How To Select A Healthy Meal Replacement Shake - The Top Paleo Vegetarian and Vegan (and Keto) Options

How To Select A Healthy Meal Replacement Shake - The Top Paleo Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Every year I update this blog post because the knowledge in the industry is giving us better options. January is when most people start looking for supplementation, and that's almost always going to include green smoothies and protein powders. However anytime using a protein supplement can be a handy tool for a vegan, paleo vegan or keto vegan. Most vegan options lean to soy... but let me talk to you about the problems with this.

GMO Soy is not a Healthy Meal Replacement Shake... let's just start there. Let's start with what I believe to NOT be a healthy Paleo Vegetarian or Paleo Vegan (pegan) meal replacement shake, or really a healthy choice for anyone. GMO Soy or Isolated Soy protein are bad bad bad, and interfere with basic aspects of our own biochemistry. First among them are inhibitors that block trypsin and chymotrypsin, enzymes needed for protein digestion. They also contain haemagglutinin, which is a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together, and goitrogens that depress thyroid function. I know a lot of you have had problems with thyroid that I've worked with. Also gmo-soy protein has one of the highest phytate levels out there, and is run through five different chemically toxic phases of production before it hits your protein shake. Non-GMO pea protein and cold-washed soy and tofu protein are far superior to this in each and every way! Even the Whole30 vegetarian/vegan shopping list allows non-gmo soy in their program, although they only have about a half page on veganism in their book.

The process that many companies use to deplete the "dangerous" isoflavones from the soy is where they take the soybean slurry material after it's been processed with the solvent, and it's subjected to a centrifuging process to form a liquor that is subsequently pasteurized. Sugars and other small molecular weight components may optionally be removed from the liquor using membrane ultrafiltration or another separation technique to increase the protein content of the soy protein product. The resulting retentate from the membrane ultra-filtration process is subjected to an adsorption process in which isoflavones are removed by adsorption. The resulting isoflavones-depleted soy protein material is-pasteurized and then is optionally spray dried. Just take a look at
the patent and see why I have only one soy product I have ever recommended... EVER!

Before I share my choices I want you to know that I make a commission for purchases made through the links on this blog. It's one way that I am able to make some compensation for the research and time I take not only to write this blog, but to look up information and recipes to share on the Facebook page.

Since I know after the holidays a lot of us look for meal replacement shakes I wanted to make sure you have this information. So many people look at a shake and see, WOW... look at all of that protein, and comparably it may look like a better shake. That's not always the case. You need to consider the ingredients. GMO-Soy should not be one of them no matter if you are just vegan or paleo vegan (pegan). If you are going to use a whole foods shake with soy, then make sure it is cold-washed organic, very very minimally processed soy like this Vegan and Gluten-free Shake which is the shake that I use for meal replacements. I like it because it's just whole foods, and prebiotics, although many may not feel it's "paleo" enough. A great vegan shake daily along with my trio of whole foods capsules that I dump into water and drink, creates a bridge for where I may be lacking nutritionally. Bridging the gap where I need nutrition with my B Vitamin mutations. It's the only soy shake I will ever recommend. So you've heard it, and we'll move on.

Barbara Christensen I Paleo Vegeo I Select A Healthy Paleo Vegan or Vegetarian Meal Replacement Shake
Also for you athletes, stay away from sugar because it will inhibit the building of building muscles. Some of these shakes that claim to be healthy have 10 or more grams of sugar (like the Isagenix shake), and yet not one sign of real fruit, just fructose. Fructose can be worse for your insulin resistance than corn syrup is. This is why bodybuilding shakes generally have a maltodextrin instead of  sugar added, just to eliminate the fructose. And there are many different types of maltodextrin just as there are different types of dextrose, so please don't lump them all together. Shakes that are sweetened with items like stevia, Luo Han Guo, coconut nectar or actual real natural vanilla will make sure your workout is matched with the nutrition and not structured by the sugar.

My top choices of paleo meal replacement shakes, and why:

For those with any sort of major inability to detoxify, my first choice would be Mediclear SGS. This shake offers "enhanced liver support by adding sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) a natural substance from the seeds and sprouts of select broccoli varietals for effective up-regulation of the body's natural phase II detoxification enzymes". And for those with CFS, Autism, Fibromyalgia, MTHFR... I recommend a shake that will push your body to actually support detoxification - maybe even for the first time in your life. Like many of the vegan shakes this one has a sprouted brown rice protein in the mix, and so if you don't tolerate rice, then this may not be the shake for you. It does really detox so make sure you are up to it before you go in for it and have detox support. I also really love that it has no added gums, as I have been working hard at battling underlying mold allergies this year.

