When it comes to my passions for nutrition, natural health and green living, one of the things I love to do is learn about new products. Through this I bring value into my own life and hope to bring value to your life, by sharing about them with you.

While I am always on the look out for optimally healthy products, I also find value in dispelling myths and clearing up misinformation when it comes to products today that are marketed as healthy, green or natural. In the end, we learn and expand our awareness to make the best decisions for our body and health.

Thanks to a health conscious friend, I was recently introduced to a highly recommended product that was new to me, called Living Fuel. Living Fuel is a company that was started by K.C. Craichy—founder and CEO of Living Fuel and author of several books. It is a company based in the US, with products also distributed in Canada and Europe. It is not an MLM company. Living Fuel’s tag line is “The leader in superfood nutrition” and the company’s main emphasis is on whole food meal replacement or supplement shakes. Their proprietary formula is called Living Fuel, as it is formulated to literally give one everything they would need and want in terms of nutrients, in one convenient product.

The whole meal shakes include every vitamin and mineral, plus a rich assortment of antioxidants, herbs, amino acids, probiotics, enzymes and of course superfoods, all derived from real foods, raw and alkaline forming! They are a complete protein source, boasting around 25 grams per serving, and provide essential fatty acids as well. The ingredient list is truly impressive and what is equally impressive is not only what the formula contains, but also what it does not contain. It is free of GMOs, irradiated ingredients, pesticides, herbicides, added sugar, soy protein, whey, wheat, gluten, yeast, milk, eggs, nuts, maltodextrin, preservatives, fillers hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors. For more details, please read my review of Living Fuel.

However, as “powdered shakes” go, since my interests blossomed in optimal health a few years ago, I have always been wary of “powdered” food products. The markets are infiltrated today with every type of shake claiming to be “the one” to give us all the nutrition we need and then some, to help us lose weight, give us an athletic edge, provide a cleanse, improve our energy, memory and everything in between. And so I have to admit, I was a little skeptical as to how this one would be different, or even valuable. To date, aside from Vega whole meal shakes (which are not necessarily perfect themselves), I have not been impressed by the slew of powdered foods marketed to us as some magical nutritional solution. Most have ingredients that are problematic and far from healthy. Yes, there are many that sound amazing and possibly are, but at the end of the day they technically are a type of processed food. So to get the most benefits from them, we have to know how to use them, if at all, and which ones.

So how would Living Fuel perform and rank? I decided to look into it and try it myself to be better informed about this product. To begin with, shy of reading K.C. Craichy’s book – The Super Health Diet (something I am saving for a future time), I read lots of information about it. I did not want to put anything in my body that I did not feel 100% comfortable about and all the information about it I found was favorable. It is endorsed and also highly recommended by health and nutrition expert, Mike Adams of Natural News, as well as various top athletes.

The Challenge Begins

And so I decided to try Living Fuel for myself. I expressed interest to the company and they were nice enough to send me some samples. To give this product as thorough and fair try as possible, I wanted to make sure that I try it in as many possible ways as it would be normally used, so that I can share lots of valuable information with you all about the different experiences. On the Living Fuel website they have a 7 Day Challenge to Vibrant Health. I was going to try the product this way, but the set up of their challenge was not really appealing to me, so I decided to make my own.

To give the product a fair try, I embarked on a personally created 12 day Living Fuel challenge. The rules were very simple. Every morning, instead of my usual green smoothie for breakfast, I would have a Living Fuel shake as a whole meal. I then kept a record of that day’s particular combination, taste, texture, number of hours until hunger and overall health feeling. 12 days seemed reasonable to give it a fair try and have experience with the product in various combinations. To make this challenge even more fun, I got my husband to participate as well, so that I could get a first hand, second opinion about the product. We both eat identical (only whole, natural, plant food that is home prepared) and have very similar daily routines, energy expenditure, etc. Here is how it went in terms of our overall experience:

Day 1

  • 1 scoop (1/2) serving of Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 12 oz of water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: surprisingly very good, natural, rich berry tasting
Texture: very fine barely detectable powder
Time to Hunger: me = just under 2 hours, Markus = just over 1 hour

Comments: I took the advice of the Craichy family after watching their Living Fuel challenge video of starting with a half portion. I have no doubt there is no problem in starting with a whole serving, but we started with their advice nonetheless. We both really liked the taste and texture of this variety. And while this is not a big deal coming from me, it is a big deal coming from Markus. He is not a fan of any powdered shakes, and that is putting it mildly, so for him to like both the taste and texture was very impressive!

