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on May 27, 2015
Last year, my wife got interested in losing a few pounds, and she considered Nutrisystem, but I vetoed and searched for some shakes solutions. I heard very good things about Herbalife from a few colleagues, but I personally didn’t like their distribution system which is kind of like a pyramid scheme. Long story short, after reading a lot of reviews from different protein shakes and diet pills, we finally chose RAW Meal, and we were very skeptical about it. I should also add that we tried the Garcinia Cambogia pills a few years ago, and it didn’t work for us.

We first ordered the Chocolate and Vanilla as our first batch. We used a hand blender, and the recipe that we followed was this one:
1- One Cup of Frozen Fruits preferably from an organic or co-op store (~70 Cal)
2- One Cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk (30 Cal)
3- Two Scoop of RAW Meal Powder (240 Vanilla, 250 Chocolate)
Total Calories per Cup: 340-350

The first time we had the Chocolate, we easily could taste the Raw Meal Powder aftertaste. It is a very distinct taste that you want to almost gag. However, we were determined and had already bought two large containers, so we continued having four shakes per day for two weeks. It worked amazingly great and in just two weeks, we started to lose a lot of weight. Also, our body kind of went into a cleansing state after a few days, which I am not going to repeat what happened, since it may be different for you, but you will definitely notice when it starts to happen.

Another problem is that you need to drink this shake quickly. If you wait, and it gets warm, the taste is going to be a lot worse. It also changes its texture and becomes something very gooey. We find it impossible to bring a cup to work as our lunch. Even so, we were so happy with the results that ordered the second batch: Vanilla and Vanilla Chai. At first, I preferred the “chocolate” taste more, but “vanilla” kind of grew on me, and we changed the recipe a little bit: first, we used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and then we only used one scoop of the powder (under 250 cal. total). Later, we also tried the unflavored version, but aftertaste was stronger with that one.

We lost a lot of weight we decided to only make the vanilla shake for breakfast. So after more than a year, we maintained our desired weight, and only make this once a day. We hardly notice the distinctive taste of the powder anymore, but it’s there. If you are very sensitive to the taste, maybe it helps if you get a better blender. We recently upgraded our blender to Blendtec 675, and you can tell the difference between shakes made by our hand blender and shakes made by this beast. You certainly don’t feel the fiber texture in your mouth anymore, and the blend is so smooth you less notice the aftertaste.

Lastly, my wife prefers frozen fruits with lots of berries, and I prefer berries mixed with mango. Sometimes we add a fresh banana or an apple to make it taste different than the last one. You should experiment with different frozen and fresh fruits mix and find your ideal blend. You may also like to have different kinds for breakfast and lunch.

Conclusion: this diet works and you feel amazingly light and healthy after a few weeks. If you have a hard time adjusting to the taste, try vanilla version and mix it with vanilla almond milk and frozen fruits. Also, you can start with one scoop of powder which results in each cup to be about 220-230 calories. Lastly, don’t forget that your choice of blender can have a huge difference on the aftertaste. Happy shaking and best of luck.

*** UPDATE *** July 2015:

RAW Meal has recently changed the container, and at first glance, you will notice that you are paying the same price for less amount of powder; to be exact, the price has increased by 17%: 949 gr vs. 1,150 gr. However, if you look closely at the nutrition facts, you will notice that they have changed the formula quite a bit. The new stuff has about 30 gr less sugar in each scoop, but it's somewhat sweeter. They also say on the label that it has 15% more protein. It is true in a sense that they raised their prices by 17%, but they've at least improved their product.
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on July 1, 2016
I'm writing this review as someone who has tried the unflavored, chocolate, and vanilla spiced chai.

First things first, this is ridiculously healthy. It will absolutely make you have more energy and keep you full for a surprising amount of time, blah blah blah. There are enough reviews saying this, so let me get into the nitty gritty.

Something that can be revulsive to people trying this to the first time are the texture; say farewell to the dairy based meal replacement shakes that reminded you of your childhood Yoohoo days! This stuff is thick. Unless you are prepared to chug it right away, I recommend extra liquid for one scoop of powder. Upon my first use, I made my shake (two scoops of powder to their recommended liquid) and got in my car. When I arrived at my destination, I popped the lid of my shaker bottle to find it had all but solidified. My preferred consumption is now 50% more liquid to one scoop.

