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Which is the best plant-based protein powder for athletes? The most affordable, best tasting, lowest in sugar, and does it contain high quality ingredients? I compared 14 different brands of plant-based protein powders for this review, including all the ones I was asked about most on my Instagram story poll a few weeks back. I also wanted a second opinion, so I had my assistant taste test with me.

A few weeks ago I reviewed whey protein powders. For years, whey has been known as the gold standard of protein powders. It’s a complete protein, rich in BCAAs specifically leucine, and quickly absorbed and digested. However, plant-based protein powders that contain a blend of sources such as pea, soy, brown rice, or hemp will still provide adequate BCAAs and are a viable option for athletes that avoid dairy. Plant-based protein powders often have enzymes added to help increase the rate of absorption and digestion. Here’s a more thorough review of the protein and amino acid content of different plant-based protein isolates.

The FDA does not regulate supplements so you must always use caution when using them. Athletes should only use products that go through third party certification, such as NSF certified for sport or Informed Sport. Required for athletes to assure they aren't taking any illegal supplements; this certification assures what's listed on the package is what's actually in the product. Even if you aren't in collegiate or professional sports, I still highly recommend seeking out a protein with this certification. Why? Because it's constantly going through rigorous testing to make sure it's legit. 7 of the 14 in this article are safe for athletes. If you don’t see your protein powder mentioned here, check this list of certified products here or check with your dietitian to assure you’re using a safe product. As a vegetarian, I am personally a big fan of hemp protein and hemp seeds. However, I do not advise drug-tested athletes to consume products containing hemp (this also goes for CBD) to avoid any chance of testing positive for trace amounts of THC.

This review is not sponsored in any way. I was not paid by these brands or compensated for this review.

Each plant-based protein powder was ranked with a scoring system of 1-5. 1 being poor, 5 being excellent, and we took the average of our two scores. These scores were given based on:

  • Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Y/N

  • Quality of Ingredients (1-5)

  • Cost $$

  • Flavor (1-5)

  • Texture (1-5)

  • Would I buy this again? Y/N

Vega Sport

Vega has several different plant-based options – Vega One, Vega Sport, Protein & Greens. For the sake of wanting as many certified for sport products as possible on this list, we are reviewing the ‘Sport’ version.

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. The base is pea protein, followed by sunflower seed protein, pumpkin seed protein, alfalfa protein, tart cherry, beet root powder for color, stevia leaf extract, sea salt, xanthan gum, probiotics, bromelain (an enzyme in pineapple), turmeric extract, and black pepper extract (aids in absorption of turmeric). It contains 2.4g of leucine per serving. I also like to see it contain 30% DV iron, 20% calcium, and 370mg of potassium.

Cost: $42.49 for 30 oz. container (45 servings so $0.94/serving)

Flavor: 5 (I tried Vanilla Sport, Protein & Greens Caramel, and Vega One Natural)

Texture: 4.5

Would I buy this again? Yes. This is one of the most affordable option for athletes. I also tried a few other flavors, the protein & greens in caramel and the Vega One in natural and liked all of them. The caramel and vanilla are very sweet on their own.

Garden of Life

Garden of Life has a few different plant-based options. For the sake of wanting as many certified for sport products as possible on this list, we are reviewing the ‘Sport’ version.

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Both. Also sells a grass-fed whey version.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. This product contains high quality ingredients. Plant-based proteins are often looked down upon for having lower leucine (BCAA) content, but this actually contains 2.5g of leucine per serving thanks to a blend of different quality protein sources. The protein blend is pea, navy bean, lentils, garbanzo bean, and cranberry. Flavors are from cacao, carob, sea salt, and stevia leaf extract. Also added is turmeric and tart cherry which provide anti-inflammatory benefit. One scoop (22g) is 15g protein.

Cost: $43.96 for 30 oz. container (38 servings so $1.16/serving)

Flavor: 4

Texture: 4

Would I buy this again? Yes.

OWYN

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes

Quality of Ingredients: 4. They recommend 2 scoops (36g) per serving to consume 20g of protein, and it only contains 1.7g of leucine for 2 scoops. It does contain added sugar (4 grams from cane sugar) otherwise their ingredient list is great – a blend of pea protein, pumpkin and chia, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, kale, flaxseed, salt, monk fruit extract, seaweed, and probiotics.

Cost: $27.99 for 1 lb. container (14 servings so $1.99/serving)

Flavor: 3.5

Texture: 4

Would I buy this again? Maybe. The ingredients are good, and the flavor was pretty good mixed into a smoothie but it just wasn’t my favorite. That’s honestly just personal preference, others may really enjoy the flavor.

Orgain

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Considered food product (therefore regulated by FDA). Also sells whey version.

Quality of Ingredients: 3. Their protein is a blend of pea, brown rice, and chia, followed by creamer (acacia gum, high oleic oil, inulin, rice dextin, rice bran extract, rosemary extract). This also contains erythritol (sugar alcohol), natural flavors, sea salt, stevia, and several gums – xanthan gum, acacia gum, and guar gum. Two scoops (46g) contains 21g of protein.   

Cost: $30 for 2 lb. container (20 servings so $1.50/serving)

Flavor: 3.5

Texture: 4

Would I buy this again? Probably not. The texture wasn’t bad (probably due to all the gums to thicken) but it was way too sweet and something just tasted off, likely the combination of sugar alcohols and stevia that I didn’t care for. There are other protein powders available for the same price or cheaper with higher quality ingredients.

NOW Sports Organic Pea Protein

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes, Informed Sport. Also sells whey version.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. They have several different plant-based protein powders, I just selected the pea protein version for this review. For one serving (23g) it’s 12g of protein and contains 1g of leucine. If only using a pea protein, I recommend doubling up to get 24g of protein and 2g of leucine. The ingredients are very simple – pea protein isolate, sugar (3g), vanilla flavor, natural flavor, and stevia leaf extract.

Cost: $32.99 for 1.5 lb. container (30 servings so $1.10/serving)

Flavor/Texture: Did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? Hard to say since I didn’t taste test the product, but based on very minimal ingredients and the price I would say yes! 

