Disclaimer: I was not monetarily paid to write this review. This review is based on the products and information I received from Smart for Life. All opinions are my own.
At the start of the new year, I got a pretty hefty box waiting for me at my doorstep. Upon opening, everything was wrapped up in thick tissue paper and a kind letter was on top:
Smart for Life is best known for their cookies and protein bars, but since they contain gelatin, they were thoughtful enough to send me their vegetarian items. These included two flavors of their shake bottles, zero calorie creamer, and two flavors of water enhancers. They also sent two soup packets, but unfortunately I couldn’t have those after a second look at the ingredients…
The shake bottles jumped out at me first, of course. They come in the flavors below, as well as strawberry.
There was a fill line on the inside which gave a guideline as to how much water to add. After filling up the bottles with the appropriate amount of water, it was time to shake things up—literally!
From the two, I preferred the vanilla flavor. It had a nice, distinctive vanilla aroma, and even though it had a sharp aftertaste, it wasn’t so sharp as the chocolate flavor. I wasn’t expecting the such boldness from a shake, but you get used to it after the first couple sips.
I was all set ready to try the soup packets, planning on mixing both packets and adding some cubed tofu, but noticed that unfortunately, one of the ingredients was Chicken Stock Base. I was disappointed, but I knew someone in my lab building could make use of it, so it didn’t really go to waste.
Liquid Samples: Creamer and Water Enhancers
I am not a big fan of creamer, so my opinion on this specific creamer may be biased. I like good old fashioned milk in my coffee (even almond and soy milk I don’t mind), but I did give this Smart Coffee Creamer a try one morning.
Taste-wise, the addition of the creamer caused it to have a bitter aftertaste (probably from the coffee since there wasn’t any milk to mask it), but appearance-wise, it looked almost identical to my regular morning cup. It’s a good fake-out, but unless you are a creamer fan, you may not enjoy the taste (they do have a French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavor, however, and those may taste better).
To be honest, I was somewhat hesitant to try the water enhancers, the newest in their product line. I’m not a big fan of sugary or sugar-free drinks—including Gatorade. I don’t mind fruit-infused water (cantaloupe-infused water tastes phenomenal!), but overall, I prefer my water as is.
But everything deserves a chance, and even though the Acai Pomegranate flavor looked way too similar to cough syrup, I poured and mixed 3mL (the suggested serving size–approximately 0.6 of a teaspoon) into a glass of water.
The verdict? Even though it was powerfully sweet, I actually liked how it tasted. I wouldn’t recommend drinking this before going on a run though. That’s what I did, and my stomach didn’t feel too well as a result.
Even though these products are marketed as ‘diet’ products, they can be supplemented with other foods to make a more substantial meal. I could easily see the water enhancers as a substitute for Gatorade (at least in terms of flavor), and the shake bottles could be paired with an english muffin with PB or a nutritious omelette for a go-getter’s breakfast. It would have been nice if the soup was made with a vegetable base versus chicken, as it could have made for a nice broth for some soft tofu cubes or stock for a vegetable stew!
‘Enhanced’ water or plain water—what’s your preference?
Are you a fan of creamer?