HOT CROSS BUNS – “Power Foods Fitness” has created a delicious recipe – start baking now – Embrace Easter!

Sofija Vracar:

Make your own YUMMY ‘HOT CROSS BUNS’ this EASTER weekend!
Happy Easter!
Much Love xx

Originally posted on Power Foods Fitness:

Hot Cross Buns

Excellent! “Power Foods Fitness” Hot Cross Buns are delicious and perfect to be baked ahead for the Easter week and for your Easter gifts when entertaining or dining with family and friends!

INGREDIENTS:

250g Butter (organic grass fed preferred), cubed

6 medium Eggs, separated

3 large Apples, peeled and diced very finely

2 C Almond Flour

1 C Coconut Flour*

* I always use “niulife” Coconut Flour brand as in photo below.

½ C Maple Syrup

½ C Sultanas (optional)

2 tbsp Cinnamon

1 tbsp Nutmeg

Coconut Flour

INSTRUCTIONS:

For Buns:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line muffin pans.

2. In a large bowl combine butter, almond and coconut flour as well as spices. Use your hands to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it forms a crumbly mixture.

3. Add egg yolks and maple syrup and mix well.

4. Add chopped apple…

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BODY SHOT – METABOLIC PRECISION Body Transformation @ Week 53/115 of Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine 2015 Cover Model Comp!

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Pic Stitch of Sofija (Me)
from Week 1/115  (January 2013)
to NOW Week 53/115 (February 2014)
of METABOLIC PRECISION Body Transformation
for Women’s Health and Fitness
2015 Cover Model Competition
CAN YOU FIND 2 HOURS A WEEK FOR YOUR OWN UPGRADE? 
Contact Sofija to help you get started on your Metabolic Precision nutrition and exercise program!
Just do it! xx

How Many Eggs Can You Safely Eat? ME @ Week 53/115 of Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine 2015 Cover Model Comp!

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DITCH the MYTHS, EAT as many EGGS as YOU NEED for your NUTRITION and TRAINING goals…

Post from Kris Gunnars Blog*:

Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.

Just imagine… a whole egg contains all the nutrients needed to turn a single cell into an entire baby chicken.

However, eggs have gotten a bad reputation because the yolks are high in cholesterol.

In fact, a single medium sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake.

People believed that if you ate cholesterol, that it would raise cholesterol in the blood and contribute to heart disease.

But it turns out that it isn’t that simple. The more you eat of cholesterol, the less your body produces instead.

Let me explain how that works…

How Your Body Regulates Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is often seen as a negative word.

When we hear it, we automatically start thinking of medication, heart attacks and early death.

But the truth is that cholesterol is a very important part of the body. It is a structural molecule that is an essential part of every single cell membrane.

It is also used to make steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen and cortisol.

Without cholesterol, we wouldn’t even exist.

Given how incredibly important cholesterol is, the body has evolved elaborate ways to ensure that we always have enough of it available.

Because getting cholesterol from the diet isn’t always an option, the liver actually produces cholesterol.

But when we eat a lot of cholesterol rich foods, the liver starts producing less (12).

So the total amount of cholesterol in the body changes only very little (if at all), it is just coming from the diet instead of from the liver (34).

Bottom Line: The liver produces large amounts of cholesterol. When we eat a lot of eggs (high in cholesterol), the liver produces less instead.

What Happens When People Eat Several Whole Eggs Per Day?

For many decades, people have been advised to limit their consumption of eggs, or at least of egg yolks (the white is mostly protein and is low in cholesterol).

Common recommendations include a maximum of 2-6 yolks per week. However, there really isn’t much scientific support for these limitations (5).

Luckily, we do have a number of excellent studies that can put our minds at ease.

In these studies, people are split into two groups… one group eats several (1-3) whole eggs per day, the other group eats something else (like egg substitutes) instead. Then the researchers follow the people for a number of weeks/months.

These studies show that:

  • In almost all cases, HDL (the “good”) cholesterol goes up (678).
  • Total and LDL cholesterol levels usually don’t change, but sometimes they increase slightly (9101112).
  • Eating Omega-3 enriched eggs can lower blood triglycerides, another important risk factor (1314).
  • Blood levels of carotenoid antioxidants like Lutein and Zeaxanthine increase significantly (151617).

It appears that the response to whole egg consumption depends on the individual.

