How To Save Time And Money In The Kitchen

Always scrambling to get dinner done at the last minute?  Blowing the budget on groceries each week? These clever tips will have you sorted:

  1. Use pre-made shopping lists. Make up a printed shopping list of the things you always buy at each grocery shop. Print out multiple copies and stick them on your fridge. Have everyone in your household tick when items are getting low or have run out. By the time your next shop comes around your shopping list has been done for you.
  2. Write up meal plans for the week. Aim to use the most perishable items at the beginning of the week and the longer lasting ones toward the end. For example, use up lettuce and spinach at the beginning of the week and broccoli and the end.
  3. Aim to buy in bulk. Meats can be frozen and, if you do you meals plans well, veggies wont go off. Buying in bulk will save you time because your not having to head to the shops to restock so often.Fresh assorted vegetables in boxes on farmer's market
  4. Prep your foods. Pre-cut broccoli and cauliflower in florets and store in tupperware ready to use. Cook a big batch of brown rice and dig in for the rest of the week.  Keep boiled eggs in the fridge for on-the-go snacks. You get the idea.
  5. Make lunch the night before.  This is a no-brainer because you will be saving so much money at the local lunch bar. The 10 minute your save yourself in the morning can mean a little extra morning meditation in bed.packed lunch
  6. Soup is your savour. Make up a big batch each week. Pack it full of vegies, anything you have spare will do. Add different herbs and spices each week so you don’t get bored. While you may not want to eat soup everyday, you will be grateful that it’s there when you just can’t be bothered cooking but don’t want to miss out on your healthy hit of vitamins. If you don’t have time to eat it all before it goes off, freeze it in batched for later.asp soup
  7. Cut the Crap. Say no to pre-packaged stuff masquerading at food. The perception that fresh food is an expensive option is wrong. A perfect example is your afternoon snack. A chocolate bar will cost about $2.50, will leave you unsatisfied and hitting a sugar slump in half an hour. A banana however, will cost about 50c is a far better energy option to keep you going through your 3.30-itis.
  8. Cook up big and save the leftovers. Left over roast meat is great in wraps, salads and omelettes. Left over roast vegies can be pureed up and added to other sauces and dishes later for an added vitamin boost. A bit of  leftover roast pumpkin, pureed up and added to a spag-bol is a tasty way to hide extra veggies from the kids too. veg on wood
  9. Buy in season. Your food will be way fresher and cheaper. Not to mention the quality will be better is you purchase in season produce.

Love Jess x

 Got any of your own tricks?

Share them with us below.


Smart Girls Use Dumbbells


The Truth About Lifting Weights

Let me ask you a question. When you first joined the gym an first started exercising, what were your reasons for doing so? I’m going to make an assumption here, and please correct me if I am wrong, but was it something along the lines of “I want to loose weight and tone up”?

(Why yes, it was).

I knew it. How? Because that was my initial goal too. Here’s what you actually meant when you said that (and what any personal trainer will immediately translate those words into).. “I want to reduce body fat (loose weight) and increase muscle mass (tone up)”. And guess what girls, the the best, most effective way to do this is to get lifting!

Yes cardio is also important to help reduce body fat but cardio alone certainly won’t give you that muscle tone and definition you desire. Many women make the mistake of focusing solely on cardio and completely omit any form of resistance or weight training. And I know exactly why.  They are thinking.. “won’t lifting weights make me bulky?”, ‘I don’t want to look like a man’ or ”I want to look toned and defined, not big and muscular’.

Well, I am here to tell you, that is NOT going to happen.  It’s time to put an end to the myths and irrational fears surrounding weight training. You won’t get bulky! You won’t get muscles the size of a body builder and you certainly won’t start looking like Arnie!

What you will achieve is exactly what you want – increased muscle tone and definition. 


It takes a certain kind of training to achieve the body builder physique. Probably some serious dosages of testosterone too. And trust me, unless you have specified that you want to look like a body builder, then the program your personal trainer has written up for you and the weights you are lifting in pump class, will NOT give you those results.

If the photo above isn’t enough to convince you, let me hit you with some facts!

FACT 1: Build Muscle, Burn More Fat. 

Did you know that the more lean muscle you have the more fat your body burns, all by it’s amazing self? Muscle tissues are more ‘active’ than fat tissues and therefore need to work to sustain itself. This means any extra muscle mass you have will help burn calories throughout the day. Aka the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns. Yep, that’s right while you are sitting at your desk at work, watching TV and even sleeping, your muscles are burning calories!

FACT 2: Muscle Mass Boosts Your Metabolism.

Unfortunately,  as we get older we naturally lose muscle mass and consequently our metabolism slows down too. We know that the faster our metabolism, the better our bodies ability to burn fat. So how do we boost our metabolism? By increasing your muscle mass of course. When you do weight-bearing exercises, you build muscle and also start revving up your metabolism—and it keeps burning for many hours after your workout.

FACT 3: Muscle Takes Up Less Space Than Fat. 

You’ve probably heard people say “Muscle weighs more than fat” before, but a kilogram, is a kilogram so technically that isn’t true. What they really mean is, muscle takes up less space in your body than fat does. Muscle is far more dense than fat therefore it takes up less space or volume. So while you may weigh the same when you step on the scales, you will look trimmer, smaller and more toned. Still a little confused? Check out the image below to explain it better.

1kg of fat vs 1kg of muscle

1kg of fat vs 1kg of muscle

FACT 4: Sculpt Your Body With Weight Training.

While we know cardio is important for burning fat and increasing cardiovascular fitness,  if you don’t pair it with weight training you’ll be lucky to see any kind of muscle tone and definition. You’ll probably end up with a flat butt, not a round perky one that squats and lunges will produce. Weight lifting sculpts your body and creates curves and definition right where you want it. 

FACT 5:  Female Hormones Won’t Let You Get ‘Bulky’.

 So you think lifting weights will make you look like a female body builder? No. Just, no. Female hormones don’t work that way – women do not produce enough testosterone to promote rapid muscle growth the way men do. Yes, strength training will produce muscle growth in women, just not to the extent that it does in a man. So fear not, there is no chance you will end up looking like a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

So ladies, do not be afraid of lifting weights! I repeat, DO NOT be afraid to lift weights! 

The facts say it all – the benefits are clear. Muscle mass boosts your metabolism, burns more fat and will have you looking fit and toned with womanly curves in ALL the right places. Weight training is an essential part of your fitness regime, especially if you want to ‘loose weight and tone up’.

Take it from me. I too, was once one of those skeptics, terrified of getting ‘bulky’ if I did a single bicep curl, but not anymore. Now I focus on weight training 3-4 times a week. Personally its my favourite part of my exercise regime,  and I’m pretty sure I don’t look like a body builder! (Or, I’m yet to be told so, at least).

Love Elo xx

Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Gifts You Don’t Have To Leave The House For.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday the 11th. Millions of Mums will be waking up to the bright morning light and will be hoping to see a breakfast in bed delivery coming straight towards them. As an Active Mum, each item on … Continue reading