August Favourites: What I've been loving, using & wearing on repeat

August Favourites: What I've been loving, using & wearing on repeat

Hello, September!

I am so happy it's spring. To be honest, it was actually a really beautiful winter. Not too cold and super sunny! But I just love spring and summer so much. I thought I would do a little wrap of all the products I loved last month and if you guys find this helpful, I can make it a series at the end of every month!

 

Beauty & Skincare

Honestly, I really stopped taking care of my skin when I had Luca. I just sort of slipped out of the habit and was using any product within arms reach. I started noticing a difference in my skin appearance (was looking a lot more textured and dry). I went and got a facial and spoke to the girls about my skin and I became super determined to start taking better care of my skin. This month I can say that I have definitely given my skin some extra love and can see a noticeable change. Here are some products I have been loving in the skincare department...

 

1. Ice roller

Since I got this roller, I have loved it. However, I have actually started ice rolling my not only my face but my jaw too. I didn't know how much tension I held in my jaw until I started massaging it every day! I have tried Gua sha and jade rollers and I really didn't love them. This is different, I use it every day! I love this ice roller because it is heavy in the hand so it feels firm on your skin. It has a thumb imprint so it's nice to hold and best of all it lives in the freezer. This means it's ice cold when I put it on my face (first thing in the morning) which not only is super tightening but it also wakes me up. A cold shower for your face, if you will. I ice roll this serum into my face (you can get it as a set). 

 

2. Papaw ointment

The OG of lip balms and for good reason. It's like $6 and I have been using this ointment for dry skin and lips since I was a kid! The winter months definitely dry everything out, but this lip balm keeps things hydrated.

 

3. Face sunscreen 

I can't believe I only started wearing SPF last year. Our skin is so precious! This face sunscreen is 50+ and it leaves no white cast and honestly feels like a silky serum going on! I love it. I use it as my last step in my skincare routine. 

 

Beauty

The best concealer 

My bff at the moment. Seriously though, I have never loved concealer more haha! I have tried lots and this one takes the cake. It's not cakey, it's creaseless (it is called 'creaseless' after all). It's not matte, it's on the dewier side which brightens around the eyes. 11/10. The shade I use is 33N Medium.

 

Faith

Bible Study

The Bible study I just finished is called 'Moms of Men' and it is available on the free Messenger X app. It is about mums raising boys specifically. If you are a mummy to boys, you will love this! It's an interactive video series hosted by Lisa Bevere and Havilah Cunnington. If you aren't a mum - I would still highly suggest downloading the app. It has some amazing resources on there!

 

Book I'm reading at the moment

The book I'm currently reading is called Driven by Eternity by John Bevere (yes, I'm on a Bevere kick!). He is an excellent writer but extremely articulate and his concepts are sometimes hard to grasp so make sure you've had your morning coffee before reading haha. It's such a phenomenal read and I have had so many revelations. If you're someone who struggles wrapping their head around Heaven and Hell, this is the book for you! 

 

Fitness & Wellness

Magnesium

This powder is not only great for muscle soreness and recovery, but me and Brenton get so sleepy after drinking it. Could be placebo, but it's so good! I feel like it helps with my sleep.

 

My new fitness program!

Being able to rock up to the gym and not have to think about what you will do for your workout is the best. This program is exactly how I've been training and feel so strong and fit! It has a full wellness section, nutrition section and of course 8 weeks of workouts with video demonstrations. You need this program in your life! 

 

Mesquite powder

This is such a random one but I have been loving mesquite powder. I've been adding it into smoothies, my granola bowls, my oats and my baking. It has so many health benefits and tastes like salted caramel! I've also been making "hot salted caramels" instead of hot chocolates lately with mesquite, honey and frothed soy milk - sooo good. 

  

Ottolenghi 'Simple' Cookbook

This book has such amazing recipes and is such a lovely gift because it's aesthetic and would great in any kitchen / on any coffee table. 

 

Clothes & Accessories

Set Active Set

This blue colour is amazing. I love their Sculptflex material, I find it fits so well! The colour is called 'rain' and the style of bra I get is the box cut bra.

 

Adidas Ozweegos

I love these shoes! I feel like they really spice up my athleisure outfits.

 

The sunglasses I've been wearing every day

I went through a stage where I wore these every day last year but I feel like I overdid it. The last month or so I've been wearing them every day on repeat. They are one of the only pairs of sunglasses that I've tried that don't fall down on my face.

 

Fluffy slippers 

A necessity for the colder months. I wear these every. single. day. They're soft, cosy and make my day feel so elevated when I wear them around the house haha!

 

Lululemon hoodie I've been wearing on repeat

This is such a flattering piece! I have worn it so much this winter. It's soft, thick, warm and I love the half zip / quarter zip trend at the moment.

 

Like I said earlier, if you guys find this helpful, I can make it a series at the end of every month! I love giving my honest opinions on things. Let me know xx

September 01, 2022
Wellness travel essentials: tips & supplements

Wellness travel essentials: tips & supplements

The last month has been busy for us in terms of travel. Travelling means being out of a routine and as a result I have changes in my digestion, eating, water intake, sleep and exercise. It's important to be flexible but I try to maintain balance because I feel best when I am moving my body, eating *predominantly* whole-foods (sometimes this isn't possible or I want to eat more processed foods and that's totally a-okay) and drinking enough water. I wanted to share a few things I implement while travelling, as well as my top three supplements and staple skincare products.

