Perfectly Chewy Anzac Biscuits

Never a better day to whip up a batch of these, than the 25th April. These are probably not the healthiest version, but they’re a little bit chewy and a whole lot yummy!

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 cup (150g) plain flour
  •  1 cup (90g) rolled oats
  •  1 cup (85g) desiccated coconut
  •  3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
  •  125g butter
  •  2 tablespoons golden syrup
  •  1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  •  2 tablespoons water

METHOD

  • Step 1
    Preheat the oven to 160°C or 140C fan-forced. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.
  • Step 2
    Put the butter, golden syrup and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
  • Step 3
    Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  • Step 4
    Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on the trays, about 5cm apart.
  • Step 5
    Press with a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Step 6
    Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.

Share with those you love.

5 Easy Health & Wellness Goals You Should Set NOW!

Don’t have a goal right now? Unsure where to start? Try these five. They are super easy and won’t overwhelm your schedule. Set a date for one month from now and in 30 days you will have five new healthy habits!

 

1. Drink more water.

The majority of people aren’t getting enough. Especially in the winter months where cold water isn’t the most appealing. If plain water bores you, put cucumber or lemon in it (see our previous post on our Facebook page for inspiration!). If you would like something hot, herbal tea will still hydrate you.

Around 50-80% of our body weight is water. The higher our lean mass, the higher the water content. We need water for most of our body processes including digestion, absorbing and transporting nutrients, disposing of waste products and keeping our body temperature stable.If we don’t drink enough fluids to replace the approximate 2,000-3,000 mL of water we lose each day, we can become dehydrated, and even as little as 2% dehydration reduces our physical and mental performance.

We lose even more fluids when we exercise (the amount being a little more than the body weight lost in the period of exercise) and we also need to top up our fluids to remain hydrated in a hot climate. Women who are pregnant need to drink around 10% more, and women who are breastfeeding also need to top up throughout the day.

An easy way to start is by using a 1L bottle, and mark off on the fridge every time you refill it. Aim for 2-3 L per day.

2. Add 120 mins of exercise/week.

That may sound like a lot, but in reality, its just over 15min per day. Choose one thing that works well for your schedule and put it in! Start small with 1 gym session per week or walking/running for a certain time and then once that is part of your routine, start doing it 2x/week. Make it easier by roping in a friend to join you. Time flies when you’re chatting away, and you’re less likely to cancel if you know someone is waiting for you.

3. Incorporate as much ‘incidental’ exercise as possible.

Things such as parking a bit further away from the supermarket so you have to walk a few extra minutes, taking the stairs instead of the lift (providing you don’t have a pram with you!) and walking to a cafe a couple of extra blocks away can really add up and help you get to your daily movement goal.

4. Pre-plan 2 meals a week.

Start small and try meal planning/prepping for two days. For example: on Sunday, make your meals for Monday and Tuesday. Once you get the hang of that, try three days. And then a full week. Although it seems like a lot to do at once, the amount of time and money it saves you during the week adds up. And because your food is all there ready to go, you eliminate the need to make any decisions about what you’ll eat – making it easier to stick to your goals. BOOM.

5. Practice optimism & gratitude.

Practicing optimism and changing your outlook can help combat stress, and increase your emotional well-being. An easy way to start is by thinking of 3 things you are grateful for before going to bed each night. It can be things like enough food in your fridge, a healthy family & roof over your head. As the days progress, try to narrow down your thoughts to more specific things such as something great that happened to you that day, or your child reaching a particular milestone.

 

 

3 STEPS TO GETTING YOUR MOTIVATION BACK

– By Angela Smith.

Hands up who has ever lost their motivation to exercise?

No matter what stage of parenting you’re at, life as a Mum can get pretty chaotic. With so many demands on our time, it’s easy enough to skip a day or two and then before you know it it’s been a week, then a month and no matter what you do you just can’t seem to find the motivation or enthusiasm to get moving again. Sound familiar?

Well, you’ll be relieved to know that you are not alone. We’ve all had times where we just can’t seem to find that same level of enthusiasm we once had and despite our best intentions to start up again, it’s just not happening.

The good news is that exercising doesn’t have to be an effort. With a few simple steps I’m going to show you how to create that internal motivation that will inspire you to get back into exercising and actually enjoy it.

Step #1   Reconnect with your WHY

Our “WHY” or our purpose is what creates the internal motivation that drives us to take action.

