Kaeng Raeng Review: Chef Amber Shea

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Juicy July: Kaeng Raeng smoothie cleanse review

By Chef Amber Shea on July 13, 2012

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure is very peaceful), you’ve probably heard of Kaeng Raeng.

Kaeng Raeng serves up nutritional detox systems—in other words, prepackaged and ready-to-rock smoothie cleanses. (This isn’t juice, mind you, but I’m including smoothies in Juicy July!) Obviously, I eat a clean whole-foods diet prepared from scratch most of the time…but I’m also writing cookbooks and this blog, planning a wedding, and dealing with an illness, so on occasion, it’s just really nice to not have to worry about meal prep for a few days. It’s like a mental mini-vacation!

Kaeng Raeng’s all-natural powdered smoothie mixes are 100% vegan, gluten-free, caffeine-free, and sustainably made in the USA. Each pouch makes up to 32 fluid ounces and is nutritional and filling (more on that later). By drinking 3 Kaeng Raeng smoothies in a day, you’ll end up with 45g of protein, 39g of fiber, and 100% of your daily vitamin needs.

Here’s how it works: you choose the level of cleansing you want (Beginner, Veteran, or Master; I did the Master) and the length (3 days or 6 days; I did 3), and Kaeng Raeng provides 3 smoothies a day (in 3 different flavors) for each day of the cleanse. You drink a smoothie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you can snack on unlimited amounts of raw fruits and vegetables in between. That’s it!

The smoothie mixes contain freeze-dried real fruit, probiotics, psyllium husk (for fiber), and non-GMO soy protein. (Yes, these mixes do contain soy, so they may not be suitable for individuals who are soy-sensitive. As you may know, I was soy-free for several months to see if it would help my Hashimoto’s disease, but there was no detectable improvement. Now, with my doctor’s approval, I’ve slowly been incorporating non-GMO soy back into my diet. So far, so good.)

The three flavors are Blueberry Blackberry Banana, Mango Peach Pineapple, and Strawberry Raspberry Pineapple. You can drink them in any order you want, at any time of day you want. “But how do they taste?” you’re wondering. Well…great! Fruity, flavorful, and not too sweet (in fact, I sometimes added a few drops of stevia to my shakes to amp up the sweetness).

One thing that makes these Kaeng Raeng cleanses so easy and doable is that you can mix up the smoothies by merely shaking them up in a water bottle with 24 to 32 ounces of water, juice, or nondairy milk. This means you can literally do this cleanse anywhere, as long as you have a sink nearby (and, um, I hope you do). I enjoyed mine on the thin side, so I could sip them for longer. These smoothies do take quite awhile to drink – they did for me, at least – which I loved, because it felt like a real meal in my tummy and kept me full for a long time. I honestly didn’t even do as much snacking as I expected to on the 3 days of my cleanse; just some mangoes, bananas, and grapes, and the fruit I added to the shakes themselves (see below for more on that). The smoothies kept me surprisingly satisfied, no doubt a result of the high fiber content thanks to the inclusion of psyllium husk.

Speaking of, one tip I have for Kaeng Raeng cleansers is that you drink LOTS of water in addition to your smoothies. Psyllium holds several times its weight in water, and when you’re well-hydrated, that means it’ll provide bulk to push things through your digestive tract. If you don’t hydrate well enough to give the psyllium plenty of water to soak up, though, it could result in constipation. So sip extra water all day long!

But enough about that topic…

Since I was not on the go most of the time, I made several of my smoothies in the blender and often added frozen fruit (like cherries, raspberries, or banana) to make them icy-cool. And since I can’t leave well enough alone, I also sometimes blended in fresh spinach, Vitamineral Green, or spirulina powder for added green power.

Plus (since I know you’re curious!), I have no doubt that many people would lose weight after 3 to 6 days of these filling, low-calorie smoothies. (I didn’t, but that’s because my thyroid is still effed up and my weight is still on the rise.)

Last but not least: Kaeng Raeng cleanses start at just $18 per day, which is FAR less than true delivered-to-your-door juice cleanses cost ($65 to $80 per day), so it’s an economical choice for anyone interested in a low-maintenance, no-hunger detox. All in all, two thumbs up.

Finally, the exciting news: you, lovely readers, can get a 15% discount off ANY Kaeng Raeng cleanse of your choice from now until July 31st with my (not-so-)secret(-anymore) coupon code: VEGANCHEF15. In exchange, Kaeng Raeng only asks that you “like” them on Facebook and/or follow them on Pinterest. Easy peasy.

Now you tell me:
Have you ever done a smoothie OR juice cleanse?
If so, for how long, and how did you go about it?
If not, have you ever considered one?

And if you try a Kaeng Raeng detox yourself, let me know how it goes!


P.S. Interested in cleansing, but not keen on living on liquids for 3 days? Try my Real Food Cleanse!