Acai Bowl Bliss

Acai bowl

Acai is a delicious tropical fruit which is all the buzz lately in the health and nutritional world. The sweet tasting and healthy nature of this purple and delicious fruit makes it a great option for those looking to enhance their diets with nutritional foods. Acai fruit is known to promote healthy skin, aid weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, reduce cancer risk and increase cell health. All in all it packs a strong punch of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals making it well-worth incorporating into your diet.

So you may be wondering, what is an “acai bowl” anyways?. When I first heard about it I imagined myself building a bowl out of tiny berries, but it actually isn’t a berry mosaic. An acai bowl is simply a blend of acai served in a bowl. You add into it your favorite toppings. The result is a thick and creamy ice cream like experience, but it is actually really great for you. If you are looking for a chilly treat this is a great way to satiate the sweet tooth without breaking your diet.

Acai bowls do require some clean up and prep, so this is more of a recipe to make when you have time to cook up a treat in the kitchen. But we can promise the work is worth it! Without further ado, let’s get onto those acai bowl instructions as promised.

How To Make an Acai Bowl

1. Start with an Acai smoothie

Whatever method you prefer to make an acai smoothie, go ahead and do so. You can buy smoothie packs or use the actual acai root to make a smoothie. For the purpose of speed, we recommend just using the smoothie packs to hurry up the process. For the smoothie you can add in your favorite ingredients to smoothies like bananas, coconut milk, yogurt, chia seeds, or whatever you want to enhance the flavour.

2. Get the perfect frosty texture
Either add more liquid or more substances to thicken or thin the smoothie’s texture. You want it to be thick enough to eat with a spoon! To thicken it you can add bananas or yogurt, and make sure not to overdo it with any of the liquids that you add to the smoothie. Make sure to add in ice or frozen berries to make it an extra refreshing treat!

3. Put It In A Bowl

Once the acai is thick enough, you’ll want to spoon it out into a bowl. You can put it into a cold bowl to help slow the melting process of the acai smoothing and add cold ingredients at the bottom to reduce the amount of surface area of the smoothie that is exposed to warmer temperatures. Pro Tip: You want to have you toppings ready before this process, so that your acai bowl doesn’t melt while you’re getting your topping ready.

4. Add your toppings

Finally you can add on all the toppings you want to personalize your acai bowl. Add on nuts, coconut flakes, chocolate, fruit, peanut butter or whatever may strike your fancy. Get creative! Try to add on something crunchy to add some nice texture into your acai bowl. It is like an ice-cream sundae without any of the guilt!

 

 

Bronze for Brooke Langereis at the Challenge Taiwan Half

Brooke Langereis pre-race

We arrived in Taiwan early on the 22nd of April, with the race being on the 25th. So I had a good 3 days to familiarise myself with my surroundings. It was fantastic to go into a race without any niggles, or injuries wavering around in my head. My goal for this race was to get out of the water first, hold over 35km/hr on the 90km bike and stay near the front, and just hold on for dear life in the run so no one would catch me. And of course to finish and HAVE FUN! I did just this.

The swim was combined with the pro men, but these men where a level above that I have seen swim, so it was I just off the back of them. I managed to exit 1st with Eva, just on my toes. A quick transition and onto the bike saw me still in 1st. On the bike there was a head wind out, and Eva attacked at the start. I slowly caught her at the turn around (45km), where I stayed in the lead. However at 15km to go she bombed past me, but I knew that I had to stick to my own plan in order to run the 21km.

It started to get real warm at the start of the run, this is where I was caught by Katherine, just after 2km off the bike. We ran together for the first 7km and she then dropped me. On the final 4km of the run course all us pros where taken the wrong way, which made my 21km run a 22km thankfully it wasn’t longer because I saw the age groupers from the shorter race going the right way to the finish line.

