The best infra-red saunas in Brisbane with reviews

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After reading about the benefits of infra-red saunas we decided to road-test Brisbane’s hot spots. Here are our tips and tricks to get the most out of your experience:

  • Drinks lots of extra water beforehand
  • Take your own towel
  • Wear your bathers or swimmers underneath your clothes
  • Take some spare underwear to change in to
  • Take a bottle of water for the car trip home

After your sauna session, you’ll feel super relaxed and refreshed. You’ll probably just want to curl up on a bed with a good book or watch a movie. Don’t plan a big day afterwards. Just head home for a shower and take it easy. I usually sleep better for three nights afterwards and I love the way my skin and body feels.

8 scientifically proven benefits of infra-red saunas

  • A sauna can lead to deeper and more relaxed sleep.
  • Saunas can improve your cardiovascular performance by increasing your heart rate.
  • Finnish researchers found regular sauna users had a lower risk of sudden cardiac death and fatal coronary heart disease. It also extended their life. They believe it was likely due to the decrease in blood pressure and increase in blood vessel diameter
  • Saunas assist the body to detoxify from chemicals and heavy metals via your skin. Sweating can eliminate PCBs, metals and toxins which are stored in your fat cells.
  • Saunas increase your growth hormone which is crucial for repair and recovery of muscle after exercise. They help to remove the by-products such as lactic acid and calcium ions.
  • They provide relief from muscular pain and arthritis. This is due to an increase in the release of anti-inflammatory compounds such as noradrenaline, adrenaline, cortisol and endorphins.
  • After a sauna session, researchers found increases in a number of positive markers in blood, showing that they stimulate the immune system. German and Finnish studies show that regular saunas lead to a 30% decrease in the chance of getting a cold or flu.
  • Sweating improves your skin’s health as it helps to remove bacteria and increases capillary circulation.

Review of Sauna at A1 Colon Hydrotherapy, Aspley

This sauna is located in a residential part of Aspley on 33 Kildonan Street. The premise looks like someone’s brick house and it is located on the bottom floor. The sauna itself is large and easily fits two people. You sit on a comfy cushion covered in plastic. There are optional cloth robes provided.

The cost is $40 for half an hour. You can save money with a great package deal of $200 for ten sessions if paid up front.

A1 Colon Hydrotherapy website

Review of Sauna at Witness the Fitness, Rosalie

This sauna is located in an odd corner of a workout space inside Witness the Fitness. The space is located upstairs on the second floor. When we went there was a group fitness class being held. They provide towels. The sauna is smaller but it still does the job.

You can book online for an affordable $25 for half an hour. You can save money by booking ten sessions for $200 but this must be used within 60 days from purchase.

Witness the Fitness website

We recommend you look for a sauna which uses infra-red, as they emit fewer EMFs.

 

117 best hotels in Australia based on customer feedback

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HotelCombined has released a list of the finalists in their first hotelier award for Australian hotels based on customer feedback.

The Recognition of Excellence Awards identifies the top, independent Australian hotels in each state and regional holiday area for outstanding customer satisfaction. Finalists are among the best hotels (by location) for customer service, with results compiled from detailed analysis of the website’s customer feedback.

The Awards are based on a range of criteria including:

  • Quality and consistency of guest reviews
  • Customer ratings
  • Absence of recurring or unresolved issues
  • Social media engagement on blogs, forums and social media posts

All of these hotels are placed within the top three percent of hotels worldwide.

Finalists and winners are representative of the highest standards in the industry, averaging 9.7 out of a possible 10 points – compared to the industry standard of 7.2.

The hotels are listed below by state:

New South Wales

NSW finalists, by region: Sydney

State Region Hotel name
NSW Sydney Adge Apartment Hotel
NSW Sydney Tara Guest House
NSW Sydney Darcys Hotel at Homebush
NSW Sydney Sydney Establishment Hotel
NSW Sydney Verona Guest House

NSW finalists, by region: Central Coast

State Region Hotel name
NSW Central Coast Avoca Valley Bed and Breakfast
NSW Central Coast The Acreage Bed and Breakfast Central Coast

 NSW finalists, by region: Newcastle

State Region Hotel name
NSW Newcastle Brezza Bella Bed & Breakfast Newcastle
NSW Newcastle Stockton Beach Holiday Park
NSW Newcastle Newcastle’s Bed & Breakfast
NSW Newcastle Chaucer Palms Boutique Bed & Breakfast
NSW Newcastle Everton Apartments

 NSW finalists, by region: North Coast

State Region Hotel name
NSW North Coast Anchors B&B
NSW North Coast The Villas of Byron
NSW North Coast Santa Fe Luxury Bed & Breakfast
NSW North Coast Ballina Manor Boutique Hotel
NSW North Coast Beaches International

 NSW finalists, by region: South Coast

State Region Hotel name
NSW South Coast Snug Cove Villas
NSW South Coast Huskisson Bed and Breakfast
NSW South Coast Crystal Creek Meadows Luxury Cottages & Spa Retreat Kangaroo Valley
NSW South Coast Sails Luxury Apartments
NSW South Coast Kiama Harbour Cabins

 NSW finalists, by region: Snowy Mountains

State Region Hotel name
NSW Snowy Mountains Jindy Inn

 NSW finalists, by region: Blue Mountains

State Region Hotel name
NSW Blue Mountains Melba House
NSW Blue Mountains Edgelinks Country House
NSW Blue Mountains Katoomba Manor
NSW Blue Mountains Broomelea Bed & Breakfast
NSW Blue Mountains Valley of the Waters B&B Wentworth Falls

 NSW finalists, by region: Lord Howe Island

State Region Hotel name
NSW Lord Howe Island Capella Lodge
NSW Lord Howe Island Arajilla Retreat

 NSW finalists, by region: Hunter

State Region Hotel name
NSW Hunter A Room with a View Bed & Breakfast Hunter
NSW Hunter Nelson Bay Bed and Breakfast Hunter
NSW Hunter Thistle Hill Guesthouse Hunter
NSW Hunter Splinters Guest House Hunter Peaceful Palms B&B

Australian Capital Territory

ACT finalists, by region:

State Region Hotel name
ACT Canberra One of a Kind Apartments

South Australia

SA finalists, by region: Adelaide

State Region Hotel name
SA Adelaide Casavino Luxury Villas
SA Adelaide Bellevue Bed & Breakfast McLaren Vale
SA Adelaide Peppercorns Bed and Breakfast
SA Adelaide North Adelaide Heritage Cottages & Apartments
SA Adelaide Seawall Apartments Adelaide

SA finalists, by region: Adelaide Hills

State Region Hotel name
SA Adelaide Hills Amble at Hahndorf
SA Adelaide Hills Hahndorf Oak Tree Cottages
SA Adelaide Hills The Haus Studio Apartments

SA finalists, by region: Barossa

State Region Hotel name
SA Barossa Barossa Pavilions
SA Barossa Whistler Farm B&B
SA Barossa Lanzerac Country Estate

 SA finalists, by region: Limestone Coast

State Region Hotel name
SA Limestone Coast Mid City Motel Mount Gambier
SA Limestone Coast Colhurst House
SA Limestone Coast Alexander Cameron Motel and Apartments

SA finalists, by region: Kangaroo Island

State Region Hotel name
SA Kangaroo Island Stranraer Homestead Bed & Breakfast Kangaroo Island

Victoria

VIC finalists, by region: Melbourne

State Region Hotel name
VIC Melbourne Hilltop Studios Margaret River
VIC Melbourne Caroline Serviced Apartments
VIC Melbourne Moulton Park Cottages
VIC Melbourne Woolrich Historic Garden Accommodation
VIC Melbourne Tuck Inn

VIC finalists, by region: Great Ocean Road

State Region Hotel name
VIC Great Ocean Road The Camperdown Mill – South West Victoria
VIC Great Ocean Road Farmhouse Flat
VIC Great Ocean Road Cape Nelson Lighthouse
VIC Great Ocean Road QDOS Arts Treehouses
VIC Great Ocean Road Warrnambool CBD Townhouses

 VIC finalists, by region: Spa Country

State Region Hotel name
VIC Spa Country Town View Guesthouse
VIC Spa Country Pendower House
VIC Spa Country The Manse

VIC finalists, by region: Peninsula

State Region Hotel name
VIC Peninsula Flinders Hotel
VIC Peninsula Mornington Bed and Breakfast

Queensland

QLD finalists, by region: Brisbane

State Region Hotel name
QLD Brisbane Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments
QLD Brisbane Emporium Hotel
QLD Brisbane Number 12 B&B
QLD Brisbane The Collingwood
QLD Brisbane NICHE Small Luxury Hotel Springfield Lakes

 QLD finalists, by region: Gold Coast

State Region Hotel name
QLD Gold Coast The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat
QLD Gold Coast Allisee Apartments Gold Coast
QLD Gold Coast Rainbow Bay Resort
QLD Gold Coast 2nd Avenue Beachside Apartments
QLD Gold Coast Ocean Sands Resort Gold Coast
QLD Gold Coast Ambience Apartments On Burleigh Beach Gold Coast

QLD finalists, by region: Sunshine Coast

State Region Hotel name
QLD The Sunshine Coast The Mirage Alexandra Headland
QLD The Sunshine Coast Coolum Seaside Apartments
QLD The Sunshine Coast RACV Resort Noosa
QLD The Sunshine Coast Sandy Beach Resort Noosa
QLD The Sunshine Coast Noosa Riviera Resort

 QLD finalists, by region: Whitsundays

State Region Hotel name
QLD Whitsundays Pinnacles Resort
QLD Whitsundays Mirage Whitsundays
QLD Whitsundays Coral Sea Resort Airlie Beach

QLD finalists, by region: Central Queensland

State Region Hotel name
QLD Central Queensland 1770 Getaway
QLD Central Queensland Emerald Motel Apartments
QLD Central Queensland Gladstone Central Plaza Apartment Hotel
QLD Central Queensland Empire Apartment Hotel Rockhampton

QLD finalists, by region: Tropical North Queensland

State Region Hotel name
QLD Tropical North Queensland Kookas Bed & Breakfast
QLD Tropical North Queensland Bellevue at Trinity Beach
QLD Tropical North Queensland Frangipani Bed & Breakfast
QLD Tropical North Queensland Balboa Holiday Apartments
QLD Tropical North Queensland On the Wallaby Backpackers Lodge

Western Australia

WA finalists, by region: Perth

State Region Hotel name
WA Perth Manuel Towers
WA Perth Durack House Bed and Breakfast
WA Perth Burns Beach Bed & Breakfast
WA Perth Lazy River Boutique Bed and Breakfast
WA Perth COMO The Treasury

WA finalists, by region: Australia’s Coral Coast

State Region Hotel name
WA Australia’s Coral Coast Ningaloo Bed and Breakfast

 WA finalists, by region: Australia’s South West

State Region Hotel name
WA South West Prideau’s of Margaret River
WA South West Rosewood Guesthouse
WA South West Riveresque Hotel Margaret River
WA South West Bushy Lake Chalets
WA South West A Vintners Retreat Bed and Breakfast

WA finalists, by region: Australia’s North West

State Region Hotel name
WA North West Broome Town Bed & Breakfast
WA North West The Billi Resort
WA North West Bali Hai Resort & Spa
WA North West Moonlight Bay Suites
WA North West Blue Seas Resort

Northern Territory

NT finalists, by region: Darwin

State Region Hotel name
NT Darwin Darwin Waterfront Luxury Suites
NT Darwin Quest Berrimah Apartments
NT Darwin H 105 Mitchell Hotels & Apartments

Tasmania

TAS finalists

State Region Hotel name
TAS Hobart Apartments on Star Hobart
TAS Hobart Islington Hotel
TAS Hobart Corinda’s Cottages
TAS Coles Bay Freycinet Retreat
TAS Swansea Wagners Cottages

HotelsCombined (hotelscombined.com.au) is the world’s leading hotel price comparison platform.

Chiasso Coffee Roasters review

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Chiasso Coffee Roasters is named after a small town on the Swiss-Italian border. It is Italian for ‘create an uproar’.

We tasted two different types of single origin beans from Chiasso Coffee Roasters.

The first single-origin bean was Colombian Pitalito, which had a heavy body, rich flavour, and finely balanced acidity. Pitalito is a southern region of Colombia.

The second single-origin was Ethiopian Yirgecheffe, which had light, fragrant and fruity flavours. It is a handmade coffee processed carefully by the traditional drying method. It’s an excellent choice for those who want a traditional organically grown coffee.

Andrew from Chiasso Coffee Roasters says “We offer the left-over grounds and ex-roasting chaff to a local nursery and my mother-in-law but we still have some left over which goes on our garden at home. We also re-use cardboard boxes from a couple of local businesses to send our coffee to our wholesale customers.”

Chiasso Coffee roast fresh in Capalaba, Brisbane following the Italian tradition.

Chiasso Coffee is available to buy online.

Guest post written by Bean Brewding

Forager Fruits review

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Forager Fruits are an exciting new range of freeze dried fruits from Tasmania. There are six different flavours to choose from so you are sure to find one you like. The packets are gluten free with no additives or added sugar.

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I was fortunate enough to try all of the different flavours and my favourite by far was the plain apple followed closely by the banana. You can also buy the apple wedges infused with blackcurrant which gives them a slight purple colour and zingy flavour or infused with raspberry which have a slightly pink colour and berry flavour. The apples and bananas are easy to eat on their own or you could pack them in your lunch box for a healthy snack.

forager-fruits-ice-cream

The freeze dried strawberries and crunchy dried blueberries are better to eat pre-soaked in some apple or orange juice. This will allow them to rehydrate and add some complementary flavour. I enjoyed these with coconut yoghurt and muesli or finely diced over chocolate ice cream. The freeze dried strawberries would be delicious dipped in chocolate to decorate a cake.

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Any of the fruits could be added to homemade muffins or thrown into smoothies to add a tasty but healthy ingredient.

The fruit used is bought directly from the farmers who grew them. They are snap frozen to preserve the maximum number of nutrients and stop the fruit from shrinking. This way of preserving the fruit allows them to have a shelf life of two years.

You can order Forager Fruits directly from their website, or ask your local supermarket to stock them.

Deskbound by Dr Kelly Starrett – Book review

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Have you heard the catch phrase that sitting is the new smoking?

Recent studies have found that sitting for more than two continuous hours at a time increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, back and neck pain and other orthopaedic problems. This isn’t reversible by going for a twenty-minute walk or a gym session either. Americans spend an average of thirteen hours a day sitting.

Kelly Starrett says we are not moving enough, not moving well and we are not performing basic maintenance on our bodies. His book is a mobility system aimed at turning you into a healthy, productive and fit deskbound warrior.

The book explains the consequences of poor posture and is full of easy to understand diagrams and full-colour photographs showing different postures, concepts and exercises. The book describes ways to optimally move, for example squatting, walking and carrying a bag.

There’s a whole chapter on setting up and using a dynamic workstation (more often called a standing desk). Here are some general guidelines:

Standing desk guidelines:

  • Flat shoes are the best choice
  • Soft floor under your feet or an anti-fatigue mat
  • Use a footstool, slant board, foot rail or fidget bar
  • Adjustable or fixed-height standing desk with a height of around 40 to 42 inches tall
  • Optional stool for leaning on

Kelly advocates using mobility tools to perform basic maintenance on our bodies, like foam rollers, battle stars, balls, double balls and exercise bands.

