What prompted your health and wellness journey and how has your life changed since embarking on it?
To be honest I’ve been a bit of a fitness freak for many years now. I was a bit overweight as a child until my mid teens, where I had quite a growth spurt and took more notice of what foods I would consume. I think this is the underlying reason I am such a health freak today. In my early twenties I found myself heavily entrenched making a living in the hospitality industry around alcohol and unhealthier types of food. So as I transitioned out of that and into completing my personal training studies in 2009 (coinciding with starting work in the supplement industry) I think this is really where I began making an actual living through the health, wellness and fitness industry.
Since then I have progressively increased my knowledge of nutrition, supplementation, training, healthy eating habits and general wellbeing. I just find it so interesting how the body works and how it can quite easily be manipulated to achieve whatever results you desire. I am also always wanting to expand my knowledge of foods, how they affect the body, how I can incorporate them into healthy meal ideas and the health benefits of different types of foods.
Being a qualified chef, personal trainer and supplement store owner, it was only natural that I combine all three of these skills into my new venture as The Physique Chef.
You currently have an Ebook in the works, tell us a bit about what we can expect to see and learn from it?
Yes! I’m currently putting together my first E-Book under my own personal branding. I have made one recently for the new high quality “Your Flavour” seasonings (Ashy Bines BBQ Seasoning) which have been such a big hit!
I’m putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure my first release is exactly how I want it. I am a perfectionist in most aspects of my life and this is no different. Essentially it will be an “Overall Health E-Book” encompassing a broad variety of recipes for uses at different times of day, using both Vegan and Non-Vegan recipes to cater for all types. I think this will also help people who eat a lot of animal products to broaden their perspective and see that you don’t need to over-consume animal, dairy and/or meat products to have tasty and nutritious meals in your daily diet, whilst still achieving your fitness and physique goals. All recipes will contain exact macronutrient data too so it will be easy to manipulate and count, as to fit in your daily nutrition.
I will also be including daily routine tips and detailed supplement information. This is all aimed at improving the readers own knowledge and health long term by being able to incorporate these into their daily lifestyle and keep them there. The more I can educate others and broaden their perspectives, the more successful the book will be. I put a lot of effort into maximising my days whilst still achieving optimal nutrition through a high level of preparation and time management. I want to pass this knowledge on to readers and fellow individuals who aspire to improve their health, feel the best they can and get the most out of their days.
Being the owner of Muscleworx Gosnells you would have seen a lot of ‘health fads’ come and go, what do you predict we will be seeing more of in 2016?
I really do foresee a big shift away (or reduction in overall consumption) from animal products and poorly produced agriculture. I can see it coming. I’ve already noticed a MASSIVE change from say, this time 2 years ago. I have definitely been affected and have caught “the health bug” and the more and more I delve into the research, studies, documentaries and journal articles, the more and more information I am uncovering which sadly is never portrayed to the mainstream media.
Self education really is the best way to uncover the truth about the world we live in. In saying that though, it is EXTREMELY important that you obtain the information from credible sources. There are so, so many things (mostly simple!) you can do to improve your health and overall wellbeing which you never see unless you actively search for them.
I also foresee more and more organic produce on the shelves with a much easier accessibility for consumers. It is definitely the way to go in my opinion. Also far better treatment of animals which are being used for human consumption and a decrease in the overall consumption of animals and animal products in general. I have really noticed a BIG increase in the availability of organic produce and goods. I really hope the upward trend of increased availability continues, as this will drive prices down by increasing competition, which is only a good thing for the consumer who wants a higher quality product but not have to pay such premium prices. Making it affordable for the majority of consumers will reduce the burden on the healthcare system, as poor nutrition wether it be from poor choices or poor quality foods really is the root of a considerable amount of the health issues we currently face in todays society.
Creating and sharing food that is healthy, simple and delicious is obviously a great passion of yours, do you have any tips for those just beginning their transition into a healthier diet and lifestyle?
Keep it simple! Honestly, the harder you make it the less chance you’ll stick to a healthier lifestyle. Don’t overcomplicate things. A couple of key tips in helping to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle include:
→ Improved Time Management.
All these points play different roles, but together I guarantee you will get positive results in your health, fitness, body composition and general wellbeing.
Track your daily calorie intake for a period of time so you understand how much you are actually eating. Firstly, this will give you a baseline, somewhere to start from. Secondly, it will also give you a good idea in your head of how to roughly estimate calorie content of foods when you are eating out socially or enjoying foods you haven’t prepared yourself.
Prepare your meals in advance. This way you know exactly what is in your foods. You are in control of the calorie content, the quality of ingredients, the flavours, ingredients themselves and the portion size.
Be consistent. This is where you aren’t massively fluctuating in the amount of calories you are consuming per day. Your body won’t know what to do if you are. Keeping a consistent energy intake and training regime allows you to make small dietary or training adjustments for big differences in your body composition and overall health.
Don’t overeat. Overeating is what leads to unwanted weight gain. Have some self control when eating, it may be hard at first if you are used to eating larger amounts of food or calorie dense processed food, but your body will adjust in time and you will see the benefits before you know it.
Choose quality food sources. 600 calories of deep fried chips is not the same as 600 calories of Organic Chickpea, Beetroot, Roast Pumpkin and Spiced Feta Salad. Quality of calories plays a big role. The ‘healthier’ your food choices the more you can actually eat overall, as healthier food choices generally carry a lower caloric density than more processed junk type food. The other major thing regarding this is the MICROnutrient and mineral content. These are seriously important to consume and if your diet consists of majority processed foods, chances are you are lacking in these micronutrients to some degree. Micronutrients play a role in many important human functions like metabolism regulation, heartbeat, cellular pH and bone density just to name a few. Also a lack of micronutrients can actually lead to diseases like scurvy and osteoporosis. So eat your greens!!
How did you discover Prana On, and what made you fall in love with our products?
I came across Prana ON as a few of the other Muscleworx stores had started to get some of the range in. At first I didn’t take too much notice as I wasn’t a user of plant-based protein at that point myself and my customer demand wasn’t massive. A few months passed and I started to have customers requesting Prana ON products, so I got a small amount into my store, only a limited range. I sold out.
My next order was twice the size and incorporated more of the range. I sold out. Again. I ordered MORE this time, the full range and all sizes. Am almost sold out of that too! I now have many, many regular customers who are coming back to restock on their favourite Prana products, so the orders are getting larger and more frequent.
I had been using the Multi-Force for a few months and loving it. I then started incorporating the Super Greens also. In early January 2016 I started one of my new daily morning rituals which is consuming a fresh greens smoothie using both of these products as well as organic vegetables such as spinach, kale, carrot, ginger, nashi pears and cucumber.
I had been wanting to try the Power Plant Protein for a while at this point. I wanted to see if I noticed a difference and I also wanted to switch completely off dairy. All the research I had done led me to finally taking the step and ditching whey protein in place of Prana ON Power Plant Protein. I have to say that I am loving it. I’ve been using it as my sole source of protein powder for nearly a month now and feel great. I love that it is raw, organic, lactose and gluten free. Also the flavours are pleasantly surprising. This is what scares most people off trying a plant-based protein. But seriously, I am in LOVE with the Coconut milk flavour and also really like the rich chocolate. I am also very much looking forward to trying the Wild Berry and Coconut Primal Protein which I have landing at my store in just a few days!
What is it about our products that make them such a great addition to your culinary creations?
To be honest, the flavours and textures of the protein supplements. The quality of the products are extremely high and speak for themselves. They give a great subtle flavour and the texture is actually really nice. The proteins aren’t ‘gritty’ like other plant-based proteins. They can absorb a good amount of water which is easy to adjust for accordingly (this is great when making “protein sludge”). Obviously the health benefits of the products too. They are low carb and high in protein, so make an easy product to insert into recipes without bumping up the fat or carbohydrate content a great deal (obviously excluding “Natural Mass”).
Do you currently have a favourite Prana On Recipe that you would like to share with the Tribe?
My PERFECT Coconut, Organic Berry & Chia Breakfast Protein Pudding.
Ingredients (1x Serve):
150g Organic Natural Coconut Yoghurt.
1 Tsp Natural Fibre.
31g Prana ON Power Plant Protein Coconut Milk Flavour.
30g Organic Flax meal
15g Black Chia Seeds.
150mL Organic Almond & Coconut Milk blend.
100g Organic Frozen Mixed Berries.
100mL Filtered Water.
10g Natural Sunflower Kernels.
2 Tsp Organic Stevia.
Shredded Coconut, garnish.
Cinnamon Dusting, garnish.
Macros (Per Serve):
Protein = 52.2g
Carbs = 36.5g
Fats = 20.3g
Total Calories = 571 Cals.
Add the coconut yoghurt, protein, fibre, flax meal, chia seeds, stevia and organic almond coconut milk to a large bowl and mix well until combined.
Slowly add the water in small amounts and mix after each addition until a good consistency is achieved. Only use as much water as you need. (not too firm but pudding like. Similar to pancake mix. Don’t worry, it will set up firmer once you refrigerate it due to the flax and chia).
Transfer into serving glasses and place in refrigerator for at least half an hour to set.
To serve, top with the berries, sunflower kernels, shredded coconut and a light dusting of cinnamon if you choose.