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Flavor: Unflavored|Size: 28 Servings|Change
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on July 13, 2011
I have been on Amazon and other sites for a day and a half now reading all the reviews on vegan protein (the main three brands--this one, Sun Warrior and Vega). I too, was hesitant to try it, but I went to my local health food store and bought a couple of the sample packets to try. I honestly think it is really really good! Here's a little background on me and what helps: I have a Vita Mix, which I think is essential, or at least a blender, but a Vita Mix will turn any graininess into something smooth (anyone who has one probably knows what it will do to cashews). It took me a while to learn how to make and drink a decent green smoothie as well, so I have consumed green things and stuff that many people do curl their noses at, including raw brownies which I thought were good, but someone used to eating crap thought it tasted like crap.

First, I really think if you are someone who is used to highly sweetened and artificially flavored processed foods, you may not like this. But if you are someone who has experimented with making interesting healthy concoctions or someone who's dabbled with a raw vegan diet and green smoothies, I really think you will find this pleasing. Now, I've only made this once, but all I did was put about 10 oz or so of water in my Vita Mix, add some frozen bananas (which may have equaled about 1 1/2 bananas), started blending, then added the whole packet of Raw Protein (which I believe is the full 22g 2 scoop serving) and maybe a little more water to get the consistency that I wanted. I waited with bated breath until it was blended and creamy and then I tasted it and wouldn't you know, it's pretty darn good! To me, made this way, it tastes like banana flavored baby cereal.

I was tempted to add in more fruit, but I really wanted to see what the least amount of fruit was that I could make this with and have it taste decent. The banana made it sweet enough for me and maybe it was ever so slightly chalky, but to me, I hardly noticed it. I found it to taste way better than whey protein, which to me has a sour milk kind of taste. Now, this is the first totally vegan, non-soy kind of protein that I've tried, but I think it's darn good. I can see adding a little raw cacao powder to it and maybe like I think someone else suggested, adding a little almond butter or organic peanut butter just for something different, but really, you need to blend it to get rid of whatever graininess it may have and bananas to me have such a strong flavor that they are very good at masking other flavors.

So, that's it. Buy some samples and experiment with it. I'm going to try adding cacao next and maybe some peanut butter, but I'm perfectly happy with how this came out with just bananas. It kind of happened that way with my green smoothies--at first I was putting in all this stuff and making them so complicated and it got to the point where bananas and spinach or bananas and kale with maybe a couple berries tasted great.

Update: I tried it again this morning (in my Vita Mix) with a couple tablespoons of raw cacao powder, frozen bananas, and a little bit of agave (which is all I had), but honey would be better and it was really really good, almost delicious! Plus, I have had absolutely no gastrointestinal issues whatsoever (not even one little gurgle) and I was worried about that because I have poor digestion although I did still take a digestive enzyme with it, but still, if something is going to react badly with me, the digestive enzyme won't always help. I feel light, but satiated with a nice amount of energy from this. I'm pretty excited about this protein powder and I'm also hoping that it will help me quit my morning coffee habit! I think adding the cacao powder made it really good and gave it a mocha kind of flavor, but again, I put it in my Vita Mix, so I really think a blender of some sort is necessary with this. Later I think I'm going to try a little bit of orange juice and bananas and see how that is, but to me, the powder itself has a tiny bit of a nutty flavor, so mixing it with things that go with nuts is probably better. But certainly, this is far from being horrible tasting if it's blended with other things, but I can definitely imagine that just mixing it in water in a glass would be fairly distasteful. For those without a blender or for using it "on the road," I would suggest mixing it in orange juice or apple juice and using some sort of shaker cup or container with a lid.

Additional update: This stuff is awesome! I have started to blend it with a little coconut milk, a couple pieces of frozen bananas, a whole fresh banana, raw cacao and a little mesquite powder (adds sweetness and a caramel/malty flavor) and it is so good that I truly do crave it. Another fantastic combo is coconut milk, bananas, and frozen mangoes or really, any frozen berries and bananas is really good. I did try it in a shaker jar with just some coconut milk and cacao powder and it was a little lumpy--not that I couldn't drink it if I had to, but for the best experience, throw it in the blender with your favorite stuff and enjoy!

***One more additional update for those who do not have a blender--I had a morning when I was in a hurry and didn't have time to use my blender, so I just mixed this with vanilla almond milk (I use unsweetened, but for those who like things sweeter, use a sweetened one) and it was pretty darn good. The smoothness and flavor of almond milk blends perfectly with this and reminds me of baby cereal, so for those who can't use a blender, just try almond milk and I think you'll be fairly pleased.
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on February 11, 2015
There are heavy metals in everything we eat, because they are present in the world we live in, and plants absorb them in small quantities. It's a fact of life for living on earth. Garden of life is not adding mercury to their product, it's naturally in the plants they source the protein from, the same as tuna tends to be high in mercury. As far as mercury and most heavy metals go, you can find more specific information if you are really troubled by them, but you have to understand that our bodies are outfitted to live on this planet that is full of heavy metals. We have systems in our body to chelate and remove things that are not used by the body. There is generally a set rate our bodies can shed heavy metals at, so your health is only at risk if you consume enough heavy metals that your body cannot keep up with the process of removing them and they build up to unsafe levels over time. Garden of life products shouldn't contain any more of those metals than if you just ate the raw rice, peas, and beans yourself.

I feel it is a quality product for nutrition, but the taste and texture.....is horrendous. This coming from someone who can easily eat any veggies raw, not dunked in ranch. This stuff is gritty and the chai flavor is mediocre at best. Combined with other sources of texture and flavor though, it's not bad. Just ice and almond milk would probably do the trick for most.

For anyone who doesn't know, proteins isn't just protein. There are many proteins used by plants and animals, and proteins are made up of different amino acids. When you eat protein, your body doesn't just take those proteins and stick them together to build stuff like little legos. Enzymes in your digestive tract break the proteins down into their base amino acids. Those are carried through your blood stream, and our body makes it's own proteins from them. The amino acids that humans need are not necessarily the same that you would get from proteins found in say rice for instance. Especially the appropriate ratio of those amino acids that humans need. If you get just a rice protein powder, it is highly ineffective for human nutrition. Garden of life gets around this by blending proteins from multiple plants together that does provide the proper blend of amino acids for your body. Even if you buy another brand, make sure it is not just pea protein, or just rice protein, it needs to be an appropriate blend of amino acids to be useful to your body.
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on February 5, 2014
Independent lab tests have confirmed that this product contains significant levels of heavy metals. Garden of Life has NOT refuted these results as of date. GOL has instead attacked the website that published the results. In the past I purchased numerous products from this company, which I feel are grossly overpriced, because I wanted the peace of mind of knowing I am getting top quality, clean products. Instead I am emptying my wallet for the exact opposite. These latest findings make me question the integrity of all GOL products. Seldom does one cut corners in one area.
It is important to note that Jordan Rubin left the company and is no longer involved with procuring ingredients. Apparently the new owners are more concerned about taking your money than putting out a reputable product. As far as I'm concerned, this company is dead to me and I will not purchase any of their products anymore. I encourage everyone to do the same to protect their health as well as punish this company for its egregious behavior.
191191 comments|1,269 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 16, 2012
I just received this today. My main purpose to buy this was to stop feeling so hungry specially after a workout. I am also hoping to increase my energy level which dies every afternoon. Its only my first day but I am so full. I don't feel like eating dinner. I have done a boot camp today. Normally I would be ready to eat the house. But today I don't feel hungry. I can make the right choice for my meal.

I had no issues with the taste. Its not sweet like some other protein powders. Its grainy but thats ok. I don't mind that. I mixed in strawberries, vit E capsule content, 1 tsp honey(although not needed) and plain fat free yogurt. I am hoping my search for protein shakes has ended. I will be updating a month later if I see more benefits.
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on April 5, 2014
I do want to recommend potential buyers to do their research and not just read the reviews. While it is true there was lead, cadmium and tungsten found in this product, these are also found in many plants - its naturally occurring. The company DID refute the allegations & provide a formal response.

"To better understand the issues at hand, it's important to note that lead and cadmium are commonly tested in all foods and food supplements manufactured and sold in the United States. These metals are classified as
minerals. Minerals, vitamins and other nutrients are commonly found in our environment, including air, water and soil. As a result, people who consume plant products as the majority of their diet consume more soil based nutrients including minerals (and metals) when compared to people who consume primarily animal based diets."
"Tungsten is not a well-studied mineral. Tungsten is a naturally occurring mineral, present in air, water and soil. It is rarely tested. In fact, it's almost impossible to find a lab certified for tungsten testing. We note that there are no regulations for tungsten content in food, water or other common products in the US, Canada or Europe. Tungsten's safety has never been a concern of any government or scientific body. Our Ph.D's have considered these trace amounts of tungsten are safe for human health."

Rather than being scared off by accusations of lethal toxins - I prefer to research and become an informed consumer.

**Update**
I have been using this protein powder for a month now & love it!! I mix it with almond milk & 2tbl Slim PB (powdered peanut butter) and it tastes great. The TEXTURE is chalky but not the taste. I'm currently following the alkaline/acidity diet & this is great product to use since it does not have an animal products.
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on May 21, 2014
This seems fairly standard as far as protein shakes go--it didn't blend terribly well and was a bit chalky. I was most disappointed that the container was only just over half full when I opened it for the first time! Chips might settle in shipment, but I doubt protein powder does.
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on March 18, 2014
This product has a very chalky taste and doesn't dissolve well. It has just a hint of the chai flavor. I wanted to like this product because it was raw and vegan. But I just couldn't stomach the taste, seriously it's like drinking chalk. I will not buy again.
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My partner and I are on the Clean Program at the moment, and we discovered that Vega Proteins and meal replacements now have Goji, which is not permitted on Clean or an elimination diet. We instead bought some of this from our local Whole Foods (on sale $29 - wouldn't have paid the $49 regular price when it's $27 on amazon). We bought the chocolate. The base ingredients are the same, but there is no listing for the chocolate on amazon.

First: this is technically vegan, though the source of the vitamin D is questionable. It is actually made from lanolin, but the extraction process qualifies it as vegan. I have read on many other reviews and blogs about this, but it's a vegan gray area. The other issue with this on Clean or an elimination diet is the inclusion of a small amount of natto (fermented soy). But the Clean people specify that a tiny amount of soy in acceptable while on their program (about the amount in one serving of soy sauce per day - which is not a lot). The soy is fermented, so it is a little better than just soy protein or other soy filler.

The taste is great. I mix it with unsweetened almond milk and it makes a great shake. Again, I have the chocolate flavor, so it's a little more tolerable. It is made with vegan cacao and other natural flavorings.

But my main reason for loving this is that it is USDA Certified Organic. Yay!

I have tasted a lot of vegan protein powders, and some you just have to gag down (looking at you hemp protein!), but the health benefits are worth it. Kind of like drinking the apple vinegar, lemon, powdered habanero drink. This is among the better tasting options that are not soy based and probably the best that is organic.

This protein powder has low calories, so it's not quite a meal replacement unless you are going for big weight loss and plan on staying hungry. I drink it after running or after yoga in addition to a light meal, often a bowl of cereal, granola, or fresh fruit. I'm a fan of using the blender to make interesting smoothies, but I really just like drinking this plain in almond milk.

Again, I would recommend avoiding the new recipe for Vega protein which includes trendy fruits and additives that have little conclusive research backing them up and go for this brand that includes better ingredients and is permitted on the Clean Program.
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on January 6, 2011
I take protein supplements daily and this was recommended to me by an employee at the local Feel Rite Fresh Market. I think it's a great product, I'm a huge fan of anything oranic, raw and sprouted and to get all three in one product is fantastic. This doesn't have much of a flavor, it's kind of plain/neutral and chalky tasting but that doesn't bother me at all. I usually mix it with water since I don't drink juice being on a controlled calorie diet but I could probably mix this with green tea and a little stevia, which I actually think would taste fine. This also has zero net carbs so those of you on a low carb/glycemic diet might find this product fits your needs as well.

Supplement facts -
Total calories 80
Calories from fat 10
Total fat 1g
Trans fat 0g
Sodium 10mg
Potassium 10mg
Total carbohydrate 3g
Dietary fiber 3g
Sugars <1g
Protein 18g
_______________________
Vitamin A 200IU
Vitamin D 400IU
Vitamin E complex 5IU
Vitamin K 5mcg
_______________________
Organic raw sprout blend 21,925mg
RAW Probiotic enzyme blend 270mg
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on February 3, 2014
Garden of Life Organic RAW Protein has tested at the Forensic Foods Lab and two other laboratories, extremely high in tungsten, lead and cadmium in Garden of Life "beyond organic" raw protein products. This has been confirmed across multiple lots of Garden of Life Original, Vanilla and Chocolate Cacao and Vanilla Spiced Chai. See the report at NaturalNews.com
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