Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's Not a Competition

This morning I am guest blogging over at The Candid Pastor's Wife. Stephanie is my bestie/heart-sister/wisdom-dispenser/truth-sharer/friend who also happens to be a pastor's wife at my church. This week she is on vacation (yay!) and she asked me to write a guest post for her.

I decided to be a little vulnerable and talk about some of the struggles of being a wife to a Merchant Marine. It's not what you think! Click the link to read the full post!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Favorite Plant-Based Protein Powder

My first criteria for selecting protein powder is nutrition. I need quality protein that isn't sourced from whey or soy. I've found that my body doesn't digest those well and I tend to feel bloated or sluggish afterwards.  I also look to see how it's sweetened. I don't intake any artificial sweeteners and haven't since before I was pregnant with Avelyn. I try to stick to as wholesome and natural ingredients as possible. That being said, here are the top three Plant-Based Protein Powders I use in my shakes and smoothies.

Vega Protein & Greens 
Stats: 110 cals/scoop 20 g protein
Pros: Includes two servings of greens in each scoop. Has great quality protein and is reasonably priced at $30 (Costco)
Cons: Out of the three protein powders I am reviewing today, this one has the worst texture. I can't seem to make the grit go away so I try to beat it by adding Orange Juice and Ice.
Ingredients: Vega Protein Blend (pea protein, SaviSeed [sacha inchi] protein, hemp seed protein, sprouted whole grain brown rice protein), natural French vanilla flavors, Vega Green Blend (organic alfalfa grass powder, spinach powder, broccoli powder, organic kale powder), papaya concentrate powder (contains naturally occurring enzymes), stevia leaf extract, xanthan gum.

Orgain Organic Protein Powder - 2.74 lbs

Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
Stats: 150 Cals/Serving 21g Protein
Pros: Great flavor, all organic ingredients, great price at $30 (sometimes is on sale for $24)
Cons: Again, the texture is not great. Instead of gritty this one is slimy? You have to add a ton of almond milk and ice to get rid of it.
Ingredients: Orgain Organic Protein Blend (Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic Sprouted Chia Seed, Organic Hemp Protein, Organic Pea Protein), Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Erythritol, Organic Rice Dextrins, Organic Cocoa, Organic Acacia Gum, Organic Inulin, Organic Natural Flavors, Organic Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Organic Rice Bran Extract, Sea Salt, Organic Stevia, Monkfruit, Rosemary Extract

Vega® Sport Performance Protein - Chocolate - VEGA - GNC

Vega Sport Performance Protein
Stats: 160 Cals/Serving 30g Protein
Pros: This one has a ton of protein (30 grams). It also tastes really good, like a chocolate milk shake! The texture is wonderful and it contains Turmeric, Tart Cherry and Probiotics! This is my favorite protein!
Cons: Price- My local HEB sells it for $59 normally but I bought it during their quarterly Healthy Living Section Sale (20%) and it was already on sale. I think I paid around $42 total. I saw it on Amazon in the $40 range and I may buy it from there in the future.
Ingredients: Pea protein, Cocoa powder, Pumpkin seed protein, Organic sunflower seed protein, Alfalfa protein, Tart cherry, Probiotics (Bacillus coagulans [provides 1 billion cfu/serving]), Bromelain, Turmeric extract, Black Pepper extract. Contains less than 2% of: Beetroot powder (for color), Sea salt, Natural chocolate flavor, Natural vanilla flavor, Natural caramel flavor, Stevia extract, Xanthan gum.

There is a lot more to finding the right protein powder for you and I encourage you to read up on all of these before you try one. Is there an excellent plant-based protein not listed here? Tell me about it!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Smoothie Recipe

Being a busy mom on the go, I don't always have time to pack a ton of nutrition into a quick meal. For that reason, I usually drink at least one smoothie a day. We all know smoothies are healthy, but they aren't all created equal. You have to be careful of sneaky sugar (artificial is worse than the real deal in my opinion) and also listen to your body on what it likes. This smoothie is filling, has great nutrition, low calories, low sugar and tastes amazing. So without further ado.

1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein (Chocolate)
1/3 packet Fresh Start Organic Smoothie Blend (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Kale and Spinach)
1 cup of Coconut Water or Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
+ water and ice for desired consistency

Nutritional Information:
31 g Protein
24 g Carbohydrates
5 g Fiber
13 g Sugar
3 g Fat
443 mg Sodium
470 mg Potassium
50% Vitamin A
47% Vitamin C
22% Calcium (much more if using almond milk)
28% Iron

I usually drink this about an hour before my workout so that I have energy but don't feel too full. I also have it in the afternoons sometimes when I have a chocolate craving.

What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes?