In order to get you completely prepared for you to “Shake it Up” starting November 4th; here’s a list of some of my favorite protein shake add-ins. But first, let’s discuss some details….

Shake Up November
When: November 4th – November 30th.
What: Start your day with a shake. Share a picture and your recipe. Tag #tellmemel. The more you share and interact, the more you could win in giveaways.

Giveaways: I’ll be adding more throughout the challenge and will have weekly giveaways, but so far I will be sending weekly winners Advocare Muscle Gain packets; Vega Sport protein powder; Stronger Faster Healthier protein, Pump & Shred apparel, Tetra Fitness 10 Class Pack and much more to be included. (still gathering prizes – so if you’re interested in donating, I’d love to feature your product and give it away)

Ebook: At the end of the challenge I will compile all recipes submitted; include nutritional breakdown, and send each person who participates a FREE eBook with all recipes and my very own favorites included. 

Shake It Up Supplies
Here’s just the basics; feel free to get creative as you want and share your ideas. But remember, we’re trying to avoid having dessert for breakfast; so keep it clean and balanced.

Let me briefly explain the above options.
Proteins:  Depending on tolerance, digestion issues the above options should be plenty for you to choose from.  When choosing a protein powder I suggest the following:
~ Choose one with at least 15 – 30 grams per serving.  
~ The less processed ingredients, the better.  If you are active choose one with l glutamine, branched chain amino acid complex, and as naturally sweetened as possible.  Also, if you are adding in extras and fruit it would be best to choose one with about ~200 calories or less and ~4-15 grams of carbs per serving.

Brands I love: Advocare Muscle Gain (Whey); Vega Sport (Pea, Saviseed, sprouted whole grain brown rice, alfalfa protein); Stronger Faster Healthier (Grassfed Whey); Bluebonnet (Whey, Soy Free, Gluten Free)

Veggies: Don’t be scared to experiment with adding veggies; I promise you won’t even know they’re in there.  I love adding spinach to most of my shakes. Again, feel free to get creative.

Fruits: Pumpkin is SO hot right now; so throw in a few tablespoons if you’d like. My personal favorite to add in are strawberries and a handful of spinach.  Post workout is a great time to incorporate fruit in your shakes; as the carbohydrates and simple sugars from the fruit will help restore glycogen in the muscles. 

Liquids: Unsweetened almond, coconut, and/or cashew milk are a great non-dairy option. And honestly if you’re using a whey protein powder it may be best to keep most of your dairy intake (easier for digestion) in the form of your protein powder. Greek yogurt is another option if you aren’t sensitive to dairy; as it provides an extra source of protein.

Omegas & Extras: Ground chia & flax seeds as well as raw cacao powder are among my absolute favorites to add to my shakes. Chia seeds supply ALA (alpha-linolenic acid; an omega 3 essential fatty acid), which your body can’t produce and must get from food. Chia seeds supply an added source of fiber and aid in digestion.  Flax seeds are another great form of Omega 3s; contain both soluble and insoluble fiber and aids in other bodily functions as well. Avocados are a great source of unsaturated fat and without overkilling it on the portion sizes has many great health benefits. Half of a small avocado has as much potassium as a small banana and 4 grams of fiber. It also adds a creamy texture to your shake and the fat will keep you fuller longer as well as help balance out the sugars from your fruit.  Nut butters are another great source of fat; but use them in moderation – 1 to 2 Tablespoons (depending on your individual needs) is plenty. Raw unsweetened cacao powder has been shown to reduce cravings and is a great source of flavanols; plant compounds linked to lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. Plus, a little cacao makes us happy! Extracts, Stevia, Cinnamon are all great and add a nice touch to most shakes.

Once you have everything you need, go ahead and take a pic, hashtag #tellmemel and show me that you’re ready to “SHAKE IT UP!” 

Wednesday’s post will cover Intermittent Fasting; why it works well for some and is not ideal for others.  Stay tuned.

Oh and as promised; here is the recipe to Clarkie’s Pumpkin Protein Smoothie:
1 scoop Bluebonnet Farms Vanilla Whey
1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop glutamine
SprAnkles of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and 2 drops of vanilla stevia.