Don’t give up on yourself – small steps can have the biggest impact

 

This is information I think lots of women need to hear…… I work on a lot of mindset issues with my clients. It is as important as the physical training and if you can get your body and mind in the best possible shape you will be much happier and more likely to continue reaching your goals. In early May I launched my very first FitM.U.M 12 week online fitness challenge. It started from talking to my clients who always dread winter weight gain and feeling sluggish and unhealthy. They were actually just expecting that it was going to happen every year and all the hard work that they had put in and the results they had achieved over summer would be undone and so continued the cycle, year in and year out. I started to hear this more and more and realised how common it was. I loved the idea of starting a group/community to help keep people accountable in the lead up to winter. I put the call out to gauge interest and I was blown away with the interest and knew it was something I had to do. That was when my 12 week pre-winter accountability challenge was born. We are now just over half way through this challenge and everyone is doing great and have really encouraged each other to stay on track. The thing I have noticed the most during this challenge is that everyone goes through the same feelings. It is never easy for anyone and at different times we will all experience low motivation and ‘fall off the wagon’. If you are reading this and are currently feeling this way then it is important to know that you are certainly not alone and it does not mean the end of your journey. Perhaps you are not currently feeling this way, which is awesome, but I bet you can think of a time that you have felt this way.

No matter how good your intentions are when you set your goals and begin your health and fitness journey, there will more than likely come a time that you will start to feel a slump in motivation and the initial enthusiasm can seem to wear off and it starts to feel a bit ‘too hard’. This is the time that you need to refocus and remember the reasons why you started. How did you feel before you decided to commit to working on yourself and your health and wellness? What are your goals? What is your motivation? If you are feeling like it is becoming harder to maintain everything, you need to break down your goals again and go back to basics. I tell all of my clients that it is important to choose one main area to focus on and take small steps. You need to crawl before you can run and often things get overwhelming when you try and do too much and the slightest hiccup will get you off track.

IMG_1166

Instead of trying to have the cleanest diet in the world (which can become overwhelming and hard to maintain when life gets stressful and busy) you should choose one main area of your diet that you feel needs some work (eg. reducing processed carbohydrates, cutting out soft drink, decreasing added artificial sugars etc). Stick with that until you feel like you have got it under control and then add a new mini goal. Small goals which you can achieve and continue to maintain. Do not try to change your entire lifestyle in a few weeks because if it gets hard you are more likely to throw in the towel and let go off all of the progress you have already made. Take a deep breath, reassess where you are at and how far you have come and just simply start again.

There is a big difference between a set back and failure!!

âž•Slip ups, distractions, busyness, eating the wrong foods, lack of motivation, particularly bad period week, not exercising for a few days, injuries…. They are all just setbacks and are overcome the minute you decide to put your head down and bum up and get going again!! They do not define your long term goal.

✖The only failure is if you decide that your health, fitness & wellbeing was not worth the effort and you quit completely!! 
You have all come to far to let that happen! Do not give up on yourself……You are capable of more than you know ~ Believe in yourself!

Kel xx

don't fail

you got this

 

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Final wrap up of Cassie’s 8 week program – Determination, strength and long term changes

This is, sadly, the last blog post to wrap up the final session and results of Cassie’s journey, our 8 week Summer Body Program winner . Cassie not only completed the 8 weeks, she totally smashed it and always did whatever was asked of her and more. Over the 8 weeks Cassie learnt a lot about fitness, nutrition and lifestyle but she mainly learnt about her personal strength and how much she is capable of achieving. She freely and openly admits that when she found out she won, she actually wasn’t sure if she wanted to even start. Cassie has battled with anxiety and depression and she has realised how important it is to listen to your body and your mind and how important mental health and wellbeing is, as well as physical fitness.

cassie week 8 exercise

During the 8 weeks, I gave Cassie a new program every Sunday night for the following week. These were hard programs and she even said once that she actually thought I was trying to kill her. The reason for this is so she would see progression each week and learn to push herself out of her comfort zone to complete all of the workouts. She only had 1 scheduled rest day each week and she had a double session on a Monday (morning and afternoon). We also worked on her nutrition and I went through a 3 day food diary with her to analyse what she was eating and drinking in a typical day. We discussed her diet and made a few changes including increasing how much she was eating for breakfast and the importance of healthy snacks during the day. I actually told Cassie she could increase the amount she was eating during the day. We also minimised the amount of added sugar (mainly to tea and coffee). These were simple changes that she could make and it fit in with her busy lifestyle (she is a working mum of 4 young children). Cassie’s entire family were so supportive of her new lifestyle changes and her husband and kids were encouraging her during her exercise and also enjoying the new food they were eating.

