SAVOURY PANCAKE IDEA TO USE UP YOUR EXCESS VEGIES

Have you ever found yourself with some cabbage and stuck for what to do with it? Sure you could make sauerkraut or an asian noodle salad, but heres a little something different. A take on a traditional Japanese savoury pancake dish.

Okonomiyaki.jpg

We regularly enjoy okonomiyaki either for breakfast or dinner. It is super easy, and you can even use the below recipe as a base & add extra veggies if you like. All veggies I used were fresh from my Food Fanatics Keto Box.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup flour (plain flour / spelt flour)
  • 2-3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1-2 shredded carrots
  • Sat & pepper to season

Sauce (optional but delicious)

  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil

METHOD

  • Finely chop the cabbage, grate carrot and add to a bowl
  • Stir through flour
  • Whisk the eggs in a seperate bowl
  • Stir the eggs into the mix until well combined. Batter should be sticky and hold together.
  • Lightly oil a fry pan and place some mixture in, spreading it into a 'pancake' shape.
  • Flip pancake once golden brown
  • Serve with a side of avocado and okonomiyaki sauce.

To serve I love to add some avocado to the side and a dash of the sauce. Both are optional, but help to add an extra nutrient and flavour hit.

Enjoy!

Brooke x

BANANA BREAD - THAT THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN ENJOY

This banana bread recipe is one of my biggest hits, both within my household and with clients. It contains no refined sugars, is gluten free and perfect for that on-the-go snack, to pack in the kids lunch box for school or for that fussy toddler.

Banana bread.jpg

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 x ripe bananas
  • 6 x eggs
  • 4 x pitted dates (optional)
  • 2 x teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  • Place all ingredients except for coconut flour and chia seeds into a high-speed mixer and blend well.
  • Add in the coconut flour and chia seeds and mix through.
  • Allow the mix to stand for 10-15 minutes to allow for the flour and chia seeds to expand.
  • Place mixture into a lined baking tin and bake in oven for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Allow to cool, serve with butter or almond spread. 

If you make this recipe and you and the family love it, be sure to share it & tag me on Facebook or Instagram @balancefitnessandnutrition. I'm sure you'll make this a baking staple just as I have.

Enjoy! 

Brooke x

 

7 GIFT IDEAS FOR THE HEALTHY, HAPPY WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE

We are really getting to the pointy end of the year now and if you are anything like me, you may still have a few (or many) 'gifts to buy' on your to-do list, despite your best intentions to have all of your Christmas shopping complete by now! 

Fear not! I have come to your rescue with my top Christmas gift ideas. From stocking fillers to your secret Santa gifts, there is something for all.

When it comes for buying for men, that shit is hard! Unless you want to fork out on a motorbike, surfboard, WAECO, drone or some other you-beaut bloke gift you'll generally have to stick to the socks, jocks, shirts and cologne categories (nothing wrong with those!).

When it comes to females we are easily pleased! There is a plethora of gifts you could get us which we would love. But if you are stuck on what to buy for your best mate, Sister, Mum, Nan, Granny, Aunty, Cousin or any special lady in your life - here are six items any health loving, sun seeking, fitness enthusing woman would love!  All of these products are tried, tested and loved by me (in alphabetical order):

BALANCE FITNESS & NUTRITION GIFT VOUCHER

I had to throw this one in there. It's a safe bet and can be used for a nutrition and/or training plan, to join up to my STRIVE program, PT sessions, BFN merchandise and more! For any amount starting from $55 and valid for six months. Email me to arrange your gift voucher today!

