Meal Prepping: Your Diet’s Missing Ingredient

Meal Prepping: Your Diet’s Missing Ingredient

Meal prepping is more than just arranging healthy foods in pretty containers worthy of Instagram. In fact, meal prepping could be a crucial process that your daily diet is missing. Even if you have a kitchen stocked with all the right foods and perhaps, you’re even exercising regularly, meal prepping is an extra step worth taking. Meal prepping also has a lot more benefits than having an organised meal plan.

Stay on that fitness track

It’s more difficult to give into temptation when you know there’s a whole healthy meal waiting for you at home. There’s no need to go through the drive-through of a fast-food restaurant or call eating a bag of chips in front of the TV a proper dinner because you’ve already prepared every meal you need for the coming days. It’s especially challenging to stick to whatever diet regime you have at the end of a long work day or when you’re all beat from a tough workout at the gym. But, with an easy meal you can re-heat at home waiting for you, it can make your commitment to your fitness goals much easier.

Save time and money

Eating out is fun, but when you’re on a particular diet or trying to save money, it’s not so good. You can bring your prepped meal to work or wherever you need to be during the day, so that keeps your wallet in check. Even better is when you’re shopping for groceries, you already have planned out your meals, so you know exactly what to get and how much of it. There’s less chance of those fruits and veggies going bad in your fridge now. And, it should go without saying that meal prepping will save you heaps of time throughout your week. Sure, you need to set aside some time on a Sunday for your meal prepping, but it should be all smooth sailing from there when all you need to do is reheat your meals. This should also save you time and energy on kitchen cleanup and constant trips to the supermarket.

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Mix it up

Looking at meal prep photos, you might think, ‘oh no, a whole week of just chicken breast and broccoli?’ Well, think again. You can, in fact, mix it up. What’s great about meal prepping is that it can be as flexible as you need it to be. This goes for both recipes and shelf life. Most recipes allow you to keep your meals in the freezer, so if you opt to eat out, then that’s completely fine. Also, meals don’t have to be bland and dull. You can make healthy versions of your favourites to eat at your convenience.

Learn something fun and new

Even if you think poorly of your skills in the kitchen, meal prepping might just surprise you as an enjoyable activity, especially once you realise the time-saving benefits. And even if you already have some culinary know-how, applying your skills to meal prepping can be a new challenge. No matter your cooking skills, you’ll be learning all sorts of recipes.


Weight Loss Workout Mistakes To Avoid

Weight Loss Workout Mistakes To Avoid

When it comes to weight loss, some people just have a harder time grasping what works for them. Perhaps you’ve tried every fitness routine out there but still can’t quite achieve your goals. This can be very frustrating and confusing, but making your weight loss routine an effective one might require a review. There are common mistakes and misconceptions people make when on a new workout plan. If yours isn’t yielding any results, check to see which of these you might be guilty of and learn how you can fix them.

Too much cardio

How much cardio is too much cardio? Running, boxing, swimming and cycling are some of the most popular cardio workouts and they’re easy to pick up for beginners. However, while these types of exercises are real fat-burners, strength training can benefit your weight loss plan too. What strength training does is stimulate muscle growth, raising your metabolic rate and resulting in burning fat at a more rapid pace. Your fitness schedule should have a good balance of aerobic, strength, and flexibility training. Not only will these make you lose weight, but will keep your whole body fit and healthy. If you’re pressed for time, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or circuit training that combines strength and cardio could work for you. Just make sure to finish with some stretching for flexibility training as well to help avoid injury.

Too much of the same thing

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If you want to lose weight fast, you should do double time at the gym, right? Not really. There’s nothing wrong with working out every day, but the same routine every day for the whole week could be a block more than a stepping stone to reaching your goal. What you could end up with is a workout rut or fitness plateau, which is what many exercisers dread. What you can do is develop your workout intensity and duration over time. If your preferred form of exercise is walking 40 minutes a day, add 20 minutes to that after two or three days. HIIT is also a great way to add variety to your routine. Remember to take a break as well. Let your muscles repair or else you’ll be faced with injury, insomnia, irritability and other serious health conditions.

Eating more because you exercise more

After a particularly tough workout session, it seems fair to grab a greasy burger for dinner or treat yourself to a giant bowl of pasta. While your body may be adjusting to your routine, you can’t stick to that reason all the time. Slimming down means more than just exercise. You should be just as serious about a balanced diet as you are with maintaining an effective fitness routine. What you could end up with is replacing the calories you eat with all the calories you just burned, rendering your weight loss workout useless. To make sure you’re eating enough and eating right, consult a professional trainer or get a metabolic test to figure out how to properly increase your food intake to go with your new workout plan.

Foods to Combat Sugar Cravings

Foods to Combat Sugar Cravings

Our bodies are more dependent on sugar than we think. Added sugars can be found in a variety of foods today. They can even be disguised under names like agave nectar, evaporated cane or turbinado. Sugar addiction has often been likened to drug addiction and essentially, they’re similar in the sense that building a dependence can be detrimental. Like drugs, sugar can spike the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which can bring about feelings of pleasure. The more sugar we take, the higher our tolerance becomes, and the more sugar we crave.

When cutting down or even completely cutting off your body from sugar, there are ways you can fight the cravings. This includes eating the right foods to fend off the hormonal changes throughout your body and ease those alarming mood swings.


personal training brookfieldFats, the healthy kinds, are your best bet to keep your taste-buds satisfied and stomach satiated when craving sugar. Nuts in particular have beneficial minerals and vitamins that can keep your blood sugar levels and blood pressure steady. Almonds and Brazil nuts are mildly sweet if you’re looking for that flavour.


If your taste-buds insist on getting that sweetness, shock them instead with flavoursome spices. If a recipe calls for sugar, switch it up with unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon or vanilla extract. When eating savoury dishes, throw in some extra garlic and onions or a dash of lime juice.

Dark chocolate

Pick up dark chocolate instead of your usual milk chocolate bar, which typically contains excessive amounts of sugar and fat. Make sure to choose the variety that has more than 70 percent cocoa. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Fermented foods

If you love snacking on yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, pickles and sauerkraut, then keep eating them. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria, which can keep your gut clean and fight off diseases. A healthy gut can influence your cravings and appetite.


A sweet treat you can opt for are dates or the dried fruit of the date palm tree. They’re terrific sources of fibre, potassium and iron. Dates are also another good example of healthy, plant-based fats that can keep your cravings at bay. It’s a great substitute for sweetness and can even be added to a smoothie.

Sweet potatoes

Still craving a hint of sweetness in your meals? Sweet potatoes could be the answer. This healthy food is sweet and nutritious. It contains fibre as well as vitamin A and C and potassium.


High-protein foods can also aid in regulating your appetite and cravings. This is due to the fact that a high-protein meal taken at the start of the day can suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin while increasing the hormones that make you feel full. Eggs are a good example of that. Incorporate them into your breakfast to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.


Fruits are great sources of healthy, natural sugars and packing it into a smoothie with other healthy ingredients make for a great snack. It can even be a great substitute for dessert. Adding in yoghurt also makes you feel fuller for longer, which can fight off those cravings. Just be sure to use fresh whole fruits to get the healthy fibre and not fruit juice, which usually contains sugars.

A Real Anti-Ageing Workout

A Real Anti-Ageing Workout

A Real Anti-Ageing Workout

You’ve heard of anti-ageing skin treatments and diets that should make your physical appearance more vibrant and glowing, but did you know that exercising can do wonders for the anti-ageing process, too?

Our issues with ageing don’t just involve wrinkles or greying hair, the body also suffers wear and tear over time. As we become older, we’re prone to injury, diseases and all sorts of health conditions. Regular physical activity will not stop our hair from turning white or stop the crow’s feet around our eyes from creeping in, but exercise can provide us a whole slew of health benefits that will make the ageing process less stressful and scary. We can prevent frailty in particular by focusing on strength training. This means stronger bones and muscles.

Small group training near meWhat’s more, scientific studies have backed up the power of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) when it comes to benefiting our bodies on a cellular level. One study observed that a group who did HIIT exercises for 12 weeks gained lean muscle, improved aerobic capacity, and a 49 per cent increase in the cells ability to take in more oxygen and produce more energy (mitochondrial capacity). Elderly people in this group actually experienced a 64 per cent boost.

The cell’s mitochondrial capacity is incredibly important to our bodies as it ages. The stronger the mitochondrial capacity of a cell, the greater the body’s capacity to breathe in, transport and utilise oxygen–all of which are crucial when it comes to physical exercise and overall health.

Below you’ll find some strength and aerobic exercises that can help keep you strong, healthy and physically able as you need to be at whatever age you are. All of these are classic, simple exercises that require no equipment. Do each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds after each exercise. Repeat the circuit twice.


Push-ups are considered the ultimate upper-body workout. Lie down facing the floor with palms flat on the floor, level with your breast and tight to your body. Push up and try to keep your body rigid. Don’t lock your elbows and when you feel they’re about to, hold for a second, and then slowly lower yourself back down until your nose is nearly touching the floor.


Place your hands on top of an elevated stable surface, as chair or a step. Your arms should be straight and your hands should be directly below your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Keep your buttocks and legs engaged.

Jump Squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend your knees and let your buttocks sit back. Keep your chest upright. Explode into the air as high as you can. Be sure to land softly and go right into the next rep. Do as many jumps as possible in 45 seconds.

Mountain Climbers

This will tighten your core for strength, tight legs, and a healthy heart.  To do this, first get on the floor on your hands and knees. Push yourself up, hands apart, flat on the floor and below your shoulders. Balance your feet on your toes, but your legs don’t need to be completely stretched. Pull your left leg up, almost touching your chest. Put your left leg back and pull your right leg up. Imagine you’re climbing a horizontal slope–one leg up after the other.

Good Carbs versus Bad Carbs

Good Carbs versus Bad Carbs

If you’ve ever attempted to modify your diet in an attempt to lose weight, you’ve probably once deemed carbs as “the enemy.” They’re calorific, up our sugar levels, and do no good for one’s waistline. But carbohydrates are essential to our nutrition. A well-balanced meal has a proper amount of protein, fat, and carbs. Carbohydrates do indeed supply the body with glycogen, because this is how the body processes carbs. Glycogen is crucial since it is the energy our bodies need for everyday functions. So, if carbs are good for us, why all the fuss?

