Shake it up...

... with a protein shake! This week we tried different recipes to add a little more protein into our diet/training regimen.

Amy: I’ve never had a protein shake before. I’ve always just assumed they would be thick and chalky and I wouldn’t like them, so I stayed away. I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to toss some vanilla protein powder in my fruit smoothie.

Recipe:

1 ½ cups of frozen fruit (I used strawberries, mango, and pineapple)
2 cups orange juice
½ cup of ice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency!

Thoughts:

I loved it! It helps that I love fruit smoothies, but now that I know I can add protein powder and not hate it, I’m sensing a new breakfast in my future. It took some adjustment to get the recipe right (I added too much ice and not enough juice), but I loved the thick consistency of the smoothie and the hint of vanilla from the protein powder. It was my first but definitely not my last protein shake! (Thanks to Kate who told me all the different ways to add protein powder to my drinks!)

Kate: As you may have guessed, this is not my first protein shake rodeo. A few years ago, I had a personal trainer who highly recommended using protein shakes both in my diet and immediately after working out. My favorite use for them was as an afternoon snack when I worked as a camp counselor in past summers. When 2 pm hit, I would be hungry and tired, but needed something quick. My solution was to put a scoop of powder into a shaker before work in the morning, and stick a serving-size, shelf-stable box of almond milk into my lunchbox. It was the ideal snack: I could mix my shake while watching over little ones, even if my hands were covered in paint or glue.

 

Mocha Latte Shake
Recipe:
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 scoop chocolate protein powder

This one works best if you use a shaker bottle—just put your ingredients into the bottle, and shake until smooth.

Thoughts: This one tastes a lot like chocolate milk! I add the instant coffee for an extra kick of flavor. We freeze our coffee grounds so they didn’t blend very well, but I didn’t notice any difference in taste. As they say in the cereal commercials, this shake is part of a complete breakfast—I usually pair it with toast and fruit.

It’s actually been awhile since I used protein shakes, and I realized that I missed them. I’m re-instating them as part of my breakfast, and I’ve noticed that I feel a lot better in the morning when I make one before work. They’re also more nutritious than most of my other morning choices (which generally involve a drive-through).

I’ll also note that it can be tough to find a protein powder that works, since some brands can be heavy on the stomach. But if one particular flavor or brand is too heavy, too grainy, too sweet or too chalky, keep shopping! There are tons and tons of formulas out there to meet almost any dietary need. 

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