Naps. Do they really make a difference?

How to make the most out of your naps

 

Everyone loves a good sleep, from Sunday morning sleep ins to that midday nap on the couch. But is there a way we can optimize our sleep for better performance during the day?

 

We all know the basic sleeping 8+ hours a night is best, but what if we don’t reach that marker?

 

Its very well researched that partial sleep deprivation (PSD) is very harmful to our body and compromises our ability to perform our regular activities during the day. Romdhani 2020, found that PSD compromised antioxidant defence and enhanced sleepiness and biomarkers of muscle and cellular damage. So, we know that if we are tired our body is at a greater risk of getting sick, which definitely isn’t optimal for 2020 conditions, but our body is also undergoing an increase in muscle and cell breakdown, negating the improvements we are making while training.

 

So how can we combat this tiredness, well, this same article was able to show that a nap of 90 mins

  • Increased wellness
  • Decreased daytime sleepiness
  • Decreased negative mood scores
    • (ie, depression, fatigue, stress and anger)

 

It was also found that a nap of just 20 mins was able to produce similar results as a 90-minute nap, however the improvements were not as large

 

Some key points to optimizing your naps in the future

  1. Don’t let it take away from your night-time sleep (8+ hours at night is still important)
  2. Take it early afternoon or late lunch time
  3. Keep it 20-90 minutes
  4. Cool and dark environment

 

Happy napping everyone!!

 

 

 

Romdhani, M. et al. (2020) ‘Improved Physical Performance and Decreased Muscular and Oxidative Damage With Postlunch Napping After Partial Sleep Deprivation in Athletes’, International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance, 15(6), pp. 874–883

 

Why Monday workouts are so important

Monday sets the stage for the week. They start the week off with a bang and set you up with good intentions for the whole week. Even if s**t hits the fan during the week, you know you got one workout under your belt.

 

Weekends can also be a time for some slight downward movement in the diet and exercise area, so Mondays can give you that confidence to get back up and start heading in the right direction again.

 

Mondays get the weekly routine back on track. You start with some exercise, then you start to eat better, and of course, you sleep better. When we sleep better we make better decisions. This will usually mean that you choose to continue to workout for the rest of the week.

 

When we miss a Monday, it’s easy to convince yourself to hit snooze and then you miss Tuesday. Missing one day, that’s ok, but 2 days in a row can then create a habit. And if it means your eating goes in the same direction as your workouts, well let’s just say it’s easier to get up on a Monday than tackle that problem a few months later with a less energetic body.

 

And you are not alone, most people want to have a sleep in on a Monday morning, but just know that once you get to your class or the gym, and you see your regular gym buddies, you are reminded why you all got up for this workout. Because Mondays start your weekly routine of being a healthy, happy and fit individual.

 

So let’s do Mondays together! Let’s own this week people!

 

J

Weight loss … why isn’t it working?

When clients come to me, frustrated that they aren’t losing weight I start with the questions:

  1. How much water are you drinking
  2. How much sleep are you getting
  3. How are your stress levels

I then of course ask what are you eating and how much exercise are you doing?

But I find the first 3 questions mentioned above are often dismissed because “when I was 22 I ate what I wanted and played team sport”

Cool, me too. But did you have 2 kids and a mortgage and a full time job? Probably not. Things are different, so our approach needs to be different.

 

When I start to help people lose weight, I start with increasing their water intake (if it is less than 2 litres a day) and adding in 1-2 classes per week (assuming there is no exercise happening at the moment).

 

Why the slow approach? We want quick fixes!

What I also find out in the conversation is the weight has been lost before but it has also come back on, usually in the same fashion – fast. So again, let’s change the approach to change the outcome. Sound familiar?

My approach is ‘SLOW IS FAST’

What do I mean by this?

If we make gentle but sustaining changes, the change is more likely to become a habit. Habits last longer.

So after a week or two of drinking more water (feeling way more energised as well!) and doing 2 classes per week (also feeling energized without super tired), we then start to ask “what are you doing for breakfast lunch and dinner?”

