Friday, May 13, 2011

The Gloves Are On.

Daily Mail

I need this super-cute Marc Jacobs bag to carry my boxing gear in. Anything else simply won't do.

Is Feeding Kids Junk Food Child Abuse?

This week, The Biggest Loser trainer Michelle Bridges told Sunday Life magazine she sees feeding junk food to kids as a form of child abuse. 
"You can blame the childhood obesity epidemic on many factors, but the ultimate responsibility lies with parents," says Michelle. "It's crazy, really - we all know what we should be eating. There are no secrets out there. How many times have you heard someone say, 'I shouldn't be eating this, but...' as they stuff another piece of banana bread in their mouth? If we accept that we all pretty much know what we should and shouldn't be eating to maintain a healthy weight, then isn't regularly feeding a child junk food and not teaching them how to eat well at some level a form of child abuse? I put it to you that it is... So if we know that parental responsibility for a child's weight starts even before conception, how can we justify the notion that their responsibility is in any way diminished during a child's early life?"

I have to say, I agree with Michelle. I grew up in a healthy household. Where fruit platters always came out after dinner and raw broccoli was a compulsory starter to most meals. Sometimes maybe it bordered on excessive (I don't know anyone else who got "sweet bans" as punishments, where all treats went off the menu for a full seven days) but it did arm me with a wealth of knowledge I realise I'm lucky to have. Because feeding your kids healthy foods isn't just about keeping them at an acceptable weight on the scales, it's also about giving them the know-how so they can create for themselves a balanced diet. 

I could count the number of times my mum took us to McDonald's as a kid on one hand. Actually, I could probably tell you the exact circumstances that led to each visit (as a treat before we saw Beauty & Beast on ice, as a desperate last-minute dinner option on the way home from the hospital after the birth of my cousin Bianca, and for breakfast on the way to Queensland – but even then we had raisin toast.) I've since given the Golden Arches a lot more service, but that's been as an adult – when I'm old enough (and stupid enough) to make my own decisions about what I eat. I'm glad Mum never fed us fast food. I'm glad she never gave us Coke and always made us mix our Coco Pops half/half with Rice Bubbles. And I'm glad that she made us ask before we had anything sweet like a biscuit but gave us free reign on the fruit bowl (which we never took enough advantage of), because that's how I learned what foods are healthy and what stuff should only be eaten occasionally. 

It would have been easier to give us a tub of hot chips every time she wanted us to go to swimming lessons without a fuss, like so many other mums did, but she went with a blend of good old-fashioned pleading and discipline to get us there. And on the odd cold day she surprised us with a tub of chips – to share, of course. I'm certain it wasn't always easy to teach, but I'm grateful that Mum never caved because now, my sister and I are armed with the knowledge to make good, healthy choices – even if we do sometimes throw it to the wind and head to Macca Dees. But only on the odd occasion.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Get It Off Your Chest.

Daily Mail

When The Hills hottie Kristin Cavallari hit the ground running in LA last week, there was no questioning where she got her motivation from. It was right there on her chest. And in case you need a bit of the same, I thought I'd share my top three inspirational singlets on the shop shelves right now...

Lorna Jane, $34.99
Asana @ Rebel Sport, $24.99
Running Bare @ Rebel Sport, $29.99

Recipe Of The Week: Easy Berry Yoghurt Muffins


I've posted recipes from design blog Poppytalk before, but I simply couldn't resist passing on this one for the most delicious and easy-to-make muffins ever. Almost as quick as a packet mix, but you get to say, "I made them myself. From. Scratch."

Easy Berry Yogurt Muffins
You'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter or oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup blackberries, frozen or fresh
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin tin with 12 paper cups.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. In another bowl, combine the melted butter, egg, yogurt, milk and vanilla until well mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir. Add in the blackberries and stir until just combined.

3. Spoon batter into paper cups and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool slightly, but these are best served warm, fresh from the oven.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On The Couch: Source Code

What's the story? From the moment Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up on a train in the body of an unknown man just moments before it blows up, you know there's more going on in this sci-fi thriller than meets the eye. Turns out, Captain Stevens is on a mission in the Source Code – an alternate reality that lets him transport into the body of a man in the last eight minutes of his life. His task: to cross back to the train and try to discover who triggered the explosion.

