DETOX – The Natural Way…


A detox, or detoxification, is a natural process the body undergoes to eliminate or neutralise wastes and toxins to prevent disease and harm to body tissue. In the modern world we are exposed to any number of toxins on a daily basis including food additives, cigarette smoke, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and alcohol.

Our bodies are designed to undergo a natural detox, with the liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems working together to ensure that toxins are transformed chemically to less harmful compounds and excreted from the body.

However many people, through lack of knowledge and expertise, time, resources and money, may possess a diet that lacks the nutrients required for this process, impair the body’s natural ability to detoxify chemicals, which further leads to their build-up in the body.

Detox diets have seen a massive increase in popularity in the last decade to counteract this issue and are available in a wide range of forms including package and store bought detox products, juice detox, body wraps and cosmetic methods, surgical procedures such as colonic hydrotherapy and the exclusion or restriction of foods in our diets. A detox diet is designed to eliminate the harmful toxins from our body in a short time, performing the function that our body is otherwise not performing adequately. There is also a common belief that a detox may kick start the metabolism and aid in weight loss and skin repair and hydration, however there is limited evidence to suggest that a detox can lead to permanent weight loss.

There are benefits to detoxing in that they encourage people to drink plenty of water, eat plenty of natural foods such as vegetables and even suggest the addition of various herbs and supplements however there are also side effects to detox that can be harmful.

A detox diet, similar to a fad diet, can recommend unsafe practices such as prolonged fasting and severe food restrictions, which can lead to a slowdown in your metabolism, in turn having the opposite effect and making users actually gain weight, so that the benefits of any initial weight loss are reduced each time you try and fast.

In essence, a cleanse or detox plan that suggests adding more fresh and natural foods to your diet such as legumes, vegetables, lean protein, fruit and wholegrain cereals, eliminates non-essentials such as alcohol, coffee and nicotine, promotes  consumption of plenty of liquids as well as regular sleep and exercise, is a great idea! It is the extreme or sporadic detox practices based on little scientific data that can be hazardous. So, go fresh and natural and soon your body will recover to again take care of itself!

“Late Nights. The impact of late nights on the body in a physical and/or mental capacity.

As published in

Late nights can have a variety of effects on the body and leave the body ill-equipped to fight disease and the importance of maintaining adequate and regular ‘sleep and awake’ patterns is often underestimated or misunderstood. Sleep is not just a biological need, but also a physiological one necessary for both physical and physiological health and is recommended at more than six hours of sleep a night.

A body requires a certain amount of rest and relaxation in order to refuel its mental and physical stores and rejuvenate the emotional capacity of a person. When this is compromised through a variety of reasons, such as late-night shift work, staying up late to study, partying, poor sleep habits, insomnia, noise, new babies, stress and tension will often result, having an impact on one’s health, professional and personal life, learning capacity and moods. For example, in a busy home with children, if one parent is perceived as not pulling their weight as they are ‘trying to catch up on their sleep’ during the day the other parent may perceive this as not pulling their weight with the kids and friction can result, leaving all parties involved feeling irritable. And with emotional eaters they may respond through over- eating, indulging in poor food choices and joining the growing number of people on a yoyo diet cycle.

It is common that people will abandon their exercise regime when they are feeling the effects of a late night. Reducing or eliminating your exercise program can have not only health and physical effects but will also affect your mental health through creating body image issues, feelings of guilt and inhibiting the release of ‘feel good’ endorphins associated with exercise.

Many studies suggest links between amounts of sleep, increased accident risk, and injuries and physical complaints. Lack of sleep increases the risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, stroke and many other physical and physiological conditions.
Other effects associated with late nights include:

Effects on growth – People with sleep deprivation have a lower level of cortisol secretion the night after they failed to get enough sleep, having negative effects on growth hormones.

Children’s Behaviour: Children suffering from sleep deprivation are at an increased risk of daytime behavioural problems. Lack of sleep with adolescents can also leave them with less concentration and cognitive ability resulting in decreased learning capacity and academic achievement.

Mood: People suffering from poor sleep may experience decreased feeling of happiness, and increased feelings related with depression.

Sleep is a very important activity. Quality sleep includes phases spanning over approximately six hours that have a direct effect on the cerebral changes responsible for learning and memory functioning. In addition sleeping allows our body to refill our metabolic and psychological reserves, process memories, heal injuries, and reorganize many metabolic processes, thus contributing to mental and physical health for the entire body.


Ali Cavill & Fit Fantastic – What I Do!

Ali Cavill is a successful Personal Trainer and owner of Fit Fantastic, which provides health and fitness services including personal training, sports coaching, nutrition coaching, life coaching, corporate health and fitness, sports event and community involvement and other related services. Ali is a popular and well-respected Group Fitness Instructor in Australia teaching a range of gym classes and spreading her energy and motivation across the state!


Ali is an ambassador for Rockwear Gym Clothing and the Australian Institute of Fitness mentoring upcoming personal trainers and encouraging people to change their life by becoming a fitness professional. Ali coaches and consults on fitness and health topics for the community including primary and high schools, corporate organisations, and publications and has been involved in sponsoring a number of charity events. Ali writes and speaks on fitness and health topics including Sports Days at Wenona and Loreto Kirribilli, ‘pink’ charity events for McGrath Foundation, Drawtism for Autism, and featured articles in Sunday Life, InShape News, PPO, Body & Soul, That’s Life, Manly Daily and other publications.


More than 8 years as a corporate human resources executive and extensive tertiary qualifications allowed Ali to combine excellent business ability with her passion and expertise for health and fitness to create a solid brand, Fit Fantastic, and she is rapidly becoming a renowned “face” of health and fitness. Ali has appeared on The Circle, Foxtel ads, Home and Away, Biggest Loser Australia, All Saints, Heartbreak High, Great Gatsby, various product infomercials and most recently the Australian Institute of Fitness national advertising campaign. Ali is also a former state and national figure skater, a representative netballer and runner, and placed in the top three teams for City to Surf during her high school years.

Group Fitness with a Touch of Pink!

As an energetic and passionate Group Fitness Instructor teaching at gyms across Sydney and inspiring budding health professionals along the way, I am always searching for innovative ways to spice up my classes as well as methods to combine health and fitness with community initiatives and campaigns.

A long time charity of interest for me is the McGrath Foundation, and not only because of its trademark use of pink! It felt fitting therefore to devise an event incorporating pink into my group fitness class. And so, the Pink Body Attack event was borne! Taking place on Wednesday evenings throughout the month of October at Premier Health and Fitness, I take the stage in my bright pink gym gear and lead a group of eager gym participants through a high-energy and fun Body Attack class. Always deemed a success, I have even received the well wishes direct from the McGrath Foundation!

My classes are a lot of fun, with all fitness levels, male and female, young and old taking part. Together we get hot and sweaty, make friendships, share the community spirit through supporting a fantastic charity, and come out at the end of class with the satisfaction of togetherness and completing a goal!

Inspired by Glenn and Jane McGrath’s tenacity and determination in the face of adversity I am committed to spreading the message of exercise and friendships as key contributors to happiness and good health.

By the way, I always have spots to welcome more people to my classes; just don’t forget to wear pink!

Exercise & the Warmer Weather

Tanya D Pic 2

When the temperature heats up, exercising outdoors can pose challenges on the body but nobody wants you to abandon their workout so now is the time to prepare your ‘safe summer workout’! Generally the human body is its own self-managed system, regulating temperature through sweating. Some external factors can impact upon this sweat response causing dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, with mild through to severe results. Intense exercise in hot weather or high humidity is one factor that can lead to heat illness with symptoms ranging from muscle cramps, headache, dizziness, light headedness through to life threatening heat emergency and breathing difficulties. Older people are more susceptible to heat illness however by taking a few simple precautions all people alike should be able to exercise in warmer weather in a safe and enjoyable manner!

  • Maintain Fluid Intake: Drink plenty of water and drink BEFORE you get thirsty. Exercising in hot/humid conditions causes your body to sweat heavily, with water loss from the bloodstream and a reduction of your blood volume. That means your heart has to pump even harder to get the smaller volume of blood to your working muscles, skin and the other body parts. If you are feeling thirsty chances are you are already dehydrated.
  • Dress Right: Appropriate clothing for exercise in hot weather include lightweight and loose-fitting materials that allow your body to breathe and sweat naturally.
  • Replace Electrolytes: By choosing a low calorie sports drink you will replace vital salts and minerals leeched from your body through sweating. For best results dilute the sports drink into your water supply and sip throughout your workout.
  • Be Sun Smart: Apply adequate amounts of sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which in turn decreases your ability to cool yourself and causes fluid loss. Wear a hat and sunglasses and try to stay indoors, or in shady or covered areas.
  • Use Common Sense: Listen to your body… Stop if you feel chest pain, short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded, weak, very fatigued, nauseated, or your heart is pounding.
  • Avoid: hot foods, alcohol and heavy foods, which increase your core temperature.

Extra daylight hours, holidays, increased socialising and festive events will all contribute to your time capabilities being decreased over summer so exercising is an important factor to maintain adequate energy levels during this period. Through incorporating these simple tips and using your common sense you will be able to enjoy your workout safely and reap the benefits of a fit body and healthy mind!