The IMW Dream Breakfast Shake revisited

There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to admit that things do not always work as expected.

Back about 4 years ago, I introduced my IMW Dream Breakfast Shake. It was my answer to starting off the day with good nutrition, decreased hunger, and to help with weight loss if that was a goal.

Many of my patients used the IMW Dream Breakfast Shake as per the recipe, and found it very tasty, satisfying and helpful in the areas just mentioned. But others have come in and stated that while the shake was tasty, and they were using it at least 5 days a week for breakfast, they were not getting the desired results. I think I found out why, but before I let you in on it, let me review why the shake, as I make it, works well.

Dream Protein comes as a powdered whey protein in both vanilla and chocolate. It contains no sugar, but is sweetened with a natural no-calorie sweetener Stevia. Stevia while sweet, only minutely stimulates insulin production. This is important as insulin is what causes weight gain, usually as fat! Protein also acts as an appetite regulator, along with fat. If you eat enough protein and/or fat, your appetite shuts down. Carbohydrates do not have this same appetite decreasing effect. So one of main purposes of using the Dream Protein shakes in the morning is to keep insulin levels down and decrease overall appetite.

The Dream Protein works like a dream if you use it and mix it properly with other ingredients. I have found it to work well using full fat plain yogurt and some whole milk. I also add in a scoop of frozen blueberries. The scoop being the same size as the scoop of Dream Protein powder. As I do not like swallowing pills, I also add in some powdered magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, cinnamon powder and some liquid fish oils. I put this concoction into a strong blender along with some ice cubes and blend away.

Some time ago, I tallied the percentages of fat, protein and carbohydrates in this shake and it came to about 50% fat, 30% protein and 20% carbohydrate. To those of you who know me well, this is a perfect percentage for health. To others who follow the Standard American Diet, otherwise known as the SAD diet, you may be shocked and scared of all the fat. Well do not be. The only fat that should scare you is processed fats found in margarines and industrial seed and vegetable oils. Dairy fat, fish fat, grass-fed meat and chicken,  eggs and avocados, butter and olive oil, and do not forget coconut oil, are actually very healthy for you.

What is bad for you are all the processed carbohydrates that turn into sugar, raise your insulin, and makes you hungry while increasing  fat storage. Not exactly what you want if you are trying to lose weight around your midsection.

Why do I bring this up today?

I have recently spoken with a few of my patients who the IMW Dream Breakfast Shake was not producing the desired results. I always like to know why something is not working so I started asking questions. I usually figure out the cause after the first or second question.

Question #1: Are you following the IMW Dream Breakfast Shake recipe?

The answer to this is usually, “Recipe??? You have a recipe???”

Question #2: So what exactly are you putting into your shake besides the Dream protein?

Are you ready for these answers??

Get ready?

Remember the object is to keep your carbohydrates down.

Here are some of the ingredients I have been told and why I recommend not using them or at least decreasing their amounts.

1/2-2/3 cup of blueberries or strawberries – berries are a fruit and this amount will cause a rise in glucose, then an insulin surge which, everyone now, causes fat gain and hunger. My solution – use less berries, no more than the size of the scooper in the Dream protein.

4-8 ounces of juice – Juice is nothing more than sweetened flavored water and contains way too many carbohydrates. The carbohydrates will cause a rise in glucose, then an insulin surge which, everyone now, causes fat gain and hunger. My solution – DO NOT ADD JUICE TO YOUR SHAKE.

Honey or sugar – Do I really need to explain this one???

A banana – Bananas are very popular in shakes. They taste good and they also can thicken up a shake. Unfortunately bananas are mostly carbohydrates which, will cause a rise in glucose, then an insulin surge which, everyone now, causes fat gain and hunger. My solution – If you need to add banana to your shake, is to cut one banana into six slices, freeze them, then add one and only one slice to each shake. You will get the hint of banana taste without all the excess carbs.

Are you ready for this one? Can you believe that I have a patient who put a Three Musketeers candy bar into his shake and then complained that he was not losing weight? After we both had a good chuckle about this, he did tell me it was a very tasty shake.

Fat-free or low-fat flavored yogurt- These types of yogurt remove the natural fat and replace it with fruit and sugar. So the fat which works to decrease insulin and appetite is replaced with sugar which increases both insulin and appetites. The higher the insulin the more fat gets stored.

