Nutritional based articles straight from's specialist writers 

Posted 31 December 2017 by James Alexander Ellis

5 Biggest Mistakes When Trying

To Build Muscle by James Alexander Ellis


1. Eating "blindly" 

If you aren't tracking your calorie input somehow, then how do you know if you're eating a surplus of calories each day? You need bricks to build a house. Think yourself lucky you're able to eat lots!

2. Sticking to 3 Sets of 10

Yeah - you read this in fitness/bodybuiding magazines but rep range is the loading parameter that should be varied most often! To fully stimulate fast and slow twitch fibres, 10 reps won't cut it after a few weeks sorry.

3. Missing Time Under Tension 

Yes it hurts. Yes it's a major stimulus to muscle building. No you can't just bash out your reps. Consider using sets of at least 40s length to really create a hypertrophic response!


4. Resting inconsistently 

Time your rest periods and stick to a predetermined time. You'll never know if that extra couple of reps was genuinely increased strength or just because you had a bit more time chatting. Measure and manage!

5. Ignoring Recovery 

Did you know you build and repair muscle when you're resting? Most of us simply won't get enough recovery time if we train 7 days a week (especially with the reduced sleeping hours so many of us suffer from!)

Written By James Alexander Ellis


Posted 30 October 2017 by James Alexander Ellis

Fatloss Tips By

James Alexander Ellis


80% of all my clients have a fat loss related goal!

Here are some appetite control tips you may have not considered before:

Eat the Protein part

1: Eat the Protein part of your meals FIRST, especially if you are eating a less controlled / measured meal. This is likely to fill you up and stabilise blood sugar response from any sugars/carbs you eat.

Adopting an intermittent fasting approach

2: Adopting an intermittent fasting approach where you have a 16hr break between last and first meal can make it much easier to maintain a calorie deficit  Less meals / food to track.

Hunger pangs are temporary

3: Many food cravings or hunger pangs are temporary and can be easily controlled with simple DISTRACTION.  Make yourself busy for 20mins with your email or social media and your urges may well pass!

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Posted 14 February 2015 by Andréa's Protein Cakery

Recipe: Chocolate Protein

Raspberry Hearts

Chocolate Protein Raspberry Hearts Recipe

Makes about 15 pieces (5 servings).

cutandjacked-chocolate-protein-raspberry-hearts scr1.jpg


Chocolate coating:
1/4 cup raw coconut oil, melted (56g)
2 teaspoons confectioners style erythritol (10g)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (24g)

Chocolate raspberry filling:
1/2 cup natural chocolate whey protein powder (45g)
1/2 cup raspberries, mashed (62g)
1/2 teaspoon confectioners style erythritol (3g)



  1. Make the chocolate coating by mixing coconut oil, erythritol, and cocoa powder.
  2. Fill the cavities of a silicone candy mold about ½ way with the raw chocolate, and shift the mold so that the chocolate covers all sides of each cavity. (It helps to use a candy funnel.)
  3. Over a sheet of parchment paper, turn the mold over and pour out what hasn’t stuck to the mold.
  4. Using a bowl scraper or the back side of a knife, scrape off any excess chocolate from the top surface of the mold.
  5. Place the mold in the freezer for 3-5 minutes to set the chocolate.
  6. Collect your excess chocolate and set aside. (It may be easier to fold and freeze the parchment to collect the excess chocolate.)
  7. Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the chocolate raspberry filling.
  8. Remove the mold from the freezer. Fill the chocolates with the chocolate raspberry filling, leaving a little room in each mold cavity for more chocolate.
  9. Top with remaining chocolate.
  10. Freeze for at least 10 minutes.
  11. Enjoy! Store in the freezer. If the chocolates freeze for several hours or more, leave them out for a few minutes before serving.

Macros (per 3 piece serving)

  • Protein: 8g
  • Carbs: 5g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Calories: 167

A note about substitutions: you might try replacing the whey with casein, but I don’t think vegan powders would work well in the filling.


Posted 12 February 2015 by Ross Edgley

Whats Wrong With

Dirty Bulking?


A view on Dirty Bulking by Ross Edgely

Personally I remain lean all year round. Mainly because I think it should be a lifestyle and not some seasonal venture that people adopt when the summer time comes round. Now I know some people will take the argument, “but I’m bulking” which I accept. Of course intelligent periodization should form part of every person’s routine. But I typically draw people’s attention to the science around these crazy, 10,000 calorie a day ‘dirty bulks’….

