Meal replacements

I’ve been looking for a suitable vegan meal replacement since I returned to work. With going to the gym on my lunch breaks, I always felt it wasn’t acceptable to then sit and each lunch after my lunch hour, this is where the quest came from. 

We had been using Huel for some time and it’s brilliant. It’s totally nutritionally balanced, so in theory you can live solely on that. It taste great and always kept me full, unfortunately, their latest version of it bloats me terribly and gives me really awful pain. People do claim it passes, but I just couldn’t get used to it or take the debilitating affect of it when having to interact with Leo, so I’ve had to give up on it. 

I tried Garden of Life raw meal but I just couldn’t get used to to texture, it’s like drinking a muddy puddle.  That’s a no then. 

The next one I tried was Vega One. The sweetness makes your head hurt! It’s a lot more tolerable in water, but still, completely unnecessary but tolerable for me. However, still not completely happy I continued until I found Purition. 

Purition offer vegan and dairy based products. The whey is sourced from local, grass fed cows, so if you are interested purely in your own health rather than the full chain accountability, then this is a great option. I have tried both because the dairy version has more flavours, although the Vegan Chocolate is currently my favourite anyway. 

There is quite a lot of texture to it as the ingredients are raw, but it’s not gritty like the GOL. It’s more deliberate as it’s whole chia seeds and chunks of things like almonds (if it’s  that flavour!) and if you blend it then it’s almost smooth. There isn’t the intense sweetness of vega, this uses ground Stevia leaves so I don’t know if that makes a difference. The flavours are subtle and real and I think it may just be the one! Cost wise, you buy 3 bags at a time and it works out about £1.50 a meal. Perfect 

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The quest continues 

We found Huel whilst looking for a time saving, waste saving, fully balanced meal alternative when I went back to work. The idea was to replace all meals in the week for simplicity and the time eat normally at the weekends. 

This failed for two reasons, I love looking at food. I love a plate full of brightly coloured yumminess, it lifts my spirit on a dull day. So, there is fail number one. 

If it was that alone, huel would still have its place because I actually really enjoy it and it’s easy to grab and it’s vegan, which is key now I am on my ethical eating drive. Alas, it is not just that. Since they have changed the recipe, I can not tolerate it for more than one day and one meal: the second I go to more, I suffer terrible tummy cramps. Not really sure why. 

As I still need a decent go to, I have gone back to a brand we used to use but ruled out when we found huel as it is more expensive by quite a way. Garden of Life is a raw, plant based nutritionally complete option but the issue I have with it is that it is really quite gritty and no where near as enjoyable. So, I am on a mission. 

I have another incentive for it as I want to help my friend who is basically allergic to every food known to man and he needs something when he is out and about so that he doesn’t default back to bread and then die immediately. I am in the process of collating all nutrional information for all vegan, gluten free and nutritionally complete meal replacements so that I can see what is what. I want to compare ingredients too, as I suspect the issue with Huel for my friend is maltodextrin as he seems to have a complex carb intolerance and maltodextrin is a known irritant there. 

It’s wrecking my head a little at how long it is taking, it’s mainly because they all list in different formats so I am having to convert. Anyone who knows me will know that a) I am utterly shit with maths b) I am utterly shit with Excel.. Winning combo right there! 

I have found another I want to try, Vega that’s not too expensive, I will see if Holland and Barrett do the sample packs. I just need to ascertain if they are nutritionally complete. 

I am genuinely gutted about huel, but I can’t risk irritating my gut when that’s just not a normal thing for me. I will find something, it may be that I just force myself to tolerate the gritty Garden of Life option..