December 1, 2015( Comments: 0 )

Food Plan for your week

So you’ve been training routinely now for the last few months, you’ve sorted out your diet and now you’ve decided you’d like to add some supplements into your training…
You head into your local health store and before you know it you’re completely bombarded with every kind of nutrition supplement known to man! You know that protein is pretty important – so you head to that section.  Whey Concentrate? Isolate? Hydrolized?Egg White?Pea? I thought this was going to be easy! And then there’s a weird one call BCAA’s!

Where do you start?

If you have been training regularly it is a good idea to look into getting some basic supplementation as they can help with achieving great results!! When first getting started the two most important supplements in my opinion will be protein and a good multi-vitamin. If you would like more information about the importance of protein – there is an article written about it earlier in our blogs. Proteins can make-up to 70% of the body’s dry weight and are the building blocks for a healthy body. Although protein is mostly thought of as just ‘’stuff to make our muscles strong”, it is so much more! Your hair, nails and skin are also made of protein and when you are not getting enough, your hair and skin becomes dry and your nails become brittle! When it comes to choosing a protein there are basically 2 categories ‘’animal protein’’ and ‘’vegetable protein”.I’ll cover the benefits of each in a later article. Animal protein is protein that comes from an animal source like eggs, meat and milk. Vegetable protein is protein that comes from plant sources.
The most common protein source you will hear most about is ‘’whey protein” this is a derivative of milk. Whey has been shown to augment protein synthesis, assist with fat burning, boost the immune system and help decrease appetite. There are 3 main categories of whey. Whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydrolyte.

So which one is for me?

When choosing a protein powder it is important to consider your goals, your budget and any allergies you might have. Whey concentrate goes through less processing than an isolate or hydrolyte so concentrates tend to have more calories per serving and are slower digesting.
Concentrates are also generally less expensive than their isolate counterpart’s.On the over hand if you have an allergy to lactose it may be better for you to go for an isolate as they will have less lactose.
Another thing to consider is absorption time,an isolate can be absorbed into the body in a faster time frame than a concentrate so if you are really serious about getting your meal timing right, an isolate would be the way to go.


This might seem like a very basic recommendation, but the thing is if you are lacking in certain vitamins or nutrients – it can really affect your progress in the gym.For example, vitamin B6 plays a role in protein synthesis, and vitamin c plays an indirect role with metabolism and recovery.

Having a good quality multi-vitamin in the cabinet will insure that you are not deficient in any vital nutrients making your progress much faster.
When choosing a multi-vitamin, choose one that covers all the essential vitamins that the body needs. For example, although we can get vitamin D from the sun, most of us are still deficient in vitamin D – especially  if you follow a strict vegan diet or have a job working indoors for a large part of the day. Choosing a multi that includes these things will benefit you greatly over time.

September 8, 2015( Comments: 0 )

Food Plan for your week

Everything in our lives is much faster paced these days, if you consider the internet, mobile phones, iPads etc – and the food we consume is exactly the same, it’s produced much quicker than ever before!

If we went back 100 years, the bread we ate was homemade, the milk was farmed straight from a cow and drunk whole, and the cereals would be grown. All of these items would go off within a day or two if not consumed. However now days, in our busy and hectic modern lifestyles we no longer have time to grow and produce our own food, or room to keep a cow!!

So what does this all mean?

It means that today we are eating food that is lower in nutrients and high in calories (energy). The convenience of food these days comes at a price to our health and wellbeing. A low nutrient diet can lead to a list of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, dental diseases and osteoporosis. The good news is the majority of these diseases are preventable, and some reversible.

What can we do to increase the nutrients in our food?

  • Try to buy from locally grown food markets. Not only will you be supporting your local small business but these stores are lot more likely to farm organically, increasing the foods nutrients. We are blessed on the northern beaches to have quite a few organic markets to choose from, you might fancy Narrabeen or Frenchs Forest market for example.

A lot of people think “Oh but it’s so expensive to purchase organic food” – let us challenge your perception…That nice car you’re driving, do you put average petrol in it, or do you pay that little bit more and put premium fuel in it?? Your body is the same – it needs good quality fuel, be proud of your health & your body like you are with your car!!

  • If you are shopping at one of the larger supermarket chains, try and keep majority of your shop to the outer ring of the supermarket, this is to avoid as much processed foods as possible – pretty much everything within the centre shelves will generally be processed.
  • Be aware of what YOU as an individual need to consume, Macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats) – also add water as essential part of your diet, and be aware of how much you need to consume.
  • An obvious one is to really eliminate the fast food/take away food that you consume; this includes purchasing “healthy” options from take away stores.
  • If time is an issue (especially in the morning), grab yourself an easy to use blender and mix up all your required nutrients into a quick shake.
  • Being conscious of what you eat is actually a really important part – keep a food diary so you can look back on what you’re consuming, then if you’re unsure if what you’re doing is correct – chat with a trainer who has a nutrition background, or a nutrition expert for advise J

 Remember the gym is an essential part of your health & fitness; however you can work your bum off in the gym and achieve little results if your food doesn’t reflect your goals!!

