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2,070 of 2,165 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2014
First off, the short version: This is the worst tasting stuff I've ever actually put in my mouth, and I just ordered another tub.

It's amazing what the human body can get used to. Seriously. The taste is bad. Like ground up elephant dung mixed with sand.

A little about me: 38, used to be in shape, then got kinda fat and decided to do something about it which entailed T-25 and an improved diet. I also waited to write this review until after I had finished my first tub of Raw Meal and went to regular protein powder instead so that I could compare the results. Let it be known that I am not a raw foods, vegan, vegetarian, health or excersize nut or anything like that. Just a regular guy trying to correct years of eating and drinking whatever it occoured to me at the time to consume.
Part of my diet is a breakfast smoothie, which is where this product came in. I read the reviews (just like you) and decided to give it a go because I had no intention of drinking it straight, but instead was planning to mix it as an ingredient in my smoothie. The other things I blend in my smoothie include ice, juice, almondmilk, frozen berries, ground flax, and chia seeds. The first day I added this to my smoothie, I thought someone must have mixed up at the Raw Meal factory and put ground up latex paint in a tub and sent it over. Awful. Really bad. Anyway, I got that choked down, and decided to try it again the next day...and the day after that...and so on. Every day it got slightly less bad and eventually became something I got used to like paying taxes, going to the dentist, or spending time with my in-laws.
The problem started one day when I made my wife's smoothie too thick (Did I mention that I make a smoothie for both of us in the morning? The only difference between them is that she refuses to drink the Raw Meal and instead gets regular vanilla protein powder.) and had to drink it down a little to put more liquid in. OMG. It tasted like licking angel tears off a unicorn's horn. I couldn't believe it. So good. Then I mixed up my Raw Meal smoothie and cried.
I finished my Raw Meal about 2 weeks ago, and went back to regular protein powder. There really is no compairison when it comes to taste. The only way they could make the Raw Meal taste worse would be if they somehow added durian fruit to it. New problem is that taste isn't the only thing to consider here. With the protein powder, I'm HUNGRY in an hour. With the Raw Meal, I wasn't hungry for lunch until early afternoon. Now whether this is because it keeps you from feeling hungry because it's so great, or because it makes you a little nauseous for several hours is up for debate. All I can say is that I'm eating a bunch more food now than I was when Raw Meal was part of my diet.
Now lets do some Pros and Cons:
Cons:
Absolutely everything that has to do with sensory percetion of Raw Meal. Taste, smell, sight, texture, etc. They are all really bad. Have I made that clear? Only some vegan who'd given up on life would think this stuff tastes good.
Pros:
Everything else. Feel better. Full for longer. Eat less. Poop better. Etc.
It's really a good product, it just tastes like the south end of a north bound rhino.
A couple of things I've found to make it tollerable:
Mix it with more liquid than it reccommends. This stuff is THICK and gets thicker the longer it sits. If you were to let it sit for an hour, you could probably lay bricks with it.
Never mix a banana with it. Bananas make it WAY thicker than it already is. You'd have to eat it with a spoon.
Drink it kinda quickly. No need to sit around and sip this stuff.
I never even tried it without mixing it in a smoothie, and I never will. Do yourself the same favor, and at least put some juice or something with it.
In conclusion, if taste is important to you, look elsewhere. If you can deal with putting this in your mouth and are more interested in the nutritional benefits, you can't beat this product. Understand that your body will get used to it if you force it to. You'll probably be glad you did.
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702 of 737 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2012
I am a huge fan of the Original Raw Meal but the taste definitely left something to be desired. The new Vanilla Raw Meal tastes great! I only use one scoop (to keep the thickness down a bit and to stretch out the canister) with almond milk and a little ice. I think having it super cold improves the taste.

I will continue to drink the Original for breakfast (mixed with OJ) since I'm addicted but now I have a great lunch substitute as well!

Highly recommend.

***EDIT - I recommended this to a friend and she HATED it. Was very mad at me for saying it tastes good...SO I would like to say that this tastes good to me but I really like healthy things. This does NOT taste like a vanilla milk shake. For those of you familiar with Raw Meal, you will recognize the gritty texture (though I feel it is less so than the original) and it still has a "green" taste which is kind of weird mixed with the vanilla. Again, I repeat, this is NOT going to taste like ice cream. This is a healthy alternative to the chemical-laden meal replacement shakes that many people drink but the taste will be an adjustment.***
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1,124 of 1,198 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2010
Like you, I have also read through existing product reviews on this item and so I felt compelled to let you in on the REAL DEAL behind Garden of Life's, Raw Meal Replacement.