Because of the mold issue my current favorite vegan protein shake is the Perfect Plant Protein shake. This shake is what I want when resetting my body. It has no added sugars, so it's ketolicious perfection. It has a blend of organic beet, carrot, spinach, broccoli, tomato, kale, cabbage, parsley leaf, brussel sprouts, green bell pepper, cucumber, celery, garlic, ginger root, green onion, cauliflower and asparagus. It also has a digestive belend of ginger root, papain, peppermint leaf powder and bromelain. The protein blend is pea, hemp and sacha inchi. That along with vanilla and stevia is it. The whole thing, which means you can add in some healthy fats and it's a wonderful shake to give you lots of nutrients with just three net carbs and fifteen grams of protein.

Second up, and a little bit less money would be Pure Food. It does have a very gritty texture, and can taste sour to some people because of the digestive additive. It has all of the proteins, and it has amazing bio-availability, but it's not the flavor a lot of people like. My husband uses plain old non-GMO NOW brand pea protein most of the time. It's easy to pick up down the street on the way home. or since he isn't vegan he will use pastured collagen. Just unflavored and unexciting. To the point. He's also the guy that just likes to lift heavy stuff, totally functional. It's very easy to digest, and so it makes it a good non-bloating morning shake.

My third favorite meal replacement shake is Shakeology. It has all of the great super food nutrition, digestive support, hormone balancing, and is really tasty.  {Unless you are using the Vegan formula I no longer recommend this after seeing the FAQ below buried deep on their site ... which has now been replaced with just the Vegan Shakeology information. Here is an saved image}

" For those customers who do not want vitamin/mineral fortification, the Shakeology vegan formulas are an option as they are not fortified with added levels of vitamins or minerals."

Fourth up is the undenatured whey products for vegetarians. If you want just the undenatured whey and nothing more, get OnlyProtein Undenatured Whey. It is honestly just happy New Zealand undenatured whey, nothing more and nothing less. They also have a version called the Fat Burner with added added a South African Hoodia, CLA, Carnitine, and Garcina Cambogia with the undenatured whey. I am allergic to hoodia, so it is something I can't speak to as far as flavor.

My husband also sometimes likes the non-denatured whey, coconut and egg protein shake, KetoFuel. It gives him a quick path into ketosis. It is specially formulated to support the body’s natural ketogenic metabolic processes. They created the macros with a delicious creamy taste with macronutrient ratios that support ketosis using A2 whey (cold processed). Bioavailability and absorption are keys to a good whey protein supplement. A supplement is not a food. Unlike food it should be absorbed quickly and efficiently. Try to remember when looking at products on the market that concentrates vary in quality. When a whey concentrate is non-denatured or undenatured then it has a full array of natural proteins because it wasn't overheated during processing. Because it is non-denatured, it is absorbed quickly and bio-availability matters. 

I get asked all the time about MCT powder. It is created using gum arabic to protect the lipids from the attack of lipoxygenase and free radicals by adsorbing at the oil droplet surface. The reason for the maltodextrin is to make MCT powder you have to mix the oil with tapioca maltodextrin, which apparently hates water and absorbs and thickens fats. Most whey producers add lecithin to make their proteins easier to mix with water. So you will have to make that decision to add it in or not on your own.

When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, a healthy meal replacement shake promotes high-impact fat loss, energy production, blood sugar support, and better mental and overall health. A serving is 2 heaping scoops. Most guys are probably doing that, but most of the women I know find that they feel better if they do 1 scoop in a shake twice daily while trying to lose weight. So it's up to you. 

My favorite recipe is:
2 cups full-fat homemade hemp milk
1 cup berries
2 scoops protein powder
¼ cup cacao powder
1 tbsp finely ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp algae oil
7 ice cubes (or 1/2 cup of frozen riced cauliflower)

Add all of the ingredients except for the ice cubes to the jug of your high-powered blender.
Blend on high for 1 minute, until smooth.
Add the ice cubes, one at a time. Continue to blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Divide amongst two glasses and enjoy with a friend or put half aside for later.

How To Select A Healthy Meal Replacement Shake - The Top Paleo Vegetarian and Vegan (and Keto) Options

Looking for something that is more of a program, Designs For Health (company that makes PaleoMeal and PurePea) also has a 14 Day Detox Kit. This kit includes:

- 28 - single serving VegeCleanse Plus™ functional food powder drink mix packets

- 28 - capsule packets containing:
• 3- Amino-D-Tox™ capsules
• 1- Hydrolyzyme™ capsule
• Program Guidebook - detailed patient guide which includes a supplement schedule, sample menus, and suggested food and snack options
• DFH Branded BlenderBottle®
Made with non-GMO ingredients, of course. They've used a combination of carefully selected products and a methodical, step-by-step diet plan in their design in order to introduce people to a healthy cleansing process without having to commit to a longer regimen. It is ideal for those with busy schedules or anyone new to the concept of detoxification.

