What is Visalus REALLY?

Today a Young and Raw Facebook Fan inspired me to do a little digging, and when I say a little, I mean all I had to do was google the ingredients for 10 minutes to realize this product pretty crappy.

I wrote a review for you below, including a list of the ingredients that I searched on, mostly preservatives and cheap fillers. Any positives are outweighed by the negatives added into the product. It’s like dipping an apple in preservatives and saying it’s better than eating a regular apple, make sense?

After really going through the ingredient list on this Visalus shake product, just for 20 minutes, pulling up the basic definitions of the ingredients, I’ve concluded that this shake is just another business opportunity, not an opportunity for someone to cleanse & heal their body. I would never put this in my body, and I mean never. If I was starving, I would even question it then. Sad but true, this shake is packed with preservatives and milk products which inevitably means puss and other nasty hormones, antibiotics that are all results of consuming pasteurized, non-organic dairy.

Body Visalus also contains soy protein which is hard for the body to process in its isolated form. It’s not a winning protein option, there are so many better choices out there, like brazil nut protein, hemp protein, sun warrior protein, the amazing, natural and sustainable choices are abundant!

It’s sad to me that this company can sell a product packed with preservatives and expect people to create long-term, sustainable results for themselves. These people may lose weight, but inside their bodies are fighting to process all of the foreign ingredients they are consuming from these shakes. Weight loss is not some crazy circus act, where we have to run around with a bunch of specialty patented shakes all day, consuming preservatives and other crap. Weight loss comes naturally when we consume natural, plant-based foods. I lost 30 lbs in 3 months, without the gym, but eating a raw, vegan diet. Everyone experiences results at their own pace, but results always come when you commit to eating real, whole foods.

A transition to plant based living may not be for everyone, because it requires commitment. I’m not saying that this Visalus challenge doesn’t require commitment because clearly people are taking it seriously, but it’s not the type of commitment that promotes long-term habit building. Visalus is more like:  “do this for 90 days and then go back to what you’re doing”. Or, you can keep drinking the shakes but due to the preservatives and questionable ingredients, taking these shakes long term isn’t the most ideal and would be better substituted for a green smoothie or plant based protein. It takes our brain 28 days to lay down new pathways. What I mean by this, is we can un-learn and re-learn things in 28 days, our brain creates habits for us, and then we run on those habits.

So think about this, if we spend 90 days consuming processed shakes to lose weight, we’ll have to continue consuming processed shakes to maintain our results. It’s set the people up for inevitable failure. Or we can spend 90 days, choosing plant-based, mostly raw, all vegan foods. We can drink fresh vegetable and fruit juices, big hearty raw meals of greens, delicious fresh ingredients, nuts, seeds, dehydrated breads! We can literally teach our brain to enjoy the healthiest, best, most sustainable organic food in existence  and lose weight, but more importantly, lose the negative mindset and limiting beliefs that kept us reaching for the crap food and running from pleasure (healthy food, happy weight.)

90 Days is more than enough time to change your taste buds, your lifestyle and create new, successful habits, that you can sustain. I understand there is a huge market for these types of programs, and they are very helpful when the food choices that are presented are in alignment. If you were to do a 90 day program that included eating natural, organic foods, i’d say Hell yes! Here’s the thing, this company cut corners big time, all I had to do was google a few ingredients to see that they use cheap fillers that soda, candy and fake processed sugar companies use. It’s betrayal, don’t buy!

Other Ingredients: Protein Blend of (Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Hydrolysate, and Whey Protein Concentrate), Digestive Resistant Maltodextrin (Fibersol™), High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Oil, Maltodextrin, Gum Acacia, Xanthan, Sodium Caseinate, Lecithin, Aminogen™, Mono & Diglycerides, DiPotassium Phosphate, Sucralose
Contains: Milk and Soy


Here’s a fun list of some of the ingredients (and some preservatives) that I found nicely placed on the site as if it’s no big D. How many people are trusting this stuff without taking a second look? Not everything on this list is bad, you’ll have to read them all to conclude which ones’ you want in your body and which one’s you don’t. If you’re thinking about consuming this product, I highly recommend you take the time to do so. All I had to do was google an ingredient and pull up a few definitions to see that wikipedia had it right. This is what I got from wikipedia:

