Hi guys! Hope you had an amazing weekend. Just got home from a quick weekend getaway to New York for a wedding at one of the city’s most stunning venues, the Botanical Garden, and now I feel somewhat refreshed and ready to go. 😉
This week we will take a peek into Arbonne’s Essentials version of a Shake Mix. I don’t know about you, but when I think about this company I think of makeup, and lotions — not necessarily food. Let’s see how their version of the shake hold up against the competition.
Right off the bat, you can see that they labeled using the Vegan and certified GF (Gluten-Free) stamps, which is nice that they put some thought into their ingredient quality and proudly stand behind their product. I was not able to locate what the third stamp signifies, however, and what it means to be tested by GI Labs. Please do let me know!
Purely looking at the Supplement Facts (left-hand side of the packet) you can see that there are 9g of sugar in each serving, which is a relatively hefty dose of sugar to indulge in all at once — and especially considering that it comes from sugar cane (eliciting a HUGE surge of insulin from your pancreas and thus crash afterward — a very dangerous pattern setting up metabolic imbalance at the cellular level).
Lots of the so-called nutrients included in the packet are synthetic, and likely not derived from botanicals, but rather oil or corn starch… The reason I say this is because they list the vitamins and minerals with all of the least absorbable, cheapest non-active forms of each nutrient, which makes the body work REALLY extra hard to TRY and convert them to active form, and the dosing is probably so low that the body retains little to NONE of the good stuff that is supposed to make this drink ‘good’ for you. For instance, cyanocobalamin is the least absorbable form of vitamin B12, and folate is given as folic acid — neither of which we want to consume in these forms. They do nothing good for our cells!
I do, however, commend the brand for utilizing key antioxidants in their G-PLEX, great for cleansing and cellular repair, including Coenzyme Q10 (but I am not sure which form they are using and which type and how much!!) — which is fat soluble and better absorbed since they’ve added some flax seed. Flax seed on the other hand, is quite delicate and doesn’t fare well when blended or broken down in any way, and goes rancid if not refrigerated once ground up. The shelf-life is probably not so great with this product, and you should not consume it anywhere near and certainly not past the expiry date.
Alfalfa, kelp powder and ginseng, albeit are great medicinal ingredients, but where are they sourced from?? This is a VERY pertinent question — since ginseng comes in many varieties, and can serve different purposes in the body depending on quality and dosage especially. Kelp is an AWESOME source of iodine and trace minerals fabulous for the thyroid, but how much is actually in there?? We aren’t told on the label.
Protein types are interesting and somewhat fun: pea protein isolate (too bad it is so broken down!), cranberry protein and rice protein. If this formula were to be made organic, I would be able to trust it a lot more, seeing as the next ingredients in the list are sugar cane (yikes!), then sunflower oil. This is an omega-6 highly inflammatory oil that we do NOT want any extra in our diet, especially if it is processed and not labeled nonGMO as in this case.
Corn starch is an interesting place to hide sneaky ingredients, including GMO ingredients, so I tend to avoid anything with corn that isn’t clearly marked and stamped with the non GMO seal of approval.
Gummy gum gum. Guar gum I have spoken about before as an emulsifier that is a pretty good source of fiber, but can be allergenic for some people and cause GI disruptions in others. We do not want a steady or regular dose of this in our diets if we can avoid it, as it is also found in many toothpastes, lotions, baked goods, medications, shampoos and more. Gum acacia is yet another fiber source from plants, but can cause similar types of allergic reactions in some susceptible people.
Overall, not overly impressed with the vanilla, nor surprised, but the quality of this product doesn’t excite me whatsoever. Lackluster nutrient quality mixed with some potential GMO ingredients, inflammatory oils and cane sugar just doesn’t sound like something I want to consume in my diet — EVER!
Overall GRADE C for Vanilla shake powder.
Now for the chocolate…
All is the same as above, except they add cocoa powder to make it a chocolate ‘flavor’ — but they don’t tell us they type or quality of their cocoa, which actually does make a HUGE difference in terms of taste, health benefits for the body, and more.
Again, Arbonne includes too much of the oily sugars to make this product considered nutritional or beneficial for the body — but they were certainly headed in the right direction using pea protein, cranberry and even rice protein in their mix.
Grade A for ingredient creativity! Definitely on the right track though, keep up the great research! 😉
OVERALL Grade for chocolate and vanilla flavors: C. Lack of quality of ingredients/nutrients, actual ingredients used (sugars, oils, etc), sourcing of ingredients/synthetic, lack of disclosure of GMO or organic status, nutritional value.