Miracle breakfast shake

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    Jun 24, 2007 7:59 PM GMT
    I got this shake at this tea place that opened near my office recently, and it tasted great, so I asked what was in it. Just whole milk, banana, and matcha (green tea powder,) she said. So I bought some matcha (it's relatively pricey; the cheapest I've found it is $12/ounce from Upton Tea Importers, but their top-grade version is $25/ounce. For a shake I assume I don't need the best stuff out there.) Then I froze some bananas, and started mixing up a shake every morning: 8oz milk, 1 frozen banana, a heaping half-teaspoon of matcha.

    One day I realized I had some flax oil around that I hadn't been using, so I started adding 1tsp of flax oil to the shake.

    Then I noticed this weird effect. If I had a shake at 8am, I'd be sitting at work and noon would roll around and I just wouldn't be hungry. I'd put off eating lunch until 1, sometimes 2pm. When I did eat lunch I wasn't ravenous.

    I guess it's some magical combination of that little bit of good fat, the caffeine and other miracle tea-goodness in the matcha, a bit of protein and fat from the milk, and the starch in the banana. All I know is, I've never eaten anything for breakfast that keeps me full and energized like this thing, and I've had breakfast regimens spanning from toast to poached eggs to oatmeal to other random shakes to everything in between.

    I had one this morning and spent the next four hours doing the Urban Assault Race, which was about 25 miles of biking around Austin, stopping at a ton of places to do these wacky obstacle courses along the way, and by the end I was happy to have one of the tacos they provided, but I wasn't famished like my friends.

    If you're looking to lose weight, I'd recommend giving this blend a shot. 1 cup whole milk, 1 frozen banana, heaping 1/2tsp matcha, and 1tsp flax oil, in a blender. I'd be curious to know if it works as well for others.
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    Jun 24, 2007 9:13 PM GMT
    A cheaper and more basal version of that shake would be something like the "speed shake":

    1 scoop vanilla whey-protein powder

    1/2 c. oats

    milk or water

    Add whey and oats to a shaker bottle. Pour in milk/water, shake, and drink.

    It's simple, fast, cheap, and easy. And, just as atxclimber added flax, matcha, and banana to his shake...so you can add things to your shake as desired. Sometimes I'll toss in flax oil or some VeggiePlus maybe a banana or some frozen berries. It's like an ala carte adventure for both your tastebuds and muscles. Don't be afraid to toss something extra into a protein shake or a bowl of oatmeal or whatever.

    I'd like to try this matcha stuff that you talk about though. I'm gonna check it out and get back to ya.

    Great risk begets great reward.
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    Jun 25, 2007 12:32 PM GMT

    I have been doing the same with the green tea on the side - I drink it hot substituting for coffee.

    In a blender, I put a cup of frozen berries covered with water add a banana and scoop of chocolate whey powder and ground flax seed.

    Drink it up and you are good till noon.

    Quick nutrients in the blood stream and high in anti-oxidents.

    I will try the green tea powder if I can find it.


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    Jun 25, 2007 1:17 PM GMT
    It may taste good, buddy, but you are doing yourself a real disservice.

    What you're getting is basically fat & sugar - and a lot of each. When you then fail to eat mid-morning and eat a late light lunch, you are starving your body.

    The protein in your breakfast shake is insufficient. It's the fat that makes you feel full. The sugar gives you some energy, but it's all simple carbs.

    At all times of the day, you need a balanced intake: proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. If the carbs can be complex carbs (starches) rather than simple carbs, so much the better.

    You're going to burn up your muscle on a plan like this --- it's bad nutrition.

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    Jun 25, 2007 2:41 PM GMT
    Hmm, I'm not sure I agree, PS.

    What you're getting is basically fat & sugar - and a lot of each.

    Well, first of all, that shake has under 300 calories, so I'm not getting "a lot" of anything in it. I know that. I'm eating at a calorie deficit to lower my body fat.

    Adding up the ingredients from calorie-count.com, the shake contains:

    Calories: 290
    Fat: 12g (7 unsat, 5 sat)
    Sugars: 25g (half milk, half banana)
    Protein: 10g (8 milk, 0.5 matcha, 1.5 banana)

    Those sugars aren't very high-GI; I use bananas while they're still underripe. If the shake had a high glycemic index, it wouldn't keep me full.

    10g of protein is not exactly bodybuilding material, but it's not insignificant.

    I'm certainly not putting my body in "starvation" mode. Do I look like a waif?

    I consume between 80 and 150g protein a day on a 1600 calorie diet, although I definitely concentrate it in lunch, dinner, and after workouts. But my breakfast is so low-calorie.

    Even if I have a "light" lunch, I'm still talking at least 4oz of turkey breast or a fish filet or something like that with good protein.

    In the past 2 months I've burnt 3% body fat while simultaneously putting on about 4lbs of muscle mass (and I'm not lifting or trying terribly hard to gain muscle, just doing my normal sports.)

    I think you're being a bit alarmist.
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    Jun 25, 2007 2:50 PM GMT
    Err, correction: that breakdown should say carbs, not sugars, because as bananas ripen their starch content converts to sugar; using underripe bananas means they're more substantially composed of starch than sugar -- which, like you say, is so much the better.

    Also, PS, what's your impression of this comment from the current RJ article on "losing those last 10 pounds"? It seems to support two things that I'm asserting, here:

    1.) Hunger is not directly correlated to needing protein. Sometimes you just need to curb the hunger urge, and as long as you give your body a reasonable supply of protein you're OK.

    2.) Healthy fat in food is a valid source of slow-burn energy, not just a way of making yourself feel full. (Without the flax oil my shake is significantly less energizing, empirically speaking.)

    3. Side Tip on Curbing Cravings: Sip Some Coconut Oil
    Still finding that you crave that double chocolate ice cream at 4pm? Bender has another tip to curb your sugar bingeing, one you're certainly not expecting: coconut oil. That's right, coconut oil. "Coconut oil is great," says Bender. "It's made of medium chain triglycerides, saturated fatty acids readily used by the body; so it's energy without sugar, and there's evidence that it helps to boost your metabolism. It also helps stop the sugar cravings." To eat it, melt the coconut oil in a cup of tea. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of the oil (it will make you feel queasy if you start with large amounts) and slowly work up to one to two tablespoons in a cup of tea. It's healthy, and may help both your metabolism and your snack cravings.
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    Jun 26, 2007 3:56 AM GMT
    OK, so I kept thinking about your response, PSBigJoey, and I realized, if I just add a hard-boiled egg to that mix and switch to skim milk, I cut 3 grams of fat (5 in the egg, minus 8 in the milk) and I boost the protein to about 27 grams. And it can still be quick (if I use eggs that are a bit older so they're not hard to peel in the morning) and still only about 360 calories for the whole thing.

    I'm going to try that. Thanks for the feedback, even if I was a bit defensive at first. ;)
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    Jun 26, 2007 6:18 AM GMT
    tip on using oats in a smoothy as most get put of buy grotty raw oats.

    The night before boil some water add that to a bowl of oats and stick it in the fridge.

    The next day add the now saturated cooked oats to the smoothie and blend.

    This should keep you going until lunch (obviously allowing for that etabolism boosting snack mid morning) :-)