Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Too Many Things, Too Little Time.


 I might have been MIA from this blog the last few weeks (thanks to a sudden bout of sickness and a work overload), but I want to reassure you, I'm not gone. I'll be back to posting regularly... just as soon as I dig myself out from under this pile of post-its!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Individually Portioned Snacks: Smarter Than Sitting Next To An Open Box

Check out these nifty lunchbox tips from the Wholesome Cook.

What I learned this week at work (well, apart from how to avoid the office feeder, which I really only did with a mediocre success rate) – bring your snacks to work only in the portions you intend to eat them. AND LEAVE THE REST AT HOME.

Because sitting for eight hours next to a giant box of dry Nutri-Grain will see your hand dip into the box for more than one serve. It's inevitable. So exercise your portion control at home and you wont have to worry about your self-control in the office.

Easy peasy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A New Kind Of Lunge.

It's New Move Monday and today has served up The Decline Lunge with a healthy side of pain. The positive? Buns of steel (hopefully).

Body & Soul

Why? Lunges are great for getting burn in the legs and butt. The decline version goes a step further.

How? With a bench about a metre behind you, stand on your right leg and reach back with your left leg. Place the toes of your left foot on the bench and position your foot so it's vertical. Jump your right foot forward a bit if you feel cramped. Bend your front knee and lower your back knee directly down towards the ground. Aim to get your front thigh horizontal. Don't let your front knee pass in front of your toe. Do all reps on one leg, then switch.

Sets and reps: Do 3 sets of as many reps as you can.

 Don't thank me, thank the folks at Body & Soul.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

On The Couch: Four Reasons To Go To The Movies This Month.

Moneyball (out November 10)
There's nothing I love more than an underdog-come-good senario and Brad Pitt's latest offering promises to be just that. The story? Brad stars as the general manager of an Oakland baseball club, who gets his team around a very limited payroll by recruiting using a new, mathematically-based strategy. The result? A bunch of misfits that will (hopefully) come up trumps.

We Need To Talk About Kevin (out November 17)
This adaptation of Lionel Shriver's bestselling novel promises to be just as haunting as the book. Tilda Swinton stars as the mother who lives through every parent's worst nightmare when her teenage boy does the unthinkable – commits mass-murder at his high school. How much of it was her fault? If you haven't read the book yet – do it, now.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (out November 17)
You'd have to be living under a rock to miss all the promotional hoopla for this flick – the first part of the final Twilight instalment. It's got everything – a wedding, a vampire-hybrid baby and Taylor Lautner with his shirt off. It's a must-see, if only so you never have to endure the humiliation of asking your eleven-year-old niece who R-Patz is...

The Ides Of March (out November 24)
Regular readers of this blog will know I've got a (slightly unhealthy) love for Ryan Gosling – but for good reason. The man's not just very easy on the eye, he's got some mad acting skills too. And in this political drama, he's teaming up everyone's favourite silver fox, George Clooney (who also directs). Who wouldn't want to see these two playing dirty?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fresh Whole Fruit Won't Make You Fat.

Thingspeoplesay @ Etsy
Something alarmed me in the Sunday papers this weekend – an article that condemned fruit as a dietary evil. Now I know there's been a backlash against sugar recently, but fruit – seriously? My mum has a rockin' bod for her 52 years. And she eats fruit. A lot of fruit. She's living, breathing proof  that fruit alone won't make you fat. So I was so glad to read that nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan was equally alarmed....
First up it’s nonsense to talk about sugar as being the root of all our health problems. We cannot talk about sugar as a singular compound in the same way that we can’t lump fat together, or carbs for that matter. Sugars are simply the single or double saccharides that are found in foods, mostly plant foods.

One sugar, glucose, is also what runs in our bloodstream as a key fuel for the body. The brain in particular uses about a quarter of the total body’s glucose use, despite being only two percent of the total body weight.

Glucose in the blood is vital… if it drops too low you would pass out and eventually die if glucose could not be ‘found’. It’s worth remembering that when we talk about sugar. We need it as a prime fuel in the body, along with fat. So what about sugar in foods?

Well there is no doubt that excess added sugars are contributing to obesity and many chronic health problems we face in this country. But added refined sugars are not the same as sugars naturally present in foods. In interpreting them as so we are making all the same mistakes we made when we entered the low fat era. We opted for low fat foods and forgot about healthy fats and whole foods.

