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Food tips & strategies
Becoming a protein pro | Gains a la grains

28 Jun 2020

Attention, plant-based pals: this one’s for you!   Being plant-based and hungry for protein can be a tricky combination, but we’ve got some sound suggestions to help our meat-free Method members hit that magic macro!   If you’ve been plant-based for a while, chances are you’ve got a well-balanced plate under your belt. But if this is something you’re relatively new to, regardless of your reasons, you might want to consider a slow and guided transition into this new way of eating (or living!). Drastic habitual changes take time to implement and are usually more successful with a bit of research and a plan. For example, maybe start cutting out red meat and in that process, find yourself a really good substitute. Once you’ve got that down, swap your usual chicken intake for a meat-free option. If you usually have a skim latte, give yourself time to get in the habit of ordering a soy, almond or maybe oat milk latte instead. And don’t beat yourself up if you slip up!   So, what are some of the high protein subs you can start to play around with in your meal prep? Let’s get creative, starting with the easy stuff: tofu, tempeh and seitan. Lots of these also come as faux-meat products (like Quorn) and pack a whopping great big protein punch; in some cases, rivalling their carnivorous counterparts. Tempeh, for example, will serve you 41g of protein per cup, versus chicken breast (20g) and steak (25g). You can also get 20g out of our incredibly versatile friend, tofu, which loves to be scrambled and comes in so many flavoured variations from almost all major supermarkets; all you have to do is heat it up in a pan or microwave for a tasty snack, or add it to a salad - whatever your tummy desires!   Beans, beans, the magical food; surprisingly high in protein and they taste pretty good! We’ve rewritten the words in an ode to this little protein powerhouse and we’ll give a nod to the legumes in this bit, too. Edamame, black beans, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans; talk about bang-for-your-buck. You’re getting between 10-20g of protein per cup for these guys and with such a varied flavour profile across all of these options, they can be added to pretty much any cuisine! Have a play around with them and see what you can come up with! Have you heard of chickpea brownies? #justsayin   And if you need a top-up to get you over the line for the day, stock-up on some Prana-On protein for your shakes and smoothies. It’s widely available, has a trillion (or so) flavours and is 100% vegan-friendly!   Bottom line: do your research and be prepared to have your eyes widened as you navigate a plant-based palate. Lots of things might surprise you - did you know that up until 2016, Guinness beer was made with a product of fish? Yep! So, go easy on yourself if you miss something, have a plan with fail-safe food options and, as always, check the label for vegan or vegetarian-friendly stamps.
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Education
Food for thoughts… healthy eating for your mind, body and soul

6 May 2019

“Your health is what you make of it. Everything you do and think either adds to the vitality, energy and spirit you possess or takes away from it.” Ann Wigmore Eating healthy whole foods and leading a lifestyle to match has a myriad of benefits such as looking good, performing better and having more energy but have you ever considered the benefits of healthy eating for your mental wellbeing. The food we eat is linked to our mood, emotions, and behavior and affects how we think and feel. Here are eight ways to nutritionally boost your mood and optimise your foods to look after your mind while you nourish your body. Eat healthy fats – especially ones rich in omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in how the brain functions and reducing neuro-inflammation which is associated with depression. Sources of omega-3 fats include seeds, walnuts, and oysters, although the highest amounts exist in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Eat foods which contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid (the building blocks of proteins) and is required to produce serotonin. Serotonin is thought to stabilise moods, and reduced levels have been found in people with depression. Foods that naturally support tryptophan levels include seeds, nuts, cheese, oats, and meats. Vitamin D does more than just is vital in activating the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Few foods are rich in vitamin D, with oily fish topping the list, but the best source is sunshine. B vitamins, including folate (B9), play an important role in producing chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. The best way to ensure adequate B vitamins is to consume a healthy, varied diet. B12 can be tricky for those on plant pased diets, if this is you soy products and nutritional yeast are good sources. Cut back on the sugar! When we over consume sugar, it’s poorly digested and passes into the colon. There it fuels the growth of “bad” bacteria, which can wreak havoc on your health, promoting inflammation and disrupting the healthy ecology of your gut microbiome. The majority of serotonin is made in your gut, which is influenced by the health of your gutbiome. Choose complex carbs. Complex carbohydrates are more slowly digested and offer a gradual release of energy into the blood stream. They also support the body’s natural detox systems and promote the activity of desirable gut bacteria. Try adding more root vegetables, legumes, and buckwheat to your diet. Fermented foods. Cultured and fermented foods promote a healthy gut, which can lead to a more positive mood. Food choices include yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchee. Drink water! It’s essential for the trillions of tiny chemical reactions that energize us throughout the day and stabilize our mood. Dehydration can cause fatigue and irritability, and drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated.
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General
Tia-Clair Toomey Joins The Method!