IMG_2365 copy.jpg

INIKA ORGANICS

INIKA Organics is the #1 certified organic make-up brand, trusted worldwide and the makeup of choice for stylishly natural women everywhere. This is now all that my make-up kit is comprised of and I love this brand! Gift vouchers are also available, but if you had to ask me or wanted to give a physical gift, my top three picks are the BB cream (an absolute favourite), Baked Mineral Bronzer and Long Lash Vegan Mascara. For the healthy, eco-conscious lady in your life, know that she'll love anything from their range.  https://www.inikaorganic.com/au/

IMG_2364 copy.jpg

MOVE YOUR BODY

Be it activewear, swimwear, granola or fitness accessories - Move Your Body is a one stop shop when it comes to health and wellbeing. With one very driven and passionate lady behind the brand, MYB is all about every size, every shape, every body (so there really is something for EVERY woman in your life). Be it online or in store check them out for a gift voucher or latest luxe activewear. My latest lusts are the Abi & Joseph Tied Up Tank, Vie Active Charcoal Vine Tight and CadenShae Tank in Blush. 

https://www.moveyourbodyfitness.com.au

IMG_2363 copy.jpg

POLAR

POLAR make both stylish and practical candy for the fitness lovers arm. I have always been a big fan of heart rate monitors for a number of reasons (which will be tackled in a soon-to-be published blog), and a loyal POLAR lover. They are great for tracking distance from the novice to the experienced runner, activity levels, monitor sleep, check your calories burnt, recovery time and so much more! With products ranging to suit those that are after a 'lifestyle' friendly watch right through to pro level. My current top picks for these products would be the M200 GPS running watch and M600 smart watch. The easy to use M200 is a waterproof running watch with wrist-based heart rate, integrated GPS and 24/7 activity tracking, and great value for money. If you have a little bigger budget, the M600 is a sleek, stylish smart watch that provides all of the functionality of a great heart rate monitor, all whilst keeping you connected. You can also receive $50 off of the M600 until the 31st December online at POLAR. 

https://www.polar.com/au-en

IMG_2362 copy.jpg

THE SILVER WREN

Specialising in meaningful, handcrafted and personalised jewellery, from silver and gold to rose gold. There is a metal to match us all. I now own a number of pieces from this unique brand and love each one. My top picks would be the disc necklaces, I got mine personalised with a wave to symbolise my love for the ocean, coastal living and sunny adventures. Michelle and her team will be sure to look after and you'll most probably end up a repeat customer life myself!

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/TheSilverWren

IMG_2010 copy.png

WE ARE FEEL GOOD

These babies make GREAT stocking fillers and will also get plenty of use over your summer holidays! WAFG are a WA owned and based business that aim to produce the world’s best broad spectrum sunscreen with the best possible ingredients to do the job. Whilst their range isn't organic or natural, it is SPF50+, free of parabens, oxybenzone, PABA and preservatives. I don't know about you, but for me protection factor and affordability are a must - particularly if you go through sunscreen at the rate in which our little family does! My top three picks are the PAWPAW, Sensitive Sunscreen and Coconut Sunscreen. They suit our active, outdoorsy, practical lifestyle perfectly, as they will yours!

https://www.wearefeelgoodinc.com.au

IMG_2360 copy.jpg

WOMEN'S HEALTH & FITNESS MAG

Whether it be the January edition or a yearly subscription that is gifted, you cannot go wrong with this! WH&F mag is my favourite health and fitness magazine out there and I love being able to contribute to it on a regular basis. With a tag line like 'It's a look, not a lifestyle', which aligns perfectly with my very own 'Extremes are easy. Strive for balance', the publication encompasses it all from nutrition, mindset, movement, beauty and more.  Check out the January edition out on the 20th December for something exciting from yours truly x

http://www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

FullSizeRender-22 copy.jpg

With so many to choose from, the lady/ies that you love in your life will be stoked to get any of the above!

Brooke x

HOW TO HELP YOUR LITTLE ONE REACH THEIR DAILY VEG INTAKE

How many serves of vegetables are your kids eating? Did you know that toddlers ages between 1-2 years should be consuming 2-3 serves of veg per day whilst children aged 4-8 years should be getting up to 4.5 serves? One serve of veg is classified 75 grams, so roughly 1/2 a cup of cooked veggies or one cup of salad.

