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Well, hello there

Author photo
Welcome to the Women’s Fitness website! Why not stay a while and have a look around? You’ll find tips and advice on fitness, food, beauty, travel, fashion and much, much more. And if you like it, feel free to make this a regular hangout. We’d love to see your pretty face again, soon.

body love

WF Cover Shoot with Shanina Shaik

Watch the exclusive behind the scenes video featuring our beautiful October cover star, Victoria’s Secret angel Shanina Shaik

Hip Hop Til You Can’t Stop

WF’s Samera Kamaleddine thought she was pretty street until put to the test by real-life b-boys

It’s true. I sometimes (read: 99% of the time) wish I was a background extra in the Save The Last Dance nightclub scenes. As much amateur practice as I’ve had (back in the partying days known as my 20s), I know my dancing skills certainly aren’t up to starring character standards… but it wasn’t until a recent hip hop dance workshop with my fellow WF-ers that I realised how positively woeful I in fact am (those dark and dingy nightclubs make you all kinds of delusional, clearly!). AND what a solid workout hip hop dancing actually is.

Said workshop took place with the b-boys from Red Bull Flying Bach – a crew of international breakdancers and hip-hop dancers who have been touring Australia with their seriously skilled show of dance to the beats of Bach (yep, as in the classical dude). At first the bouncing was easy – a little bit of sideways hip here, a little head nod there. The breakdown of the moves was confusing (um, if you’re someone who doesn’t follow instructions well like me) but we could perform them nice and slow. Then came the high intensity sequence where we had to put ALL our new moves into action. Really fast. To fast music. Like, our feet had to REALLY MOVE! The sweat was dripping faster and more profusely than during any workout I’ve ever done before and we were so out of breath we had to stop for a drink break after the first run-through. Half an hour in we were ready to say “Thanks, that was a great workout, see ya!”, but our instructors were adamant there was another half an hour to go of the lesson. Bet you can guess how we were feeling after that last half an hour?

Seeing the boys in action on stage the next night, I had a ridiculous amount of appreciation for their skills. Oh, and a heaped serving of envy.

My dreams of battling Julia Stiles may be over, but I sure know how to up my fitness levels in one hour. The nearest hip hop dance classes in my ‘hood, here I come.

Head to redbull.com/au/en/events/1331625037349/red-bull-flying-bach-international for info on the Red Bull Flying Bach tour.

October 2014 banner

Hip Hop Til You Can’t Stop
WF’s Samera Kamaleddine thought she was pretty street until put to the test by real-life b-boysIt’s true. I sometimes (read: 99% of the time) wish I was a background extra in the Save The Last Dance nightclub scenes. As much amateur practice as I’ve had (back in the partying days known as my 20s), I know my dancing skills certainly aren’t up to starring character standards… but it wasn’t until a recent hip hop dance workshop with my fellow WF-ers that I realised how positively woeful I in fact am (those dark and dingy nightclubs make you all kinds of delusional, clearly!). AND what a solid workout hip hop dancing actually is.Said workshop took place with the b-boys from Red Bull Flying Bach – a crew of international breakdancers and hip-hop dancers who have been touring Australia with their seriously skilled show of dance to the beats of Bach (yep, as in the classical dude). At first the bouncing was easy – a little bit of sideways hip here, a little head nod there. The breakdown of the moves was confusing (um, if you’re someone who doesn’t follow instructions well like me) but we could perform them nice and slow. Then came the high intensity sequence where we had to put ALL our new moves into action. Really fast. To fast music. Like, our feet had to REALLY MOVE! The sweat was dripping faster and more profusely than during any workout I’ve ever done before and we were so out of breath we had to stop for a drink break after the first run-through. Half an hour in we were ready to say “Thanks, that was a great workout, see ya!”, but our instructors were adamant there was another half an hour to go of the lesson. Bet you can guess how we were feeling after that last half an hour?Seeing the boys in action on stage the next night, I had a ridiculous amount of appreciation for their skills. Oh, and a heaped serving of envy. My dreams of battling Julia Stiles may be over, but I sure know how to up my fitness levels in one hour. The nearest hip hop dance classes in my ‘hood, here I come.




Head to redbull.com/au/en/events/1331625037349/red-bull-flying-bach-international for info on the Red Bull Flying Bach tour.

The down-low on Paleo

By Julia Giampietro

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (see what we did there!?) you’ve most likely heard of paleo; also commonly referred to as the caveman/stone-age/hunter-gatherer/primal/Neanderthal diet.

So what exactly is the go with eating like Fred Flintstone and Co. in the 21st century? Here’s the deal.

First thing’s first. Paleo, pronounced pay-lee-oh, short for “Paleolithic era” is based on the premise that the way in which our ancestors ate back in the day, was – and still is – most ideal in achieving optimum health, wellbeing and longevity.

What’s in:
•    Lean meats
•    Seafood
•    Vegetables
•    Fruit
•    Nuts & Seeds
•    Eggs

What’s out:
•    Dairy
•    Grains
•    Legumes
•    Processed foods & sugars
•    Alcohol

Some benefits:
•    Balanced blood sugar levels
•    Improved satiety & weight management
•    Brighter, clearer skin
•    Increase in energy levels
•    Happy, healthy gut
•    Improved immunity
•    Anti-inflammatory
•    Reduced allergies
•    Improved sleeping patterns

But, if the thought of replacing your morning skim latte with a long black gives you anxiety, fear not. There are other ways you can dabble into the paleo way of life and still reap its benefits. Nutritionist, Claire Yates encourages a more holistic approach rather than trying to replicate what our ancestors ate to a tee.

