I’ve been wanting to get back into a regimen of daily smoothies (and working out) like I was in the beginning of 2011. Due to the stress and change I experienced this last year I decided I wanted to try a supplemental green powder. Something that can be drank alone or with the addition of my favorite greens and fruits.
What do I want my supplement to contain? Green powders like chlorella and spirulina, pro and pre-biotics, sprouted grains, and often many important minerals that I’m just not sure I get enough of on a daily basis. What do I want? To lose about 10-15 pounds and maintain a healthy weight from here on out and healthy hair/nails.
During my research I tried samples of both Shakeology flavors and Vega’s vanilla almondilla complete shake.
The Shakeology I tried happens to be sold by a friend here in Portland and I acquired the Vega vanilla almondilla at the October Veg Fest. I know – can’t believe I’m just trying it now! On my interweb search I discovered Vega’s other product from their, Complete Whole Food supplement line. The brand, Vega, is created by Brendan Frazier author of Thrive.
Vega Vanilla Almondilla Shake and Go Smoothie
This was good. I love almond and marzipan flavors and this really picked up on those. It wasn’t really a ‘whole’ vitamin and mineral supplement but more of a vegan meal replacement containing a good amount of Iron. Needless to say I enjoyed the sample immensely, but it’s not what I’m looking for at this time.
I liked it! I was very impressed with its minimal ingredients (fructose is the only sugar), that it contained chlorella, spirulina, and maca and its all around low glycemic rating. It had a slightest of slight smell of horse hay but not detectable in taste. I made mine with a frozen banana, a little dab of peanut butter, and some almond milk in my tall tribest personal blender cup.
I LOVED this one! It’s funny because, online, the chocolate one gets way better reviews but I really liked everything about the greenberry and if I ever get Shakeology it will probably all greenberry. It carries the same benefits as the chocolate except it’s green and berry flavored. Obvious – I know. I blended it in my tall tribest blender cup with a frozen banana, a dab of peanut butter, and almond milk. So good!
Vega: Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer, Berry Flavored
Straight from the front of the label. All-in-one, natural plant-based formula. Excellent source of protein, fiber & antioxidants. Provides 100% recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Contains Omega 3 & 6 EFAs, enzymes, probiotics & phytonutrients. Free of common allergens, alkaline-forming & easy to digest.
Granted I didn’t try it beforehand and boy was I lucky because it is delicious! It contains tons of quality ingredients, only 1 gram of sugar and is sweetened with stevia leaf, and it contains vegan sources of protein. Although I wouldn’t mind whey protein on occasion, I’m much rather intrigued by protein sources derived from sprouted seeds and grains – so I always like when I see companies using those sources (like PlantFusion).
I was really surprised when I cracked it open and found it to smell of berries and not horse hay. If you haven’t heard my spiel on horse hay yet – it revolves around so many ‘green’ supplements smelling and tasting like hay smells. So I call it ‘horse hay’. Simple. The flavor is extremely good, so good that I have to watch out and make sure Jeremy doesn’t drink all of mine.
Having liked both of these, why didn’t I choose Shakeology at this time?
Costs for 30 days of Shakeology = $119.95 about $4/day
Costs for 30 days of Vega = $105.30 about $3.51/day or $1.75/day if I halve the serving size
Vega is a bit cheaper and even cheaper if you use a 1/2 serving (1 scoop instead of 2) or don’t have it every day. And Vega ordered online through my Amazon Prime has free 2 day shipping – love that! I found that a half serving of Vega offers almost double some of the minerals and nutrients that is in one serving of Shakeology.
Shakeology has to be ordered through a vendor/coach plus the cost of shipping. You can avoid shipping costs if you sign up for their monthly autoship, but I’m not ready for that kind of commitment when I hardly know you. 😉
I am interested in the possible opportunities Shakeology provides if you become a ‘coach’ – like discounts on your own orders being able to stand behind a product you believe in while making some extra cash. I might just do this one day.
For now I’m in vega-love and I’m excited to see how I look and feel by the end of January. Maybe I’ll even switch to Shakeology for February to compare benefits. We shall see.
Now… what I am really excited to talk about. We see the list of ingredients on shake/meal/health supplements and are a little smug when a ‘powder’ is chock full of things we think or know to be good for us but what do they all do? I decided to use my handy dandy book and go through some if not all the supplements listed for Vega and find out what they’re good for and how they’ll make me shine from the inside out. After all, it’s good to know what you’re drinking and why.