In order to align our thinking, yes I will admit that this Meal Replacement is indeed the worst tasting meal replacement I have consumed. And I will add that the texture is somewhat grainy as well.

My coworker decided one serving was enough for her and so the Meal Replacement was up for grabs. I consumed Garden of Life's, Raw Meal Replacement, for lunch, five days a week for three weeks.

The results were fantastic:
1. Improved digestion.
-Never upset stomach! You feel good.
-This is a packed POWERHOUSE of raw live enzymes that support digestive health and so much more processes in the body.
-Loaded with healthy fiber, your colon is happy, you'll never be constipated, and in fact the good bowel movements are an indication of good gut health.

2. Immune System benefits
-The digestive system is the most important element of the human immune system.
-Raw Meal promotes the immune system by aiding absorption of nutrients.
-Loaded with foods that are nonexistant in the standard American diet, the nutritional benefits support a strong ability to fight viruses, parasites, fungi, and even damaged cells in your body.

3. Great Energy!
-The vitamins, complex carbohydrates, and other nutrients contribute to TRUE energy for the brain and body.
-Feel a positive mood because my body is satisfied.
-I stayed full for at least three hours afterwards.

4. Fat-Loss
-I'll admit, I didn't lose any weight.
-I actually stayed the same weight.
-In fact, I burned fat and GAINED lean-muscle.

5. Raw Nutrients that you won't find ANYWHERE else!
-You are what you eat
-I want to be strong, healthy, and ALIVE!
-Raw Meal helps me achieve a greater state of health.

To sum it up...

If you are looking for a delicious meal replacement, look elsewhere.

But if you are one who truly cares about their health, you can join me in reaping the benefits from Garden of Life's, Raw Meal.

There's too much disease, obesity, and other problems in the world. I strongly believe that the Raw Meal Replacement can be a powerful part of any healthy lifestyle.
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104 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2011
A serving of this is supposed to be 2 scoops with 16 oz of water and that makes for 14 servings per container. But that amount fills two and a half tall glasses. I made only one scoop and 8 oz of water and it was plenty. While trying to chug this I felt like I might throw up, but once I was done the feeling subsided. It is a good idea to have a juice 'chaser' nearby to get the taste out of your mouth. So the taste and texture are horrible, but I feel really full, like I ate a whole pasta dinner, but without the bloated belly or sluggishness and tiredness. Normally I don't eat the first part of the day because it just makes me feel tired, but I feel great after having this stuff! My belly just feels good, and I have lots of energy still. I'm going to wait a little and then do my plyometrics workout and see how my belly feels then.

I bought this stuff because I can't afford Shakeology. The taste is terrible but I just remind myself about how much money I'm saving and it goes down easier.

***UPDATE***

Suddenly yesterday I realized I like the taste of this stuff, and then today I craved it. I opened the container and smelled it and just couldn't get it made fast enough. When I drink this stuff I'm not hungry til right before dinner time and consume considerably less calories per day. Plus, I never crave anything anymore, except this stuff when I'm hungry in the morning. I used to need a bowl of cereal before bed but now I don't. I can eat smarter because I don't crave, just get hungry.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
The whole reason that I purchased this was because it is so chocked full of healthy sprouted goodness, does not contain chemicals or fillers, and contains more vitamins & minerals than any other product like it (to my knowledge). You can immediately smell the coconut products in this upon opening, and the product is very smooth in texture (when dry and still in the container). I was unsure how it would taste, but am pleasantly surprised. It reminds me of the first time I ate dark chocolate, in that it's a surprise to the palate. It's not sweet at all, so if you're looking for chocolate milk, this is definitely not it. It's a healthy cocoa taste with no noticeable sweetness. It does take a moment for the palate to adjust, especially if you're used to really sweet beverages. This product turns very thick very fast, so you'll want to consume it quickly. Otherwise it turns to a thick pudding like consistency, and it's a bit harder to get down. This is extremely important for those who might have a lap band. If your band is tight, this is not for you, as it will come right back up (due to the thick consistency). But if your band is moderately open, it may work for you (it's ok for me). I did think that 16oz worth was a bit much, and could only finish 3/4 of my drink. So from now on, I will consume this twice a day, in 8oz increments instead. It is VERY filling, and kept me full for between 2-3 hours. I will continue to purchase this simply for its nutritional content. I can't eat enough food in a day to get the amount of vitamins, minerals, and health benefits, that I know I will get from this. I'm looking forward to experimenting with bananas, nut butters, and produce in this too. This is an overall wonderful product!
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126 of 140 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2013
Now, firstly, I want to say that when it comes to food, everyone has their own preferences... but I must say, those that did not like the taste or the consistency are just full of it (and are probably pretty picky eaters)... now, I don't have the highest level of refined palate, but this stuff is really great tasting!