“It is about looking at evolutionary biology and figuring out what is the most nutrient dense food we can eat to nourish our body, prevent disease and lead a healthy life. This means making choices to not consume highly processed foods, food high in anti-nutrients and where possible, to buy local, seasonal and sustainable foods.” Claire shares.

“It also goes beyond just obeying dietary guidelines and is about nurturing the mind, body and soul. It is about following a lifestyle that is more in keeping with what our body needs to maintain health – this means working on cultivating happiness, reducing stress, making sleep a priority, getting out in nature and moving your body, all of these parts add up to making a healthy you.”

Flick to page 88 of our October issue for delicious paleo recipes that will have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, (and dessert!) sorted.

October 2014 banner

The down-low on Paleo
By Julia Giampietro
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (see what we did there!?) you’ve most likely heard of paleo; also commonly referred to as the caveman/stone-age/hunter-gatherer/primal/Neanderthal diet.
So what exactly is the go with eating like Fred Flintstone and Co. in the 21st century? Here’s the deal.
First thing’s first. Paleo, pronounced pay-lee-oh, short for “Paleolithic era” is based on the premise that the way in which our ancestors ate back in the day, was – and still is – most ideal in achieving optimum health, wellbeing and longevity.
What’s in:•    Lean meats•    Seafood•    Vegetables•    Fruit•    Nuts & Seeds•    EggsWhat’s out: •    Dairy•    Grains•    Legumes•    Processed foods & sugars•    AlcoholSome benefits:•    Balanced blood sugar levels•    Improved satiety & weight management•    Brighter, clearer skin•    Increase in energy levels •    Happy, healthy gut•    Improved immunity •    Anti-inflammatory •    Reduced allergies•    Improved sleeping patternsBut, if the thought of replacing your morning skim latte with a long black gives you anxiety, fear not. There are other ways you can dabble into the paleo way of life and still reap its benefits. Nutritionist, Claire Yates encourages a more holistic approach rather than trying to replicate what our ancestors ate to a tee.
“It is about looking at evolutionary biology and figuring out what is the most nutrient dense food we can eat to nourish our body, prevent disease and lead a healthy life. This means making choices to not consume highly processed foods, food high in anti-nutrients and where possible, to buy local, seasonal and sustainable foods.” Claire shares.
“It also goes beyond just obeying dietary guidelines and is about nurturing the mind, body and soul. It is about following a lifestyle that is more in keeping with what our body needs to maintain health – this means working on cultivating happiness, reducing stress, making sleep a priority, getting out in nature and moving your body, all of these parts add up to making a healthy you.”
Flick to page 88 of our October issue for delicious paleo recipes that will have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, (and dessert!) sorted.

3 killer moves from Commando

Ready to give your fitness a overhaul this spring? We asked Commando Steve to share his killer workout moves with us!

1. Double-unders
Great for: speed, agility, coordination

Technique:
1.Start skipping as normal.
2.Once you get into a rhythm, jump higher and rotate the skipping rope twice under your feet.
3.If you can’t do double-unders in a row, alternate with single skips

2. Commando burpee
Great for: Legs, bottom, upper back, arms, chest, core

Technique:
1.Crouch down and place your hands on the ground in front of you.
2. Jump your feet back into a close-grip push-up position.
3.Lower your chest to the ground, then push yourself back up.
4. Jump your feet back in to your hands, then jump up and clap your hands above your head. Move straight into the next rep.

3. Shuttle Run
Great for: cardio, speed, endurance

Technique:
1. Set two markers 20m apart.
2. Sprint back and forth between the two markers until time is up.

For more Commando moves, head to p.62 of the new October issue of Women’s Fitness magazine.

3 killer moves from Commando
Ready to give your fitness a overhaul this spring? We asked Commando Steve to share his killer workout moves with us!1. Double-undersGreat for: speed, agility, coordination
Technique:1.Start skipping as normal.2.Once you get into a rhythm, jump higher and rotate the skipping rope twice under your feet.3.If you can’t do double-unders in a row, alternate with single skips

2. Commando burpeeGreat for: Legs, bottom, upper back, arms, chest, core
Technique:1.Crouch down and place your hands on the ground in front of you.2. Jump your feet back into a close-grip push-up position.3.Lower your chest to the ground, then push yourself back up.4. Jump your feet back in to your hands, then jump up and clap your hands above your head. Move straight into the next rep.

3. Shuttle RunGreat for: cardio, speed, endurance
Technique:1. Set two markers 20m apart.2. Sprint back and forth between the two markers until time is up.

For more Commando moves, head to p.62 of the new October issue of Women’s Fitness magazine.

Recipe: Gingery Green Smoothie

Get your daily nutrition hit with this antioxidant-packed smoothie

To celebrate the launch of their new Ginger Tonic Smoothie and Kinky Kale Juice, the blender masters  at Boost are sharing this delish recipe for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Ingredients
150ml Coconut water
30g of Kale (organic)
1 Lime juiced
30g Spinach (organic)
1 small raw Beetroot chopped
1 tbsp Chia seeds
2 tbsp Protein powder
Ice

Method
1. Place all ingredients into blender and mix on high

Still thirsty? Make sure you grab a copy of our latest issue for your FREE Green Boost!

