The pros & cons of meal plans
I am not a fan of dieting per se, I will be the first to admit that when there is a new health fad on the horizon, I am keen to give it a go. Juice cleanses and “detox” had their moment, but now the health gurus have moved on to a new idea: Healthy, balanced meals that nourish your body. Vegan, gluten-free and without any preservatives. Sounds almost too easy, right?
As someone who takes great pride in leading a balanced diet and working out regularly to stay fit, I have spent a lot of time in the past year or so reading up on what is actually healthy and what is not. For example: Low fat usually means added (read: unnecessary) sugar, so don’t be fooled by the labels but always read up on the actual ingredients. To me personally, refined sugar has become the biggest no-no in my diet. It is said to have the same effect on the brain as cocaine (ughh) and is the reason for all those late-night cravings. Since my stay at Viva Mayr last Summer (still SO glad we did that!), I have more or less cut out refined sugar completely from my diet. Of course, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have any cake on my birthday or drink the occasional cocktail. It’s all about that balance, remember?
Speaking of birthday, however, the last two weeks in February were not the healthiest on my behalf. Way too many celebrations with way too many exceptions made. Way too many fun dinners with friends and way too much alcohol. While it was all fun and games (and worth it), I did put on a pound or two (actually, make that three) and started feeling really exhausted. Time to get back on track!
As it often goes, just when I was totally over indulging, I received an email from Pure Delight, asking if I wanted to try their new Chef’s Delight by Tim Raue for 5 days. Score! The timing could not have been more perfect.
For the past week now, I have been munching on their meals, sipping their juices and adding lots of exercise to my agenda. And I feel so much better than just 7 days ago.
Disclaimer: I was able to try the Chef’s Delight by Tim Raue free of charge, however, it did not come with any strings attached and this blogpost was created solely because I wanted to share the experience with you. #notsponsored
Chef’s Delight by Tim Raue Review
- You can order a 3 or 5 day meal plan, delivery takes 2-3 days from date of order and the price per day is 65€.
- The Michelin-starred chef Tim Raue is well-known for his light and aromatic recipes, and for the fact that he does not serve heavy side dishes or use white sugar.
- The meals change daily (approx. 1.400 – 1.600 calories per day) and are all vegan, gluten-free, raw, 100% natural and without any added flavors or white sugar. For me personally, I added calories in form of nuts and seeds on the days that I worked out.
- Each day includes: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x cold-pressed juice, 1x snack 1x soup/stew and 1x dinner. It is meant to be consumed throughout the day, but I prefer to stick to 3 satisfying “bigger” meals per day, so I paired things up by adding the juice and snack to my lunch and combining the soup and dinner at night.
- For the 5-day plan, the delivery is split into two, guaranteeing that the food is always fresh.
What I liked about the mealplan:
- The flavors! A lot of the time, healthy comes at the price of flavor. But as Tim Raue is known for his Asian-inspired cuisine, every single meal I had was packed with different spices and so delicious. There is not one single item I did not like.
- The portion sizes: Even though I did get hungry between meals, I found the portion sizes to be perfect. Big enough to be satisfying, small enough to never feel too full, which left me feeling lighter and more energized from day 1.
- The “no-effort” factor: For the entire 5 days, not once did I have to plan meals, go grocery shopping or take time to cook.
What I didn’t like:
- Even though I have this philosophy of not complaining about things that I don’t really have a better solution to, I do find the amount of plastic that is used in the packaging rather unnecessary. Breakfast and the soup always came in glass, which I washed and kept to story all kinds of nuts, chia and the likes, but lunch, dinner and the juices were always in plastic as you can see in one of the images.
- The price: Each day includes 6 different items and costs 65€. That’s roughly 11€ per meal, whereas a “meal” can also be an afternoon snack consisting of 10 cashew nuts or a cookie. That’s a lot of money. Yes, you are paying for the full service including delivery to your door and a large variety of healthy, natural dishes. But the price is steep, there is no way in denying or sugarcoating that.
- Too sweet: The only critique I have in terms of taste would be that some of the meals were too sweet for me. However, this is purely my personal taste. Aside from no white sugar, I also use healthy sweeteners like dates or agave nectar very sparingly. Almost every meal included some type of sweetener, which made some of them (like the rice-coconut milk pudding for breakfast) almost too sweet for me.