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Dairy Abstinence April

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That title sounds a bit crook, doesn’t it…

A few years ago I attended a job interview and was predictably asked to list a couple of my weaknesses. I said “ice cream” and “pizza” and we laughed. The interviewer then asked, “No really, what are some of your weaknesses?” I started crying and again said “ice cream” and “pizza”…

Whilst that anecdote is not completely accurate, there are elements of truth to it. And given that it has been a few months since we have rolled out one of our world-famous challenges, we thought, “Let’s start a dairy free challenge …

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CrossFit: a newwies guide

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Is there anything more misunderstood than CrossFit (emo kids maybe)? At Project UNITED, we don’t care what you do for fitness, just so long as you do something. But for the newwies who don’t know much about CrossFit besides YouTube fails, here are our top five moments of clarity:

1. “WoD”

“WoD” simply stands for “Workout of the Day”. Yes, it absolutely should be “WotD”, but it isn’t. Most CrossFit affiliates will assign set workouts each day depending on their programming schedule. Some days will feature more than one “WoD”, which further reinforces the inaccuracy of the acronym. We prefer …

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A raw vegan experience


A few weeks ago, Team UNITED (so, just me) took up a raw vegan challenge – basically five days of eating in line with a raw vegan lifestyle. According to the internet, “raw veganism” is also sometimes referred to as “absolutely awful”, which we found to be more accurate.

The back-story is that when it comes to food and nutrition, about the only things I am confident in are broccoli and water. Everything else seems to be the most amazing thing ever, and dangerous, at the same time depending on who is telling the story. With this in mind, for …

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A few days in the life of a raw vegan

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Image via https://www.fix.com/blog/the-truth-about-raw-foods/

[Please note that the UNITED household is a vegetarian household so whilst we may take the piss out of vegans, it’s from a place of love and admiration, and some dietary frustration.]

According to probably science, the two hardest things in life are giving birth, particularly if the child has a head as big as mine was, and living a raw vegan lifestyle. This week we have decided to take on the easier of these two scenarios – raw veganism.


From the outside, raw veganism may seem like a lifestyle of self-righteous eating habits that needs …

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A man and some painkillers


I was at a not-for-profit networking function a few weeks ago to see what other people were up to and to see if I could steal any great ideas for Project UNITED. I met a man who was part of a project for getting young adults off painkillers. As usual, rather than gently engaging in conversation, I started hammering him with questions. Unusually, this gentleman didn’t find an excuse to leave, he stayed and answered everything I asked. After I had heard some of his answers, I told him about Project UNITED and asked if I could write about his …

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7 Day Barcode Ban: The outcome

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This was way harder than I expected. Seven days of meals without using any ingredients that were packaged or had a barcode on them certainly identified how convenient my eating habits had become.

[To skip to the crux of the experience, click here – dot points]

The first observation was how much preparation was required for each meal. The process of getting hungry and then eating something straight away has become a habit for me, so to actually plan ahead for every meal was a chore to begin with. I also established that without the aid of additives (oils, …

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A ban on barcodes

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Hi team, welcome to October.

Having watched our fair share of food/health/industry related documentaries, the most recent being Food Choices, the common thread is that a plant-based whole-foods diet is favoured as the most environmentally sustainable, and best for ideal human health. Aggressive debates aside, it seemed to us that the logical progression from being an observer was to become a participant. Whilst the Project UNITED household has been a vegetarian household for about five years, we (well, me. I’m pretty sure Mrs UNITED will shake her head and leave the room) have decided to accept the challenge …

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Rio Olympics 2016: A collection of mind-blowing insights

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Unless you have been hiding underneath a low-set bed, you will have been exposed to the almost suffocating coverage of the 2016 Olympics (not to mention the raft of upcoming reality shows on the host broadcasting network). At Project UNITED, we love sports and we love observing things, so here are some observations we made of the collection of sports at the Olympics (and various themes).

There is no denying that the purity of the Olympics is pretty well shot

Apart from Coca Cola and McDonald’s owning the major food and beverage rights for the event (makes sense – junk …

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What if we had to qualify for free healthcare?


With the voting element of the Federal Election having calmly and peacefully (lols) passed us by over the weekend, a few of the policies came up in conversation which manifested into the concept for this blog post.

To avoid the risk of losing any of our 11 subscribers, we won’t get into opinions or preferences, but I did hear one proposition which I thought made some sense in relation to the public healthcare system.

Having free (or basically free) education and healthcare is a pretty great thing. Sure, textbooks and uniforms cost money, and sometimes queues at the hospital are …

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Flu shot frenzy: are they worth a shot?

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A more appropriate title would have been “Everything I could find out about flu shots based on secondary research”…

Not so spectacular…

As the cold weather rolls in, flu shot wounds are quickly becoming the latest must-have upper-arm accessory. Walk into any pharmacy and more than likely you will be able to pay a few dollars for the privilege before sitting quietly for 10 minutes to ensure you don’t burst into flames, and then depart feeling invincible and flu-proof. But with mass-hysteria usually comes a dash of proof, and a flood of hype (Exhibit A: PowerBalance Bands).

