Disclosure: I was sent a container of Illumin8 by Sunwarrior to review. I am not otherwise being compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
I’m a pretty au natural girl. I use very few beauty products. I don’t take much medication, even pain reliever. And I certainly don’t use supplements or meal replacement products.
For the most part, supplements and meal replacement products leave me wanting more–more in terms of results, more in terms of satisfaction, just more of something.
But the new Illumin8 organic plant-based meal replacement by Sunwarrior is different.
Illumin8 covers your most important nutrition bases with superfoods, such as baobab, chia, flax, whole grain brown rice, kelp, holy basil, guava and coconut, among others. It combines clean protein, gluten-free carbohydrates, healthy fats, minerals, fiber, natural vitamins, enzymes and probiotics to make for a nutritionally sound snack or, with a few additions, a satisfying replacement for a traditional plated meal.
Sunwarrior suggests combining a scoop of Illumin8 with 12 ounces of water, milk (dairy or non-dairy) or other beverage, then experimenting with the addition of fruit, greens, or other real foods.
For my first taste test, I combined a scoop of Illumin8 (in Aztec chocolate flavor) and 12 ounces of 1% milk. It was disappointingly chalky, artificially sweet, even crunchy (because of the milled chia and flax seeds). I honestly was not impressed.
For my next test, I combined a scoop of Illumin8, 12 ounces of 1% milk and some frozen strawberries. It was much better in terms of texture, but still tasted a bit artificially sweet, and it lost that “Aztec” spiciness from cinnamon and cayenne.
Finally, for my last test, I combined a scoop of Illumin8, 12 ounces of 1% milk, one to one and a half frozen bananas and 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. The texture was smooth, thick and creamy. The taste was balanced–not too much banana, not too artificially sweet, plenty chocolatey, but not without that little bit of spiciness.
That combination clocks in at about 450 calories, which makes it a very respectable, healthy meal thanks to the Core Eight nutrients.
I have occasionally had Illumin8 for breakfast, as a healthy start to my day, but I most often have had Illumin8 after a long run. The combination of protein, carbs and essential vitamins and minerals makes a shake akin to a glass of chocolate milk, which lots of sources argue is the best refueling option after a long run or race.
I don’t think I’d drink it as a snack–at least not doctored up with banana and cocoa powder, the way it seems to taste best, as it’s a little too calorie dense for my liking–plus I prefer to actually munch on my snacks, rather than drink them.
Meet your new plate, friends! Give Illumin8 a try for a tasty, well-balanced, truly healthy meal.