Category Archives for Newsletters

Inspire News May 2017

It’s amazing how much news and social media is being devoted to helping people understand the dangers of excessive sugar consumption. Dedicated social media groups share excellent information for reducing the sugar load, governments consider taxing sugary drinks, and people everywhere are more aware than ever about the benefits of following healthy dietary patterns.

Healthy, of course, means different things to different people. Our bodies all have different responses to individual foods, so giving one-size-fits-all advice is illogical. The challenge is discovering the right foods for your unique requirements. Regardless of the ultimate answer, it always starts with fresh, unprocessed foods. These foods naturally contain little sugar or contain so many other nutrients that they are hard to overeat, making it easy to eat well and avoid excess sugar. If you’re unsure of what to eat, or if you know you need help in sticking with a healthy eating plan, we’re here to help.

Slimmer of the Year finalist – Letitia R, Napier, NZ

Lost 30.5 kilos

I knew I was overweight. I had a lot of problems health-wise. I wasn’t in a good head space. Putting on a front to everyone “yeah, I’m all right” where deep down I wasn’t. 

Everything was an effort. I would go to gyms and quit because I couldn’t push myself. The day where I had to ask my kids to tie up my shoelaces, something so minor that was so huge in my life, was when I figured out something needed to be done. When we would go to bowling on our family days I would take the shoes into the toilet and struggle to put them on. That’s when the penny dropped for me.

I weighed 136.6kg when I walked through those doors. My blood pressure was out the gate. I had heaps of skin problems. My beautiful eyes: I couldn’t see them. I got puffed just walking out to get the mail. Small stuff was a mission for me.

Coming to Healthy Inspirations and changing the way I ate and exercising – I just squeezed my legs into the adductor/abductor and my beautiful tummy was in the way and at times I never thought that I could have achieved what I have. No way.

The benefits: I never dreamed of running, let alone walking. I can finally tie my own shoe laces. My blood pressure is right down. My skin is a lot clearer and I don’t get acne. I used to have gout; they were going to put me on prescription drugs, but with H.I. I don’t take any. It’s just amazing.

Before H.I. I just thought I was past it all. I can’t possibly lose anything and if so it was going to take a long time. My beliefs have changed incredibly. Being so positive and looking and feeling incredible, I preach the Healthy Inspirations word. Anyone and everyone asks me how I’ve done it. I tell them “Go to Healthy Inspirations. It’s a life saver.”

Through Healthy Inspirations I have gained a new me. I look at things differently. I grab opportunities. For a person that refused to run or walk, with losing so much beautifullousness (aka fat or weight), I put in an application to go and compete in the 2017 New York marathon. I got picked out of 2,000 entries and there were only 20 spaces and I was one of the lucky ones. On the 25th November 2016 I walked my first ever 10km and I was so over the moon. I just want to tell the ladies “YOU CAN DO IT!!!”

But to empathise with other people that are overweight and want to help by telling them my journey just so they can be at least a tiny bit inspired. If I can help in any way I am happy.

Top tips for losing weight: 

  • Just start!
  • If you fall down, get back up and keep on walking.
  • Always be grateful for all your achievements, no matter how big or small it is and be kind and loving to yourself.
  • Always have a daily task list.
  • Always be prepared.
  • Set small goals every day. Consistency is the key!

~ Letitia R ~

How did calorie-counting work for you?

We’ve all, at different points in our life, checked nutrition panels and assessed foods based on the calories they contain. Naturally we do this only when we’re “watching our weight”. At other times, we just eat and – hopefully – enjoy the food.

When weight loss is a goal, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the calories in – calories out model is what we need to apply, so we try to decrease the amount we eat and increase the amount we move. We then wonder why we don’t get the results we want or, if we do, why we can’t make it last. It must be our fault, right?


The calories idea tells us how we gain, but not why we do. This amazing video is talking about a book targeted at explaining weight gain to kids, and the author explains the complex in such simple terms that even kids can understand it. It’s worth setting aside 30 minutes to view the video.

Advice from the experts

When you want good information, you’ll usually turn to an expert, or at least someone who is experienced in the field. With that in mind, why would ask for weight loss advice from someone who has no expertise or has never needed to lose weight?

If you’re thinking of losing a few kilos abut haven’t yet started, this great advice from people already on their weight loss journey might help.

  • It doesn’t matter what type of diet you follow, just stick to it.
  • Don’t think you can eyeball measurements – get a scale and measuring cups and spoons.
  • You’ll likely drop a lot of weight at first and then slow down or stop for a bit.
  • Take pictures at the start so you can see your progress. Take progress pictures along the way.
  • Sauces count.
  • Relapses happen – don’t give up. You’ll have bad days even when most days are awesome. Just because you’ve had one bad meal does not mean you should write your whole day off.
  • Your new way of eating to lose the weight is the way you need to keep eating for the rest of your life.
  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
  • When in doubt, remember Batman: Alfred Pennyworth: “Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
  • Exercise sensibly. No need to jump on excruciating exercise regimes from the get-go. Work yourself up to a good workout routine and stick with it.
  • A nice treat is a faux Italian soda. Buy some Perrier sparkling water and toss in a few smooshed-up raspberries or strawberries.
  • Sometimes I think “Gee, if only I’d started earlier I’d be at my goal weight already” but I have recently been very thankful that me-from-the-past had the discipline and drive to start losing weight.
  • I wanted to lose 10kg and thought “If I lose 200g per week, it will take an entire year to get to my goal”, but I realised that the year would pass no matter what. I made the choice of whether I wanted to get there skinnier by eating less (with no hunger) or not.
  • Parts of my past I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I never did anything about it but wallow in self-pity. I’m glad I finally made a change.
  • I misunderstood the difference between motivation and knowledge.
  • To anyone not yet ready to lose weight, my advice is that you can at least try and stop gaining weight. Your future weight loss journey will be so much easier.
  • Self-discipline is taking care of your future self.
  • Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate.

Zucchini lasagne

 Serves 8

  • 4 large zucchini, sliced about 1/2 cm thick

    Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green capsicum, diced
  • 500g extra lean minced meat (eg beef, turkey, chicken)
  • 1 (400g) can tomato puree
  • 1 (400g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • handful of basil, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • handful of parsley, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • red pepper flakes, if desired
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 430g ricotta
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 340g shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 190o C. Place sliced zucchini on large greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes to cook and help dry out the zucchini.
  2. Meanwhile, make the meat sauce. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, and capsicum and cook a few minutes until onion becomes translucent and garlic is fragrant; stir occasionally so that you don’t burn it.
  3. Add in minced meat and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add in tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25 to 30 minutes to thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat to cool.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine egg white, ricotta, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Add in 1/2 cup of the slightly cooled meat sauce and stir to combine.
  6. To assemble lasagne, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of a 20cm x 30cm baking pan. Place zucchini slices evenly over meat sauce, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minute longer uncovered.
  7. Serve with a side salad.


    How many minutes?

    Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.

    Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off a 160g tub Gippsland Daily Blueberry Twist yoghurt?

    Strenuous Aerobics: 29 minutes
    Social Golf: 58.5 minutes
    Energetic Dancing: 29 minutes
    Jogging 8 kph: 39 minutes
    Swimming: 39 minutes
    Walking: 58.5 minutes

    Inspire News April 2017

    Welcome to April 2017, a crazy month where routine flies out the window, and positive eating and exercise behaviours can be easily pushed to the side. School holidays, Easter, and Anzac Day all offer opportunities to eat that chocolate, skip the gym, watch TV with the kids, and slip backwards in the habits that lead us toward the goals we wish to achieve. This month’s article might help minimise the damage.

    Did you know that we offer “remote coaching”? There are many people who would love to access the Healthy Inspirations programs but are simply too far away from a centre. As long as you have a letter box and internet, we can arrange postal delivery of materials and then weekly coaching calls via Skype or Messenger. This allows face-to-face coaching support while you follow your eating plan. Feel free to let any of your far-flung family or friends know about this service – we’d love to help them. Email your name, email, and where you live, and we’ll get back to you.

    The start of May sees our next member challenge, Sharing the Love, which is about sharing recipes, ideas, successes, and taking some “me” time. Each centre will make a donation to their chosen charity, so get involved and share a bit of the love. Just ask one of the Health Coaches about how you can get involved.

    Slimmer of the Year finalist – Sarah T, Prospect, SA

    Lost 10.5 kilos & 57.5 cm

    “I decided to join the Healthy Inspirations nutrition program after I saw my photo on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it was me and thought if I didn’t do something, I’d be even bigger in another 12 months. 

