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Midlife Kitchen Shashouka

Recipe: Midlife Kitchen Shashouka

A Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern favourite, this dish is served for breakfast but can be eaten all day, every day, as far as we’re concerned. It’s so tasty and packed full of goodness. This healthy Shashouka recipe is courtesy of the new cookbook The Midlife Kitchen which is full of ‘health-boosting recipes’, from one of our favourite foodie Instagram feeds by the same name. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 2, Active Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

A spray of olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 small peppers, one red, one yellow, deseeded and chopped

1 400g can chopped tomatoes

½ tsp chilli flakes (or more, to taste)

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp brown sugar

A squeeze of lemon juice

4 eggs

Sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper

To serve:

A handful of fresh parsley, chopped

A dollop of Greek yogurt

 

METHOD

Heat a medium-sized frying pan and spray with a little olive oil.

Add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften.

Add garlic and continue to sauté, then add the peppers and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until softened.

Stir in the tomatoes, together with the chilli flakes, spices, sugar and lemon and simmer for a further 5-7 minutes until it starts to reduce.

Make 4 evenly-spaced wells in the tomato mixture and then crack one egg in to each. Season well and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the egg whites are firm and the yolks still runny.

Garnish with parsley and yogurt on the side.

 

HEALTH TIP

Studies have shown that lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, is boosted by cooking, so by slowly simmering this rich, red sauce you are also maximising the nutritional benefit.

 

Recipe extracted from The Midlife Kitchen, by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice – available on Booktopia, Dymocks and from all good bookshops.  Follow on Instgram @midlifekitchen

Pilates Reformer Pilates & Co Gold Coast - pilates is great for athletes

Why Pilates is great for athletes

What professional dancers and performers discovered years ago, athletes and sporting professionals are discovering now. It’s that Pilates is not only a killer workout, it’s one of the best forms of full-body conditioning. And what that translates to is that Pilates is great for athletes – both female and male. We have a number of men who do classes at our studio, and some male instructors too, but we’d love to see more of them complementing their sports training with Reformer Pilates and here’s why…

Research has linked Pilates to better flexibility, increase core stabilisation, higher focus and improved athletic performance. Whether it’s in team sports such as rugby or football, individual sports like tennis and athletics or endurance events, here is why more teams and athletes are making it a key practice in their training regime.

 

Increase core strength

When you start focusing on your core, you will realise that all your muscles are connected. For example, have you tried doing lunges without your abdominals? With a stronger core, the remainder of your workouts will begin to improve. More specifically, deep core strength in the abdominal muscles directly leads to improving the length and flexibility of the hamstring muscles which is vital for increasing speed. Core strength is one of the key benefits of all Pilates programs, enabling athletes to channel and make the most of their power.

 

Better flexibility

Pilates allows you to strengthen while you lengthen. In one Brazilian study, when young women (without any prior Pilates experience) performed 20 Pilates sessions, they became 19 percent more flexible. When you’re tight, you shorten your muscle and limit your body’s range of motion which is needed especially in professional sports.

 

More explosive power

The spring resistance of the Pilates’ reformer and jump board create a great environment for plyometric training. Athletes can learn to rebound and explode with control which is very good in sports such as basketball and netball.  One key to explosive power is the concept of triple extension (the coordinated extension of the ankle, knee and hip). Effective triple extension requires strength, range of motion and timing – all of which can be taught using the reformer in a Pilates class.

 

It hones your focus

Pilates urges you to focus on your breath, your body, and how they move together. It takes a lot of concentration and doesn’t allow you to zone out. That means you’re forced to forget about work, family, kids, partners, and other drama for the duration of the class. A great skill to have in any competitive or solo sport, or in any line of work for that matter.

 

If you’re an athlete who loves Pilates or hasn’t tried it yet, come visit us at the studio or try one of our introductory passes. Even better? Sign up for our next 6-week challenge.

Healthy Protein Ball Recipe

Recipe: Leila’s Goji Berry Protein Balls

We celebrated our birthday last month and everyone was raving about studio assistant Leila’s delicious protein balls that were served up at the party. She’s kindly shared the recipe! These are so easy, quick and good for you, that you’ve no excuse to grab the ingredients and get cracking now. They’re the perfect little snack to keep in your bag and have after a workout at the studio (with a big glass of water) to crush any post-exercise cravings.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of oats

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of coconut

½ cup of goji berries

1 cup of dates

2 scoops of Prana On Protein (Leila uses chocolate. Prana On is available in the studio for purchase).

5 tablespoons of milk (oat, coconut or almond)

Cinnamon or mixed spices

Coconut oil

 

METHOD

Blend oats, almonds, goji berries and dates separately.

