Many of us have eaten extra protein to try to build muscle, but less people know that eating more protein in the first few hours we’re awake is supposed to stabilize blood sugar, curb the appetite, and provide more consistent energy throughout the day. But what if you don’t feel like getting up early to cook an omelet from scratch every morning? One convenient solution is protein bars and shakes. Although they’re not necessarily suitable for all types of Paleo or whole foods diets, protein bars come in a lot of tasty flavors that satisfy your sweet tooth, but don’t wreck your blood sugar. Most of our bars have around 20 g of protein, relatively small amounts of carbs, and are either low in sugar or free of sugar and artificial sweeteners. At All is Well, we currently have Quest Strawberry Cheesecake Bars, Quest Chocolate Brownie Bars, Think Thin Caramel Fudge Bars, Think Thin Cookies & Cream Bars, Think Thin Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate Bars, and more. We even carry the very popular Perfect Food Bars in Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, and Carob Chip flavors.
Protein shakes and smoothies require a bit more effort than simply unwrapping a bar, but smoothies especially can provide an opportunity to add a little extra fruits and veggies to you diet. As long as you keep scraping down the sides and blending until all of the ice, protein powder, and pieces of fruits or veggies are well mixed and smooth, you’re more likely to end up with a good texture and a decent smoothie. If it’s not quite what you expected at first, don’t give up. We humans are creatures of habit, so sometimes healthier food options take a little while to grow on you. You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with a few smoothie recipes of your own, but here’s a good, basic formula for a smoothie to get you started.
Basic Protein Smoothie Recipe
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or chia seeds
2 scoops protein powder, such as Naturade Chocolate Pea Protein Powder, MLO Brown Rice Protein Powder, or Terra’s Whey Bourbon Vanilla Protein Powder
1 c fresh berries or unsweetened frozen berries
2 c green leafy vegetables
1/2 c almond milk, like Califia Vanilla Almond Milk
3 ice cubes
Optional additions include 1 Tbsp. psyllium husk powder for fiber, or a few drops of stevia for extra sweetness