Sometimes we just need a little Winter wellness weekend to refresh, relax and pamper. Forget expensive airfares and long haul flights; jump in the car and head to our local favourites, thaw out and indulge.


Ellen Tibaldi writes:

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Lake House

Daylesford, VIC

The Lake house is a tranquil retreat with rooms and suites on the waterfront or in their beautiful lodge. Their head chefs embrace seasonal and regional ingredients to create cutting edge, modern Australian Cuisine. The Lakehouse is also home to the Salus Spa which offers private treetop mineral water spas, advanced performance facials and seasonal signature body treatments.

For more click here 


Peninsula Hot Spring

Mornington Peninsula, VIC

The peninsula hot springs is famous for its unique outdoor mineral bathing experience. Their bath house has over 20 experiences to choose from and thats not including their day spa packages. The spa dreaming centre is focused on providing tranquility and relaxation which is easily created amongst such beautiful surroundings.

For more click here


Samadhi Health & Wellness Retreat & Spa

Daylesford, VIC

Samadhi spa encourages their guests to design their own personal ‘Samadhi’ experience. Stay a weekend or up to 5 days and enjoy their wide selection of rejuvenating spa treatments, complimentary therapies and retreats. Samadhi offers you healing spa services and rituals infused with traditional wisdom from around the world. Samadhi retreats focus on health and wellbeing, delicious cuisine and rejuvenating spa treatments.

For more click here 


Saltair Spa

Torquay VIC

Offering the ultimate day spa experience, Saltair’s luxurious spa resort is the perfect setting to relax, unwind and enjoy stunning views of rolling green hills and crystal blue water. Saltair spa offers a complete menu of day spa treatments which include highest quality aromatherapy oils, earth ochres, desert salts, ocean mineral polishes, moisturisers and elixirs.

For more click here 

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa Relaxation Pool 060213

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa

Hepburn Springs, VIC

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa has been in operation since 1895, with their communal baths filled with the natural mineral waters of the area. The spa also offers a range of hydrotherapies including spa, relaxation pools, spa couches, aroma steam room and salt therapy pools. Also available, the day spa which is dedicated to relaxation and wellbeing.

For more click here 

GKS Purple Performance

Pre- and post-workout smoothies never tasted so good thanks to our favourite foodies David and Luise of Green Kitchen Stories. Beets (and other nitrate-rich vegetables) improve blood and oxygen flow in muscles and prompt them to use the oxygen more efficiently. Sour cherries are rich in antioxidants and help the body to recover from intense training, as well as reducing delayed-onset muscle pain. So next time you finish your workout instead of opting for a protein shake, grab your blender, and give this a whirl.. literally




1 small raw beetroot, peeled (approx. 80 g/3 oz)

1 tablespoon dried sour cherries or sour cherry powder (or goji berries)

60 g (2 oz/½ cup) frozen raspberries

1 ripe banana, peeled

1 tablespoon hemp seeds or hemp protein powder (or more if you like)

½–1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or ¼–½ teaspoon ground ginger)

350 ml (12 fl oz/1½ cups) almond milk (or unsweetened milk of choice)

1–2 tablespoons lemon juice



Depending on the strength of your blender, roughly chop or grate the beetroot and add it to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients.

Blend on a high speed until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the spiciness and sourness to your liking by adding more ginger or lemon juice if necessary.

Pour into two medium-sized glasses and serve, or store in a large airtight glass bottle to pack into your gym bag (as featured in the photo).


Recipe from Green Kitchen Smoothies Book.



Let me introduce you to Voome, the new online lifestyle tool that I’ve been road testing over the past week. I don’t know about you, but a glass of red wine or a bowl of chips on a Friday evening is sometimes exactly what I need. A lot of fitness apps in the market make you feel, quite frankly, shit for straying off track. So, when I came across Voome, a new online lifestyle tool from the brains behind Michelle Bridges’ 12WBT, I was pretty damn happy. It’s all about a realistic, balanced approach to health.

Voome is here to support those like myself that already know the ins and outs when it comes to health, nutrition and fitness. I’ve finally found a tool that acts as a support system, helping to systemise and plan your workouts and meals. It also provides you with an overview of your desired “weekly routines,” so you can tick them off as you go and remind yourself where you are up to.


