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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

 

Which yogurt should I buy? Here are seven that I considered.

180 Nutrition Yogurt ReviewBy Guy Lawrence

Do you eat yogurt? I was absolutely amazed by how many yogurts were staring back at me on the shelves of my local supermarket the other day.

Every one of them was claiming great things! All the marketing buzzwords are there competing for you to pick them up and get scanned at the checkout. Ca-ching!

Digestion, prebiotic, bifidus prodigesis, actiregularis, low fat, 98% fat-free, no artificial colours (they forgot to mention flavouring though), and on and on they go.

After scanning the food labels of some of them I was inspired to buy a few and share my thoughts on them. From the brands I eat to ones I wouldn’t feed my cat with (if I had one of course).

Don’t be a duped consumer

A few things to consider before you buy your next yogurt:

1) If you were to obtain natural yogurt straight from the farm, then add a piece of fresh fruit, it would go rancid over the next few days as the yogurt would break the fruit down. Ever wondered why this does not happen on the supermarket shelves?

To overcome this, manufactures use stabilisers and preservatives… chemicals in other words. This is considered acceptable practise. Personally I avoid as many products as I can that contain chemicals, as they all add up.

add berries to your yogurtIf you like your yogurt with fruit, simply buy natural yogurt and mix in a spoonful of fresh berries. This is a much better alternative. I often do this and mix a serving of 180 Natural Protein SuperFood for a much healthier snack.

2) Something to think about… Approximately four years ago I spent a weekend involved with The Weston A Price Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt nutrition and education foundation.

They tested all the commercial leading brands of yogurt at the time for live bacteria and found most of them were dead as a doornail. Including the flavoured yogurts that claim differently!

The yogurts that did have a little bit of life in them where your full fat natural yogurts that have minimal ingredients, with Bornhoffen yogurt coming out on top.

That was four years ago, so I can’t speak for any of them now, but it’s certainly something I consider when I buy yogurt.

3) All dairy will naturally have a certain amount of sugar in it (lactose). When buying yogurt I also look at the sugar content per serve, not the fat content. I avoid any brand that claims to be fat-free. Why? As they have removed the fat to reduce the energy per gram and have replaced it with sugar. The sugar content is much higher in the flavoured yogurts than the full-fat natural yogurts.

yogurt_panelAs you can see by this picture (yogurt 7 on the list), they have even highlighted the fat and calcium to keep you distracted from the sugar content. (Click here to enlarge).

If you are genuinely concerned about your health or are trying to lose weight, reduce your sugar intake. Sugar is your enemy, not your sweet tasting friend. Keep your daily sugar intake low. Why compound it?

With this in mind, I’ve listed below 7 leading brands of yogurt and their sugar content. I stick to the top four listed when I eat yogurt.

5 stars1. Marrook Farm – Bio Dynamic Yogurt

Marrook_farm_yogurtI generally eat this yogurt when it’s in stock. Can be found in most small independent food stores. Not in many commercial supermarkets.

  • Sugar per 100g serve: 4.2g
  • Preservatives/flavourings: No

 

4.5 stars2. Bornhoffen – Natural Yogurt

Bornhoffen Yogurt ReviewCan be found in most commercial supermarkets. A bit higher in the sugar content but still a good option and happy what Weston.A.Price foundation had to say about it.

  • Sugar per 100g serve: 9g
  • Preservatives/flavourings: No

 

4.5 stars3. Jalna – Bio Dynamic Yogurt

Jalna Yogurt ReviewAnother good option. This is a European set style yogurt. Can be found in most commercial supermarkets.

  • Sugar per 100g serve: 4.1g
  • Preservatives/flavourings: No

 

3.5 stars4. Farmers Union – Greek Style Yogurt

farmers_union_greek

Very creamy and tasty. Can be found in most commercial supermarkets. A bit higher in the sugar content but still a good option.

  • Sugar per 100g serve: 7.2g
  • Preservatives/flavourings: No

 

1 star5. Ski – Activ

ski_activ

I don’t see what is active about it when loaded with preservatives. Can be found in most commercial supermarkets. High sugar content and contains preservatives/flavourings. I do not eat this.

  • Sugar per 100g serve: 12.5g
  • Preservatives/flavourings: Yes

1 star6. Dannon – Activia

dannon-activia-yogurt

Claims to be full of live culture which I struggle to believe. Can be found in most commercial supermarkets. High sugar content and contains preservatives/flavourings. I do not eat this.

  • Sugar per 100g serve: 13.2g
  • Preservatives/flavourings: Yes

 

7. Dairy Farmers – Thick & Creamy

dairy_farmers

How can it be creamy when they’ve removed the fat? I don’t like the deceptive food label on the back either. Can be found in most commercial supermarkets. High sugar content and contains preservatives/flavourings. I do not eat this.

  • Sugar per 100g serve: 15g
  • Preservatives/flavourings: Yes

There are many yogurts I haven’t mentioned as the list would be extremely long, including local alternative yogurts. But you get the general idea. If you eat yogurt I’d love to hear your thoughts on the brands you eat and why?

How to Supercharge Your Yogurt in Under 60 Seconds…

best yogurt breakfastWhile yogurt can make a tasty snack, it really doesn’t cut it as a nutritious breakfast or meal replacement. Try this easy recipe and quickly transform your favourite yogurt into a superfood brimming with protein, great fats, vitamins and minerals.

  • 100g of your favourite yogurt
  • 1 scoop of 180 Natural Protein Superfood
  • Handful of your favourite berries
  • Mix together with a spoon and enjoy :)

Order 180 Superfood for your yogurt here