Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Inspiratons Coffs Harbour’

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Tomato & Fennel Gratin

March 10, 2016


Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Incidental Activity

February 16, 2016

Do you know if we all just moved more , then we would be slimmer, fitter, less stressed and more confident.  Did you know that if you just did 30 minutes of activity a day, even if you break that activity down into 3 ten minute blocks you would be slimmer, fitter, less stressed and more confident.

So to do that all you need to do is to get smart and add some movement incidentally into your life. For instance use the stairs not the elevator or escalator. Park further from work or the shops so you can get a few minutes walk to and from your destination.  Take your grocery bags in to your house,  one bag at a time to make more trips.  Hand wash your car instead of using the drive through so you burn up more energy.  Walk your dog twice a day and watch him benefit as well.  If you arrive early for an appointment, go for a walk around the block rather than sitting and reading magazines in the waiting room.
All this extra movement will add up and after a couple of weeks you will notice the benefits.  Let’s see how you rate with your incidental activities.

Give yourself a point for each time during last week you did the following:
Used the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator (1 point)
Took your grocery bags into your house one at a time (1 point per bag)
Parked the car further from the shops and walked (2 points)
Walked around the block because you were early for an  appointment (2 points)
Hand washed the car (2 points)
Walked your dog twice a day (2 points)
Went for a walk with a friend rather than sat and had coffee. (3 points)

So let’s say each point equalled 5 minutes and you did each of the above suggested incidental activities last week.  You added 65 minutes of extra activity into your week.  Minutes you didn’t really even have to think about. Minutes that have boosted your metabolism and decreased your stress.  Minutes that will make a big difference to you long term, if you do them regularly.

Now all you have to do is work out how you can get 30 of those minutes, or 3 lots of 10 minute blocks, into your day to be making the biggest difference to your  health and long term longevity.

On the flip side you can see how when we become more sedentary and take these movement opportunities out of our days, weeks and lives, we become fatter, lazier and stressed.  Thank goodness those of you who read this article think smart and are always on the lookout to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
So get smart and give Glen or Jacqui a call at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 for a free activity session or chat.

7 Ways to Stay Calm in the Midst of Chaos & Stress

January 30, 2016

How To Rejuvenate, Stay Calm Amidst Chaos and Extreme Stress

how to rejuvenateSometime life navigates chaotic, stressful times – like a wild ride on a runaway roller coaster. You become depleted due to relationship issues, or problems that erupt due to your children (no matter how old they are). Perhaps you’re sagging due to a festering illness, either your own or an illness of a close family member – a parent, a sibling, or a child. Or you face the sting of losing your job, your home or even your adored pet. Your mind is galloping, your world is reeling.

How can you carry on when you face drastic changes in your life and a grave sense of loss?  Debilitating fear envelops you. As a result, many people fall into negative behaviours such as excessive drinking, gambling, binge eating or illicit drugs to banish troubles in order to cope. These tactics, initially a way of bolting from the problem, eventually culminate in other devastating problems later on.

The following are some strategies to keep you balanced, calm, even in times of extreme stress and chaos. No, you will not banish stressful events, however, your coping abilities and confidence will be strengthened and enhanced as you become more grounded, in control and in charge.

7 Effective Stress Management Tips for a Calmer You

  1. Realize you can’t control everything. Some things have a life of their own and must take their own course. Pray, cry, shriek or stamp – then reflect upon what you can and cannot control. Notice the underlying root of your stress – is it fear, anxiety for the future, a feeling of ‘it’s not fair!’, or is it grief?
  2. Embrace help from someone you trust. Call a professional psychologist, a good friend or relative, a religious leader or your doctor or other health professional. Know you will be okay no matter what happens.
  3. Don’t hibernate. If possible, get outside for a walk and envelop nature. Immediately stress chemicals are dissolved when you move your body and surround yourself with natural elements.
  4. Instead of drinking coffee or alcohol that tend to dehydrate, overexcite or make mayhem – drink water or green tea to energize you. Instead of binge eating, protect your immune system and banish bad moods with a protein snack paired with a carbohydrate such as cheese and crackers, a turkey sandwich, eggs and toast, nuts and fruit. The amino acids in the protein will pleasantly reward your brain as well as nourish it. Pairing protein with a carbohydrate will revive and calm you at the same time and help you plot your course of action. Carbohydrates include potato, rice, whole grain bread or cracker, vegetables or fruit.
  5. Luxuriate with deep breathing techniques to overcome muscle tension and relax the mind and body. Sit quietly, with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Notice your breath going in and out. For further repair and relaxation, take a slow, deep belly breath. Count to 4 slowly as you inhale and exhale. Think “I Am Calm” as you breathe out, giving your mind the vacation it needs. Repeat for a few minutes. Music that soothes you enhances the relaxation.
  6. Other ways to relax include rejuvenating with a massage or soaking in a tub. Slow down and renew by being more mindful of all your actions, especially when driving. Recoup by resting when you’re tired.
  7. At this time, resolve to review your commitments. Pare them down to protect yourself against feeling suffocated or overburdened. Practice saying “NO”. Don’t self-destruct with overcommit, even if it makes you feel guilty! Enlist help. When you’re in a chaotic period in your life, suppress the urge to do everything yourself.
    Article sourced from:

21 tips to stay healthy over the festive season

December 6, 2015


1.  P-a-r-t-y wisely

You may have a stack of party invitations but you don’t need to attend them all. Too many of us wear busyness like a badge of honour, when really it just saps our energy. Choose the most important events to attend and only go to these.