Whether you are a busy mum trying to think up recipe ideas or on a goal to trim and tone up, the Meal Planner offers a wide variety of dishes that you can choose from to plan for the week ahead. It provides you with a print out card to take to the supermarket to ensure you don’t miss out on any ingredients (yep, guilty!)  a list of the nutritional content so you can hit your macros and even calorie content, saving you time on working it out for yourself if that’s what you are into. Just bookmark your favourite recipes for a later date and expand your healthy cooking options with these simple to follow, nutritious and of course; delicious meals. I’ll be creating my own Voome Collection with my favourite workouts and recipes for you to follow my routine to give you a helping hand…so stay tuned! 

As a Health Coach and model, time is poor between jobs and castings. I’ve found Voome extremely useful and incorporating it into my daily life has helped me optimize my current fitness and food regimes. As a result, it has allowed me to spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying what to eat next and not making it to the gym. Let’s be honest. It’s winter, I’m more likely to hit snooze 10 times and do my workout later in the comfort of my heated lounge rather then hit the gym at 5.30am getting frost bite before I hit the ground on my first burpee.

So next time you’re feeling guilty for sleeping in, load your workouts and try the Short, Smart and Extra Sharp workouts – they are killer, aimed to burn a truck load of calories, increase your fitness and give your fitness the acceleration it needs to reach your goals. 

Check into my Instagram tomorrow to see how you and a friend could win a one month subscription to Voome!


To check out the hype, click here.





It’s winter, it’s cold, and whilst we all love our soups and slow cooked hearty meals, sometimes we just feel like a good ol’ salad.

Forget the light and leafy salad that we chow down during summer time, I’m talking about those hearty winter salads with ancient grains, roasted vegetables, plenty of flavour, and comforting creamy dressings. The body is a miraculous thing, and we often forget it knows best. Craving heartier food in winter is completely natural; consumption of more root vegetables, grains, protein,and even more fats is essential to keep our body warm and keep us grounded.

According to Ayurveda eating in season helps maintain healthy weight and optimises energy levels throughout your day. So next time you think you should be eating a light a leafy salad because you fear you have perhaps over consumed on the carbs, remember that your body burns  fuel more in winter and needs to be replenished with complex carbohydrates, root vegetables and warming foods. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember to give your body what it wants.

This is one of my all-time favourite winter salads; every ingredient is chosen for it’s health benefit and combined together  to make the perfect, Japanese inspired bowl.


Wild Rice: Has an earthy nutty flavour that is high in protein, dietary fibre, amino acids and more digestible then regular white rice.

Kale: High in Iron, antioxidants, fibre, and anti-inflammatory.

Nori: Dried seaweed is high in iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C and A, protein, Vitamins B, fibre and so much more.

Eggplant: High in water for extra hydration during the cooler months and high in fibre, potassium , vitamin C, vitamin B-6 – great for supporting heart health.

Miso: Fermented soy bean that aids in digestion, is anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.


Finding ingredients to gain maximum nutrition is all part of a healthy eating plan.

As the ambassador of Westfield KNOX:  EAT.DRINK.WESTFIELD Festival I will be on site this Saturday for live cooking demonstrations to show you just how easy it is. I’ll also be around for a meet and greet and can help answer any of your questions. Come and sample some delicious goodies, while you do your grocery shop, and enjoy fresh food tasting from local vendors.  For more information on event details click here



1 cup Wild Rice

1 cup edamame beans, shelled.

1 large eggplant

6 large kale leaves

2 tbs sesame seeds

5- 10 sheets of Nori (Sushi paper)



2 Tbs white miso paste

1 tbs rice wine vinigar

1 knob fresh ginger

1 1/2 tbs pure maple syrup

1 tbs tahini

1 – 2 tbs Water to water it down



Preheat a fan forced oven to 180 degrees C.

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of wild rice to 2 cups of water to the boil and bring to a simmer. Cook for around 20 minutes or as to packet instructions.

Place 1 cup of edamame beans on the stove, simmering for 5 minutes until cooked. Drain.

Prepare the Dressing by combining all in a jug and and mixing with a spoon, add 1 tbs of water at a time to thin out if too runny.

Cut the eggplant in half length ways then into generous chunks (around 4cm x 4cm) and toss the eggplant in a bowl with half the miso sauce, coating evenly.

Spread out on a tray and bake for 10 – 15 minutes.

Whilst baking, chop up the kale leaves and place in a bowl, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, massaging the kale leaves until well coated.

Chop or break up the nori sheets into strips.

Drain the rice, place in a salad bowl, add in the cooked edamame beans, nori, eggplant and kale. Drizzle some more dressing and sprinkle with some sesame seeds to serve.







Let me introduce you to DOSE, the brain child of Naturopath Reece Carter – created with a vision to restore vitality and invigorate natural energy pathways, all while respecting the body’s natural rhythms. Forget coffee jitters and sugar rushes. They’re temporary energy hits, giving you a brief buzz before you topple head-first into a crash. DOSE changes that, meeting your immediate energy needs whilst also replenishing and storing for the future.


Don’t be fooled this little gem packs a powerful punch and will aid in restoring your energy sources, support healthy cognitive function and help buffer the effects of stress. Throw this one in your gym bag, hand bag or keep it at your desk.


To purchase your daily DOSE of vitality click here

smallThere is no doubt Winter has well and truly kicked in down here in the Southern Hemisphere. The harsh contrast in weather and exposure to heated rooms can cause havoc on our skin. To help you keep your bod in check, we will be sharing our top beauty hacks to keep your skin looking fabulous and hydrated. Read below for a couple of our go-to’s and keep an eye out for more on the Winter Beauty Hacks addition coming up this month.


Ellen Tibaldi writes:


Dry Skin Brushing

The idea of taking a bristled brush to your dry skin seems crazy and not to mention painful, however this inexpensive treatment you can do at home has some major benefits. Make sure you purchase a natural brush with a long handle. Then in the bath or shower (sans water) begin to brush your entire body starting at the feet, always sweeping the brush toward your heart. Brush each area several times taking extra care on more sensitive areas. When finished, jump in the shower then pat dry. When your skin is dry apply a natural oil such as jojoba or coconut, repeat at least once daily. Dry skin brushing will exfoliate your skin, which is great in winter as it allows your moisturiser to do its job better. It also helps kick start your lymphatic system which helps removes toxins from your body, exactly what you want during flu season.


Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!

Many people think exfoliating skin on your face can do more damage than good, however when done correctly exfoliating is worth the hype. In either cleanser or masque form a gentle exfoliator should be added to your skincare routine two to three times a week this winter. Due to the cold air during winter, our skin dehydrates quicker. Exfoliating will remove the top layer of dead skin cells, and just like the dry brush method, this will help your skin absorb your moisturiser more effectively.


Speaking of moisutriser, make sure you are using an oil based product rather than water-based.

Oils such as almond, avocado, primrose and many more are great at conditioning and moisturising the skin without clogging pores. They help lock in moisture by creating a protective layer on the skin. Many skincare items marketed as ‘night creams’ will be oil based.


Meet David and Luise, the fabulous duo behind popular recipe blog Green Kitchen Stories.  No doubt you are fully aware of who this vegetable loving couple are and have found yourself lost on their site or insta feed for hours on end, entrapped by an impeccable array of colourful, whole food – filled plates and nourishing beverages that make you want to lick your screen. Today we share a one of our favourite recipes from their new book Green Kitchen Smoothies (excitingggg) and we hope you enjoy them just as much as we do. 


Green Kitchen Stories write:

Nut-based smoothies have always been one of our absolute favourites, with their rich, creamy, sweet and satisfying flavour. To prevent the nutty taste from being too overpowering in this smoothie, we add some fresh blueberries to the bottom of the glasses or glass bottle. They balance out the flavours and at the same time create beautiful blue patterns in the smoothie. For extra finesse, we like to finish with a sprinkling of roughly chopped toasted salted nuts.



2 ripe bananas, peeled (use frozen bananas for a thicker consistency)

½ ripe avocado, stone removed

3 tablespoons hazelnut butter (or any other Nut Butter)

1 tablespoon cacao powder

375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) cold almond milk

pinch sea salt


To Serve

fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)

toasted, salted almonds or hazelnuts, roughly chopped*



Roughly chop the bananas and add to a blender along with the flesh of the avocado and the rest of the ingredients.

Blend on a high speed until completely smooth.

Divide the blueberries between two medium-sized glasses or put them in a large glass bottle (as featured in the photo). Muddle them slightly with the back of a spoon to release some of their juices.

Pour the nut smoothie on top of the muddled blueberries, finish with a sprinkling of the nuts and serve.


* To toast the nuts, take the roughly chopped raw nuts and toast them in a dry frying pan (skillet) on a medium heat with a pinch of sea salt for approx. 5 minutes or until golden. If you have a sweet tooth, try adding some cold-pressed coconut oil, a drizzle of pure maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt to the pan (½ teaspoon each of the coconut oil and maple syrup to every 2 tablespoons of nuts).


One thing I love about camping is cooking simple, easy meals with what you have on hand. Often you find yourself eating leftovers and this Baked Eggs dish is a great way to use those leftover vegetables from the night before. All you need is a frypan, a stove top, vegetables of choice and some eggs. The variations are endless so try your favourite vegetable combinations, and see how you go.



Use any vegetable you like. I used:

1 medium sized eggplant

Button mushrooms cut in half



Cherry Tomatoes


Snow peas

Goats Cheese

6 eggs

A handful of Basil



Heat a frypan on a stove until high heat. Grease with some extra virgin olive oil and place all vegetables in as per video.

Reduce heat and let vegetables cook cook until softened.

Place 5 – 6 large eggs in the pan along with some goats cheese and basil.

Cover and cook fro 10 – 15 minutes.










As mentioned in my Turmeric Banana Smoothie post which you can view here – Turmeric is a popular spice used throughout Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines, to treat infection and an assortment of medical conditions. With its earthy, robust flavours and a hint of cinnamon and spice, this powerful antioxidant is super charging our lattes and is fast becoming the thing to order, replacing Cappuccinos, Chai Lattes and even giving Matcha powder a run for its money.

There are multiple ways you can make this blend and it really depends on the how strong you like it. I love mine with a bit of a kick, so I add a hint of black pepper to activate the turmeric. I then balance it out with a creamy coconut milk, and top it with cinnamon which is my favourite spice. It helps to keep our hunger at bay and cortisol (stress hormone) levels balanced.

Next time you opt for your third coffee for the day, try this anti-inflammatory, medicinal cuppa that will leave your insides warm and your belly flat.



1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

1/2 tsp ginger powder

Coconut or Almond milk.

Pinch of ground pepper

1 tsp Stevia / honey / rice malt syrup to sweeten.



There are two main ways in which I like to make these lattes:


First: On a stove top heat a desired amount of coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. (measure the amount of milk out in your mug that you will be using).

Place all ingredients in the saucepan and whisk until nice and frothy – Pour into your mug.


Second: If you have a coffee machine with a milk frother, froth your milk with that then add to your mug with ingredients in it and stir.


I use stevia to sweeten but if you don’t like the taste of stevia I would recommend natural honey or rice malt syrup.

Sprinkle with some more cinnamon and enjoy.


 Often, when we think about digestive upset, we immediately consider all of the foods that might need to be eliminated from our diets: dairy, gluten, fructose, soy, and the list goes on. Sometimes this is a necessary step, but it really does vary from individual to individual, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach to dietary elimination may just do more harm than good. With a continued focus on removing an endless list of foods from our diet, not only do we develop a really restrictive relationship with food, but we also end up missing out on plenty of nourishing whole foods that may not even be the problem to begin with.

What we should stop and consider though, is the structure and function of our gut. Stress, infection, long term medication use, and even laxative based ‘skinny teas’ can damage the protective lining of the gut, leading to problems like IBS, and eventually affect mood and immunity. So instead of talking about potential dietary irritants – which should really be considered on a case-by-case basis – I’m going to highlight some of the dietary champions to enrich our diets with, and heal any existing damage. And who knows, you may just find that some of the intolerances you thought you had clear off once your gut is working as it should.


Balance the Bacteria

We all know how important our gut bacteria are. We are becoming increasingly aware for optimal health, we need to consider humans as ecosystems, rather than just individual organisms.

Daily intake of fermented foods is a more holistic approach than probiotic therapy, and my pick of the bunch is kefir. Not only is it easy to make and loaded with ‘good’ bacteria, but it also contains kefiran. Kefiran, though not a living organism itself, is a prebiotic that stimulates growth of healthy bifidobacteria species. It also means that most of the lactose is removed naturally, reducing the chance of tummy upset.

Other amazing prebiotics include Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, chicory root, garlic, and onions. Load up on these guys daily if you can.


Decrease Chronic Inflammation

 Although a degree of inflammation is necessary in the gut to protect the walls from damage, years of irritation can cause improper inflammation, and sometimes even leaky gut. This in turn amplifies food sensitivities, and the cycle continues. There are three simple ingredients that can be used daily in a smoothie to decrease this inflammation: turmeric, aloe vera gel, and slippery elm.


Stimulate Repair

Last but not least, we need to promote healing and tissue integrity in the gut. Add one or two teaspoons of glutamine to the smoothie I mentioned above, and if you are open to taking a probiotic, make it Saccharomyces boulardii.