So it’s widely known to induce muscular hypertrophy (and increase in the size of your muscles) you will need to create a ‘calorie surplus’. Put simply you eat more calories than you use/burn. But a mistake most strength and power athletes make is they reach for the burger, chips, cheese and ice cream. All the time telling themselves it’s ok since the extra calories will also add extra quality muscle. The problem is it doesn’t. Yes, sure your body meets its daily calorie needs but it will also be lacking in certain other vitamins and minerals that are needed for muscle growth. It’s basically a very narrow minded way of looking at nutrition and the human body.

Let’s take soft drinks and ice cream as a prime example. Not exactly known for being a great source of minerals and what’s worse is that a lot of them contain phosphates that have been shown to deplete the body’s iron stores. Iron is obviously hugely important to athletes since it’s vital for the transportation of oxygen by haemoglobin and muscles using oxygen by myoglobin. Having less iron in the body means less oxygen can be delivered to the working muscles. Again, is it any wonder you see these massive guys who are on a bulk yet struggle for breath walking up the stairs. Yes, they’re carrying more weight than their frame is used to (basic physics) but equally their body’s nutritionally handicapped by the lack of iron and oxygen circulating the body. 

Talking more generally, junk food such as doughnuts or pastries lack various muscle building micronutrients such as zinc which serves as a cofactor in more than 100 enzyme processes within the body, the most important being to help build DNA, protein, insulin and testosterone production. Obviously insulin is needed by the body to shuttle key nutrients such as amino acids to the muscles and testosterone is a hugely important anabolic hormone and without sufficient zinc in the diet both are affected.

Whilst there are too many nutrients to name specifically, it’s important to note that high calorie diets can lead to nutrient deficiency or a new form of malnutrition as described by scientists Orit Kaidar-Person et al (2008) which will ultimately leave your muscles underfed and will stunt their growth. Therefore concerning nutrients, it’s much wiser to attempt a clean bulk and ensure you create a calorie surplus through more nutrient dense foods since this will ensure your body also receives the often overlooked micronutrients it needs for muscular hypertrophy. The next issue regarding a dirty bulk is related to your insulin sensitivity. Firstly insulin is a hormone responsible for shuttling nutrients to the muscles and insulin sensitivity relates to how much of the hormone insulin your body needs to shuttle these nutrients to muscles.

Put simply ‘good insulin sensitivity’ means your body only needs a small amount to transport nutrients to the muscles whereas ‘bad insulin sensitivity’ means your body isn’t very good at shuttling nutrients to the muscles and requires a lot of insulin, plus even worse than that you’re also on track to diabetes. Now whilst insulin sensitivity varies from person to person research shows that a dirty bulk won’t help matters. Specifically this relates to fast food and its content of trans fatty acids (trans fats) which is an artificially made fat that’s used when making pastries, cookies, doughnuts and French fries.  It’s responsible for that ‘melt in your mouth’ type feeling you get from a really nice doughnut or cookie and although it tastes amazing, researchers Mark. A Pereira et al (2005) state it negatively affects insulin sensitivity. This means although certain French fries taste amazing and they will help you create a calorie surplus, they will detrimentally affect insulin sensitivity and therefore how effectively nutrients are transported to the muscles. This exact principle also applies with foods that are high in fructose such as certain pre-packaged cereals, junk food deserts, potato chips, soft drinks and shockingly certain snack bars that are advertised as healthy since researchers Heather Basciano et al (2005) found that diets containing a high amount of fructose again negatively affected insulin sensitivity. So again, whilst washing your ‘dirty bulking’ meal down with a litre of orange fizzy drinks may help you get the calories in, your muscles won’t thank you for the reduced insulin sensitivity (Bray G.A, 2010).

Finally (and very closely linked to insulin sensitivity) is how effectively you will be able to keep your body fat low and only build quality, functional mass for sport rather. Whilst insulin helps to transport nutrients to the muscles, it’s also the most lipolytic (fat storing) hormone in the body, shuttling fatty acids and glucose to fat cells to be stored as body fat. For this reason no strength athlete will want bad insulin sensitivity since this means their body will release more insulin which in turn reduces lipolysis (the burning of fat) and increases lipogensis (the storing of body fat.)  The final point to consider is that whilst dirty bulking may produce short-term gains and also look very impressive as you stand on the scales and gain 5 lbs. a week, it may not be very good in the long-term and actually be counterproductive when you’re trying to build a stronger physique with more functional mass.

Written By Ross Edgley


Posted 17 January 2015 by Andréa's Protein Cakery

Recipe: Peppermint Swirl

Protein Brownies

Recipe: Peppermint Swirl Protein Brownies


Makes 9 brownies, one square 7" pan


  • 1 cup natural applesauce (222g)
  • 1/3 cup almond butter (80g)
  • 1 cup natural chocolate whey protein powder (104g)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder (11g) (or cocoa powder)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (36g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (0.6ml)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla or unflavored whey protein powder (23g)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (28g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon alcohol-free peppermint extract (1.2ml)



  1. Preheat oven to 325F (163C).
  2. Line a 7" square (or similarly sized) pan with parchment paper (if not using silicone).
  3. Mix applesauce and almond butter well.
  4. Add chocolate whey, cacao powder, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Mix well.
  5. Pour batter into pan, and set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients until smooth.
  7. Spoon peppermint batter onto brownie batter, and swirl with the back side of a knife.
  8. Bake for 16-18 minutes (just until firm).
  9. Let cool slightly.
  10. Cut into 9 brownies, and enjoy!
  11. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes:  A note about substitutions: Because each type of protein powder has a distinct flavor and texture when baked, I would not try substituting different types of protein powders in this recipe. If you'd like to use stevia in place of the coconut sugar, you'd save yourself a couple of grams of carbs per brownie.  And remember not to over-bake these brownies!

Stats Per Brownie

Protein: 12g
Carbs: 12g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 8g
Fat: 6g
Calories: 147

Recipe created by Andréa's Protein Cakery:

Posted 11 January 2015 by

Recipe: Triple Chocolate

High Protein Smoothie

Recipe: Triple Chocolate High Protein Smoothie



  • 2 scoops (70g) Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa
  • 1 cup non fat Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup frozen Strawberries
  • ½ large Banana (68g)


Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.


Yield: 3 servings

Macros per serving: 250ml
Calories: 186.8
Protein: 26.4g
Fat: 2.6g
Carbs: 14.2g



Posted 08 January 2015 by Amir Laufert

7 Tips: How to eat healthy

at any restaurant

restaurant scr1a.jpg

How to eat healthy at any restaurant

In this short article I would like to show how one can go to any restaurant and still eat in a healthy manner. The motivation behind this article is one of personal experience. As someone who loves food and trying out new places to eat I have encountered many menus with a variety of choices and have managed to choose the healthy options.

Health and fitness enthusiast are often caught between social dilemmas in terms of eating out with friends and staying healthy and in good shape. Eating out with friends is something we all enjoy doing, however we often have an internal battle with ourselves, as we know that eating out often means sugar and fat loaded foods that we just don’t need or want. This internal battle can lead to us turning down an invite to socialize with friends or in other cases just not eating at all at the restaurant. Whichever option you choose it is not the best social option and this can lead to “FOMO” fear of missing out. 

In this short article we will explore tips and strategies of eating out at any restaurant and maintaining a healthy eating plan and still feel included in our social groups. 

Before the meal

Tip 1: If you know the restaurant that you will be eating at then have a look online for the menu and have a quick browse at the menu options. By doing this you will prevent finding yourself in a dilemma at the restaurant and making an irrational decision.

Tip 2: Never go out to eat in a state of hunger as this can lead to bad choices and overeating.

Tip 3: Drink a glass of water before any meal.


Tip 4: Most places will have veggies in some form or another. Start off by looking for salad options but be aware that many places will have fancy salads that include many foods that are not too good for our waistlines. Do not feel shy to ask the waiter to add or take out an item from the menu to suit your needs. An example of this would be if there is a chicken salad on the menu but it also has feta cheese and a blue cheese dressing then simply ask for no salad dressing on the salad and to please take out the feta. If for any reason there are no salad options then have a look to see if any food come with veggies or come as a “side order”. In this case you can ask the waiter to please bring you a “side order” of these veggies.

Note: “side order” veggies could often be prepared using added butter or oils so ask the waiter to please not fry or add any of these things to them when prepared.

Note: Ask for salad dressing on the side, as salad dressings are often pure oils and sugar loaded. One can substitute the dressing for balsamic vinegar and/or olive oil with salad and/pepper to season.

Note: you may ask the waiter to chop and change the menu as you wish.

