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Protein Powder: A Supplement for Everyone

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Protein powder is a very popular nutritional supplement commonly used by athletes and weightlifters. However, you don’t have to be an athlete or weightlifter to enjoy the benefits of protein powder. Protein is essential for our bodies to function properly. Our body uses protein for building and repairing muscle tissue, making enzymes and hormones, keeping our immune system strong, and can be used as an energy source if needed.  However, for many working people, it may be challenging to obtain the proper amount and variety of foods required to meet the body’s protein needs. Luckily for us, we have your solutions: Protein Powder

According to the National Academy of Medicine, adults should get 10-35% of their daily calories from protein, or 0.8g of protein for every kg of body weight. The various proteins in our body are made of 20 different amino acids. Nine of these are essential- meaning our bodies don’t make them on their own, so we must get them from the foods we consume. Foods that contain all nine amino acids are called complete proteins. Complete proteins are commonly found in animal-based foods such as red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. However, soybeans also provide a complete source of protein.  If you are a vegetarian or vegan, it is important to eat a variety of plant-based protein sources such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to comprise a complete protein profile. 

If you are one of those busy-bees that find it hard to get a healthy amount and variety of protein, drinking a protein shake as a snack or in addition to your meal, may be a good option for you.  Below is a comparison of 4 different protein powders, two plant-based and two animal-based.

Plant Based Protein Powder

Orgain Vanilla Protein Powder

This protein powder is a one stop shop for anyone- whether you are a busy professional, athlete, casual gym goer, a hospital patient, or have a dietary sensitivity. Anyone who needs additional protein in their diet can get a nutritious and good tasting plant-based protein powder from Orgain. 

Orgain’s plant-based vanilla protein is composed of a blend of Organic Pea Protein, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic Chia Seed, and their Organic Creamer Base. The Organic Creamer Base is comprised of a variety of all natural ingredients with the purpose of making the protein smooth and creamy. Additionally, Orgain’s Plant-based protein powder includes all 9 essential amino acids, making 1 serving of this powder a complete protein.

In an interview with Keith Hine MS, RD, the Sr. Director of Healthcare & Sports at Orgain, he explained how diverse the Orgain Plant-Based Protein Powder is and why people like it so much. When asked who this protein is most suited for, he said, “It isn’t specified for a particular use. Some use it at cancer centers because they need additional protein for their health or, a professional sports team can use it for recovery. Busy professionals, busy moms, dads, and individuals on the go also appreciate our protein powder because of its convenience and great taste.” He went on to say, “Most plant-based powders are known for being gritty, but we put extra work into our protein powder to be smooth so it glides over the pallet. Because it’s plant-based, people enjoy the nutritional profile and the fact that it’s so smooth compared to most other plant-based protein powders and even some whey powders.”

Vega Vanilla Protein Powder

This all natural protein can be used by anybody. Weather you are vegan, have a food sensitivity, are health conscious, environmentally conscious, or a busy person on the run. No matter the case, this simple protein powder will help get you the amino acids your body needs with the most basic ingredients.

Vega’s plant-based vanilla protein is composed of a multisource blend of pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, sunflower seed protein, alfalfa protein, and other all natural ingredients. It contains 18 of the 20 amino acids, which includes all 9 of the essential amino acids- making 1 serving of this protein a complete protein.

A couple unique features about this protein is that it contains tart cherry and 2 billion probiotics. Studies have shown that tart cherry promotes muscle recovery, decreases muscular damage, and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress from free radicals. Probiotics produce a variety of benefits in our body, and most importantly, they help aid in healthy digestion of nutrients that we consume. To learn more about probiotics, visit our pre & probiotics blog post.

Animal Based Protein Powder

The next 2 protein powders we discuss are from grass-fed cows.  Grass-fed whey protein is protein powder that is sourced from free range cows. This is opposed to many modern farms that put their cows on feedlots, which are small industrialized space where the cows are given growth hormones and grain-based food that commonly contain GMOs and have been treated with pesticides and fertilizers. Grass-fed cows are not given these injections or unnatural food sources. Ultimately, this leads to a cleaner and more nutritious product that is lower in saturated fats, and higher in healthy omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) – both of which have a wide variety of benefits

Designer Protein’s Vanilla Whey Protein Powder is made from grass-fed cow’s milk. The whey consists of native whey isolate, natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, stevia leaf extract, and vitamin E. Additionally, Designer’s Native Whey Isolate contains 19 of the 20 amino acids, which includes all 9 of the essential amino acids- making 1 serving of this protein powder a complete protein

This ‘native whey’ protein is one of the cleanest, least processed whey product on the market. It has unique functional and compositional properties that make it stand out from traditional whey powders. This whey boasts a high concentration of branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) at 9.6g. BCAA’s are the 3 essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids have been shown to build muscle, decrease muscle fatigue, slow muscle loss, and alleviate muscle soreness This protein may be particularly effective for very active people and athletes who are expending muscular energy and need to recover quickly. However, anybody in need of additional or variety of protein can use it as well.

