Raising allergic Kids



Being a parent is a tough gig. But add in a child with illness and is restricted with foods and life can become a lot more difficult.

The truth is, trying to figure out which foods are causing the problems can be quite complex, leaving most parents to go it alone and therefore excluding all kinds of foods to actually help their child. By doing this, they could in fact be putting their child at risk of further nutritional deficiencies.

It is important to get the right professional help as soon as you think your child has a problem.

  • See a Doctor for a diagnosis
  • If required, a reference will be given to a paediatric dietician to check that your child grows and is ensured of the proper nutrients he or she needs. By seeking such advise you will also be advised about what your child can and can’t eat, as well as how to source alternative foods.

According to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, a recent study showed that one in ten children in Australia are allergic to one or more foods. And that number is rising with other studies, suggesting figures of 100 per cent increase in peanut allergies in the past 15 years. Enter the ‘what to eat when pregnant debate here’ and let’s get this party started. Another time perhaps…

What are the signs of an allergic reaction?

In more extreme cases symptoms can be instantaneous but usually symptoms start within 30 minutes of consumption. However the onset can often be delayed. Your child may get the following:

  • An itchy rash (known as urticaria or hives)
  • Swelling of the lips or eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea

A more serious sign is if their breathing or circulation is affected. This is known as anaphylaxis, a serious, life – threatening allergic reaction with a rapid onset, involving one or more systems of the body.

What is the treatment?

Many clinical trials are underway and some of these include oral immunotherapy, this is where small amounts of the suspected food causing the allergic reaction are given over time to build up tolerance. Now I must stress that this is still experimental and should definitely NOT be tried at home as life threatening reactions have been known to occur. At this stage avoidance is your best option.

The most common childhood food allergies resolve themselves before adulthood. Some examples include; the majority of children will outgrow their allergy to cow’s milk by the age of three and eggs between the ages of 6 and 8.  However, as mentioned above most will never lose their allergy to peanuts, tree nuts or seafood.

Common Allergens

It’s important to highlight that any food can be potentially allergenic, however more than 90% of allergies in children are caused by the following;

  • Peanuts & tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Wheat
  • Dairy products, such as cheese and cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy products
  • Shell fish

Be sure to check out our recipes section for a collection of allergen free recipes that the whole family will love.

Let’s Get Functional… and Serious!


I always hear people talk about getting that 6 pack (they’ve never had) or as the blokes put it… Getting ripped for summer. The truth of the matter is, that getting ripped part NEEDS TO HAPPEN ALL YEAR ROUND! The warmer months are creeping up and the light of day is getting longer so now is the time to get up, come out of hibernation and start to evaluate your fitness goals for the next few months. The motivation that was booming back in summer and sought of there as the cooler months set in has long ago passed. With that up now pops a sure thing, making that New Year’s resolution of bringing back the beach ready body. However, this time of year is actually when the wheels start to fall off. Think about it, with summer brings family commitments, BBQ’s, excess cocktails, Christmas parties and let’s face it any excuse that ensures fitness takes a back seat to anything.

The reality is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Why not use the warmer months to get fit and in better shape. What more motivation do you need other than the fact it is hot and sunny outside? Inner Warrior Fitness runs outdoor bootcamps all year round, and while the cold and rain has dampened some spirits, summer is shaping up to be an exciting time for all our members. This year we are adding new routines, new exercises and opening up the field a whole lot more so that you get more out of every session. Instead of focusing on longer distance routines we will be adding sprint routines along with equipment based and body weight exercises that will elevate your heart rate, make your legs more powerful and melt fat even faster. The plan is to up the ante even further and introduce more beach sessions that includes both sand dune hill running and swimming intervals with the aim to decrease wear and tear on the knees and hips but still ensure your body gets that all over body smash.

If bootcamps aren’t your thing and you prefer more lifting based routines and a more focused regime then perhaps one – on – one personal training sessions are more your style. Below we have a great promotion that is too good to turn down when it comes to getting back on track with your fitness. Be sure to read on for more details.

One – on – one sessions are a great way to address any concerns or weaknesses you think you may have or work on particular exercises to help get you to a level where you are happy to join our group sessions. At IWF, we offer very competitive rates and build personalised programs to suit every individual. We ensure personal attention is given at all times and our aim is to keep you motivated, so all you have to do is turn up with the right attitude. Personal training is also a great way to up the intensity and shock the body into giving you even better results sooner.



Summer Promotion

Make committing to a healthier and fitter you this summer easier by taking advantage of this value promotion. When you buy 5 x 1 hour one-on-one personal training sessions upfront for $400 you get a bonus sixth session on us. *CONDITIONS APPLY

As with any exercise program, the key is to make it a lifestyle and be consistent. Don’t let everyone else’s changing priorities have a negative impact on you and your fitness goals. Do whatever you like and whatever it takes to keep you on track, just get up, get out and do it! And who knows, you may actually have fun doing it.

How much exercise do we really need?


iStock_000008573421MediumAnyone who has trained with me and who knows Inner Warrior Fitness will tell you every session is tough, be it one – on – one, bootcamps or our indoor high intensity sessions, every 1 hour session is challenging and pushes you to the maximum limit.

So when I get new clients and introduce them to the IWF way of training it almost instantaneously gets them asking themselves, what’s wrong with me? And what have I been doing wrong for so long? Now I’m not saying my way of training is the gospel, but the reality is most people only do enough exercise to ensure general health, say around 30 minutes, but that’s only half as much as most of us need to avoid becoming overweight or obese.

That’s the growing consensus as the developed world’s obesity problem continues to spiral out of control and peoples activity levels fail to keep up with their food intake. Unless we make big changes to what we eat, it is now recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council that we double the national guidelines recommendation to 60 minutes to help fight our Nations increasing weight problem.

It’s not a bad idea when you think about it. In the current environment of abundant availability, promotion and consumption of energy dense food, encouraging individuals to participate in 45 – 60 minutes of moderate intensity daily physical activity is a great idea. Performing physical fitness training for this time or even adding lesser amounts of vigorous activity is a great way to increase energy levels, develop overall fitness, tone and strengthen the body, prevent weight regain in the majority of people and decrease the chances of obesity.

Now I get it, life happens and I’m not going to tell everyone that they must find 1 hour in the day to exercise because the reality is many people struggle to find half that. The simple fact is we as a population have a huge problem with what the nutritional world calls energy balance. Simply put, we are eating too much poor quality, energy dense food for the amount of daily exercise we do. If finding the extra time in your day is tough and just not possible then it’s important to eat less food and of better quality. On the other hand keep in mind that recommended amounts of daily exercise do not need to be done all at once, try to accumulate 60 minutes throughout the day, try 20 minutes of physical fitness in the morning after breakfast, after lunch and before dinner.

Stepping up daily activity – even in small amounts is the best way to ensure optimal health and well being, but for the benefits listed above try to plan out your sessions and build on increasing your workout time over time.

How to build exercise in to your day

  • Make incidental exercise your priority: take the stairs always when shopping, park the car an extra block away from your destination or get off one stop earlier and walk to work, go for a walk on your lunch break, during add breaks on television get your partner up off the lounge and do as many push-ups, squats, lunges, sit-ups as you can do then in the next break try and beat that or perform a new exercise. There are heaps of ways you can add exercise in to your day – so get creative.
  • Choose high intensity workouts if time poor: A 20 minute high intensity cardio session will get the lungs screaming and they can be just as good as a 60 minute moderate intensity workout. Try choosing a workout from the IWF website, they involve no equipment and will get you working hard. Again, perform the workout with your partner and push each other to the max.
  •  Wear a pedometer: Used by some of my clients who are keen to up their activity levels on a daily basis as they can see how many steps they have taken and then aim to reach a certain goal. What should that goal be? Along with a healthy eating plan, to lose weight you need to walk at least 14,000 steps a day. To maintain weight, you need to walk 10,000 steps a day. A pedometer is also a great way to encourage you to look for ways to reach your goal and you can see how easy it is to accumulate steps with some pretty simple lifestyle changes.

