Bring your own lunch from home

Bringing your own lunch from home is a great idea as to its healthier for you. Lunch bought outside has hidden fats and usually no nutrients. Every office building has a food court or two. A healthier employee is a happier and more productive one.

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On the Today show this week they were talking about saving money and if you bring your lunch from home you could save about $1500+ per year.

According to Moneysmart Australians in 2016 spent $4 billion. On an average week, we spent about $239 just on food alone in a week.

We normally spend about $20-$30 for lunch outside.

This is cheaper as it doesn’t cost a fortune. Here it works well for everyone as we enjoyed our own black bean salad as well as lentil salads. It is easy to throw all the vegetables and proteins together in the morning. This only takes about 10 mins to do and you can do it whilst waiting for the water to boil.

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Most workplaces have a fridge where employees can store their lunch and microwave for them to heat it up. Some workplaces have a sandwich press where you can make a hot toasted cheese sandwich. These days a hot toasted sandwich sets you back by $7 outside.

Each week all you need to do is wash your vegetables. In the colder months, you should set aside one weekend afternoon and do a whole batch of cooking for the week. Such things are curries, soups, pasta sauces, lentils, etc. Or you can cook one huge meal at dinner time and save the rest for the next day’s lunch.

Or if you are not a salad person then rolls might be your thing. A bag of rolls is about $4-$5 at the supermarket. And then you can put whatever you like in your rolls whether its bhanh mi or other things.

Or you can buy tuna at the supermarket and put that with last nights leftover pasta. If you make sushi you could bring sushi for lunch.

Or you could do rice with chicken or beef or tofu for dinner and then take some of it to work.

There are endless possibilities of what you could do for lunch depending on what you feel like. It’s always a good idea to meal plan at the start of the week and buy what you need on Saturdays at the markets. Then that way you save even more money.

Oh, and if you bring your lunch from home you don’t have to join the lunch queues meaning that you spend more time outside enjoying the fresh air. And there would be no more excuses not to go for a walk.


MyFitnessPal

Need to track your calories? Here’s how to do it for free!

MyFitnesspal is a website which helps you to track your calories. Here you can sign up using Facebook so that it is easier to share with your friends. You can search for food on there and it tells you how many calories you have consumed. It also tells you how much protein you need each day. You have to fill out a profile at the start telling them how much weight etc.

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I have done this for about threes years now and it’s going good. They have a mobile phone app so that it is easier for you to add your calories in on the go. But the only thing is that they sometimes accidentally enter an item twice but you need to watch out for this.

They do have support forums so if you do get stuck then you can sing out for help. I have a few times and found them to be super helpful. There is a blog too and you should check that out once you are there. The blog is always updated from time to time with new issues.

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Adding meals on there is easy as 1, 2, 3. You simply find out how many calories and you can Google that item and then you just enter it accordingly.

 

This is good for those that want to lose the weight. As adults, we need about 1000-1500 cal per day. But for athletes we need about 2000-2500 calories per day. When you do exercise and enter it, it will tell you as to how much calories you have burnt. Even then they also tell you how much you have consumed so that you know what foods have a lot of calories and what does not. They will also tell you how much protein you have consumed.

You can check in your weight each week and they recommend that you weigh in once a week to see how you are going. They also recommend that you drink more than eight glasses a day and I do that. If you eat under 1000 calories they will tell you that and will tell you to add more in. Your body burns around 500-1000 cals per day depending on the activity that you do.

I learned that a the Tarik is 91 cals and a normal standard latte is about 160 cals per cup. Champagne is about 95 cals per cup. Bee hoon is about 600 cals per plate. That is a lot of calories consumed.

Do use myfitnesspal.com as it is free for all to use.

For athletes, you can see the macronutrient counts in the reports section. Here they calculate your potassium, iron, and calcium as well as fiber intake for the day. And you can adjust your goal to meet your needs.


War on waste and what we are doing to tackle it

These days there is a war on waste and we try to be as environmentally conscious as we can. Every year we throw out ridiculous amounts of waste and some of it ends up in the sea or in the landfill.

Some ways in which we are being environmentally conscious. As health bloggers, we should be more passionate about caring for the environment.

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Drinking coffee or tea

Yes, we all love to drink coffee or tea. But that paper cup that we used to have always goes in the landfill. Nowadays we bring our own cups or eat in. It saves us from burning our hands and saves paper and trees.

