PrimusSydney – the home of the Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge. Do you have a weekend planned and not sure how to fit all the best bits in? Read on for a guide of things to do and see to make the most of your short trip.

  • Stay: Primus Hotel Sydney. This beautiful art deco, heritage listed, building is the perfect elegant and sophisticated hotel right in the heart of the city, making it the perfect location for you to go to and fro throughout your stay with ease and convenience.
  • Take a walk around to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, grab a coffee and walk along the bay-line and into the beautiful gardens near by. You will be sure to see a wonderful mix of culture events.
  • Do a spot of shopping around Pitt Street Mall and enjoy the atmosphere of the bustling Sydney side.
  • Get a little dolled up for an afternoon of cocktails. Start with an Espresso Martini in the lobby of Primus Hotel where they are chilled with Liquid nitrogen and presented with elegance.

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  • Watch the sun go down at Bondi Icebergs and snap away as the sun hits the water.

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Day two:

  • Get up early and head to Bondi,  embark on the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, at a casual 6k return.
  • Fuel up for a nourishing breakfast at Porch and Parlour then head to the Bondi markets for a sticky beak of all things arts, craft, vintage fashion, and jewellery.Bondi
  • Next stop, head to the grounds of Alexandria and wander the grounds for a fresh juice,  soaking up the atmosphere.
  • Check out About Life and Kawa café in Surry Hills for a raw treat or two before heading back to the Primus Hotel for a little down time and relaxation. (Check out their amazing rooftop bar)
  • If you have time head to Circular Quay and take the  ferry across to Balmain. Check out all the sites and get a close up of the Harbour Bridge.Brooke_David_Sydney

For more info on Primus Hotel Sydney, click here.

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There is nothing quite like sitting down in the midst of Winter with a nice glass of red and tucking into a delicious hearty Lasagne. The old Brooke (pre gluten intolerance and on a mission to put on weight days) used to, without fail, order the creamiest most glutinous Carbonara for dinner whenever it was on a menu. Lasagne, however actually was never a favourite until the new and reformed Brooke, (sans gluten) where I began experimenting with vegetables to replace pasta sheets along with dairy free sauces made from cashews. Who knew, that with such swaps, it would evoke a new appreciation for a food I would not have looked at before. Now, it’s become a weekly staple where I cook up a batch on the weekend to make a perfect, high protein, low carb option to enjoy right throughout the week.

 

Ingredients:

 

Meat sauce:

1 garlic clove

500g mince  ( Beef, chicken, turkey)

2 tins of chopped tomato

1 handful of basil

Salt, and pepper to taste

 

Pasta:

1 eggplant sliced thinly into “pasta sheets”

1 sweet potato sliced length ways into “pasta sheets”

2 zucchinis sliced length ways into strips

 

White Sauce:

1 block of silken tofu.

½ cup raw cashews (preferably soaked for half hour)

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

 

Extra nutritional yeast to garnish

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c.

In a pan fry off 1 garlic clove, and  500g of beef  (or your meat of choice) until almost cooked.

Add the tinned tomato, basil, salt and pepper and reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the sauce has reduced.

 

Place sliced eggplant and sweet potato on a baking tray, spay a light surface of coconut or olive oil and bake for 10 minutes (eggplant) 15 minutes (sweet potato) or until golden brown and soft.

 

While your meat sauce is cooking and vegetable pasta is baking, it’s time to make the white sauce.

 

In a high-speed blender (I use a Nutribullet) add the silken tofu, cashews, nutmeg, nutritional yeast and wholegrain mustard. Pulse and blend until smooth and creamy. If you feel the mixture is too thick, add a tbs of water at a time to help blend.