- Helps form and maintain healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes
- Natural sources are: apricots, asparagus, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, endive, kale, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and watermelon
- Aids in iron and calcium absorption and helps treat iron-deficiency anemia
- Natural sources: black currants, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collards, grapefruit, guava, kale, lemons, mangos, oranges, papayas, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, and watercress
- Regulates growth, hardening and repair of bone by controlling absorption of calcium/phosphorus from small intestine
- Good for vegans/vegetarians with limited sun exposure
- Natural sources: the ones listed are mostly fish, fortified milk, or sunlight
- May reduce circulatory problems of the lower extremities
- Antioxidant for cancer, heart disease, tissue, and free radicals in the body
- Natural sources: almonds, asparagus, avocados, brazil nuts, broccoli, corn, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach, sunflower seeds, and walnuts
- Promotes healthy liver function
- Natural sources: asparagus, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, leaf lettuce, oatmeal, oats, rye, soybeans, wheat, and yogurt
- Enhances circulation
- Natural sources: brown rice, egg yolks, fish, legumes, peanuts, peas, rice bran, wheat germ, and whole grains
- Preventing migraine headaches
- Natural sources: bananas, legumes, spinach, kelp, dandelion greens, avocados, mushrooms, watercress, eggs, mixed vegetables, and wheat germ
- Helps in proper circulation, healthy skin, and lowers cholesterol
- Natural sources: brewer’s yeast, broccoli, carrots, dandelion greens, dates, eggs, fish, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, wheat germ, alfalfa, and dried beans/peas
- Involved in more bodily functions than almost any other single nutrient and aids in the absorption of fats and protein
- Natural sources: brewer’s yeast, carrots, eggs, fish, peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and wheat germ
- Known as brain food for its ability to maintains the nervous system, intestinal tract, sex organs, white blood cells, and normal patterns of growth
- Natural sources: asparagus, avocados, bananas, beets, beans, brewer’s yeast, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, citrus fruits/juices, endive, garbanzo beans, green leafy vegetables, lentils, sprouts, and wheat germ
- Needed to prevent anemia and helps in the utilization of iron
- Natural sources: Not found in many vegetables except sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp, kombu, and nori. Also available in soybeans, brewer’s yeast, eggs, and other meat/cheese products
- Aids in fatty acid production and promotes healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue, and bone marrow
- Natural sources: brewer’s yeast, cooked egg yolks, soybeans, whole grains, and saltwater fish
- Known as the “anti-stress vitamin”, it plays a role in the production of adrenal hormones and the formation of antibodies and vitamin utilization/absorption
- Natural sources: brewer’s yeast, eggs, avocados, bananas, broccoli, collard greens, lentils, oranges, peanut butter, peas, soybeans, sunflower seeds, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, royal jelly, saltwater fish, whole rye flower, and whole wheat
- Vital for the formation of strong bones/teeth and even maintains healthy gums
- Natural sources: almonds, Brazil nuts, broccoli, kelp, tofu, yogurt, and turnip greens
- Is required for healthy immune function and energy. Iron deficiency symptoms include anemia, brittle hair, digestive disturbances, fatigue, hair loss, nails that are spoon-shaped or that have ridges running length-wise, nervousness, obesity, and pallor
- Natural sources: eggs, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, almonds, avocados, beets, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, dates, dulse, kelp, kidney and lima beans, lentils, millet, peaches, pears, dried prunes, pumpkins, raisins, sesame seeds, soybeans, and watercress
- Needed for blood clotting, bone and tooth formation, cell growth, converting food to energy, utilizing vitamins to be apsorbed
- Natural sources: asparagus, bran, brewer’s yeast, corn, eggs, dried fruits, garlic, legumes, nuts, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Needed in trace amounts to help metabolize excess fat and to promote a healthy thyroid
- Natural sources: seafood, saltwater fish, kelp, and iodized salt. Trace amounts may be found in asparagus, dulse, garlic, lima beans, mushrooms, sea salt, sesame seeds, soybeans, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard, and turnip greens.
- Aids in bone growth and the function of nerves and muscles
- Natural sources: almonds, avocados, bananas, collards/beet greens, leafy green vegetables, and nuts
- Important to prostate gland function and growth of reproductive organs. Allows acuity of taste and smell.
- Natural sources: brewer’s yeast, dulse, egg yolks, kelp, legumes, lima beans, mushrooms, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and whole grains
- Great for tissue elasticity, protecting the liver, and regulating the effects of the thyroid hormone on fat metabolism
- Natural sources: bran, broccoli, brown rice, cabbage, garlic, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, and onions
- Important to the healing process and hair/skin coloring
- Natural sources: avocados, legumes, lentils, nuts, oats, peanuts, raisins, soybeans, and spinach
- Manganese works well with the B-vitamins to provide an overall feel good mojo to your body
- Natural sources: avocados, beans, blue/blackberries, buckwheat, carrots, chestnuts, hazelnuts, oatmeal, peanuts, peas, pecans, seaweed, and spinach
- Promotes glucose metabolism and helps insulin regulate blood sugar
- Natural sources: beer, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, whole grains, apples, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes
- Helps development of the nervous system, waste processing in the kidneys, and energy production in cells
- beans, cereal grains, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, and peas
- Works with sodium to balance the body’s water balance. Important to a healthy nervous system and a regular heart rhythm.
- Natural sources: asparagus, avocados, bananas, beans, cantaloupe, carrots, chard, citrus fruit, nuts, molasses, parsnips, peas, potatoes, raisins, and spinach
- Consists of organic hemp protein, yellow pea protein, organic brown rice protein, and whole flax seed
- 26g of Broad Spectrum Protein
- 40% of calories from protein, with all essential amino acids in ideal balance
- Alkaline forming, 35% raw protein with enzymes intact
- From what I can tell this is the ‘healthy’ way to give this kind of product a good taste texture, it helps emulsify and give a creamy taste without the use of trans-fats or hydrogenated oils. I think it also adds to the fiber value which is 15g per serving.
- Vega and MacaSure are both subsidiaries under the company Sequel Naturals. MacaSure is maca that has been gelatinized to remove the root’s starch and improve absorption while also concentrating the active ingredients within. maca is a powerful adaptogen that helps increase energy and stamina and improve the ability to handle stress. Maca contains the following benefits by naturally nourishing and rejuvenating exhausted adrenal glands by increase energy, reducing stress and its impact on the body, controlling cortisol levels, promoting restful sleep, improving immunity, and enhancing mental clarity.
- Also a subsidiary of Sequel! Taken from their website “ChlorEssence is a unique patented strain of Chlorella, the result of 35 years of research. Developed for maximum levels of Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) featuring typical values of 18%-25%, ChlorEssence contains the highest CGF concentrations of any brand of Chlorella.“
- Cleanses/detoxifies the body, provides critical nutrients, activates/supports/strengthens the immune system, and promotes healthy cellular growth/repair.
- Protects against coronary artery disease and works as an anti-inflammatory against aching joints
- Natural sources: Walnut and flax seed oils
- Play a crucial role in brain development and help stimulate hair and skin growth
- Since some omega 6 promote inflammation its best when they are balanced with omega 3
- Natural sources: raw nuts, seeds, and legumes
- Aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients
- as a sweetner
- Great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help defend against free radical damage
- Helps maintain healthy intestinal flora
Well if you read ALL the way to the end – good hell – you are awesome! You don’t get a reward but maybe the satisfaction and a self-pat on the back. 😉
Do you use a green supplement? and if so which one? Do you make your own? Share! please 🙂
Great post!! I love Vega, I haven’t used it as a drink but I have a recipe that uses it to make delic protien balls. I just might start drinking it though!
P.S. Valynne referred me to your blog last week. I’m loving it!!
Thank you! I am so glad you’re enjoying FYS. 🙂 I totally imagined that I had already replied to this 🙁 but I hadn’t. LOL I was so excited when I read your comment! Those protein balls sound awesome, is the recipe on their site?
Patting myself on the back!! Very detailed nutritionally. Thanks Michelle. It was a nice refresher course. Takes me back to my days of a child-adolescent nutrition course. My only concern for my personally is that with the prescription medication that I take, I have to be careful of some herbs, which can be contained in supplements, herbal teas, natural products, etc. For me, I always have room for improvement with my dietary habits.
Wow – you have really done your homework here! Nicely done. I will be trying the sample you gave me, but will most likely stick to the Shakeology as I have tried many a protein/nutrition/whatever you want to call it drink and Shakeology is my fave in terms of ingredients and how my body responds to them. Can’t wait for the vegan version to come out next month! V