the US and co-author of Fashion: Philosophy for Everyone.

It then makes sense that donning activewear for the specific purpose of working out has the potential to alter your mood, motivation and ability to hit PBs. Inciting confidence is another happy by-product of putting on sportwear you feel good in. One British study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that when women were made to feel better about themselves in the lead-up to a special task, their performance improved significantly. “Feeling good in your activewear is one of the most important elements when it comes to achieving those results. It’s no secret that you perform your best when you’re feeling your best!” says designer and founder of Tone Fitness Apparel Elise Bonner ( “When your confidence is increased, so is your motivation, resulting in your overall performance. We’re not saying that your activewear choice for the day


will make or break your activity, but your activewear does serve a purpose when aiming to achieve your best potential.”

PICK YOUR ACTIVEWEAR The range of activewear on the market reflects the varied tastes and physiques of Aussie gym-goers. Far beyond simple fashion statements, different activewear styles, cuts, patterns and colours will best suit different body shapes and goals. “For those wishing to slim down or hide particular area is they are selfconscious about, choose activewear that is darker in colour, as this makes the wearer look taller and slimmer. Panelling that is vertical helps break the outfit up, giving less attention to the areas you are trying to hide,” says Bonner, who also suggests opting for fabric blends that offer maximum support; think high-waisted compression pants to support the tummy, hips and lower back.

Elise Bonner Founder & designer of Tone Fitness Apparel // @tonefitnessapparel



ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN I created Tone Fitness Apparel (TFA) as an 18-year-old design student in 2015, with the dream to create activewear for women worldwide. With an expanding team, our collections have been carefully designed by our colour consultant and fashion design team, whose mission is to give the confidence, comfort and versatility you need to push yourself to reach goals you may not have considered possible. We create looks without limitations. TFA fits into all areas of your life: from exercising to meeting friends, you will do it in style and comfort. This year, it was an honour to walk in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney alongside four of Australia’s leading brands in the first ever athleisure category. We are now working towards our next event, which will be walking in New York Fashion Week in February

“For those trying to create more of a shape and/or trying to enhance certain areas, we suggest to focus on more of the detailed aesthetics of the apparel. Choose items that may have a drawstring, zipper or hood. By choosing items with more shape, it will essentially give you more shape. Prints that are horizontal in the areas you are trying to enhance will get you closer to the desired results.” Breathable Lycra, nylon and spandex blends will hold everything in place while wicking away moisture for added comfort, adds Bonner. And while nude colours are well and truly trending, opt for pinker tones or risk looking nude – literally. “Everyone should avoid see-through leggings – make sure they are 100 per cent squat-proof tested. But affordable brands that take pride in their quality are abundant. Don’t be fooled by the lower price tag,” she says.

2018. At 22 years of age, representing Australia in this world-renowned event is an absolute dream come true.

ON TARGET MARKETS Women of all ages and abilities wear our collections. We know that activewear isn’t exclusive to the gym anymore, so we make sure our designs look just as good on the street. Our collections are extremely versatile – whether you’re ready to hit the gym or meet with friends for brunch.

ON KEY DESIGN FEATURES We produce double crops for maximum support, high-waisted tights to ensure security and peace of mind and removable sleeves so the garments are trans-seasonal.

ON LOOKIN’ GOOD Our activewear is designed for the motivated, for the fierce and for the go-getters that believe their goals are possible. We believe healthier ways equal happier days and our collections are designed around this. We make affordable apparel, yet with a high end feel.



Kelly Chow

Founder of Kula Athletic // @kula_athletic

ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN It was pretty simple really: I started designing activewear because I wanted to create clothes that women just loved wearing, whether they were sweating it up in the studio or catching up with friends over brunch. I also feel quite strongly about the social aspects of business and the fashion industry: I wanted to create an organisation that could give back to the communities it operated in and had a limited environmental footprint. We have a long way to go, but from the start we have been donating $2 on every sale to UNICEF, and use recycled fabrics and organic cotton for some of our garments. Having only launched in June 2016, we are still super new, but we have been so happy with the feedback we’ve been getting. There’s no better feeling than one of your customers saying the leggings are the best they’ve ever worn – it makes all the hard work so worth it! We’re currently testing out samples of our new products, including 7/8 leggings and matching tops. They are looking great and we are really excited to launch these early next year. Watch this space!

ON TARGET MARKETS We like to think that we can appeal to a range of women who appreciate quality and like to keep pretty


active. Our garments are perfect for all studio workouts, HIIT/gym sessions and running/hiking.

ON KEY DESIGN FEATURES We spent a lot of time on design to ensure our garments perform across a range of activities and never sacrifice comfort. All our leggings, bras and crops are made with premium technical Italian fabrics that breathe, are moisture wicking and provide four-way stretch. Our signature legging – the Havana Compression – is made using recycled nylon, is incredibly supportive and moulds onto the body like a second skin, without any dig at the waistband. We worked hard to find that balance between performance and feel, not to mention ensuring they aren’t see-through!

ON LOOKIN’ GOOD For our first Havana collection, the designs were quite subtle, with a few experiments to see what resonated most with people. In our next collection, you will see a more aligned and consistent offering that is focussed on that subtle but stylish look. Although there will be some fresh prints in there! Without being too cliché, I guess a good summary would be ‘studio to the street’ – but perhaps with a cocktail bar thrown in there too.

Damien Arnold

Director of Active Style // @activestyle

ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN Active Style is a fast-growing online activewear boutique with a store based in Melbourne. Active Style is owned and staffed by a team who have lived and breathed fitness and sport for over two decades, and we pride ourselves on curating a range of activewear by genuinely active people. Together, we work with brands and select products that will make you feel great, but also enhance performance. Over a number of years, Active Style has achieved strong growth based on a simple philosophy: to provide great activewear at competitive prices, exceptional service and to maintain an ongoing relationship with our customers. To complement our activewear offering, we also deliver yoga, Pilates and group training classes daily to our local tribe via our Active Studio at 98 Fletcher Street, Essendon, Melbourne. Moving into 2018, Active Style is expanding its products through the promotion of more local brands, swimwear and activewear for juniors.

ON TARGET MARKETS We aim to inspire all women to feel confident in their bodies and remain motivated to live a healthy life in both comfort and style. We know that life is busy, so we have created a destination where premium active and lifestyle clothing and footwear is at your fingertips.

Michelle Greene

ON KEY DESIGN FEATURES Mobile and comfortable: Mobility is key when

Creative director of JAGGAD // @teamjaggad // @michellegreene_

exercising. Our activewear moves perfectly with the body and offers exceptional comfort, which will encourage you to work out harder and for longer.

ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN I first got involved when my husband and I purchased JAGGAD along with great friends Chris and Rebecca Judd in 2013. I came on board as the creative director in 2015, when the company changed its focus from triathlon and cycling gear to athletic apparel. I work closely with our head designer Georgie Pizaro to design garments that deliver both freedom and support when and where it’s needed, and always expressed through beautiful styling. The company has grown significantly in the last 18 months with the opening of stores in Brighton and Armadale, a growing online presence and recent capsule collections with J’aton and Rebecca Judd. We are currently developing some new fabrics and shapes to broaden our offering in tights in 2018.

Ventilation: The majority of Active Style activewear is made using specialist fabrics such as Lycra and Supplex, providing excellent ventilation and moisture-wicking properties designed to keep you feeling fresh and dry during tough workouts. This means less chafing!

Compression: The compression factor of activewear supports your muscles, improves circulation and allows for a wider range of movement. Compression fabrics are comfortable, practical and flattering.

ON LOOKIN’ GOOD If you are comfortable, looking good and feeling good, you will actually feel more athletic; which, in turn, will likely improve your workout performance. Active Style stocks the latest brands, big names and a huge range of gear, and we ship worldwide, with the hope of increasing the popularity of healthy and active living. By partnering with brands such as Jaggad, Arcadia Movement, Running Bare and Lurv, we can provide both aesthetic appeal and quality product.

ON TARGET MARKETS We design our activewear for any person engaging in an active and healthy lifestyle; we want to empower our community and have them live with confidence. We are not telling them to run faster, push harder or jump higher – instead, we are here to support them on their journey. The ability to perform in any activity in our garments is a must, whether it is going for a walk with your friends, group training, or running a marathon.




JAGGAD Power Compression is Italian made and buttery soft to

wear. It has two-way stretch for increased flexibility, and fits like a second skin without being seethrough, thanks to the high density fine yarn. Compression helps with improved blood flow, muscular support and rapid post-exercise recovery. JAGGAD Signature High Support printed tights have a lux appeal with a soft sheen. We use JAGGAD Merino Tech across a range of our tops, which helps to regulate body temperature, and are moisture wicking (no odour), breathable and lightweight. The wool is a natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre.

ON LOOKIN’ GOOD We have some really strict design pillars at JAGGAD when it comes to colour palette, prints and shapes. We also take inspiration from global fashion trends and infuse it into our design DNA. We appreciate that no two women have the exact same body shape, so we provide a variety of lengths, waistbands and fabrics throughout our range. We only create engineered prints on our tights rather than a yardage (all over), which means we can control the placement of colours and patterns on the body to create the most flattering design. Placement of panels and lines are always designed with the aim to elongate the legs and give shape where needed. 


Kimberly Swarth Founder & CEO of Onzie // @onzie // @onzieyouth

ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN Onzie was born and bred in my hometown and the epicentre of creativity and active living, Venice Beach. I am a devoted yogi, and Onzie was born out of my desire to create garments that embody the values I practise every day: creativity, collaboration, inclusivity and movement. As a team, we strive to embody the power of the female spirit, every day. We support and challenge one another, putting passion into our product and infusing creativity and movement into all we do. From our inception, we’ve made it a priority to support other small business owners and boutique fitness studios, both locally and across the globe. It’s one of many reasons we’ve cultivated a loyal following within these communities. We are currently working on finalising our 2018 collections for women, men and youth. We are also very excited about launching a wider range of sizing for our women’s line. Twenty-18 is going to be a wonderful year for our Onzie community!

ON TARGET MARKETS Behind every Onzie design, you’ll discover a deep respect for what the human body can do. Whether


you’re working out or just working it, our creative cuts, prints and patterns want to come along for the ride. Onzie loves your body, however and wherever you wish to move it. An Onzie garment is designed to infuse playfulness, confidence and self-expression into every move you make.

ON KEY DESIGN FEATURES We pride ourselves on offering accessible, highquality activewear that’s comfortable in saltwater, chlorine and heavy sweat environments. Our affordably priced pieces are designed with our FreeFlow Fabric Technology, making them functional, breathable and fashionable, specifically designed to make you comfortable while you move.

ON LOOKIN’ GOOD Onzie has always stood out from the crowd and our aim is to design collections that are for everybody; from those who want a unique piece to stretch in to the hardcore movers who need a more functional piece to support their desire to sweat. Our cuts and shapes are tested on all body types, because we truly believe all bodies are beautiful and should feel that way while moving!

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There has been a lot of recent (and not so recent) debate about whether the internet brings us closer together or pushes us virtually apart. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sea of dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Happn and OK Cupid that claim to streamline the process of finding a relationship yet have led to the rise of ‘swipe culture’ – a slick term for the modern way of forming relationships through an electronic device; inevitably dehumanising and often creating an ‘onto the next one’ effect, where people become disposable. Obviously, not everybody wants to get into a conventional relationship or uses


online dating to find ‘the one’ (whatever that means); but even for those using dating apps to find a casual hook-up or poly partner, the use of technology makes it pretty tricky not to develop a blasé attitude towards dating and human interaction. After all, apps such as Tinder are basically a ‘numbers game’, putting thousands of potential matches at your fingertips. How then can we foster genuine connections and prioritise in-person meets when we’re staring at a screen with a staged selfie and there are literally hundreds of people who could be more compatible at the swipe of a finger?

“Dating apps provide an immediate source of others who are open, willing and interested in having a relationship, or at least having sex,” says Melbournebased wellbeing and relationship counsellor Jo Gniel. “It makes it easier to know who is looking for a relationship and available without too much emotional collateral. For those who are strapped for time, the efficiency of swiping right whenever we like the look of someone is appealing – but for others, the plethora of available options creates a paradox of choice. Instead of making a decision about dating, we find ourselves ‘relationshopping’.”



TALKING HISTORY Precursors to swipe-based dating apps began in 1965, when a team of Harvard undergrads created ‘Operation Match’, the world’s first computer dating service. Users filled out a paper questionnaire which they mailed in for $3. The questionnaires were then analysed by the machine (which was roughly the size of a living room) and users were sent a list of potential matches. It was a clunky system, but it was successful, with about ninety thousand Operation Match questionnaires received by the end of 1965. Other computer-assisted matching services quickly followed in Operation Match’s tracks, but classifieds and personal ads ruled the dating scene up until the 90s, when it became abundantly clear that the internet was about to change the way we approach relationships forever.

LOVE ME, LOVE ME NOT But what is online dating doing to us psychologically in terms of how we perceive the value of relationships? Does the use of technology for dating and socialising lure us into a false sense of security and intimacy, yet ultimately leave us feeling more isolated than before? And how can you show in the online dating world that you’re more substance than selfie? Are there digital rules you should follow to protect yourself? “Tinder is the bullet-train of speed dating – relying on nanosecond impressions and purely visual information to make snap judgments, many of which reinforce biases or preconceptions we have about appearance and race,” says Sydney-based psychologist and speaker Jocelyn Brewer. “Tinder’s design plays into our everdecreasing attention spans. That said, there is plenty of scope to demonstrate who you are and express yourself so that you capture people’s attention. I just recommend that you don’t get into a habit of mindlessly swiping when bored. Mr/Mrs/Mx Right isn’t likely to reveal themselves if you’re not fully present.

Make time to actually look at each profile for a few seconds and recognise that each profile represents a real-life individual putting themselves out there (regardless of what they’re looking for – sex or love).” Tinder’s creators say its superficial focus on looks mimics the social dynamics of the offline world, but maybe it’s a bit more insidious than that. People can become addicted to the process of swiping just as much as they can to Facebook or Instagram. Because users can gauge someone’s attractiveness with just a one-second glance, Tinder’s interface is perfectly constructed to encourage rapid swiping. It’s basically a video game disguised as a dating app – the more matches you rack up, the better you feel. In terms of psychological conditioning, the desire to Tinder (yep, it’s a verb now) is a learned response that comes from its variable ratio reward schedule, which ensures that potential matches are randomly dispersed. Users never know which swipe will bring the reward of a desirable match, and so they turn into serial swipers. Every now and again they receive the ‘reward’ of an attractive match or a promising message,

was founded in 1995, and by 2007, online dating had become the second highest online industry for paid content. FaceMash, Facebook’s 2003 predecessor, presented a ‘hot or not’ game for Harvard students to rate people’s attractiveness. It got taken down within days because Zuckerberg had populated the site with pictures that he’d hacked from the school administration’s dormitory ID files, but by then of course he’d figured out that people like sitting on the internet checking out pictures of their friends and turned the site into Facebook. The most dramatic change to the online dating landscape came when Tinder was launched in 2012. Today, the activity of swiping left or right to like or dislike a potential match has become so normal that it’s hard to imagine a world without it, and it has spawned countless other apps that follow the same design.

and it delivers a mini-hit of dopamine to their brains. Tinder is, in essence, designed to play off your brain’s internal chemistry and keep you coming back for more, even if you no longer want to play. It’s not just the ‘luck of the game’ when it comes to getting good matches, though. Tinder’s creators admitted in 2015 that they limit the amount of daily ‘right’ swipes to around 100 for users who don’t buy into their premium service, TinderPlus. And yes, women and gay men receive more matches than heterosexual men, but are more likely to feel disappointed when trying to follow up and have deeper conversations, according to a quantitative study conducted on Tinder in 2016. A 2017 qualitative study of motivations for using Tinder concluded that the fun users have while swiping may not always translate to the same kind of enjoyable experiences in real-world settings. “Our phones are highly addictive and the allure of online interactions can be related to the ego and the subsequent hit to the dopamine pathway,” says Danielle Cantlon, Lysn psychologist. “However, they lack the more fulfilling and sustaining serotonin and


oxytocin boost that you get from looking someone in the eye, physical affection and face-to-face conversation. “Reflect on how fulfilling online interactions are for you and adjust your behaviour accordingly. If online dating causes you undue stress or anxiety, perhaps speak to someone about your attachment style, protect yourself from those who don’t have your best interests at heart, and take a step back. Women often undervalue themselves and must be especially mindful of the effect ‘swipe culture’ can have on their self-esteem.” A new study about the psychological effects of dating apps was presented at the 2016 convention of the American Psychological Association. It found that people who frequently used dating platforms were more likely to think of themselves as sexual objects, to internalise societal ideals about beauty, to compare their appearances to others and to constantly monitor how they looked. So don’t swipe when you’re feeling lonely, sad or bored – and take a break periodically to reassess your personal objectives. “The time spent online looking for love can be a bit of a binge to begin with, but I think we can all acknowledge that dating culture can get a bit souldestroying regardless of whether you’re in the real or digital world,” says Brewer. “Creating checklists of what you want can be helpful in defining boundaries, but they work best when they’re character focused and values based.”


Finding love is difficult, online and off, and a perfect dating profile (perfect on paper) that provides a dopamine hit does not necessarily translate into a reciprocal real-life spark. New research shows that dating-app algorithms are effectively useless at accurately predicting romantic attraction, anyway. A study in the journal Psychological Science found that having access to data about people’s romantic preferences is good in terms of determining ‘likability’. But attraction? Not so much. “Life is more complicated than checklists, plus good looks fade,” says Brewer. “Relationships should be more about how you relate, connect and resonate with someone. While a varying degree of that is about physical chemistry, overplaying the role of ‘looks’ and ultimately how photogenic people are can have its pitfalls. That said, people on dating apps (mostly the blokes) would benefit from knowing how to take a decent photo that captures

THE THREE M’S Ultimately, it’s vital to remember that having endless choices doesn’t make us happier – it makes us more stressed. To stay as safe and secure within yourself as you can in this age of screened intimacies, practise the three Ms of digital nutrition suggested by Brewer below. » Be mindful – have moment-to-moment awareness of and responsibility over your actions; how they impact aspects of your life, and how they impact other people’s lives. Ask yourself: how do I feel filtering through these profiles? Why am I swiping mindlessly right now? Am I truly present in what I’m doing? How is this affecting my overall health and wellbeing (one swipe at a time)? » Be meaningful – in other words, have a sense of purpose and clarity that stays at the forefront of your mind whenever you’re looking at profiles or reading and replying to messages. Be clear about your goals and

them without a motorbike, sedated tiger or ex-girlfriend in shot!”  “Success in online dating is ultimately about finding the balance between being Shallow Hal, combating FOMO and really investing,” adds Gniel. “Looking into the science of relationships, i.e., adding attachment style into the mix, means chances of success vary too.” All this seems to suggest that the virtual nature of online dating means there can be no such thing as love at first swipe. There are obviously ‘success’ stories of people meeting their significant others on Tinder et al, but these stories in some sense begin after the relevant parties have met in real life and confirmed their level of interest in and sexual attraction to each other. Everything prior to that can be seen as the ‘prologue’ section of the narrative. There is, after all, no limit on how long it takes to get to know a person – although dating platforms would have you believe that one date should be enough to ‘decide’ lest you miss out on other, more attractive, prospects.

values, and your greater sense of purpose. Communicate in a straightforward way that aligns with the person you want to be (both online and IRL). Ask yourself: could this person contribute in a positive way to my life and overall sense of wellness? Do they appear to have similar goals or values to me? » Be moderate – in that you’re able to regulate and temper your habits and app usage, and avoid it overhauling other aspects of your life. Use dating apps for moderated amounts of time, not just whenever there’s an ad break or you have a spare moment. That way, you’ll be able to maintain better emotional stability and balanced usage. Ask yourself: what will happen if I don’t respond to that person’s message immediately? How long have I been on here swiping through profiles? What strategies can I use to mediate my time here and ensure I don’t ‘overdose’? How will I know when it’s time to log off?


Ready, Steady, Shred


As if finding the right table setting, a decent band, the perfect dress and consolidating a guest list isn’t enough, many brides feel added pressure to look pristine on their big day – hair, make-up and physique. Far from being exclusive to brides-to-be, any big event can lead to increased pressure to get fit fast. Here’s how to hit the fat burn and body shape autobahn in the midst of wedding season – safely.

Whether bells are ringing leading up to your wedding day or stage fright is kicking in for your first bikini comp, deadlines tend to come around quicker than you can squeal “I do!” While family and friends will rejoice no matter your shape or size, there’s no denying that looking and feeling healthy increases your chances of feeling equally happy and confident on the day. And research indicates that women are doing some serious prep in the lead-up. One study published in the Journal of Health Psychology revealed that, of a sample of nearly 900 Australian women preparing to head to the altar, around 75 per cent were planning on following an exercise and diet plan, and over 35 per cent were cutting fats or carbs from their diet prewedding. When determination kicks in and there is an appearance-based goal to work towards, women tend to push themselves to the extreme and stick religiously to a program, says celebrity trainer and body transformation specialist Corey Calliet ( Good news for PTs seeking compliance from their clients, but bad news for brides who shred down at the expense of their health – particularly in terms of nutrition.


“It’s difficult to break habits people have adopted over the years and to make a change quickly,” says trainer and author of ebook B.Active Brides Brittney Cutts ( “I don’t advocate extreme dieting; if your body feels like it’s chronically underfed, it will naturally try to reduce the speed of your metabolism and you will just end up sabotaging your efforts.” To lose fat, the age-old equation of burning more calories than you consume still applies – but the aim should be to eat as many calories as possible while still leaning down. Dropping your calories by 10–30 per cent of your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – or the number of calories needed to maintain your body at rest – is a good starting point, according to trainer and co-founder of Code5 fitness Connor Petterson. There are a host of BMR calculators online that can help do the work for you. Additional calories will need to be allowed for (Petterson suggests upward of 300), depending on your activity level, to fuel your workouts and ensure proper performance. Depending on your current body composition, 0.5 to one kilogram of fat loss per week is considered realistic.


















