The Foundations of Health

Are the foundations of health holding you back from thriving? Here’s how to implement the foundations of health and nourish your body and mind in order till feel your best all the time.

Are the foundations of health holding you back from thriving?

Welcome to 2021! New year, new you and a new set of (sometimes unrealistic) health expectations and resolutions. Although we strive to be the healthiest versions of ourselves after the holiday period, chances are by February, everything has gone down the drain.

We’re here to remind you that health doesn’t have to be hard, it’s simple if you just keep the basics in mind. It’s about consistently implementing the foundations of health and nourishing your body and mind in order to feel your best all the time. How? It’s easy – que the foundations of health: 


The food you eat can either be your most powerful partner or greatest enemy and at this time of year (where all the days seem to merge into one) it’s easy to overindulge and create unhealthy habits that can be seriously damaging to your health. 

A diet with the right balance of macronutrients, and that is abundant in vitamins and minerals, is essential to help your body function optimally. With so much information available about what we should and shouldn’t be eating, it is more and more evident that there really isn’t a one size fits all approach when it comes to food.

The main aim when it comes to nutrition is to fuel your body with foods that provide the right balance of nutrients so you can function at your best. Creating healthy balanced meals is simple – start by following this formula. 

  1. Fill ½ your plate with fibre. Fibre helps to regulate appetite, slow digestion and keep you feeling satisfied for longer, as well as supporting healthy digestive function. Sources of fibre include: Crunchy salad vegetables, leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables – aim to include a variety.
  2. Fill ¼ of your plate with protein. Protein provides the primary building blocks in the body and is essential for all bodily functions. Your brain, bones, digestion, immune system, skin and hormones all rely on a constant source of good quality proteins to function. Quality sources of protein include: eggs, fish, red meat, poultry, dairy, legumes, tofu, quinoa, raw nuts/seeds, high-quality protein powder like our Clean Lean Protein.
  3. Fill ¼ of your plate with complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches found in foods. The right carbohydrates supply the body with essential fuel for energy. Steer clear of simple carbohydrates (white bread/pasta/rice, cakes, biscuits, processed foods etc.) as they provide little to no nutritional value and contribute to fatigue and hunger. Instead choose complex carbohydrates – foods that have high dietary fibre promoting satiety, fullness and stabilised blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates include: whole grain products (visible seeds), legumes, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat products (breads and pasta), root vegetables. 
  4. Add 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats. Consuming the right fats in appropriate quantities is important for the structure and function of every cell in the body and is essential for energy production, stabilising blood sugar levels and keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Healthy fats include: Avocado, olive oil, coconut, quality dairy, raw nuts and seeds

How to maximise your nutrient intake: 

  • Follow the above formula to create balanced meals daily
  • Boost your nutrient intake with a daily scoop of Good Green Vitality
  • Always have fresh produce in the fridge 
  • Eat a wide variety of foods daily
  • Avoid highly processed and packaged items 


Water plays a role in almost every process in the body, with our bodies made up of approximately 60% water. Water enables the body to flush out toxins and is important for digestion, brain function, skin health and so much more. 

Water is such a vital element of every biochemical process in the body that dehydration levels as low as 1-3% can have a noticeable impact on body function. 

How to increase your water intake: 

  • When you wake up have a large glass of water
  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you 
  • Set reminders or alarms on your phone 
  • Consciously swap soda/sugary drink for water
  • Try herbal teas or add citrus, berries or mint to taste


Over the holiday period it’s easy to neglect moving your body or ditch your regular exercise routine but maintaining regular movement and exercise is not only important for your physical health but your mental health too. 

Regular movement helps keep your body functioning and aids the body’s key systems to increase metabolic rate, strengthen muscles, increase energy levels, support mental health, mood, sleep quality and overall cognitive function. 

Getting outside every day will contribute to getting your heart rate up, soaking up Vitamin D and breathing fresh air, as well as releasing endorphins to make you feel happy, healthy and confident. 

How to schedule in daily movement: 

  • Aim to hit 7 000 to 10 000 steps daily through incidental movement 
  • Schedule in exercise and make it a priority 
  • Make it social – enjoy movement with friends and family 
  • Try something new – swimming, dancing, tennis or a yoga class

Click here to read 5 Exercise and Lifestyle Tips to Create a Happier & Healthier You This New Year


Sleep is one of the first sacrifices we make during the holiday season. Ditching a regular sleep routine for late nights, social events and Netflix binges delays the onset of natural drowsiness and gets in the way of quality and quantity of sleep. These activities delay the production of melatonin and disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm (the internal body clock regulating the sleep/wake cycle) and can contribute to anything from weight gain, digestive issues, poor liver function, cardiac problems, congestion and, of course, an ongoing state of fatigue. 

Sleep is classified as one of the foundations of health as without it the body cannot thrive or even perform basic functions like digestion and metabolism of food. It’s a time when your body relaxes and repairs and it’s important to promote quality and quantity sleep year-round. Sacrificing these precious hours and ditching a regular sleep routine can contribute to poor health and long-term illness. 

How to support sleep health: 

  • Prioritise your sleep – aim for 7-8 hours each night 
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and consistent bedtime 
  • Avoid drinking caffeine after 2pm 
  • Create a healthy sleep environment – quiet, dark and comfortable
  • Avoid screens prior to bed – switch to night mode if needed 
  • Quiet your brain – journal, deep breathing, bedtime meditation 
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid anxiety-driven activities before bedtime e.g., checking work emails or watching the news


This is the perfect time of year to create some healthy habits around mindfulness that will provide you with the tools and skills for the year ahead. Mindfulness can help with stress management, improve sleep, benefit your relationships and support your physical and mental health. 

A mindfulness practice has been shown to help everyone from children to adults and proves to play an important role in overall health and wellbeing. 

How to be mindful: 

  • Eat mindfully – sit down, chew your food and enjoy every mouthful 
  • Practice self-love and prioritise you
  • Try guided meditations to kickstart a new habit
  • Take deep belly breaths 
  • Actively listen to those around you and be present  
  • Unplug and recharge your batteries 
  • Become intuitive with your body 

January is the time to ditch the resolutions and focus on long term, simple and sustainable changes that support your body. It’s often the foundations of health that will hold you back from reaching your health goals. When these foundations are out of balance, everything is out of whack. Get them right and everything else will follow.

6 Health Mistakes To Avoid This Holiday Season

The holiday season can present a number of challenges when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. The good news? With a little smart planning, you can avoid the speed bumps that may throw you off course so that you can enter the New Year feeling confident and in control of your health and wellbeing. Here,

The holiday season can present a number of challenges when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. The good news? With a little smart planning, you can avoid the speed bumps that may throw you off course so that you can enter the New Year feeling confident and in control of your health and wellbeing.

Here, Sydney-based Dietitian and Nutritionist, Rachel Hawkins, discusses six of the biggest health mistakes that people make during the holiday season, as well as providing some tried and true strategies to help you avoid making them!

Mistake 1: Skipping Breakfast to Save Room for Later

Although breakfast isn’t an essential meal for most adults, skipping breakfast in order to save room for later is a dangerous gamble. Whether it’s the office holiday party, Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas lunch, showing up to an event where there is going to be a smorgasbord of food with an empty stomach only increases the likelihood that you will go ‘all out’ and overeat when you’re there.

Regardless of the time of year, overeating can easily spiral out of control resulting in a number of health consequences. These include bloating, gas, nausea, sluggishness, and unwanted weight gain.1,2,3,4 Chronic overeating may also disrupt the balance of hormones that control your hunger (ghrelin) and fullness (leptin), making it more difficult to determine when your body actually needs food.5,6

Instead of skipping breakfast before a holiday event, enjoy a balanced breakfast that includes a source of protein, healthy fats and low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates so that you are adequately nourished and able to make more mindful choices at holiday events.

Some breakfast suggestions include:

  • Overnight oats made with chia seeds, berries, maple syrup and your choice of milk
  • Poached eggs on toast made with wholegrain bread and a side of avocado
  • A loaded breakfast smoothie made with berries, spinach, rolled oats, chia seeds, a serve of Smooth Vanilla Clean Lean Protein and your choice of milk

Mistake 2: Having an All-or-Nothing Mindset

The all-or-nothing mindset is a mentality that people have, whether it be towards nutrition or exercise, where they are either all in or all out. It is the kind of approach that sees people eat two pieces of pavlova after Christmas lunch and then say, ‘oh stuff it’ and spend the rest of the week bingeing on Christmas leftovers.

The problem with an all-or-nothing mindset is that it is accompanied by unrealistic, self-imposed rules that naturally test our willpower. When these rules are broken, we feel guilty about this and revert to the old ‘stuff it’ mentality. And so, the cycle repeats.

My advice?

Ditch the restrictive diet. Telling yourself that you aren’t allowed to eat any sweets on Christmas Day isn’t realistic. However, allowing yourself a plate of dessert is. Enjoy the holiday festivities but do it in a balanced way. By allowing yourself permission to eat the foods that would otherwise be on your ‘banned list’, you are essentially decreasing the likelihood of bingeing later on.

Secondly, eat more mindfully.Eating slowly and taking the time to chew your food properly is a practical strategy that will help you to savour the flavours of your meal, thus helping you to feel more satisfied after eating (and less likely to go back for second and third servings)! Aim for 20 chews per mouthful. This trick will also help to improve your digestion!

Mistake 3: Failing to Plan on Days You Don’t Have Holiday Events

Not every day between Christmas and New Year needs to involve a smorgasbord of food.

Set yourself up for success during the holiday season by planning your menu on ‘regular’ days when you’re not at an event. This will help to alleviate the stress of not knowing what to cook at the end of the day, thereby reducing the likelihood of you buying takeaway food or making undesirable food choices.

Plan your meals ahead of time by writing a list of what you are going to eat for your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day of the week, and also what ingredients you will need from the grocery store in order to make this happen.

By doing this, you reduce the likelihood of being caught out in between holiday events thus making it easier to make healthy nutrition choices during the silly season.

Mistake 4: Going Hard on the Booze

Food isn’t the only thing that we typically overindulge in over the holiday season. Many festive celebrations involve alcohol, and typically in higher volumes than we would normally consume.

In the short term, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to impaired judgement, reduced inhibitions, loss of coordination, unstable emotions, memory loss, headaches and vomiting.7,8 In the long term, excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact our mental health and fertility and increase our risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.7,8

Regular alcohol consumption can also lead to unwanted weight gain.7,8

Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, which is around the same amount as a gram of fat.9 This, in addition to the added calories found in mixers such as tonic water or coke, means that you could be drinking around 200 calories per standard drink. If you’re drinking a pint of full-strength beer, then this number increases to 240 calories per drink.

It is possible to enjoy the holiday season whilst still moderating the amount of alcohol you drink.

  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks such as water, soda water or zero sugar soft drinks
  • Pour your own drinks instead of accepting refills from others so that you can keep track of how much you are drinking
  • Avoid getting involved in rounds as this often means you will drink more than intended
  • Switch from full strength beer to light beer to save ~90 calories per pint
  • Pace yourself by taking small sips

Mistake 5: Failing to Move Your Body

It may be the holiday season, but this doesn’t mean your normal healthy habits need to completely fly out the window.

Exercise is incredibly beneficial for our overall health and wellbeing. It promotes good cardiovascular and mental health and can also be used to strengthen and maintain our musculoskeletal system.10

Regular exercise can help to keep our mental health on track when our normal routines are disrupted by promoting the release of feel-good brain chemicals that can help to boost our mood and overall sense of wellbeing. 10

Because the holidays are such a busy time of year, it can be a good idea to exercise in the morning before the day slips away from you and excuses start to creep in. But if you’re more of an evening exerciser then that’s ok too!

Ways to stay active over the holiday season include:

  • Going for a hike with a friend
  • Taking the dog for a walk
  • Doing a home workout. We have shared our favourite workout apps here.
  • Going for a bike ride
  • Participating in gym classes or group bootcamps
  • Running interval sprints on the sand at the beach
  • Doing some laps at the pool

Mistake 6: Not Seeking Help

While it might be the most wonderful time of the year for some, for others it can be a really difficult one. The holiday season can remind people of loved ones they have lost, while for others it can be a time they spend alone.

The global pandemic adds an additional challenge this year due to the fact that there will be many people who will not be able to spend the holidays with their families due to restrictions around travelling and group gatherings.

So, it is more important now than ever before to prioritise our mental wellbeing.

Keep active, slow down and take things one step at a time. If you’re lonely, reach out to a friend you trust and talk through how you are feeling. If you’re overwhelmed by the presence of family, schedule out some time for yourself.

If you are concerned about your own mental health, or the mental health of a loved one, there are a number of things that you can do…

  • Start a conversation. If you are struggling with your mental health, consider opening up to a friend or family member about this. Mental illness effects one in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 years each year.11 Starting a conversation with someone you trust can help to alleviate anxiety and make you feel less alone. If you think that a loved one may be struggling with their mental health, simply checking in with a simple phone call and asking, ‘are you ok?’ is a great way to offer your support.
  • Seek support from a health care professional.  This could involve referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist or other specialist doctor from your GP. In Australia, telehealth services are available which help to make mental health services more easily accessible.
  • Utilise online and telephone-based servicesThere are a number of online and telephone-based support services that can be accessed for immediate crisis support. They include LifelineBeyond BlueHeadspace and The Butterfly Foundation.



10 Healthy Eating Tips to Get You Back on Track this New Year, Minus the Diet.

If eating healthier is one of your top 2020 New Year’s resolutions, tackle your goal from a different perspective this year by following these 10 bite-sized healthy eating tips! The New Year offers an opportunity to eliminate bad habits and establish healthier routines. And while the New Year brings renewed motivation, this is often short

If eating healthier is one of your top 2020 New Year’s resolutions, tackle your goal from a different perspective this year by following these 10 bite-sized healthy eating tips!

The New Year offers an opportunity to eliminate bad habits and establish healthier routines. And while the New Year brings renewed motivation, this is often short lived, with many people abandoning their resolutions faster than Usain Bolt can run one hundred meters.

New Year’s resolutions typically don’t work out because people set too big of a goal for themselves. Big goals make it difficult to know where to start and as a result, motivation is lost quickly. Instead, long term success is found by setting smaller goals that can be achieved gradually over time.

1. Forget the diet.

Diets are notorious for being unnecessarily restrictive and difficult to maintain long term. There is no such thing as a perfect diet, so stop trying to achieve one. According to an article in , all foods have a place in a healthy diet…work on creating balance, not restriction.

2. Veggies are king, fruits are queen.

Vegetables and fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Research shows that people who eat vegetables and fruits live longer and have a lower risk of developing chronic disease. Aim to eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit every day!

Struggling to eat a serve of veggies at breakfast? Try our easy Breakfast Bruschetta recipe.

3. Love thy wholegrains.

Eating wholegrains as part of a healthy diet has been found to lower your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and gastrointestinal disease. Wholegrains such as brown rice, wholegrain bread and pasta, oats and buckwheat are a great source of fibre which helps to keep your digestive system working properly. Aim to eat 4-6 serves of wholegrains every day!

4. Don’t skip on protein.

Proteins are essential nutrients. They are the building blocks of all of the cells in our body and are needed for growth and repair. Protein containing foods help to reduce cravings and promote a feeling of fullness…both of which are favourable if you are trying to lose weight! Protein can be found in foods including meat, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds and quality protein supplements such as Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Powder.

girl making a protein smoothie

5. Eat more legumes.

Legumes are a group of plant foods that contain lentils, beans and peas. They are packed full of protein and fibre and contain an array of vitamins and minerals. Due to their nutritional profile, legumes can be considered a vegetable (thus contribute to your 5 a day target) however they are also a fantastic source of plant-based protein making them a great alternative to meat and fish.

6. Stop fearing fats.

Fats have many important functions in the body including insulation of the body and organs, regulating inflammatory and immune responses and aiding in brain development and function. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are considered ‘healthy fats’ as they are beneficial for our heart health. Healthy fats can be found in foods such as oily fish, olive oil, nuts, avocado and chia seeds.

Looking for a healthy dinner recipe? Try our delicious Zucchini and Sundried Tomato Frittata recipe.

7. Optimise your gut health with pre- and pro-biotics.

Pre- and pro-biotics support the body in building and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is believed to be beneficial for our immune, mental and digestive health. Prebiotics are found in fibre rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains. While probiotics occur in many fermented foods, including yogurt, sauerkraut, and tempeh. Aim to eat these every day to help your gut health flourish.

8. Drink up!

Water is vital for so many bodily functions. It helps to regulate your body temperature, assist your organs in flushing out toxins and aids in the circulation of blood and nutrients around the body. The average adult requires 2L of water per day to stay hydrated, so remember to drink up!

9. Eat mindfully.

Have you ever eaten a meal so quickly that you’ve gotten to the end and wondered where it all went? Switch off your screens and start paying attention to what you are eating at mealtimes. Eating in a more mindful way helps to increase meal satisfaction and has also been shown to promote weight loss and reduce binge eating.

10. Be Kind to Yourself.

Making healthy changes to your diet doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of hard work and persistence! Remember to strive for balance and be kind to yourself throughout the process and beyond.

If you enjoyed these healthy eating tips, read about our top “5 exercise and lifestyle tips to create a happier and healthier you this New Year”.