2.  Sign-up for fitness

Maintain your fitness (and health) throughout December by registering for a fitness event in early 2015. This will motivate you to stay active during the party season.

3.  Succeed with salads

US nutritionist Barbara Rolls suggests filling up on low-kilojoule food such as salad to reduce the amount you eat when out.

4.  Exchange drinks for kilometres

Make a deal with yourself before you enjoy a drink with friends: for every alcoholic drink you consume, you must walk or run one kilometre the following day. A good incentive not to drink too much!

5.  Start eating last

Research shows eating out with seven or more people will see you eat 50% more than if you had eaten on your own. Solve this problem by being the slowest eater – be the last to start eating and the last to stop.

6.  Reflect and re-evaluate

The end of the year should be a time to reflect on your achievements throughout the year and to conduct a re-evaluation of your goals. This will give you a sense of self-fulfilment, self-worth and purpose, which are both important for a happy and healthy mind.

7.  Dance the night away

Put on those dancing shoes! Dancing for one hour burns approximately 1200kJ. Parties can be more than shovelling food and alcohol into your mouth – make it a fun aerobics session with your friends and kids.

8.  Be sensible with your weight

December is not the month to focus on weight loss. Focus instead on weight maintenance and you’ll enjoy the festive season without the guilt.

9.  Try the slow food revolution

The slow food revolution is about knowing your food – where it has come from and how it is grown. This festive season, head to your local farmers’ markets and stock up on fresh wholefoods.

10.  Active catch-up

Nobody said Christmas functions have to revolve around a buffet or a bar, so change your Christmas party to a day of round-robin tennis or even a game of lawn bowls. Get everyone to bring a healthy dish to share.

11.  Downsize the plates

Be like Goldilocks and eat off the smallest plate you can find. Research shows the larger the plate, the more food dished up and the more food eaten. If you’re at a buffet, be sure to keep an eye on the serving utensils, too – a larger serving spoon can see you dish up 15% more food that if you had used a smaller spoon.

12.  Wear tight clothes

Skinny jeans or other items of clothing that fit you snugly are a great device for avoiding overeating. It’s extremely uncomfortable trying to sit and move in tight clothes when your stomach is almost bursting out. Your waist circumference is also a great indicator of your risk of developing ill health or disease.

13.  Cut laps at the shopping centre

Christmas shopping cannot be avoided, so work with it. Throw on the joggers, and pace your way down your shopping list. Bonus points for parking in the furthest spot from the supermarket entrance – in fact, this should be your goal every time you shop.

14.  Get enough shut-eye

With all the partying, don’t forget the importance of sleep. Sleep is time for your body to rest and repair, and inadequate sleep can interfere with your internal body clock. Growing research shows a link between a lack of sleep and weight-gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk of accidents. Aim for between 7–8 hours sleep each night.

15.  Use tall, skinny glasses

Reduce the amount of kilojoules you drink by choosing tall, skinny glasses. A study by Brian Wansink, a US professor in consumer behaviour and nutritional science, found that people pour 20–30% more alcohol into wide, short tumblers than tall slender glasses holding the same volume. Similar results have also been found when pouring breakfast juice.

16.  Use (wo)man power

Burn kilojoules in the kitchen by preparing your Christmas meals from scratch. Make your own mince tarts or cranberry sauce. Not only will you burn kilojoules while you cook, you’ll get a fantastic sense of accomplishment and will save money too. For extra fun, involve the whole family.

17.  Take some ‘me’ time

Remain sane throughout December by taking time out to relax and revive. Once a week, schedule in some alone time. You’ll feel much better for it.

18.  Eat your favourite Christmas foods

Enjoying your favourite Christmas foods is a must! Indulge in the mince tarts, tantalise your taste buds with the trifle and crunch through the crackle. Chocolates, lollies and chips are available all year round so don’t go crazy – limit yourself to 1–2 of your favourites, then leave the rest for someone else.

19.  Absorb the fat

If all the finger-food at the party is deep-fried or dripping in oil, grab a few napkins and dab the food dry. Removing some of the excess fat will remove some of the kilojoules, too. Need proof that this works? Have a good look at the napkin when you’re done – all that fat could be in your stomach instead.

20.  Be prepared

Go to the party with a plan. Your plan should include the number of drinks you wish to drink, an idea of the food you intend to eat, and the intention of enjoying the company more than the food. You don’t have to be obsessive, but some forward planning can help you manage your weight and control alcohol consumption.

21.  Don’t let one bad meal ruin your week

Don’t let one big meal or an over-indulgent party derail your health for the rest of the week (or year!). The key to maintaining good health is to get back on track from the very next meal. If you’ve had a massive lunch, have a salad or omelette for dinner. If you’ve had too much to drink, resist the fry-up for breakfast and get back on track with some wholegrain toast and fruit. One meal isn’t enough to make your clothes tighter, whereas a whole week of bad eating really can have an impact.

