Boxing Blog

    Micro-Nutrients – Variety is the key, but are you getting enough?

    Hi Team,

    Thanks to everyone who has gotten along to the gym over the past week – the sessions continue to evolve post-COVID and we have been really pleased with the way our ‘TANKS Integration’ has been working in the Functional Fitness classes (the addition of the extra ‘mini-workouts’ into the session each day) together with the continued addition of ‘old-school Round 1’ into the new boxing cell-based model.  Within the next month or so we hope to reach a stage where limited equipment sharing is again possible and things like ‘bike challenges’ and sled relays can again be part of what we do.

    I want to talk today about the Summer Slam “VEGGIE Challenge” that a lot of us have been working through, but before I do just a quick word about our upcoming ‘Summer Squad’ promotion.  We have created this to enable new and returning members to come to Round 1 with maximum chances of success.  Keys to the program are the ‘kick-off’ and monthly follow up meetings where we get to all talk together about strategies for creating an ongoing healthy lifestyle…and the weekly ‘Summer Squad’ class (8am each Saturday) where the Summer Squad team can train together and build connections within the gym.  It is really hard to assign a ‘$ value’ to these things but having regular access to a coach to assist in establishing a plan and helping to keep you on track with your training…those things really are the key to being successful.  No doubt, just showing up at the gym is a large piece of the puzzle, but if you walk out the doors and straight back into a life where your old habits and inconsistent eating dominate the landscape, well, it just makes progress so hard…so stop-start.  If you know someone who is serious about making a change, well, this program really is the one for them:

    Welcome to the Summer Squad!!

    Back to this week’s blog.  We have been on a veggie eating BINGE over in the Summer Slam challenge – with every meal (3x per day) needing to include at least one cup of raw veggies.  Of course, you can COOK them, but the serving size you need to measure is ONE CUP of raw veggies…as I noted at the start, this challenge has elements of managing food by INCLUSION rather than simple EXCLUSION…a first for a R1 challenge (and a really, really hard 1st!).

    The other part of this challenge – of course, the part I never talked about – is that to be ‘really’ healthy, just adding 1x cup of veggies probably isn’t enough…what you also need is some VARIETY…because that’s where the micro-nutrients come from.

    Are you varying what you eat?  I’m probably not.  We (by we, I mean Vanessa!) made up a massive container of broccoli, green beans, sweet potato, mushrooms, baby tomatoes…there was tonnes of stuff in it.  The problem (of course) is that I ate from that same ‘mix’ every day during the week.  Is that good?  Well, of course.  Could it be BETTER?  100% – because variety is what it is all about.  At the same time (and to be fair to our meal prep plan), it was pretty good…and the important part will be adding some variety in the week ahead!

    What if you are just on the “I’m happy to eat veggies, but I’m sticking to what I know”…that’s still good.  But you *COULD* still be leaving yourself short when it comes to Micro-Nutrients.  How do you ‘know’ you are short?  Well – usually the signs are subtle.  For example, you are getting enough sleep and eating well, but come 3pm each day you are tired.  You are drinking “heaps” (girls 2lt/day, boys 2.5lt/day) of water but seemingly need to stop and drink ‘more-more-more’ 5 minutes into a workout.  You are falling asleep well but waking up a few times each night for ‘no reason’.  All of those little things can point to some imbalances that relate directly to micro-nutrients…the question of course, is “which ones”.  Well, without knowing EXACTLY (and whilst maintaining that a diet focussed on a VARIETY of fresh foods is the solution), you might lead a little more of these FOUR (4) x nutrients which are readily available at the local supp store!

    1/.  Magnesium.
    Apparently, those ‘athletes’ amongst the population (and you know I include all gym goers in that category) can need up to 30% more mag than the rest of the population to replenish what is lost in sweat during exercise…you can find Mag in foods such as pumpkin seeds, chia, almonds, or spinach – or in one million different supplements.

    2/.  Zinc.
    Pretty topical given the recent reports that having adequate levels of Zinc is one of the keys to reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 entering the body!  (Read about that here:

    Zinc comes from by eating seafood, nuts and whole grains and is a key antioxidant as well as playing a key role in regulating our brain chemistry – so think mood swings ranging to depression.  Like magnesium, there are a HEAP of zinc supps available.

    3/.  Vitamin D
    The ‘sleep’ vitamin (or so they say) – having adequate levels of Vitamin D is one of the keys to getting to sleep…and STAYING asleep.  For most of us in Perth, it is sunny every day – and we get most of our Vitamin D from the Sun.  Given all the working from home that has happened this year though, apparently we are all at more risk from low vitamin D levels that ever before…I have to admit, I think I’m fine given the time spent outside for footy, running etc but you never know!

    Again, Vitamin D is a readily available and reasonable priced supplement.

    4/.  Vitamin C
    Just like the old Ribena adverts used to tell us, VitC is important to our immune system – and we get it through citrus, tomatoes and capsicums…and I guess black-currant juice but I seem to remember Ribena lost a legal challenge relating to that??  Anyway, we have all been told since we were kids that sufficient vitamin C is critical to immunity and – in these days of a global pandemic, maintaining a tip-top immune system would seem to be something ALL of us should be doing.

    Back to my original point, eating a variety of fresh veggies is the key to looking after yourself.  But if you are doing ‘everything’ you can and still feel that things aren’t quite right, well…don’t dismiss a micro-nutrient imbalance as the cause.  For me, Magnesium is the key and whilst I don’t take it ALL the time, it would be a 8-9 month of the year supplement for me…I recognise the symptoms (afternoon fatigue, interrupted sleep), I add the supplement – usually for 6-8 weeks, I reset and go again.

    Good luck!

    See you in the gym,






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