Nutrition through protein shakes: A STORY!

Nutrition through protein shakes! 
A personal story by a Samantha
(this is educational but also opinion, I realize not all people believe in this, but it is information that is good about protein and what it does for the body)
It’s not all bad folks! As an active Herbalife consumer I can say for me personally.... it works! I didn't start drinking the shakes and eating the protein bars to loose weight, I did it to get more of the protein in my diet that I need in a day to stay healthy and not plato my body. I found that as a college student (and im only speaking for myself) I didn’t have as much time to consume fruits and veggies and meats and nuts on a daily basis to get my full nutrition for the day, so I needed something more and something fast and healthy that I could have on the go. 

So one day I was at the gym and kept seeing people come in with shakes, so I asked where they were going for them, and it was a locally owned nutrition shop that was giving away free herbalife shakes to prove its benefits and how amazing it tastes! So I went and I have been hooked ever since and have gained more lean muscle, lost more fat, and gained more nutritional foods and vitamins and minerals and proteins since and I am the healthiest I have ever been(this was march of 2010).

 I do want to tell everyone though that these shakes are not to substitute your daily intake of fruits and veggies and other protein sources, the shakes are there to help give you more nutrition in your day that you would normally neglect! (or at least for my case)

I wanted to share my life altering personal experience with you all. I was in a motorcycle accident on September 3rd, and I broke my toe, shoulder blade, and my thumb, as well as lacerated my knee and foot and couldn't walk well for almost 2 months after. While I was in the hospital (7 days, and 2 surgeries and physical therapy later) I consumed my normal protein shake (about 24 extra grams of protein or more a day) in and out of the hospital. At my first checkup out side of the hospital, the doctors were AMAZED at the progress I had made, my bones were re-fusing together, my muscles and tissues were forming again, and the new bone growth was stronger than ever. 

They told me, “wow, what are you taking? any vitamins, or special dieting?” and I was able to say YES! “yes I have been doing Herbalife protein shakes before and during this healing period” and the doctors all three of them had said “that is what saved your life, being a healthy individual and consuming vitamins and getting the good nutrients and protein that your body needs is what is making you heal quicker and is what made your body not get as injured as it could have from that accident”. It was pretty amazing to hear what protein alone had done for my body and for my future and healing process. It literally saved my limbs (body) and my life. 

So when I hear people say that certain Nutrition shakes or protein bars ect are a scam or are not good for you I caution them, and ask that they please get more facts on the information that they seem to believe or know. There are products that doctors recommend protein shakes and bars to help with nutritional benefits for men, women, and children, as well as weight loss for some, and weight gain for others. The Vice President, and Nutrition educator of herbalife is a doctor himself, Luigi Gratton, M.D. and M.P.H. of herbalife. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to consume products, I just say do your research, know what is good for you, what will impact you and your health!

** Id like to caution everyone and say that this is a personal story, and that consumption of protein products such as shakes and bars are completely your choice, and are not for everyone** 
Here are some websites that I found were filled with a lot of information regarding this blog.

Knowing your protein information from Harvard’s “The Nutritions Source”

(Tips and Info from the Harvard School of Public Health website) 
Paying attention to your packaging is important! Getting the right amount of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grain is essential to being a healthy individual. Vegetarians and vegans, HECK all of us need to be aware of this. For Vegetarians in order to get the amino acids you would need to get all the sources of protein your body needs in order to stay in shape and heathy. Harvard notes that “people who don't eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products should eat a variety of protein-containing foods each day”(harvard).
**You should be making sure your getting all the sources of protein you can get! it's important, even those you may not think of, or be opposed to trying to eat. I personally recommend vegetarians try meat or other protein rich substances be open to new things and same goes for meat eaters eat more veggies, try soy, and be open to vegetarian idea’s. there are benefits to all food types and all eating lifestyles! Some information from Harvard:  “A 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of protein—about 40 grams worth. But it also delivers about 38 grams of fat, 14 of them saturated. That's more than 60 percent of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat. The same amount of salmon gives you 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, 4 of them saturated. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, but under 1 gram of fat.”
So when choosing foods that are rich in protein make sure you know what else in in the product (such as fats, calories, sugars ect) 
Harvard’s 5 quick tips:( can be seen in depth on the website listed below)
1. Mix it up.  Eating a variety of foods will ensure that you get all of the amino acids you need. 
2. Go low on saturated fat. Beans, fish and poultry provide plenty of protein, without much saturated fat. Steer clear of fatty meats!