In 70% of people, it has no effect on Total or LDL cholesterol. However, in 30% of people (termed “hyper responders”), these numbers do go up slightly (18).

That being said, I don’t think this is a problem. The studies show that eggs change the LDL particles from small, dense LDL to Large LDL (1920).

People who have predominantly large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease. So even if eggs cause mild increases in Total and LDL cholesterol levels, this is not a cause for concern (212223).

The science is clear that up to 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people who are trying to stay healthy.

Bottom Line: Eggs consistently raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. For 70% of people, there is no increase in Total or LDL cholesterol. There may be a mild increase in a benign subtype of LDL in some people.

Eggs and Heart Disease

Many studies have looked at egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.

All of these studies are so-called observational studies. In studies like these, large groups of people are followed for many years.

Then the researchers use statistical methods to figure out whether certain habits (like diet, smoking or exercise) are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of some disease.

These studies, some of which include hundreds of thousands of people, consistently show that people who eat whole eggs are no more likely to develop heart disease. Some of the studies even show a reduced risk of stroke (242526).

However… one thing that is worth noting, is that these studies show that diabetics who eat eggs are at an increased risk of heart disease (27).

Whether the eggs are causing the increased risk in diabetics is not known. These types of studies can only show a correlation and it is possible that the diabetics who eat eggs are, on average, less health conscious than those who don’t.

This may also depend on the rest of the diet. On a low-carb diet (by far the best diet for diabetics), eggs lead to improvements in heart disease risk factors (2829).

Bottom Line: Many observational studies show that people who eat eggs don’t have an increased risk of heart disease, but some of the studies do show an increased risk in diabetics.

Eggs Have Plenty of Other Health Benefits Too

Let’s not forget that eggs are about more than just cholesterol… they’re also loaded with nutrients and have various other impressive benefits:

  • They’re high in Lutein and Zeaxanthine, antioxidants that reduce your risk of eye diseases like Macular Degeneration and Cataracts (3031).
  • They’re very high in Choline, a brain nutrient that over 90% of people are lacking in (32).
  • They’re high in quality animal protein, which has many benefits – including increased muscle mass and better bone health (3334).
  • Studies show that eggs increase satiety and help you lose fat (3536).

Eggs also taste amazing and are incredibly easy to prepare.

So even IF eggs were to have mild adverse effects on blood cholesterol (which they don’t), the benefits of consuming them would still far outweigh the negatives.

Bottom Line: Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They contain important brain nutrients and powerful antioxidants that can protect the eyes.

How Much is Too Much?

Unfortunately, we don’t have studies where people are fed more than 3 eggs per day.

It is possible (although unlikely) that eating even more than that could have a detrimental effect on health. Eating more than 3 is uncharted territory, so to speak.

However… I did find an interesting case study (a study with only one individual). It was an 88 year old man who consumed 25 eggs per day.

He had normal cholesterol levels and was in very good health (37).

Of course, a study of one doesn’t prove anything, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all eggs are the same. Most eggs at the supermarket are from chickens that are raised in factories and fed grain-based feeds.

The healthiest eggs are Omega-3 enriched eggs, or eggs from hens that are raised on pasture. These eggs are much higher in Omega-3s and important fat-soluble vitamins (3839).

Overall, eating eggs is perfectly safe, even if you’re eating up to 3 whole eggs per day.

I personally eat 3-6 whole eggs per day (about 30-40 per week) and my health has never been better.

Given the incredible range of nutrients and powerful health benefits, quality eggs may just be the healthiest food on the planet. xx

MIXED BERRY FROZEN YOGHURT – Approved By Power Foods Fitness

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MIXED BERRIES are full of antioxidants and are a great source of vitamin C. Add GREEK YOGHURT and the cooling powers of a FREEZER and you have “MIXED BERRY YOGHURT!”

A nutritous snack or dessert for family and friends. A perfect guilt-free indulgence that you can enjoy anytime of the day and night.

INGREDIENTS:

500g x Frozen Mixed Berries

500g x Greek Yoghurt

50g  x Icing Sugar

Extra Yoghurt to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor. Then process until combined but still chunky.
  2. Spoon mixture into 6 x 150ml ramekins.
  3. Cover each dish with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
  4. Serve in dishes with a dollop of yoghurt or can be served in a cone as pictured.

