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3 Simple Tactics To Stay Healthy & Enjoy The Christmas Festivities At The Same Time

christmas_healthy_food_options

By Guy Lawrence

You can’t have your cake and eat it too… Can you? If you are a bit of a foodie/health nut like myself, you can spend just as much time and energy worrying about what you eat as enjoying yourself whilst at Christmas parties.

This can cause unnecessary stress which is the last thing we want! So the key for me is finding that balance of enjoying yourself and letting go, but staying on top of things at the same time. Here’s a few things I’ll do…

Tactic #1 - Alcohol

Let’s be honest here, most people turn up to Christmas work parties, stuff their face with food and generally get wasted on free alcohol!

I’m not much of drinker (2 glasses of red is going wild for me these days), so tactics are required when it comes to Christmas parties without coming across as a douchebag food snob or sourpuss… and having fun at the same time.

Good Strategy - Always have a drink in your hand and sip it slowly. People generally leave you alone for some reason if they think you are getting drunk with them. I’ve never understood the peer pressure behind this. When people get three parts sloshed, they can never work out if you are sober or drunk anyway, so why the hassle in the first place?

What to drink -  I avoid beer these days because of the wheat. Budda-belly comes on fast and I always remind myself of this before caving in to the cold amber nectar! Instead I go for a glass of red. Not quite the Welsh Guinness guzzler of old, but I’m happy to take the banter on the chin if I’m with any of my old footy mates! And as I’m sipping it slowly, the red wine gets really warm in my hand, has had plenty of time to breath and tastes twice as good!

Reducing hangovers - If you do fancy having a few but don’t want to feel like a train wreck the next morning, drink single white spirits in a tall glass (vodka’s good), soda water and fresh lemon or lime. You’re keeping yourself hydrated with the soda water whilst still getting amongst it. Way, way better than sugar loaded lemonade or coke. Also avoid the cordials as the sugar there will feed the train wreck too.

Another good call is for every glass of alcohol, have the equivalent in a glass of water. Hydration, hydration, hydration. School boy error otherwise! Yes you’ll end up going to the bathroom more, but hey, there’s always an interesting conversation to be had with a drunk there.

Tactic #2 – Food

Strategy 1 – Eat before you go out. Gorge yourself on clean healthy food including loads of great natural fats. People might think you are a rabbit when you’re there, but it’s better than starving or caving in to the chips because you feel faint with hunger.

Having lot’s of food in your stomach too helps with alcohol (see tactic #1).

Strategy 2 – Especially if you missed the opportunity with strategy 1. Fill your plate full of food anyway, and just pick at the meat. Pray there’s fresh salmon there and leave the sausage roll on your plate. Bit like the drinking strategy, people won’t feel threatened by the fact that you actually care about what you put in your body, because they can see all the bad food on your plate.

Strategy 3 – Combine strategy 1 & 2 together. You may not be able to move on the dance floor, but you are still doing yourself a lot of favours for tactic #1!

Tactic #3 – Dips, Chips & Xmas Cake

Dips – I read an article on double dipping once and haven’t been able to shake the thought of it ever since. The dips become a breeding ground and you’re just inviting the unwanted in. If you’re gonna dip, be the first in and let everyone else spread the love!

Chips – These are what you call domino foods. All well and good picking on the odd chip to get that salty savoury fix, but as we both know, once you pop you can’t stop. A nice way of stocking up on those trans-fats (yes they are bad) and spiking blood sugar.

You could have one chip and go for the first dip, but this is a tricky art to master and much discipline is required.

Christmas Cake - Courtesy is needed here. I think there’s a big difference to spoiling yourself and having some cake Christmas day, to say, having a 3pm fix of it everyday for a week straight over the holiday period. When cake is handed out, you can:

A. Eat it. It is Christmas after all! For a healthy Xmas cake recipe alternative CLICK HERE.

B. I swear to god when I’m with family, they must think I need fattening up because the cake and chocolates continually come flying at me (love you guys). What I do in this situation is take a bite, resort to tactic #1 & strategy 2, float around the room mingling, then slip the plate off to one side when no-one is looking.

C. You could simply give the cake to someone else. I always feel a little guilty though as I know that sugar fix isn’t really doing them any favours!

Conclusion

Fun aside, I do think it’s important to let your hair down once in a while, I know I do. In saying that, when parties come at us thick and fast over the holiday season, it’s wise to have a few tactics up your sleeve and not cave into too much peer pressure.

For all you health nuts/foodies like myself out there, how do you handle the party season? Love to hear your thoughts, Guy

Need ideas for healthy festive treats? Try our healthy recipes here.

Healthier, Faster, Stronger; How I Cleaned Up My Diet

Rebecca-Creedy1

Guy: Make no mistake, Rebecca Creedy is one amazing athlete. Picking up gold, silver and bronze medals in the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth games in swimming, along with more recently winning the Australian IronWoman Championship and the World IronWoman Championship. I’m sure you would agree these are serious achievements! 

As you can imagine, Rebecca’s training regime is pretty intense, and of course, what comes with this is a hefty appetite! But with food intolerances starting to appear along with a few blood sugar issues, Rebecca started to look into the world of nutrition more and ‘clean up’ her diet a little. Naturally, this is where 180 came into the picture and we met Rebecca and got involved. There are some gems of information within this post and many lessons to take on board whether you are an elite athlete or not. Over to Rebecca…

My Clean Eating Journey

Rebecca Creedy: I’m sure most of you have heard the phrase “Clean Eating” and have your own general idea of what it means. For me as an athlete, I am always looking for ways to keep ahead of the pack and to speed up my recovery between sessions. As I’m getting older, this process was getting more and more difficult.

My Clean Eating journey started with me wanting to find a natural product that I could use to fuel my body and also help it recover after intense sessions. As you can imagine, I eat so much food that you have to look at simple ways of keeping your calories up. This is where supplementation can help. Sure, I was like most athletes and had a range of chemically formulated recovery powders and supplements to help me power on, but to be totally honest with myself, I felt they weren’t getting the job done as they may have in the past. I wanted something that my body could easily digest and absorb the nutrients as quickly as possible.

After reviewing an array of products, I came across 180 Nutrition. After trialling and loving the product I decided to delve into their website a bit more. I tried out those protein balls they have in their recipe section and I read the blog posts that are regularly updated on their website. I then approached the boys about being a 180 ambassador and this was when I started to think a little bit more about my general diet.

Since a young age I have always had problems with my blood sugar levels. Nothing too serious, but occasionally when I was training I would have to stop because I would start feeling completely depleted and I would feel shaky. As I have gotten older, these episodes have become more frequent and I have been diagnosed as hypoglycaemic. This was another push that has lead me down the cleaner eating pathway.

Where to Start

But where do I start? One thing that is very clear about “Clean Eating” is that it is NOT A DIET. I didn’t have a problem with my weight and I train 11 months of the year, so if fuelling my body was my goal, this had to be a consistent lifestyle change for me to reap the rewards. So I began by reducing my intake of certain products and swapping others. This included a massive reduction in the amount of pasta I was consuming.

Another was opting for gluten free cereals and reducing the frequency I was eating these cereals. I also moved away from the sugary processed flavoured yoghurts to the more natural pot-set ones (Jalna is my favourite). The milk in my fridge has been replaced with almond milk for my protein shakes and I have full cream milk in my morning latte. A big thing is always being prepared and thinking ahead. The above picture is one of my lunch boxes. I tend to make double at dinner so I have enough for lunch.

Make Small Changes For Success

By making these small changes, I found I didn’t even miss the old alternatives. More recently, I’ve decided to work on my usage of processed packaged items that we all use without thinking. Things like salad dressings, stir-fry sauces, tomato sauce and anything else that comes out of a jar or package at the supermarket. This change is happening a little more slowly. As something runs out in my cupboard, I do my research, read the labels and find a cleaner better version to replace it with.