    I was unfit, embarrassed, had very little energy and was eating too many sugary foods. The way I looked and felt in my clothes affected my confidence, so I began to avoid certain styles of clothing. 

    The program was easier than I thought. I never felt judged and I received nothing but encouragement and support from the team and members at Healthy Inspirations. Before long I came to realise that I could live without all the sweet things and desserts. I began to eat well and often enough to avoid hunger, so I didn’t even crave them. With a little bit of planning and some healthy recipes, the whole family could eat well. Instead of shopping once a week, I shopped about three times, buying exactly what I needed to cook the meals I had planned for. I also never thought I’d be a ‘gym person’ but the variety of classes kept me interested and the girls were great fun. 

    The whole family has benefited from the changes I’ve made. We are all eating healthily and my two daughters have a mum who demonstrates healthy eating habits; hopefully this will have positive long term implications for them. One of them actually calls me a ‘yummy mummy’ and my husband is impressed with how committed I am to regular exercise and likes my renewed self-confidence. My success in the program has given me the confidence and energy to be who I want to be. I can now wear whatever I want without worrying – even a bikini! 

    My Top Tips: 

    • Be organised with food – plan meals ahead, shop regularly to avoid running out of healthy food options.
    • Make protein muffins – they’re easy to freeze and take to work.
    • Don’t panic! If you have a slip-up, you can make up for it by getting back on plan.

    ~ Sarah T ~

    Establishing routine leads to great habits

    Routine is important. It sounds boring but solid routines form some of the corner-stones of behaviour and habit formation that can last a life-time. If April shenanigans are getting in the way of your normal routines, you’re not alone but there are some simple things you can do to reduce falling off the wagon completely.

    1. The night before
      1. Decide in the evening exactly what you will do first thing in the morning. It might be going for a walk, cooking breakfast, or meditating – whatever sets you up for a great day. The important component of this decision is that it’s completely “do-able”. Running a marathon before work, or cooking gruyere souffles with shaved truffles, or meditating for 2 hours are not “do-able”. A 10-minute walk, quick fried eggs with spinach and mushrooms, or meditating for 10 minutes might be better for you. Decide what you can realistically accomplish, and prepare for that.
      2. Organise everything you need for tomorrow morning’s commitment. Get your runners ready, ensure the fridge is stocked, or your meditation cushion in place.
      3. Visualise doing your chosen activity in the morning. Spend 2 minutes with your eyes closed (even while lying in bed) thinking about the activity, getting ready in the morning and how you’ll feel once the activity is complete.
      4. Sleep well.
    2. The next morning
      1. Get up, get dressed, and get moving.

    The preparation for your chosen activity is the key to success. Imagine getting your exercise gear sorted in the evening, only to get up in the morning and ignore it. You’d feel pretty bad. Now imagine how starting the day well sets you up for other good decisions. You feel energised, satisfied, and proud. You simply don’t want to undo the great start you’ve made.

    Over time, the routine you establish in the morning becomes second-nature; a habit that you no longer need to decide to do it. The habit drives the behaviour, and your brain is free from making that decision.

    Easter treats: How to make your waistline and sanity survive Easter

    You’ve probably noticed the supermarket assault of tempting treats for the past couple of months. Even if you have been ‘good’ during this time, often well-meaning friends and relatives feel the need to acknowledge Easter with the giving of gifts – usually food gifts such as Easter eggs and hot cross buns.

    While an occasional indulgence won’t stop you losing weight (though it will certainly slow it down), indulging too much will see the number on the scales steadily creeping up and all the hard work you’ve put in to losing weight may be undone.

    Many people find that once they do indulge, a cycle of indulgences or cravings re-establishes and they find it difficult to get back on track. Negative self-talk and feelings of failure follow, which makes it harder still to make the right choices.

    When temptation is there, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Do I really need it now?
    2. Can I live without it for the time being?
    3. How will I feel after eating it?
    4. Will eating it be the ‘start of the end’ for my motivation and confidence?

    The answers to these questions may be sufficient to put the brakes on making an impulsive choice that you’ll live to regret.

    If you do choose to give in to temptation – and remember, it really is your choice to make – consider the following:

    • A hot cross bun has around 230 calories, and 8 teaspoons of sugar will be absorbed into your blood stream. It will take about 40 minutes of extra exercise to burn off.
    • A Bakers Delight choc chip Easter bun has around 265 calories and yields 8 teaspoons of sugar, so you’ll need 44 minutes of exercise in addition to what you would already be doing.
    • Four mini solid eggs have 144 calories and 3 teaspoons of sugar, so you’ll need an extra 24 minutes of exercise.
    • A Lindt milk chocolate bunny has 523 calories and 11 teaspoons of sugar, and will take around 1 1/2 hours of extra exercise to burn off.

    So what does this all mean? You’re already going for a 30-minute walk in the morning, and generally trying to be more active. You’re busy with family, work and social commitments, and it’s often hard to find time to fit in extras like phoning a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. We all seem to lead very busy lives.

    Think about how much spare time you actually have, and ask yourself if you’d be happy spending that time exercising just to burn off the Easter treats you chose to eat. For many people, they would rather spend that spare time watching a favourite TV program, playing a game with the kids, or reading a book.

    In addition to the problem of being time-poor, the sugar content of these Easter treats will dramatically elevate your blood glucose and insulin. This promotes fat storage, and regardless of the exercise you do your body will simply find it almost impossible to release stored fat.

    Whatever you decide to do over the Easter break, remember that your food and treats are completely your choice. You will decide whether to indulge in treats or to keep your weight loss goals as top priority. You’ll decide whether the treat is worth slowing your weight loss. You’ll decide how much extra time you have available to devote to exercise.

    As the old saying goes: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

    Sun-dried tomato devilled eggs

     Appetiser Serves 12

    • 12 large eggs (whole)

      Recipe courtesy

    • 2 1/2 Tbsp real mayonnaise
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp sour cream
    • 30g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 2/3 Tbsp chopped shallots
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 tsp tabasco sauce
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    1. Place eggs in a large saucepan in a single layer covered with 1-inch of water. Bring to a boil; cover, remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes.
    2. Run unpeeled eggs under cold water until cool to make them easy to peel.
    3. Peel and halve eggs lengthwise. Scoop out the cooked yolks and place in a mixing bowl. Set aside white halves on a plate.
    4. Mash the egg yolks with mayonnaise, sour cream, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, mustard, hot sauce, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    5. Transfer the filling to a piping bag, or into a sandwich bag with the corner cut off. Squeeze the yolk filling into the egg white shells, filling evenly and mounding slightly. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.


      How many minutes?

      Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.

      Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off a Baker’s Delight Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Bun (67g)?

      Strenuous Aerobics: 27 minutes
      Social Golf: 53.5 minutes
      Energetic Dancing: 27 minutes
      Jogging 8 kph: 36 minutes
      Swimming: 36 minutes
      Walking: 53.5 minutes

      Inspire News March 2017

      Is Autumn the most beautiful season of all? Depending on where you live, the stinging heat has passed and biting cold yet to arrive. The trees start changing colour, and it’s the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy nature. Go for walks or simply sit and look at the trees and sky: it’s a great way to reduce stress and be mindful, living in the present.

      You may have noticed when talking to people that they focus on the less desirable things going on in life. Things like “I’m so busy” or “Gosh little Johnny is being a brat” or “Hubby is getting held up late at work every night”. You know the sort of thing. With our current member challenge, Gratitude Attitude, we’re encouraging people to look at the positive things happening in their lives, even if it’s just the silver linings. Finding things to be grateful for can help stop an overriding negative focus and increase overall happiness and life satisfaction.

      Slimmer of the Year finalist – Julie L, Lower Hutt, NZ

      Lost 6.9 kilos & 35 cm

      “I have been a member of several different gyms and I have never succeeded in keeping any weight I had lost off for good. 

      I have a personal trainer who I have worked with since April 2015; I worked out with him twice a week but had remained the same weight and around the end of the year had started to get heavier. Then Healthies came to my gym in November 2015 and I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution to give them a go. I started the programme in January (what was the point before Christmas!!).

      I had a holiday to Bali coming up in April 2016 and that became my vision statement to keep me on track. I joined at 61.6kg and my goal was to get to 55kg. I did well with the programme and made great progress up to April; I managed to get down to 56.8kg. 

      I was delighted to make it that far for my holiday and as you do on holidays I gained back a portion of what I had lost but it came off on my return to Healthies. However, I started to fall in and out of sticking to the programme. I would do well during the week but go so far off plan on weekends I would spend the next week getting down to where I had been on Friday! 

      This carried on until October. I sat down with Ange and she suggested I go back to phase 1 until I reached my goal: I was reluctant but as there was a transformation competition running in the gym, she promised me extra entries if I reached my goal by a certain date. And the bribery worked!! I worked my butt off and said no (well mostly) to anything that was not part of phase 1 and I reached my goal on 29th October. I am on the maintenance programme, which will be challenging as my sweet tooth is still there but now that I have made it I am not going back to where I was before. 

      I am healthier, happier, and lighter! With Healthies I have been able to eliminate sugar which has helped me partly towards figuring out the trigger for my migraines. I have no more pain in my knee. And most importantly I have made several new friendships with all the fabulous ladies who attend. They are always willing to celebrate any of our successes: I find it great to have support when I “fail” and fabulous to have someone to celebrate when I succeed. It makes you feel like you’re part of a group, not all out on your own. I feel proud of myself and more confident in both my work and play. 


      The first week is the hardest, do your grocery shopping in advance, get your diet jelly ready and stay busy and AWAY from temptations! 

      It all becomes worth it after you see your weigh in results. 


      Stick to plan – but know that if you “cheat” you can start afresh. The plan begins to work as soon as you start!

      ~ Julie L ~

      Reducing the need for sweet

      You’d have to have been living under a rock to have missed all the talk about the dangers of sugar. Discussion is everywhere, and it’s having the desired effect of making people more aware of what’s in their food and of re-evaluating their choices.

      Despite this increased awareness, many are being mislead by simple marketing messages that deliberately play on people’s good intentions but which have little value.

      Have you noticed that many food magazines, even those specifically for those with diabetes, have cakes or desserts on the cover?

      Do you select recipes that are sugar-free, only to find out that they’re filled with sugar substitutes: honey, maple syrup, dates, rice malt syrup, fruit… All these sweeteners have the same effect as sugar: they raise the level of blood glucose which makes the body produce more insulin – or in those with insulin-dependent diabetes creates the need for more insulin to be injected.

      If you questioned the people making decision about the magazine covers and the recipes, they’d tell you that the recipes are intended for occasional, or special occasion, use only. There is no explanation of this intention. Are we supposed to be mind-readers?

      The key to long-term dietary control and successful weight management is to reduce the need for sweet. This is hard at first, especially for those who claim to have a “sweet tooth”. We’ve had members like this, and they start out believing that they can’t kick the sugar habit. In fact, some don’t want to kick the habit.

      The problem with maintaining a desire for sweet is that the person never gets beyond that yearning. They desire sweets, crave them, and feel utterly deprived at not being able to have them. These feelings make weight control difficult as resentment and defiance build. Giving in to the cravings once may be OK for some, but giving in to cravings too often means weight gain and further disappointment.

      And how do we deal with disappointments in life? Many people go for chocolate, ice-cream, cakes and like, which of course is just more sugar.

      The key to long-term weight – and sugar – management is to kick the habit.

      • Get organised by eliminating all sugar sources from your home, car, and work.
      • Stock up on replacement foods like vegies, boiled eggs, cold meats, olives and nuts.
      • Have a written strategy in place for what you will do when a sugar craving hits: eg “When I want to eat lollies, I will instead eat snow peas.”
      • Ensure you have a nutrient-dense eating pattern, like a Healthy Inspirations program, that significantly reduces cravings for sweet.
      • Have a support network that will help you when the going gets tough. When your internal motivation is high, and when you’re not stressed or tired, it’s easy to stick to your guns. When motivation slips or stress and tiredness are more evident, it’s harder to show the discipline you need. Call a friend, check in at Healthy Inspirations, get a family member to keep an eye on you – whatever it takes to help you get through the difficult patches that will surely arise.

      Getting rid of sugar is worth the short period of potential difficulty. Many of our members had no problem at all, as their desire for change was stronger than their desire for sweet. Others struggle a little at first but gradually develop new habits that allow enjoyment of food without the sweetness they previously enjoyed.

      Ignore the glossy magazines with their beautiful images of cakes. If you love magazines, pick up one that features meals rather than desserts, evaluate the recipes to ensure they fit with your eating plan, and enjoy creating marvellous new meals.

      Walking in the outdoors

      Apart from enjoying the weather, breathing in the fresh air, and admiring the trees, getting outside for some exercise, even if it’s very gently, has some significant benefits for your health and wellbeing. Here’s a summary of an article which lists the benefitsand all the references to the studies:

      1. Improved short-term memory. Two groups were tested before and after a walk. The group who walked around an arboretum improved their short-term memory by 20%, while those who walked the city streets showed no improvement.
      2. Restored mental energy. Restorative environments, aka the great outdoors, helps overcome mental fatigue. This is great for the workday when possible, but also an excellent way to help you stay on track to achieve goals.
      3. Stress relief. Studies showed that camping in a forest for two nights leads to lower cortisol (a stress hormone) and heart rate than spending that time in the city.
      4. Reduced inflammation. Those who spent time in the forest had lower inflammation and lower hypertension than those in the city.
      5. Better vision. Studies on children show that outdoor play is associated with a decreased incidence of myopia (nearsightedness) compared to indoor play or no play.
      6. Improved concentration. Studies comparing the results of proofreading tasks show that those who walk in nature perform better than those who walk in the city and better than those who just relax.
      7. Sharper thinking and creativity. Four days in nature improved creative problem-solving performance by 50%, while a walk in nature enabled more accurate reciting of number sequences.
      8. Possible anti-cancer benefits. Preliminary studies suggest that thime in forests may stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins.
      9. Immune system boost. A relationship seems to exist between time spent in nature and reduced incidence of colds, flu and other infections.
      10. Improved mental health. As greenery and exercise are both known to decrease stress, it’s not surprising that walking in the outdoors and ease anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
      11. Many studies suggest a link between the amount of green space in a person’s environment to their overall health and risk of early death.

      It seems that there are plenty of reasons to get out and about on a regular basis, especially if your daily activities involve a lot of indoor time. The autumn, make time to enjoy nature, be it at a park, in the garden, or bush-walking. Any time will help.

      Chicken and chorizo salad

       Serves 4



      • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
      • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
      • 2 Tbsp tarragon
      • 600g cooked chicken, cut into chunks
      • 100g chorizo
      • 100g rocket
      • 200g cherry tomatoes
      • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
      • Freshly ground black pepper
        1. Combine 2 Tbsp of olive oil, crushed garlic and tarragon in a bowl. Add the chicken breast chunks and toss to coat the chicken in the oil mixture. Marinate in the fridge for 35 minutes, or overnight if possible.
        2. In a frying pan, fry the marinated chicken and chorizo slices in 1 Tbsp olive oil for around 3 minutes.
        3. Combine the rocket and tomatoes to make a salad.
        4. Combine the white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss.
        5. Mix in the chicken and chorizo, or arrange it on top.


        How many minutes?

        Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.

        Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off a Muffin Break gluten-free date and apple muffin?

        Strenuous Aerobics: 46 minutes
        Social Golf: 92 minutes
        Energetic Dancing: 46 minutes
        Jogging 8 kph: 61 minutes
        Swimming: 61 minutes
        Walking: 92 minutes

        Inspire News February 2017

        How is the year settling down for you? School is back and holidays are over for most of us, so it’s time to take advantage of routines. Sounds boring, but a good routine is critical to creating new habits. Look for ways to create habits that support your goals: make tomorrow’s lunch while preparing tonight’s dinner, plan your shopping on a specific day and then stick to your list, and getting to bed at the same time each night are all easy-to-implement routines that work to make your life easier.

        If you’re finding it difficult to settle into a routine after the rush of December and January, this week’s tips on turning excuses into action may be exactly what you need. Behaviour change starts in the head, so getting your thoughts right is the first step.

        Valentine’s Day is looming, and for many people this brings about ideas of roses and chocolate. The roses are fine, of course, but while the chocolate idea is lovely it will do nothing to help you achieve your goals. In fact, many people just feel guilty or disappointed after eating chocolate. If you anticipate a Valentine’s gift, lay the seeds now for what you might like to receive – subtly, of course.

        Slimmer of the Year finalist – Chris F, Burnie, Tas

        Lost 12.4 kilos & 42 cm

        On reflecting back over my life, I can’t remember ever really ‘liking’ my body or appearance. I had a bad habit of always finding fault in something and never having any self-confidence, believing others were better than me. After having my 2 children in the mid-1980’s my weight began fluctuating badly. Several diet and exercise programs over the ensuing years left me even heavier and less healthy than ever.

        I find gyms full of testosterone and sleek leotards, making me feel flabbier and out of place – certainly not welcoming or encouraging places. Healthy Inspirations offered a female only space which was less intimidating. Initially I tried to lose weight using their exercise only membership. It wasn’t long before I sought to add their dietary and coaching support. With the help from the fantastic coaches I succeeded. 

        Healthy Inspirations taught me not only what to eat but when. I learned to plan my weeks’ worth of food and reduce my bad habit of reactionary eating. Of course, the loss of milk, bread, rice, pasta and cereal was hard but I have learned to replace with, breakfast muffins, nut muesli, protein powder smoothies and heaps of fresh salads. Awareness of ‘when’ to eat was another difficult lesson to learn, especially when at work. I frequently went from a 6.30am breakfast to a 1.30pm lunch with nothing in between. Fluctuating sugar levels would then see me snacking up to and beyond dinner. Scheduled eating times including protein snacks for morning and afternoon tea helped to control this. 

        What of exercise? Due to suffering from arthritis and degeneration in my back and neck, I have not recently been taking advantage of the exercise classes or circuit work but I do enjoy going walking. These symptoms have reduced with my weight loss so I am feeling much more optimistic of being able to increase my physical endeavours. My blood pressure and heart rate have reduced, as have back pain and headaches. 

        Eventually my wardrobe became a joke. I needed to buy some clothes that actually fitted and take out what didn’t. the local women’s shelter was the appreciative recipient of the 2 large boxes of clothes taken from my wardrobe. It felt great. Resizing my wedding ring is next on the agenda. What now? 

        My new goals: 

        • Maintain my current weight and increase my fitness (as my body tolerates) throughout 2017 and beyond.
        • Work on improving my self-confidence and enjoying my new me.


        • Walk through the door – get started.
        • Have short and longer term goals.


        • Meal planning – spontaneous eating is dangerous to your new eating plans.
        • Balance diet and exercise with your lifestyle.

        ~ Chris F ~

        Low-carb Sweeteners

        It can be incredibly confusing when you are just starting to live sugar free but are still in the early stages and want a sweet hit. Ideally, of course, we need to lose our taste for sweet things. This will happen naturally over time if you give it a chance, but for those occasions where something sweet is ‘essential’, you need to choose the right sweetener.

        With sugar found in so many processed and packaged foods, even those which would surprise you, it may take some time to readjust your taste buds. There are also many different names for sugar which makes navigating food labels especially confusing.

        When using any sweetener, add the minimum amount that suits your taste. Eventually you want to cut back and then eliminate sweeteners, so taste each time before the addition of more sweetener. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out.

        Best choices

        Natural sweeteners are the best, though this may not mean what you think. Stevia, natvia (stevia/erythritol blend), erythritol or xylitol are best. While they don’t sound familiar and are easily confused with artificial sweeteners, it’s worth remembering their names. The granulated forms of these are best as they all measure spoon for spoon in place of sugar.

        The argument can be made that sugar that sugar is better because it is natural. This is close to true: it is natural, but it is also processed like the sweeteners above.  Sugar will raise your blood glucose, which can be damaging over time.

        Stevia Stevia is commonly used in baking. It has been used for centuries from the leaves of the stevia plant, though it is now more easily available as processed drops, granules, or powder. Despite being 300 times sweeter than sugar, it does not raise blood sugars – though care must be taken to use the right sort for the job and, most importantly, to be very careful with the amount used. It can be bitter if youre heavy-handed.

        • Granulated stevia is usually blended with erythritol so it measures spoon for spoon in place of sugar.
        • Stevia drops are great to use when you don’t want to add bulk to a recipe. Always read the label for the brand you have bought because each brand may have a different formula to replicate the replacement of sugar.
        • Powdered stevia is also suitable when you don’t want to add bulk to a recipe.

        Erythritol Granulated and powdered erythritol measure spoon for spoon with sugar, so is an excellent product to use in baking. Erythritol is made from glucose that has been fermented with a microorganism found in honeycomb, and does not raise blood glucose levels or cause the gastro intestinal problems or affect the gut flora that other sweeteners.

        Xylitol Xylitol is s sugar alcohol which has a minimal effect on blood sugars. It actively inhibits the bacteria in the mouth and it may help with remineralisation of the tooth enamel. Xylitol may cause stomach upsets if eaten in large quantities and is toxic for dogs. Never feed dogs any baked goods made with xylitol. When you consume xylitol, you may experience a cooling effect in the mouth.


        • Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, Rice Malt Syrup, Dried Fruit, Honey, Blackstrap molasses All of these are simply different forms of sugar and despite their ‘health halo’ will raise your blood glucose and insulin levels, stall your weight loss, and trigger your sweet cravings.
        • Maltitol is a sugar alcohol with a high GI that spikes blood sugars and causes stomach upsets in many people. It is commonly used in many low carb processed foods, especially low carbs bars.
        • Agave syrup is 70-90% fructose which is even higher than high fructose corn syrup. Fructose should be avoided (except if you eat a piece of fruit) because it is metabolised in the liver and can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
        • Aspartame, Saccharin, Acesulfame K These are all artificial sweeteners, and with many conflicting studies it’s probably safer to select a more natural alternative.

        Ultimately the choice is up to you. We recommend eliminating sweeteners and adjusting your taste buds to desire less sweet flavours, but if something sweet is necessary, select natural forms that do not raise blood glucose.

        5 Tips to Turn Your Excuses into Action

        Have you ever caught yourself saying After my holiday I’ll get back on track”, or “Once this big work project is over, I’ll be able to plan my meals” or something similar?

        Then the event passes and another crops up further delaying your plans, and then another and another. These ‘reasons’ for not eating in the way that’s best for your body can indicate a deeper resistance: you actually don’t want to change the way you eat, or don’t believe you’ll be successful.

        So how do you make your desire for weight loss overcome a reluctance to do what’s necessary?

        1. Develop a positive mindset. In times of stress or overall busy-ness, making change can be a battle if you focus on the difficulties. Instead, try focusing on the positives: nourishing your body to better manage a stressful situation, making a good start so that you can feel more confident on your holiday, taking advantage of a house full of people and being a healthy role model.
        2. Focus on what you can Making change, especially if it seems that everyone around you is continuing with old habits, can make you feel that you’re somehow missing out. One of the key successes of our programs is that we guide you in choosing foods that help your goals rather than rejecting those that don’t. This allows you to focus on the positive behaviours, and what you focus on is what you get.
        3. Implement a clear structure. Having a guide for meals and snacks is helpful, as it reduces the need to think too much – especially useful during busy times. Sample menu plans help some people: they say things like “Just tell me what to eat and I’ll do it.”
        4. Develop a support network. Our Health Coaches offer the support and accountability that most people need when making change, along with expertise and experience with our programs. Family, friends, and workmates can also be great supporters, though be aware that some are unconscious saboteurs: “You’re doing so well; one piece of cake won’t hurt.” or “Your face is looking too thin, you don’t want to lose too much weight.”
        5. Forgive yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. One mistake – or two or three – are no reason for conceding defeat. We all make mistakes, and while it may delay your progress slightly, a mistake doesn’t signal failure. Accept the mistake, look at reasons why it may have happened, and get back on track immediately.

        Garlic Prawns

        Courtesy Delish – Serves 4



        • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
        • 4 garlic cloves, grated
        • 600g, peeled and deveined
        • salt
        • Freshly ground black pepper
        • 3 Tbsp butter
        • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
          1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
          2. Increase heat to medium-high and add butter. When butter begins to foam add parsley. Cook until parsley is crispy and shrimp is pink with browned edges.
          3. Transfer to a platter and serve with a green salad.


          How many minutes?

          Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.

          Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off a serving (25g) prawn crackers?

          Strenuous Aerobics: 16.2 minutes
          Social Golf: 32.5 minutes
          Energetic Dancing: 16.2 minutes
          Jogging 8 kph: 21.6 minutes
          Swimming: 21.6 minutes
          Walking: 32.3 minutes

          Inspire News January 2017

          Are you breathing a sigh of relief that the Silly Season has passed and routine is making a welcome reappearance? Perhaps you still have children on holidays and routine is the furthest thing from your mind? Whatever your situation, the New Year brings about the chance for new beginnings and many people take advantage of this time to evaluate what they’d like to achieve and to set goals. See this month’s article on New Year’s Resolutions, and why they may not be your best bet.

          Perhaps the best part of summer is the warm weather that eliminates the need for typical ‘comfort’ foods. When it’s hot, most people would much prefer a salad than a big bowl of pasta – fresh healthy foods take priority. What does this mean if you’re wanting to lose some weight? Simply that it’s the easiest time of the year to establish healthy eating patterns, and the sooner you start the faster they become habits. And habits are what you need for long-term maintenance.

