Gluten Free Food Reviews

Honest reviews of gluten free products for a tastier life

Product Review: Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer: Berry flavor

Posted on | June 29, 2009 | 25 Comments

This must be an acquired taste. That, or something is seriously wrong with my taste buds.
Vega, otherwise known as Sequel Naturals, sent me this sample pack of this all-in-one, plant based formula that offers an:
“excellent source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. provides 50% recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Contains Omega 3 % 6 EFA’s, enzymes, probiotics & phytonutrients. Free from common allergens, alkaline formula and easy to digest”
( taken from the packaging; Click here for the nutritional info from their website.)
Sounds pretty great, huh?
I mixed up this optimizer according to the package directions. I emptied the thick, green powder into an 8 ounce glass and stirred. I could smell a hint of berries  and marveled that there was so much powder to mix in. I used a whisk, but it still seemed a bit thick and grainy and looked like split pea soup. I let it sit for a few minutes while I snapped a photo, and then took a sip.
I immediately spit it back out and rushed for my husband’s Mountain Dew stash to get the taste out of my mouth. It was absolutely unpalatable. I honestly can’t tell you what the flavor is that I found so awful, and I can’t tell you if the drink helped my energy because it was never digested.  Shocked at how bad I thought it tasted, I perused some vegan reviews on a few other websites, and all but one person raved over it, claiming it tasted so good. Seriously? Are my taste buds that “off?”
If I were try this again, I would probably mix small amounts into a glass of juice or in a smoothie to dampen the strong scent and flavor and still get some of the health benefits.
Readers, if you have tried this, will you please share your experience? If you like it, how do you prepare it? If you don’t, please share why.
***********************
Ingredients: organic hemp protein, yellow pea protein, organic brown rice protein, whole flax seed, chicory root, organic gelatinized maca root, high CGF cracked cell chlorella, omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, protease 1 & 11, amalyse, lipase, cellulase, wild blueberry, blueberry, black raspberry, cherry, marion berry, blackberry, L. acidophilius, B. Bifidum, natural berry flavor, xanthan gum, stevia leaf.


Comments

25 Responses to “Product Review: Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer: Berry flavor”

  1. Michelle
    June 30th, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

    I have tried this, in fact it is in my cupboard as we speak. I have made it according to the directions and it is awful…grainy, disgusting, gritty, and almost “off” tasting. It is, however, by the TABLESPOON, good in my morning smoothie. This is where I can taste the berry goodness – but I have it mixed in with blueberries, fresh squeezed orange juice, and some brown rice protein powder. I could never stomach it on its own!

  2. Karen
    June 30th, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

    Thanks Michelle, those are great suggestions! It sounds like very small quantities is the key.

  3. Laurel
    July 3rd, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

    Michelle:

    I just read through your flour mix reviews. The only one I’ve tried so far is Bob’s Red Mill and to say I the HATE garbanzo bean is a real understatement. I’ve been looking at the Better Batter Flour web site for about a year now and it seems as if it would make a good substitute for AP flour. I’ve been mixing my own, and up until have probably tried a dozen different variations including coconut, millet, teff, buckwheat and mesquite flours not to mention the more normal sorghum and rice flours. I’m about ready to give up. They are such a pain. I have tried Pamela’s mixes and not been overly impressed either. The other reason I’d like you to try Better Batter is that unlike Nearly Normal it does not contain corn and it has the binder included. You can apparently buy it on the East Coast, in Pennsylvania; so try it. I just don’t want to spend a mint shipping it to Texas if it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe they’ll even give you some to review on your blog. One can only hope. Enjoy the vacation!

  4. Melanie
    July 31st, 2009 @ 12:33 am

    Hey just tried it as a sample the first time and I thought it was good. However, I started with mixing a banana with it and water. Then after realizing it needed a little more I added some organic, no sugar added apple juice.
    This past year I have started getting “healthy” and figured just by looking at it that it would probably need a little “help”.
    Try it with a banana (I only used 1/2 of a banana and barely any apple juice. If I decide to buy I will use an entire banana until I get used to the taste and probably only mix it with apple juice.)

    I may have to try a little plain just to imagine how you must have felt, LOL.

    Melanie

  5. Tomeca
    August 1st, 2009 @ 2:03 am

    Try the Vanilla Chai flavor, I love it! I have not tried the berry flavor yet. After now having read the reviews I am glad I tried the vanilla chai first.

  6. Annie
    August 3rd, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    Hi – I’ve been drinking this daily for quite some time. I don’t like the berry but love the vanilla chai and the chocolate. I use it full strength (2 scoops) either with water or almond milk in a large “blender bottle” I got from Whole Foods. This is a real food so it will settle to the bottom and yes, is somewhat grainy. I also sometimes add fruit which makes it even better. I guess as vegan, my tastes have been adjusted since the days of eating junk so to me this just tastes healthy and delicious. I believe 1000% in the quality of this stuff.

  7. Karen
    August 4th, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

    Makes me wish I had sampled a different flavor! I enjoy healthy food and flavors just as much as the next person, but the berry was more than I could stomach. If I can get my courage up, I will try the other flavors as well.

  8. Karen
    August 4th, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

    Another vote for vanilla, maybe I will have to give it a go!

  9. lis
    August 7th, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

    I mixed this with some milk, ice, and a banana and it wasn’t too bad. I also let it sit for a long time (on the way to work) and it got less grainy. It’s not the best flavor ever, but the results of it are worth ingesting the weird flavor, which is made more weird by the stevia in it. I tried the chocolate today. It lacked the icky stevia, but was about the same level of “good”.. not great, but worth the lack of awesome taste for the after effects :) I want to go buy a big jar despite the price. I will have to try to vanilla chai.

  10. Millie Wood
    May 11th, 2010 @ 10:53 am

    i used Stevia extract as a sugar substitute because i am diabetic. Stevia is really sweeter than sucrose.”.

  11. Lewis Robinson
    August 19th, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    we have a small stevia garden at home and the dried leaves are very very sweet;:.

  12. Jeanie
    March 29th, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    I know I am a little late at responding to this post and by now you probably have figured out the best way to drink it, but I just love the Vanilla Chai the most and I mix with fruit and a little stevia and 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/2 water. Of course I have been eating cardboard for the last year so this was quite pleasant!!! I was not a fan of the berry or chocolate.

  13. cyndi leao
    April 27th, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    i love this what you people arent understanding is that u can mix it with any juice that you like not just water..i drink this stuff all day its great….

  14. whitenebula
    May 25th, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    I actually just came across this posting while I was searching for more details about this product, as I tried a packet of the berry flavored powder mixed in water and loved it. I think my taste buds might also be biased towards healthy foods, though, as my diet is almost entirely whole, natural foods. I just wanted to find out how many servings come in the largest container, but now that I read the comments, I think I’ll try some of the vanilla chai before I make up my mind on which to buy.

  15. whitenebula
    May 25th, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

    Update: I tried the vanilla chai flavor today, and I definitely prefer the berry.

  16. Naasha
    July 8th, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    I am currently trying the Berry flavor and I mix it with Aquafina Flavor Splash water, grape flavored. Delicious.

  17. Judy
    September 5th, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    The vanilla is the best, but the berry one is not too bad. I like berry blended with fruit and water or juice and the vanilla with coconut milk and a banana. For the coconut milk I take a can of the milk and add a second can of water a tablespoon or two of your favourate sweetner (I like honey or maple). Shake and then you have a milk alternative. I think this vega product needs some experimentation though to sort out some best ways to drink it!

  18. Judy
    September 5th, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    One more thing I should say is that I definitely noticed some benefits of the product only after a few days of taking it. Definitely felt more energetic and my boyfriend started to look yummy too! ;-)

  19. Burton
    September 12th, 2011 @ 4:50 am

    would choose to thanks for the work you have made in writing this post. I’m hoping the same best work from you later on as well. Actually your creative writing skills has motivated me to begin my personal weblog now.

  20. anna lee
    September 30th, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    My daughter & I both tried it today… she used 1 1/2 scoops and I used 1 scoop.. both with water, frozen blueberries & banana.. we both had the runs, and she had gas… anyone else have this problem?

  21. tan
    December 23rd, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    the green tint & the taste and aftertaste is from the chlorella. try drinking chlorella itself with water, and you’ll instantly know why the product tastes the way it does

  22. Jessica
    January 1st, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    Hey, I just bought the product because it was recommended by my allergist. I have to go on a three day detox and she said this product will give me the right amount of nutrition and it has a good taste. I bought the chai because I love drinking chai and was sad about giving it up. Anyway, its really grainy and the after taste gives me the same reaction as taking a shot of hard liquor. If I ever want to be healthy I have to stick to this really strict agenda. Can anyone offer some much needed advice as to how to make this taste better and less grainy? Thank you! :)

  23. jen
    January 13th, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    I have been using the Natural flavor for almost two weeks now. I love how this product makes me feel. May cravings are gone, I am losing weight and all the issues I have had with digestion are gone too (had my gallbladder out two years ago).

    I mix 1 scoop of the Natural flavor with 4oz of Naked Blue Machine (sugar free), 4oz water and one small banana for breakfast and dinner.

    Give this stuff another try…I am so glad that I did.

  24. christine
    April 6th, 2012 @ 7:34 am

    I have been using the vanilla chai for 2 weeks now and I love it! I tired the berry flavor with water first and it was awful. I use 1 cup of unsweetend vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla chai, 1 banana and ice in a blender and mix well. I found the cheapest place to buy is iherb.com. In the evening for dinner, post workout I use the almond milk, chobani plain yogurt, 1 scoop vanilla chai and ice. Somethimes I add blueberries or strawberries. I starting eating Vegan about 2 years ago, but have added back the chobani once a day and some fish. I just was not getting enough protein.

  25. diana mclean
    June 4th, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    I have taken sequel plain whole health food optimizer for two years. I LOVE it. I mix one heaping scoop with vanilla almond milk and shake it. I don’t mind if it is lumpy. My cousin mixes with a hand blender and with all kinds of berries and almond butter. I don’t need all those calories. I don’t care for the chai flavor just the green one which is the plain one. On days I want it sweeter, I put two small pks of stevia in it.

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