OK, how did the more than 70 ingredients end up in Shakeology? I started with some questions. I asked myself, “What do most bodies require in this day and age?” “What is not being delivered in food today (and even good, organic food)?” “What are the gaps in nutrition that need to be filled for the majority of people?”
But the first question was, “Why do we even need a shake with that much nutrition anyway? What’s wrong with the food we eat anyway?”
The fact is, these days, our food is lacking nutrients. The nutrient density of our food has continued to plummet as the value of money has trumped the value of quality. It is insane, but true!
The facts are well documented. Pushing farm production has depleted soils. Crops of non-nutritive foods have replaced nutrition-dense foods. And pesticides and genetic modification are wreaking havoc with the chemical and genetic markers that have evolved over the centuries. That means we’re putting more food into the pipeline that has less of what we need and more of what we don’t need. On a biological level, our bodies hardly recognize the food we are swallowing.
Ask yourself . . . how do you expect your body to live tirelessly, vibrantly, with the power to defend itself from disease if what is being fed into it is like putting dirty gas in the tank of a Ferrari? What a waste of a beautiful sports car!
If we want our health to improve, we need to be aware so we can choose differently, and in this case, we chose to create something to fulfill the deep desire of everybody’s need to be fed more nutrition. So we started by filling in those gaps, giving the body what it really wants and requires!
The result is 70-plus ingredients, feeding the body the equivalent of a supercharged multivitamin and protein-rich health smoothie. As important as the ingredients are, what drove their inclusion was the body’s need for these vital ingredients, the cornerstones of Shakeology‘s creation:
1. Whole foods.
So many supplements on the market are just fragmentations of the complete matrix of real food. Think of it like taking the most popular scene from a 2-hour movie and calling THAT the movie. It’s incomplete without the character development, plot, and nuance that make it a holistic experience. The same goes with food. On a biological level, your body needs the whole “movie” to get the complete benefit of the vitamin or mineral that is the star. You just cannot replace or re-engineer the incredible balance and creation of whole foods. So we selected high-quality, potent foods, herbs, grasses, and ingredients, and then processed them minimally to preserve the integrity, phytochemicals, natural vitamins, minerals, alkaloids, phytosterols, etc. This was a huge aspect of Shakeology getting the whole, deliverable nutrition in bioavailable ways.
2. Vitamins and minerals.
We included quality nutrition from potent and varying whole food sources (“nutrition, right off the vine” as I like to call it). And then we backed that up by adding in a well-balanced vitamin and mineral profile since whole foods fluctuate from crop to crop.
Enzymes are critical for optimal health. But since enzymes flood the food only in the last days of ripening before harvest, enzyme supplementation is critical for the majority of people. Even if you eat all raw foods, the enzymes are still low. And cooked food has zero active enzymes. Why enzymes? They have been called “The Fountain of Life!” They are behind every single process in the body! Yes, everything requires enzymes! The labor force of the body that digests, absorbs, allows for signals to be sent, creates new blood cells, etc., is all governed by enzymes. You would be shocked at how starved your body has been for enzyme support. That’s why the addition of these vital forces to Shakeology was so critical!
4. Prebiotics and Probiotics
We’ve all heard about foods with additive probiotics, like yogurts for instance. Did you know that your body can actually manifest its own probiotics if you feed it prebiotics? With the way people eat today they have created a thriving environment for unhealthy bacteria in the body. That has created all sorts of debilitating breakdowns of the body: candida, fibromyalgia, even the foundation for mental and emotional fatigue . . . and on and on. The prebiotics of the amazing yacon root (which I will get into in future posts) is food for the “healthy” bacteria, and in turn creates an environment for healthy probiotics to flourish. By getting our internal “ecosystem” in balance, you have the potential for a vibrant, thriving body and life! It’s complex, and even difficult to fathom an ecosystem inside your own body, but it cannot be underestimated. You need prebiotics to help you foster probiotics!
5. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)
MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, milk, fish, and grains. But within hours of harvest, MSM changes and is virtually gone. That’s why it is very difficult to get MSM naturally, because where ancient man ate what he picked almost instantly, today it is picked, processed, packaged, and palleted for months before it hits the table. MSM is long gone. But why is it important? MSM is critical to the connective tissue and the fluidity (or space) between cells! MSM gives them “room to breathe.” When the body becomes very rigid, tight, painful, and stiff, oftentimes MSM is at very low quantities in the body. Since we are not eating our own foods immediately after harvesting, we MUST supplement this vital component, or the body has a hard time staying healthy and flexible on a cellular level, which translates throughout the body on a biomechanical level as well.