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

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

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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 summer, which is not far 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.(the less human interference the better, WHOLE FOODS)

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.