Thursday, June 13, 2013

Shakeology - The thing I never knew I needed (and the post where I learned that I am really bad at spelling protein and caffeine)

A shake whose tagline is the "healthiest meal of the day." On youtube there are countless videos raving about how great it is. A quick google search will bring up pages and pages of blogs and websites that talk about how great this product is. It is actually hard to find anything that speaks against this product -- and that was what made me completely skeptical.

It was like Beachbody paid someone to delete every negative thing that could be said about this product (or bury it deep in the blogosphere.) I couldn't find anything negative about this product. I went through pages and pages of google results. And then I found I actually knew people who used it. And loved it. And raved about it on Facebook and on blogs. But before I can talk about how I got hooked on Shakeology there are a few things about me you have to understand.

Not so many years ago, I was a breakfast hater. I didn't want to eat when I was dragging myself out of bed. I wanted a gallon of coffee (intravenously if possible.) Caffeine and more caffeine. That was all I needed or wanted, sometimes until mid afternoon. I reached a point where I had read enough and heard enough about how important breakfast was and how to maintain a healthy weight it was necessary (the Special K commercials probably had something to do with that.) Just knowing that wasn't enough. I couldn't take my knowledge and use it to create an appetite. Smoothies were starting to gain popularity so I started throwing some juice and protein powder in the blender and calling it breakfast. And I was hungry. In like a half hour. So I started using juice that had more fiber and that helped a little.

Then I changed up my protein powder to one that was a little pricier but some of my family members had been using and they loved. It was super yummy and tasted like cake. (Yay cake!) It kept me full and I was obsessed. It was worth the price because it did what it was supposed to do. And then I started looking into the ingredients and was bummed with what I found -- artificial sweeteners and the like. I was at the point where I was trying to cut that stuff out. (I was seriously a Splenda addict. I could have my sweet tea and no calories too! Whoop!) I was at a place in my life where I was more concerned about health than weight. (So no more diet pills or crazy starvation diets. Because believe me I tried them all.) I had read enough books to really believe that food should be our fuel and our medicine -- that food should be something more than something that tastes good and ends the rumbling in our tummies. I was starting to expect more from my food.

So I was starting to educate myself on what nutrition meant and had started seeing some of my Facebook friends talk about this shake. Girls I had worked with in the past were posting recipes and talking about how it was nutritious and kept them full and tasted yummy and pretty much did everything except clean their bathrooms. So I thought I would give it a whirl. I did some searching in the land of google and found the price and almost fell off my stool. I remember this moment very clearly, sitting at the small high top table in the corner of my dining room that I have commandeered as my desk thinking, John will kill me.

But I figured if I love it and it does what it is supposed to do and all the crazy claims are right, it is worth it (and I could feasibly keep the cost a secret until the credit card bill came.) I can stop buying multi vitamins and other protein powders and expensive (yummy) fiber filled juices to mix with it. Plus it has a bottom of the bag guarantee (from Beachbody's FAQ page):

So I could return it - the company stands behind it and it seems like everyone who tries it stands behind it too. So I logged on and hit the confirm order button really quickly, possibly with my eyes shut (sometimes it seems less painful when I hit the button quickly with my eyes shut. Yes, this is how my brain works. Scary.)

It came. I tried it with water and ice (which was dumb) and I gagged. All I could taste was the wheat grass (which if you are unfamiliar it tastes kind of like what you would imagine lawn clippings to taste like.) I was sitting on my stool in the dining room again literally thinking, Well I will be sending this shit back and going right back to my yummy cake tasting deliciousness -- artificial sweeteners and all. This is so not going to work for me. But I had that bottom of the bag guarantee in my head and figured if I am going to send it back I am at least going to get everything out of it I can (I like to think of it as being frugal.) The rest of the day my tummy rumbled and I was sick. I thought I had the stomach flu. So I googled and read and there were a bunch of people out there with the same reaction. Their advice - cut your serving in half. Sometimes it takes your body time to adjust to all the "good stuff." (Again with the good stuff -- after researching my thoughts are that I was reacting to the probiotics and the Yacon Root which is known for promoting good digestion.) Plus I was regularly having tummy troubles due to the absence of one gall bladder which was taken that fall. My body was still getting used to digesting everything.

I continued trying the shakes. Day two I was really nervous about drinking it and it took me probably an hour and a half to consume it. I took teeny tiny sips (only using half the serving size) and it was better. No problems. It still didn't taste great. Tastes like a chocolate milkshake my ass.

After about a week, it didn't taste like lawn clippings anymore and I had been messing around with what else to add. A cup of almond milk, frozen strawberries and half a banana seemed to be my favorite. The banana cut some of the grittiness that comes with the vegan formula and the frozen fruit gave it that yummy, creamy texture I wanted in a shake. After one week I was hooked. (And I had lost 5 pounds - never to see it again as I continued on with my challenge group and clean eating journey.)

Before I knew it the month was up and I was hooked. I felt great. My digestive system was running in tip top shape (which is something I could never ever say before) and that whole helping with cravings thing -- so not a lie or a gimmick to get you to purchase. Maybe all those crazy people weren't just trying to bait me to buy from them. Maybe they actually believe in this product.

I went ahead with my order for a second month. By this time I had done a lot more research (and moved across the country.) I also found I could sign up as a discount coach and get this Shakeology stuff for 25% off (less the $15 monthly coach website fee.) Despite the fee, it would still save me a little less than $20 a month. So I jumped on board, because who doesn't want to save some money. (And I wish I would have written about Shakeology before I signed up to coach. The biggest reason I didn't trust it was because it was being endorsed by people selling it. There's a sucker born every day folks, but I am not one of them. I worked in sales. I am onto your shenanigans. Now I guess the shoe is on the other foot because here I am admitting to the blogosphere that I was wrong. (Ask John how I feel about being wrong and then how I feel about admitting it. To people. In writing.)

Shakeology has really changed my habits. It has kept me on track and I look forward to drinking it every day. My two year old also loves drinking "Mom's shake" (I make her a mini version with 1/4-1/3 a scoop of powder instead of a full scoop.) If we every get rid of Mom's shake in this house I may have a world class melt down on my hands, since she asks for it every day.


Last night Shakeology announced it's newest flavor, vanilla. This has been in the making for years. And while I am bummed it is a flavor only available in the whey protein (for now I hope!) and I know this won't work for me, the excitement behind it is contagious! I also am really geeked about the fact that they worked so hard to find the right flavors to make it without chemicals and additives. I am so impressed by the quality Beachbody strives for in its ingredients and products. This flavor has been asked for by customers for years. Beachbody could have taken (chemical) shortcuts to meet consumer demand, however they held off until they found ingredients that met the integrity of what Shakeology is all about. This video made me very proud to be a part of this company--And just as excited for the vanilla flavor as everyone else who is going to actually get to use it. (Fingers crossed vegan vanilla is next!) 

For more information on Shakeology check out the link below:

Send me a message  or an email (I would love to chat with you!)

Or do your own research. Information is powerful and it's up to you to gather it and make your own assessments. (And yes, that is the English teacher in me rising up and taking over. Remember all those research papers you had to write in school? All the note cards you had to make? Who said it would never come in handy...)

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