by Jane, Boston, MA
I feel like I should start with a Harlem Shake joke here, but I don’t really know what it is. But what I do know about are the Nutrisystem protein shakes.
My Nutrisystem plan included a shake per day. They come in four flavors: coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. I suggest you order one box of each the first month so that you can figure out which one you like the best.
For me, the vanilla was a miss. It was sort of chalky and didn’t have enough flavor, so it tasted almost like unflavored almond milk. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t particularly good. However, if you are planning to make your protein shakes in a blender with added fruit or fat-free yogurt, I imagine this would be the best one for blending.
The chocolate one was good. It didn’t taste like a candy bar or anything, but it tasted a lot better than other chocolate protein shakes I’ve had. It was sweet and pretty thick, and there was a good amount of flavor.
Strawberry and coffee were my favorite. Strawberry has a very artificial taste, but that’s something I like. Think Pop-Tart strawberry more than fresh-of-the-farm strawberry. I really liked adding a packet of lemon juice to this, which made it nice and fresh.
The coffee shakes were seriously the best. I don’t mean compared to other diet shakes. I mean they were just delicious. They tasted like coffee ice cream! I would even sometimes make an espresso and add it to the shake, which made it taste like a coffee-house drink and also give me lots of energy for the day.
The shakes come with a plastic Blender Bottle. Basically, it has a little metal whisk ball in the bottle, so you can shake it and make the shake all frothy and thick. I found the best method was to add crushed ice, but whole ice worked too. I initially expected that the bottle would be hard to clean or would leak everywhere, but it worked great and actually got used as a water bottle most days.
We actually ended up buying another Blender Bottle because my boyfriend kept stealing mine and using it to make his protein shakes and bring them to the gym. Then he heard me raving about the Nutrisystem coffee shakes and starting taking those, and that’s when I had to lay down the law.
I sort of think the need for protein is overrated. Yes, we need protein—but we don’t need it at every meal. I don’t eat very much meat, and I think that’s perfectly okay if not better than the option.
But I do have to get some protein, and this was such a surprising way to get it. I’ve never really been a fan of protein shakes, and I still probably wouldn’t be if I didn’t notice how full they make me feel. I always feel like they’re self-important. Like, you’re not running a marathon; you’re sitting working at your computer. You really don’t need an extra burst of protein!
Now I know better. It’s true that you don’t need it. But it’s easy. It’s affordable. It makes you feel good. And it definitely makes you feel better than eating a muffin you found in the office kitchen. Not that I’ve ever done that.
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