The Best Protein Shake: My Two Favorite Recipes

*This post includes some affiliate links. That means I may make a few pennies if you choose to purchase, but your price is never impacted.*

I’m not going to lie: I’m picky, especially when it comes to protein shakes. Hands down, I make the best protein shake. Not only does it need to be healthy, it’s just as important to me that it tastes good. If I don’t enjoy drinking it and look forward to it each day, I’m not going to go to the trouble of dirtying the blender. Today I’m going to share with you my top two recipes and some variations based on your preferences and favorite ingredients.

best protein shake

Before we get into the recipes though, I have to share a few under-appreciated tips for creating your best protein shake.

  1. Make sure you have a great blender! 
    Ever had a clumpy protein shake? Yeah, that’s gross. Especially because I’m a huge fan upping the nutrient density and volume by adding cauliflower rice. It has no flavor and takes on whatever it’s with, but you want it to be creamy and smooth, so a good blender is a must. For the last 10 years, I’ve used a Vitamix. Yes, they’re pricey, but they last. If I did the math on the price per use, it would be pennies.
  2. Choose a quality protein powder
    Here’s the deal – not all protein is created equal, at all. I won’t tell you “the best” because that depends on your goals. The best I can do is share my criteria for selecting a protein powder and the one I love most. I want to make sure I’m getting at least 15-20 grams of protein in my shake and I want to be sure it’s high quality, “clean”, and a form that is easily digested. It’s also important to me that it’s low in both carbohydrates and sugars. I don’t want artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. But at the same time, it has to taste great and mix well. I’ve tried a ton and the vast majority leave me disappointed. Currently, there’s one that I truly love and it’s Amare’s GBX Protein. It comes in vanilla, chocolate and salted caramel. I use the vanilla and chocolate most. One serving delivers 17g protein, only 4g carbohydrate and zero sugar. Yes please!

The Best Protein Shake – My Two Favorite Recipes

As of when I’m writing this, I’m pregnant with twins and this one is my daily favorite. Sometimes it’s breakfast, sometimes it’s lunch, sometimes it’s dinner, but it’s always part of my day. When I drink it, I know I’m getting some veggies, protein, fat and some carbs from a whole food source. And of course, it’s delicious, otherwise I definitely wouldn’t drink it! My 11 month old is a big fan, too!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana

Add all ingredients into your blender and blend until creamy!

  • Approximately 2 cups water (you can absolutely use your favorite milk, if you’d prefer)
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp nut butter (I use cashew butter most often)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein (this is the one I swear by)

If you’re looking to pump up the protein even more, add 1/2 cup of greek yogurt! If you’re looking to stay even lower carb, you can ditch the banana and/or just use 1/4 of it. At the same time though: don’t stress over 1/2 a banana. No one has a weight issue because they put 1/2 banana in their protein shake, ya know? #perspective

Green Protein

Add all ingredients into your blender and blend until creamy!

  • 2 cups unsweetened milk of your choice (I use almond or cashew milk)
  • 1 handful raw spinach
  • 3/4 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (you can use any fruit you love – I like blueberries or mango best)
  • 2 scoops vanilla GBX Protein 
  • *optional 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • *optional 1 scoop mentabiotics
  • *optional 1 tbsp maca

I have a million variations of these shakes based on what I’m in the mood for and what I have on hand. Sometimes I skip the spinach but I rarely skip the frozen cauliflower rice. These are a great way to pack in a super nutrient-dense meal AND have something very quick and easy that you enjoy!

I have a coupon code for the protein I use, so reach out if you’d like me to share it!

Mental Mistakes That Will Kill Your Progress

What if, from this point forward, you made consistent progress toward your goals without being held back by excuses, delays or the dreaded self-sabotage? Even if it seems unlikely, or unlike you, it’s absolutely possible. The key is avoiding a few super common mental mistakes that can kill your progress!

We’re diving into them in episode 953 of the Primal Potential podcast, so if this sounds like something you need to focus on, don’t miss the episode!

Mental Mistakes That Will Kill Your Progress

Drama

I know, no one likes to think of themselves as dramatic and you probably don’t think that of all things, drama is what’s holding you back. However, think of drama the way author Cy Wakeman defines it: drama is what you add to the facts. 

When I look back at my decades of failed weight loss attempts, I see a lot of drama. If I pledged to eat super clean all day but quickly succumbed to the donuts in the break room I’d think, “What’s wrong with me! Why can’t I just be consistent! I screwed up the whole day!” Drama. The plain fact is that I ate a donut. What I added to the fact was all sorts of emotion, judgement and doomsday-ing.

I hear drama from my clients all the time when they share their own judgement and emotional projection over something that’s really not a big deal at all.

Drama keeps us from moving on to our next best choice. It drains our energy and tricks us into focusing more on the problem than we do on the solution. Sometimes we just need to practice being a bit more rational and emotionally mature. Being objective when you are used to be emotional can change the game completely!

(A big part of drama stems from unrealistic expectations. I dive into that piece in episode 953 so make sure to tune in to the episode for that!)

Drifting

We have a lot of competing priorities and a finite amount of time to give to them. That’s one of the major reasons people drift away from their good intentions, discipline and commitment. It’s not easy to stay engaged but it is possible. It requires that we recognize our tendency to drift and instead choose to remain intentional each day.

We’re not striving to be perfect – there’s no need to execute a perfect 10/10 day, but we do have to stay tethered to what it is we’re trying to achieve.

Personally, the Change Makers Journal is the tool I use to ensure I don’t drift. That doesn’t have to be your tool, but you do need one!

Pretending You Don’t Know

Almost every day, someone in my Primal Potential FB group messages me to share that they ‘just don’t know’. They don’t know where to start, they don’t know how to reach their goal, they don’t know what’s wrong with them or they don’t know how to get unstuck.

More often than not, I respond to these statements the same way. I tell them, “I think you do know. I think you can absolutely tell me one idea for where to start, or one thing you could do to reach your goal or one thing you’re doing that’s getting in your way, etc.”

Every single time – literally every single time – I’ve been right. They do have ideas. They do know improvements they can make. But, this mental mistake of telling ourselves or others that we don’t know…it’s lethal!

It’s a way that we subconsciously let ourselves off the hook. We don’t have to do anything when “we don’t know”, but if we’re begin honest, we ALWAYS know enough to take a single step forward. Every. single. time.

With each and every one of these mental mistakes, and others, we have to slow down enough to allow our higher, more rational thinking to show up to the party.

If you can relate to any of these mental mistakes, make sure you tune in to episode 953 of the Primal Potential podcast!

 

If You Have Trouble Losing Weight, Read This!

I know so many people who have trouble losing weight. In fact, I’ve been that person! Whether your appetite feels out of control no matter what you do, or if you have crazy-strong cravings or it’s simply that no amount of dieting and exercising seems to do the trick, you’re going to want to read more.

Your cravings are more than habit.

Your appetite isn’t about willpower.

There’s a lot more to your body’s willingness to burn fat than how much you eat and how active you are.

A huge variable is…

Your microbiome.

In episode 951 of the Primal Potential podcast, we’re talking with Dr. Shawn Talbott about the ways the bacteria in and on your body influence your body’s signals to burn fat and store fat as well as their influence on your cravings, appetite and so much more!

Trouble Losing Weight? Here are a few things you need to know!

  • Your microbiome influences digestion, fat storage, fat burning, appetite, mood, cravings and more!
  • Many stubborn weight issues stem from gut issues
  • Intentionally optimizing your microbiome can make a difference even without diet and exercise changes
  • Making improvements to your microbiome can lower inflammation in your body which makes fat loss easier (even without diet and exercise)

I totally understand if you’re skeptical and doubt that your microbiome can address your trouble losing weight, but I promise it can! Dr. Shawn and I go into detail in episode 951 so be sure to listen!

Can a Quadbiotic Help?

In the episode, we talk about the role of a quadbiotic. If you haven’t heard that term, it’s because it’s a very new one and refers to a 4-part blend related to microbiome improvements.

  1. Probiotic: In the episode, we talk about a specific probiotic that lowers inflammation throughout your body, decreasing resistance to fat burning. When there is excess inflammation, it makes your body less likely to burn fat.
  2. Prebiotic: The prebiotic fiber we discuss helps reduce cravings and moderate appetite
  3. Phytobiotic: The specific phytobiotic we discuss in episode 951 lowers stress and improves your body’s stress response which aids in fat burning and metabolism
  4. Postbiotic: This is a “dead” probiotic (therefore a postbiotic) which specifically targets belly fat

If you want to give it a try for yourself, you can check it out here. Be sure to use the code BENTON to save $10 on your first order!

Trust me, you’re going to want to tune in to the full episode because it’s about to make health, metabolism and fat loss make a whole lot more sense to a whole lot more people!

3 Keys To Make Sure Lack of Motivation Never Gets In Your Way

We’ve all experienced, I’m sure. You have a clear goal. You know what you need to do to achieve and you’re ready! You’re fired up and determined to make it happen. That is, at least, until your motivation evaporates and you have no idea how to get it back.

I’ve been there. It’s not fun. It’s especially crappy when the ebb and flow of motivation leads to being consistently inconsistent.

In episode 949 of the podcast I’m sharing with you 3 keys to make sure your lack of motivation never gets in your way! This is one you’re going to want to listen to again and again!

3 Keys to Make Sure Lack of Motivation Never Gets In Your Way

  1. Practice doing it unmotivated

    Never forget that motivation is a feeling and no feeling lasts forever. With that in mind, you will become unstoppable if you develop a practice of executing especially when you’re unmotivated. Think about it this way: there are a lot of things you do without motivation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been motivated to empty the dishwasher or carry out the trash. I do it because I want the result of those things. I do it because I’ve developed a habit out of sheer discipline.

    Motivation doesn’t matter if you’re disciplined.

    That’s what we’re after. We dive deeper into this in episode 949 with lots of examples, but I want you to seek out those moments when you just don’t feel like doing whatever is aligned with your goal or priority. Don’t feel like working out? Perfect. You need that moment. This is your chance. Be grateful for the opportunity and do the thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10 minute circuit in your living room or if you throw on your sneakers and head to the gym. Be on the lookout for those times when you just aren’t feeling like it…that’s the moment you need in order to become someone who is impervious to any lack of motivation!

  2. Forget that motivation exists

    Sounds weird, I know. Tune in to the episode if you need more on this one. In it, I share how a client once told me that she didn’t feel worthy of losing weight. I asked her, “What does worthiness have to do with it? Why are you even considering worthiness? Do it unworthy.” She brought worthiness into the equation even though it wasn’t serving her.

    Whether it’s worthiness, motivation or anything else…if it’s tripping you up, take it out of the equation! It’s a practice, but with some intentionality you can completely eliminate your pattern of considering how motivated you are, or aren’t.

  3. Take responsibility for your motivation

    For those of you who are thinking, “But Elizabeth, I want to feel motivated!” – I’ve got you! This one will literally help you stay motivated. Create a file on your computer or in your phone – a living, breathing file that you continuously add to – of things that motivate you. It could be pictures, quotes, stories, people, podcasts, books or all of the above. I’ve done this in the notes app of my iPhone. While ultimately I prefer discipline to motivation, I like knowing that if I want to feel motivated, it’s just a click or two away. Just the other day some guy motivated the heck out of me via his Instagram post. I took a screen shot and added it to my “motivation” note. I do the same thing if I read something that fires me up. After doing it for a few days or months, you are able to motivate yourself on demand!

    If you aren’t sure where to start, head over to the Primal Potential FB group and ask for ideas on pictures, quotes, books or ideas that motivate the other folks in the group! You could have a heck of a start by just asking that question and getting ideas from others!

Don’t forget to tune into episode 949! In fact, it might be something you add to your own collection so you return to it when you’re feeling a lack of motivation!

3 Things You Need To Know To Get & Stay Consistent

There’s a certain energy that comes with a new year, don’t you think? It seems like focus and drive get bumped up a little bit when January rolls around, at least for a while. If we want to leverage that energy to create change that actually lasts, we have to figure out the ways to stay consistent, otherwise it’s just two steps forward and four steps back.

I spent some time reflecting on what helped me stay consistent in the process of achieving big goals like losing 150 pounds, starting a business and writing two books. And now, as I work towards some new goals, I considered what fuels my consistency and what doesn’t.

In fact, I put together a podcast sharing these keys to consistency so if you haven’t checked out episode 947 of the Primal Potential podcast, you’ll definitely want to do that!

3 Things You Need to Know to Stay Consistent

First, I want to make sure you know the two things that are absolutely required for consistency. While there are a million things you could focus on like motivation or accountability, there are only two things you must have.

  1. Specificity
  2. Follow through

Specificity is the one that held me back for years. I was clear on my goals but I never really got specific which meant I wasn’t often taking action.

I’ll give you an example. When I weighed over 350 pounds, there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to lose weight. I thought about it all the time. I knew that I needed to eat better and that it would probably help if I started working out, but more days than not, I made excuses and didn’t do the work. I’d plan out how much weight I could theoretically lose per week and how long it might take to get to my ‘goal weight’, but none of those things created consistency in the habits I’d need to establish for a lifetime of being fit and healthy.

Specificity Is A Superpower

I actually talked about this way back in episode 563 – “Motivation for When You Feel Stuck” and it’s as true now as it was then. It’s something we talk about in this week’s episode, too (947). If you want to stay consistent, you have to focus more on the small picture than you do on the big picture.

I’m currently working on my third book and thinking about things like when it will be done and how much it will take to get there won’t move the needle. Instead, I focus on the small picture: when will I write today and for how long?

As I work on losing weight from my two back-to-back pregnancies, focusing on the small picture and being specific drive my consistency. Each day, I’m writing down the three action steps I’ll take to drive that goal. My action steps today aren’t necessarily the same as my action steps yesterday and they don’t need to be. What drives my consistency is specificity and focusing more on the small picture than I do on the big picture. I use the Change Makers Journal for this specificity of my daily focus. You don’t have to use that, but do have a process for daily specificity!

Follow Through

A lot of us make the mistake of relying on motivation but as hard as it might be, we have to divorce that notion. When you have discipline, motivation doesn’t matter!

What gets in the way of discipline, of course, are our excuses. One of the most important steps we can make to support our follow through, is to develop emotional maturity in our thoughts. Think about it this way: if you know you need to stay consistent in order to make progress, you can’t continue to justify not having time, not being in the mood or pledge to get back on track tomorrow.

In order to decrease the appeal of your excuses, you have to become a more rational, objective thinker.

It’s a practice, and I give a bunch of examples in episode 947.

I am 100% on board for my goals this year, and I’m 100% on board to help you achieve yours, too! Get started by tuning in to episode 947 and if there’s anything I can do to help you, definitely let me know!

 

4 Tools for Overcoming Insecurity

It feels like insecurity is more prevalent than ever, especially as people compare themselves, their relationships, finances, businesses, fitness, fashion and everything else against what they see on the internet. I decided to share my own tips for overcoming insecurity after feeling insecure about so many things while on a business trip to Cabo last month.

I caught myself low-key comparing my outfits, my business, my personality and my postpartum body while I could have been soaking in the sun and family time. I’ll tell you – it didn’t feel good and, left unchecked, can wreak havoc on our mental health and relationships.

I go through these 4 tools and how I apply them in episode 943 of the Primal Potential podcast so definitely tune in to that episode too!

4 Tools for Overcoming Insecurity

  1. Evaluate what you have at the center of the story
  2. Remember that it’s a focus before it’s a feeling
  3. Ask yourself what matters most (and if you’re acting like it)
  4. Remind yourself that you create your results and if you don’t like something, you can give your energy to changing it

You’re definitely going to want to listen to episode 943 to hear all the examples of each of these tools and how I use them in my own life, but I’ll give you a little insight right here.

Evaluate what you have at the center of the story

More often than not, we have ourselves at the center of the story when we’re feeling insecure. We are thinking about our bodies, our income or any number of other things related to ourselves. When you put something else at the center of the story like connection, another person, or a value you hold, the insecurity starts to fade away. (If you want more on this, tune in to episode 943!

Remember that it’s a focus before it’s a feeling

This is one of my most powerful reminders when it comes to overcoming insecurity. Everything is a focus before it’s a feeling! That means that if we shift the focus, we will change how we feel. I share in episode 943 how when I focus on my postpartum body in a bathing suit and what other people might think, I feel a certain way. However, when I shift my focus to how blessed I am to have a healthy baby to play with in the pool, I feel very different!

Ask yourself what matters most (and if you’re acting like it)

In the podcast episode, I share a moment when I had to stop myself in the middle of my insecurity and ask myself what matters most. I thought about how family and health matter most and realized very quickly that I wasn’t acting like it! In your moments of insecurity, stop and ask yourself these questions!

You create your results

There are always going to be things we don’t like about ourselves or our circumstances but here’s the deal: we create our results. You can either give your energy to how you feel about the problem or you can give your energy to what you’re going to do about the solution. You create your results. In my moments of insecurity, I remind myself that if I don’t like it, I can change it! Time to get to work!

Tune in to episode 943 for a deeper conversation and be sure to let me know what you think!

One Tool to Make Change Easier

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking to make change easier. More often than not, it feels anything but easy!

I lost over 150 pounds and most of the time, it felt anything but easy. I’ve tried to change so many habits, big and small, and I kind of thing that’s just the way it goes with change…it doesn’t feel easy!

Fortunately, there are things we can do to make it easier.

I was emailing back and forth with a podcast listener the other day and she shared with me that she got some ‘borderline’ tests back from her doctor. The doctor wanted to put her on meds but she really wanted to try tackling it from a diet & lifestyle standpoint first. Even with the motivation to avoid medication, she was reluctant to make the lifestyle changes. She said, “It feels like I have to give up everything I enjoy!”

Enter: one tool that will absolutely make change easier.

Practice intellectual maturity.

Be more honest with yourself. Ditch the drama.

Sometimes our thoughts happen so fast that we don’t even notice our own intellectual immaturity. We accept the thought and the impact it has on our mindset, outlook and motivation.

Let’s revisit what this particular listener said regarding making some improvements to her diet and lifestyle:

It feels like I have to give up everything I enjoy.

Everything? Really? You have to give up your favorite TV show? You have to give up girls’ night? Sex with your spouse? Laughing with your kids?

You most certainly don’t have to give up everything you enjoy.

Not only that…why would you tell yourself you have to “give up” anything, never mind everything! Making improvements has nothing to do with “giving up” anything and certainly not everything.

However, in our intellectual immaturity, we paint with a broad brush and feel discouraged before we even start.

We break this down in episode 941 of the Primal Potential podcast and when you take on this practice, there’s no doubt that change will get easier!

 

 

Green Protein Smoothie Recipe

Every single day I have a green protein smoothie, usually for breakfast. Almost every day I share a picture of it on my Instagram stories and, almost every day at least a dozen people ask me for the recipe.

Until now, I’ve always said, “I don’t have a recipe – I just wing it.” I’m not a recipe girl, to be honest. Whether it’s my green protein smoothie or any other meal, I just throw things together and hope it turns out okay. But, after being asked for my protein smoothie recipes several hundred times, I figure it was time to slow down, measure out what I’m doing and share it with you!

There are many variations of my daily protein smoothie, but let’s start with my current fave. It’s not only delicious, but it keeps me full for hours, is packed full of tons of nutrients and is a reproductive health powerhouse!

Green Protein Smoothie Recipe

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (you can use flax milk, cashew milk or anything of your choice)
  • 1 handful raw spinach
  • 3/4 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 2 scoops vanilla GBX protein*
  • 1 scoop mentabiotics
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp maca powder

Add all ingredients into blender (I personally use a vitamix) and blend until completely smooth.

*You can use any protein you’d like. I choose GBX for a few reasons including:

  • I’ve tried at least 100 different protein powders and this one tastes the best (by far)
  • It’s the only protein powder on the market formulated to support your microbiome with prebiotics and phytobiotics
  • It’s non GMO and gluten free
  • It’s sugar-free
  • It’s soy and dairy free
  • No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners

I promise to update this with some of my other fave protein smoothie recipes, including my favorite chocolate ones so check back soon!

(This post includes some affiliate links to products I love that I think you might love, too!)

 

How To Make Hard Choices Easier

Yesterday on episode 900 of the Primal Potential podcast, someone asked a question that really got me thinking. Basically, she asked how to make hard choices. How do you eat well when you’re tired? How can you eat healthy when it is so convenient not to? Actually, let’s not paraphrase. Here’s exactly what she asked:

“On days where you don’t get enough sleep, how do you manage eating healthy? It sounds ridiculous as I type this, but I struggle when I work thirteen hours then come home and work another 3. I’m just exhausted so I eat convenience food.”

Oh man, I can relate. Can you? That was my story for years. I worked a long, stressful day and I just wanted a bit of an escape from things that felt hard. If ordering pizza felt easier than cooking up a healthy dinner, I made the easy choice.

Fortunately for me, I think about things differently now and that helps me operate differently. Here’s how I see it…

I make it as convenient as possible to eat healthy and as inconvenient as possible to eat unhealthy.

Here’s what I told her in episode 900: if your convenience foods are unhealthy, change that. Make healthy food convenient and make unhealthy food inconvenient.

It’s super inconvenient for me to make unhealthy food choices (compared to healthy ones). I’d have to load up the baby in the car and drive to the grocery store. But, that’s not enough! I have to make healthy choices more convenient (otherwise, I just have two inconvenient options and the most appealing one will win.)

There are lots of ways to do this, but I’ll tell you how I’m doing it now. About 2 weeks ago, I made a shift to make healthy eating way more convenient. I returned to using a meal delivery service. I either buy pre-cooked healthy meals or pre-cooked bulk items like grilled chicken, steak, salmon, cauliflower rice and sweet potatoes.* Usually, I haven’t had to go this far (or to this expense) to make healthy choices convenient, but with a full time job and a new baby, this is what makes it easy for me.

That might not be what it takes for you, but do consider what you need to do to make whatever change you desire more convenient. If it’s food related, maybe an hour of food prep each week is the game-changer. Or maybe it’s automating one of your meals each day (I do this by having the same thing for breakfast every day – a protein smoothie** that satisfies me for hours.)

Be sure to consider this outside of food and health, too!

What do you need to shift to make staying organized more convenient? What do you need to shift to make being financially responsible more convenient?

If it feels inconvenient, that’s an opportunity. It’s information you can use to switch things around to make it convenient. It doesn’t need to feel easier to make unhealthy choices than healthy ones. That’s on you!

For more on this, listen to episode 900 of the Primal Potential podcast! You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or anywhere else podcasts are found.

* I’ve been using Paleo Power Meals and their sister company Just Eat Clean. If you use the code Primal20, you can save 20%!

** My daily protein smoothie includes plant protein, probiotics, frozen cauliflower rice, cashew butter, unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 a banana.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

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