Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Run Sessions - by Body Beyond Baby Personal Trainer Sally Groves

A few months ago, several Body Beyond Baby mums told us they wanted to improve your running. 

Everybody has their own reasons – whether it be one of their own personal goals for the challenge, or to improve their running endurance for various Tough Mum events and obstacle courses, or even to be able to run away from their children.  Oops, I mean run with their children.

And so we have developed a Monday morning Early Riser session that is focused on improving your running!

Many of you have heard about it, but may still be uncertain about giving it a try.  Lots of people have asked me what we actually do in a session…

Its not just a running group where we all go for a Long Slow Distance (LSD) run.  We don’t think you need us to help you with that one – you can smash that out yourselves during the week!  LSD runs, which help with endurance and fitness, are a key element of your overall program, BUT there are also lots of other interesting and effective training methods to really see improvements.  Quite frankly, if you had have asked me to participate in a LSD run at the crack of dawn I would have rathered stay at home and pull my toenails out.

So to really improve your running performance, our sessions may include… 

Plyometric drills- simple drills that simulate explosive actions.  With various types of jumping, leaping, skipping it is lots of fun – and is also one of the secrets to running stronger and faster.

Interval training – involves alternating periods of high intensity running with low intensity running or recovery.  This type of activity trains your body to recover quickly and gradually increases your ability to run faster for longer.

Fartlek – don’t laugh… it’s a real word! Fartlek means ‘speed play’ and that’s what this workout is all about.  Similar to interval training, however it is more unstructured.  The work/rest intervals are based on how YOUR body feels.  You can experiment with pace and also with different types of terrain.  

Tempo run – This is a run typically a little slower to your ‘race pace’.  So during a tempo run you are working, but not quite at max effort so it should feel smooth.  Tempo runs will make you feel more comfortable running at a faster pace for longer period.
Hill running – makes you stronger, faster, fitter.  We trainers love putting you through an awesome hill session!!

But we cant give all our secrets away!  As you can see, there are so many different training options to really improve your running form, speed and endurance!

Don’t feel like you have to be fantastic at running to attend… everyone is at their own level and own pace.  We all have different goals, and our bodies are naturally made up of different muscle fibers some of us are majority ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibers which is great for power and sprinting, but long distances are a struggle!

And others are ‘slow twitch’ that can turn up on the first day of training and run a comfortable 5km (that is totally NOT me!)  and others are somewhere in between!

Whatever your current run level is, and whatever your goals may be, our run training can help you get there!

Come and give it a try… Our Early Riser Running Session is 6am every Monday morning.  

Venue: Centennial/Queens Park or surrounds (yep, sometimes we mix it up!)

Next month we are also bringing you a Running Workshop to really focus on technique!

Sunday 21st July @ 12pm

Workshop by Scott Stefl
-how to run efficiently and injury free
-how to improve your running technique
-how to loosen tight muscles caused by running

For further information and bookings

Monday, July 1, 2013

Guest Blog - by Pei-Shan Wu: A Healthy Relationship Revitalises You

I often talk about Happy Mummy = Happy Baby and I also believe a happy mummy and happy baby contributes to a happy family but sometimes we forget that our relationship takes time and effort too.

Here is a great guest blog from Pei-Shan Wu, Mother of Three (Plus One), Relationship Advocate and owner of Both Sides of the Story - giving kids happy mums and dads.

Why Does Your Relationship Matter?

Relationship matters because of two very important reasons: children learn relationship skills from you, and a healthy relationship can revitalise you

Your children learn relationship skills from you:  Many couples relationships go through a deep dive down after having kids. The busy world of parenthood makes it difficult to look after ourselves, never mind our relationship with our partner. Quite often, 'spending time with my partner' becomes an item at the bottom of our to-do-list which rarely gets ticked off.

Leaving relationship at the bottom of our priority list may seem like a necessary sacrifice when we become parents. But while we allow each other to drift apart, and ignore the increasing communication problems and conflicts,  our children are also missing out on learning important relationship skills.

Through watching how parents interact with other, children learn the building blocks of healthy relationships: love, friendship, acceptance, appreciation, and respect. Through watching your interaction with your partner, children learn how to establish boundaries, respect other people's limits, accept people for who they are, express love and appreciation, and maintain strong friendships (which is the backbone of relationships).

When we become parents, we tend to put our children's needs above all, and our own needs last. But it is important to keep yourself energised – you will enjoy parenting more, and your children will enjoy you more. Relationship therapist, Jacqueline Hellyer called it 'selfish selflessness'. Making sure you have enough sleep, eat properly, and exercise are all important things to do to keep your energy level up. When you have a healthy relationship where you feel loved, appreciated and respected, it will certainly boost your energy as well.

Research has told us that the release of our brain chemical oxytocin makes us feel loved, bonded, euphoric and happy. Sounds like a drug you wouldn't mind having? The simple gestures of affection – kissing, caressing, and holding hands increase the release of oxytocin in our brain. Make a date and get some oxytocin into you!

Need more relationship building tips? Visit and get your free download 'The 5 Common Mistakes Couples Make and How You Can Avoid Them'.

Both Sides of the Story is holding their upcoming event 'Happy Relationship, Happy Family' on Sunday 14 July at Macquarie University. 

You will learn from 5 of Australia's top relationship therapists on how to build healthy relationship foundations, plus receive a goodie bag with over $100 worth of product samples and discount vouchers. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mum of the Moment - Meet Yvette

Without our wonderful mums and bubs Body Beyond Baby just would not be.  Each month we like to celebrate your achievements and recognise the hard work that you put into your training and life as a mum.  This month we would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for May - Yvette.  

Yvette was nominated for Mum of the Moment after joining us for three challenges now and she shows us how important it is to her to continue her training routine whilst juggling work and family.

As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work, Yvette will receive a $65 gift voucher for Inspired Wellbeing.

Meet Yvette 

Tell me a bit about yourself, names of your children, how old they are

I've got two crazy little boys: Xander who is 3.5 and Remy who is 14 months and one big boy, Nick.  Destined to be surrounded by too much testosterone (and pee!). The little guys are balls of energy that can be exhausting but also endless entertainment. I work 4 days a week in an HR role with a bank.

What made you decide to join your first Body Beyond Baby Challenge in Winter 2012? And subsequent two Summer challenges?

My first challenge came along about a month after I started training with BBB and it seemed like a great way to step up and commit to some regular exercise. Once I started, I got pretty hooked. I saw a lot of improvement pretty quickly (though I was working off a pretty low base!) and I really loved taking some time out from baby duties for some "me" time. I was really pleased with the changes I saw and felt so when the next one rolled around, I jumped on board. The challenges are a great way to set yourself some short term targets and the support you get from the trainers and the rest of the group is amazing. The camaraderie that is evident during the challenges, both in person during the sessions and online on FB, makes it so much easier to stay committed and focused.
What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far?

The first thought that popped into my head is the end of challenge parties - getting dressed up and eating loads of pizza - but I would probably say meeting so many great women. I know it sounds like a cliche but I've never stuck to any sort of regular exercise routine before and I think the difference this time around is the group of women who I train with each week. In terms of actual achievements, I think completing the Spartan Sprint race in March has been my highlight. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the challenge.

What has been your greatest challenge?

The toughest thing for me is making the time to exercise and being consistent about it. As most of us know, it's a constant juggling act with kids and work and there is always an excuse to skip training. The idea of sleep is often more attractive but I never regret hauling my butt out of bed at 5 or 6am to get my heart rate going! For me the key is making the commitment up front and ensuring that my husband is aware of it so there is no excuse for me not to attend.

When you started, did you ever think you would be joining our tough mums training team?

Absolutely not. My goals were more like running twice around the oval without collapsing. The concept of tough mums was completely foreign to me. I remember watching some of the team training for Tough Bloke last year and thinking their level of fitness were something I wouldn't achieve for years. It's amazing how quickly you see and feel the improvement in your fitness level when you are committed to some regular exercise.

Tell us about your motivation to join a small training group with Jen on Monday mornings?

I felt ready to step up my training and start to push myself a little more. I am loving the opportunity to work with a variety of equipment and focus on technique while having Jen on hand to provide specific guidance. Given the small size of the group there is no chance to slack off during the session so I always get a great workout. It's a new level of training for me and it's also a little easier to get out of bed at 5am in winter when you are heading to a gym rather than a cold, foggy park!

How did you find managing your fitness routine when returning to work?

Some weeks are tougher than others and sometimes my work schedule makes it difficult to fit one more thing in and my first thought is to skip training. But, it's mostly psychological and I know that if I make the effort, I feel better about myself and more in control of everything else going on. All my sessions are now early morning so I the key for me is being organised the night before. I make sure I get all my clothes out, fill my water bottle up and have everything I need by the door. It sounds silly but any little thing that makes the process of getting out of the house easier improves my chances of getting to training!

Do you have anything else to add?

I've really enjoyed getting to know the women in the group. I am constantly impressed with the effort so many of them put into training - especially those sleep deprived mamas with teeny weeny babes. It's inspiring to see so many women make the commitment to work on their health and fitness. I feel really lucky to have found such a supportive environment. I also love how Jen and the other trainers are constantly looking at ways to motivate and inspire us with new training options, services and events. The continual evolution of the group makes it impossible to get bored!

Mum of The Moment is proudly sponsored by 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicken Miso Soup

Chicken Stock
1 whole chicken
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 leek
1 onion
6 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Splash apple cider vinegar

Chicken Miso Soup (serves 2)
500ml chicken stock (above)
½ chilli, sliced
2cm ginger, finely grated
2 tblsp miso paste
300g cooked chicken (above)
100g snow peas
Bok choy
4 shitake mushrooms
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp mirin
2 shallots, sliced

•    Place all chicken stock ingredients into a stock pot and cover with cold water
•    Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer
•    Cook the chicken for 1 hour or until cooked through
•    Remove chicken and allow to cool slightly before removing all chicken from the carcass
•    Add chicken carcass and bones back to the stock and simmer for 3-5 hours
•    This will make a nutritious and delicious stock for your soup and you can freeze the remaining for other soups or dishes.  There is also plenty of tender chicken to use in the miso soup recipe below and leftovers for salads and sandwiches.