          Inspiration of the Year – Linda V, Lismore, NSW

          Lost 25.1 kilos & 88.5 cm

          What event in your life triggered your decision to start your Healthy Inspirations program?

          In 2009 my life changed dramatically when I found myself plunged in a very nasty and ongoing bullying campaign with a new employee at my workplace. Much to my horror this person became my new boss who was hell-bent on destroying me. As a result, and without going into the gory details, I found myself an emotional wreck and attending a psychologist. I was at rock-bottom and could not get any lower. My life as I knew it had ended. I would start each day crying and trying to make myself leave the security of my home to attend my workplace – a workplace I had loved for 18 years but was now a place of constant pain. I was at a cross-roads in my life. I felt abandoned by my employer who after complaints by myself just saw the situation as a personality clash. I felt worthless and a failure. I had put on so much weight from emotional binge eating; eating I did in private, late at night when everyone was asleep, pick pick picking!! My doctor wanted me to take some time off work on stress leave but I saw that as the easy way out and giving in to the bully – giving in meant he had won – that was not going to happen. After a few visits with my counsellor he touched on the sensitive subject of my weight. A simple question was asked – was I happy with myself? The short answer amongst a torrent of tears and unrecognisable words – NO:( !! So that very day after my counselling session I wend straight to Healthy Inspirations and joined… and so my life began anew.

          What health and/or lifestyle benefits have you noticed as a result of following your program?

          I cannot thank H.I. enough for the impact they have had in changing my life. They were directly instrumental in my recovery from the deep dark place I had been hiding in. Firstly, the charts showed I was OBESE! What? Who invented that word? It is a ghastly word and was surely created by a male!!

          Secondly, I had a fatty liver – huh?

          … Blood pressure elevated, skin problems, joint problems!!!

          As I followed the pan and kilos started to drop off my health improved and with this came a more emotionally stronger me. This helped me cope with the stress at work and I started to gain some confidence back. The bully had stolen my identity – but I was going to get it back; slowly but surely that was going to happen. And I did!

          Before joining Healthy Inspirations, what beliefs did you have about losing weight? Now that you’re following the Healthy Inspirations program, how have these beliefs changed?

          Hmmm, weight loss beliefs? Where do I start? I was a hopeless yo-yo dieter and a binge eater. If you over-ate today then you just fixed this by starving yourself the next day. Simple, right? Wrong – so wrong. Or I would exercise crazily believing I would sweat off those extra calories I had consumed in yesterday’s binge. You cannot exercise out a bad diet. And I was of the firm belief weight loss is a simple equation – right? Weight loss is the difference between calories in vs calories out. I have since learned all calories are not the same and exercise became something I loved again. It improved my emotional health as well as my physical health but it is not just a tool to lose weight.

          Describe the impact of weekly coaching and on-going support on your success.

          I stuck to the plan religiously and attended daily visits to present my diary to the beautiful ladies at H.I. In particular Jenny, Linda and Rani were there for me in my darkest hours and very instrumental in my success – without this time with the staff where I could vent my feelings that I may have experienced I don’t think I would have succeeded as well as I did. Sometimes I loathed the visits but they kept me accountable and honest with myself. If you cannot be honest with yourself, what hope do you have of succeeding on your journey?

          When people ask “Wow, what have you been doing?”, what do you say to them?

          I would glowingly spruce the benefits of the Healthies program – I described HI as Weight Watchers class with gym attached. People at work were amazed at the amount of good food I was consuming. It was easy to fit the program into family life and there was no need to feel you had to eat separately from the rest of the family like you were a leper! It was easy to recommend the centre and it was enjoyable to walk in every day. Healthies gave me back my life. Thank you:)

          Tell us about your journey to better health and/or weight.

          When I first joined HI I was a shell of a person. I was  binge eater who could consume more calories in an hour than i had for the entire day. I could not stop myself eating at times until my stomach was so full – only when my brain sent out pain signals could I find the strength to stop. My grandmother always said your brain is your strongest muscle Linda – get everything tight in your head and all will fall into place. She was very wise and this is so true.

          When I started to drop the kilos my goal was to get to a certain weight as fast as I could – STAT! My niece was getting married and my daughter was going to be the junior bridesmaid. I did not want to be the fat overweight mother of the junior bridesmaid. I wanted to buy a certain type of dress for the wedding and wear it with pride. Umm – yes, I know – no-one was looking at me – they were looking at the bride. But that was my mission statement at the time.

          I was at a cross-roads in my life and had to make a decision on what I was going to do from this point going forward. I embraced the Healthies program and made it part of my life. I remember charm asked me did i want to join for just the 12 week program? I said no, I was here for the long haul. I found a new person within me and I liked this new person. I did start slowly and then a few weeks in the Biggest Loser competition started. That was when my fighting spirit kicked in and I gave it my all. I loved getting sweaty and having the all-over feeling of euphoria and that you had nothing left to give. I came 2nd that year and I was over the moon. I loved the changes that Healthies had helped me achieve in myself and made me a new person. I entered every competition and became an effortless fund-raiser for cancer – a new hobby that I found to love during my time at Healthies.

          I have learned to make friends with food now and it is not your enemy. sometimes we lose sight of the real goal and that we also have to live. And living means enjoying that glass of wine or that piece of cheesecake – but also learning you have to show some discretion in what you put into your body to achieve your goals.

          Having said that I have not been perfect and have gained weight again – I was fast approaching back where I had started. How does this happen? I was embarrassed and wanted to hide away. Yes, there have been many factors that have contributed to this in the past 5 years: health issues, injuries and my mental status. I suddenly found I had a homeless brother living with us, my husband is out of work – these things have impacted on my life and marriage. But if there is one thing I have learned at Healthies is you can change, you can fix mistakes, you can be a better person. This year I fell off my chair at work – yes, chair – 1 – Linda – nil and pulled a ligament in my wrist. I basically found that I could not use the circuit and was at a stalemate. So I sat myself down, took stock of my situation and using the tools and experience I now had from being a Healthies member, I have lost 8 kilos since that fateful day in May and well on my way back to my goal. It is easy to lose sight of your goal but if you relax and not allow the situation to overwhelm you, you can succeed. My binge eating has decreased dramatically – I won’t say totally eradicated from my life but I have learnt to control this situation better and they now happen on the very rare occasion.

          I have learned that the destination is not the goal that should be focused on but it is more about the journey to your destination. My son & daughter both had a Year 12 essay assignment on the very topic – the journey vs the destination. I thought it was a ridiculous topic and did not understand it at the time. When I was in school we had free milk supplied in plastic bags and used cuisenaire rods for maths problems! What are they you say? Google then in the vintage/nostalgia stationery – haha!

          I do understand this now and I am still on my journey. For some people the journey is shorter and more sustainable; but for me it is ongoing and that is fine – I have to accept who I am and do my best.

          Weight loss is not easy but it is just that – it is weight that can be lost! We cannot change out heritage or the size of our feet but we can lose weight and keep it off. Healthies has helped me with this mindset to continue on my weight loss journey and turn my life around.

          Just believe in yourself and don’t give up.

          What are your top tips for other women getting started and/or following their program?

          The reality of most women who are overweight is that we are in denial – in denial about how much we eat/how much we exercise or that we cannot exercise/we don’t have the time to exercise – “I don’t know why I have put on weight?” Sound familiar?

          So learning to be honest with yourself is the biggest step I had to take – “De-Nile” is not a rive in Egypt.

          • Take things slow and don’t expect overnight results.
          • Delete the word “diet” from your vocabulary. It’s a lifestyle change.
          • Use the tools supplied to you – use all the tools – complete your diary, use the circuit, enjoy the extra classes, talk to the staff with your problems, enter the competitions and give it your all.
          • Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day – it’s not the end of the world.
          • Learn from your mistakes but don’t dwell on them or let them consume you.
          • Be honest with yourself and your diary – even when you stray off the program – record that Tim Tam or Snickers bar. Keeping an honest diary is a good way to bare your soul and will make you stronger.
          • If you falter, get back to the centre and back into it as soon as you can.
          • Accept you are human and you will make mistakes.
          • Have patience and perseverance.
          • Believe in yourself.
          • Smile.

          ~ Linda V ~

          Forget the Resolutions

          New Year’s Resolutions are often made and usually broken. Why do we bother?

          45% of people usually make a resolution. The number one New Year’s Resolution is weight loss. If we were any good at sticking to our resolutions then overweight and obesity would not be a problem.

          The drawback with a New Year’s Resolution seems to be that the idea is completely attached to the ‘New Year’ part. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute:   

          • 75% of people maintain their resolution through the first week.
          • 71% manage two weeks.
          • 64% can last one month.
          • 46% are still at it after 6 months.

          So, if half the people can’t make lasting change, how do we go about achieving what we want?

          Too many people have no idea about how to make the change. “This year I’m going to lose weight” is all very well, but how? What will you do? Is it healthy? Is it sustainable? Do you have support? Is your goal clear?

          If your last New Year’s Resolution was to lose weight and you didn’t make it happen, you’ll need to try something different this year. Instead of a Resolution, set a goal.

          The term ‘lose weight’ is vague. You’re successful by losing 100 grams, though most people won’t feel successful if that’s all they manage. Being specific with the amount, eg “I want to lose 10 kilograms” makes the goal more precise, and you’re better able to evaluate your success.

          The next step is to determine whether it’s just weight loss you want, or body fat loss. ‘Weight loss’ can occur by losing fat or muscle or fluid or – dare we say – even a limb. ‘Weight loss’ is indiscriminate and the scales don’t evaluate how it occurred.

          ‘Fat loss’ is different. Losing body fat while maintaining muscle and hydration (and all limbs) means that your metabolism still functions well, your body shape changes, muscles become more toned, and energy levels are high.

          If it’s really ‘fat loss’ that you want, you need to eat and exercise well to make this a reality. It’s likely that you’ll need help determining all the ins and outs to ensure that whatever you do truly works for your body.

          The strategy that works for your sister or friend or personal trainer probably won’t work for you. Each body is different and, as such, each body needs a personalised approach to ensure that the diet and exercise strategy is suitable. Most people need help in working this out while also creating new habits to help them keep the weight off

          Instead of a Resolution, decide on a goal and a realistic time-frame for achieving that goal. ‘Next week’ is unlikely to be realistic. If you need help, please contact your nearest Healthy Inspirations centre. They can help you develop the right plan for your body, so that you get fat loss, improved health and wellness, and sustainable habits.

          This time next year will see you making goals that have nothing to do with weight loss.

          Where is your focus?

          How often have you heard people say something like “I can’t have that, I’m on a diet.”? Perhaps they put off losing weight because they’re saying “I can’t live without bread.” or “I’m too much of a chocoholic.”?

          When starting a new pattern of eating, it’s easy (and quite normal) to think about all the yummy foods you’ll be missing out on. Unfortunately, this is the exact focus that will sabotage your success.

          Nobody needs an expert to tell them that eating cake and drinking wine is a recipe for weight gain, while eating vegies and drinking water will be far better for helping reach your weight loss goals. So, if this is true, why do so many people continue to do what they already know will not help? The first step to changing the way you eat is to change your thought processes.

          • Think of food as a tool to help your body function optimally – after all, an optimally functioning body will use the energy it consumes far more effectively than one functioning sub-optimally. “Will this food help or hinder my body?” is a good question to ask.
          • Get excited – even if you need to fake it to begin with – about healthy, fresh foods. Look at the amazing colours in a salad, savour the flavour of a properly-cooked piece of meat, and enjoy the treat of some nuts without panicking about how much fat they contain. In time the excitement and pleasure in the foods becomes part of your reality.
          • Stay away from temptations. You wouldn’t expect an alcoholic to sit in a bar while their friends were drinking yet not touch a drop themselves, so why allow temptations to be in front of you? If you’re a bread lover, don’t walk past the bakery. If you’re a chocolate lover, avoid that supermarket aisle. If you’re a junk food fiend, avoid the food courts and the drive throughs. You get the picture.
          • Avoid thinking of food as a reward or a treat. You can treat and reward yourself in non-food ways, so get creative in thinking of things that will motivate you.
          • Look for ways to socialise with friends – especially those that drink a lot – that don’t require copious amounts of alcohol. You might catch up at a different time of day for a morning coffee or a walk or even to come to the gym together.

          Obviously thinking the right thoughts is a good start, but then you need to take action. Check out our blog “Choose Better, Be better, and Take Action to Do Better” by Lisa Marchesi from Healthy Inspirations in Sale, Victoria, that might help. Naturally we’re always here to help, so give us a call or just pop in and we can have a chat about how we can help you achieve your goals.

          Porterhouse with gorgonzola and pine nuts

          Courtesy Williams-Sonoma Taste – Serves 4


          • 500g porterhouse steak
          •  5 Tbsp olive oil
          •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
          •  2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
          •  1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
          •  2 tsp Dijon mustard
          •  1 large clove garlic, minced
          •  8 cups mixed baby greens
          •  3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
          •  120g Gorgonzola cheese, crumble


          1. Rub both sides of the steaks with 1 Tbsp oil and season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or, preferably, refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours and remove from the refrigerator about 40 minutes before cooking.
          2. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Place the steaks on the grill rack and cook without moving them for 2 1/2 minutes. Turn the steaks and cook for 2 1/2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or to your desired doneness. Transfer to a platter and let stand, loosely covered, for at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.
          3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper. Whisking constantly, add the remaining 4 Tbsp oil in a thin stream and continue to whisk until emulsified.
          4. Arrange the greens in a large serving bowl. Cut the steaks across the grain into slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm.) thick. Arrange on the salad. Top with the pine nuts and Gorgonzola, drizzle with the dressing, and serve at once.


            How many minutes?

            Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.

            Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off 2 cups Caesar Salad?

            Strenuous Aerobics: 95 minutes
            Social Golf: 190 minutes
            Energetic Dancing: 95 minutes
            Jogging 8 kph: 127 minutes
            Swimming: 127 minutes
            Walking: 190 minutes

            Test for Quote Styling

            This is just a little blurb so you can see what the paragraph style looks like.

            But! This is what things look like when you have the quote styling selected.  What do we think?  Can we do better?

            And now just back to paragraph.

            The end.

            Plan a healthy year

            The wind-down to the end of year is almost done, and many people are in holiday mode. Whether you’re going away or staying home, the break – if you’re lucky enough to get one – can be spent recharging the batteries ready for another healthy year of busy-ness.

            Things to focus on during the break:


            Most of us lead busy lives, and we’re pulled from pillar to post all year. This gets worse in December for many, with end-of-year functions, work deadlines, school holidays and the like all demanding attention.

            Use the break to develop some healthy sleep rituals. Where possible, try to develop sleep times you can maintain once everything gets going again. While it may be OK for a few days to have big sleep-ins, most of us have early starts for work and children all year so it’s better in the long term to develop workable sleep patterns.

            Get rid of electronic devices from the bedroom. They can stay in the lounge room so that the bedroom is a sanctuary for sleep and intimacy.

            Minimising alcohol, and ensuring dinner is not huge assist sleep quality.

            Meal preparation 

            It’s easy to ‘wing it’ while on holidays, and it feels like you’re giving yourself a break. The problem is that if you’re not planning and preparing meals, you may not choose the right foods. This increases the likelihood of sabotaging your weight loss plans.

            Lack of meal preparation during your break leads to lack of prep when life gets back to normal. Us the time well to re-establish or initiate habits that will serve you well for the year ahead.


            Even for those who love exercise, it’s very easy to fall out of the habit. Holidays are a great time to develop an exercise ritual. It might be an early morning walk – the weather is good and, let’s face it, you’ll be getting up early because of your good sleep agenda.

            Meditation or mindfulness

            These are stress-reduction techniques that can help through the year. The daily practice of being in the present and letting go, even temporarily, of life’s stresses can do wonders for your health and your weight.


            Play with the kids. Connect with friends and family members. Expand your social networks. Social connectedness and a sense of belonging and support is vital to the emotional and mental health of most people. We are social animals, and most us need to make the effort to feed that need.

            Enjoy your break, rest up, and develop the healthy habits that will carry you through the year ahead.

            13 ways to improve weight loss

            So you want to improve your weight loss results? Anyone who has ever lost weight will tell you that not every day will be smooth sailing.  There will be ups and downs, and sometimes the reasons are clear while other times you honestly have no clue what’s going on.

            We’ve seen all sorts of factors, but there are some common mistakes that people make which, once you’re aware, can be avoided:

            1. Doing “my version” of a plan. Commit to a plan and stick to it. Making changes, even if they seem minor, can mess up the nutrient balance of the program and may affect your body’s ability to release stored fat.
            2. Have a treat or cheat day. Some people can get away with having the occasional splurge, but most can’t. It’s much better to think about developing a new eating pattern that you can continue for life, rather than thinking about deprivation and rewards. It works better for your body and for your mind.
            3. Snacks are too big. This is especially true if you snack on nuts, dairy foods, or fruit. While each of these is very different nutritionally, they all have the same problem in that they’re easy to overeat. If you snack on these foods, learn the appropriate snack size for your body to still achieve the results you want.
            4. Too many sweeteners. Whether they’re natural or artificial, all sweeteners help you retain your desire for sweet foods. They also signal the brain to expect an influx of calories, which can result in hormonal responses that cause over-eating (to cater to the brain’s expectation), or increased fat storage, or both.
            5. Eating because it’s time. Part of successful weight maintenance is the ability to understand the body’s hunger signals. Many times when people eat, they’re not even hungry: they might be bored, or with others who are eating, or lured by temptation, or the clock says it’s a meal time. It’s far better to be responsive to the body’s cues rather than social cues, and it’s a skill that needs to be learned.
            6. Eating too little. Many people think that minimising their food intake will lead to weight loss. It certainly can (as is obvious in the TV series Survivor), but for most people semi-starvation slows the metabolic rate which stops weight loss. Any weight actually lost is lean tissue, so these people end up “skinny-fat”. Then as soon as you “re-feed” you’ll gain a lot of weight.
            7. You started with unrealistic expectations. Your neighbour’s son lost 20kg in 10 weeks, so surely you can do the same, right? Actually, not even close. Most people need to aim for healthy weight loss of about half a kilo per week, as long as they’re following their program fully. Some people also lose a lot in the first week and expect that to continue, but they don’t realise that the initial weight is usually the release of retained fluid and not stored body fat. Understanding this can help in developing realistic expectations.
            8. Lack of sleep. Too little sleep, or poor quality sleep, triggers hormones that slow weight loss. Chronic poor sleep can mean no weight loss, so it’s important when losing weight to develop strategies to improve sleep.
            9. High stress. Like poor sleep, chronic stress causes the release of hormones that stop weight loss. Learning how to deal with life’s stressful situations is essential, albeit difficult. Getting help from a professional is worthwhile.
            10. Processed foods. The label might indicate that the food is suitable (low-fat, diet, low-carb, gluten-free etc) but this does not mean it suits your body, or has quality ingredients, or is nutritionally sound. Ditch the processed foods and choose fresh.
            11. It might be lovely to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine or your favourite drink, but it never does any favours for your weight loss progress. Alcohol can’t be stored in the body, so the time it takes to eliminate the alcohol is time that your body is not metabolising stored body fat.
            12. Drinking juice. Somehow the idea took hold that we need to drink juice at breakfast. Over time, it has become more acceptable to drink juices and smoothies as a healthy snack or meal option. In reality, a juice is just a drink of flavoured sugar with no fibre. Think of it this way: it takes perhaps three or four oranges to squeeze a glass of juice, which is very easy to drink along with your breakfast. Imagine instead eating those three or four oranges with your breakfast. Same calories, just a whole lot more difficult. The fibre in the whole fruit is filling and it helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, so you get full and stay full for much longer.
            13. Cheating, and not being honest about it. You may think you can get away with eating something you know is unwise, especially if nobody is there to see you do it. You just keep quiet about it, hide the evidence, and never say anything. While you might get away with it, your body knows.

            If you’re trying to lose weight and just getting frustrated with your progress, give your nearest Healthy Inspirations centre a call. We’d love to help.

            Inspire News December 2016

            As another year draws to a close, we celebrate some of the achievements of our amazing members around Australia and New Zealand. The Member Acknowledgement Awards entries are all in, and while the ultimate winners have not yet been decided (see our Facebook page early next week) we can confidently say that there are some amazing stories. We’re looking forward to announcing the three winners:

            1. Slimmer of the Year – for the largest percentage of weight lost.
            2. Ambassador of the Year – for living and breathing the values and benefits of Healthy Inspirations.
            3. Inspiration of the Year – for inspiring others through their results, their journey, and their demeanour.

            A number of our centres have undertaken a rebrand this year, with a new colour scheme and logo and a new focus on the value of support for women losing weight. Without the right support, many of our members tell us that they would not have been able to achieve their goals. See some of the comments in the article below.

            We wish all our members – past, present and future – a happy Christmas and New Year, and a restful holiday (if you’re lucky enough to get a break). We look forward to seeing everyone back in 2017, ready to set and achieve health, wellness and fitness goals.

            Slimmer of the Year Finalist – Di F, Sale, Vic

            Lost 8 kilos & 44.5 cm – and counting!

            Di was the very first entrant in the 2016 Member Acknowledgement Awards, so we can’t help but feature her this month.

            What event in your life triggered your decision to start your Healthy Inspirations program?

            Menopause onset appeared to have affected my ability to keep my weight stable and I feel that my weight became a real roller-coaster ride.

            What health and/or lifestyle benefits have you noticed as a result of following your program?

            I am calm in dealing with day to day issues which life throws my way.

            Before joining Healthy Inspirations, what beliefs did you have about losing weight? Now that you’re following the Healthy Inspirations program, how have these beliefs changed?

            That I must virtually starve myself to lose weight, however Healthy Inspirations have taught me I can eat sensibly and still firstly lose weight and then maintain it.

            Describe the impact of weekly coaching and on-going support on your success.

            Without the support the girls give and their caring about people and their problems I doubt if I would have continued on my weight loss journey.

            When people ask “Wow, what have you been doing?”, what do you say to them?

            I direct them straight away to Healthy Inspirations and re-assure them that EVERYONE can be helped – they just need to want to be helped.

            Tell us about your journey to better health and/or weight.

            I had always been a chubby child and Mum always made us eat everything on our plates. I think it was a throw-back from her youth firstly during the depression and then the Second World War.

            After getting married myself and having children my weight rose and fell depending on what was the “you beaut diet” at the time to lose the extra poundage. Consequently, I became a yo-yo dieter most of my adult life.

            I discovered Healthy Inspirations in 2008/2009 and after starting out on exercise only to start with I then got up my courage and willpower to tackle the weight loss program and the rest is history and needless to say I love the new me.

            What are your top tips for other women getting started and/or following their program?

            Always be true to yourself and never lie about what you have eaten or drank, because the only person you are cheating is yourself.

            What are your secrets for maintaining your goal weight?

            Moderation and more moderation in all aspects of life and as they say in the classics – “It won’t happen overnight but it WILL happen.”

            ~ Di F ~

            Support – The Missing Ingredient

            So many people start trying to lose weight, only to give up a day, a week, a month or more down the track. They blame themselves, saying that they lack willpower, or that they’re hopeless and doomed to fail.

            This type of negative self-talk will never help them in losing weight, and the fact is that it’s simply not true.

            Many of our members acknowledge that the one factor that made them succeed with Healthy Inspirations after all their other efforts was the support they received. Here are some responses to “Describe the impact of weekly coaching and on-going support on your success.”

            Weigh-ins give me inspiration as I see myself losing cms. The girls give great advice and support constantly.” Anna c, Blackwood SA

            “It’s super important to me. It’s pulled me out of some sad times. It helps to get other perspectives on issues.” Sue M, Lismore NSW

            The ladies were wonderful always (and still are) encouraging me and answering any questions or concerns I had in regard to the program. It motivated me to stay on plan as I had someone monitoring my progress, I was accountable to someone other than myself.” Allira R, Burnie Tas

            “The support from coaching team is awesome, they help and suggest things that are starting to go wrong with your weight.” Bronwyn S, Lower Hutt NZ

            I really appreciate the encouragement I receive. It is noted if I behave unwisely, but not condemned. There are suggestions as to how I might cope better.” Enid U, Blackwood SA

            “I would not have reached my goal without the support, they have kept me on track when I felt like throwing in the towel.” Jodi B, Burnie Tas

            Knowing that I have support has been incredibly important, The friendly staff always have handy tips to guide me through any situation.” Juli B, Blackwood SA

            “The programme makes me accountable to someone and I have realised that is what works for me to stick to plan. I find it great to have support when I “fail” and fabulous to have someone to celebrate when I succeed.” Julie L, Lower Hutt NZ

            There’s no way I would’ve managed without Ange because I do not have the will power to do it on my own.” Maria P, Lower Hutt NZ

            “I would not have been able to do it without constant encouragement Ange and Leigh have given me, together with their honesty when I could have been doing things better.” Amanda T, Lower Hutt NZ

            I don’t think I would have been able to do it without them, in fact I know I wouldn’t have. If I was feeling a bit down the staff would keep encouraging me and supporting me.” Patricia G, Sale Vic

            “Keeping tabs on a regular basis is VERY important, helps you keep on top of things and not fall too far behind.” Angela D, Prospect SA

            The coaching and support is invaluable. It keeps you honest with yourself and on track. It is what has helped me to succeed.” Trish B, Blackwood SA

