Get Results From Foam Rolling


With exercise comes tight muscles and over time, repetitive exercise on tight muscles can cause serious injuries. One very effective way to relieve tight muscles is stretching, and foam rolling is an awesome way to stretch those muscles that can be otherwise hard to get in to. You don’t even need a foam roller to do it. As you can see, I use whatever I have at my disposal… Medicine balls, tennis balls, sometimes I just lay awkwardly over gym machines haha.

In saying that though, it can be quite painful (especially if you really need it!) and if you’re going to put yourself through the agony, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. Here’s what I’ve learned about foam rolling effectively:

Start at the one end of the muscle you’re rolling and VERY slowly, roll down the muscle. You will feel points on the muscle that will be tighter (and hurt more) than the rest. When you get to these points, stop rolling and hold. Stay on this point and focus on breathing in deeply, and out completely. After about 30 seconds to a minute, you should feel the muscle slowly start to release, or just not be so painful.

If it’s not releasing, you can try slowly rolling a couple of millimetres up and down over the particular point, but don’t go crazy and start rolling all the way up and down the muscle, as this will have little effect. Once the point has released, keep rolling SLOWLY down the muscle until you find the next tight spot and hold. Repeat all the way down the muscle releasing all the sore points, and then that’s enough for one session.

When you foam roll, you are actually breaking down soft tissue to release tightness. So if you overdo it by continuing to go over and over the same points, you can actually cause yourself some damage. You should avoid rolling your lower back and NEVER roll a joint or bone. Make sure you go very lightly on your neck, and seek professional advice if pain persists in this area. In between rolling sessions, be active (and eat your protein) to get that nutrient-carrying blood pumping through your muscles, and stick to regular stretching. Unless your physio or health professional says otherwise, one good session on the foam roller a day should be enough.

Happy Rolling! 

What’s the Best Exercise to Work my _____?


(The guy who asked me this was actually asking me about chest muscles, but this answer pretty much applies to every muscle group.)

There is actually no single best exercise for any muscle group. In fact, it’s not actually very beneficial to do the same exercise/s over and over. Your muscles have memory, and if they are always being worked in the same way, your body starts to know what you are going to do before you even do it, it becomes no shock/challenge to your body, your results will begin to plateau and you are more susceptible to injury. (This is one of the reasons crossfitters often end up injured – doing the same movements and exercises over and over and over.)

Instead, using a range of different exercises to target said muscle group from all directions/angles, will give a far better result. Let’s use chest as an example. If you only ever do bench press, your muscles are only ever going to be strong when you’re trying to push something straight out in front of you. But what about if you lift something off the ground, or push something downwards, or push something from left to right, across the front of your body? All these movements would require use of the chest muscles, so wouldn’t it make more sense to be strong from every angle?

There are 3 planes of motion that you can work through, sagital (forward and backward), frontal (side to side) and rotational. Depending on what you’re actually trying to achieve from working out and how often and how much you’re targeting a muscle group, you don’t necessarily have to work through them all in the one single workout. But to gain maximum results and functionality, over a period of time you should always MIX UP your exercises to target the muscles in different planes, angles and directions.

How to Get Skinny Legs

Toned Legs

Thanks to a growing interest in fitness and obtaining the “bikini body” on social media, most of us are aware that you can’t spot reduct (to just work a particular body part and lose fat from that area). And we know that where we lose body fat from first is determined by our genetics and hormones. But we also know that you can target specific muscles and get strong, toned muscles in that area. So the amount of girls that tell me that all they need to do is squats, leg press, etc and other leg exercises, because they just want skinny, toned legs astounds me – this is so wrong it’s not funny.

Yes, it’s true that we females don’t produce very much testosterone and will not put on muscle and size at the rate that our male friends will… BUT if all you do is train legs, legs, legs every workout, then yes, your legs are still going to get pretty thick and muscly. There are a few genetically blessed (depending on your outlook) women out there who no matter what they do, they will never ever have big legs, but I’m talking to the 90% of the rest of us here. No, I’m not saying for a second that you should avoid working your leg muscles, but you definitely don’t need to smash them until you can’t walk, and then again the next day, and the next, week in week out. Because even though we don’t produce a lot of testosterone, we still do produce it. And over time, if you are focussing on only one muscle group (i.e. Legs) your legs are going to build a lot of muscle, and become disproportionately big compared to the rest of your body.

Actually the best thing to do if you want skinny, toned legs is FULL BODY resistance workouts (including your legs), and lots of both high and low intensity cardio to speed up the burning of fat from your whole body (because as we know, you can’t spot reduct). Boxing is super effective, because it combines all of the above! Also be aware that if you are new to training, or have a lot of fat to lose, it may not necessarily be the squats and lunges etc making your legs big. It could just be that your body is genetically engineered to burn fat from everywhere else first and your legs last… and the fact that you now have some muscle tone underneath that fat just makes your legs look like they are one big hunk of chunky muscle. Think of this as an “in between” stage and just keep working that whole body, keep your diet on point and you will get there! 

Diet also plays a huge part. If you are overeating, or eating a lot of high calorie/junk food, your body needs to burn this off at some point in order for you to stay lean. So if you are eating so much that you have to train at a very high intensity every day or even more than once a day, then you are also going to be smashing your muscles, and going to have a lot faster gains. You may also burn out faster and risk causing yourself an over-use injury. Awesome if that’s what you want, but not if you want “skinny” legs.

I also just want to add a little note that by posting this, I am not at all trying to say that “skinny legs” is an image we should strive for. This is just a question I get asked often and find that there is a lot of misinformation about, and I hope this has answered some questions for anyone reading it. It is my personal belief that being fit and healthy is far more important than having a particular “look”, but if you can have it all, then why not? 😉 For some people having “skinny legs” is genetically impossible without taking unhealthy measures, but by taking my advice above, you can still maximise your results.

3 Ways to Dress Muscly Shoulders to look Slim and Elegant

Since I started boxing 2 years ago, one of the most noticeable changes in my body has been the increase of muscle tone in my shoulders. At first I hated it; I thought it looked masculine, and tried to avoid doing all the necessary strength work required of anyone who wants to take the sport seriously. But then I discovered that it’s all in the way you dress. I was still wearing clothes to suit my old body shape, and once I experimented with a few new styles, I started to love my shoulders.

1. Show off your hips. By accentuating/enhancing the look of your hips, this will balance out the width of your shoulders as well as making your waist look smaller to give you a more womanly, hour-glass figure… Win-win! There are a few ways you can do this. Wearing a fitted/tailored skirt/dress that shows off your lower shape and pulls in closer to the knee will accentuate your hips (as in my outfit post below). Or, wearing a skirt that is tight at the waist and flares out over the hips. Either way, high-waisted skirts are definitely your friend here.

When it comes to bikinis, I like to wear the ones with tie sides, because it gives the illusion of a little extra width on my hips.

2. Strapless or spaghetti-strap tops and dresses are generally not your friend. They draw attention to your chest and shoulders and can make your shoulders look bigger. Halter and tank tops, particularly with thicker straps break up the shoulders and chest and will make your shoulders look smaller.

3. If wearing high neck tops/dresses, try to make sure they don’t cut in too thinly across the front. As you can see in the one I am wearing below, it sits quite wide across my chest, so it’s basically just my arms out the side. Showing more skin will make your shoulders look bigger.

Let me also add that posture plays a huge part too. Stand tall and pull your shoulders back as far as you can, but without puffing up your chest. If you struggle, regularly doing some chest and shoulders stretches will help. My favourites are to put one arm straight out against a wall (palm on the wall) and then rotate my body away from the wall. Also, if you try and clasp your hands behind your back, then straighten your arms and lift them up behind you.

If you have any other tips please comment them below… I would love to hear them! 




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Top: Abercrombie and Fitch US$19

Skirt: Armani Exchange US$39

Necklace: Bardot AU$29.95

Shoes: Steve Madden US$59.95

The Power of Positivity


“When one door closes another door opens”

I generally try to always look for a positive in every situation; I have learnt that it makes me a happier, nicer, more successful person. So when it was 2 days before I was taking off to Vegas to compete in an international pageant for US$50,000 prize money and I got home from work to try on my hand-made, designer evening gown that had arrived that day and I couldn’t even get it up over my knees, I was sitting on my bed at 10pm at night, exasperated and trying to find a positive … and that was the best I could come up with.

So thinking how my next door was going to open, my next thought was “I wonder how a brand new, equally as amazing dress is going to pop up out of thin air within 24 hours when I don’t have time to even go shopping or look around?” I actually wasn’t thinking sarcastically haha, I was thinking that in awe at how the universe was going to pull off something so crazy… Sounds stupid I know, but that’s how my positive mind works. And would you believe it but it just did. It’s now 40 odd hours later and I am on a plane to Las Vegas with a dress I couldn’t be happier with, and even better than the original.

The power of positivity…

So the next morning when I had a client cancel, (thanks Tabatha if you’re reading this haha), I raced home to call the designer, send some pictures and figure out a plan going forward. There was no point in getting angry or playing the blame game, because that doesn’t solve problems and by this stage, I had only 24 hours. The plan was to express post it back to her in Sydney, she would fix it up and send it international express post to Vegas, and it should (hopefully) arrive 1-2 days to spare before the big night… Not even stressful 😐

She asked me to cut a split in the too-tight skirt part of the dress, so that I would be able to get it on and we could see how it fit otherwise. To my flatmate’s horror, I chopped a big split right up the front to reveal the beautifully figure-hugging, watermelon coloured underlay. After taking and sending off a million photos, I took another look in the mirror and thought how stunning the dress looked in 2-tone with the underlay now revealed. When I mentioned this to the designer, she couldn’t have been more helpful in organising a tailor to get it all stitched up properly, and taken in in the right places to transform the dress into something even better than the original, and by 730pm of the night before my early flight!

I could have cried about it, blamed everyone else around me, felt sorry for myself and ended up just re-wearing an old dress, or wearing a borrowed dress that wouldn’t fit me as well, or that I didn’t like as much… But if you’re not giving your best on that $50,000 stage against 50 other confident, stunningly beautiful girls then you may as well not compete. Instead, I put my negative thoughts aside, I made a plan A, B, C, D and even a plan E and refuse to let it beat me. And now I’m sitting on a plane to Vegas with the most beautiful dress pinching myself to check that my doors closed and opened the way I think they just did.

See, the power of a positivity 😉

My Essential Eight


Eight things I consume daily to stay younger, fitter, healthier, longer…

I will literally eat steamed sweet potato at least 2, sometimes 3 times per day. I have it in my omelettes, salads, disguised in yummy snacks, with other veggies at dinner… I love it!

Although it shares a name with the common potato, it is actually from a completely different family of vegetables and is so much better for you! It is relatively low in calories, but high in fibre, which makes it a good “filler” rather than eating bread, rice, potatoes, pasta etc… all those starchy carbs that make weight loss/management difficult!

Sweet potatoes also contain a high level of beta-carotene, a carotenoid compound that has been found to protect against cancer and ageing. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that help soak up damaging compounds produced by the stresses and strains of life, especially when the body is fighting disease. They are also responsible for the red pigment in fruit and vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes. Studies have shown that consuming a diet high in carotenoid-containing vegetables (sweet potato, most dark green veggies, carrots, tomatoes etc) will give you a better “healthy glowing skin” look that a sun-tan will! The test subjects also reported that they tanned more easily in the sun and held a sun-tan for longer as a result of the extra consumption of carotenoids. Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin, so eating with foods like olive oil or nuts can help you absorb these amazing carotenoids!

A female test subject's skin tone, left: with a suntan, middle: natural, Right: after regularly consuming more carotenoids. (Image: University of Nottingham)
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Which leads me to tomatoes! According to mum, these have been my favourite thing since I learned to eat. So for me, all these benefits are just a bonus:

Not only do they carry high levels of carotenoids, but also lycopene, which makes skin less sensitive to damage from UV light, a strong cause of wrinkles and fine lines. Lycopene can also reduce the risk of several cancers, including cervical, ovarian, stomach, mouth, pharynx, throat, oesophagus, colon, rectal, prostate cancer. Tomatoes’ antioxidants (vitamins A and C) fight the free radicals which can cause cell damage. Vitamin A found in tomatoes will also help make hair strong and shiny!

As well as many other vitamins and minerals, tomatoes are a very good source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar. Tomatoes are awesome for weight management because they contain lots of water and fibre, which fills you up fast without adding a lot of calories or saturated fats (tomatoes are fat-free!)



Avocado intake is linked with increased nutrient absorption. A study suggests that, when participants ate salad including avocados, they absorbed up to five times the amount of carotenoids than those who did not. They are one of the best natural mouth washes, working by cleansing the intestine (which is the real cause of coated tongue and bad breath).

My Favourite ways to eat avocado is mashed up with a little fetta cheese and smeared on my veggie omelette, or combined with olive oil to make salads creamy without having to add dressing. I also love it with tomato, or even just on it’s own or with a little salt and pepper.

Avocados are also a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that research has shown may help to limit free radical damage (that damages cells promoting cancer and wrinkles!) For this reason, avocado oil is added in many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow. It also helps to treat psoriasis, a skin condition that causes redness and irritation. Ancient Mayans (who possibly came up with guacamole) considered the avocado to be a food which keeps joints moving freely and the skin young-looking and supple.
Avocado can also be of benefit topically on the skin, as it’s oil is similar to human oils… Try this avocado facial!

– Remove makeup and wash your face with warm water and a cleanser

– Mash some avocado with a little milk or oatmeal and apply it on your face like a face mask

– Leave it for 10 minutes, then rinse it off thoroughly with water

As one of the oldest known and most powerful spices, I add cinnamon to my breakfast every morning.

When I’m not sweating it out at work or training, I’m swimming at the beach or laying in the sun, and especially in summer, this can be an invitation for nasty fungal infections. Cinnamon has strong antifungal properties, and it’s been said that candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Since including cinnamon in my daily diet, I have not had a single fungal infection.Also, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower your bad cholesterol (or LDL) for better circulation and heart health. Even just smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory!



Other than the fact that it’s stacked full of cancer-fighting, anti-ageing, blood-sugar regulating, body-cleansing vitamins and minerals… Asparagus is amazing for weight loss. How? Four asparagus spears have just 13 calories, 1g of protein, no fat, no cholesterol, hardly any sugar and just 8 mg of sodium. Asparagus is loaded with fibre, which means your body has to burn more calories just to process these 4 little spears!

I usually use asparagus in my daily brekky omelette, it goes in all my salads as well as being a key ingredient in one of my favourite snacks: tomato and asparagus wrapped in leg ham off the bone!

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I eat 3 eggs every day, and that’s just for breakfast… More if I have them in a salad later in the day.

Eggs are one of the best sources of protein around (needed for muscle and cell growth and repair). In fact, the biological value (a measure of protein quality) is often evaluated by comparing it to eggs, which are given the perfect score of 100. While most people are aware that “egg whites” are good for you due to their high protein content, what most people don’t know is that all the nutrients of an egg are actually contained in the yolk. And a LOT of nutrients at that… Egg yolks contain a small amount of almost every essential vitamin and mineral required by the human body!

What about the cholesterol?
One large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is high compared to many other foods. But just because a food contains cholesterol, doesn’t mean that it will raise the bad cholesterol in the blood. Your liver actually produces cholesterol every day. If you eat cholesterol, then your liver produces less. If you don’t eat cholesterol, then your liver produces more of it. Studies have shown that eggs actually IMPROVE the cholesterol profile. They raise HDL (good) cholesterol and increase the size of LDL particles, which should lower the risk of heart disease.



The first thing I eat each day when I wake up at 430am is my chia seed pudding. It’s an awesome high-protein, low-carb brekky, high fibre option, and 3 tbs keeps me full til around 8-10am when I have time to make a bigger breakfast. Other than the fact that these little guys are considered a super food, my favourite thing about them is that they absorb an incredible amount of water, so if you soak them for a few hours (I usually leave them overnight so they’re ready when I wake up), they turn into a jelly-like consistency. They’re pretty tasteless, so you can add whatever to them and give them any flavour you like!

Also, they don’t need to be refrigerated, so the chia pudding is a great snack to have handy when on the go!



Spinach is one of the most versatile vegetables and will go in or with just about anything! It’s also rated as the one of the most nutrient dense, lowest calorie vegetables in existence, so it’s perfect for a getting a huge hit of nutrients without over-doing the calories. One cup fresh spinach = about 7 kCal and one cup cooked spinach = about 40 kCal, with about 30% of those coming from proteins (varies in different types). And it’s another carotenoid vegetable! 

I put spinach in and with just about EVERYTHING. Salads, omelettes, breakfasts, dinners… Chopped up really small, you don’t even notice it’s there!


And although this isn’t a “food” as such, it’s still one of the most important things I do to look after my body.
I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and I avoid taking painkillers every single time I have a minor ache or pain. I try to mostly eat unprocessed natural foods rich in enzymes, which means my body has to use less of it’s own enzymes to break down food… keeping me younger, fitter and healthier, longer!

Avril Style Omlette


99% of the time, I can’t cook to save my life, and then I have days like today. I was dea set on having avocado for brekky, but I’d run out of my seed “bread”. So I made an omelette, literally ust throwing in whatever left over veggies I had in the fridge and hoping for the best. Then I mashed up my avocado with a little goat’s cheese fetta and smeared it on top… And it was quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever made!

Here’s what I put in the frypan with 1 tbs olive oil, in this order:

 – 1/2 an onion

 – 3 diced spears of asparagus

- 1 medium zucchini

 – a couple of pieces of pre-steamed sweet potato

 – 1 diced roma tomato or a few chopped up semi-sundried tomatoes

 – a large handful of baby spinach leaves, chopped

 – some fresh parsley, chopped

While that was all cooking for a few minutes, I whisked up 2 whole eggs in a bowl then poured it over the top of the fry-pan mix to cook into an omelette. While it was cooking I made my avocado mash (1/4 avocado), washed the dishes and in under 20 minutes the whole thing was ready to eat!

Happy days :)

Tips for Staying on Track with Healthy Eating


This week at Wickedbodz, we kicked off another one of our 40Days2Fit challenges. I wanted to know exactly what my challengers were going through, so I decided to follow the exact plan and all the advice that I give to them, and clamp down on my diet (and exercise, but I already do plenty so that didn’t really change)

It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it definitely helped me to understand some of the mental battles that people go through, and more importantly how to overcome them. And after only one week, I’ve lost nearly 2kg…

  >> It’s ok to be hungry. Ok, so it’s not the most comfortable feeling and I don’t recommend that you are should feel like you are constantly starving, but you don’t need to go running for the fridge as soon as you feel it. In fact, I think it’s a good exercise some people should try for a couple of days; don’t eat unless you’re really hungry – like feeling sick and stomach hurting kind of hungry – rather than just eating because it’s meal time. This helps to understand and calculate portion sizes, many people eat just because it’s meal time and eat too much, so over a whole day it adds to a lot more calories than what was required, and difficulty losing weight. Our bodies are actually capable of surviving for weeks and months without food, so an hour or few until you can get to a healthy meal or snack is really not going to kill you. Don’t give in to the junk food because you feel “I just have to eat something”. You don’t.

>> With that said, Be Prepared, with healthy handbag / car snacks / heat and eat meals in the fridge etc, so you don’t have to be in that situation. Every week I steam up a but batch of veggies and leave them in the fridge ready to quickly heat in the microwave and eat if I’m in a rush, and if I run out, I’ve always got my back up frozen veggies in the freezer 😉

>> How did I stay away from yummy food temptations? Keep in mind that there is a healthier option that you like just as much, if not more. After training on Friday night, I was tired and a little time restricted to get ready for an appearance later that night. “I’ll just get a kebab” I thought, starting to salivate in excitement. As far as fast food goes, it’s not really the worst option, but I still felt a little guilty about going off the plan. So I thought, “what can I eat that’s fast, just as good, but healthier?” I compromised, and bought 1/4 BBQ Chicken instead and made a quick salad at home. It really was just as yummy as a kebab, but I felt a million percent better knowing I’d eaten something healthy, and my body showed it the next day.

>> As a real test to myself, I’ve had a chocolate sitting on the front of the top shelf in the fridge all week. It’s the first thing I see every time I go to make food, and when I’m at my hungriest. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard not to eat it, as normally I would convince myself I’ll just train it off. But with this attitude I’d stay the same, and never progress. So instead I just think to myself “oh but Max Brenners is better, I’ll save myself for that on Sunday”, then I have a big glass of water and handful of grapes or cherry tomatoes to fix up my sugar craving while I’m making my main meal and all of a sudden I don’t really feel like that chocolate anyway. So now it’s become a bit of a game… How long can I keep it there for? And every day it’s still there, I feel a little bit more powerful 

>> Always keep your goal at the forefront of your mind. To kick off the 40Days2Fit challenge on Monday night, we had a sports psychologist Mark Edmondson come out and talk to everyone. Something I really got out of his talk was when he said something along the lines of “To get anywhere in life you must have a clear vision of where/what/who you want to be, and make daily decisions and actions in line with that vision. Without that you are just cruising through life and before you know it days, months, years will pass you by”. Doing this would have to be the single biggest thing that has helped me this week, in fact to the point where I don’t even care if I go to Max Brenner today or not (it’s Sunday today). I’m so happy with what I achieved this week without it that I’m happy to just had another handful of grapes instead, haha. Every time I’ve made a decision this week, whether it be to go to bed early so I get a good nights sleep, to push myself that little but harder in a training session, or to stick to my diet regime, I’ve had a clear mental image of my goal in the forefront of my mind and made my decisions accordingly.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Happy Sunday xx