Returning from a year travelling overseas and wanting to embrace their backgrounds in fitness and sport, husband and wife team Tim Keating and Teisha Condie launched Gym Food Australia this month – a series of ready-made meals that are customised to anyone from office workers seeking to trim-up to body builders wanting to beef up. We caught up with the duo to find out more about their new passion and why nutritionally-balanced pre-made meals are increasingly appealing to time-poor people.
Can you tell us about your own backgrounds? Tim: We met at JCU while I was studying exercise physiology and Teisha was studying sport and exercise science/education and were married in 2013. I have a strong background in competitive basketball both in Australia and abroad and have been involved in the fitness/strength and conditioning scene for over nine years. Teisha was an elite 400m sprinter in her youth and has dabbled in triathlons, cycling and half marathons in recent times.
“We are no different to any other person trying to fit a-million-and-one-things into the day, including exercising, shopping and maintaining active social and family life. It’s tough to juggle all of these things and still find time for number one” – Teisha Condie
Have either of you struggled in the past with your nutrition and finding the time to eat properly? Teisha: Of course we have. We are no different to any other person trying to fit a-million-and-one-things into the day, including exercising, shopping and maintaining active social and family life. It’s tough to juggle all of these things and still find time for number one. Tim: I got tired of eating for convenience rather than health when time constraints were an issue. This was one of the many reasons we decided to start Gym Food Australia (GFA).
What’s GFA in a nutshell? Tim: We are an online store that provides dietician-designed, chef-cooked fitness meals right here in Townsville. We cater for many different types of people, from those looking to lose fat, get lean, or build muscle mass. Teisha: All four of our tailored packs come with 20 meals. This is broken down into four meals per day, five days a week. This gives you the weekends to be social and give your culinary skills a brush-up in the kitchen!
“We have tried to take all of the guesswork out of nutrition by providing access to a pre-prepared, healthy product that fits the consumer’s goals, lifestyle and budget” – Tim Keating
How did Gym Food Australia come to be? Tim: We used to run a string of exercise physiology and personal training businesses down the coast of Queensland. The main challenge that always presented was the lack of time that our clients had within their hectic working week. This resulted in poor meal choices that had a negative effect on the client’s progress as well as their bank account. We have tried to take all of the guesswork out of nutrition by providing access to a pre-prepared, healthy product that fits the consumer’s goals, lifestyle and budget.
Who will it most appeal to? Teisha: The best thing about GFA is that it can appeal to almost anybody. From serious body builders trying to drop their body fat percentage, to your everyday office workers looking for a healthy alternative to fast food lunchbreaks. We have tried to create a versatile product that appeals to both sedentary and active individuals.
How can people determine what meal is for them? Tim: We have developed a nutritional calculator on our website that takes into account the individual’s age, weight, height, activity levels and goals, before recommending a pack most suited to their needs. However, we always encourage people to contact us for a more in-depth examination of their needs.
“The fact that you can order in such a short amount of time, decrease your shopping, cooking and cleaning time is so appealing to so many different demographics. It’s definitely the way of the future” – Tim Keating
How did you choose what meals would be on offer? Tim: Our menu was developed over a period of about six months. We engaged a chef, a dietician, and we also listed the kind of meals that we wanted to see on the menu. Our dietician created 20 meals initially; we cooked all 20 and had a series of taste testing done with roughly 10 friends where each meal was ranked out of 10. Teisha: Long story short, we culled the meals from 20 to 10, and could not be happier with the choices we now have on offer. The challenges we faced during this period included dryness upon reheating from frozen, too much or not enough of certain macronutrients, too much fluid, and discovering which products are able to be frozen without decreasing their nutritional values dramatically.
What’s your personal favourite and why? Tim: My personal favourite is the coconut chicken because the sauce is absolutely perfectly balanced with the coconut milk, garlic and capsicum. I’m hungry just thinking about it! Teisha: Mine is the beef, mushroom and red wine stew because the beef melts in your mouth.
There are other ready-made meal options available – what makes you different? Tim: We have put a huge amount of research into this menu, so much so that we feel it is the most advanced menu on the market, and we are very proud of this. We cater for a wide range of individuals with our macronutrient breakdowns. These allow for sedentary people to use us a sole source of nutrition and for active people to use our plans in conjunction with sports supplementation. Our diversity also sets us apart from the standard chicken, sweet potato and broccoli (AKA groundhog day) that some athletes have become accustomed to. Teisha: With 10 separate menu items and the ability to interchange meal for meal, we feel we have a pack for everyone.
“People think that good food cancels out the bad food. Staying full on the right food at the right time is the easiest path to success” – Teisha Condie
Does it make it easy being able to order them online? Teisha: It’s much easier than braving the crowds at the supermarket! Our checkout process should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete. If you are a regular, your order is saved making it even quicker.
How important is affordability? Tim: Extremely important. Whenever you are doing anything health or fitness-related, it must be sustainable. Our prices are extremely competitive and easily manageable in the long term.
Are pre-made nutritional meals are growing in popularity, especially with so many people being time-poor? Tim: Absolutely: There are new companies just like ours popping up all over Australia. The fact that you can order in such a short amount of time, decrease your shopping, cooking and cleaning time is so appealing to so many different demographics. It’s definitely the way of the future.
What are your future plans? Will you offer more meal choices? Teisha: Where do we start? There are so many options, but in the not-too distant future we will be implementing a direct debit system so it makes it even easier to order weekly. Tim: We are also working on a new 10-meal menu that we can start utilising in a few months. The long-term goal is to be able to ship our product nationally, but we have a lot of steps to complete before we can think about that!
Any nutritional myths you’d like to bust? Tim: I always love the claim, ‘But I eat lots of salad, I can’t figure out why I’m not losing any weight’. It’s not the salad that’s the issue; it’s the 12 sugar-filled mocha chinos, two blocks of chocolate, three cheese and bacon rolls, two foot-longs filled with meatballs, bacon and double cheese, and the vodkas mixed with sugar-water that you had last week. Teisha: People think that good food cancels out the bad food. Staying full on the right food at the right time is the easiest path to success.
What do you like to do to stay active in Townsville? Teisha: We love ‘doing the hill’ at least four days a week, we also hit the gym four days, walk The Strand on weekends, mountain bike Under The Radar when it’s not so hot and walk the dog at Pallarenda.
Do you both have any training goals at the moment? Tim: We are both getting back into the real world after spending 2014 travelling the world together. I am trying to get as lean as possible in the next few months just for a personal challenge. I’ve lost about 6kg of body fat since we got back to Australia in December. Teisha: I’m working hard on increasing my knee strength (overuse injury) and putting some muscle on my upper body.
Pssst: If you’re thinking of trying Gym Food Australia, place an order before Thursday, February 26 and receive $25 off your order total, plus as a foundation member you’ll crack an exclusive invite to all future taste testing events.
Win a week of nutritious meals for you and a friend!
To celebrate the launch of Gym Food Australia you have the chance to win a week’s worth of these delicious and nutritious meals for you AND a friend (valued up to $420). That’s a week of no cooking and cleaning up while getting the exact number of calories you need for your goals! All you need to do is go to TheGo Townsville’s Facebook page to find this post and: 1) Tag a friend/partner who you’d like to sample the delicious meals with; 2) Like Gym Food Australia’s Facebook page; 3) Like TheGo’s Facebook’s page if you haven’t already. You have until 5pm on Thursday, Feb 19 to enter.