Archives For Food Facts

I have been published in Oxygen Magazine Australia providing a very honest and open account of what can go wrong with Body Building competitions. With the growing interest to compete in fitness modelling and body building I felt the need to share what I have experienced. I am by no means trying to deter anybody from competing, but rather I present challenges that are common, and some which presented themselves to me. I provide some advice on how to avoid some of these issues, and hope to help some who may be competing or considering competing for the first time.

Here you can see a sneak peek of the article.

To subscribe to the magazine, go to the Oxygen Magazine Australia website HERE or to follow their updates, check out their Facebook page HERE

 

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BboysIntroducing Michael and Christian Baker. I love these boys – they know so much about supplements and are always happy to share what they know and help others. They train hard, read hard and work hard. They recently had an interview with 180 Nutrition on potential risks associated with the extensive use of artificial sweeteners in supplements. You can listen to the podcast HERE

They took some time out of their insane schedules to answer some questions about supplementation with us.

 

How did you guys get into the health and fitness industry?

M: It all began in my last few years of high school when I started going to the gym. After much resistance and stubbornness Christian decided to give this gym thing a go.I think it was a combination of me pestering him and the ironman magazines he was reading. He was basically addicted from day one, and Christian’s training definitely played a huge part in his growth spurt. Pre-gym days Christian was about 6 inches shorter than me, and now he is about 4 inches taller. A few years out of high school we completed our certifications in personal training. We originally moved to Sydney to enter into a totally different career – ironically, in the fast food industry. Instead we ended up buying a supplement store together at the end of 2009, which launched our journey into the world of health, nutrition and supplements.

 

What made you want to specialise in supplementation?

C: Magazine ads: I thought that all supplements were magic thanks to the advertising I used to see in magazines and this made me embark on a quest for knowledge – I needed to find out the truth behind nutritional supplementation. For Mick it was the perfect combination of his two loves; health and business.

 

What would you say are the must-haves for the general public, if any at all?

C: A greens supplement (veggies, wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina mix etc.), a multivitamin, and fish oil. Take these three daily and take a probiotic supplement several times per year.

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What do you think everyone should be aware of that is not really common kno
wledge for supplementation?

M: Always read the label, as there are often hidden nasties that won’t be immediately obvious. Immediately ignore fancy claims, such as “double your bench press in 2 weeks” – they’re always lies. Also beware of propreitary blends, where you have no information about dosage. Some of the biggest companies have written on the back of label: propreitary blend, then show, for example, 5g with 20 ingredients below it. The problem here is that you don’t know how much of each ingredient is in the product.

C: Pay attention to the form of vitamins you take. For example, take vitamin D: Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is the same vitamin D our body makes when exposed to the sun, but Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) is very commonly used in supplements because it’s cheap to produce, yet our body has a much harder time absorbing it properly. This rule applies to all vitamins and minerals across the board: learn the most natural forms and always seek them out.

 

What supplements do you both currently take and why?

M: We both use basically the same supplements on a daily basis. Greens super-food powder (to keep body alkalised), a multivitamin, fish oil, zinc, naturally sweetened protein and unflavoured BCAAs. Check out the PODCAST for more information on why we only choose naturally sweetened and unflavoured products.

 

What are some of the projects that you are currently working on?

M: We have been fortunate enough to speak in in front of some amazing corporate audiences, so definitely focusing on increasing our reach, and spreading our health and nutrition knowledge globally.

C: Working with Mick to do more speaking events and also hoping to release a nutritional product in the not so distant future.

 

What is your favourite workout and why?

M: When I’m in full speed training mode I enjoy doing the CrossFit Grace WOD (workout of the day). It involves completing 30 clean and jerks with 60kg for time. It burns but you feel great after it.

C: Training my triceps – it’s a special kind of pain and I love it so much. It helps that my arms are one of my genetically favoured muscle groups.

 

Keep an eye out for these two in the health and fitness industry, as they are sure to keep learning more and sharing all their great knowledge. Thanks Baker boys!

I love the recipes and the attitude to food that is at the core of newly launched nutrition business and website Nued Food. I was featured as an athlete on their blog the other week here. Now I am flipping the roles and would love to introduce you all to Lysi – my friend, and the genius behind Nued Food.

 

Thanks so much for sharing your time and thoughts with us Lysi. Firstly, what made you decide to be a nutritionist?

I have definitely not always been the picture of health; growing up my diet was pretty poor. It wasn’t until the end of high school I took an interest in what I thought was health (I would now classify it as extreme dieting), and managed to lose about 15 kilos. My dieting approach back then was very different to what it is now; I ate almost no carbs, was obsessed with artificial sweeteners and didn’t understand that there is a big difference between being skinny and being healthy. Even though my body looked the best it ever had, I was low on energy, my skin was dull and I knew deep down that my dieting habits were not good for me.

A year after finishing school I had gone down a few different avenues, from graphic design to real estate but was still left feeling unfulfilled in everything I was doing. My interest in health kept growing, and my dieting habits were slowly improving; I was starting to not only look good, but I was feeling good too. Fascinated by the profound effect food has on your bodies, I enrolled to study Nutritional Medicine, which was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am now able to do what I love everyday and educate people so they don’t have to make the same mistakes I once did.

