Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Power of Protein: Usana Shakes & Bars

Usana Nutrimeal Shakes are plant based protein meal replacements. Shown here: French Vanilla, Chocolate & Free.
If you are trying to build muscle or at least keep what you have, you'll understand how important protein is in your diet. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein which is needed to both rebuild and repair muscle tissue. The trick is to get enough each day without blowing your calorie budget in the process.

Nutritious Meal Replacement Shakes
One way to keep your protein up while keeping the fat and calories down is to replace one meal with a nutritious shake. I start each day with one as mornings can sometimes be a bit hectic, especially when you're trying to get out the door for some road work. I like the Usana Nutrimeal Shakes because they blend quickly in water or milk and taste really good, (the French Vanilla is delicious).

The Usana Nutrimeal Free's plant protein source is peas and potatoes.

Each serving (9 per pouch) contains 15 g of protein, 220-240 calories and 7-9 grams of fat from a plant based source. It also contains added vitamins and minerals with 8 grams of fiber. The Usana FREE flavor is just that. It doesn't have much taste other than that of sweet peas and can be blended with fruits or vegetables alike.

Usana Free goes great in vegetable based smoothies for extra added protein.
Usana Nutrimeal Shakes 
Over-all I like the flavor and ease of mixing, (no lumps even with a shaker cup). I do not need to break out the VitaMix unless I want to blend in some kale and carrots. The Free version accommodates all sorts of vegetable combinations without adding much flavor which is good when you're using other ingredients. The Usana line uses all natural ingredients. They are also gluten free, packed with protein and fiber and low glycemic. Each flavor offers a different plant based protein source: French Vanilla - Soy, Chocolate - Whey and Free - Pea & Potato. The recommended serving size is 3 scoops which makes a very thick shake when added to 10-12 ozs of cold water but this is simply a guideline. You can adjust that amount for a thinner version.

Usana Delicious Protein Snacks=protein to go.
Usana Protein Bars
These bars are SUPER delicious with a cookie-dough texture and flavor. A great change up from the usual energy bars I'm used to taking on my bike. These little goodies pack 12 grams of protein, 180 calories and 6 grams of fat. My favorite flavor is ChocoChip as these are very satisfying but a lot less calories than many meal/protein bars.  A low glycemic index is also something to aim for. The protein source in these bars is soy and they should be stored at room temperature.

Usana ChocoChip Bar

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