Consuming carbohydrates is not as simple as “eat less.” There are, in fact, “good” carbs and “bad” carbs, or kinds of carbohydrates that are either beneficial to our bodies or little to no nutritional value. Complex carbohydrates are considered “good” carbs. They’re called complex because they’re made up of complicated molecules which break down slowly. This means the supply of energy is steady. Compare that to simple carbohydrates or “bad” carbs, which deliver a quick rush of energy, but follow with an equally immediate drop. Simple carbohydrates are what can cause the spikes in blood sugar levels and unbearable mood swings.

Weight Loss Pinjarra HillsComplex carbohydrates are high in fibre and starch. They also contain much-needed vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Great and healthy sources of complex carbohydrates are whole grains, beans, quinoa, legumes, oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread, barley, couscous, wheat bran, seeds, nuts, dry peas, oatmeal, and avocados. The key component in these complex carbs is fibre. Ideally, our daily intake of fibre should be 25 to 35 grams. High-fibre diets can help with fat loss, digestion, cholesterol levels, and the risk of disease.

“Good” carbs generally have a low to moderate calorie count, meaning you can eat larger amounts of these carbs with lesser calories. Good carbs also have essential nutrient values and contain no refined sugars or refined grains. They’re typically low in sodium, saturated fat with little to no cholesterol and Trans fats.

“Bad” carbs are made up of a high number of calories, even if the portion is minimal. They’re also high in refined sugars, like fructose corn syrup. These refined sugars have been found to be linked to disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Refined grains are also present in bad carbs. An example would be wheat flour made to look white in colour by stripping it of its nutrient value. Bad carbs have little to no fibre and are often rich in sodium, fats, cholesterol or Trans fats.

The sugars found in simple carbohydrates can be digested easily. Not all simple carbohydrates are bad. There are natural sources of simple carbohydrates, such as fruits, some vegetables, milk, and milk products. While being simple carbs, they still have essential nutrients, fibre and protein. The sources to avoid are processed and refined foods, such as soft drinks, white sugar, pastries, white bread, juices, ice cream, candy, and milk chocolate. Even food products labelled “low fat,” “sugar-free,” “fat-free,” or “low calorie” can still be sources of bad carbs. The general rule of thumb for packaged food items is: the fewer ingredients, the better.

Beginner’s Guide to The Gym

Beginner’s Guide to The Gym

So, you’ve secured a gym membership. Congrats! You’re one step closer to your health and fitness goals. With so many options at your gym–classes, trainers, equipment–where to begin? Then, there’s gym etiquette. How long can you stay on the treadmill before everybody starts forming a queue behind you? More importantly, are you certain that you’re maximising your time and money spent at the gym? Before you turn around to exit and quit before you’ve even begun, you’ll want to sit down and read a few pointers on how to survive your first few days at the gym.

First Steps

personal trainer near meIf you’re a real beginner, but serious about starting a gym program, there are a few things you can try out first to test the waters. What you need to know is that there’s no need to go solo! Joining classes is the easiest way to see what you like and to build relationships with teachers and fellow gym-goers. You can also consult with a personal trainer, who can assess your wants, needs and goals. You can also get the best of both classes and small group fitness classes. Lastly, don’t be afraid to try out new equipment, no matter how cutting edge and complicated they may seem. This will help cut through the boredom. Just be sure to ask the trainers for a quick explanation so you don’t get injured or make a fool of yourself.


How often should you go to the gym? Since you’re starting out, you shouldn’t expect to have the same mental and physical capacity as those who hit the gym six days out of the week. Aim for two to three times a week. It’s enough to make progress and keep up momentum. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to go to the gym more than two to three days a week if you have extra time but build up slowly.

Making Progress

Once you’ve settled into your routine, you might begin to worry about progressing. What you can do is slowly get out of your comfort zone. Gradually shift your goals each week/ month. You could accomplish this by increasing your reps or intensity for each of the exercises. You could even try running for longer distances or adding different types of exercise such as rowing, cycling, Pilates or yoga. You’ll also want to keep a record of your gym sessions. Log your workouts and note the day’s accomplishments. You can also make things more fun and interesting by establishing relationships at the gym and making workouts competitive. Join a team sport or simply hang around with stronger and more experienced gym-goers who have the same mindset as you.

Equipment Etiquette

Most gyms should have time limits for equipment and will be clearly posted for you to see. Be mindful of sticking to that time limit. If somebody is waiting to use the machine, you could even suggest to take turns after each set. And, when you’re on that particular machine, make sure you’re actually using it and not spending time on your phone or just resting, especially when there are other people waiting. When you’re done with whatever machine you’ve used, always wipe it down with a towel. Nobody wants to sit in another person’s sweat. When using weights, don’t leave them lying around after you have used them and return them to the rack where you got them. This is not only courteous, but weights left lying around can be a safety hazard.