Most of my long-time readers and real life friends know how I feel about nutritional supplementation. I really, truly believe that you CAN get all your nutrients from real, whole foods. I am a notorious ingredient-label reader, and nine times out of ten I’d prefer to make my own food rather than buy it.
Hence Sunday’s massive baking spree in the +27 heat…yikes!
Unfortunately, I lack daytime organization. I’m really great at planning fabulous, healthy dinners for my family that are whole and balanced. I’m also really great at making informed, healthy decisions when I’m out and about (unless I decide I really don’t care, which I’m entitled to do once in awhile!!). The thing is, I’m usually so busy thinking about 10 million other things that I neglect to plan for breakfast and lunch. I always know what I’m making for dinner the night before but breakfast, lunch and snacks are completely forgotten.
So while what I do put in my body is very wholesome 90% of the time, what concerns me is what I don’t put in my body. When it comes to supplementing my diet, I am also very leery. I take a multivitamin, but most of it get eliminated because most are not balanced properly to allow for maximum absorption. I have a hard time spending good money on something that only offers me vitamins and minerals without the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that my body needs to function.
Time and nutrition led me to talk to my physiotherapist, an endurance athlete who uses the Visalus/Body by Vi shakes. Much like a multivitamin, I’ve been leery of shakes. I see so many people downing their protein shakes after a workout when they don’t really need them – they’re just packing on extra calories because they think they need them. Very few individuals need to supplement their diets – protein shakes have a purpose in the industry, but it’s not for Average Joe. I am also aghast at diets like Slim Fast that encourage a hugely calorie-reduced diet to lose weight by replacing meals with their shakes. 800 calories a day is not a sustainable, healthy lifestyle choice, which is why those programs have such high turnover and low long-term success.
Once we chatted though, I found the difference: there was actual sustenance for a normally-active person, not just someone with above-average nutritional needs. The beauty of this is that it is a nutritional supplement that you add to your shake much like a multivitamin. It replaces the need for my no-energy-provided multivitamins. I’m also mixing it with milk, fruit, and a package of Starbucks VIA in the mornings. Calorically dense enough to satisfy my breakfast appetite and sustain my activity levels at about 400 calories. Nutritionally balanced, between the food itself and the shake mix. And the kicker? Tasty as can be! I’ve tried making shakes before to counteract my time deficiencies (some with a mix-in, some without), but they tasted like dried garbage to put it mildly. This one didn’t. Texture-wise, I was also impressed. I have a strong stomach, but I cannot drink anything that tastes remotely yogurt-y. Yuck, yuck, yuck!! This was more milk-shakey in comparison – YUM!
Like I said, leery, skeptical, whatever you want to call it. But I did my research, and everything that I’ve read has pushed me in this direction to fit into both my beliefs and my hectic lifestyle. The closing argument for me was reading Jessica Zapata’s blog about her 90-day challenge. I have respected her position in the fitness industry for a long time. She is educated, intelligent and does due diligence to her clients and her business. She isn’t one of the weekend-warrior trainers that drive me batty Reading her personal and professional experience, and seeing how closely they matched my own thoughts, concerns and beliefs was a huge motivating factor for me – here is someone who has also done the research, has the education to understand it, and has come out with a positive review.
Thus, I am giving the 90-day challenge a shot! There are 2 options: 1 shake a day and 2 shakes a day. I’m opting for the 2-a-day road, because it really is those 2 meals a day that lack. On the days that my mornings are uncharacteristically calm, I may opt to just shake for lunch I’m going to blog about it and post my findings. This isn’t about weight loss or performance for me (although there are people who use their Visalus for that); it’s about finding a nutritional balance that I am happy and satisfied with.
I hope to find that!