Sleep, Fitness and Food with Jake Harrison

Sleep, nutrition and exercise - the essential ingredients for a healthy you! Tonights guest lives and breathes all 3 of these pillars, as a Lululemon ambassador, fitness instructor and My Kitchen Rules 2020 winner. Jake Harrison joins Shea on tonights episode of The Goodnight Show to discuss all things food and fitness, and why we need both to sleep well! Jake is also sharing a recipe for his favourite before-bed snack - you can find this in The Goodnight Community group. Trust us, it's the snack dreams are made of.

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If you want to get you sleep health routine on track, we are offering our podcast listeners 50% off our online guide, 10 steps for 10 days. This eBook is the ultimate guide for those who need to reclaim their sleep and reclaim your best life possible. Use the code 'PODCAST' at checkout to get this guide for $5 and start your 10 day routine now. 


Keen to learn more from Jake but haven't had the chance to listen? Read the interview below!


Shea: Welcome to The Goodnight Show. I'm Shea Morrison, sleep expert and co-founder of The Goodnight Co. Join me each week for hints and tips on all things sleep. Hello and welcome back to The Goodnight Show. If you've been listening along by now, you've definitely heard me mention the three pillars of health; sleep, nutrition and exercise. As we head into December, it's that time of year where we start to perhaps overindulge and have little routine slips in favor of end of year celebrations. Today's guest joins us at a perfect time, living and breathing all three pillars of health while managing to be the life of the party. It's my pleasure to introduce Jake Harrison, fitness instructor, Lululemon Ambassador, and as you may know him, the Winner of the 2020 season of My Kitchen Rules. In today's episode, Jake and I chat about all things food, exercise and sleep and how he balances his social life while making these a priority. Jake also shares with us a recipe for his go to sleep snack and you'll definitely want to taste it. Head to the Good Night Community on facebook for the recipe. Welcome to The Goodnight Show, Jake. It's so wonderful to have you on the show. And the first question I'd love to ask all of our guests is how did you sleep last night?

Jake: Well, should I pop up my sleep app and I'll let you know. I've been using this for 1200 nights in a row.

Shea: Fantastic. Bring it up.

Jake: It's said supposedly I was only in bed for 6 hours and 45 minutes and I was only asleep for 5 hours and 12 minutes of those, so you can probably understand my type of night. Not the best. I feel refreshed though. I feel like that probably doesn't look good on paper, but I feel okay. So that's the main thing. So I think I slept good. I think I slept okay.

Shea: Okay, that's good. And it's good to be honest, because this is the reality for people. We don't want to say that we're all experts and we're all fantastic at sleep because it's not the reality and what we want to try and help people do is maybe get a few more hours and they normally do, but also to get that good quality sleep. So Jake before we get into all of that. Maybe if you can let all the listeners know a little bit about you. So most people would probably know you from My Kitchen Rules, but would love you to expand on who Jake is and what you're doing now.

Jake: Yeah, cool. So yeah, I did my kitchen rules twice, in 2013 and in 2020. Um we won in 2020, which was amazing. So we got in there just before the pandemic hit. Yeah, so I just have been focusing a lot on my fitness. I'm addicted to cardio. It's probably a good addiction to have. Um but I've been coaching spin classes. So we do rhythm riding. So it's kind of new to Australia. Um in terms of like we write on the rhythm of each track, like a BPM based. Not really like, you know the old school Les Mills kind of vibe like RPM. It's a new new version of that, which is good. I think people are quite scarred from those RPM days. But no, so yeah, so focusing on that and um, just overall fitness I suppose. Yeah, not too much into the food at the moment. I veered a little bit away from the food scene into a bit more of the business stuff, but food does play a big role but you know, no cafes or restaurants kind of under my belt just yet anyway.

Shea: Yeah, fabulous. So I guess for you, you're somebody who's waking up early quite a few mornings a week, if not every morning, 4:30am and you are training. So how do you deal with your early mornings on the go all day and what are you doing to, I guess counterbalance that early start. Are you going to bed early? Are you having a little nanna nap? What happens for you? How do you find that you can maintain your energy levels throughout the day when you're getting up at 4:30?

Jake: Yes, 4:30am everyday. You know, it's obviously dependent on each person and I feel like it's best not to think to yourself, okay, I've got to stay on this strict regimented, got to be in bed by eight, up by five. You know, I can't look at my screen before this time. I think we get a little bit overwhelmed with how many things that we can and can't do. I think it's I take it day by day, so if I wake up and if I have come up a really good night's sleep and I can survive the entire day without a nap, you know, and all the next day I might get exactly the same amount of hours but I just had a really bad sleep because I'm just you know in my head a bit or can't kind of can't get get to sleep and I wake up really sluggish and I might need a nap that day. So I think it's really kind of dependent on day by day and I really think like I manage it with caffeine, like I only have you know one 2 shot coffee a day and it's really around 10 o'clock and then I really don't have anything else, you know what I mean? Like I'm really, really quite strict on that. I think that plays a big role. I think people do get up in the morning and then they have the first thing they have is their caffeine and I think when I wake up in the morning it's two glasses of water, it's just two glasses of water and that's pretty much really kind of gets the body going because I don't want my body to rely on the caffeine to be able to get to get up and get moving in the morning. So yeah, I get up, do that, go to the gym, do the cardio and then around 10 o'clock, probably have my first dose of caffeine and it's actually kind of nice. It's a bit of a reward. Like I know that sounds like you know, he likes his coffee, like that's my reward, but it's just it's actually quite nice. I actually look forward to it.

Shea: Yeah, rather than, you're using it as something to look forward to rather than something to get you started.

Jake: Yeah, correct. Yeah. To get me started. Absolutely. And I just, I don't know, I just feel like it's just a little bit of a treat. I know people would be like, I can't believe that, but I actually quite like it. It's a nice little treat.

Shea: I think that's a great way of looking at it because the science shows that we really should be delaying the coffee. So when you're having your first coffee and I think it's your only coffee, 10 o'clock is an ideal time because there are so many other ways and you've set this perfect routine for people, so waking up, getting started, having two glasses of water to rehydrate because we get so dehydrated overnight. So you're rehydrating the system and then you're doing your exercise and then you're having that coffee and so it's going to actually respond better to your body by delaying it because if it hits the system early, it's kind of just stripping you dry a little bit without being hydrated first. So that's a great way to start.

Jake: Yeah, and I'm not like obviously not a scientist, so I don't really know the science behind it all, but they say that it's good just to get up and let your body release its own hormones to get yourself up and going rather than relying on that caffeine to kick start yourself in the morning. So, and then if you have and then if you're in that habit of having the coffee, your body is kind of lazy, it's always going to take the easiest path, it's always going to take the most reliant path, so it would relax, like don't worry, I'm going to get a hit of caffeine soon, so I'm just not going to release anything, you know, and if you don't then you feel even more tired. So I think it's best to get into that habit.

Shea: Fantastic. And because today we want to talk about food, fitness, and sleep. So the three pillars of health and you know, really, I think when it comes to our overall health and wellness, a lot of people do forget that these three pillars work really well together and sometimes if you're not hitting all the goals that you want to achieve, it could be because you're missing one of these and often it comes down to sleep. Um so people are sort of putting that to the back burner, but for you, obviously you've got a good combination happening. So when it comes to the food side of things, how are you fueling yourself? You know, we talk about the morning being the best way to start your nighttime routine, which I know for some people sounds crazy, but getting the hydration happening, getting the exercise, getting the sunlight in the morning, setting the circadian rhythm are all the things that are contributing, but then we're missing something here, which is the food elements. So what are some of the things that you like to incorporate in the mornings or throughout the day to keep you fuelled to get that good night's sleep.