3. Limit red meat—and avoid processed meat.... So make red meat—beef, pork, lamb—only an occasional part of your diet. And skip the processed stuff—bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats—since that's also been linked to higher cancer, heart disease, and diabetes risk. 
4. Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we don’t suggest any change. 
5. Balance carbs and protein. 

A little info on SOY!


A little info on soy!! Soy is not just for vegetarians, or vegans, as a fellow meat eater I LOVE soy! “Soy is a complete protein, equal in quality to animal protein.” ( is beneficial to everyone, especially because its a grown crop! its not chemically based and is extremely great for your body. There are many benefits to substituting soy into your diet its low in saturated fats, high in vitamin D and amino acids, its a great way to increase bone health and can help with reproduction, menopause and other diseases. 
It’s a great source of iron and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, it has also been known to help reduce risk of some forms of cancers, it’s great for women, children and men! 
Of course its smart not to overdo or over eat anything just like you wouldn't just eat meat for every meal! “Two to 4 servings a week is a good target; eating more than that likely won't offer any health benefits and we can’t be sure that there is no harm.” (facts
If your interested in Soy meals and idea’s and more facts you can go to or google and search soy, and meals, ice cream, and smoothies will pop up! Broaden your protein intake! Try soy!

Sustainability Starts With Self

Now that we know why we need protein, where we can get it, and how important sustainability is, it is time to cover some other facts and truths. Growth Hormones such as: bovine growth hormone (BGH), or bovine somatotropin (BST) are suspected of increasing a person risk for several types of cancers. These cancers include (but are not limited to): certain types of vaginal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, in addition to a host of other ailments. 

Why Animals Are Given These Substances?
  •  Growth hormones are chemicals produced in the bodies of all living things. In a natural setting, they contribute to birth rates, protein synthesis, muscle growth, and reproductive traits. Hormones control body functions and are an essential part of every organism’s body chemistry.
  • Unfortunately, in an attempt to gain more profits and lower overhead our agricultural industry has adopted the practice of introducing growth hormones into the animals we depend on to gain our protein. Two major U.S. industries have come under attack in recent years - Milk and Beef.
  • Growth hormone implementation has been introduced into these industries for several simple economic reasons. First of all, animals given substances like (BGH) grow much faster. They are able to reach maturity younger, put on weight faster, and cost less to bring to "the market." In addition, dairy cows, are able to produce more milk, also become mature faster, and cost less to care for. The benefits to the agricultural industries “bottom line” are clear, but what does this mean for the consumer?

What Are the Effects to Humans?

  • To say the research pertaining to this subject is inconclusive would be an understatement.
  • Critics of these practices and some scientific evidence suggests that the ingestion of these substances can cause children to reach puberty early, increase the risk of various types of cancers, and affect body chemistry.
  • In addition, many of the hormones introduced into agricultural animal stocks can affect the animals’ ability to sustain and maintain appropriate amounts of protein. Meaning, they live unhealthy lives and so can the consumer who consumes them.
  • “Cows treated with rBGH tend to develop more udder infections (mastitis). These cows are given more antibiotics than cows not given rBGH. Does this increased use of antibiotics lead to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and is this a health concern for people? This remains a concern, but it has not been fully examined in humans” (American Cancer Society).
  • This agricultural practice could aid in facilitating the spread of more bacterially resistant strains of infections to humans and animals alike.
So What Can Consumers Do?

  • As always, education and knowledge are the keys to longevity.
  • Practice informed decision making. Know where you food is coming from, what substances may be introduced into the farming of this food, and if the farmers involved in “growing” this food practice natural farming.
  • In addition to practicing self help, many may want to challenge this agricultural practice. While consequences for human ingestion may be inconclusive the effects to the animals is not. As illustrated above, animals involved in growth hormone farming live unnatural and unhealthy lives. The consequences to their body chemistry and quality of life have never been in dispute; however, the agricultural industry has done a wonderful job hiding this fact form consumers.
  • If possible, buy your food local. Meat, vegetables, and other dietary products shipped to distant geographic regions undergo a variety of unhealthy nutrient sapping process. These products have been shown to produce lower quality protein and may actually be harmful to your health.
  • Sustainability truly starts with self. Shop smart, shop informed.

"Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone." American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. American Cancer Society, 18 Feb. 2011. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. <>.

Thai Soup with Tofu - A Great Source of Vegetarian Protein

Thai Soup with Tofu - A Great Source of Vegetarian Protein

Organic Tofu offers a great, sustainable, protein option. Companies like Wildwood, and Nasoya make their tofu sustainably, therefore having little impact on the planet and it's resources. Each serving of this soup provides about 14 grams of protein: 8-tofu, 3-Udon noodles, 1-peanut butter, 1-chicken broth, less than 1-fish sauce. While this soup is not totally vegetarian you could easily make it so by substituting the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

The combination of heat and coconut milk in Thai food is my favorite thing. This soup is pretty easy to make and it was absolutely delicious. Whenever I'm cooking something a little complicated, like Thai food, I always try to get everything prepped so that when it comes to the actually cooking, it's easy and fast. This soup is so satisfying and flavorful. I will definitely be making it again, and again, and again.
Thai Coconut Soup with Udon Noodles and Tofu
Inspired by this recipe from Sprouted Kitchen.

1 14oz package of Extra Firm Tofu (this needs to be drained so make sure to note the extra time in the directions)
1 Tablespoon agave
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
Vegetable oil

2 stalks of lemongrass, peel off the outside layer and quickly chop the tender centers of the stalks
2 thai red chilies, seeded and deveined (2 chilies = medium heat)
2-3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and quickly chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 large shallot, quickly chopped
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 14.5oz cans coconut milk (whole or light, I used one of each but either would work)
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)

10oz Udon noodles (I found them in the bulk section at the store)

1 large shallot, thinly sliced
Cilantro, trimmed
Sesame oil
To drain the tofu, wrap it in paper towels, and set it on a plate. Place another plate on top to help press out the water. Let the tofu drain for about an hour. Mix together your agave, soy sauce, and sesame oil to make a marinade for the tofu. After draining for one hour, cut the tofu into 1" cubes, place in a bowl or dish and pour in the marinade.  Gently toss and allow it to sit while you prep all your other ingredients for the soup.
Put all the ingredients for your sofrito in a food processor (lemongrass, chilies, ginger, garlic, water, fish sauce, and shallot) and puree it. Set aside.
In a bowl, gently mix together all of your soup base ingredients except for the oil (coconut milk, peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice). Set aside.
Now you are ready to cook! Heat your vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Put in your sofrito and cook it, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Once it smells really fragrant and sweet add in your coconut milk/broth mixture. Let your soup simmer for 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, bring another large pot of water to a boil.  While you're waiting for it to come to a boil, heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add a bit of vegetable oil to the pan and allow it to heat up. Carefully add your tofu cubes to the pan using a pair of tongs. Saute the tofu until it's nice and golden brown. Transfer it to a plate and set aside.

By now your water should be boiling, toss your Udon noodles in and cook them until they are al dente (about 8-11 minutes), then drain them.
Ladle your flavorful broth into large bowls, add in some noodles, top with tofu, cilantro, and the thinly sliced shallot. Drizzle with a tiny bit of sesame oil and serve immediately.

Serves 4.
Thai Coconut Soup with Udon Noodles and Tofu
Printable Recipe:
Thai Coconut Soup with Udon Noodles and Tofu

Protein Deficiency in the Elderly: Facts to Keep all Generations Healthy

The elderly population is one that often gets forgotten when people talk about healthy eating and the importance of protein. Those belonging to a younger generation may not see the need to stay educated about the needs of our aging population. It becomes a little easier when, instead of looking at elderly people as a whole, we begin to put a face to them. We are talking about your Grandmother and Grandfather, favorite uncle or aunt, aging family friends and all those that play such an important role in our lives.

So, what do we all need to know?

·        Loss of appetite- Illness, chronic medical conditions, and depression can all be reasons that it seems older folks don’t eat very much. Why does this matter? Smaller amounts of food being taken in can be a cause of protein deficiency. If the amounts of calories that are taken in are smaller, a greater amount will need to be from protein rich resources.

·        Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) - this is a condition that is marked by an inadequate amount of protein and calories in a person’s diet, leaving the body without the minimal required nutrition to function. This condition is often seen in the elderly that live in assisted living or nursing homes, but can also be seen in children that are not getting good nutrition at home; up to 48% of hospital patients have this issue.