I was almost scared away this excellent find by reading some of the reviews here on amazon; But a friend of mine really swore by the stuff and I gave it a shot.

What I originally did was take a lot of the suggestions that were posted here and did them all at once... My first mug of the stuff consisted of 20oz (4oz more than the suggested 16oz... because apparently it was too thick with the stated amount of water) of chocolate almond milk (to mask the poor flavor and to help with the consistency). It was a little too rich for my tastes, but rather good nonetheless... if anything it was a little thick for my tastes (which had me worried... after trying every trick in the book... I thought I was going to spend a fortune on buying tons of almond milk to try and 'water it down'...).

Later I discovered, that the 16oz with water is actually how I like it the most. The advice to drink it up quick is the only way to do it (letting it sit for any amount of time turns it to bread pudding pretty quickly)... I just throw the 16oz water in with the two scoops of the mix into my blender, give it a whirl, and bam, time to drink up. For those that want to take this to work with them for lunch or enjoy it later in the day, I would suggest looking for a different product- because I would be scared to think what this would turn into if left unattended. For me (and my work at home type attitude), I can peel away for the 5 minutes it takes to 'make lunch' (virtually just add water)... and that is a lot better than the alternative of actually cooking (which usually turns into an hour long event if I do it right).

The 'downside' to this product might be that it is 'chalky' (which I think I know what other reviewers are talking about when they say that)... honestly it does not turn me off of it at all. Instead of 'chalky' I personally would call it gritty... like little chocolate bits of sand... It is not all that off putting to me... it is hard to explain... But if you ever enjoyed a good bowl of chocolate cereal (co-co-pebbles fan here :D), and you get to the last bowl full of the stuff, and you get all the powdery and crumbly bits, yeah it tastes like a thimble full of that stuff got tossed into your milkshake. As far as the taste goes, I very much like it, and if anything I look forward to drink it (which should say something about the taste).

For a 'health food', it is actually one of the tastiest things I have tasted... and I usually shy away from the stuff (I do juice, which is amazing too, but it takes too long and I usually only find the time to use it a couple times a week). I am not a vegan (what is the opposite of vegan? because I think I am that one...) or all that health conscious... so being told that I could have a chocolate shake for any meal of the day and it was good for me? Sign me up! After buying it again for the second time, I finally got around to read it's rap sheet about how much vitamins, minerals and all that nice stuff it has in it, and I am pretty impressed. I like how it says its organic and other things like that on the back, like the synthetic mineral and vitamin thing, I hear that is the better way to get em in ya.

I was worried at first of the stevia that is in it (look towards the bottom of the ingredients list, there is not much of it, being so close to the bottom...), and I hate few things more than I hate the taste of stevia (and I can usually pick it out of a lineup fairly quickly)... but I don't know how they pulled it off, but it tastes wonderful and I am not turned off by the stevia (which is honestly the first time I can say that...)!

I ate through my container of the stuff, and now i'm back for more (and this time i'll buy a couple).

So my advice would be:

If you are on the fence, buy a small container of this stuff (chocolate I hear is best, (the vanilla is awful or so says the guy that turned me onto the stuff) and that is what I am sticking with) and try it out.
16oz WATER. Not 20, not milk... just 16oz water.
Blend and drink (in a timely manner... no need to chug or nothing, but just don't let it sit around).

(I wish I read this review when I was on the fence about this stuff) I hope that helps someone out there!
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320 of 371 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
Overview: I used to work for Vitamin World and always wanted to try this product that was on the shelves, however, our employee discount didn't cover brands that weren't manufactured by us, so I never really gave it a shot.

