Some foods I love, I keep buying and that have remained close to my shopping trolley. Not to say there are other foods that I don’t eat, or these are all I eat, I just have never got sick of them and can always come up with ways to make them amazing.

Thanks, also Facebook and Instagram food porn for some hot tips!!!

Eating REAL food, not food substitutes, keeps me happy, builds a great base & most of all, I feel better eating them. Even if there are other choices, I tend to be too lazy and fall into my boring habits


Chicken – staple staple stable. Always have it cooked, portioned, ready to roll.

Steak – enough said!

Turkey – my favourite over chicken ha!

Eggs – little nutrient bombs. I love to just hard boil a bunch and keep in the fridge for days I have to run out at the speed of light. Contains 73% water, 6g protein, 5.7g fat, 0.4 carbs. People say that eggs are bad, that they are the reason for people cholesterol problems – but they contain a vast number of lecithin (1700mg) that emulsifies cholesterol and heaps of nutrients to metabolize it. I think there arr far worst things people are eating that a good egg. So economical and you just need to look up the good stuff in them to be swayed to eat them.

Salmon – YUM! I love a good bit of fish, from snapper, to whiting. Salmon goes alright occasionally or if I eat out. Essential fatty acids are in and around this little piece of amazing and have been told that consuming helps my insides long term and prevents hardening of the arteries, serious cardiovascular conditions that run in my family like blood clots, hypertension., high cholesterol, heart attacks and strokes.


Baby Spinach – Excellent source of iron, calcium, chlorophyll, beta carotene, vitamin C, riboflavin, sodium and potassium. It’s a diuretic, and can help if you suffer nosebleeds (minor haemorrhaging – see dr if you get them heaps though, food is medicine, but not always). Good for your blood, the sulphur helps clear the liver. Does contain high amounts of oxalic acid that interferes with calcium absorption so if you have a tendency to have kidney stones – please see an expert. I don’t so I eat!

Asparagus – I don’t actually like asparagus, I just eat it and think I have told myself it’s good for me so somehow I include it (mainly in my favourite turkey dish – below). Full of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin E. Contains an amino acid called asparagines, which can be calming. It’s a diuretic (can you smell what the asparagus is cooking?) so I don’t eat in excess, just a few bunches here and there weekly for my kidney’s sake. Asparagus also helps cleanse cholesterol from arteries.

Broccoli – ‘Chicken and broccoli’ – what all bodybuilders are known for or joke about. But why eat it? It’s a green vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. I do not like to overcook my broccoli, mainly because it stinks when you do, but just slightly steaming is best for me so it still has firmness. Full of nutrients like sulphur, iron and chlorophyll (purifies you blood). Rich it vitamin A, B complex and C (actually more Vit C than an orange). When broccoli’s good stuff hits the gut (sulphoraphane) it destroys carcinogenic substances (like the charcoal from your burnt toast or BBQ’s meat). See it’s good! I love broccolini, and I have been known to make broccoli soup when I’m in full ‘I love this stuff’ mode.

Cucumber –   cheap most year, fresh, clean, I love them. Can eat them everyday and never get sick of them

Capsicum – Red and green ones are always welcomes in my fridge

‘Dem Dirty’ Carb sources

Oats – was a staple for years. I can eat cold if I have too. So versatile, I add cinnamon for a sweetness. I am trying to reduce my wheat, so when my supermarket has the gluten free ones, I get them, if not it’s just the Lowan Wholegrain rolled oats.

Quinoa – I get this from the health store for the best price, Goodies and Grains or Wilsons Organics in SA. Foodlands  in SA have started to step up! Cook it as you do rice, may take a little to get used to but the protein in this grain is the highest of any other, both in quantity and quality. Contains more fat than any other grain (don’t fear, you probably need it), more calcium than milk too. Great source of vitamin B, iron, vitamin E, and phosphorus. Can be eaten as a grain, flour, pasta, pizza base, pancake, general break-fast substitute if you are a smart cookie in the kitchen.

Sweet Potato – Love hot sweet pot! I hade to switch to sweet potatoes ten years ago when white potatoes gave me stomach aches. Rich in Vitamin A (take that potatoes), vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and sodium – bake or boil in the skins so you keep all the goodness. Store in a cool dry place, not in the fridge.


Blueberries – my favourite little ‘non events’. I love these things. Known by the marketers as a ‘super food’ they are actually the richest of most fruits in anthocuanidins, powerful antioxidant bioflavonoid in their blue, purple and red pigments. Apparently will help me against Alzheimer’s disease and my eyes against age degeneration (I am the only family member that doesn’t need glasses, but my memory for events sucks!) Good sources of vitamin C, fibre, pectin, manganese, vitamin E and vitamin B2.

100gm of blueberries – 57 cals, traces of both protein and fat, 14.5g carbs, 2.4g fibre and 9.9g natural sugars

Lemon – Anyone that owns a lemon tree is a friend of mine. I use as a dressing or in drinks. Excellent source of vitamin C, contains small amounts of calcium, phosphorus, potassium and carotene.

Spices/Fresh Herbs:

Cinnamon – known to stabilise blood sugar levels, cramps, insomnia, stomach issues and nausea. I use  in my oats/quinoa mostly. I’ve also added it to my coffee with a dash of almond milk if I’m home.

Stevia – my sugar of choice

Garlic – Just one of those things you hear are good for you and knowing it stinks – it must be hey! Garlic does boost immunity, helps in the treatment of colds and flus, found to lower blood pressure and reduces blood stickiness (which my family history are prone to)  – eat fresh parsley after garlic to try and kill the smell.

Ginger – Helps digestion, relieves feeling sick (why you take it for travel sickness or if you have a baby onboard, morning sickness). Another one of those things I’ve read that can be considered an aphrodisiac  – ginger chicken stir fry anyone?? J

Mint – Same with Peppermint (below in drinks); it’s an appetite stimulant; digestive and sedative, aids in cramps, insomnia and vomiting (some claim it’s an aphrodisiac – I’d believe it!)

Chilli – who doesn’t love hot food? Ok heaps of people but chilli builds up a sweat, it stimulates appetite and aids digestion. Chilli can help with colds, help heal stomach ulcers, promotes tissue growth through release of histamine. Cayenne pepper in the treatment of many diseases (heaps of respiratory problems) and if you had a big night, try adding some to your food to help with that hangover.

Parsley – smells amazing, I add it to shredded chicken, on fish, anything really. It’s such a fresh herb. Parsley is also a diuretic, aids in water retention and helps digestion.

Tamari – used minimally as I don’t like soy products, but this is a wheat free soy sauce.


Coconut Oil – Medium Chan fatty acid. Small amounts vitamin B, larger amounts of minerals phosphorus, iron, magnesium and zinc. The fat doesn’t get nasty when heated, so it’s the only fat I use in my cooking now. Tastes amaze!

Almonds – Portion control. I’m not a nut butter addict, never buy it either, a few almonds is all I need. I also like to wiz a few up in my mixer with water and use as almond milk. They are just 20% protein, 60% fat, have vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc.

Fish Oils (started to add in Krill too this year) – large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, long chain and high unsaturated fats. Decrease blood stickiness and the formation of clots (there are heart and stroke issues in my family). I also find they do help in my body feeling better, namely joints, following weight training. Let’s just say I know when I don’t take it .


H2O – can we get enough?? Hell no!

Peppermint Tea – T2 one is my fav

Coffee – max 1 or 2, I prefer earlier in the day, before a training session, not after.

Greens drink – I sneak one in a day, I either blend with other things, or have it with lemon. I only started having one this year, went off it for a bit, but feel it’s now a staple and I will keep it in. I do need to keep working on my veg intake and this is no substitute for being lazy with that.


A dish that is simple, easy, makes me happy and can be a staple (may also look like dog food, buy hey, I’m just a simple person and it’s amazinggggg) – read off an athlete names Amanda Doherty via Facebook and really, have fallen in love for life.

½ onion, chopped, 1 tbsn coconut oil – cook in your biggest pan until onion is all clear and softened

Add 1kg turkey mince – lean cook through

Add dash of Tamari sauce

Add chopped fine whole bunch asparagus (raw)– add in other veg like capsicum, carrot, spinach if you want

2 handfuls of oats (raw, wholegrain)  or cooked quinoa

Cook until oats are soft and you are all ok with it. His can be portioned and kept in the fridge or freezer. It’s so yummy, basic, and just a step up from bland but makes me happy.

Comments/feedback/suggestions welcomed! Please email or comment below.  I am loving learning on this journey and will not be offended by suggestions.

Thank you for reading


*nutritional info supported by my little nutrient bible ‘Nutrients A-Z’ by Dr Michael Sharon, which I bought 2010 to see what the foods I ate did.

Gemma Dawson

Blog writer for the Australian Natural Bodybuilding website

Featured Athlete/Competitive Fitness Model and Motivational Personality

Assistant Coach and Online Trainer through

‘Get HEALTHY and you NATURALLY get LEAN’ – Gemma Dawson