I woke up to a growling stomach.
The day prior was spent sat in a car driving to our next destination which was supposed to be Moldova – but our group, the Global Convoy, unintentionally ended up driving into Transnistria unprepared. If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of this country, it’s because it doesn’t technically exist. Transnistria is a self-declared country, unrecognized by the U.N., but still has its own government, border control, currency, and even real people.
We had just enough food the night we arrived to cook a typical backpackers dinner of pasta. Initially, we thought it would be cool to eat out in this obscure country tucked away in Europe (I’ve been to Europe in case you weren’t aware! I travel a lot). However, due to the unrecognized status of this place, we couldn’t use our exotic foreign bank cards with strong currency to withdraw Monopoly money from the obscure ATM machines, and all of the currency exchange points were closed for the night. We were literally left with what little we had, and for our rag-tag group of hooligans, that wasn’t much.
Throughout the majority of the trip, I was trying to save money because I’m typically poor, not to mention in danger of whatever the world might throw at me. Because of this, meal replacements became an excellent source of sustenance. But not just any meal replacement.
In a nutshell, “Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all the proteins, carbs, and fats you need, plus at least 100% of the FDA’s ‘Daily Values’ of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.” And of course, Huel originates from England which is all the more reason to trust this questionable powder that I was putting so eagerly into my body. If it’s made by the English – who all drink tea at least 3 times a day, live off of Greggs, and occasionally partake in a Cheeky Nandos, there’s nothing else I’d rather eat. Or rather, drink.
It’s simple – you put two scoops of Huel in their Huel-specific shaker (if you do not have this, the only other acceptable option is to drink Huel from is a stein glass) and top it off with water. Then, you shake it until your arm goes numb which usually takes approximately 23 minutes. If there are no lumps in your shaker (or stein), congratulations, you’re a wizard. However the chunky remains ensure that it truly simulates a real meal in which you still have to use your mandible for a munching action.
The Global Convoy was #blessed enough to be sponsored by Huel for this epic trip which not only saved me money, but introduced me to a new addiction.
Flash forward back to Transnistria. Waking up in a country where you truly have no ability to buy food and you are broke but still above begging, Huel was my knight in shining armor in this bleak time. Being from a first world country, I’ve never experienced “hunger.” And on this trip, Huel made sure I only had a short taste of those horrible pangs.
Unzipping my tent, I stumbled to the van which carried the precious cargo, reached past the chandelier, and pulled out the bulk load bag of Huel. My weak hands trembled as they grasped the scooper, dumping the required scoops into the Huel shaker. But of course, no Huel meal was complete without the additional Banana flavor boost. I added the extra powder to make it extra delicious and started shaking. Only 23 more minutes to go before I could fill my eager belly.
Once my arm went numb, I wasted no time popping the lid open and opening my throat to begin the ritual/meal. Immediately I entered a euphoric state and the Huel coated and filled my stomach. My eyes rolled to the back of my head and I knew.
I would be nothing without Huel.