“Fran, what do you put in your protein shake?”

I get asked this question a lot.  I really depend on my shake for a delicious, satisfying, and nutrient-dense start to my day.  I often work right through lunchtime, do my yoga practice and don’t eat a second meal until somewhere between 2 and 4 PM, and my shake keeps me energized, full and focused all that time.

Here’s how I make it.  All the ingredients are usually organic.  Yes, sometimes there’s a lot in it, but it only takes a couple minutes to put together, and breakfast is the one meal I eat on the run as I’m getting ready for the day.  This blend of ingredients really works: my shake is an essential part of my health and fitness.  Everything is gluten-free, of course.  If you want me to ship you stuff, or pick up in my waiting room, of if you need help customizing your own shake, I can help. I want you to have a great nutritional foundation each morning.

  • 4 ounces of unsweetened coconut milk, either plain or vanilla. Apart from being delicious, coconut milk is a healthy base, with beneficial plant-based fats that support the brain and nervous system, and lauric acid, which supports the immune system. The fats help with satiety too, meaning it keeps me full longer. I like SO Delicious, because they’ve taken the carageenan OUT!

I recommend it over almond milk or rice milk, which are just empty carbs.

  • about 1/4 cup of frozen berries. Why frozen? Because berries are one of the most important foods to get organic, and it’s easy to stock up on frozen organic bags.  Berries are low glycemic, high anti-oxidant, and high fiber.  Recent research suggests they are one of the best foods for brain health.
  • Seeds: Generous portions (1-3 Tablespoons) of raw organic Chia and/or Pumpkin seeds.  Chia is a source of protein, calcium, healthy fat, and fiber, and enhances both the taste and texture of my shake.  But don’t let it sit too long: it absorbs liquid and your shake will become gelatinous muck. Pumpkin seeds are great digestive support, and can add almost a porridge-y thickness to your shake, if you like it that way.
  • Collagen. This is an amazing product, and I always recommend it to anyone with concerns about hair, skin, nails, or tissue repair. It helps build muscle, is good for your brain, and improves joint flexibility and mobility. Sounds great, right? It is! It is flavorless and blends easily, so you can also add it to other things, like coffee, or tea. I recommend the collagen from Upgraded Self (link to right ===>).  By the way, collagen is heat stable, but not blender stable, so stir it in gently after you blend. For more reasons why collagen should become part of your daily menu, see my article on bone broth.
  • For my protein powder, I vary it among any of these:
    • My current favorite is…. Beef protein! No, it doesn’t taste like a blended burger – yuk! This Paleo shake tastes like a most delicious milkshake, in vanilla or chocolate. I love this because it is a non-dairy, highly assimilable protein with so many benefits. It includes collagen (see above) and so much more. Please let me know if you want to try!
    • A  detox/anti-inflammatory shake. When clients start working with me, they usually need to both detox and decrease inflammation. This is a perfect way to do it, and I often have them use this shake for at least a few months. No one minds! It is so tasty, and helps heal systemic inflammation, soothe the gut, and even relieve aches and pains.
    • Non-dairy (vegan) meal replacement. This is a great product that is well-tolerated by anyone, well-formulated, comes in chocolate or vanilla, and is quite tasty and filling.
    • My last choice these days is whey. If you like whey, make it the cleanest whey powder available, retaining the fragile immune boosting components available in raw milk, from cows fed only on chemical free grass pasture. This is often tolerated even by those sensitive to casein.
    •   NOTE: I do not recommend soy-based powders, as soy can suppressive to the thyroid and estrogenic, nor do I recommend egg whites, which inevitably cause an intolerance to eggs.
    • If you are buying powders on your own, please make sure they contain no sucrose, fructose, or artificial sweeteners, and that the total sugars are 5 grams or less.
  • 2 Tablespoons of Coconut or MCT Oil Energy-boosting fat from coconut oil can help with weight management, brain function, and also gives a nice frothy texture.  Added bonus: Coconut oil is about 50% monolaurin, which is an immune-booster and anti-viral. For the best coconut oil, go here. For MCT or even more concentrated Brain Octane oil, you can buy from me or from Upgraded Self  (link to the right ===>)
  • Some fiber.  You may not need this if you add seeds, but most people need all the extra fiber they can get.  Look for a product that is gluten-free, and provides fiber comes from fruits, vegetables, roots and seeds.  Many commercial products are essentially gut irritants, and that may make you “go” but not help you get healthier or more regular.  Adding fiber to your shake extends the time before you’ll be hungry again, because it significantly reduces glycemic load. I offer several different fiber products in the office, as different people do better with different products.
  • If you’re a vegetarian, add 1/4 teaspoon Taurine powder.  It’s important for heart health, immune support, and a calm and healthy nervous system.  It also helps stabilize blood sugar and aids fat metabolism.

When the weather is cold, I usually pour a little hot water over the frozen fruit; in the summer I’ll add ice instead.  Please see my article on the best and worst blenders; I’ve got lots of experience in this, and you may as well benefit before you waste money like I did!

Craving chocolate? Each of my favorite shakes (Paleo, detox and vegan/non-dairy) comes in chocolate as well. Or you can add a scoop of raw organic cacao powder, cacao nibs, and some xylitol.

So there you have it: my secret formula for my morning shake that keeps you full, focused and energized for 5-6 hours.

13 thoughts on ““Fran, what do you put in your protein shake?”

  1. Hey Fran, I love getting your newletters and hearing about what you are doing. You inspire me to start a protein shake routine (no wonder you are so gorgeous and radiant..consuming all this great stuff) Are these products you sell? Please advise how I can order them. I think of you often and trust that you are doing well. Love, Kathryn


    1. Hi Kathryn, and thanks so much for all your kind words. Yes, you can order the products through the links, by calling Moss Nutrition (800-851-5444) or by going to their website. Just tell them you are my client, as they do not sell directly to consumers. (For those of you who are local, you can pick them up at my office, as well.)


  2. Fran – I have been wanting to incorporate a protein shake into my morning/daily routine but I am alergic to tree nuts. Can you help me adjust your shake so I can try it?


  3. Hi Fran,

    Can your Collagen product be used in conjunction with Beef protein or is that overkill?



    1. Hi Marion, If you’re using Design for Health’s Pure Paleo (or one of the private label versions of it 😉 it includes collagen, so there is really no need to add more. Otoh, while still using Pure Paleo, I will add plain collagen powder to my coffee or tea sometimes, along with MCT, pastured butter and/or Brain Octane Oil.
      hope that helps!


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