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Spiced Lentil and Mixed Beetroot Salad – The Design Files | Australia's most popular design blog.

I’m quite partial to a substantial salad – for me, a great salad really has to be filling! For this reason, I often use grains such as quinoa, rice, or cous cous. However, for those who prefer to go grain-free, Lentils are the solution!

Lentils and beetroots are perfect partners – together they lend this dish a woody autumnal flavour, spiced with cumin and sumac, and finished with goats cheese.

How To Let Your Houseplants Thrive (And Keep Them Alive!)

Not only are Sophia Kaplan and Lauren Camilleri the founders of Sydney interior nursery Leaf Supply, they are also seasoned authors – Plantopedia is their third book!

Billed as the definitive guide to houseplants, this book covers everything, from choosing the right type of plant for your space, to how to keep the things alive! With detailed care information, tips for troubleshooting pest invasion, interiors advice and profiles of different species accompanied by beautiful photography, this book has everything you need to know about creating and caring for an indoor garden.

Today, we’re featuring an excerpt from Plantopedia to give you a little taste of this thoughtful plant guru’s guide!

An Art Deco Meets Warehouse Sydney Apartment With A Private Rooftop!

Charlotte Ree has lived in Sydney for 14 years, but she’s never seen another property quite like her Potts Point apartment!

The head of marketing at Pan Macmillan Australia, recipe developer, author of Just Desserts and the upcoming food memoir Heartbake, was immediately attracted to the apartment’s unique mix of warehouse features in an art deco building, and of course, its private rooftop!

A mere three months since moving in, Charlotte feels more at home here than ever before.

4 Ways to Use Social Media to Lose Weight

Weight Loss4 Ways to Use Social Media to Lose Weight

On the path toward losing 100 pounds, Karla Pankow got plenty of encouragement from her fellow gym-goers, family and friends. But she found the biggest boost came from her smartphone.

“Social media became more than just a way to see what people were up to,” she says. “When I began to consider it a tool for reaching my weight goals, it turned into a really rich resource.”

Even when she hit that 100-pounds-lost mark, Pankow still turned to social media, especially Instagram, for her next big mission: to enter powerlifting competitions. The advice and support she’d cultivated for her weight loss worked equally well when her goals changed.

“The key is to use social media in the right way,” she says. “You can’t approach it as a method for comparing yourself to others or feeling bad about not making more progress. Emphasize the ‘social’ part, and it can help to fuel your efforts.”

Here are four ways to use social media for your own weight-loss goals:


Connect with others who have similar methods

Finding people on social media who want to lose weight isn’t a difficult task. But sometimes it can be helpful to whittle down your potential list to those who are approaching weight loss in the same way you are.

For example, Pankow chose to follow a Paleo-type diet and try intermittent fasting to see if it worked well for her. So, in choosing people to follow on Instagram, she focused on finding others who were on a similar path — just starting out like she was, but also those who’d gotten closer to their goals, so she could compare her experiences to theirs.

“It was similar to hanging out with people at the gym who share your specific interests, like getting better at lifts, rather than people who do mainly cardio,” she says. “You’re all there to work out and get healthy, but it’s easier to swap notes with the ones who are doing what you’re doing.”


Share your progress, even when it feels slow

Even though you might never meet your followers on Instagram, they can often become closer to you than some of your in-person friends, says Sloane Davis, certified nutritionist and personal trainer.

“If you’re struggling or feel like giving up, your followers can often supply the motivation you need to break through that plateau,” she notes. “Being honest about where you’re at, especially if you’re discouraged, can mobilize your online team.”


Cheerlead for others

Just as you benefit from being pulled up when you feel down, you can do the same for others, Davis says.

“There is nothing better than motivating, inspiring and encouraging other people to get healthy and fit,” she notes.

Especially as you get further along in your weight loss, you can be helpful to those who are just starting out and need that extra boost to get over the initial hurdles of lifestyle changes and habit modifications.


Step away from negative people

Unfortunately, not everyone on social media is an uplifting force for healthy change. Some people seem to love getting crusty in their comments, but that doesn’t mean you have to absorb that bad mojo.

“If you’re connecting with inspiring people, you’ll most likely feel inspired, and the opposite is true, too,” says Pankow. “Just take a second to think about how a certain connection is making you feel. If it’s not a good feeling, that’s a connection you should probably drop.”

Also, lean toward using social media as a resource that can support your goals, rather than as a way to make you feel bad if your progress is slower than you’d like, advises Pankow. That means being honest about how much you compare yourself to people who seem to have “perfect” bodies that make you feel incredibly imperfect.

“If you’re following people who trigger feelings like, ‘I’ll never get to where they are,’ then that’s counterproductive,” she says, adding that she also made sure to avoid social media as a time killer or a stress producer — especially since stress can contribute to slower weight loss or even weight gain.

“Maybe step away from the political rants for a while,” she notes. “Set your weight goal, recruit your online team, and use their positive energy to help you get where you want to go.”

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