Main course

Tip 5: Have a look for a lean protein source including: 

• Fish or seafood
• Chicken breast
• Turkey breast
• Lean cuts of meat

Note: Make sure that these proteins do not come with a dressing or topping such as cheese or sauces as these add high calories to the meal.

Note: Ask the waiter how these proteins are prepared. If the dish is fried then ask to have it backed or roasted.

Tip 6: Have a side dish or salad or veggies instead of fried chips

Note: Most side dishes with a main course come with a starch of your choice of either fried chips, potato or rice. Depending on your nutritional goal, stick with the un-fried option or a side salad. If one chooses to have a potato then ask the waiter to not put butter/margarine or cream on top.


This part of the meal is not a necessity. However if one does choose to have dessert then sticking to fruit is your best bet but try not eating all of it.

Tip 7: Having a cup of coffee/tea at this point is the best way to not feel left out if everyone is nibbling on something.

Written By Amir Laufert:

Posted 03 January 2015 by

High Protein Recipe:

Garlic And Herb Salmon

Recipe: Garlic & Herb Salmon



  • 8oz (226g) Salmon Fillet
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh Dill
  • ½ tsp. fresh Rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. dried Parsley
  • ¼ tsp. dried Sage


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place the salmon fillet on a foil lined baking sheet.
  • Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic and brush onto the salmon.
  • Top the salmon with the herbs.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.

You can also wrap the fish in foil and place on the grill to barbeque for 15 minutes.


Yield: 1 serving

Macros per serving:

  • Calories: 459
  • Protein: 57.9g
  • Fat: 22.9g
  • Carbs: 1.0g
Posted 22 December 2014 by

Recipe: High

Protein Crepes

Recipe: High Protein Crepes

crepes scr1.jpg


  • 1 medium Banana
  • 2 scoops unflavored Whey Protein Powder
  • ½ cup Egg Whites
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk


  • Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth and of a liquid consistency.
  • Heat a pan on medium-low heat and spray with non-stick oil.
  • Using a ¼ measuring cup, pour batter onto pan and quickly work the pan to spread batter thinly.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.


Yield: 6 crepes

Macros: 3 crepes
Calories: 223.5
Protein: 35.5g
Fat: 2.1g
Carbs: 15.5g

Posted 24 November 2014 by Andréa's Protein Cakery

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple

Protein Cheesecake


Cinnamon Apple Protein Cheesecake

Makes one 6" cheesecake (8 servings).

All ingredients should be at room temperature.

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or any nut butter) (60g)
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water (45ml)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla rice (or pea) protein powder (28g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1.25ml)
  • A pinch of sea salt

Ingredients for apple layer/topping:

  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and steamed (1 cup, about 125g before steaming)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1.25ml)
  • 2 tablespoons natural (unsweetened) applesauce (28g)

Ingredients for cheesecake:

  • 2 packages Neufchâtel cheese (16oz, 448g)
  • 8 packets stevia (8g)
  • 4 large eggs, whole (200g)
  • 8oz fat-free Greek yogurt (227g)
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract (5ml)
  • 1/2 cup natural vanilla whey protein powder (48g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2.5ml)


  • Preheat oven to 325F (163C).
  • Line the bottom of a 6" springform pan with parchment paper, and wrap the bottom of the pan in foil.
  • Rub coconut oil around the sides of the pan (or spray with cooking spray).
  • Make the crust by first mixing the almond butter and water until combined.
  • Mix in rice protein, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Press into the bottom of the springform, and set aside.
  • Chop the steamed apples, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Lay about 1/3 of the apples over the crust. Mix the rest of the apples with the applesauce for the topping, and set aside.
  • Beat the Neufchâtel cheese and stevia until combined.
  • Add eggs and mix well.
  • Add yogurt and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
  • Add whey protein and cinnamon, and beat until smooth.
  • Pour batter over crust.
  • Place the springform in a water bath in the oven (put the springform in a larger pan with about 1 inch of water).
  • Bake at 325F (163C) for 30 minutes, then lower the oven to 200F (93C) and bake for 40-50 minutes more. The cake should be firm around the edges, but the center should be jiggly. 
  • Remove from oven, and let cool at room temperature.
  • Refrigerate for several hours (cake will continue to set).
  • Top with apple mixture, and enjoy!


  • Macros per piece (1/8 cake):
  • Protein: 18g,
  • Carbs: 8g (1g fiber, 5g sugar),
  • Fat: 19g,
  • Calories: 275

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