27 Feb 2019

We’re pumped to see Tia Clair Toomey, 2017 Fittest Woman On Earth and 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist joining The Method Now team! The Method Now will be providing advice to Tia and help optimise her nutrition in the lead up to the 2018 CrossFit Games and beyond. As a world-class athlete, Tia knows about the difference the right nutrition can make: “I’m working hard every day, physically and mentally, to become fitter and stronger. The decisions about what I fuel my body with can make all the difference in achieving my goals. At the same time, I don’t want to be too restricted in what I can and can’t eat. I love my Tim Tam’s, so they have to be written into my macro plan.” The Method’s macro-based nutrition planning allows flexibility in your diet, nothing is off the cards, not even Tim Tam’s. It’s all about finding the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. You don’t have to be a Gold Medallist to benefit from The Method’s personalised services. Our experienced nutrition and lifestyle coaches provide one-on-one coaching and support, tailored to your specific goals whether that be losing, gaining or keeping weight, increasing physical performance or simply enhancing your well-being. Contact us to find out more or Get Started with your transformation. We’ll be following Tia’s journey closely and will have a closer look at Tia’s Secrets of Strength over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
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Recipes
Tuna Patties

9 May 2019

The perfect addition to any lunchbox! With lots of lean protein and low fat content it leaves room for delicious sides like guacamole or dipping sauce. 😋⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 🍴Serves 3 // Macros per serving...⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 288 Calories 🌿⁣⁣ 〰️ 38g protein.⁣⁣ 〰️ 16g carbs.⁣⁣ 〰️ 8g fats.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 🍃 INGREDIENTS ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ➕ 300g canned tuna ⁣⁣ ➕ 4 eggs ⁣⁣ ➕ 2 tbsp nutritional yeast *you can also use parmesan⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tsp garlic paste ⁣⁣ ➕ 2 tsp dijon mustard ⁣⁣ ➕ 1/2 bread roll *blended to crumbs or torn to small bits⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tsp lemon zest ⁣⁣ ➕ 1/2 lemon juice, squeezed ⁣⁣ ➕ 2 tbsp parsley ⁣⁣ ➕ 2 tbsp green onions, sliced thinly ⁣⁣ ➕ 1/2 tsp butter or spray oil⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 🍃 METHOD ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Mix all ingredients together, except butter, in a bowl with your hands. Heat butter in a pan on medium heat then spoon out small tablespoons of mixture into balls and flatten with back of spoon. Cool for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
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Education Food tips & strategies
Eating for immunity support

28 Jun 2020

Contribution by Amanda Bunn (@amandabunn)   Amanda Bunn is a New Zealand-based coach with The Method Now. In her “spare time”, she’s an emergency department doctor, CrossFit athlete, gym owner and coach. Here’s Amanda’s best advice on eating foods to support your immune system.   The body is full of biochemical defence systems that modulate our immune systems and make us more resilient against disease. By stimulating and upregulating some of these physiological factors, we can support the healthy function of our immune system.   Fruit and vegetables contain substances called phytonutrients, which, along with a host of other beneficial properties, enhance immunity – so the very best thing you can do to support your immunity is eat a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables. All the colours offer different benefits and some even work synergistically to have a more powerful effect - so aim to eat the colours of the rainbow every day.   Fibre is also a key part or your immunity arsenal. It helps keep your gut lining and microbiome healthy, which is has been linked extensively to a stronger and more adaptable immune system. Foods high in fibre include: All fruit & veg, especially beetroot, spinach, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, avocado, carrots, brussel sprouts, artichoke and sweet potato with the skin on. Berries (raspberries top this list, but all berries are good) and fruit with pulp - oranges, lemon, apple, banana. Legumes – black beans beat everything else for fibre content, as well as lentils and chickpeas. Almonds, walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts (all with the skin on).   The top three micronutrients to support immune function are: Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, and Zinc. It can be difficult to consume these in high quantities, so high quality supplementation can be beneficial.   Vitamin D is critical for health. Virtually every cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor, which, when bound to vitamin D, can influence the expression of more than 200 genes. It has a significant role in regulating immune function. There are two types of vitamin D: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). D2 is made naturally by plants and D3 is the form your body naturally produces when it’s exposed to sunlight.   The easiest way to naturally boost vitamin D production is through exposure to sunlight; it’s recommended to aim for around 20 minutes of direct safe sun exposure per day. (There is a caveat to this through UV exposure and skin cancer, so you only want to be in sun exposure when the UV index is below 3. There is an app called UVIMate, which gives you real time information on the UV index in your area and thus if it is okay to be out in direct light.) Typically speaking exposure in the morning or later afternoon/early evening is best – early morning exposure has the added benefit of help with your circadian rhythm and sleep.   Top foods for vitamin D are: Fatty fish (i.e. tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel), whole eggs, beef liver and cod liver oil.   Vitamin C is an antioxidant that animals produce in response to stress. Humans lost the ability to do this during our evolution and now have to obtain it from our diet. Vitamin C's role in immunity is related to glutathione, the body’s main antioxidant defence mechanism, which is produced in the liver. It protects against free radicals and helps to eliminate toxins. This is by far more powerful than antioxidant supplements or vitamins because the body will self-regulate glutathione’s role in the immune system.   Foods high in vitamin C include: Guava, capsicum (red and yellow), broccoli, cauliflower, kiwifruit, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet potato, kale and brussel sprouts.   Zinc is used for the function of more than 300 enzymes and more than 1,000 transcription factors (proteins that regulate the function of genes) in humans. It also plays an important role as a structural agent of proteins and cell membranes preventing oxidative stress. It promotes hormone production and immunity, as well as fighting against infections.   Top food sources of zinc include: Grass-fed red meat, shellfish (in particular oysters, crab, mussels and prawns/shrimp), pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, cheddar cheese and dark chocolate (80%+).   It’s important that your immune system is supported by a healthy, balanced diet, as well as two other key factors: Prioritise getting enough sleep. Sleep supports your natural killer cells and forms part of your initial immune response. Managing stress as much as possible. Self-isolation is a great time to learn new stress-management techniques, such as meditation or breathwork. Stress plays a huge role in compromising the immune system, so if you’re someone who suffers from a lot of stress and anxiety, you might also notice you’re more susceptible to getting sick.
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Recipes
Homemade Taco Seasoning

13 May 2019

Why you should make your own instead of buying a pre-made packet? 🧐 Not only do store bought packets have way more than the eight ingredients we’ve listed (some of them are unpronounceable), they can also be ridiculously high in sodium and MSG. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Homemade taco seasoning is such a cinch to throw together that once you’ve made a batch, you’ll never go back to store-bought. 👌🏼 It’s also one of our favorite back-pocket tricks for transforming a few simple ingredients into something ultra-flavorful and satisfying. Not only is it quick - can whip up a batch in about 30 seconds - homemade taco seasoning will always taste best because you can adjust the proportions to your suit your own tastes. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ INGREDIENTS 🍃⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tbsp chilli powder ⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tbsp salt⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tbsp paprika ⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tbsp cumin ⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tbsp onion powder ⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tbsp garlic powder ⁣⁣ ➕ 1 tbsp oregano ⁣⁣ ➕ 1/2 tbsp black pepper ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ METHOD 🥄 Mix all ingredients together then season. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ How do you use taco seasoning ? 🔥You can use on... ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ - Sheet pan fajitas⁣⁣ - Turkey stuffed peppers ⁣⁣ - Smoky grilled salmon⁣⁣ - Taco bowls⁣⁣ - Cauliflower tacos ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 📸 @themodernproper⁣⁣
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Education Food tips & strategies
Why it’s actually okay to eat carbs after 7pm

2 Jul 2020

There appears to be some misconception about the caloric value of carbohydrates as the day gets later. How many times have you heard someone say (or even yourself!), “I can’t eat carbs after 7 because I’m trying to lose weight”?   You can kinda understand where this comes from. Carbs can feel a bit “heavy”, if you think of eating lots of bread, pasta, potatoes and things. They’re filling foods and packed with energy – that’s why we eat carbs before training! – so for some people, eating a carb-loaded meal might not feel great in the stomach or it might impact sleep quality, and so on. However, some people have the opposite experience eating carbs at night and end up sleeping like a dog after day care.   For some people, eating carbs in the form of sweet, sugary snacks late at night can lead to a binge. Before you know it, those two squares of Lindt have become the whole block. It might be easier for some people to avoid the carby sweet treats altogether late at night, and that’s understandable, too.   I digress…   The fact is that carbs, regardless of when you eat them, contain no more and no less than 4 calories per gram. So, if you eat a bowl of pasta for lunch or a bowl of pasta for dinner, you’ll still be getting, for example: 1 cup serve = ~45g carbs = ~180 cals + calories from fats and protein + calories from added sauces and sides, you’ve got around 220 calories, give or take.   Carbs and calories don’t watch the clock. If you need to eat them, get them in! If they disrupt your sleep, try and switch your dinner for lunch, so your last meal can be smaller before bed. If you struggle to cut yourself off when there’s an open packet of chocolate lying around, work with your coach to implement some support or guidance measures.   If you’ve got a big day of fitnessing the following day, a stack of delicious carbs in the evening might be just what you need to fuel yourself for a long hike; perform better in your sport’s grand final; smash a PB in your CrossFit competition; whatever it may be.   But you don’t need to demonize carbohydrates because someone told you they’re anti-weight loss. Coz it just ain’t true and there’s more to the story.
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Education
Eating more to lose weight

