Happy Thursday to everyone! We've been eking out some sunshine still here, although there was an absolute cloudburst mid-afternoon yesterday, pouring rain, but the skies blue! Strange…
It's time for my final review of Amazing Grass' products: this one's dedicated to the 'Amazing Meal' protein powder/meal replacements. They sent me four flavors to try - 'Original,' 'Pomegranate Mango,' 'Vanilla Chai' and 'Chocolate Infusion.'
More on that in a moment, but first a couple other things. This is day 2 of 30 days of reflection on self love, initiated and inspired by Tina. Today's reflection is on loving our bodies, and we were asked to state three specific parts of our bodies that we love and appreciate. What a powerful and potentially transformative exercise! And what a tall order too! So, building on yesterday's 'self confidence,' here goes:
1) I love my quick brain, its ability to make connections and retain information.
2) I love my ears, even though one of them is half-deaf, for their acute perception of sounds, music and the beauty of words. Also their cute external 'pixie' shape.
3) I love my heart, for being so full of love and so tirelessly consistent.
And the other big thing for me: my Vita-Mix finally arrived yesterday!!! It took almost three weeks to get here, and I was starting to feel impatient.
Styrofoam took a pounding, but all present and correct - two jars, power base and piles and piles of papers!
More on that tomorrow, but here's my question to you: as a child, did you feel your presents? Did you have to open all your gifts at once? How about now?
I could make things last forever… I had to make myself open this box, just to make sure everything was intact. I was extremely busy yesterday, and knew I wouldn't have time to use it or figure out the right place for it, and was quite content to let it wait! I actually did end up using it today, but was loath to - part of me wanted to wait until we finish having the house upside down (replacing windows right now, back to ladder on the counter and dish drainer on futon-type scenario!) and figure out where to fit a vita-station into our tiny home.
Another question for you - what should I make with my Vita-mix? I know it's going to change my life, and I know there's thousands of things I can do now that I couldn't before - please give me your best pick!
Now, on to the review.
This is the Pomegranate-mango infusion - it's based on rice and hemp protein powder (12g protein), plus green powders, probiotics, enzymes and herbs. 13g carbs of which 6g are fiber (including guar gum, one of the 'added ingredients,' which is a soluble fiber that works well for my tummy but is irritating to some.) Another added ingredient is cane sugar, which would preclude this from being a regular food for me. Only one gram of fat. For me, that's too much carb and too little fat, but for others it's probably ideal. I added a little coconut oil and mixed it with freshly-made sesame-brazil nut milk.
For my no-sugar palate, it was very sweet, but tasted good, good texture too. Like all products that contain hemp protein, it has those dark gritty specks that settle to the bottom of the smoothie - another reason why I always pour tea into the glass once I've finished the smoothie, to wash out the fiber so that I get it rather than wasting it!
As well as being sweet, it's very 'fragrant' - a strong flavor that I continued to taste for some hours afterwards. Surprisingly, I wouldn't have identified mango or pomegranate - it tasted more like cherry or almond to me - which isn't a bad thing, of course!
This is the 'Original' flavor. - it's nice.
It has the same macronutrient counts as the pomegranate-mango. Very slightly chalky from the rice protein and the hemp fiber settles to the bottom, which is normal. I shook it with the ball from my blender bottle (Phil was on the phone and I didn't want to use the blender). For the other three, as shown in the photos, I used my little hand-held blender to mix and had much better results and less settling. The vanilla flavor comes across well, as does the hint of peppermint. For me, it's a bit too sweet, not enough protein or fat. I had it with a little coconut oil, sesame-brazil milk and herbal tea. Pea and hemp is a better protein combination for me. But it seemed to work ok and I would use it occasionally, with add-ins.
This is their new Vanilla Chai flavor.
I was glad that this was the first one I tried yesterday, after my day off from sampling, as it says 'no added sugar' on the packet. I also noticed that the sample was significantly smaller than the other Amazing Meal samples - 10g whereas the rest were 32g. Unlike the other samples, this one's packet didn't include the nutritional information, but I found it on this website. Yay for stevia instead of sugar! Surprisingly, it seemed to keep me full longer than the other flavors, despite there being less of it. This could be the unreliable guinea pig me, I had no appetite yesterday and then was awake since 4am with hunger pains today! But it could also be because there's no cane sugar in the recipe. I don't understand how it comes out at 13g carbs, the same as the other flavors, without the added sugar, though. Maybe they make up for it with more of the 'good stuff?' (Btw, it should also be noted that this flavor and the chocolate have only 10g protein per serving whereas the other two have 12g).
Once again, it contains lots of the good stuff, and you can taste it in a good way, and see the flecks of hemp fiber descending in your smoothie, reminding you to pour some tea in the glass to make sure you get it all. But I have to say that I couldn't taste a significant chai flavor at all: in fact, if I'd been blind-tasting, I would have said that it was a mildly vanilla-flavored rice-hemp protein powder, with the rice dominating in the aroma and the vanilla a subtle note. This is fine, but wasn't what I'd been expecting.
I love it, and I especially love that they're putting out a 'no added sugar' Amazing Meal. I'd love it even more if there were more of a strong 'chai' flavor. And as I said already, rice protein doesn't work as well for me as pea protein, but I know that for many people it works great.
The final flavor I tried was 'Chocolate infusion.'
Just like all the others, I mixed it with my sesame-brazil nut milk with a little coconut oil. In a quart jar today because it was the last of the batch, so saved washing a jar! It turned out that flavor wise at least, this was definitely 'saving the best for last.' It was so delicious! Subjective guinea-pig note, though - yesterday I had no appetite at all and today I was starving since 4am (didn't have breakfast until 8.20). So of course it tasted great! But even so, it was wonderfully creamy, really chocolatey, and provided the subtle awareness of green-superfoodness that I need to feel like I'm really getting some goodness.
Bottom line: the chocolate was definitely the tastiest, but at 10g protein, 13g carbs (6 of them fiber) and 1g fat, plus the problems I have with rice and cacao, it's not a good daily choice for me. I need something with less sugar and more protein and fat. I'm excited by the 'vanilla chai' flavor's potential, specifically the fact that it's made without added sugar and I would urge Amazing Grass to make some more meal replacements without added sugar. I would also love it if they would try using pea protein in their formulations: for some of us with gluten/grain sensitivities, pea and hemp is easier digested.
Great products - many thanks again!