the ultimate meal

Are you looking for a healthy meal replacement powder for help with your diet or just the convenience factor?

I wasn’t! But… I had some coupons to use at The Vitamin Shoppe, and figured it would be a good time to order something rather expensive, so I got a canister of The Ultimate Meal.

The Ultimate Meal is a meal replacement powder, but it’s more along the lines of a “greens supplement” than one of those highly-processed, high-protein meal replacement shakes.

How expensive was it? About $50 for a 15 day supply! The retail price is $69.95, but I’ve seen it listed as low as $49.77. (I paid $52.39 for the 30-serving canister, which meant I paid $1.74 per serving.)

Continue reading to see if I got my money’s worth…

The Ultimate Meal Health and Nutrition

The Ultimate Meal contains a whole bunch of good stuff, which is mostly raw and minimally processed.

Here’s the main ingredient list:

  • THE ULTIMATE QUINOA® & THE ULTIMATE MILLET®
  • THE ULTIMATE AMARANTH®
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC BROWN RICE PROTEIN 75% CONCENTRATE (INDIA)
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC, RAW, MILLED, GOLDEN FLAX SEED (CANADA)
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC SPIRULINA (INDIA)
  • DE-OILED PLANT LECITHIN (USA)
  • THE ULTIMATE BROCCOLI®
  • VITAMIN C® (FULLY REACTED AND BUFFERED WITH CALCIUM) (USA)
  • WILDCRAFTED FRESH FREEZE-DRIED HORSETAIL HERB (USA)
  • NATURAL VITAMIN E SUCCINATE (USA)
  • CALCIUM (MALATE & CITRATE) (USA)
  • CITRUS BIOFLAVONOID COMPLEX 50% (USA)
  • MAGNESIUM (CITRATE) (USA)
  • WILDCRAFTED FRESH FREEZE-DRIED NETTLES (USA)
  • OPTI-PURE® CO-ENZYME Q10 (JAPAN)
  • OPTI-PURE® GINKGO BILOBA EXTRACT 24-6% (JAPAN)
  • OPTI-PURE® GRAPE SEED EXTRACT (JAPAN)
  • OPTI-PURE® ALPHA LIPOIC ACID 95% (JAPAN)
  • OPTI-PURE® CAFFEINE-FREE GREEN TEA EXTRACT (JAPAN)
  • EMED-MT® MILK THISTLE EXTRACT 80% (SPAIN)
  • STEVITA® STEVIOSIDE (STEVIA EXTRACT) (BRAZIL)
  • L-OPTIZINC® (NATURAL ZINC MONOMETHIONINE) (USA)
  • CHROMEMATE® (CHROMIUM POLYNICOTINATE) (USA)
  • YEAST-FREE SELENIUM (SELENOMETHIONINE) (INDIA)

(How they got a registered trademark on “Vitamin C” I’m not sure! LOL!)

And here are the nutrition facts:

Serving Size (1 scoop) 40 g

Calories …………. 170
Protein ………….. 16 g
Carbohydrates …. 20 g
Fiber …………….. 8 g
Fat ………………. 4 g
Sodium ………….. 95 mg
Potassium ……… 175 mg
Calcium ………… 300 mg
Magnesium …….. 175 mg
Beta-carotene .. 5,000 IU
Vitamin B12 …… 15 mcg
Folic Acid …….. 125 mcg
Iron ……………. 4 mg
Choline ……….. 300 mg
Omega 3 ……… 770 mg
Omega 6 ……… 350 mg

Overall, you get a wide variety of ingredients, and from the sounds of things, they seem to be natural and unprocessed. Just about everything you want in a meal replacement powder.

Outside of a very well-balanced diet, most certainly including a lot of fruits and vegetables, this could be one of the best ways to get all your nutrients.

But should you rely on a meal replacement powder? I’m not so sure…

the ultimate meal

The Ultimate Meal Taste Test

While you can’t expect something like this to taste like a box of donuts, it has to be tolerable, or you’re not going to drink it. So here are my thoughts on the taste (and keep in mind, my typical diet contains fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains, with a severe lack of processed foods.)

