If you read my last interview with vegan pro triathlete Brendan Brazier, you can understand why I was a tad less excited to try Vega Shake & Go than I normally am about trying a new Vega product.
Brendan described Vega’s Shake & Go Smoothie as a “mass-market product” that “doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of nutrition as Vega Health Optimizer.” And this from the guy who created it!
The truth is, Shake & Go is more about convenience than anything else. The name says it all: Put a few tablespoons in a shaker cup, add water, and you’re set. Unlike most protein powders or meal replacement shakes, there’s no need for a blender.
Given Brendan’s description and the concept, I first thought that while a fat couch potato might enjoy this product, a strapping young lad like myself would have no use for it. After all, I make fresh, green, custom smoothies for myself every day.
And, as is always the case when my thinking rests on the assumption of me being a strapping young lad, I was wrong: The convenience of Shake & Go has really come in handy. And nutritionally, it’s actually got a lot going on. (See the ingredient list later in this post.)
At first I didn’t love it. Like most of the other Vega products I’ve tried, Shake & Go has what I describe as an “earthy” taste. Basically, you can tell that it’s healthy — I’ve come to realize that when protein or meal placement powders taste really good, it’s because they contain lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
But as I’ve started to make Vega products like Vega Sport Performance Optimizer and Vega Sport Performance Protein part of my routine, the taste has grown on me. I think it’s another instance of the “recalibration” Brendan describes in his book Thrive: as your taste buds become accustomed to more natural flavors, you start to enjoy them more. Not only that, but you lose the taste for artificial things. As an example of this, I recently tasted the way protein powder I used to love, and was shocked when all I could taste was the Splenda!
I tried two flavors of Shake & Go: Choc-a-Lot and Vanilla Almondilla. At first, I preferred the vanilla, which has a strong almond extract flavor. But as I tasted more of each, I started to like the chocolate better, as the almond flavor of the other one got kind of overwhelming. If you’re going to try one of these, I’d go with the chocolate, and just realize that it might take a few days to grow on you.
Vega products never fail to deliver in the nutrition category. It’s almost funny to look at Shake & Go’s ingredient list in light of Brendan’s description of it as a mass-market product. Here are the ingredients in the Choc-a-Lot Shake & Go:
Organic green pea protein, natural flavors, organic coconut palm nectar, flaxseed, hemp protein, organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic green food blend (alfalfa grass, organic kale leaf, organic spinach leaf, organic broccoli sprout, spirulina), xanthan gum, digestive enzyme blend and dairy-free probiotic blend (L. acidophilus, B. bifidum).
It’s hard to imagine Jane Couch Pototo or Joe Meathead or anyone else in the “mass market” comparing ingredients in different meal-replacement products and coming across this list, isn’t it?
It may not be Vega Health Optimizer, but it’s good enough for me.
Just as advertised, Shake & Go dissolves nicely in water in a shaker cup or even a water bottle. Not gritty at all. I’ve found that adding a few ice cubes improves the taste and helps the powder dissolve even more quickly.
There have been more than a few occasions when I was in a hurry and didn’t know what I could eat quickly on the way out the door or before a workout, when I was happy to remember that I had Shake & Go in the pantry. And as I said, I really didn’t expect to benefit from this feature of the product, because I gave myself way too much credit for being organized and never late for anything. (Just ask my wife.)
Vega Sale This Weekend!
As it happens, all Vega products are on sale through Sequel Naturals’ website this weekend (Friday, July 30, 2010 through Sunday, August 1, 2010). Just enter coupon code CJ-SUMMER10 at checkout and you’ll get 15% off anything you buy from Sequel Naturals.
I know it took a lot of convincing (from trying free samples) before I finally decided to plunk down my own cash for Vega products, which are certainly not cheap. If you’re in the same boat I was, here’s your chance to try them for a little bit less money than usual.
In the interest of disclosure, you should know that Vega sent me Shake & Go to try for free, and that I’ll earn commissions on the purchases of Vega products through the links in this post. So while you are welcome to call me greedy and evil for wanting to make a few bucks from my website, you may not call me deceptive.
Enjoy your weekend! If you’re finally getting a break from the heat like we are in Maryland, take advantage of it!
Vegan Supplements: Which Ones Do You Need?
Written by Matt Frazier
I’m here with a message that, without a doubt, isn’t going to make me the most popular guy at the vegan potluck.
But it’s one I believe is absolutely critical to the long term health of our movement, and that’s why I’m committed to sharing it. Here goes…
Vegans need more than just B12.
Sure, Vitamin B12 might be the only supplement required by vegans in order to survive. But if you’re anything like me, you’re interested in much more than survival — you want to thrive.
So what else do vegans need?