meal replacement

What’s on the Menu – A Review of Arbonne Protein Shake Mix

I always promote the theory that a huge component of healthy eating is the utilization of whole ingredients. Whether it be fruits, vegetables, nuts or meat, I believe that the more wholesome you can be with your diet, the better.

However, I know that our go-go society makes eating whole foods somewhat difficult. Being a personal trainer that caters to clients in multiple locations requires me to frequently eat on the go. Unfortunately, whole foods aren’t always the most travel friendly.

I regularly bring tupperware containers full of whole foods with me whenever I can, but sometimes situations arise where having a portable meal replacement option available can be a godsend. I believe that’s one of the main reasons why protein shake mixes and meal replacement bars have risen in popularity over the past 5 years (source). Unfortunately, this rise in popularity has also led to market saturation, in my opinion.

Photo Sep 21, 9 44 22 AM

Ate this “breakfast” in the bank parking lot

The number of meal replacement bars & shakes you have to choose from nowadays is almost overwhelming. Also, most of these items are marketed as “health foods” while certain ones are no better than items you can get at a fast food restaurant (source).  These are the reasons why I love sharing my reviews of “meal replacement” options whenever I try them.

I was recently asked by a friend to try out a protein shake mix from a company called Arbonne (website). Arbonne is based out of Switzerland and it distributes a wide range of beauty & health products. According to their catalog, all their nutrition products are vegan, gluten-free and free of artifical sweeteners & flavors. I want to state that I am not a Arbonne distributor and currently have no plans to be one in the future. Right now, I’m just a taste tester.

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, here’s my review of Arbonne’s vanilla protein shake mix:

  • Nutrition stats: 1 packet (~1/4 cup) contains 160 calories, 3 g of fat, 14 g of carbs and 20 g of protein; contains numerous vitamins & minerals, most noteably vitamin B12 (17% RDA) & vitamin E (16% RDA). Click here for more nutritional info on this product.
  • Taste: mixed half the packet with just water – dissolved well, not gritty or chunky – good vanilla flavor & not overtly sweet but I definitely got the stevia aftertaste; mixed remaining powder in a blender with frozen spinach & blueberries – created a super creamy smoothie, but I preferred it with just water.

Screenshot 2017-09-21 at 12.26.06 PM.png

Overall, I was pretty impressed by the protein shake mix from Arbonne. The ability for it to dissolve completely in water is a huge bonus and the single serving packets are easy to transport. Sugar cane is the second most abundant ingredient according to the label, which I’m not thrilled about, but it wasn’t super sweet. I would probably add a little full fat coconut milk to my water to get a more satiating “meal”. Either way, if I were in the market for a vegan protein powder, I’d definitely consider Arbonne.

As previously mentioned, I’m not an Arbonne distributor, but if you’re interested in their products, I can connect you with someone who is. You can always contact me via email, elementaltampa@gmail.com, or give us a shout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). If you do reach out, and I hope you do, make sure to include any suggestions on the next product you’d like me to review.

What’s on the Menu – Following KISS

I’ve discovered that following KISS has brought a certain level of ease to my life. Just to clarify I’m not talking about the rock band Kiss. I’m referring to the acronym KISS, which stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” I try to apply KISS to all aspects of my life, but one aspect in which I use it the most is my nutrition. I’ve tried my best to convey my predisposition to consuming food & drink that consists of the fewest whole ingredients possible. Which is why it should be no surprise that my preferred protein powder consists of only one ingredient.

The ever expanding selection of protein powders has, in my opinion, reached a ridiculous level. Trying to be educated on the laundry list of ingredients contained in certain protein powders can be even more overwhelming. That’s why I use collagen hydrolysate from Great Lakes when I want to add a little protein to my morning coffee or veggie & fruit smoothie. This brand of collagen hydrolysate is created by the application of heat and/or enzymes to beef collagen from grass fed cows to change its molecular weight. The change in molecular weight is what gives the hydrolysate the ability to dissolve in both hot and cold liquids. Not only does it dissolve in essentially any beverage, it is LEGITIMATELY unflavored. They don’t add any real or artificial sweeteners in an attempt to make your healthy meal replacement drink into a nummy milkshake. Nutritionally speaking, 1 tbsp contains 25 calories, 6g of protein and 0g of both carbs and fat. It is a pure protein that is high in amino acids like glycine, lysine and proline which are essential for the growth of hair, skin, muscle, cartilage and ligament cells (source). Oh and the price? Try about $23 for the can pictured below, which contains about thirty-one 2 tbsp servings. I’ll admit that the health benefits and affordability of this protein supplement are enticing, but it’s the recommendations from health & nutrition professionals I trust that really sold me on it.

I’ve heard nutrition experts like Vinnie Tortorich, Anna Vocino and Dr. Rhonda Patrick recommend Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate many times. I’ve even seen Tim Ferriss feature it in a recent video about his morning routine. I trust these experts and appreciate the fact that this particular protein powder matches my KISS approach to nutrition. Let us know if you practice KISS and which areas of your life you apply it to. Feel free to send us feedback at nick@elementaltampa.com or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

protein-powder