To see the finish line, where my fiancé was calling me over the line, my old boss, who was my friend before my boss, where there to congratulate me and encouraged me to finish strong. I had nothing left, but still had a smile on my face when I finished. I actually did have fun and enjoyed every minute. That distance is a mental game, but you can in no way do it unfit! It will be a few hard months of training and racing before my next half iron man race in November! Love Brooke xx

Road to Rio

14 year old swimming superstar and AMANZI Girl, Paige Leonhardt, is well on her way to making it to Rio for the 2016 Paralympics after a huge week of personal bests and podium placings at Australian Championships last week. Paige, who suffered an irrecoverable brain injury in 2006 after a car accident, has not let this slow her down in life or in the pool. The young gun at only 14 years old took on previous Paralympians at Australian Championships last week and continues to shine this week at Australian Age Nationals. We can’t wait to follow her on the rest of her journey to Rio and beyond!

Check out Paige’s TV appearance talking about her road to Rio and Australian Championships.

Sourceprime7

Welcome Sofie Hooghe

Sofie HoogheWhen an athlete joins the AMANZI Girls Team, she is doing more than just wearing our swimwear, she is also a role model for all of the young up and coming athletes around the world. Belgium Triathlete Sofie Hooghe is the latest athlete to join the AMANZI Girls Team. We’re here to tell you why we chose Sofie and why you’ll love her as much as we do.

  1. She is a Math Nerd!
    Sofie is currently studying a Bachelors of Accounting and Taxation! Not only is she an amazing triathlete but she is smart too! How cool is that!
  2. She has Rio on her mind
    Sofie is training and racing around the world in order to gain qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
  3. She is a world class athlete
    Sofie has been competing in Triathlons all over the world with the latest being the ITU World Triathlon in Dubai.
  4. She was an early starter
    The amount of dedication, perseverance and courage it takes to compete in a triathlon is nothing to be sniffed at. The fact that Sofie competed in her first triathlon when she was only 14 years old is impressive to say the least.
  5. She is an AMANZI Girl
    When we take on a new athlete we always look for athletes who are not only great athletes but great people. Juggling training, racing, study and work is a challenge but it is very inspiring to know that if someone else in the world can do it all, so can you! Anything is possible, if you believe.

8 Tips for Preparing for your First Race and Every Race

Race Day

Photo credit - Portia Doragas 

No matter what your sport, preparing for race day is key to preforming at your best. Even if you do not set out to win the race, obviously you are also racing against yourself and aiming for those PBs! If you follow these tips closely, you’ll be able to do your very best come race day.

  1. Fuel your Body
    During the whole process of training, you should be feeding your body the most nutritious food possible suited to your training. It is important to maintain this up to race day- especially in the last 24 hours before a race. Try to eat light and normal foods to avoid having digestive issues during the race, but make sure you eat enough to maintain energy to get through the race.
  2. Fuel your Mind
    Racing isn’t just about getting your body prepared, it is also about having the right mental attitude. Get your mind amped and confident for the race, so that you don’t encounter any mental barriers along the way.
  3. Have all your Gear Ready
    The day before the race make sure you triple check that all of your gear is packed up and ready to go. You don’t want to end up forgetting any key components on race day, because that may mean not being able to compete at all!
  4. Have a Dress Rehearsal Before Race Day
    You should have a couple of dress rehearsals before race day to ensure that your mind and body know what to expect. This will help you get a feel for exactly what the race will be like before the day of the race, so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
  5. Let Your Friends and Family Know About The Race
    A little bit of moral support can go a long way in the race. Even if your friends and family can’t make it to the actual race day, they can offer support and love throughout the training process. Plus, it gives you another chance to complain to someone about the crazy amount of training you’ve been doing!
  6. Train Consistently
    You probably already know this, but you should be training consistently up until race day. This means that you are going to witness the whole gamut of good, bad and ugly workouts. Some days training will be fun, sometimes it’s the last thing you want to do. This is normal, and you’ve just got to push on through.
  7. Consider Including A Friend
    Running a race? Doing a triathlon? Why not coax a friend or two into joining you? Multiple studies have shown that runners go faster when they are paired together. Plus, it gives you an outside motivator to keep you working hard throughout the process of training for race day.
  8. Keep Calm
    Race day jitters are really common, and they commonly throw off people’s performance. Try breathing exercises, meditation and yoga to train your mind how to relax in stressful situations. P.S. Racing is supposed to be fun, so don’t get yourself worked up over nothing!