Resources:

1. Whey is an animal based protein with dairy and again, a top allergen or irritant for the body. It’s certainly not a product one would use when intending to cleanse the body, but if that is not your intention it might be fine for you. Excessive protein intake can be hard on the kidneys, though the research on this has not been conclusive. Other studies suggest that taking in high amounts of protein derived from dairy sources can actually create higher risk for osteoporosis. Whey is just a overly processed protein solution, there are so many better alternatives. If you’re into dairy, find local organic sources. 

2. Soy Is a top allergen and should be avoided in processed forms, such as isolated soy protein. There is a big difference in eating whole, organic soy products vs. eating isolated, processed soy products. Soy also contains the highest levels of phytic-acid, which has been known to inhibit mineral absorption in the body. I’m not convinced that if you have a few cups of soybeans a day that you’ll automatically become mineral deficient, but I do believe in optimizing the diet for optimal absorption. A way better alternative to a soy protein powder would be hemp, and it just so happens that hemp protein is very affordable as well. 

3. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are medium-chain (6 to 12 carbons) fatty acid esters of glycerol.MCTs passively diffuse from the GI tract to the portal system (longer fatty acids are absorbed into the lymphatic system) without requirement for modification like long-chain fatty acids or very-long-chain fatty acids. In addition, MCTs do not require bile salts for digestion. Patients that have malnutrition or malabsorption syndromes are treated with MCTs because they do not require energy for absorption, utilization, or storage. Coconut oil is composed of approximately 66% medium-chain triglycerides. Other rich sources of MCTs include palm kernel oils and camphor tree drupes. The fatty acids found in MCTs are called medium-chain fatty acids.

4. Maltodextrin: Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a creamy-white hygroscopic spraydried powder. Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose, and might be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. It is commonly used for the production of sodas and candy. It can also be found as an ingredient in a variety of other processed foods.

Gum Acacia or Gum arabic: a complex mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins, is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer. It is edible and has E number E414. Gum arabic is a key ingredient in traditional lithography and is used in printing, paint production, glue, cosmetics and various industrial applications, including viscosity control in inks and in textile industries, although less expensive materials compete with it for many of these roles. While acacia gum is now produced throughout the African Sahel, it is also still harvested and used in the Middle East. For example, Arab populations use the natural gum to make a chilled, sweetened, and flavored gelato-like dessert.

5. Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, derived from the bacterial coat of Xanthomonas campestris, used as a food additive and rheology modifier,[2] commonly used as a food thickening agent (in salad dressings, for example) and a stabilizer (in cosmetic products, for example, to prevent ingredients from separating). It is produced by the fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. After a fermentation period, the polysaccharide is precipitated from a growth medium with isopropyl alcohol, dried, and ground into a fine powder. Later, it is added to a liquid medium to form the gum.
6. Casein: from Latin caseus, “cheese” is the name for a family of related phosphoprotein proteins. These proteins are commonly found in mammalian milk, making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk and between 60% and 65% of the proteins in human milk. Casein has a wide variety of uses, from being a major component of cheese, to use as a food additive, to a binder for safety matches. As a food source, casein supplies amino acids; carbohydrates; and two inorganic elements, calcium and phosphorus. p.s – Casein protein is like glue in our systems, it’s much different then the amounts of casein in human breast milk, and I’m sure this may seem obvious, but if we were meant to be drinking it, women would probably produce breast milk all of their lives, but they don’t, because breast milk is for babies, and cows milk is for baby cows. Dairy products are mucus forming, this is a problem for many people who take in dairy products of any form. 

7. Lecithin can easily be extracted chemically (using hexane) or mechanically from readily available sources such as soy beans. It has low solubility in water. In aqueous solution its phospholipids can form either liposomes, bilayer sheets, micelles, or lamellar structures, depending on hydration and temperature. This results in a type of surfactant that is usually classified as amphipathic. Lecithin is sold as a food supplement and for medical uses. In cooking, it is sometimes used as an emulsifier and to prevent sticking, for example in non-stick cooking spray.
Mono- and diacylglycerols are common food additives used to blend together certain ingredients, such as oil and water, which would not otherwise blend well.The commercial source may be either animal (cow- or hog-derived) or vegetable, derived primarily from partially hydrogenated soy bean and canola oil. They may also be synthetically produced. They are often found in bakery products, beverages, ice cream, chewing gum, shortening, whipped toppings, margarine, and confections.

8. Aminogen: Patented enzyme, hard to find anything but fluffy reviews with no real information on the ingredient aside from planted reviews. I’d like to see what it consists of. Here’s something to keep in mind, when a scientist who’s being paid by a company, or an employee of a company gives a review, it’s bias. If you want real reviews, you need to find opinions from people and experts who have ZERO vested interest int he product or company they are reviewing. For example, this is my personal opinion after the research I did on my own, as a human being who cares for other human beings in this world, that’s it. I don’t get paid either way. Find more people that are willing to give non-bias reviews and you’ll find something that resonates with you. If you want to be sold, go ask the people getting paid what they think of the product.

9. Dipotassium phosphate (K2HPO4) – also phosphoric acid, dipotassium salt; dipotassium hydrogen orthophosphate; potassium phosphate, dibasic – is a highly water-soluble salt which is often used as a fertilizer, food additive and buffering agent. It is a common source of phosphorus and potassium.The pH of a dipotassium phosphate solution is almost neutral. It is formed by the stoichiometric neutralization of phosphoric acid with potassium hydroxide.

10 . Sucralose is an artificial sweetener. The majority of ingested sucralose is not broken down by the body and therefore it is non-caloric. In the European Union, it is also known under the E number (additive code) E955. Sucralose is approximately 600 times as sweet as sucrose (table sugar), twice as sweet as saccharin, and 3.3 times as sweet as aspartame. It is stable under heat and over a broad range of pH conditions. Therefore, it can be used in baking or in products that require a longer shelf life. The commercial success of sucralose-based products stems from its favorable comparison to other low-calorie sweeteners in terms of taste, stability, and safety. Common brand names of sucralose-based sweeteners are Splenda, Sukrana, SucraPlus, Candys, Cukren and Nevell.

A little note on this one – after posting this I’ve added some more comments because I have to acknowledge the people out there who justify using preservatives to lose weight or make healthy changes. Here’s the thing, if you’re using preservatives to lose weight, that is not a healthy change. Just because your body is shedding excess weight, doesn’t mean you are automatically healthy. We have to switch our frame of mind to “thin equals healthy to I want to be healthy from the inside out”. 

Everything you desire is at your fingertips. If you want to find out what you’re eating, do a bit of research, if you want to be happier, read an amazing  book like Conversations with Richard Bandler, If you want to lose weight and keep it off,  eat a diet rich in real, whole foods.

I used raw food as my reset button. You don’t have to be 100% raw (or raw at all for that matter) if that’s not what works for you. But the key is to focus on nourishing yourself with real food, the results will follow.

I’ve watched people reverse sugar addictions in 1 week with our cleanse program, I lost weight without the gym, and I’ve watched countless others do the same and lose a lot more weight then I did.

If you want to join a loving and supportive community that will deliver you the most non-bias, health information around, come over to join Young and Raw on Facebook and ask as many questions as you like!

Sheleana Jennings

Sheleana is passionate about getting back to nature through real food and empowering women to walk the feminine path of self-care and deep self-awareness. She's a birth doula in Vancouver, BC where she lives with her partner. She's an avid reader, intuitive culinary goddess and cat lady in the making.

Their life together is centered around real, whole food living without restricting oneself to dietary labels or dogmas. Sheleana believes resetting the body through cleansing is one tool for spiritual awakening in a time where we've slipped so far away from what real food truly means. Her hopes are that through this channel, more people can find what eating path suits their beliefs and bodies best, while honoring the laws of nature and themselves.