As we have talked about previously, I track my personal daily nutrition using macros. The concept is based on mathematical formulas which dictate how many carbohydrates, fats, and proteins one should eat per day to accomplish physical goals (something I have explained in full here). The theory really works for me because it creates a sense of balance in the things I can eat (more proteins and fats, less carbs in my case), without really telling me I can’t eat anything (any food is fair-game as long as it fits within my daily caloric allotment). It is however, the protein that always gets me. Of course not eating meat, consuming the proper amounts of the stuff by traditional non-supplemented means is problematic. I eat peanuts and peanut butter and spinach and black beans, but the reality is that I have a hard time getting enough protein for healthy and wellness on my own.
I recently started experimenting with the supplementation of protein, and as a vegan, this is tough. As a disclaimer I am still experimenting and haven’t quite found a healthful solution, so when I do I will keep you updated. Yet here is the story of my first human test (on my self) with pea protein and mentioned, the experience was an interesting one.
On paper, “Pea Protein” sounds great. It is a low carb, all natural protein, often being sold with no color or added artificial taste. It is a minimalist’s dream as it is sold in a natural, raw, green-powder form, so when I first discovered the product I was very excited. I bought a big tub on Amazon, and read many in depth reviews of previous customers issuing it’s praises. “I used it as a thickener in soup” one said, “great for protein to my morning protein shakes” yet even the most glowing remarks were succeeded by coyness about its taste. Yes, I was warned that it alone tasted “earthy”.
So as mentioned, I bought a big tub, had it sent to my home, and immediately tried it in water as the label instructed. It appeared the color of finely ground money, okay in my book. It didn’t have a smell when I shook it in my shaker bottle- another good sign, and when I simply licked the drips off of the side of the lid it didn’t appear to have a taste. It was when I took a big gulp it hit me. Now please understand I was very optimistic and greatly wanted to like it, but it takes on a new consistency when wet. It chunks up even if greatly shaken and has a gritty taste that you can feel going down the back of the throat. Finally the taste isn’t pressingly bad, almost non-flavorful, but it’s a second or two later that hits a fishy type taste in waves. I gagged twice it was simply too much to take!
I understandably sent it back. I had tried mixing it with vanilla extract, I tried putting it in fruit like some reviewers suggested (though that too admittedly added carbs). I even tried baking it into peanut butter cookies which to my delight made two thirds of my immediate family gag and dry-heave into a garbage bin. In conclusion, Pea Protein did not work for me and I am impressed and wonderstruck how some can make it work. My search for a natural vegan protein supplement is still on going and I will most definitely be taking you along for the, what I didn’t realize would be, a journey to a sustainable, bearable, vegan protein supplement.
Image of “Naked Nutrition Pea Protien” copyright of Naked Nutrition Inc.