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Recipe for “The Virgin Diet” Shake

By JJ VIRGIN

You leisurely sip a second cup of green tea as you await the gluten-free veggie breakfast casserole warming in your oven when you suddenly realize you have a whole hour to read the paper before you head off to work.

And then you wake up.

A blaring 6 a.m. alarm clock blasts you from your pleasant dream, and you realize you're going to be late to work again.

Raise your hand if you love mornings. Yeah, I didn't think so. Between pulling your kids together for school, searching for car keys, and calling the plumber for a suddenly stopped-up toilet, a leisurely, healthy breakfast isn't always high on your must-do list.

Breakfast “The Virgin Diet” Way

I have a few breakfast rules in my book “The Virgin Diet.” No skipping it, for starters. And, consume a protein-rich meal within an hour of waking up.

Believe me, I get it. Many mornings you're frantically juggling what seems like a million demands as you race to work, the airport, or to get your kids off to school.

Convenience stores and fast food restaurants feel your pain. They know how easy it is to take the path of least resistance, hence their wide array of pastries, muffins, and other grab-and-go foods.

Step away from the bagels, and try my favorite breakfast that requires just minutes to make but keeps you full for hours.

5 Reasons to Try “The Virgin Diet” Shake?

Like you, I don't have an hour to prepare breakfast, nor will I succumb to one of those low-fat muffins (also known as adult cupcakes) with my grande green tea. So, I go with a protein shake.

I start with a plant-based protein powder (pea, rice, chlorella, and/ or potato protein are good options – avoid soy!), and then add in organic berries, flax, or chia seeds, kale (yes, kale: you can't taste it but it spikes the nutrient content), and unsweetened coconut or almond milk. I've appropriately called my favorite go-to breakfast “The Virgin Diet” Shake.

Among the reasons I start every morning with “The Virgin Diet” Shake:

1. “The Virgin Diet Shake” is fat burning
Studies show a protein shake provides your best breakfast option for fat loss. One study in the International Journal of Obesity, for instance, showed protein shakes "can safely and effectively produce significant sustainable weight loss and improve weight-related risk factors of disease."

The Virgin Diet Shake comes loaded with optimal protein, good fats, fiber, and antioxidants to keep you full, focused, and burning fat.

Studies in The British Journal of Nutrition and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show protein keeps you fuller longer compared to carbs. One reason: protein suppresses ghrelin, your hunger hormone that signals your brain to eat now.

The fiber in chia or flax seeds can also curb your appetite by delaying stomach emptying and promoting satiety. One study in the journal Nutrition called fiber "a tool to improve success" for fat loss and reported most people get less than half their allotted fiber quota. The Virgin Diet Shake makes meeting your 50-gram daily quota easy.

Combine fiber and protein with the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut milk (which your body burns rather than stores), and you've got the ultimate fat-burning breakfast.

2. “The Virgin Diet Shake” provides steady, sustained energy
That low-fat muffin and latte raises your insulin levels, which means you're due for a mid-morning crash that triggers brain fog, fatigue, and leaves you running for the nearest bagel cart.

On the other hand, the slow-release protein, fiber, and good fats in The Virgin Diet All-in-One Shake give you sustained energy for hours. That means no 11 a.m. Krispy Kreme cravings and no snapping at your office receptionist once your blood sugar levels crash.

3. “The Virgin Diet” Shake is fast
I get it: succumbing to cereal or packaged breakfast bars proves quick and convenient. But, what's fast in the short run crashes your blood sugar and leaves you lethargic and craving carbs a few hours later.

Rather than eating Frankenfoods or skipping breakfast, opt for “The Virgin Diet” Shake, which you can throw together in about the time it takes to pour cereal and milk. What else takes five minutes to prepare but keeps you full for hours?

4. “The Virgin Diet” Shake is inexpensive
Tally up how much you spend on breakfast biscuits, muffins, or whatever else passes for breakfast. Surprised? “The Virgin Diet” All-in-One Shake provides a cost-effective alternative. For about the price of a large coffee, you get a high-quality, fat-burning protein breakfast that keeps you full and focused.

5. “The Virgin Diet” Shake travels well
Airport mystery food and exorbitant hotel continental breakfasts can break your budget and expand your waistline. That's why I never travel without “The Virgin Diet” Shake, whether I'm traveling globally for my book tour or (far too infrequently) escaping to Maui.

Simply pre-sort ingredients in a baggie and you're good to go. So Delicious makes small packages of coconut milk that travel easily.

I promote “The Virgin Diet” Shake for breakfast, but it can also step in for lunch, a snack, pre- or post-workout fuel, or any time you need steady, sustained sustenance.

Take my challenge: swap your normal breakfast for “The Virgin Diet” Shake for just two weeks. See if you don't have increased energy and focus all morning. And, when your jeans fit a little looser, that will be an added bonus!

“The Virgin Diet” Shake Recipe
Basic shake recipe:

1-2 scoops vegan pea-rice protein powder (aim for 20 – 25 grams of protein and 5 grams or less of sugar per serving)
1-2 tablespoons* fiber (fiber blend, chia seeds, hemp seeds, freshly ground flaxseed meal or nut butter)
1⁄2-1 cup organic frozen berries
1 cup liquid (water, unsweetened almond milk, or unsweetened coconut milk**)
1/2 – 1 cup kale or other leafy greens

I LIKE MY SHAKE THINNER!
1-2 scoops protein
1 serving fiber
1⁄2 cup organic frozen fruit
10 ounces liquid
1/2 cup kale or other leafy greens

I LIKE MY SHAKE THICKER!
1-2 scoops protein 1 serving fiber
1 serving chia seeds, hemp seeds or freshly ground flaxseeds
1 cup organic frozen fruit
1 cup kale or other leafy greens
8 ounces liquid
Ice cubes

* I really want you to pump up your fiber so build up to those 2 tablespoons per shake.
** I recommend So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk. If you use canned coconut milk, choose the light version and dilute 1⁄4 cup coconut milk with 3⁄4 cup water.

References:
1. Blom WA, et al. Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):211-20.

2. Leidy HJ, et al. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. Br J Nutr. 2009 Mar;101(6):798-803.

3. Mierlo CA, et al. Weight management using a meal replacement strategy: meta and pooling analysis from six studies. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 May;27(5):537-49.

4. Slavin JL. Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition. 2005 Mar;21(3):411-8.

-JJ

Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness expert JJ Virgin is author of NY Times bestseller The Virgin Diet and the bestselling Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy. She was also co-host of TLC's Freaky Eaters. JJ frequently blogs for The Huffington Post, LIVESTRONG.COM, and other prominent media outlets. She created the 4 x 4 Burst Training Workout and regularly appears on TV shows like Rachel Ray and The Today Show to discuss topics such as fast fat loss, weight loss, and food sensitivities.

Want more from JJ? Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

>> Read more of JJ Virgin's articles here! <<

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