Momentous AbsoluteZero Plant-Based

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Both. Also sells grass fed whey version.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. Their protein blend is pea protein isolate and rice protein, followed by cocoa, MCT oil, cane sugar (2g), natural flavors, guar gum, sunflower lecithin, salt, potassium, and high purity steviol glycosides. One scoop (37g) contains 20g of protein and 1.97g of leucine.

Cost: $55 for 1.35 lb. container (20 servings so $2.75/serving)

Flavor: 5

Texture: 5

Would I buy this again? Yes. Probably one of the best tasting in our opinion. The only downfall for athletes would be the price. Having both certifications (NSF and Informed Sport) is expensive for companies, so that in combination with quality ingredients is likely cause for the higher price tag.  

We Are Ladder

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Both. Also sells grass fed whey version.

Quality of Ingredients: 4. The protein blend in this product is pea protein and organic pumpkin protein. To follow are natural flavors, cane sugar (2g), salt, high purity steviol glycosides, silica and thickener blend (guar gum, xanthan gum, and carrageenan). Also contains an enzyme and probiotic blend. For heavy or salty sweaters that need to replace electrolytes after hard training sessions, the 450mg of sodium in each scoop would be beneficial. But for everyday exercisers who maybe aren’t training as long or sweating as hard, this is a ton of sodium for one scoop of protein powder. The chocolate flavor has 510mg of sodium.

Cost: $75 ($60 if subscribe) for 30 servings ($2.50/serving)

Flavor/Texture: 4

Would I buy this again? I like the fact it’s a certified for sport product, and the flavor is good. But the high sodium content could be an issue for everyday exercisers not looking to consume 500mg in a single serving, and the price tag is definitely a con for athletes on a budget.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No

Quality of Ingredients: 5. This is as simple as it gets. Just organic powdered hemp. They have an unflavored, chocolate and vanilla. The two flavors are sweetened with coconut sugar and organic vanilla or cocoa.

Cost: $19.79 for 1 lb. container (16 servings so $1.23/serving)

Flavor: 4 (the unflavored doesn’t really taste like anything, can blend into smoothies very easily)

Texture: 1 (for sure would need to blend it into a smoothie. Mixed by itself with water it’s very grainy)  

Would I buy this again? Yes, as long as I’m mixing it into smoothies (would never use on it’s own…pretty terrible texture). I actually personally use the unflavored version of this often, and a similar version of this from Nutiva. I always blend it into smoothies. However, I do not recommend this to drug-tested athletes as it is not NSF Certified for Sport and obviously contains hemp.

Sunwarrior Warrior Blend

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No

Quality of Ingredients: 5. The protein blend is made from pea, hemp, and goji berries and whole ground coconut. This is for the natural flavor. Their flavors (vanilla, chocolate, mocha, berry) are sweetened with stevia. This one actually contains 2.6g of leucine per serving, and 27g of protein (for 37g serving).   

Cost: $23.99 for 13 oz. container (15 servings so $1.60/serving)

Flavor: Natural flavor 4, vanilla flavor 1

Texture: 4  

Would I buy this again? I liked the natural flavor and it had good texture, good overall flavor, would be very easy to blend this into a smoothie without having an overpowering sweet taste. The vanilla on the other hand was way too sweet and I didn’t like it at all, but I’m also not a fan of how stevia tastes. I also do not recommend this to drug-tested athletes as it is not NSF Certified for Sport and obviously contains hemp.

Arbonne Protein Shake Mix

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No. They do have a line called Phytosport, which are Informed Sport and BSCG tested (banned substance control group) but it does not include a protein powder, and this testing does not apply to all of their products.

Quality of Ingredients: 3.5. For one scoop (21g) it contains 10g of protein – which is a blend of pea, cranberry, and rice. Two scoops (42g) is the recommended serving size to get 20g of protein. Other ingredients include cane sugar (9g added sugar) and multiple food additives in the form of gums and starches - such as gum acacia, guar gum, xanthan gum, modified tapioca starch, and rice starch (maltodextrin). Also sweetened with stevia leaf extract. 

Cost: $77 for bag (30 servings so $2.57/serving)

Flavor: 3.5

Texture: 4

Would I buy this again? No. The taste was okay but way too sweet, definitely not worth $70/month. There are several more affordable options with similar, if not better, ingredients overall. It’s also not NSF certified for sport or informed sport certified, so I would not recommend to drug-tested athletes.

Nuzest

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. Very simple ingredients. Their unflavored is just pea protein isolate. Their flavors (such as chocolate, vanilla, coffee, strawberry) contain natural strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla flavor, and thaumatin (a natural sweetener). The downfall is with only one type of protein (pea) and not a blend, you’re not getting as large of a BCAA profile (only up to 1.7g leucine).

Cost: $84.95 for 35 oz. container (40 servings so $2.12/serving)

Flavor/Texture: Did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? Hard to say since I didn’t taste test the product, but probably not. I do like the minimal ingredients, but I would prefer a blend of different plant-based protein sources and the price isn’t that great considering it isn’t NSF certified for sport or informed sport.

Aloha

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No.

Quality of Ingredients:  5. The protein is a blend of pea, pumpkin seed, and hemp. Other ingredients include cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla, apple juice powder, xanthan gum, sea salt, monk fruit extract, coconut cream, coconut sugar, and vanilla bean.

Cost: $23 for tin (15 servings so $1.53/serving)

Flavor: 4

Texture: 2

Would I buy this again? This contains a great blend of protein, good ingredients, and sold at an affordable price. It is not NSF certified for sport or informed sport, and it does contain hemp. I personally wouldn’t buy it again because I didn’t like the texture, but it might taste better in a smoothie.

Tone It Up

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. The protein is a blend of pea protein isolate and organic pumpkin seed. Sweetened with monk fruit extract natural flavors and sea salt. One scoop contains 15g of protein (23g), 1g fiber, and 260mg sodium.

Cost: $23.99 for 11 oz. container (14 servings so $1.71/serving)

Flavor/Texture: Did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? Hard to say since I didn’t taste test the product, but based on very minimal ingredients and the price I would say yes! Like the last 5 above, this protein is also not NSF certified for sport or informed sport.

Amazing Grass Protein Superfood

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No.

Quality of Ingredients:  5. This one contains high quality ingredients, a protein blend of quinoa, hemp, chia, pea, a ‘green food blend’ with spirulina, wheat grass, spinach, a fruit and veggie blend of raspberries, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, acai, and vanilla flavor and stevia. One scoop (31g) contains 20 g of protein and 4g of fiber. The green color really threw me off, but it surprisingly doesn’t taste as grassy as you would assume. Even though it’s great that it contains all these wonderful fruits and veggies, remember these are in very small amounts. 4 grams of fiber is what you’d consume in just 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries. So this powder definitely doesn’t replace whole fruits and veggies. But it would be great to pack with you when traveling with limited access to fresh produce!

Cost: $24.99 for 12 oz. container (11 servings so $2.27/serving)

Flavor: 4. I tried the pure vanilla flavor

Texture: 3.5. Grainy, but this was when mixed with water. It could taste better in a smoothie.

Would I buy this again? Probably not a full container, but I might buy individual packets when in a bind/traveling. I really like the ingredients and variety in protein sources. This protein is not NSF certified for sport or informed sport.

Here are the top 3 plant-based protein powders I would recommend to athletes based on being NSF Certified for Sport/Informed Sport Certified, cost, ingredients, and overall taste. Vega Sport Garden of Life Momentous
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Which is the best whey protein powder for athletes? The most affordable, best tasting, lowest in sugar, and does it contain high quality ingredients? I compared 13 different brands of whey protein powders for this review, including all the ones I was asked about most on my instagram story poll a few weeks back. I also wanted a second opinion, so I had my assistant taste test with me.

The FDA does not regulate supplements so you must always use caution when using them. Athletes should only use products that go through a third party certification, such as NSF certified for sport or Informed Sport. Required for athletes to assure they aren't taking any illegal supplements; this certification assures what's listed on the package is what's actually in the product. Even if you aren't in collegiate or professional sports, I still highly recommend seeking out a protein with this certification. Why? Because it's constantly going through rigorous testing to make sure it's legit. 11 of the 13 in this article are safe for athletes. If you don’t see your protein powder mentioned here, check this list of certified products here or check with your dietitian to assure you’re using a safe product. 

This review is not sponsored in any way. I was not paid by these brands or compensated for this review.

Each whey protein powder was ranked with a scoring system of 1-5. 1 being poor, 5 being excellent, and we took the average of our two scores. These scores were given based on:

  • Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Y/N

  • Quality of Ingredients (1-5)

  • Cost $$

  • Flavor (1-5)

  • Texture (1-5)

  • Would I buy this again? Y/N

Garden of Life Sport

Garden of Life has a few different grass fed whey options. For the sake of wanting as many certified for sport products as possible on this list, we are reviewing the ‘Sport’ Grass Fed Whey protein.

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Both. Also sells a plant-based (vegan) version.

Quality of Ingredients: 4.5. This product contains high quality ingredients. Whey protein isolate is the first ingredient, followed by cocoa and chocolate flavors, sea salt, stevia leaf extract – also contains 2.8 g of leucine per serving. This product does however contain erythritol (sugar alcohol) and does not list how many grams on the label. Sugar alcohols in large quantities can cause GI distress (nausea, bloat, gas) in some athletes.

Cost: $39 for 23 oz. container (20 servings so $1.95/serving)

Flavor: 4

Texture: 3

Would I buy this again? We weren’t big fans of the texture by itself but did like the flavor, so mixed into a smoothie this would be much better. The price per serving is good, especially for also being a certified for sport product.

Klean Athlete Isolate

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. NSF certified for sport.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. Their unflavored whey protein isolate is as simple as can be in terms of ingredients (whey protein isolate, sunflower lecithin). Sunflower lecithin is used in protein powders as an emulsifier to help stabilize the powder. Soy lecithin is commonly used in powders as well, but in the case of this protein powder and several others on this list, they use sunflower lecithin to keep their products soy-free. Their flavors (chocolate, vanilla) are sweetened with stevia leaf extract and monk fruit extract, so I like the fact there are no artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or fiber additives. There are 2g of leucine per serving.

Cost: $50 for 18 oz. bag (20 servings so $2.50/serving)

Flavor: 5. The one we taste tested was unflavored, but they also offer vanilla and chocolate.

Texture: 5

Would I buy this again? Yes. We really liked the unflavored especially because you could mix it into just about anything without changing the taste. Liked the ingredients and the fact it’s certified for sport.

Ascent Native Fuel Whey

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Informed Sport.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. The ingredients of this powder are almost identical to the last. Whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate are the first two ingredients, providing a blend of different milk proteins, along with cocoa, natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, monk fruit extract, and stevia leaf extract. So again, no artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or synthetic fibers. It includes 2.7g of leucine per serving and 15% DV vitamin D.  

Cost: $39 for 32 oz. bag (27 servings so $1.44/serving)

Flavor/Texture: Did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? Hard to say since we didn’t taste test the product. But the ingredients overall looked good, it’s a safe product for athletes, and sold at an affordable price!  

Optimum Nutrition (Gold Standard 100% Whey)

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Informed Choice.

Quality of Ingredients: 3. The first ingredients are a blend of whey isolate, whey concentrate, and whey peptides. To follow are natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, salt, two different artificial sweeteners sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) and acesulfame potassium, and lactase (enzyme to help digest lactose). That’s the ingredient list for their vanilla, which is actually the best of the bunch, as their other flavors (such as strawberry) also contain corn syrup solids and mono and diglycerides.  

Cost: $30.99 for 2 lb. container (29 servings so $1.06/serving)

Flavor/Texture: 4

Would I buy this again? No. While the pro is the low price tag per serving, you’re getting a lot of unnecessary ingredients along with it. While in small amounts these ingredients may not have a large impact, for athletes that consume several servings a day it could raise some concern. Plain and simple there are better products out there for close to the same price.

Orgain Clean Whey

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Considered food product (therefore regulated by FDA). Also sells plant-based (vegan) version.

Quality of Ingredients: 3. Whey concentrate is the first ingredient (no isolate), followed by erythritol (sugar alcohol), creamer (acacia, high oleic sunflower oil, inulin, rice dextrin, rice bran extract, rosemary extract), alkalized cocoa powder, natural flavors, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, sea salt, potassium chloride, and stevia. This protein powder only contains whey concentrate, which ranges anywhere from containing 30-89% concentrate with the remaining coming from primarily fat or lactose. Whey isolate is >90% protein. The product also contains sugar alcohols, and you also have to consume twice as much (2 scoops or ~41 grams) to get 21 grams of protein.  

Cost: $30 for 1.82 lb. container (20 servings so $1.50/serving)

Flavor: 4

Texture: 4

Would I buy this again? Probably not. Only containing whey protein concentrate, it’s not a very high quality protein and contains several unnecessary ingredients. There are other protein powders available for the same price or even cheaper with higher quality ingredients.

NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes, Informed Sport. Also sells plant-based (vegan) version.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. Just like Klean Athlete (above) and BiPro ELITE (below), their unflavored protein only contains 2 ingredients – whey isolate and sunflower lecithin. Also contains over 2.7g leucine per serving. Their vanilla and chocolate flavors do contain xylitol (sugar alcohol-in small amount only 1g), natural vanilla flavor, xanthan gum, and stevia.

Cost: $35.99 for 1.8 lb. container (26 servings so $1.38/serving)

Flavor/Texture: Did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? Hard to say since I didn’t taste test the product, but based on very minimal ingredients in their unflavored and the price I would say yes!

BiPro ELITE Whey Protein Isolate

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes, NSF Certified for Sport.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. Their unflavored whey protein isolate is as simple as can be in terms of ingredients. Their products are lactose free (isolates in general though are typically very low, if any lactose) contains no fillers, and contains 2.5 g of leucine per scoop. Their flavors (chocolate, vanilla) are sweetened with stevia leaf extract, so I really like the fact there are no artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or fiber additives.

Cost: $37.99 for 2 lb. bag (39 servings so $0.97/serving)

Flavor: 5. The one we taste tested was unflavored, but they also offer vanilla and chocolate.

Texture: 5

Would I buy this again? Yes. The taste, texture, ingredients, and price were all great. And it is NSF certified for sport, so a win-win all around. This was the most affordable option per serving.

We Are Ladder Whey Protein

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Both. Also sells plant-based (vegan) version.

Quality of Ingredients: 4. Always like to see the first ingredient being whey protein isolate. To follow are cocoa, cane sugar, natural flavors, salt, steviol glycosides, monk fruit extract, silica and thickener blend, guar gum, xanthan gum, and carrageenan. Unlike the last few I just reviewed, this product does contain a little bit of sugar and a few food additives such as gums and thickeners.

Cost: $50 for 15 servings ($3.33/serving)

Flavor/Texture: Did not get to taste test this product. Not sold in stores, and only place it’s available for sale online is their website. Cheapest order looks to be 15 packets for $50. There’s also the option to buy 30 servings for $75, so you save some money there. They also do not sell large containers, only individual packets.

Would I buy this again? Hard to say when I didn’t taste the product. I like the fact it’s a certified for sport product, but the price tag is definitely a con for athletes on a budget.

Momentous AbsoluteZero Grass Fed Whey

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Both. Also sells plant-based (vegan) version.

Quality of Ingredients: 5. One thing we thought was really cool about this brand is their transparency with ingredient sources. There’s a map showing you exactly where they source each ingredient, along with a description to help explain what it is. The AbsoluteZero is their whey protein isolate, which also contains prohydrolase (their proprietary blend of digestive enzymes) which can reduce the bloating or indigestion that some experience with whey protein powders. Beyond just grass fed whey isolate, this product also contains salt, sunflower lecithin, steviol glycosides and organic Reb A (which is another name for stevia).

Cost: $70 for 1.35 lb. container (24 servings so $2.91/serving)

Flavor: 5

Texture: 5

Would I buy this again? Yes. Probably one of the best tasting in our opinion. The only downfall for athletes would be the price. Monthly subscriptions do offer a discounted rate, and their website lets you order samples before buying an entire container.

Advocare BodyLean

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. Informed Choice certified.

Quality of Ingredients: 3. The ingredients are a protein blend of whey concentrate, milk concentrate, whey isolate, calcium caseinate. Then fructose, natural and artificial flavors, xanthan gum, sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame K.

Cost: $72.95 for 2 lb. container (28 servings so $2.60/serving)

Flavor: 1

Texture: 1

Would I buy this again? Definitely not. Overpriced, tasted terrible, and poor quality ingredients. Plenty of better options on this list. 

Biosteel Whey Protein Isolate

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? Yes. NSF certified for sport.

Quality of Ingredients: 4.5. Whey protein isolate, leucine, glutamine, ginger extract, enzyme blend of protease and lipase, natural vanilla extract, stevia, and xanthan gum.

Cost: $59.99 for 1.8 lb. container (24 servings so $2.50/serving)

Flavor/Texture: We did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? Hard to say when I didn’t taste the product. I like the fact it’s a certified for sport product, and overall the ingredients are pretty good, but the price tag is a bit high compared to similar products.

PEScience Select Protein

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No. I do not recommend this product to drug tested athletes.

Quality of Ingredients: 3.5. Their protein powder is a whey and casein blend. Ingredients are a blend of milk protein isolate, casein protein, whey protein concentrate, sodium chloride, natural and artificial flavors, guar gum, two artificial sweeteners – sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium, and vanilla beans.

Cost: $34.99 for 1.85 lb. container (27 servings so $1.30/serving)

Flavor/Texture: We did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? No. Because it lacks any sort of third party certification with NSF or Informed Sport, I wouldn’t recommend it to athletes. That in combination with the below average ingredients just really makes it not worth your money. There are plenty of better options on this list.

1st Phorm (Phormula-1)

Is it NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport? No. I do not recommend this product to drug tested athletes.

Quality of Ingredients: 1. First ingredient is whey protein isolate, then natural flavor, followed by a whole bunch of unnecessary junk – corn syrup solids, mono and diglycerides, silicon dioxide, soy lecithin, titanium dioxide color, salt, sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium. And that’s just if you get the vanilla. Flavors like cherry lime also have red #40, neotame (aspartame) and dimethylpolysiloxane. If you look at the about page on the website, they talk about how they only use the ‘highest quality ingredients’ that are ‘top grade, premium, results driven’ – so just know if you ever see this catch phrase, it literally means nothing.

