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Review: Pure Glow Cleanse 1-Day Juice Cleanse

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Review: Pure Glow Cleanse 1-Day Juice Cleanse

I recently tried a Pure Glow Cleanse 1-Day Juice Cleanse which promised to make me glowy, nourished and feeling like a glitter-covered, love-filled lady riding on a unicorn over a rainbow*. *PGC doesn't promise this, in as many words, anyway ;)

IMG_3890

 

Pure Glow Cleanse - local Perth juice cleanse

Juice cleanses have taken off in the past couple of years, and if you think of them as a fad...well, so did I. But that was before Pure Glow Cleanse ;)

Juice cleanses typically last anywhere from one day to three days (and, in my opinion, shouldn't be any longer than that). Most juice cleanses claim to increase your energy, clean out your system and kickstart your healthy eating again. Usually, a juice cleanse day involves 6-8 cold pressed juices, smoothies and/or nut milks that are all vegan that you sip on throughout the day. It's recommended you keep off the caffeine as well to reap maximum benefits, so between juices you can sip on water or herbal teas. Not all juice cleanses are created equal, however.

You see, looking at other juice cleanses, many of the juices are just packed full of sugar with high-fructose fruit. When I saw PGC actively works to minimise the sugar content in its juices, I was intrigued (and the team has a resident nutritionist overlooking the whole program to make sure it's safe and as beneficial as possible!). I've long been a fan of green smoothies, where you blitz plenty of good veggies and a little bit of fruit and end up with a nutrient-dense swamp water concoction full of fibre do regulate the digestion of the naturally occuring sugars in whatever ingredients you use. Juices are a fab way to get a tonne of nutrients in one tasty hit that your body finds incredibly easy to absorb. HOWEVER, it's important that such a tonne of nutrients isn't predominantly sugar - the more vegetables, the better!

So, I was pretty stoked to see the PGC daily juices (or, more specifically, four juices, a green smoothie and a nut milk) and mostly green!

IMG_3836

The Pure Glow Cleanse Juice Menu:

  1. Sunrise Elixir (juice) - Lemon, Cucumber, Aloe Vera, Filtered Water
  2. Glowing Greens (smoothie) - Kale, Cos, Cucumber, Celery, Green Apple, Pear, Avocado, Parsley, Lemon
  3. Green Guru (juice) - Kale, Cos, Celery, Cucumber, Green Apple, Mint, Lemon
  4. Good Karma (juice) - Carrot, Lemon, Green Apple, Ginger, Turmeric, Grapefruit
  5. Buddha Juice (juice) - Cucumber, Green Apple, Mint, Lime
  6. Chai Vanilla Dream (nut milk) - Almond, Brazil Nut, Cashew, Medjool Date, Chai Spice, Vanilla, Filtered Water

Pure Glow Cleanse does deliver to some suburbs, but you can also pick up your freshly made juices from its North Perth juicery. The girls were so lovely when I went to pick my juices up, and really kick-started the whole experience with a smile :)

1. Sunrise Elixir

IMG_3837

 

I regularly start my day with a warm lemon water, and I was stoked to see this juice was full of two of my favourite flavours - lemon and cucumber. It was a nice sunny day, and sipping on the Sunrise Elixir was like giving my insides a shower - it felt refreshing and like it was setting me up to get the most from the rest of the juices that day.

2. Glowing Greens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eRyPPJLcmk&feature=youtu.be

I was pleasantly surprised by a) how sweet this smoothie was despite being relatively low in fruit, and b) how filling this was! As you can see, it gave me plenty of energy haha! It was about 11.30am when I tucked into my Glowing Greens and normally I'll have a headache by 11am if I haven't had a coffee (...it's a one-a-day habit, I swear!) but I had absolutely no sign of a headache! Doing the cleanse does encourage you to stay well hydrated, if only to feel full but also to help absorb all the goodies in the juices, so this probably helped keep my caffeine brain at bay!

3. Green Guru

IMG_3859

By the time I got around to my Green Guru, I thought I'd be staaaaaaaarving. But I wasn't at all! Green Guru is again very refreshing and sweet, but not sickeningly so at all. I gotta say, though, I was hanging out for Good Karma and willing the next couple of hours to pass heehee.

4. Good Karma

IMG_3887

Right, so...Good Karma is pretty much all of my favourite things in juice form. Reading the menu, I knew this one would be my favourite and it certainly was. It was about 4.30pm when I popped open my jar of Good Karma and I'd been studying all day. I could feel myself starting to go a bit fuzzy, but this juice seems to be perfectly suited to the slump. Very clever, PGC girls ;) I loved the little zing of the turmeric and ginger and I even popped a bit of ice in this one to make it last a bit longer haha.

