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June 6, 2022by ben.g.differ

We all have different goals and while we’ve made the best effort to cater for everyone, there may be some that have different nutrition requirements than the meal plans provided. If you’re following a vegan diet and require more calories and/or protein than the Vegan B stream provides, please follow these guidelines to help achieve your targets. 

You will likely need to track your calorie intake using an app such as Easy Diet Diary, MyFitness Pal or similar. This will allow for more specific data collection and therefore allow you to achieve your targets with more specificity.
If you are following the meals from the meal plan provided, you can add these recipes into the app using the macros provided rather than having to add each individual ingredients for each recipe. This will make things a lot easier and quicker!

 

An easy option is to add a post workout protein shake to your day. Use a high-quality protein powder (i.e. rice and pea blend) and include a source of low GI carbohydrates such as milk, fruit or oats. Some example protein shakes include:

    • 250 mls of soy milk, 1 cup of berries, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1/3 cup of rolled oats and 1 tsp of maple syrup
    • 250 mls of soy milk, 100 gms of unflavoured vegan yoghurt, 1 scoop of protein powder, 10 gms of peanut butter and 1 banana
    • 250 mls of soy milk, 100 gms of unflavoured vegan yoghurt, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 cup of frozen mango, 2 weet-bix style cereal biscuits

Adding high volume ingredients such as peanut butter, shredded coconut, chia seeds, and avocado can really maximise the number of calories consumed through one extra shake per day.

Another option to increase calorie and protein intake is to replace any low protein and calorie snacks on the meal plan with higher protein options. Some examples of high protein snack options include:

    • High protein vegan yoghurt or unflavoured vegan yoghurt with added protein powder
    • Protein shakes
    • Nuts
    • Roasted chickpeas
    • Flavoured legume snack tins
    • Crackers/rice cakes and hummus
    • Soy milk
    • Chia puddings made with high protein ingredients (i.e. protein powder)
    • Slices of grainy toast with nut butter

You can also use the ‘Snack List’ guide in the portal for more ideas.

Increase the volume of meals and snacks. For example, increase the size of one or more of the main meals per day. You could do this by keeping the vegetable content consistent but increase the volume of protein and carbohydrates by 25-50% (i.e. if a recipe uses 100 gms of rice, you could increase this by 30% and use 130 gms of rice instead).

 

Add additional meals and snacks. For example, you might find it easier to add an additional 1-2 snacks per day to meet your targets or add an additional fourth meal per day. You could use snacks or meals you’ve enjoyed from previous challenges or previous weeks or use the ‘easy meal ideas’ guide and the ‘snack list’ guide for extra ideas.

 

Including nutritious, high calorie, low volume foods to the meal plan can also help increase calories without having to add too much extra volume. Foods that fall into this category include:

    1. Peanut butter (or other nut butters) 
    2. Avocado
    3. Nuts
    4. Dried fruit
    5. Seeds
    6. Soy milk
    7. Coconut flakes 

You can add these to smoothies/protein shakes, appropriate snacks (i.e. with yoghurt or crackers) and breakfast meals.

 

Suggested Targets:

If you require 2100-2400cals your suggested targets are:

Protein: 80-120g (15-20% total energy)

Fat: 70-106g (30-40% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 210-300g (40-50% total energy)

If you require 2400-2700cals your suggested targets are:

Protein: 90-135g (15-20% total energy)

Fat:  80-120g (30-40% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 240-335g (40-50% total energy)

 

If you require 2700-3000cals your suggested targets are:

Protein: 100-150 (15-20% total energy)

Fat: 90-130g (30-40% total energy)

Carbohydrate: 270-375g (40-50% total energy)

 

 


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June 5, 2022by ben.g.differ

From a nutrition perspective, the main role of a snack is to tide you over until the next main meal and to assist in meeting certain nutrition targets. Therefore, snacks should be:

  • Nutrient rich: either a wholefood, or a product that is minimally processed
  • Filling: high in protein, fibre, low GI carbohydrate and/or healthy fats
  • Compliant with calorie and macronutrient targets  

 

If you would like more flexibility with your snacks, use the table below to choose an appropriate snack to suit your goals and meal plan targets.

Snacks that are 50-100cals

1 rice cake with:

  • 20 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 30 gms of cottage cheese
  • 30 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 10 gms of peanut butter
  • 10 gms of cacao spread
  • 20 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 20 gms of hummus dip

2 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 20 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 20 gms of cottage cheese
  • 20 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 5 gms of peanut butter
  • 5 gms of cacao spread
  • 20 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 15 gms of hummus dip

1 piece of fruit

20 gms of dates and 5 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 20 gms of dip

20 gms of popcorn

1 small reduced fat latte

120 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

10 gms of mixed nuts

10 gms of dark chocolate

25 gms of roasted chickpeas

1 boiled egg

 

Snacks that are 100-150cals

2 rice cakes with:

  • 40 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 60 gms of cottage cheese
  • 40 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 15 gms of peanut butter
  • 15 gms of cacao spread
  • 25 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 30 gms of hummus dip

3 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 30 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 30 gms of cottage cheese
  • 30 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 10 gms of peanut butter
  • 10 gms of cacao spread
  • 20 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 20 gms of hummus dip

2 pieces of fruit

20 gms of dates and 10 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 30 gms of dip

35 gms of popcorn

1 large reduced fat latte

180 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

20 gms of mixed nuts

20 gms of dark chocolate

35 gms of roasted chickpeas

2 boiled eggs

 

Snacks that are 150-200cals

3 rice cakes with:

  • 60 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 70 gms of cottage cheese
  • 60 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 20 gms of peanut butter
  • 20 gms of cacao spread
  • 40 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 40 gms of hummus dip

4 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 40 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 50 gms of cottage cheese
  • 50 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 15 gms of peanut butter
  • 15 gms of cacao spread
  • 25 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 30 gms of hummus dip

1 piece of fruit alongside 1 snack from the 50-100cal category

25 gms of dates and 15 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 40 gms of dip

50 gms of popcorn

1 large reduced fat latte alongside 1 snack from the 50-100cal category

270 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

30 gms of mixed nuts

1x flavoured legume snack tin

30 gms of dark chocolate

45 gms of roasted chickpeas

3 boiled eggs

1 slice of wholemeal raisin toast with 5 gms of butter/nuttelex or 20 gms of ricotta

 

Snacks that are 200-250cals

4 rice cakes with:

  • 80 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 100 gms of cottage cheese
  • 80 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 20 gms of peanut butter
  • 20 gms of cacao spread
  • 50 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 50 gms of hummus dip

6 wholegrain crackers with:

  • 60 gms of avocado and sliced tomato
  • 60 gms of cottage cheese
  • 60 gms of ricotta cheese and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 15 gms of peanut butter
  • 15 gms of cacao spread
  • 40 gms of reduced fat tasty cheese
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 40 gms of hummus dip

1 piece of fruit alongside 1 other snack from the 100-150cal category

30 gms of dates and 20 gms of peanut butter

Vegetable sticks of choice and 60 gms of dip

60 gms of popcorn

1 large reduced fat latte alongside 1 snack from the 100-150cal category

320 gms of high protein natural yoghurt

35 gms of mixed nuts

1x flavoured legume snack tin alongside 1 snack from the 50-100cal category

40 gms of dark chocolate

55 gms of roasted chickpeas

4 boiled eggs

1 slice of wholemeal raisin toast with 10 gms of butter/nuttelex or 40 gms of ricotta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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June 3, 2022by ben.g.differ

Fact: Did you know that under 20% of people who set goals actually achieve them? 

What a stat! If you fall into the above category, it’s time to review how you have previously set your goals! What has worked and what has failed with your previous approaches? And this bit seems obvious… keep the stuff that works and re-think the strategies that have failed!

Clearly defining your goals, and knowing your WHY will compel you to take on this challenge – lifting you during the lows and driving you to highs. When you’re powered by a clear purpose, there is little we cannot do!

