Tag Archives: protein shake

Fuel Your Mornings with Optimum Nutrition

We know, we know. Years ago, we told you to stick to a high-quality product from a reputable company and use it as an anchor in your diet so that you can make sure you get enough protein without taking in too many calories. Well, years have passed and you’ve made progress, but at this point, you sure could use some relief from that same morning protein smoothie that you have. Luckily, Optimum Nutrition has perfect timing and a new product that is exactly what you might be looking for.

Well… actually, they have two new products. Whey & Oats has a larger serving size with more calories and protein than the Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie, but neither of these products are high in the sugar/carb or fat departments. They walk that fine line of trying to fill you up in the morning so you’re not reaching for snacks all day without leaving you so stuffed and weighed down that you just want to go back to bed.

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Green Protein Smoothie

This may surprise you, but I’ve never really done “juicing” or used spinach in my smoothies. Sure I’ve had carrot/apple juices, but it’s just not something I’m into (nor am I against it–just don’t have a juicer). However, when I saw this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, I had to try it immediately! Yes, it has spinach in it, but don’t let that deter you! It also has peanut butter, banana, and greek yogurt in it! Those are the ingredients that pulled me in. I actually wanted to make this a few days ago, but we had everything except bananas (I had just made these muffins). I was heartbroken. So the next day, we went and got bananas so I could make this first thing. I changed this recipe a little: went from smooth to chunky peanut butter, used almond milk instead of regular, and, of course, threw some protein powder in there

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Macros (per serving)

  • Calories: 261
  • Fat: 5.7g
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Protein: 28.6g

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Silk Vanilla Unsweeted Almondmilk
  • 1 tsp chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 scoop unflavored protein powder (but a vanilla flavor would do well too)
  • 5 ice cubes

Directions

  • Throw the ice, milk, yogurt, banana, spinach, peanut butter, and honey into the blender. Press “ice crush” a few times to get that ice down to bits. Then blend. 
  • Once it starts to become mixed, throw the protein powder in.
  • Serve!
Yum

Yum

Pretty easy directions and it serves well anytime of the day. I was a little cautious about trying it, with spinach being the main ingredient of the smoothie. However, I threw a straw in and went for it. I was so pleased and surprised–it was delicious! You could taste all the subtle flavors. The spinach didn’t overpower it at all but rather shared the palate well with the peanut butter and banana. I wish I had two servings because it was so tasty, but I was actually quite full and satisfied just after one. And I absolutely love the natural color the spinach brings out–a light fresh green. Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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Chocolate Strawberry Lean Protein Shake

By complete accident, this is the most delicious, simple, and healthy protein shake I have ever made. It’s been about 90+ degrees all week here, and today I chose to wear long-legged under-armor (I’m a trainer so I wear workout gear to work), and unfortunately, the AC in the trainer office was broken. On the ride home, my heat kept rising and I knew I needed something cold, refreshing, and nutritious. After all, I am still prepping for contestThis is also the first time I’ve had protein powder since my protein shake hell week, so I was a little nervous because my at the end of that week, my body started feeling disgusted towards that stuff. But don’t worry, it was allllll good. Please follow this SIMPLE on-a-whim recipe for a healthy delicious protein shake. Here are the macros:

  • Calories: 193
  • Fat: 5.7g
  • Carbs: 11.5g
  • Protein: 26.5g
DELICIOUS.

DELICIOUS.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almondmilk
  • 6 frozen medium strawberries [if you don’t have frozen strawberries, you can use regular and throw some ice cubes in]
  • 1 scoop MTS Machine Whey Chocolate Protein

[Yup. That’s it.]

Directions

  • Measure out a cup of unsweetened almond milk 
  • Place 6 frozen strawberries in the blender

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  • Put one scoop of protein powder in and blend! I let it blend for a while longer than usual, probably about 20-30 seconds.
DELICIOUS.

DELICIOUS.

THAT’S IT. Ridiculously simple. I was actually in awe when I first tasted it. I really didn’t expect it to be that delicious. What’s better than chocolate and strawberries? Exactly. Look at those macros and tell me this isn’t perfect. You will feel so full and so satisified after (I felt like this was a cheat meal because it was so delicious, but it was the opposite). DEFINITELY use this to stay hungry and fit! 

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Cuddle demons

Cuddle demons

How to Do Clean-Eating Right

As I continue to prep for my contest, I am doing 99% clean clean eating. Since doing my protein shake hell beforehand, this seems like heaven. I’m sure if I went straight from eating normal to this, it would be a little miserable. However, it looks like my hell week paid off in multiple ways. I’m doing clean-eating not the way a yogi would, but how a bodybuilder would. This turns a lot of people off who don’t understand that word—as if I’m food-loading like a steroid-using pumped out scary woman. I’m not, I promise! Read on to learn how to eat cleanly and enjoy it. I’m seeing differences in my health, body, and strength already after almost 2 weeks.

