Got the shakes? Well, I’ll tell you why that happens. You’re probably not getting enough protein. Even if you’re eating wonderfully healthy, organic foods it is important to make sure you’re also eating balanced meals and snacks! I will warn you, however, that things like protein powder and “muscle milk” are usually not very healthy ways to get protein and often contain WAY more protein than the average person needs or is even healthy to consume on a daily basis. I recently got an email from one of our friends at Hackensack UMC asking about protein shakes WITHOUT protein powder. I thought this would be a great thing to share with all of you as it is good information to have handy.
As you may know, I do not eat meat or dairy products (with the exception of the very occasional scoop of ice cream.) So, how do I get my protein? I do eat organic eggs, but most of my protein comes from plants. Yes, you may not know this, but beans, grains, nuts and some fruits and veggies contain PLENTY of protein for the average person. Some people believe that if they work out they need more protein for energy and muscle growth. I tell you this is simply not true. I think it is safe to say that I exercise more than the average person and I never feel weak or shaky from too little protein in my diet. Too much unused protein, in fact, can lead to very serious illnesses. That being said, let’s look at some great protein shake ideas.
Banana nut smoothie:
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup organic almond milk
- 1 handful of walnuts
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp of honey or 1/2 tsp of agave nectar
- 2 handfuls of ice or 1/4 cup filtered water
Blend the above until smooth and sippable.
- 1 handful organic strawberries
- 1 mango (peeled and sliced)
- 1 handful almonds
- 1/2 tsp agave nectar
- 1/2 cup natural coconut milk (liquid, not thick)
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (optional)
- 1 tsp flax seeds
- 2 handfuls of ice or 1/4 cup filtered water
Blend above until smooth
The above r
ecipes are great sources of protein and make delicious between meal snacks that will leave you satisfied without the shakes!
Some of you have asked for my opinion regarding soy milk. Well, you know what they say? Don’t ask the question if you don’t want the answer. Just kidding. Actually the truth of the matter is I am not a fan of soy, rice or any other substitutes for milk. I will provide you with many of the reasons why a lot of physicians are not fans of soy milk. Before I do let me share with you how I came to my opinion.
I must admit I like cereal. I like cold cereal. I like hot cereal. I like shakes and smoothies. I have looked for products that I can substitute for milk to pour over my cereals, but in my earnest search I came up empty handed. I checked out soy milk and rice milk and even looked into almond milk, my own personal problem with all of these products is quite frankly they contain too much junk for my liking. Preservatives, chemicals and all sorts of junk that I just did not understand the reason for. Now that you know my objection to these products, allow me to share with you what many physicians believe regarding soy milk and substitutes for dairy.
- Most soy milk contains polyunsaturated vegetable oils. These oils may add to the imbalance of essential fatty acids in the body. It is believed that a chronic imbalance of essential fatty acids caused by regularly consuming polyunsaturated vegetable oils is a major cause of cardiovascular disease.
- Some soy milk contains syrup, evaporated cane juice or other natural sweeteners. Natural or not, sweeteners put significant stress on the pancreas and liver. Sweeteners raise insulin levels, which increases the risk of weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease and other side effects.
- Miso, tempeh and natto, fermented forms of soy are healthy choices for people. Non-fermented soy products can cause health problems if consumed in large quantities on a regular basis.
So you see, there are many issues surrounding soy milk and soy products. My concerns are simpler. I just don’t want the extra junk. Since I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially when asked the question from some of our very lovely readers, I do have what I believe to be a great solution. Ready my friends? We will make our own almond milk…I must tell you I cannot take credit for this recipe. It’s not my own, I simply found it and would like to pass it on to you since it is a great recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds (soaked in water overnight)
- 4 cups of water
- 3-5 dates (optional)
- In a blender mix the almonds.
- Add the dates to add a bit of sweetness.
- Strain the mixture to remove almond granules.
So what is my opinion on soy milk? Simply put, bag the soy milk and try the almond milk recipe above. I would also like to state that sometimes our avid readers find great products that are natural and do not contain a lot of extra junk. If some of you find any of these products that are seemingly more natural please let me know; as I am a gal who loves cereal and would love to find some creamy goodness to pour over it. Until then, I shall make my own almond milk.