Time for an update on the weight builder shake I use to keep my calorie count up, hoping to gain – or at least not lose – weight. After some exhaustive online research, I have concluded that the best product for my purposes is Serious Mass, from Optimum Nutrition. I have no connection with the company, save liking their products, but theirs is the ONLY line of protein powders I found which don’t contain appreciable amounts of heavy metals. Most others have one or several heavy metals barely below the FDA limits, so I find this to be significant. In addition, the balance and quality of their ingredients is better than most, and they come highly recommended even by GNC, who sell their own competing product. If buying it at GNC, be sure to mention their price matching program, because it will save you a LOT of money. In addition to other food, I drink half a serving (16 oz.) of the shake with an oz. of wheat dextrin, and an ounce of coconut oil, twice a day. That gives me 2300 calories, which is my maintenance level. With a little other food, that assures me of having enough calories that if my body is willing, it can bulk up. The NIH has a handy calculator at http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/ so you can find out how many calories you need.
I have streamlined my method for mixing the weight builder shake. I learned how to avoid entraining air into the mix, so it does not need foam removed, and I learned that crushing the pills was a bad idea both labor-wise and nutritionally. Now I use just three pieces of kitchenware, vs the dozen or so I used to use. This slide show gives my new procedure:
010 - IMPLEMENTS
Now all I need is the 16-oz soup bowl/cup, the measure for the milk, and the whisk. I also use a 1-ounce measuring spout like is used for whiskey, for the coconut oil, and a Tupperware dispenser for the fiber, but not everyone will need those. Since the mix is a lot like cake batter, a kitchen mixer would probably be useful, but extra cleanup, even if I had one.
020 FIRST THIRD OF LIQUID
I use one scoop of the mix (½ a serving according to the package!) and 12 oz. of whole milk, since I want extra calories any way I can get them. I begin by measuring one third of the milk (4 ounces) into the bowl, so the slurry does not stick to the bottom of the bowl as badly as it might. I have learned not to just eyeball the first part of the milk, because it is too easy to get it wrong, and the mixing doesn’t go well.
030 - MIX AND FIBER
I dump in the shake mix on top of the first 4 ounces of milk, and then add 6 tsp of wheat dextrin for fiber. If I were eating more regular solid food, I might not need the fiber, but believe me, you do NOT want to fail to have plenty of fiber in your diet, and some probiotics as well.
040 - REALLY STICKY STUFF
The first stage of mixing wets the powder by forcing it and the milk through the whisk. If there is too much liquid, there is not enough viscosity in the mix to break up the small lumps. If it’s too dry, then it just clumps EVEN WORSE into a big ball of glue on the whisk.
050 - MIX AND MIX MORE
It will take 50 to 100 strokes, all the way around the edge of the bowl, to get the stuff thoroughly mixed. As you begin mixing, the gooey stuff will clog the whisk, but keep on around and around the rim of the bowl, with a will. Occasionally shake the clumps that form inside the whisk into the bowl, so you can break them up.
060 - At some point before getting to the final proportions, the mix will have a consistency much like cake batter. That is when you can get the last dry patches or unmixed bits entrained into it, before adding the last of the liquid and mixing thoroughly, without splashing the gooey mess around.
070 - DRINKABLE AT LAST
The final result is a large volume of mixed goo, with few if any lumps, and little or no foam. Immediately after mixing, wash the whisk thoroughly, because this stuff is a hard-setting, egg- and casein-based adhesive. Do the same for the bowl and the sink. I drink it right from the mixing bowl, but it keeps well in the fridge if covered. You can make more in a large batch and save it, if that works better for you.
If you want to learn about my early struggle with weight loss, and see what I did for the first several months of using the weight builder shake,