One of my fail safe ways to help get my toddlers' daily intake of veg in is by hiding it in his smoothie, which he loves. As with all good smoothies the ratio of vegetables is higher than that of fruit. Smoothies are all too commonly classed as a 'healthy' snack, but by the time you add dates, mango and a banana (for example) you have one sugar loaded drink that will spike your blood sugar levels and won't always assist with your health or weight loss goals.

Veg.jpg

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 x small banana
  • 1 x generous handful of spinach leaves
  • 1/3 x cucumber - peeled
  • 1/4 - 1/3 x avocado
  • 1 x tbsp vanilla coconut yoghurt
  • 200ml liquid to mix: I use almond coconut milk (unsweetened). You could also use water or any other milk variety.

METHOD:

  • Add all ingredients to your smoothie maker, Thermomix or NutriBullet & mix until well combined. Add more liquid if you prefer it more watery or keep it thick.

WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT IT?

The avocado and coconut yoghurt are a great source of heart healthy fats, with yeh coconut yoghurt also providing probiotics to support your little ones GUT health function. Veggies provide an array of micronutrients. The cucumber promotes hydration and is full of vitamins A, C and K (as is spinach) Spinach is a rich source of B vitamins and calcium.

The banana adds natural sweetness, is a source of carbohydrate and high in potassium and magnesium. The absorption of the sugar from the banana into the bloodstream is slower because of the combination of fats and proteins in this smoothie. Helping to regulate blood sugar levels for your little love. It's a great source of their daily fiber needs and will help to meet recommended daily intakes of vitamins and minerals.

If your child likes it a bit sweeter you could add a small dash of vanilla bean or a squeeze of honey. My favourite addition is a teaspoon of organic vanilla vegan protein powder, upping the protein profile whilst adding a delicious vanilla flavour. You can easily make extra & add some extra protein to your serve so that you don't go without also. 

If you can try to get your little ones vegetables in over the course of the day. But if they are a fussy eater or your stuck for ideas, give this smoothie recipe ago and help them reach their daily vegetable serves and micronutrient needs.

Brooke x

Instagram: @balancefitnessandnutrition

Facebook: www.facebook.com/balancefitnessandnutrition

Web: http://www.balancefitnessandnutrition.com.au

 

 

CHARGE UP - TRAINING STYLES FOR THE TIME POOR

Time is one thing that we all wish we had more of, right? For me, running a business and being a Mum to one very adventurous toddler definitely has reduced the time that I now dedicate to training.

There were periods of my life where I would train for up to 1.5hours most days. These days my favourite way forms of training are those that have a great ‘bang for buck’. High intensity, short rest periods and all up less duration spent in the gym or exercising.

IMG_3831 copy.jpg

Here are a few my favoruite forms of training, especially when time poor. Try to incorporate some of these style sessions into your training routine if you aren’t keen on spending hours in the gym or after an short, effective sweat session, that is by no means easy!

AMRAPS: As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible.

AMPRAPS can range from 6 minutes duration to 27 minutes; it really is dependent on the exercises within each AMRAP and your individual goals. You complete a circuit as many times as you can within a given time frame. For example, six-minute AMRAP of 15 squats, 10 push ups, 5 pull-ups. When the six minutes is up, record your total rounds completed. To create an AMRAP choose 3-5 exercises, a desired time frame and get cracking. If you are stuck for inspiration WODRoulette on Instagram has some great sessions you can use. Another way to up the anti is to do 2 x 6 minute AMRAPS, with 3 minutes rest in between each one.

Example:

6 minute AMRAP:
15 air squats

10 push-ups

5 pull-ups

3-5 minutes break, followed by:

6 minute AMRAP:

12 thrusters

15 sit ups

8 burpees

IMG_7134 copy.jpg

 

EMOM: Every minute on the minute. 

EMOM's are a type of interval workout where you perform a specific task at the start of every minute for a set amount of time. For example you have 60 seconds to perform the given exercise. If you finish the work in 40 seconds, you have 20 seconds rest until you complete that exercise again. EMOMs can have one exercise repeated every minute, or 2-4 different exercises where you alternate for each minute.


