“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
- John 10:10 (New International Version)
I know, I know - that’s a pretty ambitious quote attached to what’s essentially a review of milkshakes … but the scripture verse is at the heart of 10:10 Wellness's mission in the endurance sports community.
The company’s primary objective is to lead people into healthy lifestyles and activities they can get excited about. Their model is to recruit new athletes like Team in Training, give them guidance like an online coaching service, encourage and support them like a favorite running or tri-club, participate in races together like a group of friends, and provide them with good products like the best online vendors.
That last point is where today’s product comes in, as Monkey Shakes are the most notable offering from their (otherwise, somewhat limited) product line. 10:10 Wellness provided me with some of these shake mixes last month, and I’ve been enjoying them on a regular basis. They’re designed as a recovery drink to replenish the body after a tough workout. (However, they taste good enough that I had them on days when I hadn’t even worked out – I figured that wouldn’t disqualify me from doing the review.)
My shipment arrived with a nice handwritten note, and one other sweet touch: See that red thing in the picture?
It’s a monkey! From the old Barrel of Monkeys game, remember? Very retro-cool.
Aside from the monkey, there’s not much to the packaging for these things … or, as my wife asked, “You’re going to eat some mystery powder that a complete stranger from the Internet stuffed into a Ziploc bag?” I find it very hard to argue with her logic sometimes. She wasn’t even reassured by the little red monkey. At least I could claim that your money isn’t going to a fancy production process when you buy from 10:10 Wellness.
As far as what’s actually in the bags … that’s where things get complicated. Monkey shakes provide your body with all the macro nutrients you need - carbs, protein, and fat - plus vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even some fiber. They are truly natural products without any artificial flavors or sweeteners.
Carbohydrates are in the form of 100% rolled oats, ground into a powder for a smooth base. The protein component is whey protein isolate which is easily digested and provides more nutritional bang for your buck than just about any other form. They also include another type of whey protein called RenewPro that is an antioxidant booster. Monkey Shakes come with a “secret weapon” in the form of chia seeds, a dietary staple of Southwest Native Americans. You probably know them better as the building blocks of Chia Pets, but these seeds have tremendous nutritional and medicinal properties.
(By the way, if you want an extremely thorough look into the thought process behind selecting each of these ingredients, and the health-related benefits of each one, it’s right there on the 10:10 Wellness site. If you thought I was long-winded, you really need to check this out.)
So the resulting ingredient cocktail is chock full of wellness potential … but how does it taste?
There’s an information sheet in each shipment of Monkey Shakes, providing nutritional details and five recipes for different Monkey varieties. Most of the recipes call for peanut butter, which I only used once in fear of burning up my less-than-industrial grade blender. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you already know which flavor I tried first:
Strawberry Monkey: Frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, milk, and monkey shake mix. It was awesome. I also made a Blueberry Monkey and a Peach Monkey according the instruction sheet – very delicious as well.
I typically make fruit juice smoothies at home rather than milkshakes, so I also tried the Monkey Shake mix in one of my regular berry smoothie recipes, substituting a couple scoops of Monkey mix for the protein powder I normally use. It worked just fine in this regard as well, and this might be a way to make your supply of Monkey Shake ingredients last longer than the indicated usage.
It’s a point worth mentioning, because this Monkey stuff isn’t exactly dirt cheap. Under the normal recipe guidelines, a single Ziploc bag contains two servings, and a 15-bag (30 serving) case normally sells for $68.00 on the 10:10 Wellness site. That works out to about $2.25 a serving, which seems like a lot at first, but is still a lot cheaper than what you’d spend for something comparable at Jamba Juice. Considering the high quality ingredients, that seems like a pretty fair price. (Another option for a smaller order is 3 bags for $15.00, which is slightly more expensive on a per-unit basis.)
Actually, the bargain gets better for my blog readers: there’s a coupon code set up on the website for Monkey Shakes or anything else from the 10:10 Wellness site: if you enter "runningandrambling" (no quotes) into the discount/coupon box at checkout, you'll get a 10% discount.
So to summarize: Good company, great product, fantastic nutrition, and a pretty attractive deal to buy some. Maybe it’s time to bring a little monkey into your life.
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