Are you a lover of fresh smoothies and juices ? I sure am!

Juices and smoothies are a fantastic and convenient way to help get your daily dose of fruit and veg in. However they can also help you go over your daily recommended intake of sugar and can be very high in energy, both of which are not very helpful in  assisting you to reach your health or weight loss goals. 



When making or selecting a juice you want to go for one that has more vegetables than it does fruit. The higher dose of veggies helps to reduce the amount of sugar you'd get if you were selecting one containing only fruit. It also helps to add some extra fibre.

When you are whipping up your next juice at home or out for breaky, try to go for more veggies (2-3) than fruit (1-2). My favourite fruit choices in juice would have to be berries or lemon. Both are lower in sugar than many other fruits and the lemon adds a refreshing hit. 


Sometimes nothing beats a post workout smoothie. You've worked hard and they can be such a refreshing, thirst cleansing and nourishing way to refuel your body. They are also perfect for those that are on the go as are easy 'meals'. 

Just as with juices, they can also pack a big energy hit which is not always ideal. I try to make sure my smoothies contain a good protein source such as Protein powder or Greek yoghurt to help with muscle recovery and satiety. Again I use the veggie rule & try to make sure I have more or equal parts veggies to fruit.

Some great additions to your smoothie or juice are:


  • Spinach

  • Avocado

  • Silverbeet

  • Kale

  • Celery

  • Cucumber

  • Beetroot

  • Carrot

  • Tomato

  • Avocado

  • Cucumber



Lower sugar options:

  • Lemon

  • Lime

  • Strawberries

  • Raspberries

  • Blueberries

  • Pear

Moderate - higher sugar options:

  • Mango

  • Watermelon

  • Banana

  • Apple

  • Orange

  • Dates

  • Watermelon


  • Don't forget a protein source - protein powder, greek yoghurt

  • Your choice of liquid I.e: Water / almond milk / coconut milk / coconut water / milk

Other ingredients to add a little extra:

  • Ginger

  • Mint

  • Nutmeg

  • Cinnamon

  • Chai seeds

  • Flaxseed

  • Psyllium husk

  • Cinnamon

  • Nutmeg

  • Nut butter

Juices and smoothies can be perceived as being super healthy because they've got fruit/veg in them. The thought of adding veggies to your smoothie may not appeal to you but you may be pleasantly surprised.  Cucumber, zucchini, celery etc all contain a lot of water and won't ruin the flavor of your favorite smoothie. 

There are so many ways to mix a juice or smoothie, you ultimately need to be making or selecting one to suit your specific goals. 

Keep in mind next time you've got your juicer going or adding one to your breakfast order the hidden sugar and energy content and try to get some veg in there. If you don't know what to do with any left over pulp, try adding it to a muffin mixture. 

Be mindful when making your next juice/smoothie & don't be scared of the veggies!

Brooke x



By popular demand below you will find the recipe for my BFN Nut Chews / Slice. I made this over the weekend as the multiple night and early morning breast feeds left me starving and I wanted to make sure I was snacking on food that would provide adequate nutrition and health benefits for both me and little Byron.

It is super easy to make, so if your baking skills or time is limited fear not - you will be able to master this recipe! 


  • 3/4 cup macadamias
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • 1/2 cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used toasted coconut flakes)
  • 85g rice malt syrup


  • Pre heat over to 180 degrees celsius
  • Roughly chop the nuts and place on a baking try lined with baking paper
  • Place nuts in oven and lightly roast for 8-10 minutes
  • Once the nuts have done their time in the oven, combine all other ingredients into one bowl - nuts and all.
  • Stir the mixture together until it starts to combine and start to stick when mixed
  • Place this mixture into a baking tray, pressing the mix firmly into the tray so that it is nice and compact
  • Place the tray into the oven for a further 10 minutes
  • Once the 10 minutes is up place the baking tray in the freezer and leave to set for at least one hour
  • Once the hour is up remove the mix from the freezer and chop into the desired size pieces, I like bite size ones for easy snack options and portion control (nuts are full of energy so you don't want to over indulge in this snack), but you could always cut into muesli bar slice pieces also.
  • Once chopped up, put in a tupperware container and store in your fridge to enjoy as desired!

