1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ Tablespoon sugar-free coffee syrup in your favorite flavor (I like caramel)
Mug of black coffee, brewed to your preferred strength
Whisk together the first four ingredients in a small bowl until well-blended, with a bit of froth on top. Add three to four tablespoons of this creamy protein blend to your mug of hot coffee. Stir well. Garnish with a spoonful of the blended froth and an extra dash of cinnamon, if desired.
This will make enough for 4-5 mugs of coffee, depending on cup size and the amount of creamy protein blend you use. Store extra in a small container and refrigerate. This will keep for up to one week, but you may want to take it along to work for your morning coffee break, or to share with your co-workers.
Why protein powder?
Protein is the major building block of muscles, blood, skin, internal organs (think brain and heart), and even hair and nails. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 56 grams a day for men and 46 grams a day for women, though the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that increasing protein intake above this amount leads to increased weight loss, a lower amount of stored fat and prolonged feelings of fullness. Aim for at least fifteen grams of protein with each meal, with an additional few grams of lean protein thrown in at snack times, when possible. Don't give up carbs, however; our bodies need those, too!
Protein powder can help you achieve higher protein intake, without ingesting unnecessary fat and calories. Now, rest assured, there are some yucky-tasting protein powders out there. I know, because I’ve tried ‘em! My favorite is EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder in vanilla flavor. Another good brand is Designer Whey. Soy protein is also fine, if you prefer. Make sure you choose a protein powder with at least 18 grams of protein per scoop (four tablespoons), and less than 4 grams of sugar. You’ll find that quite a few of my recipes contain protein powder, as it’s a great sweetener, thickener, and protein additive that can help push you into fat-burning mode while adding flavor to your food and drinks.