We can all agree that nutrition is one of the bedrock pillars of health, alongside exercise, sleep and stress management.
Nutrition refers to the consumption of food to provide our body with the energy and nutrients it requires to nourish and grow. Its importance lies as one of the largest direct contributors and influencing variables to our health and vitality.
Think of your body as a car. If you put quality petrol in your car, it will run smoother and get better mileage. Similarly, if you fuel your body with healthy foods that are high in nutrients, your engine will be cleaner, have less clogs and function more efficiently.
We hear all the time that we need to “eat plenty of fruit and veggies”, “make sure to get enough protein in”, “count your calories” etc...
But what does all this really mean? And why is it so important?
First, let me address that nutrition is an extremely complex and in-depth topic as it involves the complexities of the human body. Although we’re all the same species, yet physiologically speaking, we’re so uniquely different to one another.
Differences in our genetics, gut bacteria (microbiome), sex, immune system, physical activity levels and physical attributes (age, height, weight) are just some of the factors that affect the different nutritional requirements we need.
There’s more to nutrition than just eating food to get energy and feeling satiated. And there’s too much to cover in this short blog but the purpose of this article is to provide 5 simple steps you can follow to make better and smarter decisions towards your eating habits and diet to improve health, performance and vitality.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is for informational and educational purposes only - and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek advice from your physician or qualified health provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.
1. Identify your health goals
The goal-oriented nature of Humans is what gives us purpose, direction and fulfillment in life. This coupled with the act of goal setting, creates a powerful tool that propels us towards achieving what we want.
Start with the end in mind. Identify what you’re trying to achieve and set a specific and realistic goal for it. By ‘specific’ I mean being crystal clear and measurable, and ‘realistic’ refers to something that’s challenging yet attainable.
Let’s use weight loss as an example.
Saying you want to lose weight is too vague and doesn’t give you something specific to strive for. A goal that’s specific and realistic would be to lose X kgs in Y number of days. (note: According to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, a modest and healthy amount to lose per week is ~ 400-900g depending on your body weight. Anything above 1kg per week is not sustainable and could negatively affect your health).
The metric or benchmark figure you set for your goal is entirely up to you. You know yourself best, so pick a figure that pushes you to challenge your limits but is also attainable! It’s crucial that the goal is realistic and attainable because you must have the self-belief that you can achieve it to be motivated and persevere.
2. Eliminate foods that your body doesn’t agree with
The digestive system is often recognised as the foundation for long-term health and wellbeing.
It involves the digestion and absorption of nutrients required for every bodily function, and provides the building blocks to continuously repair and create each cell of the human body.
Get the most out of your diet by eliminating or significantly reducing the consumption of foods that your body doesn’t agree with.
If you experience or suspect any digestive issues, food sensitivities or intolerances, medical professionals advise that taking Blood Tests and Food Sensitivity & Intolerance Tests can help you gain a better understanding of your body and discover food sensitivities and intolerances that would otherwise be unrecognised.
Food sensitivity and intolerances are sometimes confused with, or mislabeled as food allergies. Food intolerances involve the digestive system (usually an inability to digest food), whilst food allergies involve the immune system (triggers an hyperinflated immune response).
3. Determine your calories
When we eat and drink, we’re putting energy (calories) into our body to use for everyday living. When the energy isn’t used, your body is smart and stores it as fat to be used at a later time. If this continues, over time we will put on weight.
Generally speaking, when we consume more calories than what our body uses, we will gain weight, and vice versa.
How much calories do you need?
The most accurate estimate and common method for calculating your daily caloric requirement is through a calorie calculator.
Use the calculator above and enter your details to calculate how many calories you need to consume each day to maintain, lose, or gain weight.
4. Determine the macronutrients to make up your calories
Now you know how many calories you need to reach your goal, next is to decide on your macronutrient breakdown - how many grams of carbs, proteins and fats to make up those calories.
Every food you consume has a macronutrient profile of the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats it has in grams.
Every gram of carb and protein contains 4 calories. Every gram of fat contains 9 calories. (Alcohol is referred to as a fourth macronutrient - it has 7 calories per gram).
Carbs: 4 calories per 1g
Proteins: 4 calories per 1g
Fats: 9 calories per 1g
As a general rule, the Australian Government’s Ministry of Health recommends that acceptable macronutrient breakdown consists of:
20-35% fats (limit saturated and trans fats)
Depending on your lifestyle, health goals and volume of exercise per day (and many other factors), you would need to adjust macronutrient percentages to your needs.
Current sports nutrition literature summarise individuals who engage in moderate to high volume training need greater amounts of carbs and protein in their diet.
Eliminating the guesswork - eat what you need.
Conveniently keep track of your meals and nutritional goals using a calorie tracking app. There are numerous free apps to pick from. food a free and easy-to-use app called myfitnesspal. Its extensive database of over 11 million foods allows for easy food tracking to help you stay accountable and understand your eating habits. Save meals, recipes, scan barcodes or manually add the product. Download the app onto your smart device, enter your details and goals, and start logging your meals. You’d be surprised to see the calories and macros you’re eating but it’s a valuable insight to have.
5. Choose nutrient dense foods
You may have heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. This expresses the notion that to be fit and healthy, you need to eat ‘good’ food. It expresses the importance of eating predominately quality whole foods as opposed to processed, junk and fatty foods.
So what is considered as ‘good’ food?
There’s no need to overcomplicate things. Sticking with whole foods is generally the safe and simple option because you get more (nutrients) for far less (calories). A better bang for your buck!
Whole foods, typically, are characterised as foods that have not been processed, refined or had ingredients added to them. Think of food that would exist in nature like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, meat, fish and eggs.
Processed foods on the other hand, have undergone various levels of processing and are usually frozen, canned, dried, baked, or pasteurized - often containing many additional chemicals and ingredients such as preservatives, sugar, salt, fats, artificial flavouring and dyes for the purpose of enhancing shelf life, flavour and colour of the food.
The heating, grinding and cooking process of manufacturing processed foods (i.e. turning a potato into fries or creating chicken strips) leads to a significant loss of the abundant beneficial nutrients the whole food may have such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (that protect us from chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease) while also adding additives and extra ingredients that are harmful to our system.
Long story short, by eating a diet composed of heavily processed foods, we’re getting more for less - more calories and additives, for less nutrients and health benefits. The only benefits for the short term may be convenience and taste - but that’s up to the individual’s preference.
A large profile of vitamins and minerals exist and they all have different functions and benefits to our health. List of micronutrient types, function, benefits and more.
Fruits and vegetables:
Whole foods: fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, frozen fruits, unsalted nuts.
Processed foods to avoid: Fruit or vegetable juices, canned fruit in heavy syrup, fruit snacks/fruit roll ups, veggie or potato chips.
Whole meats: fresh lean meats, fresh fish/shellfish, eggs
Processed meats to avoid: Bacon, sausage, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, hot dogs, deli meats, potted meats and spam.
The bottom line
In order to get the most out of our diet to live a healthy and vibrant life, first we need to understand what our body NEEDS.
A quick and effective method to find out what’s missing, what the problem is and what can be optimised is by taking Blood Tests and Food Sensitivity & Intolerance tests. You’ll also learn valuable information about your body that may go unrecognised.
Based on the analysis, you can then start to plan, introduce or eliminate foods to suit your needs and goals.
Limit processed foods as much as possible, and enjoy them in moderation, and use common sense. Be sure to make fresh, simple ingredients the focus of your diet.
Just by eliminating the foods that your body doesn’t agree with (has allergy, sensitivity or intolerance to), eating less processed and junk foods and choosing more whole foods, you’ll quickly notice improvements in your energy levels, mood and health.
Humans are emotional creatures, there's no doubt about that.
We would like to think that we are in control of our actions and our thoughts, but many of us are unaware of how much our emotions steer us towards decisions that soothe our ego and beliefs.
Emotions colour both our inner world and the world around us - making us see what we want to see, telling us where to look, what to think about, and what to do next.
Precisely what makes us so promising as creatives, thinkers and doers, what drives us to the top of those fields, could also be our worst enemy and sabotage our success.
This darker side of the psyche is our ego.
Ego is the voice that tells us we’re better than we really are. It’s the unhealthy belief in our importance, the need to be better than, more than, to be recognised for, and what we’re entitled to.
This delusional belief creates a disconnect from reality, making us not confident but arrogant, not self-aware but self-absorbed. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous.
The Ego In Training
In the discipline of Jiu Jitsu, your ego will be challenged daily and unless you’re prepared to keep an open mind and be humble, you will be humbled very quickly. In saying that, there’s no better place to expose your ego than on the mats as it’s done so in a safe and controlled environment.
As Sensei Saulo Ribeiro says “You can’t hide from Jiu-Jitsu, it will show your true colours.”
Jiu Jitsu teaches us to become a student again - not only on the mats but for life. This ‘student for life’ mentality teaches us to recognise that there’s always something that we can learn from everyone; regardless of their age, gender, size, background, profession, and especially belt colour.
We can’t keep learning if we think we already know everything.
So, we let go of our inflated sense of self and take on the role of a beginner. This takes humility. Accepting that you know nothing (not because you’re Jon Snow) but because you desire to be better. Better through making mistakes, learning from your training partners, and keeping an open mind.
The Ego In Competition
Let’s face it, the nature of Jiu Jitsu as a martial art will attract competitive personalities and for sure there is a level of ‘ego’ that comes with that. Putting aside all the other values of competing, the goal is to win after all.
This is when we need to understand how to use ego as a tool to benefit us.
It’s the side of us that desires to win so we’re driven to train hard, be disciplined and do what it takes to achieve that end goal.
But what happens when we finally achieve that goal?
What happens when we win all our matches in great fashion and prove to be the best on that day?
Do you let this accomplishment define you and your worth?
Do you let it tell you to take it easy because you deserve it?
Do you let it tell you that you don’t need to train as hard, or be as disciplined anymore?
These are questions only you can answer for yourself. But by now you should see how arrogance and self-absorption only inhibits growth.
Any discipline can offer a pathway to the better understanding of one’s self… whether it’s in art, music, gaming or sports - there is a level of growth and discovery that comes from pursuing a level of mastery in a skill.
This is one of the gifts that Jiu Jitsu offers.
It is a particularly deep discipline where the student embarks on a journey that requires heart, humility, resilience and compassion.
Everyone has a different reason for training Jiu Jitsu. Whether you train for fitness, or for the love of the sport, or you're preparing for world competition - everyone should be striving for the same goal: to realise their full potential.
It’s not about victory, or reaching an end, or getting your black belt… Maybe it’s all of them together, but the REAL growth occurs from facing your challenges; physically, mentally and emotionally.
"Not Just a Fight Style, It’s a Lifestyle!"
The practitioner gets what they want out of it... and more.
If you wish to learn self-defense, it’s one of the most powerful self-defense systems created.
If you wish to challenge yourself, you will face your demons and discover new limits.
If you wish to get fit, you’ll find a new level of love and respect for your body.
However, the way of discipline is not easy… and not everyone will experience the same benefits that Jiu Jitsu can offer.
It is the martial artist who is open minded, accepting and humble who will benefit the most.
It is the martial artist who develops the habit of discipline and consistency of action who will experience transformation.
“Nothing is given, everything is earnt.”
For those who don’t know, Jiu Jitsu is a self-defense system that focuses on grappling, ground fighting and submissions. John Danaher (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and renowned instructor) infamously breaks down the system into 4 stages:
1. Take your opponent to the ground.
2. Get past your opponent’s legs.
3. Work through a hierarchy of positional pins.
4. Submit your opponent.
When training Jiu-Jitsu, you are facing reality on a regular basis. You are confronted with problems that you have to solve while under pressure. You apply what you have learnt to achieve a certain goal and if you make mistakes... you pay for them.
But that's okay. Because failure is part of the process and it’s necessary for your growth. Accept those mistakes, learn from them and improve for next time.
“You never lose, you either win or you learn.”
A word from Sensei Davi Mattos (Director and Head Coach of Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu Perth)
“We all have our own weaknesses and things to improve on. But I believe that Jiu Jitsu has the power to change people’s lives, bringing out the best in each and every person. This requires humility to accept our faults, ask for help when needed and to be gracious in defeat.
That’s why my goal is to use Jiu Jitsu as a platform to share this experience and ultimately, empower others to thrive in all areas of life.
We take pride in building a school of individuals from all walks of life, no matter their age, ability or goals, everyone is the same on the mats.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this far.
The Jiu Jitsu lifestyle means to be surrounded by good people, care, work hard, pass the art off, get better everyday, be healthy and happy. We accomplish this by adhering to the values of the 6 Blades: Family, Loyalty, Respect, Honor, Discipline and Attitude.