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

I can’t claim to be a know-all, be-all about this subject. Sure, I know how to live a healthy life, but this specific diet is more so Chris’ arena, since he’s done much more research into bodybuilding, contests, and the sort. So he set this up for me. Depending on the week (this is a 6-week contest), I’m either eating between 1300-1400 calories or 1400-1600 calories (like this week! Good thing too as we were in Iowa for family reunion…), keeping my protein and fiber count high, my fat, sugar, and carb count medium-low, and exercising away 800-1000 calories a day. Yes, I’m working really hard, lots of workouts. The eating part hasn’t really been hard for me yet, because like I said earlier, I came to this after just consuming protein shakes.

Now you know my “macros” (macronutrients). Everyone will have different macros depending on their goal and body composition. Comment below with questions and we can help you out. It’s not too hard to do this:

  1. Eat lean protein. I’m a strange “vegetarian,” but I’ll eat any meat or fish that’s wild-caught or hunted. Lucky me, I can eat canned tunafish! For you meat-eaters, this part and protein-macro-intake would be a lot easier. I rely on my tuna, usually mixing with a complex carb and lots of hot sauce (mmm!). Other lean proteins include other types of wild-caught fish, egg whites, tofu, and black beans. These don’t contain too many calories or fat, but are high on the healthy protein scale so they’re perfect. Another huge one is protein powder where you can get a lot of protein without too much carbs, fats, or calories. photo 1 (7)
  2. Stick to complex carbohydrates. What would I eat with my canned tunafish? A slice of whole-wheat bread (we usually stick to Rudi’s organic) or brown rice. My carb intake usually doesn’t stray too far from that—yes, of course I get carbohydrates from other things like fruits and vegetables, but I’m talking about the certain “category.” And don’t forget my main carbohydrate for breakfast—oatmeal. No, not the instant crap, the “quick oats” or steel-cut. Another great carbohydrate that actually isn’t too high in carbs is sweet potato and boy is it delicious! photo 1 (6)
  3. Fruits are not a free-for-all. We’re watching our sugars and carbs, remember? Usually, fruit is a free-for-all for me, and that’s when I see my sugar count skyrocket. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather you grab a handful of grapes than skittles. But for this contest, we don’t want grapes for fruit. The fruit you want to go for: bananas, apples, pineapple, blueberries and grapefruit. They have awesome benefits and don’t take you too far on the sugar or calorie scale. photo (15)
  4. Eat your vegetables! Again, you don’t want every single kind, some are more vitamin-intensive and calorically-dense than others. I will usually have some kind of vegetable with every meal, combining it with my brown rice and fish, or with my open-face tunafish sandwich. Stick to these veggies: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, and carrots. Go for dark greens and use sweet potatoes as carb substitute. photo 3
  5. Stay away from dressings, heavy oils, and the like. This is why bodybuilder’s meals seem so bland and boring. Most of them stray away from any seasoning whatsoever. However, that’s not necessary—as long as you do the right seasoning. With breakfast, I pour cinnamon on my oatmeal. Hot sauce? Try every meal. Run free with garlic. Be smart, you know what’s right and wrong. Don’t drench your salad with ranch, go for straight-up balsamic vinegar. This doesn’t have to be bland, use your seasoning (hot sauce is my absolute go-to).  
  6. Know your fibers: soluble fiber versus insoluble fibers. Right now, we definitely want fiber in our diet. And we want both kinds, depending on the situation. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel, making us have that full feeling and slows our digestion. Soluble fibers include oatmeal, beans, nuts, and oranges. Insoluble fibers are good for our gut too because they improve our digestion and have a laxative-like effect. These don’t dissolve in water so they pass through quickly and speed up the process of food and waste.  Insoluble fibers include whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, and root vegetable skinsphoto 3 (4)

Pretty easy rules to follow and understand. Let me give you an example of some meals that I cycle frequently:

  • For breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 3 hard-boiled egg whites with Frank’s hot sauce 
  • photo 4 (5)For snack: 10 almonds OR banana OR apple OR grapefruit

grapefruit

  • For lunch: 1 can tuna, peas, beans and Tapatillo hot sauce 

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  • For snack: avocado, pepper, bean, and onion salad 
  • photo 3 (9)For dinner: pan-grilled cod, sweet potato, and salad 

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  • For snack: protein shake OR carrots and hummus OR cabbage tuna wraps with 1 cup almond milk

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That’s one day. You can add or take from the above, with the knowledge you now have. Here are some other meals that are smart for macros:

Salad

Salad

Raw veggies

Raw veggies

Alright, that’s enough picture overload. I was just saying to Chris, I may be on a strict macro diet, but eating all of this food is enjoyable. I get fish and “chips,” I get tons of yummy vegetables, I get tons of hot sauce. It really isn’t that hard. You can do it too and your body will thank you. You feel so good, light, and healthy. You aren’t starving yourself, you’re giving your body what it needs. And hey, if it fits the macros, go ahead and have an ice cream like I did during my family reunion. Clean eating is one of the best ways to stay hungry and fit!

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Sajah hot in the apartment

Sajah hot in the apartment

Fit is Entering a Contest

Some of you may have heard of BodyBuilding.com. No, I am not trying to become a body builder (though, that is what all of us do when we exercise or even eat–building our bodies in different ways), but I am trying to win a contest, and more importantly, show myself up. This is to prove myself that I can always be better than what I am and that I can use willpower to achieve whatever I want. I am entering the Strong to the Cor Challenge sponsored by Cellucor (a popular supplement company).

Buff chicas

It is a contest for already fit people (though I’ve seen some men with 27% body fat…not exactly “fit” for men) to get extremely fit. This means cutting down fat and building up muscle. If you know me already, I’m fit, but there’s always room for improvement. I want to get stronger, faster, and more capable. I have Hungry as my coach and I could ask for no better as he knows me best and also happens to live with me.

Me during a pull workout a few months ago

There’s a $10,000 1st place grand prize (in additional to like 2k worth of supplements and products) with some 2nd and 3rd place prizes too. And it’s 10k to both a female and a male. But that’s not why I’m doing it. I don’t think I’ll actually win the grand prize in the face of all the other females who are doing it–especially those starting with 27% body fat and able to get such a larger transformation. I’m doing this, like I said, to prove to myself that I can push myself farther than I ever have before and really see what my body can do.

Recent arms workout

Recent arms workout

It’s a 6-week transformation, ending in early August. Tomorrow, I truly start. For the past 10 days, I did a cleanse to prime the body and now it’s ready to kick butt. So today was my in-between day, eating whatever I wanted to savor it all up. Pancakes for breakfast, big cheesy burrito for lunch, and pizza and ice cream for dinner. I had been off dairy for 10 days so today was a goooood day. Tomorrow, I start a week of 4 water protein shakes a day, doing what the cast from Spartacus did to get lean and ripped. It’s probably going to be one the hardest tests of my willpower yet. But, I’m excited for it. It will be a week of hell, but I believe I can do it if I set my mind to it.

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So support me! I know that sometimes the killer workouts and nutritional plan are gonna make me want to quit, but I want to see how far I can go. Here is my BodySpace, I’ll try to be updating as much as possible. After watching Man of Steel, I’d love to be paid to workout every day and prime my body to become a superhero, but we can’t have it all, right? So with you guys supporting me and Chris there for me every step, I believe I can get far. Let’s do this! Time to be hungry and fit! 

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Nymeria found herself in a doll house in the house we're sitting at

Nymeria found herself in a doll house in the house we’re sitting at

The Best Protein Shake

I noticed we had five drafts waiting for us to finish. Two are interviews between myself and Fit (those are going to be amazing) and then there are two others I already forget and actually put in the trash bin. We either did them or aren’t going to do them. You’ll find out what those are soon enough. This is the final one and I cannot believe I have not published this yet.

I have many recipes for post-workout protein shakes. I cycle supplements even though I have my favorites. I try new supplements when they are released so I can recommend them and, depending on my fitness goal at the time, I have different blends of mass gainers and protein. I also often purchase depending on price and deals. The base ingredients of my shakes are consistent and simple. I often combine my post-workout shake with a meal… typically dinner. Therefore, I don’t make them massive because I would not risk ruining my appetite. With that being said, here is my base shake with potential deviations.

The master product

1. MILK– I am almost always bulking or maintaining and I love dairy products. Milk is one of my favorite foods period. In a bulk, I might have whole milk. In a cut, I might have 1%. It’s not set in stone but I always use two cups of milk, which on average is about 16 grams of protein and 300 calories. I NEVER calculate fats or carbohydrates. Sorry. This is the shake’s foundation.

2. ICE CREAM– That’s right, more dairy. More fat. More calories and slightly more protein. My go-to ice cream I use 95% of the time is Breyer’s Natural Vanilla. It’s expensive so I wait for it to go on sale and buy, buy, buy. It’s been rated by Men’s Health as the healthiest ice cream for men year after year. I also have eaten Breyer’s since I was a kid. A serving is half a cup so I typically use a full cup in my shake. It’s somewhere around 300 calories and 6 grams of protein. Somewhere around there. This makes the shake rich and smooth.

3. Protein- This is the ingredient that will differ the most depending on everything I mentioned above. Right now, I am using Cytosport’s Whey Protein, which is a blend of whey concentrate, whey isolate, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s low in calories and very high in protein. I use two-three scoops depending on what other food I eat throughout the day. My go-to is two scoops, however, which comes out to 54 grams of protein and under 300 calories, I think. I use regular chocolate because I think a lot of the other flavors in the industry are disgusting, especially vanilla.

4. Banana- I love fruit and like to make sure my potassium intake is high enough for when I actually start swimming and playing sports again. Banana and chocolate is also the perfect mix. It may only be about 100 calories and 1 gram of protein but it’s delicious. Also, many primates eat bananas and they’re strong as heck so of course I’m going to eat some too.

5. Creatine- This one isn’t always present but when I am taking extra creatine (my pre-workouts often have it too, plus I do) I usually throw in two teaspoons in my shake during creatine loading cycles and one during creatine maintenance. I use Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine Monohydrate. It can be extremely grainy so mix well or be ready to deal with the texture. It is calorically void.

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That’s about it. I have been known to mix in other fresh fruits, especially strawberries or blueberries. I used to add peanut butter until I got sick of cleaning it off the blades afterwards. I used to add chocolate syrup but that’s long gone. And more. So there you have it. My typical protein shake measures out to a liter. It currently has about 75-80 grams of protein and between 1000-1200 calories.

If you have any questions about post workout meals, supplements, or anything related feel free to comment below! Stay hungry and fit!

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Hungry’s Monster Shake

So this is one of my “protein shake” recipes. I have a solid amount of go-to recipes for shakes and they change depending on what fitness goal I am trying to reach. I might add some more protein and calories if I am bulking. I might avoid checking carbs and fats if I am trying to gain weight. If I am cutting I will probably mix some isolated whey with water to minimize carb intake and calories. Right now, I am in a bulking phase, trying to put some quality muscle mass on and increase my strength. Thus, I have a relatively calorically rich, fatty, and protein abundant shake.

First, I place my two scoops of Cytosport Monster Milk in the bottom of the blender. You can use your protein supplement of choice. You can use a mass gainer if you’re really trying to bulk up. It’s up to you. Then I add two cups of milk; I’ve been using 1% lately because that’s what Fit likes to drink. Next comes one (or two) scoops of Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream. Finally I throw a banana in there. Blend it until it’s the consistency of your choice and chug, or sip.

It’s not my best tasting recipe by any means but it’s refreshing enough and gets the job done. The reason why I drink protein shakes is that I need to often hit a certain protein intake that reflects my goals. If I’ve only consumed 160 grams of protein in a day and my goal is 225 grams, this shake can reach that deficit. You don’t need to have these shakes to get leaner or bigger and stronger, but they are a convenient and fast nutritional source. It takes me a lot longer to make some ground turkey or beef.

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There is a lot of confusion as to when you need to consume protein after a workout. The truth is that you have a rather large window that it is still effective, and I mean a rather large window. Trust me, you’re not going to miss that window. I have my shakes typically after my workouts because I workout on a near empty stomach so I am starving by the end of my workouts and can consume a full dinner and a shake. Again, that’s all up to you.

The master product

The master product

If you have any questions relating to this post, please ask so you can stay hungry and fit!

Alana’s Almost-Tropical Smoothie

Since Chris got me some flavorless protein powder for V-Day, I was ready to hit up the smoothie-making business. One day after a workout, I decided I wanted to break the seal and use the new protein powder, instead of a new expensive gross (in my opinion) one that Chris got. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a ton of smoothie fruit in the house (I mean strawberries, bananas, blueberries, etc.), but we still had some of our staples. So I whipped this together, giving Nymeria and Sajah scraps of fruit along the way.

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Jarrow’s whey protein
  • 1/2 cup milk (I really didn’t measure this)
  • 1 banana
  • 4 clementines
  • ice

ingredients

Directions 

  • Put ice and milk in blender, ice crush!
  • Put in the scoop of protein powder
  • Break the banana and half and add in. Peel the clementines and add in, whole or cut
  • Blend until smooth!
blending blending blending

blending blending blending

And enjoy! Makes about two servings, I couldn’t finish all by myself so I saved it for later. I call it almost-tropical because we didn’t quite have the pineapple or guava or passionfruit to kick it into tropical gear. But this tastes great anyhow. Feel free to mix and match with whatever fruit or protein you have. Cheers!

yum

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"Feed us!"

“Feed us!”