Emma’s Story

My Crabtree Fitness journey is all about consistency….

Physical and mental wellbeing has always been an important part of my life but a few years ago “life” got in the way! As a working mother, my priorities were focused on work and family rather than myself. 

In 2017, I decided to make my own health and wellbeing a priority and to juggle the balance to fit it “ALL” in. 1 session a week with Crabtree Fitness was where I began, barely being able to complete the ‘warm up’, struggling with a set of the dreaded burpees or the punishing shuttles runs.  I consistently pushed myself to the motto ‘one step at a time’ and continued to remind myself that these sessions were all about MY wellbeing. 

In 2018, I continued to ensure I had the balance of life and increased my commitment to Crabtree Fitness to 2 sessions per week and also included the nutritional advice and healthy eating plans. I saw an increase in my fitness and also my mental wellbeing. I remember a session where Jackie explained that we were to attempt to run up to 400metres in between the strength training… Secretly I thought “could I do this”? Running is not my strength and I was never going to finish in the top 10…..but I surprised myself and consistently pushed myself to complete the session without stopping or decreasing my pace.

The nutritional support has assisted in my goal of becoming a better me. Crabtree Simply Healthy recipes were and still are part of our weekly meal planning. Family favourites zucchini slice, chilli beef with lentils, sweet potato cottage pie, goji fudge and protein balls.

My mental wellbeing has benefited by the consistency of my sessions with Crabtree Fitness. My work is a stressful environment, which is complex and difficult some days. The ongoing consistent approach to my wellbeing has improved my mental strength and resilience, which has allowed me to cope and think clearly.

In 2019, I increased my commitment to prioritise my health and wellbeing and I have seen huge growth in my strength and cardio fitness. I increased my commitment to 3 sessions per week and continued with the simply healthy recipes. I am now able to increase my pace when running, can complete most reps of the dreaded burpees (they might be ugly though!) and now look at the next level of weights when using the kettlebells.  

Early in 2019, my Nana passed away. She was a huge part of my life. During the last few days of her life and the days after her passing, I continued with the routine of my fitness. I even went to boot camp on the morning of her funeral, as I knew the benefit of me smashing out a session would help me with the difficult day ahead. The increase in my mental wellbeing allowed me to process my grief and have the strength to support my family. 

Today, I thank Jackie and Paul for a friendly and supportive approach to my fitness goals and allowed me to increase my personal best goals. I am thankful to have been able to compete in a couple of bike races, fun runs and the MCG Stadium Stomp. I have lost weight, improved my body shape, increased my strength and improved my mental wellbeing. 

Overall, I am thankful to Crabtree Fitness for helping me be a better version of me.

Visit https://crabtreefitness.com/ to follow Emma’s footsteps

The Secret to a Healthy Family

If you asked 10 random people to fill a shopping basket with healthy food from a supermarket, we believe nearly all of them could do it. So why then, do we find ourselves with an increasing obesity epidemic in Australia?

If we were to fast forward 20 or 30 years to our future self, we would know that that person would want us to eat a well-balanced healthy diet and enjoy regular exercise. Why then, are so many of us sedentary or not able to achieve the bare minimum of recommended exercise each week?

Our current self, it would appear, finds it difficult to make choices to help our long term desires. We would all like to be healthy and fit. But we have many, often very valid, excuses for not achieving this: must work to pay the mortgage, need to drive the kids around after work to all their activities, too tired, too stressed, so many issues to deal with! That is one of the driving reasons why we have developed our Simply Food and Fitness program.

Simply Food and Fitness is our approach to making food and fitness just that – simple. If we can find ways to simply incorporate healthy food and exercise into our lives, so simple in fact that we barely notice it, then we will get to that future self as a fit and healthy person, just as we want.

As part of our simply food and fitness program we have developed over 50 delicious, family friendly recipes and packaged them up into a beautiful book. Unlike a diet that helps you achieve a short term goal and then stop, our recipes help you incorporate healthy food for life. Our recipes can be incorporated into your life simply and easily. Simply Food and Fitness is a common sense strategy which helps you achieve permanent and lasting good health, without depriving yourself. Our recipes are really tasty and show that you don’t need to fill meals with loads of sugar and fat to be delicious.

