Protein is something that everyone has an opinion on. Do we make more of a fuss about it than we need to? Depending on who you ask you’ll get a different opinion. We all have different bodies and different needs – but I believe if you eat a sensible whole foods diet then you should get enough protein. When it comes to smoothies – however we like to chuck everything under the sun in them and use them as an excuse to stock up on everything we think we’re lacking. I think there is a danger in just throwing all sorts of powders into your smoothie as we sometimes forget what we have in there and might not make a link between how we are feeling and the ‘healthy’ smoothie we are drinking. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I believe in trying to do things as naturally as possible using food which is as close to it’s natural state as possible. For me that definitely means that protein powder is out. There are several reasons why I don’t use protein powder:
- It is a refined food. The protein has been taken out of the food source which means it’s harder for the body to utilize
- Proteins should be balanced with the fat and the carbs that they came from. On it’s own it’s easy to throw the body out of balance
- When we become dependent on powders and pills to sort out our nutrition it’s easy to forget that we should be getting most of our nutrients from our diets
- If you take the fat out of the protein source – it won’t satisfy you and fill you up for as long
If you want to read more why you shouldn’t be eating protein powders – check out this, this, and this. If you are a vegan you do have to be more careful about getting your protein – but before you reach for the protein powder, did you know how good the simple pumpkin seed is for you? They are full of all kinds of nutritional goodies! This natural protein shake contains 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds and you can see a complete breakdown of nutrients of that here. Check out the amino acids and other amazing stuff! And after reading all that you’re still determined to use protein powder – I would urge you to stick to this or this brand only. So what are we to do if we don’t eat dairy (or eggs for that matter). How do we make sure we still get enough protein in our smoothie to make it a complete meal and fill us up? That’s why I created this natural protein shake for you. It has got a whopping 25 grams of protein per shake. This is more than your average scoop of protein powder! The great things about this natural high protein shake are:
- It’s full of real food that is GREAT for your health
- It doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals, preservatives or toxins
- It can be made organic if you use organic ingredients
- It is dairy free, egg free, vegan, gluten free, grain free, Paleo and free from lots of allergens with a nut free option
- It tastes gorgeous
- It is a full meal and will keep you going until lunch time
- It makes a great post workout meal
- You can substitute your favourite milk and favourite fruit
If you are concerned that you aren’t getting enough protein you could always get your amino acids tested to see if you are low on anything.
How to make a Natural Protein Shake without Protein Powder
Usually my recipes serve 2 but this one SERVES 1. For it to be a meal replacement you will probably need to drink most or all of this shake. It is high in calories but it’s about a third of your calories for an average woman which is the amount I’d recommend having for breakfast. If you scrimp on energy at breakfast time you’ll end up reaching for junk mid morning. This smoothie will keep you going until lunch time. I believe the best way to lose weight/fat it to make sure you’re completely satisfied from healthy foods to stop yourself reaching for unhealthy foods. Once you balance your sugar levels and eat a healthy diet you’ll start to notice the fat shifting. If you are struggling to know what to eat for every meal for weight loss and are in need of a detox you should have a look at my 7 Day Diet Plan for Weight Loss and Improved Health. Here is a break down of the nutrition in this natural protein shake: The 25 grams of protein in this smoothie is based on all the recommended ingredients including the spinach. If you make substitutions your protein will be adjusted accordingly. If you don’t want to use the spinach just take 2 grams of protein off the smoothie – so it would contain a total of 23 grams of protein. Popeye wasn’t strong for no reason!
This is a vegan smoothie, but if you don’t mind consuming animal products then I suggest you add some raw milk, raw eggs and grass fed gelatin to your smoothie for a massive protein boost instead of the pumpkin seeds.
p.s. I have used the terms ‘smoothie’ and ‘shake’ in this post to mean the same thing as I have included fruit (smoothie) but also milk (shake)!
How do you get your protein?
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