I was first introduced to whey protein shakes when I first started with weight training about 3 years ago. I learned about the benefits and how important protein is if you want to build lean muscle mass. I started off as having one shake a day right after I workout. During training we break down the muscle fibers so it is essential that we re-build that muscle afterwards. Sleep, hydration and nutrition are the 3 most important parts of post exercise recovery (more on this subject in one of the next blogs).
I have tried just about any protein shake that you can think of. GNC Gold was one of the first ones I tried, followed by Pure Protein and Lean Body by Jamie Easton. Of the three mentioned above, Lean Body was the “healthiest” because it did not contain any artificial ingredients and it was the best tasting. I had this protein shake in my diet for about 2 years.
Few months ago I went to see my nutritionist, Peta. We discussed my diet, exercise and supplements I was taking (Lean Body whey protein powder, Anti-bloat and Krill Oil by Jamie Easton, to name a few). She told me right away that the supplements were out of the question and protein shake as well. Peta said how most protein powders, especially the ones that are commonly used in the gyms, don’t come from the highest quality sources. Furthermore she explained how they are highly processed and in that process the protein gets completely damaged so that by the time it reaches us pretty much it looses its health benefits. When she referred to the things I was taking as “gym garbage”, that really hit home for me. So, I had no other choice but to stop it all. I was quite upset about not being able to take Anti-Bloat anymore because it did wonders to keep my tummy flat. But it was not good for me, so I had to get over it.
My quest for the protein shake had started. I went thru handful of different organic or natural kinds of protein powders and every one of them had something in it that was not good. One of the commonly found ingredients in the protein shakes and protein bars is Sucralose (think Splenda) which is nothing more then sugar wrapped in chlorine. Your body doesn’t process it as sugar because it doesn’t recognize it. This is the ingredient that is commonly added to protein powders and protein bars to add sweetness without adding calories. I even stopped eating my favorite protein bar (Quest Peanut butter) because it contained Sucralose. At this point I really felt lost and hopeless. Months spent searching and nothing came up.
About 3 months ago, I was on Facebook and one of the moms , Rachel, from my daughter’s school mentioned Shakeology. She has been using it for years now and swears by it. I googled it quickly and what I initially read, I was quite impressed! This shake has nothing but pure natural ingredients. Packed with protein, fiber,vitamins and minerals, antioxidants,superfoods, probiotics, digestive enzymes,amino acids. It even contains adaptogen herbs, which I learned about from Peta (one of the benefits is support immune system function in the body). My initial thinking was that this shake has everything that I try and add to my diet on daily basis. And all in one cup! So I reached out to Rachel and she gave me some to try. I LOVED IT! There was no aftertaste, it was very smooth and creamy. I was impressed but not sold yet until I cleared it with my nutritionist. I was nervous while waiting for her to respond and I was really hoping she would approve. And she did! This was the first protein powder that Peta had nothing negative to say about. I was very excited that I got the green light!
I have been drinking Shakeology on daily basis (sometimes twice a day) for almost 3 months now and to say that I just love it is an understatement. I have it most mornings when I don’t have time sit down and have a good breakfast, I use it as a post workout recovery shake, I drink it in the afternoon as a snack if I am on the-go with the kids, I even have it late at night when I get sweet cravings.
Hands down it is the best tasting shake you will ever have. Even if just mixed with water! There is no odd after taste like with most other protein powders. My regular go-to flavor is Shakeology vanilla and like to mix it with unsweetened almond milk, teaspoon of almond butter and half frozen banana. The very next favorite is the newly developed Shakeology Cafe Latte. I actually replaced my second cup of coffee in the morning with this shake and it does wonders for me. It gives me the coffee fix that I need but has less caffeine then regular cup of coffee (75% less to be exact). And on top of it, my second cup of coffee becomes my wholesome breakfast as well! Shakeology Chocolate flavor is very rich and on days when I need little extra pick me up, I will pick chocolate. I like to add some frozen strawberries and blueberries to it along with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Finally, Shakeology Strawberry , you may as well call it the healthiest ice cream! This is probably the first strawberry protein shake that I tried that didn’t taste like medicine. One flavor that I didn’t not explore yet is the Shakeology Greenberry. It is hard to describe what it tastes like but from what I understand it has a very berry flavor with undertone of wheatgrass. I think this is why I have not tried it yet, wheatgrass. Still never had wheatgrass shots that everyone is having these days! If you ever tried the Greenberry flavor, please do share the experience in the comment section. Next on my list are the two vegan protein shakes, Shakeology Vegan Chocolate and Shakeology Vegan Tropical Strawberry. If I ever need to stay away from whey lets say, it is good to know that there is a dairy free option out there. From what I read it’s really hard to find a good tasting vegan shake that doesn’t taste watered down. Per the reviews, these two vegan flavors are both rich and creamy.
Besides the taste, when you look inside the cup, the shake is one wholesome meal. See below for all the nutrients and ingredients that it contains.
Because Shakeology is so clean, I give it to my kids as well. My 3 year old son is very bad with vegetables so this is my way of adding some to his diet. I make him his favorite strawberry smoothie (frozen strawberries, almond milk, half an orange and drizzle of honey) and I add half a scoop of the vanilla protein powder and voila! He gets his smoothie and I feel great because I know that he had way more then just a juice smoothie.
Did I have any concerns with Shakeology at first? Yes, and it was the price point. Spending $130 on a 30 day supply sounded crazy to me. I broke it down and it came to be $4.30 cents per shake. Still sounded a lot! Now considering that I was spending $7 for a shake at the gym, Shakeology seemed like a bargain. Further more, my daily Starbucks runs were about $4. Also, if you take into consideration that this shake can replace your lunch which runs you between $10-$20 (or more), $4,30 cents is just a fraction. Also, since Shakeology contains all the essential vitamins, I do not have to be spending additional money buying multivitamin supplements anymore. When I really add up all the costs of my protein powder and all the vitamins I was taking, I was spending way more then $130 a month.
There are so many benefits that Shakeology claims it does for you. While I cannot vouch for some internal ones such as “improves immune system”, I can vouch for what it did for me thus far: I have more energy, I lost few pounds, my goldfish and candy cravings have reduced significantly. Ah and, no need for Anti-Bloat anymore, the tummy is flat! Simply said, I just feel healthier overall.
I truly believe in Shakeology and what it does for you. My family loves it already and I cannot wait for all of my friends to try it as well. Makes me so happy to spread the word about something that is healthy and yummy at the same time!
Until Next Time,