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October 3, 2022by ben.g.differ

Research has consistently shown us that eating large volumes of sugary foods and drinks on a daily basis is a one-way ticket to health problems. Excessive consumption is linked to an increased risk of fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes and heart disease and unfortunately, most of us consume too much added sugar from sweets, sauces, sugary drinks and breakfast cereals etc. 

The current recommended intake for sugar is 38g for men (9tsp) and 25g for women (6tsp). As a reference, a 600ml bottle of coca cola has 63g (15tsp) of sugar, 200g of flavoured yoghurt has 23g (5.5tsp) of sugar, 1tbs of sweet chilli sauce has 11.5g of sugar (3tsp), and 1 cup of Kellogg’s Just Right cereal has 13g (3tsp) of sugar.  

Cutting down on sugar from sweets and soft drinks can bring with it a number of health benefits! For example:

 

  • You may lose more body fat: Foods higher in sugar are often higher in calories. Furthermore, eating sugar will cause a surge in insulin – a ‘fat storing’ hormone. Reducing your sugar intake may result in a lower calorie intake, and a reduction in circulating insulin, which over time will support fat loss.
  • You can gain better control over your appetite and reduce cravings:  Foods high in sugar often carry a higher Glycaemic Index (GI). High GI foods can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, followed by a rapid drop. Dropping blood sugar levels can trigger hormonal feedback pathways, tricking your brain into thinking that you need more food (when you don’t!). Usually, this process leads to cravings for more sweets. To gain better control over your appetite and reduce cravings, cutting back on sugar is a good place to start.
  • Your mood and energy levels will be more consistent:  High GI, sugary food causes spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels – much like a roller-coaster! Trends in your blood sugar levels play a big role in your perceived energy levels, and your mood. We’re sure you’ve experienced the ‘buzz’ after a glass of red cordial, and if you were paying attention, the ‘slump’ shortly after. Cutting back on sugar will support a more ‘stable’ pattern with your blood sugar levels, and therefore, your energy and mood.
  • Better gut health:  Studies have shown that people who consume more sugar have larger numbers of inflammatory gut bacteria living in their bowels. Poor gut health has been linked to reduced immunity, chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and even mental health disorders.

But you don’t have to completely ‘quit’ all sugar forever in order to be healthy and achieve your goals.

Firstly, spare a thought for ‘good sugars’ – those naturally found in wholefoods such as fruit and dairy. Other than natural sugars, these foods also provide essential nutrients for optimal health, including antioxidants, prebiotic fibres, probiotics, vitamins and minerals, and protein.

Secondly, cutting out all treats and sweet foods ‘permanently’ doesn’t end well in most cases, and it does not encourage a healthy, sustainable relationship with food. 

If you worry about how much sugar is creeping into your diet, now is your chance to cut back! Experimenting with a ‘no sugar’ eating plan for 2 weeks is short enough to be sustainable, and long enough to teach you how to reduce your sugar intake through healthy meal and snack alternatives.  


How it works: If you are following the 8WC meal plans, you won’t need to change a thing – it has been designed to keep consistent with the ‘no sugar’ mini challenge. If you are following your own healthy eating plan, we suggest using the table below to guide you in making low-sugar swaps

All vegetables, lean proteins, wholegrain carbohydrates (i.e. multigrain bread, quinoa, brown rice, rolled oats) and healthy fats are low in sugars and free to include during this mini-challenge.

For further support, or if you have a question about cutting back on sugar, contact The Nutrition Code dietitians.

High Sugar – Avoid 

Sugary cereals

  • All processed cereals with >15g sugar per 100g.
  • Un-toasted and toasted muesli with dried fruit and/or syrups.

Snack foods 

  • Sweet biscuits
  • Savoury snacks (i.e. Arnott’s shapes)
  • Chocolate bars
  • Dried fruit and muesli bars
  • Lollies
  • Pastries, muffins and cakes
  • Fruit bread, white bread

Fruit 

  • Dried fruit
  • Tinned fruit 
  • Dates (however, these are ok in small portions to replace sugar and syrups in recipes)
  • Large portions of fresh fruit (i.e. 2 or more pieces of large fruit at one sitting, fruit juices, whole mangoes, etc)

Dairy and dairy alternatives

  • Sugar sweetened yoghurt
  • Large volumes of milk or soy milk
  • Sweetened plant milks (i.e. almond milk, rice milk etc)
  • Ice cream, custard and dairy desserts

Sauces and condiments

  • All types of sugar – including brown, raw, coconut and palm sugar
  • Honey, rice malt and maple syrup
  • Jam, Nutella and sugary spreads
  • Sauces and marinades with added sugar or syrup, such as sweet chilli, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, teriyaki, oyster, honey soy, sweet soy and Kecap Manis
  • Low fat mayonnaise
  • Some salad dressings

Canned, frozen and pre-made meals

  • Foods with sugary sauces (i.e. baked beans, tinned spaghetti, teriyaki beef, sweet chilli chicken etc)

Beverages

  • Soft drinks and energy drinks
  • Iced Tea
  • Cordials, vitamin waters and sports drinks
  • Fruit juice
  • Smoothies and milkshakes
  • Sugar added to tea/coffee
  • Flavoured milk, hot chocolate and Milo
  • Sachet hot drinks (i.e. Jarrah)
  • Alcoholic cocktails and sweet wines

Low Sugar – Include

Sugary cereals

  • Rolled oats
  • Fruit free, untoasted muesli (i.e. Jordan’s No Sugar muesli)
  • Weet Bix
  • Bran flakes

Snack foods 

  • Wholegrain crackers and toast
  • Boiled eggs, tuna, chicken and other lean proteins
  • Vegetables and vegetable soups
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Low sugar fruits (see below)
  • Low sugar dairy (see below)
  • Homemade sugar-free protein balls (recipes in meal plan!)
  • Sugar-free dark chocolate
  • Sugar-free mini protein bar

Fruit 

  • Berries
  • Kiwi
  • Passionfruit
  • Mandarin
  • Small pieces of fruit (i.e. small apple)

Dairy and dairy alternatives

  • Unsweetened Greek or natural yoghurt
  • Small volumes of milk or soy milk
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Cheese

Sauces and condiments

  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce, Miso paste
  • Low sugar dips and nut/seed spreads
  • Avocado
  • Whole egg mayonnaise
  • Vinegars
  • Sriracha and hot sauce
  • Curry paste
  • Lemon and lime juice
  • Fresh herbs, spices and aromats

Canned, frozen and pre-made meals

  • Plain tinned legumes – no sauce
  • Meals with <10g sugar per serve

Beverages

  • Water
  • Unsweetened tea and coffee
  • Vegetable juice
  • Dry wines, low-carb beers or straight spirits with soda water
  • Try to avoid artificially sweetened drinks, or opt for stevia

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September 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

The majority of performance research has been done exclusively in male populations but, as we know, there are significant differences between males and females. Hormone profiles between the sexes are completely different which may have an impact on performance and dietary requirements. 

Overview of the menstrual cycle 

One of the main differences between men and women is the presence of the menstrual cycle. The menstrual Cycle lasts approximately 28 days and has different phases of which include changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels.

Phase: Menstrual (part of follicular phase)

Days (approx..): 1 – 5 

What happens:

  • The first day of bleeding marks the first day of the cycle
  • Oestrogen and progesterone are low
  • The lining of the uterus is shed, causing bleeding

Phase: Follicular

Days (approx..): 6 – 14

What happens:

  • Starts when bleeding stops and goes until ovulation
  • Oestrogen and progesterone are on the rise

Phase: Ovulatory

Days (approx..): 15 – 17

What happens:

  • Oestrogen peaks
  • Testosterone and progesterone rise

Phase: Luteal

Days (approx..): 18 – 28

What happens:

  • Oestrogen and progesterone levels are high
  • If egg isn’t fertilised, hormone levels decrease, and the menstrual cycle starts again

Does the menstrual cycle impact athletic performance?

The current research is mixed. Many studies indicate no significant different in physical performance throughout the different phases of the menstrual cycle. However, there have been some study results which have shown some difference in performance levels at different phases of the menstrual cycle. For example:

  • One study found sprint performance may be better in the mid-luteal phase
  • Endurance performance is likely best early in menstrual cycle and anaerobic and strength performance may be best in the ovulatory phase
  • Strength outcomes appear lower during menstruation compared to the late luteal phase and increased in the early and mid-luteal phase

This allows to hypothesise about how the menstrual cycle impacts athletic performance however, we can’t say for sure that all females will experience the same thing.

 

Does your nutrition need to change with the different menstrual phases?

Some research suggests that the resting energy expenditure (REE) of women may be increased during the luteal phase. This may mean that an increase in calories may be of benefit in two out of four weeks.

At certain points of the cycle, your body burns less of certain fuel sources and more of others. For example:

  • During the follicular phase, the body burns more carbohydrate, and the oxidation of protein and fat is reduced
  • During the luteal phase, the body burns more protein and fats and less carbohydrates

Even though there are some changes during each phase, it is what happens overtime that appears to matter more, rather than needing to change the types of foods eaten in each phase.

When applying this research to the real world, there is not enough evidence to suggest we need to change our eating to match the phase of the menstrual cycle. While the current research doesn’t warrant any change in behaviour, it is useful to be aware of. You may find it useful to track your period and keep an eye on your performance and recovery and base any changes on this data. 

 

 


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September 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

Fact: Did you know that under 20% of people who set goals actually achieve them? 

Knowing and identifying your WHY will serve as your point of reference for all your actions and decisions for the next 8 weeks, allowing you to measure your progress and know when you have met your goals. It will lift you during the lows and drive you to highs. When you’re powered by a clear purpose, there is little we cannot do!

In reality, 8 weeks is not a lot of time in the big scheme of things to really commit yourself to achieving something. There are reasons you have taken the first step and whilst this is a positive it can be really easy to fall straight back off. 

With any goal setting and in particular challenges like the BFT8WC, you have done a couple of things that will not necessarily sit comfortably with you… 

Firstly, you are acknowledging that there are one or two (or perhaps more) measurable areas of your life that have deficiencies or are just lacking in some way. Whilst most of us know this and have some form of self-evaluation in place, you have now made a statement and put a time frame on “improving” it. Much like buyer’s remorse, whilst you know you have so many positive things in your life and you know you have made the right decision, doubts can creep in now you have committed. 

The second thing you have done is now add a little more stress to your life. Let’s be honest, who likes stress? Setting goals can be uncomfortable. The greater the challenge, often the more uncomfortable it feels. But to achieve something, we need a little stress in our lives. Too little stress or too great a stress and the results are far too often poor. But the right amount of stress (and everyone handles stress differently) and you can really achieve something pretty special. 

So, considering you have now created an uncomfortable void between where you are now and where you want to be in 56 days, keep in mind a few key things when setting your goals:

  • Understand the time commitment needed daily/weekly for you to achieve your goals
  • Set realistic goals and understand and be honest about what success looks like in 56 days’ time
  • To achieve your goals do you have all of the tools? Lucky for you BFT has most things covered, but do you have family/friends who are supporting you, encouraging you but also keeping you accountable?
  • Understand your own stress levels and the point where it becomes too much and makes you want to go the other way. Every week different challenges appear so take time to review your progress and pivot where needed

Time: set reminders/alerts in your calendar for training, sleep, hydration. Reminders to eat something positive for your body at morning tea or the late afternoon snack at work when you are craving sugar! Reminders to get up early and get ready to train. To shop on the weekend. Everyone has a smart phone these days, so use it to help you in positive ways throughout the 8WC

Goal Setting: Imagine what it will feel like to achieve your goals? More importantly, what will it feel like to not achieve your goals? Create an inspiration image or a word that you can refer to, to keep the motivation levels high for the 56 days. I love using my calendar so I set reminders for different times of the day with a key word that helps keep me on track and brings me back to my Why? 

Do you have the tools? Ask your trainers, tell your friends and family you need them. Let them know your WHY so they have an understanding as to how important this is for you to achieve your goals. Get lots of support and accountability.

Controlling Stress: Lucky for you the challenge involves loads of fun exercise with like minded people in an awesome community. All of that is very good for stress! Nonetheless, as discussed above you will experience differing degrees of stress throughout the #8WC. Acknowledge that to achieve success, we need a healthy dose of Stress. Too much stress though can be detrimental so keep a check on this. Often your trainers are a great guide if you ever feel it becoming too much. Reach out to them as they are there for you and want nothing more than for you to achieve your goals and be happy.

Whatever your success – great or small over the next 8 weeks – we wish you well and congratulations for taking the first step towards achieving your own Gold Medal.

“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”  ~ Robert Heinlein, Novelist


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September 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

Healthy eating, while important at all stages of life, is especially important during pregnancy to support the development of your baby. During pregnancy there are some changes to your nutrition requirements. 

 

Calorie intake increases by approximately 300cals per day but more specifically there is no change to calorie intake during first trimester, an increase of around 240cals per day in the second trimester and an increase of 450cals per day in the third trimester.

Some of the key nutrients during pregnancy include:

  • Folate: essential for healthy cell division and DNA synthesis. Help reduce the risk of neural tube defects
  • Iodine: to maintain normal functioning of the thyroid gland, regulate the foetus’ metabolism and essential for the development of the foetus’s brain and nervous system
  • Iron: needed to form red blood cells to carry oxygen to mum and baby 
  • Vitamin D: to help maintain optimal levels of calcium and phosphate for building muscle and bones
  • Calcium: to help form healthy bones
  • Choline: assists in development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: required for healthy brain, nerve, and eye development for baby

Weight gain guidelines

During pregnancy, your weight will increase, and the amount of recommended weight gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. Excessive weight gain can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, caesarean, miscarriage, neural tube defects and pre-term birth. Sub-optimal weight gain can increase the risk of low birth weight, childhood obesity and infant mortality.

 

It is expected that most women will gain around 2kg in the first trimester and then around 100-500g per week. The weight gained includes the weight of the baby, amniotic fluid, placenta, blood, and fluid. 

  • For women with a BMI below 18.5kg/m2 the recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 12.5-18kg
  • For women with a BMI between 18.5-25kg/m2 the recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 11.5-16kg 
  • For women with a BMI between 25-30kg/m2, the recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 7-11.5kg 
  • For women with a BMI between 30-35kg/m2, the recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 4-9kg. 

Excessive weight gain can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, caesarean, miscarriage, neural tube defects and pre-term birth. Sub-optimal weight gain can increase the risk of low birth weight, childhood obesity and infant mortality.

 

 

Breastfeeding

 

Breastmilk meets all your baby’s nutritional requirements from birth to around six months. Your baby is number one priority, which means if your diet is lacking, your baby won’t miss out on essential nutrients and calories. However, if your nutritional intake is sub-optimal, your stores will be drawn upon and so your nutrition status could be compromised.

It takes a certain amount of energy to make breastmilk. This means that your energy requirements will be around 400-500calories more than pre-pregnancy, so you may feel hungrier than normal. There is no need to eat beyond your appetite, however rapid weight loss is not recommended during breastfeeding. Keep an eye on your energy and hunger levels and adjust your calorie intake as required.

Some of the key nutrients involved during breastfeeding include:

    • Iron: your baby’s iron requirements are high as they need to increase their blood volume. It is also important to have enough iron replenish your own stores as you lose some during pregnancy and birth.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: essential for continuing the optimal development of your baby’s brain, eye, and nervous system
  • Calcium: required to continue to support strong bones and teeth as your baby’s skeleton is growing quickly
  • Vitamin B12: needed for normal blood and brain function
  • Iodine: crucial for normal functioning of the thyroid gland to regulate growth, development, and temperature regulation.

When you are breastfeeding, you also lose more fluids which can make you dehydrated. Aim for about 3L of water per day to replace what has been lost. Keep a water bottle close by and have a glass of water every time your baby feeds. 

If you are aiming to lose weight, make sure your milk supply is not affected by the calorie deficit and any increase in exercise. Keep an eye on your supply and adjust your calorie intake as required.


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September 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

From our partners at Swolefoods

 

How To Combine Food And Exercise To Reach Your Goal

It’s a well known equation that results = 80% nutrition + 20% exercise. Achieving the right combination of the two is key to achieving your health and fitness goals.

 

Now that you’re exercising more frequently and potentially more intensively than you’re used to, nutrition plays an even more important role in that it gives you the fuel to train longer and harder, and helps to determine how your body recovers and responds to exercise.

 

Hard workouts leave your muscles depleted of energy and starving for fuel. It is important to put the right nutrients back into your system at the right time to ensure that your muscles can recover and rebuild stronger, so that the next time you want to use them they have enough energy to go again.

 

It is also important to be eating the right kinds of foods to help preserve muscle mass and encourage fat loss whilst training, so that you reap the full benefits of all the hard work that you are putting in at the gym.

 

What Happens When You Exercise?

As you warm up, your brain sends signals to your central nervous system to prime muscles for action, making them more alert and ready to handle the intensity of what’s to come. The amount of blood flow is increased to active muscles, carrying vital oxygen and nutrients. As you progress through your session, energy stores (in the form of glycogen) are depleted, muscle tissue is damaged and fluids and electrolytes are lost through sweat.

 

The intensity of your workout will determine the extent to which you use up stored energy, and the amount of damage that is caused to muscle fibres. The harder you train, the greater amount calories you will burn, but equally, the more resources will be required for adequate recovery.

 

You might have heard that abs are not formed in the gym but in the kitchen. Whilst your efforts in the gym help to burn excess calories and work muscle fibres, you need to back it up with quality nutrition in order for the results to shine.

 

How Nutrition Supports Exercise

Food gives you energy, and you need energy to exercise. The role of nutrition in this respect is two fold:

  • To ensure that there is enough quality stored energy in your body to begin with
  • To replace the energy stores that were lost during exercise and to repair muscle damage

The types of foods and the quantity that you should be eating will vary depending on what your goal is. As we have discussed in earlier blogs, the primary determining factor in whether you gain or lose weight is how many calories you are consuming vs how many you are burning.

If your goal is weight loss you might be tempted to exercise as hard as you can and eat very little both before and after to maximise your calorie deficit. Similarly, if you are trying to bulk in a short space of time you might be thinking about eating as much as you can and lifting as heavy as possible to maximise your gains.

However as with any aspect of life, we must always take a balanced, sustainable approach. If we take the primary goal of nutrition to be that of nourishing your body and providing you with all the energy and strength you need to life the life that you desire, then we need to pay attention to the foods that provide this nourishment. 

Hopefully by now you would have a rough understanding of the number of calories that you are burning in a day, known as your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). You can also find this on your Evolt scan! Armed with this knowledge you can go ahead and prepare your meals with confidence that you are not only putting the right types of food into your system, but you’re also eating them in the quantity that will best suit your goals.

At SwoleFoods, we’ve done all the hard work in the kitchen to take the guesswork out of goal based eating. Our three ranges – Swole, Active and Low Carb, are combined in a way that ensures all the right nutrients are delivered in a calorie controlled manner. If you are finding it hard to keep up with the demands of meal prepping, or you want healthy food to taste delicious, check out our menu here and see why 1000s of kiwis choose SwoleFoods to help them live the healthiest version of themselves.


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September 28, 2022by ben.g.differ

For those looking to build muscle, your nutrition requirements may be higher than the meal plans provide. If you require more calories and/or protein than Stream C provides, please follow these guidelines to help achieve your targets.

 

You will likely need to track your calorie intake using an app such as Easy Diet Diary, MyFitness Pal or similar. This will allow for more specific data collection and therefore allow you to achieve your targets with more specificity.
If you are following the meals from the meal plan provided, you can add these recipes into the app using the macros provided rather than having to add each individual ingredients for each recipe. This will make things a lot easier and quicker!

An easy option is to add a post workout protein shake to your day. Use a high-quality protein powder (i.e. whey) and include a source of low GI carbohydrates such as milk, fruit or oats. Some example protein shakes include:

    • 250 mls of reduced fat milk, 1 cup of berries, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1/3 cup of rolled oats and 1 tsp of honey
    • 250 mls of reduced fat milk, 100 gms of high protein yoghurt, 1 scoop of protein powder, 10 gms of peanut butter and 1 banana
    • 250 mls of reduced fat milk, 100 gms of high protein yoghurt, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 cup of frozen mango, 2 weet-bix style cereal biscuits

Adding high volume ingredients such as peanut butter, shredded coconut, chia seeds, and avocado can really maximise the number of calories consumed through one extra shake per day.

Another option to increase calorie and protein intake is to replace any low protein and calorie snacks on the meal plan with higher protein options. Some examples of high protein snack options include:

    1. High protein yoghurt
    2. Protein shakes
    3. Nuts
    4. Boiled eggs
    5. Tin of tuna
    6. Roasted chickpeas
    7. Flavoured legume snack tins
    8. Crackers/rice cakes and hummus
    9. Crackers/rice cakes and cheese
    10. Milk
    11. Chia puddings made with high protein ingredients (i.e. protein powder)
    12. Slices of grainy toast with nut butter

You can also use the ‘Snack List’ guide in the portal for more ideas.

 

  1. Increase the volume of meals and snacks. For example, increase the size of one or more of the main meals per day. You could do this by keeping the vegetable content consistent but increase the volume of protein and carbohydrates by 25-50% (i.e. if a recipe uses 100 gms of rice, you could increase this by 30% and use 130 gms of rice instead).
  2. Add additional meals and snacks. For example, you might find it easier to add an additional 1-2 snacks per day to meet your targets or add an additional fourth meal per day. You could use snacks or meals you’ve enjoyed from previous challenges or previous weeks or use the ‘easy meal ideas’ guide and the ‘snack list’ guide for extra ideas.
  3. Including nutritious, high calorie, low volume foods to the meal plan can also help increase calories without having to add too much extra volume. Foods that fall into this category include:
    1. Peanut butter (or other nut butters) 
    2. Avocado
    3. Nuts
    4. Dried fruit
    5. Seeds
    6. Soy milk
    7. Coconut flakes 

You can add these to smoothies/protein shakes, appropriate snacks (i.e. with yoghurt or crackers) and breakfast meals.

If you require 2400-2700 calories per day your suggested targets are:

Protein: 150- 236g (25-35% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 210-300g (35-45% total energy)

Fat: 80-105g (30-35% total energy)

If you require 2700-3000 calories per day your suggested targets are:

Protein: 168- 260g (25-35% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 236-337g (35-45% total energy)

Fat: 90-115g (30-35% total energy)

If you require 3000-3500 calories per day your suggested targets are:

Protein: 180- 260g (25-35% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 260-390g (35-45% total energy)

Fat: 100-130g (30-35% total energy)

If you require 3500-4000 calories per day your suggested targets are:

Protein: 210- 280g (25-35% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 300-450g (35-45% total energy)

Fat: 115-140g (30-35% total energy)

 

 

 

 

 


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September 26, 2022by ben.g.differ

While most of our meal plans aim to include in season produce, some of our BFT challengers are in different countries and different seasons! If this includes you, use the table below to learn what fruit and vegetables are in seasons at different times of the year. You may swap any unavailable fruit and vegetables in the meal plans for something in season.

SUMMER

Fruit:

Apple, Apricot, Avocado,
Banana, Blackberries, Blueberries,
Rockmelon, Cherries, Grapes,
Honeydew,
Lemon,
Lychee,
Mango,
Nectarine,
Orange,
Passionfruit,
Peach,
Plum,
Pineapple,
Raspberries,
Rhubarb,
Strawberries, Watermelon.

Vegetables:

Asparagus,
Green beans,
Beetroot,
Cabbage,
Capsicum,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Celery,
Corn,
Cucumber,
Eggplant,
Leek,
Lettuce,
Onion,
Snow peas,
Sugar snap peas,
Radish,
Silverbeet,
Tomato,
Zucchini.

AUTUMN

Fruit:

Apple,
Banana,
Fig,
Grapes,
Kiwi fruit,
Lemon,
Lime,
Mandarin,
Mango,
Nashi,
Rhubarb,
Papaya,
Passionfruit,
Peach,
Pear,
Plum,
Pomegranate.

Vegetables:

Asparagus,
Asian greens,
Green beans,
Beetroot,
Broccoli,
Brussels sprouts,
Cabbage,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Corn,
Cucumber,
Eggplant,
Fennel,
Leek,
Lettuce,
Mushrooms,
Okra,
Onion,
Parsnip,
Potato,
Pumpkin,
Silverbeet,
Spinach,
Sweet potato,
Tomato,
Zucchini.

WINTER

Fruit:

Apple,
Avocado,
Grapefruit,
Kiwi fruit,
Lemon,
Lime,
Mandarin,
Nashi,
Orange,
Pear,
Pineapple,
Rhubarb.

Vegetables:

Asian greens,
Broccoli,
Broccolini,
Brussels sprouts,
Cabbage,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Eggplant,
Kale,
Leek,
Mushrooms,
Onion,
Parsnip,
Potato,
Radish,
Silverbeet,
Spinach,
Sweet potato.

SPRING

Fruit:

Apple,
Avocado,
Banana,
Grapefruit,
Lemon,
Lime,
Lychee,
Mandarin,
Mango,
Orange,
Papaya,
Pineapple,
Rhubarb.

Vegetables:

Asparagus,
Asian greens,
Beetroot,
Broccoli,
Brussels sprouts,
Cabbage,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Corn,
Eggplant,
Fennel,
Leek,
Mushrooms,
Onion,
Parsnip,
Peas,
Radish,
Silver beet,
Spinach,
Sweet potato,
Tomato.


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September 26, 2022by ben.g.differ

We all have different goals and while we’ve made the best effort to cater for everyone, there may be some that have different nutrition requirements than the meal plans provided. If you’re following a vegan diet and require more calories and/or protein than the Vegan B stream provides, please follow these guidelines to help achieve your targets. 

You will likely need to track your calorie intake using an app such as Easy Diet Diary, MyFitness Pal or similar. This will allow for more specific data collection and therefore allow you to achieve your targets with more specificity.
If you are following the meals from the meal plan provided, you can add these recipes into the app using the macros provided rather than having to add each individual ingredients for each recipe. This will make things a lot easier and quicker!

 

An easy option is to add a post workout protein shake to your day. Use a high-quality protein powder (i.e. rice and pea blend) and include a source of low GI carbohydrates such as milk, fruit or oats. Some example protein shakes include:

    • 250 mls of soy milk, 1 cup of berries, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1/3 cup of rolled oats and 1 tsp of maple syrup
    • 250 mls of soy milk, 100 gms of unflavoured vegan yoghurt, 1 scoop of protein powder, 10 gms of peanut butter and 1 banana
    • 250 mls of soy milk, 100 gms of unflavoured vegan yoghurt, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 cup of frozen mango, 2 weet-bix style cereal biscuits

Adding high volume ingredients such as peanut butter, shredded coconut, chia seeds, and avocado can really maximise the number of calories consumed through one extra shake per day.

Another option to increase calorie and protein intake is to replace any low protein and calorie snacks on the meal plan with higher protein options. Some examples of high protein snack options include:

    • High protein vegan yoghurt or unflavoured vegan yoghurt with added protein powder
    • Protein shakes
    • Nuts
    • Roasted chickpeas
    • Flavoured legume snack tins
    • Crackers/rice cakes and hummus
    • Soy milk
    • Chia puddings made with high protein ingredients (i.e. protein powder)
    • Slices of grainy toast with nut butter

You can also use the ‘Snack List’ guide in the portal for more ideas.

Increase the volume of meals and snacks. For example, increase the size of one or more of the main meals per day. You could do this by keeping the vegetable content consistent but increase the volume of protein and carbohydrates by 25-50% (i.e. if a recipe uses 100 gms of rice, you could increase this by 30% and use 130 gms of rice instead).

 

Add additional meals and snacks. For example, you might find it easier to add an additional 1-2 snacks per day to meet your targets or add an additional fourth meal per day. You could use snacks or meals you’ve enjoyed from previous challenges or previous weeks or use the ‘easy meal ideas’ guide and the ‘snack list’ guide for extra ideas.

 

Including nutritious, high calorie, low volume foods to the meal plan can also help increase calories without having to add too much extra volume. Foods that fall into this category include:

    1. Peanut butter (or other nut butters) 
    2. Avocado
    3. Nuts
    4. Dried fruit
    5. Seeds
    6. Soy milk
    7. Coconut flakes 

You can add these to smoothies/protein shakes, appropriate snacks (i.e. with yoghurt or crackers) and breakfast meals.

 

Suggested Targets:

If you require 2100-2400cals your suggested targets are:

Protein: 80-120g (15-20% total energy)

Fat: 70-106g (30-40% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 210-300g (40-50% total energy)

If you require 2400-2700cals your suggested targets are:

Protein: 90-135g (15-20% total energy)

Fat:  80-120g (30-40% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 240-335g (40-50% total energy)

 

If you require 2700-3000cals your suggested targets are:

Protein: 100-150 (15-20% total energy)

Fat: 90-130g (30-40% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 270-375g (40-50% total energy)

 

 


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September 26, 2022by ben.g.differ

Following a vegan diet is becoming more and more common. Being vegan involves avoiding the consumption of animal products including dairy and eggs. There are various reasons a person may choose to be vegan including ethical, religious, environmental, health and economic reasons. 

 

A well-planned vegan diet can have multiple health benefits. A typical vegan diet is rich in wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, and seeds. This leads to a high intake of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, folate, Vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. This means that following a vegan diet can potentially:

  • Lower blood sugars and improve kidney function
  • Lower the risk of heart disease through reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels
  • Reduce the amount of pain from arthritis due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the micronutrients present in plant foods
  • Improve mental health and wellbeing as the prebiotic fibres in plant foods contribute to a healthy microbiome
  • May promote weight loss due to the combination of high fibre intake and less intake of processed foods leading to a lower calorie intake

 

Not all vegan diets are created equal, however. The benefits mentioned above come from eating plenty of foods high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Vegan diets that are not well planned, that are high in processed foods and contain low amounts of vegetables, fruits, pulses, wholegrains, nuts, and seeds, will still contribute to poor health outcomes. 

 

Our vegan meal plans have been created thoughtfully and are designed to include high-quality proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds, and dairy alternatives. Therefore, you can be rest assured that following the meal plan will be contributing to health benefits.

 

Why are the macros different for the vegan plans?

You may have noticed that the vegan meal plans have different macronutrient targets than the standard meal plans. The vegan plans do have a lower amount of protein and a higher amount of carbohydrates and fats. This is simply due the nature of vegan foods, without having to rely too heavily on supplemements. Foods such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, and tofu are naturally lower in protein than foods like meat, chicken and fish, and are therefore higher in carbohydrates and fats which contribute to the remaining calories. The plans are still perfectly suitable for your challenge goals of weight loss, weight/muscle maintenance or muscle gain however! If you require a higher calorie or protein intake than the plans provide, please see the resource ‘Vegan B Plus’, found in the portal or reach out to your trainers or The Nutrition Code team.

 


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September 26, 2022by ben.g.differ

From a nutrition perspective, the main role of a snack is to tide you over until the next main meal and to assist in meeting certain nutrition targets. Therefore, snacks should be:

  • Nutrient rich: either a wholefood, or a product that is minimally processed
  • Filling: high in protein, fibre, low GI carbohydrate and/or healthy fats
  • Compliant with calorie and macronutrient targets  

 

If you would like more flexibility with your snacks, use the table below to choose an appropriate snack to suit your goals and meal plan targets.

Snacks that are 50-100cals

1 rice cake with:

  • 20 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 30 gms of cottage cheese
  • 30 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 10 gms of peanut butter
  • 10 gms of cacao spread
  • 20 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 20 gms of hummus dip

2 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 20 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 20 gms of cottage cheese
  • 20 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 5 gms of peanut butter
  • 5 gms of cacao spread
  • 20 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 15 gms of hummus dip

1 piece of fruit

20 gms of dates and 5 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 20 gms of dip

20 gms of popcorn

1 small reduced fat latte

120 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

10 gms of mixed nuts

10 gms of dark chocolate

25 gms of roasted chickpeas

1 boiled egg

 

Snacks that are 100-150cals

2 rice cakes with:

  • 40 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 60 gms of cottage cheese
  • 40 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 15 gms of peanut butter
  • 15 gms of cacao spread
  • 25 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 30 gms of hummus dip

3 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 30 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 30 gms of cottage cheese
  • 30 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 10 gms of peanut butter
  • 10 gms of cacao spread
  • 20 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 20 gms of hummus dip

2 pieces of fruit

20 gms of dates and 10 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 30 gms of dip

35 gms of popcorn

1 large reduced fat latte

180 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

20 gms of mixed nuts

20 gms of dark chocolate

35 gms of roasted chickpeas

2 boiled eggs

 

Snacks that are 150-200cals

3 rice cakes with:

  • 60 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 70 gms of cottage cheese
  • 60 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 20 gms of peanut butter
  • 20 gms of cacao spread
  • 40 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 40 gms of hummus dip

4 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 40 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 50 gms of cottage cheese
  • 50 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 15 gms of peanut butter
  • 15 gms of cacao spread
  • 25 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 30 gms of hummus dip

1 piece of fruit alongside 1 snack from the 50-100cal category

25 gms of dates and 15 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 40 gms of dip

50 gms of popcorn

1 large reduced fat latte alongside 1 snack from the 50-100cal category

270 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

30 gms of mixed nuts

1x flavoured legume snack tin

30 gms of dark chocolate

45 gms of roasted chickpeas

3 boiled eggs

1 slice of wholemeal raisin toast with 5 gms of butter/nuttelex or 20 gms of ricotta

 

Snacks that are 200-250cals

4 rice cakes with:

  • 80 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 100 gms of cottage cheese
  • 80 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 20 gms of peanut butter
  • 20 gms of cacao spread
  • 50 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 50 gms of hummus dip

6 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 60 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 60 gms of cottage cheese
  • 60 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 15 gms of peanut butter
  • 15 gms of cacao spread
  • 40 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 40 gms of hummus dip

1 piece of fruit alongside 1 other snack from the 100-150cal category

30 gms of dates and 20 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 60 gms of dip

60 gms of popcorn

1 large reduced fat latte alongside 1 snack from the 100-150cal category

320 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

35 gms of mixed nuts

1x flavoured legume snack tin alongside 1 snack from the 50-100cal category

40 gms of dark chocolate

55 gms of roasted chickpeas

4 boiled eggs

1 slice of wholemeal raisin toast with 10 gms of butter/nuttelex or 40 gms of ricotta