The CHANGE Project Newsletter
Be Active, Eat Well, Live Well
Welcome to the December 2016 edition of The CHANGE Project newsletter! In this edition you'll find information about a range of free and low-cost healthy living services across the Toowoomba region, including: 
  • Healthy Living Hero:  9 Healthy Holiday Essentials
  • FREE Staying Healthy Over the Holidays Seminar
  • New Free & Low-Cost Activities
  • FREE Family Foodies Workshops
  • Recipe of the Month 

Healthy Living Hero:  9 Healthy Holiday Essentials
You've been good all year... well most of the year.  You've exercised most days and you've eaten loads of fruit and veg - congratulations!  Keeping it up over the holidays?  Well, that's another question entirely...  

To help you stick with your healthy habits over the holidays, and in the spirit of the season, we have a gift for you.  Nine of the hottest hints and tips around for staying healthy over the holidays.  You're welcome!
  1. Move it with mates - Rolling out of bed for an early morning run is much harder to skip when your exercise buddies are waiting for you (ahem... expecting you).  Find your fitness friends and stay active these holidays by joining a CHANGE Project free or low-cost fitness activity near you! 
  2. Size matters - Did you know you'll feel less full with a large plate of food than a small plate, despite each plate containing the same amount of food?  Our brains don't like all that extra white space around our food - it makes us think we haven't eaten enough.  Choose the smaller plate and avoid making large plate mistakes.
  3. Healthy at home - Prefer to exercise at home?  Or maybe it's easier to fit it in around the house.  Great!  Check out these workout videos and exercise at home guides by exercise physiologists to find some new ways to move without leaving the house these holidays. 
  4. Keep treats to one day a week - Forget about the 12 days of Christmas and ignore the advent calendar - it's Christmas Day, not Christmas Fest.  All the parties this time of year mean there's an excuse to indulge in your holiday favourites nearly every day.  Avoid snaccidents by limiting your splurges to one event per week, and stick with making healthy choices the rest of the time.  '2017 you' will thank you.
  5. Melt stress away through meditation - Meditating is a great way to manage holiday stress.  Haven't meditated before?  Check out the free Smiling Mind initiative (you can also download the app), which provides programs perfect for beginners, for kids and adults alike.  Or if you'd prefer to meditate with others why not join a local free meditation class.
  6. Read it before you eat it - Healthy holiday eating starts at the grocery store.  Help yourself stick to healthier choices by mastering the skill of reading food labels. Download a Food Label Reader Wallet Card, or the FoodSwitch App and become a healthy holidays supermarket sleuth.
  7. Skip the sugary drinks - Reduce your total holiday sugar intake by wetting your whistle with water over soft drink and fruit juice.  Making water your drink of choice will also help you feel full, and consume fewer kilojoules as a result.  Winning!
  8. Keep a gratitude journal - Taking some time each day to be grateful can actually make you happier.  Although practising gratitude may feel strange at first, this mental state grows stronger with use over time.  Start cultivating gratitude by writing down three good things you're thankful for in a 'gratitude journal' each day. 
  9. Hit the snooze button - Did you know getting enough sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight?  If you've been having a bit of trouble sleeping lately, the holidays are a great time to re-establish a good sleeping pattern.  Check out these ten tips for a good night's sleep and get the sleepvantage this silly season.
Hungry for more healthy holidays hints and tips?  Come to the free 'Staying Healthy Over the Holidays' seminar next week (details below).

FREE Staying Healthy Over the Holidays Seminar
Come along to this free seminar on Wednesday 7 December, 6pm to 7pm at Shelley Myatt Fitness & Well-being (The Fridge, 59 Brook St, Toowoomba) for hints and tips from the professionals about keeping healthy these holidays.  You'll hear about:
  • "Staying motivated and active over the holidays" by Shelley Myatt (Health & Fitness Professional)
  • "Healthy holiday eating made easy" by Karen Smith (Family Foodies Nutritionist)
  • "Managing stress through meditation" by Dr Uma Kumar (Meditation Teacher)
Stick around for a chat afterwards, tea and coffee will be provided.  To reserve your place contact Council 131 872 or email
New Free & Low-Cost Activities

Get together with friends and family and have a go at a new free or low-cost CHANGE Project activity near you:
  • $3 Strollercise, Mon 7am, Queens Park (trial from 5 to 19 Dec)
  • FREE Ladies Fitness, Thu 5:30pm, Northlands Shopping Centre, Toowoomba
  • $5 Gratitude Walks, Wed 5:45pm & Fri 5:45am, meet at Kingsthorpe & District War Memorial
  • $5 Turn Back Time (Over 55's) Restorative Stretch & Meditation, Sat 7am, The Fridge, 59 Brook St, Toowoomba
  • Buggy's Beginner Bootcamp - Sat 8:30am, Captain Cook Reserve & Newtown Park, Toowoomba (alternative locations each fortnight).  Gold coin donation (all funds go to local charities).
To book or find out more about these and other free and low-cost activities click here

FREE Family Foodies Workshops

Looking for something fun to do with the kids over the school holidays?  Come along to a free Family Foodies workshop by a nutritionist to learn about healthy eating and developing cooking skills together with your family:
  • Goombungee, Saturday 10 December 2016, 9:30am
  • Toowoomba, Tuesday 10 January 2017, 9:30am
  • Millmerran, Saturday 14 January 2017, 9:30am
  • Oakey, Thursday 19 January 2017, 9:30am
These fun and interactive workshops focus on learning about energy needs, food choices, establishing healthy habits and making fruit kebabs together. 

Everyone who attends receives a free healthy eating booklet and can join the Family Foodies online community to connect with others and access support by the nutritionist after the workshop.

To book or find out more about Family Foodies click here
(click on healthy cooking workshops)

Recipe of the Month - Vegie-packed Brown Rice Salad

Preparation 30 minutes, serves 8 (side-serves)

  • 1 1⁄2 Cups brown rice
  • 100 Grams snow peas (halved)
  • 150 Grams broad beans (thawed)
  • 2 Celery stalks (sliced)
  • 1 Red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1⁄2 Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1⁄2 Cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 Green apple (cored and sliced)
  • 1⁄2 Cup sun-dried tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 1⁄2 Cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • 8 Tablespoons apple juice
  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil 
  1. Cook rice according to packet instructions. Drain. Cool.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch snow peas in boiling water for 1 minute, then plunge into a bowl of cold water. Drain and set aside.
  3. Place broad beans into a microwave-proof bowl with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Drain, cool and remove shells.
  4. Combine vegies, fruit and walnuts with cooled rice.
  5. Whisk together garlic, juice and oil. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
Recipe courtesy of Nutrition Australia.  For more Nutrition Australia recipes click here

To find out more about The CHANGE Project contact Council by calling 131 872 or visit or email
Copyright © 2013 Toowoomba Regional Council, All rights reserved.
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