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  • Tropic's tips for better living in 2017

    Believe it or not, we’re already into the second quarter of 2017.

    How did that happen? If you’re anything like us, many of your resolutions for making this year the best one ever have flown by the wayside.

    Need a refresher? In this two-part series, we revisit our tips as featured in Tropic Magazine – provided by a select group of local experts in health, fitness, gardening and coffee – for better living in 2017.

    Five ways to focus on fitness in 2017

    By Megan Thomas of PhyxMe Physiotherapy

    This has to be my number one tip.

    Exercise is the one thing that has given me the most amount of joy all my life. That joy has been fitness, friends, well-being, respect, cooperation, time management, commitment - the list goes on.

    So join a team, a gym, do a Pilates or Yoga class, walk, swim or ride. The benefits are far beyond physical and are definitely awesome!

    Put your health goals ahead of your work, family or partner’s goals at least one day a week.

    Make that your time because if you are not awesome in yourself, then your kids, your work and your partner don’t get the best you that they can get.

    Oh dear God, I hear you say. Sit still, cross my legs, make humming noises.

    But make 2017 the year you look past the clichés. Meditation can happen in many ways and many different forms.

    Find a way that works for you. Sitting enjoying a coffee on your balcony, lying on a sun lounge, driving to work, going to a class.

    The benefits are huge and for those who are too busy to meditate the saying “creativity and inspiration happen when we stop” is 100 per cent true.

    Turn off the TV, put down your mobile phones, get off Facebook and just think, observe and dream. Because as the saying goes: “if we don’t have dreams, how can we make them come true?”

    Oh, the joy of having tight muscles released.

    The feeling when the massage starts and you say “I should have done this such a long time ago”. The surprise when it stops and you think “over already?”.

    Massage relaxes the mind and the body, promotes blood flow, releases toxins, reduces stress and helps prevent and manage injuries.

    Make time for yourself to have a massage, even just one a month. Find a qualified therapist and use your private health fund money.

    We do of course invite you to try out one of our excellent massage therapists at PhyxMe!

    Please avoid diets, trends, and fads because they are just that.

    By the end of 2017, will you still be doing that diet that eliminates 3 out of 5 food groups, or drinking lemon detox drinks or having only juices or soups for every meal? You know the answer.

    So don’t lose faith in the food pyramid, which represents a balanced diet.

    This means some ‘bad’ foods are allowed in moderation and if you eat the bad foods it doesn’t mean your whole ‘diet’ plan has gone out the window. That was your treat. Next meal you’re going to eat something else from the food triangle that isn’t in that same ‘naughty’ tip of the triangle.

    Brew the perfect coffee at home

    By Kristy Greenardi, The Chamber Room

    What gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it the fact that you love your job and can't wait to see your colleagues for hours and hours each day? Maybe... not!

    It's coffee, isn't it? The thought of holding that precious cup to your lips, while breathing in that aroma until it touches your soul. Well, it is for me anyway!

    For your drinking pleasure, I present to you my top three brewing techniques:

    The pour over technique produces a cup with extreme cleanliness and clarity. Filtered water is temperature controlled between 94-96 degrees and poured over the ground coffee in a specific motion which then drips slowly down into the bottom 'Chamber'.

    This brew method requires technique and practice but when you nail it, the end results are mind blowing!

    This brew is sipped and savoured without the addition of milk or sugar as the flavours are light and delicate, similar to tea.

    I suggest using a light/filter roasted single origin coffee, ground medium. Grinding on demand is another important factor in making your home coffee taste alive as ground coffee will go stale quite quickly.

    Start with 14g coffee and 200g water with a total brew time of around 2 minutes and 40 seconds. As you sip your brew, distinctive flavour notes will pop, so take it slow!

    This full immersion brew method will give you 'body' like no other.

    Full immersion basically means that the ground coffee will be fully immersed in temperature controlled water, in return giving you intense flavour and body.

    If you like to add milk to your coffee, I suggest using an espresso blend or you could try an espresso roasted single origin.

    Grind your beans coarse enough so they feel like sand between your fingers. The coarseness and fineness will depend on your taste so this will be a matter of trial and error.

    A good starting point is 30g coffee with 500g water with a total brew time of four minutes. Once your timer goes off, you want to plunge gently. Decant your brew into another vessel to ensure the grinds at the bottom don't over-extract.

    Another full immersion brew method. Similar 'body' to plunger but much cleaner as the filter will grab those undesirable insolubles.

    You have the option to brew a light/filter roasted single origin (once you go black!) or an espresso roasted blend which will be intense enough to handle a splash of milk.

    Start with 18g coffee and 200g water with a brew time of one minute. It should take 30 seconds of gentle pressure to push down and finally extract all that precious goodness into your cup.

    And there's more to come...

    Check out Part Two of our Better Living series tomorrow, where our experts impart their wisdom on growing an incredible, edible tropical garden, and living without toxins.