Jake: This is probably gonna be very controversial. I don't eat in the mornings, which is because I do spin classes like a heavy breakfast or even something with oats or carbohydrates, it just sits in my stomach and I can't really perform at my max because I'm digesting that breakfast. So I will. I've started now because I've upped my training a little bit, I do need the extra sugar, I just have a banana at like 5:00 AM, and do the cardio. And then after that I will go into a low GI, a lot of oats - a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot and a lot - I should have bought shares in oats. I think it's the best, honestly, to get everything that you need. It's a great carbohydrate. You get them gluten free. I just like to put two cups of oats into my little blender and then just shaker and then just like berries, protein powder, rice milk because I need more carbohydrates, so I choose rice milk. Um and I just blend that up and I have them raw like that because I feel like porridge oats in the sense of like porridge, oats can get a little bit like you're eating mush, it's a little bit like that, you know, you can't glam them up that much, you know? So I mix it up between them. Like if I feel like hot porridge oats, I would do that with some coconut, yogurt and some honey. If you've got a really nice jam if you want to sweeten it that way. Um or then I go on the other side and I just make it like a blended on-the-go smoothie which is kind of like my go to. And I think that's a great way, giving your body that time to just do that cardio, high intensity training. Being able to really utilise a lot of those glucose levels that you already have the sugars which already lie inside your muscles and then refuel afterwards. I think that's a great way to start your day.

Shea: Perfect. And so then when it comes to maybe food for dinner, um have you got any great ideas or recipes or foods that you like to eat that you know that are going to satisfy you to give you a good night's sleep?

Jake: Yeah, so I am a strong believer in magnesium, of course you would obviously understand that. So I get this product and it's um it's like a chocolate magnesium powder and it's kind of like my little sweet at the end of the night. Yeah, so I would do like a little chocolate magnesium powder with some rice milk blended up and it's kind of like a chocolate milkshake at the end of the night kind of then, you know? And I just use that as my magnesium to help me get to bed. It's got all kinds of those minerals and vitamins and everything to try and help me get to sleep. And I don't really mind if it's a placebo or anything bit of a routine, a bit of like, I don't care but it worked, you know? So if I think magnesium is gonna help me sleep, so I'm like I'm feeling tired, it must be from that magnesium drink. Oh, I better go to bed and then you just kind of like go to sleep. It's quite nice in that way and I use my little hack is, I love um frozen pitted cherries from the grocery store. Yeah, cherries are great, a good little nightcap as well. So like chocolate cherry in the shake and it kind of makes it like you're having a little bit of a treat without having a treat. And I feel like it gets you ready for bed.

Shea: Oh fantastic, cherries are the best! We might need to get you to make that little recipe for us and we’ll put it in the show. Because cherries are actually the best form of food that you can get for sleep.

Jake: Oh what, there you go, I didn’t even know that!

Shea: Oh yes, they’re the best. And you know people say, oh but you can’t get cherries in the cooler months, but frozen cherries are the best!

Jake: And yeah, frozen blueberries, they’re all right there in the grocery aisle.

Shea: So you can have, maybe we can make it a nice cherry ripe after dinner, smoothie.

Jake: After dinner, a little snack, yeah, absolutely.

Shea: All right, we'll make that one, put the recipe in the show notes. And so we've got the silly season that is nearly upon us. And you know, it is a time I guess when people are being silly, you know, changing their routines, maybe drinking a bit more alcohol, not getting as much sleep as probably what they need. So what are some of the things that you can recommend for people to try and keep that lifestyle balance happening? What are some of your tips and suggestions?

Jake: Yeah, it does get hard and I feel like my biggest thing is taking pressure off yourself, take the pressure, it's okay to let your hair down. It's getting at the end of the year, you've worked really, really hard. It's gonna be okay if you stay up a little bit longer or if you drink a little bit more or you know, so for me, because I'm so fitness orientated, I don't really drink a lot and I tend to eat vegan during the week and then the weekends I relax those rules and I just feel like, yeah, I just feel like you just got to remember, don't, don't sacrifice what you're working towards, for something that you want right now, you know, and, and if you're working towards something, I want that to be your main focus and main drive. So if, say for instance, I've got a triathlon coming up at the end of this year and that's what I'm working towards and I know it's the silly season and everything, but, and then if you go out and you have dinner with your friends and everything, it's so tempting to have a few drinks or stay up a little bit later. Then, you know, that's, that's a really good example of it being like a fun event with everyone you want to get on the drink and you want to stay up late and party everything, but that doesn't, that doesn't benefit my long term goal and that long term goal has more worth than the enjoyment than that little bit of hanging out with your friends and drinking and everything. I'm not saying don't do that, I'm just saying always remember what you're working towards, and I think that is always like, ask yourself, is this going to do me good for my long term goals, or is this going to jeopardise what I'm working towards? And I really do want to work towards that, so I'm going to just stay on track. Just not have a drink, just stay on track. And I think that's a little bit of a reminder that don't always sacrifice what you really want for something that's right in front of you.

Shea: Yeah, I think that's good, good advice because there might be some people listening who are listening because they're wanting to change up their routines so they might be trying to get a healthier lifestyle and maybe incorporate some more exercise and are looking at their diet. And so I think that probably with what you're saying there as well, it’s good also to have a goal, you know, so to have a goal and start with a goal and then work backwards from there. So looking at what that goal might look like in three or four months time and putting the steps in place so that you can get there.

Jake: Yeah, yeah, just, it's tough, like it's tough and I'm like, I'm a single guy, like it's easy for me, I don't have kids to worry about. I get it with families and, you know, kids stay up and you can’t put them to bed, there's a whole other amount of factors that come into this, you know, so I'm not saying one thing fits all and I'm not, and it's tough in certain situations, but at the same time I just feel like just have a soda water with lime, you know, that's, that's my go to hack, I just get the bartender to squeeze in a few more extra limes and just soda water and like a tall glass and people don't bother me about the whole, ‘oh you're not drinking, oh my my oh my God, how do you not?’. You know, and then turned into a thing and I hate that, I just get them do to that and people think that you're, you know that you're drinking along those lines and I just kind of do that and I just find joy, find connection with. You don't need the alcohol, you know, especially if you, if it is coming up to silly season or pick and choose. So if you've got four events in one week or four Christmas parties because everyone seems to have two of them just be like, all right, that one I'm gonna drink at, that one I'm going to drink at, that one, no, that one no, you know, and it just kind of allows yourself, like, you're not missing out on and you're compromising, you know, you're not going to drink at all and you're not going to drink at none because you're like, oh, that's boring, but I'm gonna drink at that one because of these reasons and that one and the other two, you just kind of like, I'm not gonna, I'm gonna choose not to, to benefit myself.

Shea: Yeah, and so a little bit about a bit of balance really as well, so I like that. And um are there any other healthy lifestyle tips that you've got that you can share with the listeners when it comes to getting a good sleep?

Jake: It's probably the hardest thing, isn't it? Because you have to, there's a whole amount of factors, a little bit anxiety, like when I go to bed really early at eight o'clock, I'm like, oh my God, get to bed, get to sleep, get to sleep, must get to sleep, must get to sleep. So I think it's about just creating a nightly routine. So if you are coming home, you know, just make sure you get things done at the same time uh every night as best as you possibly can, you know, and learn to just slowly switch off, you know, learn to maybe put the phone down, I put mine on do not disturb because I don't want to hear anything and I feel like that improves my sleep a lot when I don't even hear the phone vibrate, that's, that's a really good tip and I just feel like just making sure that you're eating well and truly before you get to sleep and just enjoying just having a nightly routine I think is probably the best, the best option for that.

Shea: Great. And I guess that we'll see you maybe on the bike, at InspireCycle.

Jake: Absolutely, definitely. I'm always on the bike. I can't get enough. That's great.

Shea: Well, thanks so much for joining us today and I hope that people can get some good tips out of that and look forward to chatting again soon.

Jake: Fantastic. Thank you so much.

Shea: Thank you for listening to the Good Night Show. If you're keen to learn more about our guests or any of the topics we've spoken about today, Hop on over to the Goodnight co closed facebook community group or check us out at the Goodnight co dot com dot au. And if you're enjoying the show, please subscribe to us on your favourite podcast provider by searching the Good Night Show and if you love what you're hearing, Don't forget to leave us a glowing review. Thanks everyone.