Friday, January 6, 2012

Food Talk Friday: Shakeology Review

It's a new year, and a fresh mindset, so I am going to start doing something a little different on Fridays.  I have previously published "Fitness Friday" posts, and really like that framework, but I also really like to talk about and research different types of food, recipes, and nutrition - so I am going to start doing some "Food Talk Friday" posts interspersed with "Fitness Friday" - as nutrition and fitness truly do go hand in hand in a balanced healthy lifestyle.

To kick off my "Food Talk Friday" posts, I would like to give you all a review of one of my newer food finds, Shakeology.  My reasoning for doing this review, is that I think it is a healthy means of taking in and absorbing vital nutrients and vitamins, including probiotics, antioxidants, and super greens. I have to note that Shakeology is largely toted as a weight-loss lifestyle, complete with workouts, coaches, a book explaining the philosophy, and a whole support group.  I do not need to lose weight, so I am not reviewing it's weight-loss capabilities, but my intention is to highlight the nutritious aspect of the shake (I would love to lose a few lbs, but that is another story).

As we all are aware, or have probably heard at least once or twice, it is not only important to take in at least 5-9 servings of fruits & vegetables, but it is recommended by the USDA!  Now I also know that many of us are good at getting in our servings, but still struggle to get the sufficient amount - we are busy, we are training, we are working, we are traveling, whatever it is - it is a difficult task for the majority of us to maintain day after day.  What is more, if you are training for an athletic event or working your body hard, it is even more important to get in those daily vitamins and nutrients, to help repair, replenish and protect your body.

Shakeology packs many of the benefits found in fruits and veggies into a single, daily shake.  It has over 70 different ingredients, that are gluten-free, high protein (18g alone, up to 26g w/ milk), void of any refined or artificial sugars,  and are certified low on the GI (glycemic index).  When I was contacted by Erin to give these shakes a try, I was admittedly skeptical, because as I said above, I research a lot of nutritional topics and I know that it is difficult to replace all the benefits of a balanced meal with one shake, and usually the shakes that claim they can provide this, are full of artificial sweeteners and fillers, to make you feel full and semi-enjoy doing it via a shake.

I searched the wonderful world wide web (internet :) ) and did my research on the shake before I agreed to try it.  I am trying to eat cleaner and avoid processed gunk, so I didn't want to sabotage that with a "meal replacement shake".  I did research for a little bit, and although the commercials and advertisements are a little agressive, the nutrition facts don't lie.  I agreed to trying some and was sent two packets of single serve, chocolate flavor powder.

I thought the week after the holidays would be a perfect time to try this out, as some of the major benefits are de-toxifying your body, helping your body absorb essential nutrients, and providing digestive health through probiotics and other digestive enzymes.  Although I was still a little nervous that although it claimed to keep you full, I would get hungry within the hour, or that it would taste gross/fake/tinny (like so many protein powders can) - I gave it a try.

They have many different recipes online that although sound delicious, I skipped over.  I wanted a true opinion of the shake solo for my first taste of it.  I blended one serving of powder (they sent single-serving packets) with 4 oz. skim milk and 4 oz. water and a cup of ice.  It was thick, creamy, and smelled ok - so I took the first sip, and honestly loved it.  It was a thick, creamy, chocolatey shake - not too sweet, not too heavy on my stomach for the consistency in the glass, and overall enjoyable to drink.  I stayed comfortably full for at least 2 1/2 - 3 hours, which was much better than expected.

The second shake I made (the next morning - these are intended to only replace 1 meal a day, you do not need to take multiple shakes a day), I decided to get a little more daring.  I mixed in 8 oz. vanilla almond milk, and a spoonful of natural peanut butter, with the chocolate powder and a cup of ice.


 It had the same look and consistency of the first shake, but it had a very strong peanut buttery smell and flavor.  It was delicious, and again I stayed full for a couple of hours post shake - score! The shake didn't upset my stomach at all, but I did (not to be graphic) notice the digestive effect later in the day, and it got my system moving.


All in all, I really enjoyed the shakes, and as a quick and easy breakfast choice, or on the go lunch/snack, I would definitely recommend this.

Pros:

  • Low calorie, but dense (filling)
  • High protein
  • Gluten free
  • Nutrients and Vitamins that you might be missing from not enough fruits and vegetables
  • Easy to make and travel with (I drank mine in the car on the way to work)
  • Tasty - I tried the chocolate, but they also have a Greenberry flavor that looks pretty interesting (it is green in color)
  • Satisfying and Filling for a meal
  • Keeps you regular
  • Support system - you can work with a coach, buy the book, get the workouts, etc...
Cons:
  • Price - it is quite expensive, at $119.95/month (30 servings worth)
Seriously, for someone who needs to introduce more nutrients into their diet, grab a meal on the go/fast, or lose some weight (I am not condoning drinking just this for weight loss - but it can be a healthy choice in a weight loss program) this is a great product.

If you want to get your hands on some, or just find out a little bit more about the product and it's ingredients and benefits - you can check it out HERE

**I was provided this product free of charge from the supplier, but the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own and not influenced in any way.
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Do you have trouble getting in the recommended 5-9 servings on Fruits and Veggies daily?

I have been working really hard to be more conscious of this, the HBBC challenge really opened my eyes to how many I consume each day, and some days it is really difficult!

Do you ever replace meals with shakes or bars?

I will make a shake with fruit, protein powder and almond milk when I am in a hurry and have it for breakfast, or a weekend lunch on the go - but I don't normally purchase already put together mixes.



2 comments:

  1. I'm a newbie and am looking forward to following your journey!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good point on to want to get your hands on some,otherwise instructions are brilliant!

    ReplyDelete

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