January 06, 2015

No More New Year Resolutions AND How to Choose a Protein Powder

Welcome to 2015 my loves!

This year I am not making any resolutions. I think we make the same resolutions every year, typically to be more healthy, lose weight, stress less, exercise more, spend more time with the family, work less, quite a bad habit, etc, etc. Setting rules for myself is something I no longer want to do but for 2015 I certainly have big dreams for my own happiness. I feel blessed to have 365 (well 358 now to be exact) days to spend with my family and friends, my beloved dog Pablo, enjoying my time in my beautiful apartment, moving my body, connecting with nature and exploring the world. A genuine feeling of positivity surrounds me in embarking on the new year and I just feel excited to be given each day.

My Chihuahua 9-month old Pablo

While I have strayed from traditional resolutions, I certainly endorse setting goals for yourself and seeing the new year as a fresh start. I have enrolled in an online nutrition course with the premise to sort through the conflicting information out there on how to achieve optimal health and to get the information I need to make an educated decision on how and what to eat. I want to take a step back from intense exercise after realizing my body is not designed for such strenuous activity (a neck and shoulder injury forced this epiphany) and I am shifting the focus back to lighter movements, lots of walking and plenty of stretching. An exciting European holiday is also set for the new year and I am having endless fun planning our travels; the Amalfi Coast here we come!

What do you have planned for the New Year ahead? If shifting your diet to include more nutritious and healthy options is one, you may have considered adding a protein powder into your meals. Protein is essential to have at each meal time and especially useful at breakfast as it revs up your metabolism to burn more calories for the day. It will also rebuild your muscles if you are embarking on an exercise program in 2015 which will help you to achieve your goals in both how you feel and how you look.

My good friend asked me about a protein powder the other day and after trying endless ones myself, I thought what would be the powder I recommend?

These are my top two:
  1. 100% Whey Isolate Protein Powder (I like Gold Standard): Whey is derived from a cheese by-product meaning it does contain dairy and isn't suitable for vegans. You can get this type of protein powder in many different brands but it is important to look for those labelled whey isolate as they fat and lactose (mostly sugar) is removed. There are two other types of whey proteins so you may want to do your own research. While not dairy-free, it's a type of protein usually tolerated by those sensitive to dairy but not intolerant. It does have a slightly milky taste. My tip would be to buy this product from a supplement store or online to get the best deal. These will be more expensive at pharmacies or grocery stores. Also see if you can get flavour samples before purchasing a large quantity as there is usually a lot of different flavours to choose from and you don't want to get stuck with a dud.
  2. Sunwarrior Protein Powder: This is a great vegan option and is easily accessible, I can buy it from my grocery store. Again you can probably find the best deal online. This powder is made with fermented rice proteins, and is also gluten free. Some vegan proteins can taste super chalky but this one is pretty delicious although those comparing it to a whey protein may find it hard to palate. 
There are hundreds of powders out there to choose from but this would be my golden rule. Always look at the label when deciding on a protein powder and make sure it doesn't contain any more that 7-10 ingredients. Try and find a powder with more natural ingredients. If you can't pronounce all the ingredient names, put it back on the shelf. 

100% Whey Isolate Gold Standard

Vegan Sunwarrior Protein

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