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Eating Nuts… Will They Make Me Fat, How Many, Which Ones? End The Confusion Here.

health benefits of nuts

Guy: If ever there was a post that needed to be written for our blog, I think it would be this one. Even though eating nuts can come with some great benefits, there is often much confusion and misinterpretation too. From fear of making us fat to the newly converted clean eater who has taken up ‘paleo’, who eats nuts by the bucket load as they’ve ran out of snack ideas, this post covers the do’s and don’ts of the nut world.

So if you are wanting the low down nuts, that take five minutes and enjoy this post by naturopath Lynda Griparic. Over to Lynda…

Lynda: Are nuts really that healthy? Can they be eaten on a weight loss program? What about phytic acid? Are nuts too high in omega 6? Are nuts too high in carbs? How much is too much?

These are questions I get asked all the time. Let me pre-empt this article by saying that this is a broad view. You may need to tweak your nut consumption to suit your individual needs. At the very least I hope to reduce your fears and confusion about these multicultural babes.

In general, most nuts;

  • Support cardiovascular health
  • Extend your lifespan
  • Improve lipid profile;lower low density lipoproteins (LDL) and improve high density lipoproteins (HDL) levels.
  • Reduce risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Improve antioxidant and nutrient status
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Contain a moderate amount of protein
  • And for the most part are a good source of fibre

Before we get nut specific let’s chat about phytic acid (aka phytate). Phytic acid is found in many plants, especially the bran or hull of grains, nuts and seeds. Unfortunately humans cannot digest phytic acid which is a problem because phytic acid binds to minerals such as iron and zinc in food preventing their absorption. Phytic acid disrupts the function of digestive enzymes such as pepsin, amylase and trypsin. These enzymes are required for the breakdown of proteins and starch in our food. A diet rich in phytates, such as grains can cause mineral deficiencies. Some of the phytic acid content can be broken down by soaking and roasting. On a more positive note phytic acid may have anti-cancer properties and can be converted to beneficial compounds in the gut.

How many nuts can I eat a day?

A loaded question that depends on a few factors;

  • your metabolic health and weight
  • your mineral and general health status
  • if you have any serious digestive issues
  • your nut preparation: soaking, dehydrating, roasting before consumption

Those with serious digestive issues may do better avoiding nut flour and nut butters. Even though nut flour does not contain much phytic acid because they are made from blanched nuts and phytates are found in the skin, many find it hard to digest nut flour in large amounts. Nut butters are often made from unsoaked nuts, making their phytic acid levels relatively high.

For most people with a low phytic acid diet, a handful of well prepared nuts daily would be a great addition, providing many amazing health benefits as you’ll soon see.

Which Nuts Should I Invest In?

Here is a list of the most popular nuts along with their pros and cons. If you are simply looking for weight loss tips, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nutsI must start with my all time favourite nut, the macadamia. No doubt, many feel the same. For starters macadamias simply taste amazing. They are buttery in texture and flavour, are amazing in raw desserts and offer much goodness such as healthy fats mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), followed by Linoleic acid (LA), Alpha-linolenic acid ALA and saturated fats (SFA). They are low in carbohydrate, harmful Omega 6 fats, phytic acid (no need for soaking) and pesticide residue and contain Vitamin B1, copper, iron and a fair whack of manganese (think bone and thyroid health). Great for those creaky knees. They are worth every pricey penny. Just be mindful of overconsumption. I find these guys slightly addictive. Stopping at a handful may be tricky :)

Interesting fact: Macs have been shown to improve lipid profile; reduce total cholesterol, low density lipoproteins (LDL) as well as increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and may reduce inflammation and prevent coronary heart disease. Macadamias have around the same amount of the health promoting monounsaturated fat, oleic acid as olives.

