Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Medifast Foods: Best & Worst

This past month I got to try a couple of new Medifast foods, so I wanted to share my thoughts on those. I also compiled a list or 'ranking' of what I, personally, think are the very best and worst Medifast foods.

I'll start with 3 product reviews.
First, there were the Strawberry Crunch Bars. I have tried every other flavor of bar and they were all good to one degree or another, but I'd heard many people say they did not like the Strawberry Bars AT ALL so I waited awhile to try them. Here they are:


They are the same basic composition as most of the other crunch bars: little crunchy protein balls stuck together, with a coating on the bottom and a drizzle on the top. I love strawberry stuff, even fake stuff and I even sort of liked the highly maligned Medifast Strawberry shake, so I figured I'd like this.

I was wrong.

The Strawberry Crunch bar did not taste like strawberry to me. In fact, when I read the ingredients on the label I saw no mention whatsoever of strawberries... just elderberry juice and cranberries. Hmmmm. Furthermore, it tasted rather salty to me. Very strange. It had an off flavor I can't quite place but didn't like. The best part was the white coating which made the bar tolerable. I will finish the ones I have, but I would not order these again. They are the only Crunch bar that I would give a thumbs down.

Next, we have Ready-to-Drink Shakes, in Dutch Chocolate and French Vanilla:


Aren't they cute?? Just like those little milks you can get at Starbucks. These are shelf-stable cartons that come with little plastic straws attached. They're very convenient, easy to take along when you're travelling, and a lot of people think they taste better than the powdered shake mixes Medifast makes. With the powders, you have to add water (and ice for best flavor) and either shake or blend it up. But these are all ready to stick a straw in and drink.

Well, I am not a big fan of any of the powdered shakes. I think they taste bitter and they don't satisfy me, so I don't drink them. So how do these rank? The chocolate one was fine. I did chill them before drinking, and I thought the chocolate shake tasted almost exactly like a canned chocolate Slim Fast. But the vanilla one I did not like AT ALL. It had the same unpleasant (to me) taste of the powdered vanilla shakes, and I only got about 1/3 of it down before resorting to 'doctoring.' I poured the rest into my mini blender with some instant coffee, sugar free caramel syrup, and ice, and gave it a whirl. The result was MUCH better, but doesn't that kind of defeat the whole purpose of having a ready-to-drink shake in a carton?

More Medifast food reviews, with pictures are located here. I've reviewed almost every food they offer.

I've been eating Medifast foods five times a day for 15 weeks, so I have a pretty good idea what *I* think are the best and worst foods they have. I do frequent a Medifast forum and have noticed that there are just as many people who LOVE a specific food as there are who HATE it; tastes really vary. There are some foods that get almost universal thumbs ups or thumbs downs; I noted those in my list. But even my own tastes have changed and things I used to really like are not favorites anymore, while I learned to like things I didn't like at first.

So here are the Medifast foods I have tried, in order from BEST to WORST:

Chocolate Pudding (I make this into a shake or a 'Frosty' and have it every day)
Honey Mustard Pretzels (I really love these and eat them every day)
Hot Cocoa (I love this made with coffee, over ice in the summertime)
Peanut Butter Crunch Bars **(a universal favorite)
Cinnamon Pretzels
Chocolate Crunch Bars
Cranberry Mango Drink (great shaken in a water bottle with ice; travels well)
Mint Chocolate Crunch Bars **(a universal favorite)
Brownies (these grew on me, but I don't have them very often)
Lemon Meringue Crunch Bars
Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs
Parmesan Puffs
Fruit & Nut Crunch Bars
Caramel Crunch Bars
Cinnamon Roll Crunch Bars
Scrambled Eggs
Chili
Banana Pudding
------------------Anything between this line and the next, I don't LOVE but would eat again.
Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Cream of Chicken Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Smores Crunch Bars ** (a universal favorite, but too sweet for me)
Oatmeal Raisin Crunch Bars
Dutch Chocolate Ready-to-Drink Shake
Vanilla Pudding
Chai Latte
-------------------- Anything below this line I don't ever want to eat again. I put a * by the ones that people often dislike.
Cream of Broccoli Soup *
Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal *
Strawberry Shake *
Orange Creme Shake *
Cappuccino
Strawberry Crunch Bars *
French Vanilla Ready-to-Drink Shake
Blueberry Oatmeal *
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal *
Dutch Chocolate Shake (other people seem to love this, but it tastes bitter to me)
Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Shake
Beef Stew

I did not try the Peach Oatmeal or a few powdered shake flavors (french vanilla, Swiss mocha, banana creme, cherry pomegranate) because I strongly disliked all the other oatmeals & shakes. Since I'm allergic to crab, I won't be trying the Crab Soup, and since most people seem to hate the Tomato Soup I probably won't try that either. The only other things I have not tried are Tropical Punch, Iced tea (in Peach and Raspberry), and Maintenance Bars.