14 May 2019

Introduction It’s the oldest weight loss advice in the book: consume fewer calories than you expend, and you’ll lose weight. While this stands true for the short term, eating too few calories, and depriving yourself of certain food groups or macronutrients, can, in fact, sabotage your longer-term weight loss goals – and harm your health and mental state, too. While your body might initially respond to a drop in calorie consumption and increased exercise by losing fat, this only leads to a false sense of security. The human body is a dynamic, adaptable and complex machine, with survival as its top priority. In order to feel safe and manage change, it constantly – and miraculously – regulates what goes on internally in response to its environment and how we treat it. Here are a few things you need to know:   Risks associated with eating too little Our intention in highlighting the following health risks is not to scare you – rather inform you on why eating more (and eating better) might be a smarter and more sustainable means of losing weight and allowing you to achieve your body composition goals than by drastically reducing calorie consumption. When we cut too many calories from our diet or fail to adequately refuel ourselves following rigorous exercise, survival mode kicks in and our bodies respond by assuming these changed circumstances are the new norm (i.e. every day to come will look the same). In turn, it slows our metabolism down and holds onto the limited calories we give it. Not to mention: reducing active thyroid and sex hormone production; raising adrenal stress hormones like cortisol, potentially leading to insulin resistance (an unhealthy hormone state that promotes body fat and water retention and causes long term health issues); lowering blood pressure and reducing heart rate to unhealthy levels; electrolyte imbalances; hair loss and brittle fingernails; loss of menstrual periods in women; trouble concentrating, issues sleeping and potentially depression. It’s important to shift our focus from solely weight loss and external appearance, and to instead consider what – and how much – we eat as it relates to our broader health now and into the future. Our focus should be on adequately fuelling our bodies in a way that is sustainable. Hint: slow and steady wins the race.   How much and what to eat to support body composition change – sustainably In evaluating our individual dietary needs, we need to consider both what we eat and how much we eat. The amount of food our body needs depends on gender, height, age, general state of health, activity levels, genetics and body composition. It’s not as simple as calories in versus calories out when it comes to maintaining, losing or gaining weight healthily. The substance from which the calories are taken is integral. This is where macronutrients (“macros”) come into play. The three main components of the foods we eat are carbohydrates, protein and fat, the calorific values of which are different: 1g of both carbohydrates and protein contains 4 calories, while 1g of fat contains 9. However, rather than focussing solely on calories we suggest taking this one step further and thinking about the food components calories derive from.   Eating more and eating better There are some general things worth knowing when shifting focus from calories to macronutrients: Foods high in energy but low in nutritional value (e.g. doughnuts – yum!) provide empty calories. Our advice is certainly not to cut these foods out. After all, the goal is to adopt sustainable habits (and it’s going to be near impossible to avoid doughnuts for the rest of your life!). Instead, we recommend thinking about ‘empty calorie’ foods as occasional foods. There is a benefit in re-evaluating the ratio of your carbohydrates versus protein consumption – higher protein diets better support a ‘lean’ body composition, not to mention accelerated muscle recovery. Interestingly, your body uses more energy during the process of digesting proteins versus other macronutrients. Bigger muscles also require more energy to move – meaning you can burn more calories during the day without trying! Don’t you dare cut out fats entirely – instead, learn the difference between fats: saturated, monosaturated, polyunsaturated and trans; some of which are healthy, some of which are not. Foods high in healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and salmon should be included in diets to support weight loss – foods high in unhealthy fats (e.g. fast food) should be limited. Fibre and sugar are worth thinking about too. High fibre diets (aim for around 25g per day) support healthy digestive systems, reducing bloating and water retention. Further, eating too much sugar throws your blood sugar and insulin levels out of whack, wreaking havoc on your energy levels throughout the day. Micronutrients including calcium, sodium and iron (particularly for women) should be prioritised in healthy diets too. Tip: eat the rainbow. Generally speaking, the more colourful the food (we’re talking naturally coloured – fruits and vegetables, not candy), the more packed with micronutrients. If you want to be a leaner, healthier version of you, the easiest thing to do is to eat more whole, single-ingredient foods (insert: fruits and vegetables, lean animal-based proteins, grains, etc.). These foods are naturally filling, and you can eat substantial amounts of them without blowing out your calories. It’s very difficult to gain fat if most of your diet includes food your grandparents would have eaten as children.   Conclusion At the end of the day, your focus should be on nourishing your body instead of depriving it. Satisfy your hunger, treat yourself every now and again, and maintain focus on your longer-term health goals. Quick weight loss through calorie deprivation might allow you to lose weight ahead of a holiday or special event, but what’s the fun in a life of yoyo weight loss? None. Time to break the cycle. Speak to a nutritional professional about eating more but eating smarter. Then, once you don’t have to stress about food all the time, you can focus on other things! Yay!
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Recipes
Raw Mars Bars

27 Feb 2019

Your carb & fat macro targets will thank you after this... oh and maybe those nagging cravings too ;) These RAW MARS BARS are actually out of control!! It’s hard enough trying not to eat the “batter” whilst making them. There are only a handful of ingredients to make, they’re gluten & dairy free, refined sugar free, vegan friendly and taste SO GOOD.    *Base* 1/2 cup almonds 1/2 cup cashews 3 tbsp hemp seeds (optional-- but so nutritious! 10g of plant protein per 3 tbsp. Feel free to add ground flaxseed in place) 1 tbsp maple syrup 2 tbsp water 1/4 tsp cinnamon Pinch sea salt   *Filling* 3/4 cup almond butter 1/2 cup melted coconut oil 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup 1/4 cup filtered water   *Chocolate Covering* 1 chocolate bar, melted (We recommend @loving_earth dark chocolate bar) 1 tsp melted coconut oil Pinch sea salt   Instructions: In a food processor, pulse together base ingredients until it reaches a dough-like consistency. Press into base of baking paper covered loaf tin and freeze for 10 minutes while you make filling. In same food processor, pulse together filling ingredients. Pour over the top of the chilled base and freeze once more for about 1-2 hours, or until firm. Using a knife, cut into rectangles. Melt chocolate bar + coconut oil in a medium bowl, then dip frozen bars using two forks until fully covered. Place on baking paper and back into the freezer to harden. Sprinkle sea salt over the top & ENJOY! Makes a loaf tin’s worth, about 8-10 bars. Store in freezer.
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