 

I love your take on how to feed the body. Can you please share your philosophy on food and eating?

Our bodies have an innate ability to stay healthy: every one yearns for health, however so many decisions we face day-to-day can compromise this state of wellbeing. I don’t believe that food itself is the only part of the health equation either; our thoughts surrounding food and the way we eat can sometimes be the most damaging.

I eat a wholefood diet, knowing the foods I am consuming are nourishing my body. I do not count calories, although I do know approximately how much I am consuming so I will never really be in surplus. Food is such a social thing for me – I love nothing more than going out for a nice meal with friends and family. Even if I do indulge in something I would not classify as ‘healthy,’ I don’t beat myself up about it because I know that most of the time my diet is squeaky clean. It’s all about balance.

 

You seem to have a very natural approach. What are your thoughts on wholefoods and organics?

I get asked this question a lot, and could honestly speak about this forever! Now, while I’m all for minimising chemicals in our diets, I also think it is just as important to know where our food is coming from. Just because it has the big green organic tick, does not necessarily mean it is better for us. Take, for instance, the organic labels you see flashing around in Coles and Woolies, it may look like the better choice, but is it really? The short answer to that is no.

Half of the time, the organic veggies you find in Woolies have been imported all the way from other countries. The amount of travel time as well as the energy expended to ship them to Australia clearly surpasses the notion that organic foods are always the best option. In this instance I would no doubt buy the local, conventional variety. Not only does buying these imported products not support our local farmers, but it has used a ridiculous amount of energy to ship them here and has lost a tonne of nutrients in the travel time.

To certify produce as ‘organic’ is damn expensive. Unfortunately this means that small-scale local farmers may be doing everything necessary to become certified, however they simply can’t afford to. It is extremely important for us to do a little more investigating into exactly where our foods are coming from. Now I would like to point out that I do eat mainly organic. However, I try to get to the farmers markets on weekends, shop at co-op organic grocery stores and steal as much produce from my Mums veggie patch as possible.

One last issue I have about the whole ‘organic’ revolution. Snack foods labelled ‘organic, wholefood, natural etc.’ 99% of the time are just as bad as the conventional variety. Adding organic cane sugar does not mean it’s magically not going to spike your insulin levels and cause blood sugar irregularities. Read the label when choosing anything packaged, even if it does have a flashy organic label!

As for wholefoods, I follow a ‘paleo-ish’ approach to my diet. I try and eat only real foods, organic where possible and do NOT eat anything artificial. I eat the way our bodies are designed to eat. I do not calorie restrict; however through my years of studies I have learnt to be pretty good with estimating calorie intake. So although I don’t calorie count per se, there is definitely an element of macronutrient balance to my diet, which fortunately comes naturally to me.

 

I can’t get enough of your blog and all of your delicious recipes. How do you get inspiration for a new recipe?

Why thankyou! I am a bit of a food nerd and love to experiment with new ingredients. Quite often, if I eat out and I like the flavours of the dish I will go home and try to recreate it. I’m not much of a recipe follower, and am more so an intuitive cook- this makes it really hard for me to develop recipes. Hah! I subscribe to a tonne of cooking magazines on my iPad, and am constantly scrolling through food pictures on Pinterest and looking for new food blogs to follow. Most of the time, I don’t follow healthy food blogs/chefs specifically; I just look at what ingredients are being used and try to substitute with healthy alternatives wherever I can think of one. This, might I add, has led to quite a few failures!

 

Can you please tell readers about your products?

I created Nued Food as a way of sharing information and products that are not only good for our bodies, but also good for the environment. I have worked in the sports supplement industry for the past few years, and have been exposed to some of the best and worst products on offer. Nued Food is a way of showcasing some of the amazing, innovative products that Australia has on offer. All products I have on offer have been trialled and tested by myself, and have impressed me enough to stock them.

Another element of my business is also offering wholefood catering, particularly for cafes, restaurants and shops. This is a great way of showing people first-hand that healthy eating does not have to be bland or boring.

 

Finally, do you have any advice for athletes reading?

First and foremost, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet. Include loads of veggies – the more colours the better! If you’re not getting the recommended 5 servings a day, be sure to take a greens powder: this will make up for the lost nutrients. Post-workout it is essential you are having protein and carbs, as this will help to repair your muscles and replenish your glycogen stores (stored energy).

Drink up – too often I see clients going through gruelling workouts without drinking enough water. Every cell in your body needs to be adequately hydrated if you want to perform your best. Water or coconut water is my top choice.

Supplement-wise I would be looking at a good quality multivitamin, a fish oil and a whey protein isolate to start off with. If you want to take your training up a notch, branched chain amino acids are great intra-workout to prevent muscle breakdown & speed up your recovery time. Glutamine is another awesome addition to any supplement stack, it’s great to take post-workout to help repair your muscles, but has an added bonus of strengthening the gut lining which in turn will boost your immunity.

Sleep!!! Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours a night, if not more. It is essential to ensure you’re getting the maximum possible amount of recovery time.

Check out my article on the Truth about Pre and Post Workout Nutrition if you want a more detailed explanation.

 

Make sure you go to the Nued Food Shop and check out the wonderful products offered. My blog readership gets an amazing 10% discount on all products – just use the discount code SUSY