I had to – I’m in an Aloha mindset right now because I’m reviewing my new -er, actually, I’ve used them for a while – favorite brand, ALOHA. They switched their look recently, so it feels new to me, and I think it’s gorgeous.
But before I geek out over packaging like I tend to do…let’s talk protein. Specifically what I try to avoid when looking for a plant based protein, and how ALOHA’s protein is the bomb. They make plant based protein-packed products (say that five times) that are really, freakin good.
First, my weird relationship with protein powders…
I personally find protein powders to be difficult to shop for. Finding a great tasting powder with clean ingredients can be a delicate balance.
I’ve tried so many over the years I’ve learned the ingredients I’m not into for health reasons, like no way am I going to purchase whey. The ingredients I absolutely try to avoid are…
Soy: Soy is like a puppy. It gets into everything. Labels may be loud and proud about being gluten free and dairy free, but always be sure to check for soy because it’s in so many “healthy” things!
Gluten and/or Dairy: Luckily, there are plenty of dairy free and gluten free options on the market, so this isn’t too difficult but I’m always sure to check.
Refined Sugar. But, stevia tastes kind of gross too… : HMM this is the tough one… sugar. You want it to taste good, but you can’t fathom the idea of a healthy plant based protein supplement adding a ton of sugar to your morning smoothie? Been there.
As a general rule of thumb, I don’t AVOID sugar completely but instead find the most unrefined options. I love anything sweet – so coconut sugar, dates, coconut nectar, and monk fruit extract are options I enjoy and incorporate into my meals in moderation.
Stevia is this odd exception. From a sugar substitute stand point, I think it’s actually a solid option. I personally found that it can cause bloating for me and above all I’m not fond of the taste. Some love it, but I think it’s very distinct, does anyone agree? For that reason I can detect it in a smoothie almost instantly, and I rather add additional dates or berries to give a hint of sweetness rather than stevia.
If you share my weird aversion to Stevia, ALOHA doesn’t use it, FYI. More on the sugars they use below.
I sampled ALOHA’s plant based protein, protein bars, green superfood powders and teas. All delicious and easy to incorporate into my lifestyle. So I broke it all down below…
Why I love them: The branding nerd in me is obsessed with the packaging – it’s so beautiful. But beyond aesthetics the benefits of each flavor is tailored to different needs, and the blends are not ordinary. They add a couple great ingredients that I don’t always see in tea, like sea buckthorn featured in the beauty blend. Love it.
Ingredients / Benefits: Depends on the flavor! I love using the Sleep flavor to relax in the evening. It’s full of calming ingredients like chamomile and lavender. I LOVE the Beauty Tea blend and the Clean Green is fantastic for detoxifying. It features my favorite tea ingredient ever, roasted dandelion root.
How I use them: I love making a huge batch of iced tea early in the week to drink for the next couple days. I like to blend the Clean Green flavor (2 tea temples) plus 1 tea temple of the Beauty Tea to bring in some of the Hibiscus flavor.
Best Flavor: The Beauty blend. It tastes amazing, and I love that it is decaf so I can drink it anytime of day – and I’m so into the beauty and skin benefits.
Why I love them: EASY. Easy and filling, I can sprinkle this protein in a smoothie or stir it into oats and make it a simple part of my routine. I use it usually in the morning as part of breakfast, but will occasionally blend 1 scoop with some almond milk and strawberries as a snack later in the day, or post workout.
Ingredients / Benefits: Sweetened with coconut sugar (my favorite sweetener) and monk fruit extract rather than stevia, it’s (in my opinion) the tastiest and best alternative for a low sugar protein powder. It’s also a plant based blend of hemp, pumpkin seed, and pea protein. I love that it includes hemp, but hemp protein alone has a flavor I don’t care for so this is a great blend to tone down the flavor hemp brings.
How I use it: In smoothies, mixed in overnight oats, shaken with almond milk, raw energy bites, or baked into breads and muffins.
Best Flavor: Banana! It’s delicious – like, best protein powder I’ve ever tried – and I love that I can add it to an entirely green smoothie made with leafy greens and zucchini or cauliflower and it brings just the right hint of sweetness without the added fruit.
Why I love them: Besides being full of protein (so they’re filling), ALOHA bars have really original flavors that are nothing like the ordinary and often taste-free, protein bars you may be used to.
Ingredients / Benefits: 14 g. of protein per bar, plus healthy fats from ingredients like sunflower butter and cashew butter, and plenty of fiber. Fat, fiber and protein are the trifecta when looking for a solid snack option. Keeps you satisfied!
How I use them: ON. THE. GO. Like all bars, they’re convenient to pack in my bag and head out the door. I pretty much save them for on the go situations – and just blend a smoothie at home if I’m looking for a protein fix there.
Best Flavor: SO tough. The peanut butter and jelly I like a lot because it’s different from the typical PB and Chocolate flavor you find in bars a lot. I also like the mint chocolate chip but honestly all of the flavors are delicious.
Why I love them: I feel like I’m repeating myself but… EASE. To be able to just stir a super nutritious packet of green goodness into a glass of water is the best. Like the bars I keep on win my purse or travel with them for those occasions where you can’t seem to find a good smoothie place anywhere.
Ingredients / Benefits: So many. With ingredients like moringa, spirulina, wheatgrass and oyster mushrooms, you’re getting a lot of benefits in each packet. Vitamin A, D, and Iron to name a few…
How I use them: Stir them in water. Simple! I have also blended them in a smoothie but the draw of this product (for me, anyway) is that I can turn water into green juice in a matter of seconds. I like to use them in the afternoon when I need a pick me up but don’t want to reach for any more caffeine.
Best Flavor: I’ve only tried the Original Green – but I love it so why mess with a good thing? I like it. Also maybe I’m the only person who feels that super healthy green things should taste a little…green? That’s a part of the experience! In all seriousness the flavor is mild with a hint of coconut from the coconut water included in the ingredients.
There you have it, a complete run down on one of my favorite brands to incorporate into my routine. Be sure to follow them on Instagram, and I’ll be making a recipe with the banana protein soon!
This post was sponsored by ALOHA, however all opinions are my own.