Tips for a Vegan Newbie

The Vegan Experience: Top 10 Tips For a First-Time Vegan

So I am pretty much a #glutenfree #vegan (UPDATE: I did not mean to offend any true vegans. I have so much respect for those of you who truly are vegan. The technical term for my diet is Ovo-Pescatarian since I eat eggs and seafood. The dairy free and gluten free are in place due to intolerances. Hope this clears things up!! <3).

However, I think these tips can help anyone going #dairyfree or even just looking to eat #healthy and incorporate more fruits, veggies and plant based #protein into your #diet!

The Vegan Experience: Top 10 Tips For a First-Time Vegan
Source: Serious Eats

Real Scoop Sundae: Shakedown on Shakeology

If you missed part 1 of my Shakeology review last Sunday, be sure to check it out now!

shakeology vs other foods

In my pre-review last week I filled you all know in on my past exposure to Shakeology, as well as my opinion of most other protein powders on the market. This week I anxiously awaited the arrival of my Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla Shakeology samples from an awesome Beachbody coach that was willing to part ways with a few of hers. Thank you Juli! Thursday I received an awesome little package in the mail with my samples (how freaking adorable is the bow!?) and a super sweet note. I was so excited to wake up Friday morning to get my shake on!

Get your own taste sampler!

Shakeology Samples Shakeology Samples

And then this happened…

Shakeology Spill

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that instead of crying over spilt milk I slurped it up! That’s right. I drank half of my first Shakeology shake straight off my desk. As Juli said… “it’s liquid gold!” I couldn’t waste a drop especially after tasting it and knowing how delicious it was! I used my Magic Bullet to mix up a delicious concoction of Vanilla Shakeology, banana, strawberries, blueberries and unsweetened almond milk! Before adding all this deliciousness to the blender I tried about 1/6 of the mix in about 2oz of water and blended them together to make it thick and creamy. It wasn’t half bad! Personally, I preferred it spruced up with fruits and almond milk but would definitely drink it with just water or almond milk in a pinch!
NOTE: Someday I will own a Vitamix but until then my Magic Bullet does the trick! I use it for everything!

Magic Bullet Vitamix

Things I look for in a smoothie or shake are thickness (needs to at least stick to the spoon… best way to achieve this is frozen fruits), creaminess (I prefer some sort of milk in mine versus juice or water), nutritional value (I try to have lots of protein in my first meal of the day… and I do prefer to keep it under 400 calories so I can have room for two more meals and snacks throughout my day) and of course flavor (I actually love the taste of health foods… adding spinach, flax, chia and other supplements are part of my daily routine. As my boyfriend would say… “earthy flavors” lol). This shake hit all four qualifications for a good shake right on the head!

Vanilla ShakeologyI was able to easily get a spoonful of this shake without worrying about it dripping on the way to my mouth but was thin enough to drink through a straw. I used unsweetened almond milk and frozen bananas to add the perfect level of creaminess. This shake contained 1 serving of Vanilla Shakeology, 3/4 a frozen banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup fresh blueberries and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk. The nutritional value is as follows: 318 calories, 6 grams fat, 10 grams fiber, 388 grams potassium ANDD most importantly 18 grams protein! I don’t know too many vegetarian breakfast foods out there that can make that kind of nutrition into such a low calorie meal! (I know eggs and bacon and many other meats can get you that much protein but guess what… they are also loaded with cholesterol!)

shakeologyAnimated-white wide

Chocolate ShakeologyMy second and third Shakeology were made with the Chocolate flavor. OMG! They have a slogan: “Hate eating veggies? Acts like a salad, tastes like a dessert!” Well it is true! I really thought I would like the Vanilla best, but I was way wrong. The chocolate was the perfect combo of milk and dark chocolate when I tried it with just water. Creamy like the vanilla but not to sweet or too tart and tasted like a chocolate milk shake! I mentioned above that I like my smoothies to be thick enough to eat with a spoon, but thin enough to drink with a straw. The picture to the left is an attempt to capture that in my chocolate, banana, strawberry smoothie this morning. Not sure if you can tell, but the spoon had to be tipped a fair amount before it would spill. And I had no problem slurping every last drop with a straw.

