Drink Like the Professionals

Want to know what top NBA players and dozens of other professional athletes drink to “stock up” on energy?  Are you thinking it is a powdered protein shake or that it comes in pretty colors?  Afraid not!  Please read on.

Energy…..the elusive part of us that we just don’t have enough of.  We look everywhere to try to find that magic blend of chemicals and extracts that will keep us going throughout the day.  Some athletes look to powdered and processed energy drinks to provide protein and fuel for work outs and competitions.

But the energy and protein shake business is a multibillion dollar mountain of lies.  The sad thing is that young athletes are falling into the trap of false and inaccurate advertising.  Look at what manufacturers call “healthy energy shakes” and you will find chemicals, preservatives, caffeine and soy isolates.  None of these ingredients will give your body what it needs to perform at its peak.

protein shake

This “nutritional” shake contains cow colostrum (yeah, google that), processed soy isolates, sugar AND artificial sweeteners, preservatives, artificial flavor, and salt….enjoy!

But wait…did you say soy isolates?….isn’t soy a good thing?  Yes, it is when it’s in a pure, whole form like soybeans, edamame, and tempeh.  But the soy that is contained in these protein drinks has been broken down or hydrolyzed into pieces and by-products.  When the soy protein is broken down, the body can no longer use it the way nature intended.  (The same is done with hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup).  When natural foods are processed, they are no longer “natural”.  This makes them unhealthy. (See my post “Little Boys Developing Breasts? The Soy Controversy” and “Why This Breast Cancer Survivor Eats Soy Every Day)

Your body is an amazing machine.  But machines can’t function properly on substandard fuel. Luckily, there are forward thinking food masters who can suggest natural alternatives. Meet Master Chef Dave Choi.

Chef Dave Choi vegan chef

Master Chef Dave Choi

Chef Dave owned 3 popular successful vegan restaurants in Chicago and has been the personal “nutritional trainer” for many well-known personalities.  Many of his clients are professional athletes and hollywood personalities.  But that’s not what matters to Chef Dave.  He is on a mission to share his knowledge about feeding everybody  the best way so we can live a happy and healthy life.

Chef Dave Choi has been using his recipes, cooking style, and philosophy to change people’s lives for years.   He has always believed, like so many doctors and researchers are just finding out, that your diet is directly related to your ultimate health (or lack thereof) .  Here’s what Chef Dave told me about diet:

“There are 3 basic essential elements that you body needs: air, water, and food.  Think how you would feel if your air was cut off….not giving your body nourishing food has the same effect.  Eating a plant-based diet is the best way to give your body what it needs to be healthy.

We eat food that has chemicals, preservatives, and caffeine, which our bodies can’t use.  It takes a lot of energy for your body to break those things down so you can digest them.  For example, on Thanksgiving, we eat so much food….we should have a lot of energy, right?  But after we eat, instead of playing football, all we can do is watch football on TV.  The food we are eating is not giving us what our body needs for energy.”

Chef Dave also told me that 95% of his clients that he sees for allergy problems (this includes upper respiratory allergies and asthma, as well as autoimmune disorders and skin conditions like psoriasis) improve dramatically by following a plant-based diet .  They usually see significant improvement in 4 – 6 weeks.  This is all done without pills, medicine, or supplements….it’s just about your diet.

He also works with patients undergoing chemo and radiation to provide food that is gentle to your body, so your body can use its energy on building up its immune system instead of on breaking down processed and chemically laced food.

More than just “food”, your diet should support your health and being.  His philosophy “Just Be” is his way of life and one he likes to share.  It means be present in the moment and be thankful for what you have and how you feel. Chef Dave helped me write a chapter in my book, 100 Perks of Having Cancer plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It.

Here is Dave’s recipe for an energy shake that supplies the body with essential nutrients needed to perform at its best.  Great for athletes, but also for anyone that wants to start the day in a healthy way.

