Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Cookie Diet!!

Losing weight is calories in < calories out.  It's a simple enough equation, and while I need to drop some quick weight, I felt like it was a chance to have a little fun with it.  If I were trying to build muscle, or cut body fat quickly, we'd have to do it with a little bit better control over nutrients and macros.  Also, this is not a long term, sustainable lifestyle change.  It is, however, delicious and kind of hilarious.

My TDEE is generally around 1,600 calories, on a particularly active day at work, my Fitbit claims I burn about 100-200 extra calories.  I shoot for 1,200 calories a day.  Being realistic, I eat closer to my TDEE, and on some days, I eat well over it (obviously).  I am probably estimating it to be a little low, but despite the amount of walking I do each day (10,000 to 15,000 steps), I don't think I'm off by much.  I used multiple calculators to land on this number.  For this fun little experiment, I will continue with my daily goal of 1,200 calories, with motivation to exercise for extra calories for snacks.  I am lucky that the math works out perfectly in my favor.. you see, three protein shakes and two full cookies are almost exactly 1,200 calories.  Yes, I just said cookies.

Lenny and Larry's Complete Cookies are a little piece of fitlife heaven.  For a whole cookie, which is 4 oz, you eat 380-420 calories, 12-14g of fat, 54-58g of carbohydrates, and an impressive 16g of protein.  They come in eight different flavors, so hold on to your seats here: Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Macadamia, Oatmeal Raisin, Lemon Poppyseed, Pumpkin Spice and the newest Snickerdoodle.  The most important part about all of the different flavors?  They're actually good.  These cookies are the perfect mouthful of cookie, not too crumbly or dry or even too moist for that matter.  They're fantastic dipped in coffee or eaten plain.  I have yet to try one I don't like (and I've had a lot of them).

My protein powder for this experiment will be from True Nutrition.  It is their gemma pea protein (non-gmo) formulation, and the massive tub we have this time is in Creamy Peanut Butter.  That said, they have ten vegan protein sources, and more flavors than you can shake a stick at.  Seriously, if you manage to try them all, I will be impressed with you (and if you decide to do so, use my discount code BBE100).

For those curious of a breakdown of my day, they can follow me on MyFitnessPal.  If you just want to casually follow along, check out my Instagram!

Disclaimer: Lenny & Larry's did provide me some swag for this diet.  It did not influence whether or not I took on this cookie diet challenge.  True Nutrition has provided me products to review in the past.  The protein I will be using for this challenge was purchased.  They did send me a True Nutrition Blender Bottle to use for the challenge.  As always, I reserve the right to my open and honest opinion.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

True Nutrition Vegan Wholefoods Replacement Powder

There are a ton of different meal replacement powders out there for vegans.  The ones that I have used the most in the past are the Garden of Life brand, from several of their different lines.  I have tried so many options for meal shakes, but am often disappointed by the high amount of carbs.  Carbohydrates are higher in meal shakes than protein shakes due to the fact that it's supposed to substitute a meal.  That's all fine and dandy, but when I'm trying to stick to a moderate amount of carbs and would rather get them from a piece of fruit, that simply doesn't work for me.

Enter stage right: True Nutrition's Vegan Wholefoods Replacement Powder; cue heavenly music and ethereal lighting.

This stuff is fantastic.  It's available in a huge range of flavors, everything from Natural Premium Vanilla to Corner Candy Store (which now I want to know, WHAT DOES THAT TASTE LIKE?!?!?).  The macros are out of this world; for a 30g serving size, 15 to a pound, you have 130 calories.  Of those 130 calories, you have 2.9 g of fat, 4.9g of carbohydrates, and a whopping 19.7g of protein.  If you need more carbs in a meal, it's easy to eat a piece of fruit with this and still have a reasonable amount of calories for a meal.  For more protein and fat, pair it with a handful of almonds.  Basically, you have options.

I make all of my shakes in Blender Bottles or Smart Shake bottles.  This formula is pretty smooth outside of the hemp protein found it in (the little black dots that people occasionally complain about).  Hemp protein is hard to get smooth, and the only company I've seen do it well was Manitoba Harvest.  The hemp protein is minimal in this, with the bulk of the protein coming from pea and rice, so there shouldn't be enough to bother you.

Outside of the pea, rice and hemp protein it has a few other ingredients to bulk it up and make you feel full.  It has Swedish Oat Starch, " a low glycemic, high molecular weight wholefoods powder that is high in the nutrient b-glucan."  It also has Psyllium seed husk fiber to bulk it up and help with elimination.  It has Medium Chain Triglycerides Powder (from coconut and palm oil), which are a fat source that is easily assimilated by the body and help prevent muscle breakdown.  Outside of needing to add in a raw supergreen powder for nutrients, this is the complete package.  Since I have plenty of raw supergreen powder, this is ideal for me.

Oh, the last reason why you should give this stuff a chance?  The price is better than anything else on the market.  For a pound of it, even in a tub, with a scoop, and premium flavoring at double strength, it's only around $11 a pound.  If you're not fancy with the flavoring or packaging (and you really don't need to be), you can get it for much closer to $9.  Using the code BBE100 will help get you there, too.

Quick breakdown:
1 scoop (30g)
15 servings per pound
Cost: ~$9-$11+ per pound

Total Calories: 130
Fat: 2.9g
Carbohydrates: 4.9g
Protein: 19.7g

Would I buy it again?  Absolutely.  The macros are spot on and other than the slight grit with the hemp protein, I have no complaints.  Some people expect their meal powders to have built in vitamins and supergreens; I add my own.  If you're one of those people, you may be a little disappointed, but the price should make up for it.