Complete vegan meal replacement ?

Harry7171

Newcomer
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Reaction score
3
Age
27
Location
London
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
Hi,

I've been thinking about trying vegan meal replacements for a while because I'm always super busy - has anyone tried any of the big brands and got any recommendations?

Thanks for your help ;)

Ps: I'm a newbie and it's my first thread (hope I'm posting in the right section)
 
  • Like
Reactions: KLS52

Lou

Master
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
7,027
Age
65
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
The word meal replacement has a lot of meanings. I sometimes skip meals so I tend to have some stuff in my house to make up for it.

I think the most often used meaning for meal replacement is a canned liquid shake. or some of the powders that you mix up with water or milk. I don't know if any of the canned stuff is vegan but I stopped getting that stuff years ago. First off they are expensive. Second, most of them are loaded with sugar and chemicals. However, for real emergencies I would go with Soylent. One of my friends keeps a case in his trunk. He worries about a real emergency (like an earthquake) and this is so he won't starve. It is definitely not Every Day Food (despite what they claim) but it is a very good emergency ration. I haven't tried Huel but it has gotten some good press.

Staying in the liquid shake category, I'm a big proponent of the DIY genre. If you have a big blender you can just whip up 4 servings at once. Separate them into tumblers and stick them in the freezer. I always keep one in the frig. But if you run out of defrosted ones you can still take a frozen with you for later. they defrost pretty quick. You can even throw a frozen one in your bag in the morning and have it for an after workout snack. Or if you have to work late - for dinner.

I don't have a big blender anymore but i still have a little one. I just learned this trick last month and I love it. Put the fixings for one smoothie in a zip lock bag, either with or without the milk, and stick it in the freezer. then when you need one just blend it up. Almost every smoothie can be made vegan by using plant milk.

I rarely add protein powder to my smoothies because I think they pretty much ruin it but you can do that if you want. We have a few threads here on protein powder if you are interested.

I think Soylent and Huel both make bars that you can just keep in your bag or glove box. A good thing to do with bars is buy a box online and then just stash them.

If you are at a 7-11, I'm pretty sure most of the Builder Bars that are 20 g protein are vegan.

The other option is to just make your own. One afternoon of baking can produce something like 30 homemade "energy-bars" or 60 energy balls. At least a month's worth.

Maybe the best strategy is to plan ahead and make some meals that can be made in bulk and frozen, reheated and eaten on the go.

PB&J sandwiches are really cheap, easy and fast.I like to make a whole loaf's worth and freeze them right in the bag the bread came out of. They defrost pretty fast and if you slice them in half they can be eaten with one hand.

I also like to make burritos about once a month and freeze ten. I put one each in a zip lock bag and then just re-use the bags. They nuke up in like 2 minutes and then if you don't make them very big you can eat them one-handed.

- https://soylent.com/?utm_source=goo...w6yBIk12r6cYJj7nQYrtjUNj2KphiJ-YaApqFEALw_wcB

- https://www.pinterest.com/nikeshaspencer/meal-replacement-smoothies/

- https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/the-6-best-vegan-protein-bars/
 
Last edited:

Emma JC

Senior
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Reaction score
3,588
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
If by replacements you mean meat replacement, my favorites are Gardein, Fieldroast sausages, Ikea veggie balls and other than those I try to keep it as whole food as I can.

Emma JC
 

KLS52

Guru
Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Reaction score
27,030
Age
68
Location
USA
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I think the most often used meaning for meal replacement is a canned liquid shake. or some of the powders that you mix up with water or milk.
This is my take on meal replacement, too. My very favorite “protein shake” is CalNatural. I love the chocolate and vanilla. I carry them with me whenever I have to go somewhere for any length of time where I might have to skip a meal. They taste so good on their own, but sometimes I will have one at home and add peanut butter and banana. They’re not very filling at 180 calories. But taste is very important to me and they are very palatable.

However, I’m so upset as they are no longer available. I wrote the company and they said they are having a manufacturing issue. Amazon only has the chai flavor and I don’t like it. *cry*
I just ordered a case of the Soylent based on someone’s review. It’s awful. I can’t drink it on its own. It probably has less sugar. I’m so disappointed. I really need something that tastes decent that I can take with me when I’m away from home. *still crying*
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Reactions: Lou and shyvas

Harry7171

Newcomer
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Reaction score
3
Age
27
Location
London
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I've heard of Soylent and Huel but I really don't like the idea of having sweet drinks or bars at lunch. I'd much rather have a savoury powder or bar.

I found on latestfuels that Feed has savoury flavours like this one Feed spicy tomato
Hopefully with 650 calories, I won't be hungry. 180 calories doesn't seem like enough :oops:
Maybe I'll give a try if they have a special discount on with black friday next week.

I'll let you know if it's any good ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Veganite

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Reaction score
1,327
Location
Vancouver, BC
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I never understood that mentality of replacing meals. What does that mean, exactly? Replacing it with what? Why not just eat real food? My idea of a meal replacement is a banana. It comes in a nice convenient package and is easy to transport. That usually holds me over until I can find time for a full meal. Sometimes I eat two :)
 

KLS52

Guru
Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Reaction score
27,030
Age
68
Location
USA
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I never understood that mentality of replacing meals. What does that mean, exactly? Replacing it with what? Why not just eat real food? My idea of a meal replacement is a banana. It comes in a nice convenient package and is easy to transport. That usually holds me over until I can find time for a full meal. Sometimes I eat two :)
I need the protein if I’m away from home and vegan food is unavailable. If it’s a matter of just an hour, a banana works fine for me. I get low blood sugar symptoms if I go without eating for a few hours and the protein shake just works great for me. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated although it does taste better when cold.
I often deal with my disabled sister so on days when I need to do stuff for her, I need more than a piece of fruit...or two. Why mess with a good thing, I say. Sometimes I feel like the protein shakes were life savers, which is why I’m so upset about the CalNatural unavailability.
 

Emma JC

Senior
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Reaction score
3,588
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I never understood that mentality of replacing meals. What does that mean, exactly? Replacing it with what? Why not just eat real food? My idea of a meal replacement is a banana. It comes in a nice convenient package and is easy to transport. That usually holds me over until I can find time for a full meal. Sometimes I eat two :)

I agree. My spouse commutes by public transit (hour+) and so I keep him supplied with a small bag of mixed nuts and raisins, a small bag of simple pretzels and a mixed berry granola bar. He often eats the pretzels, occassionally eats the nuts and the pretzels and on the rare occassion eats all three.

Emma JC
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
26,079
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I agree. My spouse commutes by public transit (hour+) and so I keep him supplied with a small bag of mixed nuts and raisins, a small bag of simple pretzels and a mixed berry granola bar. He often eats the pretzels, occasionally eats the nuts and the pretzels and on the rare occassion eats all three.

Emma JC

So would I. :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

Forest Nymph

Senior
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Reaction score
2,186
Age
38
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Honestly I always thought meal replacements were for people who legitimately have trouble eating (someone sick or very elderly), or someone trying to gain weight between meals because their metabolism is so fast or they're a body builder type.

I enjoy eating so I can't say I have much experience with this.

HOWEVER, I do have experience backpacking, as well as getting around town without a car, and I also tire easily of sweets or peanut butter and jelly.

Primal vegan jerky are tasty, convenient and full of protein. Hummus or guacamole is an alternative to peanut butter, on chips, crackers or bread. Guacamole also has lots of calories and fat if you are looking for something more substantial. Bags of salted nuts are savory, substantial and have plenty of calories. Combine any of this with a banana or apple and you have a quick meal replacement that didn't involve cooking or prep time from you that can be eaten on a bus, at a desk, or otherwise on the go.
 

Indian Summer

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Reaction score
7,097
Location
Oxon, UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I assume the idea with so-called meal replacements is that you should be able to eat those exclusively for long periods of time and still not develop any nutrient deficiencies. So a bit like dog food or cat food in that respect: They have to be just right in terms of nutrient composition.

I can see how this can be useful in certain situations, but I'm glad I'm not in that kind of situation! It sounds boring to eat the same thing over and over, and food to me is so much more than nutrients. If I've had a long, boring, grueling day at work, coming home to a nice meal can lift my mood from grumpy devil to happy human in just a few minutes.
 

Lou

Master
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
7,027
Age
65
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
So today I was running late and decided to get breakfast on the road. I stopped at a grocery store and they had Orgain protein shakes. A little expensive but it checked all the boxes. It didn't taste bad. I think it needs refrigeration so not the best choice for True Emergencies. But not bad for the running late kind of emergency.

 
  • Like
Reactions: KLS52

KLS52

Guru
Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Reaction score
27,030
Age
68
Location
USA
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I need the carbs, myself. As a vegan I have never concerned myself with getting enough protein.



*
Yep...what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for others. :) For me it depends on how long my day is going to be without having access to something nutritious. As I said, depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing, the protein shakes are life savers for me. I’m going to have to get used to the taste of the Soylent for now. 🤢

I love the Cliff bars that have the nut butters in the middle but sometimes I can’t handle the sweetness (shocking for me, I know) Depends on the time of day and what mood my stomach is in.
 

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
26,079
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
Yep...what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for others. :) For me it depends on how long my day is going to be without having access to something nutritious. As I said, depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing, the protein shakes are life savers for me. I’m going to have to get used to the taste of the Soylent for now. 🤢

I love the Cliff bars that have the nut butters in the middle but sometimes I can’t handle the sweetness (shocking for me, I know) Depends on the time of day and what mood my stomach is in.

Same here. I need to eat what I would qualify as normal amounts of protein per day. I always have protein bars and powder at home for when I'm out all day long so that I can have a meal on the go.

Cliff bars are my favourite ones. It's a shame that I can't buy them over here. :(
 
  • Like
Reactions: KLS52

chloezarr

Newcomer
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Reaction score
1
Age
22
Location
London
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I assume the idea with so-called meal replacements is that you should be able to eat those exclusively for long periods of time and still not develop any nutrient deficiencies. So a bit like dog food or cat food in that respect: They have to be just right in terms of nutrient composition.

I can see how this can be useful in certain situations, but I'm glad I'm not in that kind of situation! It sounds boring to eat the same thing over and over, and food to me is so much more than nutrients. If I've had a long, boring, grueling day at work, coming home to a nice meal can lift my mood from grumpy devil to happy human in just a few minutes.

I think this is what @Harry7171 is referring to, if i'm not mistaken? The idea of bananas/nuts etc. is obviously a great fix when you're on the go now and then, but if you're super busy for whatever reason and frequently don't have the time to have lunch/supper, there is a risk that by relying exclusively on hummus and fruits, you will end up getting nutritional deficiencies.

@Indian Summer you're very lucky that you have the time to make nice meals in the evening to lift your mood. I stumbled onto this thread because I'm also in the same situation as Harry. I have just started a new job, and have ended up working the most ridiculous hours... and as a result, if I want to be in bed before 1am, I have to rely on pre-prepared food most of the week.

Re meal-replacements, I've actually tried both Huel and Feed., not Soylent though. On the one hand, Huel is more accessible in the UK, but it just really doesn't taste nice and I struggled to get it down me. Feed., on the other hand, has such a wide range that it doesn't end up being boring like @Indian Summer seems to be worried about. It also tastes much nicer, so I would recommend if you're not liking the taste of other brands @KLS52 . My faves are the coconut bar and the LIGHT sesame bar :) and to diversify you could try alternating between bars and shakes !

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: KLS52

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
26,079
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
@Harry7171 and @chloezarr why don't you just buy ready made meals from any major supermarket, if you don't have time to cook ? You could alternate them both with soya shakes and bars during the day. :)

I also saw a new brand that make roasted chickpeas as a nutritional snack. These could also be useful if you're busy and need a pick me up.


 

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
26,079
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I think this is what @Harry7171

Re meal-replacements, I've actually tried both Huel and Feed., not Soylent though. On the one hand, Huel is more accessible in the UK, but it just really doesn't taste nice and I struggled to get it down me. Feed., on the other hand, has such a wide range that it doesn't end up being boring like @Indian Summer seems to be worried about. It also tastes much nicer, so I would recommend if you're not liking the taste of other brands @KLS52 . My faves are the coconut bar and the LIGHT sesame bar :) and to diversify you could try alternating between bars and shakes !

Hope this helps.

I've just looked up the site and find that the products are very expensive. I'm sure that buying one or two products on a weekly basis may come in handy if you have a busy schedule. However, I wouldn't buy these products on a daily basis. There are far cheaper ones that can also provide a healthy meal on the go when need be. :) I actually make my own protein bars and shakes.
 

aarinolaayy

Novice
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Reaction score
0
Age
22
Location
London
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Arbonne currently have an amazing cinnamon roll protein powder you could try? It makes a great shake, I have it with oat milk. It's limited edition so the flavour will be running out soon though. Let me know if you're interested and I can walk you through how to get it at a discounted price!