 

Have a "what can I add?" mindset

When it comes to travelling and my lifestyle in general, I am all about "what can I add?" instead of "what can I subtract?". For example, when I am going out to dinner and I want to get the 'less nutritious' option such as a burger and hot chips, I will add a side of greens or a salad. 

 

Big water bottle

I always travel with my 1L water bottle. I actually don't really go anywhere without my big water bottle. When I am hydrated, I notice the most difference in my skin, digestion and energy levels.

 

Supplements

I only take three supplements when I travel - one for the AM and one for the PM.

Morning supplement 1: Seed Daily Synbiotic 

Last month I mentioned I had started taking the Seed Synbiotic which is a probiotic and prebiotic. I had seen Seed on my IG and YouTube so I decided to do my own research and see what the fuss was about. Me being the science geek I am, I was so happy to see that this company is completely backed by science! I actually reached out to them to see if they would be open to some sort of collaboration - to which I was even more happy to see their response. Basically, in order to partner with Seed, you have to do an online course all about probiotics, gut microbiota, gut health and so much more. You have to take an exam at the end to show that you have understood and can apply what you have learnt in the course. I was so surprised and happy to see this! This means that the people who work with Seed are genuinely invested, willing to learn, willing to put aside time to invest in researching and actually take this collaboration seriously.

I wanted to give it a full month trialling this daily Synbiotic to really see a difference and yep - I now know what the fuss is about. The biggest differences I have noticed is ease of bloating, regular bowel movements, skin glowy-ness (definitely not a word but let me have it) and honestly my body just overall feels amazing. It supports gut barrier, skin health and heart health. If you’ve taken a probiotic before, and never felt a difference, it’s likely because the good bacteria wasn’t surviving your GI tract. Seed is designed differently which is why it works. Their capsule protects probiotics through digestion to ensure delivery to the colon - super important! I love anything backed by science. Seed has been kind enough to give you guys a code -  BETHPARKES for 15% off your first month's supply of seed's DS-01™ Daily Synbiotic . Truly a game changer. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

Morning supplement 2:

Melrose health Vitamin C powder. Coming into the colder months, I like to make sure I am eating more foods rich in vitamin C (carrots, oranges,  broccoli, etc) but I also take a vitamin C powder. I like this one because it is tasteless so I can add it into my smoothies or oats every day. 

 

Night supplement: 

I take the Ultra Muscleze Night by Bioceuticals. It is essentially a powdered magnesium supplement which is so good for recovery and sore muscles. I take it around an hour before bed and it helps with the quality of my sleep and makes me sleepy and relaxed before bed.

 

 

Pack all the snacks

Sometimes it's hard to get a meal when you are on the road, strapped for time or if places at the airport are not yet open. I love packing a bunch of snacks. I would rather have too many snacks than not enough snacks. Typically, I will pack:

+ almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts

+ protein balls (bought or home-made, whatever I had time for)

+ fruit (I love apples because they don't squish in my handbag)

+ overnight oats in a jar (recipe linked here)

+ chickpea chips (recipe in here)

+ muesli bars 

 

 

June 08, 2022
3 new wellness practices I have added to my morning routine

3 new wellness practices I have added to my morning routine

I believe that health is wealth and am willing to try most wellness-related things. However, being a busy mum means that I am very selective with what I actually end up taking up as a habit or practice. I won't add it into my routine unless I actually love it and can see benefits. I have spoken about this before but in order for me to be the best wife/mum/friend, I need to be able to fill my cup to pour into others. I have spoken about my other daily wellness practices and what I do to fill my cup and how you can fill yours. You can read about that here. Now, onto the three new practices that I have been loving...

 

1. Ice rolling my face

I always wanted to be that girl who used a jade roller or did Gua Sha on her face every day, but truthfully I just never really saw a big difference in puffiness. But let me tell you, this ice roller is a game changer. I do this first thing in the morning to really wake me up because it's ice cold. It's refreshing, it's tightening, it's de-puffing and it also gets the serum into my skin without using my fingers. I find when I use my fingers, the serum absorbs into my fingers but using the roller, all of the product stays on my face. I use this ice roller and this face oil, but you can get the bundle (I think it's still on sale). I am a busy mum which means I am very selective with how I spend my time in the mornings so for me to add this in every single day means I really love it.

 

2. Cold showers

I used to do this every morning a few years back and loved how it made me feel! I would do it after my morning workout, which is what I have started to do again. So what I do is finish my workout and then I will have my normal hot shower to open my pores and get completely clean (you want to wash all the sweat off before having a cold shower). Then, I turn the hot completely off and stand in the cold shower for 60 seconds. I want to be able to take this to 1.5 minutes. Once you get out, it seriously feels like you have just had a shot of coffee. You have adrenaline and a sense of achievement. Of course it's not super comfortable but it's honestly addictive. It's great for your metabolism because you are cold and then you need your body to work in order to warm you back up. It's similar to cold plunging/ice baths. To get through it, I either have a podcast or music playing in the bathroom and practice my Wim Hof breathing. More on that in next point.

 

3. Breath work

Okay, I'll be honest: I was sceptical when it came to breathing techniques and breath work. I didn't actually think that I would feel so relaxed and refreshed after just a 10 minute video on YouTube. It's a free YouTube video (linked here) and let me just say, there's a reason it has over 10 million views. I have been doing this breath work either in the mornings before I start work or in the middle of the day when Luca is napping and I need a little pick-me-up when I am feeling the midday slump. Give it a go, it's actually crazy how much breathing can affect your entire mood.

May 17, 2022
Fluffy hot cross buns ➕

Fluffy hot cross buns ➕

Hi my loves! 

Easter is nearly here so I wanted to share my favourite hot cross bun recipe. You can really add anything to these like choc chips, dried sultanas/figs, apricots, dates or walnuts to name a few. 


The best part is, it’s easy to make and you can find all the ingredients at your local grocery shop. 

Let me know if you make it! 


Happy Easter, 

Beth x

 

 

Ingredients ——

Buns

  • spray oil 
  • 250ml milk (I did oat)
  • 7g yeast
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • crack salt 
  • 2 3/4 cup wholemeal plain flour (can also use gluten free flour) and more for kneading! 
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp orange zest 
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted 
  • 1 large egg (beaten lightly) 

Crosses

  • plain flour or gluten free flour
  • water

 

Method —

  1. spray a baking dish with oil 
  2. heat a small saucepan over low heat and pour the milk into the saucepan, heating until lukewarm (don’t let it simmer, you need it warm but not hot)
  3. remove the saucepan from the heat and add the yeast, salt and maple syrup and stir. Set a timer for 10 minutes and let the mixture sit. It will start to get foamy which is perfect, it means the yeast is active
  4. while you wait, add the flour, spices and orange zest and mix
  5. add the yeast mix, coconut oil and egg and mix until a sticky dough begins to form
  6. place the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes. Add extra flour as needed until it isn’t sticky. I added a fair bit! 
  7. add the dough to the bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel and set it aside for 1 hour to allow the dough to rise. 
  8. After the hour, divide the dough into 8 and place them into the baking dish (they can be touching)
  9. for the crosses, mix the flour and water in a bowl and mix until it becomes a smooth paste
  10. fill a piping bag (or plastic zip lock bag with the corner cut off) with the paste and make a cross across each bun
  11. bake on 180 c for 20 - 25 minutes or until the buns are golden on top
  12. to serve, cut them in half and spread them with your favourite topping. I did butter and it was 10/10
April 14, 2022
My full wellness routine: what I eat, supplements & daily practices

My full wellness routine: what I eat, supplements & daily practices

I thought I would do a comprehensive post about what my wellness routine looks like. I wanted to be super granular and really dive deep into what I do and why I do it. This is what works for me. You can try some, all or none of it. I am just sharing my experience and things that keep me thriving and functioning optimally! I also wanted to mention that I try to habit stack a lot of my routine - especially since becoming a mum. You'll see habit stacking throughout my routine but an example is reading my Bible whilst feeding Luca or walking whilst listening to a podcast and having my morning coffee. Habit stacking has helped me use my time efficiently.

  

Morning Routine

My morning routine is way less rigid since having Luca as I really am on his time schedule. If I wake before him, I try to do as much of my morning routine as possible. If we wake at the same time, I go straight into his routine - changing him and feeding him. Once that's done, he will usually go back to sleep which is when I will do my routine. Whether we wake at the same time or I wake before him, I always do the following during the morning:

  • Bible / prayer
  • Luca's routine
  • Get ready (dressed, wash face, brush teeth, face serum, concealer and sometimes mascara depending on the day)
  • Coffee
  • Quick 5 minute tidy of the house/put a load of laundry on/put the dishes away
  • 1L of water
  • Breakfast and supplements
  • Movement

I don't get on my phone/emails/socials until I have done most of the above. I find it overwhelming diving straight into the stimulation of a phone first thing in the morning. I prefer a slow start to the morning.

 

What I Eat

What you eat really does affect everything. How you sleep, train, function, think, your digestion, your skin, muscle gain, fat loss and so much more.

Breakfast / morning supplements

  • Breakfast 90% of the time is sourdough with avocado, greens (kale/spinach) and 2 eggs. If I feel like something sweet, it will be oats in some variation (granola, fruit and yoghurt, muesli and fruit, hot oats, oat-based protein pancakes, chia and oat pudding, etc. etc).
  • Water (always have a 1L bottle next to me on my desk / in my bag)
  • Vitamins: vitamin D, fish oil, probiotic, greens powder, collagen
  • Long black coffee with some cold soy milk

 

Snacks

 

Lunch

  • Protein oatmeal or bircher bowl with hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, collagen, nuts, seeds, protein yoghurt or protein powder and dried fruit. If I have a savoury breakfast then I will usually have this as my lunch, which is why I add all the extra goodies for a big nutrient boost
  • Veggie rice bowls 
  • Nourish bowls
  • Some kind of big salad with protein

     

    Dinner

    • Lamb ragu
    • Turkey meatballs
    • Coconut, tofu and vegetable curry
    • Home made pizza
    • Vegan nachos
    • Veggie fried rice
    • Chicken pesto pasta

     

    Dessert / night supplements

    • I love having something sweet after dinner like my fudge brownies, choc-chunk cookies, apple and cinnamon oat cups or protein balls (all found in my recipe ebook)
    • Peppermint tea
    • Magnesium powder for helping me sleep 

       

      All recipes mentioned above can be found in my recipe eBook here. You have the option to choose the version with calories and macros calculated or the version without. Easy, nutritious, delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and smoothies to help you hit your goals.

       

       

      Weekly, fortnightly and monthly appointments

      • Massage: I get a fortnightly remedial sports massage to help with my recovery, training and pains. I hold a lot of my tension in my shoulders so this massage really helps my body feel looser. I have some of my best ideas during these massages because I am in silence for an hour and have time to really think without any distractions.
      • Sauna: I didn't use the sauna at all in my pregnancy but I had my first sauna yesterday and it was amazing! I will go back to doing an infrared sauna once or twice per week. In terms of habit stacking, I do the sauna with Brenton and we catch up on each others week so far. I also love stretching in there. If I was to go by myself, I would bring a book, journal or podcast.
      • Physiotherapist: I started seeing a women's health physio when I fell pregnant because I wanted to make sure I was looking after my pelvic floor and abs. I have learnt so much about my body since seeing her and will continue to see her through my postpartum journey!

        

      Movement

      Obviously my exercise routine had to change during pregnancy and postpartum. Staying active was so important to me during pregnancy. I was able to strength train which enabled me to feel strong during my pregnancy, labour and even now at nearly 4 weeks postpartum. I am really looking forward to my 6 week PP checkup in 2.5 weeks time. Until I am cleared to start going to the gym again, I have just been walking every day (cleared by my physio).

      I am really looking forward to getting back to the gym. I am going to do my new 8 week program (which I cannot wait to launch but I want to trial it again before I release it to you guys! I want to make sure it's perfect). Following a workout plan is key. Whether its one of my plans or someone else's, I really recommend purchasing a workout plan from a qualified professional. Having a plan keeps you accountable as well as makes your life easier because the work done for you. You don't have to think about what to do, you just rock up to the gym (or home for my LEVEL UP Program), open your phone and you're good to go for the day!

       

      Me time / relaxation

      I recharge by being alone. I really need my alone time to reflect and refocus. Two of my favourite ways to do this is 1) In my morning routine (coffee and Bible at home) or 2) Solo walks (feat. Luca haha). I find these walks refreshing and they really relax and recharge me. I like to break my walk up by doing 3 things: 1) silence (no headphones) to just think, reflect and dream. 2) prayer and worship 3) call a friend or listen to a podcast. Not only am I exercising, but I'm also getting fresh air, vitamin D and clearing my head.

       

      Sabbath

      I don't work or use social media on Sunday. This means that from Saturday night until Monday morning, I don't even open my work apps (emails, website, blog etc) or social media. This is one of my favourite practises ever. It's great because Brenton and I do it together so we are in the same boat. Honestly, I think everyone should have at least on day off social media. I am even thinking of doing it Wednesday as well. If you are reading this and think "I could never do a day off social media or work" then you, my friend, are the exact person who needs it. I was the exact same as you! Just try it. Set yourself a challenge and see how productive you are and how much more time in the day you have! By Monday, I feel refreshed and ready to dive into another week.

       

      Night routine

      My night routine is not as extensive as my morning routine but I do have some non-negotiable's. They are below:

      • Warm shower
      • Skincare: cleanse, serum, eye cream and moisturise
      • Luca's night routine
      • Write my to-do list for the next day
      • Prayer with Brenton

       

      Wellness things I want to start incorporating into my routine

      To finish this post, I wanted to mention a few practices that I want to start adding into my wellness routine...

      • Cold showers
      • Ice baths
      • Daily stretching and foam rolling 

       

      Again, this is what works for me and not every day is the same! Sometimes I don't eat super nutrient-dense foods or drink enough water. Sometimes I choose the donut over the healthy option. That's okay! Wellness is all about balance. 

      March 29, 2022
      Top 6 Exercises to Grow Your Booty

      Top 6 Exercises to Grow Your Booty

      Ahh, the most commonly asked fitness question I get. Glutes are my favourite thing to train, hands down! I started weight training way back when I was 18 or 19 and have strength trained ever since. I love the way strength training makes me feel and how it is so easy to measure your progress and see yourself getting stronger and also growing muscle in the places you are wanting to target. 

      There are 6 exercises that I consistently did that changed my booty from a flat booty to a toned, peachy and strong one. Before I get into the 6 main exercises, though, it is really important you read about 3 things that majorly impact glute growth.

