I Trained With Michelle Bridges + Giveaway


If there is one PR agency that I adore, it’s Square One. Not only is Director, Sarah O’Brien the nicest person in the world to deal with but she also knows what makes the author of a fitness blog squeal with delight at the mention of a fitness expo.

I was excited to attend the Australian Fitness Expo in Melbourne last weekend with a good mate of mine and upcoming PT, Rhian Eyre from The Only Way is Melbourne.

I attended the event last year and was once again blown away by the enormity of the fitness industry. From protein powders (and there were a few), to bright colored sports gear, to state of the art technology. If it was fitness related, it was there.

We got there shortly after the doors opened and spent the next six hours doing what we do best, schmoozing, perving, networking.

This year brought with it a couple of unforgettable highlights. I interviewed Australian leading Dietitian and Nutritionist – Susie Burrell. She was fabulously down to earth, extremely passionate and undeniably honest. Having recently handed in my nutrition assessment, the timing could not have been more perfect. She had some insightful responses. (Blog to follow).

Now if anyone knows me well, they will know that I am a huge fan of Michelle Bridges. Always have been, always will be. I did her first ever 12WBT and loved it. I then attempted to do it again after baby no two, but with very little sleep, it was never going to happen.

With Winter approaching, I decided to sign up to her 12WBT in May just to keep me on track and to stop me from being led astray by those winter comfort foods. So you can imaging my excitement when I received this text message from Sarah at the expo on Sunday.


It’s not hard to see why Michelle Bridges is an absolute superstar and leader in her field. Did you know that she has helped weight enthusiasts shift over 2 million kilograms across the globe? Pretty impressive if you ask me. She worked eight of us so damn hard that we are still feeling the effects of it three days later!

Group shot


Loving Rhian's body language!

Loving Rhian’s body language!

This event would have to be one of my favourite events in the calendar year. It’s the weekend I look forward to where I can enjoy some me time without the kids and lose myself in the world of fitness.

For those wanting to go to the Australian Fitness Expo in other states, they are happening later in the year. If you are passionate about health and fitness, this expo is a must. Check out the website for details.


Now it’s GIVEAWAY time!

If you love to listen to music whilst working out but hate the annoying wires, I’ve got the solution for you.

I have a set of Plantronics Wireless Headphones to give away valued at $159.95.

Whatever your workout, the flexible, sweat‐proof Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless stereo headphones keep pace with you. Its powerful audio lets you clearly hear your music while its safety‐oriented design lets you hear your surroundings and be seen at night. The reversible armband secures your smartphone while you’re moving and stores your headphones when you’re done – making it your perfect workout partner.


To enter, follow the Rafflecopter details below. Giveaway opens on Wednesday 15th April and closes at 12.00am Thursday 30th April, 2015. Winner announced here. (Australian Residents only).

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


So What Are FODMAPS?

Bloated, gassy, irritable, fatigued? Read on.

If you saw my post last week, you’d have read that I was recently diagnosed with fructose and lactose intolerance. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can do so here.

After the diagnosis, I was advised by my gastroenterologist to go on a low FODMAP diet for 6-8 weeks and it has helped me immensely although it has not come without it’s challenges such as eating out.

I did indulge in some chocolate over the Easter break and maybe a little more after Easter and boy did I feel it. (Bloated belly, sore stomach, excessive gas, low energy levels and increased mood swings).

So what are FODMAPS? Simply, they are indigestible short chain sugars that provide fast food for bowel bacteria. These molecules are poorly absorbed in the small bowel and once they reach the large intestine, are broken down by the billions of bacteria that live there.

As a result, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane gases are produced and frustrating gastrointestinal problems can develop.

The acronym FODMAP was founded by well respected, accredited Dietitian and Nutritionist, Sue Shepherd at Shepherd Works, and stands for:

Fermentable – broken down quickly by bacteria in the bowel

Oligosaccharides – fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) (wheat, garlic. onion, inulin, legumes such as beans, lentils and soybeans).

Disaccharides – lactose (dairy or products with added lactose to the ingredients).

Monosaccharides – fructose (some fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup)


Polyols – sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and malitol (stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc.)

