Food & Drink Editors Lydia Waller and Emily Calder, visit King Heath's The Early Bird Bakery, for the best brunch experience they have had to dateWritten by Lydia Waller & Emily Calder on 20th March 2019
Introducing: Huel and the Shake-Based Diet
Redbrick's Isaac Parry introduces us to the conveniences of shake-based diets and shares his opinion on the benefits of Huel
Whether you are a newcomer to Huel or a familiar acquaintance, one thing that needs establishing is that Huel is a nutritionally complete meal-replacement shake. Whether you are an avid Hueler (a term I’ve coined), or not, I am here to champion its benefits and also to address those naysayers, who are shocked by the concept of consuming liquid meals as opposed to ‘real foods.’
To be clear, Huelers are not followers of a fad diet, and Huel is not a “quick fix” weight loss scheme. Instead, Huel provides complete nutrition (calories, macronutrients and micronutrients) on the go without compromising on taste.
The way I see it, the predicament we all face is essentially this: we want to be healthier and also save the planet, but still have enough money to buy trainers and go out clubbing. Can you really improve your health, reduce your consumption of animal products and save money, all by simply becoming a Hueler? I believe the answer is basically yes, yes you can.
In terms of improving your health, Huel is low in fat, high in fibre and protein, and contains no cholesterol. In other words, it is inherently good for you. I’m sure you’re aware that consuming less animal products is good for the environment, and since Huel is vegan friendly, substituting a few organic meals is also good for the environment. Additionally, Huel costs a mere £1.45 per meal, so for the half the price of a meal-deal, you’re saving the planet as well as your body. Too good to be true? I don’t think so.
“A Huel shake however contains 7.7g of fibre and 29.5g of protein, owning toast significantly on nutritional value
Let me provide some examples of Huel in action. Starting with the all-too well known situation of over-sleeping, or spending too long scrolling on Instagram in the morning and you just haven’t had time to make breakfast. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and since you’re in a rush you think ‘right, toast is the obvious option,’ however you could stand corrected, by the ease and convenience of Huel. If you thought ‘I’ll have to prepare a Huel, albeit without additional fruit, ice and the assistance of the blender (which really does improve the overall taste and texture,) given the time pressure,’ then I believe you’d be making the wiser choice. Two slices of buttered white bread contains 2g of fibre and 7g of protein, which means indigestion and no gains. A Huel shake however contains 7.7g of fibre and 29.5g of protein, owning toast significantly on nutritional value.
Similarly, you might have come home exhausted from a day spent procrastinating at the library. You’ve consumed far too much caffeine and now are really starting to crash. You enter the kitchen only to be reminded that it literally smells of bin juice. Your housemate has left an assortment of pots and pans out, there’s pasta sauce splattered on the stove, and the thought of having to wash up is all too much. But I encourage you to remember, ice, water, powder, shake and voila; a delicious, nutritious meal requiring minimal washing up.
If I am still yet to persuade you of the ease and health benefits of opting for a Huel meal, instead of a quick fix, disappointing bowl of pasta, let me address some common queries people have about shake-based diets. The first scepticism is usually about taste and in short, Huel does taste good. But Huel, like all meals only tastes really good when prepared with due care and attention. I would recommend blending vanilla Huel with ice and bananas. There are a wide number of flavours available, ranging from mint-chocolate to pineapple and coconut, the latter being a personal favourite of mine. Secondly many people state that they are already vegan and happy with cooking from scratch. Well firstly, good for you, that’s great! But did you know that one serving of Huel contains 100% of the vitamins and minerals you need per day, and in my opinion, is far more convenient to prepare than most flavourful vegan dishes. I would encourage you, as a student, to think of the time saved by subbing in a Huel quick fix as opposed to waiting for your lentils to soak.
The most common FAQ is, ‘but how could you give up food?’ Of course, there are only very few Huelers who have actually replaced every single one of their meals with Huel. Simply put, becoming a Hueler doesn’t require total devotion to bags of powdered food. Instead, it’s about adopting a practical means of improving your health, as well as sporting a grey Huel top in a vague attempt to appear interesting and different.
Additionally, the social aspects of Hueling are just as rewarding. You can look forward to menial conversation regarding favourite flavours and preparation methods. In more serious terms, conversing about how others go about ensuring they get natural sources of nutrients and incorporate freshly cooked meals in their diet, as well as consuming Huel, is a key part of taking control of your health.
“I’m suggesting, that protein shakes are as beneficial to your health as home-made meals; yet I believe Huel is the future and the future is now
There will be many people reading this that are unimpressed by the benefits of Huel, some perhaps outraged at what I’m suggesting, that nutritional shakes are as beneficial to your health as home-made meals; yet I believe Huel is the future and the future is now! So I would recommend trialling Huel, open your mind to different approaches to healthy and nutritional consumption, even if it does appear radical to you.
Note: this article aims to highlight the benefits of Huel as a nutritious and easy on-the-go meal. It is not intended to platform weight loss or diet shakes, which Redbrick does not advocate.