That also brings me to another issue I have become accustomed to: the way it absorbs water will likely lead to a lumpy shake if only using a shaker bottle unless you can VIGOROUSLY shake constantly like a blender until your arm falls off or the entire shake is consumed. Like I said, this is just what I adjusted to in the morning when I am running out the door. Chewing your morning shake is like flexing your jaw muscles! It's not a great textural experience, but that is what I get for hitting snooze too much.

Onto the flavor reviews!!
UNFLAVORED: Be prepared for a bitter taste followed by an almost sour aftertaste. No matter how much fruit, almond butter, and even chocolate I tried blending it with, it NEVER got rid of that absolutely awful taste. Perhaps I got a bad batch, but I ended up throwing the ENTIRE tub of powder away after 10 failed attempts at making it palatable. Holding your nose while drinking a shake is no way to be.

CHOCOLATE: Though my first experience was so awful, I decided to go back because I like the fact that this product is raw and vegan. Chocolate was a HUGE improvement, but there was still a twinge of an unwanted aftertaste. Unlike the Un-Flavored, I finished the whole tub! It isn't chocolatey like most other meal replacement shakes, but it can still be satisfying while still helping you be super healthy.

VANILLA SPICED CHAI: There was a about a year between finishing the chocolate tub and buying the chai mini tub. I kept eyeing the chai, but was worried that without the heavy masking flavor of the chocolate, I would be left with that abhorrent aftertaste. I purchased a small tub, and mixed it in my shaker bottle with almond milk. With my first reintroduction to the meal replacement from Garden of Life, there was a faint unpleasant aftertaste, but it didn't linger! After three days, there was no note of any remote unpleasantness. Not only that, but this flavor is INSANELY delicious. It's not too sweet, not as overpowering as the chocolate, and I look forward to my breakfast shake EVERYDAY.

I've since signed up for Amazon Subscribe and Save to regularly receive the large tubs. In the mornings when I have a bit more time, I blend one scoop Vanilla Spiced Chai flavor with extra unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or flavor free) and a whole banana. I cannot begin to express how incredibly delicious this combination is. I even crave it over my lunch salads. It's basically the healthiest dessert-y breakfast you could treat yourself to in the morning.

Yes, this stuff is worth it. Find a flavor you love! I recommend buying the mini tubs to sample the different offerings before investing in something that might just get thrown away. And if you are new to this product, keep an open mind. The texture hard to adjust to, but it will give you the energy to feel like a super hero!
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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:
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.
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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on November 17, 2017
Finally found a protein powder I don't loathe! Not a fan of artificial flavors, vanilla from other companies often makes me gag. I tried the chocolate first, but when trying to bake with it, it limits my options because the chocolate is obviously a strong flavor. So after making it through 2 large jars I decided to try out the small vanilla to see if I could stand the taste. I've tried it twice so far, and in my normal morning smoothie, the taste isn't overpowering, and I can enjoy the whole drink, not just suffer through it to get my protein. I'm going to see how well it tastes in cooking/baking recipes, but I know I'll be buying this brand for a long time.
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on January 28, 2017
First off, I want to say the product itself is a 5 star product, it is amazing. I drink a double scoop every morning for breakfast. I feel full until lunch, usually 4-5 hours later. Because of the vitamins with it, I don't take any vitamin supplements because I am not eating enough of the right foods to take in what I should. My 3 star comes from Amazon pricing. It ships free with Prime at $39 bucks. I've found it on other sites at $31-$33 dollars, but after shipping added, you are paying $39 bucks anyway. I only continue to order it here because of the 5% back using my Amazon Prime card to pay for it shipped monthly. Again it seems that Amazon is still getting its shipping costs if other sites are selling cheaper but same price once you pay for shipping.
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on April 25, 2017
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on January 7, 2014
07Jan2014 This in an initial review after only mixing a couple drinks. The first was two scoops. I may not do that again. I didn't drink it quickly enough and it got really thick after drinking about 10 of 18 ounces. I've had that experience when I added fiber to my protein drink mixes. I was able to finish the congealed second half after mixing more milk. (Braums 1%, btw)

The second mix was one scoop with milk, and I drank it quickly after mixing. Even then there was a little sludge at the bottom of the glass. My son has mixed one scoop with milk and added a spoonful of flax seed oil and one of walnut oil (also from Amazon). He says it blends better and stays in suspension.

