How To Choose Healthy Packaged Foods (plus chicken nuggets and chips recipe)

crabtree fitness healthy lifestyle
Some of you may have seen this before but it is worth posting again. This was one of the first nutritional guidelines we gave out when we first started a few years ago. I still use it and its a really handy template to have with you on your regular trip to the supermarket.

With so many “healthy” claims being made by companies on packed food it is really easy to become confused or even mislead about what is healthy. Companies can pretty much print what ever they like on packaged foods….light, lite, healthy, low fat, fat free, raw, sugar free, high fibre, iron man food, low GI, baked not fried….. the list is endless. These are all ploys to get you to buy their product!

But one thing they can’t lie about is the information contained on the nutrition information panel. Always check the column “per 100g” as opposed to the serving size as these can be quite deceiving (remember our 1/4 cup serve of corn flakes, thats totally unrealistic).

We are listing fat, sodium (salt), sugar and fibre on the following table to give you an idea of what is high, low and what we really should be aiming for if you’re wanting to lead a healthy

We will be handing out some laminated hard copies for you this week.

Here’s a healthy, non packaged alternative for the kids (and adults) of chicken nuggets and chips!

We are using sweet potato and chicken breast  instead of the deep fried and highly processed crap.


1 large long sweet potato, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of turmeric, salt and pepper, 1 egg white-beaten, 1 clove of garlic-grated, 1 tbsp of chopped parsley.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Cut the potatoes lengthwise in to long strips so that they look like chips. Throw them in to a freezer bag with all the ingredients except egg white, garlic and parsley. Shake until coated. Scatter on lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and baste with remaining ingredients. Turn oven up to 210 and bake for another 10-15mins, keep an eye on them.


3 large chicken breasts- chopped into large cubes (serves 6), 2 eggs-beaten, 1/3 cup grated parmesan, 1 tbsp of parsley-chopped, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup quinoa flakes.

Coat the chopped chicken breast in the remaining mixed ingredients. Pan fry in a hot pan coated with olive oil spray. Turn once browned and reduce heat to cook through. Serve with sweet potato fries and fresh garden salad with a wedge of lemon.PicTapGo-Image

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Portion Control, Are Our Portions Too Big? (plus Banana Bread recipe)

One of the things we noted on many of your bucket lists for 2015 was portion control. How much is enough?……’s really difficult to gage!

Serving sizes have gone up drastically in the last 20 years, particularly on packed food (think of the old polystyrene coffee cups compared to the extra large, tall, grande latte we slug down these days. Or the tiny choc chip cookies mum made compared to the over indulgent cookies the size of bread and butter plates you currently see in cafes). Everywhere we turn there are supersize, upsize, megasize and don’t get me started on the “serve yourself and come back for seconds buffet”!

Even if we’re eating a well balanced nutritious diet full of whole foods, it’s hard to judge how much we should be consuming. After all it’s calories in versus calories out and we need to find the right balance on a personal level.

I came across these helpful products at a professional development day I attended last year on “Managing a Healthy Weight”. The sports dietician who ran the session highly recommended this as a tool to keep our portions in check. It comes in the form of a plate and bowl that have the recommend serving sizes of our macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) and the serving sizes we should be aiming for.FullSizeRender

It gives portion sizes for men and women who want to maintain weight as well as portion sizes for those wanting to drop weight.

All you need to do is ditch the fancy crockery for a few weeks and replace it with these melamine plates while you adapt to how much the recommended serving size is for your lifestyle. We have purchased some plates and bowls from the portion perfection range and will have them at bootcamp this week.  We have four of each, plates are $14 and the bowls $7, but we can order more in bulk if required. Or you can order them individually, visit the website Please let us know if you would like one to help you keep your portions in check.


Moving on to the Blueberry Banana Bread recipe I created yesterday. Now as you may know I’m not one for following recipes, I just threw this together without measuring anything with a bunch of ingredients I grabbed from the pantry. The measurements are a guide only, add/take-away to get the right consistency for the perfect mixture…

2 ripe mashed bananas, 2 pots of unsweetened apple puree, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup Chobani greek yoghurt, 3 Tablespoons coconut oil and 2 Tablespoons of rice malt syrup melted in the microwave, 1 1/2 -2 cups of wholemeal SR flour, 1 tspoon of baking powder, 1 cup of crushed walnuts, 1/2 a cup of LOCALLY SOURCED blueberries and a handful of slivered almonds for the top.

