A good reminder today to take care of your mental health. Save this for the next time you're feeling low and you're not sure what to do to feel better.
SPEND TIME IN NATURE
° Absorbing the raw beauty of natural surroundings has been shown to help calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure and boost positive feelings.
GET QUALITY SLEEP
°Develop a relaxing bedtime routine going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day. Avoid mobile screens, caffeine and alcohol before bed.
° Whether it's sport, gardening, dancing, cycling, walking the dog or going to the gym, exercise releases hormones that reduce feelings of stress and anger. It also helps us feel better about our bodies and improves our sleep. The best exercise you can do is the one you enjoy.
LEARN TO UNDERSTAND AND MANAGE YOUR FEELINGS
°Feeling upset makes it difficult to think clearly, work, relax, study or deal with other people. Talk kindly to yourself and reassure yourself the same way you would a small child. Be loving. Writing down your feelings may help. Research shows saying something positive to yourself a few times a day reduces negative thoughts and feelings. For example, "I am capable." "I am strong." "I am working towards my goals."
We love weight training! It makes us feel STRONG, EMPOWERED and ready to tackle anything life throws at us. Not only that, it has major health benefits:
- Increases muscle mass to help prevent injury, improve range of motion and aid in daily functions.
- Increases bone density - crucial for women in avoiding osteoporosis as we age.
- Lowers stress levels - we all need that!
- Helps with fat loss -. strength training burns calories, which can help you achieve a caloric deficit. Strength training also increases excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC), which occurs when the body continues to burn excess calories for hours after exercise.
Ok, so we get it. Weight Training = Super Important. But what are those foreign words you've heard floating around, what do they even mean!? Let's break them down:
A "rep," short for repetition, is a single execution of an exercise. One squat is one rep, and 10 squats are 10 reps.
A "set" is a collection of reps. If your goal is to complete 20 squats, you might break your workout up into two sets of 10 reps.
These are movements that require more than one muscle group to perform the exercise. For example, in a bent-over row, in addition to upper back muscles you're using rear shoulders, biceps, forearms, core, glutes and hamstrings.
These are single muscle group movements that require only one muscle group to perform the exercise. For example, a bicep curl only requires the biceps.
Two exercises performed back-to-back with no rest in between. For example, one set (i.e. 8 reps) bent-over row followed by one set incline push ups.
Why it works: No rest periods increase the intensity of the workout and, if you choose 2 exercises in the same muscle group, you'll increase strength and muscular endurance at the same time!
Isometric moves are done by staying in a single position and holding it! Think planks, wall sits and glute bridges.
Why it works: An isometric contraction happens when your muscle tenses while not changing in length i.e. the muscle is flexed but doesn't expand or contract. An excellent way to strengthen a specific muscle group with zero impact (or equipment, perfect for training at home).
Booty bands are a great way to really focus in on your glutes. Try out these exercises for an extra booty burn!
Lateral low shuffle
Place band under your knees. Make sure band remains tight throughout the exercise. Staying in a low squat, shuffle 4 steps left then back 4 steps right, continue for 30 seconds. Move to -
Place band under your knees. Make sure band remains tight throughout the exercise. Get down in a squat (the lower the harder) - tap left foot out to the left then bring back to a squat (ensuring band is still tight at the end of the exercise in squat position. Then tap right foot out to the right and bring back in. Continue alternating legs for 30 seconds. Move to -
Place band under your knees. Make sure band remains tight throughout the exercise. Lift your hips off the ground and tilt your pelvis towards your head. Extend both knees out to the side and bring back in, keeping band tight. Lower hips to the ground. Repeat for 30 seconds. Move to -
Deadlift to Bentover Row
Hook the band under your right foot and hold band with your left hand. Hinging forward at the hips, keeping back straight and staying in a bentover position, pull the band back until your wrist grazes your lower ribs, keeping your shoulder down away from your ears. Extend your arm back out towards your knee. Hinge back up to standing keeping your back straight. Repeat for 30 seconds.
You've now completed all 4 exercises, that's one round. Take a water break then do one more round!
Over the last few weeks I've had a few friends really struggle with anxiety.
We're all in new territory with the current global situation... add to that some job insecurity, family members being out of reach and rules changing week to week on the way we need to live and it's no wonder people are feeling anxious.
First, it's okay to feel this way. Recognizing how you're feeling is important because then you can do something to help yourself feel better. So what can you do? Here's my top 3 tips:
TIP 1 - GIN. No, not a🍸🤦♀️... GIN = Get In Nature. Studies have shown a decline in anxiety levels of participants after exposure to nature. Lifting your mood and lowering anxiety are two ways being outdoors may be good for mental health. Memory improves, as does the ability to focus. Some people also experience a boost in creativity after being in nature.
TIP 2 - Speak to someone. If you don't have a friend, partner or family member you can safely vent to, call Beyond Blue 1800 512 348 (they have a dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service) or go to your GP for a mental health plan - 6x 50% subsidized (through Medicare) sessions with a psychologist. While we're on it, let's remove the stigma around seeing a psychologist - it doesn't say anything about you other than the fact you care about your mental health. I've seen one myself in the past and it helped me immensely.
TIP 3 - Less 🍷🍺🍹 🖥📱, more 🥑🍎🥦🥪🏃♀️🌳.
I'm not saying pour your Moet down the sink and disconnect all your devices... just a little less of the stuff that makes you feel like crap and a little more of the stuff that makes your body more fun to live in. 💜
These are SO delicious - and the kids won't even notice the hidden green veggies!
2 cups zucchini, grated (not tightly packed)
1 large egg
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (measure when melted)
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao powder (you can use cocoa powder but note it is more processed than cacao)
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1/4 cup sprouted pea protein powder (I haven't tried but you can probably use any protein powder? If you don't want any protein powder then skip this and just do 1 cup wholemeal flour instead)
Place grated zucchini in a colander while you are getting the other ingredients ready.
Preheat the oven to 190c and line 20cm x 20cm baking dish with unbleached baking paper.
In a large bowl add egg, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract; whisk to combine.
Add cacao powder, baking soda and salt; whisk until well mixed.
Give zucchini a gentle squeeze but do not ring out completely, add to a bowl and stir.
Add flour and protein powder and mix gently until combined.
Transfer batter into prepared baking dish and level with spatula.
Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the centre is barely jiggly. If you over-bake the brownies will have more of a cake consistency (which still tasted good, but might not be what you're looking for). A toothpick inserted has to come out somewhat not clean. If the centre is too jiggly, bake a bit more – ovens vary.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about an hour in the tin. Lift by the baking paper flaps and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.
Cut into 16 squares.
Sprouted lentils are incredibly nutritious and you don't have to pay swanky health food store prices for them - make your own at home!
It's as simple as soaking, draining, rinsing and letting them sit. Green, black, and de Puy lentils work best. Over time (I used green lentils and these ones took 4 days to sprout) this repeated rinsing and draining jump-starts the germination process, and sprouts begin to form.
Usually you'd cook lentils prior to eating so they're easily digested, but sprouting neutralizes the phytic acid which means more vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by your body as they're digested. It also helps break down the sugars which are the cause for forming intestinal gas ;)
Sprouted lentils are crunchy, refreshing, and filling. Use them in salads, lentil burgers, or corn fritters!
Sprouted Lentil Corn Fritters
1 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup milk
1 x 420g can corn kernels, drained
1 cup sprouted lentils
olive oil for frying
Place flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Use a fork to whisk eggs and milk in a jug and pour gradually into the flour, stirring gently to combine. Fold in corn and lentils. Don’t over-mix or the fritters will be tough.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat with olive oil. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of mixture into the pan (you’ll have to cook in batches). Cook for about 2-3 mins, until golden brown underneath, then turn and cook the other side. Repeat with the oil and fritter mixture.
Serve fritters with your choice of sides: avocado, rocket, feta cheese, sweet chilli sauce or tomato relish.
A few years ago I went along to a running clinic with my cousin.
I'd been running for years prior to that, but had never really given a lot of thought to my 'technique' - I wasn't particularly trying to smash amazing run times, I was just enjoying being outdoors while I got some exercise, took in the sights and sounds and always felt a million bucks afterwards, endorphins pumping (endorphins = chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain).
