Sunday, 31 May 2015

Nutrition myths busted- Introducing Tim Crowe

Jade's Life has become so much more than just telling people about my own experiences. I want to make sure that I offer accurate advice from trained specialists, so that readers aren’t being duped into another fad or trusting someone who thinks that taking photos of their six pack makes them an expert.

Nutrition has become a real passion of mine over the last few years, creeping up from a casual curiosity of what I’m putting into my body to using diet research books as my leisure reading and googling the nutritional value of every ingredient I put into my food. 

But a passion for health and my own diet needs doesn’t make me an expert. Especially after the notorious wellness blogger, Belle Gibson came out as a fraud, it makes us realise that we have to know if what we are reading is actual fact or just someone trying to gain likes on an Instagram picture of their poached eggs.

I didn’t want to be one of these bloggers; I want to give REAL advice that you can trust. So I’m very happy to announce that I have collaborated with Tim Crowe, to bring his nutrition knowledge to my little blog. Tim Crowe is an Associate Professor in Nutrition in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University in Melbourne and an Accredited Practising Dietician. His work can be found on his website Thinking Nutrition.

"The media is a big influence on our perception about foods. We have so many choices about where to get information on nutrition and health and what you read can vary quite a lot depending on what sources you go to." says Tim.  "I actually don't talk much about diets anymore. I talk about dietary patterns. For example, what is the theme of  heathy low carbohydrate diet and how does that compare to a healthy vegetarian diet?" Tim's aim is to "be proactive in providing credible and evidence- based nutrition messages in a straight forward language."

Jade’s Life is pretty simple and I want to keep it that way. But now readers can be reassured that they can trust the nutritional information provided on the site and it’s not going to sell an unrealistic expectation of what your body needs. I'll regularly be bringing you Tim's advice as well as my own research into different food and diet ideas. This might include new information, comparisions, research, reviews, rants and recipes.

My cooking still hasn’t gotten any better though; so don’t expect miracles in the recipe department! It will still be my unique ‘make it up as I go’ style but I’ll do my best to incorporate Tim’s advice and comments so you know why I’m choosing to eat the way that I do. With his help I’ll bring you the real truth about super foods and super myths. I’ll do my best to simplify the science behind these diet ideas.

Jade’s Life is still going to bring you a mix of beauty, exercise, fit fashion and lifestyle events. I’ll continue on my mission to turn the whole world into stylish, kale eating yogis, one blog at a time (Haha, not really!)

Love Jade


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

How to Eat REAL food- Jade's Life style

Our weekly girls night catch up and brainstorming session was held at my little Bondi pad tonight.

I whipped up my usual quick and easy vegetarian fare and was surprised at how much the girls loved it (since pretty much all of my cooking is just winging it).

We got talking about how tricky it can be to make healthy meals that don't require 100 ingredients and special equipment. Thought I'd share my recipe with you for some inspiration.

Vegetable Frittata 

1/2 cup cubed zucchini
1 cup chopped sweet potato 
2 handful kale
1/2 onion diced
2 cherry tomatoes
(You can use ANY veggies you like- this is just what I happened to have in the fridge)
salt and pepper
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Put brown rice into an ovenproof dish lined with baking paper.

Brown the onion in a fry pan with coconut oil, add the sweet potato and cook until soft then add the kale and zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. 

Put prepared vegetables and eggs into the baking dish and mix well with salt and pepper as required. Slice cherry tomatoes and place on top.

Bake in oven at 180C for about 30 minutes or until egg is cooked through.

Kale, Quinoa and Haloumi Salad
2 cups Kale (massaged with olive oil)
1/2 cup quinoa
1 block of haloumi
salt and pepper

Cook quinoa and fry haloumi, combine with kale once cooled and use salt and pepper to taste.
(The olive oil used to soften and massage the kale should be enough so that dressing isn't needed but add extra as required)

For dessert we had date and coconut balls- literally just a few handfuls of semi dried merijool dates whizzed in a food processor for about 30 seconds and then rolled in desiccated coconut. So delicious, my favourite quick, easy and sweet snack!

As I've just proved it's so easy to cook REAL food. It's something I'm very passionate about. My latest inspiration is Eat Real Food by David Gillespie. It's a great read if you want to do some more research into nutrition without trawling through complicated health journals. His writing is light and uses witty analogies to simplify the science behind eating well. Ideal for healthy foodies wanting to delve deeper or as motivation for someone contemplating a diet overhaul.

I hope your friends enjoy this recipe as much as my girls did, I know your body will love it!

Love Jade


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Why Wanderlust?

Swisse bring us a weekend party that our bodies will actually appreciate!

It's time to start treating our bodies well and give them something to feel great about on Monday morning.

Fitness festivals are the latest event trend, with people gather to exercise and unite over healthy living. It’s so much more invigorating and motivating than getting wasted in a mosh pit to a band you wont remember, losing your phone and dignity (both because of too small shorts) and then feeling like death for 2 days afterwards. Instead why not do something to make your body feel alive and vibrant, in an environment full of good vibes and positive energy? 
These are my kinds of festivals, lots of movement, green juices, active wear stalls, goodie bags filled with protein treats and more! Through Jade’s Life I’ve loved being a part of the Lorna Jane Active Day, Melbourne Fitness expo, Savi Chix Foundation Training and Nike+TC Tour.

One festival that embodies everything I love about healthy culture is Wanderlust 108! It’s a yoga lovers dream; a day packed with fitness, mindfulness, meditation and yoga events. Earlier in the year, yogis and health gurus swanned to Sydney’s Cockatoo Island for 3 days of sunshine, yoga and exercise. Now the fun is coming to Melbourne!

Wanderlust embraces the core of wellbeing values and incorporates health for body, mind and spirit. It’s a “mindful triathlon” of events, with a 5 km run, 90 min yoga class and guided meditation all held in the Catani Gardens in St Kilda.  Djs and live bands will set the mood, described as the 'beating heart of Wanderlust. There will be an abundance of activities and local goodies and crafts to check out.

Swisse are bringing their own blend of health and wellness to the event, with their newest ambassador, Melbourne Vixens captain Bianca Chatfield participating in all of the days events. Thanks to my previous work with Melbourne Vixens and Netball Victoria, I know what an incredible healthy living advocate and worthy role model she is.  

A healthy balanced lifestyle is about exercise but more importantly what you’re putting in your body. At Wanderlust Melbourne expect to find all kind of healthy goodies, with bliss balls, bars and delicious smoothies and meals from wholefoods café’ Mastic, created by another Swisses ambassador, George Calombaris. There will be an abundance of delicious, wholesome treats and new superfood ideas!

This weekend is shaping up to being a beautiful day, celebrating all the positive things about wellbeing and loving the skin you’re in. Wanderlust is the perfect way to add inspiration to your everyday routine and embrace your natural energy and zen. 

Tickets to this day of bliss are on sale now. A portion of proceeds go to The Celebrate Life Foundation, which aims to inspire wellness throughout communities and reduce the trend of preventable diseases.

Wanderlust 108 Melbourne
Saturday 16th May
St Kilda Catani Gardens

Tickets here

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Live Below the Line Challenge- My Nutritional Results and What I Gained

Day 4

Well I guess you already know what my days meals look like, but I’m sure people are wondering if I’m getting enough nutrients and vitamins. I wondered the same thing myself.

On my Live Below the Line diet I’m consuming about 1,100 calories a day with most of my protein and carbohydrates coming from eggs and oats. 

1 cup of oats will provide you with 17 grams fiber and 26 grams of protein.
1 medium egg has approx. 6g protein 5g fat (the good one) and 70 calories.
Kale is very high in vitamins K, A & C and is also rich in manganese that helps with nutrient absorption, wound healing and bone density. Carrots are a great source of vitamin A and potassium. But how does this weigh up? 

According to a Medical Institute study, women should have about 50 grams of protein a day, and more when exercising. By consuming 1 ½ cups of oats daily I’m already in my healthy range for protein as there is about 26g per cup.  Add my 1 or 2 eggs at 6g of protein each and it brings me up to about 45-48 grams of protein.

Carbohydrates should make up about 45-65% of your daily calorie intake.

My servings of porridge give me 40.5g and 2 corn thins per day have 8.7g carbohydrates.

I’ve used the nutritional values from USDGuidelines to put together a percentage chart. My carbohydrates are a little under what they should be but I’m very happy with the amount of protein, considering that I’ve still been doing some light training. I'm still boosting my body with the vitamins from kale and carrots so have felt pretty energetic rather than sluggish and tired. 

Although I havent included the lemon in my tally as it was such a small amount- I added it all week to some of my water and as a dressing for my vegetables. I thought it was important to incorporate some lemon juice into my diet for so many reasons! Check out my Health with a Twist post to read more about the health benefits of lemon.

My average daily intake of calories for the week has been 1184:
Here’s the rough breakdown

Carrots 41 calories
Kale 33 calories
Egg 78 calories
Oats 907 calories
Corn Thins 47 calories

My exercise over 5 days has been

2 x 5k runs (Monday & Friday am) 
3x hot yoga classes
1x weights & cardio gym session 
Walks with my dog twice a day.

So although my diet has changed I have still managed to maintain a healthy balance on just $2 a day. I have done a bit less exercise this week to let my body adjust to the challenge diet but it's been feeling great. I've got one day left and am down to 2 carrots and some oats so Day 5 will be the toughest one yet, but the end is in sight and I'm really appreciating everything about this challenge so far! 

Day 5

I had to be extra organised today because of my travel plans to Melbourne and that I had very little food left. I packed my porridge and my carrots which was a good lesson, both on money saving and also healthy eating when travelling. So often we waste money on food that isn't very good for us due to limited options at airports. However packing my own snacks solved both of these problems and I won't hesitate to take some nuts or carrots on my next flight too. 

I made it through Live Below the Line!

I have learned so much from this challenge- mostly about how little we really do need to get by. With another 2 or 3 items I can happily create many more meals on a budget of $15 or $20 for the week instead of my usual $100 grocery bill. I missed green tea but was sleeping so well that I've decided to cut out even my occasional afternoon coffee at work. 
Health wise I actually feel great, which just goes to show how overindulgent we are with the richness of our foods. My first piece of food was a banana, which Id been craving all week and the texture and taste was like experiencing it for the first time. I ordered a Greek salad for lunch and couldn't believe how oily it was, I was so sensitive to the texture and flavouring of meals. I rely on fruit for my natural sugar and as a treat and I've realised not only how expensive it is but also that I don't need to have it everyday. Believe it or not I still love oats and porridge but will go back to enjoying them in moderation rather than as an everyday staple.

I'm so proud of my efforts and extremely grateful to everyone who donated- My fundraising goal was $400 and I raised over $500. The support was so positive, I couldn't believe how many people were interested in what I was doing and wanted to contribute to help people living in extreme poverty. I gained so much from the challenge; it opened my eyes in so many ways and created conversations about the cause. I hope that readers of my little blog have gained some insight into my experience and may consider some changes in their own life or even trying the challenge themselves next year! Donations are still being accepted until June so please feel free to chip in a dollar or two if you can spare it. For more information on Oaktree and what the donations can provide click here.

Thanks again for all the support! Live Below the Line has been an incredible experience and it has changed my outlook on so many aspects of my life, financially, nutritionally and emotionally.

Love Jade


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Live Below the Line: My $2 a Day Challenge- The Middle

Day 2


Corn cracker & bottle of water
Kale, carrot & boiled egg salad
Carrot sticks as a snack
Roast carrots & kale chips

Yoga this morning felt really good after a day of eating small amounts but I was peckish afterwards as expected. Usually I'd have a protein smoothie ready to go or at least an apple. It was probably a good thing that I was rushing for work because I had a corn cracker and a bottle of water to go, with no time to sit around and look for something more substantial. I’m really starting to miss fruit!

I checked my mailbox on my way out the door and saw a card from my mum. She wrote me a motivating message and put in a packet of gummy bears. She either thinks that I can't do the challenge or is worried about my sugar levels! Thanks mum! (I stuck to my guns and donated the gummy bears to a co-worker who needed cheering up).

Today's lunch is raw kale & carrot salad with boiled egg and lemon juice dressing. Almost sounds like something from a health cafe menu. See? I'm not struggling at all :/

I also packed 3 (now 2 because of my breakfast) corn cakes, some porridge to heat up mid morning and my trusty carrot sticks. Sounds like a feast.
Tonight I had roast carrots and tons of kale chips for dinner. And porridge for dessert of course!

I was so tired when I got home I just cooked, took my dog for a walk then tucked up in bed with a book by 8.30! I’m planning a run in the morning but feel like I could sleep for days, which is so unusual for me!

Day 3

Lemon water
Boiled egg on corn thins
Kale omlette

My run plan didn’t work out this morning, I decided to listen to my body as it adjusts to this new diet and get some more rest. It felt so nice to sleep in a bit!

I had some hot water with lemon for breakfast and took some porridge in to eat at work.  I haven’t been as hungry in the morning as usual, perhaps because I’m having oats at nighttime which is low GI so I feel fuller for longer.
I refilled my lemon water several times to get me through the morning and munched on a carrot before lunch. I decided to head to the gym for an endorphin hit and did a light kettle bell session and some cardio to make up for missing my morning run. Strength was definitely down so I only did 3 sets and had plenty of rest in between. Lunch was a boiled egg on corn thins, a perfect post gym protein hit!

This challenge has really helped me notice that when I lack energy I look to other sources to get a hit. My mid afternoon slump usually has me wanting a cup of tea or piece of fruit but this week I’ve been battling through and forcing myself to concentrate without using food or drink as an excuse to leave my desk. I’m a little lethargic but seem to have more energy at the end of the day once I get through it.

I haven’t really struggled too much with drinking plain water, or with just lemon. I never drink soft drinks and only have coffee once or twice a week usually. I definitely miss my breakfast smoothies and herbal teas, but overall have been very happy with water and I’m sleeping better.

As usual I was starving when I got home so I cooked a kale and egg omlette to have before my yoga class. Yoga is best done on an empty stomach but one little egg and few greens was just what I needed to get me through. I thought I’d find exercise really draining this week but my yoga flow has been steady and I’ve been feeling focused and relaxed during the practice.

Another small bowl of porridge (love that stuff) and an early night tonight.  It feels great to be over halfway. 

A HUGE thank you to everybody who has donated to support the challenge so far. I'm only $32 away from my goal fundraising amount of $400. I'm so grateful  that everyone has been so generous and supportive of the challenge and the worthy cause. 

To see how I'm tracking or to show your support and get me through the last 2 days check out my fundraising page here.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Live Below the Line: My $2 a Day Challenge- The Beginning

This challenge is to raise awareness for those in the world who live below the poverty line. They get by on as little as $2 worth of food a day. I love to fuel my body and put the right things in it, I'll reach for a $12 jar of coconut oil or $7 bottle of almond milk at an organic grocer without much thought or spend $10 on a protein smoothie after a workout. I'm taking this challenge to help raise money for the cause but also enhance my own awareness of what I am consuming. Could I get by on just $2 a day? We're about to find out! You can show your support with a donation here.

My groceries
Kale $2
Rice thins $1
Eggs $3.40
Carrots $1.50
Oats $1.45
Lemon $0.50
Total $9.85

Even the shopping was eye opening- I had to make the ethical decision to opt for 6 free range eggs for $3.40 when cage eggs were $2.80 for 12! And to pick carrots or rice? I don't use rice that much in my usual diet anyway so was happy to have oats to fill me up and carrots as a tasty snack!

Day 1

Boiled eggs on corn thins
Sliced carrots as a snack
Kale and carrot fritters for dinner.

I’m full of optimism and positive thoughts for my challenge. I’m all stocked up with my groceries and have a rough idea of what I can create with my ingredients. My mind is on inventing nutritious meals rather than rationing the portions at this stage.

I did a 5k run in the morning, but am going to be careful to limit my exercise this week so I don’t feel too lethargic.

Porridge for breakfast was kind of standard, however I did miss the banana slices, honey and chia seeds that I usually add!

I had a few queries from people at work who’d heard about the challenge and I made fun of my dismal looking lunch, but it was pretty good actually. As a vegetarian I often have eggs for protein and the corn thins aren’t something I’d usually buy so it didn’t seem too boring. I’m sure by the end of the week I’ll think quite differently!

The afternoon slump was difficult at about 2 or 3pm when I’d usually reach for some fruit. But I had my carrot sticks so at least I didn’t feel hungry, even if I didn't get the sweet hit from fruit.

I snacked on a rice cake when I got home, then realised that doing that every day will soon see me running out of food!

Monday is girls night so I was heading to a girlfriends for dinner. I made sure to eat before I left instead, so I wouldn’t be too tempted by what they were having!

The kale and carrot fritters I made were a complete success, with some kale chips on the side. I just luurve kale.

Luckily I have supportive girlfriends or tonight could have been very awkward. Shantelle has done fitness modelling competitions before and she remembered the feeling of bland meals and having to take your own food when visiting friends. We were all so busy talking and catching up that I could almost completely ignore the delicious smells of her cooking. Almost. But I stuck to sipping my bottle of water.

I slept fine and didn’t feel hungry at all. First day down.

If you'd like to show your support then please check out my profile  and spare some change. Even just $1 makes a difference, thats a whoel bag on corn thins! 

*Donations are open until June 2015

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Getting fit with Nike+ - Advice from Laura Dundovic


The Nike + Training Club (N+TC) at Carriageworks in Sydney offered the opportunity for 2500 women to be part of an epic 5 hour workout experience. The atmosphere was full of energy and the space was beautifully illuminated with Nike logos and inspiring messages. I was lucky enough to score a VIP pass to interview Nike global ambassador and former Miss Universe Laura Dundovic, about her healthy lifestyle tips and Nike journey.
We chatted about fitness, her healthy lifestyle tips and journey with Nike.


Laura is often on the move, travelling for work and says that running and body weight workouts keep her in shape.
My favourite workout is running- I use the Nike plus app and just go.
When you’re busy the NTC app is great, lots of little different workouts that I use when I’m travelling. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with just body weight. When I went away for Miss Universe I learnt a whole heap of body weight exercises. What some people don’t know is that you aren’t allowed to use the gym for one to two months because you’re not allowed to leave the floor of your hotel without a minder. The minder has 3 people to look after so if you don’t all want to go it just doesn’t happen. I couldn’t run or do anything so I just did a lot of body weight exercises, so that’s really good for travelling.

This beauty isn't one for strict diets but her secret is eating clean and preparing her own meals when possible.

I’ve never dieted, but I was brought up with my mum eating really clean so everything that I eat I make myself, if I have hummus I’ll make it myself. For work and socializing, I don’t want to be that person who cant eat anything when I go out. So when I go out with my friends, I can pick the good foods on the menu but if it’s a set menu I’ll still eat what everyone else is eating. When I’m home I just cook really clean for myself and I think that sort of balances it out a bit.
Training hard to keep in shape can often build up a huge appetite but the key is being prepared after 
working out to prevent over eating. 
I love a bit of protein, usually what I’ll do is have a bit of a protein bar or protein smoothie in my bag because I’m on of those people, if I’m not prepared I’ll eat the whole cupboard when I get home from gym. So I’ll cook myself a nice dinner or breakfast or depending what time it is. I’ve never liked to cut out quantity so I’ll have really big meals but really good stuff.

When talking about how to stay balanced we discovered a mutual love for yoga

When you’re stressed yoga is fantastic, and also meditation.

Even Nike ambassadors have days when they struggle to train. Laura credits good music for keeping her motivated.

I love a good playlist! As soon as I put new songs on my phone it’s so exciting when it comes on during a workout so that’s kind of how I drag myself out of bed.

Being a Nike ambassador sounds as good as I’d imagined it would be…

You get to wear pretty cool outfits so I am very spoilt with all my running gear. As well as all that the events that they do are just something else. They are such big events and I was so excited to come today just to see the set up of it. The fact that it’s global means there are opportunities to travel. As I said I had the chance to go overseas with them last year and as well as that I’ve just made some really incredible friends, girls who I get along with who I love training with so that’s just great.

And she has some great advice on how to maintain fitness goals

I know people sort of say that I can’t do that or it’s too hard- so just to set your own goals, to work out and push yourself as far as you can go. Keep moving that bar up. That’s how I tend to do it, I run as I said I did a half marathon last year and a full marathon as well and just sort of pushing the bar each time. Even with a day like today you can come and even if you don’t think you can give it your all for the whole workout give it your all for 70% of the workout and take it slow for the last 30% and do it that way. 

After our chat I left Laura to finish prepping for the warm up workout while I checked out what else was happening around the event.

As well as the training platforms the impressive N+TC site also showcased the latest in fitness fashion and health. As you’d expect there were lots of great new release Nike apparel, I loved the new season colours. The tasting stations had clean and raw goodies to refuel the women as they alternated through the training combinations led by the Nike Mater Trainers. There was a beauty bar for makeup touch ups, an absolute necessity with all those selfies going on. At the braid station it was apparent that yoga buns are so last year, 2015 is all about the double braid when working out! Down time is essential for your body to reap the benefits of training so there were plenty of chill out areas to recover after the intense sessions. They were comfy and stylish and a great spot for more selfies.

The feedback from the event was really positive; the energy of the women created an electric vibe. It was a fitness lovers paradise, meeting likeminded people, pushing limits, trying different routines, learning new moves and being a part of the inspiring Nike+ TC experience.

For more information on upcoming Nike events or images from the Sydney event check out their website.

This weekend I also had some fun with my SAVICHIX crew and learned a new foundation technique from Pro Surfer Trainer Johnny Gannon that I can't wait to share with everyone! 

Feel free to comment or tweet if you were at Nike+ TC or other fun fitness events! 

Love Jade