5. Buddha Juice

Guess who was too wrapped up watching some trashy TV on Foxtel and forgot to take a photo of her Buddha Juice? This grrrrrl. I promise it looked super creative and Instagram-worthy perched in my hands as I sat on the couch with my hair in a bun on my head and my bra well and truly off and retired for the evening.

I'd been sipping on herbal teas for most of the day, and it wasn't until my Buddha Juice was due to be sipped that I started getting a bit of a tummy grumble. I think I was just craving something to chew. So I cheated juuuuuust a little and ate a couple stalks of celery. I know. Out-frikkin-rageous. :P Once I'd finished my yummers Buddha Juice, though, I was full to the brim and could continue watching Real Housewives tummy grumble free.

6. Chai Vanilla Dream

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I admit, I've never really liked chai spice or medjool dates, so while this is a lot of PGC cleansers' favourite of the six juices, it was actually my least favourite of the bunch. I then saw some cleansers on Instagram warmed up their Chai Vanilla Dream and I reckon I would've enjoyed it more if I'd steamed mine a little bit. Now, that's not to say it didn't taste pleasant!! It was silky, creamy and rich but it didn't feel heavy. You definitely notice how sweet this one is after the other five milder juices - the medjool date does its job nicely. If you like chai lattes, this will be absolute heaven for you!! I love the idea of finishing the night with a glass of milk, too :)

 

So, what's the verdict?

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the 1-day cleanse felt. It was nice to know that all my nutrients were ready to go in jars in the fridge, all I had to do was grab 'n' go. I can see how a 3-day cleanse would re-ignite healthy eating habits, too. On the cleanse, everything you need is in the fridge and it so your body can become friends again with its old pal, Discipline. Even after just one day, my body was craving nutrient-dense foods (read: vegetables) so I'd imagine a 3-day cleanse would amplify those cravings. As I mentioned, there was a point where I just wanted to chew something - I reckon if I was doing this in the summer, I'd freeze some of the Good Karma and/or Buddha Juice into icy pole moulds ;)

The next day, my tummy was happy, I'd had a great night's sleep and I felt like I'd treated my body to a bit of a vacay from digestion to focus on absorbing as much goodness as it could. Was I glowing? Well, I wasn't any duller after my cleanse day, and I can imagine that the 3-day cleanse or one of PGC's six-packs would have made a more visible difference to my skin. I will say, however, that I've been dealing with problem skin lately and waking up with at least one new, big spot on my face every day, but after my juice cleanse, I didn't find any new zits on the block!

Pure Glow Cleanse is available to Perth cleansers. You can get 1-day and 3-day cleanses, and 6-packs of Green Guru and a Good Karma/Sunrise Elixir combo. Each cleanse comes with an uber cute packet of paper straws, and a guide to getting the most out of your juices. I'd definitely recommend Pure Glow Cleanse if you're looking for a local cleanse. It's a saturated market out there with heaps of companies vying for your attention (and dollar), but PGC really goes above and beyond to be friendly, yet very professional, right from the moment you book in your cleanse. With a nutritionist on board, you know you're getting the most bang for your buck and your cleanse if being overseen by a seasoned pro, and isn't a backyard lemonade-stand jobby.

 

Check out the website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to get glowing!

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Favourites for Now: August 2014

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Favourites for Now: August 2014

Phwoar, it's been a while since my last Favourites for Now! Truth be told, nothing has really blown my socks off. However, lately I've been crushing on a few things...

"Green" Smoothies

IMG_3953

I've always been a bit of a green smoothie fan, but last week I went on a bit of a blitz and prepared a couple weeks' worth of green smoothies. Basically, pop your fruit and veg ingredients (chopped/grated) into individual zip lock bags, pop in the freezer and then each night, pull one out and put it in the fridge so it's ready to be blitzed in the morning - just add water, nut butters, powders, seeds etc in the morning. I found I had so many superfoods etc in my cupboards that weren't being used, and green smoothies are the easiest way for me to eat them without turning my nose up. I've also been having some skin issues (more on that later) so I'm hoping the rainbow of raw fruit and veg I'm getting, along with my superfoods, will do the trick to get me glowing a bit more.

I personally don't really like banana (the base of many green smoothies) and I do try to limit my sugar intake, so I choose to use low-fructose and/or high antioxidant and/or gut-friendly fruits - things like berries, paw paw, pear, pineapple. I also "sweeten" with beetroot or carrot, and more often than not I add a protein powder (lately it's About Time's choccy vegan powder). Do make sure you add in a fat to slow down the sugar release of your other ingredients - I like using things like nut butters, pepita butter, avocado, chia seeds or hemp seeds. If you're new to green smoothies, use a bit more fruit to suit your palate, and spinach as your base veg because it's pretty mild. Slowly start replacing some of the fruit with different veg, and then if you feel brave, chuck in an itty bit of spirulina or chlorella powder.

