November Challenge……#earnyourcarbs

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article on carbohydrate timing (when’s the best time to eat cake) and the importance of carbs in our nutrition plan. There has been a lot of interest and discussion about this so I decided to set a little challenge for anyone that is keen to learn more about “earning their carbs”.

There’s a lot of talk about carbs making us fat, but its not the carbs themselves making us fat… its how much, what sort of carbs and when we eat them that is contributing to our waistlines. As I said a couple of weeks ago, we shouldn’t be avoiding them completely as that can have disastrous long term effects on our health. (go back and have a read of the post I wrote to refresh your memory).

Right, so this brings us to the challenge, a challenge I have already set with my nutrition coaching clients, and they are smashing it and are getting great results by following this simple little task! Basically, for the month of November…. EARN YOUR CARBS!

If you want to have a high carb meal of “quality carbs” such as wholemeal pasta, brown rice, wholemeal bread, wholegrain cereal, quinoa, wraps, crisp-bread, crackers, you have about a 3 hour window after intense exercise where your body is much better at utilising the carbs. This means they are less likely to end up being stored as fat, which is what can happen if we eat too many at the wrong time! With “low quality carbs” such as pizza, cake, biscuits, pastries etc… its alway preferable if you can avoid them 90%  of the time and mostly go for the good quality carbs, as close to their natural form as possible.

Toast or porridge for breakfast? Make sure you get up a bit earlier and do some exercise to earn them (this is good news for our early morning bootcampers- carbs for breakfast for you guys!). Or if you know your heading out to a restaurant for dinner, smash out 100 burpees, if you want want to order that lasagne. Heading out to The Forge for pizza? Then crank out 100 push-ups, do a crazy 8 workout or run some intervals for 20 minutes! Plan your life in advance for the next month and see if it agrees with you. If you’re not feeling like working out or you don’t have time, have a salad or cook up some bacon and eggs with some greens. Its pretty simple, no workout, no carbs! (you can eat as much veg and a couple of pieces of fruit anytime, every day, I’m just talking about the starchy carbs).

If you think this will work for you or you’re wanting to lost those extra couple of kilo’s you put on over winter, this challenge is for you. Feel free to use the hashtag and post your #earnyourcarbs  meals and workouts to Instagram to inspire others. This really is effective -if you stick to it!

Will it be easy?



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Eat Your Carbs and Have Some Cake!

Why are we avoiding carbs? They are bad for you, right? They make you fat, bloated, and down right guilty when you eat them, right? Well, this must stop! Let’s get the facts on carbs set straight!

I’m not about to tell you to sit down and inhale an entire mud cake for morning tea (that’s just silly!) I’m going to let you know how to make the most out of your carbs and the best time to eat them so they don’t end up on your arse/thighs/six pack!

When I say carbs, I’m not talking about the fruit/veg kind, they’re the good carbs and you can eat them at anytime, fruit in moderation. I’m talking about the starchy carbs like pasta, bread, rice, noodles…..and cake!

The low carb fad diet movement became popular with the Atkins diet in the late 90s and early 2000s, now most people assume that carbohydrates are inherently fattening. Sometimes, we get so caught up in fad diets that we forget to look at the evidence. But fad diets are mostly bad diets.

Here’s the thing,  carb reduction costs us. You see, most of us require some level of carbohydrates to function at our best over the long term.
Sure, we can cut carbs temporarily if we need to lose weight quickly. But for most of us, keeping carbs too low for too long can have disastrous consequences.
This is especially true for those of us who work out.
If you’re sedentary, your carb needs are lower. So you might be able to get away with more of a restriction.

Most of you guys exercise regularly and intensely, so if you restrict your carb intake too drastically your metabolism might slow, your stress hormones go up and your muscle-building hormones go down.
You feel lousy, spaced-out, sluggish, cranky… and maybe even sick.

Carbohydrates are primarily a source of immediate energy for all of your body’s cells. Carbohydrates also cause a release of insulin. Insulin regulates nutrient entry into muscle cells. If insulin is seldom elevated (if you avoid carbs), the muscle growth related benefits won’t occur. If you plan a higher carbohydrate intake at times when your body is better equipped to handle it, insulin will be under your control, and the body will function better.

A larger insulin response can be beneficial at certain times like after a HIIT or intense training session-this is the best time to eat cake! But not so beneficial at certain times, like before bed- this is the worst time to eat cake! It’s hard to say exactly how long carb tolerance stays high after exercise. For most people, though, assume that carb tolerance is best for approximately 3 hours after exercise.

If we consume mainly wholegrain, unprocessed carbohydrate sources (think brown) they tend to be much better utilised. Unlike the more heavily processed starchy carbohydrate sources like breads, pastas, rices, biscuits, crackers, cereals and anything sugary (think white), if we haven’t earned them or have eaten them to excess, they will end up on our arse!

Most of us need some carbs. Most of us will look, feel, and perform our best when we balance a reasonable amount of lean protein, quality carbs, and healthy fats.

To sum it all up, keep it simple. Don’t overly restrict; don’t over-think. Enjoy a wide variety of minimally processed, whole and fresh foods.

And above all, for most active people, carbs are your friend! If you have earned them, then eat them!

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Crabtree Fitness Term 4 Newsletter…..things you need to know.

Here’s some important information for you as term 3 comes to a close. We will be heading outside again in Term 4. Please take note of the venues.

Mount Clear early mornings will be heading back to the Mt Clear Reserve for the start of Term 4, Monday 5th of October.

Our evening crew will move across to the Mt Clear Reserve on Monday nights and be based at the Buninyong Primary school on Thursday nights for now.

Gold Coin holiday sessions will be held in the second week of the holidays at 9am Monday 28th September and 9am Thursday 1st October at the Mount Clear Reserve. Bring the kids for a run around and some fresh air! These sessions will go ahead rain, hail or shine!

Kids Bootcamp spots are filling up, please let me know if your kids will be joining us- (if you haven’t done so already ) or let your non-bootcamp friends know we are providing this again in Term 4 and they are welcome to join us!
3.45PM -> 4.30PM


$60 or CAPPED @ $100 PER FAMILY
Free Crabtree Fitness water bottle for every child!

We will be doing fitness testing some time next term so make sure you stay active over the holidays! Grab some workout cards this week at bootcamp or head over to the workout tab on the website.

We’re looking forward to recharging the early morning batteries over the break to keep our passion burning for what we do best! And it will be fabulous getting out in the fresh air again next term with some warmer temperatures (we can’t guarantee this or guarantee that there will be no burpees next term!!)IMG_1185

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3.45PM -> 4.30PM



$60 or CAPPED @ $100 PER FAMILY


Contact Jac or Paul 0431 466409 or

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Introducing Crabtree Nutrition Coaching

It gives us great pleasure to announce the new branch of our business…. Crabtree Nutrition Coaching!

It’s a mess out there, isn’t it? With fad diets, hard-to-follow nutrition information, and a flashy new app every week, the fitness world can be a confusing place. Is it any wonder that most people have a hard time figuring it all out? We’re aiming to fix that.
How? By giving control back to the people who are ready to make a change…and who want something more than a 12 week week menu plan.

Over the last 6 months throughout my course I have learnt all about nutritional science and how to put healthy eating into practice for all kinds of individuals. This is not a one size fits all approach to nutrition.

Up until now we have shared basic nutritional tips with you, which has helped a lot of people to get a good understanding of what healthy eating is all about. But sometimes this is not enough, this is where our coaching program can take it to the next level. We will work one on one with you.

We use a nutritional progression model that helps you change your habits. It’s the opposite of a diet, and it works. We won’t just give people information and send them on their way. Instead, we teach them how to use that information, and put it into daily practice.

And when people have the best information, specific habits to follow, and know how to fit it all into their busy lives…well, that’s when truly remarkable things start to happen.

Learn how to take control of your nutrition and transform your “bad habits” into a healthy lifestyle.

Over the next few months we will be working with our “guinea pig” clients to perfect our system so we can hit the ground running with confidence as we launch our nutrition coaching program at the beginning of next year. We will follow their progress so that you can see that this can work for you, no matter what your goals are.

We have chosen four people who are all taking different nutritional pathways.Crabtree Nutrition Coaching Team

From left to right our team members goals are…..

Client 1, to build muscle, then shed body fat to enter a fitness competition (think tiny bikini and crazy heels on stage). Disciplined nutrition and specific training techniques are our focus……

Client 2, to continue her journey after losing 20kg, to tone up, learn more about nutrition and how to train smart…………

Client 3, fat loss, food education for her and her family with permanent lifestyle change and healthy eating habits……..

Client 4,  accountability to achieve her fat loss goals with lifestyle changes and implementing habits that have been difficult for her through years of fad dieting….

Follow their progress, get nutrition tips and recipe ideas on our new Instagram account @crabtreenutritioncoaching

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Add A Bit Of Variety To Your Life! (Challenge alert)

I’m not sure about you but the the supermarket trip is a case get in and get out as quick as I can. I despise the weekly supermarket shop, hence why I limit my time inside and get it over and done with quickly. There is, however, one little problem with this approach- I tend to buy the same foods very time I shop!

Our ancestors thousands of years ago enjoyed up to 150 ingredients each week. But current research shows that most people have just 20 different foods in their weekly diet. We need to get back to our ancestral habits and add a bit more diversity to our diets so we can ensure we are getting all the nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals needed for us to be functioning at optimum health.

