Health, fitness and wellbeing: Australian women’s-only gym group Fernwood produces a bimonthly magazine via content marketing agency Media Giants. As a regular contributor I have tackled a range of topics, from nutrition to pregnancy planning.

Doing it for the kids 

For this edition, I looked at the shocking statistic that 25% of Australian pre-schoolers are now overweight or obese:

It might not always feel like it, but you are one of the greatest role models your children will ever have. During their early years, kids learn routines and habits that stick with them for the rest of their lives. The home environment is often cited as the most significant contributing factor in any child’s life – including their weight problems. Unfortunately, childhood obesity is on the rise. So, as role models, it’s up to us to ask ourselves what we can do to help our kids develop healthy habits. 

The feature offered fitness advice and tips to help parents guide their children towards a more healthy diet and lifestyle.

Doing it for the kids_Fernwood magazine

Spice up your life

No kitchen is complete without a few spices. They add flavour without adding fat, sodium or sugar – in fact, the Dietitians Association of Australia recommends adding spices to flavour your food in lieu of salt. But their benefits don’t end there – spices have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties, are vitamin-rich and can improve circulation and cardiovascular health. Many contain more disease fighting antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables. To turn your spice rack into a medicine cabinet, check out these serving suggestions.

 This feature turned up the heat with a look at the health benefits of certain spices, and suggested recipes and ways of incorporating nature’s medicine in everyday meals.

Spice up your life 1_Fernwood magazine

The baby train

So you’ve decided it’s time to start trying for a baby, but before you even think about drawing up lists of names or deciding on colour schemes for the nursery you need to start preparing for the pitter-patter of tiny feet by preparing your body. Make health and wellness your number-one priority and take time to nurture good habits that you can maintain throughout pregnancy to give you and your little one the best possible start.

Prenatal planning was in the spotlight for this feature – covering everything from nutrition to fitness.

The baby train_Fernwood magazine

The hunter-gatherer kitchen

Inspired by the ingredients available to our ancient ancestors, the Paleo diet has been gaining a lot of attention recently. With ardent followers claiming the regime is a way of life and not just a way of eating, we take a look at the pros and cons of consuming food like a caveman.

When it comes to food, I’m not a fan of limits. Which was why I was surprised to find the Paleo Diet is surprisingly easy to follow – I wrote about how we could learn a thing or two from our ancient ancestors for this edition.

What do your kids see in the mirror? 

When does time spent in front of the mirror stop being about preening and start becoming a problem? We look at the devastating impact body dysmorphic disorder can have on our kids, how the media is fuelling the fire, and what you can to do foster a positive environment where appearance isn’t everything.

What is your teenager’s attitude to their appearance? They might spending hours in front of the mirror, compare themselves to friends and celebrities, and obsess about certain physical features. And while it might be tempting to dismiss this self-awareness as just a phase, it’s important to ensure it doesn’t develop into something more serious. This feature talked to psychiatrists and dieticians in a bid to get to grips to body dysmorphic disorder.