“The Natural”

Chef Dave Choi’s energy shake for athletes (or those trying to sustain or gain weight) contains simple whole foods

(used by athletes like top members of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls) 

vegan energy shake recipe

  • try to use organic  ingredients
  •  1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond, rice or soy milk or make your own!!
  • 1 banana…try to use brown ones which have TNF (tumor necrosis factor) in them to fight cancer
  • 1/5 of brick of tofu (this is optional…silken is best but you can use firm too)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup of mango/papaya/peaches/persimmon (include one or more of these as they are “low acid” fruits)
  • you can add 1/2 cup blueberries or strawberries…… (I used frozen to give the shake a cold chill) these types of fruits are high in natural sugar and acid and should be taken in the morning so they burn off before bed time
  • 1/4 cup of  walnuts or 1-2 TBS pine nuts
  • 1 cup of de-stemmed kale, spinach, arugala, watercress, or other greens (not shown)
Makes one 24 oz shake. Nutritional info based on using soy milk, walnuts and berries
calories: 735, protein: 26.2 g, fat: 43 g, carbs: 80 g, fiber: 20.5 g
if you sub out 2 TBS pine nuts for walnuts  and almond milk for soy milk:
calories: 670, protein: 11.7 g fat: 30 g, carbs: 64 g, fiber:  17 g
It is important that you include all the ingredients, but you can choose the type of milk, fruit and nuts, and adjust the taste for your preference. everyone has their own signature.
If you just want a smoothie for breakfast, and you don’t need to worry about the calories or protein, you can cut the nuts added in half.  If you add greens and need to neutralize the greens, you can add the juice of 1/2 lemon, which will increase the alkalinity and reduce the acid.
The avocado is loaded with GOOD fatty acids..it is high in  antioxidants and will give you fuel and strength as will the fruits.
This shake is high in natural protein,(although your body does not need “high” protein to be healthy, but helps when going through chemo or struggling with weight loss) gluten-free and no yeast. It will give you energy and build muscle and is good for endurance athletes such as swimmers, runners, bikers, moms and dads trying to keep up with their kids :)….
energy shake

This shake was amazingly smooth

Give this shake a try.  You can use this shake to sub for a meal or, if you’re an athlete, use it in addition to a healthy diet.  (preferably a plant-based one)
You only get one body…….fuel it right!
morning energy shake

The recipe makes 24 oz, so you can save some for a snack in the fridge if you choose. Use within 24 hours

*Award winning Vegan Chef Dave Choi has devoted his life to guiding people toward living an optimal quality of life, whether through his words or cuisine. Dave is also a master of martial arts and healing. As a master chef for 30 years he has cooked for an impressive list of famous athletes, hollywood stars and famous musicians, and has helped countless others manage their illnesses and chronic conditions using diet.  Dave has conducted cooking demonstrations at Taste of Chicago, and numerous celebrity charity events where he show-cased with Emeril Lagasse. He is on the advisory board for the American Heart Association and his expertise has been cited in publications such as Chicago Sun Times, Conscious Choices, Chicago Magazine and Windy City Times. He has appeared on WGN-TV and Comcast Cable’s Health Channel. 



Find Chef Dave on Facebook



Categories: diet, health, healthy recipes, nutrition, vegan recipes

Tags: , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. It’s interesting that Chef Dave used Thanksgiving dinner as an example to show the reason why you need certain food to get energy. It’s is to right on the point. The Natural looks like a power drink! I hope more protein drinker will read your article! Although it’s appealing to open a package and mix it with liquid. I don’t drink any energy or protein shake, but this one made me want to try. 🙂 Can someone make one for me…?

    • Yes! I’ll be right over! Chef Dave is amazing and his son is as well. So many people have learned from Chef Dave (many celebrities, but Dave doesn’t like to brag and he says he “respects his famous friend’s privacy”)
      He makes these vegan Asian buns that I cannot get enough of!
      Hopefully I will get more recipes to share.
      Thanks Kaho!

  2. One of the many reasons I just try to stick to water. And not the flavored crap. How do they get away with calling that junk “water” is beyond me.

    Great article!

  3. Great article! I’ve heard a rumour that some of our Aussie Rules footy players are being given breast milk because it’s so good for you! Talk about dedication…

  4. Ran out to get all the ingredients for this shake. Loved it! Very filling and tastes delicious!! Can’t wait until tomorrow so I can have another. It will now be a daily part of my diet. Great article!

  5. Love this one Savvy Sis…i have many friends that i sent this to and they headed out immediately to buy the shake ingredients! I am so sickened by all the protein shakes that are marketed to teenage and pre teen kids..they are all crap! Thanks!!

  6. Seemingly healthy money grabs infuriate me!!!! Love this article! More people need to know… keep sharing.

So whaddya think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: