‘It Made Me Feel Superhuman!’ - Here’s What Happened When I Replaced Two Meals A Day With Huel

Always find yourself struggling to stick to your health goals by the end of Jan? Try eating in a way that’s actually easy to stick to. Plant-based, convenient, and nutritionally complete, here’s how I bounced back post-Christmas with Huel.

To throw myself into a month-long trial and replace half my meals during one of the bleakest months of the year, you’d think I’d be pretty clued up on what I was getting myself into, right? Wrong. Besides seeing someone drinking from a Huel-branded shaker on the tube, I knew very little and actually assumed it was a protein brand. Wrong again. However, as someone who will gladly try anything once, I was curious to see if this self-proclaimed ‘instant food’ raved about by the time-poor and nutrient-conscious lived up to the hype - especially after yet another festive period practically attached to the cheeseboard.

Huel isn’t new, in fact, it has something of a cult following. But they’ve actually never been more relevant than they are now – their hyper convenient, plant-based healthy meals are perfectly poised as the solution to those of us struggling to regain our balance following a hefty slog of mince pies, brandy butter and purple Quality Street. Not only that, but it’s also meant to fit into your lifestyle longer-term, perfect for picking up where gym efforts inevitably tail off. Because let's face it, healthy habits aren’t meant to die a death by February. I found myself struggling to keep on top of my health all last year - and everything else for that matter. Working too late - and subsequently eating too late - and snacking between meals became my new normal in 2021, alongside the need to finish everything on my plate (with chocolate following immediately after - a habit since birth). By jumping on the Huel train for a month when I needed it most, I was also hoping for more structure and focus on what I am eating and when, and greater consideration of how my energy needs are being matched.

In the spirit of Veganuary, one of my big aims in recent years has been to eat more plant-based food, so Huel’s plant-based ingredients list immediately piqued my interest alongside its biggest claim: to deliver near-perfect nutritional balance in one single meal. Every meal delivers all 26 of the required daily vitamins and minerals and the perfect ratio of carbs, proteins and good fats - how could I not be excited by the idea I was getting everything my body craved in one whack without having to figure out how to do it myself? It also grabbed me by promising all this in 5 minutes or less, either with their signature Huel Powder (now in its latest iteration as v3.0) or the Hot & Savoury range – their foray into food you can chew.

First impressions? There’s a lot of options – like, a lot – which is a great thing because my immediate worry was how quickly I’d get bored considering I intended to replace my breakfast and lunch with the stuff for the next few weeks. Despite initially thinking of Huel as a shake brand, it was the instant food options that weirdly made me nervous. Something you just add water to had me flashing back to my University Pot Noodle days – plus when I’ve got the time, I would normally prepare a proper meal from scratch with great care. But then again, the whole point of Huel isn’t to replace that, but to replace all the rubbish I was eating on the days I didn’t have time. Overall, I actually really enjoyed the taste and texture of the Hot & Savoury meals – especially the newer Mac & Cheeze - and my "wellbeing mind" compensated for the flavours that fell short (Tomato & Herb, it’s not you – it’s me).

I started by replacing just lunch as this seemed the most convenient way to start, but before long I was wondering how Huel could whip my breakfast routine into shape. Plus, two bags makes 34 meals and works out as only £1.68 a go so I wasn’t exactly going to say no in January. And do you know what the biggest revelation was? How long I’ve been faffing in the morning before work. Two scoops of their Black Edition Powder into water in a shaker and that was me ready to head on my merry way to my desk, leaving me time to actually do other things like finally put in an appearance at the gym or, you know, sleep a little longer.


On The Breakfast Menu

(Price per serving)

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Coupled with the time I was saving at lunch too, I felt like I was finally becoming a functioning member of society again instead of someone stress-eating my way through a falafel wrap in the name of deadlines a la 2021. This is how adults should feel after a meal! Full (but not too full) and filled to the brim with smug satisfaction and nutrients! It made me feel superhuman, like a person who had their life in order. Oh, how I wish I’d known this feeling before now instead of eating a chewy vitamin and hoping the universe will eventually balance everything out.


On The Lunch Menu

(Price per serving)

Discover the Hot & Savoury range

So what is the conclusion – am I a convert? I won’t pretend that I stuck to it every single day – weekends were a minefield for refined carbs and sugars, and I still have some Christmas stilton to work through. But, during the week, I found it easy to be consistent because it was actually working around me. Swapping two meals a day, five times a week has literally saved me at least five hours a week if not more, and it has kept me away from my usual biscuit-style snacks. After a few days, I started to trust Huel with giving me everything I need and, thanks to the clever balance of every meal, my usual sugar cravings disappeared almost instantly. It worked as both a lighthouse and waypoint - helping me avoid my usual pain points and navigate a healthier path. You'd better believe I’ll be keeping Huel in the cupboard from here on out, whether as a quick balanced breakfast or an easy nutritious lunch on my busiest days. Plus, I saved a fortune – lunches came in at under £2.70 a serving for crying out loud! Sorry Boris, you’ll have to find someone else to buy sandwiches in the name of the economy instead.

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