Chicken Miso Soup
•    Heat 500ml of chicken stock to a saucepan
•    Add chilli and ginger and simmer for 1-2minutes
•    Stir through miso paste
•    Add cooked chicken from the stock recipe as well as vegies
•    Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through
•    Remove from heat and add tamari and mirin
•    Serve topped with shallots
•    Note that you can also add noodles for a heartier meal
•    Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why we want you to know your Pelvic Floor

Within Body Beyond Baby we are continually looking at how we can improve what we do. We work closely with other health and fitness practitioners to ensure we are providing the best possible care for all of our mums. The reason we work closely with these people is because we believe it is important as Personal Trainers for us to 'know what we don't know'.  We work with many of our mums within a group environment and we believe in providing as individual a session as possible within that group environment. So, having a support network around us and as much knowledge as possible about each of our mums enables us to deliver the safest and most effective exercise for each and everyone of them.

One of the businesses that is vital to us doing what we do well is The Physiotherapy Clinic in Bondi Junction.  We work closely with Jo Murdoch and the team to ensure we know exactly what is going on on the inside and to assist us in guiding our mums through our Rebuild from the Inside Out philosophy.

One of the things that we offer in conjunction with Jo is a Pelvic Floor and Core workshop, where we teach our mums all about their pelvic floor and inner core, what it does, what can happen during pregnancy and birth and how to make sure they are setting themselves up to be fitter and stronger than ever before.  Within these workshops we use external Real Time Ultrasound (RTU) to assess each persons pelvic floor and transversus abdominal (TA) contraction.

At our most recent workshop we found a couple of interesting points that we would like to share with you:

1. Those mums that we had worked with during their pregnancy had a much better pelvic floor and TA awareness and a much stronger contraction (along with the ability to release)

2. Quite a few of the mums that had come to Body Beyond Baby after their pregnancy had the ability to contract both pelvic floor and TA (through the cues and techniques we had taught them) but were lacking in endurance - meaning that this is something we need to work on as a team and with our BBB mums.

With this information brings a dilemma:

1. How do we get in front of more pregnant mums to help them to learn these things prior to having their children so they are more equipped post birth?

2. We can help mums to work on the endurance of their pelvic floor but ONLY when we know they are doing it well.  If you can imagine that a correct pelvic floor exercise is when it is drawn up, and in turn an incorrect one is that of bearing down. If we were then to encourage someone who had not used RTU to ensure they were doing the correct activation, then asking them to hold that contraction and breathe (to train endurance), it could actually be counterproductive and make a weak pelvic floor worse!

What we will do:

1. We will be rolling out our Body Before Baby classes over the coming weeks so that we can reach more women and help to make their Body Beyond Baby journey an easier and more effective one.  If you are pregnant or know someone who is pregnant and might be interested in these sessions please get in touch and let us know.  We would also love to know WHEN you would like these classes to be held - before work, during the day, after work, weekends?  You can send an email here.

2. As much as we would LOVE to make the pelvic floor and core workshop or a one on one check up with our friends at The Physiotherapy Clinic compulsory we know that the most we can do is encourage you to make sure you are looking after you.  A quick and simple check up or attendance at our workshops will give you a much better picture of what is going on on the inside and allow us to work with you in the safest and most effective way.  This is often even more important for those mums who seem to bounce back after pregnancy and want to push hard in their training.  We need to make sure you are up to it and that we can do that safely!

As for the dilemma about training endurance - we will be adding endurance training to the sessions of all of those mums that have had their check up and know they are activating well.  For everyone else we will continue as we have been doing and hope that you now have a little more encouragement to go and find out more about your insides so that we can do our job even better and guide you to YOUR best ever body (whatever that means to you).

We'd also love to leave you with a testimonial from one of our mums that have benefited from our workshops and physio checks.

"When I went to Body Beyond Baby, I had three children, 5, 3 and 1 year old.  It had been some six years since training and I had heard alot of positive feedback from friends.  I chose the 6am morning session (as opposed to a mum and bubs class).  The first thing Jen and Amy did was check my separation.  It had closed up quite alot, I was down to one to two fingers, but it was quite deep.  Jen was hesitant to let me train with the others who were doing more advanced training.  I was so disappointed!

After training, I spoke with Jen and she suggested I come to a workshop.  A week later, I was in this session learning about what my core actually is.  How to do pelvic floor exercises properly and why (amongst other things).  I was blown away.  We ended the session with each woman having an ultrasound to make sure we were doing our exercises properly.

So many people have tried to 'teach' me all these exercises - but only under ultrasound could I actually know I was doing them correctly.  Jen was there, to make sure we had clearance to do specific types of training and to what level - I found this so helpful and amazing.

I recommend Body Beyond Baby to everyone.  And now I do my exercises properly!"

Jennifer Kennedy

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mum of The Moment - Meet Belinda

Without our wonderful mums and bubs Body Beyond Baby just would not be.  Each month we like to celebrate your achievements and recognise the hard work that you put into your training and life as a mum.  This month we would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for April - Belinda.  

Belinda joined Body Beyond Baby for our 2012 Summer Challenge and has made significant progress in her health and fitness.  Belinda has now joined out tough mums training group on Saturday morning.

As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work, Belinda will receive a $65 gift voucher for Inspired Wellbeing.

Meet Belinda

Tell us a bit about yourself, names of your children, how old they are?

My name is Belinda, mum to 11 month old Josh and step-mum to two older boys.  My husband Alex and I have a very full and enjoyable life raising three very active boys. 

What made you decide to join our Summer Challenge for the first and then second time? 

I had just started with Body Beyond Baby when Jen and Amy were talking about the first summer challenge. Josh was still only young and I wasn't feeling confident about making it to the park that many days a week but I needed to lose a few more kilos so decided to give it a go. I loved to exercise before I had my baby and was really excited that I had found a way to continue post baby. I found that exercise made me happy and set me up for a good day which is what I was needing in those early months.

The first challenge helped me get back into my pre baby skinny jeans. I had enjoyed the positive, inspiring environment so much that when the next one came around it wasn't an option not to sign up. 

Two sessions per week have now turned into 3-4 plus a run on Sundays and I am surprised to find I am the fittest I have ever been. Who ever though that could happen after having a baby?

What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far? 

The highlight so far has been learning how to eat to nourish my body with the energy it needs. I'd always thought all calories were the same but quickly came to learn the role of sugar. The clean eating makes me feel so much better than just the exercise alone. My step children are now very familiar with my view on sugar. They weren't too thrilled as the juice, ice cream and sugar laden snacks disappeared but they are getting used to it. 

What has been your greatest challenge? 

I think I'm about to embark on my greatest challenge yet - the obstacle racing. I'm really not sure if the mud, the wet and the cold are my thing but I'll certainly give it a go. I love to push myself beyond what I think I am capable of in every aspect of my life so I suspect the challenge of the obstacles will appeal to me. Deep down I think I will very quickly become hooked. 

Describe your goal now that you have joined our tough mums training group.

Whilst I've only just started the tough mum training I really enjoy being pushed that bit further. The muscle fatigue the next day is a reminder that I am on my way to getting stronger. I may not be able to do certain exercises yet but I will get there. My goal is to become fitter and stronger and be able to get through an obstacle course.  

What has been your family’s reaction to your new fitness regime?

My husband and I have always been fit and active so I guess it came as no surprise to him that I would continue after having a baby. He enjoyed the healthy dinners I prepared in the weeks of the challenge and as I lost weight, he too lost 10kgs. The boys were not so keen on the lack of sugary treats but as time goes on it becomes less and less of an issue. They don't ask me to buy juice anymore and the oldest enjoys his oats with chia seeds, LSA and banana for  breakfast. 

Mum of The Moment is proudly sponsored by 

Guest blog - How do our Feet Change During Pregnancy by Sally McGinnity, Podiatrist

We recently had a chat with our friends at Athlete's Foot in Bondi Junction about the way a mothers feet can change during pregnancy.  I meet many mums who are wearing runners that are years old so we thought it would be a really great topic to bring you more information on - today we hear from podiatrist Sally McGinnity;

Our feet are very complex structures:

•    There are 26 bones in one foot, 
•    In both feet this makes up a quarter of the bones in our body.
•    33 Joints, 
•    Over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments
•    We take on average 10, 000 steps a day- in a lifetime this would walk us around the globe 4 times!
Taking care of our feet is so important yet so often forgotten, until a pain or problem arises.  

 Many pregnant mothers visit a Podiatrist with the following questions: “I think my feet have grown, is that possible?” “Why am I experiencing pain in my feet now?” “Will this swelling ever go down?” “Are my feet now flat?”

During pregnancy a mothers foot can change considerably (some of you may have experienced these changes for yourself) on average a woman’s foot can grow by up to half a size or more during pregnancy- so what’s happening to cause this? 

These changes to the structure of a mother’s foot during pregnancy can occur for the following reasons:

- In part due to the weight gain during pregnancy which can cause increased pressures placed on the feet. 

- Your body retains extra fluid whilst pregnant, this gradual swelling or oedema as it is often referred to, can begin in the 2nd trimester and continue late into the pregnancy. The swelling can be dependent on weather, time of day and time spent on feet.

- The other factor is the hormone Relaxin. Relaxin is released to relax the ligaments around the pelvic area during childbirth. However, it can also create an increased laxity in the ligaments of your feet. All 26 bones are held together by ligaments, so whilst the bones in the foot are not growing, the ligaments are holding these bones together can start to loosen, creating a degree of spread and flattening of the arch of the foot.

Whilst the swelling will subside generally after a month of delivery, the foot spreading due to the change in the ligament structure can be permanent.  Around half the Mum’s out there report a change in foot size by half to a full size after having babies.

For those that experience these changes during and after pregnancy it is important to ensure that your shoes are the right fit to your current size. There is no point trying to squeeze your foot back into your pre-pregnancy shoes as this can lead to ingrown toenails, aggravating bunions, or creating corns and calluses. Correct footwear and being fitted correctly can be biggest factor in avoiding and treating foot complaints during pregnancy. If you have concerns about your feet during pregnancy seeing a Podiatrist can be a good place to start.

Sally McGinnity


Tough Mums do Tough Mudder

Written by Body Beyond Baby PT and Tough Mum Team member Sally Groves:

April 13th 2013.  Numbers which are unlucky for some… but not the Tough Mums, who survived (mostly unscathed) the epic 20km torture obstacle course known as “Tough Mudder”.

The Tough Mum Team LOVE's their obstacle racing events, but it is fair to say, we were all pretty nervous arriving for this one.  Some dreamed about it the night before, some tried to get lost on their way (yeah, nice story guys) but we all turned up!  These nerves were not eased when our usual teammate Lauren, who wasn’t running but instead was working medical at the event, regaled us with details of the various injuries sustained during the morning…. O. M. G!

Well, we shook off those fears, took our nice bright outfits, and hit the starting area.  An awesome guy psyched us up with hardcore music, chants, and promises to help and look after our fellow competitors.  This challenge is not about the time on the clock, its about teamwork! Helping each other conquer the course, and finishing with our heads held high.

And then, with a sea of fellow mudders  leaping through the orange smoke, we were off! Our team ran together and tackled some amazing obstacles… Dark tunnels, ice baths, leaping over trenches, crawling through mud and under barbed wire, dragging our bodies through the water beneath a cage, and of course our favorite – the electric eel!

As suspected, 20km was no walk in the park.  Its amazing how organisers can get so much uphill into a circular course!...  Or maybe it just seemed that way.  Lets not forget the sneaky hidden tree roots designed to trip us up so spectacularly.  My face certainly hit the dirt once or twice, as did some others who I won’t mention by name (Hi Amy!).  But we picked ourselves up laughing and carried on.  As did the ladies with twisted ankles and blisters.  Poor Charlotte stopped to empty the ‘rocks’ from her shoe to find they were actually giant blisters.  Well a bit of foot taping later and off she continued.  Great effort!

We found our size actually helped us along the way.  Although the vertical challenges were tricky, everything in small confined spaces we found to our advantage.  The Tough Mums also tackled each obstacle strategically.  Electric eel was slow and wriggly to try to avoid getting shocked (moderately successful).  Trainer Jen channelled her inner Catherine Zeta Jones to gracefully progress through the obstacle and avoid the wires, before a big lumbering man nearly crawled straight over the top of her, roaring as he was repeatedly zapped.  

Strategy also came into play when we hit the Mud Mile.  We debated whether to get into the muddy trench before trying to climb the first slippery mud pile, or try to leap onto it like some other competitors… then we watched as one person jumped and slammed their face straight into the wall.  Clinging to the mud, and almost certainly sporting a broken nose, and potential Angelina Jolie lips, she took a moment and continued on. Wow!  Amazing and courageous! 
…but feeling her pain, we quietly slid into the water and took the obstacle in a pain free fashion.

But the Tough Mums also had their own injury.  Celine, always agile and strong, took a fall from the 12 foot Berlin Wall straight onto her shoulder.  We crowded fearfully around her, peering closely to see if there were any bones protruding or strange deformities present… but she didn’t like that much and up she got, dusted herself off, and used her Tough Mum shirt as a sling for the rest of the race.  Hardcore!

Best Tough Mum achievement was seen at ‘Walk the Plank’… we climbed up the ramp like a herd of mindless sheep and found ourselves facing a 15 foot drop into water below.  Well, it doesn’t seem so bad when you are looking from the ground, but at the top it was scary! 
… ‘I think I can see my house from here!’
And this was where we saw Charlotte face her fear.  She was at the top for a while, counting to three a few times but not quite ready to go.  There were even very attractive lifesavers in the water below, as well as climbing up to jump alongside her (nice move Charlotte), but still she wasn’t quite ready.  Then finally, with a yell of determination, and with the entire crowd below chanting her name like a rockstar… she leaped!  Amazing moment.  Best of the day!

We finished the event strong, with some of the best obstacles saved til last… Funky Monkey, Everest, and of course ElectroShock Therapy! We smashed them all, crossed the finish line, and then proudly posed for photos covered in mud and sporting our TM Headbands!

The final challenge of the day:  finding where I parked my car!  But that’s another story…Awesome event, fantastic day, and amazing achievements by the whole team. Well done Tough Mums… Jen, Amy, Della, Danette, Cori, Charlotte, Celine (…and me too)
. We totally earned our post race beers , burgers and  headbands.  Once again we wear our bruises with pride, marveling at their spectacular colours, and tell war stories of our epic day.

Totally ready to do it all again…See you in October Tough Mums!!

Split Pea Dahl

1 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight
2 tsp coconut oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1cm ginger, finely grated
Pinch of ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, garam masala
1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 zucchini finely chopped
½ cup frozen peas
1 cup kale, chopped
½ bunch coriander, chopped

•    Heat coconut oil in saucepan over low hear
•    Add onion, ginger and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes
•    Add spices and cook for another min
•    Add split peas, sweet potato, carrot, stock and coconut milk
•    Cover and cook for 25min
•    Add zucchini, peas and kale
•    Simmer uncovered for another 15min or until vegetables are very tender
•    Remove from heat and stir through coriander
•    Enjoy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Charlotte's Prize as our Overall Winner of 2012 Sunmer Challenge!

Charlotte enjoyed a wonderful day of pampering on a sunny Wednesday in March as her prize as the overall winner of our 2012 Summer Challenge.  She first met with Sharon from Coach Me Beautiful to talk about her wardrobe and styling tips.  She then had her hair and make-up done at Deligio in Randwick before her photo shoot with Julia Wheeler from The Maternity Photographer.  Please enjoy the wonderful photos of Charlotte and her family.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors who have made this day possible.  Please click on the logo below to head to their websites.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tough Mums do the Spartan Sprint

Written by Body Beyond Baby - Tough Mum Team member and latest addition to our PT team here at BBB, Sally gives an overview of our day at the Spartan Sprint.

After months of anticipation, hardcore training sessions, rope burns and countless burpees, Spartan Sprint finally arrived in Sydney!  And the Body Beyond Baby Tough Mums were ready!
…As were our previously rope burned shins which we prepped with layers of gauze, bandages and electrical tape!  

At the starting line, we all agreed to really push as hard as we could for this race, and see what we were capable of.  Because of course… We Are Spartans!

There were some big teams around, but our bright orange Tough Mum tops really stood out, and we had many people approach to say hi, give their encouragement and support. 

But of course we did not look bright and pretty for long.  While this race may have been shorter in distance than others, this was one of the biggest challenges any of the Tough Mums have faced.  There were no gentle obstacles to ease us in… we were thrown into the deep end literally, with some big swims and running hard core hills.  But what fun we had!

There were mountains of mud to climb and slide over, 10 foot walls, barbed wire, spear throws, wall traverses, tunnels, hurdles, monkey bars, and a cargo net rigged up at a scary height with gaps big enough for us to fall through!

There was also lots of swimming.  Not quite as refreshing as you would think, with murky muddy (and sometimes smelly) water, and Race Supervisors reminding us not to swallow any.  We didn’t actually see any cows self-consciously squatting for a poop by the river bank, but I wouldn’t have been too surprised.  We did some marvellous demonstrations of breaststroke and sidestroke, and even an occasional paddle on a rubber tyre.   But don’t be fooled by our occasional leisurely paddling.  The feats of BBB Tough Mums were amazing…

Special mention to Celine for smashing every obstacle and going so hard that she vomited twice along the course without barely slowing her stride (although she vomited for a photo… what a poser!)
And Lauren (one of our team paramedics) who we lost for a moment, but she reappeared telling us she had stopped on the hill to relocate a man’s injured knee.

Danette who quickly marched up the hill carrying her sandbag on her shoulders, overtaking puffing competitors… whilst still able to maintain a steady flow of conversation.  Yes, Tough Mums can indeed multi task! 

And not to forget our team captain and trainer, Jen, who completed the course without a single burpee and came in in 21st place.

We could mention everyone - all the Tough Mum team gave an amazing performance throughout the race, without too many burpees having to be performed! And without doubt, the Spartan Sprint finished as hard as it had started.

There was a final kilometre of running and sliding through a muddy creek lined with thorny bushes, which you couldn’t help but grab each time you slipped.  Then a seemingly endless length of barbed wire to roll under until you came out and had to dizzily leap over a fire pit.  Finally a group of muscular Spartans to fight through before crossing the finish line. ….perhaps our ladies didn’t try too hard to run away from those fine specimens…

All in all, an awesome day and amazing effort from all our BBB Tough Mum Team.  We were indeed the Dirty Dozen by the end of the race, but the muddy faces just made our big smiles more dazzling!
So Tough Mums, lets wear our cuts and bruises with pride… and get ready for the next Spartan! Aroo!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lamb and Roasted Beetroot Salad

Ingredients (Serves 2)

300g lamb backstrap
1 fresh beetroot
1 tsp olive oil
4 spears of asparagus, steamed
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups baby spinach
handful parsely chopped
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Tzaziki dressing 
1/2 lebanese cucumber, grated
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
handful mint leaves, chopped
1/2 lemon, squeezed

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Peel and slice beetroot, toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 45min to an hour
  • To make the dressing, squeeze all liquid out of cucumber after grating
  • Add all other dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Heat non-stick frypan or griddle pan
  • Cook lamb backstrap for a few minutes either side depending on thickness
  • Allow to rest while arranging salad ingredients on your plates
  • Add roasted beetroot, sliced lamb and top with the pine nuts
  • Serve with your tzaziki dressing
  • Enjoy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mum of The Moment - Meet Della

Without our wonderful mums and bubs Body Beyond Baby just would not be.  Each month we like to celebrate your achievements and recognise the hard work that you put into your training and life as a mum.  This month we would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for March - Della.  

Della was nominated for Mum of the Moment by a number of other Body Beyond Baby mums who are inspired by how Della makes it to sessions whilst running around after four children!  

As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work, Della will receive a $65 gift voucher for Inspired Wellbeing.

Meet Della

Tell us a bit about yourself, names of your children, how old they are

I am 45 years old and my partner of 15 years, Nick, is a hard working barrister.  We have four children and we live in Darlinghurst in two small terrace houses stuck together.  My oldest child, Camilla (or “Milly”), is 12 years old and has just started high school this year.  Next is Rory who is nine years old and in year four.  Henry just turned six the other day and he is in year one.  Finally, there is baby Darcy who is turning two at the end of May.  I also have two step children, Sam aged 20 and Eliza aged 19 but they are all grown up now and have left home.

I worked for many years as a commercial litigation lawyer in a large city law firm.   I left during the global financial crisis, thinking I might have some time with my family and return to work at a later stage.  I realised that I no longer wanted to be in the corporate world.  Together with another mum I volunteered to run the after school dance program and that kept me busy. I now have another plan but more about that later.

What made you decide to join our Summer Challenge for the first and then second time?

