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6 Supplements You Need To Start Feeding Your Body

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Have you ever wondered if your body is getting the nutrients it needs to absolutely kill it, all day long?

So, upon request… Here are my top 6 supplement picks!

1. ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

First and foremost,  try achieving your required daily intake of essential fatty acids through a few servings of healthy oils, nuts and seeds!

I know what you’re thinking… anything with the word ‘fat’ in it MUST be bad for you. Dietary fats have been plagued with a bad reputation ever since the invention of reduced-fat products and low-fat diets. However, essential fatty acids and dietary fats are critical components to good health.

Your body is already able to make most of the fatty acids it needs from other dietary fats, however there are two types of fatty acids that your body is unable to create. Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3 fatty acid).

Essential fatty acids are first and foremost popular for the positive effect on SKIN HEALTH, however they also assist in many aspects of your health such as the ability to improve immunity, mood and brain health, as well as promoting a healthy heart and decreasing inflammation.

So how do you get more of this goodness into your body?

You can choose to take a supplement that you can find at a good naturopath.

2. HIGH QUALITY MULTIVITAMINS

Multivitamins! If you don’t take them already… I suggest starting! The vitamins and minerals inside one multivitamin have literally hundreds of benefits. Although you can achieve a good intake of vitamins and minerals through healthy eating alone, you will not eat enough to provide your body with ALL of the essential vitamins and minerals it craves for good health, simply because food isn’t as nutritious as it once was. Yep, environmental factors are effecting our food quality big time.

But if you’re not convinced, I’llprovide you with 19 ways in which one multivitamin a day can help promote living your best healthiest lives.

1. Support healthy ageing

2. Correct nutritional deficiencies

3. Improve short-term memory

4. Boost energy levels

5. Detoxify your body

6. Maintain muscle strength

7. Prevent falls (yes, a decent dose of vitamin D and calcium can literally improve your balance!)

8.  Improve sense of smell

9. Protect against hearing loss

10. Improve your skin

11. Prevent diabetic complications

12. Stave off asthma and allergies

13. Boost mood

14. Manage stress/anxiety

15. Enhance weight loss

16. Improve sexual function

17. Prevent dry eyes

18. Reduce your cravings for alcohol

19. Prevent dental problems

You can source a high quality multivitamin at your nearest health food store or most grocery stores!

3. L-GLUTAMINE

L-glutamine is something not many of us are familiar with. But this supplement is a KILLER for those of you undergoing rough workouts! This supplement can be found in most chemists or supplement stores and assists in maintaining muscle, supporting your immunity and helps assist your body with the ability to metabolise fat! That’s right girls and guys, this little supplement boosts your metabolism.

I recommend this for anyone who is serious about working towards their health and fitness goals!

4. SPIRULINA/ SUPER GREENS

This superfood is an absolute essential supplement for your health. Spirulina is a blue-green algae (um, what!?) that is found in exotic locations around the world, and is armed with an incredibly powerful nutritional profile.

Spirulina benefits include:

  1. Detoxifies heavy metals: Environmental pollution and the rising global arsenic toxicity problem is affecting people all around the globe. But studies have proven that a regulated daily dose of Spirulina significantly decreases the level of arsenic toxicity in our bodies! So it’s officially a heavy metal detox!
  2. Improves your immune system
  3. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  4. Boosts your energy! 

You can find a good spirulina supplement at almost any health food store!

5. MAGNESIUM

Considering all the important parts that magnesium plays in the human body, not to mention the fact that most of us are magnesium deficient… it’s probably a good idea to start including a good magnesium supplement (on-top of magnesium-rich foods) into our daily diet routines.

A Hypomagnesemia deficiency is responsible for symptoms such as bad muscle aches and pains, a decrease in energy, poor digestion, anxiety and trouble sleeping. And that’s just to name a few. Didn’t know magnesium was responsible for all of that? Don’t be alarmed! Studies show that most of the population are unfamiliar with the effect that this little super-metal has on the body.

The recommended dose of magnesium is around 400-420mg per day for men, and 310-320 for women! So where can you find it?