Did I also mention that the weight has started to shift – in a downwards direction. Bingo!

 

I check the food diary, there are some small sustainable changes we can make there too. More protein for breakfast and more veggies at lunch time.

Again repeat for 1-2 weeks.
And so the process continues.

Why do I do the “slow is fast” process? Why can’t I help you lose 5kg in 2 weeks? Well I can, but will you learn anything? Have a taught you how to make healthy choices for yourself? No. I have just told you what to do and then the cycle of loosing and gaining will more likely be repeated. That’s not my idea of success.

 

I have been helping people lose weight for over 10 years. I have tried and tested a lot of methods. And trust me, Slow is fast works.

My job is to teach you, not tell you.

My job is to help you keep the weight off.

 

Need a little help with your weight loss journey? Check out our Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge post COVID-19. Be the weight you have always wanted to be!

To run with or without music?

,

A question I get asked a lot “can I run with music?” when people are joining our run club.

While I would rather you mingle with the group, and experience the group atmosphere of run club, here are a few ideas about running with and without music.

People run for a variety of reasons;

  • weight loss
  • fun
  • switch off
  • fitness
  • race preparation
  • and more

Whatever your reason is, it’s totally ok. But if you are wanting to improve your running, either speed, endurance, technique or all of the above, you might consider running without music (at least for the short term)

And here’s why:

  • Listening to your feet can give you a huge amount of feedback to what is happening with your feet and in fact your entire lower limbs. Are you thumping like an elephant? Or do you glide like gazelle? Losing control and landing heavy can mean a loss of energy and therefore costing you time and efficiency. Strengthening your glutes, hip flexors and feet muscles can give you more control and therefore your step will become lighter and faster.

 

  • Breathing – are you sucking all of the air out of your space, or are you a quiet breather? There is no one perfect way to breath, everyone is different, but the key is to get as much air in your lungs as possible with each breath. You want to expand your belly rather than shrugging your shoulders while doing short high chest breathes. Something I find helps is starting your running with a relaxed, full breathing cycle. High stress, or rushed lifestyles shorten our breathing and if you are coming off a stressful day then trying to do some hill sprints, you are already out of breath. Try incorporating some belly breathing for 60-120 seconds before starting your run.

 

So should you run with or without music?

If you want to change your running – speed, endurance, technique or all of the above, it might pay to listen to what is happening with your feet and your breathing and then you can get an idea of what you can work on. Then you can add your music back into your runs later 🙂

 

Happy running!

 

Jam drops

Jam Drops

Do you remember these from your childhood? I def do but I was never really a fan. Not sure why, but since I love my husband very much and he misses them from his childhood, I decided to continue to be a good wife (cough cough! lol) and I dedicated time to make them.
Now? I am addicted! OMG so good and so super healthy for you.
I got this recipe from My Food Religion but am obsessed with Tiger Nut Flour at the moment, which, unlike the name, it’s not a nut (great for lunch boxes) and it’s gluten free. Win Win.
It’s also packed with magnesium which at the moment in my life (I have a 3 year old who is learning to push boundaries) I need more of this stuff in my life right now 🙂
 Servings 12

Ingredients

Jam

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • Optional- 2 tbs collagen powder
  • Optional- 1 tbs honey or sweetener of choice if you want it sweeter.

Cookies

  • 2 cups tiger nut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 tbs honey (or maple syrup/sweetener of your choice) start with 2 and adjust to your sweetness preference
  • 1/3 cup melted butter/coconut oil or ghee
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 170C fan forced.
  2. Mix all the jam ingredients together and set aside to allow the chia to swell for at least 20 mins.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Then mix all the dough ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Roll the dough into small balls then flatten slightly on the baking tray to the size you want your biscuit to be. Make an indent with your thumb for the jam and pop a tsp of jam inside each one.
  5. Bake for 15 mins until golden on the edges. Remove from the oven. Now this part is IMPORTANT. Allow to cool for 20 mins before moving the cookies or they will fall apart! Once cooled, dig in.
  6. These can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days of the freezer for up to 3 months.