Example 1: 5 minute EMOM

Every minute on the minute run 200m

Example 2: 20 minute EMOM

Minute 1 – run 200m

Minute 2 – 15 wall balls

Minute 3 – 12 calories on rower

Minute 4 - rest

Circuit training:

When I do circuit training I generally work at 40 seconds on, 15 seconds off. The work efforts are all out, as much work as you can fit into the working timeframe. The rest period is enough time to allow you to transition to the next exercise as well as recover the heart rate a little. As a rule of thumb I stick to 2 blocks. Each block consists of 3-4 exercises for 2-3 rounds per block.

Example:

Block one:

  • Squats
  • Burpees
  • Back stepping lunges

Block two:

  • Push-ups
  • Skipping
  • Thrusters

The above training styles are perfect for the busy woman, whether you spend long hours working or have a little tribe to look after. They target the anaerobic energy systems and when performed effectively, result in increased fitness, strength and promote weight loss. 

What's your favourite way to train when you are time poor?

Brooke x

 

DITCH THE DOMS

DOMS - what is it? DOMS stands for delayed onset of muscle soreness.

Has this ever gotten you that bad that you felt you couldn't squat down to pick up your kid, sit on the toilet or ever workout again? The 24-72 hours following a workout is generally when you will feel most sore. It peaks around the 48 hour mark which is why day two always seem to go up a notch. You might wake the next day and feel (surprisingly) good, then as time goes on you really start to stiffen up.

If you're new to exercise DOMS may hit you harder than those that have been training for some time. DOMS is caused by tiny microscopic tears that leads to inflammation of our muscle tissues, so you could basically call DOMS connective tissue micro trauma, although that makes it sound a little worse than it is.

Why does it happen? It occurs when we use muscles in a different way or work them harder than they are used to. It's also why it is great to mix up our exercise routine. For those that train regularly, your body adapts to the style of training you complete on a regular basis.

Now you definitely do not need to pull up sore after every workout in oder for it to have been an effective one, but variation is definitely key in helping you reach your fitness and fat loss goals. Soreness and pain isn't always a good sign and can indicate poor technique, that you should have scaled your workout back to develop adequate strength to safely perform the session or other underlying issues.

Soreness isn't the sign of a great workout, but if you've ever had some time off training, tried out a new form of exercise, or mixed up your program you would have experienced DOMS. Muscle soreness, particularly of the legs seems to make everything appear much harder than it is and can affect motivation to continue with your weekly workout schedule. Try the following to minimise your DOMS and keep on track to your goals.

My top tips to reduce DOMS and help increase recovery:

  • Sound post training nutrition - never underestimate the importance of good nutrition both pre and post training. Post training try to get 20-30g of high quality protein into you with a source of carbohydrates i.e. smoothie with greek yoghurt, banana, protein.
  • Magnesium powder or capsules - aims to relieve muscle soreness and reduce inflammation.
  • Glutamine - an amino acid that helps the body in times of stress (such as exercise). It can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.
  • Plenty of water - will ensure adequate hydration, which in turn helps prevent cramping whilst also flushing the body of toxins.
  • Stretch & release - you've done the strengthening part, don't forget to stretch or foam roll it out. This is one of the most skipped parts of training, yet one of the most helpful in terms of recovery.
  • Rest - whether it's putting your feet up, getting to bed earlier, having a nap or scheduling rest days. Rest is just as important as the activity itself. Without adequate rest you can actually increase the cortisol levels within your body which infers fat loss and energy levels. So switch off and get some much needed, good quality sleep!

What are you sure fire ways to help reduce or manage muscle soreness following a workout so that it doesn't impede your goals? Try to incorporate the above to help ditch or diminish the DOMS, promote a speedy recovery and get back into your training (relatively) pain free!

Brooke x

Instagram @Balancefitnessandnutrition

Facebook: www.facebook.com/balancefitnessnutrition

BLUE MAJIK - THE NEWEST SUPERFOOD

Superfoods. It's a word that is thrown around a lot these days. What are they, why are they so great and what makes them so SUPER compared to other foods?

