Review of Superlife + what I learned

Sharing my thoughts and review on Darin Olien’s book Superlife and what I learned. 

Hi friends! How’s the morning going? I hope you’re having a great day so far. I apologize for disappearing for a few days – I can’t remember the last time I missed a Friday Faves post. Social media and the world have felt pretty heavy lately, so it felt good to step away for a bit. Liv has a half day of online learning, so I’m thinking of taking the kiddos to the zoo this afternoon. It’s been *slightly* cooler around here; just to the point where it feels like a hint of fall. The mornings have been really lovely.

For today’s post, I wanted to share my review and thoughts on Darin Olien’s book, Superlife.

You may know Darin from a couple of places:

1) he was Zac Efron’s knowledgeable sidekick in Down to Earth (which I pretty much spent mentally debating who was more attractive. In the end, I think it’s a tie.)

photo source

2) he’s one of the creators of Shakeology! This is Beachbody’s protein shake, which is packed with superfoods and nutrients. I drank it religiously and loved it for years, but stopped drinking it when I was pregnant with P and never really got back into it. It tastes amazing.

When I saw that Darin had a book, I instantly downloaded it to my Kindle app. I finally had the chance to dive in and finish it on the flight to and from Denver a couple of weekends ago. While a lot of it was info that I already know from being in the health and wellness space for a while, I still learned a ton. It also was a gentle nudge to get back to some healthy habits that have fallen off the radar over time. I feel like along with so many of you, I’ve really been trying to just keep my head above water for the past 8 months. I finally feel like I’m almost to a point where I’m squeaking past the “simply survive” benchmark and can start to focus back on a couple of work goals and routine tweaks.

For a healthy lifestyle, I’m all about ADDING things to your routine where it makes sense, instead of focusing on removing them. For example: more vegetables, more movement, more fresh air, better sleep, add meditation, etc. instead of less cake, less sugar, less meat, blah blah. This book gives many ideas on strategies that you can add into your routine for a super life; one that is vibrant, energized, pain-free, and free of illness.

From the website:

In this groundbreaking health and lifestyle guide, Darin Olien—superfoods expert, nutritionist, creator of Shakeology, and co-host of the Netflix docuseries Down to Earth with Zac Efron—provides the key to understanding and utilizing five life forces, the sole factors that determine whether or not we will be healthy, fit, and free of illness.

In Superlife, Darin Olien provides us with an entirely new way of thinking about health and wellbeing by identifying what he calls the life forces: Quality Nutrition, Hydration, Detoxification, Oxygenation, and Alkalization. Olien demonstrates in great detail how to maintain these processes, thereby allowing our bodies to do the rest. He tells us how we can maintain healthy weight, prevent even the most serious of diseases, and feel great. He explains that all of this is possible without any of the restrictive or gimmicky diet plans that never work in the long term.

Olien has traveled the world, exploring the health properties of foods that have sustained indigenous cultures for centuries. Putting his research into practice, he has created a unique and proven formula for maximizing our bodies’ potential. He also includes a “How-to-eat” user’s guide with a shopping list, advice on “what to throw away,” a guide to creating a healthy, balanced diet plan, and advice on how to use supplements effectively.

Written in Olien’s engaging conversational style, Superlife is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive look at dieting and nutrition, a timeless and essential guide to maintaining the human body and maximizing its potential.

He breaks the book down into 5 life forces to emphasize in your daily routine: nutrition, hydration, oxygenation, alkalization, and detoxification. In each segment, he provides details on steps that you can implement to make the most out of each component. He also adds tips for exercise, feeding kids, supplements, kitchen staples, and a sample 10-day eating plan and to-do list. I LOVE how thorough he is in each section with lots of attainable tips. It’s one of my pet peeves when you read a health or wellness book and the author spends the entire time telling you about why their plan or philosophy works so well without actually giving you the steps you need. They spend far too much on the “why” instead of the “how” and this book is the perfect mix of both. It’s also very conversationally-written, so while it includes multiple science-backed facts and peer-reviewed studies, it’s an easy read.

