Did you give up on "Protein Shakes"?
When I started this way of life, one of the first things I did was to buy a number of canisters of Protein Shake mixes (most of us start out with Atkins — I did too.) I bought the chocolate and the vanilla. I made them according to directions and I was, as they say, underwhelmed. So I figured perhaps a different brand or a different flavor were the way to go.
I bought Designer Whey — first strawberry, then praline. I also tried their chocolate. I finally decided maybe I just didn't like them. I didn't want to waste them (they can be pretty pricey!) I decided I would work them in and keep experimenting. Then I ran into my next problem — finding the time and place to make them when it was convenient to have them! I don't have a blender in my office! They ended up back on the shelf. I got letters from others asking me for ideas to make the shakes more like.. well ... shakes. Finally, when I realized I was missing lunches (and sometimes breakfasts) due to my heavy work schedule (which is a no-no with low carbing), I knew if I could solve the shake problems, I'd have my perfect lunch.
The portability and timing problem...
I may not have a blender in my office, but I do have a refrigerator (yeah, one of those little mini-fridges.) So it occured to me that I only need make the shakes up once or twice a week. I purchased a few of Rubbermaid's 1.25 pint "chugs" — small pourable containers that seal well and are just the right size! They don't have to be Rubbermaid, but these really do work great. I fill each of them up when I have a "shake making session" and put them in the fridge.
They're great for up to 5 days and — keeping some Dixie or Solo cups onhand — you can pour yourself a serving of very cold shake whenever it's convenient. I pour only 1/2 glass at a time so it is always extremely cold. Remember, when you get a traditional shake, it's partially frozen, so when we make shakes with cream, half-n-half, etc - that are "refrigerator cold", they just don't seem cold enough! You'll be surprised the difference this makes. Once you can just reach for a serving of icy cold milkshake, you will! And these containers make it easy to give it a good quick shaking before you pour!
It's the taste...If you can't make the shake taste great, you won't drink it. One of the complaints I hear a lot is "I just don't like that strong protein taste!" Well, I agree. The majority of the low-carb shakes are packed with protein for three reasons:
- Most low-carb diets also stress high protein, so the manufacturers rush to meet that need.
- The body and thickness of the shake have to be made with something and since carbs are out and you can't make a shake powder out of pure fat, protein is in.
- Many of the shakes are targeted toward body-builders as well as low-carbers. Protein is super important here, and once again, the makers are filling the need.
In the case of my diet however (and I bet with many of yours) I get tons of protein every day in the rest of my meals. So I figure about half the protein in the shakes is fine with me. Hence, I cut the shake powder in half.
The next issue is sweetness — Okay, I admit it — I like my shakes sweet. I want them to be a treat. So I add a few tsp Splenda or Keto Sweet in each one. And there's the cold issue — I want it cold right away, so I add ice to the blender. And by the way, if you're going to be making shakes, invest in a good blender if you don't already have one. One that can successfully crush/handle ice is essential.
Flavor is the most important thing here, so be creative and add anything carb-free that will last awhile (ie: if you decide to add a few fresh strawberries to your berry shake, it will need to be consumed the same day.)
To chocolate shakes, (I personally like Atkins chocolate the best) I add 1 tsp Ghirardelli's unsweetened cocoa.
To Egg Nog flavor (once again, the Keto Shake is best), I add 1 tsp egg nog flavor extract (also from Great American Spice) and 1 Tbsp Egg Beaters. And so forth with different flavors. Get creative! You'll see what you like.
To each of these (remember, use only 1 scoop - not 2!) I add 1 cup half-n-half and approx. 8 oz cold water, plus an estimated handful of ice chips and sweetener to taste.
One note — if you want your shake a bit thicker, consider adding some not/Sugar from Expert Foods. It replaces the texturizing effect of sugar in beverage and syrup recipes. not/Sugar is, itself, unsweetened. Adding it to the shake adds a satisfying creaminess.
Once poured in your little "chugs" and refrigerated, your shakes are ready for the week! I'll bet shakes will be part of your routine in no time!