My smoothies for the next two weeks are mixtures of any of the following (I chop all these things up then chuck them randomly into the zip lock bags haha):

Fruit: Paw paw, pineapple, pear, blueberries, raspberries Veg: Spinach, kale, bok choy, beetroot, zucchini, grated ginger Other: Bee pollen, spirulina, Loving Earth's Rainbow blend, cacao powder, pepita butter, chia seeds, hemp powder, protein powder

Washing my hair with bi-carb soda, conditioning with apple cider vinegar

So, as I mentioned above, I've been having some skin issues and that has also messed with my scalp (cheers, oestrogen and your mate progesterone...and your new bestie testosterone). This is common, I've found, when people come off the oral contraceptive pill because suddenly testosterone is invited to the party again and it takes control of your sebum production and generally wreaks havoc.This results in a delightfully oily scalp and a shit tonne of pimples.

Where I used to be able to go a couple of days between washes, my hair needs a daily wash now and I'm not dead keen on spending big bucks on heaps of shampoo, nor stripping my hair completely. So I've started using household staples: bi-carb and apple cider vinegar. Grab a little tupperware tub with bi-carb, scoop out a handful, wet the other hand and then form a paste. Rub it into your scalp (not the ends of your hair because it might be a bit drying) and leave it while you wash your body/shave/whaddeveryoudointheshowerI'mnotjudging. Rinse. Now it's time to condition. I have a plastic spray bottle I got from the supermarket laundry aisle. It's 1/3 apple cider vinegar and 2/3 water. Squeeze the water out of your hair then spray the ACV all over, particularly at the tips. ACV will lock in the moisture. Leave it for a minute and then rinse. It won't feel like your hair is super soft like a supermarket conditioner does, but don't worry, it brushes out fine. Dry and style as normal! I personally haven't found I could smell the vinegar... If you feel you can smell it, I'd recommend adding a few drops of essential oil to your ACV mix - something like chamomile or other florals, perhaps.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith has been on high rotation on my laptop, iPhone, gym iPod. I am loving his stuff. Especially this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzlPOwoIKOM

And this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_-U6dcTEOg

And this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULPDq02zavs

MooGoo Acne Cleansing Cream

Continuing with my skin troubles, I have been getting a stack of really big, red, sore, unsightly spots on my chin and jawline (ladies, these are normally hormone-related), and also along my hairline (stress-related). What I love about MooGoo's Acne Cleansing Cream is that it doesn't claim to be a miracle overnight cure. I've been naughty before and used anything and everything to dry out spots, and poked and prodded and squeezed....resulting in some red scarring #goodone. MooGoo's cream isn't drying at all (because it doesn't contain benzoyl peroxide, which most acne products tend to use) and smells quite nice, which is a change from other spot treatments I've used! It's very gentle, and MooGoo says it could take a couple of weeks to see noticeable results, and I'm okay with that. I've already noticed I haven't had any really mean lookin' spots on my chin, though still lots of little ones, but there's definitely been an improvement in the 5-or-so days I've been using it. I wash my face at night (using MooGoo's oil cleansing method for combination skin, and a warm, damp microfibre cloth that I picked up in the laundry aisle of Woolie's), then while my skin is still damp, I massage the Acne Cleansing Cream into my skin, focusing on my jawline and chin. A smidge of eye cream later and I'm good to go.

Indibucha Kombucha

IMG_3698

Kombucha is made by fermenting tea with a mushroomy-type ugly creature called a scoby. Squirming yet? Ha! I don't know much about the ins and outs of kombucha and have never tried making it at home (it's in the "too hard for now" pile), but the kombucha I've tried are sparkling, cider-y tasting drinks with huge probiotic properties so it's great for the gut! The most common brand I've seen in Perth is Mojo's, but now there's a local!!!! Indibucha is a Perth brand by Indinature and so far, I'm keen beans on it. It's slightly less sweet than Mojo's, and tastes a bit more like cider, whereas Mojo's has more of a soft drink/ginger beer flavour. My point: kombucha is a great alternative for when you really feel like a beer/cider or a soft drink.

Foley's Frothing Fermentations

Again on the local bandwagon, Foley's Frothing Fermentations is the genius product of Margot Foley in Margaret River, and the line is becoming increasingly available around Perth. I've tried the sauerkraut and kim chi and they are SO GOOD. I've made sauerkraut before, but again, lately it's been in the "too hard for now" pile and I'd heard such rave reviews for Foley's Frothing Fermentations. As with kombucha, sauerkraut and kim chi (...basically spicy sauerkraut for the purpose of explanation) are fermented products meaning they are full of great probiotic bacteria to keep your tummy happy. I've been having a forkful with each meal. Yummm.

Sesame Oil

Okay, so sesame oil isn't the best oil for you by any means, and normally I'm drawn to coconut and olive oils for cooking, and EVOO, walnut and avocado oil for pouring, but what I do like about sesame oil is that it's bang for buck - just a few drops adds a new flavour to meals. Last night, for instance, I baked some salmon in the oven with a bit of tamari for a bit of an Asian sensation. I served it with some boring ol' steamed broccoli...then sprinkled the broc with a couple of drops of sesame oil and it immediately made my dinner more enjoyable. Walnut oil is also a good flavouring oil!

Puppies

I've been researching dogs and falling in love with puppies left, right and centre. Because this:

 

 

Comment

Favourites for Now: August 2014

Comment

Favourites for Now: August 2014

Phwoar, it's been a while since my last Favourites for Now! Truth be told, nothing has really blown my socks off. However, lately I've been crushing on a few things...

"Green" Smoothies

IMG_3953

I've always been a bit of a green smoothie fan, but last week I went on a bit of a blitz and prepared a couple weeks' worth of green smoothies. Basically, pop your fruit and veg ingredients (chopped/grated) into individual zip lock bags, pop in the freezer and then each night, pull one out and put it in the fridge so it's ready to be blitzed in the morning - just add water, nut butters, powders, seeds etc in the morning. I found I had so many superfoods etc in my cupboards that weren't being used, and green smoothies are the easiest way for me to eat them without turning my nose up. I've also been having some skin issues (more on that later) so I'm hoping the rainbow of raw fruit and veg I'm getting, along with my superfoods, will do the trick to get me glowing a bit more.

I personally don't really like banana (the base of many green smoothies) and I do try to limit my sugar intake, so I choose to use low-fructose and/or high antioxidant and/or gut-friendly fruits - things like berries, paw paw, pear, pineapple. I also "sweeten" with beetroot or carrot, and more often than not I add a protein powder (lately it's About Time's choccy vegan powder). Do make sure you add in a fat to slow down the sugar release of your other ingredients - I like using things like nut butters, pepita butter, avocado, chia seeds or hemp seeds. If you're new to green smoothies, use a bit more fruit to suit your palate, and spinach as your base veg because it's pretty mild. Slowly start replacing some of the fruit with different veg, and then if you feel brave, chuck in an itty bit of spirulina or chlorella powder.

My smoothies for the next two weeks are mixtures of any of the following (I chop all these things up then chuck them randomly into the zip lock bags haha):

Fruit: Paw paw, pineapple, pear, blueberries, raspberries Veg: Spinach, kale, bok choy, beetroot, zucchini, grated ginger Other: Bee pollen, spirulina, Loving Earth's Rainbow blend, cacao powder, pepita butter, chia seeds, hemp powder, protein powder

Washing my hair with bi-carb soda, conditioning with apple cider vinegar

So, as I mentioned above, I've been having some skin issues and that has also messed with my scalp (cheers, oestrogen and your mate progesterone...and your new bestie testosterone). This is common, I've found, when people come off the oral contraceptive pill because suddenly testosterone is invited to the party again and it takes control of your sebum production and generally wreaks havoc.This results in a delightfully oily scalp and a shit tonne of pimples.

Where I used to be able to go a couple of days between washes, my hair needs a daily wash now and I'm not dead keen on spending big bucks on heaps of shampoo, nor stripping my hair completely. So I've started using household staples: bi-carb and apple cider vinegar. Grab a little tupperware tub with bi-carb, scoop out a handful, wet the other hand and then form a paste. Rub it into your scalp (not the ends of your hair because it might be a bit drying) and leave it while you wash your body/shave/whaddeveryoudointheshowerI'mnotjudging. Rinse. Now it's time to condition. I have a plastic spray bottle I got from the supermarket laundry aisle. It's 1/3 apple cider vinegar and 2/3 water. Squeeze the water out of your hair then spray the ACV all over, particularly at the tips. ACV will lock in the moisture. Leave it for a minute and then rinse. It won't feel like your hair is super soft like a supermarket conditioner does, but don't worry, it brushes out fine. Dry and style as normal! I personally haven't found I could smell the vinegar... If you feel you can smell it, I'd recommend adding a few drops of essential oil to your ACV mix - something like chamomile or other florals, perhaps.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith has been on high rotation on my laptop, iPhone, gym iPod. I am loving his stuff. Especially this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzlPOwoIKOM

And this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_-U6dcTEOg

And this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULPDq02zavs

MooGoo Acne Cleansing Cream

Continuing with my skin troubles, I have been getting a stack of really big, red, sore, unsightly spots on my chin and jawline (ladies, these are normally hormone-related), and also along my hairline (stress-related). What I love about MooGoo's Acne Cleansing Cream is that it doesn't claim to be a miracle overnight cure. I've been naughty before and used anything and everything to dry out spots, and poked and prodded and squeezed....resulting in some red scarring #goodone. MooGoo's cream isn't drying at all (because it doesn't contain benzoyl peroxide, which most acne products tend to use) and smells quite nice, which is a change from other spot treatments I've used! It's very gentle, and MooGoo says it could take a couple of weeks to see noticeable results, and I'm okay with that. I've already noticed I haven't had any really mean lookin' spots on my chin, though still lots of little ones, but there's definitely been an improvement in the 5-or-so days I've been using it. I wash my face at night (using MooGoo's oil cleansing method for combination skin, and a warm, damp microfibre cloth that I picked up in the laundry aisle of Woolie's), then while my skin is still damp, I massage the Acne Cleansing Cream into my skin, focusing on my jawline and chin. A smidge of eye cream later and I'm good to go.

Indibucha Kombucha

IMG_3698

Kombucha is made by fermenting tea with a mushroomy-type ugly creature called a scoby. Squirming yet? Ha! I don't know much about the ins and outs of kombucha and have never tried making it at home (it's in the "too hard for now" pile), but the kombucha I've tried are sparkling, cider-y tasting drinks with huge probiotic properties so it's great for the gut! The most common brand I've seen in Perth is Mojo's, but now there's a local!!!! Indibucha is a Perth brand by Indinature and so far, I'm keen beans on it. It's slightly less sweet than Mojo's, and tastes a bit more like cider, whereas Mojo's has more of a soft drink/ginger beer flavour. My point: kombucha is a great alternative for when you really feel like a beer/cider or a soft drink.

Foley's Frothing Fermentations

Again on the local bandwagon, Foley's Frothing Fermentations is the genius product of Margot Foley in Margaret River, and the line is becoming increasingly available around Perth. I've tried the sauerkraut and kim chi and they are SO GOOD. I've made sauerkraut before, but again, lately it's been in the "too hard for now" pile and I'd heard such rave reviews for Foley's Frothing Fermentations. As with kombucha, sauerkraut and kim chi (...basically spicy sauerkraut for the purpose of explanation) are fermented products meaning they are full of great probiotic bacteria to keep your tummy happy. I've been having a forkful with each meal. Yummm.

Sesame Oil

Okay, so sesame oil isn't the best oil for you by any means, and normally I'm drawn to coconut and olive oils for cooking, and EVOO, walnut and avocado oil for pouring, but what I do like about sesame oil is that it's bang for buck - just a few drops adds a new flavour to meals. Last night, for instance, I baked some salmon in the oven with a bit of tamari for a bit of an Asian sensation. I served it with some boring ol' steamed broccoli...then sprinkled the broc with a couple of drops of sesame oil and it immediately made my dinner more enjoyable. Walnut oil is also a good flavouring oil!

Puppies

I've been researching dogs and falling in love with puppies left, right and centre. Because this:

 

 

Comment

Jalads (Salad + Jar = Jalad!)

Comment

Jalads (Salad + Jar = Jalad!)

jalads 1

At the beginning of any given week, you'll find my fridge choc-a-block full of mason jars that contain lovely little edible rainbows. I don't always know where I'm going to be for lunch during the week, but two things are for sure: I want my lunches to be healthy and nutritious aaaaand I don't want to buy them.

So, here's how I do the whole 'Jalad' thing.

The great thing about glass jars is that things stay fresh for much longer than if your veg were loose, just hangin' out in the fridge, or being stored in plastic. BIG TICK. Jalads are super portable and don't spill and you don't need plates or bowls. BIG TICK. Jalads give you the option of having a different salad every day, with just one prep-sesh. BIG TICK. Jalads encourage you to fill up on veg, and a variety of type and colour at that. BIG TICK. Jalads help you show how artistic you are by making edible collages against the glass. BIG TICK (...just me?).

Simply stock up on whatever veg tickles your fancy. Keep these little key words in mind and try to tick each: green, orange, purple, leafy.  Variety is key! Farmers markets are great because you can pick up small quantities of great quality veg, meaning you'll have a ton of variety.

