How To Stay Healthy During The Silly Season

Seduced by the twinkling lights and celebratory spirit, it is hard to resist having a few extra drinks or just a little more on the plate at the many parties during the long summer months. Many of us easily put on up to five kilograms over the Christmas season, so here’s some tips to follow to start the new year without the excess holiday baggage.

Have a hearty breakfast

Studies show that the bigger your breakfast, the fewer kilojoules you will consume during the rest of the day – and this rule counts double at Christmas with all the temptation around. A healthy yet filling breakfast that contains some wholegrain carbs plus protein in the form of eggs, low fat dairy or a protein shake will keep you full until lunchtime, stabilising your blood sugar and stopping you from picking at chocolates and and other indulgences during the morning.

Eat before you party

Heading to a party straight from work? Unless you eat beforehand, you won’t be able to resist every canapé that comes your way. The trick is not to turn up starving, but to eat well before you get there. Choose something protein based that is light and healthy such as poached eggs, a protein shake or beans on toast before you go, and you’ll find it much easier to exercise self-control.

Think before you drink

When you’re at Christmas events where you know the alcohol will be flowing, try some simple strategies to slow down the rate you’re drinking, so you guzzle less over the course of the evening. Good tricks include alternating your alcoholic drinks with sparkling water with fresh lime or lemon, drinking spritzers (wine diluted with soda) or starting the night with a refreshing booze-free low kJ mocktail. Alternating each alcoholic drink with water will also slash your kilojoule intake by half.

Ditch the high alcohol, high sugar cocktails

They might taste good, but those special cocktails can rack up the kilojoules in no time. Piña Colada’s, Long Island Iced Tea and frozen Margaritas contain over 1000kJ, more than a Big Mac. It’s easy to make a few changes if you still want to indulge but not blow out the kJ count. A single shot of white rum with unsweetened coconut water and a slice of pineapple is a good substitute for a Piña Colada. You can have a shot of vodka in a glass of black tea with slices of lemon, orange and lime, and instead of the Margaritas, a shot of tequila with half soda, half fruit juice with a squeeze of lime will dramatically cut the kilojoules.

Choose wisely

Many Christmas parties ask you to choose your meal choice in advance, and now is the time to choose sensible options that will help you manage your weight. Soup, baked or grilled fish, plus roast dinners without all the trimmings and fruit for dessert will all keep you on track.

Size is everything

Yes, it’s Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you’ve completely forgotten what a sensible portion size looks like on a normal dinner plate. An easy way to remember is: Pasta, rice and potatoes = a fist-sized portion, Protein = a palm-sized portion, High-fat foods eg cheese = a thumb-sized portion, Vegetables = as many as you like.

Drive, don’t drink

Nominate yourself as designated driver for at least one festive night out – it doesn’t have to spoil your fun. Not drinking will save loads of kilojoules, plus you’ll eat fewer fattening snacks both at the party and on the way home after.

The power of protein

When your blood sugar is high you produce more of the hormone insulin, which encourages you to store fat. Eating more protein helps stabilise your blood sugar levels, reducing fat storage and keeping food cravings at bay. Seafood is an excellent source of low fat protein so opt for fish and shellfish instead of chicken or beef at festive meals.

Stay active, get outside

A big meal and a hot day combined with alcohol makes you feel like just lolling around. Plan around this by maintaining your exercise routine as much as possible, and try to fit in activities, such as swimming, a run on the beach or a game of sport before the party starts. Children are a great excuse to get some more exercise in by playing active games and sports with them when all the families come together. Just being a bit more active daily can help burn off the extra kilojoules and can be rolled all into the festive fun.

Plan around the binge

Planning your week will make it easier to make healthy food choices. If you know you’re having a Christmas meal out one evening, make sure you have a healthy lunch of soup or salad during the day. Being realistic about the times when you know you’re going to overindulge allows you to plan sensible food choices before and afterwards.

Rest and reset

We’re blessed in Australia that our summer holiday period coincides with the end of the year, so it is the perfect time to take some time out to reflect on the year that has been, and start to think about plans and dreams for the one coming up. A few days or weeks at a retreat that is tailored to your precise needs and wishes by a travel concierge service such as Kudos Escapes can help with the reset process, especially if you are feeling stressed or haven’t achieved your fitness goals for the year. It’s never too late to change so a health and wellbeing retreat can help you start 2017 off on the right foot, and even help you plan an activity and wellbeing schedule for the year ahead.

Written by Tammy Roche

Instagram: @kudosescapes

Instagram: @tamxfitness

What Is Protein & Why Do We Need It?


Firstly, What The Hell Is It?

Protein is a powerful packet of energy made up of a number of amino acids essential for muscle growth, proper hormone, reproductive and cognitive function.

Like all macronutrients, Protein is an essential building block for the body to perform at its best and it is often misunderstood – or in the case of women, under-eaten.

Whether it is a lack of understanding, time or effort, many people forget to include protein with their main meals and opt for carbohydrate-based dishes leaving them feeling sluggish and set up for one hell of a blood-sugar rollercoaster. Now hopefully if you are reading this and visiting the Proper Protein site you have woken up to the fact that a good amount of protein throughout the day simply makes you feel better – your muscles perhaps aren’t as sore from your workout, you are not quite as tired, lethargic or hangry throughout the day and as a result you’re not reaching for the cookie jar by 3pm.


How Much Should I Be Eating And When?

As women, we should be aiming for 20-40g of protein per meal, however this may vary depending on weight loss goals, activity levels and/or body composition. The best way that I have found to determine my own protein requirements is The Healthy Chef: Teresa Cutter’s protein calculator.

Protein intake in particular is vital to athletic physical performance and despite what the food pyramid may say – provides a far cleaner source of fuel than carbohydrates for your workout. When eaten Before Exercise Protein has been shown to curb appetite and stabilize blood sugar and it has also proven the most effective nutrient form of muscle repletion after exercise. For this reason I suggest a relative amount of protein consumed within 45 minutes of finishing exercise, because the increased blood flow to the exercised muscles makes these tissues more receptive to nutrients.



What Should I Be Eating?

Post-Workout nutrition is a tricky one. The heightened stress response of the body following exercise will mean that our digestion will be less than optimal. This may explain why a heavy or large meal soon after a workout may feel like it just ‘sits there’. This is why the ‘Post-Workout-Shake’ has become so popular. A high-quality grass-fed powder mixed with water (or mylk of choice) provides a far more accessible form of glycogen and testosterone to the muscles to help them repair and yes – even grow.

If you can sit down to a meal in around 45 minutes to an hour of exercising however, it is vital that your plate focuses on a large portion of vegetable-based carbohydrate, palm size (or otherwise increased) intake of protein and an addition of healthy fats. Now if you are still unsure what that might look like I have included a table diagram below comparing a combination of both animal and plant proteins, showing the relative amount of protein to each portion size.

And while a palm size portion of protein may not sound like a whole lot, depending on your deadlift or your Teresa Cutter Protein Evaluation, this may be a great deal higher. This level of protein intake however does put excess strain on the body and it is very common for women to complain of digestive discomfort as a result. This is why a supplement or powder can be a great option – maximal gain with minimal digestive effort.

Many women however complain of digestive discomfort no matter the meal or the timing. From experience, I have seen the benefits of taking a digestive enzyme with each meal.  HCL (Hydrochloric acid) in particular will help the body break down protein faster and access all the micronutrients needed to fuel your cells and hormones.

So please ladies, eat your protein – or sip it – and see lean muscle mass increase, fat stores decrease, hormones balance improve and overall energy levels spark.


Food Source Quantity Amount of Protein
Animal Sources    
Meat and Fish    
Chicken, breast, skin off, roasted 100g 34 grams
Lamb, chops 100g 28g
Beef 100g 27g
Snapper 1 x fillet (approx. 170g) 45g
Salmon 1/2 x fillet (approx. 180g) 39g
Tuna, tinned 85g 22g
Ham 100g 17g
Bacon, whole rasher 100g 22.2g
Sausage, beef, grilled 100g 13.9g
Sausage, pork, grilled 100g 16.8g
Dairy and Eggs    
Eggs 1 x large, poached 6g
Milk, cow’s, full fat 100mL 3.5g
Milk, cow’s, skimmed 100mL 3.7g
Cheese, cheddar, full fat 100g 24.6g
Fetta, goat/sheep 100g 17.4g
Ricotta, reduced fat 100g 10.1g
Cream cheese, full fat 100g 11.1g
Haloumi 100g 21.3g
Yoghurt, natural, full fat 100g 6g
Plant Sources    
Red lentils 100g 6.8g
Yellow Split Peas 100g 6.6g
Quinoa 100g 4g
Chickpeas (garbanzo), tinned 100g 6.3g
Cannelini beans 100g 6.2g
Kidney beans 100g 6.6g
Tofu, firm 100g 12g
Tofu, silken 100g 8.1g
Nuts and Seeds    
Almonds, raw 25g 6g
Walnuts, raw 25g 4g
Brazil nuts, raw 25g 3.6g
Cashew nuts, raw 25g 5g
Peanut butter, no salt or sugar 1 Tbs 6g
Pumpkin seeds, raw 25g 6.1g
Sunflower seeds, raw 25g 6.7g
Bread and Grains    
Bread, gluten free 100g 9.8g
Oats, whole, raw 100g 2g
Rice, white 100g 2.7g
Rice, brown 100g 2.9g


Proper Protein Health & Fitness Blog Launch

Here at Proper Protein, we’re passionate about helping people become their fittest and healthiest selves. After pondering this recently, we were lead to a whole lot of brainstorming about how we can best serve you – our followers and customers!

Whilst we have a product that we truly believe will help you along your health & fitness journey, we’ve discovered that what most people lack – is education and knowledge. How are you supposed to make decisions on what’s best for your bodies, when there’s a tonne of conflicting information out there telling you a million different things to do!?

This blog has been created to cut through the crap and provide you with the most reliable and interesting information to help you make decisions based on what’s best for you and your health.

What sort of things will we be featuring? Think recipes, workout routines, fitness tips, lifestyle inspiration and more. The Proper Protein Health & Fitness blog will be your go-to for all things HEALTH.

To celebrate, we’re running a competition on our Instagram and Facebook to WIN a bag of  our Slender Matrix protein for both yourself and TWO FRIENDS. All you have to do is follow us @properprotein, tag two friends who are in the zone to get fit and healthy and you’ll go in the draw to win a bag of our fat burning Slender Matrix protein – EACH!

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