I’m SO excited to share this with you! Anyone on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) knows it’s hard to find a protein powder that’s compliant with the dietary restrictions. Oh, right: nearly impossible! Meanwhile, all your non-AIP friends have countless choices, and even your Paleo friends have good options.

FINALLY, Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom fame took the time and effort to create a high-quality, organic protein powder made especially for people on the Autoimmune Protocol! I’m all about whole, home-made foods, but let’s face it – some days, the convenience of a protein powder is a WIN.

Introducing Vital Proteins Collagen Veggie Blend!

Why am I so psyched about Collagen Veggie Blend? For starters, it’s great for before and after training (I’ve become somewhat of a workout junkie). And, it’s a great to have on the trail, since I’m a bit lazy about my fruit and veggie intake out there.

Think about it – how often do you consume enough fruits and veggies in the backcountry? Heck, even at home?

>> Mic Drop <<

Veggies and fruits are an important source for vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidant (cancer-fighting) phytochemicals. Research tells us that 8 servings of veggies and fruit per day is the minimum for the lowest risk of chronic disease; the more you consume, the better off you are. The Autoimmune Protocol recommends 10 to 14 servings.

Especially for anyone who struggles to eat enough fruits and vegetables to meet their daily minimum, this stuff is great.

Below are some stats, and then I’ll tell you about my field trial with Collagen Veggie Blend.

Vital Proteins Collagen Veggie Blend

  • Totally AIP-compliant and Paleo friendly
  • Whole30 approved
  • All organic fruits and veggies
  • Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants
  • High in fiber
  • No added sugar
  • Free of gluten, dairy and soy
  • Low sugar content: 7g per 2 scoops
  • No emulsifiers, additives, preservatives, dyes, flavors, nuthin’
  • Easy to prepare
  • Super light weight
  • Tasty plain and in combo with other ingredients

Plentiful collagen helps to…

  • Maintain healthy joints
  • Enhance skin hydration and elasticity
  • Support bone strength
  • Maintain gut health

Basic nutrition info

1 serving (2 scoops) provides (% based on U.S. Daily Value):

  • 20g collagen
  • 6g fiber
  • 300% Vitamin C
  • 35% folate
  • 25% fiber
  • 3 servings of veggies and 1 serving of fruit (from 11 different fruits and veggies)

For more details, click the center of the images for a larger view):

click the center for a larger image

click the center for a larger image

Vegetables

  • 22.5 cups organic spinach
  • 5.25 cups organic kale
  • 7.5 medium organic carrots
  • 1 cup organic broccoli florets
  • 3 cups organic blueberries
  • 3 cups organic blackberries
  • 3 cups organic strawberries
  • 2 1/2 TBS organic lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 cup organic raspberries
  • 2/3 cup organic acerola cherries
  • 1/3 cup organic cranberries

 

Fruits

  • Organic Loose Leaf Baby Spinach (not in bag) – 7.98 per lb
  • Organic Kale – 2.50 per bunch
  • Organic Carrots – 2.49 per bunch (5-6 carrots)
  • Organic Broccoli – 2.49 per pound
  • Organic Blueberry -5.98 per 6 oz
  • Organic Blackberry – 4.99 per 10 oz (frozen)
  • Organic Strawberry – 5.98 per pound
  • Organic Lemon – $1 per lemon
  • Organic Raspberry – 5.98 per 6 oz
  • Organic Cherry – 5.29 per 8 oz (frozen, regular cherries, not acerola)
  • Organic Cranberry – 6.00 per pound (fresh/frozen, not dried)

 

Collagen

  • 10 oz tub Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides – $25.00

At first you might get some sticker shock when you see the price ($79 for a canister), but hang onto your knickers before you throw a hissy fit. Collagen Veggie Blend’s veggies and fruits are all organic, and the prep and dehydration is done for you. Sarah Ballantyne priced out the cost of buying all those organic veggies and fruits on your own… and the price of Collagen Veggie Blend is LESS than what it would cost you for the ingredients, time and effort to make it yourself.

The fact that it contains all organic produce (a priority for me), combined with being ready to go, easy to prepare, light weight for the trail, and AIP-compliant makes it totally worth it.

From Sarah’s website:

“Why the $79-price tag for a 22-oz tub? Quite simply, there’s a whole lot in a tub, the equivalent of about $50 in fresh organic fruits and veggies plus a 10-oz tub of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides which retails for $25, not to mention the time-savings and convenience of a shelf-stable powder that stirs nearly instantly into water.”

I’m in.

The field test

I had a bit of sticker shock at first, too. But I was among a group of beta-testers (thanks to The Paleo Mom for making me part of that!), so I took some to the Utah desert on my 3-week spring climbing fling this April.

After using it there, I plan to have it on all my backcountry trips this year! I’m also using it in town for a good protein and produce dose when I need it. This powder really helped power me through some tough climbing days in Utah. It’s easy to mix. It tastes good. It’s not too sweet. If you like a bit of sweet, it’s easy to add some coconut sugar, maple or honey to the mix. Or…

Smoothies!

I had smoothies every day on my climbing road trip. My method was to use half a serving (ie: one scoop) mixed with a TBS of Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (roughly 10g protein), to get my 20-30g protein fix in the smoothie on top of breakfast… I need about 40-50g protein to start my day out strong, even at 115 lbs! Kind of a drag when I pack up my food bag for long backpack trips… I eat more than most men… but I digress. I admit, I wanted to make it last as long as I could because it was awesome!

During my Utah road trip, I caught this fun video with the help of a friend:

At-home and car-camping smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

How to:

1. Mix all but the powders in your blender.

2. Stir in the powders after blending (makes it easier to clean the blender).

Serving it up for a desert camping treat!

This recipe works nicely in a regular blender, but I typically use my awesome immersion blender because it’s easier to clean. And, you can use it on the road with a car inverter! Both are visible in the video above. I mix the powders in with a spoon after using the blender.

Mix with yogurt!

I love to mix it in with plain coconut yogurt and strawberries, blueberries, or blueberry powder (I love Coyo brand coconut yogurt – it’s spendy but has no non-AIP gums or additives. And it’s firm like a Greek yogurt).

Trail preparation ideas

Mix it plain in water

Remember, it’s slightly tart, so bring a bit of sweet to add if you like.

Plain coconut milk drink

  • ¼ c dehydrated coconut milk powder
  • ¾ cup hot water (hot makes it easier to mix the milk powder, and it’s tasty like a chai!)
  • ½ to 1 tsp coconut sugar (plain is fine, but it’s nice with the sweetener)

To make: Simply heat the water to your desired temperature, mix in the coconut milk to dissolve it, and add the protein powder.

Blueberry coconut milk drink

  • ¼ c dehydrated coconut milk powder
  • ¾ cup hot water (hot makes it easier to mix the milk powder, and it’s tasty like a chai!)
  • ½ to 1 tsp coconut sugar (plain is fine, but it’s nice with the sweetener)
  • ½ to 1 tsp dried blueberry powder

To make: Simply heat the water to your desired temperature, mix in the coconut milk to dissolve it, and add the protein powder, blueberry powder, and sweetener to taste.

I hope you give Collagen Veggie Blend a try! You can get it here. I think you’ll love it as much as I do! Let me know in the comments what you think of it, where you take it on the trail (or river, or airplane, or ?), and if you come up with additional creative ideas for how to use it in the backcountry.

See you on the trail!