Cost: $54.99 for 1.98 lb. container (32 servings so $1.72/serving)

Flavor/Texture: We did not get to taste test this product.

Would I buy this again? No. Because it lacks any sort of third party certification with NSF or Informed Sport, I wouldn’t recommend it to athletes. But I also wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. You have to really question the price here when the company isn’t having to pay the cost to have a third party tested certification, and lacks quality ingredients. This is by far the worst on the list. Any other product on this list would be a better option.

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This week’s video is all about alcohol. It’s becoming more common to consume alcohol after road races, competitions, even group fitness classes. But what effect does this have on your performance and recovery? What about sleep and hormones?

Alcohol + Performance & Recovery

After exercise, it’s important to replenish glycogen stores and stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which is why consuming a combination of carbohydrates and protein is recommended. However, when you consume alcohol after a workout, alcohol DECREASES muscle protein synthesis (over 37%!) & interferes with glycogen replenishment, delaying the recovery process. This alone makes it very difficult to boost performance & muscle growth over time.

Research shows that even when consumed WITH a protein source after exercise, alcohol can still decrease muscle protein synthesis (by 24% vs. 37%), impairing muscle growth and repair. Alcohol also impairs hydration status, which can affect the quality and duration of upcoming workouts.

If you’re recovering from an injury, consuming alcohol could also prolong your recovery time.

Alcohol + Sleep & Hormones

Studies show alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, but the quality of sleep is what you should be concerned about. Alcohol disrupts your restorative sleep cycles, reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Lack of sleep is associated with increased risk of sports injuries.

As for hormones, cortisol & testosterone are just two of the hormones that effect muscle growth. Cortisol fuels protein breakdown while testosterone elevates protein synthesis. Studies have indicated that alcohol (2-3 drinks/day) impairs testosterone levels by decreasing secretion of testosterone, which can impair protein synthesis & negatively affect the results from resistance training over time.

A study conducted on male athletes indicates having just under one drink as an appropriate amount, without having a negative impact on performance and recovery.

Now I’m not saying you should never drink alcohol again (or I’d be a complete hypocrite) but I am saying if you’re wanting to improve muscle recovery, performance, and promote lean muscle mass gain, it’s a good idea to hold off on alcohol post-workout. Instead, consume a carbohydrate and protein-rich meal after your workout, and allow enough time to digest before drinking a beer or cocktail.

Watch the full nutrition video below!

For research studies, click here, here, here, and here.

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Nourishment over numbers. This is a concept I’ve been educating my clients on for years. I started working with athletes struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating in 2014. Sports such as figure skating, gymnastics, and dance have tremendous pressure to focus on numbers, body size, body shape. It’s a long process working with them to restore a healthy relationship with food and stress the importance nourishing your body, both physically and mentally, has on your performance. But once it clicks, it’s truly life changing.

This approach goes beyond athletes, to all people. In a world full of counting macros and tracking calories, I feel like so many of us are missing out on what nutrition is really about – nourishment.

People can become so obsessed with tracking numbers that they may overthink their food choices and ignore their body’s nutritional needs – both physically and mentally. They may choose a food solely on the numbers, low calorie, low carb, without acknowledging the nutrient density of the food. Many of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet are high in calories (hello, avocados!) But while an avocado contains over 300 calories, it also contains over 900mg potassium, 13g fiber, 20g monounsaturated fat, 4g protein, 30% vitamin C, and 15% magnesium. And it makes the most delicious topping for your tacos.

Food is so much more than carbs, fat, and protein. When we focus on nourishment over numbers, we make better choices. How is this food nourishing me? What kind of nutrients does it contain? Any vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3s, fiber? So maybe it’s not rich in nutrients, but how is it nourishing me mentally or socially? Am I truly enjoying this food? Food is also nourishment for your mental and emotional health.

 

Tracking calories or macros absolutely works for some people. It helps you control portion sizes, and gives you a numerical way to monitor your food intake. It’s helped quite a few of my clients get an idea of where they are at when they first start working with me, and what areas they need to increase or decrease to reach their goals. But what’s computed for you on an app may be far from what you actually need – I’ve seen this more times than I can count with MyFitnessPal, way underestimating a client’s total daily energy expenditure because it can’t take into account their actual RMR based on lean body mass, not just weight, or the intensity of their workouts. I highly recommend working with a dietitian to give you your actual energy needs, and give you some goals to work on. Again, a calorie goal is just a general guideline. Those numbers provided aren’t meant to be lifelong. What about when you reach your goal weight? When you change your workout routine? When you focus solely on calories, you also forget about basic physiology. Our guts don’t work the same way calorimeters do. For example, for your body to break down protein it requires a lot more energy vs. carbs or fat…you could have two foods be completely equal in terms of calories, but very different in terms of how that food is broken down and utilized for energy or fat storage.

 

Is counting calories or macros necessary to live a healthy lifestyle? Absolutely not. It’s tedious and time consuming, and already difficult enough to plan your meals for the week, grocery shop, cook, clean afterwards, let alone track every last gram of fat you ate that day. Food is so important, but when thinking about it begins to take over every important thing in our lives, it can truly suck all of the joy out of eating. You can be hitting specific calorie or macronutrient numbers and still be malnourished.

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What’s the best dairy-free yogurt? Lowest in added sugar? What about the highest in protein? Does it contain probiotics? Does it even taste good?! I put several to the test to tell you which is best!

I tested 9 different yogurts (7 different brands) for this review. I only tested products I could easily find at most grocery stores in my hometown (Lincoln, NE). I also wanted a second opinion, so I had my assistant, Brooke, taste test with me!

This review is not sponsored in any way. I was not given free product by these brands or compensated for this review.

Each yogurt was ranked with a scoring system of 1-5. 1 being poor, 5 being excellent, and we took the average of our two scores. These scores were given based on:

  • Flavor (1-5)

  • Texture (1-5)

  • Quality of Ingredients (1-5)

  • Protein content (1-5)

  • Added Sugar content (1-5)

  • Does it contain probiotics? Y/N

  • Cost $$

  • Would I buy this again? Y/N

I should mention another personal favorite of mine was not included in this review – Coconut Cult. This was due to the high price tag (up to $25) and lack of availability where I live. You can order this yogurt and have it delivered to you, but have to spend a minimum of $70 per order and honestly, I don’t enjoy yogurt enough for that! Now let’s get started!

