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 :)

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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!

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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!

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Dream on! An 'essential' guide for a good sleep

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Dream on! An 'essential' guide for a good sleep

pillow spray

How did you sleep last night? If, like an increasingly large proportion of the population, you suffer from insomnia or generally find it difficult to clear your mind at bedtime, here's a little something you can pop on your bedside table. I’ve always been intrigued by the senses we have, and losing even one would be life changing. No tasting mum’s cooking, no watching your favourite trash TV, no cuddling with your dog and feeling how soft his ears are, no listening to your girlfriends re-cap a bad date, no smelling the roses/the coffee/clean laundry.

Which is why I think we should make the most of our senses and push them to the sensory limits.

My grandad went blind a few years ago. He was a computer nut, a woodworker and loved watching the cricket at the WACA. Fast forward to now, his life is completely different. Really, all he wants is a good nights’ sleep because the sun no longer controls his body clock.

This got me thinking about ways to relax and calm the mind to drift off to sleep when you’re limited by the senses you do, or don’t, have. I always breathe very deeply to fall asleep, so to enhance the benefits of focusing on breathing for relaxation I started to look into aromatherapy.

Here's a really simple pillow mist that lasts forever and has all the right ingredients for a solid night's sleep.

pillow spray

“Dream On” Pillow Spray Lavender, orange & lemongrass

According to Smell Boffins & Researchers, lavender produces calming, soothing and sedative effects when the scent is inhaled. Lemongrass revitalises the body and relieves the symptoms of jetlag, clears headaches and helps to combat exhaustion and stress-related conditions. Orange helps balance emotions and stimulates optimistic thinking...Just what grandpa ordered!

You will need: ♥ Lavender essential oil ♥ Sweet Orange essential oil ♥ Lemongrass essential oil ♥ Water ♥ 30-50mL plastic spray bottle (re-use an old hair product container, or buy new)

This is dead easy. Fill the bottle up to about 1cm from the top (excl. where the cap screws on). Either straight from the bottles, or using a pipette, add:

6ish drops of Lavender 4ish drops of Orange 4ish drops of Lemongrass

You might need more if you’re bottle is bigger than about 50mL, or if you want a bit more oomph! Shake well, spritz on pillows and bed linen, sleep tight all night!

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Dream on! An 'essential' guide for a good sleep

Comment

Dream on! An 'essential' guide for a good sleep

pillow spray

How did you sleep last night? If, like an increasingly large proportion of the population, you suffer from insomnia or generally find it difficult to clear your mind at bedtime, here's a little something you can pop on your bedside table. I’ve always been intrigued by the senses we have, and losing even one would be life changing. No tasting mum’s cooking, no watching your favourite trash TV, no cuddling with your dog and feeling how soft his ears are, no listening to your girlfriends re-cap a bad date, no smelling the roses/the coffee/clean laundry.

Which is why I think we should make the most of our senses and push them to the sensory limits.

My grandad went blind a few years ago. He was a computer nut, a woodworker and loved watching the cricket at the WACA. Fast forward to now, his life is completely different. Really, all he wants is a good nights’ sleep because the sun no longer controls his body clock.

This got me thinking about ways to relax and calm the mind to drift off to sleep when you’re limited by the senses you do, or don’t, have. I always breathe very deeply to fall asleep, so to enhance the benefits of focusing on breathing for relaxation I started to look into aromatherapy.

Here's a really simple pillow mist that lasts forever and has all the right ingredients for a solid night's sleep.

pillow spray

“Dream On” Pillow Spray Lavender, orange & lemongrass

According to Smell Boffins & Researchers, lavender produces calming, soothing and sedative effects when the scent is inhaled. Lemongrass revitalises the body and relieves the symptoms of jetlag, clears headaches and helps to combat exhaustion and stress-related conditions. Orange helps balance emotions and stimulates optimistic thinking...Just what grandpa ordered!

You will need: ♥ Lavender essential oil ♥ Sweet Orange essential oil ♥ Lemongrass essential oil ♥ Water ♥ 30-50mL plastic spray bottle (re-use an old hair product container, or buy new)

This is dead easy. Fill the bottle up to about 1cm from the top (excl. where the cap screws on). Either straight from the bottles, or using a pipette, add:

6ish drops of Lavender 4ish drops of Orange 4ish drops of Lemongrass

You might need more if you’re bottle is bigger than about 50mL, or if you want a bit more oomph! Shake well, spritz on pillows and bed linen, sleep tight all night!

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Fit Chat: Wonderful Wellness Coach, Kavisha Jega

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Fit Chat: Wonderful Wellness Coach, Kavisha Jega

Kav-144

Kavisha Jega is a [beautiful] Perth wellness coach who, upon hearing her answers to my Fit Chat questions, I felt I really identified with! She's all about seasonal, whole produce and helping people find their way in the maze of healthy eating.

Kav-144

Kav-144

What do you do for a living?

I’m a food and wellness coach! I help busy young professionals transition into a healthier way of eating and living by guiding them through specific dietary and lifestyle changes. Basically, I help clients to figure out what is right for them!

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?

Believe it or not I was not always a kale-loving wellness chick. In fact, I was the complete opposite. From childhood up until my early 20’s my diet consisted of fast food (nearly every day), soft drink, plenty of sugary treats, and then a lot of coffee and alcohol (in my first years of uni!).

