I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness (I’m currently studying nutritional medicine.) However, it wasn’t until I started training at Ignite that I fell in love with CrossFit and the awesome community that came with it.
CrossFit has helped me reassess what fitness means to me and shifted my focus to performance. The human body continually amazes me with what it is capable of and that fascination is what led me to become a trainer; to help others find their own strength and confidence!
I’d love to make it to Regionals one day but even if I don’t, I’ll have enjoyed every step of the chase.
If I’m not working I’m usually here training so if you see me on the floor please say hi! I don’t bite that much. 🙂
I get asked questions about my diet all the time: what I eat, how much I eat, what you should be eating?… So I thought it would be a good idea to give you guys a run down on my approach to nutrition and how I manage my energy requirements.
Generally speaking, my nutrition is based around helping me meet performance goals. I want to get the most out of my training, I want to help my body get everything it needs to function optimally, I want to feel energised, satisfied and use a plan that fits within my lifestyle, which can be a challenge when working (too) early in the morning and quite late in the evenings.
Weight management is kind of secondary for me and I find I actually do better and feel better about my nutrition when I don’t focus as much on that. The way I see it, if I’m taking care of my body and giving it what it needs, it will gradually, naturally sit at the weight that my body feels best at, and is healthiest at.
I do measure & track my food; I have an overall calorie target for myself and then I have a breakdown of how much of those calories will come from protein, fats and carbs. I’m not going to tell you what these amounts are, because it doesn’t actually matter, those numbers are highly individual. If you want to know how many calories you should be having and your own macro breakdown, the easiest way to get that information is to book a focus session and PJ can help you come up with your own unique nutrition strategy, which might not be measuring macros at all!
I will say that I prioritise protein to make sure I get enough for muscle synthesis, retaining my existing muscle mass and helping my body recover from training. It also keeps me feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer, among many other benefits.
I have a higher carb intake, because I have found that works for me, in giving me energy and helping my recover from my training.
I also have a minimum requirement for healthy fats, to help with hormone regulation in the body, but that’s a relatively small amount.
In terms of foods I actually eat, (because food is more than just macros), I am generally pretty “clean”, because a lot of the foods I enjoy are actually unprocessed, whole foods and because they make my body feel better, and function better, which is my overall goal with my nutrition.
Another reason I prioritise nutritionally dense, unprocessed whole foods is because you generally get more bang for your buck in terms of calories. They’re usually a bit lower calorie and leave you feeling fuller for longer, and I really enjoy eating (because food is life), so being able to eat a higher amount of food volume works well for me!
I base each meal around a protein source; eggs for breakfast generally, then I try and vary my meat a bit for lunch and dinner. Chicken, beef, pork, lamb, salmon, and sardines are on high rotation.
I eat heaps of veggies to get a variety of vitamins and minerals, and also to get lots of fibre in, for digestive health.
I will always add avocado to my lunch or dinner, or quite often both, and other healthy fat sources like nuts and cheese… I loooove me some cheese. Quite often I also get a good amount of my fats from the meats I’m eating, like fish or steak.
I eat a lot of white rice, because it’s easy to meal prep, easy for my body to digest, and I can use it as a base for a lot of different meals. I eat bread and other processed grains every now and then but not that often because it upsets my stomach, and I eat fruit every day simply because it’s delicious and I enjoy it. I also quite often will have oven cooked fries if I’m having something like steak for dinner.
I use herbs and spices, salt & pepper on EVERYTHING.
I also have dessert pretty much every night. I love ice cream, (Blue Ribbon do a really good lower calorie version) and lately I’ve been getting into dark chocolate Tim Tams.
You probably weren’t expecting me to say I eat ice cream and Tim Tams! I am very flexible with my diet, I don’t restrict myself from eating anything, and as far as I’m concerned, there are no “good” foods or “bad” foods, there’s just foods with different nutritional content, different macro profiles and amounts of calories.
HOWEVER, I don’t want people to read that as a licence to eat whatever you want! I still prioritise foods that are going to optimise my health & meet my body’s energy requirements, because that’s important to me, but I don’t think it’s a healthy or sustainable approach to demonise certain foods. ALL foods can fit within a healthy diet, if you’re smart about your approach and use portion control.
I hope that’s given you some good insight into how I approach my nutrition, my goal with this, was simply to make it clear to people that nutrition doesn’t need to be overly complicated, in terms of the foods you actually eat and it doesn’t need to be a miserable, restrictive experience!
Focus on what you can ADD to your diet (a wide range of vegetables and fruits, high quality protein and carb sources, healthy fats) and you’ll naturally subtract other foods that don’t align with your goals.