            “This is the ‘crux’ to being able to lose weight and more importantly to keep it off and maintain one’s goal weight. I feel support when i enter the centre and my weekly weigh in one-on-one gives me encouragement to ‘stay on track’.” Karin A, Sale Vic

            This team kept me on track – to task. They were supportive, positive but firm when necessary.” Chris F, Burnie Tas

            “I cannot praise the support highly enough. My self confidence and belief in myself was very low. But each time when I weighed and I lost weight, I grew in confidence – “I can do this.” They understand our journey because they themselves have been through it.” Faye M, Prospect SA

            The staff are very encouraging and helpful, they really care about everyone. They also motivated me to lose weight and keep it off. Healthy Inspirations is a special GYM, very friendly, I love going.” Audrey V, Prospect SA

            “Ongoing support is a must for me. In the early days it helped me stick ‘at it’. Knowing I was weighing in made me honest but there was never judgement if you had a bad few days, just support to get back on track.” Deborah W, Prospect SA

            It has taught me to follow the plan (it never stops). It has given me the “willpower” to say “NO” when I am tempted. It has given me a “second home” where I can go and feel good about myself among the many friends I have made, who are all striving to achieve their goals as well.” Trish B, Prospect SA

            “The encouragement and support without judgement has made it easy. Following a plan without unnecessary sugar has changed how I eat.” Sarah T, Prospect SA

            I would like to tell you the reason for me continuing with Healthy Inspirations is because of you and your staff and all the beautiful members I have met! I have also found that it is not what you can’t do but what you can and that is encouraged and applauded.” Coleen H, Blackwood SA

            “Excellent support from the coaches and also other ladies doing the program. The coaching I receive motivates me to achieve my goals and it has continued all the way through.” Jo-Anne W, Lismore SA

            I stuck to the plan religiously and attended daily visits to present my diary to the beautiful ladies at HI. In particular Jenny, Linda and Rani were there for me in my darkest hours and very instrumental in my success – without this time with staff where I could vent my feelings that I may have experienced I don’t think I would have succeeded as well as I did. Sometimes I loathed the visits but they kept me accountable and honest with myself. If you cannot be honest with yourself, what hope do you have of succeeding on your journey?” Linda V, Lismore NSW

            “It has not only made me accountable for my weight loss, but also pushed me positively to reach goals I set. The constant support make it fun and manageable.” Jodee C, Lismore NSW

            The motivation and support from the team has been just what I needed to push myself g=harder every day. I couldn’t have done it on my own.” Simone C, Prospect SA

            “Without the weekly coaching and support I would have struggled.” Janine K, Prospect SA

            Once I lost my weight (28kg) I continued with the weekly coaching for a long time. I then stopped and the kilos crept back on (7kg). I went back on to Reset, lost the weight and realise just how important the weekly coaching is.” Lea M, Lismore NSW

            “From the moment I entered Healthy Inspirations, I was supported not only by the staff, but also by the wonderful group of women members. I was encouraged to join group classes, information evenings, and social events held by Healthy Inspirations. The endless support given by staff with the eating program, constantly guiding me to make better choices, have helped me to succeed. Even when you’re not having the best week you feel so much better after being at Healthy Inspirations.” Wendy M, Lismore NSW

            I’ll tell yahs if it wasn’t for the support of our coaches I would be where I started. They are so beneficial in this programme of ours without them where would we be? The staff, the programmes and the people make it how it is and I love Healthy Inspirations.” Letitia R, Napier NZ

            “You definitely need their support just to keep going and do help you stay on the plan. It also helps to make contact and friendships with others doing the same, as you look out for and support each other.” Maria P, Lismore NSW

            I could not have achieved this without the support of the wonderful staff! I tell everyone about them. I know the accountability of the check-ins keeps me on track.” Briony C, Frewville SA

            “The weekly coaching is amazing. With weighing in each week you are held accountable, the ladies are such a great support and are always very positive and encouraging.” Monique P, Napier NZ

            Make Time for Exercise

            It’s certainly a busy time of year for most of us, but it’s also a time where maintaining an exercise schedule is essential. Apart from the obvious fitness benefits, exercise helps us feel better, keeps us focused on our goals, and helps alleviate stress. If you feel doubtful about the time required for exercise, know that you only need about 30 minutes daily – even if it’s in three 10 minute blocks.

            To prove a point, some of the busiest people in the world make time for exercise:

            • USA President Barack Obama works out for 45 minutes a day, 6 days a week.
            • Ex-Australian Prime Minister John Howard was famous for his daily early-morning walks, dressed in his Australian tracksuit.
            • Starbucks CEO walks every morning – before making himself a coffee.
            • Microsoft’s Bill Gates spend an hour on the treadmill every morning (while watching instructional videos).

            While it’s tempting to get caught up in the argument that these people don’t need to get kids ready for school, clean the house, cook the meals etc, the reality is that they have extremely busy lives and they manage to carve our just enough time to manage their exercise routines.

            Therein lies the key: it’s routine for them. They don’t question whether they’ll exercise, they just do it.

            Get organised the night before by laying out your exercise clothes and by making a deal with yourself that you’ll do it. Then in the morning the it’s so much easier to go along with your own plan, even if you don’t feel like it. Just seeing your workout clothes ready can ‘guilt’ you into putting them on and getting going.

            If you don’t currently have an exercise routine, it’s time to start. Do it slowly and gradually build up how much you push yourself. Getting started is the hardest part.

            December Recipe – Roasted jerk-glazed chicken

            Serves 10


            • 2 spring onions, coarsely chopped
            • 1 long green chilli, coarsely chopped
            • 2 cloves garlic
            • ¼ cup olive oil
            • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
            • 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
            • 1 Tbsp lime juice
            • 1 tsp sugar
            • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
            • ¾ tsp allspice
            • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
            • ¾ tsp ground coriander
            • sea salt flakes
            • freshly ground black pepper
            • 2 extra-large whole chickens


              1. In a blender, puree the spring onions, chilli, garlic, soil, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, 1 tsp salt flakes and ½ tsp pepper.
              2. Transfer all but ¼ cup of the jerk mixture to a large bowl and add the chickens. Turn the chickens to coat with the jerk mixture, making sure to coat the insides of the chickens too. Cove the chickens and reserved jerk mixture separately and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
              3. Preheat the oven to 200o Remove the chickens from the marinade (discarding the marinade), pat dry and season generously with sea salt flakes. Place the chickens on a wire rack in a large rimmed baking tray. Roast for 1 ½ hours, then baste with the reserved jerk mixture and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until dark golden and crisp.
              4. Transfer chickens to a platter and serve with any of the accumulated juices from the bottom of the tray.


            How many minutes?

            Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.

            Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off a 100g slice of Christmas cake?

            Strenuous Aerobics: 47.5 minutes
            Social Golf: 94.5 minutes
            Energetic Dancing: 47.5 minutes
            Jogging 8 kph: 63 minutes
            Swimming: 63 minutes
            Walking: 94.5 minutes

            What we can learn from the President

            Like him or loathe him, it must be an incredible feat managing each day as president of the world’s most powerful nation.

            Have you noticed that Barack Obama stays trim and apparently fit? How does one of the busiest people in the world make time for exercise?

            Isn’t time our biggest excuse for not exercising? Things just get in the way.​

            One little anecdote gives us a hint about how he does this. In order to avoid decision fatigue, he creates set rituals, like exercising at the exact same time every day.

            “You have to exercise,” he told Vanity Fair . “Or at some point you’ll just break down.”​

            It’s the same with his suits. He ​only wears blue or black suits, and no doubt the suit, shirt, tie and shoes are laid out the night before.

            So what’s the lesson for us? The #1 lesson is to create a weekly plan pre-deciding exactly what exercise you will be doing and when. To do this, consider creating a default diary. This is where you enter a recurring session in your diary at the same time, same day each and every week. It’s like making an appointment with yourself.

            At the barest minimum plan on attending two exercise sessions per week.​ It might be a circuit or your favourite class, and it might even be as simple as going for a walk before breakfast.

            You may wish to go one step further. Make a habit of getting your exercise gear ready beforehand, so it are ready as soon as you need it.

            Your success, and achieving great results comes not just from the program but from you being consistent showing up​.

            “Eighty percent of life is showing up” Woody Allen​

            Let’s face one thing that you may need to deal with in order to make this idea work. You may have family ob​ligations. These have a habit of jumping up at the worst time. You may need to have a family meeting: “I want to pre-schedule my exercise spot every Monday and Wednesday at 6:00 pm, and so I won’t be here to help. In return, I’m happy to commit to being home at other times to help, to enable others to do their thing or for us to do things together.”

            What gets scheduled gets done.​

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