One thing I have become obsessed with since decided to clean up my eating is reading food labels. It’s amazing how different the content of a product can be between brands. A good one is coconut milk. Next time you’re at the supermarket, check out the difference between the brands. The only one I seem to be able to find that in purely coconut milk without additives or preservatives is Ayam.

rebecca Creedy Ironwoman

There are so many alternatives to most products that are pre packaged on our shelves that are actually cheaper and tastier that the ones we so readily consume from the supermarket shelves. Given, they may require you to prepare them yourself with whole ingredients, but once you get the hang of how to make your own sauces and have the ingredients ready to go in the pantry, it will be as simple as opening the jar of “Chicken Tonight”. There are so many websites out there with a million recipes; new ideas are never far away.

The best way I have found to deal with a busy schedule is to make excess food in advance and always have snacks in the fridge and something frozen in the freezer. It does require a bit of pre planning but it makes eating on the go super quick and easy, which is essential for my busy lifestyle running between work and training!

Conclusion

Well for all those that are umming and ahhhing about there ability to make the switch, I urge you to have a go. It doesn’t have to happen overnight and overtime you can make decisions on weather you want to fully give up wheat and dairy further down the road, but start small, substitute here and there and see how you feel. Try reducing your sugar, wheat and dairy intake and get rid of those artificial, chemically enhanced flavours and preservatives and see the difference that it can make for you.

Clean up your diet with 180 for $14.95 here

 

What To Eat When On A Detox

Detox Foods List

By Guy Lawrence

If you follow our Facebook page, you may know that I am on an 8-10 week detox. I have a parasite that’s killed all my good bacteria, and has essentially affected my feng shui in the gut!

I am taking Metagenics supplements too, but these have been prescribed to me for a direct role related to my gut.

Why is this post relevant to you?

If you fancy implementing a clean eating plan for a few weeks, then the foods I’ve listed below will do the trick nicely.

For those of you that follow my blog, you’re probably aware I can’t do fluffy and nice to well, as I need to say it as it is. So if you think detoxing is buying some kind of tea from the chemist, or cutting out the potato chips for a limited time whilst ‘detoxing’, I apologise in advance. My purpose is honestly to educate and inspire, not to intimidate and throw it in the all too hard basket. But if you want the sugar coated topping without the real deal, buy a copy of a glossy magazine like No Idea.

One step at a time

For some just stopping alcohol for a month and having a cup of lemon tea is detoxing. Simply cutting out sugar or stopping that 3pm cookie fix is detoxing too. Whilst these are all fantastic and are steps in the right direction, I think it’s healthy to understand why you are doing it and the choices you are making. And if that’s where you need to start then go for it! Just don’t fall back to old ways after a week.

I feel I’ve surrounded myself with the best in the health business, and I am being guided all the way through my detox by Naturopath Tania Flack. So if you are looking to go the whole nine yards with a detox, I suggest you check out a local Naturopath in your area and be guided the right way too.

If not and you just fancy cleaning up your diet, then following my eating guidelines below will certainly help a great deal!

The detox foods I eat

Detox foodsTo make life easy I’ve grouped them into macronutrients; Protein, fat and carbs. I will combine all these foods to the best of my ability. I’m no Jamie Oliver, but I enjoy the challenge of the detox to make me think more creatively when it comes to what I can do with food.

Pic right: The difference between my creativity & Healthy Playful Living’s creativity whilst making detox friendly foods.

Main Source Of Animal Proteins

I will be having a palm size portion of these 1-2 times a day.

  • Fish
  • Grass fed beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Eggs (3 = 1 serve for me)

I will avoid eating:

  • Processed meats
  • Sausages
  • Pork
  • Bacon
  • Dairy – I only have limited dairy usually which is cream in my coffee, a little cheese in my omelette, butter & the grass fed WPI whey protein in the 180 Protein Superfood. I don’t drink milk. But all these are off limits for me for 8 weeks.

Main Source Of Plant Proteins

I will avoid eating:

  • Soy
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh

Main Source Of Fats

Essentially most fats from their raw natural sources

  • Coconut Oil (Will do all my cooking with this too)
  • Coconut milk & cream
  • Egg yolk
  • Olive oil (cold only)
  • Macadamia oil
  • Avocados & avocado oil
  • Liquid Metagenics Fish Oil
  • Fats from 180 Protein Superfood Vegan
  • Saturated fat from grass fed meat

I will avoid eating:

  • All fats in 95% of supermarket products (usually hydrogenated). This is a no-brainer and should be a priority whether you are on a detox or not! If you want to learn more about this, read David Gillespie’s book Toxic Oil. It’s a must!
  • Homogenised fats. i.e found in most full cream milk & chocolate. I avoid these anyway.
  • Butter & cream :( I Love my butter & cream, but it’s gone for 8 weeks due to the dairy free protocol. Margarine isn’t an option, & if it’s in your fridge go and throw it in the bin right now!

Main Source Of Carbohydrates

  • Green vegetables – Combination of cooked & raw with most meals
  • Coloured vegetables - Combination of cooked & raw with most meals
  • Sweet potato – I’ll have this after heavy exercise sessions
  • Pumpkin - I’ll have this after heavy exercise sessions
  • Quinoa - I’ll have this after heavy exercise sessions
  • Some legumes

Fruits I will eat:

  • Berries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Avocado – Knowledge is knowing it’s a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad :)

I will avoid eating:

  • All bread
  • Grains (unless listed)
  • All flour & pastries
  • Sugar (No-brainer)
  • White potato
  • Essentially 95% of supermarket products (Again, whether you are on a detox or not you should seriously consider these things)

Fruits:

  • I’ll avoid all other fruits except those listed above for the duration

So there you have it in a nutshell. I understand that I haven’t gone microscopic with the foods, but you get the idea. Feel free to share any recipes you have with me!

To make myself accountable, I am tracking my meals & progress over on:

- Instagram

- Twitter @180_Nutrition

- Facebook

Simply type #180detox into any of these 3 social media platforms search fields to see all.

Are you on a detox? What do you think a detox should look like? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, Guy

4 Ingredients Only: Super Simple Healthy Protein Ball Snacks

Super Simple Healthy Protein Ball Snacks

By Guy Lawrence

You will learn how simple it is to make these healthy protein ball snacks in this 20 second video from the lovely fitness model Angeline Norton.

You can also watch me make these healthy protein snacks here in this more in-depth 4 minute video.

This seriously doesn’t get any easier! You can easily tweak the ingredients to make them a paleo snack if you follow a strict paleo diet too.

  • 4 healthy ingredients
  • 5 minutes to prepare
  • Super healthy & delicious

More

My Date With Ayahuasca Part 4

By Guy Lawrence

“The only journey is the one within.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

No idea what I’m on about? Read My Date With Ayahuasca:

- Ayahuasca Part 1 Here
- Ayahuasca Part 2 Here
- Ayahuasca Part 3 Here

As I lay there with my eye mask on breathing steadily, I could start to hear people around me beginning to vomit. When was it my turn? My stomach had settled and so had my nerves. 20 minutes must have gone by and I still wasn’t sick, and by this point I wasn’t sure if I was going to be sick either. Was this right? Had the ayahuasca not worked?

I continued to focus on my breathing and kept an open heart with my total trust in the vine. The words of the Shaman were still with me and I was starting to relax. The leap of faith had been taken and there was no turning back now. More

My Date With Ayahuasca Part 3

By Guy Lawrence

“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom” – Mary Ferguson

No idea what I’m on about? Read My Date With Ayahuasca:

- Ayahuasca Part 1 Here
- Ayahuasca Part 2 Here

Along with the dietary changes that were required leading up to the ayahuasca, there were a few other recommendations too. I chose to start the rest of these requirements 10 days out as well:

  • Slow down. Start to ask yourself what these few days mean to you, where is your heart?
  • Start a daily meditation practice.
  • Resolve any conflict or issues with other people if you have any, as you don’t want to be carrying this in with you.
  • Avoid people, places and information that create negative energy. (Shopping malls, TV & mass media spring to mind!)