GOALS, BABY The most common goals for brides-to-be – and a variety of events come summer – include fat loss and creating a leaner, firmer physique to easily slip into that big white dress, says Cutts. The style of outfit being worn contributes to the key areas of concern: while fat spot-reduction isn’t technically possible, prioritising muscle ‘tone’ and shape through the shoulders, legs, back and/or arms will depend on what skin is exposed. “An added bonus to health and lifestyle changes at this time is an improvement in energy levels, skin, hair, nails and mood – all important for the big day,” adds Cutts.







A MATTER OF TIME Timing your sprint to the altar can be tricky: don’t leave yourself enough time, and a combo of pressure and skyrocketing emotions can lead to dangerous crash diets or lacklustre results; start too early and risk motivation fluctuations. According to trainer, owner of MADStrength and bride-to-be Jaz Correll (@jazcorrell), noticeable body composition changes are possible in as little as 12 weeks – depending on your current fitness levels and physique. “It’s important to set a start date – and there’s no better time than the present – rather than focusing on a finish date,” says Correll. “There is never a time that is too early to start building a strong foundation (both mentally and physically). If you set yourself up correctly with plenty of time, then the results will be better and more sustainable.” Rather than going all out from day one, ease your body into training, building basic levels of cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength that will aid high intensities needed later. “For me, the best way to gain muscle quickly is to use a mixture of

relative strength and hypertrophy style of training. I will do this by either cycling between more of a strength program and then more of a hypertrophy program for four-week blocks, or I may have both styles of training combined in the same program,” says Correll. In your first phase (for example, weeks 1–3 of a 10-week program), complete two strength sessions (one lower body workout and one working upper body and abs). Strength-based sessions recruit larger, more fibrous muscles – therefore reps should be kept between six and eight with rests up to two minutes to replenish energy levels needed to move the heavier load. Complete two HIIT circuit training sessions (splitting lower and upper body) per week. If you’re a beginner, start with light weights or body weight, and gradually progress every week, recommends Cutts. Adding in two to three walks (think 40 minutes at a treadmill speed of 6.0–6.5kmph) or low-intensity jogs aid recovery and help dip into fat stores. Leave 100 per cent compliance and higher intensity resistance sessions to the three months before D-Day.

TRACK PROGRESS Give your motivation an extra boost by tracking progress. Cutts recommends taking photos on the first day of your first week, midprogram (or at the end of each phase of programming) and final week, allowing two to three weeks before the day for final dress adjustments.



Fitness protocols (on steroids – so to speak) for fast-tracked results for girls on a mission.

THE PROTOCOL: TRAINING PHASES Bridal manoeuvre: Cutts suggests breaking your own event bootcamp programming into various phases in an effort to avoid plateau, quicken progress and keep you motivated. Cutts splits her 10-week B.Active Bride program into three phases, with high intensity AMRAP circuits becoming more challenging every three weeks by reducing rest periods, changing exercise types and increasing loads.

THE PROTOCOL: TIME UNDER TENSION Bridal manoeuvre: “The response that your muscles have to the training program are a reflection of the total time that they are kept under tension [read: under load],” says Cutts, who suggests changing up exercise tempos to induce more muscle stress and so results. With muscles being made up of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibres in varied ratios – depending on your body type and the muscle worked – the tempo you choose will dictate which fibre type works hardest. For instance, slow to moderate tempos improve muscle endurance and stability (slow-twitch fibres); a squat, for example, would be slowed and controlled for two–four seconds during the eccentric (downward) phase of the exercise, paused at the bottom of the movement for one– two seconds, and then controlled again during the eccentric (upward) phase for another two–four seconds. Moderate to fast tempos improve muscle power and strength (fast-twitch fibres); think a controlled eccentric, and then powering up as fast as you can during the concentric with no pause at the bottom.

THE PROTOCOL: RESISTANCE TRAINING TO LEAN AND TONE Bridal manoeuvre: Cutts and Correll both agree that the best way to lose fat is to build lean muscle – raising your resting metabolic rate and creating

hormonal profiles (such as improving your testosterone and oestrogen balance) conducive for fat loss. Hypertrophy training – which progressively increases the stress placed upon muscle groups to elicit growth – is key particularly in the later stages of programming. Reps should range between eight and 12 with short rests of 30 to 60 seconds. “I find that changing the rep ranges to a higher amount and lowering the rest times is super effective for building muscle. In the final stages of prep, I like to add HIIT-style training to the end of a weights session,” says Correll. Higher rep, full-body workouts are effective for both fat loss and encouraging muscle hypertrophy. The result? Curves in the form of lean, toned muscle gains and an intensive fat-loss workout combined into one.

THE PROTOCOL: BOOSTING METABOLISM Bridal manoeuvre: Your metabolism – defined as the chemical reactions that occur to keep you alive, including physical activity level and the amount of energy it costs to process and store food – can be boosted through both training and nutrition. Metabolic conditioning training (similar to circuit training, compound exercises are performed one after the other at high intensity, with little rest in between, over an extended period of time – think 20 minutes) and HIIT workouts (short periods of high intensity work followed by short rests) are particularly useful when time is of the essence. A small 2006 study found that just 2.5 hours of high-intensity training over two weeks (comprising 30 seconds of all-out cycling followed by four minutes’ rest, repeated six times) achieved the same improvements in exercise performance as 10.5 hours of low-intensity cycling over the same time period. In short, the same bang for your buck in a quarter of the time. Another study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that obese women who performed three 20-minute HIIT workouts a week lost three times more fat than peers performing a comparable steady-state gym program.

You just need to be prepared to work hard: boosts to metabolism directly correlate with the duration and intensity of your workout. In one study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, subjects who completed 20 bouts of one-minute sprints (105 per cent of VO2 max), reported almost double the excess post oxygen consumption (which leads to calorie burn) when compared to those who completed 30 minutes of continuous steady-state cardio. In other words, the harder you work, the greater the results you reap.

TRY: Cutts’ HIIT-style sprints on a treadmill, outdoors, on a bike or stairs for post-workout calorie burn. In this 30:30 set up you will go 90–100 per cent maximum effort for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. Then repeat.


A CUE FROM CUTTS To give you a head start, give the first phase from Cutts’ B.Active Bride ebook a go! Combining functional resistance training with cardiovascular work, you can adjust your weights and rep ranges to suit your goals and training level with the As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) style block. “I believe that strength training, HIIT and cardio complement each other within a fitness program – you need strength to be able to orientate weights heavy enough to lead to muscle hypertrophy and tone, and cardio work to dip into fat stores, aid recovery and ensure high enough intensity levels in the gym,” says Cutts. “The combination is the quickest and best way to see results, especially when working towards an occasion.”





Alternating reverse lunges using body weight


1 min

30 sec

Single-leg glute bridge on the floor


30 sec/leg

30 sec

Body weight squats


1 min

30 sec

Crab walks with band


1 min

30 sec

Wall sit


1 min

30 sec

Donkey kick


30 sec/leg

30 sec

Active rest: 60–90 sec between sets

Week 2: 20 sec


Week 3: 10 sec


PHASE 1 – CIRCUIT (tris bis abs cardio) Exercises




Skipping 2 min


2 min


High plank


1 min


Mountain climbers


1 min


Tricep dips


1 min


Russian twists with weight plate


1 min


Bicep curl DB


1 min


Straight leg sit-ups


1 min


While 12 weeks prior to a big event is crucial in terms of looking your best and is often when motivation peaks, it’s also a time of high stress. Psychological consequences can result from intensive training under pressure.

Rest: 90 sec





Push-up (incline)


1 min

30 sec

Seated row


1 min

30 sec

Bench press DB


1 min

30 sec

Trx row


1 min

30 sec

Seated shoulder press DB


1 min

30 sec

Upright row KB


1 min

30 sec

Active rest: 60–90 sec between sets

Week 2: 20 sec


Week 3: 10 sec

PHASE 1 – CIRCUIT (lower body and cardio) Exercises






2 min


Double-leg glute bridge, upper body on bench


1 min


Squat press with weight plate


1 min


Jump squats


1 min


Walking lunges with weight plate


30 sec each way


Alternating step-ups


1 min


Side lunges


30 sec/leg


Rest: 90 sec 50


“For an athlete, training hard is aligned with their overall purpose. Having an intense focus on training to lose weight for your wedding day can easily turn your attention away from the central focus of celebrating your commitment to each other to that of your appearance on the day,” warns relationship counsellor and psychotherapist Dan Auerbach ( “For many people, focusing on how others will see them generates a great deal of anxiety.” A ‘quick fix’ training plan can be enticing leading up to a major event, but if body image is an issue (commonplace given our easy access to images of perfectly curated bodies on social media) a longer term health plan is necessary. The downside of focusing on such a small training and results window is that you’re likely to fall off the wagon once the event is done and dusted. Research shows that around 50 per cent of brides-to-be have the desire to lose weight for their wedding day and that many end up gaining weight post-wedding. In a study of over 300 Australian women, published in the journal Body Image, close to half of the participants gained around two kilograms six months after the big day, with those who felt pressured to lose weight for the wedding gaining significantly more weight compared to those who didn’t. “Dieting and intense bursts of increased activity tend to fail, unless we can come to see the new behaviour and mindset as part of our permanent routine. For most people, that takes some time and comes about through gradual change over time, as we learn to adjust our entire mindset,” says Auerbach. Correll agrees. “In my experience, being strict with a plan and keeping it sustainable doesn’t need to be mutually exclusive. I try to avoid opting for much of a calorie deficit and instead get results by being selective with my types of food,” says Correll. In other words, ditch the processed goods and keep an eye on your macro ratios.


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IF IT’S TWO THINGS THAT NBA DANCERS DO WELL, IT’S WORKING HARD AND MAINTAINING AN EPIC PHYSIQUE. SO TAKE A CUE FROM FORMER PHOENIX SUNS AND UTAH JAZZ GIRL, BUSINESS OWNER AND PERSONAL TRAINER MADISON MURRAY WITH THIS HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL WORKOUT DESIGNED FOR BOTH CALORIE BURN AND ENHANCING DYNAMIC MOVEMENT PATTERNS. This high-intensity interval workout (HIIT) will get your heart rate up while toning your entire body. HIIT workouts are the most effective and efficient way to lose body fat and weight while still maintaining muscle mass. You will be working for short and sharp bursts – but at a higher intensity with high-impact exercises – followed by short periods of rest. This allows your body to work harder than it normally would, resulting in more calories burned than during a traditional workout.


THE WORKOUT 35 SEC ON / 15 SEC OFF KNEELING TO STANDING SQUAT JUMP JUMP STARTS SPEED SKATERS STANCE SWITCHES CROSS-BODY MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS PLANK JACK + PLYO PUSH-UP Complete each exercise one after the other, in the order they are prescribed. Perform each exercise for 35 seconds followed by 15 seconds of rest. Once you have completed all of the exercises once (1 round), rest for 1 minute before moving on to the next round. Complete 4 rounds in total. During the 35 seconds of work, you need to work hard – think 85 per cent of your maximum and where it’s extremely uncomfortable to hold a conversation. During the 15-second recovery period, rest completely so that you can perform well in the next interval bout and receive all the benefits of the workout.



KNEELING TO STANDING SQUAT JUMP Start in a tall kneeling position. Keep your core tight and pelvis tucked under. Bring one leg up so that you are in a half kneeling position. Bring the second leg up so that you are in a squat position. From here, power through your heels as you explode into a squat jump and land back in the squat position. Walk each leg down one at a time until you’re back in the tall kneeling position. Repeat for the full 35 seconds. To modify, slow down the movement.






JUMP START Start in a runner’s lunge position: the front leg is bent at 90 degrees and the back leg is straight with the toe tucked under. Drive the straight leg up to the chest as you explode into a jump. As you come down, slide your leg through until it is back in starting position. Repeat on that same side for the entire round, then switch legs for the next round. To modify, take out the jump and just go from the runner’s lunge position to a standing knee drive.


SPEED SKATERS Start on one leg, leaning forward slightly. Jump laterally, bringing both feet off the floor. Land on the opposite leg with your other leg tucked behind. Repeat on the other side. Focus on exploding both up and laterally to receive the full benefit of this exercise. To modify, let your back leg touch the ground as you land.



STANCE SWITCHES Start in an athletic stance position with your feet outside your hips, a soft bend in your knees, core tight and hips and shoulders square to the front. Jump your feet to the side as you keep your shoulders square to the front. Jump back to the centre and repeat on the other side. Make sure to come back to the starting position each time. To modify, slow the movement down.

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CROSS-BODY MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS Start in a high plank position with your shoulders, elbows and wrists in a straight line. Make sure to keep your shoulders pinched together and your butt down. Drive one knee to the opposite elbow as you keep your core tight. Come back to the high plank position and repeat on the other side. To modify, slow the movement down.




PLANK JACK AND PLYO PUSH-UP Start in a high plank position with your shoulders, elbows and wrists in a straight line. Make sure to keep your shoulders pinched together and your butt down. Jump your feet out to a jack position, then jump them back to the starting high plank position. The next movement will be the plyo push-up and you will be starting from the high plank position. Jump your feet out to a jack position like you did before; at the same time, drop your body into a push-up position, letting your body hover above the ground. Explode back up into the high plank position and repeat that combo. To modify, choose either the plank jack or the plyo push-up. Once you can successfully complete both movements with good form, work your way up to the combo.

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The impact of your menstrual cycle on training is highly individual. While some women experience cramps and bloating that diminish their ability to brace their core in preparation for heavy lifts, others experience fluctuations in energy and mood, impacting motivation and pain thresholds, says trainer and health coach Ashleigh Boehm ( Closer to peri-menopause and menopause the fluctuations in hormone levels and symptoms are often magnified, adds trainer and author of Two-Minute Moves Lizzy Williamson ( For the lucky few whose period is barely noticed, your training regime needn’t be adjusted at all. “Your style of training is also highly relevant,” says Boehm. “Women who are engaged in any form of intense resistance training (powerlifting, CrossFit, strength or hypertrophy work, and similar) will need to be more aware of how their hormones are affecting

their level of strength and work capacity; whereas women who predominantly perform cardio such as HIIT, running or bootcamps needn’t worry so much as the risk of injury is much lower.” Your cycle can be divided into two distinct phases: the follicular stage, dominated by hormone oestrogen and the luteal stage, dominated by progesterone. Ovulation marks the transition between these two phases, while mensturation occurs during the follicular stage – each with their own set of hurdles. “By taking into account how your cycle is impacting your body during various points in the month, you can make your training work with you rather than against you,” says Boehm. “That being said, listening to your body is the most fundamentally important thing to do, regardless of which phase you’re in. Your body holds ultimate wisdom and isn’t shy about providing feedback, so take note and do what feels right.”

DAYS 1–14: FOLLICULAR PHASE What’s happening to my body? Oestrogen is the dominant hormone during this phase, with testosterone levels also getting a lift. Symptoms? This should be your favourite part of your cycle! Oestrogen aids strength, confidence and focus, meaning your training performance should be at its peak. “This phase is characterised by a higher tolerance for pain, the highest maximum voluntary force generation capacity, as well as increasing levels of endurance,” says Boehm. Higher libido is an added bonus. Insulin sensitivity is high, while metabolic rate tends to decrease sightly. How to train: Think progress, progress, progress during these first two weeks of your cycle. “This is the perfect time for high-volume or high-intensity resistence training (depending on your goal), as this is where you will achieve the most significant progress in regards

to strength and lean mass gains,” says Bohem. “Broadly speaking, I would recommend three to four full-body resistance training sessions focusing on the major compound movements paired with low intensity cardio, such as walking, two to three times per week.” Given increased insulin sensitivity, now is the time to load up on carbs – particularly around your intense training sessions. “Your body will be more prone to using those carbs to fuel muscle gains as opposed to fat storage,” says Boehm. “Intense workouts, coupled with metabolism-enhancing refeeds, will also help to counteract the decline in your resting metabolic rate that takes place during this time. Timing your carbohydrates around your training sessions is a good strategy to ensure you are fuelling and recovering adequately with minimal spill-over into fat storage.”


DAYS 12–17: OVULATION What’s happening to my body? A large

out of the University of Cape Town and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa finding that training two days before ovulation resulted in better endurance in time-trial cyclists. “This week not only continues to be an effective time for muscle building, but also fat loss, as women tend to conserve glycogen stores and utilise more fat as fuel,” says Williamson. “This is the phase when my clients love to channel their inner ‘Charlie’s Angel’ and incorporate boxing and kickboxing into their training. It is also a time to attempt those bench jumps you’ve been too afraid to do and power out a few sprints as you jog. Often, women find they are able to go for longer lengths of time in cardiovascular activities. But be aware that muscles are more vulnerable to injury during this phase, so incorporate a good warm-up and cool-down.”

surge in luteinising hormone causes the release of the egg – which becomes the major source of progestone in the subsequent phase of your cycle. Both oestrogen and progesterone peak. Symptoms? Strength levels skyrocket and you may notice your shear force generation capacity (read: power) also increases. How to train: “If you want to set a strength PB, now is the time to try as your testosterone (another powerful strength hormone) peaks during this phase,” says Boehm. “However, you may also be at a higher risk of injury. As oestrogen skyrockets to its highest point during this phase, it can impact collagen metabolism and also influence your neuromuscular control.” It might also be the time to set a new long-distance run time, with one study



What’s happening to my body? The


luteal phase occurs provided the egg is not fertilised. Oestrogen levels drop, and progestorone takes over as the predominant hormone. Symptoms? “During the luteal phase, with your body temperature higher than normal, you’ll experience higher cardiovascular strain and a decrease in time to exhaustion,” says Boehm. “Your work capacity, pain threshold and general energy levels may start to diminish.” The dreaded PMS symptoms begin to rear their ugly head, including retention of excess water weight, making intense activities more difficult. Women tend to be more introspective and introverted during this time, and more

likely to suffer from poor body image, according to Boehm. How to train: “It’s very important to be kind to yourself and relinquish any guilt if you’re simply not feeling up for exercise. Pushing yourself through a gruelling session because you’re feeling particularly ‘yuck’ can have an adverse effect and leave you feeling even more lethargic and run down,” says Boehm, who suggests lowering cardio intensity and keeping strength training at moderate intensity. “If you are training for strength or to build muscle, this is the perfect time to de-load and allow your body and nervous system to recover. Your strength will be at its lowest and injury risk at its height. Any form of heavy or


FIRED UP FAT LOSS » The good: on the flip side, the luteal phase is also when you are at your fat burning peak, with your metabolism firing 7.7 per cent higher than normal, according to one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “You’ll also experience a greater thermic effect from food as your body will burn more calories digesting than it normally does,” says Boehm. » The bad: Be careful of your cravings for a Big Mac. As feel-good hormone serotonin dips (leaving you wanting to cry during a washing powder commercial), your instinct to eat carbs for their natural high increases. “Due to your insulin sensitivity (your body’s ability to burn carbohydrates for fuel) now being at its lowest point, and the fact you’ll be lowering the intensity of your workouts due to your high fatigability, you need to keep carb intake under control,” says Boehm. » Fire up fat burning: Eat foods such as turkey, pineapple, cheese, nuts and seeds, which naturally increase your seratonin and dopamine levels, easing mood-related PMS symptoms, suggests Boehm. Opt for lower carb, lower calorie nutrition where possible to kickstart fat burn during this phase.

high-volume weight training may leave you feeling very discouraged and worsen PMS symptoms.” Williamson agrees. “Around 90 per cent of women experience PMS symptoms of some kind. Try swimming laps, getting on a bike or walking/jogging. The trick is for this week and next to find something enjoyable that doesn’t put you off exercise for your entire cycle. Listening to moodenhancing music as you exercise can help, as does a good podcast,” she says. Take advantage of meditation, yoga and Pilates during this time. One study out of the International Journal of Enviromental Research and Public Health looked at the effect yoga interventions had on the premenstrual symtoms of 64 young females, with over 90 per cent of subjects usually experiencing menstrual pain. After 12 weeks, subjects reported drastic decreases in common PMS symptoms, including bloating, breast tenderness and cramps. /MActiveSportswear @mactivesportswear

DAY 1–4 (again): MENSTRUATION What’s happening to my body? Oestrogen and progesterone both take a dive.

Symptoms? Other than the obvious (sigh), both your energy and mood tend go downhill – particularly for the first few days. “Along with irritability, cramping can also have an impact on your performance, as it can be a nightmare to do any sort of exercise when in pain, let alone do it at a professional level. British tennis star Heather Watson attributed her crashing out of the Australian Open to ‘girl things’,” says Williamson. How to train: Other than avoiding white leggings, Williamson suggests lowering the intensity of your training to a gentle walk or stretch; keeping the body moving during this time stimulates endorphins, helping to offset poor mood. For those who feel the effects of ‘that time of the month’ less keenly, keep HIIT in the mix. “This is actually a time to get the most out of high intensity workouts. Because of the low levels of oestrogen and progesterone, our glycogen/carbohydrate fuel stores are accessed more easily, giving you a helping hand with energy and stamina,” says Williamson.


TRAIN BY THY PHASE BY BOEHM » Follicular phase: three to four days full-body training with a moderate-heavy load in a strength/hypertrophy rep range (1–12), focusing on the major compound lifts, coupled with low-intensity cardio, such as walking, in between workouts. » Ovulation: go for a max! Or if you’re not training for strength, try an exercise or a workout that you know will challenge you physically and psychologically. » Luteal phase: two to three days of full-body training with a lighter load and higher reps (15+) to optimise fat burning. Include 1–2 metabolic conditioning or HIIT sessions, as well as relaxing, active-recovery exercise, such as yoga and walking.


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Whether you are currently pregnant, a mother of five or single as a pringle, the pressures of social media to conform to a particular body standard prevail. Resident journo Angelique Tagaroulias asked the experts what realistic training looks like while pregnant, and spoke to four Insta-famous mums about the percieved pressures to ‘bounce back’ post-baby.


Growing a mini human inside your belly is an experience that’s unique to every woman, but one commonality is the inevitable body transformation: skin stretches, sags and marks, belly’s grow, there’s fat gain and sometimes even fat loss, and many a hormonal shift or mood swing. And with the rise of social media, so often these once private changes are carefully curated for the world to see – and critique. Thirty-nine weeks into her pregnancy, US fitness model Sarah Stage posted a photo revealing her belly on Instagram. Blessed with a super-fit physique and a seemingly petite tum for someone a week from birth, Stage copped a torrent of comments from passionate Instagram followers (‘How crazy is that?’ and ‘39 f%#@-ing weeks – where?’). And then there’s Aussie fashion blogger Rebecca Judd, whose naturally slender frame receives criticism at all stages of motherhood, from pre-pregnancy right through to post-partum. On the flip side, recent research has revealed the effect such social media posts are having on the general public. Viewing images of celebrities’ super-toned and lean bodies post-baby is having a negative impact on body image for nearly 50 per cent of women, according to research published in the journal Health Communication. Fifty women who were at least 20 weeks pregnant or nine months post-partum were interviewed as part of the study, revealing that ‘unrealistic’ depictions of women

‘bouncing back’ quickly post-birth instantly caused negative feelings of self-consciousness, depression, frustration and hopelessness among female media consumers. Despite these perceptions, the reality is that the majority of mums don’t drop the ‘baby weight’ or regain their original shape in a flash, says coach and owner of Living Beauty Fitness Amelia Ricci ( “Pregnancy and childbirth have a major impact on a woman’s body, affecting every system including respiratory, cardiac/circulatory, hormonal and musculoskeletal. The greatest changes experienced are usually postural, with an increased arch in the lower back and a rounding of the shoulders, lower back pain, separation of the abdominal muscles (also known as diastasis recti) and shortness of breath,” she says. “The first trimester is particularly challenging and when most of the cardiovascular changes occur – cardiac output is increased by 30–50 per cent and heart rate by 15 per cent. Personally, I found myself puffing during a light warm-up with my clients! “If you have never exercised before, the guidelines are generally to stick to pregnancy Pilates, yoga or walking. If you have never lifted weights or trained at a high intensity, I definitely wouldn’t start something different as it may shock your body – the last thing you need while trying to grow a healthy baby.”

F1RST TRIMESTER TRAINING Pregnancy is often a scary experience, particularly for new mums, so getting educated on the process and gaining an understanding of what is to come is vital. While most mums continue to exercise during the first trimester with no issues, ensure you have clearance from your GP before you jump in. Prioritising sleep, listening to your body, taking breaks during exercise when needed and keeping well hydrated are positive steps, says Ricci. As the baby can not yet regulate its own body temperature, staying cool is also a must, so find a gym with air-con. In terms of training, abdominal workouts are usually recommended to cease before the second trimester, due to

an increased risk of diastasis recti (the separation of the outermost abdominal muscles). Inner thigh exercises should also be forgone, as the abductors (inner thigh muscles attached to the pubic bone) start to loosen during pregnancy to accommodate a growing bub. There’s a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor during pregnancy, and childbirth can stretch and damage these muscles, so movements designed to strengthen the area are important. Ricci suggests gently lifting and activating the muscle when you squat; along with optimising glute strength, squats will also help your pelvic stability. High intensity exercise increases your heart rate to its max and is

generally not recommended at any stage of pregnancy. “In the first trimester, overheating may cause miscarriage and in the second and third trimesters, this high level of exertion is difficult due to the size of the uterus, amniotic fluid and the size of the baby,” says Ricci. “An expectant mother can still do cardio but at a lower work output than you would with HIIT, aiming for max heart rate and post exercise afterburn. I still ride a stationary bike but I don’t push for that max heart rate; I go about 50 per cent intensity of what I normally would. I recommend modifying with low impact activities and to either use a heart rate monitor or go via perceived exertion.”




From the second trimester, hormonal changes cause joints to soften, so impact work such as jumping and plyometric training should eventually cease in order to reduce your risk of injury. And don’t think that you have to train every day while pregnant. “Even three to four days a week is plenty, focusing on the back for posture and legs – specifically glutes – as they are the key stabilisers for your pelvis and spine. It’s important to also train your arms to maintain strength for lifting the baby and pram in and out of the car,” says Ricci.

Master trainer Claire Bastow ( warns that abdominal muscle separation is very common among women who have given birth, affecting 33 per cent of women who have had one baby, 66 per cent who have had two, and alarmingly, 100 per cent who have had three or more babies or twins. What’s more, many women don’t even know they have it: signs of diastasis recti include a stomach that sticks out months after childbirth, bloating and pelvic floor issues, often considered by new mums as ‘normal’. If left untreated, long-term consequences include incontinence due to the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, lower back pain and digestive issues, says Bastow. “To help prevent diastasis, avoid movements where the force of your organs pushes down on the stretched connective tissue, such as planks, cat

PREGNANCY WEIGHTS SPLIT DAY 1: Back, chest and legs DAY 2: Arms, legs and light cardio (i.e. stationary bike at a moderate pace) DAY 3: Back, balance work such as unweighted walking lunges, glute work with a booty band and stretching

cows or any exercise on all fours where your stomach is facing the ground,” she says. “You should not do anything that stretches the connective tissue sideways by flaring the ribs, meaning no yoga backbends or side bends.” Every birth and experience is different, so when it comes to getting back to full capacity training, it’s best to seek professional advice. “To get back to HIIT training I started with the stationary bike, then progressed to weight training and Pilates and was able to get to my full schedule of training by six months post baby,” says Ricci. Some experts recommend waiting a minimum of six weeks before getting back into training – gentle walking and pelvic floor exercises are a good starting point. But again, recovery time for each individual varies and if you experience aches and pains while exercising, go straight to your post-natal physio or doctor, says Ricci.

DAY 4: Full body



Nutritionist / @alpendlebury


Nutritionist, health advocate and model, Alex Pendlebury is easy to envy. A brand new mama to baby boy Jax and wife to elite footballer Scott Pendlebury, she spends her days not only caring for her son and taking ridiculously cute snaps for social, but also helping to run the couple’s business, Progression Fitness Club (PFC), a Melbourne gym offering an array of group fitness classes. How does she do it all while keeping up her own health and fitness routine? We asked the question and she answered.

ON PREGNANCY The biggest change I experienced was mental. You realise and appreciate how amazing your body is, and the focus suddenly shifts from yourself to a growing little human, giving new meaning to your life.

ON TRAINING I felt pretty average in my first trimester, so I reduced my exercise to daily walks and one to two bodyweight workouts per week. I felt amazing in my second and third trimesters, so I went back to about four cycle or strength classes at PFC, making sure to not overdo it or lift too heavy (swapping most exercises for body weight). I also stopped doing high intensity training for the duration of my pregnancy.

ON BOUNCING BACK I think I put weight on in my first month after giving birth while staying home, eating more and exercising less. But I didn’t worry about my body image – my baby was more important, so I did what I needed to stay mentally healthy and happy. Exercise: I stayed home and cared for Jax in the first three weeks, then started to go for short walks, slowly increasing the time. I walked most days but didn’t start training until three to four months later. I have been active my whole life, so I enjoyed the time off and didn’t feel pressured to get back into shape. I’m now doing two to three group classes a week, as it’s all I have time for!

Nutrition: I was in survival mode the first month and ate whatever was easily available. Breast feeding saw my appetite go through the roof, so I listened to my body and ate what I needed to. Big orders of healthy pre-prepared meals from Dineamic Foodstore have been a lifesaver. Although I occasionally crave a bit of chocolate, I mostly stick to my rule of eating at least five serves of vegies a day and eating 80 per cent wholefoods (fruit and veg, wholesome carbs, lean proteins and some healthy fats).


BREAKFAST: A big cup of water to start the day followed by porridge or overnight oats with chia seeds, almond milk and fruit/berries SNACK: Almond milk cappuccino and fruit LUNCH: A wrap or salad with vegies, legumes, avocado and tuna or grilled chicken breast SNACK: Corn thins with nut butter or honey DINNER: Brown rice and vegie stir fry with coriander and soy sauce, or grilled salmon or fish and green vegies AFTER DINNER: Cup of tea and berries with Greek yoghurt

#1 TIP Be organised with your exercise (eg. walk while the baby sleeps in the pram) and have fresh produce ready in the fridge.

Tammy Hembrow

Social influencer and CEO of Tammy Hembrow Fitness and Saski Collection /, // @tammyhembrow, @tammyhembrowfitness Twenty-three-year-old mum to Wolf (aged two) and Saskia (aged one), Insta-famous business owner Tammy Hembrow began her fitness journey at a time when she wasn’t living a very healthy lifestyle and she needed to make a change. Now one of the fittest mamas on our social feeds, she started her own fitness business and clothing line, Saski Collection, as a way of sharing her personal experiences with other women. Renowned for her Insta pics displaying her tiny waist, peachy booty and flawless complexion (plus super-cute matching outfits with her littlies), she reveals that motherhood is not always what it appears to be on the ’gram.

ON PREGNANCY The biggest change for me was emotionally. My life immediately became about someone else when I became pregnant, and it was more difficult emotionally after giving birth to Saskia – I was consumed with guilt because trying to give both my babies attention was so challenging. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride, but also a massive learning curve.

ON TRAINING During my first pregnancy, I trained around five days a week but changed my workouts in my second and third trimester, not pushing myself as hard and listening to my body when out of breath or tired. During my second pregnancy, I trained much less because of complications and stopped working out completely in my third trimester, as recommended by my doctor.


I was keen to get back to the gym after giving birth to Saskia and dedicated to building my body to even better than what it was pre-pregnancy. With two babies it’s hard to find time to keep on top of healthy habits, but I make time for the gym and meal preparation. I find that the more I work out and eat healthy, the less sluggish and tired I feel and the more energy I have for my kids.

It’s not as easy as it might seem; it took me roughly three to six months and my body didn’t just bounce back. My stomach muscles took longer to recover because my abs had separated and weakened during pregnancy; I was advised to focus my training on other areas of my body until they recovered and healed. I did glute workouts and focused on clean eating to get my abs back. I still have loose skin and my belly button has changed but it doesn’t bother me. I know my body achieved something amazing, and I can honestly say I’m now healthier and stronger than ever.

DAY IN THE LIFE OF HEMBROW I usually get up with the kids around 6am and get briefed for the day, which can include photo shoots, meetings, vlogging, [Instagram] post scheduling, going into the office, approving samples, design meetings and going to the gym before going home with the kids. Sometimes they come with me and sometimes they’re with their dad, Reece. It’s pretty busy being the CEO and shareholder of both companies and managing all the employees.



#1 TIP Having a great support network is invaluable. It’s a bit of a juggling act, so I try my best to manage my time and to plan – but planning can go out the window when you’re a mum.

Amelia Ricci

Qualified pre- and post-natal reformer Pilates instructor, yoga teacher, personal trainer and owner of Living Beauty Fitness // @livingbeautyamelia // Facebook: Amelia Ricci Sports Model & Fitness Trainer Ricci started training at the gym as an escape from university studies, but soon began participating in fitness model comps and now specialises in Pilates and yoga for pregnancy. The proud mum to three-yearold Orlando (with baby number two on the way) is passionate about educating women on safe and effective pre- and postnatal exercise.




Pregnancy hasn’t been easy for me – support is definitely needed. Emotionally, it can be difficult to accept the changes to your body, particularly weight gain, exhaustion and the

inability to exercise at a high intensity. Physically, I have experienced back and hip pain, which is normal given the body is preparing to soften and expand to accommodate a growing baby. But the joy at the end of the journey makes it worth it!

ON TRAINING I stopped all ab workouts immediately when I found out I was pregnant and instead focused on back workouts (lower traps and rhomboids). As my tummy and breasts grow, I have a tendency to round my shoulders, making good posture harder to maintain and causing back and neck pain.

I had an emergency caesarean with Orlando, so recovery was slow, but I did the prescribed physio exercises daily and no other exercise except walking for six weeks. Over 12 months, I returned to full fitness as a bikini athlete and competed at my leanest and most muscular.

ON BOUNCING BACK Recovery was hard – my pelvic floor weakened from hours of pushing, and my ab muscles were cut during the c-section, which required time to heal. Even though I have studied and taught pregnancy fitness for years, nothing prepared me emotionally for the recovery, but it did get better each week. I saw a physio for exercises and didn’t do any impact work or heavier weights until my core was strong enough and I got the all-clear from my medical practitioner. I gained 25 kilos during my first pregnancy and lost all of the baby weight 12 months later to compete. My message for new mamas is to not worry: it’s certainly possible to get your strength back and to achieve whatever you desire by following professional advice, doing Pilates exercises and being consistent and patient.


I get up at 5–6am to train clients and get Orlando off to KinderGym or playgroup. While he is at his activities, I work and plan for bikini comp events. The key is to be organised – I aim to work a few days in advance to keep knocking things off my ‘to-do’ list. I’m currently experiencing back and pelvis pain, which is normal as the muscles and ligaments relax as pregnancy progresses. Stretching and foam rolling before bed each night helps me to sleep and feel better the next day.

#1 TIP Meal prep is key: it’s important to get the right nutrients, especially when breastfeeding. When you are sleep deprived, having freshly cut fruit and vegies at hand makes it less likely you’ll snack on junk.


Snezana Markoski Full-time mum / @snezanamarkoski

Markoski completed a double degree in molecular genetics and biotechnology while being a single mum to her now 12-year-old daughter Eve. But after finding love on hit Channel 9 reality series The Bachelor back in 2015, it was time for another addition to her little family. She tells us all about the emotional rollercoaster of being a fulltime mum for the second time to cutie patootie newborn Willow.

ON PREGNANCY I thought I knew what to expect but with 12 years between my girls, the experience was so different. I’m more tired and it’s harder and takes longer for my body to recover. There’s also emotional ups and downs because it’s been harder than I’d anticipated.

ON TRAINING I trained really hard before going on The Bachelor, with lots of boxing and strength training, but put on 10kg during the show and didn’t feel too great after that!

Willow’s pretty much attached to my boob for eight hours a day, which is limiting. I usually get Eve to school and do some housework, then try to get active and spend some time in the office while Sam looks after Willow, before collecting Eve and doing motherly after-school duties. It’s all a blur and the house is a mess but I’ve never been happier. Post-show I worked out with Sammy and did his 28 [fitness] program. I now train with him a couple of days a week at his gym and do home workouts on other days with Willow next to me. I tried to stay as active as I could during both pregnancies but it’s definitely hard and best to listen to your body. I did gentle pregnancy-safe home workouts and went for walks, and some days just slept.

ON BOUNCING BACK It’s not as easy as it seems on Instagram! I like to be honest and open on my Instagram; the reality is, it’s hard, I’m sore and I feel sluggish. There’s no need to rush to get your body back to what it was.

#1 TIP Keep it real and enjoy the journey. Don’t set yourself up to fail by worrying about others or trying to get back in shape fast.


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TRAVEL The holiday season is finally here, meaning you might find yourself spending less time at the squat rack and more time by the pool sipping on pina coladas. And with Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommending two-and a-half hours of moderateintensity activity per week to help prevent weight gain, it’s important to find ways to have your cocktail and keep active too. THE SOLUTION? Book your fitness escape to beautiful (and affordable) Thailand and get ready for a host of funfilled activities that will get your heart rate up in between soaking up rays – no treadmill required.


Muay Thai martial art uses unique combat techniques that require skill in both the body and mind. This full-body workout uses every muscle, inducing rapid weight loss. And with over 1,700 Muay Thai camps across Thailand and many hotels offering classes, you can pretty much try it anytime, anywhere. Rock climbing and abseiling are great outdoor activities for testing your courage. These activities originated in Railay Bay in the Krabi province, now known as a heaven for rock climbers. The area is renowned for its picturesque limestone cliffs set against a white sandy beach and dark blue ocean. Pure bliss. If you love snorkelling and scuba diving – or would love to give it a go – Thailand is the place to do it. With clear turquoise seawater, magnificent coral reefs and an exceptional diversity of marine life, it’s no wonder the region is often referred to as ‘the diver’s heaven’. The peninsula of Southern Thailand stretches between two oceans, allowing diving in Thailand to be possible all year round. The Gulf of Thailand is suitable for diving trips from April to October and the best period for diving in the Andaman Sea is from November to April. Kayaking in Thailand is an amazing way to see spectacular scenery. Whether by sea or river, you’ll paddle over crystalclear water under a tropical sun while exploring diverse countryside, a verdant

jungle, limestone cliffs, intricate sea caves and mangrove swamps. Koh Phangan is the ultimate paradise to explore. The island offers beautiful hidden coves and beaches – a sight for sore eyes while you work your arm muscles manoeuvring the kayak. Cycling is a fun way to discover the natural wonders, cultural treasures and unique ways of life of Thailand. Getting your heart rate up with some steadystate cardio while experiencing the Thai culture sounds like the ultimate workout for an adventure seeker. Some sensational cycling routes include:

» Sam Praeng community in Bangkok » The bike route along the Chao Phraya River on the Thonburi side » Ayutthaya World Heritage bike route » Sukhothai World Heritage bike route If you’re a bit of a thrillseeker, you won’t pass up gliding down the zipline through a rainforest canopy. But safety first, of course – you’ll be harnessed safely on either the wooden walking platforms or the ziplines.


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Trainer and director of Earn Your Stripes

Vision PT master trainer

Personal trainer, nutrition and health coach

Trainer and founder of Result Based Training gyms

Founder and head coach of Ally’s Angels & Alphas

agentofchangept. //@ashleigh_ agentofchangept // @allysangels_fitness // @thethaigress QUALS: Dip. of Fitness, Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness, Master Trainer EXPERIENCE: 8+ years brighton // facebook. com/daniel.tramontana QUALS: Vision Master Trainer, IAPC Certified, MP Level 3 Transformation Specialist EXPERIENCE: 8+ years

QUALS: Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness, Nutrition & Health Coach (IIN), NLP Coach (Instant Insight Academy), Elemental Transformation Coach (Functional Medicine)

QUALS: Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness, CHEK Institute Certified Coach, Poliquin Level 3, AOK Health Corrective Exercise Specialist, FMA Strength Institute Level 3, Australian Strength Coach Level 2

EXPERIENCE: 7+ years

EXPERIENCE: 15+ years


Like the body, we subconsciously adapt our mind to suit the climate we are in. For example, think of your last relationship: like we begin to mirror our partner’s idiosyncrasies and colloquialisms, we also begin to adapt to a similar behaviour and thought process. This concept is based on the law of averages, and as Jim Rohn so concisely suggested ‘[we] are the average of the five people [we] spend the most time with’. The most successful entrepreneurs and fitness identities understand this concept and constantly surround themselves with positive, driven and goal-oriented people that reflect what they DESIRE to be. This is one of the first lessons I teach my clients. I ask them to assess how the closest people to them make them feel and behave. Ideally, they want to associate more so

QUALS: Qualified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist, WBFF Pro Fitness Diva EXPERIENCE: 10+ years

with those that inspire them to become better rather than those who present as obstacles. Unfortunately, many times my clients divulge that the closest to them are not aligning with the behaviour they want to express or develop. For example, bringing junk foods into the house every shopping trip when their partner is trying to break this habit. This is not about changing someone else to suit you; it’s about education, communication and compromise. More often than not, I find partners tend to come and look at training as something they can enjoy as a couple. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, highlights the importance of being proactive about your life, and this transcends into the realm of health as much as any other. He describes being proactive as “being responsible for our own lives...our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.” So, another


recommendation I make to my clients is to create a solution to a problem that does not exist yet. If your circle of supporters is weak or non-existent, before you fall into a behavioural spiral, find a group of like-minded people. This is what I call ‘training smart’ in the sense of developing your support network. Find a studio or gym that builds a community – there are so many concept gyms around these days that foster community, and having friends within a like-minded circle will help you develop good habits. Social media influencers will only get you so far – your ‘gym mates’ will be your strongest behavioural influencers.

THREE POINTS TO TAKE AWAY: » Connect with people who exhibit the behaviour you want to develop: your network should be filled with people who will consistently inspire and motivate you to do what you need to do. » Communication and education: be honest with your partner/ friends about what you want and need. Communicate and come to a compromise. » Be proactive: solve the foreseeable problem before it becomes one.


Your immediate network or circle of influence will contribute to your level of success in any aspect of your life. The closest relationships in our lives influence our beliefs, ideas, behaviours, general self-esteem, daily habits, our way of thinking and basic morals. Every relationship we have, or have ever had, has impacted the quality of life we are living. From big lifechanging decisions to choosing what we will have for breakfast, the people closest to us usually have the strongest influence over our decisions, and often we don’t even realise it!

TRY THIS ACTIVITY: Make a list of the five people you spend most of your time with and see if any of your current habits, lifestyle choices, interests, or decisions have been impacted by these people. Then ask yourself honestly, are these people: » Pushing me to be better and grow? » Holding me back and keeping me from my goals? » Keeping me comfortably in limbo, unmotivated and stuck? You might be surprised by the balance of the company you keep. The first step is to be aware of those different influences over you and, depending on your current goals, how this is translating into your actions. Being honest with yourself about the people in your life can be difficult and may sound judgemental, but is still a critical step.


You need people – family, friends, colleagues and teammates – who will challenge you to improve, motivate you to succeed and help you maintain a high standard for yourself. You want to surround yourself with people who are better in areas that you wish to improve in. If someone is bringing you down, you have to reduce his or her involvement in your life. Not doing so may hinder your energy, vision and ultimate success in the areas you are striving to be better. When it comes to nutrition, for example, research has found that for many people, poor habits formed around food are largely influenced by the habits and choices of the people around them. So rather than we are what we eat, you could say we are what they eat. As you enter new stages in your life or take on new endeavours, the five people closest to you may change or evolve. Your top five people you spent the most time with in high school were probably very different than your five now. It’s not that you need to disregard your friendships or even distance yourself from friends; you’re simply becoming aware of where and how you are allotting your time. Consider if there are people who you know will help you improve and become more likely to achieve your goals, and go out of your way to spend more time with them. It’s also a good idea to put yourself under the microscope. Be aware of who you are guiding, inspiring and influencing. Consider that YOU are in their top five. Ask yourself, could I do a better job? What else can I bring to their lives? Is there someone I am bringing down? And then go ahead and make the necessary change.

BOEHM There’s no argument: you are a product of your environment and the people that exist within that enviroment. Those who you work, live and socialise with can have a huge impact on your health and fitness, as they have the power to influence everything from your diet and training regime to your self-esteem, personal standards and what you consider to be ‘normal’. It’s vitally important to ensure your ‘circle of influence’ is comprised of people who share your values in terms of lifestyle, health and fitness. While having people around you that cheer you on and support your fitness goals is powerful, having a friend, group of peers or partner who is sharing the journey can transform you from a yo-yo dieting, erratic gymgoer to a dedicated fitness-lover who lives and breathes the healthy lifestyle. Exercise partners provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and, in some cases, healthy competition. They can play the role of teammate, co-coach and cheerleader — all while working out with you.

So what things should you look for when choosing your fit-fam? Equal level of commitment and emotional connection: If you choose

someone who does not share a similar commitment to fitness, it can be a distraction or even a deterrent. There is nothing more disappointing than rolling out of bed and psyching yourself up for an early-morning workout only to receive a text from your friend saying she had a belter the night before and needs to sleep it off. Finding a partner who is just

TOXIC DETRACTORS: When someone embarks on a journey to positively change their body and lifestyle, it can often have a polarising effect on those in their environment. Some will feel inspired and motivated while others will feel threatened, as any effort of self-improvement will magnify their own perceived downfalls and insecurities. These people can be blatantly unsupportive and make no effort to hide their disapproval.

HOW TO RECOGNISE AND DEAL WITH A TOXIC DETRACTOR: » They tell you you’re ‘obsessed’: labelling you as ‘obsessed’ causes you to throw into question all your choices and motives. A toxic detractor will often use extreme words and labels to reframe a positive behaviour into a negative one in an effort to decimate your efforts. Instead of trying to defend yourself, simply replying, “Perhaps that’s just how you are perceiving me. I’m feeling very balanced and energised. I appreciate your concern as a friend; however, it’s totally misdirected.”

as invested and determined as you are will ensure you never feel let down. Your workout pal doesn’t have to be your best friend, but he or she has to be someone you like and whom you wouldn’t want to disappoint. Alignment of schedules: to ingrain sustainable habits, they need to be easy to implement, especially in the initial stages. If you’re consistently finding it difficult to lock in a mutually convenient time to train with your buddy, there’s a good chance training will end up in the ‘too hard’ basket while other priorities take over. Alignment of goals and similar levels of fitness: having a shared goal (ie. lose body fat or getting fit for an event) is crucial when teaming up with a friend. A misalignment of goals means that one person’s needs will become deprioritised. If your partner is at a radically different level of health, fitness or ability, you could be held back, pushed too hard or even injured.

» They will try and break you: have you ever been out to dinner with a group of friends, perfectly happy to order the atlantic salmon with sauteed greens only to be convinced that ‘one burger isn’t going to kill you’? While a true friend will support your healthy choice, a toxic detractor will love to watch your willpower diminish under peer pressure. As tempting as it may be, do not give in. Learning to say no is a fundamentally crucial part of progressing with any health-related goal. Once they realise your conviction is stronger than their influence, a toxic detractor will give up. » They insist you simply need to love yourself: while I absolutely believe in this sentiment, a toxic detractor will tell you “you’re perfect just the way you are” not out of a pure intention, but to prevent you from becoming selfempowered. It’s absolutely possible to love yourself while working on yourself; however, a toxic detractor will refute this point. Toxic detractors prey on the insecurities and vulnerabilities of others and the more confidence you gain, the less power they yield over you.



You are the sum of the five people closest to you. Look around: are your friends and family fit and healthy? Researchers from the Harvard Medical School observed changes in body weight among 12,067 people over 32 years. It turns out that your risk of becoming obese increases by 57 per cent when a friend becomes overweight – and it doesn’t even matter if the friend lives next door or hundreds of miles away. This risk rises by a whopping 171 per cent when a mutual friend becomes obese! Fortunately, it also works the other way around. You’re more likely to maintain your health and figure when the people surrounding you watch their body weight also. Why does your circle of influence have such a major impact on your fitness goals? According to Dr Nicholas Christakis, co-leader of the study: “You change your idea of what an acceptable body type is by looking at the people around you.” So, optimise your surroundings – and hit your health and fitness goals in the process – with these two proven adjustments:



Even those dedicated to their fitness goals can fall prey to a dent in motivation. Whether due to a stressful event at work, relationship problems, or another setback along the road, motivation tends to fluctuate. Having a partner to hold you accountable is one of the best ways to support your weight loss efforts. While it’s ideal to get backing from close friends or your partner, online support groups have also proven to be beneficial. The same holds true for working out – having a partner


can take your motivation, commitment and your performance to the next level. One study found that when participants exercised with a virtual partner, they biked double the time of those with no partner, on average. This is a huge focus with RBT style training: accountability and support leads to results.



Not only does your social circle influence your body shape, but the food you have around you also matters. Researchers have found that homes of obese individuals have less healthy food available than the residences of those with a healthy body weight. You are less likely to overconsume calories if you keep healthy food around. NB: this is not an invitation to consume your entire pantry on Saturday/Sunday so you can ‘start fresh’ Monday. Start now. Throw it away or give it away – now. Then set some goals, track your food, plan your meals for the week, and only buy what’s on the list. It’s the best way to hit your physique goals, but it also saves you money; after all, the chocolate is not burning calories, only burning a hole in your wallet. Be honest with yourself: one square will only lead to the block. One tip to keep high-calorie foods out of reach is avoiding the grocery store on an empty stomach (or having family members do so). The reason is that when we’re hungry, we automatically tend to buy highercalorie foods.


» Train with someone who is as dedicated to your goals and theirs as you. » Don’t have temptation at your fingertips. » Plan and prepare.


There is no coincidence that our greatest successes occur when we feel the most supported. Whether you are making big changes to your life or chasing big goals, it’s always more difficult to go at it alone. Having the support of people that share in your passion, that hold similar interests, or simply want the best for you personally, greatly enhances your chance of success! Unfortunately, when it comes to health and fitness goals in particular, there tends to be compliance derailment due to the lack of support from loved ones and inner circles. It can be completely disheartening, overwhelming and destructive when the people we turn to for encouragement, love and acceptance are the same ones who rain on our fitness parade. After all, if our most loved ones can’t understand the importance of what we are choosing to do, or they question our abilities to achieve our goals, then how can we believe we can? Right? WRONG! Usually when we are met with objections, it’s more about the way people see themselves than it is an accurate depiction of you. At the end of the day, no one will ever understand YOUR journey – and that’s ok, they don’t have too. They just need to accept your decision, and not derail you or dampen your dreams. So what do we do when we encounter those in our circle who simply don’t get what we are trying to achieve, that don’t share our passions or simply choose to see the world as glass half empty? Firstly, you need to give them the chance to understand your WHY. You need to share your goals and vision, and why it matters so much to you. If they truly care about you, then what makes

you happy should be all they want for you – and therefore they should support your goals regardless of their agreement of your chosen direction. Another course of action is to compartmentalise: to seek out new friendships, training partners and support networks that share in your goals and utilise this support team for all fitness-related topics. Keep your friends that may not be ‘into the gym’ to the same social settings that they have always held. In time, who knows – your progress might be what inspires them to take action on a healthier lifestyle! You can find these groups as part of a team (like Ally’s Angels & Alphas), an online community, a functional training facility (like F45) or a local team sporting group. When it comes to our significant others, we need to gently encourage their participation. I always suggest starting slowly by planning more ‘active’ dates together, finding the actives that interest them and then making them part of our fitness plan. Create gym dates and make the sessions something you can enjoy as a team. When it comes to the kitchen (and our eternal hunt for our abs), try cooking similarly for your partner, modifying where needed. They don’t have to be 100 per cent on board with what you do, but when introduced to the healthier life, I find most people don’t want to be left behind. As they start to feel (and see!) your amazing outcomes, they are bound to want the same. Failing all of the above, it may simply be time to elevate your circle. Not everyone is meant to be in our lives for a lifetime. As difficult as this realisation may be, not every relationship is good for us, and if they are preventing you from being your best self – then it’s most certainly time to re-evaluate the value it may or may not be adding. Never underestimate the power of words or the impact of love. The presence or absence of either – from others and yourself – can directly impact your outcomes. So make sure you set yourself up for success by refusing to give up on your dreams and simply sourcing the right support group for you!


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THE QUESTION: “I would like to know your top tips for coming back to training from surgery? – eating, remedial therapies, supplements, alternative treatments, etc. You’ve done such an incredible job with your own journey, it would be fantastic to have your top tips.” – Keri McMenamin

THE ANSWER: While injury prevention doesn’t have the same sexy ring to it as ‘blast your belly fat’ or ‘drop a dress size in a week’, it’s arguably the most important aspect of your training. You can’t master a pull-up with a screwed-up shoulder, you can’t run a half marathon if you’re suffering from knee pain and you won’t PB your deadlift if your lower back twinges every time. You have one body to live in, so you need to step up and take responsibility for safeguarding it. It’s not your physical therapist’s job to keep you healthy nor should it rest on your chiropractor’s shoulders to crack your spine ‘back into place’ every time you decide to let your ego drive your sessions.

Here are my top tips to bulletproof your body: Listen to your body. Everyone, no matter their goal, skill set or training experience, should be able to squat, hip hinge, lunge, push, press, and move their body without pain (and by pain, I don’t mean muscular



This month, our WH&F head trainer Alexa Towersey talks all things injury prevention and treatment. And given her recent hip replacement surgery (she was back in the gym just nine days post-op – just FYI), we feel she’s the perfect source for advice on your every little niggle. SPONSORED BY

fatigue from training). If not, then don’t just shrug it off as the price of doing business, but rather identify the origin of the change before it leads to injury. I practised the ‘ostrich manoeuvre’ (sticking my head in the sand) for eight months before I had an x-ray and MRI that confirmed my ‘tight hips’ were in fact disguising two labral tears and degenerative osteoarthritis that required a complete hip replacement. Prepare your body for movement. A warm-up isn’t an excuse to muck around with a foam roller; it’s an opportunity to make your training more efficient and effective. A solid, dynamic warm-up primes the nervous system, addresses structural imbalances, identifies potential weaknesses and reinforces correct movement patterns. Imbalance = injury. If a significant contralateral imbalance exists (read: one side of the body more than the other), perform a 2:1 ratio of a mobility flow (start and end your warm-up with the tight side). Program recovery. If every hard training session is defined by the amount of sympathetic stress you place on your system, every recovery session should in turn be valued by the amount of parasympathetic response you can generate.

Infrared saunas. Reduce inflammation, improve circulation and remove toxins at the cellular level. Epsom salts baths: Reduce inflammation, relax muscles and dampen the nervous system. Add bicarbonate soda to the mix to target inflammation at the cellular level. Self myofascial release. Breaks down fascia and adhesions. I carry a trigger point ball with me in the car, and sit on it for some glute and piriformis release during travel time. Alternative treatments such as cupping, blading and needling. Cupping increases blood flow superficially and stretches the fascia between muscles and fat; scraping and blading breaks down adhesions within the fascia and connective tissue; and needling assists the body in sending fresh blood to the area to promote faster healing. A combination of these treatments has been invaluable for me post surgery, especially in reducing scar tissue. Injuries aren’t a noble badge of honour. They can take away what you love to do, which is training hard with meaning and passion. So next time you hear yourself saying “I don’t have time to listen/prepare/recover”, just ask yourself if you have time to be injured.

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If you’re sick of egg white omelettes for brekkie and are looking for a more enticing way of getting adequate protein levels into your diet, this Chunky Monkey Granola is the way to go. Created by our beautiful 2017 Top 10 Cover Model finalist, Amy Lee (, this delicious high-protein, low-sugar granola is inspired by Ben & Jerry’s choc-peanut butter-banana ice-cream flavour (yum), but made from wholesome and nourishing ingredients. It’s also vegan and oil free. Enjoy!


NUTRITION (per ½ cup ) Calories: 228 // Protein: 7g Fat: 13g // Carbs: 19g




» 2 cups rolled oats WelleCo (240g) Nourishing » 1 cup shredded Protein for the coconut (50g) protein powder » 1 cup walnuts and Natvia for (or nuts/seeds of the sweetener choice) (125g) » ½ cup vegan vanilla protein powder (or chocolate) (45g)* » ½ cup powdered sweetener of choice (80g)* » ½ tsp cinnamon » 1 tsp vanilla essence » 1 tsp baking powder » Pinch salt (to taste) » 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 200g) » ⅛ cup maple syrup or honey (60g)** » 3 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter, melted (or more banana for lower fat) (60g) » ½ cup chocolate chips (80g), optional » ½ cup banana chips or dried banana, optional



TIP: Serve with non-fat Greek yoghurt or milk for an extra protein hit.

1. Preheat the oven to 1700C. Line a baking tray with greased baking paper. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together (except the chocolate chips), then add all the wet ingredients, and stir until the mixture is combined and moist. 3. Pour granola onto prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. 4. Bake granola for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven – it will harden as it cools. When cooled, stir in choc chips and banana chips if using. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

**Adding syrup will make the granola crunch better, but you can substitute for more sweetener if you prefer.

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With health food this good, who needs cheat days? Indulge on the daily with Women’s Health & Fitness magazine.




The handover from 2017 you to 2018 you is well under way – but have bad habits made the transition? Before cursing yourself for being part of the 92 per cent of people who fail to achieve their new year resolutions (thanks to statistics from University of Scranton), consider dedicating one week to achieving a health goal. That’s the advice from the author of The 7 Day Quickie and personal trainer to the stars Tegan Haining (, who says focusing on just a seven-day period may help you


achieve your more intimidating longterm health objective. “The 7 Day Quickie is unique because it takes the intimidation out of eating well and exercising because it’s only seven days,” says Haining. “So it’s not like: oh my goodness, on Monday I have to give up chocolate and red wine for three months and I have XYZ events to go to. It takes the burden out of being healthy when it’s just for one week.” With research indicating that it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit,

Haining believes this can put many people off starting altogether. By looking at a period of seven days, it makes that first step in the right direction that much easier. Before embarking on the seven days, consider what you want to achieve. While it’s highly unlikely you’ll shed 10 kilograms in such a short period, take note of what aspects of your life and your body you want to feel better about. For example, getting better quality sleep, improving your physique for an event or






TEGAN HAINING’S – THE 7 DAY QUICKIE Haining’s book is a simple yet detailed guide to seven days of health and fitness that combines a balanced diet with a more active lifestyle.



enhancing your mood and energy levels are all achievable. Pure Glow director Rhyanna van Leeuwarden ( says we can strengthen these goals by writing them down in present tense. “There’s got to be a driving motivation and if you take the time to write it down, there’s more purpose behind it,” says van Leeuwarden. “Write it in present tense, such as ‘I feel light, fresh and present’, and when you read it at the end those intentions will be real.”

Haining says simple, nourishing food is key to incorporating good food habits into your lifestyle. Throughout the seven days, meals should be built around a palm-sized portion of protein (such as chicken, fish, organic grass-fed red meat, eggs, quinoa or tempeh), two cups of vegetables and a thumb-sized portion of healthy fats (such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado or nuts). When it comes to carbohydrates, Haining includes nutrient-dense carbohydrates in her plan but advises to add them last. “Carbohydrates are part of The 7 Day Quickie but we have brown rice instead of white rice, sweet potato instead of potato or rye toast with almond butter instead of white toast with jam, so the general person wouldn’t feel deprived eating this way,” says Haining. Choose your vegetables wisely by including carrots, cauliflower, beetroot or pumpkin on your plate and you get your carb hit simultaneously. To get the most out of your week, drop all processed foods, sugar (if you fancy something sweet Haining suggests low sugar fruit such as blueberries, green apples or ruby red grapefruits) and pre-packaged food. For liquids, maximise your water intake and aim for two litres daily. For caffeine lovers, Haining says one coffee per day before 2pm is fine. But for those keen on a glass of red, the news isn’t good. “Having a glass of wine in the evening really affects my sleep pattern because

the liver often detoxes around 3am in the morning. This is when you want to be getting that rejuvenating sleep, not detoxing the glass of wine or bad food from the day before,” says Haining. “Without an evening wine, I find I wake up before my alarm clock and feel really good. So give it a try for one week and notice what it does to your morning motivation.”

EXERCISE SMART If you think the seven-day period of amazingness means you’ll be smashing yourself in the gym two hours every day, think again. Haining believes a balanced approach achieves the best results, including two rest days. “The people who give themselves rest days and time to allow their lean muscle mass to develop actually become more efficient at fat burning than those constantly running on the treadmill,” says Haining. “Yes, they’re burning fat, but they’re burning muscle too, and their cortisol is very high and they’re stressed…it’s not an ideal way to get a happy life at the same time.” Instead, factor in two days of strength or resistance training, two days of interval training and a day or two of gentle yoga stretches over the week. Instead of leg or arm days, Haining recommends whole body workouts that work the front and back for ideal posture. “Work the front and then the back of your body so you’ve got nice posture, balance the upper and lower body exercises, work both pushing and pulling movements so we don’t get any rounded shoulder positioning that produces tightness in the chest – all of these are factors to consider,” says Haining. “Focus




PROS Seven days is achievable for anyone and Haining’s The 7-Day Quickie caters for all fitness levels and most taste buds. The balanced approach with carefully thought out nutrition alongside a mixture of exercise means you are unlikely to feel hungry or exhausted during this plan and, by the end, your energy levels will only increase. While Haining is reluctant to mention a number on the scales as everyone is different, she says people will lose a layer and gain a flatter tummy. Without alcohol and processed foods, your sleep pattern should improve, which means you’ll look fresher and experience better moods.

on a balanced, flexible and strong body – be really mindful of tightness because that’s where injury starts.”

SLEEP The importance of sleep this week (and always) cannot be underestimated. When we get less than eight hours of quality sleep, our body produces the hormone ghrelin, making us crave foods (especially sugar) and our hunger is often insatiable. On the flipside, a decent eight-hour sleep produces the hormone leptin, which increases satiety, reducing the urge to overeat. “It’s often the most challenging thing for my clients when I talk about going to bed at 10pm. They think I’m from Mars, but it makes such a difference,” says Haining. “One of the models I trained in London couldn’t shift weight from around her waistline and when we looked


at her sleep, she wasn’t ever going to bed before 1am. As soon as we got her to bed at 10pm, she lost that layer.” The magic time between 10pm and 6am, working with the sun, seems to be the ideal sleep format to prevent us reaching for stimulants the next morning. “When we’ve had a good night’s sleep, everything else flows from there,” says Haining. “We’ll make better food choices and we might be a little bit happier about going to the gym. A bad night’s sleep messes with our mindset, and positivity is what gets us through the day and kicking goals!”

SELF-CARE When you’re exercising hard plus eating lighter and healthier than ever, you may find some sore muscles and detoxing symptoms are the result in the first few

CONS Whenever we go full throttle and deprive ourselves of favourite foods, there’s the possibility of backlash once we reach the finish life. Haining says slips are part of being human and if you fall off the wagon on day eight, don’t sweat it. “I worked with James Duigan for so many years and his motto or mantra is to be kind to yourself – which I so agree with. At the end of the day, you might have the worst eating day of your life on day eight after the program,” says Haining. “Drink your wine and eat your chocolate but know on day nine you can go back and do the quickie again for seven days and you’ll feel great. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a day of bad eating, it’s when you have a bad couple of years of eating that we have a problem. Be kinder to yourself: it’s more important to feel happy and enjoy life, and not feel as though you’re being deprived of anything so you can maintain longevity.” days. Haining says self-care over the week is crucial to staying on track. “Choose one wellness factor, whether it be going for a massage, going to a sauna or a feelgood thing you wouldn’t usually do on one of your regeneration days,” suggests Haining. “Day six is good



because you’re nearly at the end of the week, you might have detoxed and be feeling a bit average, so give your body some extra love. Even an Epsom salt bath for half an hour at home will feel really good on sore, tired muscles.” For a daily hit of love, Haining is a firm believer in the power of affirmations, twisting any negative thoughts around. “Affirmations are a huge thing in my life and they really work,” she says. “If you’re feeling negative about something, you have to change your thinking, which might involve writing down a positive flip on that thought, such as ‘How am I ever going to get through these seven days’ and turn it around to ‘I can’t wait to feel how good I’m going to feel after these seven days’. Write it down and put it on your fridge or on your phone as a daily alert; just constantly remind yourself.”



RHYANNA VAN LEEURWARDEN’S – SEVEN DAY CLEANSE While juice cleansing isn’t for everyone, it can create some space to identify what healthy living looks like to you – safely given the short duration. A juice cleanse is a good solution for those looking for a pause button or reset to remove any bad habits you’ve accumulated. “When we cleanse, it makes you very, very aware of what you’d normally be eating and when,” van Leeuwarden says. “Particularly for parents who always talk about picking at the kids’ food while cooking or eating leftovers, it helps you become aware of those moments that create the unbalanced place you’re currently living in.”

DAY ONE AND TWO Van Leeuwarden refers to these two days as the bridging phase, where you consciously enter the cleanse week to make sure you get the most of your juice cleansing days. Start reducing stimulants and inflammatory foods – such as coffee, dairy, alcohol and gluten – so your body isn’t shocked on day three. Ideally, van Leeuwarden advises a vegetarian or vegan diet for the next two days. “If you

need meat, go for lighter options such as fish or chicken,” she suggests. For exercise, now is the time to participate in more intense options, so you can rest during the cleanse period. Think a cycle class, a run on the beach, bootcamp or a vinyasa yoga class. On the first day, write down your reason for cleansing and set your intentions about how you want to feel on the other side.

DAY THREE Today, we juice cleanse. When choosing your juice company, make sure you choose one that has been reviewed by a dietitian so it contains adequate calories and is balanced to suit your natural energy fluctuations throughout the day. “There are seven juices in the Pure Glow cleanse, with two elixirs that start and finish the day; an afternoon juice is designed to be a pick-me-up with some fruit, and you should have a nut mylk before you go to bed with some fats and protein,” van Leeuwarden says. “If you do feel hungry, take a few sips of your nut mylk earlier in the day.”


DAY FOUR Even for a seasoned juice cleanser like van Leeuwarden, it’s the second day that usually provides the biggest challenge. “Your body is getting used to it, but mentally you know you still have another day to get through tomorrow,” says van Leeuwarden. “I like to keep busy all day so I don’t think about it. However, we always say cleanse your way, so if you feel extremely hungry, you need to listen to that and have something.” It’s important not to fall back into bad habits with a handful of crackers or something sweet (“The juices have enough sugar to maintain you,” says van Leeuwarden”). Instead, have a handful of activated nuts that will provide a hit of protein and fats to fill you up quickly. “Cleansing is about nourishing, not deprivation,” says van Leeuwarden. “Kombucha is another good drink to support your cleanse. Have some in the morning or afternoon, not the night, as it does contain some caffeine.”

DAY FIVE The final cleanse day should feel more enjoyable as your body adjusts to the juices and, mentally, you can see the finish line. “You’ll still be lower in energy and physically not as strong, but on day three I feel lighter and feel like I can take on the world,” says van Leeuwarden. “You understand on day three how strong your willpower is: you told your mind you could do it and you actually did it.” Throughout the day, support yourself with some meditation and quiet reflection on what you’ve achieved and the changes you’d like to make post-cleanse. “Once you’ve had that pause and realise what you’re capable of and that you don’t need to do things habitually, it’s exciting to think of all the healthy food choices you can make and be aware of what you really like to eat.”


DAY SIX AND SEVEN Cue the party poppers, you did it. Instead of doing what you usually do, make it a day of choice where you consciously choose what exercise you do, who you spend time with and, of course, what you eat. “I often say after a cleanse I feel empty, but not in a horrible way; in a way that you’re ready to be refilled,” says van Leeuwarden. “I’ll spend that morning doing a yoga class, then a walk along the beach before picking up my partner and going for a beautiful breakfast. After a cleanse, I have a new appreciation for how amazing it is to share a meal with friends. Not only does a cleanse make me more intentional with what I’m eating, but also what I’m doing and who I’m spending time with.” On day six, be mindful of the stimulants you consume: coffee lovers might want to ease back into it via a weak coffee nut mylk; by day seven, try your usual coffee order and observe how it makes you feel. If you’re craving meat by day seven, choose a good quality cut and cook it in a special way. “In effect, the juice cleanse and the days following really helps you make choices of what it is you actually want and in effect, you can create a blueprint for how you want to live,” says van Leeuwarden.

PROS & CONS PROS You can expect to have less bloating, better digestion (including improved bowel movements), bright and glowing skin and eyes from all of the nutrients and the break from digesting food. Energy levels are often elevated and most people lose one to two kilograms over a three-day cleanse. Dietitian Jo Beer ( says the most important changes occur internally. “You can potentially change your gut flora in those three days, promoting growth of beneficial bacteria (through pre- and probiotics within the juices), which can have a very positive impact on your health,” says Beer. “There is a lot of research looking into the effects of the gut microbiome and its impact on weight loss, improved markers of metabolic health, blood pressure and subsequently reducing chronic disease.” CONS Going without food for three days means there will be periods of feeling hungry. So if you’re a person who is susceptible to getting hangry, it may be less than ideal. It’s also not designed to be a quick-fix weight loss tool, because if you return to the same old bad habits as soon as you finish, those missing kilograms will sadly be found again. “If you eat heaps the day before you cleanse because you’re scared of not eating for three days, you’ll just spend three days thinking about food and having caffeine withdrawals, and it can be an awful experience,” says van Leeuwarden. “If you don’t consciously think about what you’re going to eat afterward and you eat what you had before, you are going to feel pretty horrible.”


During the first day of juice cleansing, you might feel tired and grumpy at the thought of three days of no food. Be mindful of your energy levels and if you feel like exercising, reduce it to a walk or gentle yoga class such as Yin.”


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Spread YOURSELF Despite the claims of those anti-carbers, bread can be part of a healthy brekkie or post-workout meal – but choose the wrong toast topper and you can quickly undo all your hard work on the treadmill. Here are the spreads aimed to kick your morning routine up a notch. WORDS: HILARY SIMMONS



There’s something incredibly comforting about eating a couple of slices of hot toast for breakfast, lunch or a snack. Apart from providing carbs and fibre, it reminds you of your childhood, in all of its sugary jam and sticky peanut butter goodness. That said, in hindsight, traditional toast toppers weren’t incredibly healthy: usually packed full of sugar, preservatives and imbalanced macros. Without a decent spread, toast is also woefully low in protein, healthy fat and nutrients – all the ingredients needed to aid satiety, provide long-lasting energy and stop you craving another dose of breakfast within the hour. With all the low-carb hype circulating, bread is often avoided by dieters. But when used correctly, toast can actually provide the perfect vehicle for proteinpacked and heart-healthy toppings; and no matter how tired, drunk or distracted you are, it’s ready within minutes. The toaster was invented as far back as 1893 and the modern-timed popup versions were a staple in suburban


According to accredited practising dietician Georgia Bevan, the best way to approach spreads or toppings for toast is to ensure that you have a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats to help stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce energy slumps later in the day. “The bread itself is important. Aim to buy highfibre, wholegrain varieties such as rye, spelt or seeded sourdough. If you can make it yourself or buy freshly baked every three to four days, you will consume less salt and additives – but brands such as Burgen also have great shelf-bought options,” she says. “If you’re gluten-intolerant, ensure you’re choosing breads based on their seed content, as most gluten-free products are heavily processed, making them relatively easy for your body to break down. Seeds add density and boost satiety. If you aren’t a fan of toast or don’t own a toaster, some alternatives to toast include wholegrain corn thins, Vita-Weats or Cruskits.” You can even toast slices of sweet potato for a paleo-friendly, gluten-free substitute for toast. Just

households by 1919. While sliced bread was not sold commercially until 1928, the tradition of toast actually has its roots in Ancient Rome – tostum being the Latin word for scorching or burning. So just picture the Romans several thousand years ago traipsing off to vanquish their foes in Europe and taking their toasted bread right along with them. Legend has it that when the British saw their carby riches, they were pretty impressed and went on to introduce toast to the Americas. Toast also has a lower glycaemic index than untoasted bread according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, so if you’re diabetic or looking to avoid spikes (and crashes) in your blood sugar levels, it may be worth investing in a toaster. That said, opt for lightly golden brown toasting levels rather than dark or burnt: a warning about the health risks of eating burnt toast was issued at the start of 2017 by the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency, which revealed that longer toasting times cause an increase in a chemical called acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer.

remember that it may take two to three rounds of toasting to get the slices cooked through. As for the next generation of spreads found on our supermarket shelves? “There are more than 70 different nut spreads in the leading supermarket chains across Australia: Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, IGA and FoodWorks,” observes accredited practising dietitian and accredited nutritionist Trudy Williams, whose website FoodTalk offers handy ‘this=that’ food serve guides and simple diet swaps. She says that while nut butters can be a healthy topping for toast, it’s important to check the ingredients list of your nut spread to see what percentage of nut is present. “Anything with less than 80 per cent nuts is a fake, fabricated food,” she says. “Shoot for 80 per cent or more. Some nut spreads contain less than 50 per cent nuts; others are as low as 23 per cent. While 100 per cent nuts is ideal because it packs more protein, fibre and a better fat profile, you might need to give yourself time to adjust to the clean, unsalted flavour; especially if the nuts are ground raw.”


Williams says that any type of nut butter combines with sliced banana is a great toast topper, and provides the right mix of carbs, fat and protein. But be wary of so-called ‘light’ peanut butter, as it can hinder rather than help your health goals! “Manufacturers crack me up with their claims of light peanut butter,” says Williams. “Bet you didn’t realise light peanut butter has the same calorie content as regular peanut butter per 100 grams. Wondering what makes light peanut butter light? The nut blend is fluffed up with air and maltodextrins. Spoonful for spoonful, regular peanut butter gives you more protein, vitamin E, folate and magnesium. Although light peanut butter offers slightly less fat, it has about four times as many carbs, mainly added in the form of the nutrientpoor sugar maltodextrin.” “Don’t let kJs be the decider when it comes to your nut-based spread either,” she adds, “There isn’t enough difference between the brands and varieties to worry about. The range is 2300 kJ for the light versions through to 2760 kJ for every 100g. Per spread on toast (about 22 g), the range is 506–607 kJ, which is only about 100 kJ difference per serve. Spread half a teaspoon less of the ‘heavier’ spread and you come close to the ‘lighter’ kJ level.” In the grand scheme of things, the difference between nut spreads doesn’t come down to kJs or fat – it comes down to purity. Make sure you are spreading nuts, not vegetable oil, by reading the labels and shunning nut spreads that list vegetable oil in their ingredients. You can use protein content to spot the imposters – nut betters that are more vegetable oil than nuts will contain considerably less protein. Perhaps surprisingly, ‘economy’ brands stack up pretty well against pricier nut spreads, so don’t assume that a higher price tag equals a higher quality product. “Think beyond what you traditionally put on your toast or choose a topping based on fitness goals,” says Bevan, who plays for the Adelaide Football Club in the AFL Women’s competition, as well as practising as a dietitian. “Try a wholemeal fruit toast topped with


banana and honey for the perfect carbpacked, pre-training meal. I encourage people to eat foods such as wholegrains, fruits and starchy vegetables before or after training to help them get the most from the session, as they use the carbohydrates in these foods as a source of fuel. Post-training, you want to ensure you’re including a protein source as well to maximise recovery of your muscles. My favourite post-training toast is rye or spelt sourdough topped with avocado, cottage cheese, vegemite and tomato.” Oh, and skip jam spreads – even the 100 per cent fruit ones. “Unless you are really struggling to get in enough carbs and calories or prefer a low fibre carb load pre-event, 100 per cent fruit jams offer no real nutritional benefit over traditional sugar-packed jams or a shot of energy gel. Concentrated fruit juice is the typical sweetener in 100 per cent fruit jam and the juice concentrate bumps up the fructose load, making them low GI,” says Bevan. “Replace butter and jam with a protein-rich spread topped with real fruit – it doesn’t have to be a nut-based spread: think cottage cheese and banana. Ricotta and sliced peaches. A dollop of thick natural yoghurt mixed with berries served over crumpets (okay, not quite toast, but close enough).”



Look at the nutrient mix of toast toppings and choose the mix that best suits your training style and food tastes: » For a satisfying all-rounder? Avocado – light on protein and carbs but rich in fat and fibre. A good source of magnesium, vitamins E, C and folate. » For a high protein recovery? Cottage or ricotta cheese. The low fat versions deliver more protein but regular fat varieties are still great sources. Ricotta contains bonus calcium. » Need a glycogen top-up? Slice fresh fruit or sprinkle dried fruit over the spread. » For a fibre fill? Hummus, nut spreads and tahini rule. Refried beans or creamed corn sit close behind. » For a lower-kJ, lower-salt spread? Low fat yoghurt dips such as tzatziki and beetroot conveniently sneak protein in while staying low cal.

⅓ avocado 1 tbs peanut butter 1 tbs light peanut butter 1 tbs tahini 2 tbs hummus 1 tbs choc-nut spread 1 tbs honey 1 tbs jam 1tbs cream cheese, regular fat 1 tbs light cream cheese 2 tbs ricotta cheese, regular fat 2 tbs cottage cheese 2tbs low fat ricotta cheese 2 tbs creamed corn 2 tbs refried beans 1 tbs capsicum or gherkin relish 2 tbs tzatziki dip thin smear of black salty yeast spread

KJ 580 605 540 520 390 560 377 352 292 234 198 185 184 140 135 135 118 28

PROTEIN (G) FAT (G) 1.4 15 6 12 4.3 9.6 4 12 3.8 7 2 8 0 0 0 0 1.7 7 1.7 5.4 3.4 3.2 5.7 2.1 4.8 2.4 1 0.4 2.4 0.6 0 0 2 0.8 1 0

CARB (G) 0 2 7.5 0 4 15 24 22 0.5 0.5 1 1 1 7 4 8 3 1

The below table compares the energy, protein, fat, carbs, fibre, and key vitamins and minerals (approx values) for common toast toppers. Rather than spoon for spoon or per 100 gram, I’ve used a ‘reasonable’ serve size to cover a piece of toast. You’d barely taste a spoonful spread of avocado, yet the same spoon of black salty spread such as Vegemite would be overwhelming.

FIBRE (G) OTHER NUTRIENTS 2 vit E, C, folate, magnesium 3 vit E, folate, magnesium 3 magnesium 3 magnesium, calcium 4 vit E, folate 1 0   0   0   0   0 calcium 0   0 calcium 2   2 vit C 0   0 vit C 0 folate, vit B1, vit B2


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TACO TIME If you’re struggling to meet your required daily protein intake, substituting high-calorie, high-fat sour cream for Greek yogurt might be a tasty solution. Loved by the weekend gym bunny and athletes alike, Chobani Greek yogurt ($6.29 for 907g tub, contains approximately 15.8 g of protein per serve, with just 4 per cent fat from wholesome milk. Plus, its creamy texture offers the perfect accompaniment to almost any dish. Try adding a dollop (or five) to your fish tacos, for a heavy dose of essential nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids. We say si.



NEED: » ¼ red cabbage, finely shredded » ¼ red onion, finely chopped » 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil » 3 tbsp lime juice » 1x 420g can corn kernels » 1 avocado, mashed » Fresh coriander leaves, to serve » 2 tbsp plain flour » ½ tsp taco seasoning » 400g white fish fillets, cut into strips » 60ml (¼cup) olive oil » 4 tbsp Chobani whole milk yogurt » Pinch of black pepper » Pinch of salt » Lime cheeks, to serve » Thinly sliced fresh jalapeno chilli, to serve (optional) » 4 corn tortillas, warmed through » Bottled chilli sauce 92

DO: 1. Mix the cabbage, red onion, extra virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp of lime juice in a bowl until well combined. 2. Drain corn and lightly cook in hot pan until slightly charred. 3. Combine the avocado, coriander and 1 tbsp lime juice in a bowl and mash. 4. Combine the flour and taco seasoning in a large shallow bowl. Turn the fish in the flour mixture to coat. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the fish and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel. 5. In a bowl, combine Chobani whole milk yogurt with remaining lime juice, black pepper and a pinch of salt. 6. Fill tortillas with the cabbage, corn, fish, avocado, coriander and chilli. Top with dollop of Chobani mixture and serve with the lime cheeks and chilli sauce.



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If you’re anything like us, you will pull all stops to find a healthy dinner option that requires next-to-no clean-up. Huon Salmon (huonaqua. ambassador and accredited practising dietitian and nutritionist Lyndi Cohen’s one-pan recipe is the perfect solution: it’s ready in no time, includes healthy salmon and veg, won’t leave your kitchen looking like a scene from a disaster film, and did we mention tastes delish? We chat to Cohen (, @nude_nutritionist) about her food philosophy and the benefits of our favourite fish, and get the recipe deets.


You career has been pretty impressive to date. How has it evolved over time?

What should you look for in good quality salmon?

I’m currently working as a TV nutritionist (a regular on Channel 9’s Today show and Today Extra) who loves healthy food and cooking. But healthy eating didn’t always come naturally to me – I used to be a compulsive dieter, emotional eater and struggled with overwhelming anxiety. Obsessing over my weight and food consumed my every thought! When I finally quit diets and stopped restricting my food intake, I lost 20kg and learned that real health is about balance and enjoying everything in moderation. Nowadays, I blog about balance and body image and share everyday healthy recipes on my website

It might sound obvious but it’s got to have that ocean smell – that’s the easiest way to test for freshness. Also look for bright scales, pink gills and firm flesh. And when you’re purchasing a whole salmon, the slimier the skin, the better! I love to buy a whole salmon: it’ll stay fresh in the fridge for two to three days, and I freeze individual fillets so that they’re ready for quick healthy mid-week meals or my meal prep. Freezing fish is

What is your food philosophy? Fill up on real wholefoods, cook more at home and invest in a healthy relationship with food so that you never have to feel guilty about enjoying a treat or feel the need to start a new diet each Monday.

Why is salmon one of the key wholefoods you recommend? It boosts your concentration and memory: The brain functions best with healthy fats such as EPA and DHA, found in salmon. These healthy fats can help you to concentrate at work and may improve your memory, especially as you get older.

It’s a natural and tasty energy source: Salmon is rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin B – all vital to energy production.

It helps to balance mood and hormones: Healthy fats from oily fish such as salmon will provide you with a great quality, slow-burning energy source, helping to stabilise your hormones and prevent mood swings. Add some cold smoked salmon to your breakfast bowl or eggs to set yourself up for the day. Better quality sleep: Believe it or not, salmon is also great for sleep. A salmon fillet or fresh sashimi for dinner will help you feel fuller for longer thanks to its high-quality protein and healthy fat content, helping you to avoid midnight cravings.

actually a great way to store it as it stays fresh and retains its nutrients.

What is your favourite way to cook salmon in a healthy way? Salmon is super easy and fast to cook, and I particularly enjoy grilled salmon on the BBQ or in the oven. Marinating salmon in different condiments is also a great hassle-free option: my favourite picks are a simple honey soy marinade, pesto or sweet chilli. Minimal clean-up and the whole family loves it.

ONE PAN TERIYAKI HUON SALMON Prep time: 15 min // Cooking time: 20 min // Serves 2

NEED » » » » » » » » » » » »

2x 140g Huon Salmon portions 1 cup sugar snap peas ½ broccoli ½ red capsicum 1 carrot ¼ cup soy sauce 3 tbsp honey 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp grated ginger ½ tsp grated garlic 1 tsp sesame seeds 1 large scallion/shallot, chopped

DO 1. Preheat oven to 2000C. Arrange vegetables and salmon in the baking tray. 2. Mix the soy sauce, honey, olive oil, ginger and garlic together and pour over the salmon and vegetables. 3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 15 minutes. 4. Garnish with shallots. HOT TIP: Love it spicy? Add freshly chopped chilli to the marinade or garnish.

GF VERSION: Swap the soy sauce for tamari




TURNER SIGNS: Weight loss plateaus can be frustrating, particularly if you are closely following your nutrition and training plan. Despite eating and moving well, signs of a dieting plateau include: » Weight loss stalled or an increase in weight » Feeling hungrier » Low energy levels » Poor recovery and/or sleep quality


CAUSES: Essentially, dieting plateaus are caused by our body’s ability to adapt to the way they are fuelled and moved. Usually plateaus occur due to: » Undereating and/or inappropriate macronutrient profile to meet your training and daily energy requirements. » Overtraining and/or consistently moving your body in the same way, regularly. » Inadequate rest, recovery and stress:

when we don’t get enough sleep our bodies produce cortisol, which leads to fat retention and storage, lethargy and irritability. During weight loss you impose a caloric deficit, either by increasing exercise or decreasing food intake. Through this deficit you begin to lose body mass – and when muscle mass declines, so too does your metabolism. These are indicators that energy supply is low and your body adapts to energy restrictions accordingly: there is a decrease in hormones that promotes



anabolism, energy expenditure and satiety (fullness) and a rise in hormones that promotes catabolism and hunger.

