Why 98% of People Make Their Protein Shakes WRONG
FACT: Many people think protein powder alone can substitute for a meal (or they have no idea). Who can blame you? It’s not like nutrition is thoroughly taught in school. And holistic nutrition, forgettaboutit - but, I digress. Where do you stand on this? Even the best protein powders can be a little misleading when it comes to the best way to consume them. You’ll need to decide if you want your shake to serve as a snack or a meal replacement. I feel like the phrase “meal replacement” gets such a bad rep! At first glance, having any kind of shake instead of a typical meal doesn’t sound appealing at all. However, when you break down the components of a balanced meal, understand the approach and appreciate the peace of mind from making a 3 minute meal in the form of a shake, I’m in!!!
You’re about to learn the ONE thing that can take your shake from good to GREAT and from snack to MEAL.
Ever wonder how to make the perfect protein shake? I mean one that is the perfect balance between satisfying and nutrient-dense? If you’ve ever had a protein shake before, then you know the delicate balance I’m talking about. Use too much protein and you might’ve ruined the taste. Use too little, and you’re hungry in an hour. If you are currently NOT thrilled with your protein powder blend, don’t worry, I’m going to share my fave in just a bit.
Let’s talk protein.
Before I dish the secret to turning your protein shake into a full-fledged meal, we first have to look at your protein source. Each type of protein will generally have its own unique taste. It’s important to know what taste profile you prefer, because it will have an impact on the final taste of your shake. Plant-based or Carnivore? I won’t go into detail about the benefits of a plant-based diet in this post, but it is an important factor for you to consider. Will you be consuming protein from a cow or goat? Or do you want to stick to plant sources like pea or rice protein? Many people have no idea that they have a sensitivity to dairy, either due to the casein protein or the lactose. Because of this, people will often get caught up in ads that tout superior benefits of an animal-based protein without giving a thought to whether or not it is best for their body.
Once you decide on a protein source, you’ll need to choose a liquid. This could be any type of milk (we recommend non-dairy), clean, purified water, coconut water, or a blend of any of these. Ice is optional but really turns an average shake into a wonderful one, just by providing the right amount of chill, as desired.
Next, did you decide on a snack shake or a meal replacement shake? See the differences below.
1. SNACK OPTION
Most quality protein powders can be blended with liquid and ice (or hand shaken) and you’re on your way. The body uses protein to build muscle and perform other important tasks, so a healthy protein shake used as a snack can be a win win (although I typically don’t recommend snacking daily, as it often disturbs the blood sugar balance).
2. MEAL REPLACEMENT OPTION
So, by now you’re probably wondering what the heck this ONE thing is that can convert your snack shake into a legit meal. It’s FAT! When you sit down to eat a meal, would you plop some protein on your plate and keep it movin’? Chances are you’d probably add veggies and carbs, with some sort of fat woven throughout the meal. Your meal replacement shake should be no different.
During the cooking process, you’re likely adding fat in the form of oil, butter or meat of some kind. You may even be adding avocado or toasted nuts to your meal. Fat should not be demonized; however, you should look for the right types of fat. Healthy fats from sources like avocados, coconut, nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.) and seeds (flax, chia, etc.) boast a range of benefits and instantly create a nutrient-dense meal. You’ll want to avoid using vegetable oils like soybean, canola or corn. An organic version of these is better than non-organic, but there are just healthier oils and fats you can use to boost the health of your food.
Adding a healthy fat to your shake is a GAME. CHANGER. It will help you feel full longer, is satisfying, and imparts nutritional benefits. Let’s not forget that like attracts like, and healthy fat is essential in the removal of excess fats from the body (move over, last 10 pounds!).
FIBER is another add-in that is optional but rewarding. Fiber helps pull sugar through the intestines, along with toxins that have been sitting in the gut. What an easy way to keep your G.I. tract clean on a daily basis. Remember, detoxification is not an event! It should be happening daily.
Although not considered a source of fat, I also enjoy adding low-glycemic fruits to my shakes for the added benefit of antioxidant power and healthy carbohydrates! Antioxidants fight free radicals (those little pesky things that want to destroy our healthy cells) and encourage anti-aging. Opt for fruits like any type of berry or green apple. Higher glycemic fruits are acceptable on occasion, as long as the rest of your shake is balanced (fat, protein, etc.) An example of a higher glycemic fruit would be a HALF of a banana, sliced mango, peaches, etc.
Lastly, you gotta get your greens in! It is so easy to sneak fresh, organic spinach or kale into a shake without altering the taste - really, it is! If you’re dead set against it, however, you could always opt for a small side salad with a healthy, preferably organic vinaigrette (alongside your shake).
So… how do you make the perfect shake? There are so many options to choose from, but let’s look at a basic recipe that is sure to please even the pickiest eater.
THE CINNAMON BUN SHAKE (meal replacement)
Add to your blender in the following order - or at least DO NOT add protein powder first or it will cake up at the blades.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, make your own here
1/2 cup organic spinach leaves (optional, see note above on greens)
1/2 organic banana or 1 baby banana (optional)
1 Tablespoon raw or plain almond butter
2 scoops Arbonne Protein Shake Mix - VANILLA
1/4 scoop Arbonne Fiber Boost
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5-6 ice cubes
Blend and ENJOY! Of course I can only vouch for the brands listed here, so if you are using another brand of protein, I can’t guarantee the same lip-smacking flavor :-). For protein shake beginners, I recommend marking down the time you consumed your shake as well as the next time you get hungry. It can take a few days to get into a groove, but I suggest spacing your meals 4-6 hours apart. I usually eat every 4 1/2 hours. Every body is different, so listen to YOURS.
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