Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Food Review: Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer - Mixed Berry Complex

Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer is a meal replacement shake I've been taking for about 2 months now. According to their official site, Vega is:

Formulated by Brendan Brazier, vegan, professional Ironman triathlete and best-selling author on performance nutrition, Vega is made exclusively from natural plant-based whole foods.

A synergistic collection of Brendan's favorite plant-based superfoods, Vega is not only a complete meal replacement, but also an ideal daily health-optimizing supplement.

High in fiber, protein and essential fatty acids, Vega is naturally filling and satisfying, helping to reduce appetite and cravings....
....With just 220 calories and 2g of net carbs per serving (natural flavor), Vega is an excellent choice for those on a calorie-reduced diet. High in fiber, protein and essential fats, Vega is naturally filling and satisfying, helping to suppress appetite and cravings.

Easily digested, alkaline and great-tasting, Vega is clean and green, containing no animal products, corn, dairy, egg, fillers, gluten, soy, sugar, wheat or yeast. Absolutely no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners and GMO and pesticide-free.

Vega is available in wholesome and delicious Natural, Berry, Vanilla Chai and Chocolate flavors, in three sizes: individual 30g Snack Packs, small bottles containing 7-8 servings and large bottles containing 15-17 servings. One serving of Vega is a complete meal, exceeding all meal replacement requirements, but people with smaller appetites may find half a serving sufficiently satiating.

When I first heard of Vega, I was a bit skeptical. I had never tried any protein shakes (not even in my pre-vegan days) before, so I really had no previous experience with them. However, I was looking for an easy breakfast option that gave me a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, etc. and after a recommendation I decided to give Vega a whirl.

And boy, I'm glad I did!

The first time I tried Vega I tried the full serving (two scoops) mixed with about 16 oz. of cold water. I found this to be a bit much (the green powder wasn't mixing very well), so the next time I scaled it back to one scoop per morning. This proved a much more fitting serving for me personally.

I was concerned that the shake would be bland or taste icky, but luckily the taste of the Mixed Berry Complex was actual pleasant. Though for some people the taste might take some getting used to, I found that I actually enjoyed it from the get go!

And now on for the health benefits! From the first time I had the shake, I noticed an increase in energy. I used to have to drink tea or coffee to jolt myself awake in the mornings, but Vega did the trick just as well and as soon as I drank it I felt so alert that I no longer needed to drink caffeine to wake me up. I also felt full and satisfied until lunch time, which was surprising since I usually get the munchies around 10 or so. After drinking the shake I felt I had much more clarity and focus than when I used to eat cereal and rice milk for breakfast.

It is so much easier to have an easy-to-make shake for breakfast (no blender required, just pour one or two scoops of the green Vega powder into cold water, shake it up and it's good to go!) that ensures you get all the proper vitamins, minerals and other important nutritional components. Vega also includes vitamin B-12, an important supplement for vegans as B-12 is hard to find in a plant-based diet. I love the convenience, plus the health benefits that I'm getting from Vega.

The only downside of Vega is its price tag. For a large container with 15 - 17 servings (which lasts me about a month) it can cost anywhere from $60 - $75 (I usually pay around $65). This is a bit pricey, but for all the benefits Vega offers I think it's worth it. Plus, it saves me money on breakfast foods!

All in all, Vega is a wonderful vegan meal replacement if you are looking for a quick an easy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) and looking to supplement your diet with a shake packed full of good stuff, Vega is an excellent choice!

Find it on Amazon!


  1. Cool post. I like your blog. I just bought my second thing of one of these in the chocolate flavor. Pretty good stuff. Way easier than buying all the vitamins in separate things. I think mine cost me 37 something. With tax probably 40$ at least. I bought it at Whole Foods.

  2. Thank you!

    Just discovered your blog as well and am thoroughly enjoying it!

    I am still drinking a Vega shake every day and it still gives me that extra zing to get up and go.

    I buy the large size, but I've never seen it less than $50 (and that was on sale). Meh, it's probably cuz I live in pricey Orange County. Lucky you that you can get it so cheap!


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