Your faithful correspondent is getting ready for the holiday bulge and sigh, yes, on a “diet.” There are no gimmicks here. Just eating more lean proteins and more vegetables and cutting back on that delicious elixir we know as wine. It is depressing. But I refuse to eat “diet” foods — there will be no SlimFast, no LeanCuisine, nothing of that sort. If I’m going to eat something, it has to taste good and be real food.
So when I looked for a good snack and browsed my nearest Whole Foods for a protein shake, I was floored. Read the ingredient list of your typical supermarket protein shake and you’re likely to end up befuddled, confused, maybe even scared. I was. What is in this stuff, I thought! This is the entire ingredient list of the Slim-Fast Protein shake:
WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE (MILK), SUGAR, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), SUNFLOWER OIL, GUM ARABIC, MALTODEXTRIN, CELLULOSE GEL, BUTTERMILK POWDER, SOY FIBER, SOYBEAN LECITHIN, XANTHAN GUM, SALT, CARRAGEENAN, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, DEXTROSE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM (A NONNUTRITIVE SWEETENER), ASPARTAME AND GUAR GUM. VITAMINS AND MINERALS: CALCIUM CARBONATE, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM ASCORBATE, VITAMIN E ACETATE, FERRIC ORTHOPHOSPHATE, NIACINAMIDE, ZINC OXIDE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, BIOTIN, COPPER GLUCONATE, FOLIC ACID, SODIUM MOLYBDATE, SODIUM SELENITE, PHYTONADIONE (VITAMIN K1), POTASSIUM IODIDE, CHOLECALCIFEROL (VITAMIN D3) AND CYANOCOBALAMIN (VITAMIN B12). PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE. SWEETENED WITH NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS AND A NONNUTRITIVE SWEETENER. MAY CONTAIN WHEAT.
Granted, a lot of those are vitamins, but still… gum arabic? Xanthax gum? Cellulose gel? (check out this great book, Twinkie, Deconstructed
, on where these types of ingredients hail from — cellulose gel comes from cotton). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, when you are downing a Slim-Fast to help trim that behind, you are consuming cotton.
The Fork It Over Four Ingredient Chocolate Protein Shake
1 Tbsp Penzey’s Cocoa
(you can use the Dutch process for a less bitter flavor)
Agave, honey or Splenda to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a jar, close the jar tightly, and shake thoroughly. You can also blend them together in a blender or using an immersion blender.
Total protein: 28 grams.