Skim milk- All the appetite reducing natural fat is removed, leaving all the lactose and carbohydrates to jack up your insulin and appetite. My solution, use whole milk or even half and half.

I hope I have made my point. The IMW Dream Breakfast Shake works well when the recipe is followed. Now I am sure there are other recipes that taste good and also keep appetites under control. If you have your own recipe, please post it here on my blog. If I agree that the recipe is low in processed carbohydrates and would taste good, I may offer you a special discount on your next purchase of Dream Protein. If I get enough recipes posted, I may even give out a free jar of Dream Protein as a prize, just because I am such a nice guy!!


  • Vance

    Just had to share a victory. The base commissary only sells no-fat yogurt. I finally used Google translate to determine carbohydrates are 炭水化物in Japanese. I searched the local grocery store looking at labels and found one that read炭水化物 5.9g and at the top determined it was in a 100g serving. The package was 450g. Back to my computer, 450g= almost 16oz. Half a carton would be about 8oz and 14g of carbs. Dannon regular plain is 12g. Close enough, I found regular yogurt in Japanese! Now I can mix my Dream Protein with something other than water.

  • Vance

    I’m mixing only water with my chocolate dream shake. It’s not very filling but they don’t carry regular yogurt at the commissary. So it’s basically just a late night treat if I crave something sweet. One day maybe I’ll figure out how to find the right stuff in the Japanese grocery store.

  • Judy Brown

    I have a protein shake every morning (Dream French vanilla). I use about 4 ice cubes, a small amount of half/half, one scoop of the whey protein, and fill to the top of the mixer with whole milk. (I use the Magic Bullet mixer, which I estimate to be anywhere from 12-16 oz. I am a fussy eater, and used to have several bowls of cereal for breakfast, along with apple juice. This was quite a change. It does taste like a vanilla milk shake! I like the tiny ice pieces too. Is my shake still healthy?

    • DrHorvitz


      Yes your shake is healthy, and much healthier than processed cereal.

      Have you considered using whole fat unflavored yogurt in place of some of the whole milk?


  • DrHorvitz


    No contradiction. Most vegetable and seed oils are heavily processed and are now called “industrialized seed or vegetable oils.” These oils contain a large amount of the inflammatory Omega-6 fats which counter the beneficial effects of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
    Back in Paleo days, the balance between Omega6–>Omega-3 was about 2-1. Today most individuals I have tested are well over 3-1. This is due I believe to the abundance of Omega-6 containing vegetable and seed oils used in food processing.
    Olive oil is richer in mono-unsaturated oils.
    Coconut and avocado have natural oils, high in saturated fats, which regardless of what you hear are actually good for you, and are less processed.

    So Fat in general is not bad. You need to know the different types of fat and try to keep them in balance. The Omega-3 index is a good test to determine this balance.


  • Donald C. Simpson

    I gave up on bananas [although I love them] for all of the reasons you stated. I have found that 1/4th of a large ripe avocado [not the usual, smaller, Haas; the larger ones such as the Slimcado], added to the shake, is low-carb, relatively low in calories, and provides only slight change in the taste of the shake, while giving a smooth, thickening to the shake that makes it much more like an icecream shake.

    Question: Isn’t it contradictory to come down so hard on “vegetable” oils and then push olive oil, cocanut milk, avocados, and the like?

  • Andrea Hirsh

    We’ve used canned coconut milk in our smoothies. It’s on the expensive side so we don’t make them often with it, but it’s pretty tasty and may be an option for those who can’t have dairy. Trouble is finding coconut milk that just contains coconuts, without additives like guar gum and other yucky stuff.

  • Sue Tober

    I also add a full tspn of all natural peanut butter to the chocolate powder. The flavor is very subtle (Reese’s Cup) and while adding a bit more fat, helps make the shake even more filling.

  • Meira Itzkowitz

    I have food sensitivities, including dairy products. Any suggestions about how to adapt the major ingredients in your dream shake?

  • Mary Catherine

    I like to make a shake for breakfast too. I vary what I put in it. My basic shakes usually have some protein powder without any sugar, a scoop of dried organic greens, some berries, coconut milk watered down, sometimes some cocnut oil dependig on the coconut milk, and some ice cubes. I would love to try your protein powder. So many of them have sweeteners and other ingredients that I don’t want.