Shakeology-Vs-Real-World

So I know lots of you are wondering about the value of this product. Yes, it is more expensive than most other protein powders on the market. But check out this comparison chart of Shakeology versus other breakfast and lunch options. Turns out the regular price is cheaper than almost every other option in this comparison… and if you get the club or coach price… it is WAY cheaper! Saving even a dollar a day adds up! Ask me how to get a discounted price!!

Shakeology NutritionPossibly more important than anything (to me at least!) is the nutritional value of these shakes. I took a picture of the Vanilla sample package to share the ingredients with you, which can also be found on their website. These shakes pack an amazing punch into each and every scoop of the product! Each scoop contains a blend of: protein, antioxidant superfoods, adaptogen herbs, pre- and probiotics, a fiber & enzyme blend and last, but not least, phytonutrient super-greens!

I know that sounds like a lot of big words but here are a few you might know: high nutrient fruits & veggies, flax, chia, quinoa, green tea, ginkgo biloba and antioxidants… ALL IN ONE GLASS!!

Shakeology Has It All!

And don’t forget that you are in charge! You can not only choose your Shakeology flavor (they even have VEGAN!), you can also mix it up everyday with your own add ins. So far I haven’t ventured too far from my standards but I did test out adding greens, I added spinach, to see if the mix covered the flavor. As you may or may not know, spinach is a pretty mild green, but the chocolate completely masked the flavor! Which is great to know if you have picky eaters at home, especially little ones that need the extra nutrition and are hesitant to eat the greens on their plates. This is the perfect way to sneak in extra nutrients in a delicious “dessert”.

Green Chocolate Shakeology Green Chocolate Shakeology

So are you ready to reduce your cravings for processed, nutrient deficient foods and stave off hunger? Shakeology will help satisfy your appetite! Do you want to protect your body from damaging free radicals? The essential Amino Acids found in Shakeology can improve your immunity and assist in reducing inflammation. Could you benefit from a product that can aid in repairing your stressed, worn tissues with the Antioxidants and Phytonutrients? Shakeology can help with that too!

And with all those benefits… wanna know the best part for a crazy saver like me?!

shakeology guarantee

Here is the BeachBody Guarantee, right from the website:

Enjoy healthy nutrition RISK FREE for 30 days with our Bottom-of-the-Bag Guarantee

  • If you don’t feel healthier, more energized, and simply amazing, you won’t pay. You can return Shakeology for any reason and get your money back (less s&h)—even if the bag is empty!
  • To return, simply make a short call to our friendly Customer Service team, rated “A” by the better Business Bureau®.

So on that note… what is there to lose? Other than those extra pounds… I mean if you have them 😉Shakedown on Shakeology

Real Scoop Sundae: Do You Shakeology?

Shakeology

If you told me you haven’t heard of Shakeology I don’t know if I would believe you.  It feels like every morning my Facebook news feed is full of status updates about my friends starting their day with their daily Shakeology.  My Instagram is full of photos of their delicious looking smoothies and my Twitter even has recipes using this apparently amazing powder.  I am actually kinda surprised with myself that this product has been around for 5 years now and I have yet to try it. I admit I have been intrigued for a while but have done absolutely no research on it… until now!

After hearing all the rav reviews on social media outlets from what I would consider fairly good sources (I may or may not be friends with lots of health nuts and fitness gurus and people that actually give a crap abut their bodies. Just sayin!) I decided I should probably check it out for myself. I am anxiously awaiting a few samples of Shakeology (in multiple flavors I believe!) to try and report back with next week in my Real Scoop Sundae review.

Until then I wanted to share a little bit about the product that I found from my research, as well as some pretty amazing statistics about how much people love Shakeology from the companies latest customer survey of over 3,000 daily users! In my opinion that is a pretty large number of people to survey to get this many positive reviews. There must be something to this product beyond what may or may not seem like a gimmick to you.

I can’t lie. In general, I am very skeptical of anything claiming to have SO many positive impacts on your body with just a few small changes. Meal substitutes and protein powders and even vitamin supplements are often times full of a bunch of junk! They tend to be high in calories, additives, chemicals and sometimes even full of sugar! CRAZY RIGHT?!
I swear to you that I was at the grocery store the other day and saw a protein powder advertising body buildingesc muscle results… ONE SERVING HAD 570 CALORIES! I think my jaw hit the floor. That was just for the powder. I was so in shock I couldn’t even read the ingredients and nutrition facts but I am wishing I had now just so I could tell you about them!

Anyways, back to the point of this PRE-review post. Below is the “evidence” Shakeology provided on their blog about what they claim to “truly be the Healthiest Meal of the Day®”.

Shakeology Benefits Survey

Here’s the proof:*

  • 93% feel healthier since drinking Shakeology
  • 72% say Shakeology helped them lose weight
  • 86% report increased energy levels
  • 81% feel it helped them reduce their cravings for junk food
  • 81% say Shakeology keeps them full until their next meal
  • 82% report improved digestion**

*Based on a survey of 2,769 Shakeology users who drank Shakeology 5 or more times per week and exercised 3 times per week.

**Based on a survey of 874 Shakeology users with digestion concerns who drank Shakeology 5 or more times per week and exercised 3 times per week.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

“And there’s more good news where that came from. A lot more, actually.The new survey also shows that most Shakeology drinkers experience improved regularity and digestion, feel more alert and focused throughout the day, have fewer mood swings, and even have healthier looking skin, hair, and nails.”

SUPERFOOD FOR THOUGHT

“The benefits go on and on and on. So if you aren’t drinking Shakeology every single day, now you have 15 fantastic reasons why you should… In other words, this is one shake with some serious street cred. So if you’re looking for an incredibly healthy and delicious shake, look no further than Shakeology. Real Shakeology customers have spoken. We hope you listened. And are swayed to start drinking—Shakeology that is.”

So that is what the people over at Shakeology have to say based on the responses they received users that consumed the product 5+ time a week (as you saw in the notes above). In my opinion, other people opinions truly count. I am an online shopper that regularly spends hours reading customers reviews. I am almost always hesitant to purchase a product with negative or limited reviews. Thankfully searches upon searches turn up positive reviews of this product!

What’s in Shakeology and What Does it Help With?

“Shakeology is so incredibly healthy, there’s no other single food item out there that can supply you with all the nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals in the amounts you need the way one delicious shake can. … It can help support a healthy intestinal tract, aid in digestion, promote regularity, increase the absorption of nutrients and shed toxins built up from years of eating processed foods.”

So until next week I will leave you with this fairly basic PRE-review post to wet your feet into the world of Shakeology in case you have been under a rock for 5 years! Check out more about the product here AND pretty please leave me a comment letting me know any and all experience you have with this product! I would love to incorporate your feedback in my official Real Scoop Sundae review next week. Give it all to me baby! The good, the bad and the ugly (if there is any!) A review is only a good review if it is honest and fair!

save money shakeology

Last, but definitely not least, Shakeology claims you can actually SAVE MONEY with their product! Now that is something I am interested to learn more about! I will definitely be putting in my two-cents (haha get it!? ok bad joke) next week!

“A World of Superfood Nutrition In Every Glass of Shakeology®”

PS. HAPPY EASTER!! You thought I forgot huh?! 😉

TASTE THE RAINBOW

Happy Monday!

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Health Benefits Of Multi-Colored Fruits & Veggies

I know it’s Monday and it’s back to the grind at work and school and errands and cleaning, but don’t forget to take the time to include fresh fruits and veggies in your diet. Not only will the variety of colors, flavors and textures help replace other foods your might be craving like chips, candy and cookies, but the extra vitamins and nutrients will give you just the energy boost you need to make it through another week!

If you take one hour (or less!) each week to wash and pre-cut your favorite fruits and veggies you will be less likely to grab the unhealthy snack of convenience out of your pantry! You will be well stocked all week with perfect size packs of multi-colored snacks!

My favorite way to store all this deliciousness is in BPA FREE Tuperware or super fun Mason Jars! ps. Get the wide mouth ones!! I PROMISE they are worth the extra buck or two to save your sanity getting things in and out!! JUST TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!

You can use anything you like but I recommend at least making sure your containers are BPA FREE. If you are trying to avoid plastic, the mason jars are a great way to store anything from fruit and veggies to cereal, sugars and flour. I love being able to see what I have in my fridge and pantry. I even use them for smoothies when I am feeling fancy! 😉

*I need to find an awesome picture I took of all my whole grains (gluten free of course) when I first got all my mason jars. Stay tuned!*

Until then, make sure to TASTE all the COLORS of the RAINBOW for optimum health!! Have a great week!

Photo credit: TryFoodLovers

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