Make Your Own Plant-Based Meal Replacement Powder to Save Money

I have a love/hate relationship with protein powder. I love that it helps make my daily smoothie more filling and meal-like. I love that it’s a quick and easy way to get a nice dose of the recovery-helping macronutrient after a hard workout.

But I hate the price. And I, more often than not, hate the ingredient list. There are definitely more natural protein powders out there, but the price is just so restrictively high! And the rare times I found a natural protein powder that wasn’t exorbitantly expensive, it was exorbitantly gritty, earthy, and generally not delicious.

Source: Homemade Plant Protein Powder

This is not “protein powder” – it is ground up legumes. It’s got more carbs in it than it does protein. Also eating raw lentils and raw rice is extremely problematical for a lot of people. They can actually interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.  Phytic acids can definitely be a concern for some folks (particularly raw vegan folks).

I would recommend to soak the rice and lentils first for few hours, drain the water and heat it in deep pan without adding anything until rice starts popping. Don’t forget to stir it continuously during heating to have uniform heat distribution. This should solve issue of rawness.

Otherwise, buy whey protein in bulk from vendors like Bulk Supplements or Powder City.  Generic protein powders with no brand name – they don’t cost as much, but they’re of the exact same quality (if not higher). They all come with Certificates of Analysis.

Speaking to those of us on blood thinners, based on previous information I highly recommend cooking the lentils vs raw.  There is vitamin K in lentils, just noticeably less if they’re cooked.  There’s vitamin K in brown rice as well, but a trivial amount.  There’s no vitamin K in steel cut oats.  Provided you cook the lentils and are OK the phytic acid, you should be OK.

I got a coffee/spice grinder years ago, for grinding sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds that I use in breakfast.  I read a lot of reviews were available, and my assessment was that they were cheaper and replaceable.  Almost all reported failure at some point, so I just picked the best I could at a place with a great return policy.  So far, so good.

The Difference Between Various Kinds of Protein Supplements

Flip through any exercise magazine and, judging by all the attention protein supplements get, it appears protein and fitness somehow go hand-in-hand . And it is true: Protein can help promote a healthy weight and help muscles recover after a good workout. But what exactly is protein, and when it comes to supplements, which type of protein is best? Read on to learn about the different sources of protein powder and which ones stand apart from the rest.

Source: The Ultimate Guide to Protein Supplements

Because isolates are further processed to remove sugars (like lactose), carbs & fats so isolates are good for those who are lactose intolerant.  But pointless for everyone else, and does not digest faster.  Concentrates still have sugars, carbs, and fats. And typically taste better than isolates.

The article incorrectly states that lactose is indigestible for some, but it’s not because it’s an allergen. It is still an allergen, but the reason for it being indigestible is a lactose intolerance, not a milk allergy. Both casein & whey, regardless of concentrate or isolate form, are allergens.

Casein is grittier tasting compared to whey. Casein also takes longer to dissolve, and makes your shakes thicker compared to what an isolate would.

How to Determine the Number of Calories You Should Eat to Lose Weight

When you start a diet, determining how much to eat can feel a bit like playing calorie roulette. Many people turn to a calorie calculator, but they can greatly overestimate the amount of food that you need to lose weight. Here’s how to calculate your own target.

Source: How to Determine the Number of Calories You Should Eat to Lose Weight

What matters is what works for you to maintain a healthy body mass. If calorie counting doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. But for others it can, and does.  You can lose weight without calorie counting.  And you might want to consider altering recipes to get more protein out of your food.  You might be like me, sabotaging yourself with emotional eating (the Broccoli test, or mindfulness).

Your diet is already in progress?  Check this post if your weight loss stalls, or this one specifically for women.  There’s some good ways to deal with hunger while on your diet.  Finally, failing isn’t always failing – there are some benefits.

Need to Recover from a Workout? Fast Food Is Just as Effective as Supplements

After a strenuous workout, top athletes and everyday exercisers regularly reach for energy bars, protein powders, or recovery drinks, thinking that these dietary supplements provide boosts that normal foods do not.

A new study, however, finds that — when it comes to exercise recovery — supplements are no better than fast food.

The multi-billion-dollar sports supplement industry is a true behemoth. With catchy taglines and sparkling testimonials from top athletes, they’ve convinced millions of people to use their products. University of Montana graduate student Michael Cramer decided to find out if their claims of superiority stood the test of science, so he pit some of the most oft-used supplements, including Gatorade, PowerBar, and Cytomax “energy” powder, against a few of McDonald’s most vaunted contenders: hotcakes, hash browns, hamburgers, and fries.

…Though the research was solidly controlled, the findings are limited by the small number of subjects. Moreover, the results may not apply to less-trained individuals.

Source: Need to Recover from a Workout? Fast Food Is Just as Effective as Supplements

This isn’t all that surprising, as it’s a short-term study (1 pre and post-recovery workout for each diet) focusing on exercise recovery and glycogen recovery. Any high-glycemic carbohydrates will restore glycogen levels quickly following exercise so what form you take them in isn’t that important – when you just look at glycogen levels and short-term recovery.  Long-term may be a different story though – the fast food diet may not enable you to maximize adaptations to exercise. Having said that you will still get the some (likely a lot) of the benefits of exercise.  People who exercise do not suffer as much of the bad effects of a 1 week high-fat meal (source 1, source 2).

In terms of “as macronutrient content is the same then there shouldn’t be a difference”?  Not necessarily, not all protein is equal (whey protein having the maximal increase on protein synthesis both at rest and following exercise). So 25 grams of whey protein should cause a bigger increase in protein synthesis than 25 grams of protein from a burger. It’s likely there’ll be differences in fat type (i.e. saturated vs unsaturated) as well.

This is what I think is most disheartening about the diet craze. Any effort placed on exercise and eating better has tremendous gains. Pop culture has instilled this idea that there’s a rigorous plan required to lose weight and stay in shape. Eating better doesn’t necessarily mean going vegan. It could be as simple as eating whatever you want but in smaller portions. Incorporating more fruits/veggies. Something, anything. Any exercise is better than no exercise. Even if it means going to the gym twice a week, that can be significant.

Protein: Timing, Type and Quality for Optimal Recovery

When it comes to protein type, timing and quantity, we see conflicting information regarding intake everywhere.

Recovery? Protein!

Weight loss? Protein!

Reduce blood sugar swings? Protein!

Body composition change? Protein! Protein! Protein!

But there’s much more to it than just eat more (or less) protein. In this month’s post, I’d like to focus on the athletic population (a way to state a disclaimer that the general population is different and has different nutritional needs).

Source: Physiology and Nutrition: Timing, Type and Quality of Protein Consumption for Optimal Recovery

If you like technical articles rooted in kinesiology, this is for you.  It’s brief, but covers a fair amount of ground.  Good read for the serious athlete.