my search for the holy grail of protein powders

Holy Grail of Protein powders – Join my Search

I’ve been using Isowhey protein powder for about a year now. I’m very happy with this protein powder; it is gentle on my tummy (which a lot or proteins aren’t), the vanilla and chocolate flavours taste great (not a fan of the coffee flavour), and I buy from Isowhey direct where I get a free protein shaker (I now have a cupboard full of those), free lucuma powder and a free bag of snacks.

My problem with Isowhey is that they are whey based. I have been a vegetarian for 25 years and over the years I’ve gone more and more towards vegan. I guess I have vegan tendencies… I no longer buy eggs, full stop. Their ‘free-range’ claims are too broad for me, I do not trust any of the companies to actually look after their hens. Ten happy chooks roam our backyard, and they’re my egg supply.

Dairy milk doesn’t feature in my diet anymore either; I’ve replaced it with soy milk (I’m in love with BonSoy; expensive but worth it for me) which I’m very happy with. So, to be adding whey protein to my smoothies just doesn’t feel right. Today, I’m browsing the websites of ShopNaturally, AussieHealthProducts, Flora & Fauna and Nourished Life to find a non-animal based, well priced, non-tummy-upsetting protein powder to add to my smoothies. I also want a nutritionally balanced powder; not a low-fat or diet one. I often forget to eat, so when I have my smoothie I’d like it to contain a good range of proteins, carbs and healthy fats, preferably with all the essential amino acids, vitamins and mineral. Not asking much am I…

The following protein powders caught my eye at Shop Naturally:

  • Amazonia Raw Protein Isolate – Vanilla. Marketed as ‘a certified organic, dense protein source with bio-fermented live ingredients and natural enzymes’. Ok, that sounds good. I worry a little about the enzymes part, as it is the enzymes in mango and pineapple I react to, but its worth reading on. Price is right at $38.21 (on special). Not the cheapest but won’t break the bank. This powder is pea & brown rice – all good in the non-dairy, non-animal-base department.
  • Loving Earth Organic Activated Paleo Protein Powder Mix. This is actually more of a nuts and seeds mix, rather than protein powder. It sounds rather good; the nuts and seeds have all been activated, it includes good fats and coconut, but it’s not what I’m looking for today.
  • Hemp Foods Australia Certified Organic Hemp Protein Powder. I like the little Hemp dude on the packaging; ‘Hemp Man!’. This is a plant-based protein powder. All amino-acids are present, it’s made in Australia without use of heat or chemicals. The worrying part is that the manufacturer of this product will not disclose the countries or origin for the seed. Shop Naturally asked them to disclose, they did not comply. Shop Naturally mentions they also stock a product in a higher price range that guarantees hemp seed is sourced from Canada only. I found the following:
  • EM Superfoods Hemp Protein Powder. Grown, produced and packed in Australia, yay! There’s a 25% discount on stock which has a best before date in July 2017 – $26.21 for 500g, normally $34.95. This protein is guaranteed pesticide and chemical residue free. It contains all the essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Please note that the sale of hemp seed protein as a food source is illegal within Australia – they’re sold for cosmetic purposes only.

Protein Powders at Aussie Health Products:

  • Vital Protein Natural Pea Protein Vanilla Powder. There’s a 1kg for $42.35 and a 500g for $24.70. These are ‘an array of pea protein isolates from golden peas’. Carbohydrate levels are especially low (which, for me, is not a plus), it is marketing with a ‘smooth texture, super solubility and great tasting’. Protein is 88% bio-available, that’s a plus, but carb level is 0.1%. Where will I get my energy from? Further research on actual ingredients is warranted.
  • Real Good Foods Organic High Protein Mix Jar. This is also not a ‘real’ powder. It is made up of organic almonds, sunflower kernels, sesame seeds and linseed. They’re really good, and would be a great addition to every single smoothie, but I am on the hunt for a powder after all. Good price at $11.50 for 280g.
  • BSc Body Science Naturals Organic Vegan Plant Protein Vanilla. This is lactose, dairy, soy, wheat, nut and gluten free, and made from plant sources only. It is, again, low in carbs and fats. This protein includes superfoods Acai, Mangosteen, Goji Berry and Green Tea.
  • Megaburn Mega Fuel. I couldn’t get past a vivid image of an overly muscled, oiled up man flexing his muscles when I saw the name of this protein… This protein would be the pick of the bunch for me, if it didn’t include whey protein. It is packed full of awesomeness, including nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables; even dandelion (all time favourite herb!) and green tea. However, I’m looking for whey-free so sorry Sprout you’re Out.
  • Natures Goodness Pea Protein w/Nutrient Rich Greens Powder. Marketed as a ‘highly bioavailable protein isolate, containing all 9 essential amino acids’. It is free of lactose, includes spirulina, kelp, broccoli, spinach, moringa, bok choy and stevia. Unfortunately it is also low in carbohydrate.
  • Megaburn Mega Soy – non GMO. Oh look, muscle-man is back without the whey! 90% protein from a non GMO soy isolate, with lactobacillus, L-glutamine (stop cellular breakdown in your body), vitamin C, Gingo Biloba (prevent cell & DNA damage), Panax Ginseng and Papaya. The enzymes in papaya, for most people, aid digestion of foods. For me personally, papaya is in the irritant group with mango and pineapple. I can generally handle them cooked, but still…. I may try this in the future.
  • Ceres Organics Bio Sprouted Rice Protein Creamy Vanilla. This is the prettiest packaging I’ve seen. The whole jar just LOOKS organic and nourishing! Marketed as a complete, and completely vegan, source of high quality protein. 80% bioavailable protein, naturally germinated organic brown rice (claimed to be much less allergenic than whey protein), no chemicals, no artificial additives and flavour from real vanilla essence. This is straight protein, no superfoods added.

