Living Harvest Hemp Protein and Oil

Protein.  Tell someone you’re vegetarian, and they’ll ask how you get protein.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating.  I don’t worry about protein. Or any nutrient, for that matter. I just eat a variety of whole foods, and I get what I need to feel great and support my training.

And whey and soy protein powder, by the way, aren’t whole foods.  They’re isolates.  The other nutrients have been removed to boost the protein concentration.  They’re highly processed, acid-forming foods.  (Ever wonder how they got to be pure white?)  I stopped eating them a few months ago.

[hemp protein photo]

Enter hemp protein.  Raw, vegan, minimally processed.  Made by simply milling whole hemp seeds.  And it’s green, because it still contains that wonderful alkaline-forming chlorophyll.

Warning!  If you’re one of those I-need-30-grams-of-protein-every-morning-in-my-smoothie types, then hemp protein isn’t for you.  Go back to the snow-white stuff.  Most hemp protein contains less than 15 grams of protein per serving.  Again, because it’s not an isolate!  In addition to the protein, there’s still a good amount of healthy carbohydrate and fat in it.  But that’s just the point.  It’s a whole food, so you’re getting the fiber, omega-3’s and other goodies in their natural state, not as additives.

Living Harvest, the same people who make Tempt non-dairy products, sent me some coupons to try their hemp protein powders.  I’ve been using hemp products for a few months now, since reading Thrive, so I was really excited to try some of their stuff.

[hemp protein green photo]I tried three products:  unflavored organic hemp protein, vanilla spice flavor hemp protein, and hemp oil.  I tested all of these products out in my morning smoothies, putting the unflavored hemp protein in my mango jalapeno smoothie and the vanilla-spice in my blueberry rooibos smoothie.   And I put the hemp oil in both smoothies, in place of my normal Udo’s oil blend.

And wouldn’t you know it, both protein powders were delicious.  Or, at least, they didn’t mess up the smoothies, because I could hardly taste them.  And isn’t that the idea?  The vanilla-spice flavor did come through a little bit in the blueberry smoothie, but it was a good, natural flavor.  (It’s made from organic spices and vanilla bean.)

The hemp oil did impart a little bit of a taste to the smoothies, but I got used to it almost immediately.  It’s just like with flaxseed oil or Udo’s blend; it’s a little weird at first but very easy to adjust to.  And the health benefits of these oils make adding them to your smoothies a no-brainer.  (Brendan Brazier chooses hemp oil over the other types of oil.  If it’s good enough for B-squared, it’s good enough for me.)

I will say this: on both protein canisters, it says “mix with your favorite non-dairy beverage to make a delicious smoothie.”  I tried this with both kinds, and they were most definitely not delicious.  They tasted very green and weird.  In fact, I couldn’t finish either one of them.  I’ll think I’ll stick to my other smoothies.

The one drawback of hemp protein, at least from the perspective of a full-time grad student, is the cost.  The price is just over a dollar per serving.  If you want bang for your protein buck, it’s not the way to go.  But when you look at it in terms of total nutrition and get away from that protein fetish (come on, admit it, you know you still have one), it starts to seem a little more reasonable.  Plus, Erin and I have been using only about half a serving in our smoothies, since that’s what’s called for in the Thrive recipes.

Overall, great products and I highly recommend them.  Just not mixed with non-dairy beverage and nothing else. 🙂  Thanks Living Harvest!



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  1. Coincidence – I’m just downloading my pics to write my first post of the day and I’m featuring my hemp protein powder in the post. Certainly not an in depth explanation. I’m going to mention this post!
    .-= Morgan (lifeafterbagels)´s last blog ..Frittata Date =-.

  2. I’m about to start an intensive weight training program and they recommend – gasp! – lots of protein. You know me, I don’t concern myself with protein either, but I thought I’d inquire about hemp protein. Nobody in this backwater country has even heard of it! They only have soy and whey protein. Of course, whey is not vegan, and soy is not something I want to ingest regularly, apart from the fact that I don’t want to add any acid-forming foods to my diet. So, it will be nuts, seeds, sprouts and lots of greens for me!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Implementing the “New Rules” =-.

  3. thanks for the info on hemp protein matt. i remember you had mentioned it to me once before but i have still never tried it. i have never tried hemp anything actually, i hear the milk is good. oh wait, i take that back.. i have tried *some* form of hemp 😉 i am going to see if i can find some of those individual serving packets of it somewhere! thanks for posting!
    .-= janetha´s last blog ..hummus hump day! =-.

  4. I just started reading Thrive and the parts about stress and cortisol and acid-producing foods are really speaking to me! I don’t know if I could ever follow the Thrive diet 100%, but I’m going to start incorporating more alkaline foods. Can’t wait to try some of those smoothies!
    .-= Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last blog ..Flax Plus Pumpkin Granola =-.

  5. Bravo to this-
    “I don’t worry about protein. Or any nutrient, for that matter. I just eat a variety of whole foods, and I get what I need to feel great and support my training.”!!! 😉
    .-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..Sweet Potato Quesadilla =-.

  6. I started using Living Harvest Hemp protein powder after reading Thrive as well. It is a great additon to my morning smoothies!
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..Ouch Update =-.

  7. I often buy Living Harvest Hemp Seed Milk. That stuff is awesome! I’ve never tried their hemp seed protein though. I usually use Ruth’s because it’s the most affordable one I have found.
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Labor Day Weekend – Shelf Road, Colorado =-.

  8. Great post. And Yes! That is always the first question I get from people too “how do you get your protein!”

  9. What great timing! I’ve been searching for a “cleaner” protein powder. Hopefully I’ll be able to try a sample of this stuff 😀
    .-= Paige (Running Around Normal)´s last blog ..Fresh Market =-.

  10. i wasn’t the hugest fan of hemp – maybe i need to try that brand? it gave my smoothies a really gritty texture i was NOT digging. any suggestions?
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..This and That =-.

  11. Hey, I really like your blog. I ran my first marathon last year, and I’m gearing up for Pittsburgh in the spring. My girlfriend and I just started a blog, and we’ve been thinking about going vegetarian but were concerned how it would affect our running. Glad to see we can do it! Check out our blog and let us know what you think!
    .-= Greg´s last blog ..His: Today I just don’t care =-.

  12. I love living harvest hemp protein products! I am glad that you liked them too. I used to use whey and soy protein a few years ago and now I only use hemp for my main protein powder source. And feel so much better. I look back and see what I used to eat and what it did to my body and feel horrible. Does that ever happen to you? I used to workout like crazy and never really felt great, now I know why!
    .-= Lori – pure2raw´s last blog ..Recap of post media cocktail party =-.

  13. Thanks for the review!

    And for the part about not worrying about protein/nutrients. It drives me nuts when people say that vegetarians can’t get enough protein. That’s so silly.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Day Ten of the Vegan Challenge =-.

  14. i tried the living harvest powder and was NOT a fan. super gritty! i don’t make smoothies with it (just mixed with water) and it was awful. i had to choke down every glass of that $30 powder.

    i was a much bigger fan of amazing meal (not to be confused with amazing grass, which is the same company but has little or no protein). same deal with raw/vegan etc but much less gritty. and the chocolate one was super tasty! i only stopped because of the price 🙁

    i’m using a whey/hemp mix right now (,3203.htm) and it’s DELICIOUS. yes, there’s whey in it but 1. i’m not vegan and 2. it still has the benefits of some hemp in there, without the crazy price tag (i got mine in nyc whole foods for $17.50!)

  15. B-squared hahaha!
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..Fruit Cereal. Yummy Yummy. =-.

    Oil of any kind is a highly processed, unnatural product that has NO place in the human diet. All of your comments about “isolated protein” powders apply equally to oil. What refined sugar or protein powder are to carbohydrate and protein respectively, oil is to fat. All of the fiber and nutrients of the original plant have been stripped and discarded. While I have great respect for Brendan Brazier, he is way off the mark on oil. Adding oil to a smoothie?! Gross! For more information on why oil is the Devil’s own special “cardiac” brew read Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease chapter 10. Or you could refer to the work of Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. If you find the idea consuming scoops of protein “isolate” or sugar wrong, you should feel the same about oil.

  17. Matt: Thanks for trying out our protein. Thanks to everyone for the great feedback, we love to hear what people think of our products. Keep spreading the word!

    PS: If anyone has any questions about our products, give me a shout at or you can follow us at

  18. I mix my organic Hemp Powder with Amazon Acai Berry Juice, small amount of orange juice, 1 banana, 4-5 strawberries and 6 or so blackberries…yum.

  19. I just bought a jar of the Vanilla Spice hemp protein last night and needed to justify my purchase so I went looking for product reviews and stumbled on yours. I’ve never been a fan of protein powders because they always have a terrible aftertaste but I agree with you on this one! I’m so glad I got it. I’m drinking mine in my post-run smoothie right now. I also halved the serving and also added a scoop of Tbsp of sunflower butter and some homemade hemp milk.

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