Chocolate protein smoothie bowl with banana, coconut flakes, cacao nibs and almond butter drizzle on a white table.

Chocolate Protein Smoothie Bowl

Protein powders.

A convenient addition to smoothies to help maximize your protein intake.

But I don’t recommend them (well 90% of them).

Most protein powders rely on whey (dairy) for their protein. Unfortunately, dairy is something acne-sufferers need to steer clear from.

Two large controlled trials found that cow dairy increased the amount of participants with acne and its severity.

How though?

  1. Dairy naturally contains several acne-causing hormones. Even if it’s labelled hormone-free, milk still contains over 60 naturally occurring hormones that are meant for growing a baby calf into a 1500lb cow.
  2. Dairy triggers an insulin response. When it’s consumed, dairy increases insulin levels in the body which can worsen acne severity. Drinking just one glass of cow’s milk can spike your insulin levels by 300%.
  3. Dairy protein can damage the gut lining. And when intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) occurs, so does acne. It’s a common symptom of poor gut health and studies have shown that dairy can alter the microbiome in your digestive system. An imbalance of the correct microbiome allows strains that increase body-wide inflammation to set up shop.

Note: Inflammation is a root cause of acne.

While dairy alone is not the only culprit in your acne battle, reducing it is a key component to getting rid of your breakouts. You also have to be looking at the health of your gut, toxicity of your liver, hormonal imbalance, nutrient deficiencies and stress levels. All things I address with my clients inside The Clear Skin Solution.

Supercharging Without Protein Powder

Just use whole food. Nuts and seeds are great for this. Plus, a scoop of collagen not only boosts your protein levels but helps to heal the digestive lining.

Protein Boosters:

  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts = 10 grams
  • 1 tbsp collagen powder = 9 grams
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter = 3 grams

22 grams of protein.

No sugary whey powders needed.

PS. If chocolate’s your thing, check out my Warming Chocolate Cherry Smoothie, Healthy Homemade Chocolate Bars, or Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding.

Chocolate Protein Smoothie Bowl

Creamy and decadement chocolate protein smoothie bowl free from dairy and refined sugar. And made with just whole foods - no sugary protein powder needed.

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time


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  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp collagen powder
  • 2 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Optional boosters
  • 1 tbsp maca powder
  • 1 drop doterra peppermint essential oil


  1. Sprinkle with desired toppings: crushed hazelnuts, hemp hearts, shredded coconut, fruit, cacao nibs
  2. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on high until well combined.
  3. Pour into bowl and sprinkle with desired toppings.


For a lower carb version: substitute the banana for 1/2 an avocado and use desired amount of monk fruit extract or stevia in place of the honey.

  1. Nutrition & Acne:
  2. Evidence for Acne-Promoting Effects of Milk and Other Insulinotrophic Dairy Products:
  3. Acne and dairy products in adolescence:
  4. Diet and acne: a review of the evidence:

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