Is Too Much Protein Bad?

Is Too Much Protein Bad?With 2014 lurking just around the corner, I’m sure many of us will be looking into diets and exploring what foods we should eat to lose weight. I’ve written about this topic many times in the past, including a few blog posts about foods that will help you feel more full for a longer period of time. One way to achieve this is by eating protein.

A mistake that I once made that I’m sure many other people will make is to load up on protein. It makes sense, right? If protein fills you up, just drink a couple protein shakes mixed with fruits and veggies and you’ll be good for the day while keeping your calorie intake to a minimum. The one caveat is that you need to burn that protein.

Your body requires a certain amount of protein. Once you reach that limit, the excess is converted into energy. When you have a surplus of energy–meaning you’re not physically burning it off–the body converts it into fat. So if you plan on making a couple of smoothies each day loaded with protein powder, you need to exercise hard to make use of the protein. Any extra could potentially be turned into fat, making you gain weight rather than lose it.

So how much protein should you eat each day? About 50g to 100g of protein is the recommended daily amount of protein that you should be consuming. When choosing a protein powder, try looking for one that’s balanced with other ingredients, such as fiber. Manitoba Harvest makes a variety of hemp protein powders with different percentages of protein. Onnit also has Hemp Force protein powder which is balanced out with other nutritional ingredients that your body will use, so you’re not just loading up on protein and gaining weight as a result.

What is the Nutri Bullet Blender?

What is the Nutri Bullet Blender?I first heard about the Nutri Bullet on a podcast. I knew nothing about it, but immediately I thought of an informercial product based on the name alone. Turns out I was right, as the Nutri Bullet blender is like the big brother of the Magic Bullet, an (in)famous staple of late-night television.

The Nutri Bullet NBR-12 can be thought of as an upgraded version of the Magic Bullet. Like its name implies, it’s for more nutrition-minded folks rather than those who are looking to blend up margaritas and milkshakes. The Nutri Bullet certainly can blend those drinks, but it’s been reconfigured and optimized for making fruit and vegetable-heavy blended drinks for the health conscious.

The Nutri Bullet features a patented blade design with “cyclonic action” which I take it means that it pulls ingredients into the blades so you don’t have to start and stop the blender to adjust the position of your ingredients. It’s apparently good enough to liquefy just about anything you’d want to add to your smoothie, from fruits and veggies, ice, nuts, seeds, and stems.

Compared to the blender I’m using now, what I like about the Nutri Bullet is that, like the Magic Bullet, the container you put your ingredients in to blend them is the container you drink your smoothie out of. This limits the amount of clean up, which is always a bonus as far as I’m concerned, even though I have a dishwasher.

The Nutri Bullet comes with the base, a tall cup, two short cups, one flat blade, an emulsifying blade, two resealable lids, and literature about the unit along with some recipes. The unit features a 600-watt motor, which should be more than capable for producing a smoothie each day in the home, but it’s nearly 1,000 watts less powerful than the commercial-grade Blendtec Wildside. That being said, the Nutri Bullet is also $300 to $400 less than a Blendtec or Vitamix blender.

The Nutri Bullet is certainly an attractive little blender in terms of features and price, and I would be curious to try it out to see just how well it performs. Based on Amazon.com reviews, the majority of people seem to be quite happy with the product. There are occasional one-star reviews, but many of those seem to be based on the price rather than the performance of the product itself.

With 2014 just around the corner, I’d say that the Nutri Bullet is an interesting blender to consider if you’re thinking about starting off the new year with a focus on your health. It’s a fraction of the cost of a high-end blender which means the commitment level isn’t high if you tend to flake out on your resolutions after a few weeks. I’d also suggest purchasing something like this over a juicer. A product like the Nutri Bullet NBR-12 uses the whole fruit and vegetable, helping you to feel full longer and to obtain the vitamins, nutrients, and fiber found in the skin and pulp of fruits and veggies that you’d be throwing away when using a juicer.

A Closer Look at Bolthouse Farms Juices

A Closer Look at Bolthouse Farms JuicesYesterday I took a look at Bolthouse Farms smoothies to break down each flavor based on a few factors, such as calories, sugar content, fiber, protein, etc. Today I’m going to do the same thing, but with some of the Bolthouse Farms juices. While I personally haven’t tried any of the Bolthouse Farms juices, I was curious to see how they stacked up to the smoothies from a health standpoint.

Just like the smoothies, the serving size for all the Bolthouse Farms juices is 8 fl. oz. which is 240ml. In terms of calories, the Bolthouse juices with the least calories for an 8 fl. oz. serving are the Mango Coconut Splash with 60 calories, 100% Carrot and Organic Carrot with 70, and Daily Greens with 90 calories. Acai Pomegranate and Passion Orange Guava have the most calories per serving at 170, with the rest falling somewhere in the middle.

Interestingly, some of the Bolthouse Farms Juices are sweetened, either with cane sugar or with stevia, while others are not. The Bolthouse Farms juices with the least amount of sugar are 100% Carrot, Organic Carrot, and Mango Coconut Splash with only 13g of sugar each, with the Mango Coconut Splash being the only of the three that’s sweetened with stevia. Acai Pomegranate has the most with 37g of sugar, next is Passion Orange Guava with 33g, and Mango Lemonade trails behind those with 32g of sugar, though Mango Lemonade contains cane sugar as its second ingredient with water being the first.