The last section of the book is the most useful as it contains prescriptions or exercises targeted at specific body parts.

There are whole-body prescriptions (exercises) for:

  • Head, neck and jaw
  • Upper back, trapezius, and scapula
  • Chest and anterior shoulder
  • Posterior shoulder and lat
  • Low back and trunk
  • Elbow
  • Forearm, wrist and hand
  • Glutes
  • Hip
  • Upper leg
  • Knee
  • Lower leg (calf and shin)
  • Ankle, foot and toes
  • Deskbound Rx

Highly recommended.

The Big Fat Fix – Film Review

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The Big Fat Fix is a documentary about food, health and fitness. It is independently produced by British Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra and former international athlete Donal O’Neill.

Donal has produced two other documentaries on the low carbohydrate and high-fat diet called ‘Cereal Killers’ and ‘Run on Fat’, but this one is my favourite of all of them.

The documentary begins in the Italian town of Pioppi where we hear about the Mediterranean diet and how it has been misconstrued by the media and Dr Ancel Keys. There is no Mediterranean Diet – the Greek word ‘diaita’ actually means ‘lifestyle’.

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Dr Malhotra demonstrates clearly how inflammation impacts on the arteries and heart health. He then talks about his prescription for avoiding and turning around obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It is possible to turn around the disease process and become more heart healthy in just 21 days.

Donal addresses functional fitness and leds Aseem through some fitness activities in a natural park with logs, rocks and trees. (He calls in tabata but it looks more like movnat to me). They talk about the benefits of vitamin D, sleep, quality olive oil, fatty acids, local produce, avoiding sugar and the re-engineering of wheat.


The Big Fat Fix is a great introduction to the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle. You can download and stream the documentary from the website.

Bean Brewding’s Self-guided Coffee Tours

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Bean Brewding have just released a self-guided Brisbane CBD coffee tour.  You can use their handy guide which includes a map and all the contact details of eight of the leading coffee spots. You’ll be able to explore some of Brisbane’s best independent coffee styles, roasters and café environments. You can use the guide in your own time with your friends or family, or during your breaks at work with your colleagues.

This exclusive guide will allow you to have one free coffee and give your 10% off your next Bean Brewding coffee tour.

Download your copy of Bean Brewding’s self-guided Brisbane CBD coffee tour here.

Kooee! Grass Fed Jerky reveiw

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My husband is a huge fan of chilli and has been exploring how hot he can handle it. We were looking forward to trying the two spicy flavours of Kooee! Jerky.

We rated the Habenero chilli as 4.5 out 5 hot, while the smoked chipotle was rated a more moderate 2.5 out of 5 hot. This Tasmanian-based company makes beef jerky in other flavours, like classic sea salt and native mountain pepperberry. They use Tasmanian beef which is raised free-range and 100% grass-fed, which might explain why the beef jerky is so tasty.

The Kooee! beef jerky is a high protein, paleo-friendly and gluten free snack. It doesn’t contain soy, gluten, added sugar, preservatives or GMO products like some of the jerky you will find in the supermarket.

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I love eating jerky and this one is definitely moreish. I found myself finishing a whole packet in one sitting! The slices of dehydrated beef offer a nice balance between the spicy chipotle, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

The jerky is healthy and convenient to carry around with you, so you could put it in your backpack for bushwalking or take it to work. Each 30g packet contains 15g of protein. The meat is easy to chew through and bite off because it is cut against the grain. You won’t feel like you are chewing like a cow!

Kooee! Beef Jerky is produced in small amounts and is sold at the Hobart Farmers Markets and Launceston Farmers Markets. It’s lucky that you can order Kooee! Beef Jerky from their online shop at www.kooeesnacks.com.au.

In My Kitchen – July 2016

I’d love to introduce you to these new products that are In My Kitchen for July 2016. This is a food challenge is not on this month officially, but is usually coordinated by  The Orgasmic Chef .

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I love this smooth peanut butter by Pic’s. They use only Australian peanuts from Kingaroy and freshly roast them in Nelson, New Zealand. If your peanut butter is made from peanuts in another country than they may be sprayed with a toxic chemical mix, which is now thought to be a contributing factor in peanut allergies.

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I’m keen to try out Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free brownie mix. This American company has a great reputation for producing allergy and intolerance friendly food, including the hard to find gluten-free oats. (Oats in Australia are usually cross-contaminated with gluten containing grains).

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How insanely good is this cashew cheese? This jar of Peace, Love and Vegetables is a fantastic cheese substitute which doesn’t contain soy products or taste like rubber. It’s heavy on the garlic, but I adore it. In addition, it’s gluten free, organic, probiotic rich and vegan.

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This paleo living superfood cereal is packed with goodness. It’s made by Pura Veda a company that makes all natural, allergen friendly, Australian made plant-based products. It contains buckwheat, sunflower seeds, linseed, millet, pepitas, poppy seeds, chia seeds, amaranth and quinoa. It’s best served soaked first.

Thanks to The Orgasmic Chef for organising this online monthly event – I hope you return soon. 

 

 

5 Things to Do in Germany with an Aussie Man

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With Germany through to the next round at UEFA Euro Cup and hot favourites to win the football tournament you might be tempted to find out more about this beautiful European place. Germany is an amazing multicultural country which is steeped in history. The people are reserved but welcoming. If you need to convince your boyfriend or husband to travel to Germany on your next holiday, I’d like to tell you about the five best things to do which will appeal to an Aussie man:

  1. If your man is anything like mine, his first priority will be to unwind from his flight with a beer. Book a brewery tour with one of the many well-known German companies depending on what type of beer he prefers. Some of my personal favourites are Erdinger – the world’s largest wheat beer brewery, Holsten in Hamburg which is known for its pale larger, or Löwenbräu in Munich – a popular choice at Oktoberfest. German beer is strictly regulated and brewed based on a traditional recipe and fermentation technique which leads to a distinct aroma and taste you are sure to enjoy.
  2. While in Germany your man may want to hire a German car he’s always wanted to drive, like the latest model Audi, BMW, Porsche or Mercedes-Benz and test it to the limits on the Autobahn. Here you’ll find no federally mandated speed limits. Before you leave Australia he can practice his driving skills on the latest Need for Speed or Gran Turismo video games which are based on real autobahn tracks.
  3. Print off some Google maps and take a self-guided walk along the remains of the Berlin Wall. This famous concrete structure has mostly been torn down, but the trail remains popular with walkers and cyclists. You’ll find information panels along the way to highlight each area. The best place to start is at Checkpoint Charlie which was designated as the single crossing point for the Allied forces. Then follow the trail to see the Schlesischer Busch Command Post. Make sure you stop at the East Side Gallery where you can see over 100 murals, graffiti artworks, slogans and tags. This is the ideal place to practice your selfies. Then find out about the gristly history of Niederkirchnerstrasse and finally end your trek at Berauerstrasse.
  4. You may like to take a guided tour around the Olympiastadion in Berlin, which was originally built for the 1936 summer Olympics. It is Germany’s largest stadium and regularly hosts international football matches and rock concerts. Learn about it’s amazing history through a multimedia guide of the stadium and park. Usain Bolt broke the 100m and 200m world records at this stadium. It was here that Jesse Owns won the long jump in the Olympics and was the first male African American athlete to gain a sponsorship deal (with Adidas).
  5. Germany has the second most decorated Michelin star restaurants in the world. You will fall in love the hearty and healthy food. The country is well known for their traditional sausages with a phenomenal 1,500 different types which contain only the best meat as allowed by law. Eat your way through wursts of all kinds, pork knuckles, dumplings, spätzle and potato frites. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a slice of authentic Black Forest cake soaked in kirsch.

I hope you find some inspiration from these tourist activities which are unique to Germany. These ideas may help to persuade your better half to book some tickets.