Apps for Health & Wellness

If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time on your phone. Between texting, calling, emailing, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Google Maps, TransLink Journey Planner and apps for managing both my Facebook page and my blog, there is a lot that I get done on my phone every day. But, as you know, one of the best things about having a smart phone is that there is an app for everything, however, this doesn’t always mean that every app is awesome, so in no particular order, I thought I’d list a few of my favourite health and wellness apps to help make your life a little easier. Continue reading

What I’ve Learnt from not Having a Car

It’s been about six months now that I’ve been living without a car. I mean, I do own one, its just sitting in a paddock somewhere in Wodonga quietly rusting until I save up enough to get it running again. Anyway, here in Brisbane I don’t have a car, so I’ve had to figure out how to get by without one.

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It may seem like a completely daunting task for some (especially here in Brisbane, where most people I’ve spoken to would rather not use public transport), but honestly, it hasn’t been too bad. While I can’t just jump in a car and go to a shop, friend’s houses or restaurants on a whim, I’ve had to rely on public transport and my own two feet, and for the majority of the time its been a positive experience, so I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned from it.

1. Patience

Brisbane’s transport system is made up of mostly buses, some trains, catamarans (known as the CityCat) and ferries. Its not the most amazing system (with transport less frequent than it is in Melbourne), and the TransLink journey planner is useless if you don’t have a map of the city in your head, but for the most part, especially with practice, it gets the job done.

I usually take buses to get around this gorgeous city, and honestly, they aren’t always on time, and buses being buses, they are affected by local traffic if your bus line isn’t lucky enough to be on a busway (a highway specifically for buses – its fantastic!). At first, the lack of punctuality from the bus lines can be rather frustrating, but I’ve realised that there is no point getting worked up about it. The reality is, no amount of frustration is going to get the bus moving any quicker. Instead, I just pop in my headphones and enjoy the time that I have. Its a useful time to make a shopping list, plan a date with a friend or read a book, which is a much more positive experience than fretting that I’ll be late.

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2. Punctuality

My punctuality hasn’t always been perfect, but through having to rely on something else to get me somewhere has forced my hand to get organised and more often than not I get where I need to be earlier than intended, and with everything I need with me, too! (Unbelievable, I know!) I’ve got a fairly accurate estimation in my head of how long it will take for me to get anywhere (either by foot or public transport) and if not, I just use the journey planner. But, for example, walking, I can get to Woolloongabba in 20 minutes, South Bank in 30-40, the CBD in 50-60, The Valley in 55, while through public transport I usually take about 15 minutes off most of those values and that’s fairly accurate. (Oh, and the CityCat will get me to Ascot in an hour – see, I’ve totes got it down pat). So as long as I leave the house with that amount spare, I’ll get there on time. I know that these times will not change (unless I run) so I plan around it and arrive wherever I need to be, very calm and on time, which makes me feel super!

3. Its much easier to get exercise

Sometimes the difference in time to get somewhere via public transport, including walking to the stop, waiting for the transport to arrive, etc, compared to just walking the whole way there is negligible. And if you’re a fan of running or cycling, it is even faster. I often opt for walking places – even if I just walk one way – because it increases my incidental exercise for the day, so I’m walking rather than sitting again, it gives me a chance to listen to beautiful music, my brain get a chance to churn through whatever is concerning me at the time (good or bad), my cortisol (the stress hormone) is broken down through my exercise, improving my wellbeing and sleep onset, the glucose in my blood is taken up into my muscles (a mechanism of transporters called GLUT-4) to be used for energy by the cells and reducing the reliance on insulin for this mechanism, and its free!

If you have to carry something, you are also making your muscles stronger, which in turn improves the strength of your bones. Really, its a very positive way to transport yourself around, in my book.

4. I’m more capable than I realise

Its one of those motivational spiels that you hear all the time, but its only when you are tested that you recognise this within yourself. Having no car presents many challenges – the grocery shopping is probably the hardest and most common of these challenges, but navigating, especially around a new city, and just carrying heavy things in general are probably the most difficult challenges when you don’t have a car.

I have a habit of getting a bit over-excited when I grocery shop, and if I happen to be a bit low on my Go-Card (bus ticket card thingy), I have to then walk my groceries home on a walk that would usually take 20 minutes without heavy groceries (I buy a lot of heavy vegetables, whole chicken, tinned vegetables and oil in glass jars) – usually 35-40minutes home if you include stopping, which sometimes has to happen when I haven’t thought things through. During this walk home (which I have now completed countless times) I’m desperately willing random strangers to take pity on me and help me out, and oh my goodness, do I ever feel sorry for myself! But in the end, every time, I make it home, I’m still alive, my food is fine and my arms are just a tad stronger than they were before I went shopping (even if they do hurt for a few days afterwards). The point is, I get shit done. I have to. I have no choice. I chose to spend my last dollars on groceries and toilet paper – things I need to survive – and if I don’t walk it home, struggling the whole way, its not going to walk itself to my house, so I push on, and realise, hey, I did it. And it really wasn’t so bad.

I’ve also managed to develop the map of Brisbane in my head. So much so that I can direct people who have lived here much longer, with accuracy (which always feels good). Its a comfort, because I am starting to know at the very least, vague directions to walk, which buses to take and where the nearest bus/train/ferry/CityCat stop is in order to get me where I need to go. I have a similar map in my head of the trains/trams/buses of Melbourne that I developed over 3 years of living there, which always makes me happy when I go back to visit my friends and venture around – it just makes life easier.

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5. I am not a superwoman

No matter how resourceful I’ve managed to become over the last few months, I’ve had to face facts that I can’t do it all. Sometimes I have bought too many groceries and need to take the bus. Sometimes I have no idea where I’m going, and I will get lost. Sometimes if I’m given too short notice of something, I can’t get there in time. And sometimes, I will have to walk home in the rain without an umbrella because there is just no way around it. But that’s ok.

When I was incredibly sick at the end of semester I had no other way to get to the doctor than taking a taxi, and to be honest, I preferred it. I wasn’t relying on/burdening anyone else, I wasn’t going to pass out walking there in a park or on the bus, and I felt safe and independent knowing that taking a taxi was an option. It did take a chunk out of my student budget, but boy was it worth it.

 

How do you get around? Are you a fan of public transport? Would you opt for walking instead of your usual transport after reading this post? Or does it just seem all too hard. Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @mirandaswellness

Move With Miranda: Competition WINNERS

What a month it’s been this April! Not only was it a big month for me personally (I turned 27 and went for a bit of a holiday down South in my home town) but my fantastic Active April team, Move with Miranda, logged over 228 hours of exercise throughout the month – well done guys, you are absolute super stars!

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But now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the WINNERS of my Move with Miranda Competition. These winners were drawn using the random number generator available at http://www.random.org.

WINNERS

The winner of the botanically based Arbonne vegan Shower Pack from Be Extraordinary is:

Petra Landsell

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The winner of the Miranda’s Wellness Goodie Bag, including an Endeavour College of Natural Health Wellnation Clinic Voucher, Ecotan Organic Deodorant, ‘Elixir’ by Janella Purcell, 2 x Pana Chocolate bars (Sour Cherry & Vanilla and Fig & Wild Orange) and more is:

Ellie Goodacre

MELBOURNE

The winner of the nutritional plan and training program designed specifically for your goals, including 24 hour/7 day email and text message support and 1 personal training session from Aussie Muscle & Physique is:

Adam Gerolemou

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The winner of the A naturopathic consultation valued at $88 at Healing from Within Naturopathy is:

Caitlin Maddelena

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BRISBANE

The winner of the 3-day gym pass at Goodlife Chermside including 1 x 30 minute personal training session from Renee McKeague Fitness and Nutrition valued at $100 is:

Heather Stewart

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The winner of the 2 x free 30 minute personal training sessions (your choice of one-on-one training, training with a friend or group training AND free health food goodies, including coconut oil, Himalayan pink salt, psyllium husks and whey protein isolate powder all valued at $100 from Brisbane North Barbell is:

Alicia Dent

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The winner of 1 x free initial naturopathic consultation including 20% discount off any products prescribed and 10% off your follow up consultation from Euneek You Health is:

Petra Landsell

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The FIVE winners of the FIVE 30 minute massage plus spa facial from Massage Miracles valued at $65 each are:

Matt Fisher

Renee McKeague

Sarah Fowler

Sabrina Evans-Bain

Lara Busch

CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and thank you to everyone who donated the fantastic prizes, you are all incredibly generous!

To claim your prizes please email me with the subject “Move with Miranda Winner” to mirandaswellness@outlook.com

Move with Miranda: Active April Competition

Have you joined my Active April team ‘Move with Miranda’ yet? It’s a nice incentive to get yourself moving each and every day for 30 minutes a day, and it’s easy to accomplish to boot! If that’s not enough to get your cute butt a movin’, here is something to sweeten the deal.

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Be a part of my Active April team to be in the running to win some fabulous freebies from some of the best health and wellness people I know, including a hand-picked bundle from yours truly.

