When I’m working out heavily, especially lifting weights, I try to eat at least 100 grams of protein a day. As a point of reference, one four ounce filet of high-protein, low-fat fish like tilapia has around twenty grams of protein. That’s a lot of fish to reach 100 grams! The general rule (and I agree) is that whole, unprocessed foods are always better. But if you have to run out the door in the morning or just don’t have the stomach for a big breakfast of eggs and sausage, protein powder, in my opinion, has a place. It can be beneficial as an easily digestible protein right after a workout. Especially if you find one with few added ingredients and sugars. I like the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey listed in the ingredients here because there’s little icky aftertaste. Lately my breakfast of choice has been a quick protein shake. It gives me nearly 50 grams of protein in one go and I can sip it throughout the morning.
One approach to making blender shakes is to use fruits (berries, apple, banana) as a mask for spinach or other greens, or any veggie lurking in the fridge. And it will often come out tasting all right. But I do like how simple this breakfast shake is – it really does taste like a banana milkshake. I feel like I’ve had a treat to start the day, and it makes me mindful to eat lots of vegetables and reach my protein goal the rest of the day. And there’s some evidence that having something sweet with breakfast helps you stay on track with healthy eating throughout the day.
Finding healthy patterns you can stick to is highly individualistic – this may not be the perfect example of whole-foods-based virtue, but it’s working for me. Give it a try post-workout if not for breakfast, and enjoy!
Ingredients for Banana Protein Shake
-1.5 cups unsweetened almond coconut milk
-Two packets Truvia or other stevia-based sweetener
-One medium banana
–Two scoops Optimum Nutrition vanilla whey protein powder (or protein powder of choice)
-Four ice cubes
Blend ingredients together until smooth.