I could probably dedicate a whole blog to protein shakes; and everyone has their own favorites. My approach was to buy a lot of sample packs, try them out, and then commit to the giant tub-o-protein. So, here are some links to what I've tried and what I've heard others try. I've included some links, but you can buy most of these in multiple places, so try googling to find the best price. I've listed them in order of frequency of use for me.
Isopure Zero Carb: You just can't beat the nutritional value of this stuff. I've only tried, and enjoy, the vanilla flavor as well as the strawberries and cream. The Isopure website is just plain cool. But I buy mine locally in-store at the Vitamin Shoppe. For some reason, I liked that I could go in and grab it.
Syntrax Nectar: At an early point, I got sick of "creamy"-type flavors. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry just weren't doing it for me anymore. This is when I fell in love with Syntrax Nectar. It's more of a juice flavor...genius! I basically do an Isopure Zero Carb in the AM with water or soy milk, and this in the afternoon (or an Isopure Zero Carb Clear...see below). Now, people really vary in flavor preferences, so I highly recommend the sample pack. I found some I liked (Caribbean Cooler!) and some I did not (Pink Grapefruit)...and some that were not fruit-flavored but were delish (Double Stuffed Cookie, anyone?). Yum.
Isopure Zero Carb clear drink (20 fl oz). These seem to be really hit or miss with people. It's bit...20 oz. And I frequently drink it in two sittings. But zero carb, zero fat, and 40g of protein. So, fabulous in my opinion. More of a fruit juice consistency. The cool thing is that you can buy them individually at the Vitamin Shoppe in the fridge case. I recommend you try a few flavors, then go for the case if you find one you like. Me? I'm an Alpine Punch girl.
Unjury: I ordered the starter kit. For $21.20 plus tax you'll get two samples of five flavors (that's 10 packets to try!). I enjoyed every flavor. In the end, for flavored powder, I still went with a tub of Isopure Zero Carb, again because of the nutritional value comparison. However, I became quite the a fan of Unjury Unflavored. You can mix it in a ton of stuff, including soups! So, when eating those broths in the early days I could stack in extra protein. Unjury also has some other recommended recipes
Click: I have not personally tried this, because I'm not a huge coffee fan. But I can see the allure. If you are, check it out. When I get sick of what I have, I may be trying this next.
Chike: I ordered the free sample. They sent about six protein packets of flavors to try. You just have to pay for shipping (about $7). My take? Very tasty, and very creamy. But, the carbs and fat are just too much when I'm watching those areas. These are probably good for the early stages when you're not taking in much of anything, but Isopure Zero Carb is preferable to me longer-term.
More Protein Shake "Stuff"
- Frozen fruit: prefer this to ice for sure. Just make sure you're cleared for fruits before you go there.
- Powdered Peanut Butter: I've always enjoyed adding peanut or almond butter to my protein shakes, but the extra fat (when you're watching so closely) bums me out. So, I was ecstatic when I found this. Two popular brands seem to be PB2 and Betty Lou's (what I use since it's at my grocery store)
- Omega Swirl: Want to add some healthy omega's to your shake? This stuff is perfect. Whole Foods and some markets carry it, so it's easily accessible. Use in moderation. It will add some calories, fat, and carbs to your shake. But at least Isopure Zero Crab allows me some nutritional wiggle room to do that.
- The World According to Eggface: My new favorite WLS blog (well, besides this one ;) Her protein shake page is fab. I'm not quite to the point where I feel the need to get too creative, but no doubt the time will come. And this is where I will begin!
Below are the vitamins I'm currently taking post-surgery:
- What it's for: Multi-vitamin
- How much I take: one daily
- Why I like it: It's just about the only chewable multi on the market that I could find that included at least 18mg of Iron, which keeps me from having to take a separate iron pill. And they don't taste completely hideous
- What it's for: Calcium is important for bone health. After weight loss surgery, we may be at risk for the brittle bone disease osteoporosis and related fractures
- How much I take: 500 mg daily
- Why I like it: It's chewable AND the bariatric support label (made by TwinLab) seems to be much cheaper than other TwinLab labels...go figure
- What it's for: Most multivitamins do not contain adequate levels of B12. Vitamin B12 may help boost metabolism, and enhance weight loss efforts
- How much I take: 1000 micrograms daily
- Why I like it: Teeny tiny little dots that dissolve in your mouth. Easy! And $10 for 100? Sweet
- What it's for: hair loss
- How much I take: 50 mg every third day
- Why I like it: I'm up for anything that may prevent hair loss!
- What it's for: hair re-growth
- How much I take: 1000 micrograms daily (still sorting out my desired dosage)
- Why I like it: I've used it in the past. It seems to make my hair re-grow quicker and my nails certainly grow longer. I haven't settled on a favorite brand, but Solaray makes a lozenge form I'm interested in