Product Review: Garden of Life Raw Protein

I have toyed with the idea of protein supplements for sometime now. However, I come back to 1 central problem: Whey and Casein. You see, both of these babies are dairy based and me and dairy don’t get along so well. (for the record: yes, I know there is dairy in the yogurt in my smoothies. Like most people with a food intolerance, it’s on a sliding scale and I have a mild-moderate reaction: I can handle a small amount of yogurt or cheese at one time. I can not drink cow’s milk or take whey. I’m scared of casein for the same reasons.) I’ve looked at soy based protein powders, but there is so much conflicting research about soy, I’m not sure what to make of it, and I do already drink soy milk sometimes. Then, I was trotting through Whole Foods the other day on my way to the bulk bins (please discover those if you have not yet done so) and this product catches my eye:

Vanilla and Unflavored options were also available.

I even found a $5 off coupon in the Whole Foods monthly magazine. You know I love a coupon. It was priced around $28 (I think! It was reasonable for the product ) for 28 servings so I felt with the coupon it was worth giving a shot. I debated the flavor choice heavily. I ended up with the chocolate, but vanilla and unflavored were also available.

I’ve tried it out a few times now and on the meter of deliciousness it gets a 5 out of 10. It’s tolerable. It has an unique smell and it is clearly carob and not chocolate. But, vegans are not exactly known to be big fans of chocolate ūüėČ The instructions say to mix with 6oz of water. Do not water it down further, I had 8-9 oz left in my water bottle after a workout so I dumped it on in. The flavor was odd watered down, still drinkable, but odd. It was better mixed with soy milk. When drunk with a straw, the smell is not¬†noticeable, but I realize that’s sort of on the girly side for drinking protein supplements.

I do like that the product is organic and raw. It gets the protein from 13 raw and organic sprouts. The total protein count is 17g for 1 scoop with 3g of carbs. I have a fairly¬†sensitive digestive system and this caused no¬†gastrointestinal¬†distress (at least not yet). It says it also contains probiotics. I’m always skeptical of non-refrigerated probiotics, but that’s just me, and certainly any in this aren’t going to hurt me.

Protein supplements don’t really fall into the category of clean eating. But I never swore to following a clean eating/real food diet 100% of the time. Right now my diet is more like 80/20 and working on getting to 90/10. I’d be happy living in that 90/10 range. This product is processed, but is raw, so it hits at the core values of clean eating: avoiding synthetic¬†additives¬†in food and eating simply. Don’t feel guilty supplementing a clean eating lifestyle with a product or food item that is a little off track if the basic concepts are right and you feel it benefits your personal health. YOU are the best expert on YOU. Listen to your body.

More info:
Garden of Life.

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