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Protein Powders Explained

As I promised in my last blog, (http://heelstolaces.com/protein-questions-answered) below is a description of the most common types of protein powders on the market. Protein powders have grown in popularity and are no longer just for elite body builders. They are a way to ensure you are getting enough daily protein, serve as a quick meal substitute or provide a post-workout recovery. I like to add mine to smoothies, make a shake after a workout or add a scoop to my oatmeal or pancake batter for a protein filled breakfast. It’s important to remember, protein powders are supplements and are best used to supplement a healthy diet of nutritious whole foods.

The Basics First:

‘Concentrated’ or ‘Isolated’. In order to make the powder, the non-protein parts are removed from the food source. ‘Concentrated’ powders are about  70-85% pure protein (with the remaining 15-30% consisting mostly of carbohydrates and fat). Powders that are ‘isolated’ take the process one step further, and remove even more of the non-protein content resulting in a protein powder that is up to 95% pure.

Complete vs. Incomplete Protein: Amino acids that cannot be produced by the body are known as essential amino acids. Complete proteins contain all 10 essential amino acids, whereas incomplete proteins contain some, but not all, of the essential amino acids.

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WHEY PROTEIN

Whey is the most popular protein supplement on the market. It is the by-product in the process of turning milk into cheese and is a complete protein that is quickly absorbed into the body.  Whey has been shown to promote lean muscle growth and fat loss. It can also help repair and rebuild muscle especially when consumed within 60 minutes of a workout. Look for whey protein isolate—not concentrate—as it contains the highest protein concentration and very little fat.

Cautions: Because it is a by-product of milk (aka lactose), people with allergies to lactose may find it hard to digest. Additionally, be wary of the artificial sweeteners and chemicals added to many of the different flavors available. Be sure to read the label.

CASEIN PROTEIN

This protein is also derived from milk, but uses a separation process that isolates the milk protein from the carbs and fat. Because casein digests over a long period of time, it is a good choice for a meal replacement, as it helps you feel fuller longer. It is can also be taken right before bed to prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle growth while you sleep.

Cautions: As a by-product of milk, casein can also be difficult to digest for those with lactose allergies. Look for “calcium caseinate” on the label to be sure that you are getting the purest form of this protein. And, again check for artificial ingredients, which are often used to improve the taste of casein as it doesn’t mix as easily with liquids. Lastly, expect casein to be more expensive than whey.

SOY PROTEIN

Soybeans are one of the few plant protein sources that are a complete protein. The protein is concentrated or isolated after the soybeans have been hulled and dried into soy flour. Soy can be a good option for vegetarians and those with milk intolerances. Soy has been shown to improve immune function and bone health.

Cautions: In recent years, soy has come under heavy scrutiny because it is often genetically modified to produce greater crop yields at a very low cost. Many foods are already full of soy and, depending on your current diet, it may not be wise to add yet another source of soy. Additionally, some studies have linked soy consumption to health concerns. If you do choose soy, consume it in moderation, and be sure to look for labels that read soy protein isolate, which contains more protein and isoflavones, and less cholesterol and fat as compared to soy protein concentrate.

EGG PROTEIN

Egg protein is just that – protein from eggs. It is a complete protein made by separating out the yolks and dehydrating the egg whites. These powders also contain valuable vitamins and minerals found in whole eggs.

Cautions: Egg protein is also one of the most expensive protein supplements available and can be a problem for anyone with egg allergies.

BROWN RICE PROTEIN

Yes, there is small amount of protein in rice! It is extracted from the rice to make the powder. Brown rice protein is hypo-allergic and easily digested, making it an excellent alternative for anyone with a sensitive stomach or allergies to soy or dairy.

Cautions: Brown rice protein is not a complete protein and is best when paired with other plant-based options like hemp or pea powder to ensure that you are getting all the essential amino acids.

PEA PROTEIN

This plant-based protein, derived from the yellow split pea, is highly digestible and has a fluffy texture (no mushy peas here!). Pea protein is high in glutamic acid, which helps convert carbs into energy so they won’t be stored as fat. It is considered a highly satiating protein, which may help promote weight loss. And if those reasons aren’t enough, it often has few additives or artificial ingredients, and is closest to its whole-food source.

Cautions: Isolated pea protein is often labeled as complete because it can contain many of the essential amino acids, but it is still deficient in certain amino acids. So, like rice protein, pair it with other vegan sources of protein, such as brown rice or hemp.

HEMP PROTEIN

Hemp protein is derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant. A complete plant-based protein, hemp also offers the inflammation-fighting power of omega-6 essential fatty acids and is high in fiber. It is hypoallergenic and excellent choice for those following a vegan diet. Some studies have also suggested hemp protein may be more helpful in weight loss than other protein powders, due to its high fiber content.

Cautions: Since hemp is only harvested in select countries due to its association with cannabis, it is often the most expensive protein powder available.

There are lots of choices out there to fit all different nutritional needs. Don’t be afraid to try different blends and options to see what works best for you. And lastly, be wary of very low cost powders as they often use inexpensive protein blends that are hard to digest and may contain many artificial ingredients.

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A Few Of My Favorite Things…

Ala Oprah style (without the freebies)

The more I read and learn about health and fitness, the more amazing products and trends I discover. Many of you have been asking, so here is a list of some of my current favorite things:

Green Vibrance
Green Vibrance is the “original concentrated green superfood”. It contains 58 certified organic, concentrated foods and extracts, all of the highest quality, along withan industry-leading 18 billion probiotics per serving. It’s a nutritional powerhouse that improves energy and endurance, strengthens immunity and improves digestion and circulation. According to the package, Green Vibrance has more nutrient density than any other green-food product on the market.

Where to get it: Found the best price on Amazon – but also available at the Summit Health Shoppe on Springfield Ave in Summit (which is one of our sponsors offering Heels To Laces members a discount on products! hint, hint).

Latest version with protein:
I originally used Green Vibrance daily and mixed in my own protein…until Maximum Vibrance came out! Each serving has 23 grams of protein, in addition to the original multi-vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics to increase vitality, energy and achieve
optimum health. Maximum Vibrance contains 120 ingredients including 80 plants, 26 antioxidants, 6g of fiber, 7 servings of fruits and vegetables, 7 vegetable based digestive enzymes, 23 grams of protein and is gluten free.

Where to get it: Amazon & Summit Health Shoppe

Whey Factors 100% Whey Protein
I have searched high and low for a pure high quality protein without artificial or added ingredients. And I finally found it:

Whey Factors, 100% natural whey protein powder, is a pure source of high quality whey protein. No GMO, BSE, rBGH or added sugar. No artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners, starch, wheat or yeast. It is unflavored but still tastes good. It’s perfect to add to a protein shake or smoothie (suggest blending with fruit and/or milk to make it more tasty).

Where to get it: Summit Health Shoppe

Natural Vitality CALM – Anti-Stress Drink
Natural Calm is the most effective, fast-acting, pH-balanced magnesium available. It is a 100% natural, water-soluble magnesium powder of the highest quality. Magnesium is said to have powerful healing properties and most Americans do not ingest nearly enough of this beneficial mineral. It is said to help you:

  • sleep better
  • relax the nervous system
  • elevate your mood
  • build bigger, stronger muscles
  • have better flexibility
  • help with regularity
  • return the body’s natural pH balance
  • hydrate
  • and prevent several health conditions like diabetes

I use it as a natural anxiety remedy – and it works brilliantly. It comes in raspberry lemon or lemon.

Where to get it: In addition to the larger container, The Summit Healthe Shoppe on Springfield Ave sells single-dose packets for $1.00 each. Awesome for travel and convenience 😉

NOW Foods Liquid Vitamin D-3 1,000 IU Dropvitd
I was continually looking for a vitamin D my kids could take since my son couldn’t swallow any pills. I found this vitamin D with a dropper – which lasts forever and is super easy to dispense. The kids love it! And you all know by now after reading our blog how important Vitamin D is.

Where to get it: Summit Health Shoppe and Amazon.

Cruncha ma-me Edamame Veggie Snack salt n pepper
Yum, yum, yum! Salt n’ Pepa here!

Rich in protein (8 gram per bag) same as a large egg, high in fiber (3 gram per bag – same as an apple), gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients and great edamame taste!Perfect filling snack when you need a little somethin’ somethin’. Comes in several flavors including Salt and Pepper, my personal fav.

Where to get it: Kings, Whole Foods & Amazon

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacomole97951-reduced-guilt-chunky-guacamole-di2
I eat it by the tub.

Made with low fat greek yogurt, it has 50% less fat and 40% fewer calories that the regular guac with the same awesome benefits and it is DE-Lish! Simplest ingredients ever: low-fat Greek yogurt blended with hand-scooped avocados, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, garlic, black pepper, fresh lime juice, and a bit of jalapeño.

Where to get it: Trader Joe’s, of course.

Yurbudsyurbuds
Not gonna lie – our super amazing, young, hip, gorgeous cousin works for the company. She sent me a pair and I loved them. Ergonomically designed silicone ear buds to fit women’s ears. They twist into place so they won’t fall out during the most intense workout and feature water-resistant protection that lets you train in any conditions. Other features:  includes two sizes of enhancers, sweat, water and germ-resistant, “ambient noise awareness” and four-foot cord. And they’re super-cute too. Love the packaging.

Where to get it: They are all over – but found them at Target.

Riondo Prosecco
Pretty sure I wrote about this one before. Perfect summer drink. Cross between white wine, champagne and beer. My husband loRiondo Prosecco-500x500ves it too, so it passes the “manly” drink test. Refreshing and light, not too sweet, and no morning hang-over (even when you drink the whole bottle – for those seasoned drinkers like myself ;-).

Where to get it: I buy it by the case for a 15% discount at A&P Liquor in Summit right off Summit Ave by the Delta gas station (looks like a dive, but it’s a great deal!).

Tabata
Had to include this one. For the past couple of months, I ditched my old-school one-hour workouts and replaced them with 30-minute Tabata classes– a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training).  Tabata has anaerobic and aerobic benefits – it is a perfect combination of cardio and strength training. Most of you know Lisa and I teach Tabata locally and our clients have had tremendous results! At the end of our first 8-week program, our Tabata Bootcamp group lost a total of 41 inches and dropped 7.9% body fat!

I have literally cut my workouts in half and have seen a huge difference.

Where to find it: Summit, NJ with Lisa and Debra. Email us for the latest schedule:  info@heelstolaces.com 😉

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Drinking Your Greens

The explosion of green smoothies and juices is everywhere.  Within the last couple months, 3 new juice places have opened within one mile of my house and grocery stores and Starbucks are now selling pre-packaged juices.  Are they as good for you as they seem and what are the differences?  My friend, Elizabeth Girouard, a Certified Holistic Health Coach, wrote an excellent article that answers many of these questions and explains why we all should give green drinks a try.  We have posted a portion of her article below.  Read on to learn more.

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I am often asked:  What’s the rage with Green Smoothies? 

This is a great question.  Many of my Healthy Eating Challengers still start off their days with a Green Smoothie – and here are a few reasons why!

Green Smoothies are:

1)  an easy way to get in more than 3 servings of vegetables

2)  easier to digest since the blender starts the digestion process for you by breaking  down the veggies’ cell walls.  This means your body can quickly assimilate the nutrients.

3)  a great vitamin, mineral, phytonutrient and anti-oxidant infusion to start the day.

4)  a nutrient dense powerhouse that can improve your immunity to colds, flus and other potential bugs.

5)  able to help alkalize our bodies which reduces our susceptibility to disease

6)  filled with dark leafy greens that have a lot of chlorophyll which delivers oxygen to our bodies that can increase our energy levels.

7)  able to help diminish cravings and reduce hunger as it is providing nourishment to your body.

8)  able to help you lose weight as you are adding in more vegetables and crowding out the less beneficial foods for your body!

Other related questions that I often receive are:

What’s the difference between juicing and blending (smoothies)?  And, is one better than the other?  And, does juicing increase my blood sugar?

Read the rest of the article at: http://tinyurl.com/pwr8w5h

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