       

      1. Activation

      I have harped on and on about activation on my Instagram, and even created a few reels here and here to show you how to do it properly. This is because when I started activating is when I started seeing results. What is 'activation'? It's series of warm-up exercises which aim to properly warm up the glutes, increasing your ability to strengthen and tone them throughout your workout. Think of it as “switching the light on”. A lot of us have sedentary jobs where we sit a lot of the day which means our peaches are less prepared to take on heavy loads as opposed to other muscle groups. If you are about to commence a leg dominated workout or exercise such as a squat but you haven’t effectively warmed up your glutes, most of the time by default your quads will be taking most of the load. You need turn the glutes on so they are warmed up and ready to take most of the load. We need to activate with booty bands in order to target and grow our booty and not legs! If you want aesthetic neutral ones, I've got you covered - linked here.

       

      2. Nutrition

      While the exercises you do are important, nutrition plays a HUGE part in helping to grow your booty! My TONE: 4-week Program has an extremely detailed nutrition section that I created with an Accredited Practising Dietitian. This nutrition section tells you why protein is important, how much protein and cals you should be eating based on your goals, your best protein sources, how to eat pre workout and post workout, healthy recipes (with a breakdown of macro's and calories for each recipe) and so much more.  

       

      3. Progressive Overload

      Progressive overload by definition is a method of strength training that advocates for the gradual increase of stress placed upon the musculoskeletal and nervous system. In simple terms, it means changing something each time you strength train in order to keep the muscle working, adapting and growing. It is when you gradually increase the weight, change the frequency, or change the number of repetitions in your strength training routine. Some examples include:

      • Increasing your weight slightly from the last session 
      • Changing your time under tension from the last session
      • Increasing the reps with the same weight from last time
      • Decreasing the reps with more weight from last time

       

      Without further ado, my top 6 booty exercises...

      1. Hip Thrust 

      2. Sumo deadlift

      3. Squats

      4. Romanian deadlift

      5. Bulgarian split squats 

      6. Abductor

       

      If you are wanting to begin strength training but really don't know where to start, I would recommend starting with TONE, my 4-week program. It is minimal equipment (just dumbbells and a booty band) but it will help you understand strength training a little more before moving onto a variety of equipment (for example: barbells, leg press and the abductor machine). After completing TONE, I would recommend then moving onto a more advanced strength and conditioning program: my Tone + Cut Program.

      January 28, 2022
      9 recipes to bring to Christmas lunch + dinner (PSA: they take less than 15 minutes to make)

      9 recipes to bring to Christmas lunch + dinner (PSA: they take less than 15 minutes to make)

      Someone please explain me how Christmas is THIS month!? Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year because I love everything it is about: celebrating Jesus, family time, food, baking, hosting and hospitality. I show my love by making food for people (lucky Brenton) and I love spending the day with friends and family. I wanted to give you 9 easy sides, appetisers and desserts you can bring to the Christmas lunch or dinner. I also have a Pinterest where I save recipes that I have tried and loved or still want to try, linked here

       

      SALADS + SIDES

      Goats cheese + baked honey pears. 

      Need I say more? It takes 10 minutes and looks so impressive. We love.

       

      Peach, basil and burrata salad. 

      Guys, this salad is so easy and so good. Less than 4 ingredients and takes literally 3 minutes to whip together. 

       

      Rocket, pear and walnut salad.

      This salad only takes 10 minutes and requires zero baking. It's fresh and tastes amazing on the side of any dish.

        

      Roasted balsamic + honey brussels sprouts.

      If you hate brussels sprouts, I'm sorry, cause I love them. These are insane. Sticky, crunchy and delish. Take your greens to the next level this festive season.

       

      Oven roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce.

      I am a tahini fiend. I make my salad dressing with tahini, I drizzle it over my oats, I lather it on my dinners. So anything with tahini, sign me up!

       

      DESSERTS + DRINKS

      Healthy rocky road. 

      A childhood favourite of mine - made healthy! Dairy free, refine sugar free and gluten free. Video tutorial is on my Instagram here.

       

      Pumpkin spice loaf.  

      This load if insane. I made it because I had FOMO from all my American besties posting pumpkin spice lattes during Autumn (aka'Fall') and fell in love. It's moist, moorish and a nice mix up from traditional banana bread. Video tutorial is on my Instagram here.

       

      Mocktail Aperol Spritz.

      If you know, you know. I'm not a big drinker at all but I love an Aperol Spritz on a hot summer afternoon. Obvs I can't drink actual Aperol Spritz because I'm pregnant, so I created a mocktail recipe. Video tutorial is on my Instagram here.

       

      Spiced orange scones.

      You guys, these scones are insane!  This recipe is refined sugar free as well as vegan + dairy free. Video tutorial is on my Instagram here

      December 02, 2021
      All of my ride-or-die fitness products

      All of my ride-or-die fitness products

      You guys already know that fitness and wellness is a massive part of my life. I thought it was time to talk about all of my ride-or-die fitness favourites. You will usually see these things in my gym bag and part of my daily routine.

