At the recent ObesityHelp conference in Visalia, I received a sampler pack of numerous Herbalife products from one of the convention attendees.
For those unfamiliar with Herbalife, it's a line of nutrition products available for purchase through independent distributors. The company offers various lines, from weight management to general wellness products.
I haven't yet had the opportunity to try all of the products I received in my sampler pack, but I've tried enough to offer an opinion on them.
Protein Bars ($16.95 for a box of 14 bars)
These bars are fairly standard as far as protein bars go. They have a clay-like texture and are coated in either a chocolate or white candy-like coating. Though calorie count varies according to flavor, each bar offers 12 grams of protein, about 6 grams of fat and about 15 grams of carbohydrate. The bars are sweetened with sugar alcohols, so they are safe for sugar-sensitive post-ops.
I've tried each flavor -- peanut butter, chocolate fudge, lemon and chocolate coconut -- and consider them to be decent. Peanut butter was my favorite. Of all the flavors, I think it had the least protein aftertaste. Lemon was my least favorite. The other two flavors were middle of the road to me.
Personally, I wouldn't consider buying these for myself. They are so dense that I can't eat more than half of a bar, which only gives me about 6 grams of protein -- not nearly enough to make it pouch worthy.
Roasted Soynuts ($10.95 for a box of 14 packets)
These are no different than the average roasted soynut, except they are seasoned with Cardia salt, a low-sodium seasoning. I thought the Cardia salt had a strange taste so I emptied about half a packet of Splenda into my packet and shook it up to give the nuts a salty-sweet taste similar to kettle korn.
I don't think these soynuts are any different or better than the varieties available at the grocery story, but the single-serving packets are handy -- especially if you have a tough time regulating your portions when it comes to snack foods. Each packet provides about 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein -- a very nutritious snack for anybody but especially good for a post-op. And they definitely satisfy any craving for crunch.
Peach Mango Beverage Mix ($10.95 for 7 packets)
This is an instant beverage mix that offers about 70 calories, less than a gram of fat, 2 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein. I was really excited to try this, and it seemed like it would be good. the powder mixed well in water with a few stirs of a spoon. The finished product was a little cloudy, but it didn't seem too bad. Then I took a sip, which I promptly spit out into the sink. I can't offer any specifics on what I didn't like, apart from everything. The initial taste wasn't good, and the aftertaste was terrible. There was an overbearing protein taste to the beverage, and I couldn't think of anything to improve it. In hindsight, mixing it in a blender with ice and fruit may have made it drinkable, but that would have defeated the purpose of having a convenient drink mix that can be made anywhere.
Herbalife herbal concentrate ($19.95 for 1.8 ounces)
I first tried this product, a thermogenic drink mix that contains green tea, about seven years ago. To this day, it's still my favorite product and it makes a tasty sugar-free drink. I favor the original flavor. The single serving packets are great when you're on the go. Just dump it into a standard bottle of water with a few packets of Splenda mixed in.