Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Life is what you make it…

Life is good! Life is so very very good!

I spent the long weekend exploring the many natural wonders of the NSW Southern Highlands. From forest bathing to rainforests to rock jumping when the path became a little wet, I really came across all of the wonderful gifts our natural world has on offer.

Illawarra Lookout via the Barren Grounds – worth the muddy trek to get there.
Minnamurra Rainforest – the hike is a little steep but the surroundings are sublime
Jamberoo – you had me at ‘oo’ Truly one of the most beautiful landscapes NSW has to offer.




My other life…

A frollower (thats; friend-follower) contacted me the other week concerned I’d abandoned my blog. In the back of my mind, the daily narrative of ‘must blog today’ played on repeat. The truth is, while I am fortunate to have secured a career that fulfils my passion of writing, I am the type of person that also needs to disconnect.

When I need to disconnect there is only one place I head – and that’s into the wild. Whether its hiking, climbing, paddling or simply forest bathing, to disconnect from the career that has become my life … I embrace my ‘other life’.

Earlier this year I climbed Mt Kosciusko. I didn’t start the climb from the chairlift, I started from the bottom. With a severe weather warning in place, the climb was not only strenuous, it was terrifying in parts. Best climb of my life.
I’ve trekked so many parts of the beautiful Blue Mountains. I couldn’t count how many klms.


Forest Bathing

I AM B2B – Business2Business

Another Sutherland Shire local business…

kirsty obrien

When you need the services of a professional, you want someone with experience. And not just the pen on paper type. You want someone who, not only understands the problem, they have test driven solutions all the way to success.

If you want to improve your appearance, you opt for a hairdresser who is known for their ability to style others, or a makeup artist with a kick ass portfolio. If you want to lose a few pounds, you choose a personal trainer who has achieved success in weight loss. If your car packs it in, you most definitely want a mechanic who knows how to pull apart an engine and put it back together.

You want someone who has been there and done that… you want someone with experience.

So what about a Life Coach or any coach for that matter?

What counts more to you? The establishment they achieved their degree at, or hands on experience?

You have to ask yourself, who is more qualified … someone who has simply studied or someone who has hands on experience with the ups and downs of life…

Kirsty O’Brien, founder of Invisible Crown, is a successful Women’s Empowerment Coach. She is in love with her life.

Kirsty believes you won’t get what you want out of life until you are in cahoots with yourself. This was a valuable lesson she learnt a few years ago when she went through divorce, nursed her 4 year old through cancer therapy, lost everything and even faced bankruptcy. It is a lesson she intends passing onto others… it is the lesson of acceptance and true self love.

The hands on experience Kirsty gained, in rebuilding her own life, has given her valuable tools in assisting others build theirs.

Every woman has unique struggles and personal triumphs. We learn a great deal of wisdom from our time spent on the ride down to ‘rock bottom’. Some women never experience those times and then there are others who do. Those times, as difficult as they are, teach us the most about life. Kirsty has found her most successful coaching tools from her personal experience with ‘rock bottom’ and is now using those tools to help women identify and achieve their dreams.

It is very easy to sit back and say, I wish I had this, or I wish I had that. The question is ‘how’.
How do you get to ‘success’ – do you really even know what ‘your success’ looks like?

Kirsty helps her clients take the action that is required to achieve their dreams. Maybe she can help you find that yellow brick road to your very own happily ever after.

Here are some of the services offered: One on one and internet coaching sessions, intensive workshops and retreats, and self esteem workshops for teen girls. To find more on services available please visit the following website:

The MEGA Issue!



We are closing the year of 2015 with a MEGA Issue!

That’s right! We’re putting the best of the best over 22 issues in ONE BIG ISSUE!

If you have been putting off Advertising in I AM, now is the time to secure your space as we launch THE magazine to top all others.

Reaching an extensive audience through WordPress, Issuu, Facebook and Instagram, don’t you think it’s time you jumped on the I AM wagon and said hello to your fans?

Enquire about placing your Ad at

Getting back on the fitness horse…


Establishing a regular exercise schedule post bub is tough! However, If health and fitness is a necessity to keep insanity at bay – as it is for me – you make time!

Since having bub #3 I have managed 2 absolute non-negotiable days back at the gym. These are my weight training days. I fell in love with weight training a few years ago now, when an injury forced me to leave the running track, and have been a devotee ever since.

Of course there are countless benefits to lifting weights, but in my experience, the thing I love the most is the feeling of inner strength, lifting weights provides.

They say running provides a time for the brain to think things through and throw out what it doesn’t need. Lifting weights give the inner self strength to sort the stress and overcome the worries.

Need inspiration and motivation? Check out the latest issue of I AM Magazine…

Being healthy is too hard … pass the Tim Tams please…

Have you ever said to yourself, “I want to be more healthy but it’s just too hard to fit it all in.”

Life is busy!

I mean super busy!

We work, raise a family and stress daily as to whether we are doing it all right. Days are filled with endless to-do lists that end in question marks asking “is this good for me?”. And then, the constant questioning just makes it all too hard. The truth is, starting a new, healthier lifestyle would be fantastic! – but I don’t know where to begin and even if I did begin, could I really fit it all in – I’m exhausted!

Well here is a simple answer for you…

Book your ticket to the Cronulla Food and Fitness Fun Day on Saturday October 24.

FACEBOOK IMAGE FIT FOOD FUN DAY (2)Event organiser’s, Michelle King and Lorraine Barwick, are not only impressively qualified in Physiology and Health, they are hands on in raising a family and juggling life’s daily tasks. Together the women will bring easy solutions for improving the food and fitness in your life. From beginners to advanced, this event is a must-attend for those passionate about improving their personal and family lifestyle.

There has never been a simpler way to get all the answers you need in making the next positive step towards a healthier lifestyle for you and your family.

Event Details:
Fit Food Fun Day
Saturday 24 October 2015
Choose your session:
Morning: 10am – 12pm (doors open 9.30am)
Afternoon: 2pm – 4pm (doors open 1.30pm)
Where: Cronulla Central – Full Meeting Room, 38-60 Croydon Street, Cronulla
Cost: $55 General Admission – Adult

Get the full program and purchase your tickets at

sj freelance blogger graphic copy

A ‘PT’ who is FREE FREE FREE!!! – Cronulla!

Okay, so how many times have you said, “I would get a personal trainer if I could afford it” or just “I can’t afford to join a gym!”

Now you have NO excuse for putting off that daily workout.

Image belongs to Live Life Get Active

Live Life Active is a FREE outdoor group exercise class running daily from Monday thru Friday.

Starting at the perfect post school drop off time of 9:45am, the class is casual, for all levels of fitness, packed with variety and run by a fully qualified fitness instructor. Expect to learn how to X-train, Box and wind down with yoga, all whilst having fun in the Cronulla beach side sun.

Live Life Active is a program run all over Sydney – for Shire folk however, the local is at Cronulla Don Lucas park Wanda.

For more details find them on Facebook ‘Live life get active’

From the editor; “I have literally tried to attempt two of the Live life Active classes in the past 5 days, however my little man just hasn’t allowed it. I refuse to give up though. I will keep showing up and pray that one day he will actually sleep soundly in the pram. The great thing about this class is, if you are a mum like me with a temperamental bub that for some reason doesn’t want to co-operate some days, you are not out of pocket a cent if you simply have to make a quick exit. It beats booking in with your PT and then having to cancel at the last minute – cha-ching!”


#STOPTHEVIOLENCE – Look at ways to prevent it – NOT more ways to band-aid it!!!

12031987_10153151196847083_1873937623784559247_nWednesday this week little Miss I AM 7 attended her first self defence workshop – and loved it!!!

With domestic violence and violence against women and children rising by the week, it just makes sense to look for a solution that will give our girls the power to make the change our current society so desperately requires.

Therefore, along with the current program to educate our boys and men in all reasons why it’s not okay to hit or disrespect women, it is also of the utmost importance to, one; educate our girls that the behaviour is unacceptable; two, convince them of their true self worth; and three, TEACH THEM HOW TO DEFEND THEMSELVES OR HIT BACK if necessary.

That’s why myself and another proactive mum enrolled our girls in the Gymea Kyokushin Self Defence School Holiday workshop.

The girls [aged 6 & 7 years] learnt how to:

>Identify when they should be concerned about someone’s behaviour.

>How to bring attention to themselves should a stranger start interacting with them and also how to address that stranger with a big loud, “I DON’T KNOW YOU! GO AWAY!” voice.

>How to identify situations and scenarios where someone might be trying to coax them away from their home, parents or group or into a vehicle or isolated area.

>How to get themselves out of the grip of someone during a violent situation – aka. the trusty eye gouge!

Little Miss I AM 7 stated that the day was, “THE BEST DAY EVER!”

Although they were confronted with what is a very harsh reality of today, both girls left the workshop with elevated confidence levels and a great deal more understanding of what violence and ‘stranger danger’ really is.

I put it to all parents out there to consider this type of workshop as a solution to a problem, that right now, is being fixed more by band-aids than any real solutions that could possibly prevent the current violence epidemic from continuing.

Why isn’t the government putting some of the $100mil, recently allocated to Domestic Violence in Australia, towards putting programs like this in Schools rather than educating police officers ‘how-to’ react to the endless stream of concerns by victims of domestic violence. Should that not be part of their standard training anyway.

In my opinion, if we empower girls/women with survival skills like self defence, if we make it readily available and free of charge, an essential skill to be learnt; like Maths and English … would this epidemic not naturally decrease due to the limited number of available victims?

[Sutherland Shire locals] For more information on the programs offered by Kyokushin Karate Gymea please feel free to contact Keith Young on 0400 325 164 or

Fight post-partum depression with PILATES…

mums&bubs 1Postnatal Pilates: a great way to fight post-partum depression as well as re-find your pre-pregnancy body awareness. 