Also pick up some protein. I often use smoked salmon, but it's also a good idea to pick up a cooked chicken or cook some chicken fillets up yourself. I've also always got some hard boiled eggs in the fridge. You'll also want to add some fats to keep your blood sugar stable while you're munching on your vege carbs. Have some avo, nuts, seeds and olive/avo/walnut oil on hand.

See my list at the end of this post for some of the things I put in my jalads.

This is a really good visual I got from Pinterest to show you how to assemble your jalad to ensure it's not soggy after a couple of days in the fridge.

jalad order

Here are some of the things that go into my jalads each week....

Veg:

Spinach Baby kale Lettuce Rocket Shredded cabbage

Roasted ANYTHING

Lightly steamed broccoli/brussels sprouts/asparagus Snow peas Cauliflower Cherry tomatoes Sunflower sprouts Alfalfa sprouts Bell peppers Mushrooms Grated beetroot/carrot Zucchini (especially using a spiraliser/julienne peeler) Radishes Red or spring onion Avocado

Protein:

Smoked salmon Shredded chicken Hard boiled eggs/egg whites Chickpeas Tuna

Other bits and pieces:

Quinoa Nuts Pepitas Sunflower seeds Flax seeds Sauerkraut Grated ginger Strawberries (...don't knock it till you try it) Hemp hearts

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MAY MELTDOWN - lose weight & win money!

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MAY MELTDOWN - lose weight & win money!

dietbet

Whether you want to shape up for summer in the northern hemisphere, or get into the groove of healthy habits before winter hits, the May Meltdown is for you! LET'S BURN SOME FAT, WOOHOO! BURN, BABY, BURN!

How would you like to lose at least 4% of your body weight in a month? What if I told you that you could also be paid for achieving your goal?

I'm running a May game through Diet Bet, an online tool that encourages you to stay motivated and essentially bet on your own success. Now, I'm not into "diets", but I am into setting some good habits with food and exercise and I'm definitely a fan of supporting other people reach their goals. I'd love you to join me in trimming away the excess insulation and helping me fit into my super slim jeans ;)

Here's just about everything you need to know, plus some, about how it works

The first thing I recommend you do is create a PayPal account if you don't already have one. You can place your bet using Visa or MasterCard (more on the betting below), but Diet Bet pays out via PayPal, so that's how you'll get your winnings should you reach your goal. PayPal is free and easy to use, and provides more security when spending money online :)

Then, head on over to www.dietbet.com and create an account. You'll be playing in "MAY MELTDOWN with The Sprout!", just click here for the link. From there, there's a button on the page that says "Join Game"....click that :)

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 4.56.20 pm

Our game page is where you'll be able to see who is playing and share comments and photos with each other (see that "What's Happening" box? It's kind of like your Facebook status update box and when people post, that's kind of like your Facebook News Feed). You can also invite other people to join the game via the game page so you can lose weight together! I suggest you bookmark it for the month of May :)

Once you're settled in with your account and you've had a look at the game page, you can place your bet. This game is a US$30 bet, which will work out to be around $32-35 with currency conversion. Diet Bet will take you through the payment process. Disclaimer: In case you're sceptical, Diet Bet is legitimate, secure and I've had a good rummage through all the terms and conditions and given it the thumbs up.

So, every player pops $30 into the pot. At the end of the 4-week period, all of the players who lose between 4-12% of their body weight split the pot and end up with their money back (if everyone reaches their goal), or money back plus some (if some players don't lose 4%).

Okie dokie.

This is what you need to do to participate and how Diet Bet spots cheaters

Diet Bet will prompt you via the email address you signed up with - make sure you check your junk mail folders if you aren't receiving emails leading up to the start date.

Sometime on May 3 or 4, you'll need to do your official weigh-in for your starting weight. The other official weigh-in will be June 2-3 at the end of the challenge to get your final weight. Your percentage of weight lost is then calculated using those two measurements. Your weight won't be displayed to other players!

For official weigh-ins, Diet Bet will ask you to submit two photos (which no one will see besides the Diet Bet auditors). You'll need someone to take a full head-to-toe photo of you standing on a scale wearing your "weigh-in outfit" - I suggest your gym clothes minus shoes & socks. No accessories/hats/belts/watches/cats. The other photo will be of a close-up of the scale showing your weight and the shot must also include a piece of paper with the "word of the day" on it. Diet Bet will tell you what the word of the day is - this basically time stamps your photo to make sure it was taken within the correct dates :) You can weigh-in using kilograms or pounds, it doesn't matter.

