Tag Archives: health

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!

Paleo/gluten free Cauliflower Crust Pizza – the best you will have.

18 Jul

cauliflower pizza

Confession time. Even though I’m 99% committed and hardly ever stray, every now and then when it all gets too much I cave.

I cheat.

And yes, sometimes I lie about it.

You see I am 98% grain free in my diet but sometimes I crack and find myself driving straight to a nearby Crust Pizza franchise and order the finest gluten free pizza they have. I just love pizza and can’t seem to shake it. But you know what, I am sorry Crust because I can no longer afford to pay $50 for you to fuel my addiction (or deal with the tummy issues post gorge) when I have fallen for the new kid on the block.

Let me introduce you to the Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

What can I say, it has won me over with its taste, it’s sassy nutritional value, and the way it just make me feel all smug when I take it out of the oven.


Pizza Base Ingredients:
makes one approx. 10-12 inch pizza
1 small – medium sized head of cauliflower – should be approx 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh basil (can add other herbs too)

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I use a pizza combo of parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese etc)
1 egg
2-3 tablespoon almond meal

Topping:

As much tomato pizza topping sauce, cheese for topping, and other delish veggies and meats as you desire.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees (or 450 f). I have been cooking the pizza base on a piece of baking paper on top of a wire rack as it helps cook both sides, but a pizza tray should work just as well.

Cut up your washed cauliflower florets (don’t use too much stem) and pulse in your Vitamix or food processer for approx. 20-30 seconds until it is powdery and almost smooth.

You then want to cook the cauliflower so either place in a pot and continually stir for apox 5 minutes or place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and zap for 4 minutes.

Once cooked place cauliflower onto a clean tea towel (you might want to let it cool for a few minutes before you move onto the ‘squeezing’ stage) – this entails you ringing the living bejesus out of it until you remove as much water as possible. Once you have think it is all done, do it again you will be surprised at how much liquid it holds!! This step will ensure you get a yummy pizza list base that holds together, rather than a crumply mess that falls to bits.

Once you are happy that all the liquid has been removed from cauliflower, remove it from the tea towel into a bowl. Now add all of the remaining pizza base ingredients into the bowl and mix away – using your hands generally works best to form it into a ‘dough’, you want your “dough” to be sticky.

Now it is time to place dough onto the baking paper, make sure you pat the dough tightly together when forming your crust– don’t make it too thick but don’t make it too thin either, you want it just right! Make sure you pat the dough tightly together when forming your crust

Pop into oven and bake for 8 – 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

Now it’s time to build the rest of the pizza (only when the base it golden in colour should you move to this step)! Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. Place it back into the oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.

Once you have taken out of the oven allow to cool for at least 2 minutes before you slide pizza onto a chopping board and cutting up with a super sharp knife or  with a pizza cutter. Remember to keep slices reasonable small so they hold together nicely.

Enjoy your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza!
*Disclaimer – the slices may still be a lil floppy until you get the recipe and cooking times down, but they shouldn’t be crumbly.

This post look familiar? Thats because it is up on MindBodyGreen!! Check it out here

I love lululemon athletica

31 May

Last night the Bondi store Ambassadors, local yoga, fitness studio owners and I was lucky enough to be invited to lululemon athletica Bondi Junction for a sneak peak of their new store before it reopened (today) revealing a bigger and dare I say better space to inspire, shop and stretch us!

photo

After drooling over their current product (watch out credit card!!) we were asked to select a yoga outfit to wear for a 30 minute yoga class with Kelli Prieur (plus another outfit for casual wear), yep I died and went to yogi heaven!!

yoga

Did I mention we mingled to tunes spun by DJ Kid Kenobi and post yoga dined on delicious food and drinks from Brown Paper Bag Nutrition and Wellness – how is that for a fabulous Thursday night?!

brownpaperbag

Here are a couple of pieces I can’t wait to try out this weekend.

LOVE this Run – Rise – And – Shine jacket, warm, water resistant and cute.. what more could I want! Check it here  

Lululemon rise and shine jacket

Every winter wardrobe (whether it be for yoga or nights on the couch…) will need a pair of the True Bliss Pant, yes I may love just because they make me feel like a dancer. No judging.  Check them out here

yoga pantsI’m not going to lie, I have this Energy Bra in more than one colour… check out this and other styles here

bra

Thanks again to the lovely lululemon team for organizing a great night x

Are you stuck waiting?

28 Apr

what are you waiting for?
Sometime I get stuck in this place of waiting. Waiting until we move house, waiting until I feel amazing, waiting until that new job, the new year – the ‘something’ which then signifies a change can take place. Do you ever get this?

For some people it can be waiting to Monday until they start eating healthy again or waiting (and finishing) the chocolate until they begin exercising. It can be as simple as waiting to get the ‘cool’ jars to make your own almond milk or green smoothie, that’s causing your procrastination. Maybe waiting for the right moment to quit your job to follow your dreams. Or waiting to meet that someone special until you can let yourself be truly happy.

That’s a lot of waiting.

Are you guilty of wasting precious moments on toxic thoughts that might be holding you back from present happiness? Just because you are waiting for the perfect moment?

I just caught myself in this exact moment while cleaning the house thinking about how good life will be once I move into my ‘dream home’ with a vege garden, floor boards (no more puppy pee on carpet!!) a 2 minute walk for the beach..oh the cooking I will do, how healthy I will feel, how clean the house will always be, so uncluttered and zen. I bet I won’t have to work as much, oh the adventures that are in store.. (you get the idea).

Reality check – life is awesome right now, and waiting for things to change to that dream scenario no matter how big or small is crazy. Can we honestly keep using that Monday start excuses for ever?

YOU have to create the perfect situation yourself by just doing it, until then it is just a thought that may never eventuate. Think how many opportunities you have lost?!

Me? I might not have that ‘dream house’ right now, but I do live in a pretty amazing apartment that I can jazz up. I can do a spring clean and recycle junk that I don’t need anymore, I can drive to the beach in the mornings for a run and the puppy pee.. well that is a bit tricky but I can get it cleaned and look into getting new flooring put in to keep my sanity.

Now I am big on lists so here are some of the things i have recently ticked off or about to do :

– photo-shoot for new website (done and dusted!! I was waiting and waiting until I looked ‘amazing’ and less camera shy, silly girl!)
– finding graphic designer for website. So much ‘uhming and ahhing’ and wasted time on this. I took the plunge and just went with my gut. Stay tuned for the results!
– I enrolled in another nutation course to continue my education. Yes I am busy but there was never going to be a time when I wasn’t so no time like the present.
– waiting for special occasions to get glammed up. My wardrobe (Lululemon and Nike gear excluded) is seriously getting neglected!!)
– waiting for the weather to be warm to go for a swim. I adore that refreshed totally free few seconds when diving into the water- why wait 9 months to get that feeling?!
– waiting until I use up all my old beauty products so I can use only 100% natural toxic free ones (I have a LOT of products thanks to goodie bags from my days at a record label.. time to give them to a good home!!)

I’d love for you to comment below on something that you have put into the ‘waiting pile’ but are about to tackle!!

No more procrastinating!!

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! 

Why You Should Start Dry Body Brushing Today

15 Mar

dry body brushing
Fast, effective, numerous health benefits – what’s not to love about dry body brushing in the morning?

You may be thinking, Why do I need to add something else to my already busy morning routine? Let me assure you, the extra five minutes this takes is well worth the investment.

Think back to your human biology class (minus the traumatizing exam) and answer these questions: What is the largest organ in the body? What is one of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in daily detoxification? What organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body? When the blood is full of toxic materials, what organ will reflect this with problems? What organ is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to shows signs of imbalance or deficiency?

Answer for all: the skin!

The benefits of dry skin brushing include:
• Listen up ladies: Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. So, rather than take drastic measures like liposuction, how about utilizing the dry skin brushing techniques to help break down unwanted toxins?
• Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with any pesky ingrown hairs.
• It assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively.
• Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin (and it feels pretty great, too!).
• It helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits.
• Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
• And, in my experience, dry body brushing first thing in the morning can actually set up a perfect day! By doing something solely for yourself first thing in the morning, you can develop a beautiful follow-through effect, starting with a healthy breakfast – why ruin all the good work you just did?
Can you try dry body brushing at home?

Good news – you don’t have to book a pricey spa treatment to reap the benefits; this one can be done in your very own bathroom. All you need to do is purchase a natural bristle brush (not one made from nylon or synthetic materials). One with a long handle is also a plus, as it means you can reach all areas of the body.

The directions are pretty simple:
• Start on dry skin before bathing.
• Work in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer, smoother strokes.
• Always begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart – the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction.
• Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back.
• After you’ve finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun-burnt skin, or skin cancer.
• Ensure you shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
• Tip: alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
• Then follow it up with a slick moisturizer to nourish the skin (personally, I’m a fan of coconut oil).
Give it a go for 30 consecutive days and your body will love you for it!

See my original post on Dry Body Brushing here on MindBodyGreen

MindBodyGreen

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!

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