Mix all the wet ingredients first then add the flour and baking powder stir until well combined, mix through walnuts and blueberries. Line a slice tin with baking paper and spray with oil, pour in mixture and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 165 for 30-35 mins. PicTapGo-Image

As you can see I had a bit of a bake-off yesterday. The recipes for the protein balls and jaffa muffins are under the recipe tab. Hey, watch your portions!






Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s in your bucket for 2015?

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
-Albert Einstein

Is this you? Are you insane? This year it is time for change! What do you want? Where are you going?  Do you have the results you want?

We are taking a personal approach this year. Rather than think of ourselves as dictators and be forcing everyone to make the changes that we focus on each term, this year, we would prefer to be known as “facilitators of change”.

That’s why, in 2015, we are turning the tables and getting you, as an individual, to choose your goal. That’s right, we are getting everyone to start their own “bucket list” of what they want to achieve and when they want to achieve it.

Your goal can be recorded on the bucket list sheet. We will keep you accountable and support you on your individual goal. We will push you when you need pushing and give you the advice to accomplish what’s on your bucket list this year. All you need to do is  fill out the form we provide and hand it back to us for safe keeping. All goals are confidential.IMG_1494












For example: your goal may be to run your first 10km race by the end of the year or compete in your first obstacle race. By us knowing your goal we can push you through certain parts of our workouts that will compliment your running or strengthen your upper body for you to have the best chance of accomplishing  your goal.

Or, you may want to improve your nutrition, fit into that pair of jeans, be a healthier version of you, achieve the perfect pushup, give the deepest squat possible. Whatever your goal we are here to give you the support and encouragement required to hit the nail on the head.

Don’t be left in a rut doing the same thing over and over and not getting the result you want. IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE. Reach for the stars, make a plan and do the work required to complete what’s in your bucket!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bring a Friend For Free in 2015

At Crabtree Fitness we change lives for the better!

Being a member of the Crabtree Fitness Festival in 2015 enables you to bring a friend for FREE to term 1 bootcamp! That’s right, 9 weeks of bootcamp, for your friend, free!

Do you have a friend or family member who would like to transform their lifestyle and get fitter, stronger and healthier?  We are giving them the opportunity to join the energetic, social atmosphere of our bootcamps in 2015.  With over 25 years experience in the fitness industry, high retention rates with plenty of long term clients, we can give them the support, encouragement and attention they need to meet their goals.

You decide……”shout” or “share” the cost with a friend for Term One Crabtree Fitness Bootcamp!

fitness is not

Feel free to click on our “bootcamp tab” for the full timetable, locations and pricing for 2015. Term One starts January 27th and runs for 9 weeks. Sign them up today! Email Jackie and Paul or phone/text 0431 466409

Bring a friend jpeg

* The “friend” must be a new member to Crabtree Fitness. Any current member or new member who pays up front at the start of term is eligible to bring a new member for free. No other discounts apply. $270 saving based on attendance at 4 sessions per week. Available in Term 1 2015 only.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crabtree Fitness Transformations, 2014

Welcome to our Transformations Page for 2014!

As trainers, we are rewarded on a daily basis through changing people’s lives for the better. The results gained by our clients keep the fire in our bellies burning and makes us realise how important quality of life is for so many people. All our clients have transformed their lives in one way or another. The following clients have been chosen for our transformation package because of the outstanding lifestyle changes they have made to improve the quality of their lives!

These transformations are not just about the “before and after”, the amount of weight lost or dramatic unsustainable changes. As you will see in the following testimonials, the benefits are about a variety of positive life changes, such as an improvement in physical health, mental health, confidence and self esteem. These guys have become more ambitious and continue to set goals for themselves.

We have not used photo-shop or altered the “after” images in any way. The clients all provided their own “before” photos and the testimonials are all in their own words, unedited by us. We thank them deeply as it takes great courage to put yourself out there in the public eye, particularly the use of the before photos! Congratulations to Claire, Matty, Elli, Elise and Chrissie!