I also love hemp protein, but I'm one of those that doesn't mind the "green" flavor of it. I do admit I like the dark chocolate hemp protein more than the others, but it's better in a mix of other items, like a big green smoothie. Lots of blueberries and more.

Finally I can't forget the Boku Super Protein. I originally ordered it last year from OpenSky. I love that place, I have gotten coconut charcoal for bbq'ing in the summer, and so many other amazing sustainable items. The Boku is made with organic pea protein, organic sacha inchi protein, organic cranberry protein and organic red dulse now that they have removed the fermented rice from the mix. It's got a nice flavor and blends well, and is kosher. They used to sweeten it with the maple syrup, but now they are using Organic Coconut Blossom Nectar.

A Superfood Mix I really like is this plant-based Wild Protein blend. It contains just Organic Pea Protein Powder, Organic Hemp Protein Powder, Organic Mesquite Powder, Organic Freeze-Dried Coconut Cream Powder, Organic Spirulina Powder, Organic Cinnamon Powder, Organic Moringa Powder, Organic Milk Thistle Powder, Organic Burdock Root Powder and Organic Stevia Powder... organic, organic, organic. It's a great alternative for someone looking for a very simple, and yet supportive  with no added sugar to give you that nourishment without spiking blood sugar. It is formulated for optimal digestion, and is loaded with vegan protein, omega-3s, vitamin A, iron, fiber thanks to the selected herbs and superfoods. Each ingredient is minimally processed at low temperatures to deliver a treasure-trove of nutrients to your body the way nature intended. Built on the hemp, moringa, and spirulina (which is like added vegan bone broth to the mix), this formula gives you that cleansing milk thistle and burdock root and the ketogenic medium chain triglycerides from the freeze-dried coconut milk.

However I want to end with what I use with my shred group because of the support it really does give to rebalance your body. Now if you can wrap your head around it, the vegan, cold processed soy, chickpea, pea and rice protein shake I talked about at the beginning is a very nutritionally biased shake. Even Whole 30 says non-gmo soy and tufu are okay to eat. Complete is gluten-free, it's certified non-gmo, and it's whole foods. It is my go to meal replacement shake to initially get a client in a better position because it is nutritionally balancing, affordable and tastes really good. When clients stop using it they miss it for so many reasons, and so I have realized it truly improves the way you feel. It's also why I use the ecapsulated whole foods. They are encapsulated in vegan capsules, and the folate comes from lemon peel. I open them and dump the contents into a little warm water and drink them for quick available nutrients, although my husband adds it to his smoothie or just takes them with his coffee. I don't recommend taking these with green or black tea as those will block the absorption of those much needed folate nutrients. For my keto clients, I have them filter out the cane sugar... oh yes you can do that!! They are larger crystals and will filter right out of the shake. This process gives you exactly what you want with no added sugars.

The Organic Super Protein shake is newer to the market and has just 4 grams of carbohydrates and is a great resistant starch with the fermented starch for those following a Vegan Keto style of diet. Every serving provides 18g of superfood protein for filling, satisfying energy. A blend of organic pea, organic fermented rice, and organic hemp provides complete proteins rich in branched-chain amino acids for muscle growth and maintenance, and again only 4 grams of carbohydrates. Add in your vegan algae oil for additional fats and you're lean and clean!

Another daily protein shake is this Plant Protein Shake because it is grain-free, vegan, non-gmo and purely made. The best plain paleo protein shake I have ever had... and as you can see I have tried them all! This protein is ideal for pre or post workouts, first thing in the morning is when I use it, or whenever you need a healthy boost of energy from protein or a quick on-the-go snack like when I know I have to run errands after taking my daughter to swimming. If you are looking for a good non-gmo, gluten-free & grain-free vegan protein, this has only 6 grams of carbs, but offers protein powder along with coconut oil powder which is more aligned to someone looking for a basic powder.

Healthy Meal Replacement Shake - Especially for the Paleo Vegetarian I Grain Free Protein

It really does have the most amazing taste and texture.. which is unlike most other vegan shakes I have seen. With the blender bottles it mixes easily with water into a silky smooth snack. I use it in my coconut yogurt recipe, it can be used in your protein pancakes as an additionally delicious way to increase protein.

So there you have it... you know the shakes that have rotated through my pantry in 2018... usually there is at least one of the above in there.



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