Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Devilled Avocado Eggs

March 22, 2018



Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Italian Meatballs

March 15, 2018



The Secret to Dieting Success? Sleep

March 13, 2018

Sure, eating less is the main driver of weight loss, but nailing the right amount of shut-eye each night helps too

Spring is fast approaching. For many of you, that means a race is on the horizon, so it’s time to turn up your training, dial in your diet, and rebuild your trail legs. But as you begin this performance-minded overhaul of your waking hours, you should also consider the one-third of your day where you do nothing at all: your sleeping hours.

“I often find myself in this dilemma where I could wake up early and go for a run or I could get an extra 20 to 30 minutes of sleep,” says Chris Winter, a sleep researcher who consults for various professional teams and author of The Sleep Solution. “Most days, I’d probably be better off getting the sleep.”

Roughly 40 percent of us don’t get seven or more hours of sleep. But logging shut-eye is associated with better fitness and athletic performance. Winter, for example, conducted a study that showed professional baseball players who didn’t get enough sleep had shorter careers in the majors. One reason may be that sleep helps you recover from hard training. “The lion’s share of growth hormone secretion happens during deep sleep,” says Winter.

And while eating less is generally agreed to be the main driver of weight loss, fixing your approach to sleep may actually be one of the easiest ways to cut weight. The number of sleep hours you get is a strong predictor of what and how much you eat. People who slept five hours or fewer, for example, consumed nearly 700 daily calories more than people who got a full night’s sleep, according to research. That’s about seven pieces of bread, three PowerBars, or a McDonald’s quarter-pounder with fries that can up and vanish from your daily diet.

“When a body is sleepy, you try to eat to stay awake,” Winter says. Blame biology. When you’re sleep-deprived, the appetite-regulating hormone leptin drops and the hunger hormone ghrelin spikes. You’re most likely to crave calorie-dense, high-carb foods—stuff like tortilla chips and granola bars—over vegetables.

Incremental weight loss and muscle gain is more important now than ever as you start to ramp up your training. According to research, most people end the winter nearly five pounds heavier than they started it. That extra flab doesn’t just affect your health—it can kill performance. Data from marathon runners even shows that higher body-fat percentage is tied to slower finishing times, even when you’re talking only five pounds.

So get some sleep. The simplest way is to make your bedroom feel like a cave.

#1. Darken Your Room

If you can see anything at all in your bedroom at night, it’s too bright. Light is the main disruptor of the sleep process, Winter says. The solution, he says, is to buy blackout curtains for your windows and rid electronics from your bedroom (or, at least, put tape over their lights). If it’s still too bright, use a sleeping mask.

#2. Kill the Noise

If you fall asleep to the din of Netflix, you’re setting yourself up to have your sleep interrupted, and that can blunt recovery-enhancing processes like growth hormone release, Winter says. Set your TV on a sleep timer. If your room is still loud—looking at you, apartment dwellers—invest in earplugs.

#3. Turn Down the Thermostat

“There’s new research that says temperature may be just as important as light in controlling sleep patterns,” Winter says. Cooler is better. Aim for 66 degrees: A study found that people who slept in a 66-degree room not only slept better but also boosted their ability to metabolize fats and sugars.


Written by: Michael Easter

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Lemon Fish

March 8, 2018


Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – March 2017

March 1, 2018












The Key to Slowing Down? Mindful, Controlled Breathing.

February 27, 2018

We’re a culture of shallow breathers.
If I were to take a guess, I would say you are almost completely shallow.

I mean, do you actually remember the last time you filled your lungs and your belly with fresh air, and then slowly let the whole lot out again?

Maybe it was this morning during yoga, while admiring your first coffee, or when you first woke up. Perhaps it was last weekend when you finally got to relax during a massage. Maybe it was last month when you sat down to meditate. Or perhaps you don’t remember.

Shallow friend, you’re definitely not alone

In fact, we’re a culture of shallow breathers. “We’re a very stressed society that is experiencing chronic fight-or-flight response most of the time, which leads to short and shallow breathing,” says Tom Cronin, Sydney-based meditation teacher. “The World Health Organisation calls this the epidemic of the 21st century.”

We can go for weeks, months, or sometimes years barely paying any attention to something so critical to our health and wellbeing (and survival… just a thought). All because it’s an easy, automatic reaction that we don’t need to control.

Or do we?

Without mindfulness around our breathing, we’re likely to only ever breathe erratically in and out of our lungs. So yes, we do completely need to control our breathing. Not aggressively or with excessive coercion, simply consciously and regularly.

Breathing is one of the most unique functions our bodies perform

It works automatically, speeding up when we need to move or think quickly, and slowing down when relaxing or sleeping. But it can also be voluntarily controlled, unlike most other automatic functions. We are able to slow it down when we need to… which is one of the most genius features of our whole physically intricate system.

So why the need for control, you ask?

Excellent question.

Over the last few generations, our breathing has become increasingly shallow. Our lifestyles are fast, our jobs are stressful, and the pressure we place on ourselves can be wildly overwhelming. This mild (on a good day) anxiety causes us to constrict our breathing. With each teeny tiny breath, we’re basically strengthening our sympathetic nervous system, keeping us in fight-or-flight mode, all day, every day.

And that’s no good for anyone.

Chronic stress is a vicious, perpetual cycle that can cause high blood pressure, a weaker immune system, anxiety and depression. Resting used to be a source of deep breathing when the body could finally fill up and let it all out. But these days we rarely properly rest. Sure we put our feet up, hit a local café or go for a walk, but our addiction to screens means we usually have our little smartphone friend with us, which takes our breathing straight back to Shallowville.

If we want to give our health and happiness the best chance of thriving, we genuinely need to start paying attention (and putting our phones away for longer periods). “The way we breathe has a big effect on our lives in so many ways,” says Tom. “For something that is our life force, it’s time we gave it more attention and retrain ourselves how to breathe properly.”

Finding zen through the breath

“There are two approaches: Deepen and slow your breathing, and you’ll experience a more relaxed state in the mind and body. This leads to better energy, vitality and virility,” says Tom. “The other way to look at this is to create a relaxed state in the body using meditation and your breathing will naturally become slower and deeper. Either way, the results are the same: More calm, deeper breaths, more energy and better health.”

Every day, try this simple exercise: Breathe in for four to six seconds, hold for four seconds, then breathe out for eight seconds. Repeat until you feel your whole body relax. Practice this exercise every morning before you start your day, and come back to it whenever you feel stressed or anxious. Don’t forget to gently fill your belly and expand your ribs before you let it all out.

Every day, try this simple exercise: Breathe in for four to six seconds, hold for four seconds, then breathe out for eight seconds.

“Meditation helps because it leads to a shift from sympathetic nervous system state to parasympathetic nervous system state. This will naturally change your breathing,” says Tom.

It may take one deep breath into your belly and diaphragm to rediscover how good a deep breath feels all through your body. Or it may take some time as you re-train your muscles to let loose. Either way, it’s an important exercise that will change the way your body works, the way you think, and how you feel.

Whether you start with conscious breathing moments throughout your day, or find a yoga, tai chi or meditation practice that naturally slows down your breathing for you, you won’t be so shallow for long.

About the author

Kris Franken is a soul-led wordsmith, highly intuitive writer and editor, untamable foodie and wholehearted mama. She adores tree hugging, salted caramel, green tea, meditation and yoga, and laughs like it’s a competitive sport.

Article sourced here:

Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – February 2018

February 1, 2018


Empowering the Coffs Coast to be the
Happiest & Healthiest Community in Australia!

#strongertogether  #peoplefirst #exerciseismedicine


Here’s what’s going on in February at Coffs Coast Health Club & beyond to help you find your routine in 2018!








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Find Us Here

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Party On, Enjoy Yourself, and Stay Healthy With These Holiday Tips

December 10, 2017

There’s no need to skip those Christmas parties just because you’re trying to maintain your weight during the holidays. These 25 strategies will help you stay on track while celebrating with the best of them.

  1. Eat a small, healthy snack before you go to the party, so you’re not starving when you get there. An apple with almond butter or fruit with Greek yoghurt are great, healthy and filling options.
  2. Bring a healthy appetiser to the party, so you’ll know there’ll be at least one option you can load on your plate.
  3. Check out all the buffet options before you start filling your plate, so you know which appetisers are your must haves.
  4. When at the appetiser table, opt for lean proteins and fresh veggies first to fill you up before splurging on a less-healthy option.
  5. If the appetiser is fried, steer clear, or think of it as your treat.
  6. Use a small plate when picking appetiser options.
  7. Alternate each cocktail, glass of wine, or beer with a glass of water, so you slow down how many empty calories you’re imbibing all night.
  8. Use low-calorie mixers like soda water, not sugary juices, to mix with your cocktail.
  9. Make smart decisions the day leading up to a party, so you can relax a bit at night. Load up on healthy, filling foods that keep you full without making you go over your goals for the day.
  10. Walk away from the food table so you don’t graze.
  11. Move your workouts to the morning so you aren’t constantly skipping sessions when you have evening plans.
  12. Know your calorie counts in popular cocktails, so you can make smart decisions.
  13. Choose cut vegetables to dip rather than chips or bread. You’ll save hundreds of calories without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
  14. Sip your drink slowly so you aren’t constantly refilling your glass with empty calories.
  15. Choose a brut (dry) Champagne over other alcoholic beverages. Brut Champagne usually contains only 65 calories per glass.
  16. Add a five-minute workout into your party prep routine. You’ll feel good knowing you raised your heart rate and sweat out a few calories before indulging.
  17. Think positive: before you go into a party, psych yourself up about the healthy choices you’re about to make.
  18. Dance! There’s nothing like burning calories while having fun.
  19. If there’s a dessert you’re dying to have, split it with a friend.
  20. Vow to have only a certain number of drinks before switching to water or cutting yourself off.
  21. Give yourself a curfew if you find that you can’t resist all the goodies the party offers.
  22. Know how to pour a glass of wine. Most people pour too much into a glass, meaning you may be consuming more calories than you are calculating. A serving of wine is 150-ml; you should be able to pour five glasses from one 750-ml bottle.
  23. Always pour wine with your glass on the table. You’ll be able to gauge how much is in your glass more accurately.
  24. Even if you’re enjoying passed appetisers and socializing while you eat, try to eat mindfully. Don’t go back to the buffet unless you are hungry.
  25. If you find yourself overindulging, don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow’s another day to make smarter choices.


Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Cucumber & Salmon Appetisers

November 23, 2017

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Here’s a fresh appetiser that goes down a treat. Why just use cucumber, though? Use the filling in mushrooms or tomatoes, or as a side with breakfast eggs. Makes 16 (as an appetiser)


1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
250g cooked salmon
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 Tbsp chopped chives
to taste salt and pepper
1 large cucumber
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch chives


  1. Peel strips of skin from the cucumber to make stripes of green and white. Slice into 2cm discs.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise, paprika and Tabasco in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl with the shallots, chives, salt and pepper, and gently mix in the spicy mayonnaise. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Use a melon baller to scoop out half the seeds from each cucumber slice to make a small cup.
  5. Divide the salmon mix between the cucumber cups, and garnish each with a cherry tomato slice and a couple of chive tops.