Whether it’s an hour at the gym, joining a dance class or simply taking an hour to yourself to relax and read a magazine, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is improving your health and wellbeing.

There’s no doubt today’s busy lifestyle leaves us little time to stop and smell the roses and it’s taking its toll on our health and wellbeing. Add to that our love affair with social media and the need to be constantly ‘plugged in’ and you have the perfect recipe for burnout.

As a working of mother-of-three, it’s a struggle I am all too familiar with. Between the older kids’ school, part-time jobs and sporting commitments, not to mention their busy social lives, I am never out of the car ferrying them around! Just recently, I took the plunge and decided to do something for me. My husband and I joined a latin dance class and even though it is only an hour a week, it has made a huge difference to our wellbeing – and most importantly, it’s fun!

Keen to discover how my guests refilled their buckets, I posed the question over a delicious lunch at Uptown Gastropub in Maroochydore. Joining me was co-owner of Uptown Gastropub and Green Zebra in Kawana, Lizeth Chrisanthou; director of the centre for community health and sport with Tafe Queensland, Robyn Littlejohn; creator of Boss Babes Project, Jess Inder; owner/director of Media Squared, Lauren Brown; director of Campaign Group, Rebecca Grisman; operations and event manager of Uptown Gastropub and Green Zebra, Giselle Primrose and account manager with Profile, Lee McCarthy.

Table Talk: Health and Wellbeing

What’s your secret to improved health and wellbeing?

Lizeth: I’ve discovered the importance of regular exercise. I’ve never been able to sleep well, but since I have been exercising, I sleep like a baby. I have been doing pilates, which I have found to be amazing. It’s what my body needs and when I am exercising I can deal with anything. I particularly like the reformers. It’s low impact so you don’t feel like you are doing anything, which I love! It’s using your own weight as resistance. I highly recommend it. Now, when I don’t exercise I feel awful and
I’m cranky.

Lauren: When I first became a mum and went back to work full time, people kept saying to me, ‘Make sure you take some time for yourself’. I didn’t understand it at the start, but now I do. Whether it’s leaving my phone inside and sitting in the garden for a while, getting my nails done or taking myself out for lunch, I have learnt to enjoy my own company. I have learnt to take an hour here or there whenever I can squeeze it in. My son is four years old and full of beans so it’s good to stop and look after myself so I’m a better person for him and my husband.

“The best advice I was ever given was to exercise, so your body looks after itself and that allows your mind to look after itself.” – robyn

Rebecca: I’ve lived a pretty hectic corporate life. About 10 years ago I went to a girlfriend who is a naturopath and herbalist and asked her to give me something to patch me up and put me back out there in the ring and she said, ‘No, you need to cut back’. So I did. Now I don’t take anything except natural remedies. I have a good diet, with lots of green smoothies, I only buy my produce locally and I have discovered it has made a huge difference. I also quit wine and started drinking champagne because of a wine allergy. A lot of people don’t realise they are allergic to wine because of the additives or chemicals. Champagne doesn’t have any of that, just the grapes, yeast and sugar. I’ve become really great at drinking Champagne!

Table Talk: Health and Wellbeing
share plate of desserts

Jess: My background is in personal training. I started going to the gym, not for weight loss but because I wanted to be strong and I got into personal training because I wanted other women to feel strong. The more I got into personal training though, I learnt that not many people focus on that, it’s more about how they look in the mirror. The best advice that helped me was that fitness is not a way of punishing yourself or regretting anything that you have eaten, it’s a way to feel strong within yourself. There is so much conflicting advice but it doesn’t matter what you read, you just need to find a type of fitness that works for you and do what you enjoy. Do it because it feels right.

Giselle: I need to take time for myself more but I’m probably one of the best advocates for not doing that! Just recently I have needed to re-assess my work/life balance, not only for me but for my husband and kids too, to make sure I am going to be there for them for a long time and part of that is looking after myself. I have also been doing Pilates. But just taking time out at home, lighting a candle and using essentials oils gets you into a frame of mind that lets you be you and refreshes you for everything you need to continue to do.