Almonds

AlmondsAlmonds in moderation are amazing. They contain quality protein, fibre, healthy fats, namely MUFA, LA and SFA. They are rich in vitamin E, B2, copper, l-arginine, magnesium and manganese. The downside to almonds aside from our inability to control the amount we consume is their high phytate content. Soaking for around 12 hours and or roasting can help reduce these levels or purchase skinless almonds where possible.

Interesting fact: almonds and almond skins are rich in fibre and other components which support your gut flora (microbiome) and act as a prebiotic. Almond consumption can improve lipid profile, reducing total cholesterol and LDL. Almonds may also improve blood sugar balance and reduce appetite when eaten as a snack. The l-arginine content in almonds offer many cardiovascular health benefits. The almond skin is typically rich in antioxidants (polyphenols, flavonoids). In fact approx 30g of almonds have a similar amount of polyphenols as a cup of green tea or steamed broccoli.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil NutsSeriously great tasting, slightly sweet nuts that are mostly known for their selenium rich bodies. Per 30g they are comprised of 88% selenium. They are a good source of healthy fats (MUFA, LA, SFA). Are low in carbs and rich in other nutrients such as copper, magnesium, manganese and B1. A little bit goes a long way with these nuts, which is just as well because they are not the cheapest nut out there. A modest brazil nut or two a day will give you a good dose of selenium. Selenium is an extremely important antioxidant essential for thyroid health and for a healthy immune and cardiovascular system. It’s worth mentioning that Brazil nuts are high in phytates however eating small amounts to get your selenium and nutrient dose should not cause a problem.

Interesting fact: at small doses these nuts can improve selenium levels in the body. They are also a great anti-inflammatory food with the capacity to improve lipid profiles.

Cashews

Cashew NutsAnother dangerously delicious nut, creamy and sweet in texture and flavour. These nuts do not have as amazing nutrient profile as some of its nut colleagues but alas they do make for a great cheese substitute. Think raw cheesecake.

They are a little higher in carbs than the other nuts averaging around 8.6g per 30g. They contain healthy fats, quality protein, B1, copper, manganese, iron, magnesium and zinc. These guys are notorious for being over consumed and causing allergic reactions. You can soak cashews for 2-4hours.

Chestnuts

ChestnutsChestnuts are in a little league of their own. They are quite starchy in comparison to their fatty friends containing around 22 g of carbs per 30g. They are low in fat and protein and contain copper, manganese, Vitamin B6 and folate.

They are however low in phytates and are quite flavoursome raw, roasted or steamed. I would treat these guys as you would a starch and have them in moderation.

Hazelnuts

HazelnutsHazelnuts, also known as filberts, are not a popular nut, unless you consider Nutella your hazelnut source. God knows why, because roasting these and sprinkling them onto salads makes for an an amazing experience. They might be worth your attention though given their nutrient profile. Hazelnuts are rich in healthy fats (MUFA, LA, SFA), manganese, copper, vitamin E and have a decent amount of magnesium and iron. Hazelnuts have moderate levels of phytates and can be soaked for 8-12 hours.

Interesting fact: Hazelnut skins are rich in antioxidants (polyphenols) with total antioxidant capacity richer than dark chocolate, espresso coffee and blackberries. As most nuts they have the capacity to improve cardiovascular health, lipid profiles, reducing LDL and may have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Pecans

Pecan nutsPecans are an underrated, under-consumed nut and another favourite of mine. These quirky looking nutrient giants are packed full of antioxidants, healthy fats (MUFA, LA, SFA) with a decent whack of fibre and nice dose of protein, manganese, copper, B1 and Zinc. Apparently pecans have the highest level of antioxidants of any nut. You can soak pecans for 6 hours.

Interesting fact: aside from their impressive antioxidant status, whole pecans are fantastic for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress and improving lipid profile. Try them in your salads, have them raw or activated. Pecans are the nuts that make my raw brownies a healthy signature dessert. CLICK HERE for Healthy Pecan Chocolate Brownie Recipe.