7 Tips on How to Take Care of Swimwear

No sitting on rough surfaces Laura!

No sitting on rough surfaces Laura!

Getting a nice piece of sports swimwear is an investment in our love of swimming. To keep it in prime condition for as long as possible is ideal, but to do so requires a little bit of effort on our part. These tips will help you keep your swimwear in tip-top shape for longer.

1. Chlorine Resistant Swimwear
When you have swimwear that offers high quality materials and durable cuts to begin with then it is going to naturally last longer. In the long run investing in better swimwear will save you money, because it does not deteriorate as quickly as swimwear of inferior quality. All AMANZI Swimsuits are made from AMANZI Armor Chlorine Resistant Swimwear Fabric which has been designed and milled in Italy.

2. A Swimsuit for Every Activity
Having separate swimwear for the hot tub, beach, sun bathing and athletic swimming is a good idea. The first three activities mention on that list are particularly hard on swimwear materials, so maybe consider having swimwear you don’t like as much on hand for those activities. For sports swimwear always choose chlorine resistant fabrics like AMANZI Armor.

3. Multiple Swimsuits
Rotating swimsuits between swimming sessions allows the material of the swimwear to dry and recover between swim sessions, so that the material of the swimwear will stay like-new for longer.

4. Rinse and Wash with Every Use
Rinsing and hand washing your swimwear after every use can make all the difference. Bacterial, chlorine, salt water, etc. all break down the materials of the swimwear. The sooner you can wash the swimwear once you are out of the water, the better.

5. Lightly Wring Out
If you must wring out your swimwear after washing it do so very lightly. It is best just to let it air dry indoors.

6. Washer or Dryer
Even if your washer has a hand wash cycle chances are that it is rougher on it than you would be with your hands. As for the dryer, just NO, don’t do it.

7. Avoid Rubbing Against Rough Surfaces
Sitting on concrete, the blocks, pool deck etc. all are abrasive on the material. Swimwear is for swimming not for sitting anyways! Speaking of rough surfaces next time you see AMANZI Girl Laura Dennis sitting on rocks at the beach (like she is above) be sure to tell her that it’s a huge no no!!!

9 Tips to Improve Your Freestyle Technique

Laura Dennis Freestyle

Photo credit - Laura Dennis

Here are some tips to improve your freestyle technique for beginner to intermediate swimmers. Unlike other more complicated strokes, since we are so familiar with freestyle visually and mentally, it can be difficult to make minor corrections. Remember to be patient with yourself as you work to refine this stroke to help reach your athletic and/or fitness goals.

  1. Most new swimmers naturally want to keep their torso turned towards the bottom of the pool. For the freestyle stroke you really need to focus on swimming on your sides by rolling from side to side with each stroke. Not only will this technique improve your speed, it also helps you engage the muscles on your back to avoid shoulder injuries.
  2. A nose-clip for beginner swimmers who are working on their technique is a great way to help the swimmer focus. The nose clip keeps the water out of a swimmer’s nose when they are working on fine-tuning their strokes. It isn’t for everyone, but if you are easily distracted it may be worth a shot.
  3. When you are training make sure to have swimwear that allows for comfortable range of motion in the shoulders and back. AMANZI Swimwear is designed with thin straps and open back that give swimmers the freedom they need to work on their freestyle stroke.
  4. To keep good momentum as your hand enters the water, make sure that you are driving it in aggressively. Imagine the speed that a pelican hits the water, and that your hand is the beak of the pelican.
  5. Consider using power paddles when you train to help refine the position of your hand. Using hand paddles help ingrain the correct position of the hands into your muscle memory.
  6. Kick from the hip, not from the knee. This means your leg will be relatively straight when you are kicking through your freestyle laps.
  7. As you work through your laps remember to point your toes constantly to avoid extra drag. For runners, you may need to do ankle stretches to help open up the ankle to hold it in the pointed position.
  8. Work with a coach, trainer or even another swimmer, so you can receive feedback on your freestyle stroke from another set of eyes. Often our technique may feel right, but another person can see things you can’t.
  9. Keep focused with every stroke. It can be easy to drift back into bad habits when swimming. To form new and better techniques one has to constantly concentrate on their stroke until it becomes natural.