Chocolate cookies

These cookies are based on green banana flour. And if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s a must! Based on green bananas (hence the name!) they are packed with loads of potassium which helps the nervous system and enhances muscle strength. It’s also gluten free which is great for kids lunch boxes. You can get it from your local health store or supermarket.

These cookies are also really low in sugar, and if you want to leave the rice malt syrup out all together they will still work fine.

 

Ingredients:

2/3 cup green banana flour

1.5 tbsp raw cocao powder

1 tsp vanilla powder

1/2 tsp baking powder gluten free

3 tbsp rice malt syrup – optional and reduce if want it less sweet

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp nut butter – I used cashew butter

2 tbsp coconut water – option to use normal water

 

Method:

In bowl combine dry ingredients

Gently melt coconut oil, nut butter and syrup in a pan

Combine dry and wet ingredients together

Spoon portions of the cookie dough onto a lined tray, then flatten

Cool for 18-20 minutes, be careful not to burn

 

You will love these as a nice sweet treat after dinner

Enjoy

J

 

https://www.livelovenourish.com.au/

Sweet potato cookies

Blueberry omelette

Separating the eggs for this one is a life changer.

I am a lazy cook so separating the eggs seemed out of my reach but trust me, it’s totally worth it.

 

Ingredients:

3 eggs – separated

Handful of blueberries or strawberries or whatever berries you like

Knob of Butter or coconut oil

Rice malt syrup – optional

Yogurt to serve

 

Method:

Separate the eggs and whisk like crazy. The add the syrup to the yolk and mix well. Heat the butter or oil in the pan then add the whites and yolks together. Mix well. Throw in your handful of berries and then cook. It won’t take long.

Serve with yogurt.

Perfect for the lazy cook 🙂 LOL

 

The mash that has changed my life

Parsnip & cauliflower mash

 

I can get a little stuck with the same same steamed veg at night and while I am experimenting with veg for my 8 month old, I had her eating parsnip and thought it was only fair I should  vary my veg intake.

So i took to the parsnip and cauliflower and steamed them up. Then made mash. My god. I have now had it for 3 meals in a row. I am I N  L O V E

 

What to do:

Steam parsnip and cauliflower

Blend well with some butter and salt and pepper

(Note: If you have slightly more cauli, then it will taste a little more like cauliflower and vise versa)

Roasted garlic would also go well with this mixed in.

I have been enjoying this with my massman curry but this baby will go with anything.

Lay in on your plate as a bed for your protein.

 

Enjoy!

Three seed choc bars

This is a must try! And we warned … they are hard to resist. If you need to make them GF, just swap out the oats for quinoa flakes of GF oats. There is something about this slice that makes is simply perfect. Arvo snack, after dinner with a cuppa, it is perfect anytime.

  • ⅓ CUP (35G) RAW CACAO POWDER
  • 1 CUP (160G) PEPITAS (PUMPKIN SEEDS)
  • 1 CUP (160G) SUNFLOWER SEEDS
  • 1 CUP (120G) ROLLED OATS
  • ¼ CUP (50G) BLACK CHIA SEEDS
  • 10 FRESH DATES (150G), PITTED AND ROUGHLY CHOPPED
  • ¾ CUP (180ML) RICE MALT SYRUP
  • 2 TABLESPOONS COCONUT OIL

METHOD

  1. Lightly grease a 20cm x 20cm slice tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the cacao, pepitas, sunflower seeds, oats, chia and date in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Place the syrup and coconut oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, whisking, for 4 minutes or until bubbling. Working quickly, add the cacao mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the tin and press down firmly, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Cut into squares. Refrigerate for 1 minute or until the chocolate has set.
    Makes 16 squares.

Tip: Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/three-seed-choc-bars/three-seed-choc-bars?fbclid=IwAR2sa7bh5h0Bktk2Fkbh2ON_Hpmj3av9ElbGONOk_tb5xWMSvMmYJpKk6Us