With the proposition that fruits are bad because they contain sugar, we are doing the same thing. Sugars in fruit are bound up in cell walls along with fibre, nutrients and phytochemicals including antioxidants. Our bodies have to work fairly hard to break these cells down, release the nutrients and sugars and then absorb them. This is a very different scenario to eating a lolly or drinking a soft drink – a dose of sugar without any nutrients or fibre whatsoever. To put them in the same basket is quite frankly ludicrous.

Fruit juice is not the same as fruit – it's all the sugar with none of the fibre-y good stuff. Dried fruit is not the same as fruit – it's shrivelled up, sweet and easy to overconsume. But a full green apple? That's not responsible for this country's obesity epidemic. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Here Comes Trouble... Avoiding The Office Feeder.

The Daily Clog
You know the story: You bring salad for lunch and fill your desk drawer with healthy snacks and it's all going swimmingly... until your Office Feeder comes over with cookies she baked last night, or half a Cherry Ripe she doesn't want to finish. You don't want to be rude, so the only thing to do is say thanks and take it off her hands, right? Wrong.

This week I've realised that this is where I come unstuck. I bring healthy food to work for myself, but rarely is there a day when someone in the office hasn't baked, or there's a birthday, or someone's selling chocolates for charity. And. I. Can't. Say. No.

It's hard, but I'm going to have to learn – because all this additional snacking is doing my health no favours. So for the next week, it's "no" to anything but the pre-arraged food I've given myself license on munch on. 

The Daily Mail has some handy hints, too...
  • Keep healthy food in view: Professor Brian Wansink says you eat what you can see, so if the office feeder comes in with cakes and biscuits, make sure your celery sticks and carrots are within view on your desk.
  • Don't throw away wrappers: Studies have shown that keeping empty chocolate wrappers or crisp bags on your desk can act as a deterrent to eating more  -  it gives a tangible reminder of what you have previously consumed.
  • Put it away: If the office feeder hands out biscuits and insists you take one, get into the habit of removing it from reach immediately. Put it, unopened, in your bag, or lock it away in a drawer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Running With A Heartrate Monitor.

RS100 Heartrate Monitor, $159 @ Polar Australia
It's the start of our seven-week countdown to Christmas and for day one, I decided to whip out the heartrate monitor. If you've never used one before, it's a nifty little gadget that straps on around your chest (invisible under a sports bra) and feeds your heart-rate info to you in a very profesh-looking watch. It's great for keeping track of exactly how hard you're working – whether you really are pushing your body as hard as it will go – and it keeps a very honest count of just how many calories you're burning. 
Weight loss is always going to come down to a simple equation – what you're putting in needs to be less than what your putting out – so it's well worth knowing just how much that sweat session has burned up. I don't use mine every time I work out – I find it becomes too intense as I'm constantly trying to one-up my last session (competitive, me?) – but it's a great tool to use to check your progress and give you a little reality check. I used it this morning and shaved a minute off my run. I don't quite know how but it seems knowing all my results will be there in black and white at the end of the run makes me move that much faster. We're off to a good start, folks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's Exactly Seven Weeks Til Christmas...

Christmas... It's the most wonderful time of the year. But before I go crazy, eating my weight in turkey and champagne and pudding, I'm going to try and get myself feeling fabulous for the festive season – so, come December 26, I'm not weighing in five kilos over my usual digits with a belly that could rival Saint Nick's. My aim? To eat healthier (for the main part) and introduce some new components into my training regime. I'll keep you updated here on how I go – what I'm doing, what's working and what's not. Come with me, if you want... Sometimes it's easier with a friend.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Get A Body Like Blake's.

Green Lantern may have been a totally rubbish film, but Blake Lively certainly looked good in it. And now her trainer Bobby Strom has told Health & Fitness mag exactly how she did it. As well as keeping a healthy diet, the actress trained for 60-90 minutes four days a week.

"We started with functional training," says Bobby. "Because of the way you’ve been conditioned to use your body in life, your dominant body side means you have weakened, underdeveloped areas, which prevents you from making muscle and strength gains. This training targets weak areas and activates other muscles to adapt and grow. It also helps stability and core strength too."

So given that it's New Move Monday, I've posted two of the moves Bobby had Blake doing below... Enjoy.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Two Movies To See With Your Man (That You'll Actually Enjoy)

I love doing things for other people. But I love doing them even more when there's a little something in it for me, too. Like when you buy your mum the new Adele album because you also wouldn't mind a listen. I mean, I'm only human.

And this week the cinema is making good deeds a cinch with some awesome new flicks hitting the big screen that boys and girls alike can enjoy. So instead of forcing him to sit through Crazy, Stupid, Love (again), be the selfless girlfriend/daughter/bestie and treat that male in your life to one of these... Trust me, it'll be a treat for you as well.

In Time.

The concept? In this world, everyone stops ageing at 25 and starts living on bought or borrowed time – until their clocks run out. It's a system that sees the rich become immortal while the poor are left to die young. Sounds tricky, but it's not too hard to get your head around. This action sci-fi is an entertaining ride from the get-go as Will (Justin Timberlake) and Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) try to upturn the system and fight for justice. Oh, and did I mention JT takes his shirt off? And more than once.


One word: Ryan Gosling. Hollywood's man of the moment is perfection in this thriller about a stunt driver who gets embroiled in a heist gone wrong. Carey Mulligan and Christina Hendricks also star but make no mistake this is Ryan's show and he owns every scene – sometimes without even so much as a word. This movie has everything you'd expect from an action thriller – robberies, car chases, violence and plenty of gore. This is not a film that holds back in that respect. So look away if you must, but don't miss the rest of this incredibly slick and well-executed film.


If you have been secretly wishing for a modern take on Outbreak, consider your prayers answered. This film about the global spread of an uncontainable virus boasts an all-star cast (Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburn) and they don't disappoint. Well, except maybe Jude – who puts on one of the worst Australian accents I've ever heard (I wasn't even sure what nationality he was supposed to be until he attempted to call someone "mate"). David Stratton gave this four and a half stars and I'm inclined to do the same.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yet ANOTHER Celeb That Loves Tracy Anderson.

Daily Mail

I've gotta say, Courteney Cox is looking pretty bangin' for 47. But even she admits that looking good after 40 is a "slippery slope". So what's her secret? Well, apparently the former Friends star does the Tracy Anderson Method four times a week.

Not familiar? I'm devoting this week's New Move Monday to the star trainer – because Courteney and Gwyneth and Madonna and Kate can't all be wrong...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

On The Couch: Back On The Box.

Quite a few shows have made a triumphant return to the small screen this week...

United States Of Tara (Tuesdays at 9.35pm on ABC): It's the third and final season for Tara and her host of different personalities. So savour every moment of watching the always adorable John Corbett – seriously, could that man be any more lovable?

Glee (Wednesdays at 8.30pm on Ten): The New Directions return for a new season with some shiny new musical numbers. Sadly there's no sign of Sam (Chord Overstreet), but the new addition of Blaine (Darren Criss) as a regular more than makes up for it.

Two And A Half Men (Tuesdays at 8.30pm on Nine): Ashton Kutcher steps in – buck naked – to fill Charlie Sheen's famous shoes. So far, the reviews are mixed, but I reckon give the man more than 15 minutes to make his mark.

Beauty And The Geek Australia (Thursdays at 8.30pm on Seven): The ultimate battle of beauty and brains is back – and it's better than ever. Where else would a "geography test" involve sexy chefs outfits, a slip-n-slide and a smörgåsbord of food?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Currently Running To... Nothing But The Beat.

Now I'm not saying David Guetta is the single most defining artist of our time or anything, but the boy knows how to spin a mean dance beat. And if the tracks like Memories and Sexy Bitch got you running like Usain Bolt last time, rest assured there's more where that came from in this new album.

From Where Them Girls At feat Nicki Minaj to Titanium feat Sia and Sweat feat the legendary Snoop Doggy Dogg... There's plenty of up-tempo tracks to keep you on pace. Just try not to bust out any dancefloor moves on the running track. That would be embarrassing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Move Monday.

Let me introduce you to one little exercise that had me in a whole lot of pain last week: The side lunge.

I tried this move from the Nike Training Club app in the morning. It didn't feel so bad. But when I attempted a pilates class later in the day. Oh, boy – was I in trouble! It took a couple (better make that five) days before my muscles were game enough to try them again, but at least I know they work. They really, really work.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On The Couch: One Day

What's the story? Let me start by saying, if you haven't already read the book, please, please, please go and do it before you watch this movie. It's a beautifully written story by author David Nicholls about two people who meet for the first time on July 15, 1988 and whose lives become intertwined over the next twenty years. The book revisits them on the same day each year and I'll stop short of giving away any actual details – but, suffice to say, it runs the full gamut of emotions.

