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The Vitamin Shoppe’s Protein Pantry

I’m starting off this lovely Wednesday morning with two crazy kiddos at my side. One is completely naked (she has some pretty bad diaper rash) and the other is in an Elsa dress. The naked baby is crawling all over me and I wish so bad I could share a picture because she has the cutest little bum you’ve ever seen….but I’d better keep it off the internet :). Trust me when I say, it’s adorable. Instead, I’ll show you fully clothed pictures from our past couple of days with Grandma in town:

my little babe

my little babe

targetfun

So, that picture was initially intended for my best friend so she could see what I was trying on at Target (because she doesn’t have a life, right?). But, I love Willow’s face so I’m sharing it here too. By the way, didn’t get the vest but DID get the hat!

kidsplaying

brookecookies

I love this picture of my three year old, Brooke. She actually didn’t think she was in the picture (she hates taking pictures). I got her good though! I may have to print that one.

We had a great visit with Grandma in town! It was short, but a lot of fun. The weather here has been amazing. Usually, this time of year we’ve had snow at least once but we haven’t had any yet. Thank the Lord. I’d be cool just skipping winter altogether.

 

 

Let’s talk about protein!!

As much as I love me some carbo’s, I really try to consume protein rich foods throughout the day. In my opinion (and my experience), I have absolutely no problem getting enough carbs in my diet. In fact, some days I notice most of the foods I eat are basically carbs with little fat or protein. So, consuming carbs is not a problem. I guess that’s because carbohydrates are often convenience foods like bars, cereal, breads, yogurt, etc. Foods high in protein can sometimes take a little more work (or thought).

How Much Protein Should You Eat a Day?

Well, this is a tough question to answer. There is obviously some controversy within the health/fitness industry because you have lots of different people following different diets (bodybuilders, Paleo foodies, etc).

The bottom line, right now at least, is the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) suggests .8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. To figure this out for yourself, you can multiply your weight, in pounds, by .36. For example, I weight about 110 pounds. So, 110 x .36 would be about 40 grams of protein a day.

I, personally, eat much more than that. Since I’m pretty active and am constantly trying to gain muscle, I eat around 100 grams of protein a day (almost a gram per pound of body weight). That’s typically the recommended amount IF you’re lifting weights and trying to gain some muscle.

That doesn’t necessarily mean drink protein shakes at every single meal though NOR does it mean to consume chicken breast 10 times a day (I would die).

The best thing for your body is to consume protein rich foods throughout the day. Whole foods are absolutely the best way to get protein since they are typically dense in other nutrients as well. Some examples of protein rich foods are:

  • Lean Meats- Chicken, Lean Beef, Turkey, Wild Game
  • Fish-Salmon, Tuna, Cod, Etc. 
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Nuts 

That being said, we all live busy lives, so thank gosh for things like protein bars and powders. While you shouldn’t live off them, they are a great way to supplement your diet when you’re pinched for time…or just want a yummy treat..or pancakes :). Speaking of pancakes…

The Vitamin Shoppe’s “Protein Pantry”

The Vitamin Shoppe was nice enough to send me products from their new category, “Protein Pantry.”

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proteinpantry

In stores (The Vitamin Shoppe has around 700) and online at VitaminShoppe.com, you can now shop for an assortment of 40 protein-packed foods like pancake mixes, nut butters, powdered peanut butter, microwavable muffins, and more!

I love that there are TONS of new brands infusing comfort-type foods with protein (and other healthy additions like flax and chia). I think it’s a brilliant idea.

I, like many others, love foods like pancakes, muffins, and peanut butter but unfortunately, those foods tend to be lacking in the nutrition department. These new brands pack a great protein punch and are an option you can actually feel good about.

Protein Pancake/Waffle Mix

A lot of us love to consume carb-heavy breakfasts, so some of these protein pancake/waffle mixes are a great swap. One morning, I tried all three protein pancake mixes:

Mancakes:

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Maple Bacon Mancakes. So, Mancakes wins for best name.

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23 grams of protein!! They have several flavors so I’m looking forward to trying them all. The maple bacon smelled amazing. The flavor was all there. If you love the smokiness of bacon, you’ll be a big fan!

Mancakes also offers fiber maple syrup for your protein pancakes! I haven’t tried it yet, but will let you know my thoughts when I do!

#2 was About Time’s Cinnamon Mix:

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protpantry7

21 grams of protein!

These had a great texture and a nice cinnamon taste. I think they’d be delicious with cut up bananas (banana pancakes anyone?) or with added peanut butter in the batter.

Finally, P28’s White Chocolate Mix:

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Great choices for a high protein breakfast.

They had an awesome light, fluffy texture-exactly how I want my pancakes. I may try to make these into muffins too later this week so stay tuned!

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Pancake party at my house and you’re all invited!

So, I’m always skeptical about protein pancakes because of the texture. These mixes are great though because they figured out the right formula that actually produces pancakes that taste like pancakes. No rubbery, weird textures here.

I’m a creature of habit, so I like my eggs in the morning. What I prefer to do with the protein pancakes is make a bunch of them, then stick them in the fridge for a snack throughout the week. Of course, they’re great for breakfast too, but I like grabbing one mid-afternoon when I’m craving something doughy and sweet.

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Nut Butters and Spreads

Yesssssss. Thank you Buff Bake, P28, and D’s Naturals for making delicious, healthier nut spreads.

Yes, peanut butter and almond butter DO have healthy fats and protein, but the protein content really isn’t that high. These brands pack even more protein AND offer delicious flavors.

Buff Bake:

protpantry3

I’ve reviewed Buff Bake before (here) and really like their products. They basically make almond butter with some added whey protein, flax seeds, AND chia. The other night, I had some sliced banana, white chocolate Buff Bake, whipped cream, and mini chocolate chips for dessert. They do an awesome job with everything: flavor, texture, packaging-all great.

Next up, P28 White Chocolate Peanut Spread:

protpantry11

White Chocolate PB AND White Chocolate Pancakes. Love it.

So, what’s peanut spread? Well, just roasted peanuts, whey protein, white chocolate, and canola oil. Pretty simple and pretty delicious. By the way, I’ve also tried P28’s Protein Bread and it’s amazing. It surprised me. It makes the best toast!

Finally, D’s Naturals Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter:

proteinpantry2

Yes sir! This tastes exactly like brownie mix. So, if you like brownie mix, and what person doesn’t, you’ll love it. It’s almonds, organic rice protein, canola oil, pea protein, and a few sweeteners like xylitol and stevia. Noms.

Finally in my box of goodies: Flap Jacked Mighty Muffins!

I’m sure you’ve seen mug cakes around, right? If you haven’t, mug cakes are single serving desserts made in a coffee mug and microwaved. They’re a godsend.

mightymuffin

FlapJacked basically took that model and made the Mighty Muffin.

We were sent Double Chocolate and Cinnamon Apple. I tried the Double Chocolate last night and added a few chocolate chips and a little Buff Bake Snicker-Doodle.

It was incredibly chocolatey (as you can see). Which I love. I think I’ll try the cinnamon apple for breakfast tomorrow?

mightymuffin2

mightymuffin1

These Mighty Muffins contain about 220 calories and 20 grams of protein. Pretty epic dessert OR breakfast. They also contain probiotics. Great all around!

mightymuffin3

mightymuffin4

Phew, that was a long post. If you read it all, thanks! If you didn’t, just say you did :).

If you’re a snack monster like me or just want to add more protein to your diet, check out Vitamin Shoppe’s Protein Pantry and be sure to follow Vitamin Shoppe on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe. All opinions are mine.

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