The Shakeology® Sleuth: An Interview with Darin Olien
Curious about Beachbody’s latest creations, revamped Chocolate Shakeology®and Chocolate Vegan Shakeology? So were we. But instead of living lives of quiet ignorance, we went right to the source for answers: the superfood hunter himself, Darin Olien. Because it’s Darin’s job to travel the world sourcing Shakeology’s ingredients, there’s no better person to ask about the fancy new superfoods you’ll find in the new formulations.
Tell us about the fancy new stuff that’s been added to Shakeology.
I’ll start with the wonderful miracle tree, the moringa oleifera. It can grow in a lot of different places because of its ability to uptake nutrients from soils. So you get high chlorophyll, you get about 35 active antioxidants and up to 96 active phytochemicals, and then you’ve got some of the fun nutrients like really high vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and—here’s the kicker—it’s got all the essential amino acids.
Amazing. Why isn’t it already in common use?
It grows really easily but it’s hard to process if you want all those constituents. You have a 30-minute window to capture all of those nutrients in it to the best of your ability. As soon as you start whacking off those leaves, you have to get it washed and dried like that.
Let’s talk about coconut flower nectar next.
Coconut flower nectar is the blood, basically, of the coconut tree. You literally cut where the flower would come out and this liquid comes out. The interesting thing about coconut flower nectar is its low glycemic index. It has amino acids, it’s got brain activators, and so it’s got this whole array of other qualities. It’s just incidentally a sweet taste, so we can reduce added sugars to the formula. The great thing about formulation is that you find these things that have a pleomorphic effect, not just a linear effect. So you’re not just using coconut flower because it’s sweet, you’re also putting it in there because it has other synergistic qualities.
Let’s talk about luo han guo.
The Chinese have been using that for 10,000 years to regulate the systems of the body. Again, this is one of those things where it’s a digestive aid, a diabetic supporter, and oh, by the way, it’s incredibly sweet—500 times sweeter than sugar. The challenge is how much you can push it. If you use too much, it will turn your body off to the sweetness.
You’re not just throwing things in there to sweeten it; you’re going for what other effects can it have and contribute to the healing properties of formula. That’s why the new Shakeology has a range of ingredients that impart sweetness. It’s like an orchestra.
How about the Himalayan salt?
One of the greatest things we need for our body, unrefined salt. Not to be confused with table salt, the stripped down salt that causes people to say, “Don’t use so much.” They’re absolutely right; don’t use that salt on the table. Use unrefined salt. We need it for hydration. In this formula, it’s an alchemist. It’s delivering up to 70 trace minerals. We need those minerals in the right form, in the food form, in the crystal form—in this form we’re talking about the size of the molecule, so that our cells can absorb them without your body needing additional mechanisms to break them down. And in the formula perspective, it’s really interesting because it stretches out sugars.
Stretches out sugars?
It enhances the sweetness and dampens the astringent. I even put salt on my salad, right? The negative reports have nothing to do with unrefined salt.
How about the konjac in Chocolate Vegan?
Initially, we went after it because it was a great replacement for the xantham and guar gum. It creates the smoothie effect and the thickening effect of Shakeology. It also has a wonderful effect on the cholesterol of the body, and buffers and supports the digestive system. It can help slow some of the sugar absorption down. It can help coat the digestive system with a positive effect as opposed to the acidic effect of processed foods. In your mouth, it’s very supportive with the amylase and the digestive enzymes. In your intestines, it’s very supportive and helps replenish the mucosal lining.
So you’re happy with the new formulations?
Yes, but if it was up to me . . . well, it’s very hard to stop formulating. I’m always tinkering.
Posted in Darin Olien, Shakeology® Product News. “The Shakeology® Sleuth: An Interview with Darin Olien