The nice thing about these foods is that they taste good (the ones I like do, anyway) without being SO GOOD they make you crave them. None of these foods trigger me or make me want to eat more and more. After I eat a Medifast meal (each food item is considered a meal), I am satisfied for 2-3 hours until my next meal. And I love that I get lots of fresh veggies, lean protein and healthy fat every night for dinner, which I prepare myself from scratch. I have some great recipes to share, and I am working on a page to link all my recipes on this blog so they are easier to find.

I have found something that is really helping me with my journey and I plan to continue Medifast for as long as it is beneficial to me. And then, I'll transition to a low carb, high protein, whole foods diet with plenty of exercise.

*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free.*

27 comments:

Jane said...

Hi Lyn

I understand you have a struggle but it's so great to know you're enjoying your low fat high protein meat and your vegetables. Reviewing the medifast items will be a great help to people. Keep up your good work.

Jane

aapuzzanchera said...

WOW! I am a medifast dieter as well. I have to say that I am a little surprised at the list of foods that you do not like. I favor the bars the most and some of the shakes, mainly the dutch chocolate. I DO NOT like the Peach Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs or Cream of Tomato soup. My fave bar is the Smores.. OMG SO GOOD!!! And I really enjoy the Beef Stew, Chili, Chicken and Wild Rice and Chicken Noodle soups. I haven't tried to pretzels yet, but I do the like Parmesan Cheese puffs. I am not really a fan of the hot drinks, they get so messy!! Thank you for sharing. It's nice to have another persons view on the food. I have to say that overall though, the food is really good.

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

I enjoyed your Medifast food review. I LOVE the chicken Noodle Soup myself. It's a thicker soup and with the crackers it's so yummy. And I agree that the oatmeal isn't very good but I make muffins out of them and me and my hubby LOVE the muffins. It gives us our "bread" fix. I am loving this program and how it really is working for us!!

~Margene
http://www.believingitspossible.blogspot.com/

spunkysuzi said...

Everyone's tastes are different and i think we all find foods we love and others we won't even pick up :)
You are doing great!! I have no idea why they would ask you to do NS when your already doing what's working for you :)

Tammy said...

I got the Nutrisystem email too, but then they said they were looking for only US blogger right now. I thought that was funny since we are on the very international internet. In fact, I have more US visitors than Canadian!

I told 'em not to consider me because i will lose the last bit on my own by the time they are ready to consider Canadian bloggers. Plus, I've heard some bad things about their food being high in sodium and LOTS of carbs. I may have said yes if they were ready for me to try it now, just to see!

I am glad Medifast is working for you...seems like a good program!

Bella said...

AMAZING!!!!

Anonymous said...

Girl, wait until you try the Caramel Nut bars. They might be the ones of which you are only supposed to have one per day. They are fantastic!!!

I don't like the strawberry bars, either. I've decided to go strictly shakes and bars from here on out (17 pounds lost).

I read your blog all the time! :)

Jennifer said...

Lyn- wait till you try the maintenance bars. You are allowed one per day while on the 5 and 1 plan, and I usually only ate them on the days that I did a lot of exercise. They have a few more carbs and calories but are totally worth it! They are bigger and have a whole different consistency than the crunch bars. I love the caramel nut and also the chocolate mint. The chocolate mint is extra chewy and really gave me a great sweet fix. The caramel nut is a very smooth rich bar. Yummm. Enjoy!

Jennifer
http://wecanlosethepounds.blogspot.com/

Jess B said...

I'm new to Medifast (started in Sunday) and I wish I had come across your blog earlier! I had the Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal today--and by "had" I mean I choked down 4 bites, followed by a literal "swallow like a horse pill" 2 bites, followed by throwing the rest away in the garbage. I may be a desperate big girl trying to lose weight, but I'm not THAT desperate! Can't wait to read more of what you have to say.

Chef Mary said...

I am a certified Chef instructor with a goal of losing 30 pounds. Having started the Medifast program one week ago, the food tastes better than the first two days. Having said that, I have a few add-ons to your already great tips. In the morning when I eat my oatmeal, I had a dash of cinnamon. The chili is boring without the addition of diced green chili peppers. More to come...

Anonymous said...

I started the medifast program about a year ago and lost 30 lbs. Now it is 2012 and I will be starting the program again. My goal is to lose another 30 lbs. I never have liked any type of diet shake but what I did to make the shakes taste better was purchase a personal size blender and I fill it with half ice and half water this makes the shake more like an icy which gives it a nice flavor. As far as the oatmeals are concerned, well I make oatmeal cookies and they are fantastic! I don't like the puddings but I blend them the same way I do the shakes which makes them taste better. I do not like any of the soups but I am still looking for a recipe that might make them taste better.

Anonymous said...

Only staring week 2, but already have my lists of YUM and YUCK. The first time I had the maple oatmeal, I added the recommended amt of water, and gagged my way through, until I finally finished the thick paste, and drank my daily water requirement trying to choke it down. I swore I wouldn't touch it again. However, in a hurry, I grabbed a blueberry oatmeal packet, threw it in a large mug, accidentally added too much water, threw it in the microwave, but ate it because I didn't want to waste it. Well, if you dont mind a soupy consistency (betterthan thick paste), it was surprisingly good. I tried the maple oatmeal again, and the extra water totally changed the flavor. So much so, that I will order it again.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you have had the new formula chili cheese puffs. I used to love these with a diet soda. I don't know what they did but I gag on them now. They have a horrible cardboard taste and I just can't eat them anymore. Have you noticed a change. You would have had to order them really recently. My sponsor said they tried to make them less sticky. I almost cried when I tasted them becuase I loved these and now fret at the thought of ever eating another.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

I have not had the new formula puffs. That's too bad they messed them up! They were pretty good as is.

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooooo much for all of your Medifast ideas. I just tried the pudding with an egg white. LOVE it.

MRSHOPEM said...

I am surprised too by some of the things you don't like, some I actually love! Lol. It's really important for new clients to realize this early on, how different all our tastes are, and to just go ahead and order a variety pack the first go-round. I too do not favor the strawberry bars or the lemon meringue. The lemon I think I wore myself out on. I like the dark choc antioxidant shake blended with ice. I add the extra water and love the maple and brown sugar oatmeal. I like all of the oatmeals actually, once I got past the fact that they are never going to be the same texture as regular oatmeal lol. Have you had the mocha ready to drink shake? I'm a huge fan of those. I love the raspberry iced tea but just know that it's more like a strawberry milk. Remember those from childhood? I loved em! I don't like the cinnamon pretzel sticks at all because they're just so chalky, what do you suggest besides just drinking lots of water with them?
I like the southwest eggs a little but I think I need to try the plain ones, I saw that you liked those=) the bars you listed as universal favs definitely are my favs too! The fruit and nut however wasn't too hot on my list. The choc pudding is yummy! I will try your suggested egg white! I love all the cheese puffs and am so excited about mac n cheese coming soon!

SheriLR said...

Love your blog. I'm on my 7th week. I got the oatmeal at first. My daughter will eat it but I thought I was going to be ill trying to eat it. I gave it toy daughter. The new Mac
And cheese isn't good to me either. I like the pancakes ok, The brownies are good and I like the fruit flavored cereal but not the cinnamon. The cinnamon pretzels are good though.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious!!! I am sitting here on 1/1/13 and WAS soooooooo excited about starting the Medifast program. I LOVE oatmeal and chose this as my FIRST of the 5 in 1 meal. MISTAKE!!! I too am a big girl needing to lose weight desperately but NEVER again can that cross my lips. UGH!!! Geez!!! Nasty!!! I found your input just as I had 2 HUGE bites remaining that I was chasing with water as fast as I could and just BUSTED out laughing!!! Lol!!! So THANK YOU!!! I am thankful I hear there are actually other semi-good options and these are going BaCk & I will not be discouraged! Lol!!! Now, I must go brush my teeth amd get this gritty fake taste out of my mouth ASAP! Pray your journey is still going well! Take care & THANKs again!!! =)

Wanna Losealot said...

Thanks so much for the input!! I started this past Monday and already down 5 pounds! But I was so disappointed when I went to eat the oatmeal, which I was initially so excited to eat. It had a weird taste to it...can not quite pinpoint it....kind of like the pink asprin we took as young children when we had a fever or something. But the good news is, I called there and can send it back in and get an even exchange. I have been having a very hard time finding foods that I like, but my husband has liked all of them.

Anonymous said...

I really like the maple & cinnamon oatmeal. I do use about 3/4 cup of water and then let it sit on the counter for 1/2 hour or more. I want the oatmeal to absorb the most water that it can absorb! Microwave it at 70% so that it doesn't boil in the microwave. At the end of the microwave cooking I add 2 packets of Splenda and about 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (I have a grinder to grind fresh cinnamon). Since it takes a minute or two to grind the cinnamon onto the oatmeal, it has another minute to improve the quality of the texture. In the beginning I nearly gagged, but now it is one of my favorite of the Medifast meals. Another favorite is the pudding which I use to make a shake - 1 pack of pudding, 1 cup water, some sugar free chocolate flavoring liquid, and about 7 ice cubes blended up REALLY well. It takes about a minute on high in my blender. The ice has to be really chopped up so that I can drink it through a straw. If you can find some really small square or small round ice trays that really helps with getting the ice blended (use about 1/2 the tray). Good luck in your journey. Thanks you for the blog, too.

Hulsey said...

Congratulations on your journey, I hope it is still going strong! I started MF Christmas night and had a great first month and since then it has slowed d/t my lack of vigilance but I am still down a total of 44.8 lbs as of this am. I am so happy I found MF. The food, I swear, tastes better after the 1st week. My fav are anything grab-and-go. I love ground turkey taco salad L/G night. My kids like it too!

Hollie said...

I like your blog, it's got alot of interesting information. I noticed that some are going on your one opinion of what is good to eat and waht isn't. Honestly, one opinion shouldn't be a deciding factor on whether one person should go on the program or not. This is a great program. Some of the foods you dislike, I actually love and some of the foods you like, I dislike. Everyone has their own tastes and should try the program for themselves. I commend you on your success and I hope to reach my own success one day! :)

Lyn said...

Hollie~

Thanks! I agree everyone should decide and try for themselves. The nice thing is that there is a new option now to purchase just one packet or bar from Medifast to try instead of buying a whole box of 7. That way you can try anything and not worry about having a whole box of things you don't like. Also, tastes change, so if you don't like a certain food you can put it away for a few weeks and then try it again later. Some of the Medifast foods have also been reformulated, such as the pretzels and puffs.

Good luck on your journey!

Katie Daly-Jackson said...

Good Morning,

Started Medifast this morning, I've had 1 pkg so far, The Cinnamon stcks with my coffee, I LOVE the FRENCH Vannila coffee creamer and usually have 2 or 3 cups of coffee, WOW, this morning I measure out the creamer and put it in my coffee first then filled it with the coffee to get it to the creamy color I like.... lol 1 Cup of coffee was all I could have as that waS 70 CALORIES...GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE ANOTHER WAY TO GET MY COFFEE FILL, I REALLY DON'T THINK THE CREAMER IS OK. Anyway LYN, I am using your web site to keep me motivated as I always loose sight on dieting but now I am 210 pounds and hitting 50...not good, I have a hard time breathing and the heavier I get the more I want to eat, he more I eat the less I do... I am a skinny girl stuck in this fat body only getting bigger strangling the skinny girl.

Lyn said...

Katie~

when I started Medifast I was using sugar free coffee creamer. If you can find the ones with 1 gram of carbs per serving, then 1 serving = a condiment. Later I started using half & half which can be a condiment or a fat serving, and then finally I started cutting back on those things until I learned to like coffee black. Now I drink it black. Some folks use Medifast vanilla shakes as creamer, and I like to mix a Medifast hot cocoa into my coffee to make a mocha. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Could you give the recipe for your muffins? I miss so much my morning bread :(
How do you do muffins with the oat meal
Thanks!

Lyn said...

Anon~

here is the muffin recipe I used:

http://www.escapefromobesity.net/2011/04/just-some-muffins-and-comparison.html