October 2014 banner

Recipe: Gingery Green Smoothie
Get your daily nutrition hit with this antioxidant-packed smoothieTo celebrate the launch of their new Ginger Tonic Smoothie and Kinky Kale Juice, the blender masters  at Boost are sharing this delish recipe for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.Ingredients150ml Coconut water30g of Kale (organic)1 Lime juiced30g Spinach (organic)1 small raw Beetroot chopped1 tbsp Chia seeds2 tbsp Protein powderIceMethod1. Place all ingredients into blender and mix on highStill thirsty? Make sure you grab a copy of our latest issue for your FREE Green Boost!

3 moves to wake up

Tired, wired or overworked? These stealth yoga poses will sort you out and help kick-start your day

Upward-facing dog with lion breath
Technique:
1. Lie face down. Exhale as you press your hands into the floor by your sides and straighten your arms.
2. Allow the tops of your thighs to lift, keeping your bottom relaxed.
3. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth making a ‘ha’ sound, opening your mouth wide.
4. Inhale and relax your face into a neutral expression, then exhale and release back down to the mat.
5. Repeat this sequence of movements 3 more times.

Warrior I with eagle arms
Technique:
1. Start with your feet together, then exhale as you step your left foot back 1 metre.
2. Keeping your hips facing forward, align your left heel behind your right heel, then turn your left foot out 45 degrees.
3. Inhale and raise your arms up. Exhale and swing your left arm underneath the right to wrap the arms and bring the palms to touch. Bend your right knee.
4. Stay for 8 breaths, then do the other side.

Bow pose
Technique:
1. Lie on your tummy, then bend your knees to bring your heels to your bottom. Reach back and hold the outside of your ankles.
2. Inhale and press your feet into your hands, lifting them away from your bottom.
3. Exhale and lift your thighs away from the floor, allowing your upper body to lift off the mat. Slide your shoulders back and down, keeping your neck lengthened.
4. Hold the pose for 8 deep breaths. Release then repeat twice more.

Want more moves to unwind before bed? Head to page 84 of our October issue for some body-loving moves.

3 moves to wake up
Tired, wired or overworked? These stealth yoga poses will sort you out and help kick-start your dayUpward-facing dog with lion breathTechnique:1. Lie face down. Exhale as you press your hands into the floor by your sides and straighten your arms. 2. Allow the tops of your thighs to lift, keeping your bottom relaxed.3. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth making a ‘ha’ sound, opening your mouth wide.4. Inhale and relax your face into a neutral expression, then exhale and release back down to the mat.5. Repeat this sequence of movements 3 more times.Warrior I with eagle armsTechnique:1. Start with your feet together, then exhale as you step your left foot back 1 metre.2. Keeping your hips facing forward, align your left heel behind your right heel, then turn your left foot out 45 degrees. 3. Inhale and raise your arms up. Exhale and swing your left arm underneath the right to wrap the arms and bring the palms to touch. Bend your right knee.4. Stay for 8 breaths, then do the other side.Bow poseTechnique:1. Lie on your tummy, then bend your knees to bring your heels to your bottom. Reach back and hold the outside of your ankles.2. Inhale and press your feet into your hands, lifting them away from your bottom.3. Exhale and lift your thighs away from the floor, allowing your upper body to lift off the mat. Slide your shoulders back and down, keeping your neck lengthened.4. Hold the pose for 8 deep breaths. Release then repeat twice more.Want more moves to unwind before bed? Head to page 84 of our October issue for some body-loving moves.

Nix your bad beauty habits

Are your committing one of these seven deadly sins?

Spring’s here, ladies, so you’ve no doubt started assessing your wardrobe for things to cull, cleaned the mess under your bed (so that’s where the sweater you’ve been looking for all winter was) and committed to a new fitness regime (because summer is coming, guys, it’s coming!). When your cleaning spree takes you to the bathroom vanity, don’t forget to revamp your beauty routine and kick these naughty habits to the sin bin.

1. Not cleaning your make-up brushes
Before you blame the chocolate you ate the other night for your nasty breakout, go and check your make-up brushes. Uh-huh, just as we thought. Not giving your trusty tools a wipe down every couple of weeks will result in a build-up of bacteria (which will leave you with a few bumpy friends), and also stop your make-up looking flawless. Say goodbye to streaks (and germs) with a bottle of brush cleaner.  


2. Using the wrong shade
You might have spent a few pretty pennies on that foundation, but honey, you’re a sand beige, not a golden brown, and that shade just ain’t working for you. Foundations are not fake tan, and unless you’re thinking of making a zombie cameo on The Walking Dead, they’re not supposed to make you pale, either. The next time you head to the beauty counter, test the formula along your jawline, not the back of your hand, and go for a shade that’s the same colour as your face (we know, outrageous, right?). This way you’ll get coverage where you need it, but you won’t be left with a tell-tale mask.