HOW TO GET RESULTS AGAIN: Keeping your body guessing is key, as our bodies crave efficiency. Mix up your meals. Do you have the same meal at the same time every day? Try carbohydrate and/or calorie cycling of higher, moderate and lower days. Opt for a higher carb day when you train legs or perform HIIT and lower carbs, higher fats on LISS/rest days. Rotating food choices helps ensure your metabolism doesn’t adjust to a specific diet regimen; because there is no sustained calorie restriction, your body doesn’t adjust its metabolism or start catabolising lean muscle tissue as it would on a sustained low-calorie diet. Increase your calories: A calorie deficit is generally needed to lose weight, but not in all cases. You may actually need to increase your overall calories to continue burning them in order to preserve muscle mass and your metabolism. Your body will learn that food is abundant and won’t try to hoard it for starvation mode. Prioritise protein: Up your protein intake or incorporate a source of protein into each meal. This macronutrient has a higher thermic effect than fats and carbs, so your body has to work harder to digest it. Protein assists in the retention of lean muscle mass (metabolism), protein synthesis, satiety between meals and muscle recovery. Training – shake & strengthen it up: Studies have found that strength training helpes people shed more fat than cardio while boosting their metabolism by increasing muscle

mass. Aim for a minimum of two to three strength sessions each week. If you already strength train, mix it up by using a combination of supersets, trisets and circuits to keep the intensity of the sessions high. Overall duration should be short to moderate and serve as a HIITstyle resistance workout. If you run 5km every day, try adding in a day of sprints. Keeping your sessions short but intense helps to utilise your anaerobic training zones and leads to greater excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Rest and recovery: If overtraining is the cause of your plateau, it may be time to add in a taper week or two. Prioritising sleep will help balance insulin resistance, regulate cortisol, and decrease leptin. Check your portions: Are you really consuming the serving sizes you thought? Try and be more mindful of how much you are putting on your plate.

PLATEAU OR HAPPY PLACE? Lastly, consider whether you have REALLY plateaued and whether your training and nutrition has been as good as you say it has. If you feel you’ve reached one, take time to reflect, but also consider whether it is a plateau or, rather, your ideal weight. The numbers on the scales may have stalled, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t improving on areas of your strength, fitness and mindset. Try using a combination of how your clothes fit, measurements and fitness checks (60 second max tests or a simple 3 minute AMRAP) to track and re-check your progress. After all, the scales are just a number.


BROOKE TURNER Nutritionist, trainer and founder of Balance Fitness & Nutrition au // @balancefitnessandnutrition QUALS: GradDip Human Nutrition, BSc Exercise & Sports Science, Certificate III & IV Fitness EXPERIENCE: 8+ years

CHLOE McLEOD Sports dietitan // @chloe_ mcleod_dietitian QUALS: Bachelor Nutrition & Dietetics, Master Public Health, ISAK Level 1 EXPERIENCE: 9+ years

TOM FITZGERALD Excercise scientist & nutritionist // @tomfitzgerald.ifn QUALS: Bachelor of Sports Coaching & Exercise Science (B SportCoach&ExSci), Bachelor of Human Nutrition (B Human Nutrition), Certified Sports Nutritionist – International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN) EXPERIENCE: 4+ years

MARK ROBINSON Dietitian and nutritionist, online dietitian coach and co-owner 360Health Natural Supplements @healthmanmark QUALS: Master’s Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics, Bachelor’s Degrees in Exercise Science and Psychology EXPERIENCE: 7+ years


McLEOD You’ve been training like a demon at the gym, eating all the salads, but have stopped seeing the results you were so happy with when you first started your weight loss journey. So, what are the causes of a weight loss plateau, and how can you get the ball rolling again? Are you eating enough? – This is one I see a lot. It’s so common to see people put on super-low-calorie diets in an effort to lose weight. While this may work initially (or if done sporadically, such as fasting), if you are eating less food than your body requires to function consistently, our metabolism takes note and starts to slow down in an effort to ‘conserve’ energy (aka starvation mode). I like to think of it as putting wood on a fire; plenty of wood on a fire helps it burn fast and hot, while not putting enough on results in a less intense burn. Our metabolism is the same. When we aren’t eating enough to fuel that fire, our metabolism starts to slow down, making it harder to lose weight. This is often the case for individuals who are highly active. How do you manage this? Make sure you are eating enough overall, and enough of the nutrients your body requires each day to get the results you want. Are you changing your training? – If you continue to do exactly the same training as your fitness level increases, it will start to become less effective. Change your routine up; try interval running if you usually do steady pace, or vice versa. Lift heavier weights at the gym or try a different class. Are you getting enough rest? – Giving your body a chance to rest and recover, and getting enough sleep each night, is essential for sustainable weight loss. When we’re tired, our hormones can make us hungrier, can influence cortisol production and result in a bigger waist circumference. Put your phone away well before bed. Get up at the same time each day to help set your body clock and avoid caffeine 10 hours before bed. Are you being patient? – This is the least ‘sexy’ answer but the most important. Weight loss is rarely linear. Most individuals usually find stops and starts as their bodies find new ‘set points’ (the weight at which your body is physiologically most comfortable, so tries to stay at). Consistency with eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough rest is the key for sustainable, continued weight loss.


FITZGERALD RECOGNISING A PLATEAU Weight loss plateaus are easy to recognise – the scales stop moving. However, this might not be the best representation of body composition changes, particularly for females who are relatively new to resistance training, as they may have gained some muscle. To get a clearer understanding of body composition changes, photos, body scans and measurements can provide additional information about a plateau.

CAUSES Plateaus come down to two factors – adaptation or adherence. Adaptation plateaus are the result of your body decreasing energy expenditure as your weight loss begins to build. While you might be consuming 2000 kcals at the start of a diet and lose 4kg, continuing with this training and nutrition regime will eventually lead to plateau. The body adapts to weight loss by reducing energy expenditure, partly due to metabolic output, but you are also carrying less weight throughout the day and your training sessions. Try adding a 5kg plate to your bag when you walk to work next, and you will see what I mean. Adherence plateaus are caused when you no longer stick to the plan. This could be because your

program is too difficult, you have work or social life pressures or your motivation changes. For example, you are meant to be consuming 1600 kcal per day to facilitate weight loss, but you are continually consuming 1900 kcal and weight is not moving. Alternatively, you might be sticking to your diet but struggling to get the work done in the gym. Either way, your energy deficit is being removed or compromised, which causes weight loss to plateau.


You can overcome an adaptation plateau by varying nutrition or training regimes to recreate an energy deficit. As body weight decreases, less food intake or more training will be required to maintain an energy deficit. On the other hand, adherence plateaus require a motivation or desire to stick to the plan that will deliver results. If your weight loss plateaus, a good way to determine whether it is an adaptation or adherence plateau is to track food and training for a seven-to-14 day period. You might just find you have been overconsuming or under-training, which means you don’t need to decrease calories – just focus on sticking to your current plan. Plateaus aren’t necessarily always a negative outcome. If you find yourself ‘plateauing’ due to increased work or social commitments, do what you can to get back on track, but remember: it’s a lot better than gaining weight!

ROBINSON We have all been through this! That time when you feel like you are ticking all the boxes with your training and diet, yet results seem to have completely stopped. It can be very disheartening. I work with clients every day, each at varying stages of their health journey, and whatever the end goal may be, there is always a point or numerous points along the way where progress slows or even temporarily stops. It’s a time where my clients require extra coaching mentally and emotionally to reassure them that it’s actually quite normal and to stay positive. Often I implement a ‘shock’ to the body to get beyond these plateaus and I’m excited to share some of these techniques.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR BODY? After losing weight initially, the body often plays on its primal instinct of survival and chooses to slow the tempo in order to protect against a potential famine.

However, there are still fat changes taking place – even if they are not so visible or even measurable. The size of our fat cells are, in most cases, still shrinking; but there is a delay in being able to measure this as the skin around the fat cells becomes looser and softer. This can feel uncomfortable and it takes time for the skin to tighten up. ‘Preferential fat cell shrinking’ is also taking place: this is when the body chooses to lose fat off easier areas first, leaving stubborn areas till last – often the stomach, lower back and upper thighs. Thus, while it may seem these areas are in a plateau, other areas such as the chest, arms, face and neck may still be losing fat. 


A legitimate reason for an actual plateau is the body getting used to its routine: even though it’s healthy, the diet or workout routine is no longer challenging for the body and doesn’t force it to adapt. Here are a few techniques to shock the body out of a plateau and into results: » Intermittent fasting: skipping a meal or snack a couple days a week can cause the body to dig into stubborn fat cells to find energy. » Increase green vegetable intake: This increases metabolism by engaging more digestive enzymes. » Increase the frequency and intensity of fasted cardio: Doing this in the morning takes the body out of its comfort zone. » Use acetyl L-carnitine fat burner: Best used before fasted cardio, L-carnitine is a sup that helps transport fat from stubborn fat cells to the mitochondria, where it can be converted into energy for use. » Have a cheat meal and dessert: This can reinvigorate metabolism because more digestive enzymes will be activated. » Use positive self-talk and patience: This will help to keep you motivated, but you can also work with a dietitian coach to keep you accountable.






If you thought that by 2018 we would have run out of diet ideas, you’d be very wrong. The health, diet and wellness industry is bigger, smarter and stranger than ever, and the market is just as hungry for something new. While a balanced diet is all well and good, it’s also a little ho-hum: people seem to be after a nutrition prescription that offers both excitement and results – and is jam-packed full of tasty sensations. So can we have the best of both worlds? Balance depends on whose scales you’re using, but the diets of 2018 are certainly not boring. ““For most would-be crash dieters, it’s really this prospect of gruel and crackers for weeks before shedding weight that is the problem,” says Dr Malcolm Clark, Melbourne-based GP and author of Doctor in the House. “You will lose significant weight – greater than 10 per cent – in the medium to long term. Problem is, crash dieters crash out of diets as quickly as crashing back into them. Net effect: no long-term benefit.” Waking up to another day of self-imposed food restriction, unsurprisingly, doesn’t fill us with excitement; whereas new, glossy diets do just that. But a word of caution for the not-so-cautious:

DNA diet

“Some diets are backed by claims that are not proven and that are false or misleading, propagated by people who are not qualified health professionals and whose suggestions are not backed by scientific literature,” says Dr Nick Fuller, exercise physiologist, obesity researcher and author of Interval Weight Loss, ironically one of this year’s big dietary movements. Then there are those that have a vested interest in getting you to buy their products on an ongoing basis, invest in their series of books/ DVDs/downloads or go to their next seminar. All of which tarnishes those that are coming from a genuine and well-informed place. “There are weight loss books that are better than others, and that have been written by qualified health professionals,” says Dr Fuller. “They’re not really diets per se, but rather holistic dietary plans, and teach the core principles of healthy eating and nutrition.” Separating the wheat from the chaff can be tricky, and making wholesome and healthy into the next big thing isn’t an easy business – not that that’s going to stop the current crop of boom diets.

As your DNA is different from the next person, so too your diet should be adjusted accordingly. That’s the idea behind the ingenious DNA diet, which has particular appeal to science buffs. “The DNA-influenced diets are set to become all the rage with at-home DIY kits to swab your saliva and send off to a lab,” says Larina Robinson, dietitian and nutritionist from The Body Dietetics. “The results can only tell us so much, as there is still so much research yet to be done.” According to the theory, DNA testing can determine how much carbohydrates, fats and protein (and alcohol) is optimal for your body type. An at-home carb test involving an unsalted cracker can be performed at home: bite into the cracker, chew and time how long it takes for the taste to change. Less than 14 seconds and you thrive on carbs, 15–30 seconds and

you have moderate resistance to the starchy stuff and more than 30 (or if there is no change in taste) you are in the restricted carb consumption category, meaning you are a prime candidate for a low carb diet. Arguably an even more exciting aspect of DNA testing involves gut health, itself a major diet trends. “Scientists have recently cracked a way to uncover the DNA of our gut microbes, so that we can find out what types of gut bacteria a person has, which will allow health professionals to begin tailoring diet therapy to suit not only the individual, but the needs of their patient’s gut as well,” says Robinson. “Gut health is linked to so many functions in the body and affects our health in so many ways, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing more microbiome testing kits to guide our dietary choices.” In the meantime, check in with your dietitian before self-diagnosing.


The binge diet

The CICO diet

Based on an age-old maxim/ conundrum – calories in versus calories out – the CICO diet states that you can eat whatever you want, in whatever form you like, as long as you consume fewer calories than you burn. In theory you can sit down to massively unhealthy fast food meal, which equates to your entire day’s caloric intake, as long as it’s less than the calories you burn. Sounds reasonable? Overnight, millions of people fell in love with the diet, with diet websites going nuts over the approach. “Unfortunately, our basal metabolic rate varies from person to person and, for the same person, it can change dramatically depending on our body composition, food intake and illnesses,” says Feng-Yuan Liu, Melbourne dietitian and founder of Metro Dietetics. “Our body recognises when our intake drops too low below our BMR and responds by lowering our BMR. This is the body’s own mechanism to protect itself from literally wasting away.


With a reduced BMR, your food and exercise will no longer yield the same weight loss as it may have previously.” Then there’s the thermic effect of food. “Protein has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients, meaning that our body burns more energy when we eat protein-rich food,” says Liu. “Fats, on the other hand, have the lowest thermic effect. However, it also has the slowest transit rate through our digestive tract. This means that fats can slow the rate that food passes through us, and keeps us feeling full for longer. Therefore, a meal rich in proteins and fats combined will be more satiating and keeps us feeling satiated for longer (at the same time burning more calories) than a meal rich in carbohydrates, but void of proteins and fats. “From all this we can see that counting calories alone can be quite futile, and even dangerous if the focus is placed on calories alone, and not on food quality.”

The opposite of the CICO diet, the binge diet – also known as the slow-carb diet – was initially released by Timothy Ferriss – US kickboxing champion, tango world record holder, hunter, cook, barista and author – to little fanfare, but has since steadily gained momentum. Ferriss outlines the slow-carb diet as consuming the same four meals for six days (yes, four meals a day – 2 lunches!), consisting of legumes, vegies and meat, but steering clear of all white carbs (pasta, rice, bread, potatoes) and all fruit, besides tomatoes and avocado. Ferriss also recommends drinking two glasses of red wine every night. On the seventh day the fun really starts. This is when you can really go for it, binge eating to your heart’s content. “I recommend Saturdays as your dieters gone wild (DGW) day,” says Ferriss. “I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess.” “I make myself a little sick each Saturday and don’t want to look at any junk for the rest of the week.” Avoiding refined ‘white’ carbs is far from a new concept. With the potential to cause sudden sugar spikes and subsequent cravings, they have been avoided by avid dieters for years. “Don’t eat the white stuff unless you want to get fatter. Chlorine dioxide, one of the chemicals used to bleach flour, combines with residual protein in most of these foods to form alloxan. Researchers use alloxan in lab rats to induce diabetes. That’s right – it’s used to produce diabetes. This is bad news if you eat anything white or ‘enriched’,” says Ferriss. The aim of the weekly binge is to prevent your metabolism from the otherwise inevitable slow-down – the real bane of all dieters. “Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate doesn’t downshift from extended caloric restriction,” says Ferriss. The slow-carb diet is, at best, based on enticing but thin scientific evidence. Run it by your dietitian and wait for the look on their face.

Alkaline diet

Whole30 Another ‘most likely to peak’ this year is the Whole30 diet. It’s all about recalibrating your body’s set point through diet. “Think of the Whole30 like pushing the ‘reset’ button with your health, your habits, and your relationship with food,” says Melissa Hartwig, sports nutritionist and co-author of The Whole30: The 30day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. “The premise is simple: certain food groups could be having a negative impact on your body composition, health and quality of life without you even realising it. “For 30 days, the program eliminates foods demonstrated by science and our experience to

promote unhealthy cravings and habits, disrupt your metabolism, damage your digestive tract and burden your immune system.” So what foods are in the firing line? Added sugars and artificial sweeteners, all alcohol, all grains (even whole grains), legumes including peanuts and soy, and virtually all forms of dairy. “This diet allows you to get back to basics with your eating, change your tastebuds to enjoy lower sugar foods and helps to train you to eat more vegetables,” says Robinson. “Great idea in theory, but the diet is more of a reset and ends after 30 days. Do it for the challenge, but implement some liberation long term if you want to follow this diet style for good and meet all your nutritional needs.”

According to exponents of the born again, gone again, born again, alkaline diet (yes, it’s back), all manner of problems stem from having a body alkaline balance out of whack, including autoimmune disorders, allergies, cardiovascular disease and weight issues. Focusing on alkaline foods not only helps you to lose weight, but also boosts your mood and libido. “An alkaline diet is concerned with eating 80 per cent or more of your calories from alkaline foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses, to work in harmony with your body’s optimal pH balance,” says Laura Wilson, nutritionist and author of The Alkaline 5 Diet. “Alkaline foods enhance your body and brain chemistry. Enhanced body and brain chemistry fosters positive emotions such as happiness, enthusiasm and hope, which are, in turn, alkaline.” The inclusions are excellent, but what you’ll need to cut back on can be difficult. Alcohol, dairy, caffeine, soya, meat, refined oils and food additives all get the thumbs down and, according to the diet, should be avoided or reduced markedly. “The results celebrities and the like receive by following this diet is merely because it’s focused very heavily on consuming fresh produce, plant foods and plenty of nutritious vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats – which is no different to a healthy diet I would recommend for most people,” says Robinson. “The problem is the theory behind this diet is wrong; your body cannot be in a state of acidity or alkalinity – your blood must remain in a very narrow window of pH otherwise you die. “Your body has inbuilt mechanisms to ensure you stay within the range, so eating acid or alkaline isn’t going to make much of a difference at all.” So yes, the diet works – but not entirely as promoted.


Interval weight loss Finally, a diet that is backed by science and stands up to scrutiny. It may even work for some people. “It’s important to get the body outside of its normal comfort zone to achieve success and set you up for long-term weight loss maintenance,” says Dr Fuller. “This means you need to work towards redefining your set body weight over a gradual period.” This is achieved by an interval weight loss approach, with a period of weight loss followed by a period of weight maintenance. “It has absolutely no fasting or dieting component, but instead relies


on small changes to your nutritional intake and physical activity level, and closely monitoring your body weight on the scales,” says Dr Fuller. “You might set a goal of a two-kilogram weight loss over the first month, before then aiming for another two-kilogram weight loss during the third month, and then again maintaining it during the fourth month, and so on.” While the theory sounds simple enough, in practice it’s not so easy. “Keeping motivated on this diet is going to be challenging for most people that want results, and want them now,” says Robinson.

New vegan Whole food plant-based diet (WFPB) is a newer, healthier version of the vegan diet, which is itself on the rise. “Vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy,” says Amanda Rose, personal trainer and expert in plant-based nutrition. “The WFPB diet utilises foods in the most natural state possible: so lots of fruits and vegies, some nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, legumes, minimally milled items such as oats and rice, and lots of starches and root vegies, such as potato and sweet potato. “It can involve a combination of cooked and raw food but excludes – as far as practical – any processed or packaged foods, especially those with added preservatives, additives, salt, sugar or oil.” Combining WFPB with intermittent fasting gears the diet towards ketosis and focused weight loss. “You can help your body recover and achieve ketosis – for health or fat loss – without creating the acidic load of your body that comes from being in ketosis for long periods of time,” says Rose. Another new vegan approach making inroads is the incongruously named vegan paleo diet, a complicated hybrid if ever there was one. But if you like your diets heavy on restrictions, it could just be the one for you. “This diet seems like a contradiction when you think paleo is all about the meat,” says Robinson. “The problem for vegans wanting to go paleo is that it restricts your protein intake, as legumes, tofu and grains are all out of the picture. The benefit of eating vegan means the focus is still on real, whole, quality fresh food as the bulk of the diet, but a vegan really needs to eat more nuts, seeds, and healthy fats in order to stay full.”

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Maldives: COMO Maalifushi $$$$: Splurge = $5,000pp twin share for five nights Nothing says love more than a couple’s getaway in the Maldives. COMO Maalifushi, located on the pristine island of Thaa Atoll, offers a romantic escape with a healthy twist. Greet the morning sun with a yoga session at the resort’s open air pavilion that overlooks endless turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Indulge in a wide array of revitalising spa treatments, from the signature COMO Shambhala massage to facials and full-body cleansing therapies. For duos looking for a taste of adventure, be spoilt for choice with exciting water-based activities such as surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Refuel with healthy and mouthwatering spa cuisine to wrap up your dream couple’s well-cation. What’s included: five nights’ accommodation, a choice of wellness program, full board, butler service (available according to room type) and seaplane transfers. We love: COMO Maalifushi is set on an aquatic wonderland, popular for exceptional diving experiences with whale sharks and enjoyable surf trips with fantastic breaks.


Maldives: COMO Maalifushi

Thailand: Amatara Connect $$: Indulge Lite = From $2,365pp twin share for seven nights A hidden gem on the island of Phuket, Amatara is the ultimate couple’s escape in paradise. Embrace a healthier relationship and lifestyle in the lap of luxury with fun-filled activities designed to help you connect more deeply with your partner. Enjoy relaxing and fun activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and healthy cooking classes and, in between gym sessions for two, cool down by the beach or explore the local markets. Foster a more intimate bond as you learn the art of couple’s massage before closing the day with indulgent spa treatments to lull you into a good night’s rest. What’s included: seven nights’ accommodation, return private

transfers, a range of healthy dining options from traditional Thai to international cuisine, a wellness program, and complementary use of fitness and spa facilities. We love: the world’s first Thai hammam is pure bliss – relax in different stages of treatments: contrast spa therapy, deep body exfoliation, massage, thermal mud therapy and salt cave relaxation. Thailand: Amatara Connect

Bali: COMO Uma Ubud Lifestyle Retreat

Malaysia: The Banjaran Hotsprings

Malaysia: The Banjaran Hotsprings *COMO Uma Ubud Lifestyle Retreat is exclusively offered by Health and Fitness Travel. Visit www. au or call 1300 551 353 for more information.

Bali: COMO Uma Ubud Lifestyle Retreat $$: Indulge Lite = $1,165pp twin share for three nights A mere five minute drive away from the culturally lively town of Ubud, discover the luxurious urban wellness haven that is COMO Uma Ubud. Let the tranquil atmosphere and the soothing hum of Balinese wildlife set the tone for this hedonistic holiday for two. Tune in with your partner with a yoga and meditation class, and then pamper with different relaxation options at the award-winning spa. Take the chance to explore Bali on a cultural discovery experience with an adrenalin-fuelled selection of adventurous activities,

from white-water rafting to mountain bike riding, aptly ending in a Balinese purification ritual. What’s included: three nights’ luxury accommodation, a Lifestyle Retreat program where you choose your own wellness path (calm, culture or connect), attendance to daily complementary yoga classes and use of the pool, gym and steam room. We love: the service and attention to detail is flawless – the staff are incredibly professional, friendly and helpful without being overbearing.

Spain: Oceano Hotel Health Spa $$$: Indulge = $2,070pp twin share for seven nights Situated in Punta del Hidalgo, dubbed as the almost forgotten corner of Tenerife, Oceano Hotel is truly a jewel in the crown of the island. The remote location makes for a perfect couple’s wellness retreat that boasts magnificent views and serene natural environment. More than a glorious setting, Oceano offers various wellness programs such as detox, stress management, fitness and beauty. Nature is at the heart of the Oceano Spa from start to finish (water is drawn straight from the sea to be used in treatments). Continuing its theme of eco-wellness at the dining

table, the resort uses only the freshest and locally sourced ingredients to serve up a healthy gastronomic fare. What’s included: seven nights’ accommodation, a choice of wellness program, full board, return private transfers, access to gym and spa facilities, and attendance to group classes including water aerobics, morning exercises, relaxation exercises, yoga, Thalasso pool activities and more. We love: the beautiful weather all year round. With a subtropical climate, Tenerife is an ideal location no matter the season.

$$$$: Splurge = From $5,275pp twin share for seven nights Secluded and sublime, The Banjaran Hotsprings is a true sanctuary of wellness for starry-eyed lovers looking for a romantic escape. Find yourself in awe of your surroundings amongst the towering limestone hills and lush forests that border the retreat. Offering an extensive menu of wellness programs, any health and fitness pursuits you may have will be taken care of. Join a morning yoga class on a wooden deck by the geothermally heated pool or jump into action on a jungle bootcamp training session. Unwind with a variety of holistic treatments, combining traditional Chinese medicine, Malay ramuan and Ayurveda, and indulge in a delectable healthy fare that will satisfy all taste buds. What’s included: seven nights’ luxury villa accommodation, full board, private transfers, personalised wellness consultation and program, spa treatments, attendance to group classes such as yoga, meditation, qi gong and tai chi, and use of spa facilities and gym. We love: the retreat’s location is home to many interesting tours and attractions including the Lost World of Tambun, the Royal Perak Golf Club, Kek Lok Tong Temple and the Geological Museum. Spain: Oceano Hotel Health Spa


Australia: Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk $$$: Indulge = $2,125pp twin share for three nights Craving an adventure away from all the hustle and bustle of city life? Look no further. Stretch your legs and witness nature’s raw spectacle with the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk. From enchanting fern gullies to majestic sea stacks, satisfy your wanderlust while fulfilling your fitness goals as you traverse the chiselled coastline on foot at a pace that will leave you wanting for more. A multi-day passage from Castle Cove to the awe-inspiring Twelve Apostles, this trip is not just about the destination, but also the journey. Return from the trail each day to your accommodation where lodging comforts, including rainforest showers, foot spas and an organic fare, await.

What’s included: three-night luxury lodge stay, three breakfasts, four lunches, three dinners, daily morning and afternoon tea, Twelve Apostles scenic helicopter flight, all entrance and national park fees, transfers to and from Melbourne, daily guided walks, and professional eco-guide. We love: with a group of no more than 10, Twelve Apostles is an intimate journey perfect for couples, solos or friends alike.

Portugal: Palacio Estoril $$$$: Splurge = $6,555pp twin share for seven nights Jet off with your beau to the ‘Coast of Kings’ and holiday like royalty at Palacio Estoril, situated just 20 minutes from Lisbon. Despite its proximity to the bustling city, you’ll find yourself away from it all with outstanding views over the Bay of Cascais and peaceful gardens in the backdrop. Palacio Estoril houses its own wellness centre, complete with fitness and pamper facilities, plus a clinical team to cater to all your wellbeing needs. From health and relaxation treatments to beauty options, you and your partner are

guaranteed to return home looking and feeling your best. What’s included: seven nights’ accommodation, a choice of wellness program, full board, return private transfers, access to gym and spa facilities, and attendance to group classes including yoga, hydrotherapy, hydro-gymnastics and hydro-bike. We love: on its doorstep lies magnificent beaches, golf courses, cycle paths and numerous cultural and leisure activities to keep you and your beloved entertained.



PICKING A DATE: Make it celebratory – be it an anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day or the holiday season. However, it doesn’t have to be on the actual day: choose a time that works best for the both of you. While it’s tempting to make everything a surprise, it can be much easier and more rewarding to plan together. Also, booking ahead of time can help you save, particularly if you take advantage with early bird offers and lower cost airfares.


CHOOSING A DESTINATION: Consider budget and the country, city or town you want to visit, and then think about what ‘active’ means for the both of you. Your idea of an active holiday and your fitness level could vary, so make a top three list of the things you want to do; this helps narrow down your choices and decide on a location that suits you both. You might be a runner, but he’s more of a cyclistದfortunately, there are plenty of places that can cater to couples with different hobbies. For a fun trip for two, you will need to find a common ground (even if that means forgoing a tour or activity you can do solo).


MAKING YOUR ITINERARY: Remember, it’s a holiday for two, so it’s wise to take your partner’s interests into consideration and work on your itinerary together. Even if your busy work schedules don’t allow for a planning session, there are plenty of ways to plan online. Share a document or send your calendar, and fill it out with your planned activities for the day. You can even split your planning up to reduce the workload and make it easier to mishmash once everything comes into view. If in doubt, ask your travel agent to give you different options that you and your partner can approve.


STEPPING UP YOUR FITNESS: There’s a preconceived notion that when you go on an active holiday, you already have to be fit and healthy. However, working on your fitness levels and improving your diet before you head off will enable you to make the most out of your trip. If you don’t already exercise regularly, try to start preparing in advance. Think jogging, cycling or walking together in the months leading into your getaway.


A ROOM FOR SURPRISE: Your couple’s getaway is not complete without a touch of romance. Plan a surprise for your better half – something as simple as a couple’s spa time or a romantic dinner booked in advance, or a special surprise gift can do wonders! Samantha Lippiatt is a wellness travel guru and cofounder of Australia’s first dedicated wellness travel company Health and Fitness Travel. For more advice or to book your own healthy holiday contact the wellness travel specialist team on 1300 551 353 or email info@





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Thanks. It’s a word that gets thrown around on a day-to-day basis. To your boss, to the checkout chick at the supermarket, the same bartender who has served you for the past three weekends in a row (guilty). It began when we were kids, always taught to say ‘ta’ when someone did something for us, but what exactly is the power of saying thank you? The term ‘thank you’ dates back to the 14th century and is basically a


shortening of the term ‘I thank you.’ Historically, gratitude has been a focus of many religions and ancient philosophers, including Cicero and Seneca, who believed appreciation was a crucially important virtue for successful civilisations. Today, we mainly use platitudes such as thanking someone to build upon social relations and make new ones, and motivate ourselves to make the most of every situation.

“Gratitude is a state of grateful appreciation and thankfulness of what is meaningful to us as individuals,” says educational and development psychologist Stephanie Lau ( “It cultivates positive feelings of engagement with our environment, ourselves and the people around us. It is an awareness and ability to reflect and be thankful for all the goodness in our lives.”

It’s no surprise that thankful people are generally more optimistic in everyday life. According to Dr Robert A. Emmons, PhD, a leading scholar on the science of gratitude, there are two stages to acknowledge in order to be the ‘glass half full’ kind of girl. The first is saying yes to life: we must affirm that life is good and is worth living to the fullest potential. The second stage is recognising who to thank for the goodness in our lives and what we should direct our gratitude towards; this could be a particular person or the world in general. “Gratitude is related to optimistic thinking, which is correlated with positive emotional, social and physical health outcomes. Positive thinking is known to enhance physical and socialemotional wellness and motivation. As such, gratitude then helps us lead more productive and happier lives by being better connected to the positive things we can be thankful for within ourselves and our relationships,” says Lau. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses 24/7: there are those days (or even


SO WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE ALL SAID ‘THANK YOU’ A LITTLE MORE OFTEN? MANY STUDIES HAVE PROVEN THAT BEING MORE GRATEFUL CAN HAVE POSITIVE EFFECTS ON THE HUMAN BODY, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY. THINK: Overall Happiness: feeling more grateful on the daily enhances good feelings on the off chance an uncontrollable negative event occurs. Dr Emmons has found that practising gratitude on a daily basis can increase happiness by 25 per cent. Gratitude reduces a range of toxic emotions, including envy, resentment, frustration and regret. PHYSICAL HEALTH: grateful people can cope with stress more effectively, have stronger immune systems and are more likely to take care of themselves by exercising often. A 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences discovered that thankful people experience fewer aches and pains than those opposed,

weeks) where it seems nothing is going right. And you’re not alone. Research from beyondblue estimates around one in six Australian women will experience some level of depression in their lifetime, on average. In these times, it can be hard to find something to practice the gratitude we so often preach. Nikki Thomas, performance coach and founder of Gratitude Café. Life (, helps those working in the corporate world to create a balanced life. She has found that gratitude is needed more than anything to remind us of what we have achieved and what we already have. “It is not saying you can’t want for more, but if you are never happy or grateful for what you currently have, you’ll spend your life striving and wanting instead of actually having,” she says. “If something ‘unfavourable’ happens to us, we are very quick to think of the negative. Instead, breathe, and then think of the positives – the things you are grateful for – take back control of the situation.”

and are more likely to attend regular checkups with their GP, which can contribute to a longer life span. SLEEP BETTER: a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and WellBeing found that writing in a gratitude journal before bedtime improves the quality of sleep. Swap the iPad for a diary tonight and spend 15 minutes jotting down one to two grateful sentiments before you hit the hay. SELF-ESTEEM: being thankful for what you have is proven to reduce social comparisons. Rather than rivalling yourself to others who you think have a better body, more money or higher positon at work than you do, grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments instead of tearing themselves down because of them. SOCIAL WELLBEING: gratitude is a social emotion and can strengthen relationships by requiring us to notice the support and backing we have from those around us. Now that’s something we can say thanks to!

#BLESSED, #THANKFUL, #LUCKY It has become a popular practice to boast only the best parts of our lives on social media. Think perfectly positioned food shots or the time you sucked your belly in so hard trying to take that ‘effortless’ selfie. On Instagram alone, the hashtag #blessed has been used over 80,000,000 times as part of captions! But before you post a #thankful tweet or inspirational quote via Facebook as a way of showing gratitude, ask yourself if you really want to share such thoughts openly on a media platform you have little control over. Pedro Diaz, founder and CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute (, says it is up to the individual on what to post but believes there can be a nasty side to the online world. “There are people on social media that either enjoy rubbishing other people’s efforts or wins or react negatively to other people feeling well. This can feel like rejection and it can be painful. It would be a shame to pollute what is intrinsically a really good exercise for your brain, nervous system and your whole body with other people’s negative comments and reactions.” Lau agrees. “Expressing your gratitude towards someone can be, and at times should be, an intimate exchange. While social media can be one way of sharing and publicising your gratitude, the public nature of this display can take away from the intimacy and private nature of gratitude sharing. It is important to consider how this may be perceived by others and whether social media helps or takes away from the intimacy of this exchange,” she says. It’s no lie that we are spending more and more time online than ever before: the Australian Sensis Social Media Report for 2016 revealed that 56 per cent of us use the internet more than five times a day! And although the internet has bought us plenty of positive feelings (think the thrill of online shopping),


it’s also leaving us with some pretty negative thoughts too. A report by the University of Copenhagen unveiled that excessive scrolling through social media leaves users feeling envious and can lead to a more depressed state. The study showed that lusting after celebrities or ‘Instafamous’ influencers who seem to ‘have it all’ leaves gratitude left for dust. “We need to stop always wanting what someone else has, without enjoying what we already have in our lives. It’s the main issue with happiness. People thinking they need to find it rather than realising it’s within us all along,” says Thomas. To avoid social media jealousy, try reconnecting with your (actual) friends and make their posts your priority.


» USE A GRATITUDE DIARY to reflect on the wonderful things in your life: relationships, financial freedoms, professional opportunities, personal strengths, physical health and wellbeing. “Re-evaluate and reflect on your entries,” says Lau. “I like to do this with the change of each new season to track my personal and professional development.” » MAKE SURE TO NOTICE THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE. Example: ‘I’m grateful for the softness of my sheets’, ‘I loved that I found a parking spot straight away’, ‘I’m thankful for this perfectly ripe avocado ready for my breakfast’. » DON’T AVOID THE NEGATIVE. This may seem counteractive but remembering the bad things that have happened can help us feel more positive about where we are now. If you can look back and think of the worst times in your life, then remember that you made it through and survived, you will be able to push forward and feel more thankful for what’s happening in the present. “Sometimes, circumstances may be difficult and it cannot always be possible to look on the sunny side and express gratitude for things that aren’t going well,” says Lau. “Developing an objective outlook and recognising where change is required is part of a balanced approach to social and emotional problem solving, and is helpful and healthy.”


» SHARE GRATITUDE by telling someone how they have made a positive contribution to your life and what you are grateful for. This could be done in person, via email or why not try the old-fashioned way and write down your feelings in a thank you card. » DAILY MICRO-REFLECTIONS: reflect on one good thing that has happened each day to use gratitude to increase feelings of positivity and happiness. Diaz believes the best way to feel more grateful is to practise daily and use the positive feelings as motivation. “The more you practise gratitude, the more the parts of your brain that scan for good things in life get activated, while those parts of your brain that look for negative things shrink. In a literal sense, a brain trained in gratitude loses some of its ability for negativity and permanently gains the benefits that come from a more optimistic outlook,” he says. For Lau, simple acts can enhance our general wellbeing and assist in stress management. “For example, by embracing a positive outlook and reflecting on the things we can be grateful for, we are less likely to adopt negative thinking patterns which bias the way we interpret our environment, relationships and daily stressors. By controlling our thoughts and developing positive, helpful thinking patterns, we can improve our overall feelings of happiness.”

stay fresh, naturall

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FUTURE Dipping your toes into the world of anti-ageing is far from straightforward. With the skincare market estimated to be worth more than $250 billion by 2019, it’s no wonder a gal can get confused trying to navigate her way through the never-ending maze of lotions, potions, tips and tricks. Which is why we’re teaching you the basics about how your body’s largest organ (hint: the skin!) can remain protected and youthful against the hands of time. WORDS: KRISTINA IOANNOU


When it comes to all things anti-ageing, you may be wondering: where the heck do I start? It’s something we beauty editors get asked the most: What do I need to do? How can I look 20 years younger? Do you know of a cream that can turn me into a unicorn? Sure, the arsenal of youth-defying serums and creams stashed away in your bathroom cabinet can help slow down the ageing process; and yeah, maybe all that scrubbing, rubbing, lasering and peeling can spur some form of skin healing so you’ll look better than before. But let’s break it down to the very basics.

IN YOUR 20s The most common issue at this age is acne, but the underlying danger is sun damage, which can result in skin discolouration, also commonly known as hyperpigmentation. “Skin discolouration is the initial tell-tale sign from 25 years onwards that our skin no longer has its youthful glow,” says Emma Hobson, education manager for The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica. “In this age group you start to notice the signs of ageing, in particular premature ageing. This normally shows itself as skin discolouration, you start to lose that even skin tone and some sun-induced pigmentation is evident while fine lines are apparent in the eye area and you may detect your skin becoming just that little bit looser.” A Monash University study found that Australians aged up to 20 years faster than women in the USA and Europe, largely because of cumulative sun exposure. Statistics such as these are prompting Australian women to take a more preventative, nurturing approach to skin health from an early age so that they look and feel their best later on. “The focus is to protect the skin from the environmental factors that cause premature ageing, so your key product players are sun protection, powerful antioxidants and vitamin therapy that keep the skin integrity strong,” says Hobson. “Staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen is vital to maintaining naturally plumper, smoother skin for longer,” says cosmetic nurse practitioner Katherine Millar-Shannon ( SKIN SUPPORT: Hydrating facials and peels maintain skin health and vitamin C serums protect and repair the skin from sun damage. Vitamin infusions help boost cell rejuvenation and your general wellbeing, while small amounts of dermal filler can help maintain volume in the cheeks.

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PRODUCT PICKS: 1. Societe Triple C Serum, $210 (, 2. Alpha-h Daily Essential Vitamin Mist. $49.95 (, 3. The Seeke Nurture Moisturising Face Oil, $59.95 (

IN YOURS 30s Signs of ageing in your 30s can include fine lines and wrinkling, dull surface, thickened skin texture, broken capillaries and flaccid skin. “The skin starts to feel a little drier due to a decrease in oil, and your skin’s natural source of hyaluronic acid found in the base of the skin starts to diminish, causing the skin not to feel as ‘plump’ or dense as it used to,” says Hobson. Similarly, the effects of sun damage start to show in the formation of expression lines and age spots, while skin barrier function starts to decline, making hydration and exfoliation vital. “As your cell turnover is decreased, the need for good exfoliation products using hydroxy acids becomes more important, as does the use of anti-ageing products that contain peptides, vitamins and antioxidants,” says Hobson. Using a cleanser with AHAs will speed up sluggish cell turnover and help moisturisers absorb better. At night, Hobson recommends adding a serum with retinol (or the milder form, retinyl palmitate, if you have sensitive skin) to


stimulate collagen growth and repair. Vitamin B and C antioxidant serums can also be great for daytime to reduce inflammation caused by free radicals. SKIN SUPPORT: Millar-Shannon recommends taking a holistic beauty approach with regular IV vitamin drips to boost energy levels with a rush of antioxidants that can potentially put a spring in your step, and the bounce back in your skin. Puppet threads, a lunchtime procedure to correct sagging in the face and neck, is also popular for this age group. As well as the instant lifting benefits, the sutures dissolve over time and stimulate the skin to produce more collagen.








PRODUCT PICKS: 1. Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair, $135 (, 2. Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Moisture Cream, $45 (sephora., 3. Paula’s Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA, $46 (

IN YOUR 40s According to Hobson, all the signs of ageing in our 40s have intensified: the skin seems to be in overdrive, the wrinkles become deeper, the skin finer and the broken capillaries more evident. “Though part of the loosening is due to the facial muscles, the majority is due to the skin’s dermal tissue being less dense and it has broken down over the years,” she says.


SKIN SUPPORT: An additional ‘step-up’ with ‘power-packed’ anti-ageing skincare is important, while dermal fillers can play an integral role in boosting the skin you have lovingly maintained up to this point. “They help add youthful volume and lift brows – the effect is subtle, rather than totally changing how you look,” says Millar-Shannon.

The 50s can mark a steady decline in collagen and elasticity. “Women will be in perimenopause or menopause has occurred. One very evident result of this is the decrease in oestrogen, resulting in your skin becoming drier and the skin renewal rate slowed yet again, resulting in skin discolouration, dehydration and sometimes some congestion,” says Hobson. Thinner, drier skin means it is also more susceptible to sensitivity, so adequate hydration to strengthen the protective barrier is essential. Hobson recommends targeted and powerful professional skincare treatments that encompass the latest machines such as radio frequency, IPL, LED, microcurrent and ultrasound. SKIN SUPPORT: Choose skincare products that contain retinoids, peptides or glycolic acid, which are all collagen boosters. This is a good time to indulge in dermal fillers (to lift the jaw, cheeks and brows), thermage (using radio frequency energy to stimulate collagen and firm up the skin) or puppet threads. Some women can also look to cosmetic procedures to tighten and lift.

2 1 PRODUCT PICKS: 1. Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil, $45 (, 2. Sisley Essential Skin Care Lotion, $195 ( au), 3. Mesoestetic Radiance DNA Intensive Cream, $148.50 (


PRODUCT PICKS: 1. The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate, $69 (thebodyshop., 2. La Mer The Tonic, $112 (mecca., 3. Skeyndor Expression Lines Serum, $186 (


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SKIP THE STRAW: Yup, using a straw may cause wrinkles around the mouth.

SAY SAYONARA TO SMOKING: Need we say more? #wrinklealert FEAST ON FERMENTED FOODS: While they’re good for your gut, turns out foods such as tempeh, sauerkraut and kimchi are actually stellar anti-agers.


Skip the sugar: A 2010 study discovered a link between dietary sugars such as glucose causing a greater production

of advanced glycation end products (AGES) – major wrinkle causers. Eep! Sorry, sweet tooths.


SILK ALL THE WAY: Sleeping on a silk pillowcase can prevent skin creasing and fine lines from being deeply etched in the face, as can getting a good amount of shut-eye.

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GET MOVING: Fact: sweaty workouts can help you look and feel younger. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER: Dehydration can take a toll on skin, so be sure to amp up your H20 intake.

YOUTH-DEFYING INGREDIENTS Protecting your skin from daily life with healthy habits is best paired with a little somethin’ somethin’ to give it what it needs to age gracefully and stay protected from the elements. Consider these ingredient superstars your trusty beauty BFFs.