The more reasons you have and the clearer you are on why exercise is important for you, the more compelled you’ll be to follow through. So aside from the obvious health benefits, here are some questions you can ask yourself to get clear on your reasons why exercising is a must for you:

How do you feel when you’ve exercised?

Is there a goal you want to achieve?

How will you look and feel when you’ve achieved this goal?

How will it benefit those around you when you are looking and feeling this way?

Do you want to have more energy for your family?

What are the consequences of not exercising?

How will those consequences affect the rest of the family and those around you?

How will you feel if you don’t achieve your goal?

Really go all out here – brainstorm as many reasons as you can, get specific and write them all down!

 

Step #2 Set a Goal

Setting goals is a really effective way to increase motivation as it allows us to have an outcome to work towards and leads to a sense of achievement when we are successful in achieving what we set out to do. Whether it’s a goal to lose weight, improve our energy levels or look our best for a special occasion, goal setting is a useful way to keep us on track and measure our progress.

Measuring our progress is important because progress is what creates happiness and excitement. There is nothing very exciting about maintenance, but there is definitely excitement in making progress!

 

There are a few things to keep in mind when setting goals.

1)Start with the end in mind.

Decide on the ultimate goal and then break it down into smaller steps. For example if your ultimate goal is to lose 10kg, break it down into smaller mini – goals of losing 1kg per week so that rather than having a big overwhelming goal of losing 10kg, you make it easy for yourself to experience success more often.

2)Use the S.M.A.R.T method for setting goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely).

 

3) Write down your goals somewhere where you will see them every day such as on a post-it note on your bathroom mirror, dressing table or refrigerator. Do not simply write them in a journal or a diary! There’s a very good reason for this. If you only write your goals in a diary or a journal, you have to actually consciously think about it to go and take out your journal to look at your goals. By having your goals displayed where you’ll see them throughout the day, even if you are not reading them, you are helping to program them into your unconscious mind

 

Step 3# Reframe the meaning you have given exercise.

If exercise means hard work, pain or effort to you then you are hardly going to feel inspired or excited about doing it. Instead, try reframing the meaning of exercise by focusing on the feeling that exercise and being in shape gives you. For example, if being in shape makes you feel sexy, strong and desirable you could reframe by saying exercising means I feel sexy, strong and desirable. You are going to feel far more excited and enthusiastic about doing something that makes you feel sexy, strong and desirable than something that is hard work, painful or an effort.

 

Last but not least, don’t have the debate in your head – just do it!

What we focus on is what we feel, so if you’re feeling unmotivated and you are looking for reasons or excuses why you don’t feel like training today you can be sure you’ll find them! You’ll always find reasons and excuses if you look for them. So just decide and commit, sometimes it’s as simple as that!

If you still insist on having the debate in your head, ask yourself how you are going to feel if you don’t do it? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who felt worse after a workout.

Remember, whilst there are many reasons to exercise and make our health and fitness a priority this is about saying yes to YOU. As Mums we are constantly meeting the demands of others but to be able to support our kids and family as much as we want to, we first need to be supporting ourselves. So get clear on your WHY, set yourself a goal and remember that every day is either a step closer or a step further away from that goal.

 

 

*Angela Smith is a Life & Mindset Coach, Master Practioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Master Practioner of Time Line Therapy, Motivational Speaker & Qualified Personal Trainer. See more of her work HERE

 

11 Chocolate Free Easter Hunt Ideas for Kids.

I don’t know about your house but my kids get WAY too much chocolate at Easter. Here are 11 great ideas to have a chocolate free (or at least reduced) Easter hunt.

 

  • DIY Kinder surprises: Buy plastic eggs and fill them with  chalk, mini puzzles, tattoos or similar.

  • Bubbles: Add little bottles of bubbles to your Easter hunt.
  • Cars: Small matchbox cars are a good size for hiding
  • Stickers: We go through so many at our house, the kids love them.
  • Hair: Special hair ties or clips make great hunt pieces.
  • Plastic animals: Cheap, fun and easy to hide.
  • Lego: Buy a small Lego set and hide the pieces around the house and then they get to make it.
  • Stationary: Kids can never have too many erasers, pens, pencils right!?
  • Jewellery: Add some plastic jewels to make it a treasure hunt.
  • Food: You could also do the hunt with food other than chocolate, pick something else the kids love.
  • PJs: My kids always get a new set of winter pjs at Easter. Wrap them and hide them!