3. Over exfoliating
First they tell you that you’re not exfoliating enough. Now they tell you you’re doing it too much. We know, we know, you had more luck keeping up with the relationship status of Sookie Stackhouse - but don’t give up just yet. If you hit the hard stuff more than three times a week, chances are you’re going to be left with sore, flaky skin, more breakouts and (flash forward a few years later) wrinkles. To keep it simple, opt for a chemical exfoliant and use it once a week. There, easy!


4. Not washing your pillow case
We’d much rather spend our weekends lapping it up in the surf or brunching with the girls, but there are some things a gal just has to do. And that’s wash her pillow case. Besides being great for like, you know, general hygiene and all that, it’s also great for your skin. Just think of all the excess cream, hairspray, dead skin cells and other nasties you share your pillow with. Don’t want pimples? Wash your bed linen.


5. Sleeping in your make-up
This is one fight you’re not going to win. If you don’t wash your make-up off before hitting the hay, you’re just begging for fine lines, crusty lashes, dry skin, panda eyes and a dull complexion. If it’s an OH&S issue for you to operate a shower when you stumble on home at three am, take 30 seconds to get rid of your make-up with some trusty face wipes and give your skin a chance to regenerate.


6. Neglecting your neck
Slapped on the rosehip, hydrated your face with a rich, creamy moisturiser and even remembered to dot on a little eye serum? Congratulations. But if you didn’t share some of your nourishing elixirs with your neck and décolletage, do not pass go. Do not collect $200. These neglected areas need just as much love as your face. The skin is thinner and less elastic, which means without a little TLC it’s going to sag and be prone to wrinkles. Stop yourself from looking ten years older and make sure you spread that cream all the way down to you chest.

7. Forgetting to wear sunscreen
Lady, you live in Australia. We have a hole in our ozone layer. That means every time you ‘forget’ to wear sunscreen, you’re basically letting the sun etch a few dozen wrinkles into your forehead and sprinkle a few brown spots here and there. Plus, there’s the whole increasing-your-risk-of-skin-cancer factor. Sunscreen is the best anti-ageing product on the market, and it comes in your foundation. Excuses? Nada. Slip, slop, slap and make sure your BB cream is loaded with SPF.

September 2014 banner

Nix your bad beauty habits
Are your committing one of these seven deadly sins?Spring’s here, ladies, so you’ve no doubt started assessing your wardrobe for things to cull, cleaned the mess under your bed (so that’s where the sweater you’ve been looking for all winter was) and committed to a new fitness regime (because summer is coming, guys, it’s coming!). When your cleaning spree takes you to the bathroom vanity, don’t forget to revamp your beauty routine and kick these naughty habits to the sin bin.1. Not cleaning your make-up brushesBefore you blame the chocolate you ate the other night for your nasty breakout, go and check your make-up brushes. Uh-huh, just as we thought. Not giving your trusty tools a wipe down every couple of weeks will result in a build-up of bacteria (which will leave you with a few bumpy friends), and also stop your make-up looking flawless. Say goodbye to streaks (and germs) with a bottle of brush cleaner.  

2. Using the wrong shadeYou might have spent a few pretty pennies on that foundation, but honey, you’re a sand beige, not a golden brown, and that shade just ain’t working for you. Foundations are not fake tan, and unless you’re thinking of making a zombie cameo on The Walking Dead, they’re not supposed to make you pale, either. The next time you head to the beauty counter, test the formula along your jawline, not the back of your hand, and go for a shade that’s the same colour as your face (we know, outrageous, right?). This way you’ll get coverage where you need it, but you won’t be left with a tell-tale mask.

3. Over exfoliatingFirst they tell you that you’re not exfoliating enough. Now they tell you you’re doing it too much. We know, we know, you had more luck keeping up with the relationship status of Sookie Stackhouse - but don’t give up just yet. If you hit the hard stuff more than three times a week, chances are you’re going to be left with sore, flaky skin, more breakouts and (flash forward a few years later) wrinkles. To keep it simple, opt for a chemical exfoliant and use it once a week. There, easy!

4. Not washing your pillow caseWe’d much rather spend our weekends lapping it up in the surf or brunching with the girls, but there are some things a gal just has to do. And that’s wash her pillow case. Besides being great for like, you know, general hygiene and all that, it’s also great for your skin. Just think of all the excess cream, hairspray, dead skin cells and other nasties you share your pillow with. Don’t want pimples? Wash your bed linen.
5. Sleeping in your make-upThis is one fight you’re not going to win. If you don’t wash your make-up off before hitting the hay, you’re just begging for fine lines, crusty lashes, dry skin, panda eyes and a dull complexion. If it’s an OH&S issue for you to operate a shower when you stumble on home at three am, take 30 seconds to get rid of your make-up with some trusty face wipes and give your skin a chance to regenerate.

6. Neglecting your neckSlapped on the rosehip, hydrated your face with a rich, creamy moisturiser and even remembered to dot on a little eye serum? Congratulations. But if you didn’t share some of your nourishing elixirs with your neck and décolletage, do not pass go. Do not collect $200. These neglected areas need just as much love as your face. The skin is thinner and less elastic, which means without a little TLC it’s going to sag and be prone to wrinkles. Stop yourself from looking ten years older and make sure you spread that cream all the way down to you chest.

7. Forgetting to wear sunscreenLady, you live in Australia. We have a hole in our ozone layer. That means every time you ‘forget’ to wear sunscreen, you’re basically letting the sun etch a few dozen wrinkles into your forehead and sprinkle a few brown spots here and there. Plus, there’s the whole increasing-your-risk-of-skin-cancer factor. Sunscreen is the best anti-ageing product on the market, and it comes in your foundation. Excuses? Nada. Slip, slop, slap and make sure your BB cream is loaded with SPF.

Ladies in Pink High: Tea With Love

On Sunday September 20th, The Ladies in Pink, together with Love Your Sister.org will be rallying to reach their goal of raising $30 000 for breast cancer awareness. Book yourself in for this special gluten-free high tea and you’ll be doing your part for the fight against breast cancer. You’ll be in for a dose of inspirational conversation from those affected by this awful disease, plus some sweet treats to celebrate their courageous spirit.

To get you ready for this uplifting event, here’s a little taster of what’s on the menu:

Cinnamon Tahini Coconut Bliss Balls

Ingredients
14 Medjool dates, large soft variety - pitted
1 cup sultanas 1/2 cup sesame seeds 1/3 cup hulled tahini 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
1 tsp nutmeg Pinch of Himalayan crystal or Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup extra sesame seeds for rolling

Method
1. Place all ingredients (except extra sesame seeds) in the food processor and process till dates and sultanas have completely broken down and the mixture clumps.

2. Place the extra sesame seeds in a flat bowl and, dipping the palm side of your hands into the seeds, roll mixture into balls the width of 20 cent pieces. You will notice that the outsides of your cinnamon balls become coated firmly with the sesame seeds. Continue till the mixture is finished.

3. Store in a cool place in a sealed container.

Gluten free, nut free, vegan

The lowdown

Where: Leichhardt Town Hall
When: September 20, 2014
Time: 2.30-5.30pm
Cost: $85 + booking fee

September 2014 banner

Ladies in Pink High: Tea With Love
On Sunday September 20th, The Ladies in Pink, together with Love Your Sister.org will be rallying to reach their goal of raising $30 000 for breast cancer awareness. Book yourself in for this special gluten-free high tea and you’ll be doing your part for the fight against breast cancer. You’ll be in for a dose of inspirational conversation from those affected by this awful disease, plus some sweet treats to celebrate their courageous spirit.To get you ready for this uplifting event, here’s a little taster of what’s on the menu:


Cinnamon Tahini Coconut Bliss Balls
Ingredients14 Medjool dates, large soft variety - pitted1 cup sultanas 1/2 cup sesame seeds 1/3 cup hulled tahini 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut1 tsp nutmeg Pinch of Himalayan crystal or Celtic sea salt1/2 cup extra sesame seeds for rollingMethod 1. Place all ingredients (except extra sesame seeds) in the food processor and process till dates and sultanas have completely broken down and the mixture clumps. 2. Place the extra sesame seeds in a flat bowl and, dipping the palm side of your hands into the seeds, roll mixture into balls the width of 20 cent pieces. You will notice that the outsides of your cinnamon balls become coated firmly with the sesame seeds. Continue till the mixture is finished.3. Store in a cool place in a sealed container.Gluten free, nut free, vegan

The lowdown
Where: Leichhardt Town HallWhen: September 20, 2014Time: 2.30-5.30pmCost: $85 + booking fee

Going 30 days clean

By News and Features Writer Sam Bailey

Think you could hack 30 days without coffee, sugar, alcohol and carbs? WF’s Sam Bailey tells us how she made it through alive - and even ended up loving it!

If someone said to me a while ago that I could live a day without coffee, I’d probably have laughed in their face. ‘Me? No coffee? I’d rather die!’ I’d say. But then when the 30 Days Clean Challenge by Flow Athletic came a knocking, little old stubborn me became somewhat intrigued to give it a go!

The premise of the program run by boutique gym Flow Athletic is to spend a month getting your body back to its optimal health, which ideally means following their program of gyming five times a week and eating as naturally as possible (read: cutting all processed foods) so yes no coffee, alcohol, carbs or sugar. Admittedly I’d had a few rather big weekends partying prior to the challenge and realised it couldn’t have come at a better time, I was craving to give my body a break (not to mention it was winter and I’d already kissed my social life goodbye for a month long hibernation) and so starting the challenge gave me the perfect excuse!

While I thought I’d never get through it, I made it, and I have felt pretty damn good since. While I don’t think you need to be crazy strict about cutting all of the above (because let’s be honest, life wouldn’t be nearly as fun) I think you can only benefit from a clean living lifestyle and would honestly recommend to anyone to give it a go.

Here’s what I learned along the way:

1. Don’t swap one vice for another
When it comes to bad foods, there are lots of s words to be wary of – sugar, salt, saturated fat being the top three. So even though I knew off the bat that sugar was a no-go zone, somehow in my mind I convinced myself all else was up for grabs. So when 3pm came calling and no chocolate was allowed? No worries, I’ll just have salted popcorn instead. See the problem here? Because sugar was banned, salt became my new best friend. Not ideal, but hey, Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar recommends switching to cheese as a way to wean yourself off cutting sugar, so if Sarah says it…*Disclaimer – unless you’re like my mum who believes a whole wheel of brie cheese in one sitting is fine because it’s not sugar.

