GLUTEN-FREE BANANA BREAD

Craving for something sweet without worrying about added sugar or refined carbohydrates?

We have teamed up with Alyse Co-Cliff from An Apple A Day Nutrition to bring you this heavenly gluten-free treat. Use this recipe to make a delicious banana bread loaf or perhaps portion them into mini-muffins, whatever you choose, we guarantee this guilt-free recipe is sure to keep you satisfied!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup macadamia oil
  • 2 tbsp. rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla powder / extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten free baking powder + 1 tbsp. lemon juice

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a loaf tin or line a muffin tray with unbleached patty cases.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix well.
  3. Spoon batter into a cake tin and cook for 45mins (skewer should come out dry). If you are making muffins, a tray of 12 usually requires 20- 25mins, depending on your oven.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf. Serve with almond butter and cinnamon or organic, grass-fed butter.

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Time to Experience a Pilates Retreat

Let’s talk retreats, in particular Pilates retreats and why you need to experience at least one in your life.

Let’s talk retreats, in particular Pilates retreats and why you need to experience at least one in your life.

Firstly, a Pilates retreat is not just about the Pilates (What! I know, stay with me). Cramming in as many workouts as you can each day is not constructive to your practice and will most likely lead to fatigue from tiredness and overtraining. Instead, Pilates retreats are about experiencing a reconnection with your mind and body together with indulging in that special balance between practice, downtime and nourishment.

The balance sounds simple enough, but as we know incorporating it into the chaos of our daily lives is a different story. It’s only when you physically (and emotionally) separate yourself from your usual routine that everyday distractions begin to fall off your radar and your focus can shift to YOU. That’s right. You. This shift happens quickly and by day 2 you will find that you have already started to re-prioritise, your mind now filled with beneficial thoughts about your health and wellbeing. You will be more attuned to your body and your breath (Yep…that’s mindfulness).

As Day 3 comes around you start to realise that your Pilates retreat is not like any other holiday you have been on before. Time has started to slow right down; your mind and body let go of old habits. You gradually fall into a new rhythm that focuses purely on you, your body, your mind.

Living in the moment becomes second nature: how am I feeling right now? Do I feel strong? What food will fuel the next stage of my day? What challenge do I want to try next? What do I need?

How often do we get to ask such naturally self-focused questions without feeling guilty? Almost never.

Now it’s time to consider the important and somewhat overwhelming task; acting on the new-found sense of clarity that you have created. It’s a precious state of being and presents the perfect time to be honest and to set your intentions.

Having an experienced life coach on hand is a valuable asset for your retreat. They have a brilliant toolkit to share and help unpack distractions that might be holding you back.

Day 4 you begin to notice that your Pilates practice has evolved significantly. Your mind is clear and your body connection is responsive and strong. Once on the mat your body is ready to respond and without even trying, your intent is there; you are present. You start to experience workouts on a completely different level.

A Pilates retreat is the perfect opportunity to kick-start your Pilates journey or further challenge devotees. Practitioners also benefit immensely as the opportunity will deepen your own practice and enrich your teaching.

Whether it’s an exotic 7-night escape or a 3-night mini break, make the time and you will be rewarded by feeling stronger, lighter and with a far greater focus than any amount of practice can achieve at home.

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Meet An Active Mum

Sam is a personal trainer based in Brisbane with an online presence as “The Healthy Me” who offers complete lifestyle coaching to help women live positively and seize each day.

Sam is a personal trainer based in Brisbane with an online presence as “The Healthy Me” who offers complete lifestyle coaching to help women live positively and seize each day. Sam is a genuine soul who always speaks from the heart, and we really appreciate her sharing her insight with us. Sam explains the challenges and rewards of adjusting post-baby and gives us her tips on getting back into fitness and wellbeing.

Truthfully, post baby is an area I’m really nervous to speak about. I don’t think enough is out there about fitness, health and wellbeing post-partum though, so I do feel lucky to have this platform to hopefully connect with new mums with similar feelings.

Everything I had read or seen about keeping healthy and fit during pregnancy lead me to believe that it would make recovery post baby quite “easy”. I had followed lots of fit new mums on social media and watched them “bounce back” within weeks. I had kept active throughout my pregnancy and was feeling great. I continued my cardio, strength and weight training right up until the day Paddy was born. I felt lucky because I knew some women had to stop exercise much earlier due to how they felt, the baby’s position, their own health etc., but I was blessed with a very smooth pregnancy.

My birth with Paddy was a very fast, natural birth. I laboured at home for 3 hours and then within an hour and a half at the hospital we met our beautiful little Patrick. I really enjoyed the birth; yes it was painful but it is incredibly what your body does instinctually.

The first three weeks after birth I did very, very little. I was still in pain and because Paddy’s delivery was so quick, my pelvic floor muscles didn’t have that time to slowly stretch; so even walking after having him was difficult. Morning walks and cardio were out and I couldn’t even think of doing weights. Added to this was the fog of sleep deprivation which is an absolute KILLER. I would find keys in the fridge, wake up terrified that Paddy was tangled in our sheets (he was safe in his bassinet of course) and stringing sentences together was tricky. Exercise and nutrition honestly couldn’t have been further from my mind.

Fast forward to now, almost 6 months post birth and I still feel like I’m inside a body that isn’t mine. I have been cautious and urge other new mums to do the same… smashing out workouts that may cause long term problems just isn’t worth it! The hardest thing to accept is that my body is changing because it needs to. I am breastfeeding Paddy and with that comes hormonal changes. Working with a women’s physiotherapist has helped me understand that my body at the moment is temporary and my focus is feeding my baby. I honestly find it hard to accept that intense workouts or nutritional changes affect my milk supply, so easing back a little ensures I can feed Paddy and sustain a good supply. I knew I would surrender my body during pregnancy, but I didn’t know breastfeeding, delivering a baby and recovery from birth also change your body.

I don’t want this blog to sound too negative, because at almost 6 months now, I can honestly say I am really enjoying being a mum. I love my days with Paddy and watching him giggle is just the best. However, the changes to my body and lifestyle are something I need to grow to love. I think it’s just the next chapter with self-love which I think is a constant and evolving journey for all women.

Fitness wise, at the moment I go for a walk every day with Paddy after his first feed in the morning and love it. It’s great to start the day actively and show Paddy the great outdoors! I try to do 2-3 strength workouts a week and I also run my group fitness session for my beautiful clients.  There are things I can’t do at the moment (like chin ups!) that do get me down, but then I try to focus on what I can do or what’s improving. I did find walking hard in the beginning and now love my 45 minute morning walk pushing the pram up and down hills in the sunshine, I can now run and I can train all muscle groups with I workout, so I appreciate those things.

My biggest tips to women post-partum with fitness and wellbeing would be:

          Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. There are so many variables in pregnancy, birth and beyond. Note: there is ALWAYS more to the story with people on social media, remember they’re showing you what they want you to see.

          Find your tribe and love them hard! I have never loved my friends and family more than I do right now. Reach out and talk. Find an exercise buddy. Whatever works!

          Practise gratitude. I like to write 3 things I’m grateful for each day. It makes you look for the positive in each day.

          Find exercise you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore.

          I like the mantra “today I will thank my body, rather than criticise it”.

I really do enjoy exercising and eating well and will continue to do that just as I did before I had Paddy. I think the difference now is just that I can’t be as ‘selfish’ with my time, and that’s okay. I have the rest of my life to master chin ups again, but these beautiful days with Paddy as a baby are fleeting.

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