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Protein powders

Since I am back to working out a lot more these days, especially with Body Pump classes becoming a regular part of my routine, I have been experimenting more with different protein sources so I can be sure to consume some after a workout to rebuild my muscles.

I’ve found a lot of new things to try recently that I’ve really enjoyed. But, one thing I’ve not yet been able to get right is protein powder.

For one thing, it’s kind of hard to find good, vegan brands. Our Whole Foods doesn’t carry very many and I found a container of soy protein powder on sale at Walmart only to find out it contains a milk ingredient. What the heck?!

I have tried a few recently that I found at Amazing Grace (I should shop there more often)!

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After a workout one evening, I decided to mix this up with some almond milk and leftover (cold) decaf coffee. I made an iced coffee/protein shake 🙂

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It tasted alright. Actually it tasted good but I can never seem to get the protein powder to blend very well. I know some recommend that you don’t even use the blender but shake it by hand. To me, that just tastes worse. I’ve done it!

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I also tried the chocolate, which I believe I have had before. Once again, it was okay, but is there any way to not have it taste so chalky?

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I think for the time being, I am just going to stick to other sources of protein. I even bought a few Odwalla protein drinks since I stink at making my own, ha ha.

Do you use protein powders? Any recommendations?

Wildwood Probiotic Soyogurt

Before I gave up dairy products, I was a big fan of Greek yogurt because it was high in protein and contained very little sugar (I stuck to the plain variety). Ever since I became vegan, I have been struggling to find a non-dairy yogurt that met my high standards. And I have tried a lot of them!

Most of the flavored soy yogurts (and even some plain, like Whole Soy & Co) I have tried have sugar grams at least in the double digits (some even in the 20’s). I’ve tried just about every brand of soy yogurt on the market.

I even tried coconut milk yogurt but I really did not care for it at all. Since my last container of plain soy yogurt ran out, I had sort of given up and decided to take a break from yogurt for a while.

But then I found another brand, Wildwood, at a local health food store and I knew I had to give it a try.

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The first flavor I had was blueberry (16g sugar):

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This one was pretty good. A bit on the sweet side but I felt that it went very well with my blueberry granola 🙂

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Then strawberry (17g sugar):

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This one was okay too, just as sweet as the blueberry, maybe a little moreso. You know how when you eat really sweet yogurt it sort of stays with you (like an aftertaste)? Yeah.

I also tried the vanilla, which managed to escape the camera. It was actually sweeter than the first two flavors I tried (21g sugar, good Lord). I didn’t care much for this one at all, it was pretty overwhelming. I was surprised it had more sugar than the other two.

And then finally…drumroll please…

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This is THE BEST SOY YOGURT I’VE EVER HAD which contains just 4g sugar and 6g protein! I apparently saved the best for last. It was so creamy and to me tasted even better than the overpowering sweetness of the other three flavors.

This is my perfect vegan yogurt. It also boasts 5g fiber!

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I am beyond thrilled. I had heard of this product before but I did not know anywhere in Louisville sold this brand since they don’t seem to carry it at Whole Foods (although they do have Wildwood Probiotic drinks there). I sort of found it by accident one leisurely Saturday while out shopping!

But I will be making more trips to Amazing Grace to pick up some more of this stuff. I can’t wait to make overnight oats with it 😉

Update on goals

I decided to kick my caffeine habit on Monday, May 24th and I am happy to say that so far, so good.

I still drink one cup of caffeinated tea per daybut that is significantly less caffeine than I was consuming (19 mg caffeine vs. 90). I have only had one minor breakdown where I was literally falling asleep at my desk and had to have a cup of the “real” stuff.

(Image Source)

But once in three weeks is pretty good, no?

I wish I could say it is helping me sleep better but that has actually taken a downturn (hence falling asleep sitting up). I’ve been up every night past 11 (sometimes 12) and then I’ve been waking up every morning at 5 or 5:30 to work out before work.

I can function well on 6-7 hours of sleep normally, but when I start going under the 6, it becomes a problem. I need to work on this soon because not getting enough sleep can cause a whole lot of problems! It seems like it’s hard to fit everything in and still get enough sleep but somehow I have to do it.

I also gave up drinking diet sodas and I think now that I have found enough other drinks to enjoy, it’s not so hard to resist them anymore. I haven’t had one since May 8th! Josh even has a 24 pack of Coke Zero in our house where I can see it and I’m still not tempted.

A diet soda here or there isn’t such a bad thing, but I have no moderation. I would drink that entire 24 pack in just a few days. Then the artificial sweeteners wreak their havoc on me. No good for me, so no thanks!

If you read my fitness blog, River City Fitness, then you know that I have been taking Body Pump classes regularly the past two weeks (this week is the 3rd). Since I am in a regular weight training program now, I am trying to pay more attention to what I eat after my workouts, including adding more protein to some of my meals and snacks.

I’m also learning a lot thanks to this summer “Nutrition in Athletic Performance” class that I’m constantly cramming for taking right now. I’m also having a lot of fun, eating healthy, hanging out with friends, not worrying about my weight and just enjoying life.

So that’s what’s going on right now. How about you?

Have you given up something recently? How is it going for you?

Healthier baked beans

As many of you know, two of my favorite meals are beans with rice and a sweet potato covered in baked beans!

However, when I started the 30 Day whole foods challenge, I knew there had to be a better choice out there than the usual baked beans I buy, which contain a lot of sugar (both brown and regular) and sodium.

Aside from making them myself, I found the next best thing! Healthier canned baked beans 🙂

These beans are made with the following ingredients: Organic Navy Beans, Water, Organic Sorghum, Organic Tomato Puree, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Mustard Seed, Organic Onion, Organic Spices, Sea Salt.

They contain significantly less sugar (6g as opposed to 12, per serving) and sodium (130 mg vs. 550)!

These Eden beans also have slightly more protein and fiber. It took a little getting used to at first because I was so hooked on the “sweet” taste of the Bush’s beans, but now that I’ve had these a few times, I prefer them — plus you can’t beat the nutritional upgrade!


They are a little more expensive per serving than some other brands out there. I think this 15 oz. can ran me about $2.49, while a larger, 28 oz can of Bush’s costs me $1.75 on average.

But, for my health and peace of mind, it was well worth it.

What healthier foods are you willing to pay more for?

Note: I bought this product with my own money and was not paid to review it for the company.