CLAIREphoto 2-2 copy

I have been working with Crabtree Fitness Professionals since late 2012 and have loved every minute of it!

Whilst many have said they never even noticed I was overweight, I absolutely was. With my upcoming nuptials in November, that was all the motivation I needed to do something about it. I’d been listening to “Jay Quellen” and Paul (half asleep mind you) blabbing on about nutrition for over a year, and thought I might actually take some action to improve my diet. So, since February this year I have been able to lose 15 kilos and have never felt better!

I am constantly amazed by Jackie and Paul’s creativity – we NEVER do the same workout twice. I’ve always been an active person through my involvement in sport, although I’ve never really enjoyed working out. I absolutely LOVE coming to bootcamp and sweating it out with my fellow morning comrades. The social element of morning bootcamps has really helped me with this too. Without Kirsten, Sal, Barbie, Hobes, Kaz and Heady I wouldn’t have felt the pressure to not hit snooze on the alarm, and to just get up and do it! I’m moving back to Melbourne next year, and I know I’ll never find another Crabtree Fitness – I’ll miss you guys terribly! Thanks for everything you’ve done. I could not recommend Jackie and Paul higher, they are truly absolute legends!!photo 1



I decided to join the Crabtree Fitness Professionals earlier this year after suffering quite a few years of back pain. My wife had been going for a couple of months and suggested to give it a go. Great decision!
Getting up early a couple of times a week to improve my fitness and core strength has enabled me to do a lot more things with my two girls without discomfort. Increasing my fitness and strength has got me interested in entering some running events with the goal of a few half marathons next year.
I have always kept reasonably fit by playing footy and cricket, but by joining Crabtree Fitness it has taken me to a new level of fitness and training, with an improved quality of 3-2 copy



Over the last few years I had put on weight, I always had a plan to do more exercise, but I couldn’t find the motivation on my own. I joined Crabtree Fitness about a year ago, those first few weeks were tough going, everything hurt!
I have now lost 10kg and I am so much fitter and healthier. I really enjoy our sessions and have met some great people.
I also joined the learn to run group and completed the 6km at Run Ballarat, a huge achievement for me! Thanks Jac and Paul for your ongoing 3-2



I can’t thank Jackie and Paul enough for all their help over my time at Crabtree Fitness Professionals, so far. I have learnt so much about taking care of myself.

I have changed a lot, not only physically, but have mentally developed more confidence which is something I really struggled with. They are absolute superstars!photo 1 copy



I have been working out with Crabtree Fitness Professionals for almost 18 months. As a mother of two, it is important to me that I am able to continue to keep up with the kids and show them that being fit and healthy is the way to go.

I maintain an active lifestyle and try to do 10,000 steps a day.  I have a very active lifestyle with running and the gym but I  have found Crabtree’s style of fitness to be that bit extra that I needed in my exercise regime.  I do a boxing and a bootcamp session each week and the ever changing workout style is one I enjoy, with no two sessions never being the same. Sometimes it can be tough going, but a good tough with Jackie and Paul on hand to motivate me through that last little bit.

No matter how hard I tried since having children I was never able to regain my body to a point that I was completely satisfied. The combination of a doing variety of workouts as well as keeping a “Jackie inspired” food diary (which made me cut back on the no so healthy snacking…) has allowed me to drop those last few kilos. I feel fit, healthy, happy and 4

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Free workout….”Resistance Runner” Holiday Workout

This is a great HIIT session for the summer holidays. All you need is a resistance band, a pole to hook it around, a little space to run and download “GYMBOSS” onto your iPhone! We will be doing this workout tomorrow at bootcamp for a trial run.

We have purchased some brand new resistance bands through Matt from InterSport. You can try one of these tomorrow with the option to buy one for the holidays for $20. We have about 20 but Matt can get some more for us ASAP if needed.

If you are new to exercise or are carrying an injury please check with your health professional before embarking on any new exercise program. All exercises have a corresponding diagram, please refresh your memory with these on technique first.


