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.

 

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.

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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.

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.

One Pot Favourites by Pete Evans: Book review

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I own a few of Pete Evan’s paleo cookbooks and I love them all. I was keen to see if his latest cookbook ‘One Pot Favourites’ lived up to my expectations.

The cookbook features one hundred meals to roast, braise and slow cook. You can adapt the recipes, but you may like to invest in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.

All of the recipes are paleo friendly, so they don’t contain dairy, legumes, grains or refined sugar.

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We tried the tikka masala recipe but swapped the chicken for lamb. The instructions were easy to follow and dinner was delicious. We served it with steamed rice, but to keep it paleo you could use cauliflower rice.

There are chapters devoted to vegetables, seafood, poultry, pork, lamb, goat, game and beef. You’ll be tempted by recipes for creamy cauliflower and coconut curry, whole roasted salmon with lemon and herbs, congee, Jewish penicillin (chicken soup), duck vindaloo, and porchetta with crispy crackling. The recipes come from all around the world from Bali, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, France, Ethiopia, Peru, South Africa, Jamaica and the Middle East.

I’ve bookmarked a few recipes for dinner next week and I can’t wait to try another hearty meal from this cookbook.

Highly recommended.

One Pot Favourites by Pete Evans is available to purchase from Dymocks online or in one of their book stores.

Review: Gold Coast Food and Wine Expo

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Ilias the Greek

We spent a pleasant morning at the Gold Coast Food and Wine Expo. It was great to see so many new brands that I haven’t come across before and there was a good variety of food, wine and travel on offer. There were just under 150 exhibitors.

The expo featured many well-known food celebrities such as Ben Milbourne, Georgia Barnes, Jessie Spiby, Carly and Tresne (all from Masterchef or My Kitchen Rules).

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The 3 Bees Raw Honey

There were also a small number of food trucks, so you could have had lunch at the venue. These included Japanese pizza, Thunder Burgers, Greek, Mobile Mocktails and tempting plates of fresh oysters.

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Oysters

There was amazing truffles and Italian pasta, rice and tomato sauces at the Benfatti Fine Italian Foods. I wish that I wasn’t taking photos and could have purchased some of their tempting products.

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LamHam

I loved trying the LamHam by Silverwood Organics. It’s an artisan product which is cured and naturally woodsmoked using beechwood and fresh rosemary. Delicious.

There was plenty of red, white and rose wine options to try and you could purchase tasting glasses there.

The Really Stuffed Olive Co
The Really Stuffed Olive Co

Adults tickets cost $22 and you can park under the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for a tenner. I would like to see more stalls at future expos but the crowds were more than bearable.

The Gold Coast Food & Wine Expo was held over three days at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre at Broadbeach.

Thank you to the Gold Coast Food and Wine Expo for providing two free tickets for us to attend. 

Product Review: Naturally Nood bars

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Naturally Nood bars

I am currently on the hunt for a good convenient healthy snack bar.

Naturally Nood bars are produced by the well-known Australian company Sanitarium.

I packed them in my lunchbox to have for a morning and afternoon snack. The reality is I ate them both at the same time because I was so hungry and they were too delicious!

The first one I tried was called Cocoa Lamington and it contained all natural ingredients like dates, cashews, coconut, raisins, and cocoa. It was all chocolate to me.

The second one was just as yummy and called  Cocoa-Orange-Tango. It was packed with ingredients such as cashews, dates, orange juice, cocoa, apple juice, apple fibre, and vegetable oil.

The good points about these bars are that they contain zero added sugar, they aren’t baked and there are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

I bought mine from the local supermarket so they are easy to find. They contain a little under 20 carbs.

Just be a little careful of the hard nuts and eat mindfully. If you read the fine print you’ll discover they are made in Thailand.

Enjoy in moderation, as they like to say.

 

Product Review: Paleo Crunch bar

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Paleo Crunch Raw Cacao bar

My local greengrocer stocks these new Paleo Crunch bars on their counter. They are made in the Czech Republic for a Swedish company. I bought one to try for under a fiver.

They contain 100 per cent raw organic dates, cacao, almonds, cashew, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, vanilla and Himalayan salt. The good thing is they are gluten-free and a healthier alternative to chocolate bars.

 

 

Product Review: VOSS still water

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VOSS still water (watercolour pencil) by Emma Crameri

In an effort drink something a little more healthy than soft drinks and juices, I wanted to try VOSS water. It comes in a heavy glass bottle in two different sizes. I found it originally at the health food shop and then saw it stocked in Woolworth’s. As we had the car and could carry it home we decided to give it a try.

The still water is made up of Sodium 6, Calcium  5, Magnesium 1, Chloride 12, Fluoride 0.1 and Sulfate 5. The sparkling water is made up of Sodium 90, Calcium 5, Magnesium 1, Chloride 12, Fluoride 0.1 and Sulfate  5.

I love the taste of VOSS water. It is even better infused with slices of fruit. Why not give this artisan water from Norway a try.

 

Review: Schkinny Maninny

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I was able to try Schkinny Maninny over two days and I would recommend starting on the weekend. If you have always wanted to try a juice cleanse then this might appeal to you.

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The freshly squeezed juices, soup and salad arrived in a small esky. They were all packaged in plastic, so you can rinse them and recycle. The only real cooking I had to do was reheating through the soup.

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You are able to specify your dietary requirements when you order. I liked most of the juices, but thought the soup needed more seasoning. I would have liked the juices to be full of green vegetables, but the fruit based ones were yummy because of the fructose content.

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If you can afford the cost, I would recommend trying it once every few months when you are on holidays and relaxed.

Schkinny Maninny Nutritional Juice Cleanse
Schkinny Maninny Nutritional Juice Cleanse

Schkinny Maninny is available in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.