I met with Cassie 3 times during the program for training sessions. We  discussed how she was finding the exercise sessions, whether she was on track with her healthy eating and most importantly how she was feeling, physically and mentally. The most important lesson to come from our 8 week training program is that in a short timeframe such as 8 weeks, it is not only about weight loss and numbers on the scales. Cassie is the perfect example of how much balance exercise and fitness can bring to your life. She felt stronger and more positive after working out and even on the days she might have not been feeling great she still pushed herself to do her workouts and she always felt better afterwards. When you do something that makes you feel better mentally, it carries over into all areas of your life and Cassie also felt like a better wife and mother. The mental benefits are huge. What an awesome role model for her children! Our children are always watching what we are doing.

cassie and son

Another awesome example of Cassie really pushing herself out of her comfort zone and proving once again how strong she is and how far she has come, was when she joined our FitM.U.M Mount Lofty Walking Group one weekend. For those that aren’t aware, Mount Lofty is a steep and fairly long hike up a mountain in Adelaide… it is definitely tough! I was so pleased that Cassie came and she never once gave up even when her mind might have been telling her to stop or when panic may have set in. Her husband came with her to support her and she overcome a massive mental barrier that day and should be very proud of her efforts.

Towards the end of our program Cassie and I had a very honest discussion about the medication she is on for her anxiety and that it makes weight loss very difficult but that it was important that she remain on it to feel her best and not impact on her life. This program was about a complete change of lifestyle and it simply can not be all about one area only. To be successful and make any form of long term changes , it needed to be manageable and maintainable and that is exactly what we did. Cassie lost 2kg and at least 1-2cms from her waist, hips, arms and legs. But best of all she feels so much better and is managing her anxiety and depression and she has shown herself how much strength she has and that she can do anything!

Enough from me, let’s hear from Cassie now that she has finished the program….

Well my 8 week challenge has come to an end. I have learnt so much from Kelly and also about myself over the past 8 weeks.

At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the end. I was at a pretty low point mentally and not sure if I was up for the challenge. BUT I did it!

I feel so proud to say I have done almost every workout Kelly has given me.

However, I haven’t lost much weight, only 2kg. And this has been so hard to come to terms with, when I’ve been working my butt off. I haven’t lost any weight due to my depression and anxiety medication and I probably won’t lose much while I’m still on it.

But I have gained so much physically and definitely mentally. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone too many times to count. I never thought I was this strong, not just physically (don’t get me wrong I did 100 push-ups today when I couldn’t even do one in the beginning), mentally I am so much stronger now than when I began. My depression has decreased and I have the motivation and determination to continue pushing myself.

Just because my 8 week challenge is finished, I’m not finished with exercising. I’ve changed my lifestyle now and Yes I still have my low days but the benefits of the new lifestyle are definitely worth the effort.

Thanks for following my journey and all of the support you have all given me along the way. Xx

cassie and kel

Cassie was such a deserving winner and I am so grateful that I met her and could help her to incorporate exercise and diet changes into her life. She is an amazingly strong woman and a fantastic wife and mother. Never underestimate yourself Cass, you are a champion who should be very proud of what you achieved over the 8 weeks and how much you have changed! I am proud of you and feel as if I made a friend in the process! Keep up the great work FitMumma!!  xx

Healthy Banana Oat Muesli Bars

This is our go-to, easy and delicious muesli bar recipe, which is great for healthy snacks, lunch boxes and even for a yummy evening treat with a cup of tea.

They are perfect for using up any bananas that are a bit too ripe. You can add anything you like really. We like ours packed with fruit, nuts and seeds so that’s how we came up with this recipe, but you can adjust quantities to your taste.

healthy muesli bar 1

Ingredients

3-4 ripe bananas

2 1/2  cups of traditional rolled oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup finely chopped dried dates

1/4 cup diced dried apricots

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

2-3 TBS pepitas

2 TBS chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

3 TBS Rice Malt Syrup (optional) or you could use natural honey or maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 160-180 degrees. Grease a square slice tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Mash bananas until smooth. Add all other ingredients (ensure your almonds, dates, apricots are finely chopped). Stir well and mix until well combined. Spoon into prepared slice pan and use back of spoon to press down firmly in pan (this ensure it slices well once cooked).
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Allow slice to cool before cutting into small bars (sometimes we can’t wait that long and slice it anyway as we like our first piece still warm hehe). Serve.
  4. Store in airtight container in the fridge.

healthy muesli bar

Enjoy xx

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip Recipe – I Quit Sugar

I always feel so prepared and organised when I make these overnight oats. Plus they are delicious. This recipe is actually from the I Quit Sugar Cookbook, you can adapt or change it to your liking, but I love it just the way it is. It makes 2 serves.

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip - source I Quit Sugar

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip – source I Quit Sugar

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip

Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 TBSP chia seeds

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (or any kind of milk)

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

1 large carrot, finely granted

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger (I don’t usually use this)

pinch nutmeg and sea salt

1/2 frozen banana

2 TBSP crushed walnuts

2 TBSP coconut flakes

Yoghurt or whipped coconut cream with additional walnuts and coconut flakes or sugar free granola to serve.

Directions

Blend the oats, chia seeds, milk, vanilla, carrot, spices, salt, banana and the walnuts and the coconut flakes until smooth. Pour into two jars or containers with lids. Leave to soak overnight in the fridge, with lids on.

overnight oats blender

overnight oats jars

In the morning, top with yoghurt or whipped coconut cream, granola and additional walnuts and coconut flakes.

overnight oats coconut cream

Totally delicious, easy to prepare and make and it means you don’t have to think about breakfast the next morning. You could make a double batch and have breakfasts for half of the week. I often do a batch on Sunday night so breakfast is sorted on Monday and Tuesday morning and I start the week off prepared and healthy!

There are so many varieties of overnight oats, if you have a great one you would like to share, head over to FitM.U.M Facebook page and share it with us.

Enjoy xx

Hi Ho, Hi Ho… it’s back to School we go! Simple Snack Recipes & Ideas

Back to school, always comes with mixed emotions in this house. It is exciting that our girl is growing up and enjoying her school years but it is sad that holidays are over, sleep ins must come to an end and we can’t just hang out at home or do whatever we feel like each day! Alas, we are embracing it and getting ourselves prepared for the big year 2 world that awaits us on Tuesday!

We have had a bit of a school lunchbox cook up to ensure that we start the year off prepared, organised and healthy.

Here are a couple of the things we have made for Term 1.

Simple Spelt Pancakes

This recipe is not my own, it is one I have been using for ages and I honestly don’t know where it came from so can’t give proper credit

Ingredients

2 cups Whole spelt flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt (I use pink Himalayan rock salt)

1 3/4 cups milk (I use oat milk – you can use any milk you like)

2 Tbsp butter (I use Nuttelex for dairy free version), melted

2 tsps Natural vanilla extract

*2 Tbsp sugar (optional, I use a drizzle of honey – you could use any sweetener you prefer)

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2. Combine the milk, melted butter and vanilla

3. Form a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir the batter just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened (it will seem quite wet but will thicken as it sits). Let the batter sit for 15 minutes before you use it.

4. Heat a non stick pan. Spoon the batter onto the hot surface, make them as big or small as you like. I do them fairly small for lunchbox snacks.

5. Let the pancakes cook on first side until bubbles form (about 2-3 minutes), when they are just beginning to set, flip them and finish cooking on other side (about 2 minutes) until they are golden brown on both sides.

Banana Bread (I made it into muffins for lunchbox snacks but you could do bread slices)

This recipe is from The Healthy Chef and it is yummy

300g smashed ripe Banana (I actually use 1 large banana)

3 free range or organic eggs

2 Tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

1/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda + 1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 cups almond meal (if you’re school doesn’t allow almond meal you could use any flour you prefer, I have used whole spelt flour)

1/4 cup ground flaxseed (linseed) or chia seeds

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 160 Degrees Celsius.

Combine smashed banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, baking soda and lemon in a large bowl.

Add the almond meal or flour and flaxseed/chia and mix well.

Lightly oil one loaf tin (or muffin pan if making muffins) and coat with extra almond meal or desiccated coconut to stop sticking.

Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 45 mins – 1 hour (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry). I usually cover the top with foil for about 30 mins of the baking time and then uncover for the last part to let it brown up without over-browning.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.

* I also usually add 1/2 cup blueberries to the batter and lightly fold through before pouring in loaf tin. You could use any berries.

A few of our other lunchbox favourites that we have stocked up on are:

Tucker’s Natural Tiny Dippers

We love the Australian, family owned business, Tucker’s Natural and we love even more that their healthy eating criteria are:

  • No preservatives
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No artificial flavourings
  • No genetically modified ingredients
  • Yeast, soy and MSG free
  • No trans fats
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • We keep the fibre content as high as we can and we use a mix of natural complex soluble and insoluble fibre
  • We keep the salt, sugar and saturated fat content as low as we possibly can
  • We keep the calorie content as low as we can without sacrificing flavour, texture and a great eating experience

The Tiny Dippers are perfect for the lunchbox, with just enough crackers and dip for a good healthy snack. They are also great for an on the run after school or sports snack.

Tuckers

These products are available to purchase online and at selected Coles and Woolworths.

Lily also loves it when I cook a corn cob and cut it into thirds and put it in her lunchbox along with carrot sticks.

Dried fruit (such as diced apricots, cranberries, sultanas) is also a winner as well as fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries).

We also cut a wrap or mountain bread into quarters for her to snack on.

I don’t normally buy bars or fruit sticks but we found these ones (below) at Coles so thought we would try them. So far the verdict is good and they seem fairly healthy for store bought bars, so they might be a good snack to add in once or twice a week.

lunchbox bars

3-fruit-sticks-pear-apple-acai

These are just a few ideas and things we do for snacks. Lily’s main lunch always consists of a sandwich or sometimes leftovers from the night before (cut up cold meat, pasta, veggie slice etc). There are some fantastic ideas for healthy lunchboxes on Pinterest. I like the look of this one….

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Happy back to school prep, FitMummies! xx

Choc Nut Granola Clusters Recipe

This recipe is based on a recipe from I Quit Sugar (a cookbook I love!). I have adapted it slightly so I will post my version. I usually just guesstimate the measurement of nuts but below is an approximate guide. You can substitute any nuts really and you will soon find what you like based on your taste so make a few batches and have a play around. If you stumble across an amazing new version or ingredient, please be sure to let me know so I can try it!

granola

Choc Nut Granola Clusters

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews (roughly chopped)

1/2 Cup Roasted Almonds (roughly chopped)

1 Cup Pecans (roughly chopped)

1 Cup Walnuts (roughly chopped)

1/4 cup Pepitas

2 TBS Chia Seeds

2 1/2 cups coconut flakes (shredded or flakes – not desiccated as it’s too fine)

3/4 Cup Coconut Oil (melted)

*optional* 3-4 TBS sweetener such as honey, rice malt syrup or maple syrup depending on desired sweetness

1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 120 degrees and line baking tray with baking paper.

Roughly chop all nuts and combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix until everything is coated in the chocolate and spread evenly on baking tray.

This part is dependent on your oven, I bake mine for 20 mins and turn and then bake again for another 5-10 mins. I like it quite dark and crunchy so this might be trial and error for the first few go’s, just keep an eye on it and test it.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on tray, this will also dry the granola out as it often still looks slightly wet when you first pull it out of the oven.

Store in an airtight container.

Serving ideas

granola bowl

Irondad likes his on top of greek yoghurt

If I make overnight oats, I sprinkle a bit on top for brekkie

We all love it sprinkled over frozen banana ‘ice cream’

ENJOY xx

Banana 'icecream' with choc nut granola

  Banana ‘icecream’ with choc nut granola

A look inside FitMUM’s Shopping Trolley

I have had a few questions about what health food products (and brands) I use so for something different I thought I would do a post all about what made its way into my shopping trolley this week. Once I started I realised that there were so many more products that I could have written about. I have enough for a second blog article on this topic at some stage. If this is something that interests you, leave me a comment on my blog or my Facebook page here if you would like more.

Obviously this is not my entire shop (how boring and long would that be) but this is a selection of products we buy on a {very} regular basis and things that I love and use ALL time {basically can’t live without}.

Traditional Rolled Oats

Good old fashioned 100% rolled oats. Not often you find a product with only one thing listed on the ingredient list. I love oats and have them for breakfast every morning (with the exception of the odd Sunday when I have poached eggs on toast). They are quick and easy, super good for you and delicious. I make mine with Oat Milk and then add a drizzle of honey, chia seeds, diced apricots and either a handful of blueberries or a sliced banana. I also make a delicious Overnight Oats recipe about once a week from the I Quit Sugar Cookbook. YUMMO!

rolled oats

Black Chia Seeds

I add chia seeds to many things. I have them on my oats, in my smoothies, and in our bliss balls and choc granola.

Among other things Chia Seeds are high in fibre, protein and omega 3 and they are loaded with antioxidants. They certainly pack a health punch for such a tiny seed and they are low in calories for something so high in fibre.

chia seeds

Rice Malt Syrup

This mild tasting syrup is a fantastic fructose-free sugar substitute. It is very versatile and inexpensive. I use it in any recipes instead of sugar. You can drizzle it over pancakes or oats or use it to sweeten your tea if you are trying to quit sugar.

It is made from 100% brown rice and is a better option than other sweeteners that are high in fructose and release sugar faster into the blood stream causing insulin spikes and subsequent blood sugar crashes.

rice malt syrup

Green Tea & Peppermint Tea

I used to be a bit of a tea addict but since being dairy free I have switched to only drinking green tea and peppermint tea. I always start the day with a cup of green tea and I always end the day with a cup of peppermint tea (I also drink them throughout the day if I feel the need). I use Organo Gold Organic Green Tea which is infused with Ganoderma, a very powerful ingredient that has been used for centuries in China and Japan for its many health benefits and healing properties

*If you would like to know more about this product (both tea & coffee) email me at fitmumsa@gmail.com for more details*

OG green tea

 I have pretty much tried every brand of tea, if you don’t use Organo Organic Green Tea, these are others I buy:

green tea

We have all heard the many benefits of green tea (the list is long), one of the big ones being that it has been shown to increase fat burning and boost your metabolic rate.

Coconut Oil

I love coconut oil for so many reasons, from cooking through to using on my bubs cradle cap and dry skin…. seriously awesome stuff!

It goes great with cacao when making sweet treats so we use it in our choc granola, bliss balls, homemade ‘chocolate’ and other baking. It is the healthiest oil to cook with and has a high smoke point so can be used at high temperatures.

coconut oil

Oat Milk

I use organic unsweetened oat milk. Since removing dairy I have found this to be the best substitute for me (personal preference). I do have almond milk sometimes too. Oat milk goes perfectly with my breakfast oats and smoothies. I also use it in baking as a substitute for cows milk and the rest of my family can’t taste the difference (they still drink cow’s milk).

oat milk

Almonds

We buy dry roasted almonds by the truck load. They are a great snack mixed with dried fruit and other nuts. I usually carry a container of homemade trail mix in my bag for when I am out and about. I also put them in our choc nut bliss balls recipe here

We often make our own almond meal and use it in baking. This is also a great alternative to crumbing meat eg. Schnitzels.

almonds

Quinoa

We are a bit obsessed with Quinoa in our household. We usually eat it at least 3 times a week (minimum). We also buy health food brands from the markets or the Woolworths Macro range, however this is the one I grabbed this week as we were almost out. All of the organic brands are as good as each other in my opinion.

I have listed the health benefits of Quinoa on one of my previous Facebook posts and have written out the recipe for our Healthy Roast Vegetable & Quinoa Salad find it here

We also substitute any rice dishes with Quinoa, eg. Stir fry’s, Curries or just season it and use as a side dish with dinner. The options and recipes are endless so get creative with your Quinoa and start incorporating it into your weekly meals!

quinoa organic

So there you have a little insight into some of the staples in my family’s shopping trolley and some of the ways we use them.

Happy Shopping FitMummies!! Xx