A week or so ago I wrote a post about a great protein shake I made. I mentioned in that post that while I prefer to mainly eat whole natural foods, protein, and even BCAAs for that matter, can be useful tools to maintain a healthy diet when you are busy and on the go.
But while I believe in using protein for snacks and even the occasional meal replacement, I don’t believe in making protein snacks that have a bazillion ingredients in them.
I’m sorry…protein “fudge” with almond flour, honey (or other sweeteners) just isn’t healthy any more. Nuts have phytic acid in them and should only be consumed in moderation not as flours where you can end up consuming double or even triple the proper serving size.
Anyway, I do like certain whey protein powder recipes…simple ones…like certain protein pancakes. I use an egg…maybe a little raw milk, protein and water. I usually cook in coconut oil and may add a coconut butter or the occasional teaspoon of almond butter if we even have it around.
I try to keep it as natural and whole foods-y as possible. Because let’s face it…Nothing is as good as whole foods for you.
However, if you are on the run, here are a few good protein powders and the pancake recipes I used them with. I got the protein powders from BestPriceNutrition.com.
They sent me samples to try as I’m a creature of habit and otherwise just get the Gold Standard whey every time. They also sent me a couple BCAA packets to try.
Branch chain amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
If you do any sort of Intermittent Fasting, BCAAs can be a great thing to take before your workout. Lean Gains talks about BCAAs in his IF diet. I do like BCAAs and highly recommend them if you are lifting heavy and doing IF although I’m a bigger fan of the unflavored ones than the watermelon Metabolic Nutrition one that Best Price Nutrition sent me.
It tasted great…But again, I’m all about less crap and more natural even if it doesn’t taste as good.
Anyway, the whey protein powder pancake recipes!
Banana Creme Pancakes
I’ve never had a banana protein powder before. I usually keep it simple as the stranger protein flavors generally taste chemically.
This protein, however, tasted amazing and I loved that it was low carb. It wasn’t at all chemically, but did have a few more ingredients in it than I would have liked.
For me, the protein itself tasted delicious enough that I could make my super quick version of the pancakes. Tasted like banana pancakes although a bit more dense just because I only included two ingredients. You could add some baking soda if you really wanted them fluffier. But for something you can cook quickly and throw in a bag and eat cold whenever you need it later, these were delicious.
1 Scoop ProtiZyme Banana Creme
I mixed water and the protein powder to a desired thickness. I don’t like mine too watery so it was only a tbsp or two of water.
Heat a skillet with a tsp of coconut oil. Cook pancakes on medium/low heat for a minute or two each side.
Eat hot or let cool and save for later!
The best protein and water pancakes. Quick, easy and simple! Tasted great although a bit dense in texture, which may bother some people.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Pancakes
The Peanut Butter Allmax IsoFlex protein was probably the best protein I’ve ever tasted AND it was an isolate, which is saying a lot. (Here is a great post by Mark’s Daily Apple about the difference between concentrate and isolate).
However, it did have peanuts and a few more ingredients than I would like in it so I will probably not get it again. But if you eat peanuts and love peanut butter, I would suggest you try this protein. (I may give another flavor a shot though as they have a variety!)
1 scoop protein powder
1 tbsp raw milk
Water to taste
Mix egg, protein, milk and water to desired consistency. Cook with 1 tsp coconut oil over medium/low heat. Cook about 1-2 minutes per side.
Seriously probably the most delicious protein pancakes EVER, but Reese’s are one of my favorite cheat day treats!
What is your favorite protein powder? Do you make any protein powder recipes?
NOTE: Best Price Nutrition did send me products for free to review. My review is brutally honestly and if you have any further questions about the products or supplements in general, let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today I saw a guy in about his early 60s walk out of 24 Hour Fitness. He had a beer belly hanging out from beneath his nice tight spandex Nike shirt.
And while this picture made me shake my head what made my jaw drop was the fact that this overweight guy, with relatively little muscle, in his 60s was carrying a huge jar of N.O.-Xplode in his hand.
N.O.-Xplode is a nitric oxide booster and dilates your blood vessels to supposedly help deliver all of the extra CRAP the supplement has in it to your tissues quicker.
Some people say it enhances their workouts. Others just feel ill from the rapid heart beat that can follow a dose of N.O.-Xplode.
Really though it is one of those supplements that the average Joe shouldn’t even be worrying about. (I mean I don’t think even the fitness models and athletes should take it, but that is a totally different discussion).
But that is what average people do. They buy supplements and diet stuff that the super in shape models use instead of working on their base program first.
They overcomplicate things instead of focusing on a few solid basics.
This 60-year-old man didn’t need a diet supplement. He needed a new workout program and a solid diet of whole, natural foods.
But the diet supplement was a simpler solution. An easier solution.
One that won’t work.
He is focusing on micromanaging his diet. Supplements are for those people who have a solid diet and workout program and may be looking to get off that last 1% of body fat (of course I don’t think even these people need them, BUT if anyone does they do).
Everyone besides these fitness models and elite athletes shouldn’t even go near any supplements. First, they need to focus on the macronutrient proportions in their diets. They need to focus on eating only nutrient dense carbs, whole, natural sources of protein and lots of good fat. WHOLE NATURAL FOODS!
Build a solid base and then once you have seen results from that, then start getting closer to micro-managing every last thing.
Because if you don’t, you’ll be that 60-year-old man walking out of the gym with your belly hanging out and the latest supplement in your hand.
And in three years, if he hasn’t given up by then, he will be three years older and still walking out of 24 Hour Fitness with the newest supplement. His beer belly still hanging out from below his tight Nike spandex shirt.
So I went to Vitamin World yesterday to buy some Creatine and protein powder with Ryan. And while we were purchasing these items, who did the salesman talk to? Ryan.
The guy never even asked me if I wanted any help.
Was I being ignored because I was female? Or was it just bad service?
I’m hoping it was just bad service, but it did get me to thinking about women and their comfort level with supplements.
Supplements and weight training go hand in hand. Most of the women think of supplements the same way they think about heavy weight training – both are just something men use to get big. They don’t consider the strength or fat loss benefits of supplements.
I was shy myself about using supplements. I first started by just taking protein powder. I would put it in my smoothies to make them more of a meal. I started doing this when I went on The Abs Diet.
And recently I’ve seen more and more women drinking protein powder. Of course they drink it as a meal replacement (and usually they drink Muscle Milk, which probably is the best tasting protein powder but also the one with the most junk in it).
But using protein is the first step to using supplements.
After becoming more comfortable with protein (and after I got really into gaining more strength and muscle definition), I started experimenting with other supplements. I tried L-Arginine and BCAAs (branch chain amino acids).
I tried L-Arginine because it was a nitric oxide booster. Nitric oxide causes vasodilation, which means the muscles around the blood vessels relax and the blood vessels dilate so that blood can flow more freely. Because the blood vessels are dilated, more blood can reach your muscle tissues, which means the muscles will receive immediate supplies of nutrients. Nitric oxide also helps with stamina and strength and improves performance because muscles are easily receiving required amounts of oxygen from the blood.
L-Arginine also supports the release of growth hormones, which can help repair muscle tissues and aid in muscle growth. It supposedly can also help with fat loss.
I didn’t like L-Arginine that much. It made me feel a little too wired and jittery during the workout. I may give it another shot though at some point because I did feel like I got in really great workouts when I took it.
I took BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) when I tried the Lean Gains intermittent fasting diet. They are the building blocks of protein and when you are fasting, they help you save your muscle tissue. I don’t really feel that they are necessary now that I’m not fasting and getting plenty of protein (from meat, eggs, fish, and protein powder). I do think they are good for you, but I just don’t think I need the extra BCAAs right now.
Now I’m going to try Creatine. Creatine has always intimidated me. Mostly I didn’t want to do it because of the water weight you can retain and the bloated look your muscles can get. BUT it does supposedly help you make strength gains. AND supposedly Creatine Ethyl Ester doesn’t make you retain as much water. We will see though.
For the next 30 days, I will be taking Creatine Ethyl Ester around my workouts. I will also be adding in protein powder (which I didn’t take last month with the slow carb diet). Other than that though the diet will remain the same as last month. With the same diet, I will see if I make greater gains because of the protein powder and creatine. I will also see how much water I retain while taking Creatine.
This should be interesting….We will find out if Creatine is one of Man Bicep’s favorite supplements!