Day 2, 3, 4, 5

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) of Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate
  • 1 banana
  • 12 oz water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: outstanding, very delicious, rich natural banana-berry flavor
Texture: very fine powder, barely detectable
Time to hunger: both of us 2 – 3 hours

Comments: From day 2 through 5, we went for a full serving and accompanied it with a banana. We found the flavor with the banana very delicious! Because we liked it so much, we continued it this way for the 4 days. From a texture point, there was no extra powder detected even though it was full serving. It was very smooth and pleasant to drink. And although we both went 3 hours without hunger for the first couple of days, by day 5 we were getting hungry shortly after 2 hours, and finding the shake a tad on the too sweet side. Perhaps a fluke in our personal body chemistry, or perhaps some adaptation of the body. Health wise, we both have excellent and even energy levels from morning through to the night, and feel great overall, so no changes noted there. We also have excellent intestine and elimination health, but after about the second day of the challenge, we both noticed a slight, but “not-for-the-better” change when it came to regular elimination. Since the product has 10 grams of fiber, which isn’t that much less than a typical smoothie we would have, I suspect it may have had something to do with our intestines getting used to the different probiotics present in the shake perhaps. I found this odd nonetheless.

Day 6

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) of Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate
  • in a small amount of a green smoothie (kale, banana, pineapple)
  • water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: excellent, the berry is very overpowering so it was all that was evident
Texture: excellent
Time to hunger: both of us 2.5 hours

Comments: We were still enjoying the taste and texture, but by this day Markus was ready to go back to our green smoothies.

Day 7

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) Living Fuel SuperGreens
  • 12oz water
  • Mixed in the LF Blender Bottle

Taste: very unpleasant
Texture: very unpleasant
Time to hunger: 2 hours

Comments: On day 7 we really changed things up, as I was eager to try the SuperGreens, and decided to try it the way one realistically would on the go – with water only, in the blender bottle. Markus took one sip and refused to drink anymore. I finished the whole thing, but only because I did not want it to go to waste. The taste wasn’t horrible, but really unpleasant. When it came to the texture, it was not even so much that it was powdery, but the shake has whole chia seeds which really threw off the whole experience. I love the chia seed nutrition, but it is by far not the best of choices to put in a shake like this, as they do not dissolve, but rather swell up and get slimy within seconds. One could just swallow the shake down, but the natural instinct is to chew. The final sips were the worst as there were lots of slimy seeds and gritty particles to chew through. I ended up making Markus the SuperBerry Ultimate like the previous day in our blender.

Day 8

  • 1 scoop (1/2 serving) Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate
  • some fresh papaya and pineapple
  • water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: nice, not as sweet, more filling in nature
Texture: pleasant and smooth
Time to hunger: 3 hours

Comment: We decided to take it a little easier today with only half a serving, and a different variety of fruits. The SuperBerry Ultimate did great with this fruit combination too, and was less sweet which at this point was our preference.

Day 9:

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) of Living Fuel SuperBerry Ultimate
  • 1/8th fresh pineapple
  • water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: very nice, less sweet than banana, more tangy
Texture: similar to others, barely detectable powder
Time to Hunger: 3 hours

Comments: Markus did not really enjoy the berry-pineapple combination as much as I did, and was really ready to call it quits with the challenge.

Day 10

Me:

  • 2 Scoops (1 serving) Living Fuel Living Protein
  • 12oz water
  • Mixed in the LF Blender Bottle

Taste: delicate taste, like soy milk
Texture: pleasant to drink, uniform, almost all powder dissolved
Time to Hunger: almost 3 hours

Markus:

  • 2 Scoops (1 serving) Living Fuel Living Protein
  • 1 banana
  • 12oz water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: Richer taste, more pleasant than mine thanks to banana
Texture: More uniform, and barely noticeable powder
Time to Hunger: almost 3 hours

Comments: On this day we changed things up yet again, to this time try the Living Protein. I had it the way one would realistically on the go (with no fruits and in the blender bottle) and Markus had it in a manner that would be possible if one is at home. The Living Protein powder smells like vanilla, but after being mixed with water, tastes almost like soy milk. It has a mild taste, which I found to be palatable—neither delicious, nor unpleasant. It blends very well in the blender bottle (no chia seeds, no gritty particles) and I can see realistically drinking this in this manner on the go and not being turned off.

Day 11

Me:

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) Living Fuel SuperBerry
  • 12oz water
  • Mixed in the LF Blender Bottle

Taste: Great taste
Texture: unpleasant (chia seeds, leftover gritty particles and powder)
Time to Hunger: under 3 hours

Markus:

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) Living Fuel SuperBerry Original
  • 1 banana
  • 12oz water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: Excellent
Texture: Excellent
Time to Hunger: 2.5 hours

Comments: On this day we tried the last variety, the SuperBerry Original. Again I tried in the blender bottle, with no additions as if one was on the go, and Markus had his blended with a fruit. This was his most favorite out them all, because the taste was not too strong on sweetness or any berry flavor. By now we realized that the texture of the 3 varieties (not counting the Living Protein) is outstanding and very palatable, but only when the product is mixed in the blender (in our case the industrially powerful Vitamix which pulverizes even the tiny chia seeds.)

Day 12

Me:

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) Living Fuel SuperBerry
  • 12oz water
  • 1 packet of Cocochia
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: Good and pleasant, noticeable coconut with berry flavor
Texture: Good, a little thicker due to the Cocochia Time to Hunger: 3 hours

Markus:

  • 2 scoops (1 serving) Living Fuel SuperGreens
  • 1 banana
  • 12oz water
  • Mixed in Vitamix blender

Taste: Very nice and palatable
Texture: Great, barely noticeable powder
Time to Hunger: just under 3 hours

Comments: This was our last day of the challenge. I enjoyed my final shake, although I did not notice an increased satiety too much compared to the other days even though it had the extra coconut and chia seeds. I tried Markus’, which was really good too, and we both agreed that this was perhaps the most pleasant way to drink the SuperGreens variety – blended properly and with some other fruits, specifically bananas. In the end, there were no noticeable changes in our health for the better, and we felt as good as we did when we started, aside from the minor digestive change during the first week. And while we were happy that the challenge was over and we get to go back to real food, for the most part we enjoyed the experience.

Closing Summary

I definitely learned several valuable things about this product thanks to our challenge. For starters, the product has a great taste in most cases, and when used in a mechanical blender, it has an excellent smooth texture. Each of the four varieties will suit different tastebuds and can be mixed in a variety of ways with other fruits to make them a delight to consume. For a typical person who has a “sitting job” the whole meal shake should easily curb hunger for up to 3 hours. The Living Fuel claim is that these can curb hunger for 3 to 6 hours, although I cannot really see that happening.

In terms of use, while it is not the best product for our needs given our 100% natural, whole, plant food and homemade diet, I can see the value of this product for many people in our society. The nutrition this product provides is the best I have seen to date in a powdered whole meal shake. It can definitely add benefit to the following groups of people:

  • those on the go, or too busy for proper meals
  • those very active and athletic
  • the elderly
  • anyone with digestive issues
  • those with many allergies or food sensitivities
  • picky kids who refuse to eat their fruits and vegetables, etc.
  • those who would instead rely on fast or processed food
  • during travel
  • those who simply want to use this product as a supplement (as opposed to meal replacement) instead of the synthetic multivitamins and similar products on the market today

For more information about this product in terms of pricing and availability, I invite you to read my review of Living Fuel shakes.