Author Archives: sfhealth

Success at the MS Melbourne cycle

Have a look we had a great day, have a look at my Instagram photos on at the event

2017 Melbourne Cycle Highlights video &2017 Melbourne Cycle Thank you to Volunteer video

Have a great day guys.

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Success in Dubai

Hey all,

Dubai was a huge success for the Australian team, we had 4 athletes and 1 volunteer and everything ran very smoothly.

Chrissy Ashcroft and Rod Watson competed internationally for the first time. The judging was extremely strict but they both managed to score a successful lift in an extremely difficult competition. Paul Tesoriero also put in a great effort at 140kg but unfortunately missed out on getting in a lift.

I also had a great performance – my previous international PB was 68kg. I opened on 70kg, which I got 3 white lights for, and followed up with a successful 75kg lift! For my 3rd I attempted 77kg and just missed out, but I’m very happy with my new International PB!

You can watch my 75kg lift here:

This now qualifies me for the Worlds in September being held in Mexico City. Unfortunately I will not be going to this event at this point in time because we do not have the funds. I’ve decided to now focus more on saving money for a home for our family instead of putting all of our money into powerlifting.

This somewhat saddens me because I know that I would be able to do much better with some government support.

Our next main competition from here on out is the Nationals on the 27th of May in Brisbane, Bowen Hills, being held at Sporting Wheelies Disabled Association who kindly hold this competition every year for our national athletes to help prepare them for international competition. These nationals are particularly important as they will help refine our Commonwealth Games team for 2018.

Thanks everyone for reading!

Check my Facebook for tons of pics from the competition =)

come participate the melbourne cycle this Sunday it will be totally awesome, i will be guest speaking, should be good.

Melborne cycle

#MSMelbourneCycle #Ride4MS
come join us at th Melbourne cycle on Sunday morning, be totally awesome. ill be there speaking and cheering everyone on -info
also find maps at…
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#eatbetterlivebetter #loadedlifting #onesunrise #msac #quickiewheelchairs #livewithoutlimits #teamnextgen #nextgenerationsupplements #nextgenathlete
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Getting Ready for DUBAI

It has been too long since my last post, unfortunately my MS hasn’t been very good causing me to be extremely tired.

But at the end of Febuary a team of athletes, including myself, will be going to DubaI for the-

8th Fazza 2017 World Para Powerlifting World Cup from 25 Feb to 04 Mar 2017. 

I will be in the under 73kg weight class, yes I have gone up a class. I am feeling a little pudgy around the edges at the moment but I would like to get an Australian record in this class at the nationals this year. Therefor I decided to also compete in Dubai in this class. I have records in the 2 classes below- under 67 kg and under 61kg. I defiantly feel stronger and my little injuries are much more manageable and less painful with the extra weight and NO DIETING, yay.

I had a wonderful experience in Dubai in 2014, so i am extremely happy to be going back there in 2 weeks. It had a great atmosphere and the other teams were very friendly.

My lovely friend Robin will also be accompanying me as a volunteer for the team. There will be 4 other athletes from Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. This will be absolutely fabulous as I prefer to go as a team rather than by myself.

This will be my only international competition before the Commonwealth Games  (2018) as I have officially and unfortunately run out of money. Competing internationally carries a heavy cost burden to the athletes to the point where it makes you question weather it is a possibility to continue, looking at my options I think that the next Commonwealth Games will probably be my last competition unless I am able to find a more substantial sponsor. To be able to be selected for the Comm Games I must compete internationally once during 2017 and attend the Australian Nationals for selection. I cant wait for the Comm Games as they will be in AUSTRALIA (the Gold Coast), which means my family may be able to come and watch this time.


I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my husband and coach Harley for his support and encouragement and to my sponsors for their much appreciated help.

Thank you for reading and for your support, over the years I have had many wonderful messages of support and encouragement from friends and followers. Every positive message  helps when most days are a struggle at the moment.

So Dubai here we come!!!!


Jessica Gray


What are the best exercises to do at home if I can’t get to the gym?

Exercise can be done anywhere and without any equipment, it can be achieved in 5 min or an hour, you can do it outside or in a tiny apartment.

There is no excuse not to do it, if you are someone who keeps saying I don’t have time or I don’t have any equipment then maybe you just don’t want to try. And that’s fine, but think how good you would feel if you did?

Many people do not like gyms or don’t have much time to spare but if you have a small space the length of your body and the width of your arms and 5 min to spare anytime than you can achieve your exercise goals.

I have been in the exercise industry for about ten years now and many of the exercises that I do with my wonderful ladies (or men, not to discriminate at all) are things that can be done at home. I have even used things at peoples homes like chairs, cans of fruit or baked beans for weights or even children! Some times doing exercise with your little ones is great because you can use them as weights and you also get more bonding time together.

The Australian Bureau of statistics states that In 2007-08, around 62% of adults did not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines, with a higher proportion of women not meeting the guidelines than men (64% and 60% respectively)(1). That is a huge number of people doing not very much. As you can see the Australian guidelines for physical activity below are not asking for a whole lot.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults 18-64 years of age


  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week (2).


Just 5 minutes a day is enough to get a good start to a healthier, leaner and more toned you.

As you can see below I have located some great workouts that have been designed by Women’s Health that you can utilize for yourself. They have great pictures and demonstrations for you to follow. Their level of difficulty is also not too high so they should suit many different fitness levels. If you are just starting take it slow and have good rest breaks when you need it. If you are at an advanced level have less rest and always hold the positions for a longer time- for example do your squats slowly with a pause at the bottom making it harder.


Good luck and have a great time with the work outs  and thank you for reading.



Easy 10 Minute Workout for Busy Moms


The Total-Body Circuit Workout You Can Do While You Travel


The Short-on-Time, High-on-Intensity Circuit Workout


6 Moves That Lengthen and Strengthen – exercises (1) (2)



Mrs Jessica Gray

Div1 RN (Specialising in Diet Related Disease and Nutrition)

MS Australia Ambassador

Australian Para Athlete

The Most Important Meal of the Day

What should we be eating for breakfast and what are the best options?

This morning when I dropped off my son to child care we sit together and have breakfast before I leave. Whilst I was sitting with Jimmy I overheard another parent that was quickly dropping off her child say to him “you can’t have rice bubbles because they are full of sugar”.

When she left her son didn’t waist any time getting a big bowl of it.

This made me think, did she know that there isn’t any added sugar in rice bubbles?

The toast with jam has more sugar in it but she didn’t say to him “you can’t have any jam!”

May be we need to help educate people on the best choices to make in regards to breakfast foods.

I then spent a few minutes talking to the lovely lady making the breakfast for the children. After a few minutes she understood which were the best options and why. The concept that people didn’t know what was healthy the healthiest choices shocked me.

Also felt that the way she approached the topic with her son actually had the opposite effect she was hoping for.

So what is the best option?

The first step is to make sure we EAT BREAKFAST.

Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting period, replenishes your supply of glucose and provides other essential nutrients to keep your energy levels up throughout the day(2).

The Kraft Foods ‘Aussie Breakfast Report’ researched the breakfast eating habits of Australians. The study found that despite 42 per cent of Australians acknowledging that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, more than half (56 per cent) are missing out on their morning meal at least once a week, and almost a third are skipping as many as three times per week (1)

 Totally unacceptable, this is the most important meal of the day and this many people aren’t having it at all!!!!!



The reports reveal a number of reasons why people sometimes skip breakfast, with the main ones being that they don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning (with 65 per cent of participants citing this as a reason), being disorganised (49 per cent) and sleeping in (40 per cent). Many Australians also blamed skipping breakfast on being short of time (36 per cent)(1).

 Are these actually good enough excuses? Can the people that are dissorganised just prepare something to eat the night before if they know that time is an issue?

When you look at the reasons it is easy to see that there are many things we can do to ensure we get a good start to the day.

