Goodbye, Christmas! Hello 2017…
So if you are anything like me, overall you did pretty well with your holiday eating, but even so you are a little sick of rich, heavy foods. Isn’t it interesting how this surgery puts us in tune with our bodies? By the end of the holidays I’m ready to trade in the indulgence for some good ol’ fashioned PROTEIN!
And here we are, with Celebrate Protein 20. In chocolate mint, to be exact.
Can I just have a (brief) soap box moment? You folks who are newer to surgery (and when I say new I mean 2 years or sooner), are lucky! When I had surgery in 2008 we essentially had four flavors of protein that were sold widely: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and cookies ‘n cream. Yeah. Now there are proteins to taste like darn near anything you want protein to taste like. You’ve got plain flavors. You’ve got fancy flavors. You’ve got sweet flavors. You’ve got savory flavors.
I tell ya, it’s a whole new world out here, Foodies. I’m not sure I can keep up with you “youngins” but I sure am having fun trying!
So back to this Celebrate 20 protein.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t do protein shakes every day anymore. (Shocker! I did them every single day for YEARS.) By the time you read this I will be days away from my 9-year surgery anniversary and the one thing I have accepted about myself in the past nine years is that my surgeon effectively KILLED my sweet tooth. (Sad, but true.) So most of what I consume is savory. With Celebrate, though, this actually works out as they have savory varieties of their protein meal replacement offerings. So I think I may check that out
When I do get a hankering for something sweet, I sorta go big or go home. And that’s where the quality of my protein powder becomes of the utmost importance. So let’s discuss this one.
So far as the packaging goes the only thing that’s super different about Celebrate’s Protein 20 is that it comes in a bag and not a canister, and even that isn’t super remarkable because many proteins come that way. I will say that when I opened the canister, I immediately got a whiff of mint. That was nice. I also appreciate the fact that I did not have to excavate the scoop from the bottom of the bag. Not sure if that’s intentional or just how my bag turned out, but if you’ve ever had “crusty hand” from digging to the bottom of a protein bag to retrieve the scoop, you’ll appreciate what a blessing it was that I did not have to do that.
Ok, so here are the stats on the Protein 20:
100 calories, 1g fat, 4g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 20g protein.
Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! Remember, I consider something an excellent source of protein if it meets the 10:1 ratio (for every 10 calories, there is 1g protein). This beats the 10:1 ratio so…winning!
Ok so a few other things to note about the ingredients:
- It’s made out of whey protein isolate
- The powder does contain sucralose (a sugar substitute that is also used to make Splenda)
Aside from that, the ingredients list wasn’t super long and I’ll invite you to check out the ingredients for this and all the other great Protein 20 flavors on Celebrate’s website.
I’ll admit when I read the nutritional panel I was skeptical about the mixability of this shake. Nothing against Celebrate, but in general the less “stuff” is in the ingredients list, the harder it is to achieve a true, thick, Triple X style shake. Now it’s not necessarily a bad thing that there are less ingredients. And for some of you it isn’t a bad thing if a shake does not automatically mix up thick. For me, however, it usually means there will be several extra steps involved to end up with the shake I want. Remember, I don’t do shakes every day anymore, so shakes are mainly “extra”protein for me (I am capable of getting 100+ grams of protein a day without consuming shakes) and also usually a way lower calorie/way more nutritious alternative when I want something sweet.
S’anyway…after having said all that you’d think I was about to tell you that the Celebrate powder did not mix well. Not so! It actually did pretty well on the first mix. Not full-out Triple X but it made a decent showing. Those bubbles? Mean that when I add ice everything will smooth itself out. There was one little thing missing though. I’ll go into that when we talk flavor, which is up next!
True fact: To date, there is only one protein I have ever tried that claimed to be chocolatey where I did not have to add more chocolate to make it chocolatey enough for me. (Wow…that was a lot to say!)
So let’s lead with that. After my first mixing of the drink, I tasted it. Nice mint flavor. Which is saying a lot. Mint has two levels: enough and WAY TOO MUCH. It’s really sad when it’s way too much. When mint is too minty it literally makes your eyeballs hurt to drink it and that just makes me sad because there’s just no saving it. This protein was just minty enough. Oh, what sweet relief!
But it wasn’t chocolatey enough. I’m picky. I know. I don’t want you to judge the powder based on my assessment. I’m a serious chocoholic. So even actual chocolate isn’t chocolatey enough for me.
To remedy this I usually do one of at least two things: first, I add some unsweetened cocoa powder (like shown in the picture). Then I mix to see if that remedies the issue. (It did in this case.) If it still isn’t chocolatey enough, I add about 1/2 tsp. of good quality instant decaf. Thank you, Ina Garten, for that tip! A little bit of coffee makes chocolate taste more chocolatey.
But as it stood a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa and we were back in business. Now in the past when I’ve done this with other chocolate mint proteins, I lost the mint flavor after adding the cocoa (a pump or two of some Torani syrup usually remedies that) but in this instance the mint held strong through the cocoa and even through me adding a few ice cubes. Kudos, Celebrate! Just minty enough at every stage.
So as you can see I blitzed my shake. I made it with almond milk (TIP: Use Fairlife 0% milk if you want to up the protein without adding a bunch of extra calories) and I topped it with
way too much whipped cream and a little dusting of Swiss Miss Diet Cocoa.
And there you have it. A protein shake that transitions you from real indulgence to perceived indulgence in one subtle stroke!
(Warning: If you’ve not read my post about price-per-protein gram – what it is and how to calculate it – you may want to read that. Shouldn’t stop you from getting what I’m about to say but the lesson does come in handy as I talk value.)
So in general I find Celebrate to be a good value in almost all of their products. They give you good upstanding ingredients for not a bunch of money. This product is no exception.
The price for a 15-serving bag of protein is $19.95, so that comes out to:
- $1.33 per protein serving
- $0.06 per protein gram
Not bad. Not bad at all!
The one outstanding question is what type of protein is this? Well, even Celebrate doesn’t advertise it as a meal replacement shake. For newer folks it might feel that way, but frankly 100 calories is not a meal. It’s just not. So I would classify this as a super-charged snack/supplement. And even with that classification, the price is still darn good!
Thank you, Celebrate, for making this part easy for me. I absolutely recommend this protein powder. Choco-monster issues aside, the powder has a very good chocolate-mint flavor, it mixes easily, you can play with the texture to make it a thinner or a thicker shake and it dresses up nice. That means it’s a great powder to help you play with your food!
Click the button below to check out all of Celebrate’s Protein 20 offerings!