I started out by mixing a scoop of this into my fruit smoothies, which is very similar to what the label recommends doing. It definitely changed the flavor, but it’s hard to really explain the flavor of The Ultimate Meal. It has multiple flavors in it, I think. You get some fruit flavor, nutty flavor, and the ubiquitous “green” flavor.

My favorite mix was a banana cherry smoothie (1 frozen banana, 2 handfuls cherries, plain yogurt, milk, 1 scoop Ultimate Meal.) The sweetness of the banana counteracts the blandness of the powder, and all the flavors seem to mesh together.

The Ultimate Meal itself is neither awful nor awesome. I actually enjoy it in moderation. When I had it twice per week, it was good; I’d actually look forward to it. But after three consecutive days on this stuff, I was sick of it and had to take a break!

the ultimate meal

A big problem is the texture. It is very grainy. I liken it to putting sand in your smoothie!

And you can’t just mix a scoop of this in 8oz water, chug it, and be done. I tried that, but had to sip it. (According to the label, you should actually chew each bite, like it’s food.)

Anyway, a few sips were OK, but after half the glass I was seriously ready to dump the rest out! (This is coming from someone who enjoys the taste of Barlean’s Greens in water.)

To continue using this to finish off the canister (no way I would throw out something so expensive,) I had to use only 1/4 cup (one full scoop is 1/3 cup) of The Ultimate Meal for my 36-40oz smoothies. Even at that dilution, it’s pretty potent, but not bothersome.

The last thing I tried (to finish this stuff off quickly) was to mix a scoop into 8-12oz whole milk in my BlenderBottle and see if I could choke it down. The taste wasn’t great, but I could get it all down quickly. (But no matter what, you get the gritty stuff lining your mouth!)

The only catch with rationing is that you’re supposed to finish the canister within two months of opening it. So you can only ration it out to one serving every other day (i.e. consume at least one serving every other day for 60 days.) Any less frequent, and the product may lose its potency.

The Ultimate Meal as a Meal Replacement

I like to switch things up with my diet from time to time. I rarely do any calorie-restriction diets, but every so often I’ll do one for a short period of time. So I tested The Ultimate Meal during one of these times.

For this diet, I had three meals per day. One was a full meal, one was purely vegetables (~8 servings,) and the last was a fruit smoothie with The Ultimate Meal in it. I snacked on fruit and walnuts between meals.

I’d say my typical daily calories were 2,000 or so, which isn’t particularly low, but I was still in training at the time. (2,000 is low relative to the 4,000 I had been getting.)

“Did you lose strength or feel weak?”

Well, I didn’t feel super weak or anything, so that was good. But man I was hungry a lot and therefore very angry and irritable for most of the day!

That made it hard to focus on work, and I did feel slightly weaker during training, so I wasn’t thrilled.

What really made me mad though, was how one of the claims is that The Ultimate Meal fills you up. In my case, it didn’t. Not even close!

The Forze GPS bars I tested before were much better for keeping hunger at bay between meals. Those bars are highly processed and not the healthiest thing out there, but they did provide the promised satiety.

“Did you get healthier?”

Plain and simple, I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

Let’s say you have a diet full of junk food and you start taking this in a fruit smoothie twice daily. You will probably feel awesome. But you could also cut out the junk food in favor of whole foods and be just as well off. (Although adding in The Ultimate Meal surely would be the easier route, at least at first.)

If you’re already healthy, I don’t think you’ll notice any benefits like improved digestion, higher energy levels, etc. It could help, but I wouldn’t expect anything noticeable.

the ultimate meal

My final verdict is…

What gets me with The Ultimate Meal is that it’s extremely expensive and doesn’t even taste that good. So I’m not really a fan. (I will be looking into other products in the “greens supplements” category.)

While it is chock full of nutrients, seems like a well-made product, and surely has some health benefits, it just wasn’t worth it to me. If you enjoy taking it, great, but I’d rather enjoy my fruit smoothies and get my vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids at other times of the day!

Official website: www.UltimateLife.com

Buy online: www.VitaminShoppe.com | www.Amazon.com


Product Review Details
Company: The Ultimate Life
Product: The Ultimate Meal
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-02-09
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

Click here if you would like to get your product reviewed on CoachLevi.com.

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10 Comments
  1. Ultimate meal is only supposed to fill you up for 2-3 hours, which worked well for me. Your eating 1/2 apple, 1 banana, 10 ice/water and 1/3 cup ultimate meal. How much more can a person, looking to be healthy, eat in one sitting?

