My Cycling Essentials

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Ever since my awesome mate Dean fixed my bike (everyone say thank you to Dean!), I have been cycling all over this gorgeous city I live in, Brisbane!

There is a fantastic feeling of freedom and independence that comes with having a bike. While it can’t carry too much (I don’t yet have a basket) my bike certainly gets me places easier and faster than walking. Since getting my gorgeous bike back (originally called ‘Audrey’, I’ve dubbed her the name ‘Blanche’ – much more appropriate with a whole lotta sass!) I have been able to see Brisbane from incredible new vantage points, get further than ever before and save money while getting plenty of exercise! On my bicycle I get to ride through bushland, parks and special bikeways, as well as the city and the riverside. I can even take it on the CityCat to explore the other side of the river.

Having a bicycle has certainly made me happier, so I thought I would take the time to share with you some tips I’ve come across along the way. They aren’t anything particularly special, but they are essential to the way I get from A to B. Continue reading

A Sweeping Declaration and My Daily Routine

I started writing this post on Thursday, and most of what is below is from that day of writing. But since then a few things have made me realise that this week is the perfect week to do a No Social Media Challenge. Now, obviously with my blog I use Facebook and Instagram to keep you all updated, and its certainly essential to getting my blog out there in the big wide world; but I also use it a lot in my social life. In fact, over the last few months the “tag a friend who is always on Facebook/on their phone/taking selfies” has been on the increase and I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m starting to worry a little bit. Continue reading

Ask Mira:: Miranda’s Big Smoothie Guide

Oh boy, have I had an absolute plethora of requests for this from you guys! And it makes me so chuffed! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed me testing out some smoothie recipes this week. Its actually stimulated a lot of motivation for me, so thank you for that!

I’ll start this all off with a very detailed request from Ainslie, sent via Facebook:

“Hi Miranda, how are you? I need some inspiration from you please :) I really struggle eating in the mornings, it makes me feel really ill when I eat so I’m looking into having smoothies for breakfast so I’m getting something rather than skipping breakfast all together. Do you have any recommendations on good smoothie recipes that will give me everything I need and really help to boost my metabolism? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks :)

Thanks for your request Ainslie, I’ve developed a few recipes for you that are sure to increase your metabolism, and what sounds like a sluggish digestive system – your tummy will be rumbling in no time! Continue reading

How to Live (Happily) with Food Intolerance

With increased awareness and understanding, over 17% of the Australian population (that’s 3.7 million people) are avoiding particular foods due to allergy or intolerance. Whenever I meet someone new, one of the most common things I am told about or asked about is that person’s (or their friend or family member’s) food intolerance or allergy, and how hard it is for them to find out what to eat or for them to actually stop eating the food that gives them their symptoms. Often, people are unwilling to completely remove said foods from their diet (I certainly was) and have an emotional attachment that makes them feel like they are missing out or feel that the food is a comfort to them, so continue to eat the food, or even worse – binge eat the food.
With this in mind, I thought that I would discuss my tips on living with a food intolerance, mixed with a bit of tough love, because you may not really realise, but by eating the food you are intolerant to, you are setting yourself up for a lot of damage.

Continue reading

Tea Fiend: Miranda’s Tea Guide – Ginger Tea

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that I really really (REALLY) love tea. I love a hot cup of earl grey on a cold and slow morning, I love a bubbly and naturally sweet iced tea in the summer time, I love collecting new flavours and I even bathe in the stuff! But the thing I love most about tea is discovering the medicinal properties of the different herbs – meaning that you can drink specific teas to help your body do its thing!

From time to time, I’d like to explore with you these medicinal properties (goodness knows I need another reason to drink more tea, don’t I?) in my Tea Fiend series. Just remember, if you are going to explore these options, best to opt for organic tea (I’d be happy to give you a guide to my favourite brands within this series – just ask!), and don’t be afraid to try a pre-made blend (it will only taste better that way) or even experiment in blending stand-alone herbs that you like (you never know what you will come up with).

Ginger Tea (Zingiber officinale)

(caffeine free)

Ginger is a gorgeous herb to drink in tea form – it’s got a sweetness and heat to it that can be matched easily with a variety of other teas, but on its own, it has fantastic medicinal properties.

For starters, the natural heat within ginger makes it a perfect natural winter warmer! If you get cold hands and toes, ginger is a fantastic herbal tea to drink throughout the day as it gets the blood flowing to really warm you from your head to your toes. This action of stimulating the blood flow can also stimulate the blood flow to your organs, such as those in your digestive system, to stimulate their function. The organs need an adequate blood supply in order to function properly, so stimulating the blood flow in your body can optimise the delivery of nutrients and removal of wastes to better the performance of your organs.

Ginger also benefits the digestive system by reducing nausea, (a safe and effective treatment for nausea in pregnancy) and motion sickness, and can reduce bloating by aiding the breakdown of food due to active digestive enzymes within the ginger. Drink some ginger tea in anticipation of motion sickness if it’s something you know you’re prone to, or as symptoms arise. If you’ve over eaten or haven’t properly chewed your food, or regularly feel bloated just below your rib cage (your stomach area), sipping ginger tea may be a beneficial remedy for you. It also stimulates digestive secretions required to breakdown food and as such has been shown to reduce reflux, flatulence and colic, as well as stimulate the appetite. To stimulate your appetite, brew yourself a cup 30 minutes before meals to gently get your digestive juices flowing, not only will you have an appetite, but you will be more able to breakdown and absorb those all-important nutrients I keep bangin on about!

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory food, meaning that it can be used to reduce the pain associated with common ailments, like period pain, headache, muscle pain and migraine. These conditions are associated with an overproduction of pro-inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins, which over-stimulate the natural inflammatory processes within the body, causing unnecessary damage to nearby tissues, and pain. Sipping on a brew with ginger in it throughout the day, may be of benefit.

[While ginger tea is a helpful tool for such conditions, an anti-inflammatory diet will have a more potent effect (‘Ask Mira’ at mirandaswellness@outlook.com or www.facebook.com/MirandasWellness if you’d like more info)]

The anti-inflammatory effect of ginger is also helpful during cold and flu, while the immune-boosting effects of ginger can help your body to fight off infections.

How to Brew

Infuse 4-6 fresh slices of ginger, or 3-9g dried ginger root in boiling water for 30 minutes and sip throughout the day. Best not to consume more than these amounts in one day.

Combinations

For nausea:

Brew a pot of 4-6 slices ginger with 1/4-1/2 cup fresh peppermint (or 3-9g dried ginger/6-12g dried peppermint), as both herbs are great for nausea. ***If prone to reflux however, leave out the peppermint as it will exacerbate symptoms***

For bloating/flatulence:

When feeling bloated after a meal or experiencing flatulence, a brew of 4-6 slices ginger and 1-2tsp chamomile can help the digestion of your food and to relieve the discomfort of bloating and flatulence

For inflammation:

Brew a ginger and turmeric chai tea, such as this gorgeous one from Reece Carter Naturopathy for relief within 30 minutes

For cold & flu:

Ginger slices, lemon slices, a sprig or two of thyme and a teaspoon of the strongest manuka honey you can buy (the bigger the number, the stronger it is) is a strong brew to boost your immune system and help to kill off microbes that are making you sick in the first place. The stronger the better for this tea, and best if sipped throughout the day. It may not be the most pleasant tea you’ve brewed, but it will definitely pack the punch you are after.

Thanks to Lyndal Martin from Life Loves Me Naturopathy, who was my resident herb-nerd for this piece.

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

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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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