So I totally started this post on Monday - so the title was appropriate then...but hello Tuesday! haha oh well! Our local diner used to have Shaky Mondays...buy one get one free and all the crazy flavors...even been to Kroll's? Any way - I get asked a LOT about my opinion on nutritional shakes, protein shakes, etc - so hey - why not face it head on?
My Honest Outlook on Shakes
I'm sure you have seen me post multiple times about Shakeology and I'm not writing this to "talk you into" anything or sell you on anything - Just want to share my thoughts on shakes in general.
Across the street from the hospital I work at there is a shake shop (supported by a company I will not mention...you can figure it out!) and I used to go there frequently! Mostly because it was fun to get outside, bond with coworkers and hey it's a healthy smoothie right? PLUS I hate a heavy meal anyway and this way I had something to sip on throughout the shift and it ties me over until I got home.
After going a few times a week for a few weeks it started to not only get expensive (um...SEVEN DOLLARS a pop!), but I started to get really bad stomachaches. Like...couldn't go to the bathroom at all (and yeah - I'll spare you the rest of the details) Also I couldn't help but question the way I heard people talk about going there "OMG I ALWAYS get the so and so shake...it's under 200 calories!" Um...that can't be good - under 200 calories for a meal? And what is in it anyway? And the conversation..."yeah! I've lost so much weight! I'm drinking two a day!" Well of course you are going to lose weight when your intake is FOUR HUNDRED CALORIES a day! Just because it is low calorie...it does NOT make it healthy. Your body needs calories and nutrients and FUEL to function to survive! ...
So after doing my own research I finally looked up the ingredients...and was shocked. And a bit mad at myself I didn't do it sooner. Was it a high protein snack? Yes. But the ingredients were basically soy protein and then artificial sweeteners...annnddd a bunch of other stuff I couldn't pronounce. WHAT WAS I PUTTING IN MY BODY! And what did they add at the shop to make the recipes? More fake things: artificial powders for fruit flavorings and other things of this nature. Now...don't get me wrong. I'm not a perfect eater and me myself sometimes add pudding powder to my shake recipes I make at home... but I also noticed something else. When a coworker left her drink on the counter for a couple hours...it separated into chunks and a watery separated mess. Again..WHAT had I been feeding my poor body? No wonder my stomach was revolting...
So I quit going. And what happened? The stomachaches stopped. My body started to regulate itself.
I'm not writing this to bash another company - but simply want to share my own experience. We all hear about a TON of protein powders, supplements, drinks etc - and it's super hard to figure out what is best for you - or really is it needed at all? I too am a pretty healthy eater overall, but find it SUPER hard to fit in all the nutrients I need to fuel my body in a day. ESPECIALLY when you run around crazy living the nurse life. I also don't want to eat spinach and kale at every meal BUT I DO what the benefits that superfoods can do for me.The energy, the fighting of inflammation and warding off disease, the cholesterol lowering - all of that. GIVE ME THE GOODS!
As you can about imagine I was pretty leary of all these said "shakes" after my personal experience. I had heard of this Shakeology stuff but first wrote it off as some "weight loss short cut" "quick fix" - etc. and that was NOT my goal. I wasn't looking to lose weight. What I did want was to get my nutrients in in a delish and convenient way without having to buy a million supplements to take on the daily.
So what are some things I looked into before trying it?
1. Looking at the ingredients and not just the "nutritional label" - So many times we focus on the macros: how many carbohydrates, fats and protein. If it isn't high in protein and low in carbs and sugar it must be be written off and a "no-go" right? Look at the INGREDIENTS. What did I find? I could PRONOUNCE everything. It was made from whole foods. Plants. Superfoods I had heard of like maca, acai berry, spinach, chia seed, ashwaganda, reishi mushrooms, macha, pomegranate, rosehips, chorella, spirulina. I even read that it contained probiotics and prebiotics to help digestion. There weren't any fillers. It was sweetened with stevia - a plant sweetener so it didn't contain any of the fake stuff that has been linked to cancer and other diseases when taken regularly. I also figured out that in ONE serving of this stuff I could get in $42 worth of produce.
here is a visual.
2. I also researched - where was it made? What is the process that goes into making it? Is a bunch of stuff added that ISN'T on the label and how true is the company? Turned out that there is a MN man named Darin Olien - he legit TRAVELS the globe to find the ingredients that go into Shakeology. He meets with the farmers. He explores jungles. He actually visits the places that they get the ingredients from to ensure that it is a legit source. Crazy right? ALL of the ingredients are tested and restested THREE TIMES before it goes into shake powder. Protein and supplement powders often have a bunch of added fillers that make it cheaper - Shakeology does not. Turns out a LOT of work goes into the process of making it and it has to be a tedious process to make all these things that are in it combine perfectly AND make it taste good.
3. Price - How much does it cost? One serving is less than $5 a day. It is NOT cheap to ensure that you get a quality product. And I've learned that you get what you pay for. How many times have I paid OVER that price for a drink at Starbucks...or some other place - and how many times to people do THAT daily. AND those drinks do NOT have the same benefits. I also learned that the company has a money back "bottom of the bag" guarantee. Finish the entire bag, send it back because you didn't like it and they would STILL reimburse you. They are dedicated to this product and believe in it so much they put their money where their mouth is. Also - pay $5 a day for something that benefits me? Or spend money on treating things like high cholesterol? high blood pressure? diabetes?
4. Is the shake something that makes you happy and feels good? OR is it something that makes you feel deprived and sad? Replacing two meals of food a day to achieve "health" is NOT healthy in my opinion - I would feel like I'm missing out on life! How in the world is THAT healthy? Adding Shakeology makes me FEEL GOOD. I still eat all of my regular meals! I have added this to my day for three years now and it has only helped me. (more on that later) Yes I still eat real food. Yes I still chew my meals. Every time I have it it feels like a treat - whether its in the form of a pancake or waffle, my ice cream like shake or a smoothie bowl. I'm not mad about lowering my cholesterol over 50 points, cut out pop cravings in the afternoon, not binging on sweets, having clearer skin and my hair grow faster and keeping up my energy either.
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Cookie and Treats Baker. R.N. Nutrition Nerd. Runner. <3 Coffee. Fitness. Foodie. In pursuit of finding my own kind of balance...
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