Do a combination of some of these and a bit of chocolate and I’m sure the kids will be pretty happy!

 

Quick & Easy Lemon Bliss Balls

These are just so good! The ultimate snack.

Easy as pie to make – even easier to eat more than 1 at a time, so be careful!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • zest of one large lemon*
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • extra desiccated coconut for rolling in
  1. Place all ingredients into your processor in the order listed above and blend until the mixture resembles a sticky crumb. Use your hands to shape the mixture into balls. Roll the balls in the extra coconut and place in the fridge to set.
  2. Serve. Eat. Enjoy!

* If you LOVE lemon, double the zest for a super zingy hit!

Note – Try not to over blend the mixture if you are using a high powered processor or you may end up with a butter as opposed to a mixture that you can roll into balls. Learnt this the hard way!

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Rock Bright Activewear

Written by our friends at Your Island Supply Activewear.

Walk into most gyms and studios in 2018 and you’ll witness a sea of women in grey and black workout gear. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that! Those dark, muted shades can be super flattering and are perfect for hiding those toddler tantrum-induced food stains! But here at Your Island Supply, we believe you were born to stand out, not blend in. And if you ask us, there’s no better way to do that than with vibrant activewear that makes you feel good! Read on for 5 more reasons you should consider adding more colour to your activewear wardrobe.

1. It’s scientifically proven to boost your mood

Science has spoken, ladies! Research shows that colour can directly affect your mood. Looking at bright colours have been proven to release the feel-good hormone, dopamine, making you happier and more focused. Meanwhile, cool shades like blue have been found to increase the calming hormone, oxytocin. So, when you’re feeling down or stressed, your colourful activewear can help put you in a better mind space.

2. It motivates you

While we’re on the topic of science, research shows that bright colours can actually kickstart your motivation. Red, in particular, has been shown to create a fight or flight response in your body and get your adrenaline flowing. So, if you’re feeling unmotivated, putting on some vibrant activewear may be the push you need to get you out the door.

3. It freshens up your look

Chances are, when you work out, it’s without makeup and with your hair pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail. After all, you’re there to sweat, not to compete in a beauty pageant! Plus, wearing makeup when you work out can lead to one of two outcomes: 1) Your mascara ends up halfway down your face, giving you that clown look or 2) it clogs your pores, leading to breakouts. That said, going barefaced can leave you looking a little washed out when combined with an all-black outfit. By adding a pop of colour, you’ll instantly look fresher and more youthful.

4. It’s more fun!

While it may not always feel like it, working out is meant to be fun! Just as it’s important to do a type of exercise you actually enjoy, you should opt for activewear that makes you feel cute and brightens up your day! And let’s be honest, rocking bright, bold patterns is always going to be a lot more fun than wearing head-to-toe black.

5. It improves your body confidence

“But I hate my thighs/bum/calves!” you may protest. “Why on earth would I want to draw attention to them by wearing bright tights?” That’s exactly the point! While it may feel a little awkward at first, you’ll become more and more comfortable about highlighting those parts of your body you don’t love. Soon enough, you’ll start to embrace those parts and maybe even love them! Plus, our tights are so flattering, we guarantee you’ll find yourself checking out your bum in every reflective surface you pass!

Italian Stuffed Eggplant

This is so good! I made it last week half expecting my kids not to touch it…..but they both loved it – YAY!!

*brought to you by Taste.

INGREDIENTS

  •  3 large eggplants, halved lengthways
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 x 250g pkt microwavable brown rice
  •  1 brown onion, finely chopped
  •  2 garlic cloves, crushed
  •  500g 4 Star Beef Mince
  •  400g jar Pasta Sauce
  •  50g fetta, crumbled
  •  Basil leaves, to serve
  •  Mixed salad leaves, to serve

METHOD

  • Step 1
    Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Brush eggplant all over with half the oil. Place on the baking tray. Bake for 20 mins. Remove from oven. Set aside for 10 mins to cool. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Finely chop the flesh.
  • Step 2
    Meanwhile, heat rice following packet directions. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 mins. Add garlic and cook for 1 min. Add mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 mins or until browned. Add pasta sauce and chopped eggplant flesh. Cook for 5 mins. Add the rice and stir to combine. Season.
  • Step 3
    Reduce oven temperature to 180C. Divide mince mixture evenly among eggplant shells. Top with fetta. Bake for 20 mins or until eggplant is cooked through and fetta is light golden. Top with basil leaves. Serve with mixed salad leaves.

4 Ingredient Breakfast Cookies

These cookies are delicious and simple. Just what you what first thing in the morning! Grab one on the way out the door for a quick fix. Great for the kids with slow releasing carbs for long lasting energy. Brought to you by JS Health.

Makes: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup oats
  • 50g dark chocolate (70-85%)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Add all ingredients, except dark chocolate, to a food processor and process until combined. 
  3. Add 1 tbsp of mixture to a lined baking tray and flatten into cookie shape. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  4. Top with a little piece of dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  5. Cook in oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

Green Power Protein Smoothie

I am obsessed with smoothies at the moment! I just can’t get enough of them – especially this one in particular. It’s so good, my 18 month old would have the entire thing if I let her. Which, obviously I don’t because I want it all to myself! Its so quick and easy to whip together. Sometimes I have this for dinner when I really can’t be bothered!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 scoop protein powder. I use Evolve
  • 250ml almond milk
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • squirt of honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter.
  • ice/water to desired consistency

METHOD

  • Blend all ingredients together until smooth. You can add more ice if you prefer to have a thicker consistency. Try and keep your kids away – enjoy!!

7 Facts About Your Morning Coffee

Coffee: Those little beans of energy just about every person loves to consume. Whether it be black, with milk or cream and sugar, frappuccino, macchiato, iced, or even straight up espresso, it gives us life. But have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, coffee is actually good for you? Here’s a secret: It is.

1. Coffee can improve energy levels and make you smarter.

So smartness and energy? I’ll take it. Caffeine in coffee absorbs itself into the bloodstream where it travels to the brain. Once it’s in your brain it stimulates neurotransmitters which enhances the brain’s ability to function. Coffee actually improves memory, mood, energy levels, reaction times, and cognitive function in the brain.

2. Coffee can help you burn fat and improve physical performance.

The caffeine in coffee is a proven natural substance that burns fat. Studies have shown that caffeine increases metabolism anywhere from three to 11 percent. Caffeine can also increase fat burning by 10 percent in obese individuals and 29 percent in lean people. Too bad these effects can wear off in long-term drinking.

So how exactly does caffeine increase burning off those few extra pounds? Caffeine improves adrenaline levels in the body causing fat cells to break down body fat. Physical performance is improved by 11–12 percent. It’s the natural “fight or flight” structure in our brains being turned on. Who doesn’t need that help in order to get motivated for their daily workout routine?

3. There are essential nutrients in coffee.

A single cup of coffee contains:

Vitamin B2: 11 percent

Vitamin B5: 6 percent

Manganese and Potassium: 3 percent

Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2 percent

So by drinking a few cups a day, those amounts really add up in the daily dose that you need.

4. Coffee may lower your risk of different diseases.

Type II Diabetes is a well known disease. It’s known that coffee reduces the risk by 23–50 percent, even as high as 67 percent in some cases. Each cup is actually a seven percent reduced risk of developing Type II. It’s actually unknown why coffee reduces the risk, but who’s complaining?

Two types of cancer are also affected by coffee. A person’s risk of getting liver or colorectal cancer are decreased by 40 percent in liver cancer and 15 percent in colorectal cancer.

Not only is cancer decreased, but so is heart disease in women. Some studies also show a 20 percent lower risk of a stroke in coffee drinkers.

5. Coffee appears to have protective effects on the liver.

So we all need our liver in order to protect our bodies. Well coffee helps that, too. Coffee actually protects the liver against cirrhosis. On average, a study shows that people who drink four or more cups a day can have an 80 percent lower risk of getting any type of liver disease.

6. Coffee can fight depression and make you happier.

Coffee alters the mood and provides a calming sense for many people. I actually know this as a personal experience. There’s nothing like walking into a coffee shop and taking in the aromas. It’s soothing, isn’t it? Well, studies have shown that by drinking four or more cups a day, there’s a 53 percent chance of less common suicidal feelings. There’s also a 20 percent chance of lowering depression in women. Sounds like the world needs more coffee in their lives.

7. Coffee may help you live longer.

Yes, you read that right. Coffee helps you live longer. Studies show that men have a 20 percent lower risk and women have a 26 percent lower risk of death. So, uh, coffee? I’ll take two right now!