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Meet crossfit queen Kara Webb (+ her fave Paleo Chocolate Cake)

26 Jul

Today’s health power players are no longer just doctors or dieticians. They are smart businesswoman and men, tradies, bloggers, and health/fitness coaches – the new ‘it’ people on the health scene so to say.

Each week we will talk to a variety of inspiring individuals – from raw foodies, crossfitters, organic city dwellers, paleo peeps, nutritionists, bloggers & overall amazing human beings who actually practice what they preach.

First up I would like you to introduce you to Kara Webb who is THE fittest gal in Australia. For real. She placed number 1 at the Wollongong Crossfit Regional Games which is a massive feat – and she is current in California competing at the Crossfit Games which is running now until July 22-28.

Kara Webb

Name: Kara Webb – (placed #1 at the 2013 Crossfit Australia Regional Games)

FITC Question: For the people who aren’t familiar with you (or just want to know more), tell us a bit about yourself.

Kara: I live in Brisbane and I my life is pretty much CrossFit. I am a coach as my sole job and love it. I get to use my experience to help others be better and in return I can learn from them to better myself. I have almost completed a nutrition degree but have taken some time off to just live and enjoy the cool stuff going on in my life. I got married, bought a home, made it to the CrossFit games and just decided to really enjoy it because this is the best time of my life and I don’t want to blink and miss it. I plan on finishing off my degree in the next 12 months or so, slowly but surely.

FITC Question: What made you choose the path of leading a healthy life and was there a particular turning point?

Kara: I was 19 and I had been going out doing all of the usual things a 19 year old does, drinking and carrying on, but I just felt gross. I didn’t have much energy or motivation for anything in life, I was eating bad food and didn’t feel very productive. I decided to ditch the silly times and joined a regular gym to try and feel good and get some positivity in my life. I started to really enjoy being fit and eating well, and the people that came into my life. Within 3 months I had met my now husband and also my coach/boss/friend. My choice to focus on being a better be brought the right people in my life and they haven’t left. My coach was my personal trainer and then he started CrossFit and I joined in too. My life is now perfect!

FITC Question: What does your usual daily routine look like – what is on your ‘must do’ and ‘must take’ list?

Kara: I am up at 4:30am every morning to coach at 5am so I don’t have a great deal of time to play around with. I always have a banana, and some other piece of fruit depending on the season and a big glass of water as soon as I wake up. I then have a second glass of water for my supplements. I take Pure Pharma’s fish oil, vitamin D3 and Magnesium and at the moment some Co-Q10.  I then coach 2 classes (with a cup of Earl Grey tea J) and sometimes train in the morning or practice some skills, and then come home to a second more satisfying breakfast usually left over dinner or some kind of eggs and ham or bacon and avocado.  I love a warm cooked breakfast. I then have lunch around 11:30-12 because I like a solid meat and veg or meat and salad lunch and don’t want a full belly when I train at 2:30. I will then usually have some kind of little snack about an hour again before I train. Heaps of water during the day, and then a Progenex protein shake straight after I train while I cool down. Then more water, some kind of fruit or snack if I have to coach again and then straight home to more meat and veg for dinner. I love every kind of meat, poultry and seafood you can imagine and make sure I balance it out over the week. Always have a cup of chamomile tea before bed to turn my body off and calm my nervous system after a crazy day.

FITC Question: Let’s take a peek in your bathroom cupboard – what are your must have products?

Kara: Since I train heaps I have to have things like Lavender oil for torn hands or grazes on my shins from Olympic lifting. I also take really good care of my skin since I train so hard and the mix of excess free radicals and salt on my skin can dry it out and leave it a bit worse for wear. I have a natural range from a company online called EZEntial. A nice gentle balanced cleanser, definitely toner, and a good night time moisturiser are my must haves.

FITC Question: What do you always have in your kitchen (both fridge and supplements)?

Kara: Always have dark chocolate, bananas, tea, heaps of meat, sweet potato, fish oil, magnesium.

