Choco-nutty Smoothie Recipe from Vega

Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants and alkaline-forming, Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer will help you create healthy and delicious meal alternatives. Ideal way to start the day, or for a mid-afternoon recharge!


1 serving Chocolate Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 heaping T almond butter
2 cups almond, hemp, or rice milk
1 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 2 meal-sized servings.

The Vega/Ironman Triathlete Brendan Brazier's Story

Told from the onset that a plant-based diet wouldn't cut it on the professional Ironman circuit, Brendan Brazier's nutritional journey began with unpromising results. Several months of chronic hunger, the need to constantly eat and a decline in energy culminated in a decline in athletic performance.

Brendan's stubborn curiosity persevered however, and after many years of research, trials and tribulations, he created a plant-based whole food diet that worked better than he had ever expected. Since then, Brendan has become one of the top professional Ironman triathletes in Canada, crediting his diet for his success competing in one of the world's most demanding sports.

For years Brendan has packed plant-based whole foods into a daily blended shake to supply his body with premium fuel in liquid form for easy digestion. It worked great at home but when he traveled it became troublesome dragging around a blender and shopping for or packing along his favourite whole foods. Brendan began searching for a convenient healthy, plant-based whole food meal replacement but was disappointed in his findings.

He found most meal replacements on the market were whey protein based off limits for a vegan. Though some vegetarian options existed, they were all soy protein based, an ingredient Brendan was trying to cut back on due to concerns regarding GMO's and phytoestrogens. All meal replacements he found were deficient in essential fatty acids, especially Omega 3's and most contained large quantities of low quality carbohydrates (eg. maltodextrin), artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners.
Brendan realized there was a need for a meal replacement that did not compromise food quality for convenience. He approached several nutritional supplement manufacturers but everyone told him it wouldn't work "“ "you can't put whole foods into a commercial meal replacement" , they said, "too short a shelf life, low product demand, poor taste and texture, too high a cost" they said. There were too many negatives and not enough positives to warrant such a product. So Brendan put his idea on the back burner and continued to lug his trusty blender and cooler full of whole foods wherever he traveled

A couple of years later, Brendan was struck by a car while training on his bike and injured his leg. Told by his doctor to take 6 months off from training and competing, Brendan sought alternative options. He underwent intense physiotherapy and began taking a product his naturopath recommended called ChlorEssence, hoping the high level of growth factors in it would help heal his injury. At the same time, Brendan also began taking a supplement called MacaSure, for adrenal support, helping him deal with the physical and emotional stress of his injury.

Within 8 weeks of rehabilitation, all the while taking 10g of ChlorEssence and 10g of MacaSure a day, Brendan made a full recovery. Though he was not in his top form, remarkably, he was able to compete professionally again  participating in the Ironman Canada triathlon event and finishing the gruelling race despite his recent injury. Brendan was so pleased with his rapid recovery that he contacted Sequel Naturals, makers of ChlorEssence and MacaSure, and shared his success story with Charles Chang, President of Sequel Naturals.

Brendan and Charles also discussed the concept of producing a complete whole food meal replacement that was made from 100% plant-based ingredients. Only now, Brendan wanted to have a full dose of ChlorEssence and MacaSure in every serving of this meal replacement as well. Charles was intrigued by the passion of this young athlete and he loved the idea of the whole food meal replacement. Aware of the many challenges that developing such a product would present, Charles was confident that together they would be able to overcome them.

Brendan was given the job of product formulator and Sequel Naturals would take care of the ingredient sourcing, production, packaging and marketing. They agreed that this product would be made without compromises and had to meet several key criteria, including:

1) Complete meal, meeting all Canadian meal replacement guidelines when mixed in plain water

2) Made primarily with whole foods in their freshest, least processed form possible

3) Made with all natural, plant-based ingredients (absolutely no animal products)

4) Target nutritional profile of 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, 30% essential fats

5) Proteins must come from a diverse variety of vegetarian sources, including a minimum of one third raw protein

6) All carbohydrates must be naturally occurring, complex and low glycemic with no added sugars or simple carbohydrates

7) Essential fats must be of high quality, with the majority being Omega 3's; no trans fats or cholesterol

8) No common allergens such as dairy, gluten, soy or wheat

9) No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners and GMO & pesticide-free

10) Must taste good with pleasant texture and flavor

After a year of product formulation and testing, Vega is a replica of Brendan's favourite shake. All the ingredients in Vega were chosen by Brendan to work synergistically to nourish the body and reduce nutritional stress. And now Brendan doesn't have to lug his old blender with him when he travels anymore.

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