Robyn: The best advice I was ever given was to exercise, so your body looks after itself and that allows your mind to look after itself. I went through a time in my career when I felt my most vulnerable and at my lowest and exercise is what got me through that. Two years ago I tipped the scales at the heaviest I have ever been and I didn’t feel good about myself. We have amazing international students at Tafe who do a work fit program for us and after working with them for 10 weeks I lost 18 kilos and I have maintained it since. Twelve months ago my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and I was in a place where I was healthy and my mind was able to manage that and be a support person for him. Fortunately he is in remission and cancer-free which is great.

Lee: Mine is going to be very unpopular and at the cost of sounding like a wowzer, giving up alcohol was the best thing I have ever done. It has healed my mind, my soul and my spirit. I stopped drinking in November last year. It was the month of my son’s graduation, my birthday month, and lots of Christmas parties where there would be plenty of alcohol and I decided it was time to just do it.  Also, I went to see a client whose husband had open heart surgery and she had cardiomyopathy and wasn’t allowed to have one more wine. Fortunately I have no medical conditions but I just thought I should quit while I was ahead and start looking after my health. Now I’m stronger mentally and I jump out of bed in the morning. I don’t miss it at all.

Uptown Gastropub

Uptown Gastropub

I will admit, I had never even heard of a gastropub until the recent opening of Uptown Gastropub in Maroochydore’s Kontiki building. Popular in the UK, it is a relatively new buzzword in Australia. The phrase was coined in 1991 in London and is a combination of the words pub (short for public house) and gastronomy (the study of the relationship between culture and food). So, now that you have had that little history lesson, let me tell you about what you can expect at this stylish, new upmarket pub.

Brought to you by husband and wife team, Lizeth and Adrian Chrisanthou, who is also head chef, the ethos behind Uptown Gastropub is restaurant-quality food in a friendly, pub-like environment.

Designed with an industrial, retro feel, the concrete flooring and exposed brick walls work perfectly with the old-world features and contemporary timber furnishings. The dim lighting is reminiscent of an old English pub and adds to the warm atmosphere.

Uptown Gastropub
portobello mushroom burger

Boasting an impressive bar, stocked with top quality wine and spirits and a great selection of premium beers, patrons can pull up a stool and enjoy a beverage and a snack or be seated in the expansive dining area if they are after something a little heartier.

On the day of our visit we were seated at the long plush green sofa, which is perfect for private dining groups and can be sectioned off by drawing the heavy velvet curtains to create a cosy atmosphere.

The food at Uptown Gastropub speaks for itself. Lizeth and Adrian are passionate about using only the best local produce, which changes seasonally.

Offering a varied menu, there is something to suit all tastes and appetites, including a vegetarian selection and plenty for the kids to choose from.

Some of the popular choices on the day included the chargrilled chicken supreme, saute of potato gnocchi, chorizo and mushroom, broccolini and salsa verde; and the crispy skin barramundi, warm potato salad, romesco sauce and salsa verde. I couldn’t go past the portobello mushroom burger with halloumi, avocado, spicy relish, mixed leaves, jalapeno mayo and house bun. Fresh and tasty, it really hit the spot and was the perfect lunch-time portion size. Next time, I think I’ll have the chargrilled black angus rump steak (250g), with buttered mash, steamed greens, roasted field mushroom and red wine sauce – yum!

Here’s a hot tip: make sure you have dessert! The share plate of delectable sweets we sampled on the day was to die for.

Whether it’s a catch up with the girls over lunch, a fun night out with friends or a romantic dinner for two, Uptown Gastropub ticks all the boxes. Make sure you check it out!

Uptown Gastropub
Kon-Tiki Business Centre
Tower 2, 55 Plaza Parade
Phone: 5370 8718]]>