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I started using this product when I was 15 years old, now 27, when I had terrible acne. I will admit, the first few years my skin was FLAWLESS. It was the first time in my life that my skin looked so good I didn't even need to wear makeup. I guess my skin did get used to it after awhile and sometimes I will get a small pimple or two but NOTHING like the acne I used to have. If you use this product every day and night you should rarely have any pimples. After 12 years I have tried other acne systems (just trying to find something a little cheaper) but NOTHING compares! This company better stay in business forever b/c i never plan on stopping. My skin is always soft and clean feeling. I don't know where my skin would be if it weren't for this product! Love it.
I have tried so many different protein powders and meal replacements. An ex of mine used to ask me to guzzle down those awful sports performance powders and while I really enjoyed the protein and the way some of them made me feel, I could not get past the taste. Needless to say, I was really hesitant purchasing this product.
After a few months of analyzing my diet I realized there was something missing. I am not vegetarian but I eat mostly a vegetarian diet and sometimes it's difficult to get all of the nutrients and protein that you need in your diet daily. Some days I was fine, but I wanted to make sure my iron and amino acid needs were getting met. On average, even though I ate a lot of dark leafy greens, I still was only consuming about 30% of my iron needs.
I started out on a journey to find myself a protein powder and also a good vitamin. I didn't even think to incorporate the two. I didn't want a powder that had an artificial sweetener or a fake flavor. I can't stand to drink vanilla, strawberry or chocolate flavored powders because if I want it to taste like that, I'll add the flavor. I didn't want anything with caffeine and I certainly didn't need any strange performance boosting supplements. I am an athlete (runner) but nothing extreme and frankly I worry about how those other supplements affect the body.
I picked up 4 different protein powders in individual packets from Whole Foods - Nutiva organic hemp powder, Garden of Life raw protein, GOL raw meal, and Amazing Grass 'amazing meal'. None of these had flavors or any artificial sweeteners. Only the Raw Meal has sprouted brown rice sweetener. To be honest, I only bought the meal replacement package to use as a possible meal replacement before a run. I actually enjoyed all 3 of the protein powders, but it was the Garden of Life protein powder that I liked the most. Reading over the label on the meal replacement had me realizing that I could incorporate both my vitamins and desire for protein in one, so I tried it out as a contender.
The taste is something that I can see why a lot of people have mixed feelings about. It does turn thick within a matter of minutes and if you're not used to eating a lot of greens or know what sprouted beans taste like, you'll soon learn. The taste is fairly bland, which is why I would advise mixing it with something. I can't comment on what it tastes like with just water because I don't think I want to experience that. I want to enjoy what I'm drinking and I've found that 1 scoop is enough for what I need and fills me up until lunch time.
What I mix together in a container is 2 oz of plain greek yogurt (more protein and it adds a certain creaminess I enjoy), 8 oz of sweetened but unflavored almond milk, 2 strawberries, a handful of blueberries and 1/2 of a banana. I use an immersion blender and then bring it with me on my drive to work. If it's a little too thick I'll just add more almond milk. I really love this combination and sometimes I'll add some spinach or if I'm using unsweetened almond milk I'll add 1 tsp of honey.
The thing that I noticed immediately was that I had a lot more energy and I felt like I was finally getting enough of my nutrients. I do feel that there is an over emphasis placed on vitamins but as a woman in her late 20's, certain vitamins are essential and maybe it's just me, but I feel like they're getting absorbed better in my system through a smoothie/food instead of in a pill format. My choice for vitamins was going to be Vitamin Code, which is also made by Garden of Life. I may have a bit of a persuasion for raw items!
I've never been a morning person but I find myself going to sleep at night and looking forward to the morning. It sounds so bizarre, but the way I feel after one of these smoothies is fantastic, and on the days when I don't have one, I really don't feel as energized. Since then I have bought a tub from Whole Foods and have now realized that it is such an amazing price here at Amazon! I've just ordered it online as I'm down to the last 3 scoops (3 days). Certainly if this was consumed as directed, 2 scoops, daily it would get pretty pricey, but 1 scoop means a container lasts about a month and that's reasonable.
If you don't need the extra vitamins (or calories) I'd suggest trying out the protein powder or even trying Amazing Grass's Amazing Meal. Both were my top choices but it was the vitamins that won me over. The taste is something that easily one can get past and I think that with added liquid - to account for the thickness - the texture isn't really an issue. Gritty? A little, but it's raw and it's full of good stuff!