However, I recently just moved to college, and using RAW Meal has been a miracle. With little money and little time for food preparation and shopping, I want something in a jiffy and something cheap.

I know what you're thinking, this stuff is NOT cheap. It's actually a good deal considering that you replace an entire meal (which could cost between 5 to 20 dollars if you eat out) with just a scoop of RAW Meal with a banana, ice, and some almond milk. It fixes up in only 5 minutes total with my personal blender with just a cup to wash afterwards, and the total cost is never over 2 dollars a pop.

Flavor: I was pleasantly surprised with this product. I never mix this with only water, so no comment on that. When it first hits your tongue you might think it's a weird flavor, but as you continue to chug it down, the bad flavor goes away and you can taste the chocolate. This is in no way a chocolate milk shake from a diner though. I do have my usual recipe for the chocolate RAW Meal: 1 scoop of RAW Meal Chocolate, 1 frozen Banana, quarter cup frozen blueberries, two strawberries, quarter cup frozen raspberries/blackberries, quarter cup of almond milk, blend. I also add whatever supplement I feel like having (inositol powder if I'm going to do a lot of homework, or BCAA/Glutamine/D-Ribose powder if I'm going to workout). I would not recommend the Vanilla Raw Meal, that stuff just tastes gross. By combining all my ingredients and my supplements, I'm sure to get everything I need (LOTS of fiber/antioxidants from the berries) in a quick and easy way.

Ingredients: Everything in here is raw and organic, and it's mostly sprouted grains. Because of the diversity of ingredients, you are getting high quality protein that includes all amino acids, unlike a lot of other protein powders that have lower quality protein content.

Value: The original RAW Meal is only 28 dollars right now, while the Chocolate and Vanilla variants are 40 dollars... I would like to see Choco/Vanilla drop to 28 dollars as well... 'nuff said.

I would recommend getting this if you truly plan on replacing a meal (or meals) with this. If you still plan on eating 3 square meals a day, then look for other superfood supplements -- this one is a meal replacement, and you're just adding too many calories if you want this as a snack.

Overall: I would recommend this product.
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105 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2013
I've bought the original and vanilla flavors before and as much as I loved the fact that it was raw/vegan/organic, it was hard to get myself to have it everyday.. BUT the Vanilla Chai is amaaaazing! It seriously tastes like creamy graham crackers.. or snickerdoodle cookie puree, I have at least one (even 2 meals out of the day some days) everyday now. In my opinion, it made me feel much better, gave me more energy, helped clear my skin, and even helped me lose some weight! I'd totally recommend this for someone trying to get healthier and eat more raw, vegan, organic meals.

EDIT: I have only had it with flax milk or almond milk (get the regular or unsweetened for less calories) and I think that has definitely helped make it have that creamy cookie taste. Just had it this morning with water because I ran out of flax milk and it was still pretty good but not quite as good as with a non dairy/ nut or seed milk :) hope this helps!
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93 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2012
My husband and I purchased this as a breakfast supplement/replacement. The instructions on the back say to "mix 2 level scoops with 16 ounces water or low sugar juice." If you can avoid it, please don't mix with water your first time - it might ruin the experience for you, like it (kind of) has with my husband. The first time he tried it, he mixed one scoop with water and could barely drink it. Since then, he dreads it, but my experience really hasn't been that bad because I can get past the fact that if you mix it with certain things, it truly is a great drink. If I wanted a good tasting sweet smoothie, give me some frozen fruit, honey, and some juice - but again, that's just a sugar drink with a handful of vitamins. The whole point of Raw Meal is to be a healthful meal replacement, and not a "taste good" dessert-type smoothie.

Another review said to mix with grapefruit juice, and that has been pleasant. This is what I do for one serving:
- One scoop Raw Meal
- One whole banana
- ~8ozs grapefruit or orange juice
- Blend and enjoy! We use a Vita-Mix 1710 - Professional Series 500 on the "Smoothie" setting. Best blender ever, and super easy cleanup. Find the link here: Vitamix 1710 Professional Series, Brushed Stainless Finish.

There are two key pieces to drinking raw meal and actually enjoying it:
1) Make sure to add the right fruit to the drink. The banana and juice definitely improve the grainy consistency (compared to Raw Meal with water, or even shaken in a blender ball), and also masks the flavor/improves it overall. If you can't get over the color of the raw meal being a greenish-brown, add a few blueberries to the mix. We've also been able to add frozen peaches, blueberries, etc, which mask it even more. At a minimum, definitely use orange juice and a banana and it tastes pretty good.
2) USE A BLENDER! This will help break down the graininess of the raw meal to be a much better consistency. If you're worried about breaking down the ingredients in the mix, don't be. Think about a protein shake - it breaks down over time after you've mixed it, but if you drink it immediately after it's mixed, it shouldn't be a problem. Either way, it's a healthful meal replacement that seems to be the best on the market.

Overall, I give Raw Meal 5 stars, but my husband would probably give it 4.5 due to the taste being unbearable with water alone. Again, think about this being a nutritional, healthful replacement and be sure to understand that it's not going to taste like a sugary breakfast cereal.
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91 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2013
When I first tried this product I could barely swallow it. I started mixing it with Coconut Milk and a lot of Stevia and still had a challenge. Now I take it straight up without any issues. It is doing exactly what I thought it would do. Energy, weight loss, etc.
I usually don't have problems with unusual tasting supplements but this took a bit of time to get used to.

Here's the key when you start out:

1. Use twice as much cold water as recommended. I would make it in two batches. Extra water cuts the consistency and cold water slows the thickening process. If you have to "take a break" from drink the mix just being able to wait for the 2nd batch can make all the difference.

2. Don't chug it but drink it deliberately because the powder begins to thicken immediately and after a several minutes it goes down like sludge. Keep in mind this is only how it seems when you first start using the product. Later you won't notice.

3. Use Coconut or Almond Milk to cut the taste and Stevia to sweeten. Keep in mind that Coconut Milk etc is adding calories although they are good calories. If you are wanting to spike weight loss extra calories just slows things done a bit but in order to get over the initial taste "hump" do whatever it takes. I promise it gets better.

4. If you are using this product for weight loss one thing you will miss in the beginning is the bulk of whatever you have been used to eating before starting this product. Be prepared for this. I recommend something crunchy to eat in the first 30 minutes after drinking this. Your body is going to be screaming at you - "HEY YOU!!! WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?!? WHERE IS MY BISCUIT!?!". Ignore the screams and eat a hand full of almonds, or several pretzels, or basically whatever will satisfy the craving. Eat just enough to make your body think you are giving it something and then quit! No more! By the time your body realizes nothing else is coming your blood sugar will have stabilized and you will begin to feel normal again. This happens for severals days or maybe a couple of weeks and once in a while rears its ugly head just to keep you off balance. You are not dying! Do not indulge your body or it will believe it can beat you and it will fight you harder and longer.

5. In the first several days depending on your overall condition and previous eating habits you will be thinking something is wrong...like you are too weak to go on with your day. This is not the fault of the product or anything that is missing from the product. It is your body objecting to being pushed out of its comfort zone. Let it object. Eventually it will get too weak to object and you will begin to get a burst of energy. You will prevail.

6. If you want to spike the results combine this product with burst training and you will get the results you want. You may need to stick with it during weeks or months of little results especially if you have spent years in a sedentary state but stick with it. Eventually your body will get tried of fighting everything you are doing and submit to the changes.

7. After you adjust to the mix the biggest problem you will have is other people carrying on about how your drink looks. I must admit it does look less than appetizing. Keep in mind though that most of the carrying on that other people will do is rooted in jealousy that you are breaking out a belief system that they know they are unable to do. You will also notice that people begin to offer you cookies, cake, etc trying to derail your efforts. It's not until you begin to post results that they will swing to your side and encourage you. Then their thinking changes to "If he can do it then maybe I can too!".

Now every morning I fill a wide mouth Rubbermaid jug with the amount of water I need, put the scoop of powder in a baggie, and take off. Somewhere around lunch I mix the powder and drink it. The water is tepid, there's no Coconut Milk, no Stevia, etc. just water and powder. I actually look forward to nourishment without the heaviness of a meal and my body doesn't have the overhead of burning off a bunch of excess calories. It just keeps on working the program I started it on 6 months ago and my 1 year goal is in sight! It is a big goal and for the first few months I didn't think I was going to get anywhere near it. Now I can see it and every time I drink Garden of Life Raw Meal I can taste it!

Stick to it! Don't cheat on yourself!

Good luck!
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