      Activewear Brands 

      aimn's seamless collection is honestly what I live in. I was so impressed to find out that I could even train legs and glutes in the beige set and wear black underwear underneath and it was still not see-through! Totally squat-proof, the bra's are so supportive, the waist-band sucks you in. You guys, I can't with this collection. You need to try the seamless collection if you haven't already! I wear the tights, sports bra's and the midi biker shorts, they are my fave.

      The lululemon Align High-Rise Short 4" and lululemon Align High-Rise Pant 28" are another of my absolute favourite tights and shorts. They are buttery fabric and have a 'second skin' feeling. Like aimn, they also don't rise up or fall down during a workout - love that. I have had my align tights for 3+ years so you can be sure the investment is worth it.

      Set Active: I have only ever worn their SCULPTFLEX collection, but I want to try out the LUXFORM and SPORTBODY collections. I love their colour variety and their quality. The SCULPTFLEX bras are not as supportive as lululemon and aimn but I just love their styles so much and will do a strength session, pilates or run errands in their sets. I just don't wear the set in cardio sessions or sessions with jumps and plyometric movements!

      Headphones

      Beats by Dre Rose gold headphones I love these for heavy strength sessions at the gym because they are noise-cancelling and make me feel like a bad ass - even though they are rose gold and girly as lollll. 

      Air-pods/normal headphones: I love walking with air-pods and I don't have the noise-cancelling ones as sometimes I will wear them cleaning or crossing the road and I like to hear the doorbell ring, Brenton calling out to me or.. more importantly.. car's coming toward me.

       

      Online Pilates

      Lockdown was TOUGH. While I used my weights and did my Shred 30-Day Challenge workouts most days, The Pilates Class was a great online pilates class for the days I needed to take it easier (especially first trimester). I love that they had a large array of classes, including pre-natal classes. But truth be told, I am a gym girl through and through. I love the environment and being around other people working out. Because I work from home, I spend most of my days at home so I love the practice of physically leaving my home to train. 

       

      Runners

      The Adidas Ultra boosts are my absolute fave. I have them in a white and a beige and they are perfect for walks and running. If I am doing a leg/glute session, I will just wear flat shoes like converse or even take my shoes off for my squats and lunges.

       

      Supplements

      I never got into the whole "supps supps supps" mentally or loaded myself with a million supplements. I personally love protein after a workout as it helps me hit my protein intake for the day. Before getting pregnant I would take BCAA's every now and again (but totally not necessary) and would have a coffee as my pre-workout. These days, I just have protein and all my prenatals (iron, prenatal vitamin, DHA fish oil and a probiotic - I can do an in-depth of these if that's something you guys are interested in!). I normally have my protein in my smoothies post-workout, but you can have it any time of the day. I drink it on the days I don't workout too.

      Vegan Protein: I love the Tropeaka FIT Protein (cookie dough flavour - sooo good) and the Raw Protein Isolate Vanilla 

      Whey Protein: Biotech USA ISO Whey Protein is amazing, creamy and helped me gain muscle so quickly (in combination with a high protein diet + strength training).

       

      Deodorant 

      I am all for a clean and natural deodorant and aluminium free. I have tried and tested SO many over the years and I have two faves:

      Noosa Organics 

      Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant

       

      Sweat towel

      Ell & Voo microfibre plush gym towel is great as it is small, compact and quick-drying

       

      Drink bottle

      I love using a BPA-free reusable water bottle. The brand I have is Manna but they have sold out of the one I have. Here is a similar one but in black. 

       

      Booty band

      I am yet to find an aesthetic booty band. I'm talking neutrals, espresso and beige colours. Stay tuned...

       

      Barbell pad

      This is the barbell pad that I have in my gym bag as a backup in case the one in the gym is being used. I prefer the squishier, bigger ones that the gym usually has.

      November 02, 2021
      3 practices in your morning routine that you can start now

      3 practices in your morning routine that you can start now

      Consider this your guide to a simple morning routine that will help keep you calm and relaxed so you can have maximum motivation and productivity throughout your day. I have included habits and practices that you can start implementing right away. I'm not here to talk about writing 800 things you're grateful for or listen to 45 motivational podcasts or get all your emails done as soon as you wake up. I'm here to give you real, practical and most importantly achievable and sustainable habits and practices.

       

      Do not check notifications or messages until you are done with your non-negotiables

      Full transparency, I used to check my phone as soon as I woke up. I would check my messages, scroll my Instagram, and check any other notifications before even getting out of bed. I would find that I would become overwhelmed before I even got out of bed because I had bombarded my brain with a million things I had to do that day, emails, the news and messages to get back to.

      I wanted to wake up slowly and ease into the day feeling relaxed and ready - not overwhelmed and stressed. I decided to make a rule for myself: don't check your phone until you have done your practices that are not negotiable. For me, these things include brushing my teeth, washing my face, drinking water, making a coffee or tea and reading my bible. This has helped me so much and sets me up for a peaceful morning.

      If you are a business owner, a PA or just someone who gets bombarded with texts and calls in the morning for work, set your phone on airplane mode until you're ready to deal with the world.

       

      A healthy breakfast

      A healthy breakfast sets me up for the day. You have just fasted overnight so your body is ready for some nourishing. Open your blinds, pop a candle on, put on some music or a podcast and carve out 15 minutes to make yourself a healthy breakfast. Some podcasts I have been loving are: Beyond the Bump, The Skinny Confidential, The Messy Masterpiece, As For Me + My House and Life with Marianna. Wake up 15 minutes earlier if you are time-poor. There is always a solution to every excuse! Trust me, you will feel amazing for it and it will keep you on track for a healthy day both mentally and physically.

       

      Self-care

      Brush your teeth, wash your face, drink your water and get changed. I also do really quick skincare which is usually serum and sunscreen. If I have content to shoot, have Zoom calls or have an event, I will get fully ready and do my makeup. If not, I like to just do my skincare and not do my makeup. Some people love wearing makeup every day and if that's you, do it! When I worked a corporate job, I would do my makeup and hair every day because it made me feel put together and motivated. Since working for myself and mostly in my home office, I can get away with living in my activewear. Get out of your Pj's and into your clothes. If you want to workout, get into your activewear straight away. Try laying your activewear out the day before. I have been doing this for as long as I remember! That way, when I wake up, I don't even have to think about what to wear. I can just chuck my clothes on in auto-pilot and start my day. Plus, wearing activewear always motivates me to workout.

       

      October 25, 2021
      How to create a routine that you will actually stick to

      How to create a routine that you will actually stick to

      October means we only have 3 more months until the year is over. Let this be your 3 month mark to see a difference in whatever area you want to. Whether it’s sticking to an exercise routine, eating well, finding work/life balance, saving money or increasing your step intake every day. 3 months is a solid amount of time to be able to reach your goals.

       

      HOW TO STICK TO: YOUR WORKOUT SCHEDULE

      If you are having trouble sticking to a workout schedule or you find that you dread your workouts, perhaps you need to question whether you actually like the style of training you are doing. There are so many different types of physical activity from HIIT classes to strength training to running, boxing, swimming, dancing and so many more. Maybe it’s time to shake it up and try something different. 

      Once you have found a style of physical activity that you enjoy, try booking your classes in or scheduling time in your diary. Treat it like a meeting or an appointment, you wouldn't miss a meeting, so why miss a scheduled workout? This will help keep you accountable and sticking to your workout schedule.

      If you need help, check out my fitness plans. They are all 8-week programs designed for either weight loss and toning in the gym or weight loss and toning from home. They are currently 25% off using the code "motivated" and are linked here.

       

      HOW TO STICK TO: EATING WELL

      Find meals that you actually love! Honestly, eating healthy does not have to be boring. There are healthy alternatives to pretty much every single meal or snack out there. 

      Another tip is to have fallback meals. I say this to my girls who do the Shred: 30-Day Challenge. It is so important to have easy, quick meals that you know can be ready in 5 minutes if you are super time poor. An example is microwave oats with banana, protein power, chia seeds + peanut butter. 

      Plan your dinners and plan your groceries! Making sure you are prepared is another big thing. I have a note on my phone with all the usual staples we get when grocery shopping. I break it down into: fresh produce, tinned, cold section, pantry staples and frozen section. I would encourage you to do the same. It is so helpful for being super efficient in the grocery store both time-wise and financially. 

      Finally, switching off for dinner has been such a nice routine for me since getting married and moving in with Brenton. When I lived with housemates, I would always just rush dinner and sit and eat on the lounge or at the dining table while watching something or on my phone. Since living with Brenton, I absolutely love finishing work and preparing dinner. I put on a playlist of whatever I'm feeling, though 9 times out of 10 it's Lana del Rey (Brenton's lease fave - sorry babe). I also love to present the meal with a candle, placemats and ALWAYS at the dining table with no phones (unless we get takeout on the weekend and watch something on the lounge). 

       

       

      HOW TO STICK TO: SAVING MONEY

      Okay one of the biggest tips is to have a timeline - how much do you want to save and in what timeline? Make sure this is a numeric number. Otherwise you’re just saving in general. If your goal is to “save money”, it's not specific. Saving $2 or $20k is both saving money. If you can have a specific numeric figure in mind it makes it easier to be able to then work backwards. For example, if you wanted to save 20k, then you can figure out exactly how much you need to save per week in order to achieve this goal and when you will have this amount by. It also keeps you accountable, and helps you put away a specific amount every week.

      Plan a budget. I read the Barefoot Investor and while we don’t implement it now, it played a huge part in me learning to implement saving habits. It helped me recognise my spending and saving habits. Which leads me to my next point...Track your spending! Recognising what you spend your money on and how much you spend per week is important. If you find that you are spending way too much on takeout every week because you never have any groceries, then you are able to address this and make sure that get enough groceries for the week and not spend as much on takeout.

      You will see a pattern here. Each habit feeds into the other. If you plan your groceries, then you will be more likely to eat at home which will help both goal B) eating well and goal C) saving money. 

       

      Remember, there are 3 more months in the year! Time for a refresh, a reset and setting some new goals.

      October 11, 2021
      Ten healthy habits that keep me on track

      Ten healthy habits that keep me on track

      Fitness and wellness will always be a huge part of my life. I love the way working out and eating well makes me feel, both mentally and physically. Whilst I do love my green smoothies and big chicken salads, I still love an aperol spritz (when not pregnant, obvs) and fun foods. All about balance. Anyway, I have put together 10 of my top habits that I personally believe in and have made a huge difference in keeping me on-track with my wellness and fitness.

       

      Nutrition 

      Set yourself up for a healthy morning

      There's nothing better than starting your day with a healthy breakfast, water and a workout. It sets me up for a healthy day. In the morning, we are *hopefully* well-rested and motivated. Later in the day when motivation starts to lack, at least you have had a healthy breakfast and made sure that you broke your fast with something healthy (I'm not talking about intermittent fasting, we fast when we sleep!).

       

      Have fall-back and go-to healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks

      We all have days where we have little energy, feel tired, lazy, unmotivated and just want to grab something quick and easy for a meal. Have a meal planned that you know you can make within minutes when you are strapped for time. This could be as simple as a can of tuna, a pre-made salad and some pre-made microwave rice.

       

      Shop smart when shopping for groceries

      Whatever is in the cupboard or fridge is what you will end up eating throughout the week. If you stock up on heavily processed foods like cookies, lollies, soda and ice-cream and you buy zero fresh fruits or veggies, then you will inevitably end up snacking on the processed food. My top two tip? Write out your list before you go to the store and don't go to the store hungry! Trust me, you end up buying random stuff because you're rushing, not thinking properly and hungry! 

       

      Utilise frozen foods

      Frozen foods are generally cheaper and are super convenient! I love buying my berries, peas, corn and mango all frozen. Frozen does not mean less nutritious. In fact, a lot of the conventional fruits and veg that aren't frozen have been sitting there for ages. A lot of the frozen goodies are frozen much sooner. 

       

      Working out

      Plan your workouts the day before

      Or even the week before - if you're super organised. That way, you are held accountable and you don't have to think about what to do the morning of your workout. Plus, if it's a group fitness class you've booked into, you won't want to cancel last minute!

       

      Prioritise recovery

      Stretching, foam rolling, using a massage gun and getting remedial massages are all great for your recovery. I love stretching for 10 minutes a night right after I do my prenatal exercises that my physiotherapist gave me. As well as stretching, I also get a remedial massage fortnightly which helps with my neck and back tension, but I do acknowledge that is a luxury and is not imperative for recovery. 

       

      Figure out if you're an AM or PM person

      I'm an AM kind of girl. I have always been the most productive in the morning. I always get my best workouts done in the morning and have the most motivation for work tasks. I will always do my most tedious tasks, hard emails and time consuming work first in my work day as I know I will be able to push through. So figure out which one you are and try to schedule in your workout then.

        

      Lifestyle 

      Sleep

      Sleep can impact fat loss, muscle recovery, ageing, cognitive functioning, stress, productivity, performance, memory, immune system, hormones, mood and so many more factors. Cortisol (your stress hormone) is affected when you don't get enough sleep, and cortisol can target your collagen and therefore elasticity of your skin. I guess that's why they call it beauty sleep - you need sleep for that GLOW.

       

      Notice who you are letting influence you

      This is so important. And honestly, going to be vulnerable for a moment, this was so pivotal in improving my mental health and body image. Who you follow on social media influences you. If they are promoting unhealthy habits, this affects you, whether you are consciously aware of it or not. About 4 years ago, I found that I was leaving social media feeling awful about my body and falling into the comparison trap. I decided that it was time to do a bulk unfollow. I actually unfollowed a lot of Instagram models and started following Gymshark Athletes, fitness pages, healthy food blogs and a lot of faith-related pages because I wanted to exit the app feeling empowered, motivated and encouraged. I now only follow people who I resonate with or feel inspired by. I encourage you to do the same! 

        

      Get outside

      Getting fresh air and vitamin D is so important for our mental health. Go for a walk in the fresh air when you can. Even just for 10 minutes in your lunch break. It's crazy how much it can shift your whole mood.

      September 14, 2021
      What Else Have I Learnt In My Wellness Journey?

      What Else Have I Learnt In My Wellness Journey?

      1. Intermittent fasting is not magic.
      2. It’s normal to days and weeks and months where you lack motivation
      3. Cellulite is normal and you don’t have to “get rid of it”
      4. You are designed in the image of God which means you are perfect just the way you are
      5. Strength training doesn’t make you bulky. It’s amazing for SO many reasons
      6. Your progress is not always going to be linear
      7. Stop weighing yourself every day and living and dying by the scale. We fluctuate way too much. Plus muscle weighs more than fat. Also it’s just data. Don’t let it rule you
      8. Turn your Instagram notifications off. Do it.
      9. Counting calories or tracking macros might be really useful for you to gain an understanding of nutrition or it could be very damaging and have you obsessing and seeing food as numbers. Find what works for YOU. Food isn’t data, it’s delicious, fun and fuel!
      10. If you want to live a high energy life and feel energised then the food you eat needs to serve you. If you are eating crappy food all the time then you’re not going to feel amazing. Find a balance between fun foods and delicious fuel foods
      May 08, 2021