It’s a mouthful right? To make it easier, just remember that whenever you see the word “saccharide”, it is just another name for sugar so make sure you read your labels.

If you are suffering from gastrointestinal issues, don’t do what I did and self-diagnose yourself with gluten intolerance. Try a low FODMAPS diet, you may be very surprised with the result.

Before starting any eating plan though, I recommend a consultation with an accredited dietitian or nutritionist.

Below is a great image that outlines foods to include and foods to avoid whilst following a low FODMAPS eating plan.



Do you suffer from gut issues as a result of food intolerance or IBS? Have you tried following a low FODMAPS diet? Do you believe that food is medicine?


I’m flogging my blog today with Grace from With Some Grace.




Get The Kids Outdoors This Weekend

Looking for something to do to end the school holidays this weekend? Why not head down to beautiful Anglesea for an Outdoor Kids Adventure Festival.



A new event focusing on outdoor activities in natural landscapes will provide children (and parents) with the opportunity to experience active adventures specifically designed for the younger generation with rides, runs, climbs, paddles and plenty more ‘wild’ play planned for the all-new weekend event.

Taking place this weekend (11-12 April, 2015), the new Kids Adventure Outdoors  (KAOS) weekend will be based at YMCA’s Anglesea Recreation camp, located on Victoria’s Surf Coast, only 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne.

The inaugural event will feature activities aimed at engaging school-aged children with nature while influencing ongoing participation in a huge variety of adventure pursuits that make the most of Nature’s playground.

The event is a great way to participate in both the Victorian Government’s Premier’s Active April initiative and Nature Play Week.

The Premier’s Active April encourages all Victorians to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day during April. Active April is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to promote healthy and active lifestyles and get Victorians to join in the fun of increased physical activity.


“We have been inspired by the many worldwide movements now working to reconnect children with nature. Quite simply, we want to get more kids more active in the outdoors more often. ” says David Petherick, CEO of the Australian Camps Association.

“Connecting our kids with nature is an important childhood development issue,” says Petherick. “It touches on health, education, community, recreation and natural resources. It’s all about facilitating play in nature and creating pathways to engender lifelong habits of activity and enjoyment in the outdoors.”

The Kids Adventure Outdoors program of fun-filled activities will take place amid stunning mountain, sea and inlet landscapes in a town renowned for easy access to adventure pursuits such as mountain biking, paddling, trail running, fishing, surfing and sailing.

“Anglesea is the perfect setting for a first Kids Adventure Outdoors weekend, as it already boasts excellent facilities offered through the numerous recreational camps based in town, plus the Scout Camp, the surrounding National and State Parks and the endless trails that weave through them, not to mention the opportunities for water based activities both seaside and on the town’s estuary inlet,” says Vicki Chrzanowski, Manager, YMCA Recreation Camp Anglesea.  “In terms of a safe but beautiful environment where families can get an easy taste of adventure activities, it is the perfect location.”

Kids Adventure Outdoors taps into academic American author, Richard Louv’s, seminal work Last Child In The Woods, linking the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation — he dubs it ‘nature-deficit disorder’  Louv argues that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.

“So we thought that an event celebrating kids engaging in adventure activities is timely and relevant, and would serve to give parents an ideal forum to plug their kids back into physical activity enjoyed amid a wild but safe natural environment,” says Chrzanowski. “Importantly, the weekend will give kids the opportunity to try adventure activities in a safe, comfortable setting with trained staff.”

As part of the weekend, families are being encouraged to get a taste of the camping life, with a facilitated overnight camp-out being offered on site.

“For those families yet to experience the joys of camping out under the stars, or who don’t have the equipment, or just want to get more experience camping before going it alone, this is the perfect opportunity,” says David Petherick, CEO of Australian Camps Association. “We will provide the tents, a campfire dinner and have hosts on hand to ensure everyone enjoys their night under canvas, flame-cooked marshmallows included!”

A sampling of the two-day event line-up includes:

  • Obstacle Challenges – a Mini obstacle course peppered with fun challenges including flying fox and a Maxi course based on a high ropes adventure.
  • Trail run –run/walk along fun trails. Parents welcome to run with children. Non-competitive – every child is a winner for finishing.
  • Mountain bike – short mountain bike course
  • Canoeing – a first paddling experience in canoes on flat water
  • Climbing walls – experience the joys of the vertical life, including roped wall climbs and bouldering room.
  • Giant swing – for thrill seekers, a swing that lets you go high in the sky
  • Low ropes course – test your balance on this mega-course of low rope challenges
  • Sailing – get a taste of salt air and sailing in the safe confines of Point Roadnight bay
  • Skateboarding – four wheel roller derby
  • Geocaching – navigate your way to hidden treasures
  • Bush Hut building – let nature help you build a shelter
  • Camp Out – parents and children encouraged to sleep in tents sited in our special camping zone

While the event encourages a camp out experience for all, YMCA Anglesea is also offering discounted cabin and dorm accommodation on site for the weekend for those less inclined to spend an entire night in the great outdoors. A kiosk will serve food during the day with a Bush BBQ planned in the evening.

Kids Adventure Outdoors is a new joint initiative between the Australian Camps Association and YMCA with support from Sport and Recreation Victoria and adventure tourism consultancy, Adventure Types.

For general enquires please call Peri Gray at YMCA Recreation Camp Anglesea on (03) 5263 1512 or anglesea@ymca.org.au. Bookings can be made online at: www.kidsadventureoutdoors.org.au




Living With Food Intolerances

For as long as I can remember, I have suffered bloatedness, constant gut issues, excessive wind (now there’s something I bet you’re glad you know about me) and mood swings. It has literally taken over my life and for someone who loves to keep active, it has been a frustrating journey.

Around 12 years ago, I went to my GP to see if I could get to the bottom of it. I was sent off to have a gastroscopy and colonoscopy at the same time. In other words, an examination of my digestive tract and my bowel. The whole process was a bit weird and I left not really understanding the diagnosis. I was told that they couldn’t find anything so it’s most likely that I have IBS. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). When I heard this, I remember thinking that only old people got IBS and I did nothing more about it other than read a quick article on the net about it. A bit naive I know.

Now I haven’t suffered with this in silence, oh no. Every family member, friend, friends of friends, aunt, uncle, shop assistant and my dear husband have had to listen to me whinge and moan about my discomfort every single day. Not convinced about IBS, I eliminated wheat and gluten from my diet and started to feel better. That was it, I self diagnosed myself with gluten intolerance.

Years passed and so did excessive amounts of wind and I knew that something wasn’t right. I am currently studying a Lifestyle, Food and Wellness course through Cadence Health and I have learnt so much about the digestive tract and the way in which food is broken down and released into our blood streams. The more I learnt, the more I was able to understand what could be happening to me.

I decided to get some hydrogen breath testing done and was tested for lactulose, fructose and lactose malabsorption. I was put on a low FODMAPS diet for 24 hours prior to the test. I will talk about FODMAPS in another post but they are basically indigestible sugars that provide fast food for bowel bacteria. These sugars are fermented by bowel bacteria which causes wind, bloatedness and discomfort.

It was fair to say that I blew the fructose test out of the water. I had to blow 20 or higher over a three hour period and I got to 55 within the hour. There was my problem right there. After doing a little more research on fructose intolerance, I realised just how frustrating it was going to be. Fructans are in so many foods. Foods that I love. Foods that my family and I eat every day. My favourite being artichoke hearts. I could not believe that I would have to part with my beloved chokes. Two other foods that are high trigger foods for people with IBS or fructose intolerance are onions and garlics and it is advised to avoid these completely. Telling that to an Italian nearly broke me. These two ingredients give flavour to almost every single meal I cook.

The tests need to be done a week apart, and knowing that I was already fructose intolerant, I tried to cancel my following appointment for lactose intolerance. Why waste $140 when I already knew what the problem was? The receptionist talked me out of cancelling and recommended that I still have the lactose test done as some people do test positive to both. I wasn’t convinced.

So I turned up for my final test, nutrition books in hand. I study anywhere I get the chance. After the first hour, not much was happening and I knew that I should have cancelled. Besides, the $140 was a part payment for my next unit in my course.

Again, I had to get to 20 for there to be a positive result. At the 2 hour mark, I quickly got to 35. My testing was done and I was lactose intolerant. I was shocked to say the least and a little overwhelmed. I have been following the Paleo Way (not super strictly) for a little while now, and it kind of threw a spanner in the works with regards to the meals that I was making.

After speaking to the gastrointerologist, I was placed on a low FODMAPS diet for 6-8 weeks, followed up by an appointment with a dietitian. I have been on this diet for 7 weeks now and I cannot tell you how amazing I have been feeling. The bloatedness has gone and I finally feel human again. I cannot believe it has taken me 12 years to do this. I have even noticed a change in my moods. I feel a lot calmer and a lot less stressed – that walking time-bomb has now been detonated. :)

I wont say that it has been easy eliminating so many foods from my diet but the good news is, it’s not forever. Once I meet with my dietitian next Tuesday, I will be allowed to slowly reintroduce some foods in small amounts to see whether my body can tolerate them or not.

Stay tuned…

I saw this hilarious video about being gluten intolerant the other day. This one gave me a real belly chuckle.

Have you been tested for food intolerances. Did you test positive and how have you coped?

 I’m linking up with gorgeous Grace from With Some Grace this Good Friday.


Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Getting enough sleep

Sleep, beautiful sleep. I must admit, nobody ever warned me about just how little sleep I would get after having kids. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I had a full uninterrupted 8 hours of it.

There’s no use complaining though because with three kids under 5, I was always going to have to give up one of life’s luxuries. It’s just a shame it had to be sleep.

Yvonne Clarkson highlights below some great tips on solving your sleeping problems.

Sleeping is one of life’s priorities – it’s right up there with eating and breathing, right? You’d think that it would be easy to sleep, but that’s one area of human life that still leaves us mystified. More than half of the population still don’t get quality sleep – and most of us either don’t know why or are well aware of our sleeping problems but don’t know how to solve them. Here are some possible answers.

The Right Bedding

Yes, it could be something as simple as this. Are cold winter nights keeping you up? Or do you wake up clammy and uncomfortable in summer? You may want to consider bedding made from natural materials, not synthetics. For instance, a quilt made from wool is a good choice for winter as it keeps your body nice and warm. A wool/cotton blend, cotton, or down quilt may be just the thing for hot summer nights – they’re breathable so you don’t wake up overheated and sweaty. There are many places you can get quality quilts from; get ideas from a bedding specialist like Minijumbuk.

Know How Much Sleep You Really Need

We’re bombarded with advice from all angles about how many hours of sleep we need – so which is it? Six, seven, eight, nine hours…? We’re all different; some of us need more hours, some less. Worrying about not getting enough sleep will actually keep you up. It’s normal to wake up a few times a night. Remember that too much of anything can be bad too – your body may not need as much sleep as you think.

Avoid Technology Right Before Bedtime

In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, our heart rate needs to slow down and, in turn, our muscles must be relaxed. Watching something that’s action-packed on TV is probably not a good idea. If you must, watch something that’s calming. However, in general, blue light emitted from TV screens, computer monitors, phones, and tablets tricks the brain into thinking it needs to be alert, so if you can avoid them, do.

Do Something Relaxing

We all have a different idea of what is relaxing and what isn’t. Do something that’s always helped you unwind in the past. It could be anything – listen to slow music, read a book, pray, do yoga, knit, even bake something if that’s your thing.

Avoid Caffeine and Sugar

It used to be that eating the wrong foods was the only problem. Now, it seems the time you eat is as big an issue. We all know that high amounts of caffeine and sugar will keep us up, and excessive amounts of processed carbohydrates can often leave us feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Certain types of foods are best eaten about two hours before bedtime.

Clearly, we’re all different. There could be so many reasons why we have sleeping problems and if you are unable to get to the bottom of it, then it is best to consult an expert.

Some great tips there. Now to come up with some strategies to give up coffee.

This post was written in collaboration with Minijumbuk.




Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard