Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's About Time (Part I)

Warning: This is going to be long  :(  Sorry!

Being an active vegetarian (as much as food companies allow an unsuspecting consumer to be) means that I need a good source of protein. Like a gold mine, only a protein mine. When I started searching for protein powders that weren’t disgusting, I had literally no clue what I was doing. Stumbling upon About Time Whey Protein Isolate was probably the biggest stroke of luck I’ve ever had.

According to the website it’s “the cleanest protein available.
It’s gluten-, carb-, and fat-free; it has no artificial flavors or sweeteners (only Stevia, which is naturally occurring); and one scoop contains 103 calories and 25g of protein! As the website explains:

About Time is cold-pressed micro-filtered whey isolate which means the protein is absorbed more efficiently into your system.”
Since I have no idea what that means, I cant tell you if it’s true, but their “no chalky aftertaste” claim certainly is! I’ve been really impressed with the Birthday Cake flavor as far as drinkability, but I was afraid to buy a whole 2-lb. tub of a flavor I might not like...so when I saw (on Facebook, of course) a promotion offering seven free single-serving packets with the purchase of a tub, I jumped at the chance to try a few new flavors.

Well, my package finally arrived on Friday, and here’s what I got:

That’s my regular tub of Birthday Cake in the middle, with (front to back) Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, and Birthday Cake on the left and Cinnamon Swirl, Strawberry, Mocha Mint, and Banana on the right. I know, I already got Birthday Cake! But they didn’t let you choose the flavors, which is how I wound up with Mocha Mint and Banana, two that I’m a little afraid to try.

Even though I’d already made my protein shake for the day, I seriously considered having another one! I figure it might be overkill, though, with the protein bar and Greek yogurt I had too...so I showed some restraint for once and held off until the weekend.

The manufacturer recommends mixing one scoop (equivalent to one packet) with 6-8 oz. of milk or water. I usually use 6 oz. of water because I like the flavor to be stronger.
I’ve tried four packets so far (one for each day!), and here’s what I thought...

Peanut Butter

You know me, of course I went for the peanut butter first! The dry powder smelled like peanut butter, but it was very subtle. Mixing it up didn’t help...to be honest it kind of smelled like puke. I stuck it in the fridge for a while so I could drink it cold, and it luckily tasted much more appetizing than the smell! It didn’t taste much like peanut butter; it was far too sweet for that. But it wasn’t a bad sweetness. I would definitely eat it again--I could stand eating a whole tub of this, but I still like my regular Birthday Cake flavor better.

Cinnamon Swirl

This one didn’t smell much like cinnamon dry, but the powder did taste like cinnamon. (Yes, I ate a pinch of dry powder. This is actually what I do with the stuff I spill when I mix my normal “shakes” because it sticks to your fingers...lick ’em!) Mixed with water the cinnamon scent was stronger, and the taste...oh man, this is my new favorite! There is a cinnamon kick to it but it’s not overwhelming, and it’s sweet too--like a cinnamon bun. If we could get America eating this instead of Cinnabons, we could save a lot of money on health care! Five stars for this flavor!!


After trying out the two I was most excited about, I figured I should try one that didn’t seem so exciting. I picked strawberry since it’s my favorite artificial fruit flavor, but judging by the smell of the powder there wasn’t any flavor at all. So I was really surprised how potent it was when I mixed it up! As for the taste...it was all right, certainly nothing to compare to the Birthday Cake or Cinnamon Swirl. It was definitely fruity, but when you give me a choice between fruit or cake, chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter, etc. I will always choose the latter. For someone who loves fruit this would be awesome.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

My inner sweet tooth won out this morning and made me open up the Chocolate Peanut Butter packet...I was actually impressed I held off on it this long! The powder smelled similar to the Peanut Butter, but perhaps a tad more peanut buttery, which was promising. When mixed, this flavor smelled more like cocoa...so I guess both flavors are definitely there. But drinking it was just like drinking hot chocolate. Only cold. Which isn’t a bad thing! It was very cocoa-y, and if there is a hint of peanut butter in there it’s hard to distinguish. I would have to try their regular chocolate flavor to know the difference.

So I’ve taken another step outside the box, and it did pay off. Plus my mornings are so much more fun with the intrigue of a new flavor every time! I still have three packets left (Mocha Mint, Birthday Cake, and Banana) but not being a coffee drinker or banana lover, I’m not quite as enthusiastic about those. But I’ll keep you posted...you never know, they could surprise me!

*nutrition labels are the same for all flavors
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