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The Sunday That Was.

Westmeadows Fitness Bootcamp Personal Trainer

The breath steamed from my mouth as I walked through the crisp air along the Yarra, sipping my latte and heading towards the Hallowed Turf, the MCG.

Does it get any more 'Melbourne' than that?!

The day was here!

The day we had been training for. Working hard towards. Up early on Sunday mornings for our 'stair training'.

Finally, the day to conquer the 7300+ stair of Levels 1 + 3 in the MCG. Stadium Stomp 2017.

The atmosphere at the 'G was electric that morning! The air was crisp, but the sun was out and the music was pumping. There is something really special about participating in a large event like this. So many people, from so many different walks of life. All coming together for the one purpose - to push themselves physically and mentally, to do something that you wouldn't normally get to do. So much positivity, so much 'Onya, Mate!'. 

If you have not yet done a large scale event - I dare you to! 

Westmeadows Fitness Bootcamp Personal Trainer

I am so proud of all our ladies (and two token fellas) for everything they did to prepare for and finish the 2017 MCG Stadium Stomp. It was so great to get back to our seats and cheer home our own runners! 

But not only that. It was so fantastic to watch all the runners cross the finish line, after running a lap around the 'G. It is such an amazing feeling to do that - after all those stairs, you honestly feel like you are a complete speed demon as you run on the flat, manicured grass.

But the most important part of the day?

Junior Stomp!

Westmeadows Fitness Bootcamp Personal Trainer

From the warm up to the finish line, it was such a party! The kids got to experience what we got to experience. They got to be 'just like Mum'. They got to experience a physical activity of a different nature. I am just so, so, so proud of these little munchkins.

And this is why I continue to do what I do. I want to show my daughters that physically challenging yourself and training for physical challenges is fun, is worth it and is available to them.

I want them to lean into life. I want them to know that they can give these things a go. That everyone can be their own strong.

So, my challenge to you is this: If you are a parent, how can you challenge yourself to try something new, to aim for something higher, to be out and active with your children? Trust me, you'll thank me for it!!



4 Great Reasons to Enjoy Seasonal, Local Produce

It's not a new issue.

In fact, it was a non-issue until access to the global market became so common place.

Eating seasonal, fresh and locally grown produce was, until not that long ago, THE ONLY way. But thanks to the advent of speedy, refrigerated food transport, it became all to easy to access any 'fresh' produce, at any time of the year.

And then we all became aware of our carbon footprint, or how many 'food miles' our produce had traveled. So, whether you grow your own, buy from your local fruit and vege shop, visit your local farmer's market, or purchase from your local supermarket, being aware of what is in season and what is local has some really cool benefits for you.

So, what's in season this month in Victoria? Well, thanks to the Victorian Farmers' Markets Association, it's really easy to find out! In February, we have: 

fruit: apples, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, grapes, gooseberries, loganberries, mulberries, raspberries, strawberries, youngberries, figs, grapes, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, honeydew melon, oranges, rockmelon, watermelon, nashi, nectarines, passionfruit, peach, pears, plums, rhubarb.

vegetables: Beans, cabbages, capsicums, carrots, celery, chillies, cucumber, daikon, eggplants, kohlrabi (green), leek, lettuces, okra, garlic, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, spring onions, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini.

herbs: bay leaf, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, chives, oregano, marjoram, sage, bronze fennel, dill, basil, watercress.

But, why seaasonal? What's in it for you?

1. It's a whole lot cheaper!

Local, seasonal produce hasn't had to be transported, or stored, for any significant time, so understandably the costs don't have to be passed  onto the consumer. So, it's far better for your hip pocket and family budget to stick to what's in season. You'll know when something's in season - the price per kilo will start to drop significantly. Remember that time that buying bananas required a personal loan? Well, it's the same for produce out of season!

2. It's a whole lot fresher!

For the same reasons as listed above, really. Local, seasonal produce is harvested and sold at the peak of the season, giving you access to the freshest available. It hasn't had to travel far, so it hasn't had time to spoil. It hasn't been picked before it's ripe (and allowed to ripen during transport) - it has been picked when it's ready. The flavours are better and the nutritional value is intact when you consume seasonal produce.

3. There's a whole lot more variety!

If you make an effort to consume local, seasonal produce, over the course of the year, you'll get a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. One of my favourite things about Winter are the beautifully sweet mandarins. I really look forward to the stone fruits of summer (particularly peaches). And it's hard to go past a good, fresh potato and leek soup in the cooler months!

4. There's a whole lot more nutrition!

Isn't it amazing, that in the cooler months, we have access to all the beautiful citrus fruits, full of their Vitamin C to help ward off Winter lurgies?! And in the warmer months, we have beautiful stone fruits, jam packed full of beta-carotenes, ready to support your skin as it is exposed to more sunlight?! And if the produce is local and in season, it hasn't traveled or been stored, so it hasn't had a chance to lose it's nutritional value.

My final thoughts...

My final words are to ENJOY what's in season. Enjoy the variety. But don't go crazy - if you really like bananas, but it's not a banana month, but they're available where you shop, get them! Be creative with your meal planning. I've written about meal planning before here. But in a nutshell, if you plan your meals around what's in season, you can enjoy a wider variety of food throughout the year.

So, how are YOU going to get more variety in your diet?!