Protein Drinks

February 21, 2022
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Here at Sunways, we believe in practicing health and wellness. We know this can be a challenge at first, and seniors have very specific needs to consider. Last week, we talked about the importance of eating a diet comprised of whole foods and focusing on nutrient density. However, lack of appetite, difficulty preparing meals, difficulty chewing certain textures, and trouble swallowing are just a few reasons seniors often do not eat complete and well-rounded meals. If these issues sound familiar, try substituting a meal with a nutritious drink or shake. The main pro of a semi-liquid diet is that it is a quick and easy solution!

There are so many consumer products targeting seniors that selecting the best one can be overwhelming. This week, we are going to share our favorite store-bought snakes, as well as recipes to create nutritious smoothies from scratch. All you need are whole foods and a blender! 

First, we must understand that a store-bought nutrition shake is meant to be loaded with calories, replace an entire meal in terms of calorie content, and the end goal is weight gain. Alternatively, a homemade protein smoothie is meant to help build muscle and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and create a balanced meal replacement. Nutrition shakes are good for short term use, and once a healthy weight is reached, if possible, try to wean off these synthetic options, because whole foods are always superior. 

Our top picks for store-bought nutrition drinks are: 

#1 Ensure Plus

#2 Boost 

#3 Orgain 

The most important thing to look at when assessing labels is the sugar content and making sure the total calories are appropriate for your body type. Ensure and Boost are almost identical in terms of nutrient contents. The main difference between the two is taste. So, try both and decide which is your preference! Orgain is another great option, because everything is completely organic, and there are even fully vegan shakes to choose from. 

Our favorite homemade smoothie’s follow this simple format: 

  1. Add the following ingredients to blender:
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Liquid
    • Dairy
    • Nuts/Seeds
  1. Blend until smooth: 
    • Too thick: add more liquid
    • Too thin: add more solids, or ice 
  1. Serve, and Enjoy!

Our favorite creation is listed below. This recipe makes a nearly 600 calories smoothie packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and even probiotics. Try making our recipe or share your favorite variation! Just remember to include all the different food groups listed above to create a fully balanced liquid meal. 

The Tropical Green Machine: 

  • Vegetables – 1 cup Spinach
  • Fruits – 1 avocado, 1 cup pineapple, ½ med. apple
  • Liquid – 1 cup favorite nut milk
  • Dairy – ½ cup Greek yogurt 
  • Nuts/Seeds – ¼ cup chia seeds or flax seed 
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