I love your comments about my shakes here and on my fan page. Thank you for finally making a protein powder that tastes good and doesn’t have any junk! someone recently wrote me.
I also get a lot of questions about the shakes. The top one: why 5 grams of sugar per serving? Here’s the deal: as I emphasized in this blog, The Virgin Diet is not a no-sugar diet, since pretty much any food contains some sugar. Rather, The Virgin Diet is a low-glycemic diet. The rules haven’t changed: no more than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
My All-in-One Shakes comply with that rule. I worked very closely with Thorne Research to create these All-in-One shakes not only with optimal nutrients but also to taste amazing. After all, if it doesn’t taste great, you’re not going to drink it, right?
We tried numerous formulas, including the one we stuck with that has a small amount of sugar. A teaspoon (5 grams) of organic cane juice sugar will not be a problem for most people.
Keep in mind too that my All-in-One shakes contain several nutrients including magnesium and chromium that enhance blood sugar levels. Put it into perspective: 2 cups of broccoli have about 5 grams of sugar.
Next biggest question concerns constipation, diarrhea, and other, um, bathroom issues using the shake. Most likely your issue stems from the fiber. I added a generous 5 grams of high-quality fiber in every shake serving. Especially if you’re not used to getting that much fiber at once, it can create bloating, gas, and other issues.
Modifying added fiber should reverse this issue. If you’re using Extra Fiber (my absolute favorite fiber supplement!), start with 1/2 scoop and work up to a 1 full scoop. Same thing if you’re using flax or chia seeds. Start with 1/2 a tablespoon and work up to 1 full tablespoon. If that still becomes a problem, nix the extra fiber altogether until you’ve adjusted to the 5 grams in the shake. Then gradually re-add it.
Emphasis too on drinking enough water when you add more fiber to your diet.
And please, please, if you are having serious bathroom issues – diarrhea, for instance – stop the shakes and see your doctor. You don’t want to fool around with something that could potentially be serious.
I’ve received lots more great shake questions, which I’ve provided below. Don’t see yours? Post it on my Facebook page or the comments below.
Are The Virgin Diet All-in-One Shakes acceptable for all cycles of The Virgin Diet?
Yes. You can use the shakes in cycles 1, 2, and 3.
Why do you use pea protein in the shakes? I thought they contain lectins and phytates, which you discourage in The Virgin Diet.
We spoke with the great folks at Thorne Research here. This is their response:
The protein used here is a blend with the primary protein source is a pea protein isolate – because it is a proprietary blend actual amounts cannot be divulged, but suffice to say that over 50% of the protein blend is from pea protein. In addition, this protein blend is combined with a mix of whole fruits and vegetables, as well as multiple vegetable fiber sources. All these components can definitely work together to influence the palatability issues associated with an all-pea protein shake.
Second, the All-In-One shake contains a small amount of digestive enzymes and probiotics that may supply just enough support to minimize that bloating feeling you get from other pea protein powders.
As far as the lectins and phytates, keep in mind what is used in the shakes is a pea protein isolate. Protein isolates tend to have lower phytate and oligosaccharide content. I suspect that this may be done using a combination of ultrafiltration and introduction of a phytase enzyme in the process.
Why do you call them “All in One” Shakes when you recommend adding kale, berries, fiber, and other things?
I designed The Virgin Diet All-in-One Shakes to have all the essentials you need for a fast, healthy, nutrient-rich breakfast or any other time of the day you enjoy them. Each shake packs 22 grams of high-quality protein, healthy fats, 5 – 6 grams of fiber, vitamins and minerals, a proprietary fruit and veggie blend, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. Theoretically, you could combine the powder with water and have a complete balanced “meal.”
That said, a little variety can spark up the shakes, give them flavor (they already taste great!), and also add more nutrients. Berries, for instance, provide antioxidants and added fiber. Flax and chia sees give you extra fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. Unsweetened coconut milk gives you fat-burning medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). And kale is a super-nutrient packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
All the essentials are already in the All in One Shakes, and customizing them with “add ons” can provide an additional nutrient punch, more calories to sustain you longer, and added flavor.
I have a recipe that calls for protein powder. Is this interchangeable with The Virgin Diet All-in-One Shakes?
Why do you use sunflower oil in the shakes? It’s high in omega 6s.
We spoke to the manufacturer about this, and here’s what they said:
The sunflower oil is a high oleic, non-GMO form. I suspect the reason it was chosen was because sunflower oil is a clean vegetable source with a decent flavor profile, fairly hypo allergenic (compared to other vegetable oils) AND because of the vegan nature of the formula. Some of it may be converted to GLA [a beneficial, anti-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acid].
I am on Coumadin. Will the vitamin K in your All-in-One Shake be a problem for me?
We spoke with Thorne Research about this. Here is their answer:
It should not. There is not anything in here that should significantly affect the efficacy of the Coumadin medication. Whatever amount of vitamin K is present from the whole food blend should not adversely interfere with her medication.
I have two questions about your shakes. First, why did you decide to go with Vitamin D2 instead of Vitamin D3? And second, at what temperature are
your proprietary food-based ingredients processed?
Also, for Thorne’s other shakes, is the Silicone Dioxide made by a process known as vapor phase hydrolysis? And are the ingredients extracted through low temperature processes as well?
The Virgin Diet All-in-One shakes are formulated to be completely vegan, hence the vegan-friendly vitamin D2 rather than D3.
If you are not vegan or are willing to use vitamin D3, we strongly encourage you to get D3 in a multivitamin and from food.
We received the other information from Thorne Research:
The food-based ingredients are actually freeze-dried whole foods, so pretty low temp. I do not know exactly what temp. But is the concern is about denaturing of peptides or other compounds due to exposure to high temperatures, this would not be an issue.
Concerning the silicon dioxide, the material used in Thorne products is produced by low temperature colloidal precipitation.
Does the chai flavor have caffeine?
We spoke to the manufacturer and received the following reply:
There is no caffeine added to any of the shakes. Any caffeine found is part of what is naturally occurring in the material. The content of caffeine is as follows:
Vanilla = 0 mg
Chai = 0.6 mg (naturally occurring from the cocoa)
Chocolate = 3.6 mg (naturally occurring from the cocoa)
For comparison, these amounts are significantly less than what is found in an average cup of drip decaffeinated coffee (8.6-13.9 mg).
I noticed the All-in-One Shakes have flaxseed, but doesn’t provide the amount. Can you tell me how much I’m getting in each shake?
The amount of flax in the fiber blend is proprietary, meaning Thorne Research does not provide exact amounts. They can confirm it is a portion of the 4.6 g/serving fiber blend in each shake.
I heard that chia seeds can exacerbate leaky gut. So why are you recommended them in your shakes?
I love chia seeds because they are a great source of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and nutrients. 1 study showed 50 grams of chia seeds a day for 12 weeks could increase gut inflammation. Keep in mind 50 grams is far more than the 1/2 tablespoon – 1 tablespoon we recommend in the shakes. In that amount, they shouldn’t be a problem.
We strongly recommend rotating your sources of fiber in The Virgin Diet Shake. I choose among flax seeds, chia seeds, and Extra Fiber.
I’m not a fan of flax or chia seeds in my shake. How else can I get fiber?
My favorite fiber supplement that I helped custom design is Extra Fiber. Each scoop has 9 grams of a plant-based fiber/ prebiotic blend, including Sunfiber (a partially hydrolyzed guar gum fiber), rice bran, larch arabinogalactan, apple pectin, prune powder, and green tea phytosome. Best of all, Extra Fiber has no grittiness, mixes well, and is odorless and tasteless. Start with 1/4 of a scoop of Extra Fiber and titrate up to 1 full scoop. Always drink adequate water when you increase fiber.
Don’t forget too that berries and leafy greens contribute to your fiber intake. 1 cup of raspberries, for instance, contains 8 grams of fiber.
You recommend a blender to mix the All-in-One Shakes. But how can I get a blender into my office?
I don’t travel anywhere without my Magic Bullet. It’s got all of a blender’s effectiveness but with the compactness of a shaker cup. Make sure you get the largest cup attachment that Magic Bullet sells. Put the ingredients in little baggies, carry the So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk individual packs, and you’re good to go to make a shake anywhere.
Another option is Blender Bottle, which has a cool metal ball that ensures smooth, consistent mixing. It won’t blend like the Magic Bullet does, but it makes a great option when you’re traveling and not near an electrical outlet.
Looks like they forgot to put my scoop in the container!
It’s there. It probably just sunk to the bottom during shipment. One thing we do is hold on to that first scoop so when we open a second container of powder, we don’t have to dig around for the scoop.
When am I going to get my shakes I ordered?
Supplements/shakes are shipped UPS ground and take from 7-9 business days to receive.
I’m confused. Is 1 serving of your Virgin Diet All-in-One Shake 1 or 2 scoops?
2 scoops is 1 serving.
Any way to make the taste of the All-in-One Shakes more appealing? I don’t love the texture and my husband says they are too sweet.
Taste is unique and subjective. If you eat a low-sugar diet, the shakes might taste a little sweet at first. Likewise, if you’re going off sugar, they may not taste sweet enough.
Most people have raved about the shakes. We have had a few people, though, ask us how we can adjust them for taste. Suggestions include:
- Adding a tablespoon of almond butter
- Trying different berries
- Varying the milks – see if you like coconut or almond milk better
- Adjusting the fiber so it’s thinner or thicker for your taste
- Adding unsweetened cocoa powder
- Making the shakes warm – simply warm the almond or coconut milk and stir in the All-in-One powder
Be creative, follow The Virgin Diet rules, and before long you’ll create your own shake that you enjoy every morning. Oh, and if you stumble upon a great recipe, please share it with us!
I have rheumatoid arthritis and cannot tolerate nightshades. Will the potato protein in your All-in-One Shakes be a problem for me?
We spoke directly to Thorne Research about this, and this is their answer:
I received word from the supplier and they said that although the material goes through a rigorous purification process they cannot say it is completely free of glycoalkaloids. That said, we are talking about a magnitude of mcg/g of protein. In the All-in-One shake, that roughly translates to less than 1 mg per serving. In communicating with Dr. Bob Rountree about this, he did not think this was enough exposure to cause a problem.
Why potato protein? You are aware of their alkaloid content, right?
The amount of potato protein in each shake serving is less than 150 mg resulting in less than .045 mcg alkaloid per serving. A potato averages 10 mg per average size potato (around 50 grams) – this would vary on whether you ate the skin and if the potato is rotten or sprouted. It is thought that 2-5 mg/kg body weight of alkaloids is the level at which the toxic symptoms show up of headaches, nausea, digestive complaints etc. The potential level in the shakes of less than .045 mcg/serving is insignificant even if someone were to drink 3-4 shakes per day. There is also interesting data to show that potato protein has a beneficial effect on the immune system which is why, along with its positive “mouth feel” that we decided to include a small amount of it in the shake.
I followed your recipe for the shake and got the worst bloating and cramping afterwards. What in the shake could be creating those problems?
Modifying your fiber should reverse this issue. If you’re using Extra Fiber (my absolute favorite fiber supplement!), start with 1/2 scoop and work up to a 1 full scoop. Same thing if you’re using flax or chia seeds. Start with 1/2 a tablespoon and work up to 1 full tablespoon.
Yuck! My shake turned out all gummy and thick.
Cut back to 1/2 a scoop of fiber and see if that does the trick. Alternately, you could use the fiber separately: have the shake and then mix the fiber in a separate container with 8 – 10 ounces of water.
Don’t let the shake sit too long. Fiber absorbs water and becomes very thick and gummy quickly. Drinking your shake immediately upon making it will usually solve that problem.
Why do you tell people not to eat the same foods repeatedly, and yet you recommend doing The Virgin Diet Shake every day?
In The Virgin Diet, I especially warn against eating highly reactive foods every day. Even if you challenge eggs or dairy and do okay in cycle 2, these should never be every day foods or you risk developing intolerances to them.
In fact, I want you to rotate every food you eat. So even with The Virgin Diet Shake, I want you to add raspberries and flax seed one morning, blueberries and chia seeds the next, etc. You would to likewise have a different protein at lunch and dinner. For instance, maybe you’ll do chicken for lunch and grass-fed beef for dinner. Mix it up and don’t get stuck eating the same thing repeatedly!
The Virgin Diet Shake protein powder has low allergenic potential and almost never creates any sort of intolerance. In fact, for most clients, it helps reduce food intolerances and heal leaky gut. The types of protein in this powder, including pea and cholera, are incredibly low-reactive types of protein that are safe to use every morning without risk of developing intolerances.
So rotate the ingredients you use in The Virgin Diet Shake as well as your lunch and dinner foods, but use The Virgin Diet protein powder every morning.
Why so much sodium in your shakes?
© 2013 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food allergies. She is the bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout & co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters. Her latest book, New York Times Bestseller The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days, is out now. Learn more at www.thevirgindiet.com.
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