Remember if you don’t have time to exercise for time on end throughout the day, accumulate time every day, perhaps a walk or jog in the morning, some bodyweight training after lunch when energy levels are high and then a brisk walk of an evening.

Simply building in ways to add extra steps to your day can have a big impact on how much exercise you accumulate. It’s as easy as walking the kids to school or taking time out for some family activities on the weekend or taking the dog for a walk daily.

I know that putting a number on how much exercise someone should be getting can be off-putting and overwhelming. With some individuals even the thought of exercise can be overwhelming even daunting to some. Instead try to appreciate your body and understand how important it is to be active in everyday life. Remember, whilst exercise and regular activity will keep your metabolism ticking over, if you want to make real changes to your physique, it all comes down to what you eat. In fact, it’s estimated that at least 80% of fat loss comes from nutritional change.

A caveman says what?


Banksy's Caveman

A while back I had arrived early for a product demonstration at a local field in Double Bay. Having some time to kill, I simply kitted up and commenced running laps of the football field. It wasn’t until I ran into a friend of mine who asked in a confused way “What are you doing?” that I began to ask myself, “When did exercising become so complicated?” I mean all I was doing was running, and when I told her this, she seemed perplexed and began to question my, simply wanting to run motives. I began to think, if exercising had become so difficult to some, and the way of thinking was to only perform tricky routines or participate in intense sessions that left you fatigued and/ or injured, what was the common way of thinking when it came to food and eating well?

Ditch all sugars, don’t eat carbs, do not eat after 6pm, eat more fish and lean meats, add plenty of herbs and spices, have a morning pep-up drink, have a green juice a day, drink cold pressed juices, go paleo or “simply” don’t eat want your grandmother wouldn’t cook.

The truth of the matter is – we don’t need to convert to caveman ways to eat well. It seems since the dawn of crossfit that the mantra “Don’t eat anything that your Grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food” has meant we’re cutting out carbohydrates (bread & pasta), sugars, grains, nuts and legumes. Now, I don’t know about you, but when your grandparents cooked, they cooked! When Nanna made a cake… she baked that cake so it could last for 6 months in the back shed. There was enough flour, sugar and butter in that thing to keep the family satisfied for months. See, what people don’t get is that Nan and Pop weren’t deliberately “Paleo”, I know this may be hard to understand but they didn’t activate their almonds, they simply made bread from scratch, pickled vegetables, ate seasonally, shopped locally and got their milk delivered right to the door. They may have and possibly still do, grow vegetables and recycle scraps in the garden. And there is one thing for sure yesterday’s leftovers became tonight’s lunch or dinner. And yes Paleo trend setters… it was usually enjoyed on a good ol’ sandwich, and yes it was white bread. Yes folks, the only thing Palaeolithic about our grandparents was that life was simpler, people were less greedy and values were better adhered to.

But it seems now we can go one step further, lasts year’s trend has now turned into, “Don’t eat anything late Palaeolithic man wouldn’t have caught, captured with a spear, picked from a tree, slaughtered or cooked over a fire.” That’s right we’ve graduated and we are as primitive as ever. And don’t worry if you can’t cook it at home in your own fire – pit or wood fired BBQ, if you can’t cure it, dry age it or char it over some flame-cooking device, just go to one of the many paleo café’s or restaurants popping up everywhere where fermentation, charcoal-pit cooking, air aging, curing and smoking are hot on the agenda. What ever happened to sourcing the best local and freshest produce around to create healthy eating options… from paddock to plate, knowing how to cook and knowing what really goes into the food we eat?

Many of my clients would have heard me say, “If it flies in the sky, walks on the ground, swims in the sea or grows in the earth, EAT IT.” I understand the difficulty many people have with trying to eat well and looking to the past for ideas may have some good concepts, but I don’t think we need to look back at caveman to be inspired.

Image Credit: Banksy’s Caveman: Flickr Creative Commons

Eating Disorders – the what, the why and how to help


IWF looks at the what, why and how of helping people with eating disorders & why we should be concerned about them.

bulimia Eating disorders are on the rise in Australia, causing significant physical and mental health problems. As a trainer I find it hard to educate, especially new clients on what is to be fit and healthy. Often the hardest part is telling (guys and girls) that skinny isn’t fit nor is it seen as healthy for most. Eating and exercise behaviours both lie on a spectrum, moving from healthy to possessing a disorder. A person who sits at the healthy end enjoys food and eating, has a balanced diet, will exercise for health and/ or recreation and will engage in these behaviours for reasons unrelated to negative feelings about self – worth, shame or guilt about their body.

A person who lies in the middle of the spectrum may a diet that is not entirely balanced or restrictive but includes a wide range of foods, they may want to weigh less or be unhappy with some parts of their body. Occasionally they may restrict food groups or change their eating patterns to lose weight (i.e. go on a diet, restrict carbohydrates or sugars). This person may be slightly underweight, be of a healthy weight or be slightly overweight. May exercise too little or too infrequently but will generally not let eating or exercise patterns interfere with their ability to engage in positive relationships, work, school or family commitments.

Through my experience, I have found that women tend to fall into this middle spectrum, unlike men they tend to experience some shame about their body and often use mildly disordered eating or exercise for weight control.

A person who lies at the disordered end of the spectrum will use unhealthy eating and exercise behaviours to manage negative feelings. A person at this end may possess feelings of an intense dislike for their body, often due to belief that their weight or shape determines their level of self – worth, achievement or success. When a person believes that to be successful and attractive, they have to look thin or muscular, like the images viewed in magazines, movies or on television, they can experience intense shame over their body and guilt about eating, if their body doesn’t mirror up to how they wish to look.

To reduce these negative feelings or to enhance positive feelings of control and achievement, the individual may use weight control behaviours, which include extreme dieting or restricted eating, fasting, self – induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics or other medications or excessive exercise.

At the extreme end of the spectrum lies those individuals with a clinical eating disorder. According to mental health professionals, these eating disorders are psychological problems and are characterised by severe disturbances in eating behaviour. There are four types of clinical eating: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and eating disorders not otherwise specified.

It is important to realise that most eating disorders are actually associated with weight gain, being overweight or obesity, so it is important not to look for weight loss as the only sign that someone is struggling with an eating disorder.

Why should we be concerned about eating disorders?

Eating disordanorexiaers are frequently associated with other psychological and physical disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and personality disorders. The impact of an eating disorder is not only felt by the individual, but often by that person’s entire family or circle of support. For families, the impact may include stress, loss of income, disruption to family relationships and even a high suicide risk. Individuals who exercise with eating disorders may reach levels of exhaustion faster, have trouble achieving their fitness goals and are more prone to injury and illness.

The sad fact is, despite the availability of effective treatments, very few people with eating disorders seek appropriate treatment and public knowledge of symptoms and their effects is very poor.

So, what can you do if you know someone suffering with an eating disorder?

Here are some tips for a supportive conversation.

  • Tell the person what you have seen or heard that concerns you
  • Stick to what you know and not what others have told you
  • Suggest you think there is a problem
  • Remain calm and try to be non – judgmental
  • Importantly, be mindful of your own attitudes to weight, shape and healthy eating and how these may impact on the person suffering.


What to avoid

  • Delaying talking to the person
  • Dismissing the problem as not serious or not worth worrying about
  • Being critical or giving simple solutions i.e. Try not to say things like, “just eat!” or “stop bingeing”
  • Do not try and solve all the persons problems or become over – involved
  • Saying or implying that the person or problem is self – destructive or shameful


Anyone can experience an eating disorder so being as informed as possible about how to recognise eating disorders will help you identify the warning signs in someone close to you or who you are concerned about. It is important to talk to a professional who can give advice, specialised information and support. Every State and Territory in Australia has an organisation or help service aiming to support those individuals and families affected by eating disorders. These organisations are also there to better inform the community about disordered eating and the impact they have on all involved.

It is not easy to detect that someone has an eating disorder as eating disorders cannot be identified by an individual’s size or shape.

Remember people with eating disorders may go to great heights to disguise or hide their behaviour, or do not recognise that there is a problem. This may make the characteristics of identifying the behaviour or illness difficult to notice and it is often hard for the person with an eating disorder to ask for help. For advice, information or help contact the butterfly foundation web counselling service or national support line.


GOING GLUTEN: What’s all the fad about?


GI_mainimageThese days if you invite a group of people over for dinner you will without doubt get someone claiming to be gluten sensitive asking if you could make sure there is no pasta, bread, sauce, marinade, dressings, icings, chocolate, sugar or soups on the menu.

Oh yeah, and be sure to remove all envelopes from the household too as even the glue on the back contains… You guessed it, gluten. Is it just me or did eating out just become more appealing. I mean all that’s left to feed your guests is fresh fruit and vegetables (including potatoes), fresh lean meats, eggs, nut, legumes, milk and oils.

The problem with the term “gluten free” is that most people think a gluten free diet is a healthy option like low fat, sugar free or low carb. Others think it is a trend. Walk down the aisles of any supermarket and the term “gluten free” jumps out everywhere. Even fast food outlets are offering products free of gluten and the abbreviation “GF” constantly appears next to meals on restaurant menus.

So have we become a nation where for the majority of people, problems with processing gluten have reached epidemic proportions? Or are we confused and genuinely believe that eradicating gluten from our diet is the healthiest way?

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite found in foods made from wheat and other grains including barley, oats and rye. It gives elasticity to dough and can assist in giving the final chewy texture to bread. Many people claim they are “gluten intolerant” because of the ill effects they may feel after consuming foods that contain these grains.

On a serious level there are in fact people who suffer with coeliac disease, an auto immune disorder, meaning when they eat products containing gluten their immune system reacts abnormally, causing small bowel damage. The disease effect about one in 100 Australians, says Coeliac Australia, and can also lead to infertility, miscarriage, liver disease and type 1 diabetes. In saying this, it is estimated one million Aussies are currently on some kind of gluten free diet and not for the reason of having any diagnosed problem. So is it just a fad?

Well we could assume that people are eliminating gluten in belief that it is healthier, with many experts in the areas of nutrition and naturopathy believing the gluten craze is just the latest fad diet, while some are claiming there’s no place for gluten in the modern diet. The theory here, is that after years of exposure we are in fact becoming intolerant due to what is known as the “build up effect”, a widespread theory whereby consuming too much of any one thing can in fact cause our body to build up a resistance and when it reaches its threshold a reaction takes place causing symptoms.

But even with these theories, it seems a little narrow minded to label gluten as enemy number one. One theory I have is that sensitivity to food and developing intolerance to such industrialised sources starts well before we are even born. I mean, think about it, a woman falls pregnant and all of a sudden the foods she can’t eat outweigh the foods she can eat. No nuts, no cured or cold meats and soft cheeses are all off limits, yet we wonder why our kids are born with intolerance and are easily susceptible to food allergies. Anyway that’s an argument for another day.

Dr Sue Shepherd, an advanced accredited dietician states, “Gluten free diets can lead to weight gain and nutrient deficiency.” Being gluten free does not mean you are eating healthy, in fact women on such diets have shown to display low levels of fibre, calcium and thiamine (B1) which is an essential nutrient the body must have to convert carbohydrates (food) into energy while men have shown inadequate levels of calcium, zinc and fibre.

The final word

So is gluten free for everyone?

For most people, a gluten free diet is not a choice but a necessity as they suffer through severe physical and emotional symptoms; they have to adhere to gluten free eating just to stay well.
It must be said that it is not harmful to eat gluten free if you don’t have coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity. It is important to construct an eating plan based on clean, fresh whole foods while limiting processed foods that are high in sugar and salt. People don’t realise gluten free products are not healthier and they can still be highly processed, high in sugar, high GI and lack vital nutrition and whether certified gluten or not can still contain unhealthy levels of starch, kilojoules and salt.

My advice is that people should go gluten free because they have a diagnosed problem, with severe cases requiring a blood test or small bowel biopsy to be certain. So if you think you could be gluten intolerant or suffer from coeliac disease seek treatment from a health care professional. Don’t diagnose yourself – eliminating an entire food group without proper screening and advice is not healthy.

The Dangers of Energy Drinks



It wasn’t until recently, while I was lining up to pay for petrol that I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of energy drink advertisement surrounding me. Before leaving I quickly took a glance at the fridge section and something dawned upon me… The energy drink sector is becoming far greater than what I can remember and what was once a 250ml can is now bigger, and in some cases in packages of up to 1 litre.

Upon looking into the energy drink phenomenon further, it was scary to read that up to 500 new brands of energy drink get released into the consumer market each year globally, and all with the approach of providing both mental and physical stimulation.

But as sales grow and more and more of these products hit our shelves, concerns are continuing to mount, and have done so almost as far back as their existence. With reports of deaths related to energy drink consumption as recent as October 2012, you should be thinking twice before downing any kind of energy drink in the future.

So what makes energy drinks so troublesome? Most would say the high levels of caffeine, but overall it’s the combination of caffeine with all other ingredients that is the concern. These ingredients include, taurine, ginseng, B vitamins, guarana, L – carnitine, sugars, antioxidants, glucuronolactone, ginkgo biloba and trace minerals. Many experts have said that due to the interaction of such substances in energy drinks, the effects of consuming some of these ingredients are heightened considerably – a scary thought when, seeing as though in some cases little research has been done on such effects, therefore are not well understood. In many cases, ingredients such as guarana contain caffeine also, hence increasing the levels of caffeine already present in the beverage.

Another alarming concern faced by consumers is that in some cases energy drinks have been found to contain more caffeine than is actually listed on the label. To put that in perspective a 500ml can of some popular energy drink products contain anywhere from 190 – 240 milligrams of caffeine, while your average can of soft drink only contains about 70 – 80 milligrams. Be warned excessive caffeine use can actually lead to what is known as caffeine intoxication, and may lead to producing symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, vomiting, seizures and hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) leading to symptoms of muscle damage, muscle weakness and spasms & fatigue.

Are energy drinks safe while working out?

Over time, studies in area of sports medicine, strength and conditioning and allied health profession have concluded that small to moderate amounts of caffeine can actually improve performance during endurance workouts, but in saying so these studies are often carried out on highly trained and elite athletes. Therefore it is not seen as necessary for the recreational gym goer or fitness enthusiast to consume the amount of caffeine found in an energy drink prior to working out.

It has always been my advice to my clients to abstain from energy use prior to any workout as it can be dangerous, raising the heart rate and blood pressure and can even reduce the arteries ability to increase blood flow necessary to deliver more oxygen to the heart while performing strenuous activity.

Often, factors such as fitness level, existing medical conditions, levels of hydration and use of other medications can change an individual’s threshold when consuming large amounts of caffeine as found in energy drinks, as is an individual’s ability to tolerate caffeine with exercise.

Mums with Bubs: How to balance your lifestyle & fitness as a new mum


mumMaintaining health and fitness as a new mum can be a struggle. Having a young family myself, I have seen and shared in the difficulties my wife has had in balancing her own fitness and nutrition and as much as we were prepared for the change in lifestyle when our son came along, it was still a huge shock to what used to be a routine lifestyle.

As many of you know, once the little bundle of joy arrives, routine goes out the window and in enters sleep deprivation and having less time for yourself. One thing I find common amongst clients and close friends is that time to exercise becomes quite minimal and I couldn’t tell you how many times I have had the response “I don’t have enough time in the day” said to me. As a personal trainer I always advise my clients that they don’t need to block out large parts of the day to exercise, rather training and getting back into shape can be quite minimal and simply put its often priority that dominates over the time factor. Now think about it – How many times have you finally got the chance to have 5 minutes alone in peace and quiet and thought, get up! You have A, B & C to do. My point is we (and yes I am adding myself into this argument) always find time to make everything else a priority, be it look after everyone else but how much ‘ME’ time do you give yourself?

As a trainer, husband and a father I know it is very easy to prioritise other things in life rather than look after your training and nutrition plan. Managing kids, work/ business responsibilities, friends and other family and running a household can seem like a storm that never settles but life happens and the truth is none of this will go away.

In terms of getting back into training, it is really important to have a purpose. Setting goals is really important as is finding some sort of challenge, as it gives you something to aim for and importantly keeps exercise interesting and fun. I find a lot of new mums may lose the baby weight quickly and naturally post birth but require an exercise program to help them tone and become a little stronger or they simply require that little extra encouragement, so they come to me for help.

My advice for healthy eating is pretty simple, always keep loads of healthy, quick and convenient foods available at all times. Making foods such as tinned tuna, eggs, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, protein powders and bars, microwaveable vegetables and even ready to go frozen meals will mean easy preparation if you’re stuck for time and when making dinner always prepare more and freeze for that ready to go healthy meal.

When out and about at appointments, try and carry some extra foods for you, this will prevent the hardship faced when trying to determine what’s good and what’s not at the nearest takeaway when hunger sets in.


1 – Plan ahead and have a plan B!

By thinking and planning ahead you should rarely have to miss a fitness session or eat off your meal plan. Try to also have some fitness equipment at home such as dumbbells, exercise ball & mat even an exercise platform or pump set will do the job. Just in case you can’t get out or hit the gym. If you are a busy working mum, why not squeeze a workout in during your lunch break, it can be 30 minutes of body weight or a run/walk around the park.

2 – Always try new things

Make exercise enjoyable not a chore that ‘you have to do’. You don’t always have to be stuck indoors, try walking, running, day time organised sports with other mums or uninterrupted play with the family.

3 – Use a diary

When planning your exercise sessions, treat them like an appointment that must be attended. Plus it will demonstrate the importance of the planned ‘ME’ time.

4 – Plan sessions with a trainer or friend

It will be much harder to cancel sessions when someone else is relying on you to show up. It will also give you some motivation during your session.

5 – Don’t use fad diets

I hate the word diet! Try to have a well balanced nutritional plan, focusing on clean and fresh produce that give you plenty of energy throughout the day.

6 – Don’t be too hard on yourself

Always be positive and be proud of what you do and achieve. In terms of exercise, focus on what you can do and put it into practice regularly.

7 – Remember quality NOT quantity

Exercise plans don’t always have to be bulky and take up large parts of the day. Look at short and challenging workouts that focus on combinations and differing exercise patterns.

Now, although it is my job to help motivate others and prescribe a life of health and fitness, I know that all things are not achievable for everyone, especially these days as women have so many roles to fill, thus making it even harder to make time or simply have time out.

But remember it may be as easy as taking half an hour to sit down and work out what is right for you. Always seek to have some ‘ME’ time, be a little selfish and look after YOU.

Should I be sore after every workout?


iStock_000008573421MediumThis is a question commonly asked by clients new and old who are disappointed if they don’t feel sore in the days following what seemed to be a grueling workout. And maybe you feel the same.

It is important to understand that the soreness and tight muscle feeling experienced post workout is actually a result of fine tears in the muscle fibers following a workout. This is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS, and feelings of this are usually felt more between 24 – 48 hours post workout and usually found to be a result of strenuous resistance or weight session or when new activities are performed or introduced into the workout pattern.

