ViraOne GoodStuff Chocolate Chaga Smoothie Mix - Drink to Your Health

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Do you follow @SuperHealthyTO (also on twitter)? If not, you should.

Melissa Evans-Lee, Marketing Director at Bayview Village Shopping Centre, is whip-smart, funny, knows everything there is to know about fashion (her shoe collection alone, is staggering), and has impeccable taste. She also happens to be a real foodie, with a penchant for healthy fare (fries are a vegetable, duh) and the hottest sauce you've got. 

Recently, she posted about one of new fave discoveries, Good Stuff Chocolate Chaga Smoothie Mix by Vira One.

A few years ago, I too, incorporated a plant-based nutritional shake filled with protein, veggies, greens, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and probiotics into my diet.

The reason? Dining out six nights a week for my job as restaurant writer and editor was playing havoc with my nutrition. Some nights the only veg on my plate were fries and onion rings. The weeks that Neapolitan pizza/pasta openings reigned were even worse. With a cloudy chance of meatballs, but little possibility of any fruit or veg coming my way, my stomach was out to here.

I always try to be as healthy as possible IRL, but since my job consists of consuming insane amounts of hydrogenated oil, sodium, meat, batter, gravy and butter, I wanted to offset the effects,  and inject as much nourishment into my day as possible, in case all it consisted of was eight kinds of grilled cheese (true story).

The all-in-one drink supplement with added greens and probiotics really helped on the days where I was at a new burger spot (with the only non-fried veg come by way of toppings: lettuce, tomato) or sampling most of the menu at the new Italian joint downtown (urp). This made up for its beyond-my-budget price.

Then, a few months ago, articles in Time, The New York Times, Health Magazine and other publications stated that research showed that healthy fats were not only good for you; it's the best way to lose weight.

Whoa. This was big. Working healthy fats into the one small meal a day I have prior to a restaurant however, was tricky. I was already slammed for time in writing to deadline. Often I missed lunch all together, resorting to downing a handful of almonds or chugging back a coconut water as I flew through the door. How in the world was I going to start incorporating spoonfuls of coconut oil and other fatty goodness into my barely-there fare?

After two weeks of trying to figure out a quick, easy and economical way to do this (and coming up empty), I saw Melissa's post. 

Little did I know it was about to change everything.

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At first glance, Chocolate Chaga Smoothie Mix might appear just like the rest. After all, it's chock-full of insanely good-for-you ingredients like the drink I had been buying previously. Both are vegan, non-GMO, and free of gluten, dairy and soy. Each contain superfoods, sea vegetables and algae, greens, probiotics, vitamins and minerals, some of which are organic.

But this had noticeable improvements from my daily dose of goodness, including:

1.  All raw ingredients, of which 95% are organic/wild-crafted
2.  No sugar (the other one uses stevia leaf extract)
3. Organic chaga mushrooms, which are one of the most nutrient-dense ingredients and powerful antioxidants
4. Fascinating healers by way of stinging nettle, horsetail, dandelion juice, and nopal cactus, as well as comprehensive enzyme complexes
5. Himalayan pink salt, that does everything from help balance your blood sugar to detox your body
6. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) from Coconut Oil blended right into the mix, so no need to keep oily, bulky, heavy, pricey jars around all the time, or spend time adding and mixing in other ingredients
7. There are three sizes to choose from, accommodating every budget: snack pack (2-3 servings), 150g (18 servings), and 500g (58 servings)
8. It's hand-crafted, hand-batched - ensuring optimal freshness - right here in Canada
9. Enjoy free shipping for all orders over $50 in Canada, and in the U.S. for orders over $100
10. Three percent of profits from ViraOne sales support New Leaf Yoga Foundation, a non-profit organization making yoga and mindfulness practices accessible to youth through programs in schools, youth justice settings and marginalized communities in Canada.

It also happens to taste good - chocolatey, but not too sweet, with just a tinge of earthy depth. Go ahead and add it to your milk, dairy alternative, or smoothie. I like it just with water.

The 18 servings package made quite an impact in a short amount of time, to my health (no runny nose or sore throat despite the constantly changing weather), energy (I work long hours. I need all the help I can get), and overall well-being.

But here's the big kicker: for the first time in f-o-r-e-v-e-r, despite working out like Rocky five days a week, and restricting my diet at home (because at "work" all bets are off, especially when three desserts arrive after seven courses - the "chef's specialty"), it's the first time in years that I've dropped a few pounds. Now it's the kind of weight that doesn't look much different to anyone else yet, but boy, do I see it. And with a bit more time and exercise, there's no way it can go unnoticed. Ack, I can't wait.

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After my initial package ran out, I called the one store in my city that carries it, to make sure it was in stock. They were sold out and weren't getting more in for a few weeks.

#$%@!

When it was back in stock, I called ahead to put one aside. There was no way I was going to miss this. Then I traveled across the city. In rush hour traffic. In the rain, to get it.

I thought I had found the perfect all-in-one nutrition drink before, but it doesn't hold a candle to ViraOne GoodStuff Chocolate Chaga Smoothie Mix.

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Thank you Melissa, for your constant wisdom and recommendations. You were bang on, as always. And thank you ViraOne, for making one of the best health products in the world.

Shop ViraOne GoodStuff Chocolate Chaga Smoothie Mix now.

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