All posts by Tree of Life

How To Choose Your Food To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout

By | Nutrition Tips | No Comments

It’s a no brainer that diet and exercise are both crucial to your well-being and a common myth is that you shouldn’t eat before a workout to burn more fat. This is actually doing you more harm than good. You should always eat something before exercising as this helps give your body enough fuel to power through your workout. But what to eat? We show you how to choose your food to get the most out of your workout. In order to help you out, and make deciding what to eat a little bit easier, we have listed Australia’s most popular forms of exercise and what the ideal pre-workout snack is for each of them.

Before running

Love getting that blood pressure up? You’re all for a brisk run in the early hours of the morning or a quick jog in the late afternoon breeze. To avoid stomach cramps, we recommend whole wheat toast with some nut butter an hour before you plan on running. This snack contains easy to digest carbs and a little protein so it will fuel you up without you feeling too full.


Bike riding

For cyclists, it’s recommended to eat something that can be digested quickly enough in order to be converted into energy by the time you need it. 30 minutes before you hop on your bike, it’s a good idea to eat a banana.

Pre-strength training nutrition

While weight lifting provides the stimulus that elicits gains in muscle strength and size, the foods you eat are what fuel those developments. When you’re lifting weights, your body will be utilising primarily carbohydrates as fuel. We recommend apple wedges, which provide the low-glycaemic carbohydrates, with almond butter, which offers up protein.

Stamina for swimming

The food you eat before a swim will make a difference in your energy levels and athletic performance. Eat easy-to-digest foods, to avoid needing to use the restroom when you least expect it or having painful stomach cramps. Some steamed vegetables will do the trick

Circuit training

When you’re moving around a lot jumping from exercise to exercise, the key is to consume easily digested carbohydrates, so you don’t feel sluggish. Low fat or fat free yoghurt will give you the energy you need for a high intensity workout without filling you up.


Not to give in to the yogi stereotype but the best food before a yoga session is a small green smoothie. Try to keep the ingredients in your smoothie to mostly greens to support your blood sugar and maybe add a couple slivers of avocado, or a tablespoon or two of chia seeds for just a little healthy fat. The healthy fats will help you absorb the nutrients in the smoothie better.

Pre Pilates

It’s no use wilting with lethargy after the warm up as we all know that there’s a whole world of stamina needed after that. Air popped popcorn is a great idea for pre Pilates. Don’t go for the buttery cinema kind, at most, you can add a tiny pinch of salt to yours if you need the flavouring.

We hope you find these pre-workout food ideas helpful. Don’t forget, that active people have an even greater need for adequate nutrition. If you would like help with designing a complete healthy eating plan which fits in with your lifestyle, why not book in for a consult?

easter bliss balls

Beat the Chocolate Cravings! Healthy “chocolate” bliss balls for Easter

By | Sweet treats | No Comments

The Easter bunny is on his way and that means chocolate is literally everywhere at the moment. When you have a particular eating plan in place, it can be quite hard to say no when confronted with those sugary, chemical filled distractions. If you are one who often gives into their sweet tooth, here is a yummy easter egg inspired bliss ball as a great replacement snack. These are still decadent and delicious but not nearly as bad for you as the supermarket, foil covered alternatives. In this recipe we’ve used cacao butter. This ingredient can sometimes be a little bit hard to find. However, your local Woolworths is a stockists or iHerb is a great and reliable online health food store.


1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight

1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

1/2 cup organic desiccated coconut

30g chopped cacao butter, softened

3 tbsp premium coconut milk

2 tbsp honey

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup cashew meal

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cacao powder

Handful sesame seeds


  1. Soak almonds and cashews overnight in a large bowl filled with water. The following day, drain and rinse the soaked nuts
  2. Blend the soaked nuts with the coconut, cacao butter, coconut milk and honey until well combined in a blender
  3. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the almond meal, cashew meal, cacao powder and vanilla
  4. Scoop up a tablespoon of mixture and circle into balls. Circle fully formed balls into the sesame seeds to make them look pretty and add texture
  5. Transfer into an airtight container to put in the fridge ready to set
  6. Enjoy without the guilt of consuming chocolate!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Do you have another delicious recipe that’s a great replacement for something sweet? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment in the reply box below.

Recipe inspired by lovelivenourish

The Need To Know On Food Intolerances

By | Education | No Comments

Although food intolerances affect at least 3.7 million Australians, it can be a difficult concept to understand and is sometimes poorly understood by doctors as well. There is a lot of misinformation out there on food intolerances so make sure you are equipped with the facts. Below we’ve answered four of the most common questions asked about food intolerances so you can help assess if you’re impacted by a certain food.

What is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

It’s not rare to find that a food allergy and a food intolerance have the same or similar symptoms. But a true food allergy can cause an immune system reaction and is often severe or life threatening. A food intolerance is a lot less serious and often limited to digestive issues, headaches, breathing problems or just a general feeling of being unwell. With food intolerances, you can also eat some of the offending food occasionally without trouble and it’s a lot easier to prevent a reaction. Sometimes your reaction to food can be quite delayed whereas with an allergic reaction it is often immediate.

The delay can sometimes make food intolerance harder to diagnose. You may not notice symptoms straight away, but hours or days after eating a food. You may also be able to tolerate small amounts, but flare up with a ‘build up’ of the offending food in your system.


What are food intolerance symptoms?

Food intolerance can cause a wide variety of symptoms. More common food intolerance symptoms include

  • bloating
  • diarrhoea
  • irritable bowel
  • cough
  • asthma
  • eczema
  • psoriasis
  • chronic headache
  • mood swings
  • stiff joints
  • arthritis
  • sneezing
  • infections
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • cramps
  • dermatitis
  • acne
  • significant weight loss or weight gain
  • tiredness
  • itchy skin

Australian food scientists have also made strong links between food intolerance and some behavioural issues we see in children.

What can people have a food intolerance to?

Food intolerance is a lower threshold for tolerating the chemicals (either natural or man-made) found in certain foods. The scale is different for everyone. It is something you may be genetically predisposed to, or it could be brought on by illness, hormones or medication.

The intolerance threshold may mean you react every time you eat a certain food, or could be worse after repeated exposure. So you may be okay to eat a certain food one day, but after eating it twice in a row, you find you get side effects. This is where food intolerance significantly differs from a true allergy.

Your intolerance can be to one particular food, or a group of foods.

It may be to man-made chemicals such as food enhancers, preservatives, colours, thickeners or flavouring. Or could be due to certain natural chemicals found in foods. These include lactose/dairy as well as salicylates, amines and glutamates as well as foods containing fermentable short chain carbohydrates known as FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Dissaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols).

Any number of natural food chemicals may be present in varying amounts in fruits and vegetables – some have all, some are higher in one chemical than another and there are also foods which may be more ‘safe’ choices for food intolerance.

The Dietitian’s Association of Australia explains it well:

More than one type of chemical may cause symptoms so a person may react to many different types of foods. Some foods contain the same chemicals and a person can react after eating a variety of foods that contain the same chemical. This is because the chemical slowly builds up in the body until the dose threshold is reached. It also explains why the same food does not cause symptoms every time it is eaten.

 Food intolerances often run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition. Sometimes food intolerance only affects a person after a sudden change in diet or after an illness.

Will food intolerances go away?

Food intolerances aren’t always permanent and sometimes, all it takes is removing the food that is causing the intolerance for 6 months or more. Age, hormonal changes and reduced stress can also improve your tolerance level.

Defining which food chemicals you react to can be quite an involved process. But once identified and removed from the diet, symptoms of food reaction often disappear.

Key in this process, is to swiftly find your individual tolerance level to food chemicals, especially natural ones. This ensures you can reintroduce the important nutrients those foods provide, whilst keeping their intake below your safe threshold.

This process is not one you should boldly go alone. Seeing an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the fastest and most controlled way of going through the process of discovering food intolerance by food elimination and challenge. Adopting a proven protocol for replacing nutrients is always strongly advisable, as nutrient deficiency can also exacerbate food intolerance symptoms.

Think you have a food intolerance or need help managing yours? Why not book a consultation with Tree of life Nutrition to stop the pain and irritation you are experiencing today!

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