Group fitness giant Les Mills recently came out with their first-ever nutrition product called “Good Protein.” If you haven’t read about the serious endeavor of this company to awaken the masses about nutritional conspiracies, read about my review on Les Mills Nutrition. It was surprising to see such a mainstream fitness company be bold enough to do what’s right, based on the most current nutrition research, despite the inevitable backlash. This is what we are always striving for at Modern Life Survivalist, to spread the truth about health and fitness no matter the cost.
Back to their product. What is Good Protein? It is a supplemental protein powder that contains only six ingredients: whey protein, cocoa powder, guar gum, stevia leaf extract, natural flavors, and sea salt. Watch their intro video for the product below:
Watch the video below for my review of Les Mills Good Protein + pecan protein pancakes recipe!
To see our breakdown of each ingredient, read on…
1. Milk protein concentrate:
Les Mills Good Protein powder is sourced from grass-fed cows and has the same ratio of whey and casein in the powder as what exists in nature. Cows, as you may or may not know, are meant to eat only grass and never grains, as they do in CAFO and even some nominally organic operations. This is not only a plus but a complete necessity, because nature truly does know best. Even if you are a child of technology, you must realize that there are many innovations that have yes, made man’s life easier, but have also ruined man’s health and made us far worse off.
A good example is the pasteurization of dairy. When milk is heated, it destroys not only bacteria but also the enzyme lactase. Lactase and the sugar lactose must coexist in harmony for us to properly digest milk. Thus, we have prevalent cases of “lactose intolerance.” The latest science however is asking a new question: since lactose is still present in the same amount in both raw and pasteurized milk and our bodies create the necessary amount of lactase to try to digest the dairy, why then do people still have trouble consuming raw milk? First of all, depending on ethnicity, between 1-95% do not produce lactase on their own. Also, the trouble could very well be that pasteurization also destroys the good, “probiotic” bacteria in the milk. Probiotics are our friends, and these particular ones in milk would hypothetically help the lactose intolerant, or more broadly, the milk-drinking–challenged, to digest milk.
In my protein pancake recipe, the main ingredient is almond flour. I added Good Protein chocolate powder only as flavoring. You can really make the entire pancake out of the Good Protein mix instead of almond flour, but I have not tried it. You must cook your pancakes on low heat however, because you do not want to denature the milk proteins (whey) too much. Consuming denatured proteins releases all kinds of toxins in your body. That is why I only put little amounts of Good Protein when applying heat. You can still make a killer no-heat pudding out of this though! I’ve tried it, and it’s heavenly.
2. Cocoa powder:
High-quality, African-sourced cocoa. As my review stated, it’s taste was definitely first class. I am not as sensitive to mold as Rob, but I can detect low-quality or moldy beans or food as a victim of black mold exposure. If you want to read more on our struggle with mold exposure and our change of diet, you can read about it here. I did not have any ill effects consuming this protein powder at all, and I’ve had a couple of servings of it already. Rob hasn’t tried it yet however, because he’s sticking with Bulletproof coffee, Infowars coffee, and Bulletproof Cocoa Powder for now.
Cocoa comes from cocoa beans, which are a naturally moldy food, so you want to get the highest quality with the least toxins out there to enjoy the health benefits of chocolate with little to no side effects. I’d say the cocoa beans used in Good Protein are low toxin, but I did not send it to a lab for testing to guarantee. Also, I’m not sure if they have any procedures in place to avoid mold growth, like Bulletproof does. Our bodies’ sensitive reactions to food are a pretty good litmus test, especially if you’re eating clean and are very in tune with yourself. All I can say is that this powder tasted amazing, and I felt great afterwards!
3. Guar gum:
I find this quite unnecessary, but then again this product tasted perfect. I’d hate to ruin the texture that comes with this fibrous ingredient! One of the concerns with guar gum is that it is from a bean, again a moldy food, but it’s not a problem if the source is of high quality, which I am sure Good Protein has. The other concern with guar gum being a bean is that it causes digestive problems to 1 in 3 of Americans, especially to people with sensitive or “leaky” guts. I have not detected problems with guar gum myself, probably because I personally have had a stronger gut from childhood—even after the epigenetic compromise I experienced from the mold I was exposed to.
The good thing about guar gum, as mentioned in my video, is that it is from real food (guar bean). We see either guar gum or xanthan gum on the ingredients of many “healthy” products, but what is the difference? Xanthan gum, as opposed to guar gum, is from the fermentation of bacteria and is largely indigestible.
4. Stevia leaf extract:
This is pretty much our go-to sweetener! Sweet (without the spike in insulin), natural, and pretty safe in my experience. If you have too much of it, it only tastes bitter. I haven’t had problems with stevia besides the bitter aftertaste. In Good Protein however, the amount of stevia is SPOT ON. I don’t think you could mistake adding too much of Les Mills’ protein powder mix and have it taste bitter. That is why in my protein pancake recipe video, you could easily add more powder depending on how strong you want the flavor to be! Just remember to add more coconut milk (though all of its canned products have guar gum) to keep the same creamy batter consistency.
5. Natural flavors:
Although I trust that Les Mills’ “natural flavors” are made of pretty safe ingredients, this labeling always worries me. Ever since the term “natural flavors” hit the market, company’s have been able to put in stuff without revealing to the public what that really meant. My gut instinct told me from the beginning that it was a marketing ploy to get the health conscious to feel safe about this additive (in the same vein as natural, gluten-free, fat-/sugar-free, which are all labels that could easily be applied to poison). The appearance of “natural flavors” only piqued my interest more to look into it given its vagueness and ambiguity.
“Natural flavors” does not always necessitate that all the ingredients are natural. According to Eric Schosser, author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, “Natural flavors and artificial flavors sometimes contain exactly the same chemicals, produced through different methods… A natural flavor is not necessarily more healthful or purer than an artificial one.”
This alone disqualifies Good Protein from having the title “organic.” Not that all inorganic food is bad, because certain inorganic foods are pretty unaffected by pesticides and minimum alteration. Natural flavors (or even just the label natural) can have corn- or grain-fed animals as their source or even GMOs.
To have this point of concern clarified, I wrote to Sarah Wakeman, product manager of Les Mills Nutrition and asked about the ingredients in Good Protein’s natural flavors. She’s been very open and communicative about the specifics of Les Mills’ Nutrition with Modern Life Survivalist ever since we wrote an article on Les Mills Nutrition (expressing both praise and concern), before they even announced they were coming out with a product.
She assured me that although she doesn’t know all of the ingredients (proprietary “recipe” from a sustainable third party), Les Mills made sure that the natural flavors matched their high standards for nutrition and that these ingredients existed in tiny amounts just to add a bit of a zing for taste to your normal chocolate or vanilla protein mix. Major allergens, GMO, and certain chemicals were specifically singled out as a no-go in Good Protein’s natural flavors.
Despite knowing that nature knows best, there are certain human innovations that seem to have helped us with little to no negative side effects, and that is where the fascination with biohacking comes in! So chemicals don’t always mean evil, but most of them sure are.
This assurance is enough to satisfy my occasional indulgence of Good Protein as a supplement, post-workout or as a treat. Somehow with commercial products, it seems the natural flavors additive seems necessary. Otherwise, all food products would taste virtually the same with little to no competition between them. I personally support the free market, where trade secrets and the competitive edge are all necessary ingredients to a savory democratic society. However, it’s up to the consumer to decide what is okay for them to consume given what has and hasn’t been disclosed to them.
6. Sea salt:
Good Protein only has sea salt with no additives or fillers, so no anti-caking agents and other chemicals. Yay! Although our preference for salt is pink salt (from cleaner ancient seabeds instead of the heavy metal contaminated modern seas), regular sea salt is the best alternative. It’s readily available in all grocery stores and many restaurants nowadays. Technically, all salt is sea salt. However, just to clarify, sea salt is unaltered whereas regular table salt is just sodium chloride with other chemical additives. Good sea salt still has the minerals required for our body to absorb it with efficiency and without the feeling of dryness or thirst that regular table salt causes.
In conclusion, I really like Les Mills’ Good Protein! I would treat it more as a sometimes supplement or a sweet treat as I mentioned above. I thoroughly enjoyed the pancakes, pudding, shake, coffee, and hot cocoa I made with it so far. Most of all, I am happy that Les Mills is transparent and is on the good (nutrition) side for the most part, despite being a business! Sharing a revolutionary but controversial nutritional message makes them one tough cookie! Hmm, cookies. I think I’ll make those next…
If you haven’t read my other reviews of Les Mills, check them out below:Follow mlsurvivalist