Living Vegan

From the health benefits of being vegan to how Shakeology factors into his lifestyle, Mr. Superfood, Darin Olien has all the details.

Plus, he’s giving the scoop on the new and improved Chocolate Vegan and Tropical Strawberry Shakeology flavors, along with some delicious talking points.

So join us as we journey inside the vegan universe with Darin Olien.

1) What does being vegan mean to you?
I grew up a ‘meat and potatoes’ guy and didn’t initially set out to be vegan. But after I experimented with eliminating meat and dairy from my diet, I realized I felt so much better and wasn’t missing those things at all! ‘Vegan’ is just a word and fits me now. To me it means perfect harmony for my health and overall performance.

2) What health benefits have you felt?
Better-quality sleep. Better recovery from exercise. Better mental clarity. Increased performance. The list goes on. It’s definitely the best I’ve ever felt. I surf, swim, bike and do everything I want to do. I’m 43 and I’m hammering it more than ever!

3) How do you maintain your athletic build while being vegan?
I eat a wide variety of simple, whole, nutrient-dense foods. They give me ample protein and everything my body needs. For example, the salad I just ate for lunch came from my garden and was loaded with five types of leafy greens, broccoli, red peppers and sprouted nuts!

4) Does being vegan take away from any nutrients you need?
No! If anything, it’s a positive because I’m adding so many essential nutrients to my diet. On occasion though, I have to keep an eye on my vitamin B12 levels, so I make sure to supplement with deep, leafy greens, spirulina, fermented foods and nutritional yeast.

5) What do you personally feel are the strongest benefits of being vegan?
I don’t have to worry about my health because I eat so many vibrant and fresh foods. The body self-regulates wonderfully when given great fuel! That’s huge. I also don’t have any of the aches and pains most people experience. I recover from workouts and injuries really fast and rarely get sick.

6) What are some challenges Vegans face, and how do you overcome them?
Trusting where your food comes from is a challenge we all face. I also stay away from overly processed foods. In the vegan world, we look to avoid foods with hidden animal ingredients. But just because it doesn’t have animal products doesn’t mean it’s healthy, nor does it mean all animal products are unhealthy. The key is to become more conscious of our food choices. Don’t assume that if it’s sold in the market, that it’s safe.

7) Favorite Vegan foods? Any good recipes to share?
A big, manly salad every day! I pick lettuce and kale from my garden and make an awesome salad. And, of course, any vegetable would be at the top of my list. I also make killer vegan pizzas, tacos with tempeh, and delicious, homemade veggie burgers, too. All are completely vegan—and completely yummy! I celebrate food and there is no lack of taste with what I eat.

8) What’s a good way to get started with a vegan lifestyle?
You can reap some of the health benefits if you start by replacing just one meal a day with all plants. (Vegan is just a way of saying “eat all plants.”) Vegan Shakeology is an easy way to do that with 100% healthy, fat-burning plant power.

9) Biggest difference Shakeology fans will notice with the new vegan formulas?
Without a doubt the new vegan formulas are tastier and way more flavorful. On top of that, they’re incredibly smooth—no more grittiness. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come. These formulas are awesome!

10) What should Coaches know about the new formulas?
There are more new ingredients and more new innovations. We added a wonderful, new oat protein with very high digestibility. Also, we lowered the overall number of carbohydrates and reduced sugars with the agave nectar. Lastly, we introduced kale, a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

11) How does Shakeology factor into your Vegan lifestyle?
I start my day with a massive Shakeology for breakfast. I boost it with many of my powders based on specific needs I have for the day until the blender is full. Then, I have another shake later in the day to recover from my workout. I love the Tropical Vegan Strawberry flavor in Spring and Chocolate Shakeology in the winter. That’s just how I roll!

Questions about the new Vegan Formulas? Visit FAQ 9837 and don’t forget to check out the Shakeology bar at Summit. Stop by the CORE for a free sample of the new Chocolate Vegan and Tropical Strawberry flavors!