If you’ve ever asked yourself, Why is Shakeology and why is it So Expensive? or Is Shakeology Truly Worth the Money? then you REALLY need to get yourself a copy of the May 2011 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine. Seriously, Shakeology is just THAT GOOD. And If you’re not convinced of that after reading this 11-page article that was both unsolicited and non-endorsed by the folks at Beachbody then really…I don’t know what else you to tell you to convince you other than…. just try it yourself!

O’s editor-in-chief, Susan Casey, traveled with Darin Olien, the co-creator of Shakeology, through the rainforest, jungles, and mountains of Peru. Here she learned about some of the super foods that Darin hand-picked while he combined Shakeology’s 70+ ingredients. (nutritional information)

She writes, “If somebody told you there were dozens of superfoods you’d never heard of before–delicious, low calorie, and so nutrient rich, scientists think they fend off cancer–you probably wouldn’t believe it. But it’s true…I learned about these foods from Darin Olien, a nutrition expert who has created health products based on them, including the popular powdered supplement Shakeology…What I saw (and ate) there changed the way I think about food, and cleared the path to even greater health.”

The title of the article is GOOD MORNING WORLD! and highlights on the cover as Six Superfoods That Will Change the Way You Eat (And You’ve Never Heard of Them Before). The Six superfoods outlined in the article include maca, camu camu, yacon, sacha inchi, lucuma, and cacao among many various others including Dragon’s blood (Sangre de grado), and aguaje.

The article offers a brief history of how Shakeology was created, including the challenge Beachbody CEO, Carl Daikeler, gave Olien to create a supplement that matched the tagline The Healthiest Meal of the Day. Casey also writes, “Daikeler gave Olien no limits on quality, no cost/revenue restrictions; the goal was to shoot the moon, to seek out and combine the most extraordinary plants, fruits, nuts, herbs–nature’s secret weapons.” (Shakeology fun fact: Since Shakeology hit the market in March 2009, over 400,000 bags have been sold.)

After that we’re taken on a journey through Peru…traveling through places like Lima, Tarma, Junin, Huanuco, and Ambo where Casey and Olien along with the rest of his ingredient hunter cohorts explore and taste whatever precious plants they can find.

There were a few key points that stuck out for me:

1. Something I read in the article reminded me of a passage from the book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan which I read a few years ago. Dr. Oz talks about what happens when we supplement our diet with specific vitamins and how that can be a problem. He writes, “When you eat vitamin-A rich foods like carrots, you reduce the risk of lung cancer. When you take vitamin A as a pill you increase the risk of lung cancer.” And this is possible for one simple reason, because the carrot was already created to be perfect.

2. Casey was not afraid to acknowledge the fact that there’s still a lot that we don’t understand when it comes to nutrition. One quote that I particularly liked came from William Li, a Harvard-trained MD who has done a lot of research on whether or not the foods we eat make us vulnerable to cancer. He says, “There’s so much we don’t know. Space is a frontier. Oceans are a frontier. I think food is a whole other frontier. And it’s not something you have to train with NASA for, or put on scuba gear for. It’s sitting in front of us every single day.”

Pollan also uses the carrot as his example for why food is more than just the sum of its nutrient parts. It’s a system. He states, “Who knows what else is going on deep in the soul of a carrot?…You don’t need to fathom a carrot’s complexity in order to reap its benefits.” I recall when I read the book that section really stood out for me. It was the first time I really started getting interested in nutrition. So it was kinda neat that everything sort of came full circle while I was reading this article.

3. I like how this article focuses on how the superfoods as well as other foods in nature are perfect just the way they are and even come complete with their own set of directions. God isn’t mentioned in the article specifically, but it’s my belief that all of this is the work of Our Magnificent Creator. Like Casey says, “It’s no accident that a plant the rainforest natives call chanca piedra (‘stone breaker’ in English), which produces tiny green balls, is a natural remedy for kidney stones. Or that walnuts, with their squiggly oval hemispheres, are the ultimate brain food. Or that dragon’s blood, the sap that acts as a coagulant, actually bleeds out of the tree.”

Certainly, if nothing else this article confirmed for me that Shakeology is worth every penny you spend on it. In fact, I’m starting to believe that what Carl says is true…Shakeology is a bargain at $119.95/bag. There really isn’t anything else like it on the planet.

Below is a video that shows Darin Olien in action doing what he loves to do.

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Filed under: Health and Nutrition

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