Once you've submitted your initial weigh-in photos, it's time to be fierce and get into action!

I'd highly recommend (and will be doing this myself) checking in to the game page weekly with an unofficial weigh in. You don't need photos or to submit anything officially, it's just you essentially plugging in your weight in the "What's Happening" box on the game page. Again, no one will see your weight but your percentage of weight lost will be calculated and you'll see your progress in the "Unofficial Standings" leaderboard on the right-hand side of the game page.

I also highly, HIGHLY recommend downloading the free Diet Bet iPhone app. It puts the game page at your fingertips and lets you check-in and see how the other players are going. Too easy.

This is where you can be part of the MAY MELTDOWN group

All through the challenge, you can be part of the MAY MELTDOWN support group.

The game page will be an obvious spot for interacting with each other. It's a great way to talk about the challenge with just the players, rather than putting it all over Facebook if you're not comfortable with it.

Follow The Sprout on Instagram (@thesprout) for daily motivation, laughs and chit chat. We'll also be using the hashtag #maymeltdown so if you're feeling proud of a meal/recipe/workout/non-scale victory/farmers market haul/fitness outfit you're rocking, let us all see it! Comment on this post with your Instagram name and I shall follow you :)

You can also follow The Sprout on Facebook, here, for more motivation, conversation and recipes! I'll be posting workouts, food blogs I'm loving, motivational quotes and whatnot!

Lastly, you're on this blog and I've got a fair few healthy recipes in the recipe section to give you ideas if you're feeling stumped. I'll be doing my best to post even more ideas (but I'll be honest, they'll most likely be on the Facebook page rather than the blog!).

This is where I want to be real with you, and you be real with me

As I said before, I don't like the traditional idea of diets. So please, please, please don't treat this as a "diet" where you restrict yourself to the point of starvation or miss out on loads of awesome nutrients from whole foods. This is about establishing good habits in your everyday eating and exercise, not about playing the gameYou are only cheating yourself if you binge, purge, dehydrate or take laxatives. Don't do it. Eat real food, exercise by doing things you enjoy that push you but don't injure you. It all comes down to doing things you think you can sustain for not just 4 weeks, but for the foreseeable future. This is about giving your lifestyle a kick up the bum to get yourself on track to FEELING good as well as looking even hotter than you already do. 

This challenge is also for people who are in a range where it is healthy to lose weight. This prevents people who are classified as underweight from losing more weight, motivated by the challenge, because I don't want to promote and encourage vulnerable people to reach unrealistic, unhealthy goals they may have. Diet Bet will not let you participate if your BMI is below 18.5, or if losing 4% of your bodyweight would result in your BMI being below 18.5. You'll be asked for your height during with your initial weigh-in.

If you're not sure at all where to start in terms of food or exercise, email hello@thesprout.com.au and I'll answer any questions you have, or at least point you in the right direction.

Depending on the size of the group, there might be a prize/prizes involved at the end of the challenge....I'll keep you posted!!!

Now, if you've read all of this...well done, and thank you! Again, if you have any questions, email me or write to me via Facebook. I'll get back to you within 24 hours :)

Good luck and I can't wait to have you on board. This is going to be the start of your fittest summer/winter/life!

The Sprout x (pssssh, call me Gemma!)

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Fit Chat: Super [health] Freak, Victoria Carbone

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Fit Chat: Super [health] Freak, Victoria Carbone

Victoria Carbone Nov 2013

Victoria Carbone is a freak. No, really, she is. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Victoria Carbone Nov 2013

Victoria is the owner of Perth's newest nutritious culinary offering, Health Freak Cafe. If you're in the area (or even if you're not - the cafe is worth travelling for!) and are into nourishing nosh that is freakishly healthy yet damn delicious, you MUST try Health Freak. As somewhat of a health freak myself, it's so nice to go somewhere for brekky, lunch or arvo tea and think "Woohoo! I can eat all of these delicious morsels! ". Even the cupcakes. VEGAN SUGAR FREE GLUTEN FREE CUPCAKES. Lordy.

You can find more info about Health Freak Cafe and its orgasmic menu at the bottom of this post.

I wanted to know what it takes to be a health freak, so I asked the Super health Freak herself. I mean, after all, she is the glowing picture of health. And I want to look like I'm radiating sunshine out of my pores, too.

What do you do for a living?

I was a business accountant, but now I'm full-time running cafes.

Most people haven’t always followed a healthy fitness and nutrition regime. How did you get into living a healthier lifestyle, or was it part of your upbringing?

My mother always cooked for us and we generally ate lots of fruit & vegetables.  I also started running at age 14 and loved it, so this is where my passion for health and sports started.

What are your guiding nutrition principles when it comes to day-to-day eating for you?

Right amount of protein with every meal, it's all about balance.

What sort of exercise do you do and how often?

I weight train with my personal trainer 4 days a week and I do boxing every Wednesday.  I love this sport.

What do you do to relax and unwind? 

Lately this is hard to do, generally I would go to gym in morning and afternoon.

A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone that has helped you re-focus your mind?

A healthy mind is definitely what you need to be creative, I surround myself with positive people with great energy.

Name three things that make you happy. 

My partner, my son and living in such a great place like Perth.

Name three health/food/fitness/beauty/wellness products you’ve been diggin’ lately.

Luminesce, this is an amazing beauty product for your skin.  In regards to food, everyone should have kale every day.

What is your guilty food pleasure?   

Cheese, I only started eating it a year ago and I love it.

Are there any popular fitness, nutrition or health “trends” you’d like to see disappear? 

Not really , each to their own when it comes to a lot of these things, nobody knows your body like yourself I say.

Health Freak cafe is sugar and gluten free and offers vegan, raw, vegetarian, dairy free, high protein and low carb options for breakfast, lunch and coffee. The staff make a mean coffee (with your choice of milk) and have plenty of yummy treats and lunches in the fridge if you haven't got time to soak up the fresh air in its alfresco seating area. Health Freak Cafe is available for catering

Health Freak Cafe

Cnr Alvan St & Railway Road, Subiaco (and opening soon on The Esplanade in Scarborough)

(08) 9380 6008

Check out Health Freak Cafe on Facebook and Instagram @healthfreakcafe!

Comment

Fit Chat: Super [health] Freak, Victoria Carbone

Comment

Fit Chat: Super [health] Freak, Victoria Carbone

Victoria Carbone Nov 2013

Victoria Carbone is a freak. No, really, she is. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Victoria Carbone Nov 2013

Victoria is the owner of Perth's newest nutritious culinary offering, Health Freak Cafe. If you're in the area (or even if you're not - the cafe is worth travelling for!) and are into nourishing nosh that is freakishly healthy yet damn delicious, you MUST try Health Freak. As somewhat of a health freak myself, it's so nice to go somewhere for brekky, lunch or arvo tea and think "Woohoo! I can eat all of these delicious morsels! ". Even the cupcakes. VEGAN SUGAR FREE GLUTEN FREE CUPCAKES. Lordy.

You can find more info about Health Freak Cafe and its orgasmic menu at the bottom of this post.

I wanted to know what it takes to be a health freak, so I asked the Super health Freak herself. I mean, after all, she is the glowing picture of health. And I want to look like I'm radiating sunshine out of my pores, too.

What do you do for a living?

I was a business accountant, but now I'm full-time running cafes.

Most people haven’t always followed a healthy fitness and nutrition regime. How did you get into living a healthier lifestyle, or was it part of your upbringing?

My mother always cooked for us and we generally ate lots of fruit & vegetables.  I also started running at age 14 and loved it, so this is where my passion for health and sports started.

What are your guiding nutrition principles when it comes to day-to-day eating for you?

Right amount of protein with every meal, it's all about balance.

What sort of exercise do you do and how often?

I weight train with my personal trainer 4 days a week and I do boxing every Wednesday.  I love this sport.

What do you do to relax and unwind? 

Lately this is hard to do, generally I would go to gym in morning and afternoon.

A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone that has helped you re-focus your mind?

A healthy mind is definitely what you need to be creative, I surround myself with positive people with great energy.

Name three things that make you happy. 

My partner, my son and living in such a great place like Perth.

Name three health/food/fitness/beauty/wellness products you’ve been diggin’ lately.

Luminesce, this is an amazing beauty product for your skin.  In regards to food, everyone should have kale every day.

What is your guilty food pleasure?   

Cheese, I only started eating it a year ago and I love it.

Are there any popular fitness, nutrition or health “trends” you’d like to see disappear? 

Not really , each to their own when it comes to a lot of these things, nobody knows your body like yourself I say.

Health Freak cafe is sugar and gluten free and offers vegan, raw, vegetarian, dairy free, high protein and low carb options for breakfast, lunch and coffee. The staff make a mean coffee (with your choice of milk) and have plenty of yummy treats and lunches in the fridge if you haven't got time to soak up the fresh air in its alfresco seating area. Health Freak Cafe is available for catering

Health Freak Cafe

Cnr Alvan St & Railway Road, Subiaco (and opening soon on The Esplanade in Scarborough)

(08) 9380 6008

Check out Health Freak Cafe on Facebook and Instagram @healthfreakcafe!

Comment