TIPS:

  • Try experimenting with your own favourite fruits such as mangoes or peaches in place of berries.
  • Berry Frozen Yoghurt can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Enjoy! xx

STAY HEALTHIER LONGER – Deep Breathe, Have Community, Practice Gratitude & Sleep More! ME @ Week 52/115 of Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine 2015 Cover Model Comp!

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Yes.

The benefits of physical exercise and eating healthy have been well documented. However, people often fail to recognize the importance of spirituality on overall health and well-being.

Post from Dr Mike Hart’s Blog*:

Spirituality vs. Religion

Though religion isn’t an absolute necessity to become a healthy person, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests spiritual people are healthier than non-spiritual people.

Cultural historian William Irvin Thompson comments, “Religion is not identical with spirituality; rather religion is the form spirituality takes in civilization.” (7)

Jacob Hirsh of U of T’s Rotman School of Management writes “While religiousness is characterized by devotion to a specific tradition, set of principles, or code of conduct; spirituality is associated with the direct experience of self-transcendence and the feeling that we’re all connected.” (5)

Interestingly, political opinions differ between religious and spiritual people. Religious individuals tend to be more conservative and spiritual people tend to be more liberal (5). It was found that inducing a spiritual experience through a guided meditation exercise led both liberals and conservatives to endorse more liberal political attitudes. (5)

Is there any scientific evidence that spirituality can improve general health?

Spiritual people are less likely to smoke cigarettes or binge drink (1). Results from questioning 196 undergraduate students about their lifestyle habits and spirituality showed a negative correlation between smoking and consuming alcohol and being a spiritual person.

In 2009, 28 cancer patients participated in a study examining the effects of mindfulness-based meditation therapy, including breathing, yoga movement and meditation. There was a significant decrease in anxiety and depression in these patients (2).

People who go to church are 25% less likely to suffer from mortality and morbidity (3). If you’re not a religious person, surround yourself with positive people who express gratitude. Churchgoers often “give thanks” and numerous experts in the fitness community, such as Dr. Mercola and David Asprey, have written about how gratitude affects happiness.

Spiritual people are also more likely to feel connected to others. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that with increased spirituality, people reduce their sense of self and feel a greater sense of oneness and connectedness with the rest of the universe (6). This is an important point, especially for those who live in large cities where people hardly know their neighbors. With increased spirituality, it becomes easier to develop a sense of community, which is often lacking in our society.

Yoga

Most yogis consider themselves to be very spiritual. They practice deep breathing and place themselves in a low stress environment with positive like-minded people on a daily basis. In fact, a recent study showed that yoga can enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life (4). I challenge you to find any pharmaceutical drug which can do all of the above.

How can you become more spiritual?

There isn’t a “How to become more spiritual” manual to provide a step-by-step guide and a 100% success rate to enlightenment. Spirituality is a personal experience and each experience is vastly different. However, I have some suggestions that may help speed up the process.

1) Practice deep breathing. Personally, I use my heart rate variability monitor to help with this. I learned the breathing process from a naturopath. To find out more about heart rate variability training, read my blog here: http://www.drmikehart.com/blog/
2) Begin yoga for the reasons listed above.
3) Develop a sense of community. Those who attend church for more than just religious reasons may also participate in social gatherings with like-minded individuals. Those who choose not to attend church may find the same result through team participation or any activity that involves working toward a common goal.
4) Expressing gratitude for good health reminds you of good fortune that others may not experience.
5) Live in the moment without worrying about what could happen. Risks are taken with many activities throughout each day. Worrying has a negative effect on well-being. Living in the moment allows you to accomplish personal goals.
6) Get your sleep. The Dalai Lama once said “sleep is the best meditation”.
7) Spend some time in a sensory deprivation tank. If you’re having difficulty getting started with meditation, this is a cheater’s way to place you in a perfect environment for deep thinking.
8) Travel. When you travel, especially overseas, you’re free of distractions and often times discover things about yourself that you never would have in your “home environment”. You need to get out of your comfort zone.
9) Increase your body’s self-awareness. Anxiety can cause a fight or flight response. Focusing on breathing can help calm the anxiety. When stress is a factor, focusing on the cause and how and where the attention is affecting the body. Good posture is a also an important activity for relief.
10) Reflect. Reflecting on each day is critical for achieving personal growth.

I truly believe spirituality is the missing component in many people’s lives. I hope this blog provided some insight as to why becoming more spiritual will increase your overall health and well-being. Feel free to leave any comments or questions.

References:
1.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16022930
2.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19715397
3.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12674817
4.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22022122
5.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130225131532.htm
6.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120820132332.htm

Dr. Anthony Galea.(2013). The Real Secret to Optimal Health. Toronto, Canada. Burman Books.

http://www.drmikehart.com/doyouneedtobespiritualtobehealthy/

BALANCING THE MIND is the key to sustaining your Training and Nutrition plans and will guarantee you maximise your fitness and health goals. xx 

Which snack would you prefer? ME @ Week 51/115 of Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine 2015 Cover Model Comp!

Metabolic Precision (MP) is a nutrition and exercise system that becomes your lifestyle. MP will have you LIVING IN THE BODY OF YOUR DREAMS as it rewards you with our greatest commodity TIME as well as nourishing your body, mind and soul with DELICIOUS FOOD!

MP’s foundation is in its Nutrition System and when you accept the importance of eating nutritious meals to fuel your training then you will start to really see the results from your workouts. MP’s focus is Nutrient Timing for your training and unique body composition goal. The Exercise system incorporates:

1. F.I.R.E. Focused Intense Resistance Exercise – Weights Training

2. I.C.E. Intense Cardio Exercise – High Intensity Interval Training

3. L.I.A. Light Intensity Exercise – Incidental such as gardening or walking the dog as well as your weekly surf and Yogilates class.

F.I.R.E. is the body shaper and creates the tone along the lines that becomes the outline of your physique.

I.C.E. trims the fat around the muscle to reveal the results in your effort of eating nutritious meals around your F.I.R.E. sessions.

L.I.A. is recovery and rejuvenation to prepare your food*, mindset and body for the next few days of your F.I.R.E and I.C.E. training.

Now *food preparation is simple as MP teaches you to eat 6 meals a day i.e. 3 x mains and 3 x smaller meals. They are made in your kitchen from real food that is natural, dense in nutrients and nom nom. With so many recipe ideas and varieties of meals to choose from you will always know what you will be eating and how to prepare this yourself.

Blog-WhichSnackDitch the boring diet plans that have you eating a handful of nuts for a snack  - click on this link for these MP snack ideas and recipes and know why they’re a better choice for your body:

http://metabolicprecision.com/articles-1/no-satisfaction

I am part of the MP family as a Body Transformation Specialist as well as living thier system within my own life as now at week 51/115 of my MP Body Transformation. I also am grateful for the privilege granted to me this year by MP Founder Dr Paul Cribb to bring you their education articles and publications as our aim is to inspire you all to give yourself and your family the only gift that truly keeps giving OPTIMUM HEALTH AND FITNESS. xx

VANILLA PROTEIN POWDER & CARAMEL COFFEE SMOOTHIE – PERFECT for YOUR version of AUSTRALIA DAY!

AUST DAY POST

Good Morning,

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!! What does the day have in store for you?

A. Family and friends over for a bbq?

B. Catching-up on some home or office renovations? or

C. A window to wrap your head around the post you wanted to write on your blog or update those admin files?

Maybe like me  - ALL OF THE ABOVE!

So let me treat you to a smoothie sensation that you may sip slowly with your circle of friends, quench your thirst as you throw yourself into your next building project or reward your mind as it creates and tabulates at your computer…

This “Power Foods Fitness” recipe is packed with flavour and the goodness of protein without adding centimetres to your hips.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 – 1 Scoop x Vanilla Protein Powder (I use VP2 Creamy Vanilla Protein Powder)

1 Teaspoon x Moccona Caramel Coffee

1 Serve x Stevia

150ml x Almond Milk

200ml x Water

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Place all ingredients into a blender – the Magic Bullet is my favourite for this style of smoothie.

2. Blend for 10 – 20 seconds until light and frothy.

3. Serve in a tall glass on ice on a hot day or as is. I prefer to serve mine with a dessert spoon to make the froth last longer…

You can really go to town and have this smoothie alongside the Power Foods – Almond and Cranberry Protein Balls or Coconut and Cranberry Protein Balls. Visit Power Foods Nutrition Products.

Whatever you do today – lighten the pace  - ENJOY with those that are dear to you! xx