Why it's worth paying $17.50 to see... This flick feels a bit like the poor man's Inception, but it's an interesting ride as the mystery behind the Source Code, Colter Stevens past and exactly what happened on the train start to unravel simeltaneously. Certainly ot one for those who struggle to follow the most basic whodunnit storylines.

The Story That Shocked Me.

Britain's fattest teenager is now anorexic after having gastric bypass surgery. She has been given six months to live.

At 17, Malissa Jones once tipped the scales at 215kg. Four years and a gastric bypass later, she weighs less than 50kg and doctors are warning her that she could die if she doesn't increase her food intake.

Now the 21-year-old is urging others to lose weight healthily, instead of resorting to surgery. "Surgery can have consequences you might never have imagined," she says. "I am not deliberately starving myself but, right now, I would rather die than force myself to eat. I'm too thin. My body shocks me. But swallowing is painful. Eating a tiny amount gives me stomach cramps or makes me sick."

Malissa's a shocking and incredibly sad story, but it's not as simple as saying all weight-loss surgery is bad. While I do believe it should only ever be a last resort, the fact is, it works for some people. But for others, it just creates more problems and I am inclined to agree with clinical psychologist Dr Funke Baffour, who tells the Daily Mail, "There would have been psychological reasons for Malissa's obesity that a gastric band would not have dealt with. It is not surprising she has swapped one emotional relationship with food for another."

Monday, May 9, 2011

On The Couch: What's On The Box?

Now that The Biggest Loser is done and dusted for another year, it's left a gaping hole in my TV schedule. So, what to watch now? Well, here's a sneaky peek at some of the shows that might just fill the void...

Angry Boys: The latest braichild from Aussie comedy king Chris Lilley (who you'll know from We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High), you'd have to be living under a rock to have missed the hype surrounding this brand spankin' new series. Forget Ja'mie, this time Chris is taking on six new characters – tyrannic Japanese mother Jen, identical twins Daniel and Nathan, tough loving grandma Ruth, house-bound rapper S.Mouse and surfing gang leader Blake. Check out the hi-larious seven-minute teaser trailer here and make sure you're home when it kicks off this Wednesday at 9pm on ABC1.

Downton Abbey: My friend Jess raves about this show and given she is the girl who introduced me to the true television greatness that is Grand Designs (did you know host Kevin McCloud writes all his own witty dialogue?), when she raves, I listen. So when she would not shut up about new UK drama Downton Abbey, I wanted to know more. Turns out this period drama – and upstairs/downstairs story about British aristocrats and their servants – has broken ratings records in the UK, such is it's popularity. Can't wait to see if it does the same when it arrives in Oz soon on Channel 7.

Offspring: The slightly neurotic but very lovable Nina Proudman (Asher Keddie) is back for a second season. Sadly there's no sign of hunky doctor Chris Havel (Don Hany) in the first few eps but there is a fresh face in the way of resident obstetrician Fraser King (Jay Ryan)  – and I've been assured Chris will be back! Asher Keddie is simply divine in this quirky Aussie drama and I'm clearly not the only one who thinks so – she took home the silver Logie for Most Popular Actress last month. For a sneaky peek of what's to come when the series returns this month on Channel 10, click here.

The Day I Walked The Red Carpet With Reese.

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon didn't exactly sneak into Sydney last week. From being greeted by an elephant and throngs of media at the harbour on Friday morning to walking the red carpet in front of thousands of screaming fans that same night, the A-listers were a big hit Down Under. And I was lucky enough to see them in the flesh at the premiere of their new flick Water For Elephants (which hits cinemas this Thursday).

Most of the crowd might have been there for R-Patz, but I've been a massive Reese fan since I first saw Cruel Intentions as a teen and there was absolutely nothing cool and collected about me as I clapped eyes on the lady herself while walking the red carpet. Just as stunning as she is on screen, Reese greeted fans as she sashayed into the State Theatre to introduce the flick. And even though I found the movie a little bit rushed compared to the book (with some animal cruelty scenes that were much harder to watch than they were to read), it felt like a magical evening. Want more goss and pics from the premiere? It's all on the Famous magazine website.