You could win:

Anyone:

My prize pack: Endeavour College of Natural Health Wellnation Clinic Voucher, Ecotan Organic Deodorant, ‘Elixir’ by Janella Purcell, 2 x Pana Chocolate bars (Sour Cherry & Vanilla and Fig & Wild Orange) and a few more health and wellness goodies that I haven’t decided on just yet

1 x Arbonne botanically based, vegan shower set from Be Extraordinary

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Brisbane folk:

1 x 3-day gym pass at Goodlife Chermside including 1 x 30 minute personal training session from Renee McKeague Fitness and Nutrition valued at $100

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2 x free 30 minute personal training sessions (your choice of one-on-one training, training with a friend or group training AND free health food goodies, including coconut oil, Himalayan pink salt, psyllium husks and whey protein isolate powder) all valued at $100 from Brisbane North Barbell

BNB LOGO v.2

1 x free initial naturopathic consultation including 20% discount off any products prescribed and 10% off your follow up consultation from Euneek You Health

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1 of 5 x 30 minute massage plus spa facial from Massage Miracles valued at $65 each

Melbourne folk:

A nutritional plan and training program designed specifically for your goals, including 24 hour/7 day email and text message support and 1 personal training session from Aussie Muscle & Physique

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A naturopathic consultation valued at $88 at Healing from Within Naturopathy

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How can I win?

To be in the running, you will need to

Like my Facebook page www.facebook.com/MirandasWellness

Register to Active April at https://www.activeapril.vic.gov.au/ and join my team Move with Miranda (team ID ‘move-with-miranda’) and track your 30 minutes a day of exercise before the end of April 2014

You must live in Australia. If you would like to win one of the Melbourne or Brisbane prizes, please comment on my facebook page the city you wish to enter for, otherwise, you will just be in the running for the ‘Everyone’ prizes.

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For bonus entries you can:

One bonus entry for each Facebook like of the business who have kindly donated these fantastic prizes (Brisbane North Barbell, Euneek You Health, Massage Miracles, Be ExtraordinaryAussie Muscle & PhysiqueHealing From Within Naturopathy and let me know which ones you have followed on my facebook page (so I can check up on you)

Share any Active April post from my facebook page

One bonus entry for each friend you tag on any Active April post on my facebook page

One bonus entry for each photo you post of you being active on Instagram and tag @mirandaswellness #movewithmiranda

The competition closes at midnight, Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday 30th April 2014 and WILL BE DRAWN AND ANNOUNCED THE FOLLOWING DAY

Good luck!

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Move with Miranda: Active April

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There’s nothing like a month-long challenge to remotivate you, especially when it comes to exercise! This month, the Victorian government have created the Active April Challenge to encourage you to move for 30 minutes every day.

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You don’t need to live in Victoria to join, so I have created a team that I want you to join so we can stay active in April together. All you need to do is go to https:/www.activeapril.vic.gov.au and register yourself, then tell me your username in the comments below or on my Facebook and you will receive an invitation to join my team “Move with Miranda”. Then, each day, move for 30 minutes and log your activity on your account. You can walk, play a sport, swim, run, go to the gym, yoga, Pilates, rollerblade, surf, skip, jump, cartwheel, trampoline – whatever it is, just get MOVING!

Don’t forget to Instagram your activity by tagging me @mirandaswellness and #movewithmiranda so we can motivate each other. I can’t wait to see your motivating photos, and will repost the best ones all throughout the month to inspire everyone along with my own photos.

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There are plenty of prizes up for grabs as part of the campaign and you can join and create as many teams as you like! In addition, in Victoria there will be plenty of active incentives to take advantage of. Best of all, you will not only prevent weight gain and gain strength, but reduce stress, improve your sleep and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and stroke, among many many other disorders.

Special thanks to Simone who originally invited me to join the challenge.

I know you can do this guys!!

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

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At the start of this year I posted a photo of a list of my resolutions for the year which came back into my awareness last night. When I looked at them I realised I had stuck to a lot of them, while some others that weren’t achieved were simply beyond my control. I remember when I made my list I was trying to be realistic and positive while still pushing myself out of my comfort zone and I feel like that mind set was part of what shaped the positive year I’ve had this year.

2013 is the year I moved to Brisbane; moved to new college campus where I knew no one; made active living a regular part of my life and lost 7kg; stopped caring so much about others opinions of me and embraced who I am; realised that I, like all the other amazing people in my life, am a total babe! ; started my blog and realised the joy I feel motivating and encouraging others; had my most successful semester at uni; got a job; ended a 6 1/2 year relationship with my best friend with the confidence to know that it was the best decision for the both of us; broke free of my depression and; gained self love, self worth, self confidence and independence.

I am currently in a stage where I know life is about to get very hard because 2014 holds a range of new situations and challenges that I’ve never come across before, but I am excited about that. I look forward to the challenge, the hardship, the growth. This year has taught me who I am and solidified my support system like never before, so I know that no matter how hard life gets I am strong enough to face it and have many avenues if I can’t face it alone.

