Let's draw that again ...

Last week I posted the winners of the giveaway that I had recently .. "Get Yourself Back in Motion" a great book by an Australian physiotherapist. 

Unfortunately only one of the 3 winners contacted me!  I have left it a few days in the hope that the other two would finally contact me .. but no such luck!

So without further ado, I announce the redrawn winners of the book!

Becoming Nikki     and
Ruby Girl

I will do what I can to contact you but unless you leave me some contact details, it's kinda hard!

Please contact me via email with your mailing address so that I can get your prize out to you as soon as possible!  Email me on  ascentfitness@live.com.au

Those of you who missed out, I have one more giveaway coming up so stay tuned!

Stay healthy & active!

Rose-Hip Vital .. A Natural Anti-inflammatory

What do you do when you've had a tough workout and your muscles are aching? 
What about when it's a bit more than just muscle aches?  What about inflammation?

I'm of the party who prefers not to "take" anything to relieve said aches and pains, especially not anti-inflammatories.  I have been known to use an anti-inflammatory gel occasionally when I have inflammation.  This has been the case over the last few months with my arm / shoulder.  Thankfully it settled a lot with physio last year but every so often it flares up. 

When I was offered the opportunity to try a natural anti-inflammatory, I was more than happy to give it a go.  Rose-Hip Vital with GOPO is a powerful antioxidant made from 100% pure and natural Rosehip and a rich source of natural Vitamin C.  Rose-Hip Vital's anti-inflammatory properties suggest that it may help to increase joint mobility, relieve inflammation and joint swelling, such as that experienced by those who suffer from Arthritis pain.

I don't suffer from Arthritis, but I certainly have pain and inflammation on occasion.  A recent review published in an Australian Medical Journal suggest that Rose-Hip Vital has a similar anti-inflammatory power to that of leading prescription NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) although it's mode of action is different.

Whatever the case, I'm giving it a go with the inflammation in my arm.  

What do I think?  Well, I can't be sure as I did take quite a bit of time off training.  I've been back into it over the last month or so.  Not to the extent I was training previously, but a modified version.  I still have a little bit of pain occasionally, but nothing like I was experiencing a few months ago.  Maybe the Rose-Hip Vital has helped, along with my reduced training.

The downside of using the supplement, taking the capsules.  I am notorious for not taking vitamins etc but I will continue taking the capsules ( when I remember ).  The other thing that is a bit of a turn off is that you have to take so many!  Initially they suggest that you take 5 (!!) in the morning and 5 (!!) again in the evening.  This can be reduced later into a maintenance dose of 5 per day .. Let's just say I don't do exactly that.  Two in the morning and two in the evening is about all I can do .. otherwise I'll rattle and you'll hear me coming!

Would I recommend Rose-Hip Vital with GOPO?
Yes, I probably would for someone who suffers from pain and inflammation as part of their everyday life.  As always however, check with your medical doctor or pharmacist to ensure it does not react with any of your current medication.

Please visit the website for more information ...  Rose-Hip Vital

Stay healthy & active!

** I was provided with a supply of Rose-Hip Vital capsules for the purposes of the review.

Monday Motivation ... Indoor workout today!

So last week just didn't go quite as I would have liked, but it's Monday and everything starts fresh on Monday .. doesn't it?

This morning's run got cancelled due to the wild weather we are experiencing here at the moment .. I'm ready for it to go away now, really I am! 
Instead I did a workout in the garage.  Here it is if you would like to give it a go one day ...

One circuit consists of 25 reps of each exercise

I managed this circuit 4 times round .. a total of 600 reps!  Yes, I was tired at the end.  You can time it if you like and make your goal to beat the time .. I didn't rush!  Tomorrow's schedule involves a yoga class.  I am really looking forward to this one as I haven't practised for a while and I'm in need of a good stretch!
Menu is already planned thanks to the 8 week challenge so I'm set and ready to go!  I will stick to it this week a bit closer than last week, I promise!

What has everyone got planned for the week? 
Whatever it is, go out there, get it done and feel great about it!

Stay healthy & active!

Get Yourself Back in Motion winner ...

You know sometimes you have those days when, even though you think it's all good, it just doesn't go to plan.  That day when you've done everything just the way it should be and it still does go to plan ... not to mention getting distracted every time you look away!  Grrrrr ....

It's OK though, because it's Friday afternoon and the weekend is here .. well, almost anyway!

Right, now that I've got that off my chest here I am announcing, belatedly, the winner of the book "Get Yourself Back in Motion" by physio Jason T Smith ...

And the lucky winners are ...

Jody Jamieson
Lee Marsden

and Kek!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and I do hope that the winners can benefit from having a flick through this book because it really does have some great hints and tips on staying active and well!

Please winners, send me an email at ascentfitness@live.com.au  and I will arrange to have your book sent out to you!

Have a great weekend Fit People!

Stay healthy & active!

Fit Mum Food ... Almond Butter

I know, I love food.  And you know I'm always on the lookout for healthy snack choices. 
Sometimes though I am quite the creature of habit!  One of my loves is nut butters ... high in calories I know.  In my mind though, I'm able to justify it with all the benefits that come along with the whole food versions. I'm not talking commercial peanut butter with oodles of sugar and salt .. ick!!

Last week, I ran out of almond butter ( my current favourite ) and I had quite the craving for it!  I had a bulk supply of almonds in the pantry ... and a food processor.  Surely it can't be that hard right?  Just blitz up the almonds and hey presto, almond butter!

That's pretty much what I did!  There's no magic recipe or ingredient .. just natural almonds, no salted versions in our place! 

OK, so it doesn't look as good as it tastes!

The how to ... throw the almonds in the food processor and let it do the work!  It does take a while, but keep at it.  Eventually it will come together into a paste, keep scraping down the sides as you go to make sure it's all combined.
And try not to eat it all at once when you're done!  Here's how I have mine ...

Spread on apple ...

Corn thins and a drizzle of agave syrup .. 

Next time I think I'm going to try cashew butter .. that's got to be a bit luxurious right?!

Week 2 .. 8 Week Fast Track Challenge Update

I made it through Week 2 with not too many hiccups!

I'm sticking to the menu plan with some switch arounds here and there. Lunch and dinner always to plan. Breakfasts and snacks I usually rotate 3 choices .. as I said I'm happy to eat the same thing almost every day for breakfast but I'm trying to stick with the variety. Variety is good!

Exercise last week didn't really ring any bells though! I hit the wall on Wednesday morning after an early morning workout. Not sure what came over me but I was completely exhausted and hungry!! Again, my concern surfaced that I wasn't taking in enough calories. I solved my problem by listening to my body and having a quick nap and eating a bit more .. only good choices though! Extra serve of fruit and yogurt .. no chocolate bars .. maybe that's my problem?


                                                                                        Source: Uploaded by user via Linda on Pinterest

Each week of the challenge there is an online meeting that Shannan heads up, with the intention of answering participants questions. We ask them via the community forum and he answers "immediately". I haven't been able to participate in the live meeting as it is right in the middle of my daughter's swimming training, so I watch Shannan's video and read the questions and answers when I get a chance to sit down.

If you are looking for a "community" feel with motivation and support then this facet of the challenge is great! From what I have read on the forums everyone is supportive and encouraging ... exactly what we need sometimes when it feels like we are the only ones doing it tough!

Two weeks down and I'm happy with my progress .. I'm not perfect so I'm going to admit to having a few pieces of chocolate over the weekend and a glass of wine. I REALLY enjoyed both of them!
I might have to work a little bit harder this week though, Mr Fit Mum and I are off to dinner and the theatre tonight ... I wonder what dessert will be?

Do you have support when you are trying to stick to a diet and exercise program? 
If not, what type of support would you like?

Monday Motivation .. Enter a Fun Run!

Good morning!  Are you going to have a wonderful week?

One of my goals for 2013 is to get back into a bit of running.  To get myself out of bed in the mornings give myself a bit more motivation I'm going to enter the International Women's Day Fun Run here in Brisbane.  AND, I know you would love to join me!

You don't need to be able to run the 5km course .. you can walk it .. or run / walk it.  Whatever you need to do to get there and accomplish your goal!

