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5 hacks for a healthier week

No matter how you’re feeling right now or what you’re current situation is, there’s no doubt we can all use a little bit more health and happiness in our lives. So we’ve collected the five top tips to ensure your week is that little bit healthier from now on in. Take care of yourselves Gold Coasters.

Get up an hour earlier
It doesn’t seem like much but you’d be surprised how much you can fit into an hour. There’s nothing worse for your brain than waking up, going to work, going home, watching TV and going back to bed – where’s the relaxation? Instead of reaching straight for your phone the minute you wake up, roll straight out of bed and into some sort of exercise or stretching routine, play with the dog, cook yourself a healthy breakfast and ease into your day. You’ll soon see that starting your morning in a slower, more relaxed way sets the tone for the rest of your day.

Plan your meals
It sounds a little bit like something your Nanna would do but trust us, planning your meals will make life a million times simpler and healthier. Everyone knows what happens when you go to the supermarket after work, usually on an empty stomach and with very little willpower – you end up with an entrée of cheese and biccies followed by garlic bread and a big old bowl of spaghetti bolognaise. Delicious sure, but not so much on the healthy side. Planning allows you to choose healthy options, buy everything you need at once and not be tempted by the lure of excessive carbs.

Burleigh Heads Hill woman exercising stretching (image supplied)
Burleigh Heads Hill woman exercising stretching (image supplied)

Sleep enough
Ahh the ever elusive shut eye. It’s highly likely you aren’t getting enough of it what with work, exercising, eating and those all-important Netflix binges taking up so much of your time. Something’s gotta give though and usually that thing is your health, or your sanity. They say you need at least eight hours but in truth, you need as much as you need. If you’re tired, sleep more, it’s imperative to both your mental and physical health (and the people who have to put up with you). If you need a nap through the day, go for it, this is your permission slip.

Take time out
You’ve been hearing people bang on about the miraculous benefits of meditation for awhile now and those people aren’t lying. It is one of the best ways to calm your mind, find out the answers to life’s big questions and generally just take time out from the chaos of day to day life. Seems overwhelming though right? Sitting down in silence and trying not to think. It can be simple though, start with five minutes of deep breathing and don’t be discouraged if your mind wanders, just stay there and enjoy the serenity, before you know it you’ll crave that time out.

Move your body
Although it’s easier said than done to get up off the couch when it’s cold out, the benefits are about three million fold. Even if you just go for a short walk around the block or do some easy stretching, your body will absolutely thank you. There are plenty of online workouts and yoga classes to choose from too so you don’t need to spend money on exercising to see the benefits. Morning is probably the best time of day to move, it’ll make you feel good all day but anytime will do. You’ll be happy you did.

Words by Kirra Smith

Flow Yoga Wear

Kylie Morris is a tried and true Gold Coaster, growing up on our beautiful beaches and more recently, starting a business here after discovering a deep love of yoga.

Her clothing designs are inspired by the beautiful natural backdrop of the place she calls home. We chat with Kylie about local love and World Yoga Day on June 21st.

How long have you lived on the Gold Coast?
I did my high-schooling on the Coast then moved away to go to Uni and do some globe trotting and general wandering. I’ve now been back for the last six years.

What do you love most about the lifestyle here?
The combination of the beaches and the mountains make the Gold Coast for me. I can have brekky in an awesome cafe overlooking the beach then be in the most serene rainforest by lunchtime!

How did Flow Yoga Wear come about?
I was working in the fashion design and printing industry and discovered yoga only a few years ago. A lightbulb moment during a yoga class (the Savasana part of the class of course!) launched the dream and actualisation of creating a local Yogawear brand. I thought that if I can create things for other businesses why on earth shouldn’t I be creating something for myself.

Why was the Coast the perfect place to launch a yoga clothing business?
People love to move their beauty~full bodies on the Gold Coast and the practice of yoga has a fantastic following here as well. The perfect combination!

How is Flow Yoga Wear unique?
With so many companies heading off-shore for manufacture, we are devoted to supporting our local manufacturers. Our bespoke leggings and crop tops are lovingly designed by myself and handmade right here in Queensland.

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Nature, always. Any texture, colour, design that we humans can think of has been done before so I draw alot on the natural world. Inspiration can strike from anywhere; a cool looking rock wall I pass, the play of light on water, some random tiles on the facade of a shop. I’m very visually curious!

What are your plans for World Yoga Day this weekend?
Our pop-up boutique stall will be participating at back-to-back yoga festivals in Brisbane over the weekend.

