What to Eat: The 411 on Superfoods and Nutrition

So what is a whole food anyway? What is it that compels Darin Olien to venture to the lab and test familiar and exotic fruits and plants to put in Shakeology®?

Eating for life requires more of us than simply eating. We must be committed to educating ourselves on the latest research, but we must also be willing to listen to our inner voice. That voice itself will direct you to certain foods over others. For example, it doesn’t take an herbalist or student of nutrition to know that an apple is better for you than a soft drink, because of how it makes your body feel.

When we think logically and rationally about what food is supposed to do for our bodies, it becomes obvious that eating whole foods is essential. Common questions we hear are: What exactly is a whole food? Can I buy them at my local market? Can I afford them on a budget? And if whole foods are just that, whole and complete, does that mean other foods are incomplete?

A whole food is a food in its complete form that hasn’t been processed or isolated into fractions. Beachbody® followed the whole food philosophy when we made Shakeology, in that the majority of minerals and vitamins are derived from whole foods. We believe that each plant and fruit made in nature is made perfectly; there is a perfect balance of minerals and nutrients to support absorption rates and create beneficial chemical reactions inside the human body. When you eat nutritious superfoods whole, you get the “symphony” of all the vitamins and minerals working together as nature intended (instead of taking them in isolated forms such as individual vitamin supplements).

Eating whole foods is a foolproof way to fuel your body correctly, and these foods are everywhere, including your local grocery store and your farmers’ market. Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and anything that fits into the definition listed above can be considered to be a whole food. In order to choose optimally amongst these items, it’s important to remember to always buy organic to avoid unsafe pesticides, and always try to buy foods in season. We urge you to check the labels too! Don’t just assume things are good for you, because many nuts, seeds, and dried fruits often have unwanted additives or sugars that thwart the pure nutrition of the product.


The question of affordability is unfortunately a common concern in the whole food industry—some people think twice about paying high prices for organic produce. There is an easy answer for those who are unsure whether the higher prices are worth it: They’re absolutely worth it! Here’s why: The nutrients received from whole foods will improve your body’s overall functioning, and in contrast, processed foods with added sugars and other chemicals offer nothing to your body except harm and a fake feeling of satiety.The non-whole foods that may be part of your diet are considered “bulk foods.” Bulk foods are designed to trick the body into thinking it’s full, when in reality it’s starving for nutrients and possibly storing unnecessary bulk as extra body fat. Since the feeling of fullness after eating bulk foods is mostly a facade, you will most likely end up consuming more in quantity, thus paying more overall than you might if you were eating more whole foods.

After reviewing the definition of a whole food, perhaps you will eat more consciously today, and eating consciously today could lead to eating consciously tomorrow because of how good you feel! Good choices lead to more good choices because your body is grateful for the nutrients you provide it with. So the next time you are food shopping and asking yourself what you should buy, take a moment to access your inner voice. Simply look at, touch, and smell the foods around you, and pay attention to what your body’s asking for!