As a runner we are taught that we need carbs, carbs and more carbs, which is true but sometimes we forget that protein is just as vital a component of our diet as carbs are. Yes, carbs give us the quick fuel for energy for our runs, but protein is needed to help build lean muscle tissue and to help repair broken down muscle tissue after a tough workout. While most of us get enough protein in our daily diets, as athletes we tend to need a bit more. If you are like me and reach for the carbs most of the time, you may be in need of a little extra protein. I know for ME, I don’t get enough on a daily basis unless I add some supplements in. It’s no secret that I use protein bars and drink protein shakes. It works for me and helps me keep my protein intake where it should be. I wish I could say I meal prep weekly and cook a dozen chicken breasts to eat all week, but I just don’t. I run out of time chasing the boys around and that’s one of the first things to get skipped over on my to-do list. So what’s a girl to do?
Have you ever heard of the Vitamin Shoppe?
I’ve been seeing these stores everywhere! Well, they recently sent me a little care package to test some items that they are now featuring in their new “Protein Pantry” section of the store!
Over 700 stores will be getting this new section dedicated to just protein items. There will be over 40 different protein-packed foods such as pancake mixes, nut butters, powdered peanut butter and tons more.
I had been eyeing some of these products for a while now and was so excited to try some of these out! So much yummy goodness! About Time, P28, Mancakes, D’s Naturals, FlapJacked and Buff Bake are just a taste of what is at the Vitamin Shoppe.
I didn’t really know where to start. I’m all about the nut butters AND pancakes so how do I choose? Well, in my house pancakes are all the rage. My kids, like most young kids would choose a carb any day over any type of protein. If it’s bread or cracker-like, then they are all about it. Put a piece of chicken or a burger in front of them and they turn up their nose. Recently I actually started adding protein powder to their pancakes to sneak it in because I couldn’t in good conscious let my 6 year old go to 1st grade and have a carb crash during school and have his brain not function. Now I’m not a big proponent of giving kids protein supplements such as powders on a regular basis, just every once in a while if the situation is appropriate. So I was intrigued by the pancake mixes. I thought I would whip up some pancakes and try them out.
P28, About Time and Mancakes were the samples that were sent. Mancakes comes in several different flavors including chocolate, maple bacon and buttermilk. I thought they were all great, but the Mancakes Buttermilk pancakes with some D’s Naturals Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter (Protein infused Almond fluffbutter) and Mancakes high fiber syrup was like a dessert for breakfast.
They were good but a bit denser than I would prefer.
The P28 pancakes were definitely my favorite as far as consistency go, very light and fluffy. The About Time pancakes were great as well and I liked the different flavor options. They weren’t gritty, were just moist enough and the family loved them. Sold.
What I liked about all of these products is that there was a great balance of protein AND carbs so these would be great pre-run AND post-run.
Ok, so can we talk nut butters? I could eat a nut butter out of the jar anytime day or night. I mean, who doesn’t? I’m no stranger to nutbutters with added protein and I keep them as a staple in my refrigerator so I was excited to try out a few different brands. I know that some people turn their noses at these because of the consistency, but I actually like them.
One of my favorite snacks is a brown rice cake with nut butter, hemp seeds, strawberries and chocolate chips… add the Buff Bake White chocolate peanut butter spread and wow, it was like dessert.
Adding a little extra protein to your diet with some fats from nut butters is a great way to stay satisfied and can help you from hitting the pantry late afternoon and making poor choices (which I am known to do, I can not tell a lie), so that’s why I’m a big fan. I used to be afraid of fats, but no more. They are the only thing that can keep me feeling full!
I’ve tried most of the items that were sent so far with the exception of the Flapjacked muffins and the P28 White chocolate spread, so I’m looking forward to trying those.
Now there are so many products out there on the market that you need to be careful of quality, but I’m happy to see that some of these items I received are GMO free, soy free, gluten free, no high fructose corn syrup, and no artificial colors or flavors. I am a label reader and look for these qualities in products that I buy.
I’m looking forward to heading over to the Vitamin Shoppe later this week and checking out the entire selection in the Protein Pantry and maybe stock up on some of my favorite items! If you have a chance go check out the new Protein Pantry in your local Vitamin Shoppe!Check out the @vitaminshoppe and their new #proteinpantry for all of your #protein needs via @suzy399… Click To Tweet
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe. All opinions are my own.