The Fourth Day of Christmas – With A Healthy Twist

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..Four cuddling koalas, three little penguins, two pink galahs aaaaand a kookaburra up a gum tree

Ahhh, Caramello Koalas.  They are so cute and tasty. Especially on the fourth day of Christmas.

Just in case you are wondering how they fare in the world of treats, one regular sized Caramel koala contains 99 calories and this includes around 1 teaspoon of fat and just over 2 teaspoons of sugar.  If you get sucked into a fundraising vortex and decide to go the Giant version, this effectively doubles the dose.  Well, maybe a bit more if you get guilted into buying the whole box.

So should you eat them?  They are quite delectable and can help you experience a moment of bliss, so they are perfectly designed as an occasional treat. But when I know that one little koala takes up some of my total daily intake, I do what I did today.  Go look at a cute image of them…. zero calories, fat and sugar but still the moment of bliss.

Some darker varieties of chocolate contains a bunch of powerful antioxidants that can do good works in our bodies. Don’t go crazy though – two squares of good quality dark chocolate will do the trick, you don’t need the whole box that you were given! 

If you are looking for something sweet but a bit more satisfying than a little koala, try these on the fourth day of Christmas.

Christmas Muffins

(Makes 12 regular or 24 mini muffins)

Ingredients

300g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

75g muscovado or brown sugar

250g fruit mince

300ml buttermilk (or 1/2 yoghurt, 1/2 milk)

80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1-2 tbs lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a bowl. 

Method

Stir in the brown sugar. Beat together buttermilk, oil and egg until combined, then add to dry ingredients with the fruit mince and stir until only just combined. Fill each muffin case with the mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place icing sugar in a bowl, add enough lemon juice to form a soft icing and drizzle over the muffins.

 

If you are still trudging the shops for Christmas presents on the fourth day of Christmas, don’t forget about my Christmas Giftpack, my book ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ combined with a delicious WineBar Espresso Martini chocolate – all beautifully wrapped and ready to go!  

Click here for all details.

The Twelve Days of Christmas – With A Healthy Twist

Thanks to three kids, I have a lot of Christmas books. One in particular that has been a huge favourite over many years with them is ‘The Australian Twelve Days of Christmas’ by Heath McKenzie.

A number of years ago, I decided to write twelve daily performance tips inspired by this book and shared them through my then newsletter.  It has been quite a while since I last did that and because they were great fun to write, I have decided to share them again this year, starting today.

This means that you will receive an short post from me each day over the Twelve Days of Christmas. Each will contain a tip or idea that can help you manage your health and wellbeing over this crazy festive season.

Are you in?

The Twelve Days of Christmas Are Fabulous But What About The First Day of Christmas When My True Love Gave To Me…. A Kookaburra In A Gum Tree.

Clearly this means that we should get active and climb a tree or fly a kite maybe? Just in case your body says NO, choose a form of physical activity that you enjoy as it’s time to start putting some exercise in the bank.

We all know that the festive season means party, party, party. It’s just like managing a bank account and if you are budgeting for a big ticket item (like a party or event), this means doing some saving.

Given that the light streams through the windows before 5am, it is so much easier to get up at the moment and get moving. Remember the key elements of a successful workout include:

  • Don’t hit the snooze button like koala’s do – it always seems like a good idea at the time but we all know deep down that it does not equal more sleep.  No, no, no – you are kidding yourself.
  • Put your alarm far enough away from you so that you HAVE to get out of bed to shut it up. I have put it down the hallway many times before.
  • Find a buddy – someone who will stick with you thick and thin and won’t let you down even if they have a hangover. You can read about my thoughts on the buddy system here 
  • Put your clothes and shoes out the night before, there’s nothing like prior preparation to prevent PPP.
  • Oh, and just do it!

Try This Snappy Tis’ The Season Workout

Warm up

5 minute walk 

Workout (Repeat four times)

20 pushups

20 squats

20 dips using a park bench

20 abdominal crunches (check out this video for how to do them safely and effectively)

1 minute step ups on stairs at home or work OR 1 minute of skipping with a rope

Cool Down

Spend five minutes stretching out the muscles you have used by walking around the block.

 

If you are still trudging the shops for Christmas presents, don’t forget about my Christmas Giftpack, my book ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ combined with a delicious WineBar Espresso Martini Chocolate – all beautifully wrapped and ready to go!  Click here for all details.

Are you on Empty?

Today I would simply like to share a great post by my friend and colleague Dr Jenny Brockis on the issue of checking the level of your brain fuel.  The topic could not be more vital as we gear up for the Festive Season scamper. Her tips could be a crucial factor in whether you make it to the finish line. Check out the wisdom of Dr Jenny Brockis right now.  Your brain and body will thank you.