Ok ladies, time to cut all the misconceptions and disregard all the marketing schemes on the NEXT, NEWEST and LATEST brand of protein powders that the media so blindly leads us into purchasing.

This is a blog post I’ve been wanting to write for years…so here it is!!

It’s time to educate yourself on the truth of what you are ACTUALLY consuming and finally banish the confusion once and for all.

Protein powders are one of the most highly popular topics you will hear people talking about in the gym, weight loss centres, fitness and health stores and between people who are trying to increase their protein consumption for weight loss or weight gain purposes.

So many different kinds and strains of protein powders, so many different brands and flavours, so many different theories and opinions on which one to use, it can all seem very overwhelming!

As a Women’s Wellness Coach and Weight Loss Expert I am often asked a lot of different questions about protein powders.

Why should I supplement with protein powder?

What is the best kind of protein powder to use?

And what is the importance of protein?

Well first things first, protein is a very important and crucial nutrient which makes up the building blocks for growth and repair in the body. It has many metabolic purposes such as balancing blood sugar, reducing sugar cravings, maintaining hormone production and much more. There are 9 essential amino acids that we need to get from our diet because our body does not produce them naturally.

The BEST form of protein comes from natural, whole food sources such as organic, grass fed meats, poultry, eggs and wild, sustainable, non-farmed seafood. Legumes, nuts, brown rice, greek full fat yogurt, cheese, quinoa, dark leafy vegetables, hemp, chia and whole grains are all great vegetarian sources of protein.

High quality, organic, non-GMO protein powders are also a great way to add extra protein in your diet when you are looking to increase your daily intake for weight loss or muscle gaining purposes.

In todays blog post I will give you the Health Care Professional Approved Guide to picking out the best protein powder for your health and weight management.

Let’s get to it….

WHAT FORM OF PROTEIN POWDER IS BEST

So what exactly is protein powder and what is it made from?

The most common commercial brands of protein powder comes from whey, casein and soy products.  It is important to note that if you have any intolerances or allergies to milk be sure to avoid any whey or casein products.

Whey is the by-product after making cheese or casein. It is the liquid remaining after the milk has been heated, coagulated and strained from the manufacturing process. Casein is the proteins found mostly is cow’s milk and soy protein is isolated from the soybean then made into a powder. Whey protein typically comes in four major forms: concentrate, isolate, hydrolysate and Native Whey. Wikipedia explains it into further detail:

Concentrates have typically a low level of fat and cholesterol but, in general, compared to the other forms of whey protein, have higher levels of bioactive compounds, and carbohydrates in the form of lactose. They are 29%–89% protein by weight.

Isolates are processed to remove the fat, and lactose, but are usually lower in bioactivated compounds as well — they are 90%+ protein by weight. Like whey protein concentrates, whey protein isolates are mild to slightly milky in taste.

Hydrolysates are whey proteins that are predigested and partially hydrolyzed for the purpose of easier metabolizing, but their cost is generally higher, and may be less allergenic than other forms of whey

Native whey protein, the purest form of whey protein which has been extracted from skim milk and not a by product of cheese production, produced as a concentrate and isolate.

These forms are all highly processed and most likely contain many harmful chemicals and additives, not to mention all the steroids, chemicals, antibiotics that are feed to the cows that produce the whey products. Consumer Reports did a research analysis on 15 different brands of protein powder which revealed many hard truths:

“Our investigation, including tests at an outside laboratory of 15 protein drinks, a review of government documents, and interviews with health and fitness experts and consumers, found most protein drinks can even pose health risks, including exposure to potentially harmful heavy metals, if consumed frequently. All drinks in our tests had at least one sample containing one or more of the following contaminants: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Those metals can have toxic effects on several organs in the body”  You can read more about this article: www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/04/protein-drinks/index.htm.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND whey protein products to normal every day people who are just looking to increase their daily protein intake for weight loss, weight gain or maintaining better health.

PLEASE READ: Most forms of whey sold in commercial stores are highly processed, hard to digest, hard to absorb, and most often full of chemicals and artificial flavours, colours, and MSGs. Not to mention all those artificial sugars such a suclarose, aspartame and saccharin. YUCK! What most people do not understand is that all of these things are highly TOXIC to the body, and actually decrease your bodies ability to loose weight and tone up.

Your bodies fat cells hold onto these toxins making it difficult to break down in your digestive track, which then disrupts your metabolism and makes it harder for you to loose that extra weight.

TOXINS = SLOWED FAT LOSS!!!

AVOID any brands that contain artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, artificial colourings, as well as highly processed soy products because they contain phytoestrogens that may interfere with hormone balances in the body.

How to Select a High Quality Plant-Based Protein Powder

I personally prefer to use non-whey, non-GMO, non-dairy protein powders and highly recommend  high quality, organic, non-gmo plant based brands to all of my women clients.

These sources come from sprouted brown rice, pea, and hemp which are also great choices for those who are lactose intolerant, vegetarian or vegan.

Plant proteins are also hypo-allergenic, easy to digest, are made from natural whole food ingredients and sweetened with natural sugars such as stevia, honey. agave or raw sugar cane.

NUTRITIONALLY recommended Protein Powders for Women:

WEIGHT LOSS PURPOSES My all time favourite go-to protein powder that I fully trust and recommend to all my women clients for weight loss, muscle development or protein boosters is Sun Warrior.

Sun Warrior

Here’s why: 

“Sun Warrior Protein is over 85% pure protein, totally Raw, and has an extremely high digestion efficiency rating, allowing a wealth of nutritional benefits to saturate every cell in our bodies quickly and completely. The protein begins as raw, whole-grain brown rice, germinated to maximize the levels of bio-activity. Natural plant enzymes are introduced which digest almost all of the carbohydrates, leaving only easy-to-digest protein. Carefully monitored bio-fermentation of the organically-grown brown rice progresses steadily until the protein concentration reaches 85%. This leaves only pure amino acids in a form which the body can easily recognize and absorb.The result: an incredible 16 grams of protein in each 1 ½ Tablespoon serving of Sun Warrior Protein”

If thats not enough to convince you to use this organic, non-GMO, highly absorbable protein, then this might:

“Clinical studies carried out in Japan have suggested that rice protein may be used to effectively control weight loss. Sun Warrior Protein preserves the nutrient density of whole grain brown rice and enhances the availability of its amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. When the body has absorbed all the nutrients it can handle, the brain receives a clear signal to stop eating; we feel full because we are full. ”

If you live in the St. John’s, Mt.Pearl, or CBS area you can purchase Sun Warrior protein powder at The Healthy Vibe for $75.00 a bag. They now have three locations, 304 Water St. St. John’s, 344 Conception Bay Highway, CBS and Corner Brook. You can also order it through their website and have it delivered to you ==> http://www.healthyvibe.com.

*** CAUTION ***

I will be completely honest with you, and let you know that this type of protein powder does take some MAJOR getting use too with regards to the texture, the taste and the colour. It is SUPER earthy and grainy. In all my years of recommending this brand I have only meet three women who actually use it and love it (Rachel Hogan and Teresa Butler, previous LYL Coaches and Beth Moores, current LYL Client).

If you’d like to give it a try my suggestion is just be open to it, try it at least 10x before you say Yay or Nay!

Progressive Harmonized vegan protein powder, Genuine Health Vegan Proteins Plus, Vega ONE and Vega Nutritional Shakes are all great reputable plant protein sources that I also recommend and use myself when I needed an extra protein booster.

HOWEVER, I have ONLY used these brands in shakes and smoothies. They’re aren’t the best for baking. And as you know, if you already have my Clean Comfort Foods Cookbook, that I love to add protein powder to many of my breakfast and snack recipes, as these are typically low-valued protein meals for most women.

These brands are readily available in many grocery stores (organic section) and health food stores, or you can always purchase them online.

Because the Sun Warrior Brand and the other above mentioned brands have not been a huge hit for me personally or for the vast majority of our LYL community, I started my search 7-months ago to find a plant based, highly absorbable, non GMO, wheat-free, gluten-free, milk/dairy-free protein powder that does not contain starch, artificial colouring, artificial preservatives and that tastes good and works great for shakes and baking.

AND….I FINALLY FOUND IT!!! 🙂

The Ultra Protein Plus by Douglas Laboratories

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This brand is one of the best products I have seen and yes it’s tastes great!! It is a low allergic potential yellow bean protein combined with BeFlora Plus which is an indigestible starch known as (FOS) which is amazing at helping the intestinal terrain, by assisting in digestion and uptake of minerals.  ** fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are known as pre biotics, which are the food supply for probiotics.**

Unlike most protein powders which as shared above use Whey (derived from Dairy) as well as artificial sweeteners, colors, dye’s, fillers, binders, and other additives, this protein powder is free from all of this.  The result is a very clean, low allergic potential protein which is easier to digest, as well as gives a balanced blend of amino acids for optimal muscle building and fat loss.

I was introduced to this brand of protein powder by a local Naturopath, Doctor of Integrative Medicine, and Kinesiologist, Mark Kibyuk. I have worked with Mark for 6+ years  now both personally and professionally and this guy knows his stuff.

Mark uses this brand of protein powder with his patients who wish to increase their protein levels.  In particular those who are sensitive to dairy (which is almost 75% of the North American population), many experience symptoms of bloating, gas, nausea, cramps, pain, brain fog, feeling too full, or more commonly digestive upset such as diarrhea or constipation. Some also report sinus and congestion issues.

Because this protein powder does not contain dairy protein it is an excellent way to increase your protein intake without any of the nasty dairy side effects most people experience when they use a whey based, highly processed protein powder that also contains a ton of harmful chemicals and additives.

The manufactures of this product, Douglas Laboratories is one of the industry leaders in the lines of products available to health care professionals only. They are continuously voted in the top 5 best product lines by health care professionals and their Ultra Preventative X multi vitamin is known to be the BEST on the market. More on that in a future blog post.

Because this product line is ONLY available to health care professionals I have partnered with Mark Kibyuk so that I can provide you and our LYL Community with access to this Top Level Professional  Grade product.

Here a link to read more about the  product, Ultra Protein Plus and the Brand, Douglas Laboratories.

READ MORE HERE ==> Ultra Protein Plus

NOTE: Because Douglas Labs ONLY supplies to professionals you cannot order this product directly from their site. To order you have to contact Mark or myself directly. See below.

READ MORE HERE ==> Douglas Laboratories

To Place An Order:

Email : info@loveyourselflean.com

Or Call: Mark: (709) 743-7168 or myself at (709) 330-4665.

Orders are filled within 24hrs and can either be picked up at Mark’s clinic at 84 Water St. Or shipped directly too your door. Fast, simple and convenient!

By September we will have an on-line ordering system in place, for now you just have to contact us directly and well hook you up 🙂

Before I sign off I wanted to take a moment to address your concerns/questions around protein powder and pregnancy.

PREGNANT OR NURSING MAMAS:

Women who are pregnant or breast feeding need to consume at least 70 grams of protein a day to maintain proper building blocks and amino acids for the healthy growth and development of their baby and their own milk production supply. That is 25-30 grams more of what they are normally required to take before they were pregnant. Tera’s Whey Grass Fed brand is a great source of protein powder that is safe for pregnant and nursing women. It is organic, non GMO, and its dairy comes from cows and goats that have been grass fed. You can purchase this on www.amazon.com for a 12oz container for about $30-$45.00. It is still very important to consult your doctor or health care provider before consuming this product.

It is also important to note when you are choosing a protein powder while pregnant or breast feeding that you go with a protein source you can easily digest and absorb. Stay away from any protein powders that have any artificial or ‘natural’ flavouring, chemicals, colourings, additives or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. If you aren’t a big meat-eater, you might turn to protein shakes as a way to get the 70 grams of recommended daily protein intake. However, some protein shakes contain herbs that could be harmful during pregnancy, such as ginger, anise, licorice root, fenugreek, rosemary, and sage, just to name a few. Read the labels before consuming any protein shakes or powders. Some are designed for athletes or bodybuilders, which contain performance-enhancing herbs or drugs. As revealed in the earlier Consumer Report, protein drinks marketed for the sports crowd most likely contain arsenic, cadmium or lead,

My recommendation to all pregnant and nursing mamas is to make your own POWER PROTEIN SMOOTHIE. See recipe below!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of your favourite natural nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew, etc)
  • 1 cup of your favourite non-dairy unsweetened milk (almond, rice, hemp)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1-2 TBSP of organic coconut oil
  • 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of natural greek full fat yogurt
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • a dash of pure vanilla flavouring
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 handful of your favourite soaked nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc)
  • 2-3 soaked dates for desired sweetness (optional)
  • add more milk or water if needed

*add all ingredients into the blender and blend until nice and creamy. YUM! Enjoy 🙂

When you are pregnant or breast feeding substances and chemicals can make their way into your bloodstream which will then make their way into your womb during pregnancy or milk supply while breastfeeding. This will effect the composition of your babies development as a growing fetus and as a growing baby. Be sure to consult your doctor, midwife or health care practitioner before you consume any supplements, protein shakes or protein powders.

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I hope this blog has cleared-up your own questions about protein powders so you can now take advantage of all the benefits of using a high quality organic plant-based protein powder.

Any questions, comments or concerns on protein powders and supplements, you many still have after reading this post please post in the comments post below or send me a personal message at info@loveyourselflean.com and I will try and help you out the best way I can!