I was inspired to join the first Summer Challenge last year after speaking to some of the other mums who looked amazingly fit as a result of the Winter Challenge.  I had already been training with Body Beyond Baby for about three months but I soon came to realise how much further I had to go and the discipline of being involved in a group challenge was really motivating and fun. I set higher goals and was thrilled to see that I could run my two laps around the oval a full minute faster than when I first started training with Body Beyond Baby.  Many of the things I started to change as I learned more about nutrition were very surprising. My three skim cappuccinos each day became one delicious satisfying full fat cappuccino and several cups of green tea.  My huge overflowing bowl of low fat yogurt (full of sugar to make up for the lack of fat) became a small bowl of full fat Greek yogurt with some blueberries and chia seeds.  Lean meat and fish, loads of healthy salads and new foods like quinoa and small snacks of almonds and boiled eggs became staples and the effect on my energy levels was amazing.  I found that I could train hard and look after my family with the good fats and the protein keeping me going. I also continued to breastfeed my big one year old baby with no trouble at all.  I enjoyed the camaraderie – all the other mums were very inspiring – and I had great results.  I couldn’t really believe my eyes when I saw the before and after photos.  I realised that I was actually fitter and leaner at 45 than I had ever been in my entire life!

I joined the second Summer Challenge because I still wanted to lose a couple more kilos and because I loved the first Challenge so much.  I am gradually coming to realise that, having come so far, my fitness and my shape is what I should be focussing on rather than my weight.  This Challenge I have finally kicked my terrible diet coke habit for good and I am committed now to making changes for me and for my family for life not just for a few weeks.

What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far?

The highlight for me has been taking part in the Spartan training day with some other mums from BBB.  As I reached the end of six grueling rounds of training covered in dirt and sweat, sun burnt and sore, dehydrated and totally disoriented I felt strangely elated as I was joined by my kids to shake hands with none other than The COMMANDO!

What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge has been to concentrate on improving my form and technique.  I am still working on that one.  I also want to be able to do an unassisted chin up.  I am working on that one too!  I saw a woman at the gym today doing chin ups with a large weight attached around her middle.  As I stood there with my mouth hanging open in total awe, she told me that it makes doing normal chin ups really easy!  I look forward to experiencing that!

When you started, did you ever think you would be joining our tough mums team in the obstacle events like The Spartan Race?

A few weeks ago as I stood in the pouring rain for over an hour before the start of the Kings of The Sand Race at Cronulla, I reflected on how it was almost surreal that I felt fit enough and brave enough to enter a sand race with obstacles with a whole lot of other much younger mums!  It’s a whole new fun world – a very exhilarating way to spend time – learning to climb ropes and swing on monkey bars and to get all dirty and muddy without so much as blinking an eyelid.  I can almost hear Jen telling me to “toughen up” right now!

What has been your family’s reaction to your new fitness regime?

My family are thrilled at my new found enthusiasm for fitness.  Every Sunday during the first Summer Challenge my six year old son would wait for me ready to jump on me the moment I got home from Steps to ask me if my time had improved.  Some things have taken a little getting used to though – Henry still asks when we will be having white rice again and often begs me to get Nutrigrain for breakfast one more last time! Hopefully their memories will fade.  My very “Eastern Suburbs” daughter’s reaction when she saw me after the Spartan training was also pretty funny – she kept saying “Mum you look terrible - what is all that dirt in your hair?”

Do you have anything else to add?

I am currently training to become a qualified personal trainer so that I can one day train mums with Body Beyond Baby.  I have a lot of work to do, including hours of observation and practical training before this happens but I am feeling happy about the direction my life has taken.  I was a bit lost for a few years particularly as I grappled with the private pain and heartache associated with repeated miscarriages in my quest (some would say a rather misguided quest in my early forties!) to have another baby.  When baby Darcy finally came along it was a bit of a shock (a nice shock though) and it took me a while to pick up the pieces and get on with life.  BBB has played a big part in my journey to move forward.  I can’t wait to inspire other mums to do their very best, the way I have been inspired by Jen and Amy and all the other friends I have made at Body Beyond Baby over the past year.    

Mum of The Moment is proudly sponsored by 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My response to SMH article "Exercise guru labels outdoor fitness groups 'embarrassing"

Given SMH used a Body Beyond Baby pic at the head of a comeback video on todays article 'Exercise guru labels outdoor fitness groups 'embarrassing' I thought it only right that I throw my two cents into the equation - and you know how I like to have my say!

When I first read the title of the article I thought Gary Egger was going to fire off about the technique that is sometimes used, or should I say not used within a group fitness environment and I would have been only too happy to put my hand up and agree with him. Many of you already know my stance on this - that there are way too many trainers 'just cruising', especially within a group fitness environment. But, on the same note there are also many, many outdoor group exercise businesses that have fantastic and credible personal trainers running them. Trainers that are encouraging and inspiring our inactive and overweight population to get off their backsides and get moving.

Egger said that "councils should crack down on trainers who monopolise beaches" - I guess that depends on whether they have permission to be there or not. I am sure you will find that any trainer running a legitimate business that they pour time, energy and money into that they plan to run in a council area they will most certainly have that permit. The trainers that we want on our streets are fully qualified, registered, insured and carrying their permits. Waverley Council meeting to discuss a crackdown on trainers flouting the rules should be seen as a positive. There are always some bad eggs and this crackdown will help to weed them out, leaving more land and space for those abiding by the rules.

As for the comments:

"there are obviously people who do it because it does send a statement and make them look good"

A contradiction to their later comment where they tell of other people being embarrassed or put off exercising. I can assure you that you don't choose to run group exercise sessions to look good. When you make the commitment to stand outside rain, hail or shine you are certainly not feeling glamorous or worrying about how you look. Especially come winter - have you stood outside in the cold and the rain and maintained your energy, motivation and encouragement for the people in your groups lately? Standing warm and dry in a gym with no wind and rain is much more about 'look' than outdoor training will ever be!  

"trainers are interfering with other peoples right to common recreational grounds" 

If there is a true interference and unwillingness to obey any rules set in place and these trainers are really in the way then move them along. Keep in mind that the majority of outdoor group training programs (especially around Bondi where this article seems to concentrate) are ran before 7.30am in the morning (if not earlier) and pretty much the only other people out in recreational areas at that time are others exercising in some shape or form - there are certainly no family picnics to interrupt at that time of the morning.

"personal training is an 'elite approach' to fitness and a very middle class thing to do"

Firstly, there is a discrepancy in this comment, the article is discussing group exercise, which, from my experience is a lower cost option which makes it MORE accessible to general population.

Secondly, what is wrong with personal training being at a higher price point? It may be seem to be an elite approach but surely that is only relative to your bank balance. And, if you are working with an experienced personal trainer that can help you specifically with your needs and goals and you choose to spend money on this service then it shouldn't be criticized. Many trainers spend a lot of time and energy researching and becoming the best in their field so that they can look after their chosen target market to an elite level.

"outdoor fitness groups could be embarrassing for other people to watch and could turn others off exercising"

Really? Thats a legitimate argument? I don't know ANYONE who would see someone that had the motivation to get themselves out of bed, get to the beach or the park, rain, hail or shine and work hard with their training group before most people have even gotten out of bed and decide that they are embarrassing to look at and be turned off exercising themselves. They are more likely to be inspired to do the same, to exercise well and to get healthy - it's not supposed to be glamorous. And given we are a nation of obese individuals leading increasingly sedentary lives we should be encouraging people to get out and move regardless of how they look.

In summary, do we need to have more exercise options at varying price points to cater for more of the Australian population and to encourage them to be fitter and healthier? Yes. Do we need to make sure we, as trainers as respectful to people around us, our environment and ensure we have the proper permits and permissions? Yes. But do we need people like Gary Eggar putting down the outdoor group training model as a whole? No way! We need to think of spending our energy thinking of more ways to get more people involved rather than knocking the ones that are out there making a difference to peoples lives.  And 

To read some more responses to this article from other fitness professionals check out below:
Australian Fitness Network
Mike Jarosky

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thank you to our Challenge Sponsors for 2013!

Our Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge for 2013 kicked is well underway with over 70 mums excited and on board making changes to their lifestyle, improving their fitness, looking and feeling fantastic!

We know that without our team of mums and the sponsors that support them Body Beyond Baby would not be what it is today. We really appreciate our partners and sponsors in enabling us to reward our Mums for their commitment to themselves and the amazing lifestyle changes they make through our challenge.  It is a great privileged to be associated with these fantastic brands that share our values and acknowledge the importance of ensuring mum is well looked after.  So a BIG BIG thank you to all involved!!!

Click on their logo to go straight to the website.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Introducing Little Bird Nanny Share

I am really excited to introduce our new partner Little Bird Nanny Share.  Moving forward Little Bird Nanny Share will provide some of their best nannies to look after your little ones during your Body Beyond Baby training sessions in Centennial Park. 

Little Bird Nanny share is owned and operated by mums Vianca and Danijela, let's find out a little more about them  - 


Talking to many mums it was clear that many women feel conflicted about going back to work because of the limited child care options available. While nannies are often the preferred choice, they are out of reach for many families. Spotting the need for an affordable service that parents feel good about using, Little Bird Nanny Share was born.

Vianca Rechtman has always had a love for bringing people together and organising logistics. Having worked across the tourism, entertainment and events industries in Australia and Europe she has many experiences to draw upon to support Little Bird and understand the needs of both Little Bird families and nannies. In recent years, Vianca has been working in the evolving world of digital marketing as an Account Director whilst juggling the wonderful role of motherhood to a now 2 year old girl and new baby. She has been a member of Little Bird for the past 18 months which has given her first- hand knowledge of the great service the agency offers to families needing personalised support and the importance of finding the right Nanny to fit the family and child.

Danijela Iacono has 14 years corporate experience in pr and marketing for national and international brands and fashion houses. She has managed large companies, events, budgets and egos! Working with some very demanding people, Danijela discovered her niche in recruitment and mentoring. Thriving on providing the right environment and the best possible care for staff and clients – whilst juggling a business, client and staff retention and a healthy lifestyle (including a husband) Danijela was drawn to the efficiency and logic of a Nanny Share company. Her own struggle with falling pregnant and 1.5 years on IVF has finally given Danijela and her partner a little baby hence the natural progression into this field. Mountain View Early Childcare Centre was also run in the family for the past 4 years and exceeded in numerous State Awards.

We know we are going to enjoy a great partnership with Vianca, Danijela and Little Bird and we know that you, our valued Body Beyond Baby mums will now have a fantastic resource and go-to business for your nanny needs!