Naked Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

Naked Nutrition Vanilla Whey Protein is made from grass-fed cow’s milk from small U.S dairy farms in California. The whey consists of 3 natural ingredients: Grass-Fed Whey Protein, Natural Vanilla, and Organic Coconut Sugar. Additionally, Naked’s Grass-Fed Whey contains 19 of the 20 amino acids, which includes all 9 of the essential amino acids- making 1 serving of this powder a complete protein.      

Naked’s whey protein is also one of the simplest, minimally processed whey you’ll find. When asked who this product is most suited for, James, from Naked Nutrition, said “It’s about people who care about what they’re putting into their bodies. Many supplement companies today essentially make candy by adding sugars and artificial sweeteners to their products. The marketing tells people it’s healthy but the products aren’t. So our supplements are for the people who really care about ingredients and read labels which can be the average person who works out 2-4 times a week or an athlete.” He went on to say, “Our goal is for people to be able to control what goes into their body so we use premium ingredients and as few as possible.”

Nutrient Comparison

 

Orgain

Vega

Designer

Naked

Serving Size

2 scoops (46g)

1 scoop (41g)

1 scoop (41g)

2 scoops (37g)

Calories

150

160

150

150

Total Fat (g)

4

3

1

2

Saturated Fat (g)

.5

0

0

.5

Cholesterol (mg)

0

0

5

50

Sodium (mg)

270

410

40

120

Potassium (mg)

67

240

160

75

Total Carbs (g)

15

4

2

8

Dietary Fiber (g)

5

1

0

0

Sugars (g)

0

1

1

5

Protein (g)

21

30

32

25

Total Amino Acids

N/A

18/20

19/20

19/20

Essential Amino Acids*

9/9

9/9

9/9

9/9

Specs Comparison

 

 

Orgain

Vega

Designer

Naked

Dairy-Free

⛔ 

Grass-Fed Cows

⛔ 

Organic

Vegan

Gluten-Free

Kosher

Non-GMO

GH-Free

No Artificial Sweeteners

 

 

 

 

Taste Test

Now that we have the data, let’s put these protein powders to the taste test!  In order to obtain the most accurate taste and texture profile of the protein powders, we used a simple smoothie recipe for all the powders: ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk, ½ avocado, ½ banana, 1 serving of protein powder, and ½ cup of ice.

Orgain Plant Based Protein Powder (Vanilla Bean) 

 Taste: Balanced flavor profile that allows you to taste all of the ingredients making up the smoothie

Texture: Very drinkable, uniform texture that is really pleasant to consume 

Verdict: Optimal Flavor Profile

 

Vega Plant Based Sport Premium Protein (Vanilla)

 Taste: Sweet with a predominantly strong vanilla flavor

Texture: Very thick and filling; like a paste or a dip

*Note: When using this powder, it may be a good idea to add more liquid or ice than usual

Verdict: Very Filling

 

Designer Protein Native Whey Isolate (Vanilla Milkshake)

 Taste: Pleasing flavor and good aftertaste (mild tropical flavor)

Texture: Very smooth and silky; like a milkshake

Verdict: Most like a Milkshake

 

Naked Grass-Fed Whey Protein (Vanilla)

 Taste: Aromatic, subtly sweet and allows you to taste all the other ingredients of the smoothie.

Texture: Light and airy; like skim milk

Verdict: Very clean & pleasant aroma – most like its description

*Note: Good for people who don’t want the powder to influence the flavor of the smoothie.

– Researched and written by Sean O’Brien, Dietetic Intern

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6 Solutions for Office Productivity

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It’s 3 PM, and you start to squirm in your desk chair.  Your back is getting stiff, your shoulders are tense, and you have completely lost focus on your work.  Sound familiar?  You are not alone in this – Daily Mail reports that 2:55 PM is when most employees are not productive.  This is when you may find yourself checking social media, grabbing an energy drink or coffee, or simply zoning out.   When we sit at our desks for long periods of time, even the most diligent worker will lose focus at some point. And, when we are sitting too much we start to feel less and less motivated on a daily basis. Our bodies have small aches and pains that we think are natural. There’s still two hours left in the day and our boost in energy is nowhere to be found. With a few minor adjustments, you can feel better and gain back that focus and energy you are looking for.  You will be more productive and confident throughout your work day.  Our blog will explain how to create a healthier office space: an atmosphere for you to excel to your full potential.

Tip 1:  First things first, get organized.

