Plant Based Diets

Plant based food protein alternative


Plant based eating has grown in popularity lately and is widely regarded as one of the healthiest approaches to fueling your body. Our resident dietitian, Rachel Hobbs, explains the benefits and practicalities of replacing meat with two veg.

 

What is a Plant Based Diet?Plant based - rice, beans, advocado and seeds

Plant based diets are a bit of trend in the nutrition world at the moment. The media claims they can do anything from cure cancer, to prevent heart disease and reverse diabetes; but what is all the fuss about and do they actually benefit us at all?

As a dietitian I define a plant based diet as a diet that aims to maximise the consumption of … you guessed it, plant foods, whilst minimizing processed foods, oils and animal produce. Sounds identical to a vegetarian or vegan diet? Similar, yes but the main difference is that often individuals choose to become vegetarian out of ethical or environmental reasons. Meat, fish and animal products such as milk, cheese and eggs are not banned from a plant based diet, but they are minimized.

A plant based diet encourages individuals to consume lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, pulses, seeds and nuts and is generally low in fat; this can seem impossible and confusing for many, especially as for the past 10 years the fitness industry has hammered into the general public they should be eating chicken breasts, tuna and other high protein foods to be healthy.

 

 

What are the Benefits?Plant based - oats, raisins, seeds and nuts

There are many benefits of a plant based diet if it is followed correctly; science says that they are better than meat heavy diets for weight management and fat loss. This is hypothesised to be because they are higher in fibre and therefore make us feel fuller for longer; but also they are more nutrient dense, therefore contain more vitamins and minerals, allowing our bodies to work more efficiently. Research also shows they may prevent heart disease and diabetes too. Due to the increased fibre intake of a plant based diet, scientists suggest that they decrease the risk of getting some cancers, especially those associated with digestion such as colon and stomach cancer.

The jury is still out as to whether it is the increased consumption of fruit and vegetables that decrease disease risk or the reduced intake of meats and processed foods, personally I believe it is a combination of the two.
When discussing a plant based diet with my clients there are a few questions which are commonly asked; I will answer these now.

 

 

“Where will I get my protein from?”Plant based - vegetables, peppers, cabbage, green beans, chick peas and advocado

Many of my clients come to me with elevated protein levels in their diets without a balanced consideration of the role of other nutrients, often carbohydrates

Instead of focusing so strictly on grams of protein per day, I ask my clients to focus on food quality- if they consume foods of high quality or nutritional density, they will automatically meet their protein needs.

The only concern is to ensure adequate essential amino acids are consumed, these are amino acids which cannot be produced by the body. This can easily be achieved by pairing foods with differing amino acid sequences such as beans and rice or hummus and pitta bread.

 

 

 

 

“What does a typical day’s food intake look like?”Plant based - oats, almond milk, soya yoghurt, nuts and fruit

To meet average requirements, a typical day could look like:

Breakfast: Overnight oats made with almond milk and soya yoghurt, topped with nuts and fruit

Lunch: Falafel, hummus and avocado wrap with spinach and rocket.

Snack: Peanut butter on toast.

Dinner: Lentil dahl with rice and peas.

Sometimes it takes a little while for the gut to adapt to the higher fibre intake so a pea protein shake such as Reflex Nutrition’s Vegan Protein would be a great supplement to take. This would also be ideal post workout or to add into a breakfast smoothie.

 

 

“Should I not eat any meat now?”

A plant based diet is exactly as it sounds, it is based around plants, which doesn’t mean all meat and animal products are banned. I actually recommended my clients to have two portions of oily fish a week such as salmon or mackerel to ensure they consume adequate Omega 3.

 

Plant based salad

 “Where do I start?”

I think it is important to take a step by step approach when making dietary changes, so I often prescribe my clients to just start with a “Meat Free Monday” and to experiment with different meal choices every week so they can increase the variety of plant based foods in the diet and feel more confident to try two days of plant based eating.

So, all in all, I think plant based diets are positive for many individuals. They increase fibre intake, they increase vitamin and mineral intake and they decrease processed food intake. So next week, why don’t you give “Meat Free Monday” a go?

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Fruity Amino Fusion® Cocktails

Recipe: Fruity Amino Fusion Cocktails

Summer is coming! Slowly… but we promise it is coming, and our favourite protein magician, Gauri Chopra, has been whipping up some delicious fruity cocktails to celebrate!

Perfect for an amino boost day or night, try these refreshing combinations – or create your own!

 

What is Amino Fusion®?

Amino Fusion® is formulated to be the market leading amino energy formula; it provides up to 40% more amino acids than some other formulas, tastes amazing, contains zero sugars and provides great caffeine kick.

Amino Fusion® only contains research supported amino acids along with science based dosages of citrulline malate, beta alanine and l-carnitine tartrate. You can use Amino Fusion® any time during the day, it is a great pre-workout and a great energy drink to use during the day, with virtually no carbs it is also perfect for those on a carbohydrate restricted diet.

Virgin Apple Mojito

A mid-day, party-starting drink worthy of being enjoyed just as much inside the gym as it is out!

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving Green Apple Amino Fusion®
  • 8-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime
  • Sparkling water
  • Ice

Method:

  • Place the Amino Fusion® powder, mint leaves and squeeze the juice of half your lime into the glass
  • Use a muddler or spoon to squash and mix the ingredients together to release and combine the flavours
  • Fill a quarter of the glass with ice and top it up with sparkling water
  • Add a fresh wedge of lime, a fancy straw, or an umbrella to really get you in the mood!

 

 

 

Pink Lemonade Spritzer

Want to spark up your Pink Lemonade Amino fusion into a delicious & fancy little drink? Try this simple way of serving it over ice!

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving Pink Lemonade Amino Fusion®
  • 1 handful of frozen mixed summer berries (or fresh raspberries work well!)
  • Sparkling or Soda water
  • Ice

Method:

  • Pour the Amino Fusion® into a glass along with just enough sparkling water to mix it into a paste
  • Add your frozen berries, (mash half of them into the paste if you’d like more of a tangy, fruity kick!)
  • Add the ice before topping your glass up with more sparkling water

 

 

 

Tropical Fusion

Your pre-workout just got a summer makeover!

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving Fruit Punch Amino Fusion®
  • 1 hand full of Frozen mixed fruits (Mango & berries work best!)
  • Enough water to fill a glass/desired sweetness

Method:

  • Simply mix the amino fusion with cold water until the powder is fully dissolved
  • Add a handful of your favourite frozen fruit  for a tropical twist in place your ice cubes
  • Sit back & sip through a bright and colourful straw to get yourself in a real holiday mood!

 

 

 

 

Guilt-Free Chocolate Fudge Brownie Recipe

Reflex Nutrition athlete and talented protein chef, Gauri Chopra, shares her ultimate clean cheat recipe – indulgent chocolate fudge brownies with peanut butter frosting! 

I think I am yet to meet an individual who doesn’t like chocolate or peanut butter – and rightly so, I’d say! If you haven’t tried the two together yet, you can only imagine that combination of the two definitely becomes a force to be reckoned with, ESPECIALLY in the form of a Brownie!

Not only do people tend to associate brownies with being a delicious treat, and a mouthwatering tastebud tingler, but they also get the bad rep of being an unhealthy guilt-food, and a bit of a waistline teaser! What if I told you, you could have all the flavour and fugdy texture of a naughty traditional brownie, minus the guilt? One that could offer a whole host of nutritious benefits to go with it? You wouldn’t believe me, right? Well let me prove you wrong!
As stated by my personal ‘taste-testers’, these healthy Chocolate Fudge Brownies are out of this world, and taste just as good (if not better) than your traditional, refined sugar-loaded ones! Made from natural ingredients, they are also flour-less, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and free from any artificial ingredients or flavourings.

Since these brownies are high in protein, healthy fats and fibre, they work in perfect harmony to keep you fuller for longer as well as keeping blood sugar levels stable to ensure you get a good prolonged energy supply (unlike your traditional brownie which would typically spike your blood sugar levels and eventually cause you to crash!)

Another gold star for these beauties in that they take virtually minutes to prep and make… I think the hardest part was opening the cans and jars!

Ingredients for the Brownie:

  • 1 can Black Beans drained and rinsed (200g)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 60g pure maple syrup
  • 35g extra virgin organic coconut oil or grass fed butter -(I use coconut oil because I love the slight hint of coconut it gives to the brownies but feel free to use grass fed butter as an alternative!)
  • 15g Cacao (or Cocoa) powder
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder (use gluten free if intolerant)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt (or normal sea salt will do)

Ingredients for the Protein Peanut butter ‘Frosting’:

  • 2 tbsp natural crunchy peanut butter (smooth is also fine, however I like the added texture from the crunchy!)
  • 50ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop Reflex Nutrition Chocolate Peanut Instant whey Pro
  • Optional: Sprinkling of Cacao Nibs for texture and extra chocolatyness!

Cooking steps:

  1. Pre-heat fan oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Whizz all ingredients for the brownie in a food processor until is has reached a smooth consistency (you may need to scrape down the sides/blender once in between).
  3. Pour the batter into a 6″6″ baking tin lined with a little coconut oil on some grease proof paper and gently tap/shake to ensure the batter is spread evenly
  4. Before placing it in the oven, make your ‘frosting’ by heating the almond milk and peanut butter together in the microwave on a low heat for 60-90 seconds. Once this has been stirred and combined, mix in your whey.
  5. Place the brownie tin in the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 10 minutes (or until the top looks like it is just about to start cooking through). Then take it out and smear on your protein peanut butter frosting and cacao nibs before placing it back in the oven to cook for a further 8-10 minutes.
  6. You should know that the brownie is cooked when it springs back a little when touched.
  7. Holding the grease-proof paper, remove the brownie from the tin, then very carefully peel down the sides of the paper. Cut the brownie into 12 pieces then use a spatula to carefully transfer the pieces onto a plate or cooling wrack before devouring… If you can wait that long!

Protein-filled Easter Eggs | Reflex Recipes

Micellar Casein Eggs

Easter: just another date in the calendar to try (and potentially fail) to avoid eating anything overly gluttonous, or an opportunity to whip up something that doesn’t leave you feeling left out but packs in the protein? We opted for the latter and decided to bring you another Reflex Recipe by teaming up with the Protein Chef.

Of course, we had to create an Easter egg, but did so with an added twist. Hidden inside the egg you’ll find a protein crème, made using our Micellar Casein, a product that helps deliver your muscles enough protein for an extended period of time. Perfect to kick off an active Easter Sunday, especially with a choice of flavours that range from Vanilla Ice Cream all the way to Banana Custard!

Ingredients:

100g chocolate
3 scoops of Reflex Micellar Casein
Optional – 20g white chocolate for decoration.

Method:

1. Oil the Easter egg moulds well to avoid the chocolate sticking.

2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.

3. Spoon the melted chocolate into the Easter egg mould. Fill to around 3/4 of the way up.

4. Tip the mould to spread the chocolate around the sides, then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

5. Whilst this sets, make up the protein mixture in a small bowl with water. Add the water slowly until you reach a thick and creamy consistency.

6. Loosen the Easter eggs in the moulds to ensure they slip out nice and easily once you have added the protein filling.

7. Add the filling and place them back in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the filling to set a little.

8. Remove the eggs from the mould, place the two shells together and using a little more melted chocolate stick them together.

9. Place the eggs back in the fridge whilst you get your decoration ready. I used white melted chocolate but feel free to add sprinkles, chocolate chips – whatever you like!

10. Allow the decoration to dry and your protein Easter eggs are ready!

Macros (for the egg only, without decoration):

Calories – 120
Carbs – 3.2g
Fat – 8g
Protein – 8g

With each egg factoring in 8g protein and just 120 calories, this might be a recipe you keep in mind for the entire year, and not just Easter! But either way, this is one that takes minimal effort and time, and eliminates the need to buy an unhealthy Creme Egg ever again!

If you do decide to make the recipe this Easter, be sure to share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram… and for more Reflex Recipes, simply click here.

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Protein-filled Strawberries | Reflex Recipes

Reflex Valentine's Recipe

Most of us are only just over the festive period before Valentine’s Day creeps up on us, bringing with it another onslaught of tempting chocolates and potential gluttony. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, we’re all going to want to treat ourselves come February 14th, but at the same time avoid making too much of a dent in our own fitness and nutrition regimes.

Which is why we’ve teamed up with the Protein Chef to bring you another appetising Reflex Recipe. A Valentine’s themed cheat day recipe that settles your chocolate fix while still packing a low-calorie protein punch, pre- or post-workout. So instead of buying the same old box of chocolates this weekend, whip up our Protein-filled Strawberries for your Valentine, using our Strawberries & Cream Micellar Casein, and dipped in a sizeable helping of melted chocolate for extra Valentine’s appeal.

Ingredients:

5 Strawberries (the larger the better)
2 scoops Reflex Strawberries & Cream Micellar Casein
50g Dark Chocolate
10g White Chocolate
Water

Method:

1. Cut the top off the strawberries and use a small knife to hollow out the centre. Place these in an ice cube tray.

2. Make up the casein mixture in a small bowl. Add water little by little until it forms a smooth, thick paste.

3. Add the casein to an icing bag and pipe into the strawberries. Alternative, you can spoon it in.

4. Put the tops of the strawberries back on and place in the freezer to firm up.

5. Whilst the strawberries chill, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water.

6. Once the chocolate has melted take the strawberries out of the freezer and dip them into the chocolate. Tip – If you struggle to do this by holding the lids then pop them on a skewer and go for the dunk!

7. Once coated, place them on a sheet of greaseproof paper while you melt the white chocolate.

8. Drizzle over the white chocolate and decorate as you wish.

9. Chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Macros (per strawberry):

Calories – 87
Protein – 4.6g
Carbs – 3.2g
Fat – 6.2g

With each large strawberry packing 4.6g protein and only 87 calories, these little treats are the perfect Valentine’s gift that can be quickly made up on the day together, or the night before if you’re after serious romance points. Each strawberry bringing with it a protein-filled surprise and instantly trumping the already tried and tested romantic formula of the standard strawberry dipped in chocolate.

To make sure the filling is both creamy and has the required taste, we recommend our Strawberries and Cream flavoured Micellar Casein used in the recipe, however strawberry flavoured Diet Protein will whip into a cream just as well – so the choice is yours.

All that’s left is to say another big thank you to the Protein Chef for putting together the recipe, and a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day to all of you that are going to try it over the weekend!

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Gauri’s Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Jelly Protein Pancakes

 

Ingredients for the pancakes:

  • 40g oats (best when ground into a flour)
  • 90g egg whites (or 3 large)
  • 1 scoop @ReflexNutrition Choc Peanut Instant Whey Pro
  • 30ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil to cook in

 

Layers/Toppings:

  • 30g peanut butter
  • 60g mashed raspberries
  • 30g (1/2) White chocolate Raspberry Ripple @ReflexRbars

 

Instructions:

  1. Blend all pancake ingredients into a thick, smooth batter with a blender
  2. Heat a non-stick pan until piping hot (Meanwhile prepare mashed raspberries & heat your Rbar for 10secs in the microwave before rolling into small balls)
  3. Melt coconut oil (medium heat) in the the pan before pouring in the pancake batter to make 4 silver dollar sized pancakes
  4. Once bubbles start forming on top, flip & cook the other side until lightly golden
  5. Layer with mashed raspberries, peanut butter, & R bar

 

Calories: 590

Macros:

  • 50g Protein
  • 39g Carbs
  • 26g Fat
  • 13.5g Fiber

Protein Pancakes | Cheat Day Recipes

Reflex Protein Pancakes

Cheat day: potentially the best day on the calendar. Anyone that follows a fitness and nutrition regime will know that to maintain it in the long-term, flexibility and balance is crucial. So we set out to find the ultimate, mouth-watering treat for cheat day – and came up with one that amazingly, isn’t actually all that naughty and still packs a protein punch.

The Protein Chef has collaborated with Reflex Nutrition to create a stack of delicious protein pancakes, smothered in peanut butter and chocolate sauce, and topped with soft R Bars for your protein-packed pleasure. The best thing about this recipe? It won’t destroy your calorie count for the day or leave you feeling sluggish and full of remorse. And to top it off, each serving delivers 33g of protein to support your workout when you pick it up the next day.

Here’s the recipe to get you started:

Pancake ingredients
200g Oat flour
70g Reflex 3D Protein vanilla
10g Baking powder
100g Liquid egg whites
400ml Milk
1tsp Coconut oil (for frying)

Toppings – as much or as little as you’d like
Peanut butter
Reflex R Bars
Sugar-free chocolate sauce

Method

  1. Mix together the oat flour, protein powder and baking powder.
  2. Then add the egg whites and milk and whisk well.
  3. Heat a pan to a medium/high heat and add the coconut oil.
  4. Once the coconut oil has melted, add a few spoonfuls of the mixture to the pan.
  5. Cook for a couple of minutes then flip it over and cook for a further minute until golden and fluffy.
  6. Pile the pancakes high, add the toppings and enjoy.

Macros
(per portion for the pancakes only. Recipes serves 2-3 people)
Calories – 409
Protein – 33g
Carbs – 55g
Fat – 6.6g

One portion of these protein pancakes provides 33g protein, 55g carbohydrates, 6.6g fat and just 409 calories, meaning you can enjoy your day off without regret. The light and fluffy texture has a delicious naturally sweet flavour, thanks to the vanilla ice cream flavoured Reflex 3D Protein used in the recipe. Our 3D Protein is the first time release protein to contain Native Whey Protein, Micellar Casein and Egg White Protein for a fast, medium and slow release of protein, in the correct ratio.

We’ve topped with chunks of our R Bars, to give an extra protein kick, fantastic texture, and a satisfying sweetness to round off this dish. Our R Bars provide 20g protein, 1-2g sugar and 9-10g fibre per bar, plus they are made with almonds and peanuts, cocoa butter, and natural flavourings.  The Protein Chef has used our Chocolate Peanut Caramel flavoured R Bar, but you can choose from our range of six flavours including double chocolate brownie and cookies and cream.

Reflex sends huge thanks to The Protein Chef. To read more of her fantastic protein recipes, visit The Protein Chef website.

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