Pine Nuts

Pine NutsPine nuts play a starring role in any good pesto and taste amazing, raw or toasted on salads. They are rarely eaten as a snack and are a wee bit pricey due to the labour intensive harvesting process. As most nuts, pine nuts contain healthy fats and other vitamins and minerals namely manganese, vitamin B1, copper, magnesium and zinc. You can soak pine nuts for a few hours.

Interesting fact: Pine nuts may suppress the appetite and lower LDL levels. Some may be prone to “Pine mouth”, a condition caused by pine nut consumption that makes everything you eat taste bitter and metallic.

Pistachios

Pistachio nutsPistachios look aged and strange and often come with a barrage of complaints such as “there is not enough nut-meat in the shell” and “the darn shell won’t open”. I dare say though that they are worth the effort for both taste and benefits. They are low in phytic acid and you can soak them for up to 8 hours.

Interesting fact: Pistachios act as a natural prebiotic (even more so than almonds) because of its non-digestible food components such as dietary fiber. This fibre stays in the gut and feeds our good bacteria, stimulating their growth. They also contain phytochemicals that have the potential to positively improve the balance and diversity of your gut microbiome.

Pistachios are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese and a good source of phosphorus and thiamin. Pistachios have the potential to significantly improve lipid profiles and blood sugar status so are a great addition to those individuals who already have or want to prevent diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Walnuts

WalnutsMany primal eating folk have ditched the walnuts concerned that they are too high in Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAS) and contain unstable linoleic acid. You may want to un-banish your banish though as walnuts really do have an impressive nutrient profile and eaten every so often can be a valuable and delicious addition to the healthy diet of most.

Walnuts are a good source of copper, manganese and magnesium. They also contain protein, iron and as mentioned before are quite high in PUFA but if your diet as a whole has a significant amount of Omega 3’s and is relatively low in Omega 6 from other sources (seed oils etc) you should be fine. They are moderately high in phytates and can go rancid quite quickly so buy small quantities from a trusted supplier and store unshelled walnuts in the fridge or freezer. You can soak walnuts for around 4 hours. If you are feeling adventurous and do not mind the somewhat bitter taste eat the skin as up to 90 per cent of the antioxidants are found there.

Interesting fact: Walnuts are capable of supporting cardiovascular health by improving lipid profile (reducing LDL) and reducing blood pressure.

Peanuts

PeanutsIt would be fair to say most people reading this post has got stuck into a bowl of salted peanuts in their time! Would you believe these guys are actually legumes? Sadly there are a few things going against this legume/peanut. For starters peanuts are a common allergen for people. They contain aflatoxin (harmful to the liver) and are often heavily sprayed with pesticides.

The salted variety of peanuts are also a domino food. Very easy to over consume if you’re not careful! I would avoid regular consumption.

Conclusion (& weight loss tips)

In a nutshell (Oh yes I just went there). Given the extensive positive research out there, I believe that a handful (around 2 heaped tablespoons) of well prepared, good quality nuts daily would be a valuable part of a healthy diet and in most cases support fat loss, cardiovascular health and blood sugar irregularities. In fact studies have shown that nut eaters tend to be leaner, more physically active and non smokers.

The problem is stopping at a handful. If you struggle with self control when it comes to nuts try the following to avoid overconsumption.

Weight Loss Tips

If your goal is weight loss and not just health maintenance, then you should bare in mind the following tips.

- Be selective with which nuts you choose to stock: choose nuts with a decent amount of fibre and low carb such as almonds and pecans and stay clear of cashews.

- Avoid nut butters: they are ridiculously good and rarely do we stop at a tablespoon, let’s face it.

- Leave the skins on. Its where you may find protective antioxidants and fibre.

- Buy nuts with shells. If it takes time and effort to de-shell you are more likely to consume less.

- Buy small quantities to avoid temptation. This also ensures your stash does not go rancid too quickly.

- Rather than have a handful, get your quota by popping them on your salads, on top of fish and other meals.

- Chestnuts: probably not a nut to eat by the handful given their starchy profile. Treat them as you would starchy vegetables in your diet.