2. It’s okay to cheat within reason…
Now before you start thinking I completely cheated the system, let me explain what I mean. When it comes to cutting food groups, I think there should be slight exceptions to the rule, i.e. fruit. When chocolate and cake is off the menu, one of the best go-to snack options is fruit. Yes fruit contains natural sugar, but overall I think it’s nutritional benefits trump it’s sugar content, so yeah I ate fruit. No biggie. This went for caffeine alternatives too. When dealing with coffee come downs, green tea became my new BFF. Yes it has a small amount of caffeine, but hey sometimes you just need something to wrap your hands around of a cold morning (and a little caffeine never hurt anyone!).

3. There’s never a good time to start…
While I think this saying comes from a good place - you know the place of motivating people to get moving and eating healthily today not tomorrow, I have to disagree on this one. There definitely is a good time to start and it’s not when you know the month is filled with social festivities – like mine was. Yep, over the 30 day challenge I endured 3 x goodbye lunches/dinners/drinks, a baby shower, a birthday, a happy engagement arvo tea, a catch-up-with-the-girls dinner and my favourite one of all – ‘the day ice cream showed up to work day’ (*fyi - this NEVER happens). Feeling my distress? It was by far the biggest test of my will power, but I am proud to say I made it through…even if salted popcorn and cheese was by my side the whole way. So lesson being, if you know you have no social occasions coming up, start then!

4. Motivation is paramount
Having a few tools and tricks to get you through is a big help. For me, there was two main motivators – good music and the fundraising aspect. When you’re bleary eyed and dreaming of coffee that you can’t have, there really needs to be something getting you out that door. Good beats are my new energiser- I love the Monster iSport headphones – they make you feel like you’re in your own silent disco. Music seriously made the difference between me choosing savasana (corpse pose) before class (read: staying in bed) or a savasana after a flowing vinyasa sesh where a moment of rest is well earned.

My other major motivation was the fundraising side of the challenge - all proceeds raised went to Beyond Blue. The charity is not only one I’m passionate about but knowing people are giving you money for your efforts keeps you on the straight and narrow – why cheat when you can give so much back (and it will only benefit you anyway)?

5. Being healthy full time is actually awesome!
It probably goes without saying, but being healthy is pretty damn addictive. Other than the two-day caffeine headache at the start, there was no down side to sticking at a clean living lifestyle; it was only gives ‘feel good’ benefits. I now feel lighter, my tummy is less bloated, I have glowing skin (or so I’m told), I have more energy and just generally feel better about myself. By investing in my body and health it has helped my body confidence and boosted my spirits *yep I may be mentally high fiving myself! I won’t lie though, the first coffee I had on day 31 never tasted sweeter. But as for the actual sweet stuff? Happy to take or leave it! Bring on the clean life!

For more on 30 Days Clean, check out Flow Athletic.

Going 30 days clean
By News and Features Writer Sam BaileyThink you could hack 30 days without coffee, sugar, alcohol and carbs? WF’s Sam Bailey tells us how she made it through alive - and even ended up loving it! If someone said to me a while ago that I could live a day without coffee, I’d probably have laughed in their face. ‘Me? No coffee? I’d rather die!’ I’d say. But then when the 30 Days Clean Challenge by Flow Athletic came a knocking, little old stubborn me became somewhat intrigued to give it a go! The premise of the program run by boutique gym Flow Athletic is to spend a month getting your body back to its optimal health, which ideally means following their program of gyming five times a week and eating as naturally as possible (read: cutting all processed foods) so yes no coffee, alcohol, carbs or sugar. Admittedly I’d had a few rather big weekends partying prior to the challenge and realised it couldn’t have come at a better time, I was craving to give my body a break (not to mention it was winter and I’d already kissed my social life goodbye for a month long hibernation) and so starting the challenge gave me the perfect excuse! While I thought I’d never get through it, I made it, and I have felt pretty damn good since. While I don’t think you need to be crazy strict about cutting all of the above (because let’s be honest, life wouldn’t be nearly as fun) I think you can only benefit from a clean living lifestyle and would honestly recommend to anyone to give it a go. Here’s what I learned along the way:1. Don’t swap one vice for anotherWhen it comes to bad foods, there are lots of s words to be wary of – sugar, salt, saturated fat being the top three. So even though I knew off the bat that sugar was a no-go zone, somehow in my mind I convinced myself all else was up for grabs. So when 3pm came calling and no chocolate was allowed? No worries, I’ll just have salted popcorn instead. See the problem here? Because sugar was banned, salt became my new best friend. Not ideal, but hey, Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar recommends switching to cheese as a way to wean yourself off cutting sugar, so if Sarah says it…*Disclaimer – unless you’re like my mum who believes a whole wheel of brie cheese in one sitting is fine because it’s not sugar.2. It’s okay to cheat within reason…Now before you start thinking I completely cheated the system, let me explain what I mean. When it comes to cutting food groups, I think there should be slight exceptions to the rule, i.e. fruit. When chocolate and cake is off the menu, one of the best go-to snack options is fruit. Yes fruit contains natural sugar, but overall I think it’s nutritional benefits trump it’s sugar content, so yeah I ate fruit. No biggie. This went for caffeine alternatives too. When dealing with coffee come downs, green tea became my new BFF. Yes it has a small amount of caffeine, but hey sometimes you just need something to wrap your hands around of a cold morning (and a little caffeine never hurt anyone!).3. There’s never a good time to start…While I think this saying comes from a good place - you know the place of motivating people to get moving and eating healthily today not tomorrow, I have to disagree on this one. There definitely is a good time to start and it’s not when you know the month is filled with social festivities – like mine was. Yep, over the 30 day challenge I endured 3 x goodbye lunches/dinners/drinks, a baby shower, a birthday, a happy engagement arvo tea, a catch-up-with-the-girls dinner and my favourite one of all – ‘the day ice cream showed up to work day’ (*fyi - this NEVER happens). Feeling my distress? It was by far the biggest test of my will power, but I am proud to say I made it through…even if salted popcorn and cheese was by my side the whole way. So lesson being, if you know you have no social occasions coming up, start then! 4. Motivation is paramountHaving a few tools and tricks to get you through is a big help. For me, there was two main motivators – good music and the fundraising aspect. When you’re bleary eyed and dreaming of coffee that you can’t have, there really needs to be something getting you out that door. Good beats are my new energiser- I love the Monster iSport headphones – they make you feel like you’re in your own silent disco. Music seriously made the difference between me choosing savasana (corpse pose) before class (read: staying in bed) or a savasana after a flowing vinyasa sesh where a moment of rest is well earned.My other major motivation was the fundraising side of the challenge - all proceeds raised went to Beyond Blue. The charity is not only one I’m passionate about but knowing people are giving you money for your efforts keeps you on the straight and narrow – why cheat when you can give so much back (and it will only benefit you anyway)? 5. Being healthy full time is actually awesome! It probably goes without saying, but being healthy is pretty damn addictive. Other than the two-day caffeine headache at the start, there was no down side to sticking at a clean living lifestyle; it was only gives ‘feel good’ benefits. I now feel lighter, my tummy is less bloated, I have glowing skin (or so I’m told), I have more energy and just generally feel better about myself. By investing in my body and health it has helped my body confidence and boosted my spirits *yep I may be mentally high fiving myself! I won’t lie though, the first coffee I had on day 31 never tasted sweeter. But as for the actual sweet stuff? Happy to take or leave it! Bring on the clean life! For more on 30 Days Clean, check out Flow Athletic.

