The Best Vanilla Protein Powder {For Taste, Calories, and Macros}

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38 days left!! Weight loss journal for Bikini prep 2023

Words I never thought I’d say…. I’m losing too much weight! LOL. But for real, I’m bumping up my calories a bit so I don’t look malnourished by June 3rd. So, YEAH!! I’ll post the scale graph to show you the ups and downs since November, so stay tuned for that with my new scale weight. (jump to the end to see my full day of eating!)

But, in the meantime, let’s chat about protein powder!

I’ve been trying a variety of protein powders since the early Body For Life days when protein shakes tasted awful.  Since then, I’ve settled on a few I like. This is after two years in a row of testing at least 15 different whey protein powder options.  (here’s my top protein picks from last year!)

However, since there is no way to try them ALL, it was bound to happen that I’d find new ones to replace prior favorites.  And, it’s also very possible in the next few years I’ll change my mind again and find another.

I only write that as a disclaimer because I don’t want you all to think- Lies! You told me THIS ONE was your favorite in the year 2021.  Well, I just hadn’t tried this NEW vanilla flavor that I’m freaking in love with.

This new favorite is SO NEW that it didn’t even make it into my last meal plan book.

Are you ready for the best vanilla protein powder that’s gonna blow your socks off?  Although I find affiliate links for the protein powders I recommend, none of them are sponsored. These brands don’t even know who I am to be honest.

Anyway, first a history of my FAVORITES and What I consider when buying protein powder.

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What I look for in a protein powder

I’m honestly not too picky when it comes to protein powder, besides taste and mouth feel.  However, I do look at the calories and macros before I decide to buy one.

For “good” calories and macros, I prefer my protein powder to be mostly protein.  That way I can pair it with carbs if I choose, such as fruit or milk. But I can also mix it with water if I only have 120 calories left for the day and it’s all in protein.

If a protein powder is all whey protein, for every 31 grams of protein powder, it should have 

  • approximately 120 calories
  • 24 grams of protein
  • under 4 grams of carbs
  • and 0-1 grams of fat.

While I prefer my protein from whole food sources, I will also use supplemental protein is nice to have on hand. Any protein supplement is generally going to already include all the essential amino acids from protein sources like whey, casein, or pea protein. 

I’m not opposed to artificial sweeteners in my protein powder, in fact, I prefer it because it usually tastes better.   Controversial maybe, but the taste of aspartame or sucralose far outweighs the taste of stevia to me. 

My Go-To Protein Powders

1) Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Ice Cream – Can buy it any where!

Optimum nutrition gold standard whey best price vanilla protein powder

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In the beginning, I recommended Optimum Nutrition Vanilla (found at Costco and Amazon ($45), or Allstarhealth ($45).). I like this for tasting amazing, it makes waffles with the perfect texture, and the price is completely reasonable.

  • The calories and macros are perfect.  120 calories, 24 g protein, and 4 grams carbs.
  • There’s enough protein to fuel muscle growth (24 is optimal for one sitting!)
  • Protein source is whey protein isolate (fast acting for muscle mass!)
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • Sweetened with Acesulfame potassium and sucralose
  • Gluten free
  • and the best price!

2) Clean Simple Eats – Cleanest Ingredients

Clean Simple Eats Cleanest ingredients vanilla protein powder

Second, I started trying Clean Simple Eats ($60 for 2lbs), because they’ve been all the rage. I honestly was VERY excited about the variety of flavors. I was excited about their recipes, the digestive enzymes, and how clean the ingredients are.  This is probably the “cleanest” of the bunch, if that’s important to you. 

But, I never loved that it has 9 g of carbohydrates per serving!   I JUST want the protein.  I’ve also been disappointed by the way they heat up when I make waffles or pancakes.  It’s just a bit too rubbery for me.  

