Evolving Wellness

Holistic, Natural, and Green Approach to Optimal Wellness

Review: Living Fuel Superfood Whole Meal Shakes

I am sure it does not come as a surprise to you that the average person today leads a very packed and fast-paced lifestyle. Too many of us seem to be scrambling for time and hence the era of convenience has became a staple of life for most. Alongside, technology advances have allowed for amazing feats not just in the technical sectors of society but also in the health, medical and food sectors. The time in history has come where a whole meal can be found in a small bar or scoop of powder. In fact we hear a lot about complete meal shakes, diet shakes, or protein shakes that we can grab on the run and conveniently consume to fulfill whatever dietary needs we are trying to fill. But are these products worthy of entering your body? Are they healthy? Are they worth their costs?

While I cannot speak for all the nutritional powdered shakes on the market today, I can tell you that the majority of them are nothing more than processed food that is full of various undesirable ingredients. However, there do exist a few powdered shakes that claim to be committed to optimal purity, health and whole food ingredients, and whose nutritional qualities are as impressive as is their taste. One company who appears to fit this profile is Living Fuel.

Living Fuel is a company started by K.C. Craichy in Florida in 2002. Inspired by his wife’s health issues and his personal health journey, K.C. formulated a product that would serve as a complete meal, but of the highest nutritional quality. Living Fuel’s mission is “to change lives by revealing the truth and providing leading-edge, high-impact superfood nutrition.” What I like most about their approach is that the company does share quite excellent nutritional recommendations, that to a large degree mirror my teaching for what to eat for optimal health, and they also use optimal nutrition guidelines in the products they create. What I don’t like, is that they tell people that it is “virtually impossible to get all essential nutrients from real food alone”, as one cannot help but see through this as a convenient marketing tactic for needing their product.

Their signature product is the whole meal Living Fuel line of shakes. These include 4 varieties:

  1. Living Fuel SuperBerry Original
  2. Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate
  3. Living Fuel SueprGreens
  4. Living Fuel Living Protein

Aside from the shakes, Living Fuel also produces CocoChia snack bars, CocoChia snack mix, an amino acid supplement, an omega-3 supplement, coffee supplement and their own sweetener, TheraSweet. In this review I will share with you information about, and my experience with the 4 shakes. To test these products out, I did my very own 12 Day Living Fuel Challenge, which I invite you to read along with this review for a complete picture about the product.

Living Fuel Ingredients & Nutritional Information

What is most unique and impressive about the Living Fuel shakes are both all the things they contain, and all the things they don’t. This is why I use the word impressive, as I have not come across a more thoroughly created powdered shake, whole meal product to date. Living Fuel is made from all natural, organic, wildcrafted, plant ingredients. It packs a powerful nutritional profile of superfoods, enzymes, probiotics, amino acids, herbs, antioxidants and every major vitamin and mineral in sufficiently high doses. Within those is a high amount of complete protein (over 20g per serving in each variety), healthy fats and carbohydrates. This is why it is worthy of being called a whole meal replacement, as it provides one with everything one could possibly want in a meal to go or a supplement.

Amidst the beneficial properties it has, it does not contain any dairy, eggs, whey, soy, wheat, yeast, nuts, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors, GMOs, irradiated ingredients, pesticides, herbicides, added sugar, maltodextrin, preservatives, or fillers. It has an outstanding ORAC value (specifically for the berry varieties), is considered a raw food product, is alkaline forming, made of nutrients in highly absorbable forms, is low-glycemic and hypo-allergenic. Living Fuel boasts also the following health benefits associated with its product: energy enhancing, endurance enhancing, immune boosting, weight loss promoting, anti-aging, supports physical activity, strength building, and improves overall health.

