Heat benefits during massage treatments

Heat benefits during massage treatments





In my clinic during Winter you have been guaranteed a warm experience, with the use of our woolen heated underlay and the use of the wheat pack
With the help of a wheat pack, you can stay warm as well as ease the pain of sore muscles.
The major benefit of a wheat pack is of course its ability to ease pain. This is largely due heat therapies ability to dilate the blood vessels.
This process increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal the damaged tissue. Heat stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin, which means that applying heat to the lower back will decrease transmissions of pain signals to the brain and partially relieve the discomfort.
Post treatment, a combination of heat therapy and adequate hydration can reduce next day soreness dramatically.

My Thai beef and sweet potato curry

My Thai beef and sweet potato curry

Here’s my delicious heart warming spicy and tangy home made curry.  My Dads own freshly ground spice mix is my choice of mix in this curry.


I kilo Chuck steak cubed

2 finely sliced onions

3 cm knob of ginger diced

4 garlic gloves diced

2 x tlbs lemongrass shredded

2 x shredded kaffir lime leaves

*6 tlbs of SPICE MIX

11 cardamom pods

1 chilli

2 tlbs tamarind paste

1 tlbs palm sugar

Salt & pepper

800 g cubed sweet potato

2-3 mugs of water

Garnish with peanuts, coriander and shredded red capsicum

*Spice Mix

Cumin seed ground 3 x  Tlbs

Coriander seed ground 3 x  Tlbs

Smoked Paprika 1 x Tlbs

Turmeric 2 x Tlbs

Aniseed ground 1 x Tsp

Cinnamon 1 x Tsp

Mixed Spice 1 x Tsp

Garam Masala 1 x  Tlbs


Gently fry off spice mix, cardamom pods, onion, ginger, garlic.

Add lemongrass, kaffir lime, cubed chuck steak, salt & pepper.  Cook till brown.

Add tamarind paste, palm sugar, and water.

Simmer 1 hour.

Add cubed sweet potato

Simmer a further hour until meat is tender.

Garnish with peanuts, coriander and shredded red capsiucum




Winter grilled halloumi and vegetable salad

Winter grilled halloumi and vegetable salad

Sundays after teaching I thoroughly enjoy creating something healthy, delicious and interesting to kick start our working week.  Here’s my creation I put together this weekend.


  • 3 med/large zucchinis sliced in half then longwise
  • 200g cooked lightly minted peas
  • 10 med Brussel sprouts sliced
  • 1/2 small bunch of parsley
  • 200 g halloumi sliced
  • 2 med red onions sliced
  • pink salt and pepper to season
  • Dress with olive oil and organic apple cider vinegar or  balsamic

Using a grill cast iron pan, place zucchinis sliced side down, grill to soft and marks appear.  Grill halloumi, Brussel sprouts and red onion.

Cook  the minted peas till just tender, mix all together along with seasoning, parsley, and dressing. Top with cooked red onions.



Spicy Dahl with carrot dumplings

Spicy Dahl with carrot dumplings

Open your mind to different ways of using simple ingredients. Here is an old favorite creation of mine, using plenty of ginger which I love for its medicinal properties, chili, herbs, spinach, red lentils, grated sweet potato and carrot. Spicy lentil and spinach curry with sweet potato and carrot dumplings, topped with Greek yoghurt.

What You’ll Need
2 tablespoons olive, coconut or untoasted sesame oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1 teaspoon mustard seed

2-3 teaspoons mild curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin seed

1 teaspoon chopped ginger root

4 cups water

2 pinches sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup dried red lentils

4 tablespoons cioriander, finely chopped

2 large silver beet leaves, sliced

How to Make It
In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, about five minutes.
4 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped n and ginger, and stir constantly for one minute. Add the water, salt and lentils. Bring the lentils to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer along with chopped silverbeat or spinach until soft and tender. – about 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, adding sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Stir in coriander and serve. Dumplings. 1 sweet potato and carrot grated. 1/2 chopped onion finely with ginger. 2 tbls chopped coriander, small red chili finely sliced. Add 1 beaten egg with 2-3 tlbs plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, season. (Add more or less flour if too its too dry or wet) Mold into balls in your hand, poach in the lentils or in soft boiling water.

Serve topped with Greek yoghurt and freshly chopped coriander.



Coconut and Choc Macaroons

Coconut and Choc Macaroons

I came across this recipe and was won over with its simplicity and most importantly being gluten free. I thoroughly enjoyed making this recipe and was a success at my girls night in, many of them being gluten intolerant.

12 oz sweetened shredded coconut (3 cups lightly packed)
5.25 oz sugar (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup egg whites about 6 large
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

Mix first the coconut, sugar, and eg whites together in a heavy, large saucepan. Cook them over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens and appears somewhat pasty, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and, optionally, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. (The almond extract can be omitted, but I think it adds a great complimentary flavor to the coconut.)
The speed down the cooling process, spread out the coconut mixture on a large baking sheet. Refrigerate until cold, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 330°F. Line another baking sheet with parchment. Use a cookie scoop to scoop up generous tablespoonfuls of coconut mixture. Dampen your hands and gently roll the ball between your hands to make it round. Place the cookie on the baking sheet, and repeat with remaining coconut mixture.
Bake for  25-30 minutes the cookies until they’re golden brown, rotating the tray halfway through so they bake evenly. Cool them completely.
If you want to add the optional chocolate coating, melt the chips in the microwave. Dip the macaroons in the chocolate: either dip the bottoms, dip them halfway, or use forks or dipping tools to dunk them completely. Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, for about 15 minutes.

Gluten free

Makes 18

Prep time 30 mins

Cook time 30 mins

Reformer training benefits

Reformer training benefits

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I lose weight with Pilates?”. The simple truth is that our body is like a Calorie Bank, that either adds or withdraws from our fat deposits based on the amount of calories we consume (deposit) versus the calories we burn off (spend). If we are consuming more calories than we are burning off then we will be adding to our fat deposits over time. If we are burning off more calories than we are consuming then we will be withdrawing from our fat deposits and gradually losing weight. So any exercise you do will be helping you burn off more calories and helping you get the results of weight loss. Having said that we can maximise the weight loss power of our exercise with a few key ingredients.
Increase Muscle Tone
Pilates is a form of resistance training that helps you build long lean muscles. Pilates will improve your muscle tone, improving both your overall strength and endurance. Improved muscle tone is one of the key ingredients for weight loss. Muscles burn more energy (Calories) than fat, therefore the more lean muscle mass your body contains the greater the calorie burning ability you have. Improving your muscle tone will help boost your weight loss efforts tremendously.

Fitness (Cardio) Training

Cardiovascular training incorporated within your exercise schedule will be of great benefit. Cardio exercise is your main tool for burning calories and losing weight. We incorporate Cardio exercise as an essential part of in our Pilates sessions for our clients wanting to manage their weight.  Reformer classes in particular  will pump your heart rate up, as we use compound exercises, utilizing also the tower to assist in  improving muscle conditioning as well as improving fat burning.  Utilizing the jump board will also boost the amount of calories you are burning in one session. The general recommendation is to get at least 30 minutes of Cardiovascular exercise per day. However the days your are not performing Pilates (incorporating cardio and resistance training) you should aim for 45 to 60 minutes of pure cardio, such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, whatever you enjoy doing and can maintain at a sufficient level of intensity and duration.

Spinlates ( combination of 30 mins spinning followed by 30 mins reformer) is a fantastic tool to help boost your cardio and conditioning training.

Contact Charell if you wish to chat further about this session.


Winter Jap pumpkin salad

Winter Jap pumpkin salad

500 g cubed Jap pumpkin

1 Tlbs coconut oil,

1 tsp cumin powder

2 chopped cloves of garlic

Pepper and salt to season

Cook in hot oven for 10 minutes or until tender

1 sliced red onion

1 cup cooked chick peas

Roast in oven till onion has colored and is tender

Mix together with:

150 g feta cheese

Sprinkle of currants

Handful chopped parsley

Dress with olive oil and wine balsamic vinegar


TRIGGER POINTS – Do you suffer?

TRIGGER POINTS – Do you suffer?

Wonder what that burning pain, stiffness, restriction and muscle weakness may be?
Trigger points are a type of muscle stiffness, results of tiny contraction knots that develop in the muscle and tissue when an area of the body is injured or overworked. Causing referred pain, they can often send the wrong message, often resulting in wrong assumption of the problem and it’s location. I see this daily in my clinic, as trigger points can be also caused from muscle trauma, e.g. Car accident, falls, sports injuries. They can also be caused from improperly standing or sitting for long periods at your computer, emotional stress, anxiety, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, inflammation and toxins from the environment. These trigger points can cause suffering for life if not assessed properly and addressed. Why these trigger points can cause so much trouble is the body’s instinctive reaction to a ” harmful” event, so to protects itself. It does this by altering the way you sit, move, stand, which puts abnormal stress on your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Pain is always a signal of dysfunction. Seek advice


July’s Winter warming recipe

July’s Winter warming recipe

White Bean & Fennel Soup

• 305g (1 1/2 cups) dried great northern or cannellini beans
• 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
• 2 brown onions, finely chopped
• 1 medium carrot diced
• 2 stalks of celery diced
• 6 drained anchovy fillets, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• Fresh ground black pepper and pink salt.
• 500g Desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
• 500g (about 4) baby fennel bulbs, fronds reserved, tough outer layer removed, thinly sliced lengthways
• 1L (4 cups) vegetable stock
• ½ cup of white wine (optional)
• 1L (4 cups) water
• Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
• Extra virgin olive oil, extra, to serve
• Step 1
Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Cover and set aside overnight to soak. Drain and rinse, then drain again.
• Step 2
Heat the oil in a large deep sauce- pan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, anchovies garlic, and olive oil, cook, stirring often until soft and tender. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally.
• Step 3
Add the potatoes and fennel to the pan with seasoning, sauté for 5-8 mins, cover until the fennel softens slightly.
• Step 4
Add the drained beans, stock, wine and water to the pan, and stir to combine. Increase heat to high, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 30 minutes or until the beans are tender and the soup thickens slightly.
Step 5
Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
• Egg free
• Gluten free
• Lactose free
• Milk free
• Peanut free
• Sesame free
• Shellfish free
• Tree nut free
• Wheat free