In reality, 8 weeks is not a lot of time in the big scheme of things to really commit yourself to achieving something. There are reasons you have taken the first step and whilst this is a positive it can be really easy to fall straight back off. 

With any goal setting and in particular challenges like the BFT8WC, you have done a couple of things that will not necessarily sit comfortably with you… 

Firstly, you are acknowledging that there are one or two (or perhaps more) measurable areas of your life that have deficiencies or are just lacking in some way. Whilst most of us know this and have some form of self-evaluation in place, you have now made a statement and put a time frame on “improving” it. Much like buyer’s remorse, whilst you know you have so many positive things in your life and you know you have made the right decision, doubts can creep in now you have committed. 

The second thing you have done is now add a little more stress to your life. Let’s be honest, who likes stress? Setting goals can be uncomfortable. The greater the challenge, often the more uncomfortable it feels. But to achieve something, we need a little stress in our lives. Too little stress or too great a stress and the results are far too often poor. But the right amount of stress (and everyone handles stress differently) and you can really achieve something pretty special. 

So, considering you have now created an uncomfortable void between where you are now and where you want to be in 56 days, keep in mind a few key things when setting your goals:

  • Understand the time commitment needed daily/weekly for you to achieve your goals
  • Set realistic goals and understand and be honest about what success looks like in 56 days’ time
  • To achieve your goals do you have all of the tools? Lucky for you BFT has most things covered, but do you have family/friends who are supporting you, encouraging you but also keeping you accountable?
  • Understand your own stress levels and the point where it becomes too much and makes you want to go the other way. Every week different challenges appear so take time to review your progress and pivot where needed

Time: set reminders/alerts in your calendar for training, sleep, hydration. Reminders to eat something positive for your body at morning tea or the late afternoon snack at work when you are craving sugar! Reminders to get up early and get ready to train. To shop on the weekend. Everyone has a smart phone these days, so use it to help you in positive ways throughout the 8WC

Goal Setting: Imagine what it will feel like to achieve your goals? More importantly, what will it feel like to not achieve your goals? Create an inspiration image or a word that you can refer to, to keep the motivation levels high for the 56 days. I love using my calendar so I set reminders for different times of the day with a key word that helps keep me on track and brings me back to my Why? 

Do you have the tools? Ask your trainers, tell your friends and family you need them. Let them know your WHY so they have an understanding as to how important this is for you to achieve your goals. Get lots of support and accountability.

Controlling Stress: Lucky for you the challenge involves loads of fun exercise with like minded people in an awesome community. All of that is very good for stress! Nonetheless, as discussed above you will experience differing degrees of stress throughout the #8WC. Acknowledge that to achieve success, we need a healthy dose of Stress. Too much stress though can be detrimental so keep a check on this. Often your trainers are a great guide if you ever feel it becoming too much. Reach out to them as they are there for you and want nothing more than for you to achieve your goals and be happy.

Whatever your success – great or small over the next 8 weeks – we wish you well and congratulations for taking the first step towards achieving your own Gold Medal.

“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”  ~ Robert Heinlein, Novelist

And if you need some help finding your why – have a watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4

03/06 – How to Meal Prep For Success

Blog by our partners at Swolefoods

How To Combine Food And Exercise To Reach Your Goal

It’s a well known equation that results = 80% nutrition + 20% exercise. Achieving the right combination of the two is key to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Now that you’re exercising more frequently and potentially more intensively than you’re used to, nutrition plays an even more important role in that it gives you the fuel to train longer and harder, and helps to determine how your body recovers and responds to exercise.

Hard workouts leave your muscles depleted of energy and starving for fuel. It is important to put the right nutrients back into your system at the right time to ensure that your muscles can recover and rebuild stronger, so that the next time you want to use them they have enough energy to go again.

It is also important to be eating the right kinds of foods to help preserve muscle mass and encourage fat loss whilst training, so that you reap the full benefits of all the hard work that you are putting in at the gym.

What Happens When You Exercise?

As you warm up, your brain sends signals to your central nervous system to prime muscles for action, making them more alert and ready to handle the intensity of what’s to come. The amount of blood flow is increased to active muscles, carrying vital oxygen and nutrients. As you progress through your session, energy stores (in the form of glycogen) are depleted, muscle tissue is damaged and fluids and electrolytes are lost through sweat.

The intensity of your workout will determine the extent to which you use up stored energy, and the amount of damage that is caused to muscle fibres. The harder you train, the greater amount calories you will burn, but equally, the more resources will be required for adequate recovery.

You might have heard that abs are not formed in the gym but in the kitchen. Whilst your efforts in the gym help to burn excess calories and work muscle fibres, you need to back it up with quality nutrition in order for the results to shine.

How Nutrition Supports Exercise

Food gives you energy, and you need energy to exercise. The role of nutrition in this respect is two fold:

  • To ensure that there is enough quality stored energy in your body to begin with
  • To replace the energy stores that were lost during exercise and to repair muscle damage

The types of foods and the quantity that you should be eating will vary depending on what your goal is. As we have discussed in earlier blogs, the primary determining factor in whether you gain or lose weight is how many calories you are consuming vs how many you are burning.

If your goal is weight loss you might be tempted to exercise as hard as you can and eat very little both before and after to maximise your calorie deficit. Similarly, if you are trying to bulk in a short space of time you might be thinking about eating as much as you can and lifting as heavy as possible to maximise your gains.

However as with any aspect of life, we must always take a balanced, sustainable approach. If we take the primary goal of nutrition to be that of nourishing your body and providing you with all the energy and strength you need to life the life that you desire, then we need to pay attention to the foods that provide this nourishment. 

Hopefully by now you would have a rough understanding of the number of calories that you are burning in a day, known as your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). You can also find this on your Evolt scan! Armed with this knowledge you can go ahead and prepare your meals with confidence that you are not only putting the right types of food into your system, but you’re also eating them in the quantity that will best suit your goals.

At SwoleFoods, we’ve done all the hard work in the kitchen to take the guesswork out of goal based eating. Our three ranges – Swole, Active and Low Carb, are combined in a way that ensures all the right nutrients are delivered in a calorie controlled manner. If you are finding it hard to keep up with the demands of meal prepping, or you want healthy food to taste delicious, check out our menu here and see why 1000s of kiwis choose SwoleFoods to help them live the healthiest version of themselves.


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June 3, 2022by ben.g.differ

Research has consistently shown us that eating large volumes of sugary foods and drinks on a daily basis is a one-way ticket to health problems. Excessive consumption is linked to an increased risk of fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes and heart disease and unfortunately, most of us consume too much added sugar from sweets, sauces, sugary drinks and breakfast cereals etc. 

The current recommended intake for sugar is 38g for men (9tsp) and 25g for women (6tsp). As a reference, a 600ml bottle of coca cola has 63g (15tsp) of sugar, 200g of flavoured yoghurt has 23g (5.5tsp) of sugar, 1tbs of sweet chilli sauce has 11.5g of sugar (3tsp), and 1 cup of Kellogg’s Just Right cereal has 13g (3tsp) of sugar.  

Cutting down on sugar from sweets and soft drinks can bring with it a number of health benefits! For example:

 

  • You may lose more body fat: Foods higher in sugar are often higher in calories. Furthermore, eating sugar will cause a surge in insulin – a ‘fat storing’ hormone. Reducing your sugar intake may result in a lower calorie intake, and a reduction in circulating insulin, which over time will support fat loss.
  • You can gain better control over your appetite and reduce cravings:  Foods high in sugar often carry a higher Glycaemic Index (GI). High GI foods can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, followed by a rapid drop. Dropping blood sugar levels can trigger hormonal feedback pathways, tricking your brain into thinking that you need more food (when you don’t!). Usually, this process leads to cravings for more sweets. To gain better control over your appetite and reduce cravings, cutting back on sugar is a good place to start.
  • Your mood and energy levels will be more consistent:  High GI, sugary food causes spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels – much like a roller-coaster! Trends in your blood sugar levels play a big role in your perceived energy levels, and your mood. We’re sure you’ve experienced the ‘buzz’ after a glass of red cordial, and if you were paying attention, the ‘slump’ shortly after. Cutting back on sugar will support a more ‘stable’ pattern with your blood sugar levels, and therefore, your energy and mood.
  • Better gut health:  Studies have shown that people who consume more sugar have larger numbers of inflammatory gut bacteria living in their bowels. Poor gut health has been linked to reduced immunity, chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and even mental health disorders.

But you don’t have to completely ‘quit’ all sugar forever in order to be healthy and achieve your goals.

Firstly, spare a thought for ‘good sugars’ – those naturally found in wholefoods such as fruit and dairy. Other than natural sugars, these foods also provide essential nutrients for optimal health, including antioxidants, prebiotic fibres, probiotics, vitamins and minerals, and protein.

Secondly, cutting out all treats and sweet foods ‘permanently’ doesn’t end well in most cases, and it does not encourage a healthy, sustainable relationship with food. 

If you worry about how much sugar is creeping into your diet, now is your chance to cut back! Experimenting with a ‘no sugar’ eating plan for 2 weeks is short enough to be sustainable, and long enough to teach you how to reduce your sugar intake through healthy meal and snack alternatives.  


How it works: If you are following the 8WC meal plans, you won’t need to change a thing – it has been designed to keep consistent with the ‘no sugar’ mini challenge. If you are following your own healthy eating plan, we suggest using the table below to guide you in making low-sugar swaps

All vegetables, lean proteins, wholegrain carbohydrates (i.e. multigrain bread, quinoa, brown rice, rolled oats) and healthy fats are low in sugars and free to include during this mini-challenge.

For further support, or if you have a question about cutting back on sugar, contact The Nutrition Code dietitians.

High Sugar – Avoid 

Sugary cereals

  • All processed cereals with >15g sugar per 100g.
  • Un-toasted and toasted muesli with dried fruit and/or syrups.

Snack foods 

  • Sweet biscuits
  • Savoury snacks (i.e. Arnott’s shapes)
  • Chocolate bars
  • Dried fruit and muesli bars
  • Lollies
  • Pastries, muffins and cakes
  • Fruit bread, white bread

Fruit 

  • Dried fruit
  • Tinned fruit 
  • Dates (however, these are ok in small portions to replace sugar and syrups in recipes)
  • Large portions of fresh fruit (i.e. 2 or more pieces of large fruit at one sitting, fruit juices, whole mangoes, etc)

Dairy and dairy alternatives

  • Sugar sweetened yoghurt
  • Large volumes of milk or soy milk
  • Sweetened plant milks (i.e. almond milk, rice milk etc)
  • Ice cream, custard and dairy desserts

Sauces and condiments

  • All types of sugar – including brown, raw, coconut and palm sugar
  • Honey, rice malt and maple syrup
  • Jam, Nutella and sugary spreads
  • Sauces and marinades with added sugar or syrup, such as sweet chilli, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, teriyaki, oyster, honey soy, sweet soy and Kecap Manis
  • Low fat mayonnaise
  • Some salad dressings

Canned, frozen and pre-made meals

  • Foods with sugary sauces (i.e. baked beans, tinned spaghetti, teriyaki beef, sweet chilli chicken etc)

Beverages

  • Soft drinks and energy drinks
  • Iced Tea
  • Cordials, vitamin waters and sports drinks
  • Fruit juice
  • Smoothies and milkshakes
  • Sugar added to tea/coffee
  • Flavoured milk, hot chocolate and Milo
  • Sachet hot drinks (i.e. Jarrah)
  • Alcoholic cocktails and sweet wines

Low Sugar – Include

Sugary cereals

  • Rolled oats
  • Fruit free, untoasted muesli (i.e. Jordan’s No Sugar muesli)
  • Weet Bix
  • Bran flakes

Snack foods 

  • Wholegrain crackers and toast
  • Boiled eggs, tuna, chicken and other lean proteins
  • Vegetables and vegetable soups
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Low sugar fruits (see below)
  • Low sugar dairy (see below)
  • Homemade sugar-free protein balls (recipes in meal plan!)
  • Sugar-free dark chocolate
  • Sugar-free mini protein bar

Fruit 

  • Berries
  • Kiwi
  • Passionfruit
  • Mandarin
  • Small pieces of fruit (i.e. small apple)

Dairy and dairy alternatives

  • Unsweetened Greek or natural yoghurt
  • Small volumes of milk or soy milk
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Cheese

Sauces and condiments

  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce, Miso paste
  • Low sugar dips and nut/seed spreads
  • Avocado
  • Whole egg mayonnaise
  • Vinegars
  • Sriracha and hot sauce
  • Curry paste
  • Lemon and lime juice
  • Fresh herbs, spices and aromats

Canned, frozen and pre-made meals

  • Plain tinned legumes – no sauce
  • Meals with <10g sugar per serve

Beverages

  • Water
  • Unsweetened tea and coffee
  • Vegetable juice
  • Dry wines, low-carb beers or straight spirits with soda water
  • Try to avoid artificially sweetened drinks, or opt for stevia

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May 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

The overconsumption of high calorie, processed foods is not helpful for our weight and health. However, being too restrictive can be problematic also.

To help allow for some treat foods but still keep you on track, we have designed a ‘token’ system, which follows the 90/10 rule: 90% of the time eating a nutritious diet, 10% of the time indulging.

With 3 meals and 3 snacks per day on your 8WC meal plan, 10% is equivalent to 2 meals and 2 snacks/alcoholic drinks per week.

Each week you will receive 2 meal tokens, and 2 snack/alcohol tokens with your meal plan. You can use these tokens to replace any meal or snack, if you wish. They should not be used in addition to your meal plan foods, if possible. Simply click on the meal or snack token in the Challenge App once you have used it, and try not to exceed your 2-per-week allowance! Remember, these tokens are not cumulative – you can’t accrue them for a week of full-indulgence!!

We have included some examples of meals and snacks and their serving sizes for you to use as a reference. You can always eat less than the serving size listed for you but try to avoid going above the recommended serving (although we understand that sometimes it’s not possible!). If you do go far above the recommended serving, this will count as two tokens, rather than one from your weekly allowance.

Snacks and Alcohol Token Guide. 

 

Stream A, B and Vegan – Snacks

  • 2 small scoops of regular ice cream (80g), or a small ice cream stick (i.e. Magnum mini)
  • 2-3 plain sweet biscuits (i.e. teddy, choc ripple) 
  • OR 1-2 decadent sweet biscuit (i.e. Tim Tam, Scotch Finger)
  • 1 small muffin (i.e. tennis ball size or smaller)
  • 1 small slice of cake (approx. 2-3cm thick)
  • 4 squares of milk chocolate or 1 fun-size chocolate bar
  • 1 fun-size bag of potato chips, twisties or equivalent (30g)
  • 1 small serve of hot chips (approx. 1 large handful)
  • 6 small lollies (i.e. licorice, raspberries, bullets) or 4 large lollies (i.e. snakes)
  • 1 small cup/bottle of fruit juice or fruit smoothie – fresh or commercial (250-350ml)
  • 1x small cup (250ml) of milkshake or hot chocolate – no added cream or ice cream
  • 1x 375ml can of soft drink

 

Stream C – Snacks

  • 2-3 medium scoops of ice cream (120-180g), or a larger ice cream stick (regular Magnum)
  • 3-4 plain sweet biscuits (i.e. teddy, choc ripple)
  • OR 2-3 decadent sweet biscuit (i.e. Tim Tam, Scotch Finger)
  • 1 small muffin (i.e. tennis ball size or smaller)
  • 1 moderate slice of cake (approx. 4cm thick)
  • 8 squares of milk chocolate or 1 standard chocolate bar
  • 1 standard size bag of potato chips, twisties or equivalent (60g)
  • 1 medium serve of hot chips (approx. 2 large handfuls)
  • 10 small lollies (i.e. licorice, raspberries, bullets) or 6 large lollies (i.e. snakes)
  • 1 cup/bottle of fruit juice or fruit smoothie – fresh or commercial (500-600ml)
  • 1x large cup (400ml) of milkshake or hot chocolate – no added cream or ice cream
  • 1x 600ml can of soft drink

 

Stream A, B and Vegan – Alcohol:

  •  1x 150ml glass of wine
  • 1x 375ml bottle of standard beer or x2 375ml bottles of light beer
  • 2x30ml shots of spirits with low joule mixer (i.e. soda/diet coke) 
  • OR 1x30ml shots of spirits with high-sugar mixer (i.e. coke, juice, lemonade)
  • 1 fancy cocktail (i.e. mohito, espresso martini)

 

Stream C – Alcohol:

  •  2x 150ml glass of wine
  • 2x 375ml bottle of standard beer or x3 375ml bottles of light beer
  • 3x30ml shots of spirits with low joule mixer (i.e. soda/diet coke)
  • OR 1-2 x30ml shots of spirits with high-sugar mixer (i.e. coke, juice, lemonade)
  • 1-2 fancy cocktail (i.e. mohito, espresso martini)

Meal token guide

 

Stream A, B and Vegan – Breakfast & brunch:

  • Eggs any way with one high fat side (i.e. haloumi/feta, bacon, hollandaise, sausage, hash brown), one vegetable side and one slice of wholegrain toast.
  • Omelette or baked eggs with 1 slice of wholegrain toast, no sides.
  • Vegetarian or vegan full cooked breakfast (i.e. spinach, tomato, mushrooms, baked beans +/- eggs) and 1 slice of wholegrain toast
  • Standard or vegan pancakes with small amount of syrup, lemon, fresh fruit, avoiding more decadent toppings (i.e. Nutella)
  • Zucchini fritters with salmon OR eggs
  • Overnight oats and porridge – opt for low fat or almond milk (or water) as a base, choose fresh fruit toppings instead of syrups or nut butters
  • Muesli or bircher – opt for low fat or almond milk, avoid added syrups or fruit purees (i.e. honey/maple syrup)
  • Small acai bowl or smoothie with fresh fruit toppings, without nut butter

 

Stream A, B and Vegan – Lunch  & dinner:

  • Entrée size cream/pesto/meat pasta or main size tomato-based veggie pasta. No extra bread
  • Pub schnitzel with salad and a small amount of chips
  • Small grilled steak/chicken breast/fish (200g) with salad, and optional small amount of chips/rice/bread
  • Gourmet small sandwich with lean protein, 2-3 vegetables, and a slice of cheese. Preferably on wholegrain bread
  • Shared platters (Greek/Asian/Middle Eastern..): Fill ¼ dinner plate with lean protein, ¼ low GI carbohydrates, and ½ salad or vegetable. Aim to stop with one full plate

 

Stream A, B and Vegan – Lunch or dinner fast food / take away:

  • 1 small ‘Noodle Box’ stir fry or equivalent
  • Vietnamese vermicelli salad with lean protein, simple chicken salad, or 3 rice paper rolls
  • 1 small packet of mixed sushi and sashimi plus a pack of edamame OR a miso soup
  • 6-inch Subway with lean protein and salad. Optional sauce OR cheese
  • ¼ roast chicken with small chips and salad
  • Grilled chicken wrap
  • Grilled fish with small chips and salad, no sauce
  • ½ kebab OR small kebab plate with grilled meats, salad and rice
  • 1 hamburger
  • 1 meat pie or pastie
  • 3-4 slices of pizza. Try to select vegetarian, or an option with lean protein (i.e. prawn). May we suggest a side salad?

 

Stream C – Breakfast & brunch:

  • Eggs any way with 1-2 high fat side (i.e. haloumi/feta, bacon, hollandaise, sausage, hash brown), one vegetable side and one slice of wholegrain toast.
  • Omelette or baked eggs with 2 slice of wholegrain toast, 1 sides.
  • English full cooked breakfast (i.e. eggs, spinach, bacon/sausage, hash brown, baked beans) plus 1 slice of wholegrain toast
  • Plain pancakes with 1-2 decadent toppings (i.e. chocolate, Nutella)
  • Zucchini fritters with 1-2 of either salmon/cheese/eggs
  • Overnight oats and porridge – on any milk base, optional added syrup and/or nut butter
  • Toasted or untoasted muesli, granola or bircher – any milk, optional added syrups (i.e. honey) or fruit puree
  • Standard acai bowl or smoothie, optional with nut butter

 

Stream C – Lunch  & dinner:

  • Main size tomato-based vegetarian pasta or creamy/pesto/meat pasta, optional 1 slice of bread.
  • Pub parmigiana or schnitzel with salad and chips
  • Medium to large grilled steak/chicken breast/fish (350g) with salad and chips/rice/bread
  • Gourmet large sandwich, focaccia or baguette with lean protein, 2-3 vegetables, and a slice of cheese
  • Shared platters (Greek/Asian/Middle Eastern..):  Fill 1/3 dinner plate with lean protein, 1/3 low GI carbohydrates, and 1/3 salad or vegetable. Aim to stop with 1-2 full plates.

 

Stream C – Lunch or dinner fast food / take away:

  • 1 regular/large ‘Noodle Box’ stir fry or equivalent
  • Vietnamese pho, banh mi, vermicelli noodle salad with lean protein, or simple chicken salad with 2-4 rice paper rolls.
  • 1 large packet of mixed sushi and sashimi or bento box, plus a pack of edamame
  • Footlong subway with lean protein and salad. Optional sauce OR cheese
  • ½ roast chicken with small/medium chips and salad
  • Grilled chicken wrap with medium chips OR fried chicken wrap with small chips
  • Grilled or battered fish with small chips, salad and sauce
  • Full kebab, or large kebab plate with grilled meats, salad and rice
  • 1 hamburger and small chips
  • 1 meat pie or pasty and small chips
  • 4-6 slices of pizza. Try to select vegetarian, or an option with lean protein (i.e. prawn). May we suggest a side salad?


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May 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

Do I need to adapt this meal plan to account for a larger workout?

No, members do not need to adjust the meal plan. However, if they feel extra hungry, we have provided an additional snack list, from which they can select one additional snack.

What if I’m hitting the calorie recommendations and still starving? How do I adjust accordingly?

If you are still hungry when following your designated meal plan, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Your calorie and macronutrient requirements may be greater than the meal plan you have selected
  2. Each meal plan has a moderate calorie range. Days on the lower end of the range may be too light for you.
  3. Higher activity levels throughout the challenge are increasing your appetite
  4. A history of eating in excess of requirements – with your stomach and appetite calibrated to this. Therefore, you feel like you need more food than you actually do! It may take up to 2 weeks for stomach size and appetite to readjust.

If you feel that your caloric requirements have been underestimated, consider moving to the next level up meal plan. Or, if you feel hungry only on days at the lower end of the calorie range, consider adding an additional snack.

If you feel the extra exercise is increasing appetite, try to time larger meals to be just after a workout. For example, if you work out in the morning, try having morning tea beforehand, and breakfast afterwards, instead of the other way around. All main meals are designed to be high in protein and fibre, excellent for workout recovery and appetite suppression! If this isn’t enough, consider swapping or adding an additional snack on workout days, selecting a high protein option such as boiled eggs and Vita Weats, Chobani yoghurt, or a protein shake.

If you feel that the targets are correct, and appetite just needs to be recalibrated, we suggest you try to ‘stick it out’ on the appropriate meal plan, and where required, add extra snacks that are low calorie, high fibre, high protein. For example, veggie sticks with cottage cheese, vegetable soups, boiled eggs, and berries with Chobani 0.5% Greek yoghurt. Other tricks to supress appetite include drinking more water or low-calorie liquids such as miso soup and herbal teas between meals, and doubling up on vegetable serves at lunch and dinner. Try eating off a smaller plate – making the smaller portion sizes seem larger! Lastly, consider slow and mindful eating, allowing you time to register food intake and satiety.

Do I need to take a dietary supplement?

If you are following the standard meal plan, you shouldn’t need to take any supplements unless you are eliminating a specific food group (i.e. dairy) or have elevated requirements (i.e. a diagnosed deficiency, pregnancy and breastfeeding).

If you are following the vegan meal plan, you shouldn’t need to take an iron supplement unless you are iron deficient. We have included iron rich foods (nuts, tofu, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables) and combined these with Vitamin C to assist in iron absorption. Avoid pairing iron rich foods with caffeine and calcium-fortified plant milks, which can inhibit iron absorption. We have included nutritional yeast in recipes as a source of Vitamin B12, and did you know reduced salt Vegemite is now a source of Vitamin B12? Vegans who do not consume either of these may need a Vitamin B12 supplement. We recommend vegans review their iron and B12 levels every 6-12 months. If you have had deficiencies in the past, we suggest you seek personalised advice with The Nutrition Code dietitians.

Do I need to take a protein or sports supplement?


Please refer to our blog post on supplements (released during the first half of the challenge) for further details.

When should I be eating carbs vs. protein if I’m doing cardio or strength?


In essence, your pre and post workout macro goals stay the same no matter which type of exercise you perform. This is because strength and cardio workouts both require a combination of protein and carbs, to improve performance and enhance recovery.

As a quick reference:

  • Pre Workout (30-60mins prior): Aim for 0-30g of carbohydrates per hour of exercise, preferably low GI and easy to digest. Protein is optional – a small amount is useful for protecting and repairing working muscles, but high volumes can be hard to digest and cause discomfort when exercising.
  • Post workout: Aim for 20-40g lean protein within 2 hours to support muscle repair. In addition, aim for approximately 20g lean protein at every main meal, each day, to support recovery and minimise loss of lean muscle mass. A small serve of carbohydrates – approximately 0.4-0.8g/kgbw – will replenish glycogen stores and spare protein for fatigued muscles.These targets are supported within your meal plan, when having a main meal soon after your workout.


Can I have coffee?

Yes, of course you can have coffee (with the exception of the optional ‘no caffeine’ nutrition mini challenge, that occurs during week 7-9!). Here is what we suggest:

  • Black coffee, plus a dash of milk (optional), can be added at any time to the meal plan, and does not contribute to calorie intake
  • Milky coffees such as lattes and cappuccinos are a full snack portion for Stream A and B meal plans. Members following the Stream C meal plan have the option of adding another small snack portion, such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
  • If not already included in the daily plan, a snack will need to be ‘swapped out’ to make room for a milky coffee.
  • Aim for a maximum of 2-3 cups per day. Too many cups of coffee can affect sleep quality and wreak havoc on your energy levels.
  • Try not to add sugar to your coffee, as this too will increase the number of calories coming from your coffees. If needed, use a natural low-calorie sweetener (Stevia).

Can I have tea?


Yes, absolutely (with the exception of the optional ‘no caffeine’ nutrition mini challenge that occurs weeks 7-9). We suggest having any herbal or black teas and a dash of milk (optional). This can be added at any time to the meal plan and does not contribute to calorie intake.

Can I have diet drinks?

While water is encouraged to be your predominate fluid of choice, we understand that some people like to include some flavour and/or fizziness to their drinks. You can choose to include diet drinks as these will not contribute to calorie intake. You can also have drinks such as soda water, water with fruit in it or with tea infusions for added flavour.

 

I am not sure if my EVOLT scan calorie and macro targets are correct. I think I need to eat less, or more, to achieve my goal. What shall I do?

While we are lucky to have access to EVOLT to base our calorie and macro targets, there is a degree of error when it comes to technology. However, we suggest you trust the process and follow the calorie and macro targets set and re-evaluate your progress in 4-6 weeks. If you are not seeing the results you are after, then your targets may need to be adjusted. Please see our document on ‘assessing midway results’ for more information.

I’m following the weight loss plan, but I feel the calories are too high. In the past I’ve used plans that are 1,200 – 1,300 calories. What should I do?


Our meal plans have calorie ranges that have been carefully selected and based on the Australian nutrient reference values. As everyone is different, it is possible your nutrient requirements may differ. However, we suggest you trust the process and follow the weight loss plan as is to start with, you may be surprised at how much you can eat while still losing weight. Many weight loss diets available use 1200-1300 calories as a target but this is not normally necessary to be that low and does not take into account lean muscle preservation. If you are not achieving the results you are after at the hallway mark, then the targets may need to be adjusted slightly.

I’m looking to gain muscle mass, and my EVOLT scan says I need approximately 3,000 calories. What should I do?


While we have tried to cater for as many people as possible, there will be some whose calorie requirements are over the meal plan calorie targets. We have written up some helpful ways to adjust your meal plan to meet your targets in the ‘how to adjust my meal plan’ document found in the portal.

 

My macro targets from the EVOLT scan are different to what’s recommended on the meal plan. What should I do?


While we have tried to cater for as many people as possible, there will be some whose macronutrient targets fall outside of the ranges in the meal plan. If this is the case, don’t worry! The top priority is to meet your calorie and protein targets. Select the meal plan that is closest to your calorie recommendation and if the protein target is too low, swap out some carbohydrate based snacks for protein based ones (i.e swap an apple for a yoghurt). Use the snack list provided on the portal for more ideas. You may also need to use the ‘how to adjust my meal plan’ document to meet calorie and protein targets. Fat and carbohydrates will make up the rest of your calories. For most people, it is not necessary to focus on these exact amounts. If you feel you do need to, The Nutrition Code dietitians can assist.

 

I don’t like, or can’t tolerate particular ingredients used in the meal plan. What should I do?

If you don’t like or can’t tolerate a particular ingredient used you may:
– Omit it from the recipe completely, especially if this does not affect calorie and protein targets
– Swap for a suitable alternative i.e. fish for chicken, capsicum for green beans etc
– Use the snack list and/or easy meal ideas documents to swap out the entire meal/snack if necessary or use a previous meal or snack from the challenge instead.

 

I have not lost any weight and it had been 2 weeks. What should I do?


Weight changes are not linear, are hard to predict and everyone experiences change at different rates. We recommend you trust the process and continue for a few more weeks before you decide to make adjustments to calorie intake or exercise levels as it is still early days. Also, it may be beneficial to ask yourself how consistent you have been and whether the changes you’ve implemented are enough to facilitate a quick change. Think about what your pre-challenge behaviour was and how much it differs from current behaviours. If you haven’t achieved the results you’re after by the halfway mark, have a read of our blog ‘assessing midway results’ for some helpful tips.

I’m at the halfway mark of the challenge, and I am not seeing the results I hoped for. What should I do?

There could be many reasons for this. Please read our blog ‘assessing midway results’ for some information on weight change expectations, and what changes to make for the rest of the challenge. Or feel free to get in touch with us via the BFT Challenge Facebook or email.


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May 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

Low FODMAP diet

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are fermentable, short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in most people, causing water retention and gas production in the bowel. In particular, people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) experience either areduced capacity to absorb FODMAPs, exacerbating symptoms, and/or ‘visceral hypersensitivity’, meaning that the nerves supplying the gut are more sensitive than in most people, causing exaggerated discomfort with distention.

There are 5 FODMAP categories. These categories, and some of their food sources, include:

  • Fructose: apples, pears, honey, fruit juice
  • Lactose: milk, yoghurt, ice cream
  • Polyols: apricots, cauliflower, avocado, artificially sweetened products
  • Fructans: garlic, onions, wheat
  • Oligosaccharides: legumes, cashews, almonds

Who may benefit from following Low FODMAP guidelines?

If you suffer from bloating, reflux, wind, altered bowel habits or other gastrointestinal symptoms, we recommend you see your GP or gastroenterologist for a formal diagnosis, to rule out other causes. If you have already been diagnosed IBS and/or FODMAP intolerance, we suggest following these guidelines for adapting your 8WC meal plans. Remember, everyone with IBS and/or FODMAP intolerance is unique – you may be sensitive to only one, to some, or to all five FODMAP groups. Furthermore, your intolerance level may change over time. These guidelines assume intolerance to all 5 FODMAP categories – but please customize them to suit your needs. For further advice on adapting your meal plan to suit intolerance, contact The Nutrition Code dietitians.

Step-by-step instructions for adapting your meal plan:

  1. Using the reference list below, review each meal, recipe and snack on your weekly meal plan, and highlight ingredients that are ‘high FODMAP’.
  2. Substitute any ‘high FODMAP’ foods with equal quantities of a similar food listed in the ‘low FODMAP’ column, or ‘moderate FODMAP’ column if you can tolerate it. Try to select an ingredient that will suit your meal/recipe. For example:
    1. substitute 100g cauliflower in a stir fry with 100g Chinese cabbage, carrot or green beans
    2. substitute 2 slices of Burgen wheat bread with 2 slices of Alpine Low FODMAP certified bread OR Burgen GF bread
    3. Substitute Carmen’s Natural Bircher Muesli with Carmen’s Low FODMAP certified Original Fruit Free muesli
  3. You may or may not need to swap out foods within the ‘moderate FODMAP’ column. Check to see how you are feeling after eating these foods, in the quantities specified in the meal plan, and adjust if needed.

 

For more information on recommended portion sizes for FODMAP foods, download the Monash University Low FODMAP appon your smartphone. The app employs a ‘traffic light system’,with red foods being ‘high FODMAP, orange foods being ‘moderate FODMAP’, and green foods being ‘low FODMAP’. Each food will have a recommended serving size.  You can eat a number of different foods with a green rating in the one sitting (per meal).

Vegetables

High FODMAP – eliminate

Artichoke, asparagus, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, celery, garlic, leek, mushrooms, onion, peas, pumpkin (butternut), spring onion – white part, snow peas.

Moderate FODMAP – smaller quantities only

Beetroot (raw), Bok choy, Broccoli, Broccolini, capsicum (green), cabbage, corn, Eggplant, fennel, sweet potato, zucchini.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Baby corn, Capsicum (red), carrot, Chinese cabbage, choy sum, cucumber, edamame, gai lan, ginger, green beans, kale, lettuce, oyster mushroom, parsnip, beetroot (canned), potato, pumpkin (Jap, Kent), radish, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion – green tops, tomatoes.

 

Fruit

High FODMAP – eliminate

Apple, apricot, blackberries, cherries, dates, figs, mango, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, watermelon, coconut water, fruit juice, fruit tinned in juice, all dried fruit (except dried berries).

Moderate FODMAP – smaller quantities only

Avocado, banana, blueberries, cantaloupe, coconut, grapefruit, honeydew, pineapple, raspberries.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Grapes, Kiwi, lemon, lime, Orange, mandarine, papaya, passionfruit, pineapple, rhubarb, strawberries.

 

Bread & Crackers

High FODMAP – eliminate

Fruit toast, Pumpernickel, Rye bread, High fibre white bread.

Moderate FODMAP – smaller quantities only

Wheat bread, wheat crackers, wheat biscuits, corn thins.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Gluten Free bread, Low FODMAP certified bread, 100% spelt bread, sourdough wheat bread (must have holes!), gluten free crackers, rice cakes.

 

Cereals

High FODMAP – eliminate

Muesli or granola with dried fruit, wheat cereals.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Rolled oats, Low FODMAP certified muesli and cereals, Gluten Free cereals.

 

Pasta & Grains

High FODMAP – eliminate

Barley, cous cous, freekeh, wheat flour, wheat pasta, coconut flour.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Buckwheat pasta, chickpea pasta, corn flour, gluten free pasta, gluten free flour, oat bran, quinoa, quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, polenta, potato flour, rice, rice noodles, rice flour.

 

Dairy & Dairy Alternatives

High FODMAP – eliminate

Milk, yoghurt, ice cream, custard, soy milk made with whole soy beans (i.e. Vitasoy, Bonsoy).

Moderate FODMAP – smaller quantities only

Soft cheese (i.e. ricotta, cottage), coconut milk. Goat and sheep milk products.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Lactose free milk, lactose free yoghurt, lactose free ice cream, hard cheese, soy milk made with soy protein (i.e. Sanitarium), coconut yoghurt, almond milk, almond yoghurt.

 

Legumes, Nuts & Seeds

High FODMAP – eliminate

Cashews, pistachios, baked beans, black beans, broad beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, kidney beans, silken tofu, falafel, veggie burgers.

Moderate FODMAP – smaller quantities only

Almonds, hazelnuts, chickpeas, dried lentils.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Brazil, Macadamias, Peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, LSA, mixed seeds, chia seeds, Tinned lentils, Firm tofu, tempeh.

 

Condiments

High FODMAP – eliminate

Honey. Jam made with high FODMAP fruit (i.e. apricot). Jam made with fruit juice concentrate (i.e. St Dalfours). Dips, dressings and sauces made with garlic, onion and/or dairy (i.e. hummus, tzatziki, pasta sauce)

Moderate FODMAP – smaller quantities only

Almond butter. Miso paste.

Low FODMAP – include freely

Maple syrup and rice malt syrup. Strawberry jam. Tomato sauce, tinned tomatoes, tomato passata, tomato paste. Soy sauce, oyster sauce. Mustard, Vegemite, Peanut butter, Tahini. Garlic infused olive oil. Low FODMAP certified sauces (i.e. ‘FODMAPPED’).

 

Other

High FODMAP – eliminate

Artificially sweetened breath mints and chewing gum. Products containing inulin, chicory, sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), isomalt (953), maltitol (965), xylitol (967)

Low FODMAP – include freely

Mentos mint chews.

 

Lactose free 

Please be aware that lactose free does not necessarily mean dairy free. There are many lactose free alternatives to milk and yoghurt available and many cheeses are quite low in lactose. For example, hard cheese has next to no lactose and soft cheeses are tolerated well by most people up to about 40g. Please use the options below for low lactose alternatives:

Milk: Lactose free milk, unsweetened almond milk, soy milk

Yoghurt: Yoghurts labelled lactose free, Plain Greek yoghurt (not Greek style) and Yoghurt that contains the ingredient ‘lactase’, coconut yoghurt, almond yoghurt

Cheese: hard cheeses, soft cheese such as ricotta and cottage cheese in small amounts (up to 40g)

Ice cream: Lactose free ice cream

Dairy & Egg Free

If you require dairy and/or egg free options during this challenge, but you wish to follow the standard meal plans (rather than the vegan meal plan) you can find information on recommended swaps in the table below.

 

Whilst every effort has been made to cover all dairy free adaptations throughout this meal plan, we advise that you continue to read food labels and ensure that all products purchased are suitable to your needs.

High protein natural yoghurt

Option 1:

 Almond milk yoghurt – Natural (equivalent portion to Chobani) + mix in 10g of protein powder per 100g of yoghurt

Option 2:

Dairy Free Greek Style – Natural (equivalent portion) + mix in 10g of protein powder per 100g of yoghurt

Option 3:

Vegan protein shake recipe  

Cottage Cheese

Option 1:

Vegan tofu ricotta recipe – equivalent portion

Option 2:

Homemade Hummus recipe – up to double portion

Option 3:

Vegan cream cheese – half portion

Fetta/haloumi cheese

Option 1:

Vegan Haloumi recipe– equivalent portion

Option 2:

Cashew parmesan recipe – half portion

Option 3:

 Vegan Feta – equivalent portion

Grated tasty cheese or parmesan

Option 1:

1-2tbs cashew parmesan recipe OR nutritional yeast (for toppings)

Option 2:

Homemade Hummus recipe – up to double portion (for filling wraps/sandwiches)

Option 3:

Vegan ‘cheddar shred’ – equivalent portion

Egg (quantities are per 1 egg)

Option 1:

Homemade Hummus recipe – 1/3 cup

Option 2:

Roasted chickpeas – 30g OR 125g tin of chickpeas/4 bean mix OR 75g falafel

Option 3:

Chia egg recipe for baking OR 250-350g tofu for frittatas (6-8 eggs respectively – see recipe example) 

Milk

Option 1:

Calcium fortified soy milk equivalent portion

Option 2:

Calcium fortified unsweetened almond/nut milk – equivalent portion. + mix in 10g of Raw Amazonia Protein Isolate (natural or vanilla) per 250ml of milk

 

Note: Dairy Free options based on coconut (i.e. coconut yoghurt and most vegan cheeses) are high in saturated fat and low in protein. Try to limit these options. We suggest adding a small amount of vegan protein powder to dairy free milk/yoghurt options, as these are typically lower in protein. Alternatively, you may want to consider adding in a vegan protein shake most days, to to make up for the loss in protein intake.

Vegan and Dairy Free Substitution Recipes

 

Tofu Ricotta – can use to replace cottage/ricotta cheese

 

Ingredients 

  • 350g firm tofu, drained
  • 2tbs lemon juice
  • 2tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1tsp sea salt

 

Method:

Chop the tofu and place it with the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend just for a few seconds until you get the consistency of cottage cheese. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Cashew Parmesan – use to replace parmesan and hard cheese as a topping

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2tbs nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp sea salt

 

Method:

Mince the garlic in the food processor. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt into a food processor. Process until a coarse meal forms. Serve sprinkled on top of salads, soup, casseroles, pasta, roasted veggies, and more. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

Vegan Haloumi – use to replace haloumi/feta

 

 Ingredients 

  • 350g firm tofu, drained
  • 2tbs lemon juice
  • 5tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • Optional seasonings: Dukkah, paprika, mixed Italian herbs

 

Method:

Start by draining and pressing your tofu – wrap it in a clean cloth and place a heavy book on top for about 15 minutes. When done, slice your half block into strips 6-8 strips. Set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Rub the tofu with the marinade and leave to rest for 30 minutes or overnight. Grill tofu for 3-5 minutes on both sides until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside.


Chia egg – use to replace eggs while baking

 

 Ingredients (eq 1 egg, increase quantity per egg)

  • 1tbs chia seeds
  • 2.5 tbs water

 

Method:

  1. Add chia seeds to a small dish and top with water. Stir and let rest for 5 minute to thicken. It should be gel-like and thick.

Homemade Hummus – use to replace eggs, cheese

 

 Ingredients 

  • 2x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 heaped tbs Mayver’s hulled tahini
  • 2-3tbs lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup water, plus extra
  • 2-3 tsp cumin (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on medium – high speed until combined into a thick paste. Add extra water until desired consistency is reached. Add additional garlic, cumin and/or other spices to create the flavour you most enjoy. Keep in your fridge for up to 7 days.

 

Vegan Frittata – tofu mix (to replace eggs)

 

 Ingredients 

  • 250g tofu (6 eggs) or 350g tofu (8 eggs)
  • 2tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 – ½ cup plant milk (i.e. unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2tbs cornflour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on medium – high speed until combined. Use to replace whisked eggs, and continue as usual with the frittata recipe.

 

Vegan protein shake – light snack option

 

 Ingredients 

  • 1 scoop Vegan protein powder – natural or flavoured (i.e. Raw Amazonia)
  • 2tsp cocoa (if using unflavoured powder)
  • Half banana
  • 250ml water

 

For a heavier snack (stream B/C), use a full banana, and add 2tsp Mayver’s peanut butter

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender

Gluten Free

 

If you require Gluten Free (GF) options during this challenge, you can find information on recommended swaps at the bottom of each recipe, where appropriate.

 

Whilst every effort has been made to cover all GF adaptations throughout this meal plan, we advise that you continue to read food labels and ensure that all products purchased are GF. If you have any further questions or concerns, get in touch with The Nutrition Code Dietitians.

 


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May 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

HELLO & Welcome to the 8 week challenge!

We are a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) who are passionate about helping your clients achieve your health and nutrition goals. This guide will help you to understand our vision, and to instruct you on how to use our menu plans and supporting to achieve your challenge goals.

We are available to chat with you via email or Facebook for the duration of this challenge, so if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate – please contact us! We also have 7 clinics in Metro Melbourne, and would be delighted to see you for detailed personalised advice and menu planning, should you need it! Would you like to know more about us? Check out our website www.thenutritioncode.com.au for details about our services, our practice locations, and more fabulous nutrition content.

GOOD LUCK!

How to select the appropriate meal plan for you

Your nutrition requirements will vary greatly depending on your gender, body type, starting body weight, muscle mass, and physical activity levels.

In order to better match the varying needs of our members, we have created 3 meal plan streams with different calorie and macronutrient ranges. 

You can use your personalised EVOLT Body Scan results to select the right nutrition plan, or base your selection on discussions with your trainer or The Nutrition Code dieticians.

 

The calorie and macronutrient targets for our meal plan streams are as follows:

Stream A

Total Calories 1,500 – 1,800. 

Total Protein (g) 90 – 150.

Total Fat (g) 50 – 80.

Total Carbohydrate (g) 115 – 200.

Stream B

Total Calories 1,800 – 2,100. 

Total Protein (g) 110 – 180.

Total Fat (g) 60 – 95.

Total Carbohydrate (g) 135 – 220.

Stream C

Total Calories 2,100 – 2,400. 

Total Protein (g) 130 – 210.

Total Fat (g) 70 – 105.

Total Carbohydrate (g) 160 – 270.

% energy intake (values are approx.)

Total Protein 25 – 35%

Total Fat (g) 30 – 40%

Total Carbohydrate 30 – 45%

Stream Vegan

Total Calories 1,500 – 1,800. 

Total Protein (g) 75 – 90.

Total Fat (g) 50 – 80.

Total Carbohydrate (g) 150 – 220.

Vegan – % energy intake (values are approx.)

Total Protein 20 – 25% 

Total Fat (g) 30 – 40%

Total Carbohydrate 40 – 55%

Calorie and protein targets for main meals are as follows:

Stream A

Calorie 300 – 500.

Total Protein (g) 15 – 40.

Stream B

Calorie 450 – 600.

Total Protein (g) 20 – 45.

Stream C

Calorie 500 – 650.

Total Protein (g) 25 – 50.

Stream Vegan A

Calorie 350 – 500.

Total Protein (g) 10 – 30.

Stream Vegan B

Calorie 450 – 600.

Total Protein (g) 20 – 40.

 

Reasoning behind targets

Calories

We have carefully selected the calorie targets for each stream using the evidence based Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs), to determine the average caloric requirement of females and males looking to either lose body fat or maintain weight. The NRV’s are based on gender, body weight age and physical activity levels.

Macros

It’s important to note that if your calorie intake is controlled, you can reach your goals and maintain results long term regardless of macronutrient ratios. In saying that, there are certain dietary patterns and macronutrient targets consistent with higher levels of health and weight management success.

We have used the following three eating patterns to inspire our meal plan macros, offering flexibility, variety and balance, in the hope that most preferences are covered.

  1. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet 
  2. The Mediterranean diet 
  3. EVOLT

Advisory statement

Please be aware that, when selecting a meal plan according to your goals and EVOLT scans, there will be margin for error. Furthermore, whilst we try to cover a majority of client needs with our meal plans, this is not always possible. If your needs are not covered (i.e. allergies and intolerance, disease-specific requirements, muscle building, lower-calorie requirements, low-carb preference, bariatric surgery, other), or if you feel the meal plans are not suitable, we recommend you contact and/or make an appointment with The Nutrition Code Dietitians.

The Meal Plans

These plans are for life!

Unlike other gym meal plans, we have chosen to keep our calorie and macronutrient targets consistent and balanced throughout this entire challenge. We wish to send a strong message to our members that these meal plans are not based on ‘fads’, but on scientific evidence. Our plans will help members achieve their goals, get the most out of their BFT training, and enjoy a wide variety of foods at all times. Consistency will also help members to understand what their nutrition requirements are, and allow enough time for them to develop strong, sustainable eating habits.

