Monthly Archives: February 2017

Television presenter Rachael Finch shares her beauty secrets


We catch up with owner of Body of Dance and TV presenter Rachael Finch about her exclusive insight into her beauty routines, make-up and tricks.



When I nourish my body with good food, exercise and take time to be mindful, I don’t feel any pressure to be ‘camera ready’. I like to wake up every day feeling 100 per cent because I like the way it feels – not because I’m about to spend the day in the spotlight. Creating my online dance program B.O.D (Body of Dance) has been all about that concept of feeling good: dance has become a huge part of my life and it’s such a fun way to stay fit and create something special for myself. 

Like anyone I still have bad days. I get breakouts or dark circles. But I have learnt to be comfortable in my skin no matter what, so I accept the challenges and instead focus on getting into bed earlier that night or including more vegetables in my meals.


There’s certainly a time and place to be glamorous and it’s special when I get to dress up for red carpet events. But it’s not how I am all the time – the other 90 per cent of my life is all about working on my inner glow, and making the right lifestyle decisions to look and feel amazing.


As soon as I wake, I drink a glass of warm lemon water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I cleanse my skin, apply a serum and finish with a moisturiser, and at night I also use a toner. Two nights a week I exfoliate and I pick one night to put on a hydrating facemask. I always take my make-up off as soon as I get home from work to let my skin breathe.


Once every six weeks or so I get a cut and colour from Monique at QUE Colour Salon in Darlinghurst. She’s been looking after me for about seven years now and we enjoy experimenting with new shades depending on the season. I try to get a treatment every one to two weeks to maintain hydration and colour intensity, and I try not to wash my hair every night so that it gets a rest from all the products and can produce its natural oils.


I’m all about natural and glowing skin. I usually leave the house wearing a pressed powder, mascara and a good lip balm. I may use a little concealer on days my daughter Violet hasn’t slept well! 

For overall health and glowing skin I love to use bee pollen, purchased from the health food store in granule form, and apple cider vinegar in my diet. Boots Laboratories Serum 7 Day Cream, Ultraceuticals B2 Serum and Colour Theory Define Mascara are some of my go-tos. I use coconut oil as a body moisturizer, especially in winter.


I’m loving that current trends have been leaning toward dewy, fresh skin and using minimal products to create natural looks. I don’t like using too much make-up and I love seeing the natural beauty shine through in every woman.

I cringe at the heavy contouring trend I used to partake in, and before hair straighteners existed I used a clothes iron to straighten my hair! I don’t even want to think about how much damage that did.


I use an old toothbrush to brush my eyebrows and put a little wax on the brush to set the hair in place. Using a highlighter on your cheeks and on the top of your nose is a great way to brighten your face. Also, let your 


eyebrows grow and flourish. Don’t pluck or wax them too much – let them create their natural shape around your eye.


A huge percentage of your look will depend on your lifestyle. Lack of exercise, a poor sleep, poor nutrition, stress and lack of hydration all contribute to tired and dull skin. I notice a huge difference when I actively work on all of these factors.  


I feel beautiful when I fill my body with wholesome foods and take the time to do things for myself like exercise and meditate. The most beautiful people are those who don’t look elsewhere for approval or satisfaction, and are truly confident in who they are.

NEXT: Discover the importance of sleep and why lack of sleep kills your beauty buzz. 





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Accelerated Fat Burning Foods | Burn Fat Just By Eating These Accelerated Fat Burning Foods

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Accelerated Fat Burning Foods | Burn Fat Just By Eating These Accelerated Fat Burning Foods

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Let's get less serious and learn to relax and have fun with life

Time to start another thread. I decided that I will fundamentally reconsider many aspects in my life. I will explain what I mean by that in this first post.

While weight loss and all the other goals that I am working on were worthwhile, I recently (re)discovered that there is a deeper level, that affects about everything in my life, including my weight loss (in many ways). This includes internal things like self-respect, self-acceptance, mindset, self-love, your behavior like how you treat…

Let's get less serious and learn to relax and have fun with life

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Low Energy? Detect Thyroid Related Fatigue

Energy is the backbone of life. All systems in your body need energy to function properly. How you produce and distribute energy is complex; thyroid hormone function has a major impact on all of your energy systems. However, not all fatigue or tiredness is due to thyroid malfunction. How do you tell the difference?

Thyroid hormone governs the basal metabolic rate, which is like the idling speed of a car engine. Even when you are sitting in a chair or sleeping your 100 trillion cells keep making energy. This type of energy production is the foundation for all other energy and hormonal systems. If it is not up to par, no other system in your body works as well as it should. 

When you step on the gas pedal during the day, thyroid hormone is not what goes into action. Increased activity of any kind is controlled by adrenaline, muscle activity, increased calorie burning, and an increased speed at which your cells make energy. If you have a sluggish thyroid you may still be able to make yourself have the energy to do things based on adrenaline driven necessity. You may also notice that you have too much reliance on stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, or cigarettes.

A demanding day may deplete your muscles of fuel, and induce enough wear and tear so that natural tiredness follows. Such fatigue is normal and why we need to sleep. Even pushing it day after day and cutting sleep short may not be a thyroid problem. However, such a poor lifestyle does push your system, and you may eventually develop a thyroid problem as a result. Getting less than seven hours of sleep per night is asking for trouble.

Thyroid-related fatigue starts to show up when you cannot sustain energy long enough, especially when compared to a past level of fitness or ability. If the thyroid foundation is weak, sustaining energy output is difficult. You will notice you just don’t seem to have the energy to do the things you used to be able to do. 

The menstrual cycle, pregnancy, exercise, stress, and physical demands are all examples of increased energy demands that require increased energy output. Thus, to a degree, PMS is almost always a thyroid problem. The increased energy demands of the menstrual cycle are simply too much, partly due to an underlying thyroid weakness. Pregnancy is always a major test of the thyroid, since the thyroid is called upon to do metabolic work for two bodies. This is why thyroid issues often flare up during or following pregnancy. 

Thyroid hormone is synergistic with growth hormone in muscles. When these two work properly together, then muscles feel fit. Exercise conditions thyroid hormone to work properly to assist general energy production. A lack of exercise contributes to poor thyroid function. The more fit your muscles feel, the less likely thyroid-related fatigue will be an issue for you. If you have poor thyroid function you frequently feel like you don’t have the energy to exercise and usually don’t on a consistent basis. Muscle weakness is a classic hypothyroid symptom.

One of the key symptoms of thyroid fatigue is a heavy or tired head, especially in the afternoon. Thyroid hormone activity is regulated differently in the brain than anywhere else in the body, as brain cells themselves convert T4 to T3 (active thyroid hormone). Your head is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid hormone status. This is different than low blood sugar symptoms that occur from not having eaten for a while. The head just feels sluggish or tired, and lacks clarity or sharpness. When this head tiredness occurs too many hours during the day, then you will feel like you want to sleep all the time, and you will feel depressed, which are signs of more advanced thyroid-related fatigue.

Another key sign of thyroid fatigue is conking out as soon as you sit down and don’t actually have to do something (there is no necessity making you have to do something). In this case it feels like your body is a car idling too slowly at a stop sign and it just stalls; you may just go to sleep. This is a clear sign of thyroid fatigue.

You either do or don’t have the symptoms of thyroid-related fatigue. If you wake up energized, maintain decent energy throughout the day, are able to maintain mental alertness/sharpness, have energy as needed to meet demands, and your muscles feel fit, you do not have thyroid-related fatigue. The more you don’t feel this way, the greater the problem. No lab test is needed. In many cases thyroid lab tests may still be normal, even though you clearly are not. The symptoms tell the story and they never lie.

Optimal nutrition can improve the formation of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland, enhance the conversion of basic thyroid hormone T4 to the biologically active T3, and enhance the nutritional ability of cells to utilize thyroid hormone. Core nutrients needed for healthy thyroid function include selenium, l-tyrosine, manganese, iosol iodine, B12, and zinc. These nutrients help you to have better energy, mood, and metabolism.

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Curcumin Boosts AMPK Activation, Prevents Fatty Liver

Several new studies show that curcumin activates the enzyme AMPK, along with related fat burning gene signals, thus preventing the build up of fat in liver cells. 

AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) is a pivotal cell enzyme required to orchestrate the burning of fat and sugar. The first study was trying to figure out if curcumin had a mechanism that could specifically help protect against non-alcohol fatty liver disease; a common consequence of obesity-related health problems. This study showed that curcumin turned on AMPK, induced fat burning, while inhibiting fat deposition in liver cells. The researchers concluded that these mechanisms were adequate to conclude that, “curcumin extract may be active in the prevention of fatty liver.”

In a second study, researchers fed a high fat diet to mice to the point of inducing fatty liver. In the mice that were also fed curcumin, it prevented the mice from developing fatty liver. It did this by activating AMPK to orchestrate the gene signaling that enhances fat burning. The researchers concluded that curcumin was of use “as a therapeutic for hepatic steatosis [fatty liver].”

This new Korean research is a continuation of a decade of science relating to curcumin and obesity. I have previously reviewed their work and the work of others in my article, Curcumin Now Touted as a Significant Weight Loss & Disease Prevention Nutrient. Curcumin is an excellent nutrient to add to any person’s weight management plan.

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Healthy & Delicious Quinoa Recipe

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Fat burning tactics


If you’re aiming for quickish results, exercise that works out your muscles should be a priority.

It provides the best bang-for-buck that will not only fast-track you towards a healthy body but also give you the toned features that can give you the appearance of being slimmer.

This is because resistance training – using free-weights or resistance machines – fires up your internal furnace, which will continue to burn fat long after you’ve walked away from the gym and are lying on the couch. In fact, studies have found that after an intensive resistance workout, your fat-burn may continue for as much as 34 to 48 hours. Now that’s reward for effort.

Importantly, a resistance session doesn’t take that long either. You will have arrived and left the gym while the jogger is still plugging away on the treadmill.

“You may have been told that exercising at a comfortable pace is best for fat loss because you are working in the ‘fat-burning zone’,” says Julia Buckley, personal trainer and author of The Fat Burn Revolution. “This is just plain wrong. People who say this are confused by the fact that training at low intensities causes the body to use more fat than glycogen for fuel while you are exercising. But what they don’t realise is that high-intensity exercise causes more fat to be burned in total when you take account of afterburn. Plus, with this type of training, the next time you eat, the calories from your food will be used to replace the glycogen you used up rather than stored as fat.”




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Taking aim at a key malaria molecule

A team of biological engineers has developed a method to measure levels of heme, a critical iron-containing molecule, inside the parasite that causes malaria. This could eventually help scientists develop better drugs to combat the disease.

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