What is the Best Protein Powder?
I am often asked two common question. One – do I NEED to take a protein powder and, Two – what is a “good” one I recommend. The answer is always the same, “It depends and what’s your primary objective?!”
What is protein powder, anyway?
Protein shakes / powder are typically made from whey, casein, soy, or a blend of plant based proteins. Protein shakes are a convenient way to add the protein macronutrient in your diet as an alternative to eating meat or a protein rich plant.
Let’s face it, sometimes you want something that tastes different than meat, vegetables, or legumes and a shake is a quick way to enjoy a liquid meal. I mean, who wants to relax in the sauna after a workout and be chomping on a piece of fish as a recovery meal! I’d vote, no one! In addition, protein shakes come in all kinds of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, chocolate chip mint, pineapple, etc. There really are some delicious protein shake alternatives!
Reasons for taking Protein Powder…
Protein powder has 2-3 objectives depending on the brand:
(1.) Adding protein to the diet
(2.) Delivering a nutrition enhancement along with the protein e.g. Vitamins / minerals, performance enhancing supplementation etc.
(3.) Filling up your stomach aka stopping the hunger pains!
How to decide on a Protein Powder – a few considerations…
When deciding what type of protein powder and what brand to buy, there are a few considerations.
(1.) What are your overall fitness & health goals e.g. Athletic performance (faster speed / endurance), losing weight, improving health, adding muscle, etc.
(2) Do you have allergies?
(3) How important is taste to you?
(4) Are you wanting to use shakes as a “go-to” instead of junk food?
A bit of sharing! (hopefully helpful in making your decision)
When I was competing in the National Physique Committee, my #1 objective was to be stage ready by the selected show date. This meant eating very specific menu items in order to lower my body fat to levels it would never be able to achieve by “normal” eating. I did use protein powder two times a day in the first 9 weeks of my 12.5 week preparation. Although I am lactose intolerant, I used whey protein based on my perception of its benefits even though this milk product left me gassy and bloated. Ouch! At that time, I looked for brands with very few fillers and as a result of them not filling me up, I was often hungry immediately after drinking my shake. BTW, when you compete in bodybuilding competitions, you get used to be hangry (Hungry + Angry)! Unfortunately being hangry is part of the harsh realities associated with competing. [Read my previous blog on extreme dieting for more insight.
After I stopped competing, I switched to a vegan protein as I didn’t want to experience the bloating and gas. Smart, right!? I tried every vegan brand I could find and settled on the one that tasted the best. Notice I didn’t say tasted delicious because none of them did. I also started adding fruit to my smoothies to enhance the taste. Organic fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals in its natural form and also sugar, which may or may not be a diet downfall depending on what else you’re eating on a daily basis.
Fast forward to now, where my goals are to walk around in a body that I am confident in, not be gassy, and not feeling deprived aka like I’m dieting, or hangry. It is also important that my health e.g. heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. maintain in tip top shape! Recently this objective has brought me to Herbalife meal replacement shakes. See my 35 day transformation blog for my results thus far. In reading the ingredients of Herbalife shakes, they meet my fitness objectives in that they:
✔️ Deliver high quality soy protein isolate (no gas or bloating here)
✔️ They contain fillers that are intended to leave me feeling satisfied and not hungry for additional food at that meal
✔️ Herbalife shakes are D-E-licious! I mean they are SO good! Think chocolate chip mint, banana carmel, and dulce de leche just to name a few!!
If you’re wanting to lose weight or conversely add mass, bulking, using a “clean diet” and it’s important that you mentally don’t feel deprived from things that taste like “treats”, Herbalife has been a game changer for me. Because my focus is no longer on being stage ready and in a bikini that is so small it has to be glued on (true story), I just don’t have the will power to not consume food that taste like treats. At least not for the long term. Turns out when you feel like a certain food is “bad” it creates scarcity and the result is yo-yo dieting. If you’re someone who craves sugar e.g. cookies, ice cream, candy, any baked good and these cravings are sabotaging your health and fitness goals, I have found Herbalife to be the best alternative.
In the end, when deciding what protein shake is best for YOU, you must be clear on why you are wanting to add a protein shake into your diet in the first place. When you know your objective, you then can make an informed decision on how to meet it!
Note: All protein shakes, ALL, are a processed food! It’s just a fact! Not all processed foods are created equal and so it’s important to be able to differentiate between those that have zero nutritional value or needed macro or micronutrients and those created to deliver a supplement to the daily diet.
Another Note: For those who consume whey, if you do not know the condition of the farm and cow e.g., what it was fed, impregnated (that’s how you get the milk), and what the cow is injected with e.g. growth hormones, there is no way to know exactly what you’re ingesting or if it’s good for your body.
Chocolate Chip Mint Protein Ice Cream
Ice cream anyone? What if you knew it would actually help you in achieving your goals? Whaaaat? Yes, honey!
This particular serving was of chocolate chip mint which is my absolute favorite! Here’s the recipe! Feel free to send thank you flowers! Just kidding! A note will suffice!
- Servings: 1
- Prep time: 1 min
- Cook time: none
- Total time: 5 mins including cleaning the blender
Meal Type: Dessert or Meal Replacement
Add water, PDM, and F1 to blender. Turn blender on low and mix up ingredients. Next add Xanthan Gum and continue to mix just enough to have everything mixed together. Add ice and blend to desired thickness.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Note: you can switch out Herbalife PDM and F1 flavors.
Carbs: 18g includes 10g sugar
Check out our programs and learn how to ditch dieting for good!
Free Body Mind Transformation Consultation
As a token of my appreciation, please accept my gift of a 30 minute Body Mind Transformation Consultation! Simply email me to schedule your appointment! Looking forward to meeting with you! Let’s WIN 2017 together! #strongertogether
Free Body & Mind Transformation Consultation
Happy New Year! Crazy to believe tomorrow is 2017! 2016 has been a year of growth for me and not all of it has been fun. Maybe you have had some highs and lows this past year too. With all of that said, I can say that I feel especially grateful for so much and particularly for this community! Four years ago this month I decided to follow the desires of my heart, even if that meant making myself vulnerable, and I launched EmpowerHouse Fitness, LLC.! I still remember my first client and the responsibility and privilege I had in helping her meet her goals! I’ll never forget the high I felt watching her marry the man of her dreams while she stood confidently in her own skin while confessing her vows. [She and her husband now have two beautiful boys! YES!] The satisfaction I felt that day was one I had never felt before professionally. To empower others by providing them with a system that yields powerful health, fitness, and aesthetic results, this is what I know to be a calling on my life! What I have witnessed over the past 4 years is that when women are healthy and confident they boldly dare to pursue their hearts desires! Thank you for being a part of this community and for a life changing four years!
As a token of my appreciation, please accept my gift of a 30 minute Body & Mind Transformation Consultation! Simply email me to schedule your appointment! Looking forward to meeting with you! Let’s WIN 2017 together! #strongertogether
Tips to keep you on track to meet your fitness goals!
Here in the USA yesterday was, Thanksgiving, a holiday where family and friends gather together to give thanks and to EAT! When I say eat I am not talking about salads and lean meats but rich butter filled delectable foods! Well… at least that was how my holiday went! Here are five tips that will keep you from derailing your diligent work and help you end the year on track to a healthier and more fit you! Keep on track and meet your fitness goals – despite the holidays!
- Ditch the leftovers! Thanksgiving was 1 day, not a week! Part of many people’s second favorite part to the holiday other than the actual day is the delicious food that is left to indulge in all week, DON’T DO IT! Eating left overs can add thousands of additional calories daily and once you’ve hit an excess of 3500 calories, you’ve likely gained a pound. Add to that all the sugar that’s baked into the food can lead you on a path to health challenges over time.
- Keep your routine! Don’t fall into the trap that holiday time equals a “break”! If your regular routine is doing cardio and lifting weights 3x per week, keep it up! Stopping a workout routine equates to burning less calories and over time you can stifle your metabolism! Oh, and I didn’t even mention that once you get out of a routine, it’s hard to get back into it.
- Stay focused! 2017 is just 5 weeks away and how you end this year is how you begin 2017! Feeling bloated and lethargic is not how you want to spend NYE! Think about it!
- Plan your meals! It is ideal to eat every 2.5 – 4 hours to keep the body fueled! There is much scientific research that supports eating small and complete (protein, carbs, & fat) meals throughout the day is better than the traditional three squares. If you do batch cooking, you can have meals ready to go so you are not hunting for something to eat while hungry as that = DISASTER! Bonus tip: eat a protein at every meal to balance the blood sugar spike that occurs when eating many starchy or sugary carbs.
- Accountability! Team up with a friend, co-worker, family member etc. and hold each other accountable to your plan (you must have a plan for this to work). Write down your commitment e.g. 5 veggies per day, 3 fruits per day, ½ gallon of water per day, no sodas, exercise 4 days per week for 40 mins, etc., and give your goals to your accountability partner (AC). Daily or weekly check-ins can help you stay on track as there is something about having to “report in” that will keep you on track! No one comes to mind that you can use as an AC?
Join the “WINNING 2016” Facebook support group! You are personally invited!
Follow the above survival guide and WIN the 4th quarter (of 2016)!
Need more structure? Check out our custom programs!
Welcome to the EmpowerHouse Fitness Blog! I am so glad you are here! Because this is the first blog post, I have gone back and forth on what it should be! Do I start this great adventure off with one of my go-to meal prep recipes? Maybe you would prefer one of my many quick hotel workouts? Or wait, I could share an inspiring story that likely would get us to turn up the heat on pursuing our goals with a bit more passion! After my three fitness competitions, I certainly picked up some industry secrets and who doesn’t like to hear the behind the scenes dish?
After spending more time than I’d like to admit in thinking about what to write first, I decided the best way to start this blog is by asking YOU what you want to see!
Novel thought, I know! *smile* Please, please, pleeeeese take a moment and answer this quick survey as it will help me in publishing content you want to see for our new site.
My desire is that this would be a space that you would regularly visit for information that you know you can trust to implement into your life!
Health & Hugs!