VITAMIN C: Another one of those ingredients that seems to do it all. “It helps to brighten the skin and boost collagen production, but it’s most famed for its unparalleled antioxidant capabilities,” says Daniel Isaacs, Medik8 Formulation and Development director. When vitamin C is applied to the skin, it neutralises the free radical damage caused by UV rays, pollution and other environmental aggressors. “Pair it with a physical sunscreen for maximum protection,” suggests Isaacs. NIACINAMIDE: Derived from niacin/vitamin B3, this is a fantastic all-round skincare ingredient in that it acts in several ways to have a real benefit to your skin. “It helps improve skin discolouration, it plays an important role in cellular energy production and it helps with overall skin moisturisation,” says Hobson.

RETINOL: One of the most important ingredients that you can have in your skincare arsenal. When used consistently, this vitamin A derivative can help to control acne, reduce hyperpigmentation and smooth out skin texture, all while slowing down the development of fine lines and wrinkles. “Retinol also boosts collagen production, which helps to thicken the skin, making it less susceptible to UV damage,” says Isaacs. PEPTIDES: These versatile protein chains have so many possible variations to what they can do. Peptides help strengthen the skin and some can reduce wrinkle depth by the creation of protein within the skin. They also have the ability to communicate via signals to your cells that tell them how to function. “This means they can assist in stimulating collagen and regulate how it breaks down. Some peptides can also help reduce pigmentation,” says Hobson. ANTIOXIDANTS: Vital in our skin care, these power players have the unique ability to prevent environmental elements from damaging our skin. “As they penetrate the skin, they turn any free radicals lurking around into


STRESS LESS: In a Dutch study, researchers found that people who were major stress heads aged more quickly than those who weren’t.


TAKE YOUR MAKE-UP OFF: Leaving your make-up on overnight can lead to clogged pores, narky wrinkles and all kinds of bacteria building up on the skin, leading to a more aged appearance. Yuck!


SPF IS YOUR FRIEND: If there’s one thing you can do for your skin, it’s protect it daily with a good-quality sunblock. The tribe has spoken.

harmless compounds, preventing them from destroying collagen and elastin. This is turn means fewer wrinkles, less pigmentation and less sagging,” says Hobson. As an added bonus, antioxidants also help stimulate cell repair and collagen production. COLLAGEN: According to studies, 1.5 per cent of the body’s collagen is lost every year. By the age of 40, the body’s ability to produce collagen decreases by 25 per cent and by the age of 60, by half! Yikes. Collagen is essential for the health and youthful appearance of the skin and plays a vital role in supporting connective tissue and muscles, as well as hair and nails. Think of it as the skin’s structural support. AHAS AND BHAS: These bad boys are essential for decongesting pores and keeping skin clear and smooth. “Opt for a product that combines a low concentration of several exfoliating acids rather than a high concentration of one. This will help to limit sensitivity and irritation,” says Isaacs. Be sure to wear sunscreen when using this products as their exfoliating nature can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.



Celebrity skincare therapist Ingrid Seaburn ( shares her most beloved anti-ageing advice.


SIX PRODUCTS TO MAKE YOU LOOK YOUNGER Banish wrinkles, brighten eyes, smooth fine lines – the following products do all that and more!

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: So true when it comes to skin. The skin is our body’s largest organ and needs a lot of nutrients to look healthy. Stick with clean eating, and a diet loaded with salmon, vegies and brown rice. Eat lots of fibre-rich fresh fruit, as digestive health directly affects the clarity of your skin and helps keep it breakout free. DIY FACIALS: Once a week, give your skin a mini facial with an enzyme-based exfoliant such as lactic acid or a fruit-based one with papaya, pumpkin or bromelain. Apply your exfoliant first and then layer a richly moisturising mask directly over the top. This gives an instant anti-ageing skinbrightening effect, allowing the mask great penetration into the skin as the enzymes slough away the dead skin cells. READ UP ON THE LATEST SKIN TECHNOLOGY: A lot of women just do not know enough about the treatment they embark on and often end up disappointed or unhappy with the result. The different


1 Bali Body Coconut Lip Balm SPF15, $19.95 (au. Yup, the lips need as much R&R as the rest of the skin on the body.

Salt Lab Magnesium Oil, $32.99 (saltlaboratory. com): A transdermal source of magnesium (absorbed through the skin) has been shown to not only act as the perfect muscle relaxant after a sweaty workout but also provides anti-ageing, soothing and repairing benefits for the skin.



Avene PhysioLift Precision Wrinkle Filler, $69.95 ( True story – with a simple click, this highprecision care fills the deepest wrinkles and furrows. Amen.

lasers for tightening and rejuvenating skin can be a great way to improve tired skin but the right laser depends on skin type. REVERSE AGEING: Apart from sunblock, if I was on a desert island I would choose vitamin A ( retinol) as my one skin saver. Year after year it is still the best way to reverse ageing and give skin a more youthful look. Every woman, no matter what skin type over the age of 30, needs vitamin A in their lives for younger skin in the years ahead. MIX AND MATCH: If you are someone who is lazy when it comes to skin routine, learn to cocktail your serums for time saving. While cleansers and moisturisers have zero effect on the rate at which your skin ages and sun exposure should be avoided, always invest your money in serums with an effective delivery system to reach the dermis (the engine room of all things cellular).

Nerium Eye-V Hydrogel Patches, $75 ( Dark circles, puffiness and wrinkle lines got your peepers looking lacklustre? Never fear – these hydrogel patches deliver targeted hydration deep into the skin around the delicate eye area. At One Night Repair Serum, $36.95 ( au): Revel in the most indulgent 5 organic nightly facial serum ever there was, which delivers anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and regenerating properties of nature’s finest botanical oils.



SK-II R.N.A Power Radical New Age, $175 ( Firmer, smooth skin is an application away thanks to a whole heap of wrinkle-fighting nutrients and vitamins.



That said, we see no reason to limit our looks to a predetermined theme: why smell like roses when you can smell like citrus? Why do a classic black cat-eye when there’s a shimmery eyeshadow at hand? “Feeling your best is the key, so identify what makes you feel like the most beautiful, confident version of yourself and do that,” says Quinn. Whether you’re having some muchneeded ‘me time’, going out on the town with the girls or have a special night planned with bae, here’s how you can pep things up in the primping department – not only Valentine’s Day, but all year long! PHOTOGRAPHY: ISTOCK

Nothing says sex appeal like a woman who is confident in her beauty choices. Nothing also says five-alarm freakout like a last-minute grooming disaster, especially when it comes to Feb 14th. Thankfully there are very few beauty mishaps that can’t be handled with some choice products and a little forearmed knowledge. “The best thing you can do in the leadup to Valentine’s Day is to be prepared with grooming steps to make yourself feel your best,” says make-up artist Ashleigh Quinn ( “It could be layering on some fake tan, having your hair coloured or just spending more time on yourself with an at-home day spa-type experience – think facial, hair removal, body scrub.”


SKIN SAVIOURS You don’t need a fancy dinner reservation to look awesome. Some glowing skin goodness might just do the trick. “Healthy skin is the best accessory – stepping up the skincare regime by incorporating a good mask can get the extra glow and also boost the mood instantly,” says beauty expert and blogger Liv Lundelius (makeup.livlundelius. com). We’re looking at you

Black Chicken Remedies Complexion Polish, $42.95 ( “A luxurious body scrub leaves the skin super soft, radiant and also prevents ingrown hairs. It is also a must before applying self-tan,” says Lundelius. Sukin

Energising Body Scrub Coconut & Coffee, $14.95 ( is bound to do the trick. Kirsty Warner, skincare expert and owner of Melbournebased Calma Spa & Clinic ( suggests starting skin prep early in the lead-up to V-day.


Public Announcement: you don’t need to go all-out on the pink-and-red makeup front. “A red lip is a classic but not everyone feels confident in one. What will delight even the most anti-make-up partner is fresh, glowing skin, defined brows, a wash of a neutral colour on the lids with a black liner and loads of mascara,” says Quinn. “For the lips you can pick a shade that is a little deeper than your natural lip colour or simply top your lips with a tinted gloss for an effortless but beautiful make-up look.” We adore

“Be well prepared with some skin treats – like fortnightly facials, full body exfoliation treatments in-clinic and at-home cosmeceutical-grade products that will really replenish and renew the skin so make-up will look luminous come the most romantic night of the year,” says Warner. She says that tanning prep should also be completed in advance. Slay a seamless shave with

Schick Hydro Silk, $14.25 ( and exfoliate adequately for an even application. If you’re getting a spray tan, do it the day before to allow it to fully develop and leave time for emergency touch-ups if you do experience any streaking. For a more subtle but equally sultry effect, Bali Body’s

Shimmering Oil $29.95 (au.balibodyco. com) delivers a sun-kissed glow with subtle hints of bronze and gold shimmer for lustworthy limbs.

Dusty Girls Chia Seeds Natural Lipstick, $19 (

corner of the eyes. Get peeper perfect with

for a full and polished pout. If you want to opt for a more classic look, Lundelius has a few tricks up her sleeve. “The red lip and flick eyeliner is a classic, romantic look that never gets old. For a more contemporary take, press the lip colour into the skin with your finger and skip the lip liner and brush. You will create a softer and more durable stained look,” she says. For the eyes, Lundelius suggests taking an angled liner brush and some gel liner along your lash line and flick upwards, creating a lift in the outer

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Gel Eyelinerr, $6.97 ( u). If you’re after bronzzed eyes and nude lips, Lun ndelius recommends blending a light sheer golden eyeshadow alll over your eyelid followed by a deeper bronze tone through the soccket and outer corners. We’re crazy for

jane iredale Smooth Affair for Eyes, $48 (, which glides on breezily. womensheal t handfit

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“Use a hint of deeper bronze along the outer corner of the lower lashes for a soft smokey look and apply black mascara generously to make your eyes pop,” says Lundelius. Lashings of Inika’s Long Lash

Vegan Mascara, $45 ( should do the trick. If you want an au naturale look, Lundelius says the focus should be on radiant skin and just use a tiny dab of a cream lip and cheek colour to enhance your natural beauty. “The trick lies in good skin prep, using a plumping serum and illuminating face oil underneath a priming moisturiser,” says Lundelius. We’re looking at you Intense Formulas

Face Serum, $74 ( “Apply a lightweight dewy foundation and follow with a subtle hint of colour on lips and cheeks. Highlight and bronze the cheeks with cream products and blend well – a hint of mascara is optional to finish the look,” says Lundelius.

Designer Brands Flawless Bronzing Stick, $14.99 ( is our bronzing bestie. As for your furry caterpillars: “eyebrows really do frame the face, so getting these babies in shape before any occasion is a must,” says Lundelius. Hint: use a pencil, powder or gel such as MAC Brow Set, $28 ( Lastly, pair your cosmetic masterpiece with a glowing smile. Gleaming white teeth will have you beaming good energy and good vibes worthy of Cupid’s bow and arrow. We heart Keeko’s Botanical

Teeth Whitening Pen, $29.99 (


HAIR GOALS Stuck for how to tame your mane into tiptop shape come Feb 14th? We’re here to help – and so is a YouTube tutorial, or two (or three!).

» Bombshell Braid: leave your make-up minimal and let all the attention be on your long, luscious locks coiled in a sexy side braid. » Short and Snappy: if you have short hair, run some strong-hold pomade through and tousle with fingers for the perfect finishing touch. » Finger Waves: gals with long hair will woo them all with elegant finger waves throughout their luscious locks. » Top Knot: a high ballerina bun would look just as good with a dress as it would with jeans and boots. » Messy Ponytail: for an effortlessly sexy look, let this be your go-to.

DATE NIGHT HANDBAG STAPLES According to Quinn, powder, lip products, mints, hair elastics and tissues are your clutch bag essentials, while Lundelius says a good multipurpose balm for skin and lips – try Lanolips

Coconutter Hand Cream, $14.95 (lanolips. com) – a hydrating facial spritz such as Mukti Organic’s Rose Blossom Hydrating Toner, $52.95 ( and a mini-size natural perfume with aromatherapy benefits such as Ime

Natural Perfume’s Collection Pack mini’s, $69.95 ( are great choices. Don’t leave the house without these bad boys.

» Straight and Sassy: a bit of shine spray, a straightener and you’re good to go.

BEAUTY EMERGENCIES Date night nerves got the better of you? Rushing to get ready and DUN…DUN…DUN, you’ve created a primping disaster out of yourself? We got this.

Emergency – streaky make-up: Nothing a bit of make-up remover on a Q-tip or some coconut oil can’t fix. Swipe it over the mistake to break it down and start all over again. Breathe, girl, breathe.


Emergency – waxing bumps: It happens.


If you want to banish the side effects of a botched wax job, Warner recommends using a product that contains salicylic acid to help reduce redness and swelling. Brace yourself, apply it, pray.

Emergency – zit attack: If you’re sprouting


a giant, planet-sized pimple somewhere on your face, use a trusty spot treatment such as Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Spot Treatment, $37 ( then gently cover with a pigment-diffusing concealer like Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, $40 ( “Resist popping it at all costs,” says Warner.

Emergency – lipstick disaster: You’re


trying to have a serious heart-toheart when you notice your date looks a bit confused by the lippie that is slowly enveloping your teeth. Get your hands on some olive oil (order some if need be!) and discreetly dab a napkin in it before tapping away at your teeth. Go to the bathroom, reapply, resume date. Sorted.

Emergency – sweatsville: If you’re


scared you might start feeling like a hot, sweaty mess (and not of the sexy variety), stow away some facial cleansing wipes such as Simple Spotless Skin Quick Fix Cleansing Wipes, $6.99 ( in your purse and run them under your armpits (pretty much everywhere, actually). Slap on a little Harmoni’s Kiss Natural

Roll-On Deodorant, $8.95 ( au) if you’re feeling sassy. You’re good to go.


GALENTINE’S DAY It’s possible that a box of chocolates, Tiffany and Co jewellery and romantic candlelit dinners with your significant other are totally your thang, but Galentine’s Day is where it’s at when it comes to celebrating the love you have for your girlfriends. Warner shares how to create the ultimate at-home spa-aaaaah with your gal pals.

TELL THE LADIES TO BRING: » A towel (if they want to use their own) » Pillow (for epic relaxed vibes) » Loungewear (for the selfies) » Open-toe slippers (pedicures, people) » Their sassy selves


» Face cloths and towels » Cucumber slices » Fruit-infused water (for the ultimate skin detoxification) » Nail polish, nail file, nail clippers and the gamut



Whether you’re planning a night in (or out) with friends, a romantic date with a loved one, or you just want to shower all of your favourite people with some cute tokens of appreciation, we’ve gathered some beauty gifts for the occasion. Straight out of a Hallmark card, feel free to leave hints lying around from now.


It’s the candle brand Madonna swears by, and the best way to put anyone in a loveinfused state of mind. Like a soul mate for your senses.

SHH Silk White Marble Eye Mask, $45 ( Aside from the

squee-worthiness of marble-anything, this is the perfect offering for anyone who loves their beauty sleep.

The Seeke Breathe Botanical Facial Steam, $29.95 ( An


aromatic blend of rose buds, calendula flowers, rose petals and jasmine buds is the fastest way to enter zen mode.

» Healthy snacks (and some chocolate… we won’t judge) » Skincare products. Think: masks, lotions, creams, serums and hydrating spritzes Create little beauty stations on rotation and have some music, good vibes and possibly a great Netflix show running in the background as you get to work at bonding and beautifying. Ovaries before brovaries, y’know?


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Sisleya L’Integral Anti-Age Eye & Lip Contour Cream, $240 (davidjones. Lovers of luxury will freak


Damselfly All You Need Is Love Candle, $39.95 (



out over this anti-ageing powerhouse, which takes skincare routines to a whole notha’ level.

The Body Shop British Rose Instant Glow Body Butter, $25 (thebodyshop. A medley of dewy


hydration and fragrant rose essence makes this skin-quenching body butter oh-so-romantic.



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BEAT THE PERIOD BLUES Sick of spending hundreds of dollars on sanitary products every year? Try Lunette Menstrual Cups as an alternative, made from 100 per cent hypoallergenic medical silicone. They’re easy to use, safe and hygienic (plus you are doing your little bit for the environment), providing you with the ultimate protection during ‘that time of the month’. Winning. RRP $60,


E EASY SUPP Is your supp collection getting a bit out of hand? h Hearts & Crosses Vitamin Rituals is here h to help, offering a customised vitamin service s where you y purchase p your y tailor-made vitamin blend online – cutting the mountain of vitamin jars on your kitchen bench by half. All you need to do is complete an easy five-minute lifestyle survey online created by a pharmacist and dietitian and voila: you get a product specially formulated with the ingredients you need to supplement your health. Available in capsule and powder form. RRP from $55 per month,



CRYSTAL CLEAR Finding a deodorant that doesn doesn’tt contain harmful chemicals or stink out the gym changerooms can be a mission. Sweat it no more with this little keeper: Body Crystal’s deodorant range is made from naturally occurring mineral salts and is available in fragrance free or lightly scented varieties. Available in Coles, Woolworths and leading pharmacies. RRP $7.45 for the crystal roll-on deodorant,

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ENTER AND WIN Win one of three Synergie Skin antiageing essentials prize packs, which includes their best-selling powerhouse products to keep your skin glowing all year round. Total prize valued at $662 each, and includes their Ultimate A skin serum, Vitamin B essential skin serum, Pure-C Crystals skin antioxidant, fortifier and brightener, SuperSerum anti-ageing serum, ReClaim anti-ageing moisturiser and UltraCleanse foaming cleansing gel. To enter: 1. Head to Instagram and like the comp photo 2. Follow @synergieskin and @whandfmag 3. Tag a friend (the more friends you tag, the more entries you get!)

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FACE FIRST Your skincare routine just got easier thanks to this multivitamin facial oil from Life Basics. It contains protein-building amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, K, C, A and E, and over 60 antioxidants. The lightweight and non-greasy serum is instantly absorbed into your skin, so you’ll leave the house without a shiny T-zone. It’s also vegan and contains certified organic rosehip oil, jojoba oil and soothing almond oil, with a subtle floral scent. Mmm. Life Basics CoQ10 Daily Facial Oil, RRP $24.95,

COOK UP A STORM If you’re looking for some wholesome recipes to create in your kitchen this summer (festive bloat, be gone!), Golden Door at home cookbook has a collection of 110 options for you to try, including coconut pancakes, quinoa and vegetable burgers, and Moroccan chicken tagine. They’re not only simple and decked out with nutritious ingredients, but super tasty too. RRP $49.95,

last word

Rebecca Powne

FOUNDER OF AWE COSMECEUTICALS To help celebrate a month of love, WH&F chatted to qualified dermal therapist and Ayurvedic expert Rebecca Powne about one of her great passions: natural health care. With two decades of experience in the natural health and beauty industry under her belt, Powne founded AWE Cosmeceuticals in 2010 – a skin company that delivers high-quality solutions based on the Indian health practice of Ayurveda.

I began my career in beauty therapy in 1993, but always had a strong desire to study natural medicine. While I was in London in 2000, I discovered Ayurveda and studied a bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda studies. During my studies, I realised I wanted to create an Ayurvedic skin care range, but it wasn’t until I completed my degree in dermal therapies in 2006 that I envisioned how it would come together. Ayurveda is a complete lifestyle-based practice. Ayurveda believes that we all have an individual constitution that is a combination of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. This combination allows us to follow lifestyle, dietary and spiritual practices, such as using traditional Indian Ayurvedic herbs to promote beauty care, healthy hair and the treatment of skin disorders. I have noticed an increase in Ayurvedic ingredients in the beauty industry over the past 10 years, including liquorice, gotu kola, honey, turmeric, aloe vera, sandalwood and neem. Ayurveda roughly translates to the ‘science of life’ and is about maintaining balance within the mind, body and spirit. Ayurveda believes ill health is a result of poor digestion and toxins not being dispelled, so keeping the internal fire (agni) functioning optimally is essential. Skin is the largest organ of the body, and its health and appearance is affected by many internal and external diet and lifestyle factors, including hydration, a well-balanced and nutritious diet, exercise (sweating removes toxins from your body), and stress, which can create a sallow complexion, fine lines and even cause irritation.


My skincare tips include: avoid wearing make-up during exercise and cleanse and apply a hydrating moisturiser to your face post-workout; adjust your

MY DAILY BEAUTY REGIME First thing in the morning, I use a copper tongue scraper to remove bacteria built up on the tongue – it’s a traditional Ayurvedic practice that keeps your breath fresh. Sometimes I oil pull – an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique involving swishing coconut or sesame oil in your mouth to help keep gums and teeth clean and draw toxins from the body. I cleanse my skin in the morning with AWE’s vimala Gentle Cleanser, then apply either indiraa Age Recharge Serum or a new formula I might be experimenting with. Once that has absorbed, I apply indiraa Age Recharge Moisturiser as my day cream. In the evening, I cleanse twice if I have been wearing make-up. I often use the codayati Renewal System lotion, which has retinol to work directly on the skin’s matrix of collagen and elastin, fortifying the skin against skin damage over time for a brighter, smoother and more youthful appearance. I usually exfoliate once a week with samskrta Skin Polish to remove dead skin cells. This helps the rasadana Hydrating Mask to penetrate more effectively. I also use jiva Eye Concentrate every day.

diet if you have any food sensitivities that may become visible in your complexion; get adequate sleep and put on a hydrating mask to soak into your skin overnight. I won’t pretend that balancing work and family life is easy. I have two teenage children and it’s become easier as they have grown, but it’s still a juggling act. It’s important to keep yourself nourished and I’m currently working on setting daily intentions. Family is very important to me, and being able to laugh and enjoy each other’s company is something that I make time for daily. To relax and de-stress I take a hot bath with my favourite essential oil blend. I also enjoy being outside in my garden with our beautiful alpacas; animals have a calming effect on me. I also make time for regular yoga and Pilates classes. g