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What Does Protein Powder Actually Do For You?

Proteins are considered the building blocks of life. In fact, our skin, bones, muscles, hair, nails, and cartilage are mainly made of proteins. And most enzymes and hormones in our bodies are also proteins.

Many people are concerned that they don’t get enough protein, but most can easily obtain adequate protein from their diets, whether or not they consume animal foods.

If you do have a plant-based diet, there are plenty of high-quality vegetarian protein sources such as quinoa, legumes, nuts, seeds, and organic soy products.

If you feel you need more protein in your already balanced diet, especially if you’re working out regularly, then protein powder can also be a good source.

Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement and for good reason. It not only gives you the nutritional components, it can also assist with the following concerns:

Weight Management

Eating protein, including protein powder drinks, helps people feel fuller for longer. Feeling fuller for longer means you won’t feel the tendency to snack in between meals and will result in smaller portion sizes when it comes to mealtime. In return this can help you maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight if necessary.

Muscle Growth and Repair

Protein is essential for muscle growth. Many athletes and gym junkies consume protein shakes before and after a workout because they believe that these drinks will help them bulk up after strength training. However, more protein doesn’t necessarily equal more muscle. To gain muscle, you need to do the work – strength and weight training. But it’s important to know that you do need protein (combined with clean carbohydrates) to help replenish muscles.

Are you always sore after a workout? As well as contributing to muscle growth, protein helps to repair damaged muscles and tissues. Many athletes use protein powder to speed up the recovery process from muscle soreness after a workout. But you don’t have to be an all-star athlete to get the benefits it can offer for muscle recovery.

How to Use Protein Powder in Your Diet

Protein powder is super easy to include in your diet. Many people mix flavoured protein powder with water or blend protein powder into milk. You can also get creative by adding your favourite fruits and vegetables into your smoothies (this Pina Colada smoothie is a favourite) or to create a breakfast bowl. We also love homemade protein balls for a quick and healthy snack.

Be sure to always consider your nutritional needs before using protein powders as those who don’t get enough protein from their diet are the ones who should consider supplementing with protein powders.

Not All Protein Powders Are Equal

There are lots of protein powder products on the market – and they vary in price and quality. Which Protein Powder Do We Love? Australian owned and made, PranaOn is our most trusted and Vegan-friendly fitness nutritional product range. It includes organic ingredients for bodybuilding, maintaining muscle, burning fat, boosting metabolism and energy, recovery and inner health. We love it so much we sell it in studio.

Healthy Recipe: Simple Tuna Fagioli

Healthy Recipe: Simple Tuna Fagioli

We’ve teamed up with Sam Rice at The Midlife Kitchen who has her recently launched blog stealthhealthblog.com to bring you a super delicious and nutritious recipe each month. This month she’s sharing a healthy version of the Italian favourite tuna and white bean salad!

If your body is craving something healthy and you are all out of inspiration might I humbly suggest this assembly of powerhouse ingredients. Tuna Fagioli is an Italian Classic but I’ve given it a StealthHealth makeover with the addition of olives and a zingy dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Buon Appetito!

SERVES: 2-3

KITCHEN TIME: 10 mins prep, 0 mins cooking

INGREDIENTS:

1 x 400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed

1 can tuna in olive oil, drained

½ small red onion, thinly sliced,

A handful of pitted olives (green or black), halved

A handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Zest of ½ a lemon, finely grated

Dressing:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

Sea salt

Black pepper

PREP TIP: The dressing is my standard ‘Midlife’ dressing which I always have made up in the fridge, so make more than you need and keep it on standby to make this recipe even quicker next time!

METHOD: Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Dress liberally and let sit in the fridge for ½ an hour so the flavours develop.

SERVING TIP: I usually have this for lunch with a couple of oatcakes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Free Pilates Class -Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Is Pilates good for weight loss?

Pilates is known for its health benefits; from strengthening the core, back and pelvic muscles to increasing flexibility, but can it help you lose weight too?

While general mat Pilates will most certainly help you maintain a healthy weight, it may not be quite as effective in losing weight as cardio exercises such as running and swimming. However, that’s why we offer different forms of Pilates classes to try such as Reformer HIIT and Circuit Pilates which may up your calorie count more than traditional mat Pilates.

While our studio is specifically reformer based Pilates, we have some different types of classes on offer. Here’s how to distinguish the difference and decide which should be your next class:

General Reformer Pilates

Majority of our classes are beginner, intermediate or all level Reformer Pilates. Working on building strength, flexibility and balance, beginner reformer sessions will give you a full-body workout while moving your body in all planes of motion – forward bending, back bending, side bending and twisting. Building upon what you have learnt in the beginner sessions, intermediate Pilates is designed to incorporate more complex sequencing along with more challenging Pilates repertoire to have you stretching yourself physically and mentally.

Reformer HIIT

But if you’re wanting to lose the weight, we recommend the Reformer HIIT class which combines the best of Pilates reformer and HIIT in one dynamic class. It’s structured interval training where props like kettlebells, weights, and boxes are used in tandem with Pilates movements to build strength and get an amazing cardio hit. Pilates & Co Reformer HIIT classes will get you working in the afterburn effect for up to and beyond 24 hours after your session. This is why it is so important to do this session once per week. 