Here is what some of our clients are saying about our recipes:

I love this book. Great recipes! I can finally eat delicious meals and snacks without that lingering feeling of guilt.

I have slowly introduced simply food and fitness recipes into my family’s mealtimes and I have been blown away by how popular they’ve been.

My five year old can’t get enough of the chicken burgers, they have become a staple in our weekly routine, and he doesn’t even realise they are packed with so many veggies – good result all round!

The Simply Food and Fitness recipe book is available for purchase and would make a lovely Christmas present. If you would like a copy please click here to purchase.

Why We’re So Passionate

26 years ago my father had a heart attack. We lived on a farm 50kms from Ballarat and by the time the Mica ambulance arrived it was too late. He was just 48 years old when he died. He left behind my mum, who he loved dearly, myself and my 6 siblings (Kimba, the youngest at 9 years of age).

This had really big impact on my life and it was these circumstances that ultimately led me to a career in health and fitness. My dad was overweight and in my view, if I could take people under my wing and support them to be the healthiest version of themselves then maybe, just maybe, I could prevent this happening to someone else and save their family the trauma we endured.

And so it began, my vision was to change the world and to help people see that being healthy could, in fact, save their life.

A family history of heart disease also inspired Paul to follow a career path in health and fitness with his father having heart bypass surgery in his early 50’s

It seems that we were both destined to help others. We’ve been sharing our passion for seven years now and in that time we have educated and guided families to the healthy way of life, and we continue to do so.

Being healthy reduces the risk of all sorts of diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. BUT. It does not make us invincible! There is no guarantee that makes us completely immune to any of theses health problems.

Each year as part of our first aid training Paul and I do a CPR update. It’s part of our duty of care as personal trainers, so that we can keep everyone safe and look after them in case of an emergency.

In these training sessions the paramedics are very clear about the importance of a Defibrillator (AED) when someone is in cardiac arrest. The chance of a full recovery is 70% when one is used as opposed to 28% when CPR alone is used. And each year we have thought about purchasing a defibrillator, but they’re expensive and we put it off.

Having been close to a few people lately in the healthy weight range that have suffered serious health problems. Paul and I decided that rather than take our family on a winter holiday, we would invest in a defibrillator.

You see, defibrillators save lives.

We will have it with us at all fitness sessions and in our car on weekends. We hope that it’s the most expensive piece of equipment we own that we will never use. But it gives us peace of mind that if something serious happens (whether at work or out in the public), we are well equipped to deal with it.

I often wonder what would have happened if there was a defibrillator in our town or if we lived we closer to emergency care, would dad still be here spending time with his grandchildren, none of whom he ever met?

Crabtree Fitness Memories 2017


It brought a few tears to my eyes watching this! To say that we are proud of what has been achieved this year is an understatement! Each and every person in this video has worked hard and deserve their personal achievements! Achievements big and small!
Thanks for supporting our local small business, without you there would be no Team Crabfit! You’re special people to us and we’ll always have your back! We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a relaxing New Year! Kick back and enjoy…..

Why We Failed As Parents!

If you’re like us, your childhood has probably been referred to as the “olden days” by your children.  A time not that long ago for us but an eternity ago for our kids. You know the days…..there were no smart phones or iPads……we had two channels on the tv (which we had to change by walking over and change with the knob). We rode our bikes to school with no helmets often down the middle of the road with no hands! We had no guard around our open fire, no front gate to protect us from the semi trailers that hurtled past our place at 100kms per hour. We swung from trees and used tin-can lids as plates in the make-believe kitchens in our cubby huts -that we made under trees with sticks and pine needles. We would often explore creeks after flooding rains and “play outside” all day! We somehow survived, with all limbs attached!

Socially, we would just turn up at friends houses and make our own fun, forming long lasting friendships by establishing social skills that still generate new friendships today. We weren’t rich with material things but we were rich with experience, resilience, survival skills and coping mechanisms to get us through tough times! We had no choice but to “harden up” for what life would throw at us!