Spring Clean Your Mind

September is here, so give your mind a reboot with tips from A Season of Change yoga expert Claire Robbie

1. Think of each day as a new beginning
How you start your morning will have a trickle-down effect into your day. Start the day by sitting still and connecting with your breath, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Make this a part of each day and to release any deep rooted unconscious programming.

2. Move
Whether it’s be going for a walk, jog, yoga, Pilates, CrossFit or boxing. Movement is cleansing so by getting the blood flowing it will carry waste and toxins out of the system but also act as a type of meditation too. It’s hard to dwell on unnecessary stuff when you’re sweating and moving!

3. Have a go-to mantra
Channel the power of positivity. Each morning think of something you love about yourself and keep it in the forefront of your mind throughout the day. Try it for a week and watch as your negative self-belief starts to dissolve.

4. Challenge the uncomfortable
Discomfort is your greatest teacher. Stop suppressing and avoiding emotions that make you feel yuck, they can actually teach you a lot.  Observe how you avoid them and learn why to discover new ways of thinking and acting.

5. Spend time in nature
The earth is inherently peaceful. The more time you spend connecting outside with the universe, the more time you will calm your soul and be put everything into perspective.

For more spring inspired health tips, check out A Season of Change.

September 2014 banner

Spring Clean Your Mind
September is here, so give your mind a reboot with tips from A Season of Change yoga expert Claire Robbie 1. Think of each day as a new beginning How you start your morning will have a trickle-down effect into your day. Start the day by sitting still and connecting with your breath, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Make this a part of each day and to release any deep rooted unconscious programming. 2. MoveWhether it’s be going for a walk, jog, yoga, Pilates, CrossFit or boxing. Movement is cleansing so by getting the blood flowing it will carry waste and toxins out of the system but also act as a type of meditation too. It’s hard to dwell on unnecessary stuff when you’re sweating and moving!3. Have a go-to mantraChannel the power of positivity. Each morning think of something you love about yourself and keep it in the forefront of your mind throughout the day. Try it for a week and watch as your negative self-belief starts to dissolve. 4. Challenge the uncomfortableDiscomfort is your greatest teacher. Stop suppressing and avoiding emotions that make you feel yuck, they can actually teach you a lot.  Observe how you avoid them and learn why to discover new ways of thinking and acting. 5. Spend time in natureThe earth is inherently peaceful. The more time you spend connecting outside with the universe, the more time you will calm your soul and be put everything into perspective. For more spring inspired health tips, check out A Season of Change.

Fitness challenge: Coastrek

WF’s Samera Kamaleddine has signed up for her next fitness challenge, all in the name of charity

When you hear 55 kilometre trek you might think “EEK no way” or “I’d so die walking that far” but since I started working at Women’s Fitness (and subsequently throwing my hat in the ring for a bunch of stuff I would never have done before – hello, City2Surf!) I’ve learnt that no challenge is ever worthy of dropping the H-bomb (hard, that is). Especially when it has a feel-good component to it.