Our bodies can hit a bit of mundane plateau digesting, absorbing, metabolising and transporting the same old foods, day in day out, for energy production, cell repair and a host of other things I won’t bore you with. The body has the uncanny ability to be very efficient, it doesn’t have to work very hard when you do the same thing over and over.

It would be a bit like us doing the same workout at bootcamp every single session. Not only would this be boring but our heart, lungs and muscles would adapt to the same stresses we are putting on them every day. Take, for example, this week when we introduced some new exercises. Our muscles weren’t used to the stresses of these new exercises and they responded by being VERY SORE! But being the clever little bastards they are, they will repair and get stronger for the next time we put them under the same load and we won’t get as sore. That’s why we like to mix things up a lot- to keep our bodies guessing what’s coming next!

The foods we eat have the same impact on our digestive systems. Throw some new foods down, particularly high-fibre whole-foods that you haven’t had before and the body needs to work hard, it becomes a metabolic machine and burns more calories at rest, which is always nice!

So, I’m putting to you (and myself) a “challenge“! Every week for the next month I want everyone to buy (and eat) at least 5 different foods (this does not include 5 different “design your own burgers” from McDonalds). Start with the produce section at the supermarket, there are so many choices but we tend to buy the same fruit and veg. Look for what’s in season at the moment, or head down to the local farmers market and broaden your imagination there. Try some quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, greek yoghurt, green tea…the possibilities are endless.

Lets go out on a limb and outside our food comfort zone and live on the edge! I will be checking in and asking everyone how they are going on this- I DON’T WANT TO SEE A LACK OF HANDS IN THE AIR WHEN I ASK “who has had something new to eat this week?” Start a shopping list,  get out there and do it, you may just like some of this stuff (except kale, it tastes like shit).less from

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What McDonalds and Cadbury Aren’t Telling You

I’m here to put the record straight! Over the last 3 months I’ve been studying hard! It’s been a slog and a mind blowing, overwhelming, factual experience. I’m about halfway through to becoming a qualified Precision Nutrition Coach. We have covered all the nutritional science so far and I’m about to start on client coaching. I won’t bore you with everything but I’ve made a summary of the most important things we have covered at Precision Nutrition……

The foods we eat and the exercise we do have a detrimental effect on our overall health!

Our bodies contain 100 trillion cells, our nutritional intake is a reflection of how well each of those cells performs/functions. If everyone was aware of the impact our nutritional intake had on us at a cellular level and the way our brains are wired, we would certainly think twice about consuming large amounts of trans fats, salt and sugar again! (McDonalds, anyone?)

It’s not only nutrition, but exercise also plays an important role in our cellular health and function. All I can say is -lucky you guys are smashing it out on the gym floor! The more we exercise, the more our bodies respond, getting fitter and stronger. Being consistent with exercise is reducing our risk of disease, the effects of ageing and making us calorie burning, metabolically active machines!

Important Points to Remember For Good Nutrition and Health.
-Eating whole foods controls our appetite and our energy balance (calories in, calories out).
-Eating processed foods interferes with our appetite signals, leaving it easy to over-eat.
-Calorie counting can be out by as much as 20%, this is a very inaccurate way to control our energy balance.
-HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the most efficient and effective form of exercise for overall health/fitness and fat-loss.
-Regular protein intake at each meal keeps our metabolism high, keeps us fuller for longer and helps with recovery so we can workout harder…. creating awesome results!
-Consume mostly good quality carbs (veg/salad/whole-grains) for energy.
-Poorer quality carbs are best immediately after exercise (if at all). Best to have that sleeve of TimTams after bootcamp, not before!
-Fibre is our friend, get plenty of it! (all the good stuff contains plenty of fibre)
-Carb and fat intake should be equal for energy. If your meal contains higher fat ensure you have less carbs, if your meal contains more carbs ensure you have less fats. (remember, higher carb meals are best after exercise).
-AVOID FRUCTOSE!!! Fructose is NOT your friend. Sugar (sucrose) is half fructose. Any fructose that is not used for immediate energy is STORED AS FAT. 80% of supermarket items contain added sugar (fructose) in some form.
-Fruit contains fructose but it’s ok as it contains your friend, fibre!
-Beware of fad diets! All plans have severe negative energy balance for short term weight-loss. They cut essential macronutrients which limits variety/narrows stimuli(gives you less options)/ limits food consumption. They are not sustainable in the long term. Don’t be sucked in by “Media Mythology”! The weight loss industry and food companies are feeding you bullshit to get you sucked in and give them money!
-Focus on health, performance and body composition.Purposeful exercise and intelligent eating

I will give all our boot campers a hard copy to refer to this week.


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