Circuit Pilates

The Studio Circuit class is a 16 station fast-paced lap of our studio where you will explore movements on the Cadilac, Wunda Chair, Barrel, Reformer, Spine Corrector and other props. This circuit will give you a full-body workout and certainly wipe the calories away!

Remember the key to weight loss is patience and consistency. Results don’t happen overnight. This is why we introduced our 6-week Challenge which includes classes, regular updates, special Challenge offers and a healthy food guide to follow. Our next 6-week Challenge is scheduled for October.

Healthiest Pancakes in the World

Recipe: The Healthiest Pancakes in the World

We’ve teamed up with Sam Rice at The Midlife Kitchen who has just launched her new blog stealthhealthblog.com to bring you a super delicious and nutritious recipe each month. This month she’s sharing her super easy, tasty, healthiest pancakes in the world!

I’ve been making pancakes with just banana and egg for the longest time – I love how easy and healthy they are – but then one day I saw, on Instagram, spinach pancakes and it inspired me to throw in a handful of baby spinach (it doesn’t affect the taste or texture, just adds great green nutrition). Then for better flipability, I added a handful of oats and the rest is pure food alchemy. And that’s the story of how the healthiest pancakes in the world came to be.

SERVES: 2

KITCHEN TIME: 5 mins prep, 6 mins cooking

INGREDIENTS

1 large or 2 smaller ripe bananas, peeled

2 eggs

50g spinach leaves

50g rolled oats (for GF use GF-certified oats)

PREP TIP:

This is a great way to use up overripe bananas because they are so sweet and sticky – you can always chop them up and freeze them and then defrost later to make these pancakes.

METHOD:

Put everything in a blender and blend until really smooth (around a minute) and of a pour-able consistency. Add a little water to loosen if required. Heat a large non-stick pan, if it’s a good one you won’t need any cooking oil or add just a drop of oil to the pan or a light spray if you have spray oil. When the pan reaches a medium heat pour palm-sized pancakes into the pan. Leave for 2-3 minutes until golden then flip over and cook for a couple of minutes on the other side.

SERVING TIP:

The pancakes are sweet because of the bananas so you don’t really need to drizzle with maple or honey, but you can if you like. I love to serve these with fresh berries, or frozen ones heated up with a tsp of maple syrup to make a hot berry sauce. Sprinkle with mixed seeds and add a dollop of Greek yogurt for even more great nutrition.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Winter Wellness: Tips for Staying Healthy in Winter

Do you find the following things show up more during winter? Congestion, sinus infections, coughing, asthma, sluggishness, excessive sleep, weight gain, high cholesterol, fluid retention in tissues (edema), aching joints, poor circulation, migraines, sadness, and even depression.

If you know you’re prone to suffering from some of these symptoms, keep reading, because by making just a few changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you find greater wellness as we enter the cooler months.

Avoid cold, heavy and uncooked foods

These types of foods include cold meats, cheese, ice-cream, and yoghurt. They are the typical “bad comfort food” we reach for when we get colder. Instead, go for light, cooked and warm meals with plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Try to include pungent tastes such as chilli, pepper, cumin seeds, garlic and onions as they help to stimulate your digestion and absorption, reduce fat, clean tissue and sharpen those senses. These will warm you up in a different way to the not-so-great comfort foods so you’ll still get that pleasure you crave from eating them. Similarly, include bitter tastes such as olives, spinach, eggplant, and turmeric. They are light, anti-inflammatory and super cleansing.

Do not sleep after you have just eaten! 

As tempting as it is, this is a huge cause for weight gain especially in the evening.

Drink warm water or herbal water

Drinking hot water is something to get used to all year round to naturally aid digestion and flush toxins out of the body. It’s not about quantity, but more about frequency and ideally every 15 minutes you should take a sip. You can also add ginger and lemon to assist. Ice cold drinks (and foods) will put out the digestive fire and constrict the body’s channels.

Protect from cold and wind

Especially if you live and work out in the open or by the beach where the winds are higher. Wind can really damage skin and lips especially can get sore from wind exposure. Dermeze Treatment Ointment (available at most chemists) is great for treating dry skin, including lips.

Massage your body daily

Massage strengthens the nervous system, detoxifies the body, stimulates the immune system and improves lymphatic flow. It’s important to use a heating oil such as organic black sesame seed oil, especially in winter to warm up the body. Don’t forget our SMR techniques and tools too.

Steam it up

Try steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil or special medicated oil. Pop boiling water into a bucket, add a few drops and start breathing it in. This helps clear the head of congestion and any other blockages. We sell DoTerra premium essential oils in studio.

Exercise everyday

If you feel you are prone to gaining weight in winter then you need to start doing some stimulating and vigorous types of exercises to create heat in the body and work up a sweat. This will assist in clearing natural sluggishness and burn up all that stored energy so that it doesn’t turn to bulk. Don’t ditch Pilates class because it is too cold to get out of bed! You’ll regret it later.

Check out our class prices and book in your next session.

Practice deep breathing

Try to take 10-15 deep, slow breaths at least three times a day, even more if you can. This is a great way to calm the nervous system when feeling emotional, stressed or anxious, and help to create awareness in all areas of your life, particularly eating.

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