If you’re looking to try something different, challenge yourself and learn a new skill while you’re at it, Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Perth is offering a FREE trial class to get you started on your journey. We provide you with everything you need for the first session including uniform, all you need is to book your lessons and show up!
Although entering competition is not mandatory in our School, there is still great value behind it as it brings a ‘real world’ perspective to the lessons covered on the mats. It is a true test of not only your skills, but your ability to handle stress and emotions under a high pressure situation… because no matter how technical or physically prepared you are, if your thoughts and emotions get the better of you… it could be game over.
The same principle carries over to life situations such as school exams, job interviews and business meetings etc.
The Dichotomy of ‘Play’ and ‘War’
Competition is a natural phenomenon which occurs in life. Whether you’re applying for a scholarship or a job, trying to close a business deal or finding a partner, playing board games or football, a sense of competitiveness exists when there are two or more parties striving towards a common goal.
Due to the nature of martial arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), competition is an integral part of the experience. Like other sports and games, BJJ is governed by a set of rules that are agreed upon by the participants. This creates a safe environment where competition exists and can be explored. A game where you can ‘play’ or ‘compete’ - the choice is yours.
It’s you vs. yourself
Whether you’re sparring in class or fighting in competition, the goal is to immobilise your opponent. Jiu Jitsu provides you with the tools (techniques) to solve a particular problem… and this problem is enhanced in competition. It is under these conditions, when you really test yourself. Not your skills or knowledge, but YOURSELF because there’s ONE defining difference between sparring in school versus sparring in competition - pressure.
Pressure of nerves. Pressure of emotions. Pressure of expectations. Pressure of winning. Pressure of your opponent. Pressure of risk. Pressure of mistakes.
It can get pretty overwhelming right?
“The mind is powerful beyond our imaginations. It can be our greatest ally or our worst enemy.”
The fear of losing can turn people away from competing. This is why competition has so much value behind it than just proving your skill and winning medals - it is a test of the individual. A test of how the individual handles pressure. Like any other game, the best jiu jitsu practitioner doesn’t always win. There are many instances where the person with the best technique or most experience doesn’t win… and it all comes down to their ability to deal with pressure.
How do you deal with pressure?
How you conduct yourself as a human, a martial artist and an athlete will reflect your performance while under pressure. It is the process of becoming the best version of yourself so that you’re prepared for whatever happens on the big day.
Jiu jitsu takes you on a journey that requires discipline, humility, resilience and sensitivity. There are no shortcuts to developing these attributes and it’s through a process of learning, studying and training that will accelerate your development in jiu jitsu and in LIFE!
If you know you’ve put in the work, fueled your body with good food, trained hard, took care of yourself physically and mentally… then you will have the confidence to perform.
At the end of the day, win or lose, it doesn’t matter. It’s the act of voluntarily committing yourself to a goal and how you conducted yourself in preparation to achieve the goal that matters... And no one can tell you if you’ve worked for it or not. This is something only you can answer.
On 22nd of September the annual AFBJJWA Perth Cup was held. This was a chance for the teams new and seasoned competitors to put their training to the test.
Our school was well represented by our 5 warriors in action (Dylan, Teleisha, George, Anthony). They give their best in battlefield and we come up with good results. With a total of 5 medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronzes). A great highlight it was George. He made his competition debut, unfortunate catching a DQ for a slam, but coming back strong with some wins to get his first gold.
As we all know we never fight alone and had a huge contingent of support from the team down at the Herb Graham Rec centre. The love and support was felt by all those stepping onto the mats to fight and doesn’t go unnoticed and it's what motivates the most.
We are now preparing for the next challenges. We hope to share many more memories with you then. Our family is ever growing and we welcome everyone who wishes to improve themselves and experience the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle. To our students, thank you for your support, you make our mission possible, see you on the mats. Oss!
Davis’ tour of Brazil was a time to reflect on the old and explore the new. He spent time visiting and training with a number of Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu schools across Brazil, visiting his Sensei's, running his first international seminar and getting a chance to build on his grappling knowledge by cross training with Wrestling and Judo champions.
During the first two weeks, Sensei Davi had the opportunity to train at Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Guara (@ribeirojjguara) in the Brazil's capital, Brasília. The school is runned by Sensei Diego Pereira and a great example of the power of Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil. With more than 200 students sharing the love for the Gentle Art. Brasília is also the current home for one of the best BJJ athletes at the moment, Yan "Pica-pau"(@yanpicapau). With some amazing sessions together it was possible to absorb a lot of knowledge to bring to Australia. Last, but definitely not least it was time to get together with Sensei Saulo Ribeiro, Sensei Xande Ribeiro and Sensei Fredson Aves. Having some great time together and trying to grasp all the greatness from three incredible Martial Artists.