Here is the link .. International Women's Day Fun Run.

Come on and join me!  We can have a Fit People team out in action supporting each other!

Let me know if you will be entering and participating on the day and we can arrange to meet somewhere before the run.  Somewhere super obvious with all the thousands of other participants!

And if you think you are not a runner or can't participate then I ask you to read and recite the following ...


Why not make this your first goal for 2013?  It's a fun one!

Book Review "Get Yourself Back in Motion" .. and Giveaway!

I like to read.  I don't read much as I would like as I usually only get the chance when I get into bed at night and by the time I've read a page or so the book is falling on my face and I'm ready to pass out!

I read almost anything as long as it's going to keep me interested.  And yes, as you could guess I'm more than happy to read something to do with health and fitness!  So when I was approached to do a review of Jason T Smith's new book "Get Yourself Back in Motion" I was more than happy to flip the pages. 

"Get Yourself Back in Motion" is in his own words "A physiotherapist's secrets to pain relief and optimal health".  Jason believes that as "we've become a sedentary culture so we simply are not moving as much as as well today.  The increasing incidence of obesity, heart disease and diabetes are fatal testaments to this being true."
This book is more of a resource manual to enable readers to "self manage" injuries, illnesses and guide the reader to make better choices and decisions for improved health.

Jason T Smith speaks from experience being one of Australia's leading Physiotherapists.
Jason felt that there were a large number of clients, both elite athletes and amateurs, who make mistakes when dealing with their injuries by not taking on board the advice of professionals or not listening to their body in general leading to these injuries becoming chronic.

What I like about this book is that
* Each chapter covers a specific topic with a "call to action" and "Health Secrets" at the end that encourage you to question your current practices and give you ideas on how to make changes that will benefit your health.  They are a great reminder to listen to your own body and be a little more in tune with it.

Do you see my sticky notes ...
reminders for me!
* The book is written in easy to understand, plain language that allows the every day person to follow.  He makes you feel empowered to be able to put some of these suggestions into practice, even suggesting basic exercises that you can do at home.
* The author takes a no nonsense approach in advising us that we all need to make our health much more of a priority than we do or deal with the possible long term effects of our neglect.  He believes there is too much focus on quick fixes and not having to make an effort. I completely agree with him here!

What I didn't like about this book
* There wasn't really anything that I didn't like. 
* Oh, there is no quick fix! What!

Would I recommend Get Yourself Back in Motion?  Yes, I would recommend it more as a reference manual, which is what I will be using it for.  It isn't really necessary to read it from cover to cover unless, like me, you lap this stuff up!

To give you an idea of what Jason Smith talks about throughout his book, here is his top 6 tips for good physical health ...

1  Moving well is at the core of true positive health.  Move more intentionally, everyday.  Avoid a sedentary life.  Be physical.
2  It is not normal to be in pain or carry injuries.  Don't ignore pain, niggles, aches or stiffness.  Get your body properly assessed and overcome the pain for life.  Early intervention is key.
3.  Pay attention to your posture - static and dynamic.  Lifelong physical health depends on daily habits that encourage correct posture and core stability.
4  You truly are what you eat; your food is your medicine.  Limit processed foods and pay attention to volume and content.
5  Health is a lifetime investment.  True health comes with daily management.  Take care of your body every day through movement, lifestyle and nutrition.
6  Set personal health goals and make yourself accountable to a 'health coach' - it could be a professional ( eg physiotherapist ) or a trusted friend.

Simple really!

Here's the fun part!  If you would like to get your hands on your own copy of Get Yourself Back in Motion we will be giving away three copies.

To enter please leave a comment and tell me about your experiences with Physiotherapists and whether you have been successful or not in the past with "self diagnosis" ..
*If you are posting anonymously please leave me some details so that I can get in contact with you if you win

And the fine print ...
This competition is hosted by fitmumsblog.blogspot.com.au and the prize is one of three copies of the book "Get Yourself Back in Motion" .  The competition opens 14/02/2013 and closes 12am 21/02/2013. The winner will be drawn 22/02/13 at random with the help of random.org and will be notified by email as soon as possible after the draw. The prize will be posted to the winner within 21 days. The competition is open to entrants with an Australian address only. I was provided with a copy of the book for the purposes of the review. Should the winner not contact me within 48 hours the prize will be forfeited and re-drawn.

8 Week Challenge .. Week 1

I made it through Week 1! Each week I will share my thoughts about how I'm going ... and any other special treats that I might find out.

As I said in my first post I'm really excited about doing this challenge and I have really got my head into this .. no ifs, buts or excuses! Check it out here .. The Biggest Loser Club.
I was a bit concerned about how I was going to survive eating only 1200 calories each day and I will admit to feeling hungry a few times over the first 3 days. After that I think that maybe my body got used to the reduced calories, however even now I still feel a bit hungry every so often ... I hope that won't last.

Speaking of food, the menu is yummy! The meals are certainly different but so quick and easy to whip up. Each day there is a different breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which, I guess is to offer variety. I'd be quite happy to eat the same breakfast a few days in a row. I usually have the same thing every day, with something different thrown in every few days.

There have been a few meals that are different from the "usual" fare that I serve up and even though I have been a bit unsure of how they would go, I personally thought they were quite nice! Even the kids enjoyed the tofu skewers! 

Again, I'll mention that I loved someone else planning my menu!  The shopping list was provided so I just printed it out and crossed out what I had in the pantry already. It has also been great not having to visit the shops every 2 - 3 days to grab those forgotten ingredients!

On to the exercise. I did not follow the plan to the letter last week. OK so I didn't really follow it at all! I did my own thing ... I figure that I sort of know what I'm doing on that front! Exercise is not where I need a boost ... there's been far too much good food consumed lately!

I haven't been doing quite as much either .. the plan calls for 600 calorie exercise burn each day. That is like a 10km run each day!! I'm building up slowly when and where I can. No excuses but Mr Fit Mum was away last week and is away again for most of this week, so I need to fit in as much as I can during school hours and when Miss 11 has swimming training. Can I just mention here that it is HOT running at 9am in Brisbane!

The end result for last week .. I did actually lose weight. See, eating less and better choices really does work! I am hoping that this continues so that I can reach my goal!

And you will be pleased to know that in the end I did take my before photos and measurements. I'm afraid to say that I won't be sharing them here! I did send them to one of my girlfriends who will keep me honest and accountable!

Stay healthy and active!

Taking the workout outside again!

This week Mr Fit Mum is away so I couldn't head out on one of my usual early morning runs.  After school drop off I was being a bit social out and about so I reverted to one of my outdoor workouts that is based on body weight exercises and some cardio thrown in for fun! Miss 11 had swimming training for an hour so that was heaps of time for me to work up a sweat!
My workout does not require any equipment so it is a great one to do at the park while the kids are on the play equipment. You can do it at home too if you can't get out!
This is my gym for the workout ...

Hello sprints ...

Occupies Mr 6 & I use for dips ...
Warm up .. Do whatever exercise you want to get the blood starting to circulate to your muscles .. 5 minutes of brisk walking or jogging will get you there.  I did laps of the oval beside the playground .. about 1km.

There are three sets of exercises .. Do each set, then repeat. I usually aim for 3 rounds of each set then a warm down. By the third set I am really having to push myself to keep the intensity up!

SET 1 .. 10 reps of each exercise
Push ups .. Make sure you stay within your ability level and focus on technique. Do them against a bench if you need a little support.
Lunges .. Keep the heel of your front foot planted on the ground and push off with that heel making sure your front knee doesn't track in front of your toes. If you feel it in your knees bring that knee back behind your front toe.
Sprints .. Or stairs .. Just 4 sets of sprints here. Not at your max but step it out!! Use a skipping rope at home and crank out 100 skips.

SET 2 .. 10 reps of each exercise
Tricep dips .. Against a bench, or a chair at home. Keep your butt close to the bench .. No cheating!
Spider-Man .. Into push up position on your toes keeping a nice plank with your body. Alternate knees to elbow like you are climbing like Spidey! This canes your tummy!
Sprints again ...

SET 3 .. 10 reps of each exercise
Burpees .. You know the ones!
Squats .. Squatting down like you are about to sit on the couch .. Don't fall into the couch, use your muscles!
Sprints again!

Warm down and stretch!

What do you think of this workout? Are you going to give it a go?
Would you like me to post more workouts you can do at home?

Stay healthy and active Fit People!

My challenge for the next 8 weeks ...

Last week I was offered the opportunity from the Biggest Loser Club to take part in Shannan Ponton's 8 Week Fast Track Challenge**.  Check it out at The Biggest Loser Club.

I have always wanted to take part in one of the numerous challenges on offer by the gyms or online but I've never felt that I am ready to commit to 12 weeks of diet and exercise. 
I would feel guilty if I strayed off track or didn't manage to fit the exercise in .. even though I know in my head that I would need to just forget my indiscretion and move on.  That's what I tell my clients!

So I joined up and input all my details.  Why did I agree to take part in this challenge? Let's just say that I have been "liberal" with my diet over the last two months. 
I have been relying on being consistent with my running and workouts to keep the number on the scales a little bit in check.  I'm afraid no amount of running will keep those ciders  and champagnes in check ...  

I've spent a bit of time checking it all out, the diet and exercise programs and the forums. 

Yes, the entire menu for the week is provided along with the exercise plan. I am so excited about not having to plan my menu for the week! 

Mr Fit Mum has also agreed to come along on the challenge, however he is away this week so he will be pretty much on his own for food and who knows what he will be fed. One can never be sure at these work functions at fabulous restaurants ... 
The kids are concerned that they will be doing the 8 week challenge also, thinking it will be like Sugar Free September. They are going to eat the same dinners as I refuse to stand in the kitchen cooking separate meals for everyone, besides all the meals are family friendly! 

I will be substituting some of the meal or snack suggestions, which is fairly normal for those who don't eat this or that. I eat pretty much everything, however not a fan of flavoured diet yogurt with all the extra sugars. And I don't drink soft drink, even if it is diet!

I may also change up some of the exercise plans, depending on my time constraints. I will probably add a bit of extra running, as one of my goals is to increase my running a bit more this year. Exercise isn't really my problem .. it's what I put in my mouth!!

I know it's only been 2 days but this is my pros and cons list so far ..

Pros ...
Have done the first grocery shop and it's not really that different to my usual shop, so that's great!
I had heaps of the ingredients in the pantry as regular attendees at meals so there was nothing "extra special" that I had to find.

Cons ...
I didn't notice any mention of wine or champagne as one of the meal or snack choices .. No, really I checked!
I am supposed to take pictures and measurements for posterity .. I haven't yet. I may do eventually.

It really is a little bit exciting and looking forward to seeing how I go. I will be keeping you up to date on my progress over the next 8 weeks.

Feel free to give me a kick in the backside if I start to stray!

Have you taken part in any "challenges" lately? How did you go?

**My registration for the challenge was covered in consideration.

Back to school eats ... What do you feed your hungry little people?

As you may have gathered from my last few posts the kids went back to school this week. 

Even though the kids aren't at home now I'm still trying to get into a routine, surely it will happen soon!

One thing about back to school that really gets me scratching my head ...no it's not head lice! What do I pack in the school l lunches and snacks each day?

Of course I have criteria .. It must be healthy, nutritious, the kids need to eat it and it needs to keep them full so they don't come home and eat everything in the pantry!!  It also has to be portable .. afterschool snacks might need to be carried around to training, dancing or any of the other activities I find myself driving the kids to after school.

Here's some ideas that feed I my hungry little people ...
Mini Frittatas .. this is a recipe I use ..
Cheese and crackers
Chopped veg .. Carrot, celery
Weetbix mini bites
Home made muffins .. Check out my recipe page as I have a few there!
Home made pasta salad
Sandwiches on wholemeal, rye, grain bread ..
Home made treats .. I dont usually send these to school, I prefer them to have their treats after school .. but not everyday!

So what do you feed your kids for lunches and after school? Share on the comments here so that we can all use your ideas!!