Health benefits of salad


The evidence is clear that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the healthier you’ll be. Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and provide antioxidants that may prevent a number of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Evidence suggests that antioxidants are best acquired through whole-food consumption rather than as an over-the-counter pill, so eat your fruit and veggies at every meal!

Leafy salad greens and vegetables are also known as functional alkaline foods. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that alkalising diets improve bone density and serum growth hormone concentrations and also help to prevent muscle wastage. It also suggests that eating between five and nine serves of salad or vegetables a day can be a more effective strategy in prevention and treatment of chronic disease. A salad serve is about a cup or a large handful of leafy greens or half a cup of veggies.

Salads also act like a prebiotic in your gut. Prebiotics are non-digestible high fibre foods that stimulate the favourable growth of probiotic bacteria in the gut, which can boost your immune system and stimulate better absorption of nutrients from food. The word probiotic means prolife, so where possible choose foods that are life-giving.

Source: Australian Fitness Network

Looking for healthy salad recipes, click here.

What is your 2014 exercise goal?


“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement” Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog

We all know the benefits of regular exercise, right? However, are knowing the benefits providing you with the motivation to actually exercise, probably not! However; by setting yourself a big challenging exercise goal, like walking the six foot track, doing the 50km coastrek or running in a 10km fun run, you have something bigger and better to achieve than just exercising! By training for a big, challenging goal you will actually receive the benefits of regular exercise yet, achieve something greater.

What is your 2014 exercise goal???

goal setting

OH! Magazine – FREE


OH! Magazine is authored by some of Australia’s leading health experts, including Michelle Bridges, Pete Evans, Joanna McMillan, Paul Taylor, Lisa Westlake, Justin Tamsett, Paul Brown and Fiona Cosgrove.


OH! Magazine has been specifically designed to bring together health clubs/fitness facilities, their members and clients, and the brands who wish to reach them.

In this month’s edition you’ll discover:

  • One man’s account of a 10-day silent meditation retreat
  • How to successfully achieve your resolutions
  • A guide to miscarriage for men
  • Travel tales to inspire
  • Sensational summer recipes
  • Lots, lots more!
To start reading your Magazine, simply click on this link:

Test your Blood Alcohol Content

This week whilst doing some research, I came across a calculator that gives you an estimate of your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). It asks you the following questions;

  • age
  • gender
  • height
  • weight
  • how long you have been drinking
  • the type, volume and quantity of alcohol consumed

Then you can calculate your estimated blood alcohol content.
I am someone with a small build and I was surprised of my blood alcohol content when I put in an estimated amount. Fortunately I was only playing with it, however; if you have had a drink or two and do need to drive, it’s definitely worth checking if you are estimated to be in the safe driving limit range of 0.05. The safest thing is obviously not to drink and drive!

Click here to use it.

You can also download the app ‘Drink Tracker’ for $1.99 to your iphone.

Give the Gift of Health

gift of health


The greatest wealth is Health”  ~Unknown

Looking for a last minute Christmas gift? Give the gift of health. Healthquarters offers beautiful gift vouchers for a variety of services including;


  • Personal Training 5 pack or 10 pack for 30 min, 45 min or 60 min
  • Group Fitness 10 class pass
  • At-home tailored gym program
  • Pregnancy or post-natal exercise program


  • Nutrition Consultation
  • At-home pantry and diet review
  • Weight loss program
  • Pregnancy nutrition program

Each pack consists of 4 essential vitamin and mineral supplements

  • Pregnancy pack
  • Stress Pack
  • Exercise Pack

For more information email or call 0418 49 00 62

Surviving the Festive Season in a healthy way!

With only 1 month until Christmas, I thought this topic might be helpful to your survival at this crazy time of year!

How can we manage the Festive Season

Follow these tips to help you manage the festive season.


Address your stress
Recommendations to assist in managing stress include:

  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity can clear your mind and keep stress under control.
  • Meditate or do things that aid relaxation e.g. yoga, massage, deep breathing, read a book, listen to music. I love the ‘Simply Being’ app, download it for free.
  • Eat small frequent meals (5-6 per day) and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. These provide valuable vitamins and minerals and neutralise free radicals.
  • Avoid processed foods and all foods that create stress on the body such as artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks, caffeine, fried foods, junk foods, preservatives, sugar, fatty meats, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
  • Ensure adequate protein intake at every meal
  • Get sufficient sleep each night
  • Seek counselling or talk to a close friend
  • Consider taking a Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C and Calcium/Magnesium supplement
Sharing is caring
Good times are often busy times so share the load with family and friends. Follow these tips;
  • Write a list and keep a diary…you can’t remember everything
  • Delegate – cleaning, shopping, wrapping, table setting…..many hands make light work
  • Share – a party with a friend for more fun and less preparation
  • Have Fun….cherish the good times, being away from work, being with friends and family…..and enjoy those parties!
Survive the feast
Over-eating can cause many problems including; burping from fizzy drinks and talking while eating, indigestion from too much food at once and eating rich food, bloating from excess sugar, stress and not enough fibre, an irrritated bowel from not enough fibre, stress, too much fatty food and headaches from dehydration, high salt foods and too much alcohol.Tips to assist manage the festive feast includes;

  • Have a good breakfast so prevent you from over-eating
  • Skip the salty nibbles – they make you thirsty and you usually drink more alcohol
  • Alternate between alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Watch your fats, be mindful of the crackling, mince pies, Christmas Pudding, brandy butter, custard etc
  • Choose the healthiest option such as seafood, turkey, salad and fruit
  • Resist the urge for that extra helping
Morning after helpers
Okay, so you have ignored all previous advise and woken with a sore head and or stomach. So what can you do to help you thruogh your day???
  • Drink lots of water to reduce your headache and for hydration
  • Take a Vitamin B complex (or Berocca)  for assimilation of alcohol, sugars and carbohydrates and giving back some B, B, Bounce!
  • Drink ginger tea or add it to your food, settles a queasy stomach
  • Catch up on some zzzzzzz’s and sleep
  • Drink fennel or peppermint tea  for indigestion
  • Have oats for breakfast as they can help to soothe an  over acidic tummy
  • Write a note to self “Don’t drink so much next time”
I hope this helps and I wish you all a very happy, joyous and healthy festive season :)

Alcohol – do you drink more than you should???

Alcohol is a poison, it not only reduces the amount of oxygen going to the brain; it directly harms brain cells. The liver processes 95% of alcohol ingested. The repeated consumption of alcohol inhibits the livers production of digestive enzymes, impairing the body’s ability to absorb proteins, fats, fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E & K) as well as B-complex vitamins and other water-soluble vitamins (including vitamin C). Alcohol also reduces the body’s storage of zinc.

How much = safe drinking levels?

It must be remembered that there is no level of drinking that is safe for all people all the time. Factors like health, age, and weight directly affect how much it is safe for you to drink. For some, no alcohol is the only safe option.
For men: 
No more than 4 standard drinks a day on average & no more than 6 standard drinks on any one day. Drink no more than 21 standard drinks per week.
For women:
No more than 2 standard drinks a day on average and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day. Drink no more than 14 standard drinks per week.For men and women: include at least 1-2 alcohol free days per week! If you are wanting to reduce your weight, I recommend including 3-4 alcohol free days per week and reducing your consumption to a maximum of 10 standard drinks for men and 7 for women.

How much = 1 standard drink?

If you don’t measure out your drinks, it is very easy to drink more than you should. Most restaurants pour about 1.8 standard drinks for a glass of wine and a bottle of beer is 1.5 standard drinks. So what is a standard drink? Each standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol.
  • Light beer: 1 schooner of 425ml, 2.7% alcohol/vol
  • Beer: 1 middy of 285ml, 4.9% alcohol/vol
  • Wine: 1 glass of 100ml, 12% alcohol/vol
  • Spirits: 1 nip of 30ml, 40% alcohol/vol

More info
Australian Government Department of Health – alcohol read more
Drink Wise – what is a standard drink read more

Interval Training for Fast Results

Are you looking to get fit quickly? Then interval training is your key to success.

Interval training can be described as short periods of work followed by rest. The main aim is to improve speed and cardiovascular fitness. There’s a lot of buzz around the idea of micro-workouts and the notion these could help you reach your fitness goals and save you precious time.
Healthquarters offers a number of classes focusing on interval training including; Monday 6am meet at Willoughby Netball Courts (intermediate level of fitness required) and Monday 7pm meet at Naremburn shops (for beginners).

Magic four minutes

One approach that’s had a lot of publicity involves exercising intensely for just four minutes, three times a week. Some say this is enough to get you fit. Known as 4×4, this form of interval training involves four lots of four minute bursts of high intensity exercise (where you are too breathless to speak more than a few words) broken up by three-minute bursts at a lower intensity (where you are too breathless to sing but can still speak a full sentence).

Alternating between intervals at higher and lower intensities is the best way to get fit as it helps you keep your heart rate higher for longer than if you push yourself hard continuously. Jeff Coombes, professor of exercise science at the University of Queensland, says doing the 4×4 workout three times a week is a highly effective way to boost fitness. (Read more about the research into the health benefits of higher intensity exercise.)

NB. A longer warm-up is recommended to reduce the chance of any kind of cardiovascular complication you might get with a sudden increase in stress on your heart.

Supramaximal Training

One such form of exercise, called supramaximal training, was actively promoted in a British documentary, also broadcast on television in Australia, called The truth about exercise. In supramaximal training, you basically go all out. You go as hard as you possibly can for around 10 to 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds to a minute and then go as hard as you possibly can again. The length of the intervals will depend on your fitness. This type of exercise can be really useful for people short on time and quite fit, who don’t have diseases. But it is likely to be associated with more risk.

If you are thinking of trying this type of training regime, you should read more about when exercise might pose safety risks.


Read More on this topic, click here

Download the documentary ‘The Truth About Exercise’ via SBS on Demand, click here

Exercise for Life

Exercise is a potent cancer medicine, say Australian specialists who have set up a new research and treatment clinic. “Integrating a targeted exercise prescription into a standard cancer treatment significantly improves a patient’s wellbeing and could help extend their life,” university research fellow Dr Prue Cormie said. People with bowel cancer and breast cancer reduce their risk of having a relapse if they go for a 30-minute brisk walk every day, she said.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 2 November, 2013.

Cholesterol and Diet Villans


For anyone who missed the Catalyst Program last week, I definitely recommend watching it. The program titled ‘The Heart of the Matter – Dietary Villans’ turned the current view of cholesterol and our diet to control it, upside down. Our so called low-fat diet has done little to reduce cholesterol levels, so what is causing high cholesterol? To download the program and read the narrative of the program, click here.

Watch part two of this program this week ‘The Heart of the Matter- Cholesterol Drug War’. Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease? The Catalyst program is on ABC on Thursday 8pm.

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