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Posts Tagged ‘protein powder’

I was staying in Raleigh, North Carolina and the hotel has a deal where you can use the Alexander Family YMCA for free. Awesome! On my second day there, I decided to grab a protein smoothie.

Considering that it’s a YMCA (which makes me, at least, think “healthy’), the coffee shop was full of cakes, muffins, etc. There were some “healthy” choices too, but, ironically, no health information available on any of their food so you could make educated choices.

I ordered a small peanut butter protein shake, which, admittedly, was DELICIOUS, but let’s take a look at what’s in it and the overall nutrition information in it.

  • Plain protein powder, two scoops. 280 calories, 1 g fat (estimated), 50 g protein (estimated)
  • 3 tablespoons of Jif peanut butter (I only let him put two in mine): 285 calories, 24 g fat, 9.5 g protein
  • 1 cup milk (it looked like 2%, so I’m using that). 112 calories, 5 g fat, 8 g protein
  • 1/2 very large banana. 60 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein
  • Ice

Total for small YMCA peanut butter protein shake: 737 calories, 30 grams fat, 68 g protein

Since I only let him put 2 scoops of peanut butter in and only drank half of it: 326 calories, 11 g fat, 31.5 grams protein

I definitely believe that you are responsible for your own choices, but dang, places like the YMCA seem to really be working against us with their food offerings. I’m really disappointed in them considering how much they promote “healthy choices.”

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If you haven’t seen the video above yet, watch it. It’s hilarious!

And has a good message. I often wonder about the chemicals I’m ingesting with protein powder (says the person that just stocked-up on Gold Standard at Bodybuilding.com…$75 worth, ouch).

For now, while I’m adjusting to my new diet, I’m going to focus on that and incorporating more natural vegetables in my diet. After that, I think focusing on natural protein powders will be next.

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Optimum Nutrition: Gold Standard 100% Casein. Cookies and Cream flavor, a glass of it mixed with milk, and a 1/2 cup measuring cup

Optimum Nutrition:
Gold Standard 100% Casein. Cookies and Cream flavor with 1/2 cup skim milk

As a hypoglycemic, I’ve found I’m much more likely to get through the night with no issues if I have some protein right before bed. So, I ordered the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein Cookies and Cream protein powder.

It’s delicious! I mix 1/2 scoop with 1/2 cup skim or 1% milk and have that right before bed. It helps me get through the night very easily. And the best part? It takes like melted mint chocolate chip ice cream, which was a childhood favorite of mine.

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A decorative plate of cooked meat and vegetables

“Atun Rojo sobre Pisto” by Javier Lastras is licensed under CC BY 4.0

 

I visited a new family doctor recently and he advocated for a much higher protein diet and less carbs, almost to the point of being the Atkins Diet. He said this would help me go longer between meals and reduce my carbohydrate intake, which may help with my acid reflux.

My questions, his responses (shortened, not word-for-word):

  • I thought eating high amounts of protein was bad for your liver? You’d have to eat A LOT of protein and you’d stop eating well before that because you’d be too full to continue.
  • What about drinking protein shakes and powders? Then, yes, you could overload on protein. I prefer you eat natural protein most of the time from animals and vegetable protein.
  • How come my dietician said something else? Because most dietitians disagree with this, but I’m telling you, it works (My note: I’m still a huge fan of dietitians).
  • Eating so many carbs might be causing my acid reflux? But I only eat good stuff, like whole grains and fruit? And I haven’t seen any research on that?  There isn’t any research on this (My note: Keep in mind, we tend to only do health research in this country when a pharmaceutical company is paying for it, which they obviously wouldn’t in this case because it could hurt their business), but I’m telling you that I’ve had several patients be able to reduce or go off acid reflux medication after going on a lower-carb diet. You don’t fit the typical patient that would have acid reflux, so I think the carbs might be the issue (My note: Stress too).
  • (In a later phone conversation) I’m really frustrated. I need more guidance and you said a dietician probably wouldn’t be of help. Ok, try reading the Zone Diet books. That will help. (My note: I haven’t done so yet).
  • What about weight gain? You won’t gain weight if you eat enough protein and continue to eat healthy with a bit more fat. Americans are the only ones who believe in the low fat diet and it’s not helping us stay thin.

So I went home promising to give it a try. And, to be honest, I was frustrated as hell. I literally opened my fridge and pantry looking for something to eat and said “Shit” because I couldn’t figure out what to eat.

After the initial annoyance was over, I gave it a try. The first time wasn’t fun, but after a few other trials, IT WORKS! If I eat 25 g at my meals and keep my carbs below 30 g, I can go until the next major meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) without any symptoms of hypoglycemia! Sometimes I’m still hungry, but it’s not low blood sugar, so I snack on no-carb foods such as raw veggies (which is how I still get my fiber up).

Yep, it’s hard to pass-up french fries with my burger or pass by a bagel, but I feel so much better, that I’m able to do it.

Additional benefit: It’s been really easy to maintain my weight with this new plan too. Actually, I’m underweight by 2 lbs now, so I need to eat more!

 

Now I have to rewrite my Outline of a Hypoglycemic Diet post again. Sigh…I’ll get around to it soon.

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A photo of a counter and a fridge in a hotel room stocked with healthy food

This was my “stash” of food for four days in Nashville. Note: i got lucky and got a bigger fridge than most people do.

I’ve written before on travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters. But, to give you a solid photo example from a food perspective, this is my stash after unpacking and a grocery store run in Nashville, TN. Admittedly, this ended up being too much food (my friend who lived locally got the leftovers I couldn’t pack), but it gives you an idea of how I stock-up when traveling to avoid making poor food choices.

I was staying at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, which is known for expensive and not-so-good food. With a per diem budget of $66 per day (translation: not enough) and crappy food all around me, I tried to eat as many meals in my hotel as possible.

Here’s the full list of what I brought with me:

– Dried cranberries

– Emerald 100 packs of nuts

– PB2

– Local Texas Honey

– Lean Body protein powder

– Optimum Gold Standard Casein Powder

– Trader Joe’s Rosemary Raisin Crackers

– Paper plates

– Silverware

– Small plastic cups for the protein powder

 

What I bought at the store (about $45 total):

– Bananas

– Apples

– Clementines

– Salad mix

– Carrots

– Green Beans

– Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt

– Quaker Oats individual oatmeal cups

– Goat cheese

– 9 Grain bread

– Raisins (whoops, forgot to pack those)

– Caramel rice cakes (which were YUMMMY in the Greek Yogurt)

 

From this, I was able to:

– Have a ton of hypoglycemic-friendly snacks

– Mixed greens salads with goat cheese (protein) and cranberries (carbs) with 2 slices of 9-grain bread (for carbs/calories)

– PB2 & honey sandwiches with carrots and green beans

– Avoid most other food costs

 

And yes…I still splurged on a KILLER BBQ meal at Jacks Barbecue.

 

 

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A cup of hot chocolate

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons: avlxyz

I was working an all-day training session and thus had to pack all my food for the day with me., including my protein powder. The conference center we were at was scare on regular water, but they had hot water. It dawned on me, could I make a hypoglycemic-friendly version of hot chocolate by mixing my Optimum Gold Standard 100% Casein Chocolate Supreme protein powder with hot water?

Turns out, yep! It was a little hard to mix-up the protein powder with the hot water (I swear the colder the water is, the better it mixes), but once I got it mixed, it actually tasted pretty good!

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A jar of PB2

PB2 tastes amazing! And is much healthier than regular peanut butter.

 

A couple weeks ago, I was traveling with friends and one of them, a fitness competitor, let me try the new PB2 product. Basically it’s powdered peanut butter with the majority of fat (and hence calories) extracted from it.  I was skeptical at first, but I have to say, it’s amazing!

I immediately went out and bought a bottle of it (available at most grocery stores). I love peanut butter, but have moved away from using it because of the fat and calories as compared to other protein sources. PB2 solves that. At only 45 calories and 1.5 g of fat per 2 tablespoons, it’s once again a viable option.

As I mentioned last week (Protein Powder Throwdown: Juice Plus vs. Optimum Gold Standard), I also figured out that, if I mix it with my Optimum Gold Standard 100% Casein chocolate powder, it tastes very close to a chocolate peanut butter cup.

Ladies and Gentleman, peanut butter is BACK ON THE MENU!

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