Overhauling my health during the last 8 years has been far easier then I ever imagined considering I grew up in a house hold full of low fat products with the running joke being that no one in my family could understand why we were so unhealthy given everything we ate was fat free!
Little did I know that while we were taking the low fat option, all of the foods we put into our mouth were loaded with sugar and preservatives and this was in fact why we were overweight and quite lethargic. Our bodies were not receiving the nutrients they needed to thrive and until I was forced by injury to realise just how important whole foods and a sugar free lifestyle were, I couldn’t fathom how something could be sweet without actually being sweetened by sugar.
Nutritional education serves a huge purpose in our daily lives. It allows us to have balance within our diets, enjoying the foods we love whilst remaining happy and healthy.
Healthy living is 75% diet and 25% exercise which goes to show just how much impact can be made to our health via the food we consume.
Result Based Training Gyms across Australia and the USA are one of the few training facilities that dedicate nutritional education to their clients as nutrition plays a huge role in weight loss, muscle gaining and aids in recovery.
Recently I caught up with Liv Jones, Director of Result Based Training alongside her husband Travis Jones and known as the “Nigella” of Gyms to chat about all things health and fitness and even pinch one of RBT‘s Fitness Retreat Sweet Treat Recipes to try out during the month of Veganuary (Vegan- January)
How did you get into doing what you do today and where did your healthy lifestyle stem from?
My interest in food is a lifelong passion, and certainly the way I express love is through cooking for friends and family. I am a chronic over caterer!
The need to find healthier alternatives came from walking into RBT South Melbourne 6 years ago, and having to balance a love of food, with my love for working out and RBT Gyms.
What is your number one rule in the kitchen?
Make as much mess as humanly possible!
What does a day on your plate look like?
My days are fairly structured at the moment, as one of my first quarter goals is getting back to my pre-baby body! So, to hit 15% body fat while still eating well, and feeding a chubba little bub means nutrition is key.
My nutrition is tracked, for now, through MyFitness Pal, to ensure I stay on track. I am a massive believer that what isn’t measured cannot be managed. So, tracking is a necessity!
Food has to be easy, straight forward to prepare and tasty, or I simply won’t stick to the nutrition. And nutrition is 80% of any type of body transformation anyone is looking to undertake.
I am not a huge fan of breakfast, mainly because I don’t LOVE eggs. I’ll eat them but mainly for variety rather than excitement. But I do have some protein post workout in the form of a shake.
It’s quick and easy when I am trying to get myself, a toddler, a baby and a husband showered, dressed, fed and out the door!
I hate protein shakes as a rule, so while on the RBT Bali retreats, we created a bunch of delicious protein shake recipes that still hit calorie goals. My favourite is called Strawberry Heaven, as I can still enjoy this no matter what my macro breakdown is, and with our crazy life, food needs to be as easy as possible. It’s basically Vanilla protein powder, Unsweetened almond milk, and half a cup of chopped frozen strawberries. Yum!
Lunch is usually dinner left overs, so Chicken Meatloaf with Salad and White Wine Vinegar (I am obsessed with Vinegar in general), or Chicken Bolognese with Pumpkin or Broccoli. If no left overs, Chicken and Salad from Coles, or Salmon Sashimi.
Dinner has to be family friendly so Beef or Chicken Stir-fry is a family fav, or Bolognese never fails and is super easy to re-heat at a pinch, or Steak is date night without a doubt, always with a glass of red wine!
What is your biggest food hack?
Don’t over think it, if you love the flavours you can always make it work. Food has to be easy and delicious or it becomes to hard to stick to any nutrition goals you have.
What is your favourite restaurant or best healthy lunch spot in Melbourne, and why?
This is so tough for me because I LOVE food, and all food is healthy if you understand eating for your goals. But if I had to choose, and it had to be lunch, I would say Salon De Sushi. It’s close to work, delivers at a pinch, and their Salmon Sashimi is delish!
Your favourite cheat food?
No food is a cheat food, I really wish more people understood that food is just food, and you can eat just about anything if you track your food and strength train. But if I am going to have a higher calorie day, my favourite food is and always will be Pizza, a good pizza is still the way to my heart!
Tell me, what is special about this recipe we are about to cook?
This recipe grew, like so many of my recipes, from trying to educate our members on volume versus density. Most people who “diet” think this means they have to eat boring foods, and feel hungry 90% of the time. Which just isn’t true. It’s simply understanding the macro breakdown of foods and eating to your goals. This is a quick and easy dessert or treat that tastes amazing minus all the the nasties that make you feel horrible, but with the added bonus of protein and fibre while still remaining sweet thanks to the natural sweetness of the maple syrup and berries.
Coconut Chia Parfait
|Chia seeds||1/4 cup|
|Almond milk||1/4 cup|
|Vanilla Plant Based Protein Powder||32 g|
|Strawberries||6 (sliced in half)|
|Maple syrup||1/2 tbsp|
|Cocoa Powder||1/2 tbsp|
- In one bowl mix the protein powder together with the coconut yoghurt using a whisk to make it make it light and airated.
- In another bowl, combine the chia seeds, almond milk, cacao, and maple syrup, stir until well combined
- Spoon into a clear glass layering as follows;
1/ 3 of chia mix
1 layer of sliced strawberries
1 layer of goji berries
⅓ of the yoghurt/protein mix
- Finish with some sliced strawberries around the egde of the glass and a dollop of the yogurt mix in the centre.
- Top with remaining goji berries and serve.