I plan to continue with the mix, one scoop, and oils.

The taste is not worse than the chocolate protein drink mixes I have had. The grittiness that others mentioned, I'd describe as fine chewable sawdust. It gives you something to do for a couple minutes after finishing the drink. Noticeable but not horrible. I have consumed one particular chocolate protein drink mix for years and it has an artificial sweetener. It used to taste like an artificial sweetener to me. Now I don't notice it. So I'm not a good judge of the sweetness of the Raw Meal. The chocolate flavor seems OK to me though. If you have ever had a Hammer chocolate recovery bar, the Raw Meal is like a blended version. Not a delicious dessert, but it is supposed to be good for you.

More later...

My rating may go up if I can see or feel physical improvements in my 60YO body.
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on May 2, 2014
Being more aware of what I eat nowadays, I make sure that if I use a protein powder supplement, it's made from the best ingredients. I like Garden of Life products since they use higher quality ingredients that your typical protein powder available at GNC.

I read the reviews and paid attention to the negative ones. As a result I bought a small $20 jar to try it out. I got the unflavored version for more flexibility. I can always add raw chocolate powder or vanilla extract if I crave those flavors.

I'm happy to say that I've had a good experience using this product. It took me a couple times of tweaking and adjusting the amount I used so that the flavor of the product wouldn't overpower the other ingredients in my morning smoothie.

Here is a recipe that I used this morning:
1 banana
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 ice cubes
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 scoop of Raw Meal (using 1/2 scoop gets me 28 days of use)
1/2 cup of water
Blend for 30 seconds in a high powered blender. I used a Vitamix.
Result: delicious, smooth creamy texture. The flavors of banana and raspberries predominated. I could taste Raw Meal slightly. It mainly tastes like Flax and Hemp seeds. I had this smoothie at 8am and 3 hours later I feel full and satisfied. Normally, I'd be hungry about an hour to 1.5hrs after having my regular smoothie without Raw Meal.

I'm happy with this purchase.
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on August 10, 2016
Ok, it's official, Garden of Life is one of my favorite brands of all time. I've taken their vitamins and supplements and decided I needed to stop eating a processed breakfast everyday. I found the Meal Replacement and my life is forever changed!

I have gone through 3 tubs of the chocolate flavor and I have grown to love and rely on it. It's very chalky, slightly chocolatey, but I really don't mind that too much. It does not have an artificial sweet taste, which I appreciate. I do 2 scoops for breakfast and mix that with 8 oz unsweetened coconut milk and 8 oz of water. In my opinion, the coconut milk helps the texture issue a bit. Using this as a breakfast meal is simple, on the go, and gives me GREAT energy. Plus, it keeps me full for hours! I have not lost weight using this BUT I feel thinner! I am far less bloated than when I was eating cereal everyday (dairy, oats, processed things in my cereal) and I do not feel the need to snack or over indulge in the mornings. Whether you are just intrigued by this product, trying to get more vitamins, or trying to get your hunger under control, try it! You won't regret it!
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on December 2, 2015
I can't say enough about Raw Meal, it's a fabulous product! I should mention that i don't use it as a meal replacement but rather as a multi-vitamin (a raw one.) I use half the "recipe" and mix with unsweetened almond milk. As with anything that has cacao in it, it's not a milk chocolately flavor, but rather a chalky chocolate (As if you were making a hot cocoa without sugar.) That being said this is one of the better chocolate tasting powders i've tasted and if you do mix it with chocolate almond milk it's very, VERY good. Overall i prefer the vanilla spiced chai for everyday but rotate this one in for variety.

This is incredibly well balanced and has everything you'd want in a meal replacement/vitamin. After only a few days my wife and I both noticed the impact as compared to using a standard multi-vitamin. Highly recommend!
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