Healthy Food Delivery
The average time spent preparing a meal has dropped from about an hour in 1980 to 34 minutes today according to research.
The UK study, which examined the eating and cooking habits of 4,000 UK households from 1980 to 2012, found that the sandwich has become the most commonly eaten meal.
Against this bleak backdrop there is a beacon of hope in the form of healthy food delivery services.
These companies offer choice, convenience and the opportunity to eat fresh food without sacrificing precious down time. As a health coach I regularly see clients who face the challenge of wanting to eat healthier but work long hours.
No one wants to head to the shops, find a recipe and start cooking when you walk through the door at 7.30pm; especially when there are kids vying for your attention, clothes to be washed and… telly to be watched. Let’s be honest. The lure of a glass of wine and Game of Thrones is an appealing alternative to shuffling around Sainsbury’s looking for cumin.
Even if time is on your side, there is the issue of food waste. Globally, we now throw away 50 per cent of edible food and in the UK almost 50 per cent of food waste comes from the home. So often that coriander you bought for the curry on Tuesday and cabbage for the slaw is left to languish at the back of the crisper (unless you’re into juicing, which is the easiest and healthiest antidote to food waste).
Could food delivery services be the answer? Certainly more of us are choosing to have fresh ingredients delivered to our doorstep at an affordable price. One global company, Hello Fresh, delivered 6.1million meals in November 2015. It might not be the end of the ready meal, but it is certainly revolutionizing the way we eat.
Hello Fresh: The company has Jamie Oliver on board and operates in Germany, US, UK, Australia, Austria, The Netherlands and Belgium. Each week you simply choose form an array of recipes online – like Bangladeshi Lamb Biryani or Jamie’s Tomato Tagliatelle – and the ingredients are delivered to your door.
Cost: From £4 per meal for a family.
Mindfulchef.com: All the meals are organic, gluten free and contain no refined carbs. You can choose between classic or plant-based so it’s perfect for the Paleo or Vegan eater alike. Think beef with courgetti and cashews or Malaysian Tofu and carrot noodle laksa.
Cost: From £6 a meal (plant-based) £7 for classic.
ChopHealthy.com: The new company from Natasha Corrett, author of the Honestly Healthy book series, will launch on the 23rd May. As a trained chef Natasha knows how to make alkaline, plant-based recipes delicious. All the ingredients are organic and the recipes free from gluten, wheat and cow’s Dairy. Think Coconut Flour Pizza and chickpea coconut curry.
Cost: From £6 a meal, based on two people and three recipes a week.
The Pure Package: This gourmet food delivery service provides high quality meals with zero effort required on your part. All you need is an oven, a healthy appetite (and a healthy income). Fans include Hayley Atwell, Lily Cole and Florence Welch. As a journalist I recently enjoyed a two-day press trial of the exclusive service. I received a special ‘pregnancy package’ however you could also try the Japanese Body Boost, the DNA diet or Healthy Skin and Ageing.
As someone who typically cooks 90 per cent of my meals from scratch, it was a treat to have a 48-hour holiday from washing up and it was a great way to get more variety into my diet. The chicken superfood salad (pictured above) was a highlight and the snacks all tasty (including homemade kalamata olive tapenade with organic oatcakes). I was initially guilt-struck at how quickly my bin filled with plastic packaging, however was relieved to discover that everything, including the cutlery, is recyclable.
The company does not use any GM food and serves a minimum of seven portions of fruit and vegetables per day. All the meat is grass-fed and the fish ethically sourced. I had the pleasure of meeting the founder of the company, Jennifer Irvine, at a recent industry event and was impressed by her grit. Irvine might serve celebrities, but when the mother-of-four first launched the company she would rise at 4am to personally deliver all the meals (and get to know the twilight toilet stops for her future employees).
Cost: A 10-day program for breakfast, lunch and dinner starts from £44.95 a day.
Laura Bond is a journalist, author and health coach. She specialises in helping clients beat stress, reduce their toxic load and prepare their bodies for babies. To find out more, click here.