Hey, guess what? Remember all that giveaway madness that went on back in December? It’s not quite over yet. Today’s giveaway might not be as exciting as a pair of killer trail running shoes, but it’s a pretty nifty prize for anyone who’s interested in trying healthy nutrition alternatives or having a handy meal replacement for life on the go.
A couple of months ago I was contacted by Orgain to try its organic nutritional shakes, which were born from a life-altering experience of the company’s founder. Dr Andrew Abraham is a cancer survivor who was dissatisfied with the traditional chalky meal replacements that patients were often subjected to. He recognized the need for nutritional alternatives that didn’t rely upon artificial ingredients, that tasted good enough to enjoy, and could provide balanced nutrition for optimal health at all stages of life.
(Actually, the whole tale kind of reminds me of the CLIF bar origin story … except in place of “guy on a long bike ride” you’d say “guy with cancer”, and instead of “all-natural, better tasting energy bar” you have “all-natural, better tasting milkshake.” And Southern California [Orgain] instead of Northern California [CLIF]. But you get the idea.)
Orgain was founded in 2008, with the expressed vision of becoming the healthiest beverage company in the world. Dr Abraham has also stated that, “When you drink Orgain, you gain health, energy and life.” Pretty lofty goals, huh? No one will ever criticize the company for lack of ambition.
So what exactly is Orgain? It’s a ready-to-drink 11-ounce shake made entirely from certified organic ingredients which can be stored for up to a year without refrigeration. It has 255 calories in a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein (16 grams worth), along with 24 vitamins and minerals, heart-healthy fiber, and the antioxidant equivalent of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. They are gluten-free, caffeine-free, and contain absolutely no preservatives, corn syrup, saturated fat, antibiotics or hormones. It comes in a completely recyclable package, so you can be eco-friendly after you’re finished. All good stuff, to say the least.
Of course, none if this really matters if the finished product still tastes like chalk. I received samples of two flavors – Sweet Vanilla Bean and Creamy Chocolate Fudge – and had a taste test with my 9-year-old daughter one morning. I started with the vanilla flavor, since that’s pretty consistently my favorite flavor of anything – and after drinking about half the container thought to myself, "This stuff is pretty good." But I didn’t want to influence my daughter’s opinion, so I kept my mouth shut. That’s when we had this exchange:
Me: So how does yours taste?
Her: Great. It’s like drinking chocolate chips.
In kidspeak, that means "this stuff is pretty good." Then we each took a drink of the other’s, and agreed that the taste was quite impressive for something that had sat in our car for two hours.
As to why it was stashed in the car … that was because my daughter and I had just run a 5K together, and we only had about an hour to drive across town, get changed, and show up for her cowboy poetry recital later that morning. Along with the bagel and orange slice she had after the race, the Orgain shake worked great as a meal replacement since we didn’t have breakfast before or after running.
I can also see how these shakes would be a great source of quick, healthy calories after a hard workout, or a wholesome nutritional boost for anyone who’s sick and trying to bolster their immune system (remember, they were first designed for cancer patients). Their extended shelf life and convenient use makes them easy to keep around the house for a while or stuff into a workout bag when you know it’s going to be a long day.
As you’ve probably guessed with keywords like “organic”, “meal replacement”, and “gluten free”, Orgain isn’t exactly cheap. An 11-ounce pack sells for $3.50 from the company website, and may be marked up slightly higher in retail health food markets like Whole Foods. That’s why it’s great to know someone who does giveaways!
In conjunction with this review, three winners will receive a 12-pack case of Orgain shakes, divided equally between vanilla bean and chocolate fudge flavors. To enter, leave a comment below this post by Thursday, January 13th, and I’ll pull three winners out of the “Random Numberinator” and announce them on the weekend. Thanks very much to Orgain for sponsoring this contest, and good luck to everybody!
*Product provided by Orgain
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