Green Tea, Blueberry and Banana Smoothie

Green Tea, Blueberry, and Banana

Antioxidant-rich green tea makes this healthy smoothie a nutritional powerhouse.


3 Tbsp water
1 green tea bag
2 tsp honey
1½ c frozen blueberries
½ med banana
¾ c calcium fortified light vanilla soy milk

1. MICROWAVE water on high until steaming hot in a small bowl. Add tea bag and allow to brew 3 minutes. Remove tea bag. Stir honey into tea until it dissolves.
2. COMBINE berries, banana, and milk in a blender with ice crushing ability.
3. ADD tea to blender. Blend ingredients on ice crush or highest setting until smooth. (Some blenders may require additional water to process the mixture.) Pour smoothie into tall glass and serve

NUTRITION (per serving269 cals, 2.5 g fat, 0.2 g sat fat, 52 mg sodium, 63 g carbs, 38.5 g sugars, 8 g fiber, 3.5 g protein

Benefits Of Lifting Heavier & Slower!

Indeed, lifting weights at a much slower rate than you’re used to may be the key to getting the results you’ve been searching for. Here’s why:

  1. LIFTING SLOWER PREVENTS INJURY. When you lift weights slowly, you’re much less likely to injure yourself. That’s because you have the time to learn how to do each lift properly and focus on maintaining correct form with every rep. Technique is much more important than speed when it comes to weight lifting. Of course, if you’re hurt, you’re unable to workout to your full potential, which will erase any progress you’ve made.
  2. LIFTING HEAVIER CAN BUILD STRENGTH FASTER. Being strong can solve a lot of problems. The stronger you are, the quicker you can transform your physique with subsequent training. Same goes for increasing sped, getting more powerful, or improving athletic performance- whoever is strongest at baseline will almost always see the greatest outcomes from training. Strength also correlates with levels of fat burning hormones in both men and women. This means that the stronger you are, the faster your metabolism will be, making a lean physique that much easier to maintain.
  3. LIFTING SLOWER CAN BUILD LARGER MUSCLE MASS. Slow lifts can build muscle much faster than regular lifts can. This happens because lifting slowly forces your muscles to hold the weight longer. In a standard bicep curl for example, a slow motion will keep your bicep activated the whole time. If you go faster, momentum will do a lot of the work for you, and your muscles will be active for a shorter amount of time.
  4. LIFTING HEAVIER CAN BURN MORE CALORIES AND LOSE MORE BODY FAT. People often mistakenly think cardio exercises like running or HIIT classes are best for burning calories, and fat loss. This is because the amount of calories you burn during exercise is usually higher with cardio than weights, but it’s what happens after the workout that really matters. Lifting weights elevates post- workout energy expenditure significantly more than steady- state cardio due to the metabolic stress it causes. Training at a higher intensity with heavier weights once or twice a week is even better because it trained all the motor units in the muscles metabolically and neurologically- a combination that helps you stay lean and builds coordination.
  5. LIFTING SLOWER FATIGUES YOUR MUSCLES. One of the main goals of lifting weights slowly is to fatigue your muscles until they fail. At a certain point you won’t be able to lift the weight anymore; this will send a signal to your body to repair the damaged muscle and instigate greater growth. When it comes to building muscle and getting strong, muscle fatigue is a very good thing.
  6. LIFTING HEAVIER WILL BE EASIER FOR YOU TO GET “TONED”. Training to “get tones” with high- reps and light weights will not provide the same benefits as lifting properly heavy weights. Getting tones requires two things to happen:
  • Lose excess body fat
  • Increase the size muscle cells to provide shape.

The truth is that toning is all about lean muscle. Of course, for most people, it requires the removal of any fat covering up the muscle, but it is muscle that provides the sleek, sculpted curves so you don’t just look bony and stick thin once you lose excess body fat. 

Last but not least always remember to wait at least a day off before you do it again! Resting is just as important as the actual workout. The good news is as long as you allow adequate recovery time before doing heavy, muscle- thrashing training again, the damaged tissue and muscle will rebuild stronger and more protective than before!

KB and DB at Home Workout!

Try this full body strength & conditioning workout to build your strength and muscular power, which also hits every muscle! All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a kettlebell!

DB Squat + Overhead Press x 10

KB Sumo Squat x 20 

KB Swings x 20 

DB Renegade Row x 20 

DB Bicep Curls x 20

KB High Pull x 20 

DB Tricep Pushbacks x 10 (each arm) 

KB Sit Up x 20

Complete 2- 3 rounds and remember to focus on technique over speed!

Vegan Lentil Soup

Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


This simple vegan lentil soup recipe comes together quickly with mostly pantry ingredients. Be sure to have your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking! Recipe yields four large bowls of soup, or six more modest servings.


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.
  5. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

7 Things You Should Stop Doing To Help Sleep Better


If you’re often sleepless or find yourself exhausted during the day, the causes could be deeper than scrolling through your Instagram feed at night. Here are some less commonly discussed reasons you might not be getting in your full night’s sleep.

  1. Ignooring your circadian rhythms. Humans are wired to a biological clock that tells us when we need to sleep and when we need to be awake, set to a 24 hour cycle. That cycle is affected by melatonin, physical activity, social interactions, and most importantly, light. However, working in offices full of artificial light, can set that cycle slightly off kilter. But according to a sleep scientist at SleepScore Labs, we can start preparing for a good night’s sleep at lunchtime. An outdoor walk at lunch serves both fitness and sleep; the sun will tell your body it’s midday and makes sure the body clock keeps ticking in alignment with the day- night cycle.
  2. Working out too close to bedtime. Exercising earlier in the day can help you sleep better at night time. However, exercising too close to bedtime can artificially raise your body temperature which makes it harder to fall asleep.
  3.  Eating certain foods (especially before bed). Diets low in fibre and high in saturated fat and sugar leads to less restorative sleep and more instances of waking up in the night, especially when consumed later in the day.
  4. Procrastinating at bedtime. A quick doze on the couch after a busy day, before the business of getting to bed could seem like just the thing. But that catnap could actually be keeping you up. Schedule around 8 hours and 45 minutes of shut- eye time to reach those 8 hours of sleep.
  5. Worrying with your eyes closed. Many insomniacs have become accustomed to worrying when they lay down and have a hard time turning off their minds. One key to improving sleep is avoiding the bed until you actually feel sleepy.
  6. Binge- watching TV. The TV we’re watching actually affects the shut- eye we’re getting in the bedroom. Around 1 hour before bedtime, dim the lights and engage only in relaxing activities, no emails, no games or Netflix. Try stick to a routine like use the bathroom, brush your teeth and wash and moisturise your face.
  7. Tossing and turning. The most important advice for quality sleep is trying not to panic and remembering to take care of yourself. Waking up in the middle of the night and doing quick maths to see how much sleep you can still get if you fall back asleep right this second isn’t doing you any favours, anxiety around sleeping actually causes you to lose sleep so it might actually be better to get out of bed for a bit to calm down and feel sleepy again.

Roast Vegetable and Quinoa Salad


  • 1kg sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup Coles Brand organic quinoa
  • 200g feta, chopped
  • 40g baby rocket
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Coles Brand extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Coles Brand Italian white wine vinegar


  • Step 1
    Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan-forced and line large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Spread out sweet potato on one tray and spray with oil. Spread out cauliflower in a single layer on the other tray. Sprinkle with ground spices, and spray with oil. Bake sweet potato for 45 mins, or until tender and lightly browned, and cauliflower for 20 mins, or until soft and lightly golden. Cool to room temperature.
  • Step 2
    Spread almonds on an oven tray and bake for 3-4 mins, or until lightly golden. Set aside.
  • Step 3
    Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add quinoa, return to the boil and cook for 10 mins, or until just tender. Drain in a mesh sieve and cool to room temperature, fluffing the grains occasionally with a fork.
  • Step 4
    Place roast vegetables, quinoa, feta, rocket and rosemary in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Use a large metal spoon to turn and combine. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve at room temperature.

