This is a Shakeology Review for just the dairy-free and vegan varieties. Note that they do have flavors, which contain dairy!
I joined the P90X craze several years ago. To this day I think it is one of the best at-home fitness programs ever created (If you think there are better, do tell!). Both my husband and I saw real results, and though it was difficult, we enjoyed having the schedule and goals in place. What we didn’t love was the meal plan. It was dairy-heavy requiring us to make many modifications and the consistently recommended Shakeology supplement was whey-based.
Fast forward to P90X2 … I’m seriously tempted to trial this program. Have any of you done it yet? Tony Horton and the Beach Body team have reportedly lightened the workout lengths (very nice), and they’ve added more flexibility to both the fitness AND the diet segments in P90X2.
Tony Horton’s talks with the media have revealed his prior plant-based roots and a desire to promote all healthy diets, without defining one set of rules for everyone. According to Horton, “P90X2 takes that philosophy a step further with grain-free, vegan and high-protein plans — all healthy, varied options.”
This philosophy has spilled over into their product lines, and new vegan versions of Shakeology have emerged! I receive quite a few requests for dairy-free meal replacement drinks, and this new version of Tropical Strawberry Shakeology definitely tops my list of recommendations.
At first, I followed the directions, blending half the packet (reserving some to trial in a smoothie) with a little unsweetened milk alternative and ice. Here were my Shakeology review notes …
The Pros: Dairy-Free Nutrition, Diet-Friendly, Low Sugar
- It is fairly low calorie (160 per serving), but packs in so many nutrients including: 15 grams of protein from raw sprouted brown rice, 9 essential amino acids, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and loads of “superfood” ingredients for antioxidants.
- The vegan shakeology suits a variety of special diets. By ingredients, it appears to be gluten-free (see dietary notes) and made without top allergens (soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free).
- It is fairly low in sugar. Most of the sugars come from the fruit powder blend (strawberry, apple, banana, pineapple, papaya) since the only added sweetener is essentially stevia). It’s almost dessert-like and when blended, not bad compared to other options on the market.
The Cons: Rice Protein Texture, Cost, Too Sweet?
- Since it uses a brown rice protein base, it has that “powdery” texture. If you’ve had brown rice protein, then you know what I’m talking about. Some people love it. I’m not a big fan, but when blended into a smoothie, the texture mellows quite a bit.
- Shakeology strawberry is a little overly sweet in my opinion. They could have chilled on the erythritol and stevia just a touch.
- This isn’t a cheap meal replacement! I can say it is out of my budget for reqular purchase, but if it fits your needs, it may be worth the price tag.
- They pack a lot of info onto that packet, but fail to note if it does supply any of your days essential vitamins and minerals. I couldn’t find that information anywhere, which leads me to believe that adding some other ingredients to the shake will make it a better “meal.”
I over road most of the “cons” by turning the rest of my Shakeology sample into a meal replacement shake. I tossed it in the blender with fresh strawberries, a frozen banana, and just enough unsweetened almond milk. It was a tasty nutrient-packed treat.
Though I would give the Strawberry Shakeology 4 stars, just knocking one star off for the cons noted above, I have since trialed the Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, which just nudges this review up to 5 stars. I’m not quite sure what the difference is – perhaps it is the simple addition of cocoa powder or the fact that it doesn’t includ erythritol – but the texture of this variety is a little silkier and the flavor is delicious.
The Chocolate Vegan Shakeology is still a touch too sweet for my tastes to enjoy straight with water, so I jumped ahead and whizzed half a packet with a frozen banana. It was pure chocolate malt goodness. Even half a package offers a good dose of protein, fiber, and loads of extra goodies, so I feel comfortable in recommending this product as a supplement to smoothies. Plus, it was VERY filling!
- Their allergen information is a little vague. It is “manufactured in a plant” that also processes almost all of the other allergens (surprisingly milk is not listed, which makes me wonder). Is that really a risk for this product? Manufacturing plants are quite large and most have other allergens present – are the lines in separate rooms? Always contact the company if cross-contamination issues are a concern for you.
- Gluten-free folks take note that wheat grass and oat grass are used – two “undecided” ingredients for many gluten-free consumers.
Have you trialed any of the dairy-free Shakeology products?