Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Review: Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal - Chocolate

Recently, due to my increasing difficulty in eating a lot of food, I decided to try out a meal replacement drink. Now previously I would have probably bought a dairy based meal replacement - like Complan (in the UK), but being more clued up to a healthy lifestyle, this time I decided to see if I could find a product that did not have allergens in it such as dairy and gluten. What I discovered was even better than that...

Garden of Life make a number of really nice looking products, and going by other reviews their products are high quality and fit in with my lifestyle choices. When looking for a meal replacement, I was ideally looking for something that would be highly nutritious and would act as an instant tonic to my body - similar if possible to the experience I get when I drink fresh juice. What's good about liquid based products is the tend to be easily and quickly absorbed/utilised by my body.

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal - Chocolate
In the UK it's hard to get hold of the Garden of Life meal replacements, but I managed to find the 'chocolate' version on Amazon UK. If you are in the US then you will have a far wider variety available to you, including the interesting sounding: Vanilla Chai.

Here's the blurb about the one I bought:
Garden of Life Raw Meal was formulated to be a meal replacement that satisfies hunger, is naturally filling and provides energy, all while providing the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that you would find in a healthy meal of raw foods. Raw Meal provides the nutrition of a well-balanced, healthy raw meal in one delicious serving. Why choose raw meal. Raw meal goes beyond organic by providing live probiotics and enzymes, vitamin code raw food created vitamins and minerals, as well as nutrient Code Factors such as beta-glucans, SOD, glutathione and CoQ10, enabling natural recognition by your body. Containing 26 superfoods from Raw organic seeds, sprouts and greens, RAW Meal provides 34 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber and a healthy 2.5 grams of fat making it an excellent choice for weight conscious individuals. RAW Meal also offers 20 Vitamin Code vitamins and minerals providing at least 100% of the Daily Value of 16 key nutrients. Just as important is what's not included in RAW Meal. It is gluten-free, dairy-free and lactose-free. It has no fillers, no isolates, no synthetic nutrients, no artificial sweeteners and no preservatives.

  • Very filling!
  • Made from raw & good quality ingredients
  • Easy to prepare
  • No dairy, gluten or lactose and no preservatives or 'nasties'
  • Great if you are in a hurry or sick and don't have time to prepare a meal
  • As with many healthy, raw based products it is on the expensive side (especially for us Brits)
  • I hated the taste by itself (see below)
  • It is slightly gritty/powdery and very thick
How to deal with the taste/texture and make it drinkable:

The first time I tried it, I made it as directed on the tub, but I didn't use water (they say to use water). Instead I used almond milk and I also just mixed it (as directed). The result was awful: an unpleasant taste AND it was lumpy and thick. I found the portion size was double what I could manage (even though I forced it all down lol!).

They suggest: two scoops of powder & 16 ounces of water. - not good!

The second time I tried it, I thought about utilising the fact the drink is thick to make a thick shake/smoothie. I tipped 10 ounces of Koko milk (a coconut based milk alternative) into a massive jug, then I added one scoop of powder. I took some vanilla extract and measured about 1/4 a teaspoon and added that. Then I took a small banana and broke it into chunks and added that. I finished this off by using a hand stick blender to blend it up thoroughly so there were no lumps and the banana was mixed in. You could use a blender for this instead.

Once I served it up in a giant glass, I stirred in about 1 fluid ounce more of Koko milk to loosen it up a bit. The result is like you are drinking a different product. It tastes like a thick, chocolatey shake... there is still a very slight powdery/gritty texture to it, but it is totally bearable. Even my mum, who tasted some, agreed that it was fine and she expressed a wish to try a whole shake like that.

So to conclude, I really recommend this raw meal mix if you are someone who struggles to eat healthily or who is struggling with food allergies (and none of your allergens are in the mix), or who has chronic illness to deal with and wants a quick and easy meal replacement that is also healthy.

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking about giving this kind of thing a go recently, maybe not this particular brand but along the lines of, thanks for the post on it although sorry to hear it didn't taste so good first time round! :) Hayley-Eszti