I was recently given the opportunity to receive a sample of CORE Meals to review. As a person who is always on the go and always hungry, when I read one of their taglines, “We make portable FOOD,” (as opposed to the candy that most so-called nutrition bars offer), I knew that CORE Meals were made for someone like me.
When my package was shipped, I was warned to be on the lookout. Because Core Meals are real, whole food, with no preservatives, they are perishable. It was shipped with a cold pack (which honestly wasn’t cold anymore by the time it arrive), but I quickly brought my package in the house and put it in the freezer.
After I was first contacted by Core Foods, I was interested to learn a little more about the company. They are a West Oakland based not-for-profit company that takes pride that they make only the healthiest produce-based foods with no syrups, salts, flours, oils, or additives. Each CORE Meal is tested gluten free. The folks at CORE Foods are committed to their business model, which is based on four standards:
- Not-for-profit. 100% of profit is re-invested in CORE and the community. Not shareholders.
- All employees earn a living wage.
- Executive salaries are capped at the industry average.
- Environmental impact is calculated and held accountable. All carbon is reduced or offset.
I was sent a sample package of CORE Defender. Each high fiber, vegan bar is made with five fresh organic plants to pack all 13 amino acids, high plant fiber, and essential fatty acids into one bar. For example, the Raw Almond Raisin meal has whole oats, almonds, raisins, flax, and ground spices. That is all. If you eat one bar with water you are eating a full bowl of hearty oatmeal!
I had my opportunity to try a CORE Meal last weekend after finishing the London Bridge Half Marathon. Right after the race, my stomach was a little upset, so I stuck with water for a while as I stretched and rested. Then, I drove back to the hotel to get cleaned up and check out while Alan was still working. I sat down before my shower and ate the Raw Walnut Banana CORE Meal.
I am the first to admit that I have a sweet tooth. I am trying to defeat it by eating less sweets. A CORE Meal is not a candy bar. It is real food that has no sugar. It is sweetened naturally, in this case with banana and raisins. It has a chewy texture, and it was mildly sweet and nutty. Not the sweetness that I prefer, but one that is healthy and natural. Not only that, but it satisfied my hunger for about three hours. That is saying a lot for me, because, first of all, I had just finished a half marathon. And second, as I said above, I am always hungry.
Back at work on Monday, I brought along the Raw Cashew Cacao CORE Meal for my second breakfast (I eat my first breakfast early, before 5:00 because I work at 5:30. That means that I am ready for a second breakfast about about 8:00). This was my least favorite of the three CORE Meals that I tried, not bad, but I thought the cacao was a little bitter. And it did the trick and tided me over until lunch time.
The next day I put my final CORE Meal to the real test. I ate it for first breakfast. I am not very inventive in the morning. I usually have cereal with some fruit, nuts, and almond milk, and toast. I may be in a rut, but it is what I want in the morning. So substituting the Raw Almond Raisin CORE Meal was a big deal for me (and my dogs, who always get a little piece of crust when I’m done eating). To be honest, I didn’t believe it would fill me up and hold me over.
While the Walnut Banana was my favorite flavor, the Almond Raisin was very tasty too. Again, not sugary, but chewy, nutty, with just a touch of sweetness. And best of all, not only did it fill me up, I stayed full for at least four hours, through an exercise class and a meeting!
I was very happy that I got to try CORE Meals. They are the perfect on-the-go food: they are made with whole, organic ingredients, they taste good, and they are very satisfying. In addition to the vegan CORE Defender Meals, which I tried, CORE Foods also makes CORE Warrior Meals, which have extra protein in the form of the world’s only fully soluble, organic whey protein.
CORE Foods is currently holding a contest on their Facebook page. You can enter to win a case of CORE Meals. Plus, if you like their page, you will receive a discount code worth $5 off you purchase.
Disclosure: I received a free sample pack of CORE Defender Meals. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.