Foods To Help You On Your Weight Loss Journey

Weightloss Foods

This great article written by Alice Duffield offers some great tips on foods that can assist you on your weight loss journey.

Losing weight is a difficult task and one that most of us have been faced with at some stage or another. While obviously incorporating physical activity into your life is a vital factor, exercising while eating badly will not get you anywhere. Here are a few superfoods you can incorporate into your diet that will assist on your weightless journey.

Start your day with a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon. This is a great way to boost your metabolism first thing in the morning. A speedy metabolism is key to losing weight. A weight loss retreat is a great way to help you stay accountable for your weightloss goals.  A retreat like Chi of Life is a great option to consider if you want to become healthier, fitter and leaner.

Healthy Carbs Burn Fat and Boost Metabolism

Get some rolled oats into your morning routine. Rolled oats are a great way to fill yourself up and is the perfect fuel for the brain. Oats are a good carb; they add fibre to your diet, speed up your metabolism, and burn that nasty fat – three things a healthy weight loss plan needs!

Try adding brown rice to your diet. It is a low GI wonder food that keeps you feeling full for longer whilst speeding up your metabolism. Add it to the side of fish and seasonal vegetables, or have a healthy stir-fry served on a bed of brown rice.

Monounsaturated Fats

Have half a creamy avocado every day. It’s easy to think avocados are really fattening but they are actually the perfect kind of fat for weight loss: over 50% of monounsaturated fat. Avocado is packed with fibre and protein, so this creamy delight will keep you satisfied whilst keeping those sugar cravings away. Another awesome source of monounsaturated fat is salmon. It’s a great way to get your portion of lean protein. Steam it, grill it or bake it and serve with steamed vegetables or put it in a soup.

Snacking is A-OK

Snacking is an important part of weight loss. It helps to defer those hunger pains and will help get you through to your next meal. Just make sure you choose the right snack.

Put down the chocolate bar and replace it with a grapefruit. Grapefruit is a well-known weight loss food and for good reason. This refreshing fruit is said to lower insulin, which is a hormone that stores fat. It is also rich in vitamin A, and beta-carotene. Grapefruit is well known for it’s disease preventing properties, especially among the health-conscious and fitness enthusiasts.

Another simple snack is hummus and celery (or any raw vegetable). Hummus is easy to make or buy and is made from chickpeas, olive oil, and sesame. Chickpeas are protein-rich and also help balance those blood sugar levels – a simple, tasty morning snack that will keep you going for hours.

What other foods have you found have helped you on your weight loss journey?

This post was written in collaboration with Chi of Life Retreat.

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Breakfast Around The Tan – Diabetes Australia

Image Source - Eventfinda.com.au

Image Source – Eventfinda.com.au

How are those New Years Goals going for 2015 so far? Well I’ve got another awesome event to add to your calendar. You don’t want to miss this one.

I participated in this event in 2013 with my family and it was such a great well organised day. The best part is the whole family can take part in it.

This year promises to bigger and better and is being run in conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. I cannot wait to get involved again this year.

So if you’re feeling energetic, grab your family and friends — and get your fit on. Join hundreds of Melbournians’ for a breakfast-on- the-move around the city’s most popular walking trail, affectionately known to locals as The Tan.

Take a leisurely stroll around the leafy greenery of the Royal Botanic Gardens, with pit stops at five breakfast stations filled with nutritious, dietitian-recommended breakfast options to kick-start your day. With all-ages activities on offer at the start and end of the walk, including hip hop yoga and tai chi sessions, there’s no better way to start your Sunday.

Due to the nature of this event, start times will be staggered. Please enter your preferred start time when booking.

Cost:

  • Children under 16 years – $15
  • Adult – $30
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $80

Melbourne Food and Wine will donate 5% of all ticket sales to Diabetes Australia – Vic.

To visit the website for more details and to book click here. 

So who’s going to join me?

 

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The Sandwich Free Lunchbox Challenge


FMH sandwich free lunchbox

By now, you would have already seen heaps of blog posts about awesome ideas for school lunch boxes. I know I have. So tell me, have you adopted any of them?

Our first child started school this year and our second started kinder. In their first week, I found myself making them ham and cheese sandwiches EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It was quick, easy and although they only ever ate half of it, it fit nicely into their lunchboxes along with their other healthy snacks.

Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with eating sandwiches. In fact, they are a great source of carbohydrates which our growing kids need. Do you eat the same lunch every single day? I know I don’t. Variety is great and important for our growing kids.

I recently won a sandwich free cookbook from the lovely Anita Rossiter over at Eat and 3 Veg. It has given me so much inspiration and over the past two weeks I have proven that going sandwich free without jeopardising any of the nutritional goodness that our kids need is not as hard as it needs to be.

Here are a few tips for putting some variety back into your kids lunchboxes:

1. Do one big shop each week and do your prep twice a week. (Sunday and Wednesday usually works for me). Bake, fry, chop. Chop, chop, chop. Have all of your carrot, cheese and cucumber sticks ready to be placed straight into the lunchboxes each morning (or if you’re super efficient, unlike me, the night before).

2. Purchase a lunchbox that has plenty of compartments in it. This is a great way to add lots of variety. Bento Boxes are great as are YumBoxes and they keep lunches super cool in the heat. These are a little on the pricey side and I have found that Woolworths also have some great lunchboxes with extra compartments.

3. Bake a couple of trays of vegetables on a Sunday afternoon or evening. (Sweet potato, zucchini, corn, pumpkin, carrots or any other vegetables you think the kids will eat). This will keep in the fridge for a few days. Simply add a scotch egg into the box you’re ready to go. Click here for my favourite Scotch Eggs recipe. (My son tells his classmates that they’re dinosaur eggs).

Sandwich free challenge 3

4. Roast a chicken, a leg of lamb and if you’ve get the time, some corned beef. Allow to cool then slice, portion it up and freeze it. Also cook up a batch of chicken nuggets and meatballs. (Every week, I purchase two types of mince for meatballs – think lamb, chicken, pork, beef). They are great for bite size meals for littlies and can also be freezed.

These are out of Pete Evans Family Food Book. Easy to make and the kids love them!

These are out of Pete Evans Family Food Book. Easy to make and the kids love them!

5. Don’t over think it. Just remember, they have recess, lunch and their afternoon snack.

Image source - Pinterest

Image source – Pinterest

6. Get creative. I put a banana in my son’s lunchbox this week and drew a smiley face on it. He loved it.

7. Put food in your kids lunch boxes that your kids will EAT and not what will impress the teachers.

8. Add color but not too much. Anita’s book Sandwich Free Packet Free Lunchboxes taught me that instead of adding lots of color to a combination, add just two. It’s more appealing to the littlies. I tried this and it works a treat. For eg: As a recess snack could do strawberries and blueberries or cucumber and cherry tomatoes, or olives and cheese.

Image source - Pinterest

Image source – Pinterest

9. Don’t underestimate the good old egg. Have them boiled the night before and ready to pack straight into the lunchboxes. Eggs provide the body with 13 vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and various antioxidants. Eggs are convenient and great value for money, making them an excellent inclusion in a well-balanced diet.

10. The food pyramid is so outdated, I’m surprised it hasn’t been removed from schools. Simply ensure that your children get the 3 macro-nutrients into their meals, (fat / protein / carbohydrates).

So who’s up for the challenge? Just for a week starting next Monday 23rd February, 2015. Go on, see if you can do it. 5 whole days with no sandwiches in the kids lunchboxes. Feel free to get creative and post your pics to my Li’l Busy Bodies IG page or my Facebook Page.

Now you don’t have to go sandwich free forever. You can include them in lunchboxes weekly. I just think that there are a lot more alternatives than sandwiches every.single.day.

What creative ideas have you come up with for lunchbox ideas?

I’m flogging my blog with the gorgeous Grace for FYBF today.

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<img src=”http://www.withsomegrace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/fybf.gif”width=”155″/></a></center><br />

 

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20 Alternatives To Lolly Bags

We hosted our daughters 4th birthday last weekend and I’m pleased to say that we pulled it off without any lollies, chips or junk food. Call me a meanie, go on, but I wanted to prove that 15 kids can still have fun without being fuelled by sugar, trans-fats (the nasty kind), preservatives and artificial sweeteners.

If you think that I’m being a little harsh, take a look at this Jamie Oliver clip.