FITC Question: How important is clean, nutrient rich food in your diet? Do you follow a certain style (ie raw, vegan, paleo etc)

Kara: I guess the basic structure of my diet follows a paleoish form. I eat red meat, fish, poultry with salad, fruit and vegetables for all of my main meals. Most other foods are occasional foods and might pop up in my diet from once a week to once every 6 months. I eat good quality cheese and yogurt maybe twice per week but other then that I don’t have dairy. I try to just follow the rule of eating food as it is for all of my main meals and have a few treats around that. I always have dark chocolate a few times during the week with my hubby.

FITC Question: How do you like to move and keep fit? Is exercise an important part of your life?

Kara: I wouldn’t be who I am without exercise. I do CrossFit 5 days per week. I need to feel challenged, productive, sweaty, fit, and strong most days or my body and my mind doesn’t function at its optimum. I want to live the best life I can and when I exercise I do that. It brings a feeling of contentment and happiness that nothing can compare to.

FITC Question: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your health journey? These days we’re influenced by so many different sources – from friends, family, blogs, magazines and now even Instagram!!

Kara: A combination of my coach/friend/boss Brian being such a positive influence on my life and coming into my life at the right time was the best influence probably. The other influence would be the continued companionship and socialising with my husband and everyone who does CrossFit with us. It’s the most positive environment that its addictive. We all feed off each other. That’s why you have to surround yourself with positive like minded people. Being happy is my influence. If it makes me genuinely happy and content then I will continue doing it as long as I feel that way.

FITC Question: Currently loving:

Kara: Loving Chamomile tea so much at the moment. I starting drinking it at regionals to keep my nervous system in check at night because its so hard to sleep during competition and it made me feel so relaxed and helped so much. I drink it every night now.

Number 2 is Sudoku haha. I have always liked playing it but I started on the plane to regionals also and then downloaded the app for it and played that all weekend. I have found keeping keeping my mind active in a positive way distracted me from any negative over thinking and in turn makes my training so much easier. I have been playing it ever since.

Number 3 would probably have to be interior decorating. I absolutely love it. There is nothing more fun then moving everything around and making your own space beautiful. I love my home to be my zen place. I make the effort to keep it clean, functional and full of beautiful positive things that keep the energy flowing. I am addicted to Pinterest Home Décor and spend way too much time on it but when I get home at the end of a big day at the gym I literally feel so happy as soon as I walk in the door.

FITC Question: Fave local cafe or restaurant?

Kara: We have a little café/roasting house calles Elixir in Hayward street Stafford next to the gym. The people are amazing, the coffee is beautiful (decaf for me J) and the food is so yum (Have to order the potato Rosti). It helps that its so close to us too.

FITC Question: As your parting gift to us – what is your favourite health product/holiday destination/retreat/exercise/recipe/tip etc (choose one and provide some info)

Kara: Well my favourite treat actually is a chocolate cake I make probably at least once per week for my husband and I. Its so simple and gives me an excuse to use my kitchen aid, and tastes delicious even though its not full of junk (recipe from the Fast Paleo App)

Kara’s Favourite Chocolate Cake:

Paleo Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

4 Eggs

¾ cup Honey

3 Table spoons coconut oil

2 Tea spoons vanilla essence or extract

½ tspn baking soda

¼ tspn salt

¼ tspn baking powder

1 cup cocoa

* thats right, no flour!

Method:

Beat all of the wet ingredients well. Slowly add the dry and beat gently. Cook in a cake tin on 180 degrees celcius for 20 minutes. Check with a tooth pick its all done and you have a super moist awesome chocolate cake in next to no time.

FITC note: I made this cake and it is amazing!! For extra luxe I added paleo chocolate icing

Paleo Chocolate Icing:

Paleo Chocolate Icing

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado

1/3 cup of cocao powder

1/3 cups of honey

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

Blend in a food processor until smooth – done!

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Raw chocolate shortbread bars

27 Jun

Raw chocolate shortbread bars

There is nothing sweeter or more rewarding than having a positive impact on someone’s life – regardless of how big or small. In this case, it was introducing my soon to be sisters to raw desserts. That’s right, they have swapped empty calories, white, processed crack, (aka sugar) for more natural, nutrient dense substituents. And whola, the result was a gorgeous (paleo friendly) Raw Chocolate Shortbread bar.

And here is how you too can make it.