#1 GT’s Cocoyo(Tried two flavors: Pure and Raspberry)

Flavor: 5 (Brooke liked the pure best, I liked the raspberry)

Texture: 4.5

Quality of Ingredients: 5

Protein Content: 1

Added Sugar Content: 5 (no added sugar, raspberry is sweetened naturally with raspberry juice)

Does it Contain Probiotics? Yes

Cost: $3.49 (2 servings per container so $1.75 per serving)

Would I Buy This Again? Yes

#2 Forager Cashewgurt (Tried two flavors: coconut and vanilla)

Flavor: 5 for coconut flavor (vanilla - 3.5)

Texture: 3.5 for coconut flavor (vanilla - 2)

Quality of Ingredients: 4 for coconut flavor (vanilla - 3.5)

Protein Content: 2 for both flavors

Added Sugar Content: 3 for coconut (vanilla - 1, had 12 grams of added sugar)

Does it Contain Probiotics? Yes

Cost: $1.75

Would I Buy This Again? Yes, we would both buy the coconut again, but not the vanilla. Did not like the flavor or texture near as much as the coconut.

#3 Kite Hill Greek-Style

Flavor: 4

Texture: 2

Quality of Ingredients: 3

Protein Content: 5 - this was the highest protein out of all the ones we tried

Added Sugar Content: 1 - still had 13 grams of added sugar per serving

Does it Contain Probiotics? Yes

Cost: $1.99

Would I Buy This Again? No. Although it was high protein, neither of us liked the texture.

#4 Nancy’s Oatmilk

Flavor: 3 (Brooke - 4, Angie - 2)

Texture: 2.5 (Brooke - 4, Angie - 1)

Quality of Ingredients: 5

Protein Content: 4.5

Added Sugar Content: 5

Does it Contain Probiotics? Yes

Cost: $1.49

Would I Buy This Again? Brooke loved this one, and would buy it again. I wasn’t a fan of the texture. It tasted watered down to me, so I would not buy it again.

#5 So Delicious Coconutmilk

Flavor: 3.5

Texture: 4

Quality of Ingredients: 3

Protein Content: 1

Added Sugar Content: 1

Does it Contain Probiotics? Yes

Cost: $1.85

Would I Buy This Again? One thing to look at with the yogurts here, if both protein and added sugar scores are very low, I would pass as there’s a better option out there. We both said no, we wouldn’t buy this again. It was just way too sweet. However, this brand also has an unsweetened vanilla (0 grams added sugar) which I’ve had before and would buy again!

#6 Daiya

Flavor: 4

Texture: 4.5

Quality of Ingredients: 4

Protein Content: 4

Added Sugar Content: 2

Does it Contain Probiotics? Yes

Cost: $1.99

Would I Buy This Again? Maybe. I was pleasantly surprised with this texture, but something still seemed off with the flavor and it seemed too sweet for me.

#7 Silk Almondmilk

Flavor: 2

Texture: 3

Quality of Ingredients: 2

Protein Content: 4

Added Sugar Content: 1 - this one was the highest in added sugar with 17 grams per serving. That’s over half the recommended added sugar allowance per day. Add granola to this, and you likely exceed your added sugar intake in one snack.

Does it Contain Probiotics? Yes

Cost: $1.89

Would I Buy This Again? No. This was our least favorite. Way too high in added sugar, and we weren’t a fan of the flavor or texture.

Our personal favorites:

Angie: Cocoyo. Especially the raspberry flavor. The one downfall is it is low in protein, but I could see myself buying this again and using it more as a probiotic supplement, having a few tablespoons a day. You could also add in higher protein ingredients like hemp seeds or nuts to boost the protein here. The containers come with 2 servings, which ends up being one of the most affordable options in this review at just $1.75/serving.

Brooke: Cocoyo Pure. I loved the plain, tangy flavor and would add granola or nuts for texture and protein! The ingredients were extremely appealing and had no added sugar, which is always a bonus. I’m a college student, so the cost combined with the quality ingredients makes this a really great option for breakfast or for a quick snack.

Click here to watch the video of our review!

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Glutamine (L-glutamine) is an amino acid that can be produced by the body, found naturally in several food sources, & taken as a supplement. Glutamine is a major source of energy for enterocytes (the cells in your intestinal lining) and can play an important role in gut health & immunity. Because glutamine is so abundant, it can play various roles in helping protect our bodies against illness, muscle soreness, & stress.

What is the role of glutamine on gut health?

Research indicates glutamine can play an important role in gut health by protecting the lining of our intestines and improving our gastrointestinal integrity, which means it can help facilitate immune defense, promote a healthy mucosal lining in our intestines, and neutralize free radicals to aid in discomfort or pain within the GI tract. Glutamine helps promote healthy tissue within your gut and helps your intestines absorb and utilize nutrients how they should.

In a recent study, male patients with Crohn’s disease showed significant improvement in intestinal permeability when supplementing with oral glutamine for two months.

Research also indicates patients with IBS can use supplementation to repair intestinal lining, but may not cure their condition all together.

What is the role of glutamine on performance?

Glutamine can play a huge role in recovery as well as immune support. Prolonged periods of intense training such as ultra endurance competitions, triathlon, & marathon running can cause your blood glutamine levels to drop significantly. Supplementing with glutamine could potentially provide benefits such as:
-Helping offset the blood glutamine drops during prolonged, strenuous exercise.
-Combatting fatigue, illness, or poor performance (potentially caused by overtraining) by initiating an immune response.
-Help to replenish muscle stores, aiding in quicker recovery.
-Allow athletes to bounce back from sport related injury at a much faster rate.

Food sources of glutamine include: bone broth, poultry, fish, eggs, cabbage, dairy, spinach, tofu, beans & lentils. 

Athletes looking to supplement with glutamine should use a third-party tested NSF certified for sport product, such as this one from Thorne Research.

Watch my video on glutamine below!

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In this week’s video, I’m talking about the ketogenic diet and why I don’t recommend it to athletes. Let’s take a look at what it is, the current research, and potential side effects. You can read more about the keto diet and the research in my interviews here with Prevention Magazine and Everyday Health.

What it is: 

The Ketogenic diet or ‘keto’ is very high fat (75%+ total calories), moderate protein (20%), & very low carb (5%). Recommended carb intake per day is <20 g. Which is less than just 1 banana, 1 apple, or 1 sweet potato. The Ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920s as a way to treat children for epilepsy. Along with the benefit it has with epilepsy, it’s also shown beneficial in neurodegenerative diseases, and weight loss/body fat loss in obese and overweight adults. Research shows that while fat loss occurs with keto, so does lean muscle mass loss.

Athletes:

There’s currently no substantial evidence that the keto diet improves athletic performance vs. a diet higher in carbohydrates; while there is an abundance of research showing the benefits carbohydrates have on improving athletic performance. Keto could potentially be applicable for athletes such as ultra-runners performing at moderate pace for long-duration, but is shown to have a negative impact in athletes performing at high intensities. With the limitations on protein, this could also make it challenging for some to maximize strength and muscle gains.

Potential Side Effects:

Brain fog, fatigue, headaches, nausea, constipation, muscle loss, increased cholesterol, and the negative impact it could have psychologically, or on social life. For some, this diet is achievable long-term. But for many, it’s very restrictive and could promote disordered eating habits with obsessive tracking of grams, macros, never allowing yourself to ‘splurge’ on anything containing carbs or sugar in fear of knocking you out of ketosis. Also, slipping up on this diet can backfire your progress greatly as now you’re out of ketosis and on a very high fat diet.

Takeaways:

Weight loss is likely to occur at the start. Decreasing carbohydrates results in loss of water weight. While yes weight loss is likely to occur, research is mixed on whether or not the keto diet leads to greater fat losses when compared to high carb, and when you compare low-fat vs. low-carb diets, total pounds loss tends to even out at about 12 months. This usually comes down to the fact it’s an overall calorie reduction (less food options to consume typically = less total calories consumed)

While yes it can promote weight loss, there are several other methods to losing weight successfully that don’t involve restricting entire food groups, counting every last carb, counting your % fat & protein daily, & being limited to meat, dairy, eggs, avocado, coconut, & low carb vegetables.

For those of you who have found success eating keto - great! Really glad you found something that works for you. But if you think just because this diet works for you it must work for everyone, then you are just as ignorant as the people who say this diet won’t work for anyone.

Watch my 2-minute video on the Ketogenic diet below!
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Meal prepping is scheduling time to prepare several meals at once and packing them so they’re ready for you to grab and go. Meal prepping also means that you plan in advance for quick meals during the week, so you have all the necessary ingredients on hand to save time later. Meal prepping helps to save money, time, and helps you have more control over portion sizes - and this guide walks you through exactly how to do it all!

What’s Included:

-Simple steps to master meal prepping

-Money saving tips for eating healthy on a budget

-Nutritious meal prep recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prep

-3-day meal plans for both vegetarians and meat-eaters (and portion recommendations for weight maintenance vs. weight gain)

-A weekly meal planner/grocery worksheet you can print and reuse week after week

learn more
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Needing gift ideas for your favorite fitness enthusiast, foodie, or athlete? Here’s a list of 15 gifts they’re sure to love! These are just a few of my personal favorite kitchen staples, travel essentials, and at-home gym equipment. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season from Eleat Nutrition!

Instant Pot (6 Qt. 7-in-1 Multi-Use)

I actually just got one of these this past year, and was shocked how many different meals I could make in less than an hour! My personal favorite is making Mexican casserole. I love that you can saute and slow cook all in one pot. For athletes living in dorm-style apartments or extended-stay hotels with limited appliances, they will love the versatility of an instant pot.

Classic Chef’s Knife (Wusthof, 6-inch)

I firmly believe every home cook should have one good quality chef’s knife. This makes slicing and dicing for your meal prep 10000x better. I’m personally a fan of Wusthof knives and use this exact knife daily! The one shown here is available at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Williams Sonoma, and on Amazon.

Crockpot

Whether you’re constantly busy with practice, work, or class, nothing is more useful when it comes to meal prepping than a crockpot. Crockpots are also so handy for athletes living in hotels without full kitchens, or living in dorm-style apartments without ovens or stoves. Here’s a collection of over 25+ recipes you can make in a crockpot.

Blender such as Vitamix, Blendtec, or Ninja

The perfect solution for getting in your daily dose of fruits and veggies! But really, these heavy duty blenders such as Vitamix, Blendtec, and Ninja are a must-have for every athlete. From daily smoothies and blending soups to making sauces and dressings, there’s so many different ways to use it. They can also double as a food processor. While Vitamix is the priciest of the three, it’s well worth the money. I’ve had the same Vitamix blender for going on 6 years now, and still use it at least once a day everyday!

Cookbooks

Cookbooks make the perfect gift! Adding variety to your daily meals can be tough, but cookbooks like Thug Kitchen make it easy. This is one of my favorite cookbooks, along with Zahav. I can hardly wait until the first Eleat Nutrition cookbook is published in 2019!

Travel Meal Prep Lunch Box

This is the ultimate way to make sure the athlete in your life always has a healthy meal ready to eat. Traveling can create food nightmares and hangry travelers. This cooler solves all of those problems!

Meal Prep Containers

These containers make meal prep a breeze. They’re microwavable, dishwasher safe, and store nicely - so you don’t have to worry about them cluttering up your cabinets!

32 oz. Hydro Flask

Hydro flasks and Swell have vacuum insulation that keep drinks cold for over 24 hours, and hot for over 6 hours. Cool colors and sleek designs make these a great stocking stuffer!

Travel Yoga Mat

This is the perfect gift for the fitness enthusiast who’s always on the road. This yoga mat folds up small enough to fit in your backpack or carry-on, and is perfect for airports or small hotel rooms.

Their Favorite Coffee or Tea - great stocking stuffers!

For the coffee/tea fanatics - these make the perfect stocking stuffer! I love the Holiday flavors Republic of Tea has come out with which are available on Amazon and at Whole Foods. Other ideas are Yogi tea, these travel packets of Matcha, a bag of ground coffee beans, or a gift card to their favorite coffee shop.

TRX All in One Suspension Training System

The TRX is probably the most dynamic piece of training equipment you can find that will also fit in a suitcase. With a door anchor that works over any door, TRX makes it possible to get a solid workout in virtually anywhere. This is hands down my favorite piece of exercise equipment!

Resistance Bands

Because these bands are so small and portable, they are perfect for fitting in a workout while on the road. I always have one of these rolled up in my carry-on. There are several band exercises that can easily be done in the small space of a hotel room.

Wireless Speaker

Perfect for transforming any room into your own personal fitness studio! This wireless speaker is easily portable, waterproof, and has up to 6 hours of play time from a rechargeable battery.

Foam Roller

Foam rolling helps to ease soreness and keep you performing at your best. I love this small foam roller from TriggerPoint, making it so much easier to travel with! Hyperice also makes great recovery products!

Exercise Sliders

Such a versatile piece of equipment, these sliders are a must-have for the at-home gym or on-the-go athletes! It’s amazing just how many exercises you can do with a set of sliders!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

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What I love about Trader Joe’s are the pantry and fridge staples you can find for incredibly affordable prices. In this blog, I’m sharing the 15 items I find myself buying most frequently from TJ’s - I’d love to hear if yours are on this list!!

1. Fresh Produce

I can always find fresh organic produce for affordable prices at TJ’s. While they don’t have nearly as large a selection as Whole Foods or local grocers, I can always find so many of my staples - bell peppers, zucchini, bagged baby spinach, bagged shredded kale, lemons, limes, oranges, berries, apples, avocados, potatoes, and bananas. Another plus about their produce section are the pre-chopped veggies that make meal prep so much easier when you’re short on time!

2. Old Fashioned Oats

I have oatmeal almost every single morning for breakfast, and these are my go-to old fashioned oats! While I’m not gluten-free, I love how many options they have, along with a whole list of GF products available on their website!

3. Nut Butters

I have seen almond butter to be absurdly expensive at grocery stores…over $10 a jar! Which is why I almost always buy my nut butters from TJs. These are my two favorites – creamy almond butter and mixed nut butter. (priced between $4.99-5.99)

4. Nuts

Along with their nut butters, their trail mixes and raw nuts are good buys too. Some of my personal favorites are the raw cashews, sliced almonds, walnuts, and pecans.

5. Trail Mix

I love the wide variety of trail mixes and dried fruit they have. I like the Omega-3 Trek mix, along with this cashew, cranberry, almond for snacks on the road when I’m traveling! As much as I love their selection of dried mango, apple slices, etc., a lot of them are loaded with added sugar – look for ‘just fruit’ listed on the label to make sure you’re getting the unsweetened versions!

6. Seeds

I have seeds every single day, whether in my oatmeal, smoothies, or on a salad. My personal favorites are ground flaxseed (much better texture in smoothies than trying to use the whole flax!) chia seeds (use these often in overnight oats) and pumpkin seeds (sprinkle on top of salads).

7. Plant-Based Proteins

As a vegetarian, I am always buying lentils, tempeh, and sprouted tofu. While I do love their dried green lentils and red lentils, I find that these steamed lentils are perfect for when I’m short on time for dinner, especially since pressing and marinating tofu how I like it can take so long! I love making lentil tacos with the steamed lentils, this crispy baked tofu recipe or tofu nuggets, and one of my favorite ways to eat tempeh is sautéing in my thai peanut sauce!

8. Canned Foods

This time of year I find myself making a lot more soups and crockpot recipes – and the canned beans, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, and pureed pumpkin are some of my most frequent buys! I love making this lentil tikka masala (and I always opt for the full fat coconut milk), love making these pumpkin muffins, and of course have chili…lots of chili!

9. Frozen Brown Rice & Quinoa

Love the pre-cooked, frozen boxes of brown rice and quinoa that each come with three individual packets. You can heat these up so quickly either on the stove or in the microwave. Some of my favorite ways to use the brown rice are either for burrito bowls or stir-fries, and I love using the quinoa to make quinoa+black bean burgers!

10. Frozen Fruit & Vegetables

I buy frozen whole fruits and vegetables especially when I know they’re not in season. Frozen fruits and veggies have comparable nutrient contents as fresh produce, and in some instances can actually be greater due to the fact they’re frozen immediately after harvesting. I most often buy their mixed frozen berries for smoothies and frozen broccoli and asparagus to steam or sauté.

11. Cooking Oils/Fats

The main fats I use when cooking are avocado oil and olive oil. I really like the Chosen Foods brand avocado oil that TJ’s sells. I also really like Miyoko’s vegan butter – it’s a good dairy-free alternative that’s made from coconut oil and cashews, unlike most vegan substitutes which are full of soybean and/or canola oil.

12. Vegetable Broth

As I mentioned before, soup and crockpot recipes are common for me, and while I do enjoy a homemade veggie broth, it’s so nice sometimes when I’m prepping for the week and can skip a step by using this pre-made broth. I personally like the taste of this hearty vegetable broth best, but they do offer a low-sodium version as well!

13. Whole Grain Pasta + Marinara

Their pasta selection has grown so much over the years, and I love to see more gluten-free options available that are made from lentils or whole grains! As I mentioned I’m not gluten-free, but this brown rice & quinoa pasta is delicious! Every now and then I do make my own marinara sauce at home, but they have some great sauces available for when you’re looking to save some meal prep time!

14. Sauces

A few more favorite sauces…this vegan kale, cashew, and basil pesto is great as a dip, marinade, or tossed with pasta. It’s so flavorful and a great time saver when I don’t have time to make my own pesto from scratch! I also love their vegan green goddess avocado dressing – it’s creamy and delicious on top of grain bowls or salads!

15. Seasonings

Last but not least, these two seasoning blends! This everything but the bagel seasoning is delicious on top of sautéed leafy greens like collard greens. It’s also delicious on eggs and avocado. I love adding 21 seasoning blend to my roasted vegetables or when I’m prepping turkey burgers or baked chicken.

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