Why it's worth paying $18 to see... So, how does this cult novel translate on the big screen? Not well, if you agree with the reviewers who gave it just one star. I don't. Aside from the fact that Anne Hathaway has the worst Yorkshire accent ever, I actually think this film is a lovely, funny adaptation of a great book. Things are lost in the film (they always are) but the perfect performance of Jim Sturgess as Dex and the stellar supporting cast certainly makes up for any of Anne's shortcomings. It's not likely to replace The Notebook as the love story of our generation, but it's far from a total disaster. In fact, it's quite easy and enjoyable to watch.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Health Advice, Courtesy Of Eva Mendes.

Daily Mail

Finally, a celeb that loves bread and pasta! But Eva admits, "I mostly stick to wholemeal, though. When in doubt, go dark with the food – so I stay away from white pasta, white rice and white bread and that keeps things simple for me." As for fitness, the actress (and face of Reebok EasyTone) says she sticks to a mixture of cardio, weights and yoga for flexibility... 
"I hit the gym three to four times a week to do light weights – not too many repetitions – which target my whole body, and some serious cardio – normally sprinting and interval running... The minimum I do cardio for is 35 minutes, but you can get a lot done in that time if you use it wisely. And then I spend about an hour on the weight training. I also do yoga twice a week. It’s mostly astanga, but my yoga instructor creates a programme for me based around what I need – so if my muscles are tight from running, we’ll do poses to open everything up."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If You Missed Giaan Rooney In Sunday Life...

Sunday Life
Do yourself a favour and read her piece here. It's a funny and interesting account of how she had to re-think her entire diet when she retired from swimming – and how it changed the way she looked at her body. Here are the highlights...

Going on a diet... "Everyone says to me now, 'It must be so nice not to be on a diet.' And I'd think, 'Are you kidding? It's the first time in my life I've had to watch what I eat.' Back then, when you are doing six or seven hours of exercise a day, six days a week, you can eat whatever you want, as much as you want. There were no holds barred because everything was fuel and you burn it off so quickly."

Finding out she was gluten intolerant... "While I was swimming, my diet was all about carbs – pasta, bread, potatoes, rice – things that functioned well as fuel. I only discovered after I retired that I am gluten intolerant. Nowadays, if I eat too much pasta or bread, I can look like I'm three or four months pregnant. I didn't realise it at the time, because the exercise managed to balance it out somehow."

Letting go of the competitive instinct... "I had no idea how to exercise for health – I only knew how to train towards a goal. I loved Pilates, so I started turning up to class five days a week until my instructor finally pulled me aside and said, 'Giaan, there's no Pilates at the Olympics, so just chill out. You only need to be here twice a week.'"

Seeing her body in a new light... "I was lucky to have walked out of swimming and straight into a job with Channel Nine. But for the first time, I also became aware of how physically different I was compared to everyone around me. Having come from a career where it was all about what your body can do and not what it looks like, I've always had a healthy body image. All of a sudden, in a television environment, I no longer had that clear-cut relationship."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On The Couch: Do We Really Need Another Reality TV Series?

If that series is The Voice, then yes... yes, we do. And I'm not just saying that because I have an epic crush on Adam Levine – although, seriously, could that man get any more divine?

I think The Voice takes the best bits from Idol (the amazing singers and public voting) and The X-Factor (the four uber-competitive judges) and combines them for a really entertaining ride. Chuck in CeeLo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine and it's a recipe for fabulousness.

Here's how it goes: The four judges listen to the contestants sing (and here's the clincher – they do it with their backs turned, so it's all about "the voice", geddit?) and when they decide they want to recruit the contestant for their team, they press a button and their chairs swing around. If that doesn't sound exciting, trust me – it is. And if more than one judge presses their button, the singer gets to choose who they work with. Cue: cattiness as each judge tries to secure their favourite star-in-the-making.

Then once the judges have eight singers a piece, they train them up and battle them off against each other until only four remain on each team. After that, it's over to the viewers. And you can bet there'll be tough choices to be made because of some of these singers are the creme de la creme. Bring it, I say.