Shortbread ingredients:

1 cup cashews

1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup dates

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate ingredients:

1 cup cashews

1/3 cup coconut oil (you must use coconut – no substitutes!)

1/3 cup maple syrup, honey or agave nectar

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon water

1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Process: Place all shortbread ingredients in the food processor. Process until the mixture sticks together and the dates are well processed.

2. Place: shortbread mixture into your dish, making sure you press the crust down firmly with your hands. The Shortbread base is now done.

3. Blend: Place all chocolate mixture ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until very smooth.

4. Pour/deposit chocolate mixture on top of shortbread, similar to pouring icing on brownies. Smooth with the back of a spoon.

5. Freeze: Cover and freeze for at least 1 hour. Always store these in the freezer.

6. Enyoy! Slice a frozen piece, and let it thaw out on the bench for 15 minutes or so, top with some berries if you wish.

I would love to see your creations too so please tag your healthy pics with #FitnessInTheCity, then follow me via

www.instagram.com/fFitnessinthecity_

www.facebook.com/fitnessinthecity

www.twitter.com/fitnessinthcity

Big thanks to The Rawtarian for this amazing recipe! Check out her site for more delish recipes and tips http://www.therawtarian.com/

Paleo Anzac Biscuits

24 Apr

Paleo Anzac Biscuits

In preparation for Anzac Day tomorrow I whipped up a batch of delicious  Anzac Biscuits thanks to Therasa Cutter’s  recipe below.

Quick, easy and healthy – what’s not to love!

Paleo (gluten/grain free) Anzac Biscuits

1 cup (100 g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1 cup (100 g) flaked almonds
1 cup (75 g) organic desiccated coconut
1/4 (80 g) cup honey
1/4 cup (60 ml) macadamia nut oil
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 tablespoon water

Combine almond meal, flaked almonds and coconut.
Combine honey and oil into a small pot and heat gently.
Mix the bicarb and water then pour into the honey pot and mix until it starts to froth.
Pour into the dry nut ingredients and mix through until combined. Add a little water if needed to combine which will help them stick together.
Form into 22 cookies
Bake in a low pre heated oven 120 C (248 F) for about 30 minutes until golden.

Try not to eat them all at once! 

Raw Healthy Chocolates!

28 Mar

Fitness In The City - raw chocolates

Instead of buying the standard cheap, sugar filled chocolate eggs from the supermarket this Easter.. why not try something a little different and make your own.

Healthy, easy and simply delicious – what more could you want?!

Raw Homemade Chocolates

Ingredients:

¾ cup coconut oil (it needs to be liquid so if solid put jar in hot water to melt)

¾ cup agave nectar (you can also combine honey/maple syrup/agave)

1 cup of raw cocao powder (Green & Blacks organic cocao is another option)

1 tablespoon of almond butter

1/3 tsp of vanilla extract

 

Directions:

1. Place liquid coconut oil in a bowl – if hard melt beforehand.

2. Mix all ingredients together with a hand blender until smooth.

3. Pour chocolate mixture into moulds (I use Ikea shaped icetrays) or pour into a baking dish lined with baking paper.

4. Place moulds into freezer to be set in the freezer (approx 15 minutes).

Options: add goji berries or peppermint oil for a flavour change.

Fitness In The City - raw chocolates with goji berries

 

Best Paleo (gluten-free) Pancakes. EVER.

11 Feb

paleo gluten free carrot cake pancakes with berries
Tomorrow is Pancake Day in Australia! That’s right – we have a whole day dedicated to these delicious fluffy treats!

Truth be told, Australians didn’t really come up with the idea. Pancake Day is traditionally known as Shrove Tuesday, which is the last day to eat all the flour, eggs and dairy products in your kitchen before the start of Lent (which is a time of abstinence and reflection in the 40 days before Easter). Here in Oz however, we have turned this day into a fundraising opportunity that essentially encourages local people to help other locals: http://www.pancakeday.com.au/

Wondering what you can make without sacrificing your waist line (or taste buds) by eating excess amounts of sugar first thing in the morning (trust me your blood sugar levels are screaming in protest at the thought of it..)?

