It looked so innocent..

Lose weight, burn fat, feel energized, improve your health, and look & feel younger with ProEnergy Whey Protein Powder – the purest, most biologically available source of protein in history!
100% PURE whey protein isolate (not concentrate)
Richest source of the 8 essential amino acids your body needs for growth, energy, and vibrant health.
Perfect fuel for building lean, strong muscle.
Uses only 100% natural ingredients in their purest form
Lactose, Fat and Cholesterol FREE.
Low in Carbohydrates; High in calcium.
Naturally sweetened with Stevia - low glycemic index that won’t adversely affect blood sugar levels.
Made from cows that are grass fed and not treated with rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone).
Enhances immunity – highest amount of lactoferrin of any protein source and significantly raises glutathione (antioxidant) levels.
Manufactured using the most scientifically advanced cross flow microfiltration processing technique to ensure highest quality, highest potency whey protein.
Tastes great and mixes instantly in water or a ProEnergy Protein Shake, the perfect balanced meal, snack, or post-workout recovery drink.

This is a first for me.  I’ve never done a review in which I did not have the words to adequately describe how I feel about a product.  Nor have I had to do a negative review before.

Generally speaking, even if I don’t like the taste of something, there is something redeeming about the product.  I may not like the flavor, but if it’s a small enough volume and a good amount of amino acids I can make it work.  Even the bullets — which I don’t like — are good for nitrogen if you eat a high amount of meat protein.

That’s the short version of the review.  If you want the long version — keep reading.

This sample came in, along with a chocolate.  They instruct to mix with 8oz of cold liquid.  I mix with water to get a good idea of the flavor without milk.

Very foamy..

5 minutes later..

This did mix very well, although as you can see it’s very foamy.  Right after mixing it, I had to run after the kids, go fold some towels out of the dryer, etc.  This meant that I left it alone for 5 minutes without moving it and  quite a bit of the foam had dissipated — so that’s a good thing.

The taste — is very, very, very thin.  It’s dry, protein-y without ANY good flavor at all to mask the protein.  Which is odd because when I first opened the packet, it was almost overpoweringly sweet and vanilla-y.  I really expected to there to be more flavor to this shake — but there wasn’t anything but the protein taste.  It was *awful*.  I took a few sips to make sure it wasn’t just the first taste and no, it was just horrible.

So to make this drinkable — because I did spend the money on the shake, I pull out the strongest flavored powder that I really think will work with this:

Mmm.. Banana Cream Pudding…

Adding a scoop makes it 40g of protein — and it gets it down much, much easier.  It’s even nice and thick so I think it will help stay in my pouch awhile — which hey! Shiny win.

I was looking at the website to get stats and information for you guys and I noticed some things — the information on the back of my sample packet was nothing like what was on the website.  So I called the company — and they explained that the printer screwed up the packets.  And so if you get these packets, you should be aware that this is not accurate information:

Uh-oh — someone made a boo-boo..

I will say this about the company — they produce the amino acid profile.  This is great for those who know that want to check the scores and see how good a protein is.

Nutritional Stats

I have to say that despite the quality protein, that I would NOT recommend the vanilla to anyone.  The taste is awful — and despite the quality, the flavor is just not there.  There are other companies that give the same quality without the all the additives, but deliver on the promise of taste.

However, you can buy samples to try out if you are interested.  I’d suggest doing that.

Available at EnergyFirst — 2lb tub (about 36 servings) for $39.99;  Sample pack $1.49

This is not a good thing, folks.  And it scares me because the things I need to keep my vision, my bones, my blood clotting may go away.

Basically, this act will allow the FDA to pull all nutritional supplements.  And while the Centrums and NatureMades will be fine, what I worry about will be the 50,000 IU water-miscible D3′s that I take, or the 100mg K1′s, or any of the “dangerous” level meds.. or even the heme iron that I’ve FINALLY found that works for me.

So while I’ve always been political, have voted in every election that I have been able to vote in, have called my elected representatives for certain things — I have yet to write a single letter to any politicians.  The time has ended.

Senator John McCain
United States Senate
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510

Senator McCain:

I am not a constituent of yours.  Nor do I plan to be one in the future.  In fact, I live almost as far away from your Arizona as possible without actually living on a different continent.

However, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act that you are proposing could impact my life in ways you cannot possibly imagine.

