Nothing like your mum to keep it real. When our Kit Diva blogger’s mother commented on her looking ‘more womanly’ of late, she knew something had to be done, so she tried the new Balance Box delivery diet scheme
The other day my mum told me that I looked really healthy and ‘more womanly’. Translation – I have put on weight, which she thinks is a good thing by the way, but in my world that aint good, so when the guv’ at Healthista Towers asked about testing a new diet system I was ‘on it’ like all that naughty food I’d been scoffing in the run up to Christmas.
Balance Box is the sister of gourmet food delivery service ‘The Pure Package’ and uses fresh and ethically sourced ingredients selected each day from New Covent Garden.
You have the option of choosing the Market Menu 1,200 calories or the Super Market Menu that comes in at 1,800 calories. I opted for the Market Menu because in the words of that Latin superstar Shakira ‘my hips don’t lie’ when it comes to weight gain. I also asked if they did a wheat-free option because it makes me really ill, and not in a ‘bit of belly bloating’ kind of way, like full on flu-like-laid –in-bed type of reaction so I have avoided the stuff for nearly ten years. The team said they didn’t have a wheat-free menu as such but would speak to the chefs and come up with an alternative so I was good to go.
We agreed a date of Monday 16 December to start my four-day trial (which included all meals and snacks) it was delivered on the Sunday in the dead of the night (left in my outside little bin, which is very clean peeps btw) ready for me to start on the Monday. It arrived in a cooler box in clear plastic individual tubs labelled with what the food was, whether it was breakfast , lunch or dinner and the day of the week so all I had to was heat (if required) and eat. No hustle and bustle in the supermarket for me this week – I am loving this!
Mmmm Monday (their words not mine)
Breakfast – was roasted pear and sultana bircher with natural low fat yoghurt and milk. Now, I rarely eat dairy but in the spirit of things (the hips) I gave it a go, it was quite tasty but a tad too sweet for me but probably because I am used to having my eggs for brekkie.
Lunch – Lebanese chicken cous cous salad which they replaced with barley cous cous for me. It was filling and I was looking forward to this but was a bit disappointed by the lack of flavours. They said it was calming and would ‘lift my mood’ but I kind of felt the same afterwards until I had one of the snack berry bars which I have to say were right up my street all natural and very yummy.
Dinner – mint pesto tilapia and baked butternut squash. I love me some tilapia and I eat it a lot so was rubbing my hands in glee at the thought of this meal but again the flavour just wasn’t there and I couldn’t eat it all.
Breakfast – Roasted stone fruit granola with low fat natural yoghurt. Hmmm… more yoghurt. I got to be honest I wasn’t feeling this and I just can’t do the seed thing for breakfast so I had one of their snack bars instead.
Lunch – Leek and Mozzarella Frittata. I was starving come lunchtime so was really hoping that it would something nice and it was!!! My kind of meal (probably because it contained my beloved eggs) protein rich, which, meant that I would feel fuller for longer – success and thumbs up for this meal roll on dinner.
Dinner – Chicken Laksa. This was the bomb! Very tasty, flavoursome chicken pieces with rice noodles in a spicy coconut soup which I could have easily eaten more of had it been given to me. Two nice meals that I haven’t had to cook myself, I’ll take that.
Breakfast – Stewed Apricots with, I swear I am not even joking, more yoghurt!!!! By now, I need an alternative, some eggs, fish even a piece of (wheat-free) toast damn it but not more yoghurt! Am hungry though, so begrudgingly I eat the fruit and my snack and keep it moving.
Lunch – Smoked Trout Salad. Looks tasty and after yoghurt-gate it had better deliver or I am making myself an omelette. It’s a taste sensation and possibly one of my favourite meals so far! Things are looking up and we are back on track.
Dinner- Glamorgan Patties & Colcannon Mustard Mash. Did I say we were back on track? I read the ingredients and noticed they contained wheat so I couldn’t eat it. I phoned customer service who were very apologetic and even offered to send me a replacement but I declined given the time it would take to arrive.
Breakfast – Prune and Vanilla Bircher with vanilla, you guessed it yoghurt. I couldn’t do it peeps, I know it was the last day but I like variety and I just couldn’t bring myself to eat another breakfast of yoghurt.
Lunch – Hearty vegetable soup. I ‘ve only had my mid morning snack and am starving so these and the one oat cake it came with go down a treat.
Dinner – Mushroom Stroganoff Looking at it in the tub does not excite me in the slightest but it better than it looks and I love the quinoa it was cooked with so the last supper was a success.
At the end of the trial I am pretty sure that I am the same weight as I started but that is probably because I simply could not eat the same thing day in and day out so had to stray off the menu a few times.
There needs to be way more variety with the breakfast menu, better options for those with special dietary requirements and bigger flavours so that people stick to the diet. I’d also like to see a macronutrient breakdown of the food so we know how much fat, sugar, protein, carbohydrate is in each meal.
That said I think the concept is great for a time poor working mum like myself and fantastic way to show dieters how they can still eat decent food whilst achieving their goals.
Balance Box prices start from £19.99 including nationwide delivery across the UK excluding Scotland and Wales. Find them at www.balancebox.com
Thelma Mensah is personal trainer, founder of the uber-cool blog kicksandkit.com. She’s also Healthista’s own Kit Diva blogger.
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