- They are small snacks. Treat nuts as you would snacks not a main course.

Did you enjoy this post or find it helpful? Do you eat nuts? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below…

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

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Easy Breakfast Smoothies for Weight Loss

Easy Breakfast Smoothies for Weight Loss

So you are looking for an easy breakfast smoothie for weight loss that you can whip up in minutes? You’ve been told your whole life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but you’ve probably received mixed messages about just what this meal should entail over the years. The food pyramid somehow led to a childhood obesity epidemic, and people today still have a strange misconception that eating processed carbohydrates loaded with refined sugars such as cereal and toast with jelly is a nutritious way to start the day.

Fortunately, science is far ahead of the USDA, and 180 Nutrition has dozens of recipes including breakfast smoothies that can help with your weight loss plans and promoting general good health using our Protein Superfood Formulas.

Why 180 Smoothies?

The 180 Protein Superfood formula comprises 11 natural ingredients grounded into a fine powder with protein isolated from either whey (wpi) or peas in the vegan version. The resulting mixture contains proteins, fibers and fats essential to maintaining a healthy body weight, help digestive function and prevents bloating and constipation. Available in coconut or chocolate flavours, the Superfood formula can be blended into smoothies or cooked into baked goods. Best of all, the 180 Protein Superfood has no gluten and none of the chemicals that you’ll find in other protein supplements; all of our ingredients come from natural ingredients you’ve heard of and can pronounce.

Easy Breakfast Smoothies for Weight Loss

Banana Berry Protein: A potassium rich way to start the day, just add berries, water and the coconut Superfood formula.

Nourish Me Breakfast Smoothie: Blend our chocolate Superfood formula with avocado, yogurt and berries for a hearty breakfast that’ll keep you full until lunch time. Add almond or coconut milk for a creamier taste.

Ginger Snap Cookie Smoothie: Yes, this smoothie does taste like a gingersnap cookie, and it rightfully deserves a spot on a list of easy breakfast smoothies for weight loss. Mangoes, ginger, walnuts, cinnamon and two scoops of coconut Superfood powder blended with coconut water and a few other ingredients go into making this sweet smoothie the perfect solution for someone who always wakes up with a sweet tooth.

Green Cleaning Smoothie: Fresh mint and parsley leaves add a bittersweet tang to vitamin rich celery, spinach and kale when combined with coconut Superfood powder and liquids. This smoothie will set your digestive tract to peak performance for the day while giving you a flood of natural plant energy to stay focused on the tasks at hand.

High Protein Breakfast Smoothie: Whether you’re training for a championship fight or just trying to lose weight by incorporating more protein into your diet, this tincture of two or three heaping spoonfuls of Superfood plus a raw egg, yogurt and berries of your choice will kick your metabolism into high gear.

Take a look around our website for more information about the science behind the 180 Superfood formula and dozens of other recipes for healthy smoothies and baked treats!

fuel your body with powerful, natural and nourishing foods ** click here **

4 Biggest & Most Common Breakfast Mistakes You Really Need to Avoid

biggest breakfast mistakes

Lynda: In my opinion tucking into a highly nutritious breakfast with awareness is crucial for premium health. Through many years of personal and patient experimentation I believe that what and how we choose to ‘break our fast’ can either set us up for a day doused with food cravings, lack of focus, low mood and lethargy or one laced with clear thinking, balanced emotions, balanced blood sugar levels, energy and good digestion.

The following are my top suggestions to consider when deciding whether to indulge in a breakfast fit for a king/queen or one fit for a pauper.

1. Eating Disguised ‘Healthy’ Breakfast Cereals

food myths breakfast cerealIn essence, we are talking about cereals packaged/processed convenience foods. When did pulverising cereal into drinkable poppers and cardboard boxes of weird looking food particles become appealing? Have we moved away from real food that much?