Most cafes will discount people that bring their own cup.

Reusable bags or not having a shopping bag to start off with.

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As students, we bring large bags. So much so that there is room in there for all our stuff and stuff we buy from the supermarket. Most supermarkets don’t provide plastic bags. Instead, you will have to pay for yours.

Before we always used to ask for single plastic bags because we forgot ours. But then they end up in the landfill.

Not printing tickets and other things.

Instead, we use our smartphones and have everything scanned at the desk. Its much faster and cheaper too as we would save about $5.00 for paper and printing. And in the long run you would save a tree or two.

If you need to send a document just send it via email and use PDF. Or if you are working as a team you can always upload your documents via Google drive and then just add your team members via email.

Nowadays we read books online too via Kobo or PDF. Its much cheaper that way.

Not using EFTPOS cards but using an app instead.

Eftpos cards are plastic wasted. Nowadays we use Google pay or banking apps to pay for everything and many merchants are accepting those. It is a much faster way of paying for things.

Bringing in your own water bottles instead of buying water.

Water outside is about $2-$5 depending on where you buy it. And the bottle always ends up in the landfill. If you bring your own in then you can always fill it up for free. Per year you’d save about $520- $1000 just on not buying water everytime you are out.

And the same goes for those other drinks. Just learn to love water. Those other drink companies always use plastic and that plastic ends up in the landfill.

Guys what are your tips on reducing waste? Do leave a comment below!


Online fitness coaching scams

People, would you like to lose weight?

Don’t have the time to go to the gym? Then online fitness coaching might be for you. But beware there may be some scams going on.

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According to Franchisehelp.com Americans spent about $64 billion in the weight loss industry in 2014. And that number is rapidly growing. In the last year alone the FTC caught more than 80 companies making false claims. According to Smartcompany Australians spent about $6.6 billion in 2013.

These days some of the personal trainers don’t have qualifications and you could hurt yourself and then you might not have the protection. Having watched some of the Singapore Crime episodes I would love to remind you about this scam.

These scams take consumers money with the false promise of I’ll help you get fit and they don’t. Some of these websites sell illegal drugs. The online fitness industry is unregulated.

Similarly, these coaches run their wellness competitions and they always post the same posts of themselves online and never about their food or training methods. Or they repost other people’s pictures and training mottos.

Their challenges run from 8 -12 weeks and most of them promise unrealistic results. In the weight loss industry, we cannot lose weight in this short amount of time. Most people want to lose somewhere between 30kgs and 50kgs. It takes months even years to lose this weight.

How to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Check their credentials- did they do a course on Personal training? Are they registered?
  • Check the Fitness Australia site and read up on the rules of how they should behave
  • If they have a Facebook page see what other people say about them
  • Do they have an Instagram page where you can follow them and see their videos? Many good trainers are happy to post videos of their workouts so that you can get a feel for them!
  • Ask about their eating and training habits in the first consultation and don’t forget to ask for pictures of their meals.
  • Ask them what is their actual motto
  • Do try and see if you can have a face to face meeting every now and then. Ask to meet them in a gym and go with a friend or a family member for a second opinion. If you can’t see if you can Skype them with your friend or family.
  • And don’t sign up to those online challenges. Rather sign up for them in person and many gyms run challenges which are legitimate
  • Ask about their rates- if they are too cheap then chances are they are no good. $40-$50 or more is reasonable.
  • Never give them your bank details, always ask to do it as Paypal or transfer through your bank’s app.

Happy training and do drop us a comment if you have been scammed. Also remember that you can always contact your country’s scam watch or police for assistance. You can also give feedback to Facebook, Instagram and Google as well.


Why selling MLM’s are bad for you

Guys here’s why selling MLM’s off the street is bad for you.

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MLM’s are Multi-Level Marketing companies which means that you don’t earn much of a profit unless you are at the top (ie president’s club or chairman’s club). You work your way up the pyramid and you work for yourself. You have a supervisor and they earn royalty income from the profits that you make.

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You earn a commission depending on the level you are at. If you are at the bottom you don’t earn much.

You can lose a lot of money and friends from doing this sort of thing. You pressure your friends on Instagram and Facebook and in person to buy this sort of thing. If you want to earn money from these things you’ll feel pressured into signing people up even when they don’t want to.

They can be very expensive to start up and maintain. They can cost anywhere between $65- $165 just to start up. And then you have to buy the products which are somewhere between $30-$400 per month just for yourself. Earn enough volume points and you’ll get to the next level.

In most countries, it can be illegal to do this sort of thing. In Australia, under Fitness Australia’s rules, it is illegal to sell protein powders and supplements.

Most people working in these MLM’s have no idea as to what they are doing. There’s all these meetings and seminars but still, they don’t teach much. You have to do it all yourself.

And no they don’t teach people how to eat healthily. Their products usually contain those protein crap that only marathoners and avid exercisers need. Most people lead sedentary lifestyles and don’t need the extra protein.

 

 


Food waste

In Australia and all over the world food is wasted. Right now not wasting food is the topic among the bloggers.

It starts with when you go out to eat. When you go out the restaurants waste food by giving you these big portions of food and then you didn’t want to eat all. Some people didn’t want to take all the food home. Some of the restaurants donate to charities, others don’t.

At the supermarkets, the packaging is wasted. And the food not sold today often goes in the landfill. Food is getting so expensive nowadays.  The supermarkets used to discount food but not anymore as they figured out that they don’t make a profit from this. At least Oz Harvest rescues most of the food and gives it to the charities to give it to the poor.

At home, people leave things in the fridge and they forget that its there. The thing goes off and then you have to chuck it out. In the pantry, people throw out items that have gone past its best by date. Best by means that you can use it after the date.

In Precision nutrition’s online course we are asked to think about where our food comes from. Most of the food is imported from China and America. How long it takes for the food to get from the farms to the plate costs fossil fuel and money. If we buy locally we would save a fair bit of carbon footprint and fossil fuel.

Some tips on not wasting food:

  • If you have a small appetite go halves with a friend or take the leftovers home
  • Before you go to the supermarket have a look in the pantry and see what you have
  • Try buying your bulk from a discount store as they are cheaper and either has gone by their best by date or just on it.
  • Meal plan- at home write out a meal plan and a list and then go to the shops with your list.
  • Use up what you have in the freezer and fridge first.
  • Don’t buy things which you don’t need
  • Don’t throw out things which have just gone by its best by date as you can still use it. Unless it’s moldy of course.

My first week on Precision nutrition course

The first week of this course is all about nutrition. It is an online course talking about everything and attitudes towards food. Here we signed up for free and don’t have to pay until two months later. The fee is $79 USD.

This week we learned about food and the fact that there is no one diet that suits someone. Diet is such a dirty word as it means to cut out certain food groups and when you do that it can cause an eating disorder. Everyone is different. We all do different things. There is not one nutrition philosophy that suits us.

What is good nutrition? For me, it’s about including everything in my diet. It controls energy balance. It controls how we feel and how we perform as athletes.  We need vitamins and minerals in order for the diet to be balanced. Food is more than fuel, it is about sending messages as well as feelings to our brain. Eating food helps us to release hormones and do everything else that our body needs.

Food in my eyes is about culture. I’m from Australia and Australians enjoy food. I love all sorts of food.

This week I enjoyed homemade sliders and homemade Japanese food. The sliders were bought from Coles and we used the leftover chicken schnitzel. This week was also the beginning of Autism awareness month and for that, I had chips like autistic people would to put myself in their shoes. As a coach, I would need to do that sometimes.

As coaches, we should have empathy and a good listening ear.

 


Dinemic

Dineamic is a place in South Yarra that does home cooked meals. They are a stone’s throw away from the train station on Toorak road which also means that they are close to the tram stop.

They open early in the morning until 8pm. They open for dinner as well as lunch and breakfast and people can relax in here with tea/coffee/healthy sodas as well as their meals. They also do have meals that time poor people can take home.

I have been there for tea and dinner and liked the service. The service is pretty friendly and it’s a surprise that they are not busy at dinnertime when I visited in the week. Most other places around there are.

The meals cost between $10-$16 and you can take them home and heat it up. Or they can do that here if you prefer to sit in and enjoy. They are freshly made by the chef. The meals are small, but I guess that they want people to eat healthily and mindfully. Their meals don’t have salt added to them but you can add it yourself.

On the back of each package, they have their nutritional information. They also sell a wide range of meals and soups.

Oh, and you can also buy rice and pasta to take home for a mere $3-$9.

They also do smoothies here that I’m yet to try. But I did like their non-sugary lemonade which is actually healthier for you. Oh, and I loved their teas which were to die for! They were relaxing and calming to the mind.

The only thing I would suggest is to stop serving coffees but focus on the great meals and teas and healthy drinks. Drinking too much coffee is bad for you. They should leave the coffee making to the other great cafes like what Lentils in St Kilda did and focus on just the food and the healthy drinks.

Do come by when you have a chance!


The truth about being in the health industry

This post was on Facebook in a forum called Fitness Education Online and the editor has sought permission from the original author!

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I think most people have this notion that being a personal trainer is a glamorous or cruisy profession. Perhaps there’s this propagated concept that we get paid to work-out, get awesome discounts on supplements and active wear and can work our own hours.

Yer of course we get all of that…. if we are offered a bogus television gig or we have thousands of followers on social media.

And I can tell you that I don’t have either of those things.

The reality is, I am a student studying nutrition and is a young Personal trainer. I am learning a lot and have to pay my own way for my courses

I barely have time to work-out and have to budget my training into teaching classes and joining in with my students. I work around my clients hours, so I am up early and down late. And I shop the sales racks on activewear to get discounts, like everyone else!

When a client comes in to meet with me, I spend an hour of my time freely getting to know them and their health history. I want to explain what will work best for their needs and budget. When we sign an agreement, it’s with full disclosure and designed to work for everyone.

But the reality of some situations, that so many trainers encounter, is people changing their minds or not honoring their commitment. This hurts every industry professional at some point. When someone dishonors an agreement and forfeits payment, guess who really suffers?

Personal trainers and health professionals

If others operate like I do, then from the start they’ve invested time that isn’t reimbursed to ensure the client is cared for. They’ve spent money on advertising to reach their community and put thought and consideration into a 12-week program based on getting their new client results. They may have even offered a free trial.

And after all this effort if a person withdraws from their commitment, then the trainer is left fretting about how to pay their own bills and being forced to work at a loss to themselves.

A good trainer is going to offer you support, advice and knowledge. You’re investing in their wisdom!

I read somewhere that the average career of most trainers entering the fitness industry is 6 months. So statistically, I am one of the tiny percentage who survived the fitness machine. It also indicates that I probably have some merit in skill, knowledge and ability. Staying in this industry definitely takes some resilience.

It’s taken me a very long time to recognise my worth and realise that finding a professional with my unique skill set and integrity is rare. But people, even like myself, are unable to help people like you reading this, if we don’t have support and commitment.

Health and fitness is beyond a quick fix. If it was easy, then athletes would just rock up to training once a week. It takes years to develop good body composition, un-do disease forming habits and shift a mindset. Anyone who suggests otherwise is full of shit and if you’re paying them, then you’re putting the true industry professionals out of business.

That’s actually a crying shame too. It’s a shame on all the scammers and the unethical people taking advantage of vulnerable people. And it’s a shame of the people who listen to them instead of the honest, genuine professionals.

So now that you can see just how hard it can be to work in a nurture orientated profession, consider the following:

🥊 how long did the trainer spend on your consult and health history?
🥊 did they take the time to make you feel comfortable?
🥊 what was the timeframe you were given in terms of meeting your desired goal?
🥊 are you truly ready to commit to your trainer and your intentions?
🥊 what is your realistic budget and can you stick to it?

In conclusion, I want you to know that I am here for you. This work is beyond my profession. It’s my passion and I want to be doing it for a long time


Shopping with Woolworths gift card

This has never been easier and never a better time to do this. Now that it is Christmas and the party season, as well as Summer and the Australian Open. All your favourite healthy snacks are at Woolworths and there are always specials for your things. You just have to keep a close eye out on the catalogues each week both online and in print.

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We bought the card for $95 for $100 on Groupon and it was so easy. It was an e-card. You don’t need to redeem this as I found out. Groupon will have your email when you sign up for it and all your emails and vouchers are sent to the same email. The ecard will be sent to the same email. You just had to wait one day.

Using it at the self serve checkout was not a problem. It was just simply select the e-card option, open the pdf on your phone and follow the pin pad prompts. And then it will take the money from there. They don’t issue with a receipt unless you ask but for most everyday items I remember the prices well. Nerada tea used to be $3.89 for a pack of 50 but now it is $4.46. My nuts was only $1.

Do buy the card when it comes out again on Groupon!