After an amazing time in the country's capital it wast time to head to his home town, Fortaleza. Located in the northeast of Brazil, the city is one of the main touristic destinations of the country. Fortaleza is a surprisingly large and sprawling place. It’s one of Brazil’s biggest cities, and an economic magnet for people from Ceará and beyond. It’s also a draw for tourists from Brazil and overseas, who come for its beaches, party atmosphere and the spectacular smaller beach spots, rolling dunes and fishing villages accessible from here.
For Sensei Davi it was time to see family and friends, but also to connect with the roots of his Jiu-Jitsu. In his words, "Jiu-Jitsu is part of my daily routine, a tool to keep me grounded and the best way to connect with people". In Fortaleza, he visited his first Jiu-Jitsu teacher Guilherme Rocha "Caju", who now runs an Alliance affiliated academy. "It was amazing to see him, a great friend and big supporter of my Jiu-Jitsu journey". Another great moment it was to do wrestling session with the National champion Marcos Wesley (@_marcoswesley) organised by one of Davi's great friends and Bjj teacher Sensei Fabricio. "The kid is an unbelievable wrestler, moves like water. Most of all it was amazing to share the mats with Sensei Fabricio, great man that I consider like a mentor". To finish the tour Sensei Davi ran a seminar sharing Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu methodology and some great techniques to more than 30 eager students.
A particular highlight was expanding the RJJ Perth's family with the biggest RJJ clubs in Brazil. RJJ Perth are looking to develop sister school connections with the RJJ schools in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia and Manaus (@ribeirojjmanaus) which is owned and ran by Sensei Davi’s own Sensei, Fredson Alves.
This will be create amazing opportunities for cross training experience and assisting with the incredible social projects to assist under privileged kids to be able to train Jiu-Jitsu.
Every high-level grappler complements their Jiu-Jitsu training by doing additional strength and conditioning work away from the mat.
By their nature, typical kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. Everything that all practitioners of the Gentle Art need to improve their performances on the mats and take their game for the next level.
This last Sunday, 14th of July, we had the opportunity to learn from coach Shonelle Rutherford. With more than 10years with extensive experience and qualifications in Kettlebells, Yoga, Olympic Lifting and Movement she made a good connection between kettlebell movements and Jiu-Jitsu and finished with an insane workout. Thanks Coach!
We'll keep on bringing professionals with experience that could help us to improve our performance in Jiu-Jitsu, stay tuned for more!
Sunday the 10th of July saw Jamie Kercheval, Tomas Kercheval, Dale Fulton and Teleisha Hill take the mats for the 2nd Submission Grappling Tournament. SGTs' unique ruleset guaranteed for some very exciting matches, as wins were only secured by sub-mission.
Jaime was first up with 3 rounds, drawing twice and losing just one match. All 3 matches she fought she showed excellent fight control just narrowly missing out on some submission finishes. Thomas had a best of 3 draw with the same boy, he has showed tremendous improvements every he has stepped on the mat. Always coming back for more.
Fighting in a mixed blue/purple belt division Teleisha had 5 fights in Gi and No-Gi divisions got plenty of mat time and lots of experience under her belt, finishing the day with 2 draws and 3 losses.
For Dale this was his first competition as a bluebelt, and what a debut it was! also drawing a best of 3 bracket, he only needed two fights submitting his opponent by triangle and arm bar to take home the gold.
A big day for team at the state no-gi adults and junior gi winter comp with the junior team competing for the first time! Despite the small number of competitors for team repre-senting we still finished we bunch of medals.
Our sensei Davi Mattos taking out the gold medal in brown belt heavy weight division, unfortunately due to an to injury to a knee in his weight finals he was unable to continue on to the opens.
Jaime placing third in very tough mixed bracket, showed amazing heart to keep fighting the whole time. Tomas unfortunately missing out on a medal but put on a take down clinic, taking his opponent down twice with drop ippon seoi nage. Brad Williams showed excel-lent composure in his weight bracket to take home the silver. Teleisha Hill won her open weight division and took home a bronze in her weight division.