Schedule some time to declutter your work area. Add this to your calendar just like any other business appointment. Organizing your work can help you organize your brain and compartmentalize your stress. Clearing your desktop will provide some mind clarity. This will also help to eliminate distractions and allow you to focus on the task at hand.

Tip 2:  Too clean? Add your personal touch.

Bring in items from home that make you feel good and motivate you. Add framed photos of family and friends. Add memorabilia of a particular achievement or vacation. Pick items as things that can motivate you when you glance their way. Be selective and keep these items to a limit as they are not meant to be a distraction, but a catalyst to your work.

Tip 3:  Stand up for yourself.

You may have heard of standing desks before. Movement from sitting to standing periodically throughout the day can help you to feel more energized and increase your productivity. It can also help to alleviate some of the aches and pains that we may feel after being in a sedentary position for too long. While some of the latest and greatest standing desk options can put a dent in your wallet, there are some more affordable solutions that can give you the same benefits. If standing isn’t for you, there are other options for improving your posture at your desk. Chair attachments can be beneficial in alleviating lower back pain and helping us to sit up straight.

Tip 4:  Refresh your desk with a plant.

Studies have shown plants to be significant in reducing negative energy in the workplace. Large or small, plants can reduce pollution in the air around your desk and help to minimize stress. Different colors can cause us to feel a certain way when they catch our eye. The color green is associated with thoughts of nature, vitality and wealth. Having just one plant in an office has been shown to have an uplifting effect on the entire staff!

Tip 5:  Prepare your emergency stress reduction toolkit.

Keep a few handy items in your desk drawers that you can use when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You could have a stress ball to release tension in your body. You could have a neck wrap to help reduce stiffness in your neck and soothe your muscles. Try aromatherapy through use of a diffuser with essential oils. Stock up on your favorite scents of essential oils to inhale or diffuse in a time of stress. Some of the recommended scents to help you to feel calm are lavender, rosemary, lemon and peppermint.

Tip 6:  Fuel your brain.

Carbohydrates are your brain’s primary choice for fuel. When we are hungry, our brain is not at it’s full potential. This doesn’t mean you need to eat a three-course meal, but snack on something small and full of nutrients to give your brain a boost. Some non-perishable snacks that you could keep on hand are trail mix, whole wheat crackers, popcorn or mixed nuts. Have a fridge nearby? Even better. Bring a yogurt or cut up fruit or vegetables and dip with you and take a walk to the fridge to grab them.

After you try out a few of our tips let us know what you gained by optimizing your office space!  We often underestimate the amount of time in our lives that we spend at work. When we try our best to live a healthy lifestyle outside of work, it’s important that our work habits are healthy as well!

Do you want to add that extra edge for your workforce?  Are you interested in creating a healthy work environment for your employees?  Email us for more tips and tricks for how your office can create and maintain a healthy workplace, info@bkomplete.com. We look forward to hearing about your office and partnering with you to create a winning workplace!

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How to Live like a Wellness Professional

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Living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult for all of us – even wellness professionals. When you choose to take the steps to overcome barriers, you’ll be surprised to find out how rewarding living healthfully can be. Today we will be introducing you to just a few of the health and wellness professionals on the B.Komplete team and giving you some insight to what they have found to be most successful in overcoming their personal barriers to living a healthy lifestyle.

Art is a Registered Dietitian and  Life Coach on the B.Komplete Team.  Art has a unique background in social work that allows him to make long lasting relationships with those he counsels. While he loves what he does, his favorite job is being a father to his two daughters. He is motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to live up to his own expectations of being able to run around and keep up with his 4-year old now and as she grows up.  While his life can be very busy and health has to be a conscious decision, he finds easy ways to make it fit.  He finds ways to intertwine nutrition with family time at dinner with house favorites like taco night. Art’s family’s taco night incorporates healthier ingredients like lean ground turkey, an abundance of vegetables and low-fat cheese to make them more nutritious without missing out on flavor.

 He loves to educate his family through cooking and allows himself to indulge as long as he is mindful; whether it be with a piece of chocolate for dessert or a glass of wine at dinner. He takes the time to enjoy these small treats when he craves them, so that he doesn’t feel the need to overdo it later. Art is constantly tapping into his internal motivators and challenging himself to strive for better, not perfect. When he can fit in a workout, he gives it his all to make the most of his time. He goes to the grocery store when he knows it will be less busy to save time. He drinks flavored seltzer water because plain water isn’t so exciting to him. Art uses his family as his “why” and plans to grow older without aches and pains as a result of his conscious healthy lifestyle. Art wants you to ask yourself: What is your internal motivator?

