Protein Powder Lovin’

I’ve had some pretty hardcore protein powder lovin’ going on lately.  I go through phases with protein powders.  Sometimes I use them very regularly, and other times hardly at all.  Well, recently I’ve bene on a protein powder kick.  Itz possibly due to my frequent weight lifting sessions?  That’s the only thing I can think of since I wasn’t using protein powder very much during my run streak.

gym

Or it could be mere coincidence.  Either way, protein is good for you.  Protein helps repair your muscles after a workout, builds lean muscle (what you want!), and keeps you full and satisfied.  There are a million ways to use protein powder: pudding, dips, smoothies, and more!  I.love.protein.  You.should.too.

Those awkward moments in the gym when you try to discreetly take pictures of yourself in the mirror at 5:30 in the morning…

gym me

So the protein powders that I have been lovin’ on lately:

protein powders

I literally bought all three within a week of each other.  I told you: I go on kicks with this stuff!  I got the PlantFusion Chocolate Raspberry from Amazon after learning about it from Janetha; it just sounded so good I had to get some for myself!  The verdict? Honestly, I like it better mixed in a smoothie rather than plain with milk or water.  Itz not bad by any means, but the flavor isn’t exactly what I was expecting.  I’d be curious to try some of their other flavors.

I reviewed Sunwarrior back in April and loved it.  Finally, finally I got around to buying some more and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Muscle Milk in Cake Batter flavor – oh baby, you know how I feel about this one!  Itz best when turned into protein fudge:

protein fudge choc chip

Itz a birthday cake in your mouth.  With or without the sprinkles and chocolate chips, itz AMAZING!  I ordered the Sunwarrior and Muscle Milk from iHerb.com.  If itz your first order from iHerb you can use VAJ523 as a coupon code to receive $5 off an order of $20 or $10 off an order of $40 plus free shipping.

How about a ridiculously sweaty photo of me after a bikram yoga session?  Which, by the way, I went to twice last weekend, thankyouverymuch!

sweaty yoga

All in all, I think itz safe to say I’m stocked up on protein powder for awhile.  Although, Annette just wrote a great post: 411 on Casein Protein Powder, so I may have to invest in some casein now…

What’s your favorite protein powder?

Let’s Call It “Juice”

On Sunday I was contacted by Steve, owner of Nadoz Cafe, to come in and try their new juice bar.  I jumped at the opportunity because I did not even know a real juice bar existed in St. Louis.  (Smoothies that have fruit and tons of added sugar don’t count!)

After learning about the Euro Bakery + Cafe, Steve offered me a juice. He asked what I would like, and all of their combinations sounded so good!  Lately I’ve seen tons of juices with beets and ginger in them, so I was curious to try something along those lines. Steve suggested the Tropical Beet Juice with beets, apple, pineapple, and ginger.

Nadoz juice

It was totally awesome!  The pineapple provided the perfect amount of sweetness and the hint of ginger was not overpowering at all.  Definitely a fan.  I can’t wait to go back for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; they even have a wine bar that’s open in the evening.  Their menu is quite extensive and everything is made in-house.  Their juices contain no added sugar or pre-made juices.  They have a fancy juicer where they literally throw fresh fruit and vegetables in, and it turns it into smooth, nutrient-packed juice.  If only I had one in my own kitchen!

I did try to make my own juice at home by merely throwing a bunch of fruits and vegetables into my blender.  Here’s what my mix contained: ice, banana, carrots, celery, orange, flaxseed, spinach, kale, raw cacao powder, cinnamon, and water.

smoothie juice

Let’s just call it “juice,” yeah?  It really just turned into a smoothie, and I didn’t mind the taste, but it was certainly not as fine (nor as pretty!) as the juice from Nadoz.  Good try, Linz.  I did still get all the benefits of the vitamins and minerals from the fruits and veggies though.  And if you’re wondering: there is not a strong vegetable taste at all.  The banana and cinnamon really negate the strong “greens” taste.

Since this green juice didn’t provide any protein, I knew I needed to have something a bit more substantial to tide me over til lunch.  Plus, I workout in the morning, so having protein is especially important to refuel and repair muscles.  I made protein pudding.

protein pudding

In the puddin’: Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, coconut flour, vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, and NuNaturals vanilla stevia.  I slowly add the milk until the desired consistency is reached.

Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting today’s WIAW.

Lunch included baked chicken, steamed broccoli, and an apple.

lunch

Simple, but healthy and filling.  For snack I had a Dale’s Raw Protein Bar in raspberry hazelnut that I received in my last Conscious Box.  While the bar doesn’t look appealing, it actually tasted really good!  Plus, it packed 22 grams of protein!

dale's raw protein bar

(No nasty comments of what the bar looks like, please.)  Dinner was such a hodge podge.  We had leftover chicken and I roasted a cauliflower and sprinkled paprika and red pepper on it.  Then I found an eggplant in my fridge, so I roasted that, too.  After seeing the two white vegetables, I decided I needed some greens.  In the oven went rainbow chard sprayed with olive oil and nutritional yeast on top.

dinner

Very random, but it worked and was Jonny-approved, as well.  The other day I picked up Organic Stone Ground Extra Dark Chocolate from Trader Joe’s.  Itz a “traditional Mexican-style chocolate,” and ohmygoodness itz absolutely delicious!

chocolate

Itz such a rich and satisfying treat.  Mmm mmm mmm!

Do you make your own juice?  What’s your favorite combination?

Honey Vanilla Protein Dip

Are you ever short on time in the morning and looking for a quick breakfast that you can grab and go?  belVita Breakfast Biscuits are specially baked to give you stead energy throughout the morning.  Each individual package of four crunchy biscuits is portioned for breakfast and provides 18 – 20 grams of whole grains, 3 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

belVita pic

belVita Breakfast Biscuits were created in France more than a decade ago and are the first of their kind in the U.S.  They are available in five flavors to satisfy any palate; U.S. varieties include: Blueberry, Golden Oat, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, Chocolate, and Apple Cinnamon.  They can be enjoyed as part of a balanced breakfast with a serving of low-fat dairy and fruit.  Fast, easy, & healthy!

belvita breakfast

Or they can be eaten with this absolutely fabulous Honey Vanilla Protein Dip I created.

Honey Vanilla Protein Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Serve with belVita Breakfast Biscuits.

Honey Vanilla Protein Dip

This dips packs a whopping 33 grams of protein!  Paired with the belVita Breakfast Biscuits and you’ve got a darn good breakfast that will keep you full and energized throughout your morning.  The dip is perfect for dipping (well, duh!), or maybe you prefer using it as a shmear?

belVita protein spread

Either way, itz marvelous!  I first enjoyed it with the Golden Oat biscuits, but the Apple Cinnamon paired nicely, too.  Tina made a brilliant recipe of Lightened Up Protein Chocolate Cookie Crumble Ice Cream made with the Chocolate biscuits which looks awesome.  Jonny made a sandwich with the dip and wanted to stick it in the freezer to make an ice cream sandwich, but it didn’t last long enough for that…

belvita sandwich

You can find the biscuits for about $3.69 per box at your local grocery store, but I’ve been seeing them everywhere – even gas stations!  They’re definitely fast breakfasts, convenient snacks, and a healthy way to curb a sweet tooth.

Pick a belVita Breakfast Biscuits flavor: Blueberry, Golden Oat, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, Chocolate, and Apple Cinnamon.

*FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign.  All opinions are my own.