Protein Powders for Smoothies at Flora & Fauna

* Nuzest Clean Lean Protein. Quite pricey at $47.95 for 500g. I saw a 1kg container as well, but it was strawberry flavour. I haven’t tried any protein powders in strawberry before, but there’s something about it that puts me off. My smoothies are better suited to vanilla or chocolate. I do like that they offer single-serve sachets for $4.50, which is a great way to try it on the cheap.

  • Natural Evolution Ultimate Smoothie MixNatural Evolution Ultimate Smoothie Mix. $19.95 for 240g at Flora & Fauna, and $55 for 900g at Natural Evolution. You known when you think you’ve found the ultimate thing, and you’re so excited about it? That’s how I felt when I found Natural Evolution. I saw a feature about this company on LandLine, a long time ago, and thought they were innovative at the time, creating all sorts of health products from green bananas.

I just love the packaging, the tree of life, the colours… I loved the ingredients, the resistant starch which is a great prebiotic fibre for our gut health… And then I tried to find the nutrition panel on the Natural Evolution website. I couldn’t find it so I contacted Natural Evolution with the question as to how much protein, how many carbs etc, as well as whether they offer sample sizes.

And then there was silence. No reply. What a downer! When I see an awesome product, I want an awesome business behind it. Flora&Fauna are absolutely awesome and I would love to order this product through them, but Natural Evolution itself did not reply, so disappointing. I have contacted them again today, 30th April 2017, as everyone deserve a second chance don’t they :D. I so hope they come good, as Natural Evolution Ultimate Smoothie Mix looks perfect for what I’m looking for.

Natural Evolution describes this smoothie mix as completely natural, high protein, plant based, and suitable as supplement or meal replacement. It has a base of organic sprouted brown rice protein, and contains Aussie green banana resistant starch for our gut health. It is high in essential minerals (unfortunately it doesn’t list which minerals….), low GI, and blended with natural cacao for a delicious smoothie. That all sounds great; I want to try it – but first I wait for their reply.

  • Nuzest Good Green StuffNuzest Good Green Stuff. Holy Moly! This is some seriously good stuff! If price wasn’t holding me back I’d be all over this like a fly on you-know-what. This is pricey stuff at $37.95 for 120g, $84.95 for 300g or $39.95 for a box of 10 single-serve sachets of 10g each. They also have single serves for $4.50, which I love because I get to try it out cheaply before investing in a big container. I would prefer the 120g or 300g, as they both come in a plastic container which we can reuse for all sorts of things. The single sachets are throw aways.

300g contains 30 servings of 10g, so it would be $2.83 per serve. A small price to pay for health, but still fairly high on the scale of protein powders. The ingredient list is the most impressive of all however. It’s made up of veggies, fruits, greens and berries, and is recommended as a first-thing-in-the-morning drink, 20 minutes before you have anything else. This is to aid absorption of all the good nutrients, unhindered by any other foods. Floradix (my favourite liquid iron supplement) has a similar instruction. Some foods can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, so this gives you the most out of the product.

Flora & Fauna have photo’s on their website of the nutrition panels – there is a huge list, have a look at it here: Nuzest Good Green Stuff

Nuzest have added herbs, probiotics, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins to Good Green Stuff, and it comes in at 24.2g protein, 11.4g fat and 28.2g of carbs per 100g – lovely and balanced . You take it with water or juice, so not really a smoothie additive or powder, but very worth mentioning as it is so high in nutrient. My worry with this product, which contains 75+ ingredients, is my gut. It can go into tilt when I mix too many ingredients together; it’s like: ‘Oh, a banana, cool, I can deal with that’. And then I make a smoothie with 20 ingredients and it’s like: ‘Oh, a banana, cool, oh what, there’s more? Spirula… Chia… Flax seed… Almonds AAAAH you’ve lost me! Gut over and out!’. It shuts down and I feel awful for hours. So, I’m buying a single serve sachet to try it out and will report back!

Protein Powders at NourishedLife

  • SunWarrior Classic Plus Raw Vegan Protein PowderSunwarrior Classic Plus Raw Vegan Protein Powder. Reportedly created using a low-temp natural enzyme process which combines the endosperm and bran from raw-sprouted whole-grain brown rice. A big statement, basically meaning it’s made to be very easily digested by the whole family – that’s a plus, digestion is everything. In fact, SunWarrior describes this base of organic brown rice, pea, quinoa, chia seed and amaranth as ‘one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any protein source’. I’d love to see the studies to back this up, but it sure sounds good. It’s meant to be silky smooth and great tasting, and naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The ingredients have been combined to create the perfect amino acid balance – our muscles say YAY!

It’s organic, raw, vegan, soy & gluten free, and comes in at 17g of protein, 1g of fat and 4g of carbs per serve. Not exactly what I’m looking for as I love my carbs and fat for energy, but a serious contender none the less.

I have now ordered Amazonia Raw Slim & Tone Protein – Cacao & Macadamia from Shop Naturally, and single-serve sachets of Nuzest Good Green Stuff and Nuzest Clean Lean Rich Chocolate. Thank you Flora&Fauna, for having such an awesome website and talking me into buying a tongue cleaner as well, and nearly a KeepCup…. If it was there in the blue ‘Cucumber’ colour I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself… I’m hoping to hear back from Natural Evolution soon as I’d love to try that too. Reviews to follow!

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Adèle Wilson

I just acquired a packet of organic Hemp protein powder, Isowhey. It only has directions for body scrub. How do I take it and how much please?

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