The meal plan format

This meal plan is designed to serve one person for all meals and snacks. Shopping lists and recipes are also tailored to serve one person. Recipes are designed to allow for easy adjustment of serving sizes, to suit couples and families. Please refer to ‘How to Adjust your Meal Plan’ resource for adjusting recipe volumes. Recipes can also be easily substituted for recipes previously used in the challenge, according to preference. Please note – when adjusting meal plans and recipes, you will need to amend the shopping list accordingly. Adjusting meal plans may also affect food wastage volumes.

Sunday for meal prep

Our meal plans feature bulk cooking each week for lunches and dinners. We suggest that you use Sunday (or Saturday) for food shopping and preparing bulk cooked lunches, and if desired, dinners for the upcoming week.

 

Recipe Images

Please note that recipe images are ‘guides’ only. The BFT challenge recipes are unique, and designed by The Nutrition Code dietitians. We have used ‘stock images’ as a temporary solution until we can get professional photographs taken.

Product brand recommendations:

We have not included product brand recommendations, recognising that product availability differs from state to state, and country to country. If you would like brand recommendations, ask your trainers of The Nutrition Code Dieticians for advice.

Motivation and Engagement

Nutrition Mini Challenges

Whilst recognising that consistency is key for mastering healthy eating habits, setting small goals throughout the 8-week challenge can help to boost motivation and engagement.

Each fortnight there will be a different, optional ‘mini nutrition challenge’, based on universal clean eating principles. No food groups will be cut out during these mini challenges, and you can participate simultaneously whilst following the meal plans.

The mini challenges are:

  • No Sugar (Week 1-2)
  • No Alcohol  (Week 3-4)
  • No Caffeine (Week 5-6)
  • No Processed foods (Week 7-8)

Your trainers will be able to help you participate in these mini challenges – so please ask them questions!

Assessing your results:

This information page will be provided midway through the challenge, after your 4-week EVOLT scan. Its purpose is to help you interpret your results so far, and if required, follow the suggestions for modifying meal plans to improve outcomes for the remainder of the challenge.

Post challenge guidelines:

These will include specific tips for maintaining nutrition targets and healthy eating behaviours long-term. We will also provide instructions for members wishing to access meal plan content post-challenge.

Remember to read the weekly emails, engage in discussion with other members during classes or ask questions via Facebook, and reach out to The Nutrition Code dietitians for support via Facebook or email.

Supplementary Materials

We strongly encourage you to access the meal plan support documents via your portal, for additional guidance. These include:

  • How to Adjust your Meal Plan
  • Stream C Plus- How to adapt the meal plan for higher calories
  • Vegan B Plus
  • Benefits of a vegan diet
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding guidelines
  • Menstrual cycle considerations
  • Guide to supplements
  • Seasonal produce
  • Guide to Allergies and Intolerances
  • Nutrition FAQ’s
  • Treat-Wise guide and Token system 
  • Healthy snack list
  • Easy meal ideas
  • Label reading guidelines

does-grapefruit-go-bad.jpg

May 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

While most of our meal plans aim to include in season produce, some of our BFT challengers are in different countries and different seasons! If this includes you, use the table below to learn what fruit and vegetables are in seasons at different times of the year. You may swap any unavailable fruit and vegetables in the meal plans for something in season.

SUMMER

Fruit:

Apple, Apricot, Avocado,
Banana, Blackberries, Blueberries,
Rockmelon, Cherries, Grapes,
Honeydew,
Lemon,
Lychee,
Mango,
Nectarine,
Orange,
Passionfruit,
Peach,
Plum,
Pineapple,
Raspberries,
Rhubarb,
Strawberries, Watermelon.

Vegetables:

Asparagus,
Green beans,
Beetroot,
Cabbage,
Capsicum,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Celery,
Corn,
Cucumber,
Eggplant,
Leek,
Lettuce,
Onion,
Snow peas,
Sugar snap peas,
Radish,
Silverbeet,
Tomato,
Zucchini.

AUTUMN

Fruit:

Apple,
Banana,
Fig,
Grapes,
Kiwi fruit,
Lemon,
Lime,
Mandarin,
Mango,
Nashi,
Rhubarb,
Papaya,
Passionfruit,
Peach,
Pear,
Plum,
Pomegranate.

Vegetables:

Asparagus,
Asian greens,
Green beans,
Beetroot,
Broccoli,
Brussels sprouts,
Cabbage,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Corn,
Cucumber,
Eggplant,
Fennel,
Leek,
Lettuce,
Mushrooms,
Okra,
Onion,
Parsnip,
Potato,
Pumpkin,
Silverbeet,
Spinach,
Sweet potato,
Tomato,
Zucchini.

WINTER

Fruit:

Apple,
Avocado,
Grapefruit,
Kiwi fruit,
Lemon,
Lime,
Mandarin,
Nashi,
Orange,
Pear,
Pineapple,
Rhubarb.

Vegetables:

Asian greens,
Broccoli,
Broccolini,
Brussels sprouts,
Cabbage,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Eggplant,
Kale,
Leek,
Mushrooms,
Onion,
Parsnip,
Potato,
Radish,
Silverbeet,
Spinach,
Sweet potato.

SPRING

Fruit:

Apple,
Avocado,
Banana,
Grapefruit,
Lemon,
Lime,
Lychee,
Mandarin,
Mango,
Orange,
Papaya,
Pineapple,
Rhubarb.

Vegetables:

Asparagus,
Asian greens,
Beetroot,
Broccoli,
Brussels sprouts,
Cabbage,
Carrot,
Cauliflower,
Corn,
Eggplant,
Fennel,
Leek,
Mushrooms,
Onion,
Parsnip,
Peas,
Radish,
Silver beet,
Spinach,
Sweet potato,
Tomato.


what-is-a-vegan-diet-benefits-food-list-beginners-guide-alt-1440x810-1-1280x720.jpg

May 30, 2022by ben.g.differ

Following a vegan diet is becoming more and more common. Being vegan involves avoiding the consumption of animal products including dairy and eggs. There are various reasons a person may choose to be vegan including ethical, religious, environmental, health and economic reasons. 

 

A well-planned vegan diet can have multiple health benefits. A typical vegan diet is rich in wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, and seeds. This leads to a high intake of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, folate, Vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. This means that following a vegan diet can potentially:

  • Lower blood sugars and improve kidney function
  • Lower the risk of heart disease through reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels
  • Reduce the amount of pain from arthritis due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the micronutrients present in plant foods
  • Improve mental health and wellbeing as the prebiotic fibres in plant foods contribute to a healthy microbiome
  • May promote weight loss due to the combination of high fibre intake and less intake of processed foods leading to a lower calorie intake

 

Not all vegan diets are created equal, however. The benefits mentioned above come from eating plenty of foods high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Vegan diets that are not well planned, that are high in processed foods and contain low amounts of vegetables, fruits, pulses, wholegrains, nuts, and seeds, will still contribute to poor health outcomes. 

 

Our vegan meal plans have been created thoughtfully and are designed to include high-quality proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds, and dairy alternatives. Therefore, you can be rest assured that following the meal plan will be contributing to health benefits.

 

Why are the macros different for the vegan plans?

You may have noticed that the vegan meal plans have different macronutrient targets than the standard meal plans. The vegan plans do have a lower amount of protein and a higher amount of carbohydrates and fats. This is simply due the nature of vegan foods, without having to rely too heavily on supplemements. Foods such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, and tofu are naturally lower in protein than foods like meat, chicken and fish, and are therefore higher in carbohydrates and fats which contribute to the remaining calories. The plans are still perfectly suitable for your challenge goals of weight loss, weight/muscle maintenance or muscle gain however! If you require a higher calorie or protein intake than the plans provide, please see the resource ‘Vegan B Plus’, found in the portal or reach out to your trainers or The Nutrition Code team.