  • Prepare a shake blended up with the usual contents of a bowl of oates with fruit. This will help you get in plenty of nutrients in a quick drink already prepared.
  • You can prepare some fruit salad- usually a hit with both adults and children, and add some youghurt and nuts on top for extra nutrients (calcium, protein and some good fats in the nuts).
  • Overnight oates- The night before, combine 1/2 cup milk (any type), 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 a banana (mashed/ sliced), 1/4 cup chopped nuts, a tea spoon of linseeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon in sealed Tupperware container. By morning, you’ll have delicious overnight oats! These can be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if in the mood for something warm.
  • Make some quick eggs in a muffin tray one night. I started doing this because I wanted to get more protein in my breakfast. I would get a muffin tray and add some shaved ham or cooked bacon in the bottom (about a table spoon full) and crack an egg on top. Then add it to the oven for about 10 min on 200 degrees. And there you have it, eggs for breakfast. They heat up really well and can be frozen (see photos)
  • “You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with some protein,” says Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, a nutritionist at Clay Health Club and Spa, in New York City. So things like whole-wheat or wholegrain breakfast cereals, such as muesli or bran cereals, porridge, whole meal or multigrain bread to toast without added sugar would be a good start combined with some protein- which could come from anything from eggs to dairy products or nuts. 2 pieces of multi grain bread with peanut butter and a banana would be an easy quick option that meets the needs of our bodies.
  • If you are someone who doesn’t like to have breakfast till you are awake like myself, make your meal portable so that you can have it as soon as possible after waking up or arriving at work.
  • If you often forget breakfast put some UP&GO’s, fruit and nuts in the fridge at work so that you wont go without if you forget. An UP&GO has more added sugar than ideal but its better than not having breakfast. Even keep these at home for an easy grab if you forget to prepare. There are also some healthier breakfast/protein bars out there now that could be a great occasional easy fill in snack if you are rushed. Make sure there is no added sugar and that it contains fiber and protein.


There are heaps of options out there and I’m sure you will find one that suits you and your family.

The following is a great link with some recipes that are really yummy or everyone and hit the spot for what we need to start the day.

 So start embracing breakfast and you will feel a lot more energized and satisfied in the mornings.




Thank you for reading.


Mrs Jessica Gray

Div1 RN (Specialising in Diet Related Disease and Nutrition)

MS Australia Ambassador

Australian Para Athlete (1) (2)


SBS World News Interview

Attention everyone!!

Hooray we made it onto the SBS World News discussing the lack of support for Para Sports in Australia, and the struggle to achieve international success.

The public perception seems to be that once you’ve got a top 10 World Ranking and compete at an event like the Commonwealth Games, that you’re looked after and supported 100%, and it’s just not the case.

I’d like to re-iterate that my recent International efforts are only possible due to the support of my sponsors – support them!

The interview was captured at our home and Body World gym, and will be broadcast on SBS World News tonight at 7:19pm (Melbourne time).

You can also catch it online with SBS On-Demand at …

A big thank you to Abby Dinham and Tom “Camera Man Extraordinaire” for helping to get the message out.



Can I give my children the same food as me even if I’m dieting?

Can I give my children the same food as me even if I’m dieting?

When assessing at the foods that you consume when you are trying to eat more healthily, what are they?

Vegetables? Fruit? Lean Meats? Grains?

These are all vital foods that are extremely important give to our children!

Usually looking around most peoples dinner tables there will be an array of different meals on offer. I know many  mothers/fathers that will cook different meals for their children to please their selective tastes. Unfortunately these other foods cooked tend to fall in the “extras” food group or have far less nutritional value than the parents meals.

For example; mums dinner: chicken and mixed vegetables.

Childs dinner; toasted cheese sandwich with white bread and chips.

This may be a slight exaggeration but you get my point.

Even if we are dieting or are following a healthy eating plan we can still give those foods to our children. The main difference is that they need more calories than some of us (especially if you are choosing to restrict your calories) because of their increased energy demands through exercise and development.

Population surveys indicate that many children do not meet these healthy eating recommendations. For example, children commonly eat too many ‘extra’ foods but not enough vegetables, fruit, breads and cereals (

This is probably not surprising for most parents as generally these are the foods that our children pine for.

There are a few good ways of ensuring our kids get enough food when they eat with us is by adding extra complex carbohydrates or foods that contain good fats (for example; avocado, salmon, nuts) to their meals.

You can give them snack options that contain extra “good” calories (higher calorie foods that also have a high nutritional value) on top of the meals they share with us.

One great way I get my son excited to eat the same foods as me is by involving him in the food preparation/selection process (as you can see in the below picture). Either in the kitchen or in the supermarket, when he is proud of his tasty creation it defiantly increases the chance he will eat it.

You can access a great variety of healthy snack and meal ideas for kids on line, I have listed some at the end of this article that I have found useful. Making the meals look more pleasing really helps the vegetable go down, because it’s great to have healthy intentions but they still need to eat it.

Looking at all the data and research published about this topic it is a great idea to give children the foods we eat even if we are dieting, with one exception. Never give children dietary supplements that are meant for adults. Meaning anything from multi vitamins to diet pills and shakes that are restricted to over 18 years of age. This can lead to some dramatic health problems in our kids. Some of the potential risks for children could include and are not limited to serious liver injury, stroke, kidney failure, or other serious conditions.

Even though we may not think that they couldn’t possibly do any harm in small amounts, we really don’t know because not enough research has been done on a lot of products.

When you digest the below information about our kids may be the question we should ask ourselves is “why we started offering these less nutritious options?” because they are having a huge effect on the health of Australians young adult and child population today.

So include your family in your healthy eating plan. Before you know it the whole clan will be feeling great.

Thank you for reading.

 My 4 year old son Jimmy at the market

My 4 year old son Jimmy at the market

Jimmy finally eating his vegetables with his family

Jimmy finally eating his vegetables with his family

Mrs Jessica Gray

Div1 RN (Specialising in Diet Related Disease and Nutrition)

MS Australia Ambassador

Australian Para Athlete


The 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey assessed the reported food and nutrient intake of children and young people and their physical activity levels, along with their weight, height and waist circumference.

The survey was based on a sample of 4,487 children and young people, aged between two and 16 years, who were randomly selected from across Australia.



Key findings



  • About one in four boys and girls (23%) were classified as overweight or obese.



  • Many of the children did not eat the recommended amounts of the five food groups (fruit; vegetables; dairy; meat and meat alternatives; and breads and cereals), set out in the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia.
  • Many children consumed an excessive amount of saturated fat, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Many children consumed too much sugar.


The 20 Best Snacks for Kids

NEXT BIG THING in Para Lifting- The Open European Championships in Hungary

Hey just wanted to let you know about the NEXT BIG THING in Para Lifting.

The 2015 IPC Powerlifting Open European Championships

I Just cant wait to get on the plain bound for the next adventure. where normal life hustle and bustle halts for the awesomeness of  an International Paralympic Competition.

This is an event that myself and the other athletes have worked hard every day to make possible. Through grueling fundraising, intense training and the overwhelming support of family and sponsors we will get there.

There will be a few of us competing from Australia this time which is great; Myself , Jamie Clarke, Ben Wright and Nang Van Nguyen.

With conditions all involving the following; Spina Bifida, Myelomeningocele, Polio,  Multiple Sclerosis, and Ataxia.

Two of us are in wheel chairs, one with a prosthetic limb, one walking with sticks and myself in and out of a wheel chair with different symptoms.

I will be competing in the under 67kg category, hopeful I will be lifting on the 2nd day.

I will leave Australia on the 19th of November bound for the following in Hungary (Eger);

Competition schedule



Team arrivals

21-22 November

Raise the Bar – Say No! to Doping seminar

22 and 23 November

International classification

22-23 November (schedule will be provided after final entry deadline)

Technical meeting

23 November

Opening Ceremony

24 November


24-28 November

Closing Ceremony

28 November


29 November

The competition information

The 2015 IPC Powerlifting Open European Championships, a key qualification stop for Rio 2016, will be held in Eger, Hungary, from 24-28 November.

Featuring around 150 athletes from 25 countries, the event is organised locally by the Hungarian National Paralympic Committee and will take place in the Hotel Eger & Park.

The competition will also feature the continuation of the sport’s anti-doping campaign – Raise the Bar – Say No! to Doping. In 2014, around 800 athletes and support staff took part in education courses at various competitions around the world.

So in closing I hope everyone looks on in support as we push the limits to achieve new international Personal Bests.

Any further support in the way of funding (no matter how big or small)  would be greatly appreciated

you can donate through the following link

Thanks for reading and chat to you soon

Mrs Jessica Gray

Div1 RN (Specialising in Diet Related Disease and Nutrition)

MS Australia Ambassador

Australian Para Athlete

Jessica Gray’s Meal Prep Tips- Dineamic

Dineamic my biggest sponsor and my favorite pre-made meals asked me to put together my 3 top tips when following a healthy eating plan using  their products.

Without the excellent nutrition and variety that I receive from these meals I wouldn’t be where I am today

dineamic 3 tips photo