Favorite Protein Shake Recipes!

Sarah RodgersNutrition, Resources6 Comments

Thanks to all who read the blog on Protein, Protein, Protein and sent questions asking about my favorite protein powders and recipes!

I will confess, I am a bit of a protein shake nut – I am constantly on the lookout for what is new on the market for powders and how to best mix them. I also rotate my proteins so there are several different powders in my kitchen!

As discussed in the earlier protein piece, I stay away from GMO, soy, corn, sugar, artificial flavoring or coloring. I go for ingredients I can pronounce. This means reading labels, not just the marketing label on the front of the product but the actual ingredients. Bottom line is I want to know what I am eating!

I have classified my favorite shake recipe basics into 3 categories:

The Morning Wake Up Shake

– Coffee, ice, water and protein – a great way to get protein into my body early in the day – I often do this before a run and my body tolerates whey isolate or a vegan blend. It gives me a great kick-start to my day!

    • Whey – I typically use the Biotics Research unflavored Whey Isolate – it is clean and simple.  Whey is dairy so be aware of any sensitivities or allergies.
    • Vegan – I use a protein from Seven Point 2 – sprouted brown rice and pea protein are the protein sources. Absolutely my favorite – almost like a coffee milkshake for breakfast!

Portions for this shake are typically 5 ice cubes, a cup of cold water, a cup of coffee (if the coffee is hot, add more ice and less water), and the recommended protein serving, usually 2 scoops. Best when icy cold!

The Veggie Shake

– Frozen fruit, real fruit juice, water, fresh greens, oil and protein. I will mix and match my ingredients to keep it a bit interesting however, it is a combination of the following key ingredients:

    • Frozen Fruit – Favorites are peaches, mango, pineapple or blueberries.  Throw in a handful, about a cup.
    • Real Fruit Juice –Most juice contains white grape or apple juice as an added “sugar”.  The Ceres brand is the best one I have found so far – the ingredients are fruit juice and fruit puree. Add about half a cup.
    • Good Fat – Avocado, coconut, olive or flax oil are all healthy fats. I switch it up depending on what other types of good fats I have had over the past day or so. Add about a tablespoon.
    • Fresh Greens – Look for dark, leafy, organic and fresh greens. Spinach, kale, arugula and mixed lettuces definitely are the favorites. Use a few big handfuls!
    • Protein – The fresh greens and frozen fruit provide a good portion of the texture for this shake so I like to keep the protein simple and add the recommended serving size. Egg White, Bone Broth or Hemp Hearts all work well.
      • Egg White – Look for pure egg white powder – that’s it. At the moment, my favorite is  the PURE POWDER formula from Now Sports.
      • Bone Broth – Bone broth is one of the newer proteins to hit the powder market.  I am on my first container from Ancient Nutrition, however, so far, so good.  Mixes similar to the egg white and doesn’t seem to make the shake overly “thick”.
      • Hemp – Frankly, not my favorite as I think it tastes like dirt. However, I will throw some Hemp Hearts into the protein rotation. Haven’t found a hemp protein powder I like yet!
    • Water – Add enough water so the shakes blends smooth.

The Muscle Builder Shake

– Milk, ice, water, nut butter and protein – this is a great way to get those calories in post workout – I often do this after a gym session to feed the muscles and keep my metabolic rate elevated!

    • Milk – unsweetened almond, hemp or coconut milk makes for a great base. Add about a cup.
    • Nut Butter – a nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut) adds protein as well as good fat and calories – look for no added sugar or oil. Add a heaping tablespoon.
    • Water – Add enough water so the shakes blends smooth.
    • Protein – My favorite powder for this shake usually have brown rice, pea or quinoa as their protein source.  I have tried several protein powders from the companies  listed below – read the label so you are aware of the ingredients, number of calories, carbs and protein. Add the recommended serving size.
      • Amazing Grass Protein Superfood – vanilla is my favorite
      • Plant Fusion – very similar to Seven Point 2 – vanilla or plain
      • Vega  – Multiple varieties, read the labels carefully!
      • Garden of Life – Multiple varieties, read the labels carefully!

The recipes above are my own concoctions and I am always open to different protein powders as long as they meet my criteria. There is NO perfect powder, however, these are some of my favorites I have found so far. My Nutri-Bullet and I have traveled between NYC and LA for a long time so I recommend purchasing one if possible as it will take care of the greens and ice without issue! I recently purchased the 32 oz cup for blending and I don’t know how I got along without it!

Be aware of the marketing messages on the front of the packaging as many are misleading. READ the ingredient label and know what you are eating – avoid soy, sugars, fillers like corn and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Rotate your proteins as your body needs a variety of sources to stay healthy. Stevia or coconut sugar is the only sweetener I tend to eat in my protein powders so read carefully!

There are an infinite number of ways to make a healthy and satisfying protein shake – understand how you want to incorporate a shake into your diet and get creative!!

6 Comments on “Favorite Protein Shake Recipes!”

  1. Pingback: Protein, protein, protein! | Empower Change Consulting

    1. Hey Tarina! I see so many products that offer soy at the protein and are specifically targeted to women. Personally, I am actually not a big fan of soy as most soy sources are GMO (genetically modified) so I actually don’t recommend consuming soy for women as it can do a number on your hormones, especially if you consume daily. (I have low thyroid and had a big scare with cancer so I absolutely avoid the stuff) Don’t worry about a nice bowl of edamame every once in a while, or tofu in your stir-fry, however, I would avoid when possible. Below are a few links that offer additional thoughts on soy.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/laura-thomas-phd/is-soy-bad-for-you_b_8297396.html
      http://www.doctoroz.com/article/soy-good-bad-and-best
      https://draxe.com/is-soy-bad-for-you/

      GREAT question, thanks for asking!

    1. Thanks for asking Tarina! There are soooo many protein powders on the market today that it can be overwhelming! When looking for a good protein powder, I look for a few things.

      # 1 – NO SUGAR! I look for terms like sucralose, dextrose, agave, or even cane sugar and avoid at all costs. Stevia should be your go to sweetener in protein powders. It is rare that you will find a tasty powder with zero sweetener.

      # 2 – Protein source – read the label and see what your protein sources are – they will likely be brown rice, hemp, quinoa, yellow pea (non-gmo), flax seed or even sacha inchi. Lately, bone broth and collagen protein powders have been very popular and may be worth a try to see what works best for your body.

      # 3 – “Nutrients” – this is all the other “stuff” in your protein powder. This can range from fiber and probiotics to greens and fruit so learn to read the label as each powder is different. The most important thing is to understand WHY you are drinking your shake – is it a meal replacement or just a quick shot of protein. If you are looking for more of a meal replacement, look for more in your shake like a greens blend. If you are looking for just a quick shot of protein for your muscles post workout, you may want to stick with something a bit more simple like a pure egg white protein or whey.

      I can’t encourage you enough to READ THE LABEL to understand what you are consuming – Protein powders are touted as healthy but there is a lot of “crap” in so many of them and actually are very unhealthy for you! Stay away from sugar and understand what type of protein you are consuming and why.

      Rotate your protein sources – if you consume the same foods every day, your body will ultimately build up a resistance and cause underlying inflammation in your system which you may not recognize as a food issue but could manifest itself in skin issues, fatigue or even a seasonal allergy.

      My favorite protein powders are listed below and can generally be found online:
      Egg White Pure by NOW Sports
      Bone Broth by Ancient Nutrition
      Vegan Protein by Garden of Life
      Vegan Protein by Vega
      Vegan Protein by Amazing Grass
      Vegan Protein by Seven Point 2 (reach out if you want samples of this one as I do stock it for my clients)

      Hope this helps – keep those questions coming!

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