August 24, 2015( Comments: 0 )

Food Plan for your week

Do you have constant cravings for ice-cream, chocolate or just anything sweet? Are you still thinking about chocolate as you read this? There is much truth behind the phrase “stress eating.” Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary “comfort foods” push people toward overeating.

In the short term, stress can shut down appetite. Corticotrophin-releasing hormone, is released which suppresses appetite. The brain also sends messages to the adrenal glands atop the kidneys to pump out the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Epinephrine helps trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, a revved-up physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold.

But if stress persists, it’s a different story. The adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol, and cortisol increases appetite! Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn’t go away — or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the “on” position — cortisol may stay elevated.

 Fat and sugar cravings!

Once ingested, fat and sugar filled foods seem to have a feedback effect that inhibits activity in the parts of the brain that produce and process stress and related emotions. These foods really are “comfort” foods in that they seem to counteract stress — and this may contribute to people’s stress-induced craving for those foods.

Of course, overeating isn’t the only stress-related behaviour that can add pounds. Stressed people also lose sleep, exercise less, and drink more alcohol, all of which can contribute to excess weight and an unhealthy lifestyle!

 What can we do to help deal with stress?

See previous Blog “Exercise and Stress” for great ways to deal with stress.

However, in short – exercise is one of THE best ways of dealing with it!

Another great way is Social Support – Friends and family can make a world of difference when it comes to dealing with stressful situations. But having their support when it comes to pursuing a fitness routine can really make all the difference.

A huge step in the right direction is to become conscious of “stress eating” to ensure we don’t follow the bad habit of picking up naughty food!

 At the end of the day the goal shouldn’t be to get rid of stress. Stress is a natural response; the goal should be to learn how to deal with stress in a more healthy way!!

If you would like the gym, group classes, yoga or some sort of exercise routine to help you in dealing with stress, pop in and see us in Warriewood on the sunny Northern Beaches and we can show you some fantastic exercise routines to help.

December 11, 2014( Comments: 0 )

Food Plan for your week

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a traditional pudding

But as we know, Northern Beaches people like to do things little different, a bit healthier…. 

These Christmas puddings will only take you 5 minutes. They’re so easy to make and won’t bloat you like traditional versions that have extra cane sugar & added fats.

225g fresh pitted dates
zest from 1 orange
250g organic dried apricots, chopped
150 g (1 ½ cups) almond meal
1  teaspoon vanilla bean extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼  tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
80 g white chocolate or dark chocolate, melted for decoration (optional)

  1. Combine dates, zest, apricots, vanilla, almond meal, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a food processor.
  2. Process until mixture is combined and looks like fine crumbs.
    Spoon mixture into a large bowl and add 1 – 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice then mix again. Your pudding mix should come together in the hands when lightly squeezed.
  3. Divide puddings into 6 small puddings. The best way to do this is to line the base of your desired mould with glad wrap and press the pudding mixture into it firmly.
  4. Invert the pudding and remove the glad wrap. Repeat until all the puddings are formed.
  5. Melt Chocolate and drizzle on top, can also top with a cherry, berries, dried orange… Anything you like.

Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!

The Gym Factory wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, and hope you enjoy yourself this festive season, we have seen great results and know how hard you’ve all worked!! Time to put those joggers up, relax, appreciatefamily and delight in scrumptious food… We are enthusiastic for 2015 and look forward to seeing fresh faces in the New Year.

– The Gym Factory Staff –

November 18, 2014( Comments: 0 )

Food Plan for your week

We all have trouble sticking to a strict meal plan and know it can be hard work – even for the most dedicated!

Start by making small steps in the right direction, and gradually you will find yourself making wiser decisions automatically!

Working hard in the gym is fantastic, but remember to compliment that hard work with good decisions outside of the gym – this will help you reach your goals faster!

Being on the Northern Beaches, we all spend a lot of time outside of the house, and eating out is sometimes where we fall down – this advice can really help in making a wise choice at that café J

Let’S StARt SWAPpiNg!

Here is a small list of some of our favourite swaps that you can make everyday:

  • Swap soda drinks to mineral water
  • Swap that latte to a short black with a dash of milk.
  • Swap that 3pm binge with a handful of nuts or frozen/fresh berries
  • Swap that ice-cream to natural yoghurt, WPI powder & berry combo.
  • Swap that milk chocolate for a piece of dark 70%^ cacao chocolate
  • Swap cream based dressings for a creamed avocado topping.
  • Swap the apple pastries with a homemade boiled apple bowl served with yoghurt, cinnamon & stevia.
  • Swap your fries for baked sweet potato chips
  • Swap a pizza base for Lebanese flat bread
  • Swap sugar for stevia- simple, yet still sweet!
  • Swap sugar loaded cereal/muesli for plain oats! Top with fresh fruit for a delicious summer feel or chocolate protein power for a warm winter winner.

These are only a few options of ‘SWAPS’, but every day in almost every situation you are faced with a decision, most of us will be able to make a wiser decision if we make ourselves aware of it!

The Gym Factory in Warriewood have qualified personal trainers to get you on the right path, give you great nutritional tips & construct a personalised meal plan just for you.

