6 Gift Ideas for Health Conscious Friends

flowersContrary to popular belief, buying healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, there’s oodles of options when it comes to health and wellbeing and their just as deliciously exciting – if not more – than those regular gifts. We’ve all got a health nut friend that come birthday or holiday time, is near impossible to buy for. But just because you can’t go your regular chocolate goodies or an expensive bottle of liquor that may meddle with their fitness plan, it doesn’t mean to say there’s nothing good to buy for them.
You want to find something that’s creative and supportive of their lifestyle, whilst still maintaining a high level of appeal too. From gourmet healthy delights and pre-paid passes to their favourite Yoga workout class, here’s a few fantastic gift ideas for your health conscious friends, partner, family member or work colleague.
1. Fitness Class Pass

Maybe your health nut friend has a favourite gym class they just can’t get enough of or perhaps they’re wanting to try a new fitness trend? Whatever it is, you can help them achieve their fitness dreams quicker by purchasing a pre-paid pass to a workout class.
Buying a fitness pass tends to suit a better variety of health conscious friends that an actual gym membership, because it allows them to step outside their boundaries and try something new. If you want to play it safe, choose a new class for them to try at their local gym, or be a little adventurous (for your close friend and family) and allow them to try a new workout studio that may be able to offer them something a little different.
2. Organic Hamper

Hampers aren’t always just filled with sugary sweetness that’ll make you feel bloated afterwards, there’s a great range of organic hampers out there with delicious, healthier versions of all the goodies we love. Whether you’re after some health snacks to boost their energy levels before their next workout, or some health nut options for the ‘naughty’ treats like wine, beer and chocolate that will still appeal to them; there’s an organic hamper to suit all options and tastes.
Perfect for tea enthusiasts, your health conscious friend that still enjoys the cheeky bottle of (organic) red, or for healthy cooking fans that need a little inspiration in the kitchen.
3. Flavours with Benefits

Most health nuts are big on home cooking and growing their own vegetables and herbs. Not only is a huge money saver, but it allows them to have better control over what they’re actually putting into their bodies. If your health nut friend is one of these, offer them a gift that keeps giving and a whole lot of flavour for those stay-in cooking nights.
Wall herb gardens not only look lush and fantastic, but they will offer your health conscious friend flourishing leafy food toppers all year round. It’ll give them access to the healthiest of vegies and cooking herbs all a step and a snip away from their kitchen.

wallwall 2

4. At-Home Gym Equipment

If going to the local gym isn’t your friend’s thing, they probably have a few bits and pieces set up at home. Especially in the colder months, going to the gym can be a big struggle for even the most health conscious so make sure they are still doing what they love and contribute a few home gym essentials.
Whether it’s something as simple as a workout DVD they can use in the comfort of their home, a new flashier yoga mat or get them looking the part with new workout gear, accessories or weights. Giving indoor winter workout gear is perfect because you know it’ll get used all year round.
5. Fitness and Health Trackers

You can’t have a good workout or fitness plan without tracking progress, so help your health enthusiast buddy by purchasing the latest fitness watch or band. You can opt for something basic that records their movement in steps and kilometres – the Fitbit is great for this, or you can really tech it up with wearable devices that act as a heart rate monitor and show how many calories are being burnt throughout a workout.
Depending on your budget range and your health nut’s fitness goals, there’s a lot on offer when it comes to fitness and health trackers. And it doesn’t always have to be wearable either, but they tend to be the most practical and come in a range of colours and styles to suit everyone’s style.
6. Spa Gift Certificate

A little RnR time is the perfect way to boost your mood, health and wellbeing – without having to step into the gym. Perfect for the health conscious friend that is needing a little ‘me’ time, a trip to the day spa can really force even the busiest to stop and relax.
From facials to soothing massages to simply soaking in the spa for a few hours, a spa gift certificate makes for a great gift. And it’s not always something people will go and buy themselves, so it’s nice goodie to receive. Find a local day spa near your friend’s location they can try out and let them indulge for an afternoon.
Author Bio
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter who recommends the organic gift hampers at Boxt.com.au for the perfect gift idea for that health conscious friend. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.

Healthy Gluten Free Banana Bread

Healthy Delicious Banana Bread

Healthy and delicious banana bread

This banana bread is so delightfully moist and sweet, you’ll feel like you are eating something naughty.  In actual fact, it’s clean enough to eat for breakfast, or any other time of the day for that matter.  Rich in healthy fats, protein and carbs, this delicious treat would make the perfect post workout snack.

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas

1/3 cup of coconut oil or organic grass fed butter

4 organic eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp (heaped) baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

You can also add in some cacao nibs, walnuts or goji berries for extra texture.

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Mix everything together in a bowl until combined. Pour into a lightly greased bread pan and bake for about 45 mins or until centre is set and top is golden.

Top 10 Ways To Slash Calories Quickly

If you’re aiming to lose fat rapidly, one thing that you must pay attention to is your calorie intake. Your calorie intake does dictate whether you gain or lose body fat, so it’s vital that you get it set up correctly.

This said, cutting calories doesn’t mean going on some starvation diet. Let’s look at a few simple and easy methods to slash calories painlessly so that you can enhance your progress.  Be sure to check out LiveLighter for more help formulating a proper diet plan.

Swap Milk For Cream In Your Coffee

Cream is far too high in fat and calories to be a part of your regular diet – go for milk in your coffee instead.

Opt For Ground Turkey Rather Than Ground Beef

Ground turkey is a very lean protein source and can be used in all the same ways that ground beef can be utilized.  Make meatballs with it today.

Go With Egg Whites Rather Than A Bagel

Egg whites are a great source of protein and will get your day started off right – and help you avoid that mid-morning crash that you’d have if you had eaten a bagel.

Choose Sweet Potatoes Over Pasta

Sweet potatoes are far higher in good nutrition and vitamins compared to pasta and won’t encourage fat gain.  Serve them with some salsa on the side.

Go For Fresh Fruit Rather Than Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is rich in sugar and calories and lacks the dietary fiber that real fruit provides.

Choose Fish Over Beef

Fish is a lower calorie, high protein option when aiming to lose weight. Choose it over beef more regularly.

Eat Oatmeal Rather Than Cold Cereal

Oatmeal is a slow burning carbohydrate that’s low in calories and full of fiber. Opt for it rather than cold cereal more often.

Opt For Squash Over Potatoes

Squash is a lower calorie option to regular potatoes, which are ranked high on the GI index. Opt for squash more often to slash calories quickly.

Choose Green Tea Over Gourmet Coffee

Green tea is full of antioxidants and will even boost your metabolic rate to a small degree as well. Gourmet coffee, on the other hand is loaded with calories and not a superior choice.

Choose Greek Yogurt Over Mayonnaise

If you need to use mayonnaise in any of your recipes, try going for Greek yogurt instead. it’s rich in protein, low in sugar, and a far more ideal option.

Use all of these swaps and you’ll be eaten leaner in no time.

…now try these workouts from eFit30

How Calories Correlated With Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose weight and starting up workouts at a pilates studio or in a local gym, you’ll want to start coming to terms with how many calories you’re eating on a day to day basis.

Calories do play a significant role in the weight loss process and if you aren’t consuming the right amount, you won’t be seeing the results that you’re after.

Let’s have a look at how calories factor into the equation so that you can make sure that your intake is set up properly for success.

Calories In Versus Calories Out

The first thing to note is that for weight loss to occur, you’re essentially looking for a calories in versus calories out set-up. Basically, to lose body fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume.  It’s really that simple.

If you provide more energy to your body than it needs, it clearly is not going to be needing to turn to body fat stores any time soon for energy – it has enough from the foods you’re eating.

If you consume fewer calories however, your body does have to seek alternative fuel and the fuel it’ll find is your body fat stores (provided you are eating healthy food choices, of course).

The Danger Of Too Few Calories

Now, don’t let this lead you to think that if low calorie is good, very low must be better. There are limits with this that you need to make note of.

If you start taking in too few calories, you will see your metabolism start to slow down as your body is going to protect itself from a famine situation setting in.

Basically, it’s going to try to keep you alive by burning up as little energy as possible throughout the day. The end result?

Your weight loss comes to a crawl.

Clearly this is not going to be an ideal situation, which is why using a very low calorie intake is never a wise move.

While you may be able to get away with it for a day or two, after that, you need to use a more moderate calorie level.

So there you have the key points to know about how your calorie intake relates to the weight loss results that you see. If you choose your calorie level properly, you can move forward and get the weight loss results you desire.

5 Handy Tips to Have a Fit Vacation

Hi, my name is Jacquilyn, I am the food-loving fitness enthusiast behind Jacquilyn in the Kitchen. Chances are at any given point in the day, I am either eating, thinking about eating or reading a cookbook. And you can imagine that so much time dedicated to food must be balanced by exercise. When I discovered eFit 30 I was so happy to have found a great resource for workout videos that kept me engaged. I particularly love the Pilates video series and have been an avid follower ever since.

I am currently living in Tuscany as a culinary assistant for a bed and breakfast that does cooking classes (i.e. my dream job). When I was planning my trip, I wanted to be smart about maintaining balance and still actively trying to be healthy. I created a workout schedule for myself that includes the eFit 30 workouts because they are so valuable and accessible. I am three weeks into my trip and I have learned a lot so far about being fit on vacation.

Lessons learned:

1.Plan ahead: it is way TOO easy to slip into vacation mode and mentality of “I will get to that later”. Well my friends, if you are on an extended stay like myself (6 weeks), that mentality can wreak havoc on your body and everything you work so hard for. So, plan ahead and know that your trip will include indulgences, but make sure you have plenty of opportunity to move around as well.

2.Compromise: when travelling with others, I have realized I can’t be so selfish and get my way all the time. I might have an idea in my head of the perfect workout for me, but if someone wants to workout with me, then I should be happy for the company and happy that I am still getting exercise.

3.Don’t make excuses: I don’t have the luxury of familiarity or creating my own schedule, but I CAN work with anything I am given and make time for my workouts whether it is early morning or late evening.

4.Be adaptable: I am trying to be creative with my workouts and use my surroundings. I wasn’t able to bring any equipment with me and I am not getting a gym membership, so I am using workout videos without equipment and the great outdoors to inspire me!

5.Enjoy your vacation: vacation absolutely should feel different from your every day life. You might get it once a year if you are lucky, so ENJOY it.

Jacquilyn in the Kitchen

 Jacquilyn in the Kitchen

 

LiveLighter

“Have you heard about LiveLighter? LiveLighter is a new state-wide public education program funded by the Department of Health WA and being run by the Heart Foundation (WA) and the Cancer Council (WA). LiveLighter aims to encourage WA adults to make changes to what they eat and drink and be more active by exposing the dangerous ‘toxic fat’ that can build up around your organs when you are an unhealthy weight.  The LiveLighter website includes information on toxic fat but also supportive tools, tips, advice and recipes to help people maintain a healthy weight.”

eFit30 is now actively supporting the LiveLighter campaign, they have great free resources for you to use and we have linked to them on this website. Enjoy good health!

eFit30 Team.

Moroccan Beef with CousCous

 

 

Teriyaki beef, sticky rice and cucumber

      Ingredients


1 cup sushi rice

1/3 cup sushi seasoning

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

1 garlic clove, crushed

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated

600g beef rump steak

2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin ribbons

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 long red chilli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

      Method

 1 
Rinse and drain rice 3 times or until water runs clear. Place rice in a strainer set over a bowl. Stand for 10 minutes to drain. Place rice and 1 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 12 minutes or until rice has absorbed water. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large ceramic dish. Stir rice with a plastic spatula to break up lumps. Gradually add 1/4 cup sushi seasoning while lifting and turning rice until cool. Cover. Refrigerate.

2 
Combine teriyaki sauce, garlic and ginger in a large shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add beef. Turn to coat. Cover. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight, if time permits.

3 
Remove rice from fridge. Heat a greased barbecue plate or chargrill on medium-high heat. Drain beef. Cook beef for 3 to 4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil. Stand for 10 minutes.

4
 Place cucumber, onion and chilli in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and remaining sushi seasoning. Toss to combine. Thinly slice beef. Divide sticky rice between four, 1 1/4 cup capacity ramekins or moulds. Turn out onto a serving plate. Serve rice with sliced beef and cucumber salad. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

teriaki beef

 

Healthy Meatloaf

      Ingredients

 500g extra lean beef mince

1 cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 small brown onion, grated

1 carrot, peeled, coarsely grated

2 tablespoons tomato sauce

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

8 chat potatoes, halved

1 bunch Dutch carrots, peeled, trimmed

150g green beans, trimmed

                       Method

1
 Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place mince, breadcrumbs, onion, carrot, tomato sauce, parsley and egg in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using clean hands, mix until well combined.

2
 Shape mince into a 10cm x 18cm rectangle. Place on prepared tray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove from oven. Drain excess fat.

3
 Spoon barbecue sauce over top of meatloaf. Return to oven and cook for a further 10 minutes or until top is glazed. Stand on tray for 5 minutes.

4
 Meanwhile, place potato, carrot and beans in separate microwave-safe plastic bags. Twist tops to seal. Microwave each on HIGH (100%) for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until almost tender. Slice meatloaf. Serve with vegetables.

healthy meal

10 Superfoods

Some foods are so packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial substances that they have been labeled as Superfoods.

Including these superfoods in our everyday diet can have health benefits. These include protecting our bodies from some cancers, heart disease, high cholesterol and toxins. They can help our digestion and improve our overall health.

These superfoods are also rumored to make you live longer! Now with such amazing benefits why not look at including some of these in our diets!

Blueberries: These are my favourite of the superfoods. They taste delicious and are easy to pack for a quick snack. Kids love them! They are full of ellargic acid, which is an antioxidant that has been proven to slow the growth of some cancerous tumors. The extracts also have anti-inflammatory properties. Such a small little fruit that really packs a punch! Even better 1 cup is only 80 calories but has 4gms of fibre.

Goji Berries:  These little berries have been used for years by China for medicinal purposes. They have more Vitamin C than oranges, more Beta carotene than carrots and more iron than steak! They are also filled with antioxidants and Vitamin B. Try some goji berry tea.

Broccoli:  Well known for it’s cancer preventing powers this little veggie is loaded with Vitamin C, Folic acid and carotenoids and Vitamin K which helps in blood clotting and building strong bones. It is also packed with fibre so keeps you fuller for longer!

Salmon:  Salmon is packed with omega 3 fats and vitamin D, E, B-Carotene. Omega 3 is beneficial for our heart health and brain development and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Just 2 serves per week can provide us with the recommended intake of omega 3.

Kale:  Low in fat high in fibre this inexpensive veggie is full of antioxidants, Vitamin K, C, A and is high in iron. Often known as the “Queen of Greens”. Kale is great for your heart health and eye health as well as having antioxidants that help prevent cancer.

Yoghurt: Yogurt contains active cultures known as “probiotics” or “friendly Bacteria”. They help to restore digestive health and fight off infection by boosting our immunity. It is also full of calcium and is much easier to digest than milk. Such a versatile food easily added to our diets.

Sweet Potato: These delicious veggies are full of vitamin A, C, Calcium and potassium.  Sweet potatoes are low in calories, full of fibre and stabilize blood sugars so are very good for diabetics.

Eggs: A high source of protein eggs can leave you feeling more satisfied for longer. They are full of antioxidants that help keep eyes healthy and help reduce the risk of macular degeneration. One egg a day is still ok if you are watching your cholesterol.

Beans: Loaded with insoluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol. They are a great source of protein and some even contain omega 3. You can add them to your cooking, use them as a side dish or even replace your meat with them one or two nights a week. Great to help lose weight as they are low in fat!

Dark Chocolate: This can be a very healthy treat! Rich in Flavanoids, which can lower blood pressure and boost, heart health. Choose 70% cacao to get the maximum benefits of the antioxidants. Having a small treat with such a rich taste can feel decadent and even give your mood a lift!

grapes

 

 

10 Foods that are Worth Buying Organic

Up until recently, organic foods were only found in health food stores, and not typically in supermarkets. With people becoming more health conscious, organic foods are becoming more popular, and this is posing significant questions when shopping.

Food

Organic vs. Commercial

The term “organic” refers to using no chemicals, preservatives or pesticides in the production of the food from field to store. This also includes no chemicals were used in the soil, no pesticides were sprayed on the plants, no steroids or hormones were used in animals, and no preservatives were added to promote shelf life. Organic food is “clean.”
Organic farmers have natural methods of growing their plants and animals.
• Instead of chemical fertilizers – they use natural fertilizers which feed the soil.
• Using pesticides – using traps and beneficial birds and insects to control bugs.
• Using medications, hormones and antibiotics to accelerate growth and prevent diseases – where organic farmers allow the animals to roam outdoors, eat natural food and have a clean environment that prevents diseases.

Shopping Organically

Understanding the difference between organic and commercial foods is an important step in shopping. Start reading the labels. Organic products are typically marked, but when shopping be aware of these labels – “natural, all-natural or hormone-free” because it means that they are not completely “organic.”

Organic foods are higher in price. This is because of the added care used in harvesting and shipping, such as using refrigerated trucks. Organic foods also are not processed for longer shelf life or fast frozen for travel, so they maintain more vitamins and minerals.

Here are the Top Ten Foods to Buy Organic

1. All types of meat because steroids and medications are directly ingested into the animals.
2. Milk – because everything that is in the cow is in the by-product
3. Butter – same reason
4. Cheese – same reason.
5. Eggs – Absorbs whatever was in the chicken’s system.
6. Carrots and turnips – are root vegetables, so you want them grown in healthy soil.
7. Fruits with thin skin because those with thick skins are protected from the pesticides.
8. Brussel sprouts – has thin leaves and grows in the ground.
9. Any food that your family eats a lot of – juices, Romaine or broccoli. If you eat large quantities of a food, you want it clean and free from chemicals.
10. Apples – farmers tend to over-spray these trees. Organic apple juice and applesauce because of the over spraying.

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Zara, a guest blogger from UK. She has written many articles on health, nutrition and finance. Apart from blogging she does research on ppi refund . You can view her posts @financeport