Watch The Voice at 7.30pm on Tuesdays on Go!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Might Be More Inclined To Ride...

If The Lampshade Fits

If I had this Missoni-print bike with turquoise wheels. Swoon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why Are There No Men Like This In My Yoga Class?

UK Cosmopolitan

Just when I thought I was never going to get an opportunity to post naked pictures of Adam Levine on this blog, the universe gave me a bit of love and Adam gave Women's Health a little interview. So, let's hear what the Maroon 5 frontman has to say about doing the Downward Dog...  And while you're enjoying the pics, spare a thought for that hand model – it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

How'd you wind up at yoga?
A year and a half ago, my trainer recommended I try working with Alanna to help with my flexibility issues. I'm naturally very tight in lower back and my hips and hamstrings too. My first class felt like someone was ripping my body apart. It wasn't what you'd call peaceful. But I was excited by the idea that the more dedicated I became the more effortless it would become to relax and give in to that tightness. Yes, the torture subsided a bit over time.

How did your body change?
Physically I have always been on the slender side. When I started practicing I instantly felt more sculpted. Yoga carves you into a different person—and that is satisfying physically.

Did it change how you work out?
I had been lifting weights for years. After our first yoga session, I vowed never to lift another weight again.

Do you believe in the mind-body connection?
I was skeptical, to say the least. I was wary of the cliche´s associated with yoga: spirituality used as a marketing tool or Eastern philosophy sold at Starbucks to disenchanted lawyers and accountants looking for meaning. What I soon realized is that yoga welcomes everyone—that's extremely appealing.

How do you maintain your practice on tour?
Being a traveler, yoga is by far the most convenient way to exercise while I'm on the road. You don't need anything but a few feet of space and a mat. And I can always find at least an hour a day to practice. 

(Levine made videos with his teacher to take on the road with him.)

What is your advice to people who think they are too inflexible to do yoga?
Start simple. Yoga will drastically improve you in every way imaginable. But let's face it, I only practice yoga because the classes are always packed with beautiful women. (I am totally kidding.)

Vitamin Injections: Yay Or Nay?

Huffington Post
I am terrifed of needles. Every time my doctor suggests a bood test, I invariably spend the next twenty minutes quizzing him on just how necessary it is to have a needle prodded in my arm. I might be low in iron? That's cool. I'm fine with not knowing.

So the idea that some people would elect to have injections – that shiz is crazy. But that's exactly what Glee star Lea Michele claims is her weight-loss secret. She has vitamin injections. Willigly. By choice. Regularly.

And she's not the only one. Other celebs like Madonna and Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake are doing it too. Apparently these vitamin jabs increase energy levels and boost the metabolism, aiding weight loss.

That might be true, but I could never bring myself to request a poke in the arm with a needle. Just writing this is making me squirmy. Would you?

Monday, August 8, 2011

There's Little Glamour In Running.

Sacha Goldberger @ My Modern Metropolis

But there is a real brutal honesty, as these intriguing pictures show. Last year, photographer Sacha Goldberger stopped joggers at a park near Paris and took their picture. A week later, he invited them back to his studio and snapped them again in their regular daywear. The results are surprising...

Jealousy Overload: Ashley Tisdale's Abs.

The Blemish

I haven't been giving this girl enough credit. Who knew she was so buff? And, more importantly, how do I get these abs of steel? Well, I've dedicated this week's New Move Monday to some creative core work, courtesy of Tracy Anderson and Marie Claire. Your abs can thank me later... or not.

The Click-Together Lift Crunch
Lie on your back, hands behind head, legs straight out and shoulder-width apart with knees facing ceiling.

Crunch up, but keep legs straight. Simultaneously lift legs 3 to 6 inches off the ground and touch together. As you return to floor, legs return to starting position. Do 50 reps.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Take The Pressure Off.


You can't be on top of things all the time. Some days just feel mellow. And that's okay.

Friday, August 5, 2011

On The Couch: Do Yourself A Favour, Watch Damages.

In case you're not already familiar, it's a very clever show starring the divine Glenn Close and my current girl crush Rose Byrne (if you haven't seen her in Bridesmaids yet, get to a cinema stat). It's a legal drama and a phychological head-fuck, but I guarantee that from the first five minutes, you'll be hooked. So grab the DVDs and be prepared to put all eating, sleeping, working plans on hold...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On The Couch: Three Movies I'm Itching To See...