Sir, I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2004.  Like thousands of others who have battled morbid obesity, I have had a surgery that has altered my intestines in a way that severely limits my ability to absorb nutrition from food.  It is because of this fact that I survive daily from nutritional supplements — nutritional supplements that you are attempting to regulate.

I understand the need for regulation against unsafe chemicals that are being marketed and sold to our youth.  As a mother of young children, I can appreciate the desire to protect our children.  However, I see this Act as a way to limit my ability to maintain my health with these absolutely vital supplements.

I know that there are some supplements that are available in prescription form.  Unfortunately, not all of these are acceptable for patients such as myself and only over-the-counter supplementation will maintain my health.  For example, a common prescription to rectify a clinical deficiency of vitamin D is a 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D2 in an oil-suspension.  D2 has been found to be one-tenth the strength of D3 (which is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy), and with my reconfigured intestinal design, I do not absorb the oil that the D2 is immersed in.  Therefore, what little of the vitamin I might absorb, much of it is lost in the body’s conversion to D3.  In many cases, a 50,000 IU dose of D2 would be equivalent to what I could pick up at CVS as a D3 supplement for anyone — and even worse for me with the fat malabsorption my surgery gave me.  Instead, I can take a 50,000 IU dose of D3 — something your Act would surely take away, relegating me to months of painful recovery as I suffer from osteomalacia or even osteoporosis at the tender age of 31.

While this is certainly an extreme case, it is something that thousands of us face daily.  Vitamin D is not the only vitamin I worry about with this act — high dose vitamin A allows me to keep my vision, vitamin K allows my blood to clot, B12 allows me to have neurological function, and high-dose iron allows my blood to move oxygen through my cells properly.  All of these are in higher-than-normal doses to counteract the surgical implications of my gastric bypass surgery — and it is something I will live with for the rest of my life.

I implore you to examine this issue very carefully as things are not exactly black and white.  I believe safety is needed in the supplement industry — especially as I take so many of them.  However, such strict regulation could seriously impact my ability to live a functional life versus a life of skinny sickness.

I had this surgery to be a healthier individual — this bit of regulation could seriously impair that goal.

Sincerely,
Andrea S. Ullberg
Wilson, NC  27896
andrea@ullberg.us

http://wlsvitagarten.com

Senator Kay Hagan
United States Senate
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510

Senator Hagan:

I am one of your constituents — one that is proud to say that voted for you.  I thank you for the hard work you’ve put forth in representing the people of North Carolina thus far.

I write to you today, however, to express grave concern about Senator McCain’s Dietary Supplement Safety Act.  This Act, if passed, could cause me and thousands more like me, great personal harm and impact my health and well-being in a way he has not considered.  Please take a moment to understand why.

I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2004.  Like thousands of others who have battled morbid obesity, I have had a surgery that has altered my intestines in a way that severely limits my ability to absorb nutrition from food.  It is because of this fact that I survive daily from nutritional supplements — nutritional supplements that he is attempting to regulate.

I understand the need for regulation against unsafe chemicals that are being marketed and sold to our youth.  As a mother of young children, I can appreciate the desire to protect them.  However, I see this Act as a way to limit my ability to maintain my health.  If I cannot maintain my health, I will not be able to protect or care for my children myself — which defeats the purpose of the bill.

I know that there are some supplements that are available in prescription form.  Unfortunately, not all of these are acceptable for patients such as myself and only over-the-counter supplementation will maintain my health.  For example, a common prescription to rectify a clinical deficiency of vitamin D is a 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D2 in an oil-suspension.  D2 has been found to be one-tenth the strength of D3 (which is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy), and with my reconfigured intestinal design, I do not absorb the oil that the D2 is immersed in.  Therefore, what little of the vitamin I might absorb, much of it is lost in the body’s conversion to D3.  In many cases, a 50,000 IU dose of D2 would be equivalent to what I could pick up at CVS as a D3 supplement for anyone — and even worse for me with the fat malabsorption my surgery gave me.  Instead, I can take a 50,000 IU dose of D3 — something your Act would surely take away, relegating me to months of painful recovery as I suffer from osteomalacia or even osteoporosis at the tender age of 31.

While this is certainly an extreme case, it is something that thousands of us face daily.  Vitamin D is not the only vitamin I worry about with this act — high dose vitamin A allows me to keep my vision, vitamin K allows my blood to clot, B12 allows me to have neurological function, and high-dose iron allows my blood to move oxygen through my cells properly.  All of these are in higher-than-normal doses to counteract the surgical implications of my gastric bypass surgery — and it is something I will live with for the rest of my life.

I implore you to examine this issue very carefully as things are not exactly black and white.  I believe safety is needed in the supplement industry — especially as I take so many of them.  However, such strict regulation could seriously impact my ability to live a functional life versus a life of skinny sickness.

Please take the time to examine this issue very carefully.  Many of us depend on these supplements — not for simple well-being but for our actual lives.

Sincerely,

Andrea S. Ullberg
Wilson, NC  27896
andrea@ullberg.us

http://wlsvitagarten.com

Senator Richard Burr
United States Senate
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510

Senator Burr:

I thank you for the hard work you’ve put forth in representing the people of North Carolina.

I write to you today to express grave concern about Senator McCain’s Dietary Supplement Safety Act.  This Act, if passed, could cause me and thousands more like me, great personal harm and impact my health and well-being in a way he has not considered.  Please take a moment to understand why.

I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2004.  Like thousands of others who have battled morbid obesity, I have had a surgery that has altered my intestines in a way that severely limits my ability to absorb nutrition from food.  It is because of this fact that I survive daily from nutritional supplements — nutritional supplements that he is attempting to regulate.

I understand the need for regulation against unsafe chemicals that are being marketed and sold to our youth.  As a mother of young children, I can appreciate the desire to protect them.  However, I see this Act as a way to limit my ability to maintain my health.  If I cannot maintain my health, I will not be able to protect or care for my children myself — which defeats the purpose of the bill.

I know that there are some supplements that are available in prescription form.  Unfortunately, not all of these are acceptable for patients such as myself and only over-the-counter supplementation will maintain my health.  For example, a common prescription to rectify a clinical deficiency of vitamin D is a 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D2 in an oil-suspension.  D2 has been found to be one-tenth the strength of D3 (which is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy), and with my reconfigured intestinal design, I do not absorb the oil that the D2 is immersed in.  Therefore, what little of the vitamin I might absorb, much of it is lost in the body’s conversion to D3.  In many cases, a 50,000 IU dose of D2 would be equivalent to what I could pick up at CVS as a D3 supplement for anyone — and even worse for me with the fat malabsorption my surgery gave me.  Instead, I can take a 50,000 IU dose of D3 — something the Act would surely take away, relegating me to months of painful recovery as I suffer from osteomalacia or even osteoporosis at the tender age of 31.

While this is certainly an extreme case, it is something that thousands of us face daily.  Vitamin D is not the only vitamin I worry about with this act — high dose vitamin A allows me to keep my vision, vitamin K allows my blood to clot, B12 allows me to have neurological function, and high-dose iron allows my blood to move oxygen through my cells properly.  All of these are in higher-than-normal doses to counteract the surgical implications of my gastric bypass surgery — and it is something I will live with for the rest of my life.

I implore you to examine this issue very carefully as things are not exactly black and white.  I believe safety is needed in the supplement industry — especially as I take so many of them.  However, such strict regulation could seriously impact my ability to live a functional life versus a life of skinny sickness.

Please take the time to examine this issue very carefully.  Many of us depend on these supplements — not for simple well-being but for our actual lives.

Sincerely,

Andrea S. Ullberg
Wilson, NC  27896
andrea@ullberg.us

http://wlsvitagarten.com

Please.  Read more about this and do your part to protect yourselves.  This is important.  I’ve rarely taken action such as this and I think this is worth fighting for.

We NEED these supplements.  Don’t let them take them away from us.

Inspire – Caramel Latte

On March 4, 2010, in Protein, Reviews, by Andrea

Caramel Latte sample

Caramel Latte is an iced coffee shop frappe’ with a splash of buttery caramel.  Served warm or cold, it’s delicious. Blend with hot coffee for a latte!

  • Mixes instantly and completely with a spoon
  • Zero sugar & zero fat
  • Created to blend with just four ounces of water

We know what qualities it takes to make the perfect protein, and we’re proud to bring you Inspire Pure Whey Isolate Protein Drink. Inspire is a thin, smooth, small-volume protein drink offering excellent taste & convenience. We use 100% pure whey isolate as it offers a clean unflavored background for luscious espresso, coffee, & premium flavorings.

How to blend: Place one scoop of protein isolate in a dry shaker cup or glass; add four ounces (1/2 cup) of cold water and gently shake or blend with a spoon. Add ice if desired. You many use more or less water to your taste.

Now, I want to put this out there bright and early — I drink strong coffee.  As in, I order my coffee by the SHOT.  When I have a migraine, my husband will go to Starbuxx and order me a 6-shot, 6-splenda venti skinny vanilla latte — and the baristas will look at him as if he is insane and ask him if he’s certain?  A normal drink is a quad (4-shot) 4-splenda venti skinny vanilla latte.  I <3 strong coffee.  (And no, it doesn’t cause ulcers, dehydrate me, or anything else horrible.)

So anything that hints of a coffee flavor? Must. Be. Tasted.

Enter BE’s Caramel Latte.

Powder has the smell of caramel — not a hint of coffee to me at all.  Mix it up in the suggested 4oz of cold water — and it mixes very cleanly.

The huge difference I see with this powder is that it foams.  A lot.  Quite a bit more than any of the other powders I’ve used from BE.

Foam

Foam cap?

Now, I wonder if the foam is somewhat intentional — given this is a “latte”?  In any case — there is a great deal of foam on the top of this drink whereas there hasn’t been a ton on any of the others I’ve tried.

The taste has NO coffee to me at all.  None.  Nadda.  Zip.  It’s very sweet — overly even to my Splenda-Whore tastes.  I mean — I go to a restaurant and clean out the Splenda caddy with my unsweet tea Spenda-whore tastes.  I think this is too sweet.  But while it is too sweet?  It’s also too watery.  The sweetness doesn’t cover-up the fact that the flavor is watery or the fact that there is no coffee flavoring whatsoever.

What I’d use this for?  A caramel flavoring IN my coffee.  It would be a perfect caramel syrup in my coffee that would ad a “creamy” texture and protein at the same time.  But it is not coffee at all.  So if you like caramel, but hate coffee — this is good for you.

It’s thin like the other BE Inspire drinks.  It is an easy way to get 30g of protein down — I can get 4oz of anything down, especially when it’s something I have to do for my health (and don’t get complacent — protein is required for your health!).  It’s good to supplement around food choices for those of us further out — but in of itself, it would not keep me satiated for a long period of time.  Heck, I’m starting to get hungry again and I only finished it about 10 minutes ago.  Time for something else to go down there with it.

Stats

If I had bought a bag of this, I would use it as a coffee flavoring / creamer for my coffee.  I think it has a sweet taste, it has a caramel flavoring, but I think 4oz is too much water for it, and I certainly do not think it is coffee-flavored by any stretch of the imagination.

Available at BariatricEating.
14 scoops for $19.99, 34 scoops for $35.99

Inspire — Dutch Chocolate Cake

On March 3, 2010, in Protein, Reviews, by Andrea

Dutch Chocolate Cake

Our newest gourmet flavor!  Captures the flavor of a freshly baked homemade cupcake made with spoonfuls of Dutch Cocoa.  Tastes like chocolate cake batter with real cocoa flavor – but not too sweet.

  • Mixes instantly and completely with a spoon
  • Zero sugar & zero fat
  • Created to blend with just four ounces of water

We know what qualities it takes to make the perfect protein, and we’re proud to bring you Inspire Pure Whey Isolate Protein Drink. Inspire is a thin, smooth, small-volume protein drink offering excellent taste & convenience. We use 100% pure whey isolate as it offers a clean unflavored background for luscious real peanut butter & premium flavorings. Our bestselling protein is flavored with real Dutch Cocoa!

How to blend: Place one scoop of protein isolate in a dry shaker cup or glass; add four ounces (1/2 cup) of cold water and gently shake or blend with a spoon. Add ice if desired. You many use more or less water to your taste.

(I know that you love the backdrop of my mini-aquarium — maybe one day, you’ll get a frog in there, too!)

Sample two of my 5/$10 pack from BariatricEating — I let one of the kiddos pick this one out (“Mama, it looks like a cupcake!”) which saves me the hassle of trying to figure out which to try.  I am horrible at making decisions!

Mixed in 4oz of cold water — and it mixed more readily in my blender ball bottle than the Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge I tried yesterday which is very nice.  However, this is much, much thinner in texture and because of it, I think the taste is much less defined.  It’s chocolate, don’t get me wrong, but it is definitively watery.  I think it would be much better with 3 or 3 1/2oz of water rather than 4oz — at least for me.  I like a fuller bodied flavor in my protein shakes — but I’m also admittedly a bit weird.

I gave a tiny sip to my daughter — she did help pick out which to try after all — but there are allergy issues at work.  She said it was “milky” but said it was good.  So that’s what an almost-four-year-old thinks.

Because it’s thinner, it would be ideal for a newbie post-op who is trying to meet protein goals with a volume struggle going on.  30g of good quality protein in a small amount of volume, that will thin out of the pouch quickly is a perfect thing for those needing to get their protein in early out.  It isn’t good for satiety — it’s thin enough that it won’t stick around – at least in my mature 5-yr pouch without something to make it fuller — but it’s good protein for the volume one has to drink.  Let’s face it — there are some proteins out there that require a larger amount to drink for the same amount of protein consumed.  This is almost the same amount of liquid as those disgusting bullets, but with a GOOD for you protein.  Much better choice.

Nutritional Stats

Remember that this is lactose-free — so if you are one of the many post-ops that comes up with a lact0se-intolerance, this is a good way to get your protein in without writhing in pain.

All-in-all, a good protein source, although not so much for the watery flavor in this case.  BE carries other flavors I like better so I wouldn’t purchase a bag of this particular flavor.

Available at BariatricEating -
14 scoops for $19.99
34 scoops for $35.99

Inspire – Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

On March 2, 2010, in Protein, Reviews, by Andrea

Chocolate PB Fudge

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge is creamy milk chocolate with a swirl of real Peanut Butter. It rocks!

  • Mixes instantly and completely with a spoon
  • Zero sugar & zero fat
  • Created to blend with just four ounces of water

We know what qualities it takes to make the perfect protein, and we’re proud to bring you Inspire Pure Whey Isolate Protein Drink. Inspire is a thin, smooth, small-volume protein drink offering excellent taste & convenience. We use 100% pure whey isolate as it offers a clean unflavored background for luscious espresso, coffee, & premium flavorings.

So I broke down and bought some BariatricEating protein samples when they created a pack of 5/$10 deal.

In any case, I remember when I tried the Candy Cane Inspire protein (of which I still have quite a bit left…) and the promise of “spoon stirrable” that wasn’t quite there, I decided to use my blender ball cup for this sample.

Inspire protein blends in 4oz of water — which I’ll admit is nice for early post-ops struggling to get their protein in with a minimum of space and volume.  Not having to drink 20oz to get the 26g of protein is a plus.

So cutting open the pouch and the immediate whiff is a nice cocoa smell — with a faint tinge of peanut butter.  Kinda like my PB2 smell when I first opened it.  Very pleasant.  I mix it up and immediately notice that I need to shake longer than the initial 15 seconds as I can still see some small lumps on the inside of the cup.  So I shake for another 30 seconds — and it’s now pretty smooth.

Chocolatey Peanuty Buttery Goodness?

Whiffing is more peanut butter than the powder — but nothing like a jar of Jif.  And the taste is good.  It’s a bit more understated than I expected — but nothing that is too understated.  I think I expect a bit more flavor based on the smells that I get from the powder, but I’m not disappointed.

The texture is pretty smooth and creamy, but is thin.  Not “milk” thin, but certainly is not a shake by any stretch of the imagination.  If you want something thick to fill a more mature pouch, think about adding ice or something to make this more viscous as this by itself isn’t it.  The taste is there, but it’s not filling in of itself.

It’s got pretty decent stats:

Stats

So this protein has a pretty good flavor, mixes smoothly in a blender ball cup, and has a good amount of protein for 4oz of liquid.  It is a bit pricier than some of the competitors, so if money is a factor then perhaps this isn’t an option.  I’d try a sample before getting a full-sized bag.  If you are looking for satiety, this may not be the option for you — but if you are looking to supplement protein around food, or if you are a baby post-op, then this might be a good choice.

14 servings cost $19.99,
Available at BariatricEating

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