This company, based out of Texas, does a pretty good job of marketing their shakes on their site, but do their ingredients stand up against the competition?
- ‘Proprietary blend’ of… Anytime a company includes the term ‘proprietary blend’, it is a red flag in my mind. They do not disclose their oh so very secret recipe which makes up their precious formula. Not as transparent as I would like with any type of food I am about to ingest.
- Whey protein isolate — ISOLATES!!! BEWARE of this word. Think about a whole apple for instance and then you break it down into its bare components, and isolate all the macro and micro nutrients from the fiber, and antioxidants, sugars, etc. How does one identify which are the most important pieces?! Who says that the skin is less valuable than the seeds or juicy insides?! When you isolate whey for instance, you are MUCH more likely to mount an allergenic response since it is in an unnatural state that has been tampered with. It is not together with the rest of its buddies and now the immune system may see this as a trigger. For anyone suffering with leaky gut type issues, adrenals, thyroid, metabolic conditions, etc — whey might pose a problem. Be wary of all isolates you see on labels.
- Dextrose — typically corn-based (anything corn, think highly likely GMO — genetically modified = unknown long term effects and short term dangerous for our body and endocrine/hormone system).
- Chia Seed powder — micro-milling (see my rant below) is not the best way to reap benefits of the omega fats in chia seeds. In fact, it makes the seeds go rancid a lot sooner than when you enjoy the whole seeds.
- Natural flavor — when you think about it, what exactly is a ‘natural flavor’?! Any added flavor you taste has been created in a lab, whether it be artificial or natural, so do not be fooled.
- Xantham gum — neutral alternative to gluten, nice choice.
- Stevia — great idea, you can grow your own Stevia plant! I want one. Just saying.
- On the food label, you will see the Omega Fatty Acids listed and broken down. This is a nice feature, although they do not specify where each of the numbers comes from. We get most of our Omega 9’s from olive oil, and don’t need to waste $$ on getting a quality dose of it elsewhere. While the 3’s and 6’s are included, I am just not convinced.
- Vanillin found in the vanilla flavor shake — YUCK! Are you serious!? Vanillin is a synthetic flavor made from petrochemicals and byproducts in the paper industry. No need to have it in our diet, whatsoever.
- ‘Cross-flow/cold-processed ion exchanged proprietary blend’. Wow, that is a mouthful. As it turns out, cross flow filtration is a basic technique in which the starting solution passes tangentially along the surface of the filter. A pressure difference across the filter drives components that are smaller than the pores through the filter. Nice work trying to make the processing seem ultra advanced. Not sure if the grandiose verbiage is necessary.
**The more you filter something, or break it down into its components, the LESS you are benefitting from its nutrients in their natural, raw states.**
- The Directions on the package suggest that you wait 2-3 minutes to allow the chia powder to activate via the ‘interfusion’ process. Wait, you’re telling me that after prepping my shake, adding ingredients, mixing and now I have to WAIT even more before consuming?! First of all, what does interfusion of chia even mean?! According to Dr. Google, interfusion can be defined as: to intersperse, intermingle, or permeate with something. To blend or fuse, one with another. To pour or pass (something) between, into, or through; infuse. Oh. Thanks. Why couldn’t they have just said that?
- ‘Micro-milled chia seeds’: I appreciate all the work that appears to go into this shake powder, however, micro-milling chia until it is broken itty bitty teeny weeny pieces is taking away from the concept of back-to-basics, whole unprocessed foods as ideal. The fats, protein and fiber found in chia (and all seeds) is very delicate, and does not last as long in terms of freshness once they have been pulverized. Plus, who doesn’t love those teeny tiny little ticklish whippersnappers in their poppy-seed shape form?! I digress..
**Remember: Less is more when it comes to breaking down foods from their original, beautiful state. Keep it whole.**
- A savvy company would know to list the type of ingredients on their label, such as the type of Vitamin D they have included. D3 for instance, is the active form of the vitamin, VS ingesting D2, the cheaper form which makes your body work harder to activate (as we age, our bodies need as much help as they can get at the molecular level within enzymatic pathways). Don’t make it harder on us, and don’t make us guess. Vitamins A & C are also too generically listed.
- Amino acid profile: so generic, and basic. Nothing exciting here!
Final Grade: C-
Based on the fact that this shake could potentially cause allergenic (not even full blown allergy, but even a mild food sensitivity) reactions in some, and has been tampered with in so many ways via processing of the powder itself, this shake seems to have lost much of its medicinal, therapeutic and nutritious power along the way. That being said, this shake deserves a C- on our grading scale (although it was a really good attempt at something great!).