Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fitness Food And Style Photo A Day Challenge - Day 1 DENIM

Hello everyone, another month, another challenge.

I thought I would mix things up a little and get you to capture everything and anything Fitness Food And Style related. So get your camera ready!

The words are your guide, prompt, inspiration to get all creative. As you may know by now, I am such a visual person and I live on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. So please come and join me. Hash tag #ffsphotoaday and let's have some fun.

Photo A Day Challenge

Day One - Denim

Assorted denim

A denim bag filled with coloured and acid wash denim jeans. A denim vest, jacket and acid wash shirt! :-) can I have any more denim???

Here are my fantastic four pics that caught my eye from;

@bec_wallaby and 

Denim action

What's your favourite denim piece?

Hope you're having a fabulous Wednesday! XxDani

Monday, April 29, 2013

Free Private Health Insurance for 12 months ENTER NOW!!!

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Healthy new lifestyle Transformation Tuesday with Matt

This young man is all about, eat what you want as long as it fits your macros. I came across Matt on Instagram @ If_It_Fits_Your_Macros early this year. So Matt's theory is, enjoy the food you eat and if that means a donut, go for it. Of course don't eat the entire Krispy Kreme or Donut King box!!! He's about calorie counting and reaching your macronutrient target and has an amazing story to share. 

So without further a due, here is the sensational Matt Cull.

How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date? 

I’m 21 and I started out at around 17 going to the gym like most other young guys, with very little knowledge or dedication and spent the best part of 2 years training in the gym with very little progress. It wasn’t until I began studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science that I really became dedicated and started to develop my knowledge of fitness and what is required to gain muscle mass. From there I improved my eating habits and ever since I have been dedicated to educating myself in nutrition and training through my own research of scientific studies and research, the most reliable source of information that is available. More recently, I have been dedicated to spreading the truths of the fitness industry through my business project ‘Macro Fit’, and educating people about a more flexible approach to dieting through macronutrient tracking. When I started my journey I was a mere 68kg and am currently 83kg at 6’ which I predominantly achieved through the utilization of tracking calorie intake and macronutrients.

What types of foods did you used to eat as a kid and young adult? What's changed since then? 

When I was younger I just ate whatever Mum cooked. Our dinner was always home cooked and on the rare occasion we would have take away, it never bothered me that we didn’t eat much take away because my mums cooking was always good. We had plenty of rice and pasta usually with a serving of meat and vegetables. Breakfast was always cereal and toast. Nowadays, I eat a similarly broad range of foods, and even though I still live with my parents, I cook all my meals. I eat any foods that will fit into my predetermined macronutrient goals. Anything from poptarts to broccoli, chicken to pizza etc. It’s all about moderation, with health being the number one priority, so getting sufficient vitamins and minerals and fibre is just as vital as reaching your macronutrient targets.

Do you play any sports or what sports do you like watching?

I have always been very athletic in the past and have played more sports competitively than I can think of however I predominantly played footy and cricket. I have put these on hold for the time being however to focus on my studies and on my weight training.

What are your interests, passion and what makes you smile?

Obviously physical fitness and health is a great interest of mine; ensuring I am healthy and doing the best I can to ensure a great quality of life for myself in the future. In particular I love weight training. Educating myself is a passion and I’ll probably be at Uni studying until I’m 26.  I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping others, especially in educating people about fitness. I have a lovely partner of 5 years who makes me smile as well as our border collie pup of 10 months. I also absolutely love the TV show “Parks and Recreation”, it’s pretty much the only TV I will watch as the rest is nonsense.

What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change?

Starting my university degree, not only because I was learning relevant information about the anatomy and physiology of the body but also that university teaches you that you can’t make any claims about something, unless there is sound scientific evidence to support the claim. For me, this provoked a desire to research things for myself and find out all the answers I needed to know from a fitness perspective.

What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months?

I am hoping for my new business to be a success, so I can help spread the truths of the fitness industry to the world and help people to live a more practical and sustainable life while achieving their health and fitness goals.

What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation?

Count calories and track macronutrients. It’s not as hard or as time consuming as it sounds, and once you get used to it, it become second nature. I spent too many years not knowing how much to eat, or what proportion of macronutrients I was eating or needed to eat. Tracking macros takes the guesswork out of it and gives you the option to be much more flexible than just about every other dieting protocol, which means you are far more likely to stick with it and achieve goals in the long term.

Thank you so much Matt for sharing your new healthy lifestyle with us. For those interested in following Matt and his amazing macro lifestyle, you can reach him here;

Website (not yet active but coming soon)- Sign up to mailing list at www.macrofit.com.au
Email for more info about tracking macros – info@macrofit.com.au

This post is proudly sponsored by 1st Available.com.au REGISTER NOW FOR FREE!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weight loss story Transformation Tuesday with Sharna

Another phenomenal transformation. Let me introduce the lovely Sharna Weber. A young mother with a soon to be 2 year old daughter shares her story with us today.

How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date?

I am 32 years old, I have been on my real weight loss journey since the birth of my daughter in July 2011. Though was a yo-yo dieter since a teen.

What types of foods did you used to eat as a kid and young adult? What's changed since then? 

My mum was (and still is) an amazing cook and she would cook with passion and love and so our meals would be very hearty, carb loaded and never skimped on fats. Think roasts with gravy, Yorkshire pudding and roasted veggies in oil or Mum would cook a variety of cuisines and cook up a banquet lol. We also had big servings on our plates and had to eat it all. My mum would often go on diets though and we kids would also have to eat whatever was the fad at the time, so liver cleansing diet, weight watchers etc. As a young adult I would yo-yo diet constantly which I think was a habit from being on varying diets with my mum as a kid. My weight would fluctuate as I could never stick with whatever fad diet was at the time and binge eat afterwards, I was also a very emotional eater. I ate healthy 90% of the time but it was the quantity of foods I had issues with and I rarely exercised.

Now I have implemented a way of eating which I can sustain long term, also changing to grain/sugar free was the best thing for my gut health. I was always feeling bloated and having stomach aches when I would eat refined carbohydrates. It would also send me on binge frenzies, eating sugar and simple carbs would cause me to feel hungry and crave more and more.
I now follow lacto-paleo principals majority of the time but on special occasions do tend to be more lenient, though often regret it the next day when I feel crappy.

Do you play any sports or what sports do you like watching?

I used to play many sports such as netball and soccer but at the moment I don’t play any sports. Dancing has also been something I loved to do and did Salsa classes for awhile. I love to watch soccer and Crossfit Games.
To keep fit at the moment I go to gym or walks along the beach, plus my children keep me on my toes!
I would love to take up boxing, pole dancing and Crossfit when I hit one of my mini goals and possibly salsa again.

What are your interests, passion and what makes you smile?

I love cooking, it will always be my passion. I also love to bake and often make cakes for friends and family as a hobby which is bizarre as I don’t have a sweet tooth lol. Though I have become much more mindful of the ingredients I put in to my meals and often create or modify recipes to be healthy and nutritious.
One thing I am very passionate about even before I embarked on this lifestyle change is creating a chemical free environment as much as possible. I love making chemical free natural cleaning products in our house as well as skin care etc.
We very much have a green thumb in this house and love to grow organic herbs and vegetables and I think its taught my kids a lot about food, where it comes from and showing them what real food tastes like.
I have to say the thing that makes me smile the most are my children, they are rays of sunshine. I love playing outside with them, they are so active and could spend hours outside in the garden.

What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change?

I have always been on a ‘diet’ my weight has fluctuated between 54kg to 75kg for over a decade, it wasn’t until I had an emergency cesarean with my first child that I became really lazy and packed on the weight. I then fell pregnant again and that’s when I hit my highest weight.

I never used to have pictures taken of myself, I hate being photographed but then I saw photos of myself holding my daughter and I realized I cannot keep going on this path of self-destruction and not being a good role model for my children. I knew then that I had to make a lifestyle change for good, not just a quick fix diet.

What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months?

I vowed that when I would get to under 80kg I would get out of my comfort zone and do something I have never done before, so I have now signed up for True Grit, the military inspired obstacle course in May since I have hit that mini goal.

I am hoping in the next 12 months to hit my goal weight/body image. To lower my body fat percentage to around 20%.  I have awhile to go yet on my journey but looking forward to the final stages of transformation.

What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation?

Consistency is key, don’t think that it’s a percentage of diet and exercise. The only percentage where you will really see results is putting 100% in to each. However if you fall off the wagon don’t beat yourself up about it, just make the next meal count.
Also learn to love and accept what you see both within yourself and on the outside no matter what stage you are in your fitness/weight goals. Accepting doesn’t mean you have to stay where you are, it means acknowledging and then working towards the best you can possibly be. Just remember you are worth it and enjoy the journey.

Thanks again Sharna for sharing your amazing transformation with us and I wish you all the success in the future. Keep up the great work! XxDani

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mini leg workout challenge this week USE THE STAIRS

With a lot of people requesting another mini challenge, I thought I would come to the party as everyone did extremely well with our 1000 squats in 5 days last week!!! Jeepers were my legs sore! Yours??? Yes, I know. 

Step it up. Take the stairs challenge


This one is pretty easy. I didn't want to stretch our friendship so instead of 200 reps per day, I have dropped it down to 100 step ups per day over the next 5 days = 500! Which simply means, go hard for 60 seconds and slow for 30 seconds. 

Example 20 step up x 5 sets

The aim of this challenge is to get your heart rate up and I will be doing mine as part of my interval training which gets my heart pumping and body sweating. So just because you go up a flight of stairs everyday at your apartment block, at work etc... you're not really working up a sweat are you?

For those unable to do this type of interval work, simply take the stairs and avoid any escalators and lifts. This also applies to parking. Park as far away from wherever you are going so it forces you to make more steps in your day!


Our Stand Up And Be Rawesome challenge AKA #standfullyraw is going great guns and people on Instagram have been tagging some amazing meal ideas. Here are just a few AMAZING people that I truly adore and they inspire me daily!!!! YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THEM if you are on Instagram.


Fully raw meal ideas 

We have been enjoying our juices and smoothies this week, here's just a few of our favourite ones.

Banana chocolate smoothie

2 bananas
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp chia and sesame seeds
1 scoop of 180 Nutrition chocolate protein powder
handful of walnuts
almond milk

Chocolate smoothie

Strawberry banana and coconut smoothie

2 bananas
1 punnet of strawberries
1 scoop of 180 Nutrition coconut powder
almond milk

Strawberry banana smoothie

Here was our lunch today, my Dad loves french toast. I made it with a twist.

French Toast club sandwiches

Simply mix eggs, a splash of water with salt and pepper, dip in wholemeal bread and cook in olive oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and start building your club sandwiches. 

We had smoked ham, parmesan cheese with spinach. Amazing!

French toast club sandwiches

BTW here's a picture of Zali and I with our final squat last week. She's a trooper. Monkey see, monkey do. Or is it like Mother like Daughter?

Drop it like a squat

Please note, I was heading out that evening so all I had to do was put on my stiletto's and a leather jacket and my rockstar outfit was complete. I am loving Lorna Jane's active gear and loved Lorna's twitter back to me when she saw this pic: 

"Your Active Life extends beyond the walls of the gym. It's for the girl on the go - glad you love it. Lx" 

Love it I do, Lorna. Thanks for being such a great designer. 

Goodnight from me. Until we meet again xx Dani

This post is proudly sponsored by 1st Available. Click now to register for free.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

180 Nutrition protein powder GIVE AWAY

I've had a few of you mention that if you are not on Facebook or Instagram whether this competition applies to my blog readers???


Simply leave your favourite smoothie recipe below and share this competition with your friends so they too can go in the draw!! 
The more the merrier! 

Fitness Food And Style 180 Nutrition Give Away

If you can't wait until I announce the winner at the end of the month, simply head to www.180Nutrition.com.au and use your exclusive 10% discount promo code 264464.

A special thanks to Guy and Stu for sponsoring this giveaway for our #standfullyraw challenge, you guys are the best. If you haven't already liked their Facebook page. Please go HERE.

Happy Friday everyone!

♥ Dani 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mini squats challenge - 1000 squats in 5 days

How are you going?

Just a quick post to let you know my legs feel like jelly and sore?!!! Doesn't even come close. Day 4 today so I have 200 scheduled today.

It's great leg awareness. I have been a little slack with my exercise regime, nevertheless I am still breaking up my squats throughout the day 25 reps whilst brushing my teeth, 25 reps while I am folding our washing etc... You can fit in fitness wherever as long as you make the time.

Dani Stevens drop it like a squat

Instructions for "good-form" squats

1. Stand up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground approximately shoulder width apart. To help maintain a straight back as you perform the exercise, it's a good idea to focus on an object directly ahead of you at eye level.
2. Contract your abdominal muscles as you bend your legs at the knees. Either stretch your arms out ahead of you, lightly position your hands behind your ears or hold your arms at your side as you slowly lower yourself into a squatting position. Lower your body to a position where your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Important: Proper technique is critical, otherwise serious injuries or gradual injury over a period of time can occur. The back must maintain its natural curvature and not "round out" otherwise excess strain can be placed on the spine and cause serious injury.
Also, to avoid undue stress on the knee joint, do not allow your buttocks to drop lower than your knees as you lower your body towards the ground.
Remember, the main aim of the two hundred squats per day program is to get you motivated and moving. Also to improve your leg strength, fitness and general health. The program is all about making progress and constantly challenging yourself. Give the 5-day program a chance and you'll be amazed at your new found strength. Please do not attempt these as a regular exercise regime as you need your body to repair and have rest days. So I simply recommend incorporating them in your normal fitness regime x3 per week.

Dani Stevens no more excuses

Last night on Instagram I posted the above quote. I always find some excuse not to do something. I mentioned I was going to pull the pin with the 200 squats but with everyone cheering me along, I couldn't let you down. You ALL inspire me so much!! Thank you.
Who inspires you?
Our #standfullyraw 80/20 challenge is going great guns! Kids are enjoying their jam packed fruit lunch boxes. For my local readers please head over to Peachs on Eastwood St in Ballarat for your exclusive 10% discount when you mention my blog. I really would love to encourage more fruit and vegetables in your day so please feel free to share with your friends and family.

There is also a 180 Nutrition giveaway on Facebook and Instagram. Please head over if you haven't already liked my page and share the post with your friends for your chance to win a 1.5kg bag of either chocolate or coconut protein powder. Leave your fave smoothie recipe on my wall post and I'll announce a random winner at the end of the month.
For those that can't wait, you can simply order directly at www.180Nutrition.com.au and please use the promo code 264464 at check out for your exclusive 10% discount.
I'm all about sharing the love! Happy Thursday everyone.