Protein Pudding

Protein pudding is a little concoction I have been living off of (well, not literally) when I can’t exactly decide what to snack on. It tastes strongly of protein powder but also kind of like pudding. Because of this, my suggestion is to find a protein powder you really like first before making protein pudding with it. My favourites lately have been Vanilla Caramel Whey HD by BPI Sports and Vanilla Cake by Muscletech Platinum.

Some people may look back on protein powder and shudder (I used to), but I promise you, in the last half-decade alone, protein powder has evolved drastically. It no longer tastes like chalk! In fact, the 2 I listed above taste pretty close to frosting to me. Perhaps that’s because I’ve been eating ‘clean’ long enough to appreciate less-desirable food (well, not less desirable .. but more healthy, really — and ymmv on what ‘healthy’ means), or perhaps it’s because I’ve been used to supplementing with tons of smoothies and powders during my 3 years without meat back in the day. However, those looking to jump on the fitness bandwagon have no fear — there are wonderful websites out there like bodybuilding.ca where you can order samples of protein powders for under $10. And these aren’t just little sample packets either. You can get a 5-7 serving tub for about $10, so you can really see if you like it before you buy a bigger size. They ship from Richmond, too, so it only took like 6 days (and $5 for shipping!) for my order to get to Northern Alberta (and I believe they have another warehouse in Ontario for those on the other side of Canada, but forgive me if I’m wrong). They also have a US website! (which I don’t get as excited about, because almost everything has a US website 😉 ).

No, I’m not affiliated with these guys in any way whatsoever. I just really, really love that website because I am indecisive. I’m so indecisive that I ordered 8 different samples of vanilla-based flavors alone. I wanted to make sure I could have a staple in my cupboard that I am absolutely sure I love. So if you’re tired of the sugar content of RTDs like Boost and Ensure; and you’re tired of the price of Vega ($70 a tub in some places! Ack!), it’s certainly an option!

proteinpudding1

For this photo, I used my good ‘ol faithful, Isoflex Chocolate. It’s nice to find a product you can get locally, and you can find that particular brand in many grocery stores these days. Even Wal-Mart has it! I know a lot of people knock Wal-Mart for having poor quality supplements (and to me, their Pure Protein and IsoFemme powders taste like ass), but it can be handy when you need it. And heck, for those of you who are on a budget, or go there often enough anyway, I fail to see the difference between Wal-Mart and some of the generic GNC-brand stuff that’s 3x the price. Alas, I am getting off topic.

Protein pudding. It tastes kinda like pudding but it has protein.

Anyyyhoo. Here’s the recipe:

Protein Pudding:

  • 1 serving protein powder. Use any you like!
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup milk, depending on the thickness of your protein powder (if your shakes come out the consistency of pancake batter – use more milk, if they come out more like the consistency of milk – use less milk .. some brands are thicker, some thinner, so it’s best to experiment a bit)
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp coconut oil, depending on how creamy you like it
  1. Scoop or weigh protein powder in a bowl. Add coconut oil.
  2. IMPORTANT – heat your milk in the microwave for about 15 – 20 seconds. This makes it warm enough to melt the coconut oil, but not hot enough to ‘cook’ the protein powder. If you heat it too much your protein powder could clump as the protein denatures. That was the mistake I made the first time I tried protein pudding (then I tried it cold and the coconut oil stayed solid and became chunky). This is what makes the recipe.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk and stir, stir, stir!
  4. Enjoy!

Note: The nutritional information on this will vary wildly depending on the amount of oil, and types of milk and protein powder you use. Protein powder is generally 100-200 calories a scoop, and milk can range from 40 calories a cup for unsweetened almond, to 160 a cup for whole or goat’s milk. My suggestion is to use whatever fits your goals.

This Ingredient Leaves Advertisers STUNNED!

Right now, in your pantry, you have an ingredient than can make slugs melt.

It’s the combination of a highly-reactive, unstable metal, and an element that is one electron away from lethal chlorine gas.

This ingredient can raise blood pressure in humans, making it dangerous to those with heart disease, high cholesterol, and those at risk of stroke.

This ingredient can kill you.

However, we also need this ingredient to live.

What is this ingredient? It is salt.

And that is exactly why this ingredient leaves advertisers stunned. Because I can make just about anything sound horrifying, like a controversy, or the Illuminati of supplements if I happen to word it in such a manner. And these advertisers happen to know that. They use this exact method to try to get your attention so you’ll buy their product.

