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Yesterday, I posted on the many ways we can maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent Heart Disease.  However, there is a little extra secret not many people know about – studies have shown that soy protein is involved in preventing heart disease.

Susan Potter, Ph.D at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found in her testing various soy products, that isolated soy protein worked best.  Her results showed that there was a 12 percent drop in total cholesterol and an 11.5 percent drop in the “bad cholesterol” (LDL).  Researchers then concluded:

The fact that a significant reduction was obtained by consuming only 50 grams a day of soy protein sets a practical and achievable goal that would be beneficial in the treatment of high blood cholesterol and coronary artery disease

Subsequent studies by Dr. Potter’s group further revealed that even 25 grams (approximately 1/2 cup) of soy protein daily “could result in significant reduction of cholesterol levels in those with elevated levels.”  In addition, The New England Journal summarized the findings of 38, well-controlled studies on soy protein and cholesterol.  They saw a nine-percent reduction of total cholesterol and nearly a 13-percent reduction of the bad LDL cholesterol.

Isn’t it refreshing that there can actually be a snack that is GOOD for you?  At the start of 2013, Shaklee launched its latest, greatest tasting soy protein shake.  This yummy drink contains all the 23 amino acids that our bodies need, but often don’t get every day.  Think of Amino Acids as links of protein on a bracelet.  They are all essential for the functions of your body.  Eight of these 23 are called Essential, because your body can not produce them on its own. You have to get them from an outside source.  These 8 are so crucial, because if you don’t get them, your body won’t make the other 15!  Our bodies NEED protein!

Make yourself a shake first thing in the morning, at lunch or for an evening snack.  Shaklee has two types of shakes to choose from: Energizing Soy Protein, or Shaklee Life Shakes.  All Shaklee shakes contain all 23 amino acids.
You might be wondering what is the best way to drink a Smoothee?  Here is a recipe for a “Wow Smoothee:”

Wow Smootheeshaklee-180-picture_2_2013

1/2 – 1 cup Soy or Almond Milk (I drink Silk Unsweetened Original, but I just found out you can make it yourself!  Recipe below)

1 or 2 scoops of a Shaklee Life Shake (one if having as a snack, two if a meal)

1 cup peach or pear, or 1 apple, cut into pieces (seeds removed)

1 frozen ripe banana

1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli (or kale or spinach)

Sprinkle of flax or chia seeds

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed, and mix until creamy.  Tip:  Serve to kids in a colored cup so they won’t be scared by the green!  The riper the banana, the more the broccoli taste is canceled.

DIY Almond Milk

This is a complete money saver and so easy!  I found this courtesy of Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine.

Serving Size:  4 cups of milk

Step 1  Soak 2 Cups of raw almonds and 5 cups of water in a bowl for at least 2 hours overnight

Step 2 Mix the almonds and water in a blender on high until frothy and smooth, about 5 minutes.  (Sounds like forever, but keep blending!)

Step 3 Line a strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth; place over a bowl.  Add half of the almond mixture; let sit 10 minutes, then squeeze out the liquid.  Discard the solids.  Repeat with second half.

It tastes great with a Smoothee, it gives me energy, and best of all the price is right.  I used to love going to Jamba Juice when I would visit California and would come back home so sad there was none where I lived.  Now I don’t have to be sad because I can make an even healthier shake for half the price – at home!