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Beginners Guide to Making Kombucha

Beginners Guide to Making Kombucha

Angela: No doubt about it, kombucha is a fantastic alternative to sugar loaded fizzy drinks for the whole family. I was gifted a scoby (looks like a slimy giant mushroom) a few months ago to start brewing my own kombucha. I was super excited. I had no idea it would be so easy. I picked up my scoby ready to start and carried it home like a prize cow…

What is Kombucha?

What is Kombucha I hear you say! It’s a fizzy and fermented cold tea historically drunk in China, Russia and Germany. It’s made by feeding a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) sugar and caffeine which produces a fermented tea drink. The drink contains B vitamins and loads of bacteria and yeast which promotes good gut health by balancing gut flora. Our gut flora is so important. 70% of our immune system is housed in our gut, so an important one to nurture. It’s easy to make and tastes awesome, a bit like ginger beer (slightly sweet and vinegary).

Why is it Good for You?

There are no conclusive studies confirming the health benefits of Kombucha. A research conducted in Russia at the beginning of the century and testimonials indicate that Kombucha can:

  • Improve resistance against cancer
  • Prevent cardiovascular diseases
  • Promote digestive functions
  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Reduce inflammatory problems

I find it really good for sugar cravings. A glass of the goodness makes them go away.

Things to Note

There have been reports of adverse effects, such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions. I think this comes down to home brewed kombucha. If making it at home, be sure they are under sterile conditions. Also always use a glass jar, not ceramic pots as the acid in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze. One study I read noted that if you have immunosuppression you should preferably consume controlled commercial Kombucha.

The 8 Simple Steps to Making Kombucha

These instructions are for a 4 litre jar:

1. Wash your hands (be sure there is no soap left on your hands)

2. Take the scoby out of the jar and place in a bowl, cover with a few cups of the liquid

3. With the rest of the liquid strain into glass jars/bottles, you can leave out of the fridge in airtight containers to become fizzier if you want, I usually leave out for one-to-two days for this reason

4. Sterilise the jar and make sure you rinse all the soap off

5. Place the jar into the sink (just in case it breaks with the boiling hot water), fill up the jar with boiling hot water leave enough room for the scoby and the liquid

6. Add 9 tea bags (normal black tea) and 3/4 cup sugar give it a good stir

7. After about 5- 10 mins take out the bags and once COOL or room temp place the scoby and liquid back in and cover with a breathable cloth

8. Leave for 7 days and repeat

Once brewed, you can add things like lemon and ginger to taste, but I like it as is.

Things to be aware of:

  • If your scoby becomes mouldy then you should throw it away.
  • The stringy dark strands are waste from the fermentation process.
  • If you see globules they are new scobies trying to form.

Conclusion

Kombucha is a great healthy alternative to fizzy drinks, good for your health, cheap and easy to make. If you are struggling to give up fizzy drinks give it ago. You can buy scoby’s on the internet, be gifted one or even cultivate one from a store bought bottle of kombucha.

You can buy commercial kombucha at any good health food shops

Or ask a friend already brewing for a “baby” scoby.

Do you drink and/or make kombucha? Would love to hear your method in the comments below :) Angela

5 Unusual Things I do Everyday to Improve My Health

unusual health tips

Stu: When asked about my line of work I’m always prepared for the questions that typically follow. Much like the personal trainer who’s routinely interrogated on the magic formula to achieve the illusive six pack, questions directed at me are usually focused around food and more specifically what to eat (or avoid) to achieve first-rate health.

If you didn’t already know, I have the fortune of discussing these topics with some of the brightest brains on the planet each week through our podcast series. Want to know why we get fat? no problem… let me ask a metabolic scientist, a geneticist, longevity specialist or how about a best selling author, the list goes on.

So back to my original point, what do I say to those interested in becoming the best versions of themselves? I’ve outlined a short list of tips and ticks below that have taken me in the right direction to better health. Some of them may be a bit left field but surely you didn’t think that I was going to tell you to eat less takeaway and lace up your running shoes each morning?

The 5 Unusual Things I do Everyday to Improve My Health:

  • 1) Eat Dinner For Breakfast
    I’m a big fan of the ‘cook once – eat twice’ principal so I always prepare a little more food in the evening. This works in my favour at breakfast time as I can feast on a meal loaded with nutrients in under 5 minutes (even less if eaten cold – yes, I do this sometimes). Typical breakfast options resemble party foods with sugary juices, processed breads and cereals not to mention the vast array of muffins, pastries and assorted dairy delights. Think you’re on the right track with your tropical low-fat yogurt drizzled over honey-roasted granola? If this sounds like you then perhaps you’re on the sugar train. Try this tip to overcome your sugar cravings and embrace dinner for breakfast – cold pizza excluded!
  • 2) Reduce My Exercise Plan to 6 Minutes
    I love exercise but used to get fixated on working all major body parts in the gym before finishing with a rigorous cardio blast. This didn’t give me the results I was expecting, it increased my cortisol levels (stress hormones) and ruined my sleep. I’m now an advocate of quality over quantity and have seen great benefits in radically reducing my exercise into super short, high intensity workouts. One of my favourites includes 1 minute of overhead kettlebell swings followed immediately by 1 minute of burpees x 3 rounds, 6 minutes in total. Still think that you don’t have time to exercise? This plan doesn’t replace incidental exercise, like walking to the supermarket or admiring my newly buffed body in the shop windows but does give me more time to focus on the other unusual things that I do each day, like…
  • 3) Hack My Carbohydrates
    I’m super-lean, have a fast metabolism and find it impossible to gain weight. Lucky perhaps, but recent genetic testing revealed that I carry an increased risk for diabetes if not addressed by diet and lifestyle. The big-brains in the medical world have now demonstrated that carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood sugar levels and eating them alone can send blood sugars rising, so it makes sense to minimise this. I’ll work towards this every time I eat by adding fat and protein to my carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes (a personal favourite) will always be mashed with avocado and/or coconut oil, starchy vegetables drizzled with olive oil or butter and my favourite chocolate smoothie is upgraded with avocado, coconut cream and cinnamon – yes cinnamon is a BIG hitter in lowering blood sugar. I’ve recently put this strategy to the test by using a personal blood glucose monitor (full blog post coming soon) and the results speak for themselves with dramatically lower blood sugar readings. Still can’t get over toast in the morning? Upgrade it with nut butter and cinnamon or mashed avocado and smoked salmon :)
  • 4) Carry My iPhone in a Sock
    I live by the mantra ‘Prevention is the Cure’ and I carry this rule over to my beloved iPhone. I’ve always questioned whether we’ll look back in twenty years at the pursuits we’re enjoying right now in bemusement (wasn’t smoking initially advocated by doctors?). After spending time with an Electro Magnetic expert I decided to take a few precautions with my mobile usage given the fact that it follows me everywhere. These two strategies give me peace of mind as I’m not going to revert back my mobile-less days or wrap tin foil around my head for added protection:

    • Always – did I say always – use my earphones when talking on the phone
    • Place the phone in a Bloc Sock to shield the absorption of Electro Magnetic Radiation into my soft body (which actually isn’t that soft any more given my 6 minute exercise plan)

Call me alarmist, perhaps, but I won’t be able to hear you anyway as I’ve got my earplugs in listening to a podcast!

  • 5) Wear Builders Glasses Before Bed
    No I don’t like dressing up as the construction worker from the Village People in the evening but I do favour quality sleep. I’ve written about this in a sleep post recently and the glasses in mention are orange (blue blocking) which filter out the blue light from the vast array of electrical devices that most of use before bed. We really don’t want to inhibit the production of melatonin, our sleep hormone which the blue light from our TV’s, computers and phone actually does. I’ll happily trade in my pride if it means a better night’s sleep and always put the glasses on at around 7:30 before I listen to my favourite YMCA album on iTunes.

So that’s it, an unconventional list of tips and tricks that really work for me. Would love to hear some of your strategies below in the comments box below – Cheers.

Why You Should Have A Smoothie Everyday

Green Smoothie Meal Replacement

We live in a fast paced world that demands us to be on the go. Smoothies have made life easier. They are a natural quick fix meal and snack alternative. The 180 smoothie is what you need in your busy day to day life. With the limitless benefits that they offer they are the ideal meal or snack for anyone that wants to be healthy on the go.

We often struggle with managing careers, family and personal life. The 180 Nutrition Protein Superfood helps your body to absorb the nutrition offered in every sip. Do you feel exhausted even early during the day? You need a smoothie with 180 Natural Protein Superfood. They provide your body with right balance of carbs, protein and good fats needed to provide you with the strength to function throughout the day. For those people who want to lose weight it will help you achieve your natural body weight and reduce sugar cravings. Whatever recipe you choose, you can tweak it to fit your preferences and tastes. You can find lots of awesome recipes here.

These superfood smoothie formulas are available in vegan or original versions and use natural ingredients such as: grassfed whey protein isolate, stevia, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, cocoa, almonds, coconut flour, sunflower kernels, psyllium husks and pumpkin seeds.

There is also the debate between the health benefits of juicing and blending. Here are the benefits of blending (smoothies):

  1. Include fibre so you feel fuller for longer
  2. Keeps you regular & is essential for removing inflammatory toxins from the body
  3. You can include protein and good fats making it a whole food; coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, 180 protein Superfood
  4. You can use smoothies as a meal replacement and snack
  5. They don’t spike blood sugar levels
  6. Increase nutrient levels by including the fibre
  7. Don’t need an expensive juicers. You can use a blender which most of us have in the kitchen and can be used for lots of things
  8. Include good fats and leafy greens – leafy greens contain essential vitamins A, E, K and D and are only absorbed in the presence of fat

Unlike in blending, in juicing there is no protein, fiber or good fats so it is not advisable to use juices as a meal replacements. When you blend, the fibers are not removed and therefore a smoothie keeps you satisfied for longer. You can also add protein and good fats to your smoothies making it a meal supplement.

Here is a recipe that keeps your energy levels up without tampering with your blood sugar levels.
Smoothie example…

  • Half an avocado
  • I tsp cocoa powder
  • Half a tsp of vanilla bean powder
  • 1 scoop 180 nutrition powder
  • Half a grapefruit shave the skin but leave some of the pith
  • 200 ml distilled water

Gather all the ingredients and simply blend them. You are sure to enjoy it and fill up on nutrients. :)

Click here to start living the healthy way :)

How To Beat Sugar Cravings in 3 Easy Steps

sugar cravings

Angela: Sugar cravings can be hard when you are teaching your body not to eat sugar anymore. Here are 3 awesome steps that will help you beat them for good:

L-Glutamine

This dietary supplement stops sugar cravings in their tracks by suppressing insulin and stabilising blood sugar levels. Glutamine is an amino acid. Amino acids are building blocks of protein and can also help with fixing the ‘kitchen sink’ (our digestive system) too.

Stu: I use a vegetable based L-Glutamine (half a teaspoon in water) on a empty stomach. I do this every day as it helps muscle recovery, fix a leaky gut and stops cravings for sweet/starches.

Coconut Oil

Try taking a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil and have a potter around, I guarantee you won’t need anything else. If the taste isn’t your thing you can mix it up with a little raw cacao for a tasty chocolate treat.

Learn more here about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Gymnema Leaf

Is know in India as gurmar meaning ‘destroyer of sugar’ as it suppresses the ability to detect sweet tastes. Natural clinicians in India for centuries have used gymnema to balance blood sugar levels.

The product I like best is MediHerb ‘Gymnema 4g’ which is a practitioner only product. If you contact a Nutritionist or a Naturopath they will be able to prescribe for you.

You can purchase from the high street just be mindful that the strength and quality will vary.

Here are some snack/drink ideas that can fill the spot instead:

  • Snack on fat and protein: Fuel your body and brain with avocados, nuts and seeds (activated if you have digestive issues), tahani/humous and veggie sticks, boiled egg, apple and nut butter, greek yogurt, chia seeds and berries, 180 smoothies, chia puddings, the list is endless…
  • Kombucha: If you are craving fizzy drinks kombucha will do the trick instead. Not only is it low in sugar but good for gut health and aids in digestion. You can buy in any good health shops or make your own. I make my own, it’s so easy and the kids love it too!
  • Hydration: Have a glass of water and make sure that you aren’t just thirsty. Some people mistake thirst as hunger.
  • Cuppa: Try a cup of licorice root tea. It’s sweet and will hit the spot and an added bonus – it’s also good for digestive issues.
  • Hot chocolate: I’m not talking about the commercial kind full of sugar. I’m talking about 180 chocolate full of protein and good fats:
    - 1 scoop 180 Nutrition Protein Superfood – chocolate flavour
    - 1 teaspoon coconut oil
    1/2 teaspoon rice malt syrup
    1/2 teaspoon maca powder
    sprinkle of cinnamon
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Are you ready to cut out sugar once & for all?

Then join us for our 14 day cleanse – The 14-Day New Year cleanse is different to all the other cleanse programs available because it gives you the support of a private Facebook group. In this group, you can connect with everyone else on the cleanse in real-time as well as a team of experts including the founders of 180 Nutrition (Guy and Stu), our in-house nutritionist and our in-house naturopath.

Healthy Grain-Free Granola

Stu: Back in the day I was a big fan of granola until I realised it was packed full of gluten, sugar and damaging oils. So big thanks to Emma from Primal Life for reconnecting me to an old friend :)

Emma: A delicious way to start the day or a quick snack to keep the sugar cravings at bay. Great on its own or served with a bit of natural yoghurt and some berries. Also works really well as a topping on apple crumble! 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews (or your favourite nuts)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 60g melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs rice malt syrup (optional)
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 2 scoops Coconut 180 Superfood (optional)

Method

  • Heat oven to 120c
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Spread the mixture evenly over a large lined baking tray
  • Bake for 20 – 30 mins until golden
  • Remove from oven, cool and stir through 180 Superfood (if using)
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge

You can find more awesome recipes here

Order 180 for your recipes here

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

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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

5 Tips To Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Tips for a better sleep

By Cassie Mendoza-Jones

Stu – My sleeping patterns aren’t great and making it through the night without waking is a thing of the past. In my obsession with learning the secrets to a good nights sleep I wanted to share this fantastic post from Cassie Mendoza-Jones. Over to Cassie…

When was the last time you enjoyed a really deep sleep, and awoke feeling refreshed?

Sleep disturbances and insomnia are common, and there are several causes, such as an over-stimulated nervous system, poor neurotransmitter (brain chemistry) function, adrenal and hormonal dysfunction, as well as acute personal or environmental stress. The good news is you don’t have to suffer through endless sleepless nights. Natural medicine takes a wholistic approach to healthcare, with a focus on resolving the underlying issues, and the treatment of sleep disturbances is no exception. Here are my top tips for getting a good night’s sleep: More

Weight loss, protein supplements & 180 Nutrition: The podcast

Pod_cast

By Guy Lawrence

Last week we caught up with the lovely ladies Donna & Tora who are pretty savvy in the world of weight loss. They have both been through their own personal journeys when it comes to weight management, with Donna at one stage being 30kg over weight and Tora struggled with an eating disorder and weighed just 37kg!

When you meet them now they are both excellent examples of fine health.  They are putting many wrongs to right when it comes to weight management by drawing from many of their own personal life experiences, and are now starting to make it freely available for others too.

Flash required

To do this the girls are hosting a Weight Matters tele-seminar series focusing on weight loss advice for savvy people.

This seminar series is run once a month for one hour, and they kicked off their first episode featuring yep…  yours truly and business partner Stu.

What we cover in the podcast:

  • What is healthy eating?
  • Handy tips for weight loss
  • Why many supplements are doing you more harm than good
  • What to look for when reading food labels
  • Quick & easy healthy breakfast alternatives
  • Why we are more than just a protein supplement
  • How to ease sugar cravings
  • How to use 180 protein supplement to aid weight loss
  • How 180 Nutrition started
  • And much more… More

Beat sugar cravings instantly with these tips & breakfast smoothie

By Guy Lawrence

I believe one of the most fundamental things you can do to improve your health is kick the sugar along with processed carbs. But naturally one of the side effects are sugar cravings. Hence the sugar craving carb monster!

In this video, I talk about a few simple steps I’m taking with my mum around her meal times and our breakfast smoothie to help beat those sugar cravings.

In the video

  • Supressing those sugar cravings with fats & L-Glutamine Powder
  • A simple way to make the perfect breakfast smoothie
  • The key to insulin & weight loss

What we use

  • 180 Natural Protein SuperFood (Australia only)
  • Fish oil & cod liver oil
  • L-Glutamine podwer – Awesome for beating sugar cravings
  • Coconut oil – Add to smoothies or eat raw by the teaspoon
  • Sarah Wilsons eBook: I Quit Sugar

More