Monday, August 30, 2010

It's a Protein Party!!

You are cordially invited to A PROTEIN PARTY!!
When: Now
Where: Right here!
Why: Because I want to fill you in on my discovery of my favorite protein powders, for now, until I discover more of course.

So the last time I talked about protein was way back in May when this whole blog was just getting started, and I talked about The Protein Myth.  (Warning: That blog post was before I learned how to make blog posts pretty, and I have to admit it's a little boring, but informative!)  I promise to spice this post up a bit for you!

So I have been really into protein smoothies lately, specifically for breakfast.  It's a great energy booster for the day.  Sam and I are working on getting to the gym around 5am (yikes I know!) because that is what time I will have to be there to get a good workout in before work, which starts October 6th... ahh!  We have yet to be at the gym at 5am, but we are gradually working towards it!  Anyway, I wake up and go, and I might eat a handful of almonds on my way.  But after the morning workout, I'm hungry, and I need some good fuel for the day.  So the protein smoothie is the perfect thing!

I have tried so many protein powders, and I'm really picky about the taste, texture, solubility, etc.  BUT I have finally found the winners of my search for delicious and effective protein powders!  So I must share them with you! Here we go...

1.  Boku Super Protein Boku Super Food 

Tone It Up introduced me to Boku, and I'm so glad they did!  Boku is a great company that uses very high-quality organic ingredients in their products.  The Boku Super Protein is a raw sprouted brown rice protein.  "Raw" and "sprouted" are both really good things because that means that the product hasn't been cooked enough to destroy many of the nutritional enzymes, and sprouting actually enhances the nutritional power of the grain and benefits the digestive tract. So to put it simply, "raw" and "sprouted" means more nutrition for you!  Side note: This is a big reason why I love Ezekiel products!  

Now, let's talk about the Boku Super Food.  So what exactly is a super food?

Fancy Definition of Superfood: "a natural food regarded as especially beneficial because of its nutrient profile or its health-protecting qualities"  (According to the Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English) [source]

Not-So-Fancy Definition of Superfood: "Imagine a superfood -- not a drug -- powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You'd surely stock up on a lifetime supply."  (WebMD) [source]

Basically, superfoods are really good for you, and by putting a scoop of Boku Super Food in your smoothie (or just shaking it with milk, juice, or water), you easily get your daily dose of superfood!  Now, that's a lot easier than going out and separately buying all of the superfoods and trying to consume them in a day.

Okay finally... So what's in my smoothie??

1 scoop Boku Super Protein
1 heaping scoop Boku Super Food
1/2 banana
1/4 cup blueberries
Handful of ice cubes
Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened Almond Milk - I just eyeball this, but it's usually enough milk until it covers most of the ingredients in the blender.

If I'm really hungry, I throw in 1 Tbsp peanut butter, which makes this smoothie more like a meal.  Without the peanut butter, this smoothie is around 290 calories.  With the peanut butter around 390 calories.

If I opted for another breakfast option like oatmeal or granola and missed out on my smoothie in the morning, then I will either have this smoothie for lunch with the peanut butter, or as a snack without the peanut butter.  But, you can also just shake a scoop of protein powder and super food in water or juice as a perfect snack, and that way you are still getting your superfood and healthy protein for the day, but it's not as filling as the entire smoothie.  Plus, at work you don't usually have the ability to whip up a smoothie in a blender for your afternoon snack.  So this way, you can just take a bottle and shake up your snack!

You can also make Tone It Up Protein Pancakes with the Boku Super Protein... they are so good and good for you!  You can enjoy these pancakes on the Tone It Up Fat Burning System too!

You can order Boku products online and join the Boku Bucks Program so that you can earn rewards as you buy more protein.

So there is protein powder option number one!  Next up...

2.  TRUEProtein Vanilla & Chocolate Pea Protein 

I know I know, right now you might be saying to yourself... PEA protein??? As in the peas that roll around all over your plate and are impossible to eat with a fork??  Yes! Well, kind of... It is made from the vegetable that you are thinking of, the pea, but there are many different types of peas.  It's called Pea Protein Isolate because they isolate the protein.  Here is their web site's description...

"Gemma Protein Isolate Powder is extremely high in Leucine, Arginine, and Glutamine, along with a balanced amino profile. It is clean tasting for a Pea Protein, and mixes extremely smoothly with a lighter texture than Whey powders.  Gemma Protein Isolate is derived and isolated from peas and its natural protein fraction, which possesses a low level of denaturing and is very soluable (mixes very well).  Gemma is NON-GMO, low allergenic and gluten free.  As dairy prices continue to rise, vegetable-based products like the new Gemma Protein will begin to change the protein industry."

Although this product's ingredients isn't as "red carpet worthy" as Boku's, it still provides the protein benefits.  Since I am vegan about 98% of the time and I exercise 6 days a week, I need to make sure I am getting enough protein, and good sources of protein.  I really like the Boku Super Protein because of its quality ingredients, but it is a little pricey for now ($35 for 30oz, 20 servings).  Since Sam and I are both into the protein smoothies and protein pancakes, then that would be like $70+ a month for the both of us if we just used the Boku Super Protein.  With Sam in law school and me about to start work... we had find another protein alternative to add to our protein repertoire.
I really like the taste of True Protein's Pea Protein.  It blends really well in a smoothie and just shaken in water or milk.  It's really creamy.  I order the "NATURAL Premium" Chocolate and Vanilla Flavors.  The Premium Flavors are pre-sweetened with Stevia (a natural low-calorie sweetener derived from the stevia plant).  

And you will NOT believe how much it costs! TRUEProtein doesn't advertise and relies on word of mouth.  Also, TRUEProtein doesn't use any fancy packaging, labels, etc.  Ultimately, this keeps their costs WAY down.  If you order 1 lb. of a flavor I just mentioned in the free food grade bag it costs a whopping total of $6.09.  Or you can go crazy and order the protein in the plastic jug with a scoop for an extra 75 cents! Even at this affordable price, it's still great quality!  It's gluten free and non-genetically modified.  I just trade off between the two proteins.  Monday I will have Boku and Tuesday TrueProtein, and so on. 

This is my favorite smoothie to make with this protein, it tastes like a creamy banana peanut butter shake!
1 scoop of Chocolate or Vanilla Protein
1 scoop of superfood
1/2 banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter
Handful Ice cubes
Enough Almond Milk to cover.

This smoothie is around 360 calories.  Also, this vanilla powder shaken with orange juice and some ice cubes is really good too!  And quick!

Okay, and last but definitely not least... 
3.  Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Chocolate Infusion

You can buy this in the jug or in individual, single serving packets.  I have found it at Central Market and Whole Foods.  I really love the chocolate flavor of this, it's a delicious silky flavor and texture.  It has BOTH protein and superfood all in one!  It has a little less than half of the protein than the previous products, 10 grams per serving. I haven't tried this just shaken in water, but it says that you can do that.  Here is my Amazing Meal smoothie...

1 packet (or scoop) of Amazing Meal
1/2 banana
1/4 cup berries (I like blueberries)  
Almond Milk 

Yum!! You can also get creative with this and add it to Overnight Oats or regular oatmeal to give your oats even more of a nutritional punch.  Check out this yummy recipe...

Chocolate Protein Vegan Overnight Oats (VOO)
from Oh She Glows  

1/3 cup oats
1 Tbsp chia seeds or ground flax seed
2 Tbsp Amazing Grass Chocolate Powder
1 cup almond milk
1 chopped banana
Optional Toppings: Unsweetened Coconut or 1 tbsp nut butter

Directions:  Mix the oats chia (or flax) seeds, and chocolate powder in a small bowl with a whisk.  Pour in milk and whisk until clumps are gone.  Place in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.  Add chopped banana.

*** For all of the smoothie recipes, you can substitute water for milk if you want a lighter smoothie, and you will probably need a little less water than milk.  That will reduce the calorie count by around 60-70 calories if that is something you are watching.  

So there you have it! My grand list of protein powders!  I am sure I will eventually discover more that I like, and if I do, then I will keep you up to date... but for now, I'm enjoying all of these!  

I hope you had a great weekend!  This weekend I tried a new restaurant and split a PB&Monte Cristo for dessert... oh my gosh there are no words to describe the tastiness of this dessert.  It was fat free of course (just kidding!), but sometimes you just have to treat yourself, or else you will go crazy! 

I am headed out of town for the weekend for Sam's Sister's wedding (Congrats Sarah!), so you probably won't hear from me again until next week.  In the meantime, have a super week... summer will be gone before you know it, so get outside, move around, and just enjoy life!  Happy Monday! 

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Question of the Day: Do you have any protein powders, meal supplements, bars, etc. that you enjoy?? If so, I would love to hear about it so leave a comment! 


Jen said...

I actually have been in the market for a protein powder for a few months now. I'll linger in the supplement aisle at the grocery store for awhile & then always decide that I want to do more research before I purchase anything! I think I'm going to try the second product since its so affordable. I'll let you know what I think :)

Michelle said...

I love the Amazing Grass powder but it is too expensive for me to use on a regular basis... at least until I start working on Oct 6th :) (sorry I had to throw that in lol) I cannot believe how cheap the TRUE product is!! I will try that.

I love adding frozen mango to my smoothies.

Oh, and you are a machine if you get to the gym at 5am before working all day!! Go you!!

Cami said...

@Jen~ I know what you mean, the supplement aisle can be completely overwhelming! Is it sad that I enjoy lingering in that aisle and reading about all the vitamins, powders, etc?? Yes, definitely let me know what you think of the TrueProtein, I started with the chocolate flavor, which you can't really go wrong with. I hope you like it!

@Michelle~ Yes, the Amazing Grass is AMAZING, but a little pricey for right now. Haha... ohh Octoboer 6th.. the day that changes my life forever, at least that's what it seems like right?! Let me know what you think of the TRUEProtein, I couldn't believe the price of it either, but it makes sense. You can see where they save money, like in the picture how plain the label and jug look. OHh, and I have yet to be at the gym at 5am, but that's my goal. I'm working towards it... right now I'm getting there around 6:30-7ish. I love it once I'm up, but actually getting up.. that's not easy at all. So I have a month to work on it! We will see how it goes after we start work...

Tina said...

I don't use protein powder as often as I used to, but I do really like Amazing Grass (chocolate only though) and All the Whey brand.

Cami said...

@Tina~ I haven't tried All the Whey Brand, thanks for the suggestion! How do you like to prepare your Chocolate Amazing Grass? In a smoothie or plain with just water/juice? Thanks for the comment! I love your blog by the way!!

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