For about 30 years of my life, I ate cereal almost every single day for breakfast. And if I’m being honest, I also ate cereal at least one other time during the day as a snack, too. But when I did the Whole 30 program 3 years ago and had to cut it out completely for 30 days, it broke me of the habit. But unfortunately, it did not cause me to develop a love for eggs, oatmeal, or other hot/healthy breakfast options.
And so, I’ve been stuck in a major breakfast rut for quite some time. I no longer crave cereal, but I crave having something just as fast to put together. I also want something that won’t leave me hungry again an hour later and that can help me start the day off right without being a calorie bomb, and maybe even help me lose some weight.
Basically, I want a breakfast unicorn. Something that it just too good to be true.
Here’s the good news, though: it DOES exist! Smoothies and breakfast shakes have been more successful for me than anything else, and breakfast shakes are the fastest to prepare because they just involve a scoop or two of some pre-made powder and some water and/or almond milk, and about 15 seconds in the blender (go Vitamix or go home…I’ve never for one second regretted a single penny spent on this purchase).
Over the last 3 years I have tried about 10 different types of meal replacement and protein shakes, and just half of them are keepers. That’s because I’ve learned how vitally important it is to look closely at the ingredient list so you understand what nutrients your body will receive when using the product, as well as what isn’t included. If you are looking for a cheap meal replacement shake, you are often going to get exactly what you pay for: fillers, added sugar, precious little in the way of vitamins and minerals, and not enough substance to actually satiate you and give your body the fuel it needs. I can tell you from experience that the end result with those cheap shakes is that you are hungry and then you go spontaneously eat stuff that you shouldn’t, or you are hungry and miserable and your body switches into starvation mode and your metabolism tanks. The up-front savings come at a steep long-term cost, friends.
So what am I loving? Here’s my list!
- Slique Shake
I absolutely LOVE the Slique Shake from Young Living. A container comes with 15 individual packets and you simply put the contents into a blender, add either almond milk or water (I often do half of each), some ice (if desired…I prefer it with ice) and blend away. It’s flavor is called Berry Breeze and I would describe it as a berry-vanilla taste (it is yum!). It is thin but very surprisingly filling. I drank it very fast my first time trying it and learned not to do that! Sip on it so you won’t get too full, too fast. Slique Shakes are designed to help you feel full and to give you the fuel you need for your morning. I love that it contains the Slique Essence essential oil blend (grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and ocotea) which I have found to be highly effective at helping me curb my cravings and my mindless snacking. Other awesome ingredients include quinoa powder, pumpkin seed protein, green tea leaf extract, black carrot extract, wolfberry fruit powder, alfalfa grass juice powder, and lots of vitamins to get you started. Not including tax and shipping, this product is $3.33/serving for wholesale members. But because I place regular orders, I earn a percentage back on my purchases in the form of product credit, so that brings my overall cost down to $2.80/serving. Young Living is a referral-based business, so you need to connect with someone who is already a wholesale member if you’d like to place an order. I would be happy to help if you need a referral, and I also place an order once a month if you would like me to order something for you to try. For the ease of use combined with the wallet-friendly price tag, this is my #1 pick of my top 5 shakes.
2. Shakeology (Chocolate)
I purchased Shakeology in early July from my cousin, Shera, who is a Beachbody coach, and I have been very impressed with the quality of this product. Similar to the Slique Shake, I find the ingredient list to be extensive enough to not warrant any additions other than ice, water, and/or almond milk (though it does come with a list of 30 “recipes” to try with it, and they are quite fun!). I purchased the chocolate flavor per her suggestion, and I also purchased the bag of product instead of the individual packets, as there are 6 more servings in the bag than in the packets for the same price. Gotta get the best bang for my buck, because the big drawback of this product is that it is quite pricey, coming in at $4.33/serving (not including tax or shipping costs). My understanding is that you can purchase the product for a 25% discount if you sign up to become a Beachbody coach, but there’s a $15/month website fee included with that commitment, which eats away at a good deal of that discount, so I decided not to sign up for it since I don’t want to order it every month. It’s got a nice dose of protein (34% of your daily need), it’s packed with superfoods, phytonutrients and digestive enzymes to boot. I am set up to purchase the vanilla flavor of Shakeology in September and will be adding it to the rotation, and at that point I plan to place an order quarterly, as you can order monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Shakeology is a referral-based business, so you need to connect with a Beachbody coach to order the product. I do not sell this product but can refer you to my cousin if you need some assistance.
The other 3 drinks I really enjoy are considered protein powders, and I wanted to make it clear that protein powders are actually not intended to be meal replacement drinks on their own. However, by adding in a few ingredients you can easily turn them into a meal that will leave you satisfied for quite some time. For the drinks below, I typically add in a chlorella pellet, a probiotic, 1/2 tsp Vitamin C and 1 tsp of multivitamin powder I have on hand to kick it up a notch in the health department. To turn it into a meal I will add in some heart healthy fats such as avocado or coconut oil and a banana or other fruit, a bit of spinach or kale, some oats, hemp hearts or chia seeds, just depending on my mood. Switch it up to see what satisfies you the most!
3. Orgain Organic Protein Plant-Based Powder
I found this gem while researching for some more affordable alternatives to Shakeology products. Make no mistake, there are plenty of options that are cheaper, but there are precious few that can come close to what Shakeology offers in terms of nutritional content and good flavor. Orgain Organic Protein Powder provides the best alternative that I can find, and so it is in my regular rotation now (along with Shakeology, because I believe it is the best on the market and is worth the price, though I can’t afford to drink it every single day). The price fluctuates on Amazon, but it usually hovers around $1.11 per serving (not counting the other ingredients I add). The taste is quite excellent; a smidge grainy but not enough to override the nice price point. The Stevia is not not at all overpowering, either. This morning beverage requires a bit more effort than the first two shakes I featured, but I think it’s worth the extra work and it has a spot in my regular rotation.
4 (and 5). Young Living Pure Protein Complete (Chocolate and Vanilla)
I’ve been using Young Living Pure Protein Complete in Vanilla Spice for several months now, primarily as an after-school snack for me and my girls. The three of us split one serving and it helps us power through until dinner at 5. But I’ve also started to include it as a great breakfast option now that I’ve learned how to make it more of a meal replacement by adding in a few key things. You will be hard-pressed to find a better tasting vanilla protein powder, friends. It is SO delicious! And based on my success with the vanilla flavor, I have also purchased chocolate and it has become a fast favorite around here. Young Living has nailed it with the taste, and they have thoughtfully put together the ingredients to go beyond strictly protein (which, by the way, one serving has a whopping 50% of your daily protein need!). You’ll also find essential amino acids, as well as ancient peat and apple extract which support ATP production (the energy currency of the body). The cost for wholesale members is $3.60/serving, though customers who order YL products monthly will enjoy discounts in the form of product credit, in this case bringing the total cost down to $3.03/serving. As a wholesale member I would be happy to help you get an order placed with Young Living if you are interested, and I’d also be happy to order some products on your behalf when I place my monthly order. Just message me if I can be helpful!
I’d love to hear if you have tried any of my favorites and what you think about them, or if you have a favorite meal replacement shake that you think I should try!