Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Protein Power- Vega One Nutritional Shake Review

Vega One all-in-one nutritional shake - this mornings breakfast!

I'm probably a broken record but I need protein, preferably within one hour of waking up, or I'm a hot mess for the rest of the day. My blood sugar gets messed up, I'm starving all day and inevitably I get really grumpy between 10 and 1 and then just want to nap from 1 till 3.  But eating protein within one hour of waking up is nearly impossible with 3 kids (especially if one little adorable 6 month old decides 5:30 is a good time to wake up). So although it isn't unprocessed I have to rely on protein shakes for breakfast lots of days if I am going to get my protein before we leave the house (it literally took me nearly 2 1/2 hours to drink my shake this morning but at least I "started" within an hour of waking up).

 If you're like me and never had a protein shake  in your life you probably don't really have the first clue on what to buy, where to get it, etc. So I decided one day in the fall I was going to start using protein shakes and went into Popeye's supplements. OMG - had no idea there were THAT MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF PROTEIN. Hundreds of them. I felt like a complete idiot. The guy says "What are you looking for?" and I dumbly reply "I have no idea". He immediately got off his chair and probably realized this was going to take a few minutes. Ya-da, ya-da, ya-da, I ended up leaving with Vega one all-in-one nutritional shake - French Vanilla flavor. Poor guy - I talk lots when I'm uncomfortable and I said way to much about breastfeeding to a complete male stranger.

Anyway, Vega One all-in-one is a plant based protein that is dairy, gluten and soy free with no sugar added. All positives (especially the no gluten or sugar part). In addition to protein, it also has Omega 3, probiotics, antioxidants, fiber and the equivalent of 3 servings of greens. This is definitely more than your normal protein powder - it is more like protein powder, omega 3, probiotics and a multi-vitamin all wrapped into one (with only 135 calories and 5 net grams of carbs). So although its a bit expensive (works out to about $2.50 per serving) you get a bunch of benefits and feel good that you got your serving of veggies out of the way (especially if you have a day where you already know your lunch and dinner are going to be pretty bad). So its a great product and is very convenient (just mix with juice, ice, milk - whatever) for moms on the run.

The only downsides for me (other than the price) have been that 1) it only has 15 grams of protein in a serving which isn't enough for me for a meal, especially breakfast, and 2) I'm undecided on the taste. The first time I tasted it I didn't love it. But in an attempt to boost the amount of protein I added some high protein Greek yogurt, soy milk and ice (see picture)  and I actually thought it tasted alright.

So overall I will be saving this protein powder for either mid-afternoon snacks or breakfasts on days when I know I won't be getting much "real clean" food for my other meals.  On other days I use Whey Isolate Protein (Vanilla or Chocolate) that I get at Costco (got it on sale for about $.90 per serving). My hubby uses the Whey Protein from Costco (got it on sale for about $.50 per serving) because he is not lactose intolerant. Watch for a post on that coming soon. Hope that helps if you are looking for a protein option.

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