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!

To stay in the loop, sign up to our newsletter and receive these tips and info straight to your inbox – we promise you don’t want to miss out!

(You can sign up at the bottom of the page, or by clicking this link here)





Chocolate Protein Pancakes


For the pancakes:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup (gluten-free) oat flour
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons Proper Protein Chocolate Revitalise Protein
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (gluten-free) baking powder
  • Coconut oil, for frying

For the raw chocolate sauce:

  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon tahini
  • 2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons rice malt syrup (or pure maple syrup)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Unsweetened almond milk (or water)

Additional toppings:

  • Coconut ice-cream (or coconut yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese)
  • Fresh or frozen raspberries
  • Bee pollen

To make the pancakes, blend all of the pancake ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Heat some coconut oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Pour some of the pancake mixture into the pan and cook on both sides. The pancakes should be ready to flip when bubbles start to appear on the surface of the pancake. I keep them small so they are easy to flip.

To make the raw chocolate sauce, mix the tahini, cacao powder, rice malt syrup and sea salt together in a small bowl. Add a little almond milk or water to thin the mixture to your desired consistency, stirring well to get a smooth sauce.

To serve, layer the pancakes with some coconut ice-cream or yoghurt, drizzle over the chocolate sauce and top with raspberries and a sprinkle of bee pollen.

Makes about 8 small pancakes.


By Lilian Dikmans
Real Food Healthy Body

Green Smoothie

  • 1 Cup spinach and Kale
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Revitalize Vanilla
  • 250 ml Coconut Water
  • 6 ice Cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Agave or Rice Malt Syrup (Vegan Honey Alernative)

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Blend until smooth.

Pour and garnish.

Choc-Mint Protein Balls

  • 1/2 cup Proper Protein Chocolate Revitalize Powder
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or rolled oats processed into a powder) *
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons rice malt syrup (or to taste)
  • 1 drop pure peppermint oil (or peppermint essence to taste)
  • Extra unsweetened desiccated coconut for coating

Mix the protein powder, oat flour, desiccated coconut and cacao powder together in a large mixing bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add the almond milk (or water), tahini, melted coconut oil, rice malt syrup and peppermint oil. Mix everything together until well combined. Taste and add more rice malt syrup (and/or peppermint) if desired.

Roll the mixture into balls and coat in the extra desiccated coconut. Leave to set in the fridge. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze.

* If you are allergic to gluten, make sure you buy gluten-free oat flour or use gluten-free oats to make the oat flour. Oats may contain traces of gluten as they are commonly processed on the same equipment as wheat.


By Lilian Dikmans
Real Food Healthy Body

Protein Hot Chocolate

  1. In a pot, add together the milk, Proper Protein Chocolate Revitalize, cocoa powder, and peanut butter.
  2. Heat it all up at medium heat while whisking.
  3. Take it off the heat as soon as it gets hot but not boiling hot—think warm enough to touch. If you wait any longer and the mixture boils, the whey will start to curdle.
  4. Top it with some protein whipped cream. This is obviously optional, but it adds a great texture to the drink and gives you a hidden pocket of delicious creaminess to look forward to. The added protein alone is worth giving it a shot.
  5. To make protein whipped cream: Whisk some quark or low-fat ricotta with 1/4 cup of Proper Protein Vanilla Revtialize and 2-3 tbsp of milk. Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe it on the hot chocolate.
  6. Enjoy!

Anna Sward

Choc Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 cup Proper Protein Coconut Pea Protein
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (or raw cacao nibs)
  • 3 x 20ml tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and line baking tray with baking paper.

Mix the almond meal, protein powder, baking powder, salt and chopped dark chocolate (or cacao nibs) together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the rice malt syrup, melted coconut oil, egg and vanilla extract. Whisk the wet ingredients together using a spoon and then incorporate the dry ingredients until everything is well combined.

To shape the mixture evenly for consistent cookies, I use a small spring-loaded ice-cream scoop. Press some of the mixture into the scoop, scraping the top with a knife to level it out. Then squeeze the handle of the scoop to drop the mixture onto the lined baking tray. Press down on each cookie to flatten slightly.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes or until just starting to brown around the edges.

Makes about 20 cookies.


By Lilian Dikmans
Real Food Healthy Body

Vanilla Raspberry Muffins

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour (or brown rice flour)
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon Proper Protein Coconut Pea Protein
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat your oven to 170 °C (fan-forced) and line a mini muffin tray with 12 paper or silicone cases.

Mix the coconut oil, rice malt syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Add the buckwheat flour, protein powder, coconut flour and baking powder and stir everything together until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the 12 mini muffin cases. Top each muffin with a couple of raspberries, pressing them down into the mixture slightly with your fingers.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 12 mini muffins.


By Lilian Dikmans
Real Food Healthy Body

Cherry Ripe Slice


For the base:

  • 3/4 cup raw mixed nuts
  • 1/4 cup Proper Protein Chocolate Pea Protein
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon rice malt syrup

For the cherry layer:

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 50g dark chocolate

Line a 10 x 16cm container with baking paper or cling film.

To make the base, process the base ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared container and set aside in the freezer to chill.

To make the cherry layer, process the dried cherries and coconut in a food processor until the mixture starts to come together into a ball. Remove the base from the freezer and press the cherry mixture evenly over the top of the base. Return the slice to the fridge for a few hours to set. Once set, remove the slice from the container and cut into pieces.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or using a double boiler then let it cool slightly. The chocolate will thicken as it cools, which will make drizzling easier. Once cooled slightly, use a teaspoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the slices. Return to the fridge to set. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Makes 6 – 8 slices.


By Lilian Dikmans
Real Food Healthy Body