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I wish that everyone can have a year like I have had. The challenge of moving and the blessing of tough love pushed me to grow like never before, and I know that I have been changed forever because of that.

With this in mind, I encourage you to move out of your comfort zone but be kind and fair to yourself in your 2014 resolutions. In the end, you only have you, and knowing with confidence who you are, and loving that person whole-heartedly, makes all the difference.

Happy New Year!

MOVEember 2013 Update

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Since it’s sort-of-just-past-the-halfway-mark of MOVEember, I thought I should touch base and let you all know how it’s going. I also thought I’d chuck in a few on-the-cheap fitness tips I use to keep me going, as I like to grow m’ guns without having to pay for a gym membership – I just can’t afford it right now.

More to the point – MOVEember!

If you recall my post at the start of the month, I decided to challenge myself to move for at least half an hour every day – walking, hiking, yoga, strength sessions, anything really, and post a photo of this with the hashtag #moveember. So far, out of the past 17 days, I managed to move for 12 of those days (not including usual walks to and from train stations each day). Hey, at least I’m honest! I’m pretty proud because at the start of the month I had to finish my last assignment (all 2500 words of it), celebrate the end of the semester and get myself a job (all of which I have managed to do, so I’m pretty chuffed!). Of course, this mid-way point is also another boot up the bum to remotivate myself and reshuffle my way of thinking.

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But you might be wondering how it is I get such variety out of my exercise when I don’t have a gym membership or a personal trainer. The answer is basically, I’ve had to be very resourceful. I’d like to share with you some tips on my resourcefulness and let you in on a little secret – other than paying a gold coin donation to the odd yoga class (and obviously buying FOOD), this year, without spending any money I’ve managed to lose 7kg.

I didn’t really want to mention the weight loss initially, because to me this year has been more about the lifestyle transformation that I’ve experienced, and the weight loss, while it was a goal I did have, is not what I believe should be the only focus of a healthy lifestyle, especially when my goal is to motivate all of you to make positive changes too. 

I’m not perfect, I don’t always want to exercise and I treat myself at times, but I maintain my commitment to look after myself, not just my body, but my emotional, spiritual and mental selves too. Exercise is just one small, but very important part of that.

Time for the Fit-Tips!

Firstly, make sure you feel AMAZING in your fit gear. If you have a nothing budget, check out Cotton On Body, Michelle Bridge’s range at Big W, Target, KMart, Sportsgirl and Supre and just get one outfit that makes you want to work out because ya just look so fine! You sexy minx, you! A personal trainer I adore, Josette Willis, once told me that a good workout outfit adds 20% more to your workout session and for me it totally works!! I personally go for bright colours (including the shoes) because they make me happy, but if you are more comfortable in black, do that. I hate T-shirts on me, while my sister loves them. It’s all up to personal preference, so gear up!

Find yourself a good long and local walk – at least 30 minutes – that has hills and steps if possible and power walk out that mother! I owe most of my motivation and strong sexy legs to the hill that my neighbour Debbie introduced me to and have pushed myself to walk it even when it rained, even when I didn’t want to, even when I was tired, stressed, having a fat-day, all of it. I got to a stage where I power-walked that mother 6 days a week for several months and just could not believe my own self.

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I’ve spoken about this before, but get yourself some motivating tunes to listen to. Play your stereo super loud or pump up the headphones, whatever you listen to, make sure you love it!

At-home workouts – I love scouring Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for free routines that I can do at home. Even if there is something on there that I have no idea about, I look it up on YouTube and copy what they do. If you have weights, incorporate them, if not, try 1.25L bottles of soda water or vinegar as your weights (remember: RESOURCEFUL!). I also like to add things I’ve learnt from previous classes from years ago, like Tai-bo, BodyPump, step classes, Mum’s Jane Fonda aerobics video, planks, pilates and yoga. The following are some of my picks from a few years of procrastinating with the internet, but take a look and I’m sure you can find something that suits you:

    • Sweat and Oranges – my girl Katie and her sister Jayne often post workouts such as this one to their Instagram page and were the first to get me to do a burpee because of this exact workout. Super inspiring, super lovely ladies!

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    • On YouTube I love KymNonStop – she’s got a killer bod, trains celebrities, often has mermaid hair and best of all, makes up quick workouts to a theme, such as this workout to the theme of Beyonce’s Single ladies (apparently the video does not want to embed, so just click the link below please):

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    • On Pinterest, I have my own Health & Nourishment board where I pin workouts, food and inspo for myself. I usually just search “at home workout” and find something pretty quickly, for example, this:

 As usual, I would love to hear from you about your cheap and healthy tips, so please comment below on how you keep your butt lookin’ so fine!