From calligraphy to kombucha brewing, card games to cobbling, there are literally thousands of ways to spend your leisure time, so what pastime are you curious about pursuing or perhaps resurrecting after a ‘hobby hiatus’?

 

Hobbies can have multiple physical, psychological and emotional rewards:

 

Provide a challenge – Hobbies are great ways to take a break from your busy life while still having a sense of purpose. They break up routine and challenge you in new ways, providing an excellent outlet free from negative stress.

Outlet for stress – By focusing on a non-work-related task, you’re giving your mind something else to focus on. When you really get in the flow, worries and stresses tend to dissipate.

Promote eustress – Eustress is the type of ‘good’ stress that makes you feel excited and happy about what you’re doing.

Help you meet new people – Whether face-to-face or online, you can meet new friends who have mutual interests.

Encourage living in the present – If you really love what you’re doing, you tend to get ‘in the zone’ and really, truly focus on the present moment.

Physical health benefits – Research has found that engaging in enjoyable activities during down time is associated with reduced blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index. Engaging in these activities also correlated to higher levels of positive psychosocial states and lower levels of depression.

Now that you’re versed in the virtues of having a hobby, here’s some inspo from the web about your potential new pastime: https://hobbyhelp.com/inspiration/list-of-hobbies/

Photo credit: @alexisrbrown

There’s never been a better time to say farewell to meat, with the restaurant scene and cookbooks bursting with creative, Insta-worthy vegetarian options.

 

Across the globe, the number of vegetarians is on the rise, driven by a range of reasons including religious, economic and health, or purely personal preference.

 

And it’s little wonder. Adopting a meat-free diet can be a great way to stay healthy and happy, and even lose weight. Research has found about 60 per cent of Aussies are classified as overweight or obese, but only 45 per cent among those whose diet is largely or completely vegetarian.

 

A vegetarian diet of fruits, vegetables and grains is associated with high consumption of fibre, vitamins C and E, folic acid, magnesium, unsaturated fat, and numerous phytochemicals.

 

Consuming a meat-free diet has the added benefits of:

 

  • lower cholesterol;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • reduced risk of heart disease; and
  • reduced risk of diabetes.

 

Vegetarian food is easy for the body to digest, can take less time to cook, is healthy and most importantly, will often save you money.

 

There are also variations of vegetarianism including pescatarians (no meat but they do eat fish and sea animals), people who eat meat-free meals on certain days (meat-free Monday), and vegans.

 

One thing to consider if you’re thinking of going vegetarian, is to increase your protein intake to ensure you feel fuller for longer. Thankfully Slendier konjac products contain glucomannan, a type of fibre that expands to keeps hunger at bay.

 

So, if you are thinking of going vegetarian or lowering your meat consumption, we have some scrumptious recipes to help kick start the transition.

 

Open Lasagne

 

Mushroom Frittata with oven-roasted tomato

 

Avocado Rice salad

 

Eggplant Parmigiana

It’s easy to fall into the fast food trap when hunger hits in the throes of a busy week.

But by setting aside some time for meal preparation and planning, you can keep your healthy eating regime on track. And it doesn’t need to take as long as you’d think.

A Sunday afternoon spent planning and doing a cook up will not only save you time, but money and brain power too!

There’s bound to be some trial and error involved, but here’s some simple tips to get you started.

  1. Tailor your meal prep to your lifestyle. Some people pre-cook meals for a week, but you might only need a few days’ worth. Take a look at your weekly schedule to work out what meals you’ll need and when, in between social engagements and dining out.
  2. Draw up a menu of delicious, nutritious meals and make a shopping list before you leave for the grocery store. Make sure you are ticking off the recommended serves of protein, grains, fruit and vegetables in each meal.
  3. Consider how you will store your meals once they are cooked. It can be helpful to do a container audit before embarking on a big cook up. Asking yourself questions like: Will the meals need to be reheated? Will they be frozen, or stored in the fridge? Do I need multiple compartments for hassle-free transportation to work?
  4. Choose meals that will last the distance. There’s nothing worse than having a soggy meal at lunch – or giving yourself food poisoning!
  5. A good option to whipping up full meals is buffet meal prep, which involves batch cooking individual ingredients like roast vegetables or shredded chicken. That way, you’ve already done the hard yards, and you can mix and match meals throughout the week.

Some healthy cook-ahead staples for meal preppers are:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Overnight oats
  • Roast vegetables
  • Mince meat
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Whole wheat pasta

 

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift – and that’s why it’s called the present. Taking time to smell the roses – or even notice them – can seem like an impossible dream in modern life.

 

Technology is fast consuming our lives, sending us in an endless loop of taking phone calls, shooting off texts, following up emails and posting on social media. And that’s on top of all the regular things like holding down a job, running a family, seeing friends, and being a part of your community.

 

But this around-the-clock tech addiction means we rarely stay present long enough to savour the special or even simple moments in our lives.

 

To combat this, we’ve prepared an IRL (In Real Life) tool kit to help you make the most of every day.

 

Just make sure you turn off your phone before beginning.

 

  1. Start by being physically present. Regularly check in and ask yourself questions like: “Where am I right now”?

 

  1. Open your ears. Listen to your surroundings and take in everything that you hear, from the sound of birds chirping, to the crunch of your shoes on gravel, and the wind whooshing through the trees. Don’t think about them, just take them in.

