So Shape: 28 Day Reborn Challenge review
nutritious low calorie meals & food
So Shape is a French meal replacement brand with a variety of Smart Meals containing all the recommended dietary nutrients & vitamins your body needs to keep you healthy while helping you to lose weight on a restricted calorie controlled diet.
So Shape invited me to take on their 28 Day Reborn Challenge, so as I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t always get enough nutrients and has gained weight since starting university, I accepted the challenged. Firstly, I was intrigued to find out how I would get on as I had never tried meal replacements like So Shape before. Secondly, throughout August I pretty much didn’t leave the house while I was completing my final Master's dissertation, so I was grateful to have the convenience of not having to go out and shop for food or spend time making food as much.
Each So Shape meal is approximately 200 calories and contains vitamins C, B2, B3, B6, B5, B9, B12 Iron and Magnesium to reduce fatigue. Vitamins C, E, B2, Selenium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese to protect the cells from oxidative stress. As well as natural green tea extract, omega 3s and pea protein. The powdered meals come in handy pouches and simply need water and a hob or microwave to be made into a meal.
The 28 Day Reborn Challenge comes with 60 sachets and a shaker. I picked out six different flavours consisting of both savoury and sweet. So Shape recommends having a sweet shake for breakfast and a savoury meal for tea. For lunch you can have an ‘open meal’, the booklet suggests a list of healthy lunch choices to have. However, I just ate a quick Quorn meal with either vegetables or salad.
In addition to the So Shape Smart Meals, I was also sent two packs of pancakes from their Smart Food selection. The Smart Foods are sugar-free, fat-free, enriched with proteins and fibres and can be used as your ‘open meal’.
So for 28 days my diet pretty much consisted of the following:
Breakfast: Coffee first thing. Then either Smart Food pancakes or Smart Meal Shakes. I would rotate each morning between shakes and pancakes so that I didn’t get bored.
Lunch: Quorn pieces made with either steamed vegetables, salad or into a stir-fry.
Dinner: A savoury Smart Meal.
Snacks: Usually another Smart Meal, most often the shakes to curb my need for something sweet.
Drinks: Lots of water, green tea and coffee.
The Smart Food pancakes were my favourite; they have a lovely vanilla scent to them and taste delicious. Unfortunately, as I’m terrible at making pancakes my first few attempts were a sloppy mess, so I purchased a cheap silicone pancake maker from eBay to make it easier, and they turned out like a dream! Some days I would have berries and Alpro coconut yoghurt or bananas and maple syrup sprinkled with cocoa powder.
The Arrabbiata pasta Smart Meal was my least favourite; it just tasted too artificial and lacked the tomato flavour I was hoping for, it was the first meal I tried so it wasn’t a good start to the challenge. When it came to having it again, I decided to sprinkle chilli flakes on it which improved the taste but didn’t make it any more enjoyable.
Indian curry pasta
The Indian curry pasta Smart Meal was one of my favourites and perhaps the most filling of all the Smart Meals. Besides having the best flavour, it also had the best texture. The booklet suggests using a microwave which is quicker, but the meals will look and taste a lot better if made on the hob.
The Mushroom risotto Smart Meal was the one I was looking forward to the most as I love having mushroom risotto whenever I go to an Italian food place. Of course, I didn’t expect the meal replacement to taste anything like a restaurant meal, but it does need a bit more flavour to be more enjoyable. Nonetheless, I did like this meal.
spicy bolo pasta
The Spicy Bolo pasta was my favourite of the savoury meals as it has the most flavour although it was probably the least filling. It also has a mushy but also pasta-like consistency which I enjoyed.
The So Shape Brownie shake is delicious and did replace my need for something sweet which I was grateful for, as it only has 200 calories, so it stopped me reaching for a fattening sugar-fuelled chocolate bar which while doing university work I am prone to eating.
Cookies & cream shake
The Cookies & Cream shake was also enjoyable and helped stop my need for sugar. My friend Andrada also did the challenge, and this was her favourite because it does taste a bit like Oreos! The booklet says to make them with water, but they taste better with Alpro Light Soya Milk unsweetened.
So Shape consists of three challenges:
5 day reboot: 10 meals for £35.00 - £3.50 each – choose any ten different flavours
14 day remove: 30 meals for £89.00 - £2.96 each – choose any three flavours
28 day reborn: 60 meals for £159.00 - £2.65 each – choose any six flavours
The code SIANCUSTOM will allow you to get double the amount of flavours in any 14 or 28 day Challenges. Saving you £9.50.
