Monthly Archives: December 2016

Arbonne Protein Powder and Shakes Reviews

While doing research for this article and looking at Arbonne protein powder reviews online, I had some reservations.

I’m friends with people who sell it, and they’re generally very passionate about Arbonne’s shakes and other products. And I sell a plant-based protein powder of my own, so this opens the door for potential bias.

So first off, let me say I have always thought of Arbonne as a good company that has helped a lot of people lead healthier lives.

But the goal of every review post I write is to present the facts based on my analysis of the nutrition label and ingredients list.

Read on to learn what I discovered about Arbonne protein powder and shakes.

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Arbonne Protein Powder Review

Similar to my other reviews, I am reviewing Arbonne protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste.

This is what I look for in a healthy protein powder:

The ingredients Arbonne uses in its protein powders may not be as clean as you might think.

Here’s proof …

arbonne protein powder reviewarbonne essentials daily protein boost
Arbonne Feel Fit Pea Protein Shake MixArbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost
Grams of Protein 20 10
Protein Source(s) Pea protein, rice protein, cranberry protein Pea protein, rice protein, cranberry protein
Grams of Sugar 7 0
Free of “Natural” FlavorsNoYes
Free of Gums & ThickenersNoYes
VeganYes Yes
Cost Per Gram $.06 $.06

The Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost actually looks like a decent product and I like the protein blend. It’s unflavored though and not organic.

Arbonne also has an “Ingredients Policy” page that states:

Being Certified Arbonne Clean  begins with the ingredients that we use, taking the best from nature, and embracing the idea that healthy living starts from the inside out — what we choose to include in a product is just as important as what we choose to put on our skin or in our bodies. We choose carefully, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that we’ve done the research.

arbonne protein reviews

After reviewing the ingredients in Arbonne’s protein powders and shakes, my problem is not what they formulate without, as stated above … it’s what they formulate their protein powders with.

If you dig into the ingredients list on Arbonne’s flavored protein powders and shakes, there are some things clean eaters should be very concerned about:

1. Some Arbonne Protein Powders Have 7 Grams of Sugar

Cane sugar is the #2 ingredient after the protein blend in Arbonne Essential Protein Powder (now called FeelFit Pea Protein Shake). Huge red flag. Might as well drink a milkshake.

2. Arbonne Essentials Protein Powder Has “Natural” Flavors

Natural flavors are chemical-filled junk and they’re definitely NOT natural. Read my article “What Are Natural Flavors?” if you want to know more about this mystery ingredient.

Bottom line: “natural” flavors can contain hundreds of different ingredients that food companies don’t have to disclose to you. Many of these are chemicals in standard “flavors.” Not saying Arbonne uses them but it’s worth asking them where their flavors come from and how they’re made.

3. Arbonne’s Proteins Have Gums, Fillers, and Other Highly Processed, Artificial Ingredients

Arbonne Protein Powders (and most others on the market) contain processed thickeners, fillers, gums that can cause gut health issues.

​Arbonne FeelFit Protein Powder Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

arbonne feelfit pea protein powder nutritionn
Ingredients: Arbonne Protein Matrix Blend (pea protein isolate, cranberry protein, rice protein), cane sugar, cocoa, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower oil, chicory root, stevia leaf extract, xanthan gum, flax seed, guar gum, modified tapioca starch, dicalcium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, rice hulls, water, sodium ascorbate, tocopherol, silicon dioxide.

​Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost Nutrition

Let’s wrap this up …

Arbonne Protein Powder Reviews Summed Up

Based on my nutrition and ingredients analysis, I recommend avoiding Arbonne FeelFit Protein Shake Mix (formerly Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake Mix). Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost is a decent product because it contains no sugar or other additives … just wish they used organic ingredients.

No Bake Chocolate Protein Balls (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free)

no bake protein bar

Creating this no-bake chocolate protein balls recipe (that will please both vegan and paleo palettes, by the way) stirred up some hilarious mental images of the classic SNL Schweddy Balls skit.

All jokes aside, these protein balls are made for clean eaters. They contain 100% real food ingredients, no added sugar, and are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly.

Best of all, there’s no baking required. You just mix all the ingredients together, roll the dough into balls, and refrigerate it.

My Schweddy balls (sorry, couldn’t resist) are a guilt-free dessert too. One ball will only set you back 122 calories, while delivering a healthy balance of carbs, good fats, and protein.

No Bake Chocolate Protein Balls Recipe (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

What’s In ‘Em:

  • paleo protein balls ingredients3 scoops Pure Food Raw Cacao protein powder
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup organic dried dates (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1.5 cups organic coconut cream + 1/4 cup water (or .5 cups organic coconut milk powder and 3/4 cup warm water)
  • 1 oz. organic dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao … here’s a good list of bars if you’re dairy free)
  • 2 T slivered almonds

How to Make ‘Em:

  1. Put the dates in a food processor and turn on for about a minute.
  2. Add pecans and pulse 8-10 times.
  3. Stir in the almond flour, protein powder, and coconut milk powder. Turn on food processor for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Use a sharp knife to chop up dark chocolate into fine shavings and combine with slivered almonds in a bowl.
  5. Roll the dough from the food processor into balls. Roll each chocolate protein ball in the bowl of slivered almonds/dark chocolate shavings.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your protein balls into 5 rows of 3 (or however many you want).
  7. Refrigerate overnight. They’ll be ready to eat the next day. They should keep in a tupperware in the fridge for about a week.
vegan protein balls
Here’s what the batter looks like.

Nutrition Facts (per ball … this recipes makes 15 balls):

  • 122 calories
  • 9 g fat
  • 9 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar)
  • 5 g protein

Here’s the final product:

These chocolate protein balls would be a hit at any holiday party (and gives you a funny ice-breaker starter because someone is sure to mention the Schweddy balls skit). Or just make them as a healthy snack like I did. Either way, you’ll be happy you tried this awesome recipe.

See more recipes like this every day when you follow me on Instagram:

Unable to communicate with Instagram.

Orgain Review: The Truth About Their Protein Powders & Shakes

Finally, the long-awaited, much requested Orgain protein powder review.

Just like my other reviews, in this article I’ll show you exactly why clean eaters should avoid Orgain organic protein powders (and shakes). 

I’ve broken this into two versions: a short version for those who have a limited attention span like me, and the full version for those who want to explore Orgain’s ingredients and nutrition facts a little deeper.

(Disclaimer: I sell a protein powder. This admittedly creates some potential bias. That’s why my reviews focus on Orgain’s nutrition facts and ingredients. At the end of the day, this is just one person’s opinion).

Click here to get instant access to my FREE Google spreadsheet comparing 20 of the best plant protein powders (including Orgain) by ingredients, nutrition, and cost.

Orgain Protein Powder Review

First, let’s get this out of the way: I evaluate protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste. If taste is your number one priority when choosing a protein powder, then this article probably isn’t for you. I’ve tasted most of Orgain’s products and they taste quite good.

Anyways …

When I analyze whether a protein powder is “healthy” or not, I look at the only two objective pieces of information you will see on any protein powder package:

  1. The Ingredients
  2. The Nutrition Facts

The ingredients and nutrition facts label will help you answer these important questions:

  • Do they use organic, real food ingredients?
  • Any allergens or inflammation-causing soy, dairy, or gluten?
  • What about fillers, natural flavors, and gums? (these are all warning signs of a cheap, highly processed protein powder)
  • How much protein does it have per serving?
  • What are the protein sources?
  • How much sugar is added?
  • What other sweeteners (real or artificial) do they use?

Orgain’s ingredients and nutrition facts information for their protein powder and shakes reveal a lot:

orgain organic protein revieworgain organic protein powderOrgain Nutritional Shake Orgain Vegan Nutritional ShakeHealthy Kids ShakeOrgain Slim Protein Powder review
Orgain Organic Protein PowderOrgain Meal PowderOrgain Nutritional ShakeOrgain Vegan Nutritional ShakeHealthy Kids ShakeSlim Protein Powder
Grams of Protein 21 20 16 16 8 20
Protein Source(s)Organic brown rice protein, organic pea protein, organic chia seed, organic hemp proteinOrganic brown rice protein, organic pea protein, organic chia seed Organic milk protein concentrate, organic whey protein concentrate Organic brown rice protein concentrate, organic chia seeds, organic flax powder, organic hemp protein concentrateOrganic milk protein concentrate, organic whey protein concentrate Organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, organic chia seed
Grams of Sugar 1 1 12 9 13 1
Free of Natural FlavorsNoNoNoNoNo No
Free of Gums & ThickenersNoNoNoNoNoNo
Organic YesYesYesYesYesYes
Vegan YesYes NoYes No Yes
Amazon Review Rating 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.2 4.4
Cost Per Gram $.02 $.04 $.10 $.08 $.09 $.05

Let’s start with what I like about Orgain …

  1. Orgain only uses Organic ingredients.
  2. The plant-based protein sources in Orgain vegan products are solid.
  3. Orgain was developed by a medical doctor and cancer survivor.

However, when I analyzed the ingredients list on many of Orgain’s products, there were some things that concerned me:

1. Sugar content

The sugar content in many Orgain Shakes is quite high:

  • Orgain Original Shakes: 12 grams
  • Orgain Plant-based Shakes: 9 grams
  • Orgain “Healthy” Kids Shakes: 13 grams

Orgain uses LOTS of different sweeteners. Tap/click the following links to learn about some of the negative health effects of each:

2. “Natural flavors

The Environmental Working Group says natural flavors are:

Unspecified mixtures of as many as 100 flavoring substances and solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives.

Food manufacturers are only required to list “flavors” on their ingredients lists, without revealing the original sources or chemical mixtures of these flavors.

Long story short:

[bctt tweet=”Your natural flavors may not be natural at all” username=”nutritionguy”]

To learn more about this mystery ingredient, read my article “What Are Natural Flavors?“.


So let’s look at the big picture view of all the junk ingredients in Orgain’s products … I’ve highlighted ingredients that I personally avoid:

orgain protein reviewOrgain Meal PowderOrgain Nutritional Shake Orgain Vegan Nutritional ShakeHealthy Kids ShakeOrgain Slim Protein Powder review
ProductOrgain Organic Protein PowderOrgain Meal PowderOrgain Nutritional ShakeOrgain Vegan Nutritional ShakeHealthy Kids ShakeSlim Protein Powder
Nutritionorgain vegan protein powder nutrition factsorgain meal nutrition factsorgain nutritional shake nutrition factsorgain vegan shake nutrition factsorgain kids nutrition factsorgain slim nutrition facts
Ingredientsorgain ingredients - organic protein blendorgain meal replacement ingredientsorgain original shake nutrition factsorgain ingredients - vegan shake orgain kids shake ingredientsorgain slim ingredients

Phew, that’s a lot of red flags! Let’s sum up this review …

Orgain Reviews: The Final Verdict

Orgain’s sugar-free products are cost-effective and contain all organic ingredients. 

However, many of their products contain 10 grams or more of sugar per serving. The average American already gets plenty of sugar (82 grams per day).

I recommend sticking with one of their sugar free products or looking for a plant-based protein powder instead.

Click here to get instant access to my FREE Google spreadsheet comparing 20 of the best plant protein powders (including Orgain) by ingredients, nutrition, and cost.