Set your GYMBOSS timer for one minute intervals for 14 rounds.  This workout will incorporate 1 minute on a resistance band exercise and one minute of running. A fantastic template for a HIIT workout! GO THROUGH TWICE with a drink break in the middle.

These are your seven exercises..remember, 1 minute exercise, one minute run and REPEAT. It should take around 30 minutes.








Make sure that you get the most out of this by pushing hard on the run, THIS IS NOT A RECOVERY JOG!


phonto copy 6phonto copy 5phonto copy 4phonto copy 3phonto copy 2phonto copyphonto


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Crabtree Fitness Top 10 Health Tips

Crabtree Fitness Professionals are a team. Paul and I are known to play out “good cop, bad cop”quite well! One of us has to be on the good side, while the other gets the daggers in the back as the “nasty” trainer! We share the load!

Normally, I’m the editor/head-writer putting together the blog posts/recipe’s etc. But today I’m handing the reins over to Paul. We are both passionate about helping you to be the healthiest version of you, so here are our Top 10 Health Tips to get you on track for bikini/mankini season which is about 8 weeks away! Over to you Paul….
top 10 health tips


1.GET ENOUGH SLEEP-if you get more than 8 hours sleep not only will you feel better you will be more likely to exercise, more likely to have breakfast and more likely to plan your meals. If you don’t have enough sleep you will have lower energy stores(glycogen) and have raised stress hormones(cortisol), which raise blood pressure. Also…you can’t have a late night snack when you’re asleep!

2.EAT BREAKFAST- if you eat a nutritious low GI breakfast, your energy levels will remain higher throughout the day and the amount of snacking will be lower. The food in your digestive system will increase the metabolism to digest the food particularly if it’s low GI.

3.PLAN MEALS AHEAD – If you plan your meals and make your own lunch, you will avoid the lottery of buying meals. It is almost impossible to buy healthy lunches which are low in fat, sugar and salt and are low GI. Don’t be fooled by so called healthy menu choices unless you know exactly what is put in the meal and the quality and variety of the ingredients. Save your money and the guesswork by making it yourself.

4.DITCH THE GIMMICK DIETS – Millions of people around the world are able to eat basic foods and maintain a healthy body. Your body needs carbs for energy, protein for growth and repair, good fats for vital bodily functions. Too much of any of them and you are going to store body fat. Fibre is crucial to ensure the digestive system works well. Usually, people who struggle with weight don’t get enough protein or fibre.

5.CUT OUT PROCESSED FOOD – Why is it that in places where fruit, vegetables, nuts seeds, grains and lean meats make up a persons diet they have very little trouble with obesity? Processed foods are full of calories, but low in nutrients, can be eaten quickly and often leave you wanting more!

6.MAKE EXERCISE A PRIORITY -Exercise should be as much a part of the day as eating and sleeping. Don’t think of it as an extra thing to do, think of it as a natural part of your life. Some of the busiest people seem to find time to exercise. If you don’t have 20 minutes to exercise, you might have 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. It all adds up!

7.DITCH SUGARY DRINKS – One 600ml bottle of soft drink and you already have 2-3 times the daily sugar RDI, not to mention the 250+ calories in one hit! A drink of water and a banana and you will have less than 100 calories and over 10% of the daily fibre you need.

8.NEVER SKIP MEALS – Skipping meals is a guaranteed way to gain weight. You will be more likely to be hungry outside meal times and snack on the processed foods and end up taking in far more calories. It makes sense that if you fill up at meal times on the good stuff you won’t be as hungry when the energy dense temptations are there.

9.DRINK ENOUGH WATER – Our blood is mostly made up of water which carries nutrients to the cells. If we don’t have enough water not only do we feel worse due to dehydration, our blood is thicker and blood pressure goes up! If you are thirsty this is the first sign of dehydration. Make drinking water a routine by having one handy all day, not just when you get thirsty.

10.EAT WHOLE FOODS- Nutrient dense foods are far better than energy dense foods. Foods which are one ingredient rather than a cocktail of many will help you maintain a healthy weight and digestive system. Processed foods usually have added sugar, salt and saturated fat.

For all those people who already train regularly but are not happy with or are not seeing results, follow these TIPS and you will notice the difference! Start with number 1 and you will be well on your way.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment