From time to time, I stumble upon a product I didn’t expect to like but actually do—which is exactly what happened with Garden of Life’s Raw Meal.
It’s no secret that I’ve never been a huge fan of Garden of Life, but I’ll be the first to admit that the reason for that has little to do with their product.
No, my prejudice came from the fact that the founder of Garden of Life and I were in a class together many years ago and, frankly, I just didn’t much like the guy. So there, I admit it, my prejudice about the company was very colored by an insignificant incident 15 years ago, but then again, who ever said prejudices were smart?
So I’m browsing through the catalogues of the various companies, and I see this product by Garden of Life—Raw Meal—and the description sounds so fascinating that I decide to order it.
Which I did.
Well, let me just be honest and say this: It’s great.
I mean, seriously great. Like it’s my go-to meal replacement these days. And let me tell you why:
- First of all, it tastes great. (I’ll tell you how I personally prepare it at the end of this newsletter.)
- Second of all, it has 17 grams of protein in a half serving, 34 grams in a complete serving. (More about this “serving” business in a minute.)
- Third of all, a full serving has a remarkable 10 grams of fiber, and even a half serving has 5 grams, more than 95% of the crummy cereals we’re told to eat for their “high fiber” content.. (but don’t get me started).
Full Serving vs. Half Serving
Here’s the deal with the “full serving” and “half serving”. You can use this powder as a meal replacement (full serving) in which case you use two scoops and it provides 310 calories; or you can use it as a mini-meal or snack, in which case you use one scoop and it provides 155 calories. If you use it as a meal replacement, you can throw in all kinds of goodies like berries, raw oats, raw milk, almond milk, Forti-Flax, even a handful of nuts if you like, essentially designing your own meal with as many (or as few) calories as you like.
You can even add a scoop of protein powder, like Designs for Health Whey Cool, to up the protein content a bit. And you can do the same for the fiber by adding in a small scoop of Paleo-Fiber. It’s like adding options to the base model of a car. You can add them on—but you don’t have to!
Raw Meal provides twenty essential vitamins and minerals, in many cases 100% of the RDA (pitiful as that number is). In addition, there’s a RAW probiotic and enzyme blend, with about 3 billion CFU of lactobaccilus acidophilus and digestive enzymes. The protein is completely derived from plant sources.
It’s “Green” Too!
I was also pleased to find that this company really cares about the planet, and seems to have a true commitment to sustainability. They use only certified organic plant protein from sprouted grains and legumes, and they use only recyclable packaging, vegetable inks, sustainably farmed papers and 100% certified renewable wind energy credits to run their operations. Gotta give ‘em props for that.
How I Enjoy Raw Meal
All this probably wouldn’t matter so much if the product didn’t taste great, but it does. Seriously, folks.
Here’s the way I personally like it. Try this and tell me if it’s not the greatest thing ever. (A warning note, though. I make things in the kitchen entirely by feel, so please forgive me if this doesn’t exactly follow recipe protocol. Experiment with it and I promise you’ll find a mix you love!)
- Take a glass of raw, whole milk and put it in a blender. (Raw milk is still legal in a couple of states. If you can’t get raw, whole milk, use almond milk. I usually use about 7/8 raw whole milk and then top it off with a dollop of almond milk anyway, just for flavor.)
- Throw in one scoop of Raw Meal
- Add a small handful of berries
- Add a tablespoon or so of Forti-Flax
- Throw in a small handful of almonds (I like dry roasted in Bragg’s Aminos, but any good almonds will do.)
- Throw in a small handful of coconut flakes (we get these prepackaged at the supermarket—in either little containers or in plastic bags.)
- A tiny spoonful (probably a ½ teaspoon to teaspoon) of Manuka Honey
- A scoop of fiber – I like PaleoFiber
- Blend and drink!
If it comes out too thick—or looks like it will—add more almond milk, or even some ice cubes to thin it out a bit. But don’t thin it out too much. When it’s just right it’s creamily delicious, with a nutty, crunchy texture.
And let me know if you don’t love Raw Meal as much as I do!
Supplements Mentioned in This Article
I’ll have to try this. What are your thoughts on coconut milk versus almond milk?
A nutritionist told me that commercial almond milk is exposed to high heat to extend its shelf life, which damages the molecular structure of the nut and actually makes commercial almond milk inflammatory. She says that Coconut milk is a better option for this reason. I’m not sure how she knows this or if it is true. Do you have any thoughts/knowledge of this?
Just wondering if you like the Garden of Life Protein Powder, could you use that instead of the Meal powder?
Kudos to you Dr. Bowden for putting the past behind you. I have been using Raw Meal for about four years on and off. There is also chocolate and vanilla flavor. I like this recipe and will try it. You are one of the most fascinating person that I ever came across. Your integrity in what you believe in is unstoppable. Keep up the great work!
I want to try the Raw Meal but it has 26 grams of sugar in a serving. Also, the carbohydrates are high at 35 grams, making this meal replacement not suitable for a low carb diet. Am I missing something? I know that you promote low carb eating so surely you’ve noticed the high sugar and carbohydrate grams!
Preciate the way you presented this
I’m a bit curious about the total calorie count of your meal replacement. If you’re starting with 310 calories in just the two scoops of Raw Meal and adding milk, berries, nuts, flax, etc., etc., then your calorie count for just that one meal has to be well over 500-600 calories for just that meal! That’s an awfully big count for someone like me, for instance, who needs to stay well under 1500 for the whole day (like 1200 if I want to actually lose weight, 1400 in order not to GAIN weight). I just can see myself justifying such a thing.
I don’t think that’s too many calories, especially at breakfast. If that many calories are a problem, try cutting back a little on the nuts or flax.
Both are fine as long as they are unsweetened.
The below information just came out on Natural News’ website. Although Raw Meal is not the same product as the Raw Protein referenced in this finding, I would still be extremely hesitant to use Raw Meal again. I don’t want to be consuming Tungsten, Lead, and Cadmium on a regular basis.
I can’t get raw milk, can I use organic whole milk. Almond milk is just a waste of money hardly any protien from almonds and contains carrnigen.