This snack is loaded with plenty of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, vitamin E and refined sugar free!

The perfect snack to go with a morning coffee, afternoon pick me up to get you through the working day, or for those breast feeding Mumma's.

Enjoy! x



There are many pressures and opinions that come with being a mother, one of those being breast or bottle?

This blog isn’t designed to tell you that you should either breast or bottle feed your child, but instead aim to provide an overview of what you should be fuelling your body with if you are breast-feeding to nourish your body during this important time. If you are interested in information on infant formula vs breast-feeding you can check out a previous blog of mine: Breast Milk, Infant Formula & What Works for You.

The ideal and preferred food in providing optimal nutrition for healthy term infants is through human milk due to its complex fat structure that is critical for infant growth. The energy from breast milk is mainly provided from the fats and carbs in your diet, however the amount of protein (mainly casein and whey) in breast milk is not heavily influenced by the mothers diet. Under normal circumstances substances don’t pass directly from Mum’s blood system to the milk, however if you experience mastitis milk tends to be higher in sodium and chloride and lower in lactose and potassium.

The major long chain poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) in human milk are; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA). These are recognised as a nutrient fundamental to the development of an infant’s central nervous system, brain and vision. The amount of fat in your diet will not affect the amount of fat in your breast milk, however you can vary the type of fat found in your breast milk and it is possible to increase or decrease the polyunsaturated fat content in your breast milk by altering your diet. If you are maintaining your energy intake and body weight, the fatty acid content of your diet will be reflected in your breast milk. However if you are losing weight or restricting kilojoules, your fatty-acid pattern of milk can decrease.

There is no evidence that your maternal energy stores (BMI) have a detectable relationship with the volume of milk produced so those carrying a little more body fat won’t necessarily produce a great volume of milk and vice versa, however stress, alcohol and smoking can reduce the volume of milk produced – so be sure to avoid/limit these where possible while you are breast feeding.


I’ve definitely heard it before (and sure most of you have also) when you see Mums ‘bouncing back’ from child birth and losing maternal weight gain relatively quickly after their body has just undergone 10 months of huge transformation. Many say ‘it’s the breast feeding, it just makes the weight fall off’, however this is not the case for everyone. Breastfeeding can make you a calorie-burning machine; your hormones are in overdrive making sure your body is producing as much as it needs to keep your little one satisfied. Some women will drop pregnancy weight gain relatively quickly whilst breast-feeding due to this increase in energy expenditure, however many Mums will retain this until the actually stop breastfeeding (isn’t it amazing how are bodies are all SO different!).

It is hard to define set energy requirements for women that are breast feeding as there are so many individual factors; how often are you feeding your baby, what are your activity levels, any pre-existing medical conditions, height, age, diet and so on, therefore the following are estimates only for those that are breastfeeding. Whilst breast feeding there is an increased need of approximately 2000-3000kj/ day (about 500 – 700 calories per day), with most women storing 2-5kg of body fat that can be utilized to provide energy for breastfeeding for the first three months, so this isn’t always needed from additional food initially. The increased energy requirements are also dependent on the volume of milk you are producing, which again can vary greatly from one Mum to the next, which is why it so it is important to recognize that everyone will have differing energy requirements and the need to fuel your body appropriately.

Because the fatty acid content of your breast milk can be influenced by your diet and the fact that breastfeeding is already causing a potential energy deficit, the post-partum time is not the time to be rushing about trying to get your ‘pre-baby body’ back - it is a time for you to put both you and your little one first. You need to be fuelling your body with a variety of whole, nutritious foods, resting and incorporating gentle movement if you have been given the all clear to do so all to assist in setting you up for breastfeeding success and a good recovery. Make sure to be kind to yourself, starting with kind thoughts within your mind.


Just as there are during pregnancy, breastfeeding is also a taxing time on the body and there are some increases to the daily intakes of some vitamins and minerals.