 

Assemble the Lasagne

  1. Grease a medium sized casserole dish with olive oil
  2. Place a layer of sweet potato slices on the bottom, slightly overlapping edges so it covers the entire dish.
  3. Next spoon the meat mixture, spreading to form an even layer.
  4. Top with a layer of White Sauce
  5. Add a layer of eggplant
  6. Add a layer of meat
  7. Add a layer of white sauce
  8. Add a layer of zucchini

Repeat until you get to the top of the dish.  With the final layer It’s best to finish on zucchini with white sauce on top. Sprinkle a generous amount of nutritional yeast on top and place back in the oven for 20 minutes or store in the fridge. Reheat in the oven as per needed.

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Some would say a juice cleanse in winter is a little ambitious. The thought of drinking liquid for three days straight, in the midst of the coldest months of the year does sounds a little crazy, but I can assure you I needed it.  Fatigued and brain fogged, I needed a kick-start to reset, recharge and fuel my tiresome bod. With recent demands and long days I could feel myself getting a little run down, so I opted to embark on the Karmic Organic Skin and Immunity Cleanse, designed specifically to improve skin health and to boost the Immune System through bone broths, healing soups and organic cold pressed juices.

Our bodies do have a natural detoxification processes, and whilst I am super healthy, I had been over- indulging through winter and could really feel the effects of extra sugar cravings creeping in. Alas, I was time to cleanse.

After 3 days of the Karmic Organic Skin and Immunity Cleanse I felt dramatically different. It doesn’t take me long to get back to my spritely self, I just needed a little accountability to see me though the initial days of forgoing any forbidden foods and chocolate treats. I opted for the skin and immunity package because it comes with two bone broths, and warming soup at night. During winter a cleanse which contains soups and bone broths are far more beneficial for our bodies and allows us to digest enzymes from the nutrients more easily than pure cold pressed juices which can be harsh on our digestive tract.

I found the cleanse quite easy, perhaps this is because I’ve juice cleansed before but surprisingly I never found myself hungry. A little headache on the second morning (due to coffee withdrawals) was inevitable but seemed to disappear by midday. By the end of day three, I felt like I could keep going; my energy was great, skin was bright and cravings had subsided. The verdict? It’s exactly what I needed to kick start this bod back into gear and I highly recommend the Skin and Immunity cleanse for those who are wanting to try a cleanse, but hesitant to consume only juice.

 

What is bone broth and why is it good for us?

Bone broth is a simple recipe that has been around for centuries, known for its warming and healing properties. It contains high amounts on amino acids which are known to boost immunity and fight inflammation. It contains a good source of L-glutamine (building block of protein) necessary for the body and good gut health – therefore it’s great for soothing leaky gut symptoms, digestive issues and even weight loss. Bone broth is also rich in collagen which is great for protecting skin, and helps to keep youthful. It also helps to protect your joints and sustain energy levels. Yep, all round amazing!

 

Why Cleanse?

Prolonged periods of stress (physical/mental/emotional) cause oxidative stress and adrenal fatigue in the body. When not addressed, this can compromise daily performance and long-term health. Ever thought about doing a cleanse? Check out the list below for some indicators that might just mean you need one.

 

  • Fatigue and slow recovery – e.g. feeling ‘dusty’ upon waking
  • Frequent flu-like symptoms; blocked sinuses (mucus build up)
  • Irritable bowels (irregular)
  • Performance plateau (difficulty increasing fitness and/or strength)
  • Skin irritation (dry/itchy skin, cloudy complexion, pimples or fungal build up)
  • Moodiness and easily irritated
  • Foggy brain function (lack concentration)
  • Sugar or caffeine cravings

If you are interested in any of the Karmic Cold Pressed Juice cleanses  Head over to their website and enter “CONSCIOUS” at the checkout for $25 dollars off.

Happy cleansing!

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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 

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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

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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 

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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 

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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

 

Enjoy!

Ingredients

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

 

Method

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.

 

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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.

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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!

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To check out the hype, click here.

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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

 

Ingredients:

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)

 

Dressing:

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

 

Method:

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.

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dose

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.

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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.

 

Ingredients 

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*

 

Method

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).

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