·        When we age our muscle mass naturally declines and our total body fat goes up. Keeping a nutritionally balanced diet becomes more of a challenge when older people begin to lose their sense of taste and smell and some foods can seem less appetizing. Also, keep in mind that many protein rich foods can be hard to eat with tooth loss.

We all need protein. Protein provides the building blocks that muscles use, helps immune and brain function, and provide the energy we need to move about in our daily lives. As we age a balanced diet, with plenty of protein, will help to keep our brains and bodies limber; reminding those in our lives that are of advanced age of the importance of protein is essential.


“Nutrition and Aging”- Colorado State University

“Protein Deficiency in the Elderly”-

Protein and Your Heart - HDL vs. LDL

Did you know that there are 2 types of Protein? One that is "good" for your health (hdl cholesterol) and another that creates heart disease and clogs your arteries known as "bad protein" (ldl cholesterol)? Bill Clinton and many others in America are realizing the extreme health hazards associated with "bad protein" and as a result are changing their diets. These diets are practically vegan with heart doctors recommending legumes, beans, and small amounts of fish as a main source of protein. The newfound solutions to high-cholesterol diets just so happen to promote sustainability. Alternative food sources have become increasingly popular due to these efforts. Growing numbers of adults between the ages of 35-90 are becoming more concerned with their protein source. 

Cardiologists are increasing their efforts to address the average American diet by recommending check-ups and solutions bi-annually to patients. Medical doctors are offering check-ups for patients that have reached the age of 30 and advertising that appointments are fully covered by all major medical insurance cards. 
Attached below is a CHOLESTEROL IQ Interactive quiz that will introduce you to the increasing problem of cardiovascular disease and alternative/sustainable diets that can help.
Click link below

CITATION/URL: American Heart Association. 2012. AboutCholesterol/Good-vs-Bad-Cholesterol_UCM_305561_Article.jsp#.Txt-ohybW2k.

What is Protein and how much of it do we really need?

What is Protein and how much of it do we really need?
  • Protein is the principal primary building blocks for every cell in the human body; it is an essential part of one’s daily dietary requirements.
  • You may be asking yourself: where do I get protein, and are all types good? 
  • These are good questions and ones that we can answer quite simply.
  • There are two basic types of proteins: Complete Proteins & Incomplete Proteins.
Complete Proteins: are comprised of all the essential amino acids a human body needs. Examples include: meat, dairy products, and poultry.
Incomplete Proteins: contain many of the same elements of complete proteins, but are devoid of all of the same amino acids. Therefore, you cannot meet all of your daily protein requirements from these sources as they do not contain all the essential amino acids. Examples of incomplete proteins include: whole grains, and plant sources.
Are all Proteins created equal?
  • I’m glad you asked, the short answer is no.      
  • Caged chickens, for example, do not contain the same amount of protein as “roam free” chickens. This affects their ability to harbor the same levels of complete proteins. 
  • Also, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains that are shipped to distant geographic regions go through rigorous processes to ensure longevity. Many of these treatments wash away the nutrients and render these foods almost null and void of needed proteins.
So how can I adopt a healthy diet?
  • There are several ways you can do this.        
  • One is to implement a healthy balance.
  •  A “Zone Diet” recommends the 40-30-30 rule.
  • Zone Diet states: 40% of daily calories should come from carbohydrates. 30% should come from protein (both complete and incomplete), and 30% of calories should come from fats.

Maintain a healthy balance and know your foods.

  • One of the best ways to maintain a healthy balance and truly know your food is to know where it comes from.   
  • By local! This not only helps your local economy, but it also allows you to know where your food is coming from and allows for inquiries. For instance, are these eggs from “roam free” chickens, and are these vegetables free of nutrient sapping chemicals?
  • Farmers markets are an excellent source of information. You can talk to the farmers and ask the questions pertinent for your dietary goals.
  • As always, education is the key to longevity.
  • You can help yourself, help your community, and teach sustainability to your family and friends if you follow these simple rules.
"The Truth About Protein | Jigsaw Health." Magnesium Supplements | Jigsaw Health. Web. 19 Jan. 2012. <>.

Misconceptions about Protein: Choose Smart, Choose Natural

Misconceptions about Protein: Choose Smart, Choose Natural

Protein supplements are becoming the norm in this day and age. All you have to do is take a quick stroll through a local GNC to see what I mean. The choices are just as varied as their claims. Slogans like: “build muscle fast” and “better than eggs” markets the differentiating brands to the masses. The logic is obvious: however, the science does not back up these claims.

Did you know?
  •  According to the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health:“To date, no studies have shown an advantage of ingesting protein supplements over natural, protein-containing foods; therefore, dietary sources of protein may be just as effective as protein supplemental sources in the regulation of muscle protein synthesis.”
  •  Supplement companies spend millions each year marketing their products and pushing “protein guilt.” 99% of their claims are false.
  •  Some studies have indicated a correlation between Kidney Failure and the ingestion of these products (including one of the most popular supplements – whey).
  •  Supplements are expensive and largely ineffective.
  • The cons “out whey” the pros regarding supplements.
  • Many, if not most body building athletes acquire their protein from natural sources. This includes: complete and incomplete proteins. 
  • A varied diet of natural foods will allow you to gain the best nutritional results.
  • Misconceptions about protein are “costly” to your pocketbook and your health.
Duellman, M. C., J. M. Lukaszuk, A. D. Prawitz, and J. P. Brandenburg. "Protein Supplement Users among High School Athletes Have Misconceptions about Effectiveness." 22 July 2008. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <>.

Easy Solutions for More Protein

In a schedule and have a hard time eating the amounts of protein that is required? There are alternative sources in order to help get the protein needed into your diet. From yogurt, granola bars, cereal, and protein drinks there are simple things that can be added to a diet to help get the protein that is needed.
                If eating yogurt is something you do on a regular basis there is a simple way to eat more protein by just switching brands. Here is a breakdown of some different yogurts and their protein content:
·         Activia – 4g
·         Yoplait – 5g
·         Dannon all Natural – 7g
·         Oikos Greek Yogurt – 12g
·         Chobani Greek Yogurt – 14g
Granola Bars:
                Granola bars are easy to eat in the morning, on break at work, on the way to a sporting event, or as a snack. With the choice in granola bars as well it can be easy to get more protein from different brands.
·         Quaker Chewy Granola bars – 1g
·         Nature Valley – 4g
·         Kashi Chewy Granola Bars – 4g
·         Cliff Bar – 9g
·         Balance Bar – 14g
·         Cliff Bar Builder – 20g
                Cereal is a common breakfast time meal from kids to parents. It’s quick and easy to make, and when in a hurry a good choice. There are also smarter choices in cereal that can help you get more protein.
·         Captain Crunch – 1g
·         Froot Loops – 1g
·         Special K – 2g
·         Cheerios – 3g
·         Raisin Bran – 5g
·         Go Lean – 9g
Protein Drinks:
                Protein drinks might not be everyone’s choice, but there are different choices that can help. Whether it is used for, a breakfast meal or a snack on the go, it can be an easy way to get more protein.
·         Carnation Instant Breakfast – 5g
·         Slim Fast Shakes – 10g
·         Special K Protein Drinks – 10g
·         Gatorade G Series Protein – 16g
·         Whey Protein Powder – 25g

If protein is hard to come by in your diet there can be easy solutions to get the amount needed. Whether that means switching up the breakfast cereals, yogurt, granola bars, or protein drinks there are products out there that have been made with more protein so it is easier to put into a diet. 

Protica Inc. Rebrands Protein

Protein comes in many shapes and sizes, but up until now most people thought of it as a nutrient provided by animal product or soy. Thanks to Protica Inc., though, people can now experience protein in jelly form. The company's "Protein Gem" product boasts twenty five grams of protein (as much as two chicken eggs) in the form of multiple fruit flavors. It's intended to be a replacement for sugary snacks commonly eaten by working people who don't have the time for a full meal.

Keep in mind, though: there are many sources of protein, and many offer benefits that won't be satisifed by Protica's products. A quick look at the labels of these treats will show that despite their high protein content, they provide absolutely zero vitamins and few other nutrients.

Protein Gem isn't necessarily unhealthy, any more than vitamin supplements are -- but it's no substitute for full meals including animal, dairy, or even bean protein. The nutrients that accompany natural protein sources are just as important as the protein itself.

San Fransisco Chronicle. (Tuesday, January 24, 2012). Protica Introduces Healthy Dessert. San Fransisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-01-24 PST from