TL:DR at the bottom!
About me: Hey all. I’m a fit 22-year old who recently moved to Honolulu, HI. I just graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in Biochemistry and took a few nutrition-based classes (and had studies that crossed over with nutrition on a molecular level). With the expensive price of food on the island here, I was looking for some cheaper ways to save money and eat healthier than I was before.
How I used to eat: My old diet consisted of mac n cheese, ramen noodles, grilled cheese, eggs, toast, and plates of pasta pretty much all day every day.
Discovering Huel: When I found Huel (from an Instagram ad) I thought it would be too good to be true. Being a man of science, if there aren’t tons of reviews from reputable scientists or doctors, I don’t believe it. But after reading many nutritionists glowing reviews, I thought I’d take a look myself.
Deciding to buy: I was amazed. With everything I learned from my degree, I was truly surprised: nothing seemed to be missing in terms of nutrition. Normally I would think this was some kind of scam with no scientific basis, or that it would pose as a health risk. Instead, I was really hoping it would work for my lifestyle here.
My initial experience: The taste wasn’t bad. In fact, it’s exactly what I expected. It’s like flour, with a bit of a more earthy taste, and a perfect hint of vanilla. My girlfriend and roommates say it tastes like oaty-pancake-batter. The consistency, on the other hand, was not great. I didn’t like the chunks I was drinking, or the warmth. Here’s my process of discovering the best way to Huel:
I started with putting the powder in the shaker, then water. It led to serious chunks, and was hard to drink. At four scoops, I could barely finish without feeling slightly sick, but only on a mental level.
I switched to water first, then powder second. THIS IS KEY! It really helped it become easier to drink. Adding a few ice cubes helped reach the right temp. It felt like this was taking too long to prepare, and I’m all about efficiency. I needed something faster.
I tried leaving it overnight, as some said the consistency is better. It does lose the graininess, but instead becomes syrup-like… almost gummy, or “slimy-er”. I could see why some people like that better, but I actually really hated it like this, so I went back to drinking it before the fridge.
We have a Nutribullet, which I had never tried. I gave it a go, with 4 scoops and 16oz of water. WOW. It was a whole world of difference than shaking. In fact, it was downright tasty.
How I make my Huel now: I made this process as efficient as possible: I keep a shaker with the water level I need for 4 scoops in the fridge chilled at all times. I pour the water into the Nutribullet container, add my 4 scoops of powder, and a small pour of honey. Put 3 ice cubes on top, and blend with the Nutribullet. It takes about 30 seconds for the whole thing, then I wash off the blender’s blade-base with hot water (that’s all that’s needed to clean it), and drink the huel directly from the nutribullet shaker. I refill my water bottle to proper level, place it in the fridge to chill, and was the nutribullet “cup” when I’m done with hot water. The result? I get a full meal, with 30 seconds of prep and 30 seconds of cleanup, every morning for $2.
Side effects from 5 days to 3 weeks:
The first 5 days, I replaced only breakfast with Huel. My stomach felt a little nauseous during these days, and the poops were not good. I was worried if I was going to get over this period, or if I had made a mistake dropping $56 on two big bags of bogus powder.
At around 6 days, the stomach issues went away. I started to have Huel for breakfast and lunch. 4 scoops morning, 3 scoops midday. It really does fill you up. I rarely felt hungry during the day or at night. My stomach got better, but that’s when the farts started. Oh god, they’re bad. They’re easy to pass, but the smell is truly horrendous. It smells like bad eggs and peas… My girlfriend couldn’t believe how often I was farting and how bad it smelled. This is by far the worst side effect.
After a week, I was doing Huel for breakfast and lunch every day, eating normal dinners. On days I was super busy, I would have Huel for dinner, too. My energy levels were fantastic. My skin cleared up (from the absence of sugar in my diet) and my mornings got really easy to handle. So much extra time before work!
Huel became my routine. I work from home, and having lunch and breakfast already prepared (as in, no need to wonder about what I was going to eat) was saving me time and money for sure. My pantry has mostly stayed the same. In the month since I’ve moved here, I’ve only needed to shop once because of Huel, and I only shopped for dinners. Since I’m eating so cheap and healthy during the day ($4 of Huel per day? yes please!) I was BALLING OUT on nice dinners; making pasta, going out to eat, buying more beer, etc.
This last week, my body has literally been craving Huel. I don’t look at normal meals the same. I haven’t felt this good in years… I wake up and head to the kitchen to make Huel as if I was addicted to coffee (which I don’t drink at all). When I’m hungry for a snack, I just blend up a scoop and a half of huel in the Nutribullet mini mixing cup, and it fills me up until the next meal. I love the taste, I don’t mind drinking it at all, and I feel fantastic.
Thanks for reading. I’ve summarized below for those that think this was Too Long, and Didn’t Read.
- Huel wasn’t super easy at the beginning, but cold water/ice and a blender (specifically the Nutribullet) helped immensely. The preparation and cleanup for Huel is ridiculously fast, especially with this method.
- I feel amazing. I am seriously addicted to the stuff, and it’s changed my life and my outlook on food and nutrition. My skin is clearer, my energy levels are good, and my mind’s at rest knowing I’m getting better nutrients this way than if I were to try with conventional food on my own.
- The farts are god awful. I hope they stop, but I definitely don’t care enough to quit. Just know… they’ll be there!
- As a skeptical man of science, I would usually never believe in something like Huel. After doing the research and experiencing it myself, I fully believe Huel will become commonplace in the future of food. I’m glad I’m getting on this train early.
Let me know if you have any questions!