Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Do-at-home TABABTA

It's a wet wet Sydney day so for those of you who haven't braved the outdoors for your training session today here is a great Tabata workout that will get your heart rate up and muscles working.  It can be done in pretty much one spot and you can tailor the time you do it for to what you have available.

I have designed this particular circuit to hit all lower body first then incorporate some lighter lower body with your upper body - hitting all of those big muscle groups continuously -  enjoy!

What is Tabata

The Tabata method of exercise consists of  intervals completed in a 4 minute span of time: 8 rounds of 20 seconds of all out max effort followed by 10 seconds of rest.

History of the Tabata Method:
In the mid-1990’s, Dr. Izumi Tabata, at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport in Tokyo, Japan started using different exercise protocols to study their effect on energy production systems in athletes. After a number of very intense protocols, the team discovered one method that produced extraordinary repeatable improvements in athletic performance (VO2Max, anaerobic threshold, fat loss, and aerobic conditioning). What emerged became known as the Tabata Method, or Tabata Intervals.

What you need to do 

First up you will need to download GYMBOSS to your iPhone or have some other way (stop watch) of timing your intervals.  It is 20seconds of high intensity work and 10 seconds of transition or rest time.

If you have a resistance elastic you will need that for this workout along with either a medicine ball or you can also use any ball that you can throw up in the air alternatively you can use dumb bells that you can press overhead instead of throwing

Set up the following circuit
  1. Squats OR Squat Jumps (if you have no pelvic floor weakness, knee, hip, back injuries, aches or pains)
  2. Step ups (up up down down)
  3. Alternating Lunges OR lunge jumps
  4. Burpees
  5. Push ups OR push up thrust (push-up then jump your feet in to your hands, then back out to push up position and go into the push-up)  If you have a large abdominal separation do your push-ups with your hands raised on a bench/couch
  6. Squat Row
  7. Squat Throw
  8. Triceps dips
Complete a minimum of 3 rounds and count all of your reps cumulatively so that you have one big number at the end of the circuit and can aim to equal or beat it in the next round


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Caroline - Find Your Summer Body 2 - Week 3

Body Beyond Baby Hill Session
Week 3 and I’m hooked.  I’ve turned into somebody I never thought I would be... the training (and the results I’m seeing already) has become addictive.  I’m feeling like I will make the distance and the half way mark is fast approaching. 

I trained four times last week and each session was at a different location.  I was cautious of ‘the hill’ on Monday and certainly worked my butt off.  From the hill, you get a great view of the comings and goings around the park, a great distraction from the hill itself.  Friday was on the oval and we all know how beautiful it is to train in such an open space.  Saturday’s session was (as usual) tucked under the trees, with the early morning sunshine to make it a magical session.  Then of course, there’s the steps.  Although I fantasise about seeing dolphins, the true enjoyment of the view is when you have finished.  The best spot in the world to stretch (and feel a little smug you have done the steps again).  No dolphins this week, but maybe next time!  

As I say to Hazel daily (with an English mother and very real risk of growing up in some cold, wet town with no beaches nor sunshine), “You don’t know how lucky you are”.  I say the same to myself too.

Monday, February 27, 2012

No Sugar Oats Cookies

Oats Cookies - these are yummy, I make a version for Marley and a version for me that contains protein powder but you can leave that out if you want to.  They are sweetened only with bananas and a little (unsweetened) apple sauce, which you can buy from the health food store - do make sure you check the ingredients to ensure no sugar has been added, alternatively  you could just make it yourself, baby food style
They aren't cookies that will keep for too long so I wouldn't recommend doubling the mixture as they need to be eaten within a couple of days.  They are chewy and only a little bit sweet but yummy all the same.  By using fully ripened bananas you can help them become that bit sweeter.

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2-1tsp cinnamon
1/4cup walnut or macadamia oil
3/4cup chopped walnuts (you can exchange these for sultanas for little people but not for you if you are doing no sugar in your challenge)
1 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
2 1/4cup mashed bananas
1 scoop protein powder (optional) - I use pea protein - see here

 Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Combine rolled oats, cinnamon and flax seed (and protein powder if using)
Add oil and toss to coat - put to one side
Mash bananas
Add applesauce, nuts and sultanas (if using)
Add the two mixtures together and combine well
Use a 1/4 cup to scoop mixture onto a baking tray covered in baking paper
Flatten cookies a little with a fork or spoon
Bake on a high rack for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and flatten each cookie a little more - return cookies to the oven for another 8-10mins or until slightly browned
Eat and enjoy : )

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Healthy Sugar Free Banana & Pear Mini Muffins

Many of you may know that I am not the worlds best cook - I eat relatively simple meals and am not all that adventurous.  However what I do like to play with and create are healthy snacks and finger food for my children.  You will not find any sugar, honey or other sugar substitutes in my recipes as I truly believe children do not need additional sugar in their diet.  They eat enough from fruit and dried fruit (more on dried fruit later).  Here is your first sugar free snack recipe - I often double the quantities then freeze some for later.


  • 1 cup of self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed 
  • 1/2cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon of milk


  1. Peel and finely chop the pear.
  2. On a plate, mash the banana with a fork.
  3. Place the oil and egg in a bowl and whisk until blended.
  4. Add the cinnamon and pear to the flour.
  5. Add the oil mixture and bananas alternatively to the flour and gently blend.
  6. Add the milk if required (I often don't need the milk)
  7. Spoon mixture into greased mini muffin tray or muffin patty cups.
  8. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until cooked.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Caroline - Find Your Summer Body 2 Week 2

We're now 2 weeks into the challenge and I'm feeling pretty chuffed with myself.  I have challenged myself to train 4 times a week, I have changed what I'm putting in my mouth and I am enjoying the journey (now that is something I didn't think I'd ever say about an exercise challenge).  I think I'm enjoying it because I can feel I'm progressing.
However there's still one thing that I'm not enjoying... the thought of those Sunday stair sessions.  Last week I has a restless nights' sleep on Saturday night.  Hazel was wriggling from 4.30 am so I spent the next 2 1/2 hours thinking through excuses not to go to Coogee for 7.30.  I had to be at a funeral at 10 in Ryde, I was suffering with just 4 1/2 hours sleep, I had been out for a yummy meal Saturday evening and drank 3 glasses of wine (opps!)... all very valid reasons to stay in bed.  But when my alarm rang, I rolled out of bed and drove to Coogee.  Getting out of the car, I felt sick with anticipation but told myself I'd do as much as I could and walking is always an option!
As I started down the stairs, something happened.  My competitive spirit kicked-in and I started to compete against myself.  I didn't enjoy the session but it certainly wasn't as bad as I'd made-out in my head.  And I truly loved the feeling of beating my previous time and doing an extra lap (thanks to B for hatching the deal "I will, if you will?" when challenged by Jen to "go again").  But what felt the best was that I didn't give in to the excuses, I had got up and gone training even though it was the last thing I thought I wanted to do.
So as my body gets stronger, I must leverage the power of my mind.  A little bit of positive thinking will help me reach my goals with a little more grace!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Find Your Summer Body 2 - Sunday Steps results Week 2

 Here are your official results for this morning's steps session.  This is how the results work; the goal is to be working for no more than 30mins and not much less than 23-25mins.  There are 218 steps and one lap is down then back up again.  On anyone's first week we start with the goal of doing 3 laps regardless of how quickly this is done, we then gauge how they are feeling and add a 4th or 5th if we can.  The first week is about getting a starting point and building up from there.  When we come back the following week we aim to record a better time for the number of laps we did last week along with potentially adding another lap and recording a new time for that also - we are then only interested in bettering that new time the next week.

We have various fitness levels amongst our Body Beyond Baby mums and although we have lot's of friendly competition we also remind everyone that they are traveling their own journey and comparing themselves to others is not always beneficial.

From this week forward we will recognise 'most improved' from the previous week along with the wearer of our weight vest - you can see these in the table below.  Well done Kelly and Celine.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Pronto Pram Cleaning Services for once again sponsoring our Sunday Steps session - Celine of Pronto Pram was donning our weight vest this week - nice work!

# of laps
last time
this time
New # laps


Bec J

Bek S




Kelly S






Most Improved

Weight Vest Wearer

Our first weight vest wearer - Celine