Easter Bunny Workout


Bunny Hop Workout!

X 50 Jumping Jacks

X 50 Side Crunches

X 40 Sumo Squat Pulse

X 30 Bunny Jumps (frog jumps)

X 20 Push Ups

X 10 Side Plank Dips (each side)

You can complete this in an AMRAP for 10 min! Have fun 🙂

Gluten- Free Hot Cross Buns


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 100g butter, chopped
  • 2/3 cup mixed dried fruit
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Buckwheat flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour, extra
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed


  • Step 1
    Place milk, sugar, butter and dried fruit in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until mixture is almost simmering. Remove from heat. Cool for 15 minutes.
  • Step 2
    Meanwhile, combine flours, xanthan gum, yeast and spices in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add milk mixture and egg. Stir until mixture forms a dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Step 3
    Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Divide dough into 20 balls (see note). Using picture as a guide, place dough balls on prepared tray in a round shape. Cover with a clean towel. Set aside for 30 minutes or until buns have risen slightly.
  • Step 4
    Make a paste by combining extra flour and 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water. Transfer to a snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner. Pipe crosses on buns. Bake for 20 minutes or until starting to brown. Brush buns gently with honey. Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve hot cross buns warm or at room temperature.

10 Tips For A Healthier Easter

You can still enjoy chocolate without the Easter break ending in sugar crashes, temper tantrums and tighter jeans. Follow our tips to enjoy Easter without feeling like you’ve overdone it.

1. Don’t eat chocolate eggs before Easter

Just when the last of the Christmas treats have left the supermarket shelves, out come the Easter eggs! Even though it’s difficult to walk into your local grocery store without a brightly-coloured foil-wrapped bunny catching your eye, be strong and walk on. Easter Sunday is one day of indulgence, not three months. Make a rule with yourself that you won’t eat a single Easter treat until the Easter Sunday, and stick to it.

2. Choose smaller eggs

Instead of choosing the biggest egg, try buying just a few individually wrapped little ones. To give you an idea, a 200 gram Lindt Milk Chocolate Bunny contains 1088 calories, or 4552kJ, which is over two thirds of your recommended daily energy intake! Once you take a nibble from an ear it can be difficult to stop. So opt for smaller individually wrapped treats so you won’t be tempted to finish a whole egg.

3. Go for quality not quantity

Make the decision to pay more and purchase a smaller amount of artisan chocolate rather than the mass produced variety. The better the chocolate, the more you’ll savour every mouthful. When you take time to really enjoy the flavours and textures, it slows down the rate at which you eat, meaning you eat less and consume far fewer kilojoules.

4. Choose dark chocolate

Numerous studies have proven dark chocolate varieties to be packed full of health promoting flavanoids and antioxidants, giving them the dietitian’s nod of approval over their milky counterparts. But there’s another reason to opt for dark this Easter: it could suppress your appetite. In a Dutch study published in a 2010 issue of medical journal, Regulatory Peptides, it was found that young women who ate or even smelled dark chocolate had a decreased appetite. So make the wiser choice this Easter and choose dark over milk.

5. Opt for a homemade Easter

What’s more fun than gorging on store bought Easter eggs? Making them yourself! This year, why not have a homemade rule, where all Easter treats in the house must come from the kitchen. Buy chocolate bunny moulds and make your own couverture critters and fire up the oven to make fresh hot-cross buns – what a treat! You’ll be able to control what goes into each recipe and won’t have loads of sub-par confectionary lying around the house.

6. Balance your kilojoule intake in other meals

If you’re going to indulge in a bit of chocolate, try to balance out your kilojoule consumption by having smaller and lighter meals throughout the day. Either cut portion sizes, substitute one meal for another (eg. swap a sandwich for a salad), or go without something you would normally eat (eg. your regular morning latte).

7. Keep leftover eggs out of sight and out of mind

Even though they look pretty, if you place a big bowl of brightly coloured chocolate treats on the coffee table, you will struggle to resist them! Keep them in the top shelf of the cupboard, behind the flour and out of sight, and you will soon forget about them. Try it and see!

8. Eat real eggs

Instead of gobbling down on foil-wrapped eggs, celebrate Easter morning by making real eggs for breakfast. In a study from the Rochester Centre for Obesity in the US, 30 overweight women ate either two eggs or a bagel-based breakfast, containing the same amount of kilojoules. Researchers found that the women who’d eaten eggs felt less hungry and consumed 1788 kilojoules less than the bagel-eating group over the next 36 hours. So in essence, starting the day with real chicken eggs may prevent you from munching on the chocolate variety later in the day!

9. Return to normal eating by Tuesday

The Easter weekend is four days long, so keep your festivities to just those four days and return to normal eating by Tuesday. Make a rule that you will not consume another Easter egg once the public holidays have finished, and stick to it. Take leftover treats to friends, family or (even better) to work – they won’t last for long in the communal kitchen!

10. Make Easter healthy for the whole family

One of the joys of having small children is to be able to hide Easter eggs throughout the garden for your little ones to find. But there’s nothing that says all of these eggs need to be chocolate. Why not hide Easter themed toys or hand painted wooden eggs you’ve prepared with your kids earlier in the holidays? You could take the focus off chocolate by talking about the Easter bunny and the food he enjoys eating – carrots, celery, etc. – and prepare a healthy ‘bunny’ snack for your kids to enjoy. Move the focus to fun egg-based activities like an egg and spoon race or egg blowing and decorating. As long as you’re spending time together and having fun, they won’t feel like they’re missing out.

All About VO2 Max

VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, is a common measurement linked to aerobic endurance that many athletes use to determine their overall fitness. VO2 max is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilise during intense, or maximal exercise. It is measured as millilitres of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/kg/min). It is one factor that may help determine an athlete’s capacity to perform sustained exercise.

An athlete’s VO2 max score is generally considered by exercise physiologists as one of the best indicators of the athlete’s cardiovascular durance and aerobic endurance Theoretically, the more oxygen you can use during high-level exercise, the more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy you can produce in your cells. This is often the case with elite endurance athletes, who typically have very high VO2 max values.

What factors affect VO2max?

Age, fatigue, anaerobic threshold and familiarity with the rowing stroke can all affect VO2max. For example, an athlete with a high anaerobic threshold may perform better than another, despite having a lower VO2max. It’s possible that this comes into play with untrained individuals: since they lack training, they may depend more heavily on their natural anaerobic capability.

How much can I improve my VO2max?

VO2max can be improved with training, but there are limits to how much one can improve. Generally the untrained individual may be able to achieve greater improvement (up to around 20%) than the already well-trained person (perhaps only 3–5%).

Cardiovascular Fitness Calculations Based on VO2max (mL*kg-1*min-1)

Gender Age Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Men < 29 < 24.9 25-33.9 34-43.9 44-52.9 > 53
30-39 < 22.9 23-30.9 31-41.9 42-49.9 > 50
40-49 < 19.9 20-26.9 27-38.9 39-44.9 > 45
50-59 < 17.9 18-24.9 25-37.9 38-42.9 > 43
60-69 < 15.9 16-22.9 23-35.9 36-40.9 > 41
Women < 29 23.9 24-30.9 31-38.9 39-48.9 > 50
30-39 < 19.9 20-27.9 28-36.9 37-44.9 > 45
40-49 < 16.9 17-24.9 25-34.9 35-41.9 > 42
50-59 < 14.9 15-21.9 22-33.9 34-39.9 > 40
60-69 < 12.9 13-20.9 21-32.9 33-36.9 > 37

These aerobic fitness classifications are based on relative VO2 (ml/(kg*min)) and
are taken from Essentials of Exercise Physiology, 3rd ed.

How was this tool created?

This tool is based on thousands of real data points collected by Dr. Fritz Hagerman of Ohio University. Over the years, Dr. Hagerman performed VO2max tests using gas analysis on many subjects. He also had the same subjects row a max 2000m test piece on the indoor rower. He then correlated the two tests to create the formulae used in this prediction tool.