September 26, 2015 by marksetchfield
The concept: A daily calorie controlled meal plan you select from a weekly menu.
The experience: I headed from the office in Safa Park to the Healthtrendz office based at the World Trade Centre, Dubai, where I met Senior Nutritionist Lovely Ranganath, the brainchild of the concept.
She worked with catering chefs at WTC and was increasingly being asked to prepare healthier options for guests and so ‘Healthtrendz’ was born – a line of healthy, portion-controlled meals delivered to customer homes or offices.
The words ‘calorie controlled diet’ is enough to make the happiest person frown. But the simple healthy lunch boxes are packed with tasty bites like Quinoa porridge, berries, greens, brown rice, kebabs, koftas, biryanis and tagines. They are all freshly prepared by an award-winning team of gourmet chefs in the HACCAP certified, Dubai Municipality A-Grade Awarded kitchen of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
I always try to eat a balanced diet. I have a veggie night once a week and eat lots of fresh fish. However, after moving to Dubai from London with just a suitcase in tow has seen me be at the mercy of endless brunches, takeaways and room service. So I was psyched up and ready for my very first diet plan to begin. My consultation confirmed I was a little over my ideal weight. In fact at 83kg I was five kilos heavier than I should be and my BMI was also 27 (just north of normal). It was clear where the weight had gone – “it’s mostly around your trunk,’’ Lovely informed me.
With a revised gym schedule and a fizzy drink-free fridge I chose my six-day meal plan from a weekly menu.
On the first day my doorbell rang bang on time. As I unzipped the cooler bag, I was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of food I had for one day. At first I thought this can’t be right! It was like my personalized diet picnic all neatly laid out including sweeteners, face wipes and cutlery.
The menu ranges from Indian and continental to Arabic food, and in the first few days I couldn’t eat all the dishes, even giving some away to my colleagues. The food was zingy spicy and deeply tasty. The fish was steamed instead of being poached or fried, the salads contained a lot of pulses which help fill you up and slowly release energy. And the chocolate sponge squares with caramel were a clear favourite (several times a week). But what can I say – I have a sweet tooth. “It’s in the diet bag so it must be part of the plan,” I said to my colleagues!
I must admit I did doubt how all this really delicious food could be part of a strict diet plan. But the weight started to come off and I realised the secret is the portion size and cooking style.
Breakfast: Peach slices with custard sauce
Morning snack: Extend snack bar (Peanut butter chocolate delight)
Lunch: Poached chicken and pomegranate salad, steamed green beans
Afternoon snack: Chocolate walnut cake
Dinner: Mustard grilled fish kebabs with pumpkin
I lost 3kg and 1 1/2 inches from my waist.
Pros: A tasty varied diet plan, that didn’t ever leave me feeling hungry. The food was beautifully packaged, airtight and never spilt or leaked.
Cons: None, it was like having your own chef deliver your tailor-made diet plan using fresh ingredients.
Verdict: I’ve used some of the meal recipes myself and have continued to follow the sugar free and healthy option lifestyle, so it has made a lasting impact.