Starting any new diet can be tough, sometimes to the point of taking any enjoyment out of food. When I first needed to cut out gluten from my diet it suddenly felt like everything contained gluten. I’d naively thought perhaps I could cut out bread and pasta and it would be ok. It wasn’t nearly enough.
Finding gluten free alternatives has become much easier in recent years, but I think having a fresh meal plan service, like Love Yourself could have helped enormously when I was first making the transition.
The London-based company freshly prepares and delivers meals to your door based on a daily diet plan including three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – and two snacks. There are plans to cater for a variety of specialised diets including low-carb, performance, dairy free, and keto. The chef uses no additives, preservatives, or processed foods in any of the diet plans and all are similar in terms of how they are packaged, delivered, and prepared at home.
I sampled their gluten-free diet for a couple of days. The food is available nationwide and arrives via a standard courier, packaged with Hydropac to keep cool. The packaging is 95% compostable and biodegradable. The chilled food boxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard and can be put in the paper recycling bin when emptied. The meal containers are made from pulp and are 95% plastic free. The food can be heated in the trays. The trays can’t be recycling because they have contained food, but they are mainly compostable and can be scrunched up and go into the general waste bin.
When the food arrived a couple of the meals weren’t fully sealed and had leaked in the box. When I contacted customer services, I was told they were using new machines that were going through a test phase, and they expected the service to be much better within a week. Hopefully this will be resolved by now. The response was swift, and they agreed to provide a £15 voucher to replace the food which I was unable to eat.
All the meals can either be eaten cold or come ready for reheating in a microwave or standard oven. Details of all the ingredients and nutrients are on the packaging and each label includes a scannable QR code so if you are on a weight-loss plan you can use the MyFitness app to keep track of calories and macro-nutrients.
This is what was in my package, although these choices may not always be available because menus are updated weekly using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients:
Breakfast Berry crumble with Greek youghurt 353 kcal
Morning snack Green pea and broccoli mash with carrots 176 kcal
Lunch Sweet and sour chicken with rice noodles 529 kcal
Afternoon snack Cheesecake with a mixed berry jam 180 kcal
Dinner Fig and goats cheese quinoa salad 300 kcal
Breakfast Spinach and sweet potato tortilla 372 kcal
Morning snack Italian-style soup 148 kcal
Lunch Italian beef meatballs in a tomato sauce with polenta and parmesan 527 kcal
Afternoon snack Pina colada smoothie 321 kcal
Dinner Crunch raw vegetable and quinoa salad with tarragon dressing 298 kcal
For someone following a strict diet the ready-prepared menus can help to add variety and give ideas for different types of foods to eat. When you’re busy, or you have one person in the house who needs to follow a different diet, it can help to take the stress out of thinking about what to eat, helping to make choices that are both quick and healthy. It’s fast food but it isn’t processed fast food, because someone else – in this case a gourmet chef – has already taken the time to prepare and cook it fresh.
The portion sizes are good and surprisingly filling. Including the two snacks helps prevent hunger between meals and makes it less likely you’ll break your diet with unhealthy snack choices. For long term use the calorie content of the menu I sampled was very low and unless you are looking to lose weight you would probably need to supplement it with other food. But depending on your health goals you can opt between four calorie choices – 1200, 1500, 2000 and 2500.
There are a variety of delivery options available. The Gluten Free diet plan I sampled is £115 for 5 days or £25 a day. A 2000 a day calorie option is £125 for 5 days or £27 a day.
I have tried other food delivery services in the past and this one wins for taste, freshness and variety of food.
For more details visit LoveYourself.co.uk
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