The spread included home-made sausage rolls, meat balls, ham and cheese mini wraps, watermelon pieces with icy pole sticks inserted into the skin, popcorn, home-made quiches (thanks Hilary) and home-made gingerbread no 4’s (thanks Janine).

Party food

There were no soft drinks at Miss H’s party either. Cocobella kids have recently launched their delicious fruit flavoured coconut waters in kid size packs. They kindly supplied 2 cases for the party. My kids absolutely love them! They are definitely not as sweet as your average fruit juice and are a perfect replacement for soft drinks.

Cocobella Kids is a lunch-box-friendly and healthy coconut water drink for kids made from 70% coconut water, 30% fruit juice and nothing else. Cocobella Kids is available in 200ml Tetra-Pak (BPA-free) and in two yummy fruit flavours (Apple Berry Breeze, Tropical Island) Cocobella Kids retails for $3.49 per 3-pack in Woolworths supermarkets nationally.

H party four

As favours, Miss H handed out these cute little craft jars that we had fun making together. They were as cheap as chips from the $2 shop.

H party six

Given that the theme was Frozen, the birthday cake had a picture of the main Frozen characters and was a delicious-lemon, lime and blueberry sorbet. No artificial colours or flavours. It was a warm day so we handed out cones which saved the clean up afterwards.

H party five

My kids love sweets and junk food as much as the next kid but what I’ve learnt as a parent is out of sight, out of mind. If the kids don’t see them, they don’t think about them and therefore don’t ask for them. Saying that, I think it’s important that they are allowed to eat junk food from time to time just not as a reward or every single day.

It is our role as parents to educate our kids on the food that they eat- the good and the bad then let them make their own choices when we’re not around.

It does seem that everywhere we go, kids are rewarded with sweets. They are used as bribes, as party favours, at schools, at kinders, to celebrate birthdays and from the grandparents – just because.

If truth be told, I hate lolly bags. There is no nutritional value whatsoever in sweets. They are handed out because it is an expectation that kids will receive them.

Someone quizzed me on Facebook the other day and said that everything in moderation is ok. I absolutely agree but there are on average 25 kids in a class and most of them celebrate birthdays. If everyone handed out lolly bags throughout the year and don’t forget the parties in between, and all the other junk food that’s offered to them by their aunts, uncles, grandparents and us as parents, it hardly becomes moderation.

I get that this post isn’t going to appeal to everyone as many parents and kids enjoy handing out lolly bags and that is completely fine. They are just not for me.

If, however, you’d like to offer an alternative and I’d love to encourage parents to do so, then here are 20 options that will keep the kids entertained a lot longer than sugar will. It doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive either.

So put your creative hats on and see if you too can lose the lollybag and replace it with something fun. Head over to my Li’l Busy Bodies IG page, post your pic with the hashtag #losethelollybag.

1. Watermelon wands – so simple to make and perfect for kinder birthday celebrations on a hot day. Make sure you cut the ends off the skewers for safety reasons.

2. Fruit Flowers – these are gorgeous and the kids love to get creative whilst making them. Use green wrapping paper to cut out the leaves then use colorful paper for the flowers. Build away with fresh, seasonal, fruit.

3. Fruit Cups – These are inexpensive and easy to make. Simply make the fruit salad (making sure the fruit is chopped into small pieces) and place into colorful containers. Perfect for kinder birthday’s.

Lollybag2

4. Stickers –  Cheap and cheerful and kids love them. These can be purchased from most $2 stores and there is usually lots of variety.

Sticker favours

5. Handmade eye patches – A friend of mine Claire designed these beautiful little pirate patches for her little one’s pirate party. A great take home gift without the sugar.

Pirate patches

6. Erasers – These are great for school kids and the options are endless. You can get as creative as you like with these.

Eraser favour

7. Craft jars – Kids love to craft. Handing out little craft jars as party favours are a great alternative to lollies.

 8. Seeds or sprouts in egg shells – These are delicate and cute. Perfect for kinder kids as birthday favours.

9. Home-made cameras – Claire also made these gorgeous little cameras to hand out to the kids as party favours. You can hand them out when the children arrive, they can wear them at the party then take them home.

Losethelollybag3

10. Bubblewands – these are an absolute hit with my kids. They are cheap and the kids have a great time playing with them in the yard.