 

  1. Take yourself to your happy place, in your mind of course. While we’d all like to jet off to Hawaii we’d all have to come back eventually and face our day-to-day. But if you can visualise what it’s like, what it looks like, what it feels like, what it smells like – see how relaxed and present you feel.

 

  1. Complete a mindful body scan. Get comfortable in a seated position or lying down, and slowly scan every part of your body from the feet up. Bring awareness to any sensations you are experiencing, whether it’s pain, tingling, tension, warmth or tightness. Do this for about five minutes. Again, don’t think deeply about them or worry about these feelings. Just experience them.

 

  1. Choose a colour and look for everything around you in that colour. Try to find at least eight things.

 

  1. Become aware of your breath. A common practice in yoga, this involves concentrating on how deep or shallow, long or short your breaths are. The technique helps bring you into the present and promotes a sense of calm.

 

  1. Mind your thoughts. What’s running through your head? Is it the bills you need to pay, the latest work stress or the chores piling up at home? Try and distance yourself from this inner chatter and simply observe the mind in action. Removing the word “next” from your conversations and thoughts can also bind you to the moment of ‘right now’. Imagine there is no next appointment, next event or next task.

 

  1. Do the 3,2,1 – three things you can see, two things you can hear, one thing you can smell.

 

The list may seem overwhelming, but just do what works for you. After all, dragging your mind back to the present is one of the keys to staying healthy and happy. It helps fight anxiety, cuts down on worries, and keeps you grounded and connected.

 

So, don’t miss out on what’s happening right now!

 

Photo credit: @jareddrice

Everywhere they look, women – and men – are being pressured to strive for beauty perfection.

Botox is becoming as normal as a flu shot, social media apps can airbrush you within an inch of your life, and lasers are zapping away all manner of (beauty) sins.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to learn self-love in the Instagram glare, and reject the ideals of beauty worshipped by mainstream media.

Young people in particular are being plagued by serious issues like anxiety, depression, loneliness and low self-esteem, with many feeling the need to alter their appearance at a younger age.

A University of Pittsburgh study found social media regulars were two to three times more likely to report eating and body image concerns, than those who spent less time on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

So how do we change this story and start loving the skin we’re in?

Our three top tips are as follows:

 

Find the positives

Start by acknowledging all the wonderful things about you and your body. It’s easy to dismiss the positives and fixate on the aspects we don’t like.

Our sense of self is often so warped by negative self-talk that we don’t see in ourselves what others do. It’s worth enlisting help from trusted friends and family to build up a more accurate picture of who you are.

Many of our customers are trying to lose weight to look better, or embark on a healthier way of life. Regardless of their motivation, we like to remind them that their current weight is somebody else’s goal weight.

 

Heal the mind

Old emotional wounds can lurk beneath the surface and jump up to bite us when we least expect it. We can be triggered by a comment from a workmate, or the actions of a friend, sending us into a spiral of emotion we didn’t realise was there.

When this happens, ask yourself what still needs to be healed. You might need professional help to work through your demons. By doing so, you can heal old hurts and understand yourself better.

Focus on kindness, helping others and gratitude. It’s amazing the positive energy that flows from helping others. Small gestures like opening a door, giving a compliment or a simple hug can make us feel good, and reinforces that we matter to the people around us.

Once you learn to be content in your own mind, the change is palpable. You make smarter choices, treat your body as your temple, put yourself first.

 

Be yourself… because everyone else is taken

This is one of our favourite sayings in the office. It’s easier said than done, but we need to stop comparing ourselves to one another. Everybody has their struggles, and we often have no idea of the journey others are on.

Comparisons with others can be damaging and make you feel even more dissatisfied and unhappy. Tips to change this include being aware of the times you slip into this way of thinking, stopping the thought trajectory in its tracks, and paying more attention to yourself and who you are, and what you want.

Photo credit: @simonmigaj

Have you noticed recently that you need a dictionary to decipher dietary definitions?

To help make sense of the baffling nutrition lingo, we’re giving you the low-down about low-glycemic index (low-GI) foods.

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure that ranks foods according to their effect on your blood sugar levels.

When you eat carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks them down into simple sugars that then enter the bloodstream. Food with a low-GI value is slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels, whilst high GI foods do the opposite.

It is important to note that foods are only assigned a GI value if they contain carbohydrates. Therefore, foods containing no carbs, such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, herbs and spices, won’t be found on GI lists.

Carbohydrates are found in bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables and dairy products and they are an essential part of a healthy diet.

Studies have shown that a low-GI diet may result in weight loss, lower cholesterol, reduced blood sugar levels and decreased risk of heart disease and type two diabetes. However, it is important to note that the GI does not provide a complete nutritional picture. For example, the GI of French fries is 75, whereas a baked potato, the healthier substitute, has a GI of 85.

At the end of the day, it is important to consume a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of whole and unprocessed foods, regardless of their GI.

Here are some delicious low-GI recipes using Slendier products to get you started:

Vietnamese chicken noodle salad

Minestrone soup

Poached salmon with ginger broth

Creamy chicken alfredo with mushrooms

Photo credit: @dosejuice

Where you can buy Slendier products

Slendier products are available in the health food aisle of major supermarkets such as Coles, Foodworks, IGA and Woolworths throughout Australia and New Zealand.

From time to time you can also find our products online at catch.com.au

We sell all of Slendier products online here and offer free delivery for all orders over $100

Coles
Woolworths
Iga
Foodworks
Catch

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