Notes I took on my phone while reading:

– Make sprouts. (I’ll do a blog post on this soon! I used to sprout all of the time and it’s an easy way to add nutrients to salad, wraps, and sandwiches)

– Big salads with lots of raw veggies – focus on kale and broccoli

– Smoothies with varied ingredients

– Water with pinch of Himalayan sea salt, cayenne, and lemon in the am

– Foods with high chlorophyll content: chard, kale, spirulina, chlorella

– Make exercise sporadic and fun; truly challenge yourself

– Find a better water source. We have reverse osmosis here at the house, but it hasn’t been serviced since the first time we lived here (before Liv was born!) so we haven’t been using it. I’ve been filling the large water jugs from Whole Foods, but am trying to find a better option (glass bottles, a great filter like Berkey, or even a delivery service). If you have any ideas, please let me know! Wondering if it’s worth it to just get the RO system fixed and running again.

As a non-vegan who loves vegan food, I’m excited about trying some of the new recipes in Superlife. They’re all vibrantly colored and packed with veggies.

So, tell me, friends: what’s the best health or wellness book you’ve read recently?

Any awesome healthy recipes you’ve tried?



Post Navigation:


  1. Jenn on October 19, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Thank you for the review! I just reserved my copy (I’m a library girl:). Love that you say the information is applicable and not just trying to promote his beliefs without real ways of putting them into action. Such a good Netflix series – and not bad to look at! I also love Shakeology (hands down best I’ve ever tried), although I wish it weren’t so pricey.
    Enjoy your fall weather! It’s getting real here in Indiana!!

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2020 at 1:11 am

      please let me know what you think once you check it out!
      LOVE shakeology too but it’s so pricey. i’ve been using the truvani protein powder and really like it!

  2. Jodie on October 19, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for this fantastic review. I will definitely check the book out. I much prefer to focus on what I can add to my “diet” rather than what I can’t have. I need to watch that documentary too, I have had it on my list for a while.

    Taking a break from social media is a good thing once in while. Enjoy your week.

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2020 at 1:10 am

      yes, you’ll love down to earth!!
      thank you – hope you have a great week, too

  3. Crystal on October 19, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Okay, I just downloaded this on audible, thanks for the review! I recently read “the longevity diet” which was interesting and a good reminder to eat more veggies and less sweets.

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2020 at 1:10 am

      ohhh i’ll check it out. let me know what you think of this one!

  4. Sunny H on October 19, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    We use RO! It was already installed, and having it serviced was totally worth it (not that ‘spensive either).

    BUT – RO strips all the GOOD minerals out along with all the bad stuff, so drinking that as the main source while adding a little of the trace minerals drops, a pinch of himalayan sea salt or just enjoying some perriers/topo chicos from time to time is best 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2020 at 1:10 am

      ok excellent tips – thank you!

  5. coco on October 19, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    I read “how not to diet” and found it super interesting as it’s all science based research. this book sounds interesting too.

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2020 at 1:09 am

      yes, i loved that one, too!

  6. Faye Holloway on October 20, 2020 at 12:28 am

    So I love that you posted about this book because I have an Eastern medical doctor who told me to cut out gluten, sugar, alcohol, dairy, and meat. Plus, she said I need to combine foods a certain way – don’t combine rice and protein. This seems unsustainable especially since I’m a foodie and love to eat healthy with weekend splurges. When you said the book just added and didn’t restrict I got excited, but I don’t see meat in the recipes and the calories seem so low. I know you work out hard so what do you think about that? I feel like on a workout day I need at least 2000 calories. At first glance I don’t see how this would be filling. Curious if I’m wrong? Would you follow this to a t or just take recipes here and there?

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2020 at 1:09 am

      there are a lot of wonderful recipes in this book! if your doctor told you to try food combining, natalia rose has a great book about it. they tend to be low calorie, so i would just make sure you’re getting enough.
      i didn’t follow the meal plans; just use the recipes for inspiration with my normal style of eating. there is no meat, but an emphasis on healthy fats and smart carbs with adequate protein through plant-based sources. i would do things like drizzle extra olive oil onto salads and add beans, nuts/seeds, to make sure you’re getting enough

  7. Emily on October 20, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    I loved Down to Earth! My favorite was when they showed what they are doing for the drinking water in France. I wish they did that here.
    Please do a post on sprouting! I would love more info on that!!!

    • Fitnessista on October 21, 2020 at 1:02 am

      yes, i wish they did that here, too!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.