Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest blog - Factors that harm your Immune system - By Naturopath Belinda Kirkpatrick

Overdosing on sugar - eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.

Excess alcohol - excessive alcohol intake can harm the body's immune system in two ways. First, it produces an overall nutritional deficiency, depriving the body of valuable immune- boosting nutrients. Second, alcohol, like sugar, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs. High doses of alcohol suppress the ability of the white blood cells to multiply, inhibit the action of killer white cells on cancer cells, and lessen the ability of macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factors. One drink (the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of hard liquor) does not appear to bother the immune system, but three or more drinks do. Damage to the immune system increases in proportion to the quantity of alcohol consumed. Amounts of alcohol that are enough to cause intoxication are also enough to suppress immunity.

Food allergens - due to a genetic quirk, some divisions of the immune army recognize an otherwise harmless substance (such as milk) as a foreign invader and attack it, causing an allergic reaction. Before the battle, the intestinal lining was like a wall impenetrable to foreign invaders. After many encounters with food allergens, the wall is damaged, enabling invaders and other potentially toxic substances in the food to get into the bloodstream and make the body feel miserable. This condition is known as the leaky gut syndrome.

Too much fat - obesity can lead to a depressed immune system. It can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and rush to the site of an infection.

Belinda Kirkpatrick is a Sydney based Naturopath and Nutritionist offering holistic dietary, lifestyle and wellness advice to help patients achieve their optimal health potential. She is an expert in herbal medicines and nutritional supplements and is passionate about helping each and every patient get the most out of life. Get in touch with Belinda at

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Final Tough Bloke Challenge training

Sunday saw our final Tough Bloke Challenge training session - 90mins covered three locations, there was sand, scratches and stairs!!!


5 x soft sand sprints
Spider man push-ups in the sand
run back up beach
x 3

Hanging knee to elbows x 10
Run down to water and back
x 3

Commando sand crawl
run up beach
x 3

Help each other to climb over high wall

Run to Park

Climb spiders web forward and backwards
run around park, over walls etc

Rows x 10
Wall jumps x 10
Inch worm push ups x 10
Negative pull ups x 10
x 3


Steps/run loop x 3
steps/hill sprints/climb wall/monkey crawl up hill circuit x 3


Shelley - Watch Your Winter Waistline Week 2

It's the end of week two and my body is protesting, with old injuries and new competing to hold me back.  I've had dodgy knees almost since the birth of my son, but apparently I can now add crappy feet to my  catalog of woes. I first noticed pain in my left foot when training  for City2Surf last year but because the discomfort only occurred after  about 10km, I forgot about it – but with my recent increase in activity, the pain is now kicking in after only about 30 minutes work.  So, off the podiatrist I shuffled this morning to be told that my feet are a wreck. Naturally pretty terrible (though she put a lot more diplomatically – hyper extension or something like that), my feet have essentially flattened with pregnancy and every move is putting pressure where it shouldn't, causing pain in my left foot and calf.  She also speculated that I might have a fracture in my toes and/or lingering damage from a broken ankle five years ago. Sigh. My body is  a train wreck.  I'm having x-rays and an ultrasound this week and in the meantime I've been banned from running.

So, what now? It's hard to imagine meeting my weight loss goal without the intensive cardio I'm used to, but I'm forced to get creative. I have the green light for walking, so I'll be doing lots of that. I can  do the steps at a walking pace (not that different from the usual, anyway). I'm also going to try a Bikram yoga class tomorrow, which should have the added benefit of stretching out all the super tight muscles in my legs that are contributing to all my injuries. It's frustrating to be injured this early in the challenge, but I'm determine not to throw in the towel.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tough Bloke Challenge Training Week 4

Last Tough Mum Training saw us hit South Coogee playground, climb to the top of the spiders web then venture up to Coogee Steps to finish off.

Here was our session:

Work until the person climbing spiders web has reached the top then got back down:

1. Climb spiders web
2. Knees To Elbows hanging from spiders web
3. Inch Worm Push-ups
4. Wall Jumps
5. Side to side mountain climbers
6. Hanging Rows
7. Prone Knee To Elbow 
8. Roll ups
9. Running under and over everything around

Complete 3 rounds

Then..... half group climbing spiders web and half group running x 3

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shelley - Watch your Winter Waistline Week 1

The plague struck the House of Jeffrey this week, with me and my husband both nursing colds and poor little Charlie suffering a virus that left him feverish, rashy and miserable.  All this meant that I spent less time than I'd hoped exercising and planning healthy meals (and working and cleaning and showering), and more time sitting on the couch with a sooky toddler, watching Playschool.  However, I did manage to get out for some sort of exercise five times this week, which I was pretty proud of – though some sessions were more successful than others.  The highlight was getting out to do my sand run the day after that huge storm; I had Bondi Beach all to myself and I felt totally hardcore. The lowlight was 15 minutes later when the rain started pelting down and the wind picked up, flinging needles of stinging sand against my bare legs.  Oh, so that's why there was no one else around…

The biggest lesson for me this week is to just do it – to just put on my shoes and walk out the door. Some days I might think I'm barely raising a sweat, but even the slackest workout is better for me than sitting on my bum at home. And you know what? Working out in the rain is kind of cool.

Challenge within a challenge - SUGAR FREE for four weeks

For those of you doing our Watch you Winter Waistline - 12 Week Comfort Buster challenge you will know that weeks 4-8 are our SUGAR FREE weeks.  Going sugar free is a great way to completely get rid of the junk from your diet and also assess how much sugar you eat in your everyday foods AND how much sugar your children might be consuming without really realising.

A few challenge mums have started to ask how it will work so this post is coming a little earlier than scheduled so you can start to ease into it if you want to rather than going cold turkey.  And for those of you not doing the challenge you are more than welcome to join us for our four weeks of sugar free.
You will be surprised how much sugar you consume on a daily basis (in various forms) and by eliminating it from your diet, along with a good exercise routine leave yourself open to gaining some fantastic results

Starting on the 2nd July (so coinciding very well with Dry July as alcohol is deemed sugar) we will remove all sugar from our diets.

This means:

No alcohol

No cakes, chocolates, pastries, ice creams, soft drink

No Fruit juices, boost juices, smoothies, milk shakes

No white potato

No sugar in tea or coffee

No sweetened yogurt

No dried fruit

1-2  pieces of fruit per day only

2 slices of wholegrain bread per day maximum

1 cup of cooked pasta per serve a maximum of two times per week

You will lose weight within these four weeks and by removing sugar from your diet you will curb the cravings that lead to more cravings, breaking the vicious cycle.  You will see how with a little thought it is possible to eat completely sugar free (and how much food contains sugar!!!)

By the end of this month, you will have developed habits that will see you;

Drink tea and coffee without sugar

Only drink alcohol once or a maximum of twice per week

Only eat sweets once or a maximum of twice per week

Learn that meals should be made up of large amounts of non root vegetables

Treat pasta or rice as a accompaniment to a meal, not the main part of the meal

Never drink soft drinks

Avoid boost and other blended drinks

Learn that dried fruit is not a health food

Choose lower sugar yogurts

If you are doing the challenge this IS part of your challenge period and HIGHLY recommended.  I also highly recommend it to all of you not doing the challenge but wanting to set yourself a little winter goal and see some great results.

So who’s in?

If you break your sugar free promise, you must tell us all on the Body Beyond Baby facebook page.  If you  break the rules again, you must log your indiscretion and double the burpees. For each indiscretion, you must double the burpees. Just think, 5 times and you will be up to 80 burpees on the 5th occasion!

You are allowed just ONE special occasion through the four weeks where you get a free pass - you don't have to use it.

Be honest! You made the decision to commit to your four sugar free weeks so let's use the penalties to keep you on track.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Louise - Watch your Winter Waistline Week 1

One week down and I feel healthier, if not a little tender in my muscles. In all, I would say it’s been an interesting week.  In terms of food, I have been pretty happy with my choices.  I’m actually enjoying having smaller meals, eating until I feel full instead of mindlessly eating what is in front of me.  My husband is definitely the better cook in our house, but this week I surprised both of us by making a minestrone soup that was rather tasty.  It may not seem that exciting, but I was proud of myself.  Most of my cooking endeavors usually end up in both of us putting on a brave face and my daughter demanding a different dish, but I am happy to say the minestrone was a hit.  I also found that while it’s easy to stick with healthy choices during the week, it was very tempting on the weekend to indulge in not so healthy choices.  Hot chocolate did invade my thoughts at times, but I settled for peppermint tea instead and didn’t have to deal with a guilty conscience.

My favorite exercise session is definitely the early risers with Jen.  I enjoy being up that early, before most people are awake and the world is quiet.  Yes, it’s very cold but to me it feels fresh and the cold makes you want to run faster.  It’s also pretty amazing to watch the sunrise as you train, you start off in the darkness with no one around and by the time you are finished it is light and the world is busy again.  I made it to all of the exercise sessions this week but did not feel like I could put my best effort in.  In my defense, I caught my first cold of the season from my lovely, germy daughter so I did struggle a bit with that.  I finally felt better by Saturday and I’m glad because I needed it for the hill session.  What a lovely surprise that was, but as always I felt better for having done some exercise first thing in the morning to give me energy for the day.  

My Sunday steps session wasn’t the best either, only three laps instead of five but I was feeling unwell again and ended up spending the rest of the day in bed with a mystery tummy bug (no, it was not the minestrone that did it).  Two days of water and minimal food meant that I did not have much energy but I was determined not to miss out on any sessions if I could help it.  I found I was bit wobbly at my early risers session this morning but having Amy help me and encourage me to pick up the pace was great.  I’m hoping to improve this week as I start to eat a bit more food and have the energy to tackle both the park and home sessions.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Introducing Emma

Today we meet Emma, Emma is new to Body Beyond Baby and has come on board for the 12 Week Challenge - this week has seen her make sure her TA is firing properly to ensure we look after her back, complete fitness testing and she is raring to go for the remaining 11 weeks.  Meet Emma:

"Around 18 months ago I was attending a boot camp, doing a bit of running and cross fit.  I was the fittest, strongest, fastest I had ever been.  Fitting into a pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn since I was 27 was an amazing feeling.

A slipped disc saw me out of action for 6 weeks, which then turned into 6 months, then 12, 18, you get the picture…. I became lazy, found myself eating left over dinner from my 2 daughters, plus my own meal with my husband, not to mention additional snacking afterwards!

Weighing in at 6KG’s heavier (than ever!) I am over being a slouch, couch potato, and ready to get back to where I was 18 months ago.

Now as much as I enjoyed the previous boot camp, the group I joined was mainly full of younger people without kids.  I find BBB fills that gap, with like-minded mums and trainer to boot! After my first session at BBB, I felt like I had found exactly what I needed!  Jen is very thorough, knows her stuff, and being a mum “gets it!”

I decided to join the challenge so I could train with other mums in similar positions, and find motivation from one another to keep us all on track.

My goals for this challenge are to get back into my long lived and very loved, 10 year old denim on newly toned thighs!  Be a good role model for my two beautiful girls, by being a healthy mum.  And hey who knows I might even throw a City to Surf challenge in the mix also!  In fact, why don’t we have a BBB City to Surf group?  Who’s in?"

We will be having a Body Beyond Baby team in this years City to Surf - if you are interested in  being part of our team please get in touch with me via email.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Introducing Louise

Meet our second challenge mum who will be sharing her journey with you - Louise.  Louise has also been training with Body Beyond Baby for quite a while and took part in the first challenge.  From her own account she has yet to make the proper commitment that she knows it takes to make a real difference in her health and fitness.  She has now decided to make herself accountable to you all by being a part of our blog which I think is a great step.  Well done Louise and all the best from here - we will all be here to support you along the way.  Meet Louise:

"I have been training with Jen for about two years now and this my third challenge. I wanted to write about the challenge not only to be more accountable but also because I have struggled with achieving results in the past.  I have been up and down with both my weight and my fitness levels since the birth of my little girl Amalia.  During my pregnancy I had gestational diabetes and was on a strict eating plan.  I was quite happy to be extra healthy for my baby, but once she had arrived I conveniently forgot all of the doctor’s advice and went crazy with all of the foods I wasn’t allowed when pregnant.  Not good, especially as my doctor warned me I was at a higher risk for type two diabetes if I did not get my weight under control.  So I started training with Jen in 2010, but to be honest I was a bit hopeless.  I felt like I was doing the training because was I was supposed to, not because I wanted to.  I also didn’t change my diet, which back then consisted of fairly healthy main meals but copious amounts of chocolate.  Regardless of my terrible attitude, I could see the value in training with Jen.  She motivated me when I had no motivation and pushed me to do things I was not aware I was capable of.

I took some time off from training when I started studying last year, intending to fit in exercise where I could but never got around to it.  So I was very excited about the first challenge in 2011 and the opportunity to get back into training.  I didn’t realise how hard it would be going back to exercise.  I had lost confidence in my abilities and was not sure whether I could complete the challenge.  The first few sessions were a real struggle, more in my mind than in my body.  I ended up surprising myself with the level of fitness I started to achieve, but at some point I started making excuses, eating chocolate again and missing sessions and I did not finish the challenge.  In hindsight, not only did I not have confidence in my abilities, I also don’t think I prepared myself psychologically enough to be able to change my habits.  Although I was disappointed in myself, I had gained confidence in my fitness and thought I would do better next time.  When the second challenge came around in 2012, I could not believe how much I was enjoying the sessions.  A run around the oval used to leave me exhausted but this time around I wanted to keep on running all around Centennial Park.  Another great bonus was that I wasn’t craving chocolate anymore.  The high that I would normally get from chocolate was taken care of by the endorphins from the exercise, funny that. I managed to lose some weight and fit into a smaller pair of jeans (high five for me) but there was definitely still room for improvement.

With all of these experiences behind me, I am feeling confident enough to get through the 12 week challenge. My goals are to get to a level of fitness where I can do all of the things I love like dancing, horse riding and skiing without collapsing.  I’m looking forward to training in the icy cold early sessions and doing burpees in the mud this winter if it means that I can achieve my main goal which is to implement these changes to my diet and exercise permanently and improve my quality of life."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Introducing Shelley

I would like to introduce you to the first of our Watch your Winter Waistline - 12 Week Comfort Buster mums that will be blogging for us and sharing their journey along the way.  For one reason or another these mums have decided that the extra accountability gained from sharing their experience will assist them both in staying on track, achieving their goals AND help you with your own motivation - show you that you are not alone and that you CAN achieve your health and fitness goals.  We are all mums, we are all limited in our time (and often energy) but we can all make the decision to commit to ourselves.

Shelley has been training with Body Beyond Baby for around 12 months now and has been a steady presence at her sessions during this time - she is now ready to really hit it hard and make some changes in her life and regain her pre baby fitness level and jeans!  Meet Shelley:

"Looking down the barrel of a 12-week challenge, I'm super excited – and apprehensive, yes, but mostly excited at starting on the journey to regain my body, 18 months after the birth of my son, Charlie. When I was pregnant, I loved the way my body was expanding around the little person growing inside me; post-birth, I happily accepted my bulgy, saggy bits as the price of new motherhood.  But now my shape has less to do with my lovely son and more to do with my love of carbs, those faithless friends who fueled me through a year of sleepless nights but stole my waistline in return.  Aside from weight loss, my goals include getting fit enough to run the City2Surf and to hopefully beat my time from last year.  Having trained with Jen and Amy for a year now, I feel stronger than I ever have before, but I'm sure I can get stronger, fitter and faster over the next 12 weeks.  I have no doubt there will be challenges along the way – dodgy knees, looming deadlines, winter sniffles and a demanding toddler – but I'm relying on Jen, Amy and the other mums to keep me honest and focused so I can come out the other end more comfortable in my skin – not to mention my jeans!"

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tough Bloke Challenge Training Week 2

Well done to this mornings Tough Mums - we hit the studio again due to the rain and our 9am Pelvic Floor and Core workshop which meant I couldn't arrive looking like a drowned rat! Next week we are outside regardless - rain hail or shine.

Here was this mornings session:

Complete each exercise of the circuit  for 30" x 3 sets

Circuit 1

1. Monkey's along the bar
2. Burpee DB Press
3. Side to side mountain climbers
4. Rope climb
5. Swiss ball (or box) under overs
6. Inch worm push ups
7. Stairs

Run around the block twice

Circuit 2

1. Rope knee to elbows
2. Rings dips
3. Roll ups
4. Chin ups
5.TRX jack knife
6. Box jumps (on then over OR over both)
7. Stairs

Run around the block twice

Prone walking (up, up, down, down) x 5 each arm
Alternative side prones  x 5 each side

And here are a few of our Tough Mums in action

Please note - ALL of these mums have been training with Body Beyond Baby for some time - we have taken the time to re-build from the inside out and to prepare them for this type of more advanced training.  Please remember to ensure you look after yourself with your own training, gain the correct advice and instruction in your postnatal period - train to the weakest link.  Ensure you build a solid foundation and you could very well end up fitter and stronger than you were prior to having your baby.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about Body Beyond Baby (or feel you are ready to join our Tough Mum team) please don't hesitate to be in touch - you can email me here
Improve your fitness through winter - Our Watch your Winter Waistline - 12 Week Challenge starts soon - click here for more info