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Two words: James Franco. I would watch anything with him in it. (even a movie about a mountain climber who cuts off his arm with a pocket knife – ahem, 127 Hours.) But throw in a bunch of crazy apes on a rampage and it's on like Donkey Kong.

In cinemas August 4.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

This movie looks divine. It has the most perfect cast (Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and the gorgeous Ryan Gosling) and the trailer is equal parts raw emotion and laugh-out-loud funny. I already want to order the DVD and I haven't even seen it yet.

In cinemas September 29.

Green Lantern.

I wasn't sold on this movie – until I saw the trailer in 3D. Then I was all kinds of excited. I think that battle between good and evil fought in a galactic world really lends itself to an extra dimension. So don't skrimp, pay an extra buck for the glasses.

In cinemas August 11.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Man Vs Food.

The Daily Telegraph

I once had a friend tell me that there was a place in Sydney that would give you a prize if you ate a 1kg schnitzel and downed 1L of beer in under an hour. I thought it was an urban myth.

Now, thanks to this article, I know that such an eating challenge does exist, and in fact, it's not the only one. At the Killar Burger Grill, if you eat a 30cm wide burger, large chips, a soft serve and a litre of soft drink, you get your meal free, a T-shirt... and possibly a heart attack.

Apparently none of the Grill's staff have attempted it. I'm not surprised.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roberto Cavalli Is Designing Exercise Bikes Now.

Robert Cavalli

I'm not joking. It seems even high-end Italian fashion designers have been inspired by the recent Tour De France. Mr Cavalli has teamed up with his friends at Ciclotte to craft a spin bike that certainly won't be an eye-sore in your living room.

The "no frills" design, which is estimated to cost in excess of $11,000, boasts a lightweight carbon, steel and fibreglass frame, four gears and a nifty erganomic design. Oh, and of course, a little leopard print.

And if you've still got change left from the bike, there's matching workout gear, too. Sigh.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Here's A Hardcore Gym Junkie.

And boarder-line nutcase. He was lifting weights when the recent bomb went off in Norway. Everyone was fleeing. But not this guy. "I was on my eighth repetition of a 165-kilogram benchpress... that's quite a lot of weight," he says. "Naturally, I finished my set."

Well, naturally.

New Move Monday.

Every Monday I share a new move I've tried, courtesy of a website, trainer or stranger at the gym...

Women's Health

This week it's the fitness ball mountain climber from Women's Health.

Place your hands on a fitness ball and extend your legs behind you in a push-up position, with your body forming a straight line from your neck to your ankles. Raise your right foot off the floor and slowly bring your right knee up towards your chest, then lower it. That’s one rep. Repeat with the left leg, and continue alternating until you’ve done 10 to 12 reps with each leg.

It's tricker than it looks and demands a lot of strength from your core. But as they say: no pain, no gain.

Tough Love From Gunnar Peterson.

Gunnar Peterson
Who? I hear you ask. Well, Gunnar is a celebrity trainer who has worked with stars like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. And when he gives advice, he gives it straight. No sugar coating. 

So when he was dishing out the tips on how to get toned like J.Lo, he advised hitting up the weights room. And as if he heard all the women out there start to whine about not getting big legs, he rebuffed, "The majority of women are genetically incapable of creating large bulky muscles... And squats won't make you big. Food makes you big." True that.
And if you're still in doubt about strengthening exercises, take a cue from Ashley Greene. 
The Twilight star has openly admitted that her figure holds muscle easily (some women's bodies just do), but she doesn't ignore strength training completely. Instead, she concentrates on mixing up her cardio with planks and squats. "A lot of people like to be super tiny," she says. "But I don't want a child's body – I want a woman's body that is extremely fit. It's so much sexier."

Amen, sister.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Miss Modern Family.

It's really the only show that my whole family can sit down and watch and everyone enjoys it. The only time we fight about Modern Family is when we can't agree on whether Phil or Cam is the funniest. Me, I love Gloria. She's hilarious. And it doesn't hurt that she's played by the smoking hot Sofia Vergara. I mean, how does she look like that?

Apparently, the secret is "Not too much food, not too much exercise, not too much anything." Sofia advises, "Everything in moderation. And of course, wearing sun block." That's my kind of girl.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When Two Of My Interests Collide: Health And TV.

I get really excited. Like you know how pumped the guy on the Shamwow ad is? I get that excited. So I was pretty stoked to find out that one of my favourite bloggers Sarah Wilson has a new show in the works. It's called Eat Yourself Sexy and you can get all the deets here. Don't mind if I do...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Proud Of Cadel. Proud To Be An Australian.

Well, the Tour de France is over and all those tired, bleary-eyed cycling fans can finally get some sleep again tonight. And they can do it with a smug little grin, because "our" Cadel had a historic victory and, well, it's a been a great day to be an Aussie. You can just feel the pride radiating out of this article. Cheers.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Healthy Candy. Bet You Never Thought You'd See Those Two Words Together.

Veggie Wedgie
This recipe had me at "healthy" and "Bounty". 
Mmm... Thanks, Veggie Wedgie.
 Chocolate Coconut Candy
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 150gr raw cacao butter
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar

What to do...
1. Soak dates in water for 20 minutes to soften. In a food processor,add the dates and water and blend to make a smooth paste. Transfer in a bowl and mix with the rest of the filling ingredients. Knead with your hands until the dough sticks together. Add more coconut if necessary. With a tablespoon,take 1 tbsp of dough at a time and shape however you desire. Refrigerate the candy pieces while you melt the cacao butter in the dehydrator or using bain-marie method. Add the cacao powder and the agave and stir with the melted cacao butter until everything is incorporated.
2. Using a fork,dip one by one the coconut candy to coat with chocolate. Set aside on a waxed paper to set the chocolate. To do this faster you can refrigerate the candy bars.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On The Couch: Bye For Now, Offspring.

It's the Offspring season finale tonight (Channel 10, 9pm) and I have to admit I'm a teensy bit sad that it's all over for another season. You see, I love Nina Proudman. And it's not just her amazing owl-filled apartment and her sometimes very original wardrobe choices, I love Nina because she makes me (and every other slightly neurotic woman out there) seem somehow less crazy, more normal.

I also love that she is played by one of my absolute favourite Australian actresses Asher Keddie. Loved her in Paper Giants. Loved her in Underbelly. Love, love, loved her in Love My Way. In fact, not long after Love My Way wrapped on TV, I saw Asher in a make-up store on Oxford Street. I was there on official magazine business so I had to reign in the crazy fan part of me that wanted to run over and scream, "Ohmygodyou'reAsherKeddie! Iloveyou!"

Instead I just silently stalked her around the store, trying to think of something cool and ot even slightly obsessive to say, until my online editor told me it was time to roll. And I like to think that's exacty what Nina would have done.

So if you've been living a rock and haven't yet caught Nina Fever, do yourself a favour and get thee to the DVD store, stat. Already a fan and not sure what you're going to do with yourself post-Offspring? You might start with one of these Nina-inpired owl buys...

Owl box, $24, Have You Met Miss Jones.

Wall hanging, from $135, Bride & Wolfe.

Tea towel, $16.95, Annabel Trends @ Funk Mebourne.

Planters, US$39.99 each, Fruitflypie @ Etsy.

White owl, $19.95, Hart & Heim.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Australian Open Effect

There's a little thing I like to call The Australian Open Effect – so named because every time the Australian Open airs on TV, I'm suddenly overcome by the urge to play tennis. Doesn't matter that I don't really know how. Doesn't even matter that I don't own a raquet. I see Anna and Serena and Venus hitting it up on the court, and suddenly I want to be a tennis pro. Thankfully the effect only lasts about as long as the telecast, but I've started to realise The Australian Open Effect is becoming more far reaching.

There was The Swimming Championship Effect. And The World Cup Effect. Now there is The Tour De France effect. Yep, I don't even own a bike, but all of a sudden I'm waking up thinking I could be the next Lance Armstrong. And I'm riding every spin class like I'm gunning for a yellow jersey. Well, I guess if it makes me work harder in spin class, it can't be that bad, right?

Do you ever get overcome by The Australian Open Effect?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What If You Had To Stop Doing That Thing That Makes You You?

Last week I had an ache in my right foot. It was painful to walk, even more painful to run. Luckily, after a few (of seemingly very long) days, it subsided – but it did get me thinking: What would I do if I couldn't train? And then almost like someone upstairs was reading my mind, this story popped up on Elle about a runner who was forced to stop due to injury. And while it's a story about running, it's also a really honest, thought-provoking account of what happens when you have to stop doing something you really love.