    I found the ingrediants 2nd none when comparing other products, so the price is WELL worth it. I save money when replacing meals with shakes.

    As far as taste, its like a banna and apple n’green stuff; like babyfood.

  2. @Anthony

    Half an apple and a banana barely qualifies as a snack (let alone a meal) for myself and just about every athlete I know. Caloric needs vary between individuals, but most endurance athletes need lots of calories!

  3. We all have different bodies and makeups and different taste preferences, so nothing will work for everyone. We need to find what works right for us. My girlfriend does not like the Ultimate Meal and she is incredibly healthy and fit. I, on the other hand absolutely swear by it.

    I disagree with the original post. In the morning (8am) I put a full fuji apple, a banana and a scoop of the ultimate meal and about 16 ounces of water. I’m not hungry until around 1pm. I’m 200lbs on a 5’11” frame and am not sedentary. I’ve got some beef on me and I’m usually ravenous, I can eat a ton. My girlfriend says I never learned portion control from my big Irish family in New England, she is correct. When my blood sugar drops suddenly, I’ll eat something foolish and way too much. I don’t feel that way when I use the Ultimate Meal. It fills me up, its a clean burning energy and is sustained for a while. I actually quite enjoy the taste, how green it is, its something I actually look forward too because I know how good it is for me. I like the texture and having to chew it, it makes me feel like I’ve had a meal. I’m not great at planning for meals because I’m constantly on the go, but this helps me regulate nutrition and my caloric intake. This has helped me get lean again in my mid 30’s and I recommend it to anyone who asks what I do to stay in shape.

    As far as the price, making it is equal to or cheaper than most meals. And much cheaper than any meal as nutritious as the Ultimate meal. Five stars from me!

  4. @Patrick

    Exactly. Rarely if ever does one product suit everyone. Not even “one size fits all” clothing! That’s why I try to cover multiple characteristics in each product review – taste, texture, price, ingredients, nutrients, etc. Then it’s up to the individual to decide if it suits their lifestyle.

  5. One of my doctors takes The Ultimate Meal regularly and swears by it. He is a vegan and has researched various Western/Eastern diets. I have purchased two small cans so far. The first can took me like a year to consume. I did not like the taste. Called the company and they said not to throw it out..it would still have some nutritional value since I have stored it closed in the refrigerator. Started giving it to my dog who is on a raw diet…then puchased a second small can and started taking it again. I love the nutrients it contains…still not a fan of the taste but change the fruits, etc., around a little…I have a VitaMix so can even put in vegetables if I want like spinach.

  6. @Debby

    Thanks for commenting. I bet this powder works best in a veggie-based smoothie, so the VitaMix should come in handy.

    Also, a lot of my older or unwanted supplements go to the dog too! 🙂

  7. I think you are all wrong here. I use 3 full scoops and about 1/2 scoop of endurox recovery drink powder. Blend together with ice. taste is Awesome. Recover from hard morning workouts 1-2 hours after taking. I’ve been using for years. I’m much healthier and can’t live without it.

  8. @Daryl

    I bet the added sugar and flavor from the Endurox powder helps the taste quite a bit!

  9. I have been using this shake powder for about two years. I have a plethora of food allergies and am forced to go without gluten. I actually consider this to be on the cheaper end for this type of product than the $100 products out there that have sugar and flavors and not as many scoops in the canisters.

    It takes getting used to, that’s for sure. I have noticed it takes a week or two for the body to get used to it, to feel “full”. Since it’s not a physical food that you chew, your body gets confused and thinks you need to eat more. I’ve added fruit with mine and it doesn’t mask the flavor but it helps with the stomach thinking it’s physical food.

    It doesn’t really have a “taste”, I don’t think. It’s different, not absolutely dreadful, but different. I got used to it after a while because I am able to afford this over fish, chicken, etc. I think it’s worth a try.

    I’m happy with this stuff. The guys at Vitamin Shoppe know me by face now because I buy it monthly.

  10. All I can see all people complaining about the taste…. Forget about the taste and go for the benefits…if you want the sugary taste shakes there is a plenty of them!!! I keep this one because I love the taste and the benefits (period)

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