Enter Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek – the 55km team trekking challenge along the stunning Sydney coast, that supports of The Fred Hollows Foundation. There are two events starting at sunrise on Friday March 6, 2015: 1. From Palm Beach to Balmoral and 2. From Coogee Beach to Balmoral, both taking an average of 18 hours. Yep, 18 hours of walking! But think about the views… national parks, the harbour, beaches, lookouts and iconic landmarks! And this stat: four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be. The Fred Hollows Foundation can restore sight for just $25 to someone who’s needlessly blind.

Want more? This endurance challenge promises to up your health and fitness game – in fact, nearly 98 per cent of surveyed participants from last year’s Coastrek said it boosted theirs.

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn (like you do for all good challenges) to walk a 5km slice of next year’s Coastrek route (see pics below) and now I’m pumped for the real thing. Like I’m totally going to be part of something big.

If you want to get on board, registration for the 2015 Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek is now open. Head to www.coastrek.com.au.

September 2014 banner

Fitness challenge: Coastrek
WF’s Samera Kamaleddine has signed up for her next fitness challenge, all in the name of charity
When you hear 55 kilometre trek you might think “EEK no way” or “I’d so die walking that far” but since I started working at Women’s Fitness (and subsequently throwing my hat in the ring for a bunch of stuff I would never have done before – hello, City2Surf!) I’ve learnt that no challenge is ever worthy of dropping the H-bomb (hard, that is). Especially when it has a feel-good component to it. Enter Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek – the 55km team trekking challenge along the stunning Sydney coast, that supports of The Fred Hollows Foundation. There are two events starting at sunrise on Friday March 6, 2015: 1. From Palm Beach to Balmoral and 2. From Coogee Beach to Balmoral, both taking an average of 18 hours. Yep, 18 hours of walking! But think about the views… national parks, the harbour, beaches, lookouts and iconic landmarks! And this stat: four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be. The Fred Hollows Foundation can restore sight for just $25 to someone who’s needlessly blind. Want more? This endurance challenge promises to up your health and fitness game – in fact, nearly 98 per cent of surveyed participants from last year’s Coastrek said it boosted theirs.This morning I got up at the crack of dawn (like you do for all good challenges) to walk a 5km slice of next year’s Coastrek route (see pics below) and now I’m pumped for the real thing. Like I’m totally going to be part of something big.



If you want to get on board, registration for the 2015 Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek is now open. Head to www.coastrek.com.au.

Mustard Trout with Roasted Root Veg Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

For the salad
2 trout fillets
1 medium parsnips
1 small sweet potato
1 small turnip or celeriac
1/2 apple, cut into thin strips
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
1 cup baby rocket leaves
1 handful parsley leaves
1 macadamia or coconut oil
sea salt
black pepper

For the dressing
1/2 tablespoon dijion mustard (no added sugar)
1 tablespoon macadamia or olive oil
1/2 lemon

Method

1.Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

2.Chop the root vegetables into half inch cubes, place them on a tray, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper.

3.Place the tray in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

4.Meanwhile wash then dry your fish fillets with a paper towel, rub each one with a little oil and season with salt.

5.Place the fish under the grill skin side up and cook for 5 minutes, turnover and cook for another 3-4 minutes, turn it back to the skin side and cook for another minute or so to get it nice and crispy.

6.f your grill is in the same space as your oven and you can’t use both at the same time just wait until the veg are cooked, cover the tray with foil and then cook your fish, you can pop the veg back in the oven at the end to heat them up a little if necessary.

7.Squeeze the lemon into a large bowl and add the remaining dressing ingredients, mix, then add the apple, onion, rocket, parsley and cooked root vegetables.

8.Take the skin off the trout, then flake the fish into the rest of the salad making sure you remove any bones. Carefully toss, check the seasoning, then divide between two plates.

9.Slice the crispy trout skin and place on top of the salad.

For more delicious recipes, check out the Food Fix Up app.

Mustard Trout with Roasted Root Veg Salad
Serves 2
Ingredients
For the salad2 trout fillets 1 medium parsnips1 small sweet potato1 small turnip or celeriac1/2 apple, cut into thin strips1/4 red onion, finely sliced1 cup baby rocket leaves1 handful parsley leaves1 macadamia or coconut oilsea saltblack pepperFor the dressing1/2 tablespoon dijion mustard (no added sugar)1 tablespoon macadamia or olive oil1/2 lemon
Method
1.Pre-heat the oven to 200C.2.Chop the root vegetables into half inch cubes, place them on a tray, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. 3.Place the tray in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally. 4.Meanwhile wash then dry your fish fillets with a paper towel, rub each one with a little oil and season with salt. 5.Place the fish under the grill skin side up and cook for 5 minutes, turnover and cook for another 3-4 minutes, turn it back to the skin side and cook for another minute or so to get it nice and crispy. 6.f your grill is in the same space as your oven and you can’t use both at the same time just wait until the veg are cooked, cover the tray with foil and then cook your fish, you can pop the veg back in the oven at the end to heat them up a little if necessary. 7.Squeeze the lemon into a large bowl and add the remaining dressing ingredients, mix, then add the apple, onion, rocket, parsley and cooked root vegetables.8.Take the skin off the trout, then flake the fish into the rest of the salad making sure you remove any bones. Carefully toss, check the seasoning, then divide between two plates.9.Slice the crispy trout skin and place on top of the salad. 
For more delicious recipes, check out the Food Fix Up app.