Cocoa, Coconut Oil, Coffee and Whey ProteinJune 5, 2009 Written by JP [Font too small?]
The best type of health information is easy to apply in a real world setting. Being informed is the foundation to wellness, but having the tools to enact what is learned is equally important. To that end, I’d like to offer a brief summary of products that help me to apply the principles that I often write about here. My selections are based on practicality, price and quality. I hope that sharing a glimpse into my personal daily routine will help you to find your own tools to make a healthy lifestyle easier to manage.
Two of my favorite health promoting ingredients are cocoa and coffee. I like to combine the two and make a “super drink”. Lately, that involves mixing pure cocoa powder, instant coffee, sprouted flax meal and stevia into some hot (not boiling) water. This powerhouse snack takes just a few minutes to prepare, is very low in calories, high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and gives me a great natural boost in energy levels. Here’s my simple recipe:
- Start with 3 tablespoons of 100% pure, organic Dagoba or Now Foods cocoa powder. Price: Count on spending roughly $6 for the Now Foods brand and a few dollars more for the Dagoba brand.
- Add 1 scoop of Health from the Sun’s sprouted flax meal (FiProFlax) and 1 teaspoon of Mount Hagen or Private Selection organic instant coffee. Price: The flax will likely run you about $10 online. You can find these organic instant coffees with prices ranging from $6-$10, depending on where you shop.
- Finally, I include a natural sugar alternative (luo han guo/SweetFiber or Now Foods organic stevia packets), hot water and stir. Price: Both of these non-caloric sweeteners are in the $6-$8 range online.
It’s best to drink this rather quickly because the flax meal tends to congeal. I should note that this drink can also help tame hunger pangs between meals.
In recent columns I’ve mentioned a few choice ingredients that can be very beneficial, but sometimes don’t taste very well. Two of these items are coconut oil and whey protein. With regard to whey protein, I’ve recently come across three brands that I think do a good job of combining good taste and high-quality ingredients.
- The Life Extension Foundation’s Enhanced Whey Protein – This contains 100% naturally processed whey protein, sweetened with stevia and fortified with added lactoferrin. The taste is very mild and easy to disguise with other flavorful ingredients. Price: About $30 for 50 servings (17 grams of protein, per scoop) is the best deal by far. You get about 28 grams of protein for every dollar.
- Source Naturals’ True Whey – This whey protein is derived from free-roaming, grass fed cows. It’s also sweetened with stevia and contains an impressive amount of naturally-occuring lactoferrin. True Whey has a neutral, mildly vanilla-ish taste. It’s really a blank canvas that you can flavor as you please. Price: About $25 for 45 servings (8 grams of protein, per scoop). 14.4 grams of protein for every dollar.
- Jay Robb Whey Protein – This protein is probably the best tasting of the bunch. Like the other two options, the ingredients are clean and commendable. The only downside to this supplement is the price. Even on the Internet, it’s very difficult to find Jay Robb products that are significantly discounted. Price: About $44 for 23 servings (25 grams of whey protein, per scoop). Each dollar buys you 13 grams of protein.
My favorite coconut oil is made by Nutiva. It’s an “organic extra virgin” oil that has a pleasant coconut taste and a smooth consistency. You can bake and cook with it or even add it to a protein shake. Just be aware that coconut oil hardens when exposed to cold temperatures. Therefore, it doesn’t work well if you’re adding it to a smoothie that’s packed with frozen fruit or ice cream. This is a bargain online at about $22 for 54 ounces.
Last, but not least, I want to mention an affordable red wine that’s rich in healthful phytochemicals such as OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) and resveratrol. It comes from a manufacturer in Napa Valley, California called Frey Vineyards. Frey produces organic wines that do not contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or added sulfites (preservatives that cause reactions in sensitive individuals). When I drink wine at home, I typically choose their Natural Red organic wine. The taste is perfectly fine and it’s even better than that when you factor in the price, which usually comes in at less than $10 a bottle.
I order most of these products online for the sake of convenience and the discounted prices. The one exception is the Frey Vineyards wine. I purchase that at a local health food store. I’ve deliberately omitted where I buy these items because there are multiple online sites that offer good prices and reliable service. A little investigating on your part will help you determine the best online vendor for your needs. If you require any assistance with that, please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help.
I’d also like to add that there are many other products out there that may be comparable or even superior to the ones I’m currently using. I simply wanted to share my “finds” in an attempt to illustrate how I practice my own health maintenance regime. I’m always in the process of seeking out new products and re-evaluating and making changes in my diet and supplement routine. As I learn of new and improved options, I’ll surely pass that information along. I hope you’ll do the same.
Tags: Cocoa, Coconut, Coffee, whey, Wine
Posted in Product Reviews