According to …

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The difference between communication and message exchange

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I must confess to being one of those emailer’s that starts most emails with a greeting of some description and some manner of corresponding well-wishes, e.g. “Hi wife, I hope you have enjoyed our time together as a married couple”, before getting into the crux of the message (which usually ends with “…it was like that when I found it”). In a professional environment though, I have been part of many discussions about how to best communicate with colleagues, and on numerous occasions been advised that not only are pleasantries unnecessary, but are inefficient as the “hello, hope you are …

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6 foods we miss most as vego’s

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Mrs UNITED and I are vegetarians and have been for about five years. We aren’t ranty painful vegetarians, just a regular, highly attractive couple that don’t eat meat. It has been pointed out that as a vegetarian CrossFit athlete myself who cuts his own hair, it is a miracle that I have any friends at all, but for the record, I am very happy with the one I have. Hello Matthew.

There is no doubt that vego’s miss out on some kickass foods, and based on our last five years of meatlessness, here are our six most regretful sacrifices:


UNITED6 foods we miss most as vego’s
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Experimental: egg lasagne

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I thought I had created egg lasagne until the internet told me otherwise. But no one does it this way (probably)…

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 75 mins
Makes a big lasagne

I must admit I didn’t have a great egg lasagne plan, just thought it might be worth a crack…

Egg lasagne ingredients

  • Lasagne sheets (we went with freshies because we weren’t confident that dry lasagne sheets would soften)
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups of spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 regular tomatoes, diced
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
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Top #5 breakfast venues in Brisbane

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…for vegetarians in Brisbane’s inner South East. Yes that is very specific.

Intro and caveats

Over the course of the last two and a half years or so, Mrs UNITED and I (yes that’s right, I’m married, sorry ladies) have journeyed across the inner South Eastern suburbs of Brisbane doing breakfast on most Friday mornings at any new and exciting establishments that we can find (I’ll be the one wearing at UNITED shirt, not because I am peddling my own brand, but because I don’t really have any other clothes). We aren’t “foodies”, so we certainly don’t have any credibility …

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This is the greatest smoothie of all time

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It is impossible for something to be objectively the “best ever”, because it would need to be statically superior in every way to everything else in its class, and be able to be measured against different contexts, environments, and scenarios. But this smoothie is the best ever, without doubt.

For breakfast, a snack, a treat, or to celebrate being tops, this smoothie is the Swiss-army knife of smoothies – the Swiss-army smoothie if you will.

Prep time: 2 mins Cook time: 1 mins Total time: 3 mins
Makes about 600mls


For a change, we are actually going to suggest …

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UNITED: where the project is up to

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Early on in the piece, we mentioned that the purpose of Project UNITED was to provide information and education to our community on the importance and significance of good health and active lifestyles. Apart from doing so through various genius informational blog posts, our mid-term plan is to host a few seminars and expos for our community covering off on key elements of good health – mental welfare, physical well-being, engaging in communities, nutritious eating habits, being a healthy influence, etc. At this stage, we hope to host our first event in October 2016. Yes – OMG, YOLO, and …

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Black bean and sun-dried tomato pasta bake

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Apart from the cheese (and the pasta if you are anti pasta), the black bean sun-dried tomato pasta bake is a ripping healthy robust performer, particularly with winter on its way.

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 60 mins
Makes enough to feed six people who eat polite quantities, or four people who eat regular human quantities. 


  • 500g of pasta, your choice (long pasta probably won’t work very well though).
  • 500g of black beans. Note that a lot of the supermarket brand beans come in smart@ss sizes such as 437g and 525g. Anything between 400g
UNITEDBlack bean and sun-dried tomato pasta bake
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Experimental – black bean cold brew


We at Project UNITED are massive on research and learning and knowledge and education. For trues. But occasionally things arise that you just have to shrug off and get stuck into and see what happens, and perhaps investigate the likely outcomes/consequences after the fact. Black bean cold brew was one such case.

How black bean cold brew came to pass

Simple: the wife (who I commonly refer to as “sorry, Honey”) and I discovered a top-shelf pasta recipe which involves the use of black beans (the recipe will be published on Monday). The other night, let’s call it Thursday, during …

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Know your illegal performance enhancing drugs

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In the last few weeks there have been a couple of high profile athletes who have found themselves embroiled in performance enhancing drug (PED) scandals. Maria Sharapova was served first, then only this week, Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne, Australia’s newest boxing champion had his career threatened by allegedly returning a positive drug test. Both of these cases were on the back of the Essendon doping saga and the Cronulla Sharks (alleged) peptide program. Given the frequency and high-profile nature of these cases, we thought we’d take a look at some of the more commonly used (or mentioned) performance …

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The addict athlete

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Years ago, approximately 30 P.A. (Pre Addiction), times were much simpler. Fathers, or father figures got up each morning and went off to their day jobs, jobs that they probably did because they had to, not because they wanted to. Mortgages needed paying, groceries needed funding, and perhaps a holiday or new car needed saving for. Mothers perhaps also worked in a necessity job, and most likely took the major share in taking care of the children. The children didn’t do much, but the next 30 years or so would be all about them…

0 to 3 years

Pretty much …

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