10 ways to Keep in Shape this Christmas

1.     Start the day right with a ½ a lemon squeezed into warm water. It will clear out the toxins from the champagne last night… or the night before….

2.     Speaking of water, drink a big glass of filtered, bottled or alkaline water before you head out to your festive do’s: Hydration is often confused with hunger and before you know it you’ve arrived and eaten half a plate of mini pizzas. This will reduce the impact of your hangover tomorrow as well – goodbye fogginess, headaches and aches, hello energy and zest!

3.     Get outside for a stroll now that the days are longer and remind yourself how beautiful summer in Australia is.

4.     Offer to host your friend-mas at your place, providing the most delicious sugar free dinner party for your friends they could ever imagine. Raw zucchini pasta with prawns tossed through, topped with pine nuts and a sprinkle of goats feta, anyone?

5.     After Christmas lunch happens, grab a footy, cricket ball or frisbee and entertain your oldies with some classic backyard sport. It will remind them of the ‘good old days’ and your uncle Stu is sure to whip out a story or two. The happiness alone on their faces will do it for you, but better still, you’ll be getting active without even realising.

6.     When you’re down at Bondi, Cronulla, Portsea or Sorrento (or Bali for jet-setters), hire a board and (attempt to) ride some waves. You’ll meet a few funny typical Aussie surfer dudes, as well as have fun finding out how coordinated you are, or there lack of.

7.      Give the gift of love aka the gift of health by buying gifts for your fam-bam that will improve their wellness – healthy cookbooks, passes to that luxe pilates or hot yoga studio or even just some homemade sugar free chocolates instead of the standard box of Roses will be helpful for them. How it benefits you is that you’ll get to share in some of the healthy stuff that they are getting involved in, so it’s a win win for all.

8.     Go easy on the treats. A slice of Aunty Nancy’s decadent chocolate brownie (definitely NOT sugar free), those cocktails at your christmas party and the subsequent 1am kebab / burger all add up (it’s ok, we do it too). Be smart and be conscientious: tasty at the time, it doesn’t feel so great for the week after when you’re bloated and moody.

9.     Remember that life exists after Christmas day. Yes, we know that your grandma WILL give you the darkest death stare when you decline her third helping of roast lamb (or pasta for anyone o European descent), but she will survive. If you’re full, own it, and be ok with it. They don’t have to wake up to the food coma in the morning, but you do.

10.  Finally… enjoy it! Don’t feel bad for indulging a little – it’s Christmas! Embrace the opportunity that your family is together sharing something special and don’t overthink it. We were designed with senses like taste and smell so we can enrich our experiences – so make the most of them!

This article was a sponsored post for natural sweetener company, Natvia. Know that I would only endorse a company I believe in, therefore if you are looking for an alternative to sugar this christmas (or in general), I highly recommend the product.

Olivia Arezzolo | Integrative Personal Trainer | Melbourne | Fitness Model

My Q&A Feature on Sportsluxe Label, Lurv

To be completely honest with you, I'm pretty stoked about this feature article for luxe activewear label Lurv. It might seem small to some, but to be able to advocate healthy living, touch the lives of thousands of impressionable young girls and inspire wellness is something I have aspired to do since I was about 15. It's the key reason I started modelling. It's the reason I studied psychology for 4 years, Fitness for 2 and began my own blog. It's the reason I've spent years working hard, both in formal education, but mostly, on my own being - because the only way to inspire others to care for themselves is to do it - wholeheartedly - in my own life.

Here's a snapshot of the piece, but of course, I can't give it to you all - you'd see that here

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Even models and personal trainers aren't super healthy all the time....

I have a confession. Although I am a renown health fanatic and fitness freak, I have not been acting with integrity lately. I have not been treating my body with kindness or nourishing with wholesome goodness. For many weeks now, possibly months, I have been disrespecting physical and mental selves. And now, it’s caught up to me.

Waking up each morning, I’m feeling heavy, puffy and bloated. My digestion has slowed, my mind is struggling to think clearly and my skin is reminiscent of an oil slick. Although this isn’t painting the prettiest picture, this isn’t even the worst part. The most horrible element of this experience would be that I feel like I am the victim here. I’m suffering and there is nothing I can do. Poor me.

See, you might think that a model, personal trainer, nutritional medicine and wellness ambassador might not reach this place. Isn’t my entire lifestyle about health? Aren’t I meant to be at the forefront of everything holistic, educating others about what to do? Yep. That’s me. But… at the same time, underneath these labels, beyond my career, therein lies something more: the fact that I am a human being, and I am perfectly imperfect – exactly as you are.

And as this perfectly imperfect being, we will make mistakes. We’ll make decisions when we aren’t thinking clearly, and as a consequence, experience less than wonderful outcomes. And that’s 100% ok.  Why? Because facing an unpleasant experience motivates us learn and grow, inspires us to enhance our knowledge, provides depth of character, and – if not the most valuable element here – provides us sense of empathy for others who encounter similar challenges.

So, if this is you or someone you know, rather than beat yourself up or play the victim card, simply make a conscious decision to make better choices. Become more aware of the fundamental link between your actions and their consequences. And most importantly, be empowered by the understanding that your life is entirely in your own two hands. Because when you do, you’ll liberate others to do the same.

Written for the Natvia Sweeter Life Club, which i've been contributing now for over a year. For other brands interested in collaborations, please click here.

Why Training Legs Gives You Abs

Yes, you did read that correctly, and no, i’m not on a chai high (that was this morning). Legs = abs, what? 

 

Firstly, abs are only seen when you have low levels of body fat. As in, around the levels of 15-20% for girls or 10-15% for males. So really, what we need to focus on is achieving low levels of body fat to see abs right? Right. 

Legs come into the equation because legs are our largest muscle group. So when we train them, we use a lot of energy, as well as giving our metabolism a kick up the ass. And, as we know, a faster metabolism burns fat - even when you’re not training. So that lean percentage of body fat will come when we have a fast metabolism combined with clean eating, because again, we know that food is around 70% of why we look the way we do.

I personally train abs a little, but legs a lot. And my abs - well, I am proud / impressed to see them given that I don't spend hours of day doing sit ups. Conclusion? Skip the crunches for squats, and see the changes.

Image Credit
Photography: Nick Dale
Make up / Hair: Janice Wu
Tan: Tuscan Tan
Outfit: Kiss Kill