It wasn’t until my early twenties, when I wasn’t happy with my body, that I really began to take control of my health. Studying my Masters in Wellness through RMIT allowed me to completely change the state of my mind and my body. Today I feel like a totally different person, and am the healthiest I have ever been. Nowadays I don’t really drink or stay out late. Occasionally it’s fun, but I’m a morning person so staying out all night doesn’t work for me!  I guess you could say that my focus is not quite the same as when I was eighteen years old. My passion is living a healthy lifestyle :)

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

I follow the eat SLOW principle (Seasonal, Local, Organic, Wholefoods). In keeping with this eating style, I consume about 70% plant based foods (vegetables, fruits, herbs, activated nuts, and seeds) and about 30% of my diet is organic, grass-fed or pasture raised meat and eggs, and wild caught fish (salmon and sardines are my favourite).

Eating unprocessed foods, as close to their natural state as possible, will without a doubt help you achieve good health. You gotta learn to love your dark leafy greens and healthy fats!!!

What sort of exercise do you do and how often?

I try and exercise about 5 times a week. I get bored quite quickly so I change it up pretty often! At the moment I’m loving reformer pilates and interval training. I always try and squeeze in a yoga session once a week as well.

What do you do to relax and unwind?

Bake! I love getting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes. It gets the creative juices flowing and really helps me to clear my mind and relax. Plus I get to taste test afterwards, which is always a fun task ;)

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?

Rest. Make sure your getting enough sleep and downtime. Spend time alone with yourself once in a while and do what you love. Also surround yourself with people who lift you higher, instead of bring you down (I know that’s two pieces of advice…sorry :P).

Name three things that make you happy.

A big plate of colourful fresh organic food, random acts of kindness and travel!

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

Fermented foods such as Kombucha and sauerkraut (I’ve recently started making my own!), The Wellness Couch podcasts and anything Lulu Lemon.

What is your guilty food pleasure?

Nut butter eaten straight out of the jar. Once the spoon is in there is no turning back! [Ed's note: Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. Forget Nutella, get me some cashew butter and a teaspoon STAT.]

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

Dieting and calorie counting. I strongly believe we should exercise and eat out of love (the way exercise makes us feel and love of eating amazing tasting fresh food) rather than out of fear (fear of being fat). Everybody is built differently, so there is no right or wrong diet. Everything should be eaten in balance, and no crazy obsessions. Just relax and listen to your body. If you obsess too much about what you can and cannot eat, you become mentally drained and unwell. So what if you unexpectedly over-indulge on the weekend. The next day just get straight back on the health trail! The truth is your diet should be constantly evolving; you should be learning and trying new things all the time.

Kavisha Jega is a food and wellness coach who works with busy young professionals by coaching them on how to shop, cook and eat healthily, empowering them to feed themselves in a way that optimally fuels their body and makes them feel and look good. Check out her website, Facebook and Instagram (@kavisha_jega) for more from this lovely soul.

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Guest Post: Fiona Ferreira is Living Consciously

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Guest Post: Fiona Ferreira is Living Consciously

fionaferreira

fionaferreiraMy name is Fiona, I am a healer and proud business owner of Left of Centre Therapies, specialising in Reiki/hands on healing and Meditation practices AND I have a blog dedicated to ‘conscious living’.   Conscious living is… well its living consciously of course :) – but in all seriousness...

Let me start with some background...

As I think you would all agree, human nature is constantly evolving, there is so much change from one generation to the next.  History has shown us that human culture and knowledge are also continuously progressing and I believe that goes for human awakening too.  Together we are going somewhere, with each generation building on the accomplisments of the one before.

In our own way, each of us contributes to this evolution, starting young with a determination not to behave the same way that our parents did.  From watching and interacting with them, we discerned what we liked and did not like about their behaviour and vowed it would be different for us.  How smart we were as kids!

This may be where some of us leave it, we lose those conscious thoughts as we ‘grow up’ and revert to behaviour patterns learned from our parents, with little regard to our childhood insight.  We mirror their lives and their mistakes.  Others vow not to be like their mother or father and do everything in their power to be the exact opposite.  If we are lucky at some point we hear ourselves saying – oohhhh I sound just like my mother… or we realise that all that energy spent on being the exact opposite may not have brought us to a better place either.

Don’t tell your parents, but reaching this point is actually a good thing – as using these as cues we start to question, who are we and why we are behaving the way we do?  Why are we not living the life we thought we would as children and why are we constantly mending bridges (particularly with our parents) as we go?  As we work through these questions we become more and more conscious of what is really going on in our lives, what is causing our difficulties, we start to become self aware, we begin to live consciously.

Living consciously is being conscious of how and why we behave the way we do, it is the practice of self awareness. We learn to take responsibility for our actions and our lives, we resort to automatic behaviour less and less and are conscious of our behaviour more and more, we use our parents as examples and seek alternative perspectives and ways to behave, we become open to alternative solutions to our problems, we take conscious action against being limited by negative thoughts and we become aware of and find the lesson in every difficulty we face. We heal and we evolve.

 

About Fiona:

I use the wonderful, ancient techniques of energy healing and meditation to assist my clients to find out the causes of their stress or anxiety.

A therapy session at LoC Therapies involves reading your energy field, with your help to determine what is not working in your life and why.  As we work around your body we also bring to light alternative perspectives, behaviour or actions which can be used to overcome these issues.  Then with the assistance of shaman clearing and reiki, the beautiful and nurturing energy healing helps you to regain the balance in your energy field.

Check out Left of Centre Therapies on Facebook!


 

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