Saturday, March 14, 2015

Review: ViSalus: Body by Vi nutritional supplement

So let’s face it, we all made those new years’ resolutions with intent to stick to them 100%. By now I am sure that most of us have fallen off the wagon. With no one there to push you it’s insanely difficult to find the motivation day in and day out to keep up with your diet, to maintain a good exercise regimen, and to keep your eye on the prize. I mean, really, who will know if you have that snack cake other than you? Who will know that you had 2 glasses of soda today and your favorite energy drink twice in the last 3 days? Who’s going to know if you snuck that cookie while the kids weren’t looking or that you stopped and bought yourself some fries on the way home from work?

Well, the answer to these questions is you.

A lot of us struggle with the things that we love most. One of the biggest challenges in America today is the rate of obesity in adults, young adults, and children alike. In 2008 a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the obesity rates among adult American men was roughly around 32.2% and 35.5% for women. The rate of obesity is on the rise in our country and something has to be done about it. That’s where ViSalus comes in.

The name ViSalus is actually a combination of 2 Latin words. The first word, “Vi”, is Latin for life and the second, “Salus” meaning health and prosperity. The company was founded in March of 2005 and has worked its way into the homes of many people. They are generating quite a wave in the weight loss and muscle building world and here is why.

They are currently running a campaign called “The Challenge” in which users commit to using the product for 90 days. You can choose one of 2 goals to “Lose it” or “Build it.” If you choose to lose it you are challenged to lose 10 pounds within that 3 month period. If you choose to build it you are challenged to gain 10 pounds of lean muscle in the same time frame. Anyone who completes the challenge is awarded and “I lost it” or an “I built it” t-shirt along with a chance 10 chances to win a $1,000 prize for 10 weeks. On top of that they will donate 30 meals to local food pantries to feed children! When I first heard this I was interested to say the least.

I had the pleasure of working with one of their promoters, Mia Bonasso from Fairmont, WV, my home town. Mia is an absolute pleasure to work with and very knowledgeable in their products. She has personally aided in the transformation of several people including her entire family. She is one of the nicest people I have come to know and is definitely someone you want in your corner when the cravings get tough! She is an active member in the local community as well as her church. You can visit her personal page to get more information about their products and to see if ViSalus might be right for you. She is always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Now let’s take a look a look at some of their products. I have tried other diet foods and supplements before but nothing quite like the products that ViSalus offers.

To start off with, their shake mix is absolutely delicious! It is touted as “the shake mix that tastes like cake mix.” I can tell you, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they are absolutely correct! Mixing a few scoops with 8-12 oz. of milk yields a sweet, creamy treat as a snack or you can add in some fruit and some veggies to make it a full meal replacement.

With a mix that is as versatile as this you really can’t go wrong.

They also have several other items such as the peanut butter flavored Nutra-Cookies, their Neuro energy drink mix, as well as many other snack items.

The Nutra-Cookies are a bit dense for my pallet but are delicious as a snack.

The first thing that I noticed when I mixed up a packet of the Neuro drink mix was that I could smell caffeine in it. I was quite surprised by this, honestly. I was worried that the drink would taste bad based on the smell. I was actually very pleased at the flavor.

They also have a line of add-ins for your shakes that add some flavor and nutrients as well. I had the chance to try out the chocolate and strawberry flavors. The chocolate is bitter as you would expect from a super dark chocolate bar. The strawberry was very pleasant. It didn’t taste like syrup but more like actual fruit!

So every weight loss plan needs to include a sometimes drastic change to your diet. My wife and I sometimes eat like college kids. We live a very busy lifestyle between our 2 kids and my job in the military.

Another aspect that some people tend to overlook is exercise. Let me say it again to try to drive it home. EXERCISE! You have to develop a good exercise plan that combines cardio conditioning and endurance as well as muscular conditioning and endurance. I won’t call myself a professional but being in the military has certainly given me some tools to use to this effect.

When I received my products from Mia I decided to take a bit of a realistic approach to my weight loss plan. To start with, I was having 2 shakes a day to replace both breakfast and lunch and then have a sensible meal for dinner. We ate a ton of fish during the time I was using the supplements.

During the first 2 weeks I didn’t exercise much at all. I wanted to see what kind of results I might see just by changing what I was eating. I did cheat a few times but stuck mostly to the suggested “sensible meals.”

Now, with some dietary supplements I have noticed that I generally felt like crap. That wasn’t that case with ViSalus. I never felt shaky or irritable. In fact I felt great. I seemed to be seeping energy. Anyone that knows me can say that is a rare occurrence. Even with a constant flow of energy drinks I never seem to get past the groggy feeling. And I actually felt like I was eating enough. I didn’t once find myself wanting to supplement what I was consuming with cheater snacks. I even found it difficult to finish my shake a few times. I even had to cut back on the amount of skim milk I was using to be able to get it all down.

