January 16, 2016

Welcome to 2016, the start of another year of health and wellness goals made by many. A recent article by obesity researcher Dr Amanda Salis makes the point that getting back on track quickly is far more likely to see rapid results than taking your time to get back into good habits. If you’ve indulged over the past month, this article makes for excellent reading.

Over the year we’ll be sharing inspiring stories from our Slimmer of the Year finalists and winners. Some have amazing weight loss results, others incredible health improvements, and others lifestyle improvements which have changed their lives.

You can often enjoy your favourite taste sensations while losing weight, simply by replacing some ingredients. You might need to be creative, or perhaps you just Google the recipe you want and see what comes up. Be a little adventurous. We have a delicious healthy recipe this month to replace a take-away favourite, Pad Thai. It doesn’t have the noodles, but it sure does have the taste.

Slimmer of the Year Finalist – Kodie S, Bunbury WA

Lost 17.6 kilos & 54 cm

Why did you choose Healthy Inspirations?

I have joined many gyms before and within a month I lose all interest as there was no guidance. The 8 week challenge gave me the start I needed with support and guidance I needed to follow through.

Outline the health and/or lifestyle benefits you’ve noticed as a result of following the Healthy Inspirations program.

I have been sleeping much better, no heartburn, able to be active with my children, and sharing a healthier eating plan for the family.

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

I’ve become a member of Healthy Inspirations and it’s exactly that. It’s a healthy lifestyle change with other ladies who inspire and encourage me through our journey. They are like a second family.

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

My journey started when I ended up in hospital with heart palpitations. My food and lifestyle choices were not helping me.

Whilst I was unfit I decided to try a workout class held at Healthy Inspirations, where I was introduced to the 8 week challenge. Each time I had joined a gym I felt guilty for being there leaving kids and hubby home while I was out, but it felt right this time. So I decided to do my exercise in the morning while the kids were in bed still, and to shop according to the food allowed.

Without the ongoing support of the girls at Healthy Inspirations and my family and friends my journey would not have been possible. My family are now in the process of eating better and learning better choices. My weight loss and healthier lifestyle will help not only me but my whole family for a healthier life, too.

~ Kodie S ~

Oils ain’t oils

No wonder there is confusion about oils. Our grandmothers cooked with lard, dripping, tallow and butter, then the Heart Foundation advised us to swap to vegetables oils, and now the World Health Organisation is telling us to swap to natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and butter.

The Heart Foundation has launched a new Healthier Oils Program which aims to help small to medium-sized food outlets to use healthier oils. Interestingly, a report on Channel 7 in November said that the World Health Organisation was giving different advice to that of the Heart Foundation’s program.

Science has a way of changing its mind. Nothing really changes, of course, it’s just that researchers discover more detail which supports or negates their theories, leading to changes in advice.

Nutrition research is a very difficult area because of so many confounding factors: it’s impossible to isolate a particular nutrient or foodstuff in the human body over a long period of time. Imagine living only on vegetable oil (no meat, fruit, vegies, nuts etc). Nutrient deficiencies would occur, so it’s ethically not possible to test items in this way.

This leaves us with observational studies, which have their pitfalls. It might be noted that those who consume more olive oil, like those following a Mediterranean diet, have less heart disease than those who consume less olive oil. While this is true, it may not be the olive oil that causes the benefit. It may be increased consumption of fish, or of vegetables, or perhaps it’s because of the foods that are not eaten?

At Healthy Inspirations, we’ve opted to advise avoiding a number of oils. Those which are industrially processed using high heat and chemicals, like vegetable and seed oils, are some we don’t recommend. Oils high in Omega 6 fatty acids, which block the body’s ability to use Omega 3 fatty acids, are not recommended. Of course trans fats are on the hit list, something which seems to be universally accepted.

We do advise using more natural oils. Olive oil, coconut oil, and butter are recommended. These are minimally processed, taste good in their various applications, and are easy to find.

Workout buddies make exercise fun

Have you ever organised to meet a friend for an early morning walk, then dragged yourself out of bed, pulled on your walking clothes, and went out and met them? Perhaps you were a member of a netball team and turned up for every game. Maybe you promised yourself that you’d go for a run – tomorrow – but promptly forgot your promise.

In each of these examples, the workout was there and waiting, so what is it that makes the difference between turning up or staying at home?


In the first two examples, you had others relying on you and you wouldn’t let them down. In the third example, you let yourself down.

Don’t feel bad about it; this is an incredibly common problem especially for people trying to initiate an exercise habit. The secret is to take advantage of this tendency and organise a workout buddy to hold each other accountable.

Your workout buddy might be a friend or neighbour, they might be someone you met at the gym, or perhaps even your spouse. Whoever it is, have an agreement to meet at a set time and ensure that each of you is equally committed to turning up and doing what you agreed.

Often, the workout buddy is someone who is only a friend during your exercise time. You meet, chat, laugh, and work hard – sometimes with each trying to out-do the other. Who wants to get left behind on a walk? If she can do 5 push-ups, you’ll go for 6! Level 4 on the circuit? Let’s try level 5.

So your workout buddy makes you turn up, makes you workout with more intensity, and makes it fun. If you don’t have a workout buddy when you come to Healthy Inspirations, mention it to a Health Coach and they’ll try to set you up with someone who likes to attend at the same time as you. Better still, bring a friend.

Healthy Recipes – Pad Thai Salad
Serves 4


  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 shallots, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g prawns
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 green chillies, finely sliced
  • ¼ bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ bunch chives, chopped
  • 4 handfuls salad mix
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup cashews, finely chopped


  1. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add spring onion and garlic, and cook, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes. Add chilli flakes and cook for 2 minutes. Fold in the tamarind paste, prawns and soy sauce, and cook until prawns are just cooked through. Remove from the wok and keep warm.
  2. Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Pour eggs into the wok and swirl around until they set. Remove to a plate and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Combine the lime juice, chilli, spring onions, sprouts, and chives, and pour over the prawn mixture.
  4. Divide the salad mix between four plates and top each with the prawn mixture. Top with the coriander leaves, chopped egg, and cashews.


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 McDonalds Fillet-o-fish meal with small fries and small coke?

Strenuous Aerobics: 83 minutes
Social Golf: 165 minutes
Energetic Dancing: 110 minutes
Jogging 8 kph: 83 minutes
Swimming: 110 minutes
Walking: 165 minutes