B vitamins: Thiamin, B6, Niacin and Riboflavin, B12 & folate (folic acid). You can continue to take a pregnancy multivitamin of breast feeding supplement to assist in meeting these slightly increased RDI’s, but also be sure to try your best to get these through your diet. Try incorporating asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chick peas, dried beans, lentils, spinach & animal products (such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy). You can also try fortified breakfast cereals and enriched soy or rice milk.

Vitamin A and C RDI’s are also slightly elevated as this is secreted in breast milk and passed to your new bub. If you are eating a varied, healthy diet then there should be no reason that you have difficulty meeting these requirements.

When it comes to minerals (iron, calcium, zinc, iodine), RDI’s have factored in a safety margin for the allowance of these being secreted daily in milk. Iron and zinc levels are increased slightly in those that are breastfeeding, so again it is important to eat a varied diet rich in


If you are breastfeeding, add these items to your weekly shopping list and incorporating into your meal planning to assist with breastfeeding, milk production and post partum recovery:

  • Oats
  • Brewers yeast
  • Flaxseeds / Flaxmeal
  • Dried fruit & nuts – almonds, cashews
  • Fennel
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Salmon
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Chick peas/lentils
  • Brown rice
  • Water


So you've just gone and purchased some of the above - here is some ways to add them to your daily diet:

  • Oats/porridge mixed with chia seeds, flaxmeal, brewers yeast, berries & almond milk - a great breakfast idea
  • Smoothie - Banana, berries, almond milk, spinach, brewers yeast
  • Veggie sticks with hommus - the perfect, easy snack
  • Fruit & nut mix - another easy snack idea
  • Salmon with brown rice & green leafy veggies, meats with salad & lentils - nutritious dinner or lunch time meals.
  • Water – don’t forget to drink plenty of this! More than you would when you were pregnant. It helps prevent you from dehydration and replaces fluid lost during lactation.


Overall breastfeeding can utilize approximately 500 calories per day in lactating women. It is important to note that this varies greatly from woman to woman; those with low activity levels can actually gain weight if energy levels are not maintained, whereas those that are physically active may require larger energy intakes.

Whilst breastfeeding it is important to make sure you are consuming adequate calories from beneficial food sources (as above) to help boost or maintain your milk supply. This should be your priority over weight loss or getting back to your pre-baby weight. Your body has undergone drastic changes over the past 10 months and the hard work is far from over. You now need to help grow a healthy infant so fuelling your body right will be your priority - remove any pressure and pre-conceived ideas of rushing back to exercise or starting a diet (now is definitely not the time to be dieting).

Look at food as fuel for you and bub and plan ahead as best you can to make sure you incorporate some of the foods that can help with post-partum recovery and milk supply - put those visitors to good use and get them prepping some healthy, nourishing meals!

Brooke x


I love adding slices of citrus fruits to my water to make it a little more thirst quenching and regularly have a glass of lemon water each morning.

Lately I have been making some juice that is a more concentrated to kick start my morning. I call this juice good morning! With its citrus and slightly tart punch it is enough to wake any one up.

This juice mix is full of health benefits without being full of sugar like most other juices. Whilst juices are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals they are often highly concentrated in sugar (fructose) which can send your blood sugar levels up very quickly. Lemon is a fruit that is low in sugar containing just 2.5g per 100g; a huge difference when you compare this to apples 10g, bananas 12g or mangos 14g.

Some of the benefits of this simple concoction are;

  • Get your daily dose of vitamins: vitamin C, B6, A, E, potassium and more
  • Assists to cleanse your liver and aid digestion
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Studies have also shown that lemon juice can aid in eliminating the occurrence of kidney stones
  • Help control blood pressure for those with high blood pressure
  • It’s tasty & refreshing

What you need:


  • 2 x lemons
  • 1 x orange
  • 400ml water
  • Crushed ice


  • Peel and de-seed lemons and orange
  • Cut into quarters and place into blender of choice (If serving immediately add some cubed ice blocks)
  • Once the fruit is well blended, add the water and blend for another 3-4 minutes. If you wish to have a more concentrated juice add less water. However adding water helps to dilute the fructose

Like all fresh juices it is best to consume soon after making them, however I find the above ingredients make enough to last me one glass a morning for about three mornings. It is best to refrigerate in an air tight container and shake each morning prior to drinking.


Like its fellow macronutrients fat and carbs – protein is often followed by controversy around optimal intake, benefits and potential health effects when consumed in excess.

The optimal protein intake for building muscle, losing body fat and helping with recovery is widely discussed, and so it should be! Protein is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in fuelling our bodies during training and assists in the building and repairing of muscle tissues. But with so much information out there around high protein - low carb diets and thousands of protein supplements on the market, you might be asking yourself; how much protein should I be eating? When should I be eating it? And are there certain types that I should be consuming? All great questions to be asking as the quantity, quality and timing of protein intake are three important factors if maintaining lean muscle mass, improving recovery and weight loss / maintenance are your goals.

How much Protein?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8grams per kilo of body weight per day. For a 60kg female this equates to 48grams of protein per day. It is important to note the RDA is based on the requirements of sedentary individuals and represents the amount of consumption required to avoid deficiency - this is not an ideal recommendation for those pursuing an increase in lean muscle mass. Studies have shown a protein intake greater than the RDA is needed for optimal growth and recovery, and a greater requirement exists for those undertaking regular resistance exercise. This increased need is required to optimize development, repair and maintenance of muscle. For active individuals training approximately five times per week could consume 2.0g/kg/body weight per day without adverse health effects and to maximize muscle protein synthesis. For a 60kg female this would be ~120g protein per day. Be sure to spread your protein intake evenly throughout the day and try to incorporate it in every meal to allow for maximal muscle protein synthesis (60kg female, 120g/day, across five meals = ~25g of protein per meal). When it comes to protein consumption and training, a dose of 20-25grams as soon as possible after exercise is beneficial. This amount is generally found in a serve of protein shake, five to six egg whites or 80-100g of chicken breast.

 What type of protein?

 From protein shakes of whey, hydrolyzed WPI , casein and soy, to foods such as eggs, meat and milk, no wonder there is confusion as to what form of protein is best, and when. Studies have revealed there are varying effects on the form of protein ingested post training. It is recommended a high quality dose of protein such as dairy, egg or lean meat post workout is beneficial to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis. These proteins are fast-digesting, so emptied from the stomach at a greater rate. This could be in the form a WPI shake, low fat milk (has been shown to be more superior over soy proteins) or pre prepared chicken breast for those that may be lactose free. These sources also contain the branched chain amino acid leucine, which has been shown to further assist with building muscle and burning fat. Casein and blended protein powders (often containing a mixture of casein and WPI), is relatively insoluble and forms a gelatinous material when ingested (or mixed with yoghurt = delicious!). Due to this jelly like property, casein has a slower rate of digestion, and promotes a slow, but steady released of amino acids into the body. Best to save casein protein for later in the day or as a ‘night time’ protein to assist in recovery overnight. Keep those fast absorbing, high quality proteins immediately post exercise.


Studies have looked into the various timing and effectiveness of protein ingestion pre, during and post workout. Many of us may consume branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) during or ‘intra’ workout. The consumption of BCAA’s during resistance training has been shown to enhance muscle protein synthesis during exercise, suppress muscle protein breakdown and enhance protein balance during and after exercise. The biggest bang for your buck in terms of timing of protein ingestion, to promote the most favourable effect is as possible following exercise. This will assist in reducing muscle damage, enhance recovery and promote lean muscle improvements. So be sure to keep a protein shake, recovery bar or pre-packed meal in your gym bag to maximize your hard work and keep those gains.

Like most things in life, too much of one thing is generally never good. Make sure that you don’t replace other important macronutrients such as fat and carbohydrates with protein. If you do so, especially with carbohydrates, it can lead to a more rapid rate of fatigue, performance is likely to suffer and in extreme cases, other nutrient deficiencies can be of concern. Bottom line; if lean muscle mass is your goal, get the quantity, quality and timing right and the results will follow. Approximately 20grams of high quality protein (think Maxine’s Burn protein powder), as soon as possible following resistance training - don’t underestimate the power of protein!

Source: http://www.balancefitnessandnutrition.com....