Taking a look at dietary fiber now, Tropical + Carrot has the most with 5g of fiber per serving with Acai + 10 Superblend, Super Greens, and Mango Ginger + Coconut close behind with 3g of fiber per serving. The rest of the Bolthouse Farms juices have little to no fiber. Similarly, none of the juices are packed with protein, with Orange + Carrot and Organic Carrot containing the most fiber with just 2g per serving.

As I said at the top of this post, I haven’t tried any of these Bolthouse Farms juices before, so I can’t comment on the taste of any of them. What I can say is that the Mango Coconut Splash has definitely piqued my interest. It sounds like it could be good drink to have post-workout, made from mostly water, coconut water, and sweetened with stevia.

A Closer Look at Bolthouse Farms Smoothies

A Closer Look at Bolthouse Farms SmoothiesI first wrote about Bolthouse Farms a few months ago because I use its juices and blends in my smoothies so I won’t have to prepare many different fruits and vegetables myself. It turns out that a lot of people are curious about whether the company’s juices and smoothies are healthy or if they’re junk food in disguise. I’d have to say they would fall into the former category, but today I’m going to flip over the bottles and take a by the numbers look at Bolthouse Farms smoothies.

The serving size for all the Bolthouse Farms smoothies is 8 fl. oz. which is 240ml. The Bolthouse Farms smoothies with the least amount of calories are the Berry Boost and Strawberry Banana smoothies with 130 calories per serving. Next is Green Goodness and Multi-V Goodness with 140 calories per serving, followed by Amazing Mango with 150 calories, and then Blue Goodness and C-Boost with 160 calories per serving. If you’re watching your weight and counting calories, I can recommend the Strawberry Banana. It’s delicious!

In terms of sugars, the Bolthouse Farms smoothie with the least amount of sugar is Berry Boost with only 16g of sugar per serving. Next is Strawberry Banana with 22g of sugar, followed by Multi-V Goodness with 25g of sugar, Blue Goodness with 29g of sugar, Green Goodness with 30g, C-Boost with 32g, and Amazing Mango with 34g of sugar. By comparison, an equal 8 fl. oz. serving of your favorite brand of cola has about 22g of sugar. Of course, the sugar found in Bolthouse Farms comes from the fruit itself and isn’t added in for additional sweetness. These numbers are interesting because out of all of these, I’d have to put Berry Boost at the bottom of my list in terms of taste.

In terms of fiber, all the Bolthouse Farms smoothies are about the same with 1-2g of fiber per serving, with Multi-V Goodness being the exception as it has 8g of fiber per serving. Talking protein, Green Goodness packs the most with a miniscule 2g of protein per serving with the rest of the smoothies containing 1g of protein per serving. The majority of the Bolthouse Farms smoothies do not contain any fat, with C-Boost being the exception with 0.5g of fat per serving.

I think what these numbers show is that Bolthouse Farms smoothies are a good starting point for a smoothie. You’ll want to add in other ingredients for fiber (myself and many others use kale) and if you’re looking for protein, maybe look for a protein powder. I add in a couple scoops of Hemp Force to all my smoothies and that adds a bit of flavor and the protein that the Bolthouse Farms smoothies are lacking.

The Best Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder Shake Recipe

The Best Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder Shake RecipeI’ve done it, people. You can quit looking. I’ve come up with what could very well be the ultimate Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder shake recipe. I’ve been doing something similar for a while now, but Onnit just released its new Walnut Almond Cashew Trilogy Butter and it has taken my shakes over the top. It literally does taste like a milkshake now, so calling it a shake is actually quite fitting, except this particular shake is good for you.

I’ve been trying to cut down on dairy in favor of rice or almond milk, and fortunately there are a wide range of options from a variety of brands. I choose either a vanilla or chocolate rice or almond milk, but always unsweetened. The stevia that’s added to the Hemp Force will add a bit of sweetness to the shake, but to be honest, I enjoy this milk substitute on its own and it tastes just fine, so there’s really no reason to choose the sweetened variety.

With a cup or two of rice or almond milk as a base, I add in my Hemp Force, and then add in a banana, either a half or a whole depending on how big of a shake I want to make that day. I enjoy the taste of banana anyways, but I use it in this recipe because it thickens up the drink and gives it the consistency of an actual milkshake made with ice cream. Finally, I add in generous tablespoon or two of the new Walnut Almond Cashew Trilogy Butter. You can use regular natural peanut butter instead, which is what I used to do.

I’ll review the Onnit Walnut Almond Cashew Trilogy Butter at a later date, but for now I’ll just say that its benefits over using regular ol’ peanut butter are numerous, especially when included in a drink designed for maximum protein. Not to mention it tastes tremendous, too. I actually prefer almonds over peanuts, so this works well for me.

So that’s it! Then you blend it all up in your Blendtec blender (of course!) for a delicious, chocolatey, nutty, bananay (is that a word?) drink that’s packed with protein and will give you a kick in the butt in the morning. It literally feels like a treat, not something that would be good for you. Below is the full recipe, and let me know in the comments if you have any Hemp Force recipes of your own that are good!

The Best Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder Shake Recipe