Healthy Eating: Huel

Heathy Food: Why I Quit Eating My Meals & Started Drinking Them Instead

Remember Soylent Green? It was a Sci- Fi movie about a dystopian society where the greenhouse effect and overpopulation led to mass unemployment and a food shortage (scary right?) The main source of food was Soylent Green. A manufactured complete food to meet all your nutrition needs. Sadly, instead of being rich in plankton it turned out to be made of people.

The idea of one food to complete all your nutritional requirements may sound like it’s straight out of Sci-Fi. But that’s what Huel is. Complete food. And not only is it people free- it’s vegan.

Healthy Food

Eating healthy sounds easy. But the reality goes more like this:

  1. You start off with the best intentions.
  2. Fill your trolly with a colourful array of fruits and leafy greens.
  3. Get over-confident because you’ve eaten two pieces of fruit for breakfast
  4. Then get overwhelmed by work.
  5. Grab a snickers to tide you over on your journey to the gym.
  6. Open the fridge to realise half your veg is wilted and you’re too tired to cook.
  7. End up eating your housemate’s emergency pizza (Sorry Dave). And consoling yourself with biscuits

Well, that’s what it was like for me. I was sick of wasting food, constantly hungry from the gym and always snacking on what I could grab (which was never a mixed salad from Wholefoods).

So when my brother suggested trying Huel for a month I thought: Why not?

Healthy Eating Huel

Day 1: Difficult Roads lead to Beautiful locations

Huel

Huel is a nutritional shake. Their mission is “To make nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food, with minimal impacts on animals and the environment.” This was a massive motivator for me. I’ve always hated wasting food and had been looking to change my eating habits. Huel seemed perfect and the philosophy behind it mirrored my own feelings about food.

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Banana Smoothie with Huel

I’d be lying if I said it was smooth sailing though. Here are some of the hurdles I had to over come:

  • It’s an acquired taste. Not unpleasant. Just takes some getting used to.
  • Drinking my meals made me yearn for solids. It was like being reverse weaned
  • I would be full from Huel but mentally hungry for other people’s meals
  • I kept getting the balance wrong and had to eat it with a spoon.
  • I tried to shake it up on the go, but did not have the upper body strength to do it properly.

But difficult roads do lead to beautiful locations. I started thinking about the positive changes I had been able to make to my life:

  • My shopping bill was halved- and I wasn’t starving myself
  • I wasn’t depleted after Boxing or the gym
  • I was getting my daily nutrients.
  • Even when I was in busy I had two healthy meals a day
  • I wasn’t snacking in-between meals because I was full
  • I was eating vegetarian at least 3 times a week, and vegan at least once
  • I wasn’t wasting as much food and could be proud of the fact I was contributing to a more sustainable way of life

It’s month two and I’m powering through my second bag. I’ve learned to adjust my blend so its a consistency I like. I add berries and fruit for variety. I even added some of the mocha flavouring and it was actually a really nice breakfast drink.

Heathy Eating, but you can still have a brownie

You can bake with it. I can’t do this. My Huel still comes out lumpy

I still eat what I want, but time and circumstance aren’t affecting my choices.

If you care about the environment, want a nutritionally balanced diet, or are trying to eat less meat try Huel. 

 

Get a discount and help a beige girl out.

The Great Escape

In the last month I have been making a more concerted effort to find a job. A friend of mine pointed out to me that if I actually made an effort and a plan, rather than planning to escape as I always did, maybe I would get where I wanted to.

Fair point.

I am not the most patient person when it comes to my goals. If I haven’t made it work in a month it starts feeling like failure. The panic sets in and I start looking at the international teacher posts on TES, or escort work.

I get desperate.

In comparison, I am far more functional in a foreign country alone, with limited funding and only the clothes in my back pack. After 10 years of travel and living abroad I have grown to have more faith in that version of myself.

The woman stuck in her parent’s house isn’t to be trusted and is a proven flight risk.

After the last four months I needed to get away. Recharge. Try again. I needed Brazil.

My days would start with the view of Mount Corcovado and coffee. I visited The Selaron Stairs, Christ the redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, and relaxed on Ipanema and Copacabana. In the evenings I would have conversations with friends, grab a drink, have a laugh and make the best of my time in town.

I was pretty proud of how well I had managed on my own, a feeling that I’d forgotten after months of rejection emails and depressing bank statements.

In my short time in Rio I visited Paraty and Ilha Grande. My Portañol (Spanish/Portuguese mash up)  was getting me through the day and I was able to have conversations where I would normally be taught how to pronounce things, (that r is a killer) or how to swear.

Add to this the fact everyone in Rio seems to be a walking gym advert, and that they advocate for teeny bikinis and no tan lines, then you’ve got a city I can get on board with.

After talking to a few people, I found out that it might be possible to get a teaching job for the new year. So why not move there?

I’ve never had more reason to leave London. Everyone would understand if I gave up. If I went back to Mexico. If I went back to teaching. But things had changed and an escape plan, though great for the short term, would not get me where I needed to be.

On the way to the airport Nelson, my taxi driver, explained the meaning of the word saudade, a word unique to portuguese. He said it was the feeling of missing something you hadn’t felt or experienced in a long time. Like sadness and nostalgia, a longing for something that you didn’t have anymore. Though bittersweet it didn’t always have to be sad.

He then serenaded me with Girl from Ipanema before telling me all the beautiful girls lived in Rio, and I should come back.

I promised that I would when I had a job.