So Shape Smart Food Box
As well as meals So Shape also has a Smart Food box, consisting of low fat, sugar and calorie breakfasts & snacks. You can currently pick seven Smart Foods for £44.90 however soon you’ll be able to select and purchase them individually. So Shape Smart Food consists of granola, muffins, pancakes, mug cakes and chocolate drops. Each food is packed with protein and vitamins, so they are a guilt-free healthy alternative to treats.
So Shape Smart Granola
There are two varieties of Smart Granola, chocolate or red berries. Both flavours are crunchy and delicious, and I must admit I did look forward to eating breakfast every morning, as they taste so good. They also contain plenty of dietary fibre and protein so are perfect for mornings and to keep you feeling fuller for longer. The only thing I would suggest is that there needs to be more dried red berries because the only berries that were in my pack were the ones I had to pick out to put on top of the granola for the photo. The chocolate granola contains 111 calories and the red berries 97 calories per 30g.
So Shape Smart Muffins
The So Shape Smart Muffins come in two flavours, chocolate or vanilla. Each pack has a scoop, and you’ll receive one silicone muffin tray. The muffins are super quick to prepare simply add water to the powder and put in the oven for 15-18 minutes. A muffin would not be complete without chocolate chips, so I highly recommend sprinkling the Smart Pepites in the mixture as they contain no sugar. The muffins are beautifully soft and moist and taste amazing warm straight from the oven. Each muffin contains 98 calories.
So Shape Smart Mug cakes
I’ve loved every So Shape Smart Food; they are delicious and sweet without the guilt. But I was disappointed when I tried the Smart Mug Cakes because one sachet of water in a mug does not rise to the top like the images indicate on the website. For me, one sachet with the required water in the microwave for one minute makes a flat 3cm cake. Although it tasted great and was a soft, moist cake, it was not what I expected. So the second time I made it, I used four sachets which made it rise to the top of the mug but then quickly deflated before I got it out the microwave. But otherwise, they do taste good and are still a healthier alternative. Each sachet is 78 calories.
Overall I am impressed with the So Shape Smart Foods; they are something I would personally purchase myself because they taste great and are nutritious and low in fat, sugar and calories so are the perfect alternative if you're trying to lose weight but still need something sweet to prevent naughty sugar-fuelled cravings.
The So Shape meals challenge did help me lose a few pounds, and I do feel a lot more comfortable in my jeans. So Shape meals certainly do not compete with ‘normal’ food as they are not as flavoursome or as filling. But I would eat them again because I like its convenience while I’m working from home. They are also great for the days I have a three-course blog meal to review because I can reduce my intake of calories by having So Shape before or after as when I do restaurant reviews I’m usually consuming way over the recommended daily calorie intake. So the So Shape meals would also be great to eat at the weekend, as that’s usually when I tend to eat more calories and fatty foods.
I also like how the handy So Shape pouches help me to control my portion size and my intake of calories while providing me with the nutrients my body needs.
Despite this So Shape is expensive and does not fill you up in the same way normal food does. So I did find myself getting hungry relatively quick on some occasions. Also on the first few days they did stop me from having a number two (sorry not sorry…I’m human 😉) so I would recommend drinking a lot more water.
If you look hard enough, there are relatively healthy and convenient meals in the freshly prepared supermarket aisle for the same price. But the supermarket food is more likely to have unnecessary added ingredients and contain a lot of calories, salt, fat and sugar. They are also likely to contain fewer vitamins and nutrients than So Shape. Therefore nutrition wise So Shape is great.
MyFitnessPal recommends consuming no more than 1,200 calories a day if you want to lose weight and don’t have a very active lifestyle. So for this So Shape would help you lose weight and be an easy way to keep track of your calories without having to measure food and check the labels.
So Shape has launched three vegan soups so it would be great to see a lot more vegan meals being introduced. Or the meals they do have been made vegan. The majority of the food I make my self at home is vegan so that would definitely persuade me to try out So Shape again.
Although, I was not impressed with the amount of plastic waste that was used to display the meals. It would be better if So Shape used 100% recyclable boxes for each flavour to be more environmentally friendly. It would also make them a lot easier to store in my kitchen cupboard.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary 28 day supply of meals and a Smart food box. All photos and words are my own.