I’m so excited to share this review with you! If you follow along, you may know I am a huge fan of Sunwarrior protein powder and the quality of their ingredients. However, when I was asked to review their new meal replacement I was a little hesitant. I didn’t want to send mixed messages since I’m all about promoting whole foods and finding time to make real food easy and convenient. But after doing more research on this product I couldn’t help but decide to review it. You guys, this product is really unique! If you’re curious about the new Sunwarrior Illumin8 meal replacement continue on and read my review of the product, my thoughts on using meal replacements, and how to incorporate Sunwarrior Illumin8 into a recipe!
Sunwarrior Illumin8 Meal Replacement
Taste and Texture
- Strong vanilla flavor – also comes in chocolate and mocha
- Very sweet – contains stevia
- Slightly flaky – powder is not completely smooth there are small flakes of flax seeds that do not dissolve
- Non-gritty – a side of the small flax flakes I powder dissolved nicely into the cashew milk I used
My Rating: 3.5/5
I’m rating this a 3.5/5 because I do love all of the ingredients in this plant-based meal replacement. The probiotics, enzymes and superfoods make this unique. Buttttt, I personally thought it was way too sweet. I would prefer it to be unsweetened that way I could adjust it myself by adding dates, maple syrup, or a drop of stevia if I really needed to. I also was a little put off my the texture of the small flax flakes. Overall, I think its a awesome concept but there are a few taste and texture properties that prevent me from absolutely loving it.
If you want to try Illumin8 because of all its super awesome ingredients you can purchase it here. My recommendation for using this as a meal replacement is to combine it with other nourishing foods for a more substantial meal/snack. Read more below about my opinion on meal replacements and when to use them.
Meal Replacements vs. Real Food
Let me restate that I’m all for eating whole, real foods. I am not advocating that everyone should be using these powders or incorporating them on a daily basis but I do think there are certain times when quality protein powders and meal replacements can be incorporated into someone’s diet. Determining who needs these depends on multiple factors such as goals, fitness level and lifestyle. For instance, are you training for a marathon or trying to increase muscle mass? When do you workout, do you find it difficult to eat something before your workout, do you have time to make something in the morning? These all play a role in determining if I think you would benefit from using one of these products.
I do not think meal replacements should replace whole foods but rather supplement a meal or snack. For most individuals I don’t believe that 160 calories and little to no fat can be used as a meal that will keep you nourished and satisfied. Plus if you’re drinking a meal replacement you have bypassed the need to chew and break down your food. You stomach doesn’t have to do as much work and you digest the liquid faster. This can just set you up for being hungry and hour or two later. You are better off using the meal replacement powder as an addition to a smoothie or in combination with a small snack.
Below I’m sharing with you how I recommend using Sunwarrior’s Illumin8 and a recipe for Overnight Chia Oats. By combining the meal replacement with chia seeds and oats it is a more satisfying meal that is still quick to put together.
When to Use a Meal Replacement
- Pre-workout snack
- Post-workout snack
- Quick breakfast (lunch or dinner)*
- Mid-day snack
These are some general times when I think protein powders and meal replacements can be use but if you are still unsure if you need one or want to know if there is a good way to incorporate these into your diet, let me help you! I’d love to help you determine your nutrient needs and come up with a customized nutrition plan to help you reach your goals! Contact me here for more information.
*As I mentioned above, I recommend using the powders in combination with other real foods, especially if using it is a true meal.
Now time for the recipe!
Overnight Chia Oatmeal using Sunwarrior Illumin8
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons Sunwarrior Illumin8* ~1/2 scoop
- 1 1/3 cup cashew milk
- Mixed berries
- Coconut flakes
Combine all ingredients in an air tight container. Shake vigorously until the powder is dissolved, then place in the refrigerator over night*. In the morning top with mixed berries and coconut flakes (or any topping of your choice). Enjoy!
Recipe Notes*Another meal replacement powder or protein powder can be used. If you skip the powder all together, reduce the liquid by 1/3 cup.
*Soaking overnight is ideal but if you're making this last minute a couple hours works fine. Just know your oats will just be more firm and the chia seeds will not have expanded as much.
This post was sponsored by Sunwarrior. All words and opinions are my own but I do think this is an awesome company. Thank you for supporting Nourished by Nutrition by supporting it’s sponsors!