Remembering this makes us realise that our own kids are growing up in an age of materialistic entitlement! We have four teenage children all going through puberty, all at the same time. Which does make our life somewhat challenging at the moment and with the introduction of compulsory iPads as a “learning tool” in primary school our life has turned into a living hell.

Like most kids, our children have the capability of being arseholes at times (3 out of 4 of them, 1 is the golden child), don’t get me wrong, we love them dearly but parenting has become a whole lot harder with the introduction of social media, selfies and Snapchat. 

Their social life today consists of sending the message “Hi” to all their snapchat friends to see who will respond. They fill their hours watching YouTube videos, Vlogs and taking filtered selfies to post to see how many “likes” they can get……pfffft!

Our kids have always been active kids and have grown up “playing outside” but since the introduction of these devices their behaviour has slowly turned their lives somewhat “sloth like” at times. This totally does our head in. “Get off your device, get off your device, get off your f*#king device!!”.

This brings me to the point of this story, why we failed as parents. Our kids have always had time limits with their devices. The access to wi-fi is limited to an hour a day. But, this time had slowly dragged out and we found the kids using them more and more because we, as failing parents, had got so busy with our own lives and let things go a little too far. It was our fault, we weren’t vigilant enough!

It’s a long story, but a couple of weeks ago we reached breaking point and confiscated the iPads for a few weeks as punishment for unacceptable behaviour. Behaviour caused by too much time on technology and not enough time in the real world!

To our amazement and satisfaction in that time our kids have explored, communicated, laughed, played and experienced some amazing family bonding through their precious teenage years. But most of all, they’re moving more, activity is a normal part of life (movement is not just the structured team sports they play).

So what does this story have to do with health and fitness? Too many kids are becoming too sedentary and lacking the coping mechanisms, resilience and social skills they require to lead happy, healthy and successful lives. 

We often wonder how kids today, who are so entitled by getting whatever they want, and spending so much time on social media, are going to cope in the real world once they get a job. Even though some of our kids tell us they hate us for standing strong and taking their devices away. And the fact that we are labeled cruel, strict and unfair by their friends (in fact, we even had a death threat on one social media platform), one day they will thank us for not being “cotton wool” parents and thank us for taking a stand for their mental and physical health and thank us for not being too scared to take their entitlement away. 

Last week we took our kids out into the wilderness for a hiking trip, no phones, no internet just us, our family unit!! We trekked three mountains over 30kms in three days. Our kids perspective has changed. They know the work it requires to climb a mountain to get the reward at the top. The view is always worth it, no matter how much whining there is on the way. Some entitled kids will catch the escalator of life and never experience the hard work required to get that genuine satisfaction of reaching the summit.


We’re not perfect as parents and this story is based on our life and our experiences. As a parent you do what works for you but be aware that kids need a little discipline, we need to say no occasionally and they do need to “harden up” if they want to make the summit in life. 

Below is the “Crabtree iPad user agreement” that we drew up specifically for our grade 6 twins. You may think it’s a joke, you may copy it and use it for your kids, you may draw one up specifically for your kids, but keep in mind, kids need our guidance. After all, we are not on this earth to be their friends, we are here to be their parents. And that’s exactly how it was in the “olden days”. Crabtree iPad User

Celebrating 5 Years @ Crabtree Fitness!

The word on the street is that the fitness industry can be a fickle and short term venture for some. Not for us!  As we put this slide show together, for our 5th Birthday, we discovered that the secret to OUR success has been the loyalty, commitment and camaraderie from you guys! THANK-YOU…we will come bearing gifts tomorrow as we prepare for a week of FUN celebrations!!

Sit back and enjoy the slideshow and see how many times you make an appearance (you may need the pause button).


What to eat before the game?

What to eat before the game? Nothing is definitely not the answer. Going without breakfast before the big game can be a big mistake.  Our bodies have been fasting all night while we have been asleep the last thing they need when we wake up is more fasting. We need to fuel up to ensure we have enough energy to get us through throughout the game.

Our pre-match meal doesn’t have to be complicated or purchased at the drive through on the way to the match. I’m sure it’s a rush on game day, especially the Under 10/11 players who have a very early start!   Keep your breakfast simple so you can clean up and then argue about lost jumpers, where your footy socks and mouthguard are and who is sitting where in the car.

Being organised and eating your pre-match meal at home is the safest bet to ensure you get all the nutrients you need to play your best.  Have a good breakfast 1-3 hours before you play so that the food has time to digest and be converted into energy. A meat pie, hotdog or half a dozen dim-sims 15 minutes before the game is a really bad choice! Not only do these foods take a long time to digest, they lack nutrients,vitamins and minerals which help you perform at your best. And who doesn’t want to perform at their best?

Here are a few examples for a pre-match fuel up. All the foods below contain good quality carbohydrates and good fats which are both an energy source for our bodies…..

1. Warm porridge/traditional oats with milk, a drizzle of honey, crushed walnuts and sliced banana/fruit.
2. Weet-bix/Vita-Brits with crushed walnuts sliced banana/fruit and milk. (do not add sugar!!)
3. A couple of slices of wholemeal/wholegrain toast (Bakers Delight is a good choice) with natural peanut butter
4. Home made granola (muesli) with milk… See our recipe tab for ingredients.                      5. A couple of slices of wholegrain raison/fruit toast.

*There are plenty of gluten-free options available at the supermarket in the above products for those who are gluten intolerant.

If your game is later in the day, more than 3 hours after breakfast, you may benefit from a small snack an hour before you play. A banana/fruit, a salad sandwich or some natural yoghurt with berries. Remember, being organised is important!

You should  NOT consider the following a healthy pre-game food choice…

~Vegemite on White toast (or anything on white toast)
~Fruit loops/nutri-grain/crunchy nut, coco-pops or any other sugar laden commercial breakfast cereal.They will give you a huge sugar rush and leave you feeling lethargic half way through the game!
~A pre-prepared tetra pack like “up and go”
~A protein bar/ shake, these are not real food!!                                                                                   ~Any take-away food, this is not real food either!!

Make sure you are fully hydrated too and sip on water throughout the morning and through the game!

**A note to parents, what you eat during the game is also important! It has a big impact on your children. Be a great role model! Remember, monkey see- monkey do!



Fixing Your Portions

Calorie counting is usually a recipe for failure: It’s annoying, impractical, and research shows it can be up to 25% inaccurate on both sides — calories in, and calories out.

I’ve had a lot of questions on portion control over the last few weeks and I have promised to deliver the answer, but like so many others, I have been flat out working without a minute to spare! I have made time today to share the Precision Nutrition way on how to best control the calorie intake for you.

So, how much should I eat? That is the question on everyone’s lips! Are you eating all the healthy foods but still struggling to drop the kg’s, maybe you’re trying to figure out how much protein, carbs and fat to have?
Finding the right portions for you can be difficult, but never fear…….. the answer is in the palm of your hand, in fact, it is your hand!


I will have some hard copies of this to stick on your fridge/pantry with me this week. If you stick with this and adjust according to your results, with full adherence, it WILL work for you!


Crabtree Fitness Transformations

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 fitness, physical 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 in their own words. 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 Rohan, Chris, Tanya, Kim and Sallie!

ROHANrohan final

My life was grand, eat what I want, drink as much beer as I want and occasionally do a big heavy weight training session. I thought I was in good shape and living the dream, until my wife enrolled my daughter and I into Crabtree Fitness Bootcamp, I didn’t know what to expect but as you can see it turned my life around!

I thought my nutrition was good but Jac and Paul told me to keep a food diary and they were able to tune a few things (okay, they reconstructed everything completely).

The first couple of weeks were a real grind, man I was sore. Soon the weeks turned into months and the grind turned to trying to push myself harder and harder. The atmosphere at bootcamp is awesome. 
Life’s better since losing 19kg; no more cycling shorts under my work pants to stop my legs from rubbing, energy levels have gone through the roof. It wasn’t easy but I know it was worth it.
Thanks Crabtree Fitness.


KIMkim logo

I was a Stay at Home Mum with 2 girls and I wasn’t doing any exercise at all. I decided that the time had come to get fit and healthy, a big task really given I’d never exercised in my life and was actually very lazy.

It was 39 degrees on the day I did my very first bootcamp and all I could think was “what on earth am I doing” but at the same time I enjoyed getting out and doing something for me.

I joined the Mum’s (and a few Dad’s) 9am bootcamp which worked perfectly because I could do the school drop off and then go straight to bootcamp and I could also take my youngest child with me and she played with other kids while I was exercising. There was no excuse not to go because I was already out of the house anyway. The first few months were tough, at the start I couldn’t even run a warm up lap of the oval, but everyone was so encouraging and supportive. It was a big surprise after a few months to find that I was enjoying bootcamp and more to the point I could see an improvement in my fitness. I’ve been going to bootcamp for 2 years now (I even moved to 6.15am sessions when I was studying and couldn’t get to the 9am sessions) and over that time my fitness has improved greatly and in the process I’ve lost 8kg which has been an added bonus.

Thanks Jackie and Paul, I totally recommend Crabtree Fitness because honestly, if I can do it, and enjoy it, anyone can!

TANYAtanya final

I have been having personal training with Crabtree Fitness since May of this year.

Over the last few years I had been putting everyone and everything in front of myself. I slowly watched the scales creep up but kept telling myself I would lose the weight soon. When I jumped on the scales and realised that I was even heavier than when I was pregnant I knew it was time to do something about it. I had mentioned to my husband that maybe a personal trainer was the way to go. He was so supportive and encouraging that he gave me the Personal Training sessions with Jackie as my birthday present.

I had tried fitness sessions/bootcamps in the past and ended up losing my motivation and in some cases injured. I was a little hesitant to have another go as I didn’t want to injure myself again. I had many friends mention Jackie and Paul and how much they had enjoyed going to their sessions. I finally picked up the phone and called. From that first conversation, Jackie has been fantastic. She was so supportive and I love her practical approach to nutrition and exercise. She has been able to tailor my weekly workouts to my level and to help me work on my technique so that I didn’t injure myself again.

Not only has my fitness and core strength improved, so has my confidence in my own ability to push myself. Since starting Crabtree Fitness I have lost 14kg. The training sessions with Jackie gave me the confidence to start running and set myself the goal of doing a 5km fun run before I was 40. I still have a few months to go however I have achieved my goal by doing not one, but two fun runs, as well as a few laps around Lake Wendouree. Things I never thought I would achieve.

Thank you Jackie and Paul for all your help and support.


CHRISchris logo

I had been living a sedentary lifestyle for years and thought I was too busy to fit in any exercise with long hours of work and a young family keeping me busy. A dodgy knee stopped me from playing football and was another excuse for not exercising. A regular check-up with the doctor confirmed my cholesterol was out of whack and that was the second time I had received that news so I thought I really need to do something about this. A friend said come along and give this boot camp a try and I have hardly missed a session for the last 20 months.
I have found Jackie and Paul to be great trainers and I enjoy the variety in the workouts. There is no yelling or screaming but rather support, advice and encouragement which works for me. One of the most important things I have done is make the boot camps priority and actually plan my week around them rather than tyring to squeeze them in around other commitments. The early morning boot camps help with this.
I have lost around 12kg and my cholesterol is back to normal. I feel fit and healthy and most importantly I am setting a good example for my kids. New clothes are costing me a small fortune but also gives me great satisfaction when the old ones are just too big now.


SALLIESal final

I have been a regular exerciser for many years and tried everything from all codes of aerobics classes to running a marathon 10 years ago….basically I got bored easily. I joined Jackie and Paul in September 2012 and have never been bored yet!! The variety that they tap into week after week is exceptional and the manner in which they combine strength and cardio work is a real winner for me!

This year though I wanted to step it up a notch. Jackie helped me work towards my goal of building a six pack and gaining a 10 on the beep test. She also gave me invaluable nutritional advice. Seven months later I feel the fittest I have in years. I love going to bootcamp 3 mornings a week with the fabulous morning crew and for the past 4 months have been doing some PT with Jackie with the focus of building muscle.

I cannot thank Jackie and Paul enough for all they have done for me over the past 3 years. They well and truly have gone above and beyond with absolute passion for what they do!! My career is moving me to Bendigo next year and I only hope I find fitness professionals with the same knowledge, care and philosophy!

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?



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!

Crabtree Nutrition logo

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