July 25, 2014( Comments: 0 )

Food Plan for your week

Hello fitness people. Taking over Roz’s blog for the week allows me the opportunity to set a few misconceptions straight in regards to carbs and weight loss. Lets set the record straight….

Whether it be bread, pasta or rice. If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably think these are absolutely off-limits. But the truth is, you need these types of carbohydrate-rich foods to give your body energy. And not getting enough carbs can make you feel sluggish, irritable and unable to concentrate.

Not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs, which are found in white bread and white pasta, sugar, cookies and cakes, offer little in the way of nutrition and get broken down by your body and used quickly. When you eat them, you may get a temporary burst of energy, but you’ll inevitably feel tired or hungry again soon after.
On the other hand, complex carbs (such as vegetables and whole-grain products) don’t cause the same spike in blood sugar levels. Your body breaks them down much more slowly, so you feel fuller longer. What’s more, high-quality carbs come packed with other nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals. More carb-smart facts:

1. Eating carbs won’t necessarily make you gain weight.

Research shows that most people lose the same amount of weight whether they follow a low-carb, low-fat or Mediterranean diet. That’s because calories matter most: Eat too many calories (from bread, pasta or anything else) and you’ll gain weight; eat less than you burn and you’ll lose weight.
The catch: Starchy carbs are high in calories, so you have to keep serving sizes small—but many people find it all too easy to go overboard on pasta, potatoes, rice and even the better-for-you whole grains like whole-wheat pasta or brown rice. Not sure if you’re eating too much? Your rice, pasta and potato portions at each meal should be about the size of a standard tennis ball. If you tend to eat more than that at one meal, just cut back at another.

2. Pasta, bread and rice aren’t the only carbs.

Vegetables, fruit and even dairy foods also contain carbs. But grains tend to pack more than these other foods (although some starchy veggies like potatoes, corn, peas and butternut squash are relatively high in carbs, too).
A good rule of thumb: Go for as many nonstarchy veggies (leafy greens, mushrooms, etc.) as you want, plus two fruits and three to six servings a day of starchy vegetables or grains (ideally whole grains) each day. A serving size equals a half-cup of cooked rice or pasta, one slice of bread, a cup of cereal or one small potato.

3. Your body burns off carbs the same way no matter when you eat them.

From a weight-loss perspective, how many calories you eat overall matters most: Having 1 cup of brown rice at dinner affects your metabolism the same way as eating 1 cup at lunch. Still, I recommend going light on carbs at dinner; since that tends to be the largest meal of the day, it’s when people tend to overdo it. If you’re trying to shed pounds and big piles of pasta and second helpings of potatoes are often part of your evening meal, consider cutting out starchy carbs at dinner for a little while to jump-start your weight loss. After a few weeks you can add them back, but try not to have them every night (at least not until you can get a handle on portion control).

4. Just because a bread or cracker is brown doesn’t mean it’s whole-grain.

Many whole-grain products, like oatmeal, are naturally light in color. And manufacturers often add molasses or caramel coloring to foods made with refined grains to make them look like whole-grain products. Pumpernickel bread, for example, isn’t usually whole-grain (neither is rye bread, in case you were wondering). So don’t trust your eyes! The best way to tell if a bread, cereal or cracker is whole-grain is to check the ingredients list.
Keep in mind that a package may say multigrain, high-fiber or made with whole grains, but that’s no guarantee that the product is 100% whole-grain—or even good for you. Your best bets are foods that list the grain preceded by the words whole or whole-grain (for example, whole wheat, whole oats, whole rye, etc.) as the very first ingredient. Keep an eye out for the yellow stamp from the Whole Grains Council (look for the version that says “100% Whole Grain”).
Also, pay attention to the other ingredients listed. Is there trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil), lots of added sugar or corn syrup, or tons of processed ingredients you can’t pronounce? If so, put that item back on the shelf.

5. It’s OK to ease yourself into whole grains.

I know many people complain that whole-grain pasta is gummy or coarse; being careful not to overcook it can help a lot. Or you may prefer the taste of a 100% whole-grain brown rice- or quinoa-based pasta to the whole-wheat kind.

Still not happy? Try mixing half of your usual white pasta with half of a whole-grain variety. (You can also do this with cereal, starting with 1/2 corn flakes and 1/2 bran flakes, for example.) Or try a whole-grain pasta blend, like Ronzoni Healthy Harvest, which is made with a mix of whole-wheat flour and white flour. Consider these baby steps toward eventually choosing 100% whole-grain pasta and cereal.

Another option: If you’re not usually a fan of whole-wheat bread, check out “white whole-wheat.” It’s made with a type of wheat that has a softer texture and milder taste, so it’s more like the traditional white bread that you’re probably used to eating. Just keep in mind that many white whole-wheat breads aren’t 100% whole-grain—companies often mix in some regular flour. But nutritionally, they’re definitely a step up from plain old white bread.

So there you have it. Its not all doom and gloom. You don’t have to be a carb deprived monster….you just have to train like one after to make them worth it 😉
See you in the gym…..