I use both protein bars and protein powder for shakes. I'm a semi-vegetarian these days (I just added poultry back into my diet for the same reason). I'll have a Balance Bar about an hour before I workout (yeah they do have a lot of sugar, but I cannot have anything with a high soy base) and for protein powder I use whey isolate. I buy GNC's Pro-Performance Whey-Isolate 28, It comes in Chocolate and Vanilla. The chocolate is de-lish!!! I haven't tried the vanilla yet. One scoop has 140calories (our muscles need protein and calories to grow) and 28grams of protein. The whey isolate is quickly and easily digested and absorbed into the muscles after workingout giving the body what it needs to repair and build. If you do a Google search on benefits of whey isolate you'll find tons of info on it and regular whey. That'll help you decide what'll work best for you.
I mix one scoop with 8oz of water for minimul calories. Also, I purchased a great shaker bottle called Blender Bottle (GNC has them). These have a little whisky ball thing in them that does a great job of mixing and blending. No grainy powdery texture left while using this bottle.
Also, try Googling Protein Powder recipes, I found tons of different ways of making protein shakes! For example a Chocolate peanut butter cup recipe! YUM!
Keep up the good work!