Happy Friday, everyone! I mean, how can you NOT be happy when it looks like this outside?!

It was a sad moment when I reached the office after my lovely walk to work this morning and had to part with the sunshine. Thankfully, I was able to escape for lunch and a nice stroll along the river Thames.

But I’ll stop getting distracted and get on to the main topic of this post, which is my final review of the Bodychef home delivery diet that I have been trying out this week.

It’s been hard to stay focused this afternoon (this weather makes me crave a giant ice cream and a Pimm’s), but thankfully I am nearly finished with my 5-day experiment. Yippee! Aside from my one dinner out, I have only supplemented what they have provided with some extra fruit and veg, as well as a small portion of high quality dark chocolate each day (more antioxidants!).

I