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Supplement Review: Garden of Life RAW Meal

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The popular Garden of Life RAW Meal is marketed as a 100% pure organic raw meal replacement powder which was created for two concurring purposes – to satisfy hunger and provide energy, while also replenishing all of the valuable nutrients you would find in a healthy raw meal.

Garden of Life RAW MealAs with any other powdered formulas, I was initially suspicious of the actual benefits of such a product, mainly because I believe that the core idea behind the raw lifestyle is eating food that is as fresh and unprocessed as possible. However, I have come to believe that Garden of Life Raw Meal is a nutritionally exceptional raw fast food, one that truly caters to the needs of individuals who try to live healthy in today’s hectic world. Preparing your own food from scratch can sometimes be a laborious task, so figuring out a faster and cleaner alternative seems like a logical solution, doesn’t it?

What’s more important is that Garden of Life is a complete food, containing everything your body needs in just the right amounts. The nutritional information list is quite impressive and counts over 25 compounds, including protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, complex sugars for slow energy release, electrolytes and trace elements. Garden of Life is kosher, vegan, gluten, lactose and dairy free; and contains no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, but only the best elements derived from natural sources. The product is produced exclusively from raw, plant-based, uncooked whole foods, which include organic sprouted brown rice, organic fruits and greens, spirulina, high protein chlorella, raw enzyme and probiotic blend, organic raw flax and coconut, and many more.

Since the powder is meant to replace one entire meal, it is an excellent choice at any time of the day. I prefer to eat it for a quick breakfast and gain an extra half hour of sleep. Nonetheless, it makes a great lunch as well, and the container it comes in can easily be taken to the office and stored in drawer. At lunch time, you can quickly whip yourself a healthy meal, fast and easy, and also save a lot of money that you would otherwise spend on unhealthy restaurant food. It can also be eaten at dinner, and since it is rich in fiber and polysaccharides, it provides satiation and keeps hunger locked up until morning. No more late night snacks for me when I have Garden of Life RAW Meal for dinner!

Another advantage of this meal replacement powder that is worth mentioning is that every nutrient is provided to you in exactly the right proportions. We normally do not have such tight control over the nutrients we take in when we consume homemade meals. Each Garden of Life RAW Meal provides you with 33 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of fatty acids, which is a perfect combination for individuals who are concerned about their weight or who are on a diet. Every aspect of this meal is designed to perfectly suit the needs of human nutrition. In the past, I used to jokingly call similar products “space food”, as they keep for a relatively long time and are produced for dietary perfection. However, Garden of Life is more than a nutrient powder – it is an excellent raw vegetable source of all essential amino acids, as well as other substances which may sometimes be lacking in a regular raw diet, such as iron, calcium, and B12. Of course, Garden of Life RAW Meal is only meant to replace one meal of the day, which means that at least 2 of your meals should still consist of fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

On the flip side though, the taste leaves a little something to be desired.

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About RawMichelle

  • Smack Daddy

    I actually Like the Chocolate over the Vanilla! Ive lost weight, Got more energy & might even go see a Dentist & Shave soon! Amazing!

  • Jacob

    This stuff is amazing! Changed my life. I Have it everyday mixed into a 3 liter smoothie with flaxseed, hemp protein, wheatgrass, oats, kale spinach and chard, blueberries strawberries raspberries, a few cups of probiotic juice and water and wow It tastes great and I feel better than ever! Just split if up into 5 meals and WALLA raw till 6 then have a fat vegan meal at the end of the day. Am able to maintain excerise 5 days a week and build muscle efficiently! In fact better than when I was eating meat by a long shot. SO MUCH ENERGY! CARB UP!

    • David Crandall

      Holly crap! It already has those things mixed into it.

  • Gale Leitch

    Garden of Life Raw Meal, Vanilla Chai, contains 27 grams of sugar per scoop. How is that healthy? I am going to be one big fat woman if I continue to use this product. Apparently, though, the NEW versions of Raw Meal contain only 2 grams of sugar and stevia. However, there is some information online which states stevia is now deemed unhealthy.