– See more at:

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise as a Tonic

November 24, 2015

exercise tonic

Like a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, a dose of exercise is the best tonic for mental (and physical) wellness.

Lets put aside the obvious medical conditions that we already know are benefitted by exercise and look at another condition –  menopause.

Menopause  is a very challenging time for women with a lot of hormonal, physical and mental changes occurring at once without warning and often leaving the woman with no idea when they will end.  Trying to ‘stay sane’ during this period of a woman’s life is how some women describe their battle with a body that is not doing what it has done all their lives. Menopause brings with it a body that is laying down fat in different areas; a body that the woman doesn’t often recognise as the one she’s ‘grown up’ with.   The benefits of exercise on our mental state during this time, can have an overriding effect on the physical symptoms that may present.

Exercise, relaxation and breathing exercises assist in helping the menopausal woman feel that she is taking back some control of the unpredictability of her menopausal symptoms.  The relaxation and the breathing give her strategies to deal with the mood swings and hot flushes. The exercise (and also dietary guidance) assists with the changes in her body weight and body fat placement and the stretching helps relieve discomfort in joints and muscles that often feel stiffer through this stage of life.

Never underestimate the benefit of a walk in the park or on the beach or just around the block, a good stretching session,  and/or an upside down yoga class.  Be proactive and make exercise your tonic to wellness.

At Coffs Coast Health Club we can really help you achieve the benefits I’ve described in this article. Give Glen or Jacqui a call on 66586222 for a free chat and let’s see how we can help you.


November 22, 2015

exercise braing

Complete health is more than attending to our diet and getting physically fit – it’s about being brain fit as well. Because when we feel happy, focused and confident, everything functions better. Brain fitnessis about having a fit and healthy brain that allows us to perform at our very best, in all circumstances.

Life is getting busier, faster and more complex. Staying at the top of our game requires a high level of mental agility, flexibility and innovative thinking. The problem is, up until now we haven’t given our brains much attention. However, the new brain science has shown how taking care of our brain and using it in the way it’s designed for boosts mental performance.

Brain fitness (like physical fitness) takes some time and effort to achieve – after all, we are working with our neurobiology. Following a brain fitness program reveals the benefits of a sharper, more resilient mind very quickly. The good thing about our brain is the more we use it, the better it gets.

There are five things that you can put in place immediately to start to lift your own level of brain fitness.

1. Refuel smart

Topping up our cognitive energy means not skipping meals and including fresh, unprocessed food at every meal. The diet most extensively studied for better brain health is the Mediterranean style diet. Think leafy green vegetables, three portions a week of oily, cold-water carnivorous fish, other lean proteins, deeply pigmented fruits and berries, some seeds and nuts, whole grains, olive oil and a little bit of top quality dark chocolate (70% minimum cocoa solids). Who said healthy food has to be boring?

2. Sleep right

Cognitive fatigue is a menace. We can’t concentrate, we make more mistakes and we get cranky. Long days, heavy workloads, working late or starting extra early all add to our cognitive load. We fall into bed longing for sleep, which then eludes us as our brain decides it’s party-time and keeps us thinking all night long.

Maintaining good sleep habits with 7-8 hours of good quality, uninterrupted sleep is essential for neuronal health, emotional regulation, the formation of long-term memory and getting the gist what we have learned. Plus it helps for better recall of information at a later date. Putting in place a regular bedtime routine and keeping to it is a great start.

3. Give your brain a break

Taking work breaks during our day isn’t being lazy; it’s about working with our brain the way it was designed. We have peaks and troughs of energy cycling through 90-minute periods during our day. Taking a 20-minute break between each of these allows us to get more done, at a higher level, in less time and with energy left to spare. Take a look at your daily schedule and see when you can next give your brain the break it deserves.

4. Book a room to think

Foggy thinking from having too much on our mind reduces our ability to focus, solve problems, make good decisions or think creatively. Scheduling some thinking space every day is the perfect way to pause, hone attention and gain clarity of thought. Whether it is a daily mindfulness or other meditation practice, listening to some beautiful music or connecting with some green space, 20 minutes is all it takes to set you up for a great day of thinking.

Where is your favourite thinking space?

5. Move it

It’s hard to imagine getting fit without some form of physical exercise being involved. 30 minutes daily of aerobic exercise gives the brain its best workout and primes us for optimum performance.

Exercise boosts attention, cognition and the production of neurochemicals including BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor). Not only does BDNF support neuronal health and function, it promotes neurogenesis – the production, survival and maturation of new neurons. Plus, exercise helps to lift our mood, which opens up our mind to new ways of doing things, to learn more effectively and keep us mentally well.

Being brain fit isn’t just nice to have – it’s an essential for better brain health, better thinking and greater happiness.

Article sourced from:

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Chicken with Coconut Curry Coating

October 22, 2015


Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – BBQ Beef

August 6, 2015


Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter Vinaigrette

July 23, 2015