Well, let me introduce you to my favourite pancake recipe which excludes all the nasties (sugar, wheat/gluten etc) while being 100% fussy eater approved – Carrot Cake Pancakes!

Ingredients
1 cup of grated carrots
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or pecans)
2 tablespoon coconut oil
4 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (I usually add more than this though!)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Once cooked plate up and top with a tablespoon of coconut butter, maple syrup and a few berries– DELISH!!

Instructions
1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl
* almond meal
* coconut flour
* baking soda and powder
* spices

2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
* carrots, eggs
* coconut milk
* coconut oil

3. Heat a large frypan up under medium-high heat and use coconut oil to grease the surface. Don’t be shy with the oil here you don’t want it to stick!

4. Pour batter into piping hot frypan – keep them small so they are easy to flip. Cook on both sides for 3 or so minutes.

5. Top pancakes off with coconut butter and organic maple syrup.

Makes approx 4-5 pancakes.

Recipe also getting some love here: http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/food/recipes/recipe/-/16114480/paleo-carrot-cake-pancakes/

paleo gluten free carrot cake pancakes

If you have a go at making these I’d love to see your creations – post them on http://www.facebook.com/fitnessinthecity

Enjoy!

Living green & eating clean (& all the judging eyes out there..)

28 Jan

cococut time!

The thing that really gets under my skin is when people assume that because I ‘eat clean’ it automatically means I live on lettuce leaves, flavorless food and not much else. This couldn’t be further from the truth, but hey, I can get past this.

But what is really hurtful is when my awesome clients begin to let go of their unhealthy habits and replace them with good ones i.e. exercise and eat regular, nourishing meals, their friends and some family members judge them and make them uncomfortable for doing so!! This is outrageous and makes me extremely sad.

Time and time again people judge others who live differently to them. Whether people choose to live as a vegan, a paleo meat eater (like me) or just cut sugar from their diet, a stern look from the non believer and mini speech about how “wrong” they’re living is never too far off.

What happened to supporting one another?!

Does it not matter that my clients, who are now moving their bodies regularly and eating a colourful diet, feel amazing, energized and can handle stress a lot easier?

I must also point out that I NEVER feel deprived eating the way I do. I eat at least 5-6 meals a day (every 3 hours or I get low blood sugars level and get a tad crazy but that is another story). I still go out for breakfast, I still give in to my sweet tooth on occasion (hello raw desserts or Pana Chocolate!) and I still can go out a have a good time with my friends.

It is just about adding more of the ‘good stuff’ into your life – which in turn leaves less room for the ‘bad stuff’. The gorgeous Jess Ainscough, from The Wellness Warrior, has written a great post about healthy swaps and trading bad food for something much healthier – read it in full here.

Swapping dairy, which is difficult to digest, mucus/acid forming, to nut milk, high in calcium that you actually absorb, high in good fats, easier to digest and tastes amazing, is one great example.

Switching sports drinks (read sugar) for a real fresh coconut (high in electrolytes) and one of my favorite things in the world, is another.

Are you a pasta lover? Zucchini pasta with homemade sauces with meatballs have changed my life (and tummy). There are healthy alternatives for pretty much everything and therefore no shortage of great options next time the haters come around for dinner!

Are you someone who accidently judges others without knowing the full picture? Maybe it was the other way around and you were the one who received the disapproving looks at lunchtime? Maybe you were eating your homemade feast while they ate their mac ‘n’ cheese with a side of fries and coke…?

So what to do?

Smile my friends, just smile!

Talking of healthy food and healthy lives – if you’re in need some major inspiration check out Instagram – there’s a plethora of amazing people doing great things out there that can give you a friendly reminder everyday to get out and be awesome.

My faves at the moment are:

Thehealthytradie / or Facebook here

Sadhanakitchen /or Facebook here

FitnessInTheCity_ (of course) / Facebook here

Simplegreensmoothies / or Facebook here

Melissa_ambrosini / or Facebook here

Joshjohnson

_Sarahwilson_ / or Facebook here

ROXY (and any cool surf peep who get to travel the world and just be awesome!)

Aquabumps / or Facebook here 

 

Let me know your favorites!

18 Oct

Look no further for your weekend special (and healthy) breakfast, thanks to Lee Supercharged!

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