Basically superfoods are those that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. All which help fight the nasty free radicals circulating through our body whilst assisting us to meet our daily micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) requirement. They are a naturally occurring food source given to us by the one and only Mother Nature herself and have generally been consumed by our ancestors for their health benefits many years before becoming a mainstream ‘superfood'. 

So speaking of superfoods, the Green Pilbara bowl is now part of empire6714's new lunch menu and it packs a whole lot of superfood punch. Take one look at it and you can see how the name came about (it's pretty green). If you look even closer though you'll spot something that looks a beaut shade of blue. What is this you ask? It's BLUE MAJIK and this ingredient is one you'll want to get enough of. 

Blue Majik - what is it?

Blue Majik is derived from spirulina. It is a proprietary extract of the blue-green algae Arthrospira platensis. It is usually found in powder or capsule form and as the name suggests it is comprised of a blue pigment containing C-Phycocyanin (PC) and non-PC compounds.

This specific strain of algae is sourced from shallow, freshwater Klamath Lake in Oregon, where 17 different mineral-rich rivers flow into to maintain a significantly nutrient-dense body of water. The alkaline quality of the lake water is what allows for the constant reproduction of AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) blue-green algae, the source of Spirulina that Blue Majik is extracted from. This type of algae contains more protein than any other organism and its amino acid profile is almost entirely the same as that of the human body, which is why its consumption is so beneficial to our health!

Blue Majik can also be added to juices, smoothies and even lattes. If you’re into organic wholefoods, watched a few documentaries on nutrition and holistic living you would have heard the name David Wolfe. This is a product he is backing 100%. Blue Majik is being coined as the nutrient-dense aqua botanical produced by Mother Nature herself.

Try it at empire6714

I bet you never thought you would eat blue-green algae. But don’t let that put you off. The health benefits are countless and the taste is so much more pleasant than spirulina itself. Empire6714 have added Blue Majik dusted daikon noodles to the Green Pilbara bowl, which adds a nice crunch and refreshing crispness to the salad making it very enjoyable.

Health benefits:

  • Made up of powerful antioxidants, possessing the ability to reduce free radicals within the body.
  • Contains potent anti-inflammatory properties (COX-2 inhibitor) - think natural pain reliever for cramps, muscle soreness, headaches, and joint pain
  • Rich protein and amino acids (and this is where it gets it’s blue hue from).
  • Promotes faster muscle recovery post-workout.
  • High in B12 vitamins.
  • Promotes brain health.
  • Nourishes your body at a cellular level.
  • Is 97% absorbable by the body compared to man made vitamins (which are only 5-25% absorbable).
  • Certified organic, vegan, gluten free & no additives or preservatives.

Whilst the Blue Majik dusted daikon is the star of the show in the Green Pilbara bowl, it also contains:

  • Green pea & smashed avo guacamole (YUM!) – packed full of flavor, creaminess and heart healthy fats
  • Red rice – rich in fibre, antioxidants, phytonutrients and providing a low GI carbohydrate source to help slow down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream
  • Snow peas – a great source of vitamin K, C and folate
  • Edamame beans – providing additional amino acids to the Green Pilbara bowl pool
  • Shaved red radish – comprising of folate and potassium
  • House kimchi – absolutely delicious, a source of vitamin A, C and provides beneficial gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria.

There really is a whole lot to love about this bowl. Perfect as is, or why not add a side of grilled chicken breast for an added protein hit?

Be sure to check out empire6714’s new menu options, you won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend giving the Green Pilbara bowl a try so you can see for yourself what the fuss it all about over Blue Majik, (and at the cost of it per container this is the way to try it!). And just like the greenness of the Pilbara landscape after a good rain it never lasts long, so get down there to try this blue beauty while it lasts!

Brooke x

Want to know more about Blue Majik? Check out E3Live https://www.e3live.com.au/All-Products/Blue-Majik-Powder.aspx