Your favourite piece of life advice?
When I was a teenager my mum gave me a lovely printed poster of Desiderata by Max Erhmann. I come back to it over and over. It starts with…Go placidly amongst the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. Just such a gorgeous, wise piece of text.

Being a local we have to ask your favourites…
Beach: Tallebudgera Creek, ideal water for floating around
Café: Alfred’s Diner. A Breakfast Burrito and a piccolo set me up for a great day!
Restaurant: I’m a sucker for takeaway Indian. The food at Haveli’s in Broadbeach is wonderful. Try one of the chef’s specials.
Yoga studio: Essence of Living. Fantastic teachers, close to home…and they stock our luscious gear!

Dr Libby Weaver

Dr Libby Weaver is a hub of knowledge on all things health and wellness.

A Nutritional Biochemist, Author and Speaker, her messages embrace a unique three-pillared approach incorporating nutrition, emotions and the biochemistry of the body.

World Health Day falls on April 7th so who better to speak to than the Gold Coast woman with unrivalled wisdom on healthy living. 

It’s World Health Day on April 7th, what is the biggest health problem facing Australians today?

To me wellness means thriving not surviving, yet I have met thousands of Australians who are doing the latter. The pace of our modern lifestyle is unsustainable – people are living in a constant state of stress, demanding more and more of themselves mentally and physically, and over time this compromises their health. Chronic diseases are a huge problem in Australia, and our lifestyle choices – the way we eat, drink, move, think, breathe, believe and/or perceive – play a big role in our risk of developing these. 

You’ve lived on the Gold Coast for a while now, how does our health and fitness rate compared to the rest of Australia?

We’re so fortunate to live in such a beautiful environment that encourages movement (who doesn’t love to walk along the beach or in the bush!) and have access to nutritious fresh foods, including outstanding organic markets. With that said, only 1 in 20 Queenslanders eat enough vegies, so amping up your vegetable intake is something virtually everyone would benefit from.

You’re a Nutritional Biochemist, can you explain what that means and how you got to be where you are today?

It’s funny because in a way I don’t feel like I consciously ‘chose’ this career path. I spent 14 years at university and graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics with honours, and a PhD in Biochemistry. Using my knowledge about how the human body works, I’ve spent almost two decades in clinical practice, helping people with my three-pillar approach to wellness – the biochemical, the nutritional and the emotional.

I believe my purpose is to help educate people about the importance of taking great care of themselves as I am concerned that far too many people live too short and die too long. Quality of life really matters and I want to wake people up to make changes now rather than waiting for a chronic health condition to necessitate that. I have now published 10 best-selling books, I speak regularly at live events all over the world, and I’ve developed a food-based nutritional supplement range called Bio Blends to support people to enhance their health. I feel very grateful to do what I do. 

Why does what we put into our bodies affect our overall health so much? 

The way you feed yourself is the most basic form of self care (love) you can show yourself. The nutrients we absorb from our food are essential for the billions of biochemical reactions that are happening in our body every second. There is nothing in the entire world that can replace a highly nourishing diet.

Yet I have met thousands of people who exercise frequently (and with intensity), especially after making poor food choices with the intention of ‘burning off’ the calories they consumed the day before. But the calorie equation we are taught to follow of ‘calories in versus calories burned’ is out-dated and doesn’t adequately take into account all the aspects that can impact on how our body metabolises the fuel we put into it. No amount of exercise can burn off the effects of a poor-quality way of eating.

Why is getting adequate sleep so important to our health?

Restorative sleep is one of the foundations of good health. Adults require 7-9 hours per night and we cannot fight our biology! Sleep affects everything from our mood, to our memory, our immune system, our skin and our hormonal function. When we are exhausted, everything in life feels more difficult. It impacts the foods you choose, whether you get off the couch and go for a walk or not, the jobs that you would apply for, the friends that you make, your self-talk and the way you speak to everyone you love. The ripple effect of lousy sleep and energy can be significant.

Adrenal fatigue is such a common thing these days, how is it best managed?

Stress reduction is absolutely essential, and nothing activates the ‘calm’ arm of our nervous system better than diaphragmatic breathing. It can literally change your life – and I don’t say that lightly. Any breath-focused practice, such as yoga, meditation, tai chi or qigong is fantastic, as is a nutrient-dense real food way of eating. Taking adrenal supporting herbs under the guidance of a herbalist can also be very beneficial.

What don’t women know about hormones?

Hormonal imbalances have become so prevalent that many women have come to accept that their symptoms (such as PMT) are normal. I like to say that these symptoms are common, but they’re not normal. Many women struggling with hormonal issues feel like their body is betraying them, but challenging symptoms are just your body’s way of communicating that something needs to change – such as the way you eat, drink, think, move, believe and/or perceive. Pay attention to your body’s communication – it has the power to change how you experience health and vitality on a daily basis. 