Several studies demonstrate that exercise participation is likely to benefit persons with general depressive symptomatology. In particular exercise can have important antidepressant effects during the post-natal period. In September BPS will start offering quality mums & bubs Pilates classes to give our new mums the chance to enjoy the benefits of Pilates with their baby and thus reinforce the bond between them.

When to start postnatal exercise? “The gestational and postnatal period are characterized by a global morphological and structural transformation of the female body. In particular the abdominal musculature has to dilate in a few months to allow the growth of the fetus and the pelvic floor is subjected to an overload from the increased visceral weight” says gynecologist Rossana Sarli. “Therefore it’s very important in the immediate postpartum period to help the ‘pelvic – abdominal system’ to regain its functionality”.

Six weeks after giving birth, most of the changes that happen to your body during pregnancy will have returned to normal. If you had a caesarian birth, a difficult birth or complications during pregnancy or delivery, it may take a little longer, so if you are not sure, ask your doctor when is a good time to restart exercising.

Types of postnatal exercises? General exercise, such as walking, can be started as soon as you feel comfortable after giving birth. Keep in mind that your lower back and abdominal muscles are weaker than they used to be. Your ligaments and joints are more lax and easier to injury if you stretch or twist too much. Therefore avoid any high-impact exercises or sports that require rapid changing of directions. Instead choose low-impact forms of exercise, such as swimming, aqua aerobics and Water Pilates, Pilates, Yoga or Cycling.

mums&bubs collage (1)Why Pilates? Pilates can provide an ideal postpartum workout! A safe whole body form of exercise, the Pilates method strengthens the deep core and pelvic floor muscles, thereby creating a firm muscular support for your spine and organs as well. At our mums& bubs classes you will learn sequences of movements to strengthen and lengthen your back muscles, thus reducing any lower back pain you may have. By focusing on spinal articulation in different planes of movement, postural control and breath, you will quickly re-find your pre-pregnancy body awareness. Pilates can also stimulate circulation, which brings a reduction of excess water weight retained after delivery. Last but not least, Pilates can be a great way to keep mind and body under control while hormonal changes might produce overwhelming emotions.

What about your baby? Unlike exercises classes where your baby stays passively in the classroom, during our mums & bubs Pilates classes your baby is an integrant part of the session. During some exercises your baby acts as a weight and as he/she gets bigger, you get stronger! It’s the most natural form of progressive resistance training. At BPS mums & bubs classes your baby will have the chance to interact with you firstly and then with other babies, thus stimulating his/her physiological development, getting ready for crawling and standing, improving balance and reducing stress levels, which helps him/her to sleep better .

For further details about our mums & bubs classes visit us in person at 16/70-72 Captain Cook Drive Caringbah or call 8544 1757. But if you want to come try our classes straight away, make sure you reserve your spot by booking in advance! You can do it online by visiting our website

MISS 80/20…

20150827_183727Food glorious food…

Last night we tried something a little different… Steak with Blueberries! It was insane – in a good way 🙂

Here’s the ‘HOW TO’ if you want to bring this absolutely divine Paleo dish to your dinner plate.

You will need…


Blueberries – I buy the frozen bags as they are soooo much cheaper than the ‘by the punnet’ variety.

Spring onions x 5 sticks sliced thinly

Beef stock – just one cup please

Garlic – give it a squirt that is right for your palette 🙂

Fresh Thyme! A couple of twigs broken up with the finger tips.


Place your finely sliced onions, garlic, stock and thyme in a pan. Cook over a gentle medium heat stirring to help the stock reduce. Once you have only about 20% of the stock remaining in the pan, remove from heat and place in a jug to the side. Now turn that pan up to super HIGH heat and cook your steaks. DO NOT leave your steak all alone on the stove! Give it your undivided attention only turning a few times until cooked to your desired bloody-ness 🙂 Remove the steak BUT keep those yummy juices in the pan! Turn the pan down to a low-medium heat and return your onion mix to the pan. Soak up that steak juice for about 1 minute. Grab your blueberries and pop them in the mix. Keep the pan on a low heat – just enough to heat the berries. Toss them gently as you want to keep them whole and intact.

PLATE UP! Cut your steak into juicy strips [once it has rested for at least 5 mins] Now top with your blueberry sauce mix – OH-MY-YUM! Throw some baked sweet potato sticks on the side and you have one restaurant worthy dish on the family dining room table.

$$$ – This dish will cost around $25 for 2 people depending on the steak you use. Some people will disagree with me, however I believe all steak tastes great as long as it is cooked with TLC – that means; HIGH Heat cooked quickly, turned a max 2-3 times. A great way to test if your steak is well done is to press down on the steak with your tongs. The firmer it is the more cooked it is – simple 🙂

Happy Cooking!

Samantha Jane

sj freelance blogger graphic copy