Category Archives for "Diet"

Chocolate Brownies so good they’ll melt your soul…

hat are you having with your morning coffee?


Squeezing as much down time as you can out of your 15 minute morning break is an office artform.  I remember going to the toilet before the break (because that doesn’t count as part of the break) and then again after the break.  A 15 minute break could end up lasting 20 or sometimes 25 minutes (never 30, that would be too obvious).


Then someone decides to get fit and bring in their chicken and broccoli.  Or worse, their cabbage or their steamed cauliflower.  Steamed cauliflower is like an old hobo’s blanket.  I used to laugh so much when I’d open my lunch box and everyone would look around trying to figure out who’s fart they could smell.  Like meerkats.  Head stretched on long necks, craning to get a better whiff, maybe discover the direction of the stench.


Finally, their scanning eyes would fall on me, red faced from laughing while I try to eat my tupperware of caulifart.


Funnier still were the days that they’d be yelling that someone has brought cauliflower into the lunch room again, but nobody had.  Just a regular ol’ fart.  Everyone sniffing around taking deep breaths trying to work out where the cauliflower was.


They say simple things amuse simple minds.  I must be very simple then.


Imagine if you could take in chocolate brownies to work and not get fat.  Imagine if you could eat chocolate brownies at morning tea that were so healthy you could eat a lot of them and still not get fat.  You could eat a lot of them and not feel tired.


Chocolate brownies so good that they melt your soul when you smell their delicate, loving aroma.  So good that they crumble as you close your mouth on them.  So good that they taste bad for you.  But they’re not.  They’re made of healthy ingredients, at home, and it didn’t take you long at all.


Open these at work, and the caulibuse will change to brownie love, like zombies of love, everyone will creep closer.


Poor Brenda, who’s sitting in the corner stomaching her sweaty, limp broccoli, or Gavin, who’s been chewing the same piece of dried up chicken breast for nearly 20 minutes, willing himself to just swallow.  Just swallow.  Help them out, give them some of your healthy junk chocolate brownie.


Banish the caulifart from workplaces forever…


Here’s how:



  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 7 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cooked and blended pumpkin (cold)
  1. mix all ingredients together
  2. lay on baking paper on baking tray
  3. cook for 30-45 minutes on 180C (350F)


If you want over 60 recipes just like this (junk food, made into healthy food – done so easily too) then you’ve got to get yourself a copy of healthy junk.  You can get it by going here



Whey Protein Shakes – The Low Down

Whey protein is not just whey protein, here’s a video of Julius explaining the difference between Whey Protein Concentrate (WPI), Whey Protein Isolate (WPC), Hydrolised Whey Protein and Casein.



Do you like icecream?


We freakin’ LOVE icecream.


When we bought our thermomix, the thing that got us over the line with big J was the icecream.  But it’s still a $2,000 machine.  2 grand to make icecream!  It does so much more than that, but all Julius really cared about was the icecream.


We’ve been enjoying soft serve, sorbet style healthy icecream ever since we bought the thermie way back when, and until recently we thought we were in the lucky top tier of kitchen appliance owners, I mean, la..dee…daah’ling, I’ll just whip it up in the thermie!


That was until we started hearing about this thing with the hard to pronounce name.  Yonanas.  Save yourself the confusion, this is how it is meant to sound (and probably how the son of the inventor came up with the name).


Say “bananas”


Now say “Yo” as in Bart Simpson.


Now say “Yo, bananas


Now say it fast.




There you go.  Yonanas.  Definitely a name a kid came up with!


We’d heard about this thing from so many of our clients, followers and family and when our Auntie Annette said she loved them so much she was stocking them, we just had to try it.  Here’s the video of that:


You’ll recognise Annette because she is Annette Sym, from Symply too good to be true cookbook fame!



To find out more or to buy one for yourself, go to Annette’s site here:


Now about this machine – it’s a little quieter than a blender and a whole lot quieter than my thermie, which sounds like an aeroplane taking off.


It takes about 1 minute to make icecream from frozen fruit.  Bananas are about $1.50 a kilo at the moment, so we’ve bought heaps and frozen them for later.  But in the meantime we’re using those cubes of frozen mango and berries you can get at Woolies or Coles for around $8 in the freezer section.  Throw them down the chute and you get some cafe style sorbet out the bottom end, absolutely delish!


So far we have made 3 of the 120 recipes that come with the elite model and we are planning on going through the whole lot.


Insider secret – the best part?  licking the icecream left in the machine when you clean it. YUM!


Check out this video too (the official American yonanas video) – I laughed so hard when she said icecream on toaster waffles was a healthy treat for kids!  *facepalm* it’s no wonder we have an obesity epidemic!



How to make healthy icecream with a Yonanas

Come with us as we check out Auntie Annette’s cool new toy! (we call her Auntie even though she’s technically not our Auntie)


It’s called a Yonanas, and we are absolutely in love with it (we bought one from her straight away and the kids love it – they can make icecream with it too!)


We have a thermomix that makes sorbet, but for less than a tenth of the price, you can get a yonanas from Annette with free shipping Aussie wide!


How cool is that!


Here’s the video:


Have a great day!




PS here’s another video we did on the Yonanas

5 tricks to running faster right now

I weigh about 100kg. First thing in the morning after a week.  I’m heavy.  In running terms, I am too heavy to run.  But I run.  Why? I freakin love running.  I love that I am running when I am not meant to.

I have both meniscus torn, so every physio and orthopod (except my awesome brother) says I can’t run.  When I rock up to the start line of an ultra, almost everybody pushes to get in front of me so that I don’t hold them up.  I don’t blame them either, I don’t look like a runner.

I don’t train like a runner at all… But I am.  Last year I placed 3rd and 4th over consecutive weekends for 55km and 45km trail races.

People say I am an anomaly or a freak, but I’m not; I’m no different to anybody else.  The difference for me is that I know how to run more efficiently.  To get the most distance for the least effort.  And I’d like to share them with you.

So here are my 5 tricks to getting a better performance in your next run.


Don’t cross the midline with your arms.

Your arms should be pointing more or less in the direction you want to go.  If you’re finding yourself swinging your arms left and right but going nowhere, just change the angle of the swing to be more forward and back.


Don’t run like a duck

Stand up out of your desk and look at your feet.  Having your toes pointing outward it a very stable position to stand; but it is extremely inefficient for running.  I call it ducking, If you run like a duck, you’ll go as slow as a duck.


Running with your toes pointing out puts enormous strain on your hips, knees and ankles.  Aim your toes where you want to go, and you’ll get there faster.


Don’t dump through your hips.

I see a lot of runners doing this.  On landing, you’ll tend to dump your opposite  hip toward the ground.  If you take a look at the picture, you’ll see the transfer of power from the ground travels right up through my hip and out into nothing.


To now take the next step means I’ll have to use my hip muscles to stand up straight.  Watching someone dumping from the front kind of reminds me of how a gecko walks.


Keep your hips square when you land and you’ll be able to run much faster.


Land with flat feet on hills.

Forefoot running is quite the trend, but nothing kills calves like running 8 or 9 k’s uphill on your toes.  Land with a flat foot and a shorter stride; and you can use uphills as a way of resting your calves.  I overtake most people on uphills now, where before I would need to massage my calves on the way up.


The magic cadence

For me, and a lot of my running friends, there is a magic cadence somewhere between 85 and 90 beats per minute that puts all of the above into place for you.


Here’s a YouTube clip of what I mean, all you have to do is make sure your right foot lands on every beat.  Depending on your anatomy, it will be somewhere around the 90 BPM mark.


That’s it, 5 tricks to making sure your next run is faster.


After you’ve done these, you’ll probably be addicted to running like me, so I’d suggest these 4 add-ons to your arsenal of running:


Run Hills.

First ultra I did crushed me, because I never trained on hills.  I just ran distance.  Now, I run hills at least once a week.  And I’m not talking a little 300m hill in your flat run, I mean the whole run as uphill.  It’s a great way to train yourself to flat foot land, but not dump in the hips.


Believe you are a good runner

The thing I love about ultra running is the diversity of athletes.  Quite often, women will beat men; older runners will beat younger runners.  Why?  Because running starts with the belief that you are a good runner.  All the great runners I know, first came to the decision that they were in fact, runners.


Ski downhills

If you’ve ever been skiing, you’ll know that coming down a mountain slowly is tiring.  “Controlling the fall” makes your run much faster, and not so tiring.


Running is the same, you either work hard on the way down the mountain, slamming your brakes on every step, or you ski down the hill by leaning forward and dropping your butt out the back.


Mastering downhill running is dynamite on long runs.  If you can “ski” down the hill, you’ll be able to use downhills as a recovery; not work.


Lose weight

I’ve always found it perversely funny that cyclists will spend thousands of dollars to save a couple of grams here or there on their bike weight.  But they stop for coffee and cake.  Losing 5 or even 10 kilos makes a phenomenal difference with running.


Thanks for reading and as always, we love to hear from you, so please drop us a line in the comments below!


PS If you want more tips, tricks and fitness hacks, Click here to subscribe to our mailing list

Healthy Food Pyramid is making you fat

The Food Guide Pyramid has come under some harsh criticism in recent years by many scientists, nutritionists and medical researchers. They say it is outdated, gives misinformation, and at worst, can lead to obesity and health problems. How can this be? What is so wrong with this once highly-acclaimed food pyramid? 

According to Harvard scientist Dr. Walter Willett, the food pyramid is not up-to-date with current nutritional research. He states the food pyramid is misleading us and adding to the growing obesity epidemic.

Dr Willett’s first observation was that the food pyramid suggests how to plan a healthy diet, but does not mention four other key parts of maintaining a healthy body:

  • the importance of not gaining weight,
  • the necessity of daily exercise,
  • the potential health benefits of a daily alcoholic drink, and
  • what you can gain by taking a daily multivitamin.

As well as this, he broke open the following myths:


All Fats are Bad – FALSE

Only certain fats are bad for you (trans and saturated fats), while others (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) provide many benefits to your heart. Some of these good fats are found in nuts, fish, olive oil and wholegrains.


You need to eat a lot of bread, pasta, rice and cereal – FALSE

The food pyramid recommends six to eleven servings of carbohydrates per day, which is way too much! The pyramid does not differentiate between simple carbohydrates (sugars) and complex carbohydrates (starches). Dr. Willett’s research says that the majority of a person’s carbohydrate intake should come from whole grains (complex carbs), which will make you feel fuller for longer – due to their high fibre content.

Stay away from refined grains, white rice, bread, pasta and potatoes. Instead choose brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oats.


Protein is not that important, and can come from any meat – FALSE

Protein is a key component of a healthy diet, as it is the building block for muscle. It’s just that some proteins are better for you than others. For example red meats (steak) may have a good amount of protein, but they are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which is bad for your heart!

Choose fish, chicken, turkey and pork, as they are lower in saturated fat and have just as much protein. Beans and nuts are great sources of protein as well.

If you live on the sunshine coast, visit the website of upper cuts meats to get your meat delivered to your door. We aboslutely love the service we receive from Helen and the team, and are always impressed by the quality of the meats provided, at a fraction of the supermarket cost.


Dairy products are essential – FALSE

Dr. Willett says that despite the TV and newspaper commercials advertising the need for dairy products to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, you can get your calcium from other sources without the calories. Spinach, broccoli, tofu and oranges have calcium. As stated before, you may be best to take a multivitamin to get all the nutrients and vitamins that you need as the most cost effective strategy.


Eat your potatoes – FALSE

Potatoes are starches, not vegetables.

[box type=”warning”] A baked potato increases blood sugar levels and insulin faster and to higher levels than an equal amount of calories from pure table sugar![/box]

So kids, print out the following food pyramid, take it to school and teach your teacher something!

Eat well, be strong and live long.

An easy to cook summer meal

Since we live on the Sunshine Coast, most of the summer is spent in front of a BBQ, and why not?

Here's a quick and easy recipe for summer that will get the kids excited and won't break the calorific bank!

  • Chicken breast
  • Capsicum
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans
  • Carrot
  • Brocolli
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet potato
  • Sweet chilli sauce (home made from the markets please)
How to make:
  1. 1
    Turn the barbecue on low heat, and leave for around 10 minutes to heat up. (We will be using the flat plate, not the grill.)
  2. 2
    Roughly cut the vegetables into large pieces.
  3. 3
    The harder veggies, such as carrot and sweet potato should be sliced into reasonable thin slices, then halved otherwise they stay too raw.
  4. 4
    Keep cutting your veggies and putting into a bowl until you feel you have enough, and you have a rainbow of colour.
  5. 5
    Slice your chicken breast to about 1cm slices, and put into a separate bowl.
  6. 6
    Head out to your BBQ, and cook the chicken.
  7. 7
    Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the BBQ and put into a separate bowl.
  8. 8
    Throw all of the veggies onto the BBQ, and cook by stirring them up every couple of minutes (before they burn).  When they are about half way cooked, pour on your sauce (doing it this late prevents it being burnt into your veggies).
  9. 9
    When they are nearly cooked (the carrot and sweet potato should have softened, but with still some crunch), pour the chicken back in and mix it all up.
  10. 10
    Once mixed together, turn off the heat and serve!

The sauce can be anything you actually want - we normally don't have any sauce, as barbequing adds its own amazing flavours, but get creative - we have tried using lemon juice with garlic, and that works really well. I use a South African salt and spice mix that is called "Braai Salt," and is a mix of sea salt, chilli flakes, paprika and something else I can't work out.  You can get it from your local South African shop (there is one called "crunch" in Forest Glen.)

You can also make our barbecue sauce (see recipe here).

If you do try this, please let us know!

Guilt Free Pizza AND Guilt free Steak Sauce

After Tuesday’s eye opening seminar with none other than the amazing Cyndi O’Meara, nutritionist extraordinaire, and then Wednesday’s blog post about the Paleo Diet, which is very similar to Cyndi’s way of eating, if not a bit stricter (Cyndi’s diet includes dairy, wheat and sugar – but all real, none of this additive, flavoured, processed crap), I have been asked the following question, which follows on the lines of this:

“I understand that Paleo works, and I  love what Cyndi is talking about, but the food sounds so boring – what do you do to make it more interesting?”

Well, the first answer is macronutriently (if that is even a word) you’re actually getting more variety in your diet than the over processed packet food you’re used to (you’re getting more good stuff from your food, and after a while you can taste the difference).

Secondly, and more importantly, you can eat as much as you want!  So once the initial detoxification process has completed, you no longer crave sugars, and you can eat an enormous meal of steak and veggies with delicious sauce, and still look like the statue of David.

And when I mean sauce, I mean home made goodness – check this out (it blows the * out of watties):

  • Dice some onion and some mushrooms and some red capsicum.
  • Cook on BBQ until soft
  • Blend
  • Pour over your 2 inch thick rare New York cut T Bone.

I just got really hungry thinking about that!  but seriously, how cool is that!!!!

Alright, so my whole life, we’ve been eating Pizza (side note – invented by the Chinese, not the Italians), and you could really say that it is a staple food of the southern hemisphere.  Argentinian Pizza is to die for I have been told.  Haven’t been there, but I’d like to go, just for the pizza.  But of the three countries in the Tri Nations, all of them seem to have pizza joints in nearly every suburb.

So we can safely assume that you have tried pizza before and are in some way addicted to the delicious flavours and feelings the way I am.  But Pizza, with it’s floury dough and cheezy topping, does not fit with the Paleo way of eating.  Dang!  Paleo, out the friggen window!

Not so fast… enter the amazing Annette Sym, who in her cookbook Symply too good to be true, has a pizza recipe that has no flour!  Some people use almond meal, but I have a nut allergy so that’s out of the question.  You can fish out your copy of her book (the recipe is on page 34 of book 1) and adapt it to however you like, or you can watch me bumble my way through making it in this video below.  I have adapted it to be:

  • gluten free (no wheat)
  • dairy free
  • additive free
  • colouring free
  • artificial flavouring free
  • starchy carb free
  • nut allergy safe
  • Paleo safe
  • Cyndi Approved (hopefully she reads this and agrees)
  • delllllllllllllllicious
  • BPA free
  • children approved (just don’t show them how its made)

Stop your incessant babbling Julius, I’m chewing on the keyboard – just give me the recipe already!


  • 2 chicken breasts
  •  half red capsicum
  • half green capsicum
  • 1 zucchini
  • handful mushrooms
  • onion
  • tomato paste (100% tomato, no salt, no preservatives)

Optional ingredients

  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • cashews (if you can eat nuts)
  • prawns
  • bacon


  • preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • dice all ingredients (except tomato paste and chicken) to pizza topping size, place in a sealed container and shake to mix
  • slice chicken breasts into strips (like filleting a fish), and lay onto a pizza dish as your base
  • once the base is laid out, smear on the tomato paste (just like a pizza)
  • tip the toppings over this
  • cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes (enough time to go for a run!)
  • eat as much as you want!

Here’s the video of the babbling chef with his sweet t-shirt tan:


Lightly toasted chicken and avocado wrap

Alright, so you all asked for a meal that would suit Cyndi’s eating style. Give me more than just that paleo tasteless crap you say. I would argue that paleo tastes good, especially if you try my paleo pizza recipe

but I’ll let common sense prevail and give you a recipe of exactly what the maestro eats. And how do I know this?

Well, I’ll tell you a little story:

A while back, we were sitting in one of our favourite cafe’s in Mooloolaba; Envy cafe is testament to the fact that quality outshines cheapness in a downturn economy. This place just buzzes, shoeless hippies sit back to back with business people in their suits. The clack-clack of the coffee machine never ends – its like a tide of people wanting to be healthy come and go in the bustling health metropolis with no two chairs the same.

It is a work of art.

After we had our bowls of coffee (Sharny had the real hot chocolate, made with real chocolate!!!) we were met by the ever passionate Cyndi to talk about the seminar and a few other things.

Now, being in the presence of the female equivalent of the godfather of food, only way too kind to be a godfather, gives one the feeling of inadequacy.  So naturally, we waited to see what Cyndi ordered before we would place ours.  And I’ll tell you next week what she ordered, but in the meantime (jokes!).

She ordered a lightly toasted chicken and avocado wrap, which she confessed is what she orders every time.  So of course we would order the same, only to realise that consumption of said wrap made me feel like I had consumed perfection.

I remember thinking the same thing when I first tried a Hungry Jacks Whopper – which because of racism wasn’t allowed in my home nation of South Africa (probably why South Africans were slimmer and stronger than the rest of the modern world.)  So at 16, with little nutrtional knowledge other than my underdeveloped tastebuds, I could be forgiven for thinking that a Whopper was the best thing to have ever been created by man.  They then told me you could get a double!

So, once our meeting had finished, we some how came to order another lightly toasted chicken and avocado wrap.  And the next day, we ordered another.  For breakfast.  Before we knew it, we were there for lunch, which turned into dinner and then we were sick of them… until the next morning…

you get the picture.

Anyway, my suggestion is for you to try it at Envy – the thing is angelic – nothing I can do with my youthful culinary arrogance can do it justice.  But if you can’t, due to geographical constraints then I have reverse engineered it (and put my own spin on it) in the following video.

P.S. if you liked the music (and the weird spacey thing in the middle) you can thank my son, Josh for making it and leaving it on my desktop.

PPS, at the end of the video I have included a paleo option for the hard core among us!



Sugar and Insulin and how it makes you fat

In one of our programs, we suggest participants give up on sugar for a week and observe their body’s response.  Here is a transcription of an email sequence that explains it all:

Hi Everyone!
I have to admit, I am feeling a bit sore in the legs today……but looking forward to this afternoon’s session J
As you suggested Sharn, I am mentally preparing myself for the “no sugar” next week…….could you let us know, is no sugar mean all types of sweeteners…or just processed sugar?
Terri J

Hey Girls, you’re all doing so well.

No sugar means no refined sugar. That includes hidden sugars (check food packages) like dextrose, maltodextrose, maltodextrin, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), corn starch, and a variety of other cunning names.