When it came to picking it apart from a nutritional perspective, there really isn’t anything to pick on. The creators of Living Fuel have truly it seems, thought of “everything” to make this a high quality product from an optimal nutrition perspective. The only question to ask really, is whether what is claimed, is really inside the package and delivered to our bodies. And for this, there is no easy answer. While scientific studies can help, which products like this don’t always have due to costs, resources or other reasons, it comes down to a certain level of trust in the company, their reputation, and testimonials, etc. In the case of Living Fuel, its ORAC value was tested by the independent Brunswick Labs, and the company discloses that others have tested the products as well. The product is also supported by various publicly known athletes and by natural health expert Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com.

As there is too much to list when it comes to specific ingredients, nutrition values and benefits, you can view the entire, detailed product labels below, for each variety:

  1. Living Fuel SuperBerry Original
    provides over 120 grams of whole, organic berries

  2. Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate
    concentrated source of nutrients, with an ORAC value of 119,200+

  3. Living Fuel SueprGreens
    enriched with valuable veggie greens, wheat grass and spirulina

  4. Living Fuel Living Protein
    whey and soy free, excellent all plant, complete protein powder

In terms of taste, the products for the most part exceeded my expectations. The SuperBerry is perhaps the most wonderful one, as it has a rich, but not overpowering berry flavor. The SuperBerry Ultimate is equally good, but I found it to be a bit stronger in flavor, both on the berry and sweetness side. Both berry varieties taste great on their own with water, or with various added fruits as part of smoothies. The SuperGreens was an interesting one, as on its own with water, it was really unpleasant. Even for my real-vegetable-optimized-tastebuds, it was hard to swallow. However, when blended with a banana, it tasted fantastic. I suspect it would do great with other fruits as well. Finally the Living Protein on its own with water tasted very close to soy milk – bland and rather tasteless, but not unpleasantly so. Blended with other fruits, it also tasted fantastic, as its, what seemed like, vanilla tones got brought out to complement the fruit.

In terms of texture, the product comes in powder form meant to be mixed with water or blended into a fruit and/or vegetable smoothie. The pleasantness of the texture all depends on whether it is mixed using a blender, or simply shaken in a blender cup, like the LF Blender Bottle. As you can read in my 12 Day Living Fuel Challenge, when I mixed the product (1/2 or 1 full serving) in my Vitamix blender, the consistency and texture was outstanding. One could barely make out the very fine powder feel to it. However, when I mixed it by simply shaking it with water in the LF Blender Bottle, the texture was very unpleasant for each of the shakes, except the Living Protein. The main reason is that the former three include chia seeds, which do not dissolve in water, instead get slimy in water. So one is left with them in a slimy form, as well as some other gritty particles which do not dissolve, making for an unpleasant drinking experience, especially the last few sips.

In terms of use, the product is definitely very easy to use and can supply a whole meal within minutes. To benefit from a complete meal, one uses 2 scoops, which equates to one serving. However, many of us may choose instead to use this as a supplement, instead of complete meal replacement. This can be a very smart way to go, as it eliminates the numerous bottles of vitamins and supplements, most of which for the average person come from completely synthetic and unhealthy sources. So it is best used as a meal replacement at any time of the day, a pre- or post-workout meal, a protein source in your diet, or a supplement. To be used as a supplement, one would use 1/2 to 1 scoop of the powder. The product claim is that it can satisfy hunger for 3 to 6 hours depending on activity level. However, during my 12 Day Challenge, with low physical, but high mental activity level, I found I was able to just get to 3 hours by which time hunger kicked in strong. I used it as a breakfast option and would probably have been able to go further in satiety had it been a lunch or dinner option.

In terms of price, these are not cheap products, aside from the Living Protein. When compared however to others on the market and given the quality of ingredients, I imagine the price is justifiable. Each variety is a different price, as follows:

  1. Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate – $97.97 US ($8.16 per serving)
  2. Living Fuel SuperBerry Original – $77.97 US ($6.50 per serving)
  3. Living Fuel SueprGreens – $74.97 US ($5.36 per serving)
  4. Living Fuel Living Protein – $37.97 US ($1.90 per serving)

Living Fuel Use Recommendations

Given the excellent qualities of the Living Fuel products, the question now is, should we all be using these and drinking them? The answer is, no. While the product is as I said earlier, perhaps the best on the market, we have to put things into perspective and not forget that as fantastic as it is, it is not actual, real food. Yes, it is made from real food, but in and of itself it isn’t a food one would readily find in nature in such a form. I know that today we feel the more nutrients we get the better, but I am not entirely sold on this paradigm. I like to follow nature’s approach and not overdo anything or consume things outside of their natural forms. This is why I recommend making real food the first choice always, and relying on these types of products as secondary or supplement choices.

For me personally, I don’t lead a busy lifestyle that prevents me from making wholesome meals and snacks daily from the highest quality, natural ingredients. So I prioritize that in my life, and reap the benefits of feeling great everyday. Also, not being engaged in any strenuous physical activity, or having any health issues, allergies, energy imbalances, or weight to lose I don’t feel there is a good enough reason for me to justify using this product, or its cost. Plus, I just love the taste and texture of real food too much. But if I was traveling where wholesome, natural food would be compromised, I would definitely consider this product.

So while the product may not be the best choice for someone like me, I do recognize that it has a huge potential in being a valuable source of nutrients for many people today, specifically:

  • athletes or heavily training gym go-ers
  • people who are often on the go, or too busy to eat properly
  • people who want to use this product as a nutritional supplement (instead of the synthetic multivitamins and similar products on the market today)
  • people who need help with weight loss
  • people who are addicted to coffee or suffer energy imbalances
  • people with multiple food allergies or intolerances
  • kids who are picky eaters and are not getting enough nutrition from real food
  • the elderly, or anyone who has trouble ingesting or digesting whole food
  • anyone who gets any kind of oral or other surgery, and must be on liquid food only

For maximum benefits all around, all it takes is for us to be smart about when and how to use products like these. As I always teach, we should make an effort first and foremost to go for real, high quality, wholesome food, and then for any additional supplement forms as needed.

Packaging

The powdered shakes come in large cardboard, foil-lined tins, with plastic lids, which can be recycled or reused when product is all finished. There is one size of about 900 grams each.

Price (as of this posting based on US site)

  • Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate – $97.97 US ($8.16 per serving)
  • Living Fuel SuperBerry Original – $77.97 US ($6.50 per serving)
  • Living Fuel SueprGreens – $74.97 US ($5.36 per serving)
  • Living Fuel Living Protein – $37.97 US ($1.90 per serving)

Can be Ordered From:

Availability

  • Not widely available currently at any health food stores
  • Can be ordered directly from company, using the links in Price section above

The Good

  • Made from natural, whole food ingredients
  • Organic ingredients
  • Wildcrafted ingredients
  • Raw ingredients
  • Alkaline forming
  • Nutritionally beneficial ingredients
  • Health promoting ingredients
  • Vegan & Vegetarian friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Egg-free
  • Wheat-free
  • Allergen-free
  • Complete protein
  • High ORAC values
  • Includes Probiotics
  • Includes omega-3 fatty acids
  • Includes digestive enzymes
  • No refined sugars
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial colors
  • GMO free
  • Pesticide- and Herbicide-free
  • Convenient to use
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to digest
  • Great tasting

The Bad

  • Unpleasant texture when mixed with water in shaker cup (without using a blender)
  • Is a pricey product
Published Feb 22nd 2012
Updated Mar 6th 2014
Evita Ochel
Author Evita Ochel
Evita is a consciousness expansion teacher. Her diverse passions and expertise include being a writer, speaker, holistic nutritionist, web TV host, and author of the book Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition. Her health oriented teaching focuses on natural, whole, plant-based and organic nutrition for optimal health and longevity. Her spiritually oriented teaching focuses on consciousness expansion and heart-centered living for optimal joy and inner peace. Evita is also the creator of several online publications: Evolving Beings, Evolving Wellness, Evolving Channels and Evolving Scenes, as well as Healthytarian—a lifestyle for the well-being of the mind, body and spirit.

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