 

 

 

 

Kennedy Cooper – Young Achiever

11 year old diving superstar, Kennedy Cooper, has been awarded North Shore Times’ Young Achiever award for her accomplishments and hard work in diving. Kennedy who started out in gymnastics, has now it seems found her sport, illustrated by both her success and passion for diving. Kennedy will be busy this month with competitions every weekend, all in the lead up to qualifying for Nationals later this year.

Kennedy - Young Achiever Award

Photo credit - Melvyn Knipe

Check out the full article here.

Yoga Poses for Swimmers

Yoga Poses for Swimmers

Photo creditCourtney Home

You may have heard it through the grape vine that yoga is awesome for swimmers! Yet, perhaps due to time, money or will power, you just never seem to be able to make it to an actual yoga class. Whatever your reason, you can still get some of the physical benefits of a yoga without ever stepping foot into an official yoga class. By doing these following poses you’ll stretch out muscles that get especially tight in a swimmer’s body.

Passive Chest Opener

This relaxing pose requires minimal effort from you, but it provides a huge opening to the chest and shoulders. Roll a blanket into a cylinder shape that is the width of your shoulders and about five inches in height. Lay on the ground, so that the long side of the blanket is horizontal to your shoulders. Sit down about five inches in front of the blanket with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Slowly lay back with the goal of getting your shoulder blade tips on top of the roll. Lie back on to the roll and allow the arms to go out into a t-shape or ninety degrees for a deeper stretch. Stay in this position anywhere from two to five minutes.  

Eagle

The Eagle is a challenging balancing pose that opens up the shoulders and hips. Take your left elbow under the right, so that your forearms form an x-shape. Next, try to connect close the hands in towards one another. Ideally you want to try to cross the wrists, so that the fingertips of the bottom hand touch the palm of the top hand. Next take your hips back as if you’re going to take a seat. Lift up the right leg then cross it over the left thigh. If you can, try to hook the foot behind the calf. Stay in this pose for six breaths then when you are ready, squeeze everything in, then unfurl and release.

Downward Facing Dog

This is the one stop pose for all of your ailments, because it accesses just about every part of the body including your ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, chest, spine, triceps, chest, neck and more. Come to your hands and knees with your wrists below your shoulders and your knees slightly back from your hips. Tuck your toes under, then push up with your hands and feet to raise your hips towards the ceiling. Try to hollow out your armpits to bring the shoulders on the back. Push down between the space of your index finger and thumb. To really get a leg stretch, try to sink the heels to the floor. Stay in the pose for as long as feels comfortable to you, remember to take deep and cleansing breaths.

Also, Try A Video!

There are tons of *free* online resources that take you through the basics of a yoga class. We recommend DoYogaWithMe.com as a good site with tons of videos with experienced instructors taking you through a yoga class in the comfort of your own home.

Laura Dennis January Update

AMANZI Girl Laura Dennis in Abisko

Summer is almost gone – or is it? I am excited because this year I get to enjoy 2 summers! One in Brisbane and one in Europe! This May I leave for France to train and compete in my first European series and French Grand Prix series. I will spend 4 months in Europe and hopefully I will find some down time to enjoy the northern hemisphere summer.

December and January saw this body push through some big blocks of training. After a few days ‘slightly’ easier over Christmas, training is back in full swing. Last week I received my new amazing bike which is a Cervelo R5 and a nice sponsorship/ambassadorship with River City Cycles, of which I am very grateful for.

This weekend, 21st February, the first race of the season is on in Devonport, Tasmania where I am competing in the Oceania championships and hope for a good race. In early March it’s off to Wollongong, NSW to compete and after that back for my first Mooloolaba triathlon on the Sunshine Coast in mid-March. It will be a big year, but a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it with a great support team behind me.

Laura Dennis x