I've been a fan of the idea of meal replacement products for a while - the Matrix gruel always seemed simple and appealing. One such product is Huel, which is available in the UK, seems fairly sensibly thought out, and isn't cadim-yummy. When having lunch at home, I found myself eating stuff that was nutritionally garbage, inconvenient and time consuming to get and not very nice. Given the downsides, Huel seemed worth a try. Having gone through one bag, it seems to be working nicely, and I intend to continue this as my default lunch-at-home plan.
General random thoughts on Huel:
- My wife pronounces Huel with a strong and long 'u', huuuuuuel, to imitate the sound of someone vomiting. Soylent is probably a better name.
- I bought a first bag, and they threw in a free flask/shaker and t-shirt. I've been using the flask they supplied, and the t-shirt is very nice.
- I like that it has all the vitamins and minerals required, so I'm not likely to be missing anything.
- The taste is OK. Not horrid, perfectly drinkable, but not too nice, so unlikely to go overboard. They got the balance right.
- Most of the flavouring suggestions seem like someone trolling. The default vanilla flavour works fine for me.
- The taste/consistency depends a lot on exactly how much water goes in, so experiment a bit (I find 420ml and 3 scoops works for me).
- By the end of the flask, it's significantly more dense, so I add a little bit of water with about 40ml to go.
- If you add the powder before the water it's a bit of a disaster and you get clumped powder at the bottom.
- Wash the flask as soon as you finish, or it sets quite hard.
- I think I spend about 3 mins preparation time making the mixture and washing up after, which isn't bad.
- The pouches come sealed at the top with a resealable strip that is initially unsealed. Cut the top of the strip, don't tear it, or you bump into the resealable strip. Before starting, you have to clean the resealable strip out with a knife (which gives a bad first impression, but otherwise is unproblematic).
- The powder has a habit of escaping a bit when filling up the flask. If it gets on clothes, it stays there until you wash them, and a gentle brushing down has little effect. A little annoying, but not fatal.
- It's sufficiently filling that I think I'm probably going under the number of calories I should be getting at lunch. I'm experimenting with trying to start my lunch Huel a bit earlier, and then have another Huel or snack in the afternoon - splitting lunch in two.
Since this is a post about a specific product, I should probably mention I have no relationship with the company other than having spent £45 on Huel.