One thing I explain to clients is that soreness is not always an indicator of a good workout, a hard workout yes but if you are sacrificing technique and lifting or simply performing beyond your means then that is where we need to stop and re – think your training methods as this is where you can actually be doing your body more damage than good. By introducing a new workout pattern or by simply changing your exercise routine it is common to feel sore for the first few workouts but the more you carry out the routine and get used to the patterns performed, the soreness will eventually subside.

If soreness is felt, it’s probably a good idea to recover before your next session unless working individual or categorising your training by exercising muscle groups, for example performing upper body movements on one day and then lower body movements the next. However, it is important to realise that it is not necessary to feel sore after every workout to get results and by continuing to train in pain can actually lead to overtraining. For more information on overtraining and how to identify it please visit the blog section of my website.

How do I prevent DOMS?

There is really no way to prevent muscle soreness but there are ways to power up your energy levels and decrease the symptoms, this can be achieved by dynamic stretching, the use of foam rollers or trigger point release methods by using a devices such as tennis or rubber balls and by introducing light activity into your rest days to help with blood circulation which allows your muscles a quicker recovery time.

My current clients will tell you that I believe in the ‘keep moving’ method, you don’t have to be powering up your workouts all the time, by adding in lighter forms of exercise you are actually allowing your muscles to recover and prepare you for your next workout. Try even throwing in a rest week or for those who lift weights regularly remember to use the de – load method every 3 – 4 weeks to ensure proper recovery and prevent running your body into the ground. I know for the heavy lifters this will seem like a waste of time but it will prevent over doing it day in day out, which can lead to overtraining and perhaps injury.

Remember the more you exercise the less sore you become and the more your body adapts to the stimuli you throw at it. Therefore changing up your workout patterns allows for more adaptations so by increasing the difficulty of your training patterns, by either adding extra weight, reducing or increasing resting times between intervals or sets or changing up other key components like sets, reps and tempo of the exercise can all lead to helping you achieve positive results by keeping your body asking “What are you going to throw at me next?”

Boxing for Warriors


man2 womanIntroducing Boxing for Warriors! A ten (10) week body shredding bootcamp designed to give your whole body a great workout and allow you to learn different skills in the world of boxing for fitness.

Due to the seasons changing, weather and lack of light we are unable to run our usual weekly sessions but as known we will soon be in our fitness studio ready to run them again. But for now, boxing for warriors will ONLY run on Saturday mornings, commencing on Saturday 13th April at Peel Park.

For now there will be Two (2) available timeslots, with possibly a third to be added to the timetable if we get the numbers to do so. The times for each class are listed below along with all other relevant information. The cost per class will be $15.00 per hour, so for an entire 10 week program the total cost will be $150.00. With this an additional one off cost of $5.00 will also be required to purchase cotton inner gloves to use throughout the program. Please note these will be your responsibility, as they are yours and are required to be brought with you to every boxing class for health and hygiene reasons. Please note if you have your own, please bring them along as you will save yourself the initial fee.

As mentioned we will be offering two available timeslots for this program. In order for all participants to remain safe on technique and training methods we will only be accepting ten (10) participants per class. And as a requirement all payments from each participant will be required before the commencement of the program, being Saturday 13th April. To be fair to all participants NO payments will be taken on the day of the bootcamps, the whole payment will need to be made before this date to guarantee your position in the class. First in, first served in regards to times, if a class is filled before you make payment you will be moved to the later timeslot.


Bootcamp information – Class A

  • Time: 8:50am – 9:50am
  • Location: Peel Park, Belmore. Peel Street (Off Lakemba street)
  • Cost: $150.00 for 10 weeks
  • What to bring: A towel, water or sports drink, cotton inner gloves every week.


Bootcamp information – Class B

  • Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
  • Location: Peel Park Belmore. Peel Street (Off lakemba street)
  • Cost: $150.00 for ten weeks
  • What to bring: A towel, water or sports drink, cotton inner gloves every week