Johari is an exercise professional on the B.Komplete Team.  Johari has an extensive background in dance. It was when she became injured that her doctor told her it was time to move her career in a new direction. Johari became a wellness professional when she became a personal trainer. While she still loves incorporating dance into her exercise regimen, she also enjoys weight training and is interested in learning more about parkour and powerlifting. For her, health has been a major priority in helping her to cope with and overcome substance abuse. She sees a Registered Dietitian to learn about what foods to incorporate into her lifestyle to make her feel like her best self. Never losing her love of dance, Johari has incorporated her own unique routines into her kitchen to make preparing food more satisfying.

You can try her specialty smoothie recipes yourself. She puts on her Prince T-shirt and “blueberry beret” to prepare one of her favorite smoothies consisting of blueberries, almond milk, chia seeds and banana. An alternative favorite is her “Moonwalker” special made with banana, unsweetened low-fat yogurt, pineapple, mango, and honey. While cooking is not her favorite hobby, Johari has found ways to make it a priority in her life as her health and nutrition regimen contributes to recovery and an unhealthy lifestyle makes relapse more possible. She has found her journey as a wellness professional to be both healing and rewarding through counseling other women struggling with recovery from substance abuse. Along with meditation, prayer and artwork, listening to others through counseling has been incredibly effective for stress management. If she could give one piece of advice toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it would be to “become your own hero.” Don’t be afraid to seek advice and utilize a health professional if you could use some guidance. Talk to people who have worked with different populations and use their expertise to your advantage.

Liz is a Registered Dietitian on the B.Komplete team and as a wellness professional, she loves leading by example and seeing other people take what she teaches them and make it work for their lifestyle. One of the techniques she has found most beneficial to alleviate stress has been making it a point to do a 10-minute meditation of complete silence when she wakes up every morning. This allows her to start with a clean slate before starting her day which is typically followed by a sweat session at the gym. As a former fitness instructor, Liz often switches up her routine between cardio, strength training and circuit training to keep her muscles working hard and boost her metabolism. Meditation and exercise are two things that are non-negotiable in the start to her day and scheduling them to be a priority allows her to stay consistent.

Meal preparation not for you? Liz takes an interesting approach to planning her meals. She starts by picking 2 to 3 breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week. Next, she makes a grocery list of all the ingredients she will need. As a fan of fresh-cooked food, Liz doesn’t make it a point to pick which meals she’ll eat when ahead of time or cook them all on one day. She picks which meal she makes based on what she’s feeling, makes double, and sets it aside. This way, she could have that meal again for lunch or dinner the next day or 2-3 days from then if desired. Extra veggies? No problem. Pre-cut or roasted vegetables are great to keep in the fridge for incorporating into future meals or snacks. Liz makes health a priority in her lifestyle because she never wants her body to be what slows her down. Living healthfully allows her to not feel so guilty about her favorite guilty pleasures, ice cream and chocolate. If she could give one piece of advice as a step toward living a healthier lifestyle, it would be make your life decisions based on the person that you want to be in the future, and enjoy each moment now.

Natalie is a Registered Dietitian in the B.Komplete community who has a very busy lifestyle, holding multiple jobs in various settings in the field. On top of that, Natalie is currently being a superwoman through maintaining her work load and living healthfully all with a baby on the way! She finds the most beneficial way for her to make health a priority is through scheduling it on her calendar. She schedules time every night to set up her morning coffee and make her lunch and snacks for the following day. This allows her to run out the door quickly in the morning and avoid less healthy options that she may grab out or in a cafeteria had she not planned ahead

Being pregnant, Natalie isn’t able to work out with the same intensity as she previously has, but this doesn’t stop her from finding the time to exercise. She tries her best to incorporate walking into her workday wherever possible whether it be getting up to walk to the bathroom, refilling her water bottle or saying hello to a coworker. She finds walking on her treadmill at home once a day to not only give her an opportunity to move, but time to decompress from her workday or call her friends and family. Taking the time to talk to your loved ones and catch up can be a great way to boost your mood and relieve stress at the same time. Natalie has found living healthfully to be most rewarding in allowing her body to carry her through a healthy pregnancy. Living a healthy lifestyle is one controllable factor in her life that she loves to take advantage of because it leaves her feeling great, positive and more friendly. When your health falls behind, your life falls behind. Prioritizing your health can allow you to prioritize what matters most to you. Natalie’s biggest piece of advice is to pick one or two areas in your life that you want to focus on whether it be an activity or a relationship and schedule them! Scheduling is the key to success.

So next time you’re thinking about making a change toward a healthy lifestyle, think less about how it will impact you now and more about how it can impact you in the future. Over time, these small changes can amount into a large one and you won’t be able to realize a time when these habits weren’t a part of your life. Living healthfully can have a positive impact on your body, mind and overall wellbeing. It can help to prevent and reduce your risk for chronic diseases later and help you to feel better in the now. To learn more about our B.Komplete team and how we can help you to crush your goals, reach out to us at info@bkomplete.com

B.Educated, B.Inspired, B.Komplete