The Protein Shake Java Lovers Will Go Crazy For

Picking between your morning coffee and your gains-friendly protein shake is a tough decision. You need that first drink to survive a day of work and human interaction, but your muscles need the second to repair and grow. Since drinking both would be an awful lot of chugging in the A.M., why not combine the two?

In the video below, Dymatize athlete David Morin shares his protein coffee shake recipe to help fuel your day in every way possible.

Related: Dymatize proteins are $1 off per pound through March. 

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3 Delicious Green Drinks You’ve Never Tried Before

It’s important to eat your greens on the daily, but sometimes, kale and spinach taste so much better as a drink.

Green juice is nothing new, but we guarantee your taste buds have never experienced these three St. Patrick’s Day-inspired shakes before, created by The Vitamin Shoppe nutritionist Jaclyn Jacobsen. In addition to your standard leafy greens, they include good stuff like Organic Evolution Matcha, Amazing Grass Green Superfood, and even zucchini. (Did we mention they’re all packed with protein, too?)

Related: Add plant-based protein to your next shake with these options from the plnt line.

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5 Mistakes People Make When Going Paleo

To say the paleo diet has gotten a lot of attention over the past few years would be an understatement. The trendy eating philosophy suggests we eat like our cavemen ancestors once did, loading up on grass-fed animal proteins, eggs, seafood, veggies, fruit, and nuts and seeds.

Anything the cavemen couldn’t or didn’t eat, though, is off the table. That includes grains, legumes, dairy, and processed snacks. (you can kiss Oreos goodbye.) And potatoes. Are sweet potatoes in or out, people?! It depends who you ask…

Fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins all contribute to a healthy diet—as does nixing refined foods like bagels and donuts—but that doesn’t mean a paleo diet is inherently healthy. The issue with eliminating types of whole foods is clear: If you don’t make up for the nutrients in the foods you cut out, you end up falling short of a nutritionally-balanced diet, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., creator of Better Than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It.

Whether paleo can be healthy and practical for you depends on how you do it (you might also want to talk to your doctor before making any major dietary changes). If you’re interested in trying the diet (or even if you’re already a full-blown caveman), watch out for the following mishaps to keep your daily eats as balanced and healthy as possible.

Mishap #1: Missing Out On Key Nutrients

Cutting out highly processed foods? Great. Nixing food groups like dairy and whole grains, though? More complicated. “These two food groups are important sources of calcium and vitamin D,” explains Taub-Dix.

Eight ounces of milk, for example, contains 299 milligrams of calcium. (The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 1,000 daily.) You’d need about 12 cups of loosely-packed raw kale or seven cups of chopped broccoli to get that

Vitamin D is pretty difficult to get from food as-is, says Taub-Dix. This is why many dairy and grain-based food products—like milk, yogurt, and cereal—are fortified with it. The NIH recommends 600 IU of vitamin D per day, and you’ll find about 115 IU in a glass of milk. That’s the same as roughly three servings of tuna or three large egg yolks. You can also find vitamin D in cod liver oil and organ meat, says Taub-Dix.

Make sure you’re eating a variety of paleo-approved foods that contain these key nutrients. You may even want to consider taking a supplement.

Related: If you’ve ditched dairy, try a plant-based protein powder. 

Mishap #2: Eating Too Few Carbs

This one is especially important for anyone who’s physically active: When you ditch everything from bread to rice to oatmeal, you’re slashing your carb consumption, big time.

“People who cut carbs often describe feeling tired, weak, and irritable,” says Taub-Dix. That’s because carbs act as our body’s main source of fuel. If you’re an intense exerciser or athlete, you may need upwards of three grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight per day, she says.

Some non-paleo (but whole food) carb sources include a half-cup of rolled oats or brown rice, each containing 25 grams of carbs. Two slices of whole-wheat bread come in around 40 grams.

While you do have some higher-carb options on paleo (a half-cup of yams contains 18 grams and a medium banana contains 26), “you’d have to eat a tremendous amount of fruits and vegetables to fuel an active lifestyle,” says Taub-Dix. Be mindful of your energy levels throughout the day, especially during exercise, and make sure you’re incorporating higher-carb foods throughout your meals and before workouts.

Related: 8 Possible Reasons Why You’re So Tired All The Time 

Mishap #3: Pounding Way Too Much Trail Mix

Yeah, going paleo means picking the candy-coated chocolate pieces out of your trail mix. But even when you’re sticking to a mix of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, you shouldn’t be shoveling the stuff down in the name of your ancestors.

If your interest in paleo has anything to do with maintaining or losing weight (and for many it does), making trail mix its own food group can easily put you into calorie overload. An ounce serving of nuts (about 24 almonds) contains about 170 calories, says Taub-Dix. A quarter-cup of raisins brings another 125 calories to the party—plus 25 grams of sugar. Throw in a quarter-cup of walnuts and you’re looking at a 485-calorie ‘snaccident.’

Plus, according to Taub-Dix, dried fruit and nuts can be more difficult to digest and might lead to some stomach upset, especially if you’re eating a lot of them.

When it comes to nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, portion control is essential. Get out your measuring cups and make sure you’re sticking to a single serving of just one of these foods at snack time.

Mishap #4: Having Every Meal With A Side Of Bacon

Listen, we’re super happy that the cavemen apparently enjoyed the greasy, crispy goodness that is bacon. But that probably doesn’t justify us putting bacon in our Brussels sprouts or asparagus and all over the outside of our paleo meatloaf—right?

Paleo-approved or not, bacon shouldn’t be a go-to protein source. Two slices contain about six grams of protein and seven grams of fat for about 100 calories. Comparitivrly,100 calories-worth of chicken breast contains 19 grams of protein and just two grams of fat.

“Sometimes with diets like this we make excuses to overdo more decadent foods because there are so many foods we’re not eating,” says Taub-Dix. Remember, ‘paleo’ does not always equal ‘healthy.’ Practice moderation: Bacon makes a great Sunday morning treat, so leave it at that.

Mishap #5: Eating ALL The ‘Paleo-Approved’ Treats

Any human with a wicked sweet tooth  interested in paleo has no doubt googled ‘paleo dessert’ or ‘paleo cookies’ at some point. We’ve seen the recipes—replace refined flour with almond or coconut flour, and table sugar with maple syrup or honey, and voila, you have a paleo-approved treat.

Before you bake yourself batch after batch of paleo maple-bacon cookies(we’re not sure cavemen had much time for baking anyway), keep in mind: “Syrup is no healthier than sugar from the sugar bowl, and dairy-free chocolate chips that still contain sugar are no better than the regular ones,” says Taub-Dix. Though a paleo-approved cookie uses different ingredients, it’s not necessarily lower in calories or sugar or fat than a regular cookie.

If you feel like indulging, go ahead and treat yo’self—just be realistic: A paleo treat is still a treat.

Related: 8 Nutritionists Share How They Satisfy Their Sweet Cravings

This 4-Ingredient Shake Packs More Than 40 Grams Of Protein

A shake is a great way to shuttle protein to your muscles after a tough workout. We all have our favorite protein powder flavor, but have you ever tried combining two? Just think: double the flavor, double the protein!

In the video below, Dymatize athlete Jojo Gonzalez shares his go-to post-workout shake recipe.

Related: Dymatize proteins are $1 off per pound through March. 

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The Food Pyramid Is Old News—Have You Made These 8 Important Dietary Changes?

To say trends and advice about healthy eating have changed over the past century would be an understatement—since the 40s, the government has put out 10 different official healthy eating guides, including the food pyramid we’re perhaps most familiar with.

Recent updates to the visual guides have no doubt guided Americans down a healthier nutritional path, but it’s been a bumpy ride along the way. For example, the dietary guide in the late ’70s, called the ‘Hassle-Free Daily Food Guide,’ even included alcohol and sweets (in moderation) as part of a healthy diet. Huh.

The USDA released its very first visual food guide in the 1940s, which introduced ‘the basic seven’ food groups—one of which was ‘butter and margarine.’ It lacked portion recommendations and encouraged people to “eat any other foods you want.” Now you see what we mean.

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photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture

It took 40 years and three more versions of the visual dietary guides for the 1984 ‘food wheel’ to provide actual portion and calorie recommendations for its five major food groups. The pie chart still included a sixth sliver for sweets and alcohol.

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Then came a guide you’ve surely seen before: the food pyramid. “The food pyramid was the first to have a total diet approach,” says Wesley Delbridge R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It broke down the number of recommended daily servings for each of six categories (dairy, vegetables, fruit, proteins like meat and beans, carbs like bread and rice, and fats and sugars). This 1992 update was meant to paint a proportionally-accurate picture of what to eat in a day.

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photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture

The food pyramid later transformed into MyPyramid in 2005, which then turned into the current guide, called MyPlate, in 2011. MyPlate breaks foods into four main groups (vegetables, fruit, protein, and grains), plus dairy as a smaller fifth and final group.

This visual goes beyond total daily eats and instead breaks down which foods, and how much of each, to put on your plate at every meal, says Melissa Prest, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.R., L.D.N. Thinking about food choices meal-by-meal makes healthy eating feel more doable, doesn’t it?

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photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture

To make sure your healthy eating efforts are up to date, we rounded up the eight biggest changes between the good ‘ol food pyramid and today’s MyPlate.

  1. Tailor Your Nutrition To Your Needs

The basic MyPlate image doesn’t include serving sizes because the USDA now recommends individualized dietary guidelines, based on age, sex, activity level, and height and weight.

You can easily calculate your personal calorie and serving recommendations at ChooseMyPlate.gov. They also provide an online tool to track your daily food intake and activity.

  1. Say Adios To Excess Fats And Sugars

When the food guide pyramid debuted, one of its most striking changes was the depiction of fats and sugars at the top, representing the smallest part of our daily diet, says Delbridge. This was the first time the government addressed these unhealthy habits and recommended that Americans consume sweets sparingly.

The current MyPlate visual completely eliminates fat and sugar, and its more detailed online resources urge you to limit added fat, sodium, and sugar in every food choice you make.

Related: Is Sugar Really All That Bad For You?

  1. Focus On Fat Quantity And Quality

While fat’s not included on MyPlate, you shouldn’t be avoiding it completely. The guide’s personalized online portion tool allows for between five and seven daily teaspoons of oil for adults, depending on age and sex. It also considers nuts, seeds, and fatty fish part of the ‘protein’ portion of your plate, and avocados and olives as part of the ‘vegetables’ portion.

“The emphasis with fat is more about quality than quantity now,” says Kristen F. Gradney, M.H.A., R.D.N., L.D.N., spokesperson for Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “A recommendation of butter isn’t the same as a recommendation of olive oil, avocado, or nuts.” So, don’t expect butter to ever be its own food group again.
The unsaturated fats in most vegetable and nut oils provide essential nutrients and have a place in a balanced diet, Gradney explains.

Related: 7 Fatty Foods That Are Good For Your Health

  1. Eat Carbohydrates In Moderation

The food pyramid identified breads, cereals, rice, and pasta as the foundation for a healthy diet. It recommended six to eleven servings per day. The MyPlate slashed recommended intake to five to eight daily servings, depending on gender and age.

The MyPlate design includes grains as just a quarter of your plate, reducing the amount of carbs Americans need (and think they need) to consume, says Gradney.

  1. Go For Whole Grains

The food pyramid also treated refined carbs and whole grains equally, says Delbridge. We know better these days: Whole grains contain more fiber than refined grains, helping to keep your blood sugar in check while feeling fuller for longer. This is why whole grains are a healthier choice than refined carbs like pasta.

MyPlate specifically uses the word ‘grains’ instead of the old ‘bread, cereal, rice, and pasta’ to emphasize the importance of the type of carbs we consume. It recommends that at least half of our daily intake comes from whole grains.

Related: How To Eat Carbs And Still Lose Weight

  1. More Fruits And Veggies

Old recommendations suggested Americans eat three to five servings of veggies and two to four servings of fruits per day. Even combined (between five and nine servings), they made up a smaller portion of the proposed daily diet than grains and refined carbs.

MyPlate, though, emphasizes that half your plate should be fruits and vegetables.

“The average American consumes one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetable per day,” says Angel Planells, M.S., R.D.N, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I’ve personally used this data to encourage clients to increase their fruit and vegetable intake.” And rightfully so, considering fruits and veggies are packed with crucial vitamins and nutrients.

  1. Be Picky With Your Proteins

The MyPlate guidelines recommend a wide variety of plant and animal protein sources, from poultry and beans to eggs and nuts. They also suggest consuming at least eight ounces of seafood per week (particularly omega-3-containing fatty fish like salmon), and that any meat or poultry be lean or low-fat.

Additionally, the USDA now also recommends we limit processed meat products, like deli meats, which are often high in sodium, and cooking methods (hello fry-ups!) that add considerable saturated fat to protein

  1. Get Moving

Though there’s no jogging stick figure on the MyPlate graphic (like there was on its predecessor, MyPyramid), its personalized online component tailors your individual nutrition needs based on your activity level, and its tracking tool includes space for you to check off whether you’ve gotten at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity each week. This continues to illustrate the importance of physical activity, along with solid nutrition, for a total approach to healthy living.

Check out just how much the USDA visual guides have changed over the years: 

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The Easiest Way To Pump Up The Protein In Your Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a breakfast classic for a reason: Not only does it taste comfy (that’s a thing, right?) but it boasts solid nutritional benefits, with four grams of fiber and six grams of protein per half-cup.

When you’re trying to add on or maintain precious muscle, though, you probably want your morning meal to pack as much protein as possible. In the video below, Dymatize athlete Angeles Burke shares a simple recipe for protein-loaded oatmeal.

Related: Dymatize proteins are $1 off per pound through March. 

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