As far as the pro’s to CSE:

  • The variety of flavors.
  • The great way it tastes in a protein shake
  • No artificial ingredients
  • They include 4 digestive enzymes
  • Sweetened with stevia and monk fruit
  • Protein source: whey protein isolate.
  • No added sugar

3) Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP by Beverley International)- BEST TASTING

UMP protein powder best tasting around

And now, I think I found one that checks ALL my boxes for the best protein powder.  Ultimate Muscle Protein by Beverley International. (one of my blog readers recommended I try it) is the best tasting protein powder!    

  • First, the price is reasonable (cheapest one I found was $35 for 2lbs here All Star Health or $45 on Amazon).  
  • It cooks a waffle well.  
  • The flavor is EXCEPTIONAL, and the texture is the silkiest creamiest, smoothest of all.  In fact, I did an experiment and mixed the Angel food cake flavor with some water in a small bowl and made it into the texture of frostin  Then, I just used a spoon to eat it, and I couldn’t stop.  It tasted like cake batter to me (which I like to eat too). Then, I did the same frosting test with other proteins, and the others were so gritty compared to the UMP.   
  • It’s an excellent choice of a whey protein & casein blend.  Whey protein is fast acting, while casein is slow absorbing.  Put them together and you have a nice amount of protein for sustained release all day.
  • The protein content: 20 grams of protein for 120 calories.
  • Only 5 grams of carbs with 1 gram of fiber
  • Sweetened with maltodextrin, Acesulfame potassium and sucralose.
  • It says it’s stomach friendly and easy to digest (but I can’t attest to that because I don’t get stomach problems from protein powders)

A cool side note about this Beverley international, is they have a free magazine they’ll mail you. Clearly, it’s to sell more protein, but I am a magazine addict and the first issue was packed full of recipes, meal plans, and physique competitors stories.  

Many of you have been asking for me to test plant-based protein powders, but I just can’t get myself to try one.  So, if you prefer plant-based proteins, you’ll have to let me know what you think. 

full day of eating 1400 calories 38 days to go

𝟏𝟑𝟓𝟓 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬
𝟏𝟒𝟗 𝐠 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐢𝐧, 𝟏𝟎𝟎 𝐠 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐛𝐬, 𝟒𝟑 𝐠 𝐟𝐚𝐭

  • 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐭: 1 cup egg whites. 1 oz Fat free feta, 1/4 cup mushrooms, 30 g avocado, 100 g banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder, amd 5- grams blueberries
  • 𝐋𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡:. KALE SALAD~! Same as Sunday but swapped blueberries for the raspberries. Added G Hughes sugar free poppyseed dressing, 1 ounce fat free feta, 6 ounces chicken breasts, 1/2 cup pecans
  • 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤 Classic protein shake- Clean Simple Eats Cake batter protein powder with 1 cup milk, lots of ice, and whipped cream with sprinkles.
  • 𝐃𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫 300 g cauliflower rice, mushrooms, 75 g zucchini and 4 ounces Costco Rotisserie chicken, 5 cherry tomatoes and light sour cream!
Best tasting vanilla protein powders 2023


  1. Look at Burn Boot Camp’s Afterburn Vanilla Whey protein. I haven’t cooked with it but it has been my favorite lately. Years ago nothing came close to Arbonne’s vanilla protein powder (IMO) and Afterburn reminds of that flavor but not as expensive. Also the ingredients are are simple. You can get it from their website or one of their gyms if one is near you.

  2. Hi Amy,
    One of the ingredients in the UMP protein powder is maltodextrin. I’ve read that maltodextrin causes weight gain. Thoughts?

    1. I definitely have thoughts. I think I’m made of maltodextrin (meaning I eat A LOT of products that contain it), and weight loss has never been hindered. I’m the leanest I’ve ever been.

  3. Can you create a 15- or 30-day high protein plan for 1000 calories a day to get a fast start? I purchased your 30-day 1200 calorie download book.

    1. Hi Kimberly!
      I’ll see what I can do. Quick weight loss (for me), really is the easiest way for me to stay motivated!

      Thanks for buying the 1200 calorie plan!


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