Right now you probably also have an ingredient in your pantry or cupboard that can kill your pet cats or dogs. That ingredient is chocolate. Pets cannot process it. Yet many people eat it quite regularly. Do you think twice about it? Probably not. Should you? Probably not. But when I make the direct link that it can kill your pets, do you begin to doubt that chocolate is healthy, even for a fraction of a second? Possibly. That is exactly the lies and manipulation these ads try to coerce you with.

Did you know, even drinking too much water, too quickly can kill you? And it can kill you in a matter of hours. So, using that logic .. theoretically water can be more lethal for you than fast food, in an immediate manner. Are you scared to drink water? No. Should you be? Absolutely not.

So why do people believe in that sort of advertising? Because they want miracles. Miracles that don’t exist. They want purity. The epitome of health. The epitome that doesn’t exist yet, because everyone is different, and has different dietary needs. Yet people don’t know that, so they keep believing these blanket terms that are just confusing them about their food choices.

This is why we should believe in moderation. However, should moderation include handfuls of the latest supplements touted on some sort of TV show that just wants to make money? (I’m looking at a certain doctor here, mayhaps one better left in the Wizard of Oz, if you know what I’m saying). Should moderation include reading every website blindly, believing that absolutely everything is harmful to you?

No.

What is harmful to you, may not be harmful to me. What is harmful to me, may not be harmful to you. I mean, I could go ahead and tell everyone to avoid penicillin because I’m allergic to it, it harms me, and therefore it must be bad. But that’s a complete and utter lie. Penicillin is not bad for some people. For some people, it is the first line of treatment.

So theoretically, you can take green coffee bean if you want to. I mean, studies have had to be retracted because they’re probably bullshit, and the beans can be tainted with penicillumso it’s probably not the best idea for me .. but if you believe it works, free country, right? And maybe one day the evidence might change, and more studies might come out. So who knows?

Setting the bullshit aside, there does not exist a supplement that can raise your metabolism more than a few percent without risk of killing you. That doesn’t mean that they result in certain death (ECA stacks — ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin — may raise your metabolism up to 10%, and are vastly used by bodybuilders .. however, they have also killed people who were not careful about over-consumption or overexertion), but in some cases, they do, such as the DNP I just linked in this sentence; that can raise your metabolism a whopping 50%, but has most certainly killed people. If a website or TV show cited it as a miraculous dietary aid today (which it was believed to be in 1938 until it was pulled off the shelf a year later, yet people are still obtaining it, using it, and dying) — bragging about its miraculous ability to increase your metabolism more than any other substance, and its way of seemingly melting fat (leaving out the part that it literally causes your cells to overheat themselves to death in the meantime) .. how many people do you think would probably buy it? My guess would be millions.

That doesn’t mean you can’t raise your metabolism naturally, the hard way — aka proper diet, exercise, spicy foods, lifting weights and having a high muscle mass, etc. That just means that this isn’t what most people want to hear. That’s why clickbait exists. That’s why people order these shitty, sketchy products from these shitty, sketchy websites. The same people also go to these shitty, sketchy websites for food recommendations.

So people are against GMO’s, gluten, and pesticides, but they will unknowingly take capsules full of weed-killer (exactly what DNP is made for), ordering them off of third-party websites as a weight-loss aid. Where do we find the balance?

Certainly not all clickbait is bad. Heck, science even does it from time to time (well, news websites do it about science .. there could be a small link to something in a cancer study and on the news it’ll say ‘New Cancer Cure Found at ____ University!’). It’s all about views, really. But that doesn’t mean you should believe everything you read. Even if it has a catchy title. Because they’re probably just doing it for money (read: ads), not science. Even if it has some science-y stuff in it. A lot of advertisers will sponsor a small-scale study just to link to as ‘proof’, even though the results are likely entirely skewed. Such as the green coffee bean study I linked above.

What separates the fact from the bullshit? Time. There has always been diet aids, but they are forever changing. Green tea has been out there a long time, and has a lot of evidence that it may work. So the longer something is out there, the more likely it will get more studies which have more things in common, to help sort the wild bullshit claims from the concrete evidence that occurs more and more often. And who knows, maybe that green coffee bean will have more valid claims linked to it one day.

And once you finally see these advertisers repeating their claims more and more (hint: many won’t, because they still want your attention), such as trans fat being bad for you .. well, they might actually be right for once. But that’s probably because they’re parroting information for a decade ago.

That’s ads for you.

The Ecological Impact of Too Many Choices

These days, people want it all. We want regular potato chips, baked potato chips, all the flavors we’ve had in the past, and new ones too. We also want juices that are unpasteurized, pasteurized, half-sugar, no sugar added, regular, sweetened with sucralose, or stevia and erythritol for those who don’t like the idea of sucralose. We also want full-calorie, low-calorie, low-fat, sugar-free, low-carb, and gluten-free foods. We want the option to have cheap conventional coffee as well as shade-grown and fair-trade coffees so we can choose between saving money and feeling better about the environment.

On top of this we also want the option of electric cars, high gas mileage vehicles, giant trucks, or those that can seat a small army of either children or commuters. We want the latest iPhones and we want them NOW. We complain that things coming from China are terrible in regards to labour but do we ever stop and think of the ecological impacts of too many choices in other regards, such as with food and ethical labelling?

We must understand that in order to have regular food, organic food, and non-GMO food, we must make more and more crops in order to adhere to people’s widely varying modern preferences. Now we’ve got crops of regular corn, organic corn, non-GMO corn, and the odd biorhythmically grown corn crop as well. All of these crops must be separate to meet said demands, because consumers don’t want their organic corn contaminated by conventional growing methods, and their biorhythmic foods must not be grown during the wrong orbit.

Some of these things are positive, such as organic farms using less energy and more nutrient retention in the soil. Some of these things are not, noting that the same study cites that organic farming needs more land for their yields, has the potential to cause more water pollution, and has a more acidifying effect on the surrounding environment. This being said, it still has an overall lesser impact on the environment than conventional growing. The problem being, however, that with lower yields, there is the tricky balance of being better for the environment but still needing extra land cleared for crops. Thankfully as studies like this continue to surface, these issues are being acknowledged and worked on.

Another worrying thing is that, in addition to wanting non-local foods year round such as coconuts, pineapples, bananas, mango, and dragon fruit — we also want exotic specialty ‘superfoods’ such as noni, mangosteen, acai and goji berries, and so on. The list seems to increase every year, trying to sell us something exotic from afar and promising it as a new ‘fountain of youth’, when we have foods like that in our own climate such as blueberries that we sadly ignore while increasing our carbon footprint for the far-away promise of health.

Demographers predict that the population could either hit 11 billion by 2100 or cap off at 8 or 9 billionIf the former does occur, will we really be equipped to provide food and residence for a growing number of people while we continue to screw around with land … trying to up-sell things to people who are just getting fussier and fussier, blinded by the notion of health (or lack there-of) or labels?

And it’s not just our fault. A lot of our crops go towards feeding livestock. However, with a lot of people strongly refusing to reduce their intake of meat, what does this have to say for the future? As revealed by the infographic article linked earlier in this paragraph, it seems the US is trying to get more milk from fewer cows. This efficiency is actually better for the environment, as there becomes less waste as less cows are needed. It also reveals that corn may be more efficient for this than grass. It challenges popular concerns: food transportation may be beneficial in some cases, as more local trips may be necessary to get the mass quantities of eggs needed for a supermarket, stacking on the miles opposed to longer transportation of a higher volume of eggs from farms that are further away. However, all these things have downsides such as the possible use of antibiotics and hormones, as well as animals becoming sick.

Regarding fruits and vegetables, are we really okay with the fact that cutting down forests is the most popular method of creating crops? And seeing as Canada may be one of the places that will have their crops least affected by climate change, are lots of our forests going to be cut down in sacrifice of higher population and global emissions? How would people cope when they realize that Canada’s climate can’t support many of the foods they want? That a lot of things may have to be greenhouse grown considering many places in Canada have 6-8 month periods of snow?

Could we fix this by eating less, considering that 35% of adults in the US and about a quarter of Canadians are obese, and that 15% of food that is thrown out isn’t even opened? Or is the remedy simply more exercise?

Either way, whether or not we’re overeating, while we’re still tossing that much food, do we really need even more choices when it comes to processed and packaged foods? And do we really need more exotic foods shipped in from overseas? Where does freedom of choice versus resource management come into play?

For the time being, perhaps compromises on both sides are needed. Less specialty health-food, and less new flavours of soda and chips. But until we stop our massive habits of consumption, only time will tell how much of that silver spoon will be left in the next few decades.