Let me ask you, do you dislike flavours, textures and eating in general? Then why choose food without soul, those that add little or no nutritional value for your body and mind? Food is fuel for the body, but that does not mean we need to disguise it as garden pellets in premium priced cardboard and quickly funnel it into the gob with a straw. 

Highly processed, packaged foods are often rich in toxic chemicals, sugar, inferior carbohydrates, harmful fats and have little or no good quality protein. Want a tired, lack lustre, dull mind and body that struggles to get moving? One that does not comply with your needs and desires, then take the packaged, processed route. If you crave more energy, clearer thinking, a life well lived and dropping dead quickly rather than a life laden with chronic illness and frustration then opt for real food. Food that may take a tiny bit of effort to prepare but fuel that scratches your back and looks after you long term.

Keep it real, stop paying for clever marketing, save your dollars, invest in your health and enjoy what pristine health without illness feels and tastes like… Capish?

2. Adding the Sweet Stuff

biggest breakfast mistakesDid you grow up on toast, jam, muesli, cereal, coloured, flavoured milk, muffins and milo? Me too. Well it was more that I associated breakfast with these kinds of foods. Sweet and often laced with gluten.

When I ask some patients to take the gluten, processed foods and sugar out from their diet, the most common statement expressed is “What the hell will I have for breakfast then?” Why not have a meal that you would have for lunch or dinner for breakfast?

It is not uncommon for me to have a protein source such as a fillet of fish, sardines, mackerel, grass fed lamb, beef etc with vegetables and a healthy fat source. For example sardines with a simple side of avocado, asparagus or spinach. Leftovers from dinner also make a fabulous breakfast option. Last nights grass fed lamb mince and veg casserole makes me a satisfied woman indeed. Change your perception and you’ll have a broader range of fabulous, healthy foods to choose from. It really is that simple. Think outside of that sweet-box, open your palate and start playing with variety.

Does a piece of toast with strawberry jam keep you satiated and focused until lunch time? I didn’t think so. A meal made up like this, with a hefty dose of inferior carbohydrates, sugar, no protein or fat will not provide the fuel needed to support healthy brain function, stabilize your blood sugar levels and will certainly have you ravenous within the next couple of hours.  Put simply your attention and focus will be weak, your mood may be low, your hunger rife and energy unpredictable. Now wouldn’t you rather use that brain fuel on more important things than thinking about how you can satiate your hunger. That to-do-list will never get done now will it? Stabilize your blood sugar with well rounded meal choices and therefore stabilize your mood, energy and cravings.

3. No breakfast

low calorie dietHaving a nutritious breakfast is ideal for a healthy metabolism. If you miss breakfast you might find yourself lacking focus, feeling lethargic and unable to concentrate. You may also find yourself reaching for packaged, processed, convenience meals mid morning or even over consuming during lunch. A recent study has shown that up to 17% of those who ate breakfast did not consume as much food or beverages during lunch.

Missing breakfast leads to unbalanced cravings. Those who skip breakfast tend to consume 40% more sugar during the day and 45% less vegetables. Cravings, high sugar and lack of nutrients will compromise your overall health. You may experience low mood, a foggy mind, poor memory, concentration, weight gain, morbid obesity, digestive issues and chronic, long term illness.

Studies have shown that skipping breakfast causes insulin resistance. This can affect our body’s ability to burn fat for energy and can certainly increase your risk of diabetes. Furthermore it decreases your sensitivity to insulin at your next meal. Which means you would need to make sure that you are consuming low glycaemic index foods at your next meal. Those who eat breakfast have a much lower rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals which protects them from heart disease and diabetes and supports fat loss also.

The body thrives on good nutrition soon after you get up because it has essentially fasted during the night and your glycogen stores are very low. Choose your food wisely. Avoid foods that do not digest and absorb easily, such as processed carbohydrates and sugar. Meals that are rich in fibre, fat and moderate protein are best. Organic eggs, avocado and sweet potato is one example or a smoothie with protein (180 nutrition protein powder is great for this), avocado, coconut water, cacao and berries are great options and will give your body the ammunition it needs to control hunger and cravings.

Food choices like these and having breakfast reverse the bodies desire to store fat because it helps to keep your insulin levels from spiking. Instead the body will use fat for energy. You are better able to manage your health, fitness and weight, your blood sugar can be controlled and you increase the level of your metabolic hormone, incretin which positively impacts your health by decreasing blood glucose levels.

4. Eating on the run

exercise window weight lossScoffing down food or eating whilst the body is literally moving is an enemy of digestion. Personally  I struggle with this one. Just call me hoover… a Dyson perhaps. If you are anything like me you are often in a “syhurry” (sydney-hurry), early work starts, early yoga session, early meetings and excitable, overachieving ant in pant syndrome that has been there for years.

The process of chewing is an extremely important part of digestion. Chewing allows big particles of food to be broken down into smaller particles that your body can absorb and use. To shirk on proper chewing is no different to starting a game of rugby without the kick off. Gasp! I shudder at the thought? The entire game would be cursed. Minimal chew means cursed digestion and elimination.

Foods that are not broken down well enter the blood stream and can cause a wide range of health problems. These undigested particles can also feed harmful bacteria and fungi. Your body retains much more nutrients if you chew more and less is lost.

Chewing slowly will help you maintain a healthy weight. Your brain will have enough time (generally around 20 minutes) to communicate with the stomach that it is full. As a result you are less likely to over-consume and have more control over your portion sizes.

Taking the time to chew your food properly improves your digestion in many ways. Your saliva contains digestive enzymes, such as lingual lipase which helps break down fats. Exposing the food you eat to these enzymes support the digestive processes in your stomach and small intestine. Saliva also lubricates food which makes its passage through your esophagus easier. The process of chewing predigests and liquefies your food into smaller particles, making it easier to digest for use in your body. 

Improperly chewed foods require a lot of energy to be broken down and is quite demanding on the body. Large particles of improperly chewed food may remain undigested when it enters your intestines. These particles will putrefy (rot) and lead to a host of digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, bad breath, pain and cramping.

Just the simple act of spending an extra 5 minutes when eating your meal can make a big difference.

In summary, if you would like to welcome more energy, vitality and overall good health into your life I suggest breaking your fast with a highly nutritious meal and enjoying every morsel for at least a month. Reap the rewards and no doubt you’ll create a new habit that your body and mind will thank you for.

Lynda Griparic NaturopathLynda is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry.

Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Discover more 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

 

My Top 10 Go-To Herbs & Spices That Increase Vitality

Herbs and Spices

By Angela Greely

Angela: One of the first things I do with patients when starting a clean eating diet is clear out their pantry. Which can be full of condiments high in Omega 6 oils, sugar, colours and preservatives. Nature has provided so many wonderful herbs and spices to enhance our food with great flavours and they have amazing health benefits! Here is my top 10: More

Curb Those Cravings With the Best Healthy Homemade Chocolate Fix Ever!

healthy chocolate

Guy: I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t like chocolate. In saying that, there’s a vast difference between snapping off a small square to fire off those taste buds, to devouring a whole block whilst watching the Biggest Loser!

Being that it’s Easter and chocolate consumption goes into overdrive, we wanted to fly the flag of the tasty bean and share with you the star studded benefits of cocoa, along with what to look for and what we do, and then down to the stuff that well, let’s just say it needs to be avoided. Over to Angela…

Angela: I LOVE chocolate, good chocolate that is! What I mean is chocolate that contains high levels of cocoa. So I’m talking about good quality dark chocolate. Cocoa has been used medicinally for over 2 thousand years. It’s not just magical on the taste buds!

The Health Benefits of Cocoa

  • Stimulates digestion – because of the bitter taste
  • High in antioxidants – contains more than 600 plant chemicals that protect against heart disease and cancer. Higher than goji, acai and blueberries.
  • Used in the treatment of: fatigue, fever, heart pain, shortness of breath, kidney and bowel complaints
  • Can elevate mood – great source of serotonin, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethylamine (PEA), four well-studied neurotransmitters, which are associated with feelings of well being and help alleviate depression

Cocoa contains vitamins E and B, chromium, iron, magnesium and potassium. The bitter taste of cocoa in dark chocolate only makes you only want a few pieces, so you naturally limit yourself. Where as milk chocolate contains low levels of cocoa, high levels of sugar and usually artificial colours and flavours. The high levels of sugar make you want to eat the whole bar.

Tip #1 Choc’ Fix – Make a simple paste

coconut healthy chocolateThis works a treat for snacking on a quick healthy fix! Simply mix a heaped tablespoon of raw cocoa with melted coconut oil until you’ve got a nice consistent paste. Enough to satisfy a seasoned chocoholic and wipe those cravings out instantly, making it an awesome little snack.

If you have a sweet tooth and you are slowly weaning yourself off the sweet poison, add a tiny bit of stevia or 1/4 of tsp of rice malt (it’s fructose free).

Tip #2 Choc’ Fix – The 180 chocolate & berries hit

chocolate mousseWe use cocoa in our chocolate flavoured protein powder. When I’m feeling chocolate urges I often pour over ½ scoop on top of yoghurt and berries. Yummo!

This literally takes less than a minute to whip up! Then I’m getting the health benefits of cocoa without any sugar.

How to pick the right chocolate bar

The things you need to look at when picking chocolate is the % of cocoa. I avoid milk and white chocolate because of the low levels of cocoa and high levels of sugar. Just because the chocolate says dark does not mean it’s high in cocoa. A lot of the dark flavoured chocolate has less than 50% cocoa. I would look for 70% and above. The less cocoa the more sugar. Also be aware of any artificial colours and flavours. I always try and buy fair trade to protect the workers against unfair conditions. These are the things to look for in the ingredients:

  • Cane Sugar Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Low GI
  • Vegan
  • Fair Trade

Conclusion

Have a wonderful Easter and enjoy eating chocolate high in Cocoa. I’m off to have a 180 chocolate fix

180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Bars

Introducing the new 180 Superfood Protein Bars. The formula you love is available in both chocolate & coconut flavours (chemical & gluten free of course).

These new bars are so nutritious and filling that they are available in a convenient 50g size. They come in boxes of 10 and we know you’ll love the great new taste.

180 nutrition superfood protein bars

Stu Cooke, Co-Founder 180 Nutrition

After months of planning and mountains of phone calls and emails, the team at 180 Nutrition are proud to offer the all new 180 Superfood Protein Bar. While we continue to love our 180 recipes and smoothies, we also recognise that managing a healthy diet can be a challenge when the pressures of life and work come into play.

The new 180 Superfood Protein Bars are:

  • Lower in carbohydrates & sugar
  • Packed with more nutritious ingredients
  • Higher in natural fibre for healthy digestion
  • Softer than before with a great new texture
  • Even more delicious (we listened to your comments)

Say Hi To Our New Ingredients

Let’s face it – the majority of snack/sports bars available today suffer from the same problems as their powdered counterparts – low grade ingredients, artificial additives, preservatives and a list of chemicals that you need a PhD to understand.

180 Nutrition are not on a mission to add as many different ingredients as possible to our products. Good nutrition is quite simple and you know us – we believe that nature can provide all the nutrition your body needs.

This is what we added to the Original 180 Superfood Formula to build the new bars (individual bar flavours contain different ingredients):

  • Chicory Root

    Chicory Root

    Chicory root is a natural source of fibre which is a prebiotic. It aids a healthy digestion and also contains anti-inflammatory properties.

  • organic cacao butter

    Organic Cacao Butter

    Cocoa butter is a beautifully healthy fat that contains antioxidants which are beneficial for improving immunity and lowering inflammation.

  • Organic Cacao Nibs

    Organic Cacao Nibs

    A true superfood as cacao nibs have more antioxidant activity than tea, wine, blueberries and even goji berries while tasting amazing.

  • Organic Coconut Oil

    Organic Coconut Oil

    Need we say any more about coconut oil as the benefits are so plentiful and amazing from this well researched natural superfood.

  • Dates

    Dates

    Natures energy boosters are a good source of insoluble and soluble fibre and packed full of vitamins and minerals.

money back guaranteeWe believe so strongly in our products that we offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied for any reason with your purchase of our products simply contact us and we will arrange for a 100% refund.Love it or send it back, no questions asked.
 

The best protein powder for weight loss

Super Protein powderBy Guy Lawrence

If you are looking for the best protein powder that guarantees weight loss by simply consuming a weight loss protein powder, you have come to the wrong place.

No miracle cures or unhealthy rapid weight loss promises will be found on this website.

If you are looking for a protein powder that has artificial enhancing flavours, sugars or aspartame sweeteners to create the taste, we suggest you shop elsewhere (no offence intended).

But if you are looking to improve your health over time whilst understanding weight loss with good health is a life style and not a quick fix, then stick around.

We are nice chaps here at 180 nutrition and our website is a great resource for anyone that cares about what they put in their body.

We suggest the following before buying a protein powder for weight loss:

The Key To Better Health

In plain English, eat protein, natural fats and low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates for each meal. It should be high fibre, organic when possible, all your garden vegetables, especially greens, certain low GI fruits (berries are good), unprocessed meets, nuts, seeds, little starch and NO SUGAR!

Food is perishable, and not made to be processed, it was designed that way. Anything with an extra long shelf life is probably processed, be suspicious. Modern diets are ill suited for our genetic composition. Evolution has not kept pace with the advances in agriculture and food processing resulting in a plague of health problems for modern man.

If you follow these simple rules to food, and combine them with exercise, you’ll be amazed with the results. Your body will be extremely grateful.

Improve your diet for pregnancy

diet_for_pregnancyBy Guy Lawrence

Eating a healthy diet on a daily basis can be confusing at the best of times, especially if you want to improve your diet for pregnancy. During pregnancy and breastfeeding it can be overwhelming and a little scary on whether you are making the right nutritional choices for a healthy pre/post pregnancy diet. Depending on what you are eating on a daily basis it is possible that you may not be meeting your nutritional requirements for good health.

How well you eat during and after pregnancy will have a big impact on you and your baby’s health.

Improving your diet for pregnancy

As you can imagine, your nutritional requirements dramatically increase during pregnancy. Your baby needs the extra nutrients to grow and develop with all available nutrients going to the baby first… and you second. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies that can leave you feeling tired and run down during pregnancy and result in a slower recovery.

With this in mind, each meal needs to be nutrient rich to cope with the increased nutritional demands.

180 Natural Protein Superfood will help you meet those needs. All of our ingredients are derived from natural food sources making it a fantastic source of nutrition to help you get those extra nutrients and valuable proteins daily. Protein is an essential macro-nutrient (from the protein, fat and carbohydrate family) needed for optimum health, it is even more essential during pregnancy.

If you believe that 100% natural ingredients are better for you than products packed with preservatives, chemicals, artificial flavours and colours… then you are in the right place as 180 Natural Protein Superfood ticks all of those boxes.

natural ingredients

It is completely free of all synthetic ingredients, sugars & preservatives. A whole-food protein supplement that contains essential micro-nutrients, fatty acids, antioxidants and fibre to assist metabolic rates and keep your digestive system functioning at optimum levels, a whole-food protein supplement that is actually healthy for you!

You can simply take 180 as a smoothie for breakfast with your favourite fruit which can be prepared in under 2 minutes or snack on it throughout the day. We have dozens of healthy recipes for you to choose from here.

If you would like to learn more about our all natural protein superfood, you can watch our short video here.