Food Matters Tip of the Week #5 November 30th, 2016

This week’s tip is all about the wonderful stuff called FRUIT.

So – for everyone who followed last weeks tip about ‘smart treats’ or ‘smart snacks’ or whatever it was, there is a bit of a hidden pitfall…and that hidden pitfall is FRUIT.  What happens is this.  All of your favorite snack options are taken away from you on your new ‘eat healthy’ kick – and in response to that, you need to find something to eat…and then you remember – FRUIT is healthy AND it tastes amazing.  And it is healthy and it DOES taste amazing.  And you should DEFINITELY eat it.  But only a couple of pieces each day.  That means two (2).  Not three (3).  And certainly not more!

First off there is the calories thing – which each serve being around 150g.  Secondly there is the sugars thing – and yes, I know it is natural sugars so these are good (yes they are!) but they are still going to generate an insulin response from the body which we don’t need happening every hour on the hour…

Lastly – we ALL know about the healthy eating guidelines which talk about ’2 SERVES’ of fruit every day.  But did you know that a piece of fruit and a ‘serve’ of fruit are NOT the same thing?  A serve equals out to a ‘medium sized’ apple/banana/pear or two small apricots/plums…I know this is confusing but please don’t confuse ‘two serves’ with ‘It is just fine to eat two watermelons’ (‘cos it isn’t!).

Want to read a bit more?  Try this:

Easy Prep for Cheat of the week

You will want fruit in your house…but get enough for everyone in the family to share ‘a little bit’ rather than buying bunches and bunches of grapes or huge bags of oranges/apples – particularly if you have a ‘weakness’ for one type of fruit or another.  If you are really clever, have a fruit bowl for each person in the house – put ‘their’ fruit in the bowl and make it a variety…to get all the micro-nutrient benefits don’t just eat two pieces per day, but eat from a diverse selection of different fruits.

Oh yeah – and be sure to wash what you are going to eat.  Fruit = GOOD.  The chemicals used to grow fruit = BAD!

Food Matters Challenge of the Week.

Two pieces of fruit – every day this week…no more and no less.  If it is grapes go with a handful, small stone fruit go with two.  Not only that, of the two pieces each day, I want you to try and eat FIVE (5) different pieces of fruit TOTAL this week.

Recipe of the Week

(In honour of this week’s FRUIT based theme, we have:)

Chicken Legs with Peaches

Watcha need.

  • 1-2 Chicken Legs per person, skin on.  (I would say ’1′ but if you want leftovers…)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp shredded orange peel
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Some rosemary if you like it – 1/2 tsp dried will do it.
  • 2 peaches – slice them up.
  • 1 cup each of chopped red capsicum and chopped green capsicum (chop them ‘chunky’)
  • 1 ripe avocado (chop it up into cubes)
  • 1/2 cup purple onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

How You do it?

Marinade first:

1/.  Combine wine, orange peel, orange juice, olive oil, rosemary (if you are using Rosemary) and sea salt.  Whisk well, place chicken legs in a resealable plastic bag, pour marinade over and refrigerate for about 2 hours.  Don’t leave it in more than 4-5 hours though…this is a bit of an acidy type marinade and it will start to ‘cook’ the chicken if left too long…don’t stress if it happens, it just wont taste as good.

Salsa Next:

1/.  Take the peach slices (skin ON!!)  and throw them in a bowl with the capsicum, avocado, onion and lime juice.  Mix around, cover and put in the fridge.

(If you want to add some lemongrass to the salsa for a bit of a Thai style meal, knock yourself out…personally I like adding some halved baby tomatoes and baby cucumber slices as well, but honestly, all of this stuff is up to you to be a little bit creative at some point!)

Cooking comes last:

1/.  Take the chicken out of the bag – save the marinade (you will need it later).  Place the chicken skin side down directly onto the bbq (you can use a pan if you must!)  - but either way don’t have the heat up too much – the halfway setting on my bbq does it fine.  It will take around 30 minutes or so to be cooked (yes, you will need to turn it a few times).  If the heat is too high it will be black on the outside, pink on the inside and we don’t want that – likewise if it is down too low, the chicken will dry out too much – this isn’t that tricky though…we are just bbq’ing some chicken folks! Use a spoon to ladle the marinade over the chicken every 5-10 mins throughout the process…  When you serve it, put some english spinach on each plate, a couple of spoonfuls of the salsa next and the chicken on the very top.  You might find (like I have) that it goes amazing with some sweet potato fries or if you are feeling a bit more decadent, some traditional potato salad!

Keep it SIMPLE, 12-Days of Christmas, Pad Work November 27th, 2016

Hi and welcome to another week,

Cheers to everyone who came down to Round 1 last week.  The classes were pretty fantastic if I say so myself – probably as challenging a week of sessions as I can remember – but it was the Friday 2-minute rounds that really stood out to me as one that just couldn’t be missed.  I guess it ties in well with what I am writing about in the ‘larger’ blog today, but there was punching (which is obviously a cardio/strength combination when you do it ‘right’), bikes (cardio), running (cardio), barbell work (strength), dumbbell work (strength) and kettlebell work (strength).  All wrapped up nicely in 45 minutes.  I was stuffed/exhausted (say what you will) at the end, I woke up the next day with that good feeling of soreness when you have trained hard and pushed yourself but aren’t so sore you are unable to walk/move at all and just generally feeling good.

Thanks also to everyone who had cause to email me/speak to me about all of the feedback in the survey last week…it seems a few members out there were more upset and agitated about what was said than I was.  Personally I thought some good points were raised and we will (of course) be working hard to make the gym a better place for everyone.  I think the upgraded flooring has already made a huge difference to the place…hopefully I can get to a point later this week when I can announce some pretty exciting equipment upgrades – it really is a great time to be training at Round 1.

OK – It is time for me to write my bit now and it is this part of the blog where I am going to say stuff that (I hope) doesn’t upset anyone.  All this fitness stuff doesn’t have to be that HARD.  The Beach Fit program seems to have inspired 100000 questions though about what goes with what and the timing of exercise and the timing of meals and whether it is OK to eat the same meal three times in a week or not and…anyway, on and on it goes.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, we train pretty hard at Round 1 but we aren’t aspiring to be Olympic athletes…we (well, most of us) are trying to lose a couple of kilos and look better in our board shorts.  And, if you are like me, maybe a little bit of a mental health boost that you only seem to get through exercise.  Given these pretty simple outcomes (and yes, I know that we are also trying to get stronger, faster etc as well but stick with me for a moment) we should all be able stick to a pretty simple programming solution.

First off – don’t stress about how many times each day you need to eat.  Just don’t.  A good starting point is to make sure you are getting a good breakfast, a healthy lunch and a good dinner.  Cut out the sugar, lay off the booze (a couple of beers once or twice a week is fine) and watch out for the snacking (particularly after dinner which seems to be a weakness for a lot of people I talk too).

Second – don’t WORRY about your training.  Just DO your training.  You know when the classes are on (they are at the same time, every day!) – if you show up and it happens to be a Beginners class, a Body Work class, a Boxing class…well, just do it.  Don’t get all up in your own head about whether or not that will be ok for you, whether it is too easy, too hard, too different, too whatever…just do the session, give it your best shot and you will be OK (and get something good out of it).

If you overcomplicate things – if you make things difficult for yourself – then pretty soon it will all end up in the too hard basket and bye-bye to achieving your goals.  Sure – some people eat 6x per day.  Maybe that works for them…who knows whether or not it would work for you???  First things first, cut out all the sweeteners, eat real, fresh food and establish a good rhythm with your eating…once you have that in place, THEN if you still aren’t getting results if might be time to think about making a change.  YES.  Absolutely some people do three (3) dedicated weightlifting sessions every week or do sprints on the treadmill or spend 30 minutes working on their pull-ups…and again, maybe all of that works for them.  Would it work for you?  Again, who knows?  Just like with your food plan, first things first with your training – build up to FOUR (4) or FIVE (5) sessions each week and establish a good rhythm with it.  Once you have that in place and have established it over the course of a few months, well THEN if you aren’t getting the results you are after it might be time to think about changing it up.  Don’t over-think this stuff.  Be consistent and just ‘DO’.  Assess the outcomes over an extended period (3-months is a good timeframe) and then make adjustments as necessary.

If you want to achieve the simple goals most of us are chasing, well, just take consistent action – do your training, eat fresh food and keep putting one foot in front of the other…if after a few months, you REALLY aren’t getting anywhere (note:  a few MONTHS, not a few years) then seek me out for a chat (or one of the other trainers if you don’t want to chat to me – don’t worry, I totally understand that emotion!) and we will see if we can make a bit of a course correction.  It might mean we want to get you into the ‘Food Matters’ program, there might be a once a week weights program for you to follow…maybe you even need to get some blood tests done???

Often, the simplest approach is the way to obtain the greatest results.

See you all in the gym.


Gym Update #1 – 12-Days of Christmas

Well, it is that time of year when the 12-days of Christmas Challenge hits the Round 1 calendar.  This is (of course) an awesome challenge and one which I find really important personally…it is the time of year when social pressures really can get the better of all of us and this challenge – or my determination to not let any of these challenges get the better of me – will have me getting 12x classes done AND 12x challenge workouts done between December 1st and December 24th.

I don’t know what it is about challenges but somehow the mere fact that I need to get ‘someone else’ to sign off that I have attended a session or not has me pushing back on nights out/saying no to early beers and getting to the gym…all of which (I hope) sees me hit the new year in GREAT SHAPE!

If you are keen to have a crack, the cost is $10 to participate.  Online registration only:

Gym Update #2 – Beach Fit 2016 – Workout of the Week

So – Beach Fit is well under way but I have had a few people say to me, which workout do I do WHEN???  Well, it isn’t really as simple as that …but at the same time, it is as simple as that.  These little challenge WOD’s have been designed to be done after (or before) a boxing class…they are kind of like the ‘FINISHER’ routines we all do in TANKS (or to a lesser extent Body Work).  Now – would some workouts fit better with some classes?  YES!!!  Does it really matter in the big picture of things???  NOT REALLY.  So, here goes:

It is week#2 of Beach Fit.

If you are following a ‘1-workout per week’ rhythm, you should do WORKOUT#2 this week.

If you are following a ‘3-workout per week’ rhythm, you should do WORKOUT#4, #5 and #6 this week.

Either way, if you want great results, be sure to be completing these extra workouts…they are the basis of the ‘extra push’ you need to really get ‘Beach Fit’.

Gym Update #3 – Food Matters Blog

So, week 4 of the ‘Food Matters’ Blog went up last week featuring my all-time favourite, ‘Sweet Potato Hash’ as the recipe of the week.  I hope everyone is enjoying the recipes and getting something out of the weekly food ‘Challenges’…if you stick too them, by now you would be drinking more water, validating your protein quantities and watching out for the after dinner snacking as well as trying out four (4) pretty cool new recipes…access last week’s recipe HERE if you need a refresher:

Gym Update #4 – Summer Holidays?  What about the Pooch?

Ness and I find ourselves without a dog for the first time in our lives since we moved into a pretty dodgey 2x bedroom fibro house on Moolyeen Road Brentwood back in 1991…that’s when our beloved Kelpie Lucy joined the household and our dog love affair started…unfortunately for us, our greyhound Sharna passed earlier this year and we have been without a dog since then (which is something we hope to change pretty soon).

If like us, you are a dog owner and lover, I know how stressful it can be when you are planning a holiday – even a few days away – and you are going somewhere that the family pet can’t join you.  If you are anything like us, you spend as much time stressing about what will happen to the pup while you are away as you do planning the trip…

Anyway, I will skip the life story and get to the point.  If you aren’t sure what to do with your dog when you are away and you really want to have peace of mind, do what we used to do with our greyhound Sharna and board her at J-Lo’s (Jenna works at Round 1 reception every Wednesday night) when you are away.  The kennel is in Southern River (find them on Facebook at so it is pretty local to most of us at the gym and they do an awesome job.

Gym Update #5 – Christmas at Round 1

This is the part of the blog where I say to everyone that we have a shop at Round 1 and if you are interested in Round 1 gifts for the fitness person in your life, well, we have them.  First off, there is a heap of new foam rolling gear from Black Roll on the way, we have our usual range of gloves, mitts, gymnastic grips, weightlifting belts etc…and then there are the options of gift vouchers, 10-round passes etc.  You might want to get someone a Body Scan…who knows.  We have ‘stuff’ at the gym and large quantities of it are as cool as cool can be…so if you are looking for a gift for the fitness person in your life, maybe we can help??

Link of the Week

Love this pad-work video.

Food Matters Tip of the Week #4 November 23rd, 2016

Cheat S-M-A-R-T

We all have food ‘stuff’ that we dream of – but you need to be smart about it and take charge of your treats rather than letting them take charge of you.  You get to eat the chocolate if you are good all week.  Sorry.  You get to eat a sensibly sized piece of chocolate if you are good all week.  You don’t get to eat it (or drink it) on Wednesday night because you had a crappy day at work.

Own this stuff.  Don’t be the person who is amazing with their food ‘ALL DAY’ but blows it all in the 90 minutes between the end of dinner and the time your head hits the pillow.  Don’t be the person who has been good ‘ALL WEEK’ but then blows it all at the office morning tea on Friday for a sausage roll or cup-cake that isn’t even that good.  Take control.  We all need to be able to relax with our diet and ‘eat what we want’…but we do this when WE decide, not when our cravings tell us too…or when an opportunity to cheat just ‘pops up’ out of nowhere.

I will forever struggle with this one and (to me) it is the thing that holds more people back in terms of achieving their body goals than any other.  Everyone seems willing to get to the gym and train there bum off…but if you want to benefit from that you have to leave the wrapper on the after dinner chocolate and the cork in the bottle of wine.

Me?  I like to pick my cheat meals and reward myself for good behaviour.  I like to stick to the straight and narrow and promise myself that if I do, on ‘Saturday’ I will get to eat Mexican food with all the trimmings.  Whatever you desire the most – you can plan for it and USE IT to help you stick to the right side of the road!


Easy Prep for Cheat of the week

No-one ever likes this suggestion because it is a ‘waste of money’, but if there is stuff in your cupboard/fridge/freezer that ‘calls you’ the moment you walk in the door…chuck it out.  Me?  I would suggest that the money was wasted when you bought it…keeping it in the cupboard to eat ‘sometime’ makes it a waste of money AND a waste of all your hard work in the gym.  All of us as trainers have our own personal vices (no-one is perfect!!!) – Kirei = chocolate liquorice, Elie = Peanut butter, Sez = Kit Kat’s, Eden = Corn Chips, Lloyd = ice-cream – and we all know that having this stuff in the house is a BAD PLAN.  There is a bit of an ongoing joke in the office that when someone goes shopping, they buy someone else their favourite ‘VICE FOOD’, knowing that the person who receives it will be equal parts HAPPY and FURIOUS.

If you don’t want to deal with the temptation, chuck it out.  Or even better, don’t buy it in the first place!

Food Matters Challenge of the Week.

Choose a drink – any drink – but it needs to be alcohol free, un-caffeinated, sugar free and, well – delicious to you.

When you sit down after dinner at the end of the day – make yourself ‘that’ drink as a substitute for any of the ‘bad stuff’ you are so often tempted to have at that time of day.  It might be peppermint tea (though I couldn’t think of anything worse), it might be a Progenex ‘Cocoon’, it might be a mug of warm water with a squeeze of lemon…it really doesn’t matter.  If you feel the urge to get up and get that chocolate out of the fridge or ice cream from the freezer, be smart – you DON’T need it.  Make yourself your new best friend – that relaxing post meal drink – that tells your body it is OK to go to sleep whilst doing only good things to it!

Recipe of the Week

My favourite breakfast/lunch meal.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this!

Sweet Potato Hash

Watcha need.

  • About 3/4 of a sweet potato for each person who will be ‘enjoying’
  • 1x rasher of bacon for each person
  • 2x eggs for each person
  • 1x handful spinach for each person
  • Some Mexican spice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to ‘drizzle’ over the spinach (so not much)

How You do it?

Cube the sweet potatoes and cook them gently in boiling water for about 20mins.  You can slice them if you want to speed the process up but I find the cubes make for a better final dish…so speed of prep vs final outcome.  Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, slice the bacon and throw it in a pan on a low-medium heat.

Drain the sweet potato and throw it in the pan with the bacon (and the bacon fat!) and stir it around (a lot).  You can turn the heat up a bit at this point.  Throw in a teaspoon of Mexican spice and keep stirring.  Throw in a bit of sea salt and black pepper and keep stirring.  When the sweet potato cubes are nicely browning on all sides, turn the heat back down to medium-low and crack the eggs directly into the pan (yes, on top of the bacon and sweet potato).

Whist the eggs are cooking, put a handful of baby spinach leaves topped with a drizzle of olive oil on each plate – when the eggs are cooked, serve out a couple of eggs for each person who is eating.  Eat and enjoy.

(p.s.  You can add other stuff to the pan – mushrooms are a favourite of mine.  I have also found that mixing the spinach with some kim chi or some giardiniera (antipasto) is an awesome thing to do – particularly the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes.  Of course, you can always top the serve off with a dollop of avocado which will taste amazing.)