    • Jacob

      If you worried about weight gain you should be worried about animal products and fat. Sugar does not necessarily make you fat. It is the Fat preventing the insulin from putting the glucose into your muscle cells, introcellular lipids I think they are called… That is why meat and animals products are highly correlated with Diabetes and a host of other problems. Best way to loose weight and maintain it healthily is to smash in the fruits and veggies with no calorie counting! YOU NEVER WANT TO RESTRICT! Basically go on a Fruit veggie high carb low fat lifestyle with A B12 supplement. Eat until your satisfied. This product is great if your trying to live this lifestyle and wanting to have a safety net to ensure your getting everything you need. Overwhelming amount of science and anecdotes to back up these claims.

  • Ivonne

    is Raw meal good for weight loss?

    • Jacob

      If you worried about weight gain you should be worried about animal products and fat. Sugar does not necessarily make you fat. It is the Fat preventing the insulin from putting the glucose into your muscle cells, introcellular lipids I think they are called… That is why meat and animals products are highly correlated with Diabetes and a host of other problems. Best way to loose weight and maintain it healthily is to smash in the fruits and veggies with no calorie counting! YOU NEVER WANT TO RESTRICT! Basically go on a Fruit veggie high carb low fat lifestyle with A B12 supplement. Eat until your satisfied. This product is great if your trying to live this lifestyle and wanting to have a safety net to ensure your getting everything you need. Overwhelming amount of science and anecdotes to back up these claims

  • Emerald

    I have the original “flavor” of Garden of Life’s RAW meal replacement and I have to say I tried a lot of different juices to try to make it taste better. I stumbled upon this website in my um-tillionth attempt to find a way to make this supplement bearable and I noticed someone suggested dark berries. I immediately packed up my things and went to the grocery store. I walked directly over to the juice aisle and bought a 64oz bottle of Naked Boosted Blue Machine.
    One scoop and 12oz of Naked later, this drink is incredibly bearable. I could actually drink this every morning or anytime for that matter. I usually use it as a post-workout drink. Absolutely fabulous. Give it a try!

  • Rob

    I’ve been using the vanilla Flavored RAW meal. First time I did it, it tasted awful and the texture was horrible. After that, I decided to use a magic bullet (nutri-bullet would work better I think) to mix it better to improve texture which is much better now. As for flavor, I use vanilla almond milk to try to get more vanilla flavor into it and it definitely improves. Still need to try mixing other stuff such as recipes on here.

  • Komakai Okane

    I’ve been using Raw Meal for breakfast for about 2 months now. Have tried both the Original (non-flavored) and Vanilla, and like them both. Into a blender I add:

    – 2 scoops of Raw Meal
    – 8 oz. of raw cow’s milk from a local farm
    – An entire bag of Stahlbush Island Farms Healthy Berry Blend (marion blackberries, blueberries & black rasberries)

    – from Pure Synergy – (1 ea.) Organic Super B-Complex, (2 ea.) Organic Vita.Min.Herb Multi for Men. I crush these into a powder before putting into the blender.

    I look forward to drinking this every morning – it is really delicious. I have hypoglycemia and my blood sugar levels feel very low (stable body, quiet mind) for many hours after drinking this recipe. Even after thoroughly blending it’s a little gritty in texture, but there’s also lots of seeds from the berries to crunch on so it’s a more complex texture that I don’t mind at all.

  • Daniela

    I’ve been using Raw Meal for several months and really hated the texture at first. I now mix it with RAW Milk I purchase from a local Organic farmer and use my NutriBullet to mix and I must say, I look forward to it every morning. Interesting smoothie recipes below I’ll have to try as well. Thanks!

  • Zexx

    There is a significantly more nutrient packed raw food meal replacement
    product called Living Fuel Super Greens or Super Berries. The creators
    of the product claim you can live off of it as your only source of
    food. I don’t know how true it is, but I replaced 3 meals a day for 3
    months as my only source of food. However, the price is catching up at nearly 80 bucks a can that only lasts one week replacing two meals a day. So, you can see how expensive it can get and that’s why I’m trying out this one reviewed here instead.

  • Mickey

    I just bought the chocolate Raw Meal four days ago. I like it just just fine with water, but I have to mix it a little thin (one level scoop to twelve ounces of very cold water), shake it ferociously, and drink it fast!

  • Luke

    Literally the grossest thing I’ve consumed ever. EVER. The taste and texture is filth. But the macros seemed amazing so I forced it down.

  • RawMealLover

    I bought the chocolate flavor raw meal and for the first couple of weeks choked it down smoothie-style with ice and bananas which seemed to just make it more slimy. Then I decided to try something different and its worked for me! I put 16 oz of milk in my shaker bottle then place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Then I add the 2 scoops for raw meal and shake the dickens out of it. Then I IMMEDIATELY chug it. If you don’t drink it quickly it becomes gelatinous which I read somewhere is caused by the chai in the mix. So that’s my take on the taste.
    Now I just finished my first container of raw meal and have been without it for about 3 days now and I can most definitely tell! I’m more sluggish, less focused, and I hate to be so honest, but haven’t had a decent BM in 2 days!! I’m going this evening to get some more and I’m thinking about trying another flavor… Either way I’ll be using this meal replacement until I find something that makes me feel better than the raw meal has (which seems unlikely).
    I hope my review helps any of you who are considering trying raw meal!

  • reesa

    I am able to maintain my energy and avoid blood transfusion w one meal per day. I am in end stage renal failure and the benefit I get cannot be over stated. I use just enough water to dissolve it and shoot it. Commit to a week of daily use and see the difference!

  • CaitlinMN

    Hello, anyone thinking of purchasing should! I bought the RAW Meal cacao powder mix and love it! Every morning I mix ONE scoop then fill to 16oz mark organic vanilla almond milk. I have a blender bottle and also put in a whole banana somedays. I chug half on my first break then the other half on my lunch. I am full all day.

    It is saving me time and money because I don’t have to plan breakfasts or lunches

  • Tamara

    I love this stuff. I use the vanilla raw meal. I’ve never been one for powdered meals, but I started using this product because I use Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code products and they are the most effective and cost effective vitamins I’ve ever consumed. Not having had other meal replacement or protein powders before (as I’m a proponent of eating whole, fresh foods for ultimate health), I don’t have experience with other products. But, I mix mine in the free blender bottle (an excellent thing to have in your kitchen!) with about 10 ounces of whatever nut milk I have on hand (almond, hazelnut… sometimes rice milk) and a cup of greek yogurt. And while it is still grainy, it is smoothy-like in texture and I really like the taste. I’ve tried it with just water and really didn’t care for that. But with the almond milk and yogurt it’s quite delicious and filling.

    I decided to start using this product as although I mostly eat very healthy, there are weeks when I’m working so much or whatever and I just don’t have time to cook and eat an entire meal, especially during the day (I work at home, full-time). So to make sure I’m getting the nutrients I need, I thought I’d try this after enjoying the results of their vitamin supplements. I’ve been doing at least one scoop per day now for about 10 days, and I really do have more energy and I’m generally in a better mood, with more motivation. I’m always anemic due to other health issues, and I do believe consuming this once daily is helping with that because I definitely feel better all around.

  • Jamie

    Ok here’s the deal: this is a great product that fills me up and offers excellent nutrition in just one scoop. HOWEVER, mixed as directed in water it tastes like chocolate grass slime….It took every ounce of willpower to finish that first cup. So after reading suggestions from others I made a smoothie and surprisingly it was actually ENJOYABLE. In a blender: 1 scoop choc raw meal, 3oz vanilla soy milk, 5 oz OJ, half banana, ice to blend. Yum, seriously.

  • Stephanie Blaser

    I make my own almond milk and blend about 20 oz of it with 3 oz of the original unflavored powder. It gives me great energy, and I realized this when I replaced dinner with it and it took me a couple hours to fall asleep! What I am skeptical about is whether or not it is actually raw. It seems to have a little TM or a little R next to the word RAW, and in ingredients everything is a RAW blend. Always in all caps. Just wondering if Garden of Life is pullin a fast one on us – Kinda like McDonald’s and their 100% Beef patties…..

    • Of course it is all processed and cooked. I have worked with manufacturers to make my own brand and they only have access to the same low quality produce we all do, shipped in huge pallets. If the rice you buy at wholefoods won’t sprout, neither will theirs.

  • Chris

    There’s no getting around the fact that this stuff tastes pretty awful, but I cannot stress just how great it makes you feel! I have never written a review for a health product, but I have become a huge fan. I feel pleasantly full and energized every time I drink this.

    I would suggest experimenting to make the flavor better. I milk it with low-fat milk and chocolate protein powder and it’s just fine

  • Amber

    I bought the vanilla RAW meal a couple days ago. First time I just added soymilk and whisked with a fork. It was putrid. The gritty/lumpy texture made me want to puke, but I added ice and blended; then forced myself to drink it although it wasn’t even terrible tasting. I just couldn’t get over the initial feeling of clumpy power in my mouth. YUCK. Today I blended it with about 2/3 orange juice and 1/3 soymilk, and blended with ice until it was the consistency of a smoothie. YUM! So yummy and simple! This way it’s as good as ice cream (to me atleast lol) I think this oj/milk thing would be a good smoothie base…I’m adding fruit tomorrow. I’m also planning on using this powder to make raw fudge…hmm we’ll see how this turns out lol

  • Sam

    The chocolate one is really gross

  • Eren

    I’ve been using the RAW chocolate powder for a week. I do 1 scoop to 16 oz of Silk original almond milk. In my opinion, like that, it tastes like a grittier version of slim fast. I also bought a self blending bottle and it blends it till its a bit smoother. I’m looking to get a bullet mixer and try to get it as smooth as possible.
    Over all, I’m pleased with it.
    Anybody know of the other flavors taste any good?

    • taryn

      One scoop and 16 oz of water/almond milk, both or either/or, is quite good. The blender bottles you find at any vitamin store, or even walmart sells them, work quite well. I’ve yet to try and blend them, the grittiness isn’t much of an issue for me. The vanilla is good, but better with mostly almond or soy milk, and less water. The vanilla spiced chai is my favorite, absolutely delicious. However, the only reason I prefer the chocolate is because I was looking for a meal replacement I could make with just water, and still enjoy it. All of the flavors however, are great. I just find that the chocolate one is the only one which tastes great with just water. I ran out and have yet to be able to go get more, and trust me I feel a huge difference compared to drinking the shakes, and not. Cannot wait to go pick up more. Another one that is great, is vega one, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. Just more expensive, only difference is raw meal does not have maca root

  • nancy

    I have not got on scale lately but somewhere between 300 and 325 pounds

  • nancy

    I am pretty sure i would not have been able to drink 2 scoops in 16 oz of soy milk smaller is better to start with

  • nancy

    I bought the vanilla flavor. after reading the reviews I was almost afraid to try it. the advertisement says NEW great taste. when I opened the jar I was like wow and the smell I am not an organic person but trying life style changes. so I went the smoothie route. I put 1/2 c soy almond, 1/2 cup orange juice no pulp; 3 oz blueberry yogurt, 1 scoop raw meal powder and 1/2 scoop vanilla cream whey powder for added flavor and consistency, then 1 cup mixed berries frozen which have blueberry,blackberry,rasberry and strawberry, and a big scoop raspberry sherbert. and i could taste the raw meal but it was drinkable made about 12 oz of fluid. i decided to start smaller so not to waste it. this tasted on scale of 0 to 10 about a 7. but my idea is a smoothie is not supposed to taste bad it is supposed to hide the good nutritional taste within the smoothie… so that is why i did it that way and i want to do 2 shakes a day and meal for weight loss thought this might go better any way if anyone trys it that way let me know what you think

    • Sarita

      The more stuff you add, the harder it is to get down. You’re just making it thicker, which will give you more time to worry about the taste.
      Not to be judge-y, but leave out the sherbet. No value except flavor, and when you want to lose weight and learn to eat clean, this will prolong the time it takes for your body to adjust cravings to exclude processed sugars. If you can eat vegetables and raw foods more, you won’t need to add empty calories for flavor.
      My recommendation: add 1 scoop of powder to 8 oz of unsweetened almond milk. I like the Silk brand with added calcium, it’s thicker. Blend in a blender or bullet, then grab a straw and chug. Without the extra crap it’s easy to just pound it. Chase it with water. Done.

    • idk88

      no wonder you’re overweight. adding sherbert to a health drink. sheesh.

    • Flamey

      I just bought the vanilla raw meal, mostly cuz I eat sugar like it won’t be available tomorrow. I am older now 47, so sugar is not a good option, but always available at work. Anyway, I looked at this and bought it hoping I could switch out a candy break and a meal at work. I tried it today, mixed 1 scoop straight in 2% low fat milk. Holy cow, the best sugar fix without the white sugar, my tummy was full, my brain started working and my energy went up. I have a plan now. I am going to substitute this for my on the go meals and candy breaks and eat some lean meat in the morning and for one additional meal. This will be far less calories than I consume on any given day, and I will have energy to go to planet fitness that is opening up a couple miles from me. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY for me. Finally, I don’t have to be the fatty that sits at the desk all day. Now I have a plan! p.s. I weigh 236-240. I gained like 20 llbs in the last 2 months drinking unsweetened green tea frappucinnos at starbucks. Why did I do that? :-{

  • Pat

    Love Raw Meal chocolate. I use one scoop, 8oz almond milk, 1/2 banana, a few blueberries…place in blender (mix) add ice cubes & mix again. Yummy!

  • nick

    i have a magic bullet blender. i put frozen bananas and the chocolate raw meal in there with water and it makes a delicious shake.

  • Bree

    a lot of people are saying how bad it tastes but I LOVE the CHOCOLATE version!!
    I just moved to Austria for a semester on exchange and have been pulling my hair out trying to find somewhere to order it without paying a ton for shipping.
    I feel so much better when I take this product everyday!
    I think it tasted weird at first but now I love it!!!

  • Mel

    I was almost scared off of it but decided to try it anyway because I have a ‘finicky’ digestive track and am lactose intolerant.

    I tried the vanilla flavored one with some vanilla almond milk and a little bit of honey.

    It was DELICIOUS.

    It didn’t have any weird aftertaste at all, and was very filling. The texture was a bit chunky, but I mixed it with a fork, so I wasn’t expected much smoothness. It wound up tasting like a vanilla smoothie.

    I only used one scoop though, after reading all the reviews about how thick it got.

    People make it sound so complicated to make it taste good, but all you need it some almond milk and you’ll be fine.

    PS. Be careful about sugar content though…I don’t think I will add honey next time, and I will try it just with ‘no sugar added’ Vanilla almond milk. Additionally, be forewarded that if you watching your weight, if you mix a full serving of the powder up with 16 oz of some version of ‘milk’ you will be adding a lot of additional calories, probably in the 100 – 200 range of extra calories which would bring your total meal to a little over 400 – 500 calories. Depending on how much you snack during the day, that could be a good or bad thing.

  • I use the meal replacement for lunch when I don’t have time. Mixing it with pineapple juice does the trick. I also try it with apple juice and a splash of orange juice. Nothing will mask the taste completely, and you just get used to it.

  • Jenmarsh

    I have used this product and agree it tastes kind of grassy and thick. But it is a wonderful, nutritional, convenient dream! Keep trying it, mix it with different things, plug your nose if you have to…. It’s soooooo good for you.
    We all need to get off the “tasty” fast- food, processed, dyed,bleached fake food we eat. It’s garbage. Your cravings will slow down and eventually cease, you will have more energy, and your body will function properly! Keep at it!

  • AJ

    I just started using Raw Meal on the recommendation of my workout buddy. Seems like a great product. After a little experimentation, I think it tastes best when mixed with flax milk. My only complaint is the difficulty in getting it well mixed.

  • Michelle

    I am loving Garden of life raw meal replacement, is anyone noticing weight loss?

  • Dia

    Best taste: Use a lot of water. Mix regular flavor with water and fruit juice

  • Kelly

    Tried the chocolate for the first time with water. Absolutly terrible, but good things dont always go down easy at first. Going to try adding a banana, ice, and maybe a tbs of peanut butter tomorrow.

  • Kristen

    I tried this yesterday and though Im not a fussy eater or ever waste food… I had a couple mouthfuls and had to tip it down the sink. It was the most revoulting flavour and texture and I dont know how anyone could enjoy that?

  • Roger

    Just had it for the first time. I mixed 1/2 banana, small greek yogurt, and a tbs of peanut butter and some ice. Blended and had a FINE meal. It really tasted GREEN, if a food can taste a color.. I had bought a small package to try and will be ordering the tub now. Seems like a great meal replacement.

  • Pat

    I think it tastes fine. I take 2 cups almond coconut unsweetened milk, 85 g of organic spinach, 1 organic banana, blend them up with the chocolate version and it tastes great. I haven’t tried the vanilla version. It does thicken up quickly but when you drink smoothies you are supposed to “chew” them anyway because that begins the process of digestion. I have the perfect raw greens right when I wak up, I skip breakfast, have this for Lunch, have a small snack in mid afternoon, a short FRUIT only meal about an hour before dinner and then a healthy dinner. I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight (including at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily) in the past few days.

  • pd

    after the boost of energy and centering it helped me with I could care less about the taste the vanilla one even with water goes down well : ) ! Glad raw meal is in my Life !

  • Angie

    I’ve been drinking raw meal daily for 2 years. Try mixing with water first and then adding 4oz naked green machine and/or blend with your favorite fruits

  • Fay

    I tried raw meal today and mixed it with vanilla flavored oat milk. I’m glad I did because it didn’t taste bad at all. Bought both products from Better Health Store and they suggested I try it that way.

  • Jdub

    i tried it with almond milk and it still tastes awful!

  • Bluh

    You weren’t kidding about the taste. I’m sitting here with a blender bottle full of the chocolate flavored version, and it still tastes gritty and bitter. I read elsewhere that it’s a good idea to try mixing it with Almond Milk, so I’ll try that next time. It’s just not good mixed with water.

  • Misae

    Although I have my reservations about rice being human food, overall this looks an excellent product and I’m really happy to see Garden of Life making it available as a lot of green shakes are full of nutrition but lack the carbs to satiate. The reviews of it on Amazon make interesting reading!

    • donsalmon

      I use 1 scoop of Raw Meal, half a banana, 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, about 8-16 ounces of water, and 1-2 tablespoons of Stevia. Ummmmm. I have it once for breakfast and once for dinner in order to get the full meal. A full well balanced lunch and veggie and/or fruit snacks, maybe some nuts and seeds for protein.

      That’s for weight loss – otherwise, 2 scoops and the rest for breakfast and regular meals. Great stuff.

      • Diana Carter

        First time it was horrible…Decided it was everything I was looking for in a meal replacement shake…Bought a container of Chocolate…2 scoops in 16oz Coconut Milk for breakfast…I was expecting worst…was not bad. HAPPY 🙂