Is there a perfect protein shake? No. Just like there is no perfect diet, or exercise. While my learning about stewardship of this body evolves, it has been refreshing to let go of angst about my weight and food. Perfection is impossible and unnecessary.
Praise the Lord!
Pursuing perfection made me vulnerable to “stray” into unhealthy extremes as it related to food and my weight. The angst could still master me, if I let it. Whether I give in my fantasy about being alone with a red velvet cake, or on the other extreme, I become obsessed with eating perfectly (whatever that means) it’s the same. These extremes are opposite sides of the same idol for me.
So, my perspective about eating and nutrition comes with a prayer that the Lord will help me to offer encouragement in seeking to please God above all, not in any way direct others into the pursuit of answers that don’t exist in “the world.” I Corinthians 10:31 is a good answer. There are many in His word.
That said, here are a few thoughts about protein and how protein shakes can help you get enough healthy protein in your eating plan…
I have been eating less animal and fish protein lately, mainly because I don’t trust the quality of it in stores. A couple of documentaries like Food, Inc and Forks Over Knives, will give you a proper sense of caution. When I do buy animal protein, I only buy certified organic, or locally grown and raised.
But since I also try to keep my protein intake between 20% and 30% of my total calories, I find it has helped to use protein shakes to reach that goal and ensure the quality of the source. Still, if I don’t hit that goal every single day, puppies aren’t gonna die. Remaining mindful of what I am aiming for keeps me reaching for good choices and sticking with what works well enough.
I have shopped around and found two protein shakes that I am very happy with, the two pictured above.
My favorite is the Garden of Life Raw Meal shake. It has all organic ingredients, plant based protein, and is sweetened with stevia. I like the taste, also, which surprised me. The other is pictured is Protizyme, which I like because it is a high quality whey protein and it tastes good. It is not organic and it is sweetened with sucralose, both of which in my mind, make it less than perfect, but then again, so am I.
As for the good, bad and ugly of protein shakes, here are a few additional thoughts:
- Protein shakes can be a good source of high quality protein.
- They can be a good carrier for a ton (not literally) of spinach, and a filling source of good nutrients.
- They can be a good nutritious snack or meal replacement, without adding too many calories.
- Many of them are made of poor quality ingredients. Do your homework. Read a few reviews. Find one you feel reasonably good about. You will probably find that the cheapest ones are not worth the money.
- As a meal replacement, a protein shake can sometimes leave me feeling unsatisfied. At times if I haven’t chewed something I don’t feel like I have eaten. When that happens, I will eat an apple or some carrots afterwards and find that I am a happy girl, full, and having enjoyed the pleasure of gnawing.
- Most protein powder products are accompanied by extreme amounts of hype about how they will “transform” your life and your body. Even if the protein is a patented blend that comes from purple Himalayan Unicorns hand raised by the original Teletubbies, it is still just a food source, and only as good as its ingredients really are, as opposed to what they are claimed to be. The greater the hype, the more suspicious I am of the product.
Quality matters, but don’t expect the product itself to do more than offer you a good nutritious snack or meal. What you do overall matters, and no single food or product will offset an otherwise lacking eating and healthy living plan.
There is nothing magical about any particular food. God created man with a need for food. It is another way for us to know Him and to experience aspects of His character. In the foods God made for us, we see His Love, provision, and even His desire to give us joy and pleasure.
Yes, our bodies are designed to eat the foods He made. Is it any surprise that so-called “superfoods” are the ones He created, not those created in a lab, factory, or assembly line?
The most transforming thing you can do for your health is to align yourself with God’s design and intentions for your body, not to mention, the rest of you!
All that said, here is a protein shake recipe for you to try!
My Favorite Protein Shake Recipe
- ¾ scoop of Garden of Life Raw Vanilla
- ¾ scoop of Protizyme (the one shown is Butter Pecan Cookie Flavor)
- 12 Oz unsweetened almond or cashew milk
- 3-4 cups of raw or frozen organic spinach
- 2 cups of ice cubes
- ½ frozen banana or other fruit
Makes enough for a meal and a snack! Enjoy!
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