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Protein, how much and why not go natural?

Protein and the fitness Industry are so closely related in the modern world that I sometimes wonder how anyone kept in shape in the 70’s when tubs of protein were not scattered around.

One of the most amusing questions I get asked by clients is “I need to get bigger, what protein should I be taking?” or my favourite one, “I am taking 6 Protein Shakes a day but I am not getting bigger,why?”

Dude, you are eating like a mouse, you train hard but do not rest enough and you never stick to a plan. But hey, blame the protein!

Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body, making up about 16 percent of our total body weight. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are mainly made up of protein. However, protein plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in our bodies. In addition, many of our bodies’ important chemicals — enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and even our DNA — are at least partially made up of protein. Although our bodies are good at “recycling” protein, we use up protein constantly, so it is important to continually replace it.

Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids.  Our bodies can manufacture most of the needed amino acids, but nine of them must be gotten from our diets. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy products have all the amino acids, and many plants have some of them.

A simple guide I use for non athletes is roughly 30 grams of protein (which is 1 breast of chicken) per 1 kg of lean bodyweight 15-30 minutes after your training session.

Here’s the bottom line:

If you want to lose fat, protein is your friend. Shoot for at least 1.6 g/kg a day of protein. Make sure your total calories and proportion of carbs is ideal for your physical activity and unique genes.

If you want to put on muscle, protein is king. Shoot for at least 1.6 g/kg of protein a day and be sure to spread your intake out over the course of the day.

Consuming 20 to 30 grams of protein at once is all you need to stimulate protein synthesis, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat more if you want to. There’s just no muscle building advantage.

But remember this, Supplement products are what the name says. They supplement your diet. They do not replace it. I prefer if my clients get all their protein from natural foods such as chicken, turkey, red meat, fish, eggs, nuts etc.

If by chance they can not get enough from them foods then hell yes, take down that tub and mix that shake. But there is another way without the tub.

You can make your own natural protein shake with all the goodness of natural products. Why don’t you try this!

2 Cups Milk. Use your favourite milk. I use either Homemade Almond Milk or Homemade Coconut Milk

1 Banana or mango or peach

1 Peach or pear or mango

¼ Cup Dates or raisins or use your own healthy sweetener to taste

¼ cup of Pumpkin Seeds

¼ cup of Almonds or ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds or other seeds


1 Cup Spinach, tightly packed or 2 cups loosely packed (or any other mild greens)


½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract or half a vanilla pod like this (adds amazing taste and contains no nasties – but only suitable for high speed blenders)

¼ teaspoon Cinnamon



Blend the ingredients in the following order:


1. Blend the dry ingredients and liquid first for a short time


2. Blend the greens next for a short time (if using)


3. Blend the fruit and the rest of the ingredients until smooth (or as smooth as your blender will allow. High speed blenders may need 2 minutes for a Green Thick, less powerful blenders may need a lot more, sometimes 5-10 minutes)




More tips:


Blending this way allows the dry ingredients to be blended for longest, it means the greens will fit in your blender and your fruit gets less blending so it doesn’t become too hot.


– Add more water if required to thin it out.


– Substitute any of the ingredients for whatever you already have.


– If your smoothie is too warm, you can cool it down in the fridge or freeze some of your ingredients before blending. You can also replace half of the liquids with ice. Add the ice at the end. It is better to add frozen ingredients at the end to cool the smoothie down.


How much should I drink to replace a meal?


– This smoothie serves 1 so if you have higher calorie requirements you might need to make more.


Suitable for Special Diets:


– Gluten free


– Raw


– Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, wheat free, soya free (don’t use soya milk or tofu),


– Salt free (don’t add salt)


– Nut free (replace nuts with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. This doesn’t include coconuts)

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