More

Protein Balls Recipe

paleo protein balls

By Guy Lawrence

Guy: I don’t think any words can describe how seriously tasty these protein balls recipe are! Think of all your good fats, natural proteins and unprocessed carbs rolled into one, that you just keep wanting more of… I’m sure you get the idea! Big thanks to Keira for the recipe. Word of warning though, only take what you want to eat for your 3pm fix, as you will scoff the lot otherwise! Over to Kiera…

Keira: I must admit, I am guilty for the 3pm afternoon sugar cravings. Thanks to my trainer, I normally forgo these cravings and go on a hunt for a protein smoothie of some sort. However, wanting a cheaper and easier option, I decided to give these little balls a go, and oh how this was a good idea!

These raw, protein packed, antioxidants rich 100% high protein vegan balls, are perfect for that little craving, without the complete and utter guilt that comes after consumption.

Ingredients

  • 13 dates
  • 1 ½ cup of raw almonds
  • 3 x 50g scoops of 180 Vegan protein SuperFood (or WPI)
  • 1 1/12 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoon water
  • 10 goji berries (soaked)
  • Handful of chia seeds
  • Handful of organic coconut flakes (ground)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Method

1. Pop the almonds, cacao, cinnamon, chia seeds and protein powder in a food processor, blitz until a crumbly texture occurs.

2. Combine the dates, blitz. Gradually add the coconut butter, water and goji berries until the mixture comes together.

3. Once all together, pop in fridge for 10 minutes.

4. After 10 minutes, roll a small bite size piece into a ball, and then roll in your choice of covering, I have covered these in ground coconut flakes.

Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The perfect high protein vegan amazeball!

You can learn more about Keira here.

Order 180 for your protein balls recipe here

The best homemade high protein paleo cookies

By Guy Lawrence

In this video I show you how simple it is to make the best homemade paleo cookies. Healthy and nutritious and can be prepared in under 10 minutes.

It’s easy to think of paleo recipes as lots of meat and veggies, but with a little bit of creativity you can have delicious snacks in no time at all fixing the 3pm munchies!

Prep’ time: 5-10min

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Oven temp’: 180°

  • 1 cup 180 Natural Protein Superfood (Chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup macadamias roughly chopped
  • 2 figs roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp mineral water
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins (or cranberries, or whatever fruit you prefer. This is the sugar of the dish so pick a flavor that suits you best. Raspberries would be amazing in the biscuits too!)

homemade paleo cookiesThese paleo cookies are amazing warm with a cuppa. Store them in the fridge in an air right container and enjoy your delicious paleo snacks. Yum!

Big thanks to Caroline Howe for the recipe! And if you enjoyed this recipe, we would appreciate the share on FaceBook… Cheers, Guy

Homemade paleo cookies transcript

180 Nutrition, Video Recipes

Guy: Hi. This is Guy of 180 Nutrition, and today I want to show you how to make a very
simple snack.

It’s a high-protein biscuit, and it’s going to be made from completely all-natural
ingredients: the ones I’m showing in front of you.

So, naturally, we’re going to be using 180 natural protein supplement. I’ve got chocolate 180 here, and of course you
can use the coconut as well.

All we need is one egg, some coconut oil, we’re using some chopped prunes, we’ve also
got; these are chopped macadamias and almonds. Your preference of choice.

Here’s nut meal, shredded coconut, almond paste, and some water. And I’m just about to
show you how simple all of this is.

OK. We’ve got a 50-gram scoop. The 50-gram scoop is gonna be two scoops of chocolate
180 protein supplement, like so.

Now, here’s the nut meal. The nut meal is roughly about half a scoop, give or take. OK?

And we’re gonna use a full scoop of coconut. Now, this stuff is not the easiest to scoop so
I might as well just tip some in. There you go. I’ve done it, right there.

And put in an egg. One egg.

Then, this is a dessert spoon so a dessert spoon, tablespoon, I know they’re similar. This
is just some fresh mineral water. Just a spoon of that.

And then we want two tablespoons of coconut oil. One. Two.

And two tablespoons of almond paste. Like so.

And then mix altogether.

Get a nice consistency.