However, after trying out a few of these running tips, I found my runs smoother, more relaxing on days where my body was tight and another nice side effect, I got a bit quicker :)
The tip that worked best for me: instead of putting effort into lifting up the knee on your leading leg to propel you forward as you run, try lifting the heel of that front leg up to your butt - your knee will automatically project up and forwards, propelling you forward without the drag of pulling up your leg. I couldn't believe how much lighter my leg felt when I did this.
Other tips you might like to try:
lift your chest - this will pull your shoulders back and stop you rounding forward - also makes it easier to breathe!
tuck your chin slightly - your head weights a fair bit, so if your chin is lifted too high it can put strain on your neck.
breathe rhythmically - if you find you get the stitch a lot, this can help. Intentionally breathe in through your nose as you inhale, run a certain amount of steps (say 3) then exhale through your nose or mouth (for another number of steps). Make sure when you exhale that you let all that breath out before you inhale again.
New to running and looking for more tips? Why not join our beginner's running group - jump on our facebook page to be alerted when the next group is starting up 🖤
The simplest cookie you'll ever make!
Such a great one to make with kids because they can easily do everything. Just mash up the bananas, mix in the oats then mix in the choc chips and you're done!
10-15 mins in preheated 180 degree celsius oven. Makes 16 bite size cookies.
2 ripe bananas
1 cup rolled oats
80 grams choc chips (white choc chips work well too... I used a chopped up 80% cocoa lindt bar because that's heat I had in the cupboard #stayhome
If you want to keep the chocolate out you could replace with dried fruit like raisins or medjool dates.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 litre reduced salt vegetable stock
1 head of broccoli including heads and stalks, roughly chopped
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper, to season
a few fresh basil leaves, torn
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1. Heat olive oil in a large, deep saucepan over a medium - high heat and add in the onion and garlic, cooking for a few minutes, until they start to soften.
2. Add fennel seeds and chopped broccoli and stir for another minute.
3. Add stock and bring to a boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add the chickpeas. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes until the broccoli is tender but not mushy.
5. Use a stick blender to blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. If you don't have a stick blender you can wait until it cools a little then pop in a high power blender like a Vitamix.
6. Serve with parmesan cheese, torn basil leaves and squeeze of lemon juice.
Transitioning babies from eating mush to more solid foods can be challenging,
I found this slice makes a lovely texture that my 9 month old found very manageable (and exciting) to eat. Cut the slice into smaller bite size pieces if your baby is just starting out on solids. If you're not making for a baby then season with pepper to your taste.
Turns out this recipe was a winner with the rest of the family too - great midweek dinner, just add a side salad of baby spinach leaves and some diced orange (quinoa too if you're feeling fancy) and you're all set!
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
2 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 small can corn kernels, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 large onion, finely chopped
200g rindless bacon, chopped (replace with 100g ham if making for a baby)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan (replace with cheddar if making for a baby)
2 tbsp olive oil.
Preheat oven to 170C. Fry bacon/ham and onion in oil.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl until combined. Add the flour and beat until smooth, then add zucchini, carrot, corn, onion, bacon, cheese and stir to combine.
Grease and line a quiche pan or 30 x 20cm lamington pan. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
The whole family will enjoy 💚
Hello and Welcome!
Hi! I'm Amanda and I'm so glad you found us. We would love to help you reach (and maintain!) your health and fitness goals.
I started She's a Knockout in 2009 after discovering for myself the life-changing benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise and becoming a qualified personal trainer and boxing instructor - I wanted to empower other women by sharing this knowledge!
I've lost over 20kg myself and have kept it off many years and 2 kids later.
Along the way there's been challenges - learning about nutrition and exercise, struggling for years to fall and stay pregnant, then sustaining a healthy and active lifestyle while raising young kids.
I've personally selected a team of positive, empathetic, encouraging and professional female trainers to help you lose weight, get fit and feel strong, sexy and confident! We specialise in training women in all stages of their lives, including prenatal and postnatal.
We come to you in many locations across Perth - whether it's your home, local park, apartment gym or office.
We bring all the equipment and will come at a time and place that suits you.