Bubble wands

11. Water bottles – You can purchase small bottles of water quite cheaply from major supermarkets. It can be a little time consuming but remove the labels using warm water and soap. You can then create your own personalised labels for each child.

Water bottles

12. Bag of balls – We handed these out and my son’s soccer party last year. What kids don’t like playing with balls?

IMG_7913.JPG

 

13. Lego jewellery – These are a fabulous idea and kids love making then. Perfect for handing out at kinder or school birthday celebrations.

Lego jewellery

14. Badges – These are a great idea to hand out at kinder or school as a party favour. They are inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk.

15. Bananas – Yep good old bananas. You can get creative with these also. Pop a tag around the banana and create personalised name tags for each child. Perfect for pre-schools and kinders.

16. Crayons – You can purchase crayons in bulk from places like Spotlight, Officeworks and most major department stores such as Big W, Target or K-mart. Place a few in a bag for each child and tie a ribbon around it.

Losethelollybag

17. Fairy dust – Perfect favour ideas for little princess parties!

Fairy Dust

18. Fun with Play-doh – Kids absolutely love playing with play-doh. You can easily put together little containers with colored doh, throw in a shaped cutter too.

Play doh

19. Keyrings – I’m the first to admit that I don’t have a creative bone in my body but I’ll even give these cute little heart key rings a go. Great favour ideas for little girl craft parties. They can make them at the party then take them home.

Heart Key Rings

 

20. Balls – What kid doesn’t love to play with balls of any shape and size? Handing out balls as party favours are a great way to keep the kids entertained for hours.

 

Balls Favour

 

Do you give out favours? What clever favours have you given or received in the past? Care to join me on the #losethelollybag


Joining in with the stunning Sonia from Life Love and Hiccups today for Weekend Rewind.

 

 

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Not Another Frozen Party!

I’ve been to a lot of Frozen parties over the past couple of years. A lot. Yes, yes it’s a beautiful story about love and sisterhood and it’s portrayed in a way that’s a lot more relatable than Disney’s traditional love stories. Bravo.

Frozen party

Frozen has almost become a swear word in this house. If I hear my daughter ask one more time, “Mummy, can we watch Frozen”,  I’m going to turn to ice!

At the end of last year, I launched a kids active birthday party business in Melbourne, Li’l Busy Bodies. I am passionate about kids leading healthy, active lifestyles so it was a no brainer for me when I took the plunge and made my dream a reality.

My daughter has proudly taken it upon herself to spruik the business for me, like everywhere we go. In cafes, parks, shopping malls. It’s been gorgeous to watch her randomly say to people,

“Did you know my mummy owns Li’l Busy Bodies, then quite literally throw them a card. I should start paying her a commission.

So when we sat down a month ago to discuss what she wanted to do for her birthday, I just assumed that she would want to have an active birthday party. How wrong I was.

“I want a Frozen party mummy”.

“Sorry what did you just say?

“I WANT A FROZEN PARTY MUMMY”.

“Are you sure you don’t want a rainbow party? Or what about a pirate party? A bug party?

And just like that, the preparations started for our 4 year old’s Frozen party. Sigh.

H 4th birthday

Our daughter is not as sporty as her 5 year old brother but when she’s in the mood, she definitely likes to get amongst it. Whether it be on her bike, at the footy oval or in the backyard.

You can still incorporate games at a kids party that will keep them moving without necessarily calling it an active party.

Games such as:

-Variouse Relay Races. Think egg and spoon, balloon between the knees or jump rope relays. These will guarantee lots of laughs. Get the grown ups involved as well.

-Obstacle courses – Setting up an obstacle course in the backyard will keep the kids entertained for ages. Get creative. Find some old tyres, a ladder, hula hoops. There is no limit as to what you can include.

Musical bumps Get the children to dance to music. When the music stops, the children have to sit down as quickly as possible. The last one to sit is out. The last child left dancing is the winner.

 

Kids obstacle course

The party is happening this Sunday. Wish me luck everyone and in Olaf’s famous words,

“Some people are worth melting for”.

Are you a Frozen fan and what is the best kids birthday party you’ve ever been to?

I’m flogging my blog with the gorgeous Grace from With Some Grace today for FYBF.

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard