Q:I am often busy and would really like to have a quick protein shake for lunch. Is that ok?
The answer really lies in the ingredients of your protein shake. If your protein shake contains all of the same components of a meal, it is nutritionally no different. Remember the first week goal of adding a fruit or vegetable and protein to every meal. If your protein shake contains a fruit OR veg and protein, it sounds like a great solution to your busy day. Here are a couple of things to be aware of when making this choice.
- Liquids do not give the body the same sense of satisfaction that solid foods do. Notice your eating patterns in the day after having a shake for lunch. If you notice that you are hungry soon, consider adding a little bit of solid food to your meal like a piece of fruit with a regular protein shake.
- Look at the carbohydrate/sugar content of your shake. If it is high in carbs, it can cause you to crave sugar later in the day and can lead to weight gain. Some carbohydrates are necessary for energy, but pay attention to what signals your body is sending you a few hours after you eat.
- Find the cleanest protein shake you can find. When you are ingesting shakes with a great deal of chemicals, you can overtax your liver. This can lead your body to hold onto more fat than you would like as your liver is busy processing the chemicals in the shake and does not have enough resources to process the loss of body fat. This can happen regardless of whether you are eating the right amount of calories.
There are some fun shake recipes on the members section of the website, so enjoy! They are some of my favorites. I use SpiruteinVanilla protein powder for my shakes. It is vegan and non GMO soy and tastes great. Cookies and Cream flavor is also really good. The website recipes add a bunch of different ingredients, but you can make it very simply by adding unsweetened vanilla almond milk to the protein powder. I like my variations better though ; ). I also like AMPLIFY XL (vanilla flavor best) that you can get from GNC. It is expensive but well worth it. You can even mix it with water, and it tastes fantastic. If you want, you can mix it with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I only use 1.5 scoops for 10-12 oz. water or unsweetened almond milk. I always make them in my smoothie maker with ice to make them thick.