My family and I recently wanted to try some new meal replacement mixes. The latest products we’ve had the chance to try are two different flavors of “100%FOOD”. For years, we’ve used meal replacement powders as supplements to our normal breakfasts – usually in the form of smoothies. We’ve found that smoothies are an easy way to get the additional vitamins and vegetables we need. 100%FOOD, as you will see, fit right into our daily routine.
We’ve tried a variety of mixes. Most of the time we just use “green drinks” and mix them with fruits, milk, ice, and yogurt. Sometimes I use protein powder, as well. I do this after working out, usually. The health benefits, for me, are that I can eat less while at the same time make sure I get nutrients and protein. This is what everyone (basically) wants with meal replacements, when it comes down to it.
In my recent quest to try some new and different meal replacements, I have been doing research on the types of meal replacements as well as some of the ingredients in meal replacements. It made me realize that a lot of what I’ll call “mainstream” meal replacements contain a lot of junk ingredients – stuff that’s just bad for you. My conclusion (after doing a bit of research) was that any meal replacement powder I use has to include few ingredients, they should be recognizable, and of course they should be good for me. My goal is overall health, not just weight loss or muscle gain.
Which brings me to this review. The product is touted as being a nutritionally complete smoothie in a bottle. One of the product videos shows a gentleman adding water to a bottle of 100%FOOD, going off to work, and drinking it in the elevator as he goes to his job. The convenience factor in this scenario is perfect – because it really would be a fast and easy meal replacement. The benefit in this case would be a simple way to get some “clean” energy. Contrast that with a lot of people who (on their way to work) eat a greasy fast-food breakfast sandwich or a cinnamon roll and wash it down with a soda or energy drink. (Not good for anyone!)
For our review, we did a simple taste test. Three people tried the 100%FOOD “Organic” flavor, as well as the 100%FOOD “Choco” flavor. Our goal was to make a determination about the flavor, texture, and appearance of the drink. To do this, we did not mix the 100%FOOD like we would for a smoothie; we just added an equal part of water, stirred, and drank.[DISCLAIMER: 100%FOOD provided us with free samples of all their flavors in exchange for a fair and honest review. We received no monetary compensation for doing this reviewing their product. We do earn a percentage for any purchases of their product made via our Amazon link.]
For the “Organic” 100%FOOD, which is the plain or “raw” variety, here are the results.
Taste: “It tastes salty and nutty. Is there an almond milk base?”
Texture: “Very textured. Requires some chewing.”
Appearance: “You can see the seeds floating on top. Makes me think it’s natural?”
Rating: 3 out of 5
Taste: “Flax and oatmeal and almond milk”
Texture: “Definitely raw”
Appearance: “You can see the layers separate”
Rating: 3 out of 5
Taste: “Nutty, sprouty, and sweet. Reminds me of something I would eat while hiking.”
Texture: “You have to chew it. Not smooth. Slightly gritty.”
Appearance: “Not cohesive. The seeds float, and the rest sinks down. Not a big deal but I have to keep shaking or stirring.”
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
For the “Choco” 100%FOOD – the chocolate-flavored one – the results were slightly different.
Taste: “It tastes salty and chocolatey.”
Texture: “Good texture”
Appearance: “It looks good.”
Rating: 4 out of 5
Taste: “Some good chocolate flavor but I think it has too much of a salty taste. I need to mix it with something else.”
Texture: “A bit gritty but nothing too bad.”
Appearance: “There’s no layering. It looks like a chocolate drink.”
Rating: 4 out of 5
Taste: “I like the taste. It’s a pretty good chocolate flavor.”
Texture: “There’s definitely some grit to it, but I still like it.”
Appearance: “Looks good. It mixes pretty well.”
Rating: 4 out of 5
Our taste and texture tests overall were favorable. Everyone said they could see themselves drinking either of the products if they wanted a smoothie or a quick breakfast substitute. The favorite was the chocolate flavor, however – no one was a big fan of the seeds in the “Organic” flavor. Everyone, however, liked the actual ingredients (because they are simple and natural).
The ingredients (in the basic “Choco” flavor) are basic, and understandable. They are: “Organic Golden Flaxseed, Hemp seeds, Sesame seeds, Rice flour and Dextrose, Vitamin and Mineral mix. Premium chocolate mix used as a flavor.” The ingredients differ slightly in volume and type for the other varieties (either “Double Protein” or “Low Carb”). When ordering the “Double Protein” variety, you can choose either Soy, Whey, or Plant proteins. For those of us who try to avoid soy in our diets, I think this is a great option and I’m glad the folks who formulated 100%FOOD considered this.
One caveat two of the reviewers pointed out is that there is what appears to be a lot of sodium in these. Of more concern, to all three reviewers, was the amount of sugar (in the form of dextrose). The organic 100%FOOD contains a whopping 42 grams of sugars, while the chocolate 100%FOOD has 45 grams. In comparison, a 16-ounce Coke has almost 55g, and a 9.5 ounce Starbucks bottled Frappuccino has approximately 32 grams of sugar. To be fair, soft drinks lack the fiber or protein that a 100%FOOD drink contains – but for people who limit their sugar intake this could be a problem. (Personally, I would forego the dextrose as an ingredient – because I prefer to sweeten my morning smoothie with organic honey. I know I’m not the only one.)
Overall, however, I think the taste, texture, and the ingredients reviewed favorably. The convenience factor is pretty big as well – especially if you need to use this product as it’s marketed (add water to the bottle, shake, and drink). For those who would be using this at home, we don’t need a bottle so the convenience factor doesn’t apply. (Even though we were sent the bottles for review purposes, I should note that 100%FOOD sells their drink powders in 21-meal bags as well, for people like me.)
As far as price, I 100%FOOD is not what I would call cheap – but you often get what you pay for. The hemp seeds, flaxseed, etc. are natural ingredients. When you want to avoid chemicals and other junk, you pay a bit more than you would for the typical “mainstream” meal replacement mixes. Depending on the flavor, variety, and packaging, a serving of 100%FOOD will run between $2.90 and $4.86. That’s comparable with many of the other meal replacements we reviewed in our Ultimate Guide to Meal Replacements, in which the mid-range price per serving was almost $3. Personally I would categorize the 100%FOOD products as being within most health-conscious people’s price range, especially if you use less per serving that what is recommended on the package (as I would, because I would mix some of the powder with fruit and yogurt to make my morning smoothie).
Overall, I can recommend 100%FOOD. I stand by all my comments in this review, and think it’s a quality product that does what it says. For what we do each day – throw some yogurt and fruit into a blender, with a drink mix – 100%FOOD is great. So if you’re looking for a quality meal replacement or a quality smoothie mix, 100%FOOD is perfect.