  • Spinach boiled
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa, cooked
  • Almonds, cashews
  • Mackerel
  • Avocado
  • Salmon

Not getting enough of these foods into your daily diet? Try a supplement! There are a huge selection of magnesium supplements around, and you can find them in most chemists, grocery stores or health food stores. If you have any medical condition, check with your doctor first before taking this one!

6. ALKALINE WATER

The alkaline (pH) water trend is the latest controversial health gig circulating like wildfire right now!

Regardless of the lack of actual scientific evidence, people believe that alkaline water can slow the ageing process, regulate your body’s pH levels, and even prevent chronic diseases such as cancer!

Regular drinking water alone has a neutral pH balance of 7, however alkaline water has a pH level of around 8 or 9, and although controversial, true pH water believers are convinced that alkaline water contributes to the following health benefits:

  1. Anti-ageing
  2. Colon-cleansing properties
  3. Immune system support
  4. Hydration, skin health, and other detoxifying properties
  5. Weight loss
  6. Cancer resistance!
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CHOCOLATE BLACKBERRY MUFFINS

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Today’s recipe was a total whim. And by total, I mean I kinda just threw all the ingredients in a bowl and prayed it worked out. Well, here we are- delicious and easy chocolate chip blackberry muffins! These bad boys contain tons of flavor, natural sweetness (refined sugar free!), and are gluten free as well! They also contain tons of protein!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1 scoop Dark Chocolate & Blackberry Collagen Protein (or other protein powder of choice)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips

 

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix the oat flour, protein powder (if using), cocoa powder, coconut sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg, oil, and almond milk together in a separate bowl. Pour into the dry ingredients, and as you mix together, fold in the blackberries and chocolate chips.
  4. Grease muffin tins with cooking oil to prevent sticking. Spoon in ~1/3 cup of the batter. Repeat until done.
  5. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until done in the middle. Remove and let cool for 15-20 minutes.
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Chicken, Veggie & Rice Soup

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Filling, soul warming and delicious – what more could you want from a soup? Now I should warn you I found this out the hard way that the rice (obviously in hindsight) continues to absorb the soup after you make it. So if you are serving this for guests (I suggest you find yourself another meal because I’m sure you can do better than chicken soup) but if you are cook and serve it the same day. When I stored this in my fridge as my meal prep it does absorb a lot of the liquid and end up being a very thick ricey stew, but delicious all the same. Just don’t be horrified when you open the leftovers and you have a jelly like soup. Warm it up and it tastes amaazing.

Okay so if i haven’t put you off it by now, here’s the recipe:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 3 celery sticks diced
  • 3 tsp vegeta
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 L chicken broth (use low salt because the vegeta has salt!)
  • 1 L water
  • 1kg chicken legs
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  1. Place oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for a further minute
  2. Add Vegeta, stock, water, herbs and water into the pan with the chicken.
  3. Cover and simmer on a low-medium heat (some bubbles but not crazy) for 45 mins – 1 hour.
  4. Remove the lid and add the rice and zucchini. Cover and simmer for 15 mins or until rice is cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken from the soup and shred with two forks.
  6. Add chicken back in and serve soup with some parsley on top.
Baked Apple Oatmeal

Baked Apple Oatmeal

Feeling like having cake for breakfast? You have to give this baked oatmeal recipe a try!

Warm, sweet and chewy, it simply feels like a hug in a bowl. It will also keep you full for longer and provide all the energy you need to face the day. Can be eaten warm from the oven or you can make a big batch to be served cold or popped in the microwave before serving.

It has all the amazing, wholesome ingredients and is super easy to prepare. The cake-like texture of this baked oatmeal, together with the incredible smell in your kitchen will make your breakfast better than ever, guaranteed!

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Ingredients:

  • half cup (60g) rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • half tsp baking powder
  • half tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of good quality salt
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • half cup plant milk or regular milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine oats, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Add grated apple, raisins, sweetener and milk to the bowl with oat mixture. Give it a good stir.
  4. Transfer the mixture to one big or two smaller baking molds. If there there is any excess liquid pour it into the molds too, it will all get absorbed.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, let cool a bit, top with a splash of greek or coconut yogurt, some extra cinnamon, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and fresh fruit of choice (optional).
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Peanut Butter Protein Bars

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In your food processor, process all the ingredients, and add in the milk as you go.
  2. Grease an 8×8 tin with cooking spray, and pour the mixture into there. Freeze for one hour.
  3. Cut into 6-8 bars and enjoy!
A Love Letter To Crossfit

A Love Letter To Crossfit

It’s a Process.  

I still remember what the WOD was on my first day. It involved copious amounts of wall balls.  I couldn’t breathe. I had a cramp in my side. I was afraid of getting high fived in the face with a 10 pound ball.  I contemplated death many times that day.  I heard “Caroline, breathe!” At least ten times a WOD for the first 2 months.  For some reason, holding my breath while working out was my body’s natural defense. Maybe it was hoping I would pass out so I could lie down. Anyway, CrossFit and fitness is general is a process.  Be patient! It’s a process. Sometimes it’s a very slow process but its working!

It’s fun unless it’s not. 

I curse CrossFit and my coaches (whom I love) on a regular basis.  Like most people I like to do the things I’m good at.  I’m kind of strong so I like to lift.  Push presses, dead lifts, bear complexes and even thrusters are fun for me.  Okay, maybe not thrusters.  I loathe any body weight exercise that is programmed. I just suck at gymnastics.  I have cried during WOD’s with high gymnasty skills on more than one occasion.  I’m told I need to break through the mental barrier. Really, I just suck at it and I hate it. Even if I could breeze through it like everyone else I will still hate it.  The cool thing is that when I hate something in Crossfit, you develop this need of working on it again and again and again. Now as much as my body protests I can stuck my mind to it and try my best. It’s not easy and sometimes I need to stop and rest but I’m doing it.

It hurts so good.

Um, yes. True story. Why do people insist that pain is good you may ask? It’s not. It sucks. I’m sore most days. For the most part it’s tolerable but the good thing is that it makes your mind so much stronger.

CrossFit is known for its undying love of the underdog.

We hoot, holler and yell encouragement at everyone but we have an extra special affinity for encouraging the person who is still working when everyone else is recovering.  I love that for everyone else. For me, I wish people would just leave me alone to finish in peace. It’s not that I don’t appreciate people cheering me on.  I do. I like the post WOD high fives and fist bumps. Love those. I love the people who want me to succeed. However, when I’m on thruster number 5 of 20 I just want to focus on what I’ve got to do. So, please, don’t take offense when I ask you to not cheer me on. (That is unless you’re Dan Bailey or Charlie Hunnam. They can cheer me on in any way they see fit!)   The people at my box already know this about me. It doesn’t always stop the encouragement but I appreciate that they respect me enough to keep it to a dull roar.

We all know who Rich Froning and Sam Briggs are. (If you don’t you need to study.)

They are the gold standard in CrossFit and are what a lot of people think of when they think of CrossFit.  They are phenomenal athletes and as a result of their hard work they have physiques to be admired.  But let me be clear when I say that most people who CrossFit do not look like this. The amazing people who test themselves daily are moms and dads, bus drivers and bankers and college students.  They look like you and me and they are all athletes to be admired.  Some have six packs and some do not. Regardless, these men and women work their butts off and should be revered.

There are a lot of interesting terms in CrossFit.

Some of them make people chuckle like the 12 year olds they really are, me included.  Don’t be fooled by the ease at which your coaches can perform movements like the snatch and the jerk.  They’ve had a ton of practice and it takes hundreds of times of doing some of these movements until we get good at them.  Scooping, thrusting and shrugging are hard!  One day I’ll be able to clean, jerk and have a nice snatch! One day, when I grow up that won’t make chuckle to say.

Flexing is fun. 

We’ve all heard all of the fun sayings that eventually end up on tank tops.  Suns out, Guns out! Welcome to the Gun show! Meet the Hammer Brothers… Jack and Sledge! These tank tops exist because flexing is fun.  The best days are the days when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and notice a curve to your arms or a ridge in your abs.  You turn to the left and to the right and you FLEX! It’s really one of the greatest benefits of CrossFit. Flexing is fun. Go Forth and Flex! Especially when you did a workout that involves tons of GHD Sit Ups, you will go check immediately afterwards if your abs are creeping out!

Few will understand.

People won’t always understand our love for CrossFit. It’s okay.  They don’t have to get it.  Sometimes it’s frustrating that they don’t understand.  I get it.  I deal with it.  It just may not be for them.  That’s okay too.  Don’t let that snuff out your light! Shine bright, baby! Let the love flow. Embrace it.  Nothing is better than some good old fashioned CrossFit love.  If you don’t have anyone to talk to about it send me an e-mail! I’ve got lots to say!

CrossFitters are the best people.

They really are.  Am I the only person who is surprised when someone is genuinely nice to me? Maybe I am but let me just say people who do CrossFit are the best.  They shine bright and they “Live with Fire!”   Their spirit, passion and love for CrossFit and their boxmates runs deep.  It’s a true love. It’s an undying love that is wrapped in truth, kindness, generosity and sometimes tough love.  I love them.  It has filled me with something that I didn’t know I was missing. I know that I will be supported and pushed and I know that when I succeed we all succeed.   The heart of CrossFit is the people. Don’t let anyone tell you anything differently. We love and we WOD!

Last but not least, you can do it!

Dig deep.  Press harder.  Push your limits.  Try. Fail. Try again.  It takes time but you can do it.  Come back for more. Don’t give up. A breakthrough is on the way.  And if you think you can’t do it…look at me. Through the doubt and the fear and rough days…I’m doing it! You can. You can. You can.

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Why Failure Is Important

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I want to share what I’ve learned about failure (from failing), and how I’ve learned to deal with it – I truly believe it’s just as important as success.

Through our schooling years we are painted a picture of the way our lives should be: finish high school, go to university, get a job, get married, own a house and have children. And while this seemed like the perfect plan, no one seemed to warn us about all the things that come in between these life milestones: AKA failure, mistakes and bumps in the road.

Fears include:

What happens if you don’t get the score you need to get into your dream course?

What happens if you get into university and realise you’ve chosen the wrong course?

What happens if you get through your whole degree and realise you hate it?

What happens if you break up with the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with?

What happens if you get to 25 and you aren’t ready to be an adult and buy a house?

What happens if you can’t or don’t want to have kids?

The thing that no one seems to tell us is that every single scenario I’ve listed above is completely okay – they’re all very common and normal situations. I don’t think I know one person who can’t relate to something above.

The little thing they forget to mention at school is that you can’t have success without failure. Failure is such an important part of life that we learn so much from. I used to be so scared of failing that I didn’t want to risk anything or try anything new just in case. I believed that if I didn’t try, I couldn’t possibly fail – so, why would I? This seems ridiculous looking back, but at the time it seemed completely normal.

We need to fail to grow as people and find our path to success.

While we do learn a lot through school and tertiary education, I think the biggest things that we learn in life are through our mistakes. We make them, we learn from them and the next time we try we do better. Sometimes we may even fail three times before we get it right; but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes you may get things right the first time; and that’s awesome. But if you do fail, you’re only human and I promise you will eventually get it right.

I’m currently studying a degree I don’t think I will use once I finish. And while you may think I’m crazy for putting myself through multiple years of study for something I don’t want to do, I honestly don’t mind. If I hadn’t tried it in the first place, how would I have known I wouldn’t like it? And if I hadn’t realised I didn’t want to be a lawyer, then I wouldn’t have found what I want to do on the side or be writing this today. You cannot put a monetary value on education. So, while you may have studied three different courses and quit all of them, or three years in one course that you don’t like, I promise it will all be worth it in the end. You’ll find what you love and when you do, you’ll look back and be grateful for all the wrong turns you took – because they are what lead you to the right one.

Try to focus on telling yourself whatever effort you make is better than no effort. People will fail you, love will fail you, some of your choices will fail you – it’s called life. But you learn from every lost love/opportunity/choice and all of these things turn you into the amazing person you are today.

A person who falls and gets back up is much stronger than a person who never fell.

So most importantly, do not let your failure define you and don’t you dare give in. Let your success define you. Let yourself look back at your journey and be grateful for your failure and that you never stopped trying.