Thursday, May 26, 2016

Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla Review

Vega Sport Performance Protein Powder Review 
Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla Review
Image credit: MyVega.com

Vega Sport Performance is a plant-based protein powder that's specifically developed to optimize athletic recovery. As one of few vegan protein powders that contains a complete protein blend with 6 grams of BCAAs per serving, Vega Sport Performance accelerates muscle repair, reduces recovery time, and tastes, well....

Having tried this vegan protein powder years ago (and liking it), I was looking for to reviewing Vega Sport Performance protein once again. This being a new and improved performance blend from Vega, and it offers one of the most impressive nutritional and amino acid profiles.


Nutritional Facts of Vega Sport Performance Protein

Before the taste review of Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla, let's take a gander at the nutrition facts of this 100% vegan protein powder. Because it may be hard to read the ingredients, the list includes:

Vega Sport Performance Protein Review
Image credit: iHerb.com
Pea Protein, Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein, Organic Sunflower Seed Protein, Alfalfa Protein, Tart Cherry, Probiotics (Bacillus Coagulans (Provides 1 Billion CFU/Serving)), Bromelain, Turmeric Extract, Black Pepper Extract, Contains less than 2% of: Sea Salt, Natural Caramel Flavor, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Stevia Extract, Xanthan Gum

In addition to offering a quality, organic plant-based protein blend, a few recovery-centric standouts include Turmeric, Bromelain, Tart Cherry and Probiotics - many of which can reduce inflammation.

A full scoop serving of Vega Sport Performance Protein also has 30 grams of protein, 6 grams of glutamine, 6 grams of BCAAs, and a robust amino acid profile.

A couple quick notes to underscore the performance benefits of BCAAs and L-Glutamine:


  • BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) refers to three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. BCAA supplementation can help to promote muscle protein synthesis, and over time, increase muscle growth.
  • Research has shown that L-Glutamine supplementation can improve protein metabolism and minimize breakdown of muscle.
Vega Sport Performance Protein has one of the best (if not the best) nutritional profiles among vegan protein powders. Whether you're an endurance athlete, bodybuilder, or just looking to put on a little muscle, I would highly recommend Vega Sport Performance Protein for recovery. It's one of the few plant-based protein powders with BCAAs, which is not only important for accelerated muscle recovery, but also to put on muscle mass. Now let's review the taste of Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla.


Flavor Review of Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla

Vanilla (Sweetness Scale 6/10)


There are four flavors of Vega Sport Performance Protein: Berry, Mocha, Chocolate, and Vanilla. Unlike my typical flavor review format where I try all flavors under one blog blog post, this vegan protein powder review is dedicated to Vanilla. (I had to order this one online, so I may or may not get to reviewing the other flavors anytime soon.)

Stirring the protein powder mix into almond milk was a breeze. The powder is a very refined floury texture, so it blends well into just about any liquid. The fine blendability contributes to Vega Sport Performance Protein being extremely smooth with no signs of chalkiness or grittiness. 

As for the actual flavor review of Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla, I found the taste to pleasantly vanilla bean-esque but still somewhat artificial tasting given the Stevia. The level sweetness was well balanced and not as intense as other plant-based protein powders from Vega, but there's something about the quality of Stevia that Vega uses that has a lingering potency. (There are only a couple plant-based protein powders that effectively camouflage Stevia.)

Keep in mind this is coming from someone who is very sensitive to sweetness (particularly Stevia.) So for some individuals, Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla might be the bee's knees. Nonetheless, I still find the taste to pleasing and satisfying (but I've had better... ;)

Given the premium, athletic-focused composition of this vegan protein powder, Vega strikes a solid balance with flavor and nutrition, and at a reasonable price. I recommend it.



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Orgain Organic Protein Powder Review

Orgain Organic Protein Powder Review
Image credit: Orgain.com

Orgain Organic Protein Plant-based Powder Review 


Touted as the "milkshake" among plant-based protein powders (by a friend and brand-loyal), Orgain Organic Protein is a great tasting product that contains clean and quality sources protein like hemp, pea, and chia.

An unlike some products I have reviewed, Orgain Organic Protein is an affordable option, especially given its quality and quantity. It's also unique in that it uses of both monkfruit extract and stevia as sweeteners.

All in all, my Orgain Organic Protein powder review was a positive one. Get the details below.


Orgain Organic Protein Powder
The plant-based protein powder for many needs and lifestyles...
Image credit: Orgain.com


Orgain Organic Protein Powder Review Nutrition
Image credit: Amazon.com

Nutritional Facts of Orgain Organic Protein Powder


Branded as the organic plant-based protein powder for many different lifestyles, Orgain Organic Protein does taste delicious. While it's pretty clean protein blend, it does have trademarked "Organic Creamer Base" that might raise the eyebrows of some vegans.

The creamer base is plant-based of course, but it does contain high oleic sunflower oil (which has the highest monounsaturated oleic acid content and is not very shelf stable in powder form). Although the fat content per serving is only 3.5 grams, the "Organic Creamer Base" is probably what makes it Orgain protein powder taste so good.

Unlike some vegan protein powders I've reviewed, Orgain Organic Protein does not make its amino acid profile known on the labeling.

Orgain Organic Protein Powder Review Ingredients
Image credit: Amazon.com

Aside from the latter details, Organic Protein Powder is still a decent product that offers a solid composition of proteins. It offers a premium organic blend of hemp, chia, pea, and brown rice; it tastes great; and doesn't break the bank. That's a compelling selling point if you're not too meticulous.

Flavor Review of Orgain Organic Protein Powder

There are two flavors of Orgain Organic Protein powder: Vanilla Bean and Creamy Chocolate Fudge. 
Orgain Organic Protein Powder Vanilla Bean


Vanilla Bean (Sweetness Scale 6/10)

Like I hinted at above - the touting holds true. It's hard not to believe that there isn't dairy in this protein powder because it does taste like a vanilla milkshake. I almost gave it a 7 on the sweetness scale, so consider this a high 6. 

Texturally, Orgain Organic Protein has minimally traces of chalkiness, but still ranks in the top 50% for smooth and easy-to-blend vegan protein powders. It's surely the closest thing to tasting like real cream, and might make for a good transition for whey protein user.


Creamy Chocolate Fudge (Sweetness Scale NA/10)

I haven't gotten to this flavor yet... but it's probably damn delicious.



Have you tried Orgain Organic Protein? What did you think?

Learn more about this plant-based protein powder and other supplements from Orgain at Orgain.com.

Shop Orgain Orgain Protein at Amazon.com.



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sunwarrior Illumin8 Review

Sunwarrior Illumin8 Plant-based Organic Meal Review 


More than just a plant-based protein powder, Sunwarrior Illumin8 Organic Meal is a complete nutritional shake that's rich with vitamins, minerals, gluten-free carbs, and healthy fats. Topped-off with blends of probiotics, enzymes, and sprouts, Sunwarrior Illumin8 makes for a nutritionally-solid and satisfying protein supplement.

Sunwarrior Illumin8 Review
Image credit: Sunwarrior.com
Now that I've become a regular in the wellness section of the local health food store, I've been chatting with employees about plant-based protein products. During one encounter, I was given an exclusive sample of Sunwarrior Illumin8 Aztec Chocolate to review. Overjoyed by gifts and customer appreciation, I was stoked to review Sunwarrior Illumin8.


Image credit:
Sunwarrior.com

Nutrition Facts of Sunwarrior Illumin8 

Like I start all my plant-based protein powder reviews, it's good to first see what we're putting into our bodies. Although this product is tossed around as "meal replacement/nutritional shake," it is primarily a protein supplement. 

Depending on your lifestyle and diet, you may want to include more carbs and/or fats when using it (and perhaps not rely solely on Sunwarrior Illumin8 exclusively for a meal or a recovery supplement.) Click the image to review Sunwarrior Illumin8's nutritional value and gauge for yourself.


Flavor Review of Sunwarrior Illumni8

There are three flavors of Sunwarrior Illumin8 Plant-based Organic Meal: Mocha, Vanilla Bean, and Aztec Chocolate. Because my sample pack was the sexiest flavor, Aztec Chocolate, I haven't yet reviewed the other flavors in the Illumin8 series. (I will revise this review when I do.)


Aztec Chocolate (Sweetness Scale 7/10)

Of course subject to my personal palette, Sunwarrior Illumin8 Aztec Chocolate is a great tasting plant-based meal/protein powder that is deliciously smooth and balanced. Texturally, the powder is very refined, making for an easy-to-mix, creamy combination into almost anything (smoothies, oatmeal, or just milk/water.)

The flavor of Aztec Chocolate Illumin8 is incredible. If Sunwarrior took a playful approach with this line of products (which would've been a marketing fail,) this flavor would have been called Chocolate Fudge Brownie, because the cocoa is strong, yet richly and smoothly balanced like chocolate fudge and chocolate brownies, or both! (Vegan, or course.)

Sunwarrior Illumin8 Aztec Chocolate Review
Image credit:
Sunwarrior.com
Illumin8 Aztec Chocolate is certainly sweet, but the stevia is modest and of high quality (does not overpower, nor linger.) Although a 7 is usually too high for my liking on the sweetness scale, I would use Aztec Chocolate again in the future, especially with (the real) coconut milk and some greens.


If you've had the chance to review Sunwarrior Illumin8 Organic Meal, let me know what you think below.


To buy Sunwarrior Illumin8 or for more information about this plant-based meal/protein powder, visit Sunwarrior.com.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Review

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Review

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Powder Review


Among one of the few protein powders that are both paleo and plant-based, Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein is a premium blend rich with broad-spectrum protein blend, as well as Garden of Life's RAW Enzyme Blend and RAW Probiotic Blend.

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein is quintessential plant-based protein powder for paleo-vegans. Whether you're a CrossFitter, paleo endurance athlete, or just looking to for a non-rice vegan protein blend, I found this to be a great tasting, nutrient-dense protein powder that's worth the price tag.

Not only did I find most of the flavors to taste good and well-balanced, but each protein blend mixed fairly well with just milk as well as in a blender.


Nutritional Data of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein

Before we get the five flavors in my Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein review, I always like to glance at the nutritional data behind each vegan protein powder. This product contains one of the most unique and diverse plant-based protein blends, containing lesser common sources like boboa fruit, cranberry seed, moringa leaf, and pumpkin seed, among others.
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Powder Review Nutrition Data
Image Credit: Amazon.com

Flavor Review of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Review Smooth VanillaThe Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein line is comprised of five different flavors, all of which emphasize being "smooth." 




Smooth Vanilla (Sweetness Scale 6/10)

Garden of Life's protein powders are all fairly consistent with respect to sweetness. While all but Smooth Unflavored contain stevia, it's a high quality stevia that doesn't linger or overpower the taste.

Smooth Vanilla had a nice, nutty vanilla flavor with hints of almond and coconut. Still a bit sweet, it's well-rounded vanilla option for many applications.



Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Review Smooth Coffee

Smooth Coffee (Sweetness Scale 3/10)

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Review Smooth EnergySmooth Coffee had a pleasant mocha java flavor that was a bit chocolatey; however, I found the texture to be slightly chalkier compared to the other options.

While this one is infused with Organic Marley Coffee for a nice caffeine boost, it was my least favorite option compared to others in the Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein review.






Smooth Energy (Sweetness Scale 5/10) 

For those who want the caffeine without the coffee, Smooth Energy combines Guayaki Yerba Mate with a deliciously tasting plant-based protein powder.

In my opinion (of course,) Smooth Energy is perfectly sweet with faint flavors reminiscent to maple and graham cracker. Although earthy to the eye, this was one of my favorite options in the Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein family.




Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Review Smooth Unflavored

Smooth Unflavored (Sweetness Scale 1/10) 

Okay, so Smooth Unflavored might actually be a 0 on the sweetness scale because the level of sweet is so faint that it's barely noticeable. If you want a vegan paleo protein powder that doesn't taste like anything, then this one is for you (as it literally has no flavor at all.)

One thing I noticed, which I did not like, was that the texture was a bit more soupy than others. Not a killer, but not the choice I'd pick.





Smooth Chocolate (Sweetness Scale 6/10) 

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Review Smooth ChocolateThe taste of Smooth Chocolate was similar to Smooth Coffee with its mocha-esque notes, but this one packed more robust flavors of rich dark chocolate.

I still got some slight chalkiness with this one, so it's a winner, but it's not a loser either. I personally would stick with Smooth Vanilla or Smooth Energy if I was regularly using Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein.

For more information about this line of products, visit GardenOfLife.com.

To buy this product, or start an ongoing (and money-saving) subscription of Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein, visit Amazon.com.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens Review

Garden of Life Protein & Greens Review
Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens Review

Having had Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens vanilla in the past (and not really liking it,) I was looking forward to reviewing all flavors. Come to my surprise, Garden of Life's series of raw vegan protein powders is very on-point, both in terms of flavor and texture.

In conducting my Garden of Life Protein and Greens review, I first noticed the texture to mix fairly well with almond milk. Unlike a lot of vegan protein powders, this blend didn't clump up too much. Later, my 'stir theory' proved valid given my shake's smooth, rich, and gritty-less texture profile.

Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens is a non-GMO, Certified Organic, 100% raw vegan protein powder infused with a RAW Probiotic & Enzyme Blend (making it extra good for athletes.)

Get scoop on nutritional specifics below, as well as my flavor reviews of Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens.


Nutritional Data of Garden of Life RAW Protein & Greens

Garden of Life Protein and Greens Review
Image credit: Amazon.com

It's also worth noting that Garden of Life claims to use the highest quality organic stevia, "ensuring no bitterness or aftertaste." Compared to other raw vegan "protein and greens" blends I've tasted, I believe this marketing bullet point to be true.

Flavor Review of Garden of Life Protein & Greens

Garden of Life Protein and Greens Chocolate Review
In order to properly review each flavor of Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens, I grab a couple sample packs of each flavor at the local health foods store.

Being wickedly-sensitive to sweetness, I found each flavor to strike a nice balance on the sweetness scale (with the vanilla and chocolate flavors using stevia to perfection.)

Chocolate Cacao (Sweetness Scale 6/10)

The Chocolate Cacao flavor of Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens is a nice combination of being mildly sweet and subtly bitter with hints of dark chocolate/cacao.

Garden of Life Protein and Greens Vanilla ReviewThe flavor of this protein powder is minimally earthy and righteously chocolatey, making a great option in many applications - even just milk or water.

Vanilla (Sweetness Scale 6/10) 

Second on the Garden of Life RAW Protein line-up was Vanilla. This one had somewhat a funky aroma, but that didn't seem to reflect the taste. Also infused with stevia, the sweetness was there, but not super sweet (like Vega Protein & Greens.)

The vanilla flavor was mildly earthy, but still smooth (again, no grit.) While this wasn't my favorite flavor to review, it's still a mildly-sweet vegan protein powder for vanilla lovers.

Lightly Sweet (Sweetness Scale 3/10)

Garden of Life Raw Protein Greens Review Lightly Sweet
The last flavor in the series of reviews, Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens Lightly Sweet, is now one of my top favorite vegan protein powders. Using 6 grams of organic cane sugar per serving (and "organic vanilla flavors"), the level of sweetness was perfectly on-point (in my opinion, of course.) The taste had mild hints of almond and nuttiness, vanilla bean, and minimal earthy undertones. 

Overall, with respect to both taste and nutritional composition, the Lightly Sweet is one plant-based protein powder I would use to supplement recovery for certain forms of training.

For more information supporting this Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens review, visit GardenOfLife.com.

To shop all flavors of Garden of Life RAW Protein and Greens, visit Amazon.com.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Arbonne Daily Protein Boost: Plant-based Protein Powder Review

Arbonne Daily Protein Boost Review


From the Arbonne Essentials® line of health products, Arbonne Daily Protein Boost is a modest and underrated plant-based protein powder that's less common on the shelves of most health food stores.

Based in Switzerland, Arbonne boasts a boutique vibe and an elegant display of nutrition products designed to support optimal wellness and healthy lifestyles.

Unlike most other vegan protein powders, Arbonne Daily Protein Boost suggests a small 13 gram serving with a moderate protein dose of 10 grams. And yet, there are 30 servings in a tub, making the protein density of the entire product very similar to other plant-based protein powders. (Other brands often suggest a 30-40+ gram serving.)


Arbonne Daily Protein Boost carries a unique blend of pea protein, rice protein, and cranberry protein (the latter being less common in most vegan protein powders.) The blend contains no added sugar or flavors, "for maximum flexibility" as mentioned on the website.

And this is exactly what I like most about this product. In conducting my review of Arbonne Daily Protein Boost, I found this to be one of the smoothest plant-based protein powders I've ever had.


Flavor Review of Arbonne Daily Protein Boost


Sweetness Scale: 0/10


In my Arbonne Daily Protein Boost review, I found it challenging to describe the flavor. In short, I found this protein powder to be pleasantly bland with no flavor at all

Compared to other "unflavored" vegan protein powders that I have reviewed, this product is tops when it comes to flavor and texture (that is, if you're seeking an unflavored option.) It stirs into milk with ease and withholds a smooth, velvety, grainy-less texture.

Also making Arbonne Daily Protein Boost awesome is that it's universally-applicable in just about anything, not chalky whatsoever, and blends into smoothies with stealth presence that's difficult to detect.

All in all, Arbonne Daily Protein Boost is a great plant-based protein powder that's very simple in nutritional content and highly versatile in its application. It may not be the best option if you're supplementing for elite athletics, bodybuilding, or high-end sports performance. But it's a perfect option if you're looking for an unflavored, good-tasting vegan protein powder for general supplementation, mild exercise and strength training. The only downside is that this product is not cheap, nor Organic Certified.

There are several other products on the Arbonne Daily Essentials line, many of which are vanilla and chocolate flavored. I hope to review these eventually in my queue of plant-based protein powder reviews. In the meantime, let me know what you think of Arbonne products, or if you have any specific questions about Arbonne Daily Protein Boost.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Garden of Life RAW Fit: High Protein for Weight Loss Review

Garden of Life RAW Protein Weight Loss Review Garden of Life RAW Protein for Weight Loss Review 


For a thorough review Garden of Life RAW Fit™: High Protein for Weight Loss, I grabbed three sample packs of each flavor from the food co-op: Chocolate Cacao, Vanilla, and Unflavored.

I was intrigued to review this gluten free, raw vegan protein powder, mostly because of its "RAW Certified Organic Sprouted Protein Blend," as well as host of other healthy concoctions.

In addition to boasting a hearty 26 grams of protein per serving, Garden of Life RAW Fit is also composed of three unique RAW Certified blends as shown in the image below.

Garden of Life RAW Fit Protein Blend Review


The raw protein powder blend of Garden of Life RAW Fit is one of the most comprehensive I have ever seen in a vegan protein powder. In short, there's a lot of clean, high-absorption, plant-based proteins - all sprouted to maintain its raw label. Additionally, the probiotics is a nice touch, especially for endurance training.

Garden of Life RAW Protein Powder Review
As one of the most popular vegan protein powders
for weight loss
, Garden of Life RAW Fit features unique
blends for glucose management, probiotics and enzymes,
and weight loss and stress management. All this in
addition to a robust plant-based protein blend of
mostly sprouted ingredients.
So to answer the ultimate question behind this vegan protein powder review: 


Does Garden of Life RAW Fit™: High Protein for Weight Loss Actually Work at Curbing Hunger Cravings?


Compared to most other plant-based protein powders that I've reviewed - Yes. Yes it does.

You can see full the details on the flavor profiles below. But when it comes curbing hunger and working weight-loss magic, the claims are not lore.

After mixing the protein with milk for my initial taste review of Garden of Life RAW Fit Chocolate Cacao, I dumped the rest of the packet into a post-workout smoothie. My training session that day composed of an easy 3 hour bike ride, in which case I typically need a solid meal about 1-2 hours after a full blender smoothie.

However, after consuming a serving Garden of Life RAW vegan protein with my smoothie, I remained satisfied for several hours. Further, I didn't add as much fat into the blender, so I was surprised at this protein powder's ability to curb hunger.


Review the Supplement Facts of Garden of Life RAW Fit Protein


Garden of Life RAW Vegan Protein Powder Review
Not only does Garden of Life RAW Fit™: High Protein for Weight Loss
offer a loaded plant-based protein blend, but it also provides a
a good dose of Vitamin A, D, E, K, and magnesium.  

Review the Amino Acid Profile of Garden of Life RAW Fit Protein


Amino Acid Profile Garden of Life RAW Protein Powder Review
While the amino acid profile for this plant-based protein powder
blend is decent at best, I wouldn't recommend it for bodybuilding
and putting on a lot of muscle.

Flavor Review of Garden of Life RAW Fit Protein 


Like all my vegan protein powder reviews, I taste each blend by mixing a small portion with neutral-flavored almond milk or coconut milk. One of the first qualities I review is the chalky or pastiness of the protein powder, as well as how well it stirs into the milk.

Garden of Life RAW Fit mixed pretty well into almond milk and there was subtle chalky taste to mix, depending on the flavor. Unlike some raw vegan protein powders I've reviewed, I found the sweetness level to be pretty normal compared to most stevia-infused products. Overall, none of these protein powders were overly-sweet.


Below is a short review of each flavor of Garden of Life RAW Fit: High Protein for Weight Loss.
Garden of Life RAW Fit Unflavored Original Review

Garden of Life RAW Fit Unflavored/Original


The Unflavored or Original version of Garden of Life RAW Fit is my favorite. It's not 100% unflavored, as the taste reminds me of a smooth eggnog with subtle hints of vanilla.

Overall it was quite delicious by itself with milk, and is universally applicable in fruit smoothies, decadent protein shakes, and almost anything else you want to add protein to. Not only would I recommend this flavor, but I would buy this product as a protein supplement in the future.

Sweetness Scale: 2/10


Garden of Life RAW Fit Chocolate Cacao Review

Garden of Life RAW Fit Chocolate Cacao


Chocolate Cacao was my first flavor review of Garden of Life RAW Fit. The cacao is up-front and apparent, but in a pleasant and inviting. Robust mocha java and dark chocolate takes over the taste buds, minimizing any earthy undertones. This would be a good flavor choice if you like more decedent applications, like yogurts, banana-rich smoothies, and oatmeal.

I am picky about my chocolate-flavored protein powders and their applications. However, Chocolate Cacao flavored well in a smoothie containing mostly greens with some beets, strawberries, and banana.

Sweetness Scale: 4/10



 Garden of Life RAW Fit Marley Coffee Review
Garden of Life RAW Fit Marley Coffee


The Marley Coffee flavor was my least favorite of all options in the Garden of Life RAW Fit family. Infused with Svetol®
Green Coffee Bean extract, the flavor is a subtle mocha taste without much else going on.

It tastes somewhat like a combination of the Chocolate Cacao and the Unflavored varieties, with a touch of coffee bean. All in all, the taste wasn't bad, just a little a lacking and slightly chalky.

Sweetness Scale: 2/10




Garden of Life RAW Fit Vanilla ReviewGarden of Life RAW Fit Vanilla


(review coming soon)