No Whey! 10 Whey-Free Protein Supplements For Your Paleo Plan
First they took our carbs and then they took our (gasp) cheese?! Well, all dairy products, to be exact. A Paleo diet requires that you eliminate all the junk you'd expect — like sugar, processed foods, and booze — but to truly eat like a caveman, you also need to steer clear of whey, a milk-derived protein that you'll find in tons of protein supplements. Never fear; we've searched the health food aisle and the caveman pantry and rounded up 10 portable, convenient, delicious, protein-rich snacks that even the strictest Paleo diet enthusiast can enjoy.
Paleo Pro Protein Powder
Protein powders have come a long way since the chemical-laden whey and soy-based options we used to associate only with meathead bodybuilders, and perhaps nothing signifies that quite like Paleo Pro Protein Powder's ($40) "farm to shake" tagline. This is a protein powder for clean-eating, real-food enthusiasts who don't always have time to grill up their grass-fed beef on the go. Protein is derived from beef and egg whites — grass-fed and hormone-free, of course — and offered in five stevia-sweetened flavors (including a seasonal pumpkin spice option because #PumpkinSpiceEverything) as well as "plain naked."
Dope Naturally Melonaid Protein Powder
Developed by a personal trainer who grew up in Poland, where she greeted each day with a glass of fresh beet juice (for reals), Dope Naturally Melonaid ($45) is a unique combo of (all organic) sprouted watermelon seeds, beets, dragonfruit, and strawberries — antioxidant-rich superfoods touted for their ability to slow the aging process of skin and muscles. With eight grams of protein in each 140-calorie scoop, it's not the highest protein option out there, but the innovative formula is worth mixing into your Paleo snack options, especially if you're looking for a break from animal products.
We love the Paleo diet for no other reason than it managed to turn bacon into a health food, and Epic Bar ($30 for a box of 12) is capitalizing on that with its Pork Maple Uncured Bacon protein bars, packing B vitamins, Omega-3s, eight grams of protein, and unlimited #BACONLUST. Bloody Mary served separately.
Bricks Bars ($30 for a box of 10) take everything you'd cook up in your favorite organic Paleo skillet meal and put it into a portable bar you can stash in your purse or desk — you know, for when you're not toting your skillet around. Grass-fed and finished beef is combined with ingredients like carrot pieces, chopped Granny Smith apples, and raw hemp seeds, and its prepared with complementary spice blends. Just because you only have 30 seconds to eat your lunch doesn't mean it has to taste like it.
Grow Protein Bars
Grow Protein Bars ($30 for a box of 12) derive their 12 grams of protein from watermelon seeds, making them one of the few plant-based protein bar options in the Paleo-friendly category (where my vegans at?). Each of the four flavors is made from eight or fewer ingredients, all of which are organic and non-GMO.
Perfect Fit Protein Powder
We want to hate the Tone It Up girls for being so pretty and perfect, but it turns out we love everything they do, including the Perfect Fit Protein Powder ($50) they developed. Deriving its 15 grams of protein per 100-calorie scoop from peas and pumpkin seeds, it's a "perfect fit" for nearly any diet (see what they did there?). Paleo? Check. Vegan? Check, check. But will it give us their perfect beach hair?!
We've loved the creamy, nut-butter deliciousness of Perfect Bar ($24 for a box of eight) for a while now, so we rejoiced with our Paleo friends when it developed the whey-free Almond Coconut variety. While all flavors — from peanut- to almond- to cashew-based — contain eight grams to 17 grams of soy-free and gluten-free protein (plus 20-plus high-nutrient organic superfoods), most varieties contain organic nonfat dry milk. The strictly dairy and whey-free crowd can now taste what the Perfect Bar hype is all about.
The New Primal Snack Mates
These Snack Mates by The New Primal ($6 for five 0.5-ounce sticks) are marketed as a kids' snack, but don't let that fool you. With dried-meat products abounding in the Paleo snack marketplace, sometimes you just need a more delicate way to tear into your daily dose of jerky. Each Snack Mates pack contains five small sticks — perfect for bite-size protein on the go anytime you need to avoid looking, well, primal.
Pegan Protein Bars
With only six ingredients (all of which we can easily pronounce), Pegan Protein Bars ($30 for a box of 12) are another vegan option to keep your plant-based protein intake on the up and up. Packing a whopping 20 grams of protein and 27 grams of fiber into each 170-calorie bar, these bad boys will leave you feeling way more satisfied than whatever vending machine siren song you've succumbed to (and regretted) in the past.
Paleo Protein Chocolate Sticks
Not a protein bar, not a jerky stick, not a giant tub of protein powder, but — can it be? — a Paleo-friendly single-serve chocolate stick? Chocoholics, rejoice! Paleo Protein Chocolate Sticks ($40 for 30 sticks) satisfy the most dire of chocolate-craving emergencies with individually packaged, 110-calorie sticks of egg white-based protein powder that can easily be mixed into four to eight ounces of water or your favorite milk alternative.
Sticking to a truly whey-free Paleo diet can be tricky, but with so many great new protein supplement options to choose from, your excuses for cheating are dwindling. Sooo . . . sorry / you're welcome?