How pilates changed my life again

Fitness

I have been really dedicated to my Pilates reformer classes (every Thursday and Saturday morning) and can I just tell you I AM BACK BABY! Literally my back is so much better, like 100%. I nearly went for an MRI a few weeks ago until my Physio assured me she feels it's my core that needs strengthening to get my lower back and ligaments back in order. I am so happy I listened to her. If you are reading this Frauka, I love you. You too Ntina for making me feel amazing!

What I love the most about Pilates is how it's developed my good core muscle strength (i.e. my deep abdominal wall and intrinsic spinal muscles). Pilates improves your body awareness and body alignment, its strength and endurance, and its spinal and muscle flexibility. Strong core muscles and good body control allow our body to move efficiently, which lowers the risk of overuse or injury to your joints and muscles.

Pilates Dani Stevens
Pilates Dani Stevens

After having 4 children I know how important it is to regain and maintain that core strength and if you have ever battled with back pain, I can speak from experience - pilates has totally transformed my life!

Sleep Challenge

How long is it taking you to fall asleep at night, once your head hits that pillow?

Apparently the ideal time to fall asleep after a busy day is somewhere between 10-15 minutes. The reason why? It means you’re still tired enough to sleep deeply but not so horribly exhausted that you just feel sleepy all day.

I am so glad I have made August my Sleep Challenge month. I am learning lots and I hope you are too.

The best thing about learning, though, is actually putting the knowledge into practice. If you’re a regular to my site, you’ll know that I am passionate about motivating people to live healthier, happier lives and some of the ways I do that is by sharing great fitness tips to keep you moving (planks, anyone?), as well as delicious recipes that are packed with nutrition and flavor. But I can’t promote great health without looking at sleep too – it’s such an important foundation.

It’s not always easy to find and, as a mum of four very active kids, I know that my sleep patterns have never really been the same since that first born forced me into late night feeding patterns and dirty nappies! Yawn!

But it’s never too late to get better at something….

Ettitude bed linen
Ettitude bed linen

My Sleep Challenge to you right now is to ask you what you’re going to change about your life today to make your sleep better for better health.

Having good bedding is definitely a great start (I am working on an awesome gift pack for you as I type). If you’re like me, you probably have a regular day that you change your sheets on all the beds. Well – here’s something to do. Next time you take the pillowcases off, take a long hard look at the actual pillow underneath. If you don’t like what you see – too many stains from body fluids and years of use, maybe? – splash out on a fresh new pillow with all the right support your neck needs for a restful, comfortable night.

I’d love to hear how you’re going creating better sleep habits in your life this August – and make sure you register for some slumber goodies to keep this good sleep habit going, forever. Good sleep is for life… enter here.

Food

What a godsend my meal prep was this week. I nailed each dinner with such ease and the meatballs only took took 15 minutes to prep while the pasta was cooking.

Mozzarella meatballs

Mozarella meatballs Mingle seasoning
Mozarella meatballs Mingle seasoning

Ingredients

500gm mince meat

1 finely diced onion

1 crushed garlic

Sprinkle of garlic and herb Mingle Seasoning

1 slice of bread (diced and soaked in milk, a tip Donna Hay taught me!)

Handful of parsley finely chopped

1 egg lightly beaten

1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Method

Mix all ingredients together and roll into balls, place on a baking tray with parchment paper and oven bake 170-180C degrees until golden brown. Or when you see this glorious mozzarella cheese oozing out.

meatballs
meatballs

For the sauce, I typically add more mince and sauté some more onions and garlic, add a bottle of tomato purée, fresh basil and 1tbs of tomato paste and allow it all to bubble away. Serve with your favourite pasta.

SKINS GIVEAWAY

Big congrats to the SKINS winners, beautiful Allison Bolton from the USA and Tina Schlenka from Germany. Check my enews today if you haven't already subscribed, as I would love to share more cool things coming your way!

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Happy Friday and have a sensational weekend. See you next week or visit me over at Instagram and Facebook this weekend.

XxDani