Monday, June 25, 2012
For those of you that read my blog on a consistent basis, you know that I don't do product reviews very often. Never, in fact. It's not that I'm against doing them. But, I know from reading reviews on other blogs that they are often fairly boring unless it's a product that both the reader and blogger are interested in. With that in mind, when Vega contacted me to try their new Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shakes, I had to say yes. As someone who has a pretty rigorous workout regimen, I have often been curious about vegan protein powders and whether it was something I should incorporate into my diet. But, I didn't want to put out the money to try them and instead rely on whole foods to fuel my body.
There are four flavors of Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shakes- Chocolate, Vanilla Chai, Berry, and Natural. When I first looked at the ingredients and nutritional information, I was increasingly intrigued and excited to give them a try. The protein is from pea, sacha inchi, hemp, and brown rice protein, giving each serving about 15 grams of protein. Additionally, it contains 6 grams of fiber, probiotics, 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals, and a green blend which is the equivalent of 3 servings of vegetables! Depending on the flavor, each serving is between 123 and 141 calories and can be mixed with 1.5 cups of water or non-dairy milk, or incorporated into a smoothie. I tried every flavor mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, as I wanted to be sure to note the different tastes.
The first flavor I tasted was chocolate. It was absolutely delicious and I gulped it down in less than a minute. However, I didn't realize how vigorously I needed to mix together the powder and almond milk and made a mess trying to do so. The mixture was clumpy, but I didn't really mind too much since it tasted so good. I tried Vanilla Chai next, which I found to be equally as delicious. This time, I shook the powder and almond milk together vigorously in a closed mason jar in an attempt to avoid clumping. It still occurred, but once again I didn't mind since the taste was so amazing. Next I tried the Berry, but this time I wasn't thrilled over the flavor. In fact, I didn't care for it at all. I became very aware of how difficult it was to make the powder dissolve completely into the almond milk- very, very difficult. Lastly, I tried the Natural flavor, which I thought had a nice, subtle flavor. And, after shaking the powder and almond milk vigorously in the mason jar and then stirring with a knife for a couple minutes, I was finally left with a completely smooth shake.
I enjoyed the Vega One Shakes most as a "snack" in between meals. It helped to keep me satisfied for longer without needing to eat. It was a nice feeling to know I was consuming something very healthy with a good amount of protein to fuel my muscles.
The one main drawback of Vega One, for me, is the cost. The large tub of the chocolate flavor, which contains 20 servings, is $69.99 on the website, which equates to about $3.50 a serving. That's a lot of money! For someone who keeps a pretty frugal lifestyle and budget, I have a very difficult time justifying the cost. It is definitely an item I would snatch up in a heartbeat if there was a really good sale on it when I was grocery shopping, but otherwise, not something I would be tossing into my cart every 20 days.
I definitely think that Vega One is a fantastic product which appeals to vegans who maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and are looking to easily incorporate more protein and nutrition into their diet. However, if you already take a multi-vitamin supplement, probiotics, and maintain a well-round healthy whole foods diet, I don't believe it's a necessity. I loved the Chocolate and Vanilla Chai flavors, and would love to try them again. But for me, I have to wait for them to go on sale ;)