Mix everything in a bowl until it is all mixed and you can’t see the oats anymore. Use coconut oil on your hands to make the bowls and put coconut around.

 

Leila Burate is the Pilates & Co. studio assistant and you’ll see her around the studio keeping it tidy, working out and signing up our new members.

Enter our Insta Birthday Competition

This is our biggest competition yet! One lucky person is going to get to celebrate like it’s their birthday…on us, with a little help from some friends. Overall prize haul is $1,275. Here’s what you can win –

  • Gift Card for Bikini & Me, valued at $250
  • Shopping Spree at The Source Miami, valued at $250
  • Luxe Soak Session from Greenhouse Bathhouse, valued at $140 (90min soak, botanical lunch and bubbles)
  • Elysium Escape Package from Elysium, valued at $200 (includes classic massage and nutrition facial and is just under 2hrs)
  • Bio Lipstick box set from Eye of Horus Cosmetics, valued at $165
  • 10 pack Group Reformer sessions from Pilates & Co, valued at $270

Image the day (or weeks!) you could spend spoiling yourself rotten with this beauty of a prize. All you need to do to be in the running is snap and share a pic on Instagram of your idea of a dream day. Share the image on Instagram tagging us @pilatesandco with #happyBdayPandC.
Make sure you follow all the contributors above, including us and like the competition post on our Instagram page. You’ll get an extra entry for every friend you tag in the comments!
Get creative as we will select the winner on our Birthday Party, 19th May based on originality and creativity.

Pelvic Floor Muscles

Love Your Pelvic Floor

For some of us, we have not heard of our pelvic floor until we have walked into a Pilates studio or until we are having our first child. Once you start in a studio or health club you will start to hear “draw your belly button towards your lower spine”, “zip up your lower abs”, “engage your pelvic floor” and “draw your hip bones towards your belly button”.

These are just a few of some of the cues that we use in Pilates all around the world. As teachers, we see blank faces across the room – some grimacing, some tensing and some smiling or giggling! So, why is focusing on the pelvic floor so important?

 

A weak pelvic floor: easy ‘peezing’

Up to a third of all women experience a problem with their pelvic floor at some time during their life. The most common problems are leaking due to activity, coughing and sneezing (also known as “peezing”) and pelvic organ prolapse (a feeling like something is coming down the vagina). All the bladder, bowel and sexual functions need good pelvic floor muscles. Effective pelvic floor muscles in pregnancy will reduce the risk of post-natal stress urinary incontinence.

 

Why should I love my pelvic floor?

  • Good pelvic floor muscles can help with sex by improving the vaginal sensation and your ability to grip.
  • Your pelvic floor muscles are important in posture and with your abdominal muscles and how they support your spine.
  • Pelvic floor muscles should be strong and active just like any other muscles in the body.

 

Why do problems occur with the pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles lie across the base of your pelvis to help keep the pelvic organs in the right position. The muscles are held in place by ligaments that support the organs, especially when there is an increase in pressure from lifting, carrying, or straining.

The pelvic floor muscles can be weak, overstretched, slow to work, too tight or torn like other muscles in the body. Some of the reasons they can get this way are:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Chronic constipation
  • Heavy and repeated lifting
  • High impact exercise
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Menopause

 

How do I improve my pelvic floor?

There are a few ways you can improve those pelvic floors. Pilates, especially reformer, is our favourite (of course), but here are the most popular:

  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises (also known as Kegels) should include long-held squeezes as well as short quick squeezes. You should work the muscles until they tire. These exercises can be done at home on the bus/train or even at your desk. No one will know.
  • Mat work pilates classes.
  • Yoga classes.
  • Reformer sessions.

My recommendation for women who are pregnant is to research a Physio who can undertake a pelvic floor assessment – this is a must as they will be able to make recommendations early on as to what exercises you need to do and this will help during and post-pregnancy.

Join Roz for our ‘Love Your Pelvic Floor’ Workshop in May

Roz Norman is the owner of Pilates & Co. and regularly teaches Pilates reformer, met.con and more at the studio. She’s also a mum of three and married to Dave. You can follow Roz and Dave on Instagram (@thenormanlife)

Want to kick-start your fitness goals too? Come and see us at Pilates & Co. We offer a number of membership and class payment options, and if you’re new to our studio you can take advantage of our free orientation class and our 4 for $80 Introduction offer. You could get really serious and join our 6-week Transformation Challenge.

Not a Gold Coast resident but planning a trip to the Burleigh Heads or nearby? Purchase our 4 for $80 class visitor pass (valid for two weeks)Contact us if you need to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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