Gluten – what is it and should we avoid it?

Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, barley and oats. Some people have no problems consuming gluten, but many others feel better without it. There may be other substances in grains that impact poorly on gut health for some people, too. People with gut-based symptoms may like to trial a gluten-free diet for a period of four weeks to see if their symptoms resolve, however if they continue the diet for a longer period, it’s essential they consult a nutritional professional to ensure they are meeting their nutritional needs.

What advice do you have for someone who might be looking to start a health and fitness regime, but doesn’t know where to start?

I hear so many women say they don’t have time to cook for themselves or don’t have time to add anything additional to their schedule. It is undeniable we have more on our plates and while I appreciate that many of us are juggling many different tasks and roles daily, there is nothing on this Earth that replaces the power of a nourishing way of eating. In my book Women’s Wellness Wisdom, I wrote about taking responsibility for our nourishment and so many women could benefit simply by prioritising their own health and wellbeing. Preparing real food may take more time, but it is time we have to allow for in our day. When we say, “I don’t have time” for something, what we are essentially saying is “that is not a priority for me”. Sometimes changing what we do requires us to firstly explore our values and priorities. The reality is we cannot compromise our nutrition and expect to still have fantastic health.

Your favorite piece of life advice?

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

You’re not a Gold Coast local if you haven’t…

Sat on Burleigh Hill on a Sunday afternoon and soaked up the glorious vista and vibes. 

Being a Gold Coaster we have to ask for your favourites…

Beach: Burleigh

Restaurant:  I travel so much for work that when I am home I love to cook my own meals

Café: Wray’s Organics at Palm Beach

Weekend hangout: At home in my vegie garden

Dr Libby’s signature event, Beautiful You Weekend, is coming to the Gold Coast for the very first time this July. For more information click here.

How to make and keep your New Year goals

Goals for the New Year can be the bain of your existence and, let’s be real, there’s no point setting them if they’re terrifying and unattainable. Never fear, we’ve brought in the big guns to help you get sorted for 2018.

Local Gold Coast pharmacist Holly Louise, better known by her alias #thefitpharmacist, who has provided us with some hints and tips to sticking to your New Year’s goals.

The perfect time to make resolutions for the year ahead. But are they the same ones you have made every year?

What has held you back from achieving your health and fitness goals in the past?

In society today, everyone wants results without putting in the time and effort required to achieve them. Rather than setting aside time to gather information, gain knowledge, and construct a reasonable plan for accomplishing their “goals”, people are often looking for quick fixes. So when they don’t reach their goals in the first few weeks, they lose interest and quit.

The importance and value of goal setting is often overlooked and the biggest mistake most people make is setting unrealistic or unspecific goals. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get fit” are the most common ones I come across with my clients. The difference between setting these goals and actually achieving them is in the details. The most effective way to set a goal AND achieve it is to follow the SMART approach:

SPECIFIC

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What are your specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?
  • Who will be involved?
  • Where will you do it?

Your goal must be specific rather than general in order to be effective. Setting large, vague goals will not motivate you to achieve them.

MEASURABLE

  • How will you measure your progress?
  • How will you know when you have reached your goal?

Measuring progress towards the achievement of the goal is essential. If a goal is not measurable it is not possible to know whether you are making progress towards completion. Measuring progress helps you stay on track, reach your target dates and continue putting in the effort required to reach the ultimate goal. Remember, what can be measured, can’t be managed.

ACHIEVABLE

  • How will achieve your goal?
  • What are you prepared to do?

It must be possible for you to achieve your goal. Setting unachievable, unattainable goals is pointless. You will be doomed from the outset. You yourself need to be capable of implementing your goal.

RELEVANT/REALISTIC

  • Is your goal realistic?
  • Is it too difficult to achieve?

Your goal must be relevant to the resources and constraints available to you. Your goal should be challenging, but not so big or complex that you will lose the motivation to achieve it.

TIMELY

  • What is the timeframe?
  • Is it achievable?

A goal must have a deadline. This will provide you with the necessary focus and sense of urgency to make it happen.

Take some time now to think about what benefits you would gain from goal setting and finally being able to achieve your New Year’s goals. It is a good idea to set a few action-oriented SMART goals and revisit them often. Not only will this give you a game plan, but it will keep motivation levels high as you start reaching them. The sum of achieving many small short term goals all add up to big changes in the long term!

Time to make this year your best year yet!

By Holly Louise #thefitpharmacist

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