The results that I saw during this time period were exactly what I expected. My weight seemed to stay within a pound of my starting weight, which was 187.4 pounds. With the first 2 weeks behind me I decided to up the game a little. I now included a bit of cardio and some lighter strength training mostly consisting of push-ups and sit-ups and a fairly vigorous 1.5 mile walk a few days a week.

 I started to feel a bit different in the 2nd two weeks. I noticed that hunger would start to creep up on me more often. I felt myself craving the solid foods that I had left behind. It seemed that the more I worked out the more fuel my body was asking for. I will admit that I did cheat a few times a week. I also noticed that I was more easily able to finish off my shakes. Toward the end I was even still hungry after the shake. Knowing that I had this feeling only solidified that something was starting happen.

By the end of the month worth of shake mix that I was provided it was time to weigh in again. I figured I would be down a few pounds. After all, I knew something was going on. What I didn’t expect was to that scale found me a bit lighter than even I had expected. I was down by a total of just over 5 pounds. 5.4 to be exact. With, in all honesty, minimal effort I was able to see some actual results. I can only imagine the kind of results I would have seen had I stuck to an actual plan! If I was doing this in conjunction with some good old Army physical training I think the results would have been amazing.

One concern I would like to address is something that came up in the 3rd week that I was using the shakes. It was brought to my attention that the shakes are high in soy protein. I was also informed that soy protein was somehow connected to some pretty crazy side effects in men such as erectile dysfunction. When I asked Mia about this she pointed me to this .pdf file ViSalus offers on the subject. Here is what it says on the subject:

“Is soy protein healthy?

Yes, soy protein has been consumed for thousands of years. Soy protein is protein “isolated” from the soybean. Soy protein isolate has been used widely since 1959 in foods and for its functional properties.

We use soy because it is a complete protein that is easily digested; adequate consumption of soy in the diet can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range, and can help support lean muscle mass. Also, there are many health promoting amino acids in soy protein. Our soy is made by mashing up soybeans, and using a cross-membrane filter (similar to making purified drinking water) to extract the protein and separate out the isoflavones.

Of the concerns over soy, the first is that it may block the absorption of certain minerals. This is due to raw soybeans which can contain a form of phytic acid that can prevent absorption. It is not an issue for our products because of how we process the ingredient and because they are not raw soybeans.

The second common concern relates to isoflavones which can affect thyroid health. However, studies have not shown soy to impact thyroid health. Our soy has been processed to remove the isoflavones.

A third concern is its estrogenic effect on the body. There is no evidence that soy impacts hormones. This myth started because the soy molecule looks ‘similar’ to a hormone molecule, but has not been proven to have an impact on hormones.

Finally our soy is not genetically modified (non-GMO). Many people are concerned about the alteration of ingredients during the breeding process. We use the most natural form we can get.”

After doing a little research of my own I found their statements about soy protein to be mostly accurate to what I could find elsewhere. It seems that there really hasn’t been much in the way of formal research on the subject. It has, however, been determined that soy protein can decrease the risk of prostate cancer in men. Soy has other health benefits such as increased metabolism as well.

Even at higher-than-average rate of consumption (higher even than what’s typical among Asian cultures) there is no evidence to caution men specifically against eating soy.

It turns out that this is a fairly common myth. But fear not, men! Even at an insanely increased rate of consumption than what I am used to I found no effects what-so-ever to indicate that I had decreased testosterone. If you don’t feel comfortable take the time to do some research on your own. There are plenty of articles floating around that claim that soy will cause you to grow breasts and start having a menstrual cycle - just fact check what you read.

I was very pleased with my experience even only using it for a month. If you’d like to try it out for yourself feel free to contact Mia at You can get started on your 90-day challenge for $99.00 for the basic Shape-kit or you can kick it into high gear and go for the gold with their Transformation Kit for $249.00.

If you challenge 3 other people who also purchase a kit you can get your products for free!

Mia Bonasso Body by Vi
ViSalus Facebook 


  1. Never heard of this brand, but that nutra cookie actually looks tasty; that progress checker looks pretty handy

  2. I never heard of this brand as well. I would love to try the shake though. #ProductReviewParty

  3. I've never heard of this but this is a great review! You always want someone to give their real thoughts on something. Pinning! Thanks for sharing this at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week! Can't wait to see what you have lined up for this week.

    Her Organized Chaos

  4. Sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing your discovery.
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