Eating sugar triggers the release of insulin, the most amazing hoarder you’ve ever met. Imagine a slightly creepy relative, one that is overly obsessive about cleaning; except for the fact that they don’t have a rubbish bin, they just clean everything constantly, but put the dirt and rubbish into the cupboards. This is insulin. Now imagine giving that hoarding weirdo a line of cocaine, laced with speed and mixed into a litre of coffee, topped with a mother drink. Their behaviour is similar to what insulin is like, when fed sugar. It packs everything (and I mean everything) into the lovely little storage spaces in your body we know as fat cells. Just remember that fat cells are not necessarily cells, they are empty bags waiting to be filled. They will always be there, and they are always ready to be filled with junk… On top of this, insulin is a real sugar junkie. If it gets a sniff or a taste, it just wants more. You feel this as hunger. Even though you just ate half your body weight in mcdonalds; 10 minutes later, you’re ready to go again, and feeling a little sick (because you’re dehydrated). Oh, that’s right, insulin doesn’t just pack the food into the cells, it lines it with water.

Sooo, cutting out sugar will reduce your insulin resistance. If you are overweight, it is because of the sugar in your diet, not the fat. This next week, you’ll discover how much sugar you actually eat (every cereal except of oats is high in added sugar). Because we are constantly barraging our bodies with sugar, (and a lot of the time not even knowing it) our little hoarder friend is hypersensitive to sugar, and is like the junkie who is fed more and more of the delightful cocktail of yuck that I described to you earlier. Hoard, hoard, hoard; before you know it you’re the size of a dump truck and your heart is being crushed in your chest; all the while that hoarding little sh*t is screaming at you “I want more!” like the movie Oliver, except this week, you’re gonna slap that kid in the face and kick him in the balls.

So, next week will be a really, really interesting week. Some of you will discover the depth of your (until now) unknown addiction, while some of you will discover a willpower you never thought you had.

Exciting stuff!!! I can’t wait to hear about it.

Finally, if you’re here tomorrow morning, we’re doing a bit of running, which will happen in the rain (unless it goes away). So bring a towel for your car. Remember that running in the rain makes you 50% more hard core. (from the Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Love you all


P.S. there’s sugar in wine. and beer.

Hey Guys
Ok, so with the sugar…. I usually eat Ski D’lite yoghurt for afternoon tea. Is the sugar in that a no no?
Also, a question re wheat (and sugar I guess). I was thinking of having an ‘Ultraslim’ shake for breakfast instead of my usual Sultana Bran. I’ve read the ingredients but it doesn’t really shed any light for me.
If it’s a no, can you please give me some breakfast suggestions? (ps I don’t eat seafood).

Here’s something you might not have known: on food labels, the list of ingredients is not random, its listed in order of quantity. So on a Ski delite, the ingredients list goes like this:


so the third ingredient is sugar. If you look at the next, it’s fruit (4.5%), which means that sugar is more than 4.5% of the contents. Now, the strawberry, cherry and raspberry puree is concentrated, which increases the sugar content. It is also processed highly, making the sugar easier to digest (hits the blood stream quickly). So I’d consider that type of processed fruit to be a sugar. Keep going with the list and we’ve got fruit juice as well as a thickener made from maize (corn) – another hidden sugar. If we then look at the nutrition label, you’ve got nearly 30g of sugar in one little tub (the size of your hand). 30g of sugar is a tablespoon and a half. Even the food standards of Australia say that this is more than one third of your daily sugar needs. In one measly tub of yoghurt. But all the marketing leads us to believe that its good for us because it is low in fat.

Now here’s some interesting stuff about fat:

Fat does not give you an insulin response, the way sugar does. Fat makes you feel full (for longer), which you need to curb your cravings. So if you look at the typical low fat diet, it contains a huge amount of sugar. That sugar gives an insulin response, making you hungry – and you don’t have any fat to make you feel full, so you’re always eating. This is why sugar is the enemy and not fat.

Here’s a solution for you then Shell. Look for the yoghurt with the lowest number of ingredients on the back. Should be just skim milk and cultures. Then get some grapes or lychees and cut them up into your yoghurt: better taste, and you can eat more!

Hope this helps, can’t wait for the running in the rain tomorrow!


1 2 3 4