Archive for October, 2014

Healthy Inpirations Recipe of the Week – Pecan Crusted Pork Steaks

October 30, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPecan Crusted Pork Steaks – Serves 4


  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp soy-sauce
  • ½ cup ground pecans
  • 4 pork porterhouse steaks
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Combine the flaxseeds, salt and paprika on a plate. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk the egg and soy sauce. Place the pecans on a plate.
  2. Dip each steak into the flaxseed mixture, then the egg mixture, and then into the pecans to coat.
  3. Heat a large skillet or frypan over moderate heat and add the oil. Cook the steaks for 4 minutes, turn and cook a further 4 minutes.
  4. Serve with steamed greens.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Boomers Cycling Boom

October 26, 2014


They say life is like riding a bicycle, if you stop pedalling you’ll fall off.  That analogy speaks a lot about staying active as we get older.  As an avid cyclist I get around a bit and I have noticed more, older adults are out there cycling. Whether they are the steady paced riders down Hogbin Drive, the brave riders powering up Bruxner Hill or the social cyclists enjoying a post ride coffee at an outdoor cafe, the boomers cycling boom is booming.    So, this week, let me help you out with a few cycling tips if you ride a bike or are considering riding one.
Safety first, so get yourself checked out (eg Drs agreement) and your bike checked out before you start. These days a wider seat may be more comfortable and provide extra balance.  If balance is a big issue look into getting a 3 wheeler!  You will get most of the benefits of cycling a 2 wheeler without the fear of toppling over.  Learn to love helmet hair – helmets are not only the most important piece of cycling attire but it is also illegal not to wear one. What you wear from there, is up to you but make it is bright so you can be easily seen.  If you need a bit more padding in the nether region you could wear those very attractive padded bike pants or use a removable padded bike seat.   Shoes don’t have to be fancy cycle shoes but just make sure your lace ups, are laced up, and laces tucked away.
Unless you are a seasoned rider, stick to bike paths and times of the day where your vision is not affected by dim light, too many shadows dancing across your path or the sun blazing into your eyes.  Sunglasses, a hat with a visor or a visor attached to your helmet, work well so add these to your cycling kit.
Attaching a bell or horn to your bike will help people know you are there.  Following cycle etiquette and sounding the bell or horn as you pass someone on the path will help prevent accidents to you or them.
Choose your journey according to your experience and level of fitness. You can cover a lot of kms when cycling – don’t forget you need to get home again. Cycle with a friend for the social aspect and for safety.  Don’t forget your mobile phone, towel and water.
Life is like a 10 speed bike, most of us have gears we will never use so if all else fails come and pedal on one of our stationery bikes at the health club. Give Glen a call at Coffs Coast Health Club for a free ride on 66586222.

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Guacamole Stuffed Burgers

October 23, 2014

imagesServes 8


  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 900g ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 1 small green capsicum, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt


1.      Heat the grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice, shallot and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

2.      In a large bowl, mix together the meat with the garlic, coriander, capsicum, chili powder, cumin and salt.

3.      Divide the ground meat into 8 even mounds. Split each mound in two and form two thin burger patties, one patty slightly bigger than the other.

4.      Dollop a spoonful of avocado in the middle of the smaller patty, spreading it out slightly but making sure to leave a little rim around the edge of the meat.

5.      Set the larger patty on top and fold/pinch the edges together and shape the burger in your hands to form a tight seal around the guacamole.

6.      Repeat with the remaining burgers.

7.      Grill the burgers 5 to 7 minutes a side or until cooked to your liking.

8.      Serve with hot sauce or salsa on top, alongside a green salad.

Over 50’s Fitness & Health by Glen Barnett – Dementia

October 21, 2014

Dementia is a broad term used to describe a large group of illnesses that cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning, including loss of memory and the ability to reason and learn.

Dementia mostly affects people over the age of 80 years, although it can also affect people in their 40s and 50s. Despite the fact that getting older increases your chances of developing dementia, it’s important to remember that most older people do not get dementia. 

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for between 50%-70% of all cases. This is a degenerative illness that affects the brain, making brain cells shrink or disappear so that certain information cannot be recalled or assimilated. Vascular dementia  is the second most common type of dementia, a broad term used to describe dementia associated with problems of circulation of blood to the brain.

There are also other conditions that may cause or be associated with dementia, including AIDS, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, frontal temporal lobal degeneration, dementia with Lewy bodies, Down syndrome, brain tumours, brain haemorrhages and infections of the brain, exposure to toxins, certain types of head injuries and alcohol related dementia.
About a third of people with Alzheimer’s disease have a close relative who has or has had dementia. However, in most cases dementia occurs when there is no family history.
There are a number of conditions that produce symptoms similar to dementia. If you suspect dementia, it’s important to get a medical diagnosis as early as possible to ensure that you or the person you care for receives early access to treatment and support. There are many benefits of early diagnosis, including the ability to delay the progression of dementia and manage symptoms and changes as they occur.

One of the main symptoms of dementia is memory loss. Dementia is different to forgetful – for example, normal forgetfulness may include misplacing the car keys, but a person with dementia may lose the keys and then forget what they’re used for. Another common symptom is behaviour changes.
In the early phase people may display symptoms to us in hindsight.  With a moderate level these same symptoms become more severe, and in advanced dementia, a person may become severely impaired and require total care. (There is too large a list of symptoms to name them all.) It’s important to remember that people with dementia still retain their sense of touch and hearing, as well as their ability to respond to emotion.

At present there is no cure for most types of dementia, but some medications and alternative treatments have been found to relieve a variety of the symptoms for some people, for a period of time.
For more information contact Glen at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 or

Surviving the HSC

October 19, 2014


Practical advice for the whole family

If your child is studying for the HSC, you’re probably feeling the stress too. Many parents want to help but don’t want to interfere.

As well as pre-exam tension, there are other common factors that can make life seem even more challenging for the whole family.

Year 12 is often the year when kids:

  • lose interest in school
  • have no plans for after the HSC
  • develop an intense relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • get their driver’s licence
  • experiment with legal or illegal drugs
  • have a part-time job
  • are a member of a sporting team
  • develop an eating disorder
  • suffer from depression.

If any of these concerns sound familiar, don’t despair. You’re not alone – and this won’t last forever.

How you can help

Richard Cracknell, counsellor and district guidance officer at Inverell High School advises that “the most obvious forms of support parents can offer are the practical, physical things,” and recommends parents:

  • Provide a good place to study, that’s quiet, comfortable, with good ventilation, good lighting, adequate desk or table space and free from distractions such as TV, noise, a telephone, interesting conversations, little brothers and sisters.
  • Provide healthy, balanced meals.
  • Encourage sleep and regular exercise.
  • Encourage them to avoid late night parties and alcohol consumption.

Less obvious, but just important, is giving your child the support they need in the lead-up to exams, which can be hard when emotions run high.

Tips to remember

  • Be supportive and encouraging.
  • Highlight strengths and successes. Encourage your child not to dwell on failures, but to see them as “mistakes”, which can actually be something they can learn and benefit from.
  • Appreciate your child maybe feeling very stressed, even if it’s not obvious to you. Many kids fear letting their family down so beware of setting unrealistic expectations. Some worry they can’t do as well as a sibling, or friend. Many Year 12 kids are feeling overwhelmed about what lies ahead: leaving home, leaving lifelong friends, the prospect of having to live in a new city.
  • Understand people under pressure become supersensitive and explosive from time to time. Family members are usually the first targets. Try not to overreact.
  • Be realistic in your expectations as to where the HSC leads. Not all HSC students will go on to university – but they can still have a wealth of excellent and satisfying career options. If they don’t get the HSC marks they needed and still really want to go on to tertiary education later, there are many other pathways. Interestingly, the success rate of mature age students is much higher than for those who go straight from school.
  • Encourage your child to seek help from teachers or the school counsellor if they are having any difficulty with subjects, study organisation, stress or anxiety about examinations.
  • Encourage a healthy balance between work and leisure. Some times kids need a total break from everything for a weekend  or so, to recharge their batteries.
  • Take an interest in what your child is doing, if they’ll allow you to (some won’t). This can include the subjects or topics being studied, how their study timetables and programs have been organised and their leisure pursuits. (Note: “Taking an interest in” does not mean interfering.)
  • Remember the occasional hug and “I love you” don’t go astray, even when they are 18 years old.
  • Encourage and allow your child to be as independent as you can possibly stand. The more independent your child is in meeting the demands of Year 12, the better prepared they will be to succeed at a tertiary level or in the workforce.

Just before exams:

  • Don’t stress about the little things like leaving lights on, leaving the lid off the toothpaste and not doing chores.
  • Don’t panic when they announce on the evening before the examination that they know nothing. (Reassure them, even if you think they could be right. “Just do the best you can. We know you’re giving it your best shot.” is a good standby.)
  • Avoid nagging, which doesn’t mean you can’t give a nudge or gentle reminder from time to time.
  • Encourage confidence by reassuring your child. If you have doubts, keep them to yourself.

According to Richard Cracknell, all parents make mistakes, and we need to bear in mind that we’re human too.

Don’t feel too badly when you forget not to nag, when you get picky, and complain bitterly that your child has the time to attend the 18th birthday party of every Year 12 student, but doesn’t have time to help with the washing up.

As parents we sometimes can’t help being over-involved and from time to time we also feel the pressure of Year 12.

Know this is a temporary stage, just like the newborn, toddler and adolescent stages you’ve already negotiated together.

Article sourced here:

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Chicken & Fig Salad with Croutons

October 16, 2014


Over 50’s Fitness & Health by Glen Barnett – Cruising Health Tips

October 14, 2014

Going on a cruise is a great way to fit in some time off and really relax. Unfortunately we tend to come back with little more baggage than we left with, usually around our waist, and hips, and thighs, and… need I go on?
So to combat this I have designed a list of how to NOT get fat on a cruise.
Here’s the plan:
1–Stay out of the lifts. Aim to not set foot in the  lifts. Trust me, if you use the stairs every single time you have to go up five floors because you forgot your sun glasses, you’ll feel it in your legs and burn up those calories.
2–Skip the breakfast buffet.  You can go to the sit-down breakfast, order something sensible, and feel less like you’re eating at a trough. Allow yourself a day at the buffet if you like, but every day is setting yourself up for rapid weight gain?
3–Find the track. There’s usually one deck that has a walking/jogging path marked out. Find out when you can use this and off you go. You can also download an audio book or music on your iPod before you leave home, and you’ll be entertained while getting your daily activity.
4–Make good use of your off-ship time.  Sign on for an active excursion or make your own. Go for a walk to enjoy the scenery or hire a bike and explore on a ride. This could end up being a highlight of your holiday and it will beat heading to another t-shirt and souvenir shop.
5–Share desserts.  You don’t need more than a bite anyway, and if you share, you can try more than one.
6–Stay sober.  We all know some people who think holiday is synonymous with a drunken bender but this is no good for your health at all. Getting drunk means you’re consuming all the calories in the drinks, plus you’re more likely to overeat.  Bad combination.
7–Remember that there will be more food tomorrow.  If you can afford to go on a holiday, you are probably not at risk of starvation.  The food will be there when you get up in the morning, and it’ll be there when you get home, too.  It’s not necessary to eat everything in sight.
Most important, you are on holidays. So ensure you don’t stress about the whole calorie thing. Just don’t over indulge and stay active. Have a great time and enjoy the experience.

For more healthy and fit holiday tips call Glen at Coffs Coast Health Club on 6658 6222.