I get a remarkable number of inquiries about my ability to get enough protein and calories without eating animal products. I can tell you wi...

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie

I get a remarkable number of inquiries about my ability to get enough protein and calories without eating animal products. I can tell you without a doubt, I have no trouble getting enough calories.

When I first started training, I did have trouble eating enough. As I got used to the training and eating volume, though, I started emphasizing grains and beans instead of trying to make up the calories by eating larger salads. 

Being very picky about consumption of animal products has actually improved the quality of my calorie intake significantly--I can no longer mindlessly munch on cookies and pastries, consuming endless quantities of sugar in the process.

Protein is another matter. I've touched on this several times before.

There are lots of opinions on protein consumption. Some people (mostly weight lifters) think you should eat as much protein as possible. Others (mostly endurance athletes) emphasize carbohydrates instead. I'm sure there are lots of exceptions to this generalization.

I fall somewhere in between the two categories. I do want to increase my strength, but I have a limited amount of bulk I can add. I do also need to improve my endurance. I've also done some of my own research on maximum and minimum safe and/or beneficial protein consumption. I'm not a nutritionist, but I'm smart, discerning and well-versed in food science; I feel confident in my ability to make conclusions based on the information available.

In light of this, I've decided to take a middle approach. I could list the pros and cons of high protein/carb consumption here, but I'd rather you formed your opinion.

In any case, that middle approach is still a lot of protein. I have absolutely no problem consuming my goal grams when I'm exercising normally and not dropping weight. However, if I have a light exercise week or do not match my calories in to calories out, I have some trouble.

To help, I do turn to protein powders and bars. I would really rather use whole foods to get my protein intake, but I've found this to be very difficult without relying very heavily on soy products.

So far, I've tried two protein powders, hemp and Plant Fusion's chocolate powder. I definitely preferred the former--sure, it tasted grassy, but it also tasted natural. The Plant Fusion powder has stevia in it, which make it a gross kind of sweet, and is a really dominant flavor in everything it goes in.

Still, I enjoyed it thoroughly in this protein shake. I also appreciate that I drank it and three hours later I was still so full I couldn't fathom eating--all for about 250 calories.

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Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie
serves 1

10 ice cubes, crushed
0.5c frozen raspberries
1 scoop Plant Fusion chocolate protein powder
0.5c cooked overnight oats (optional)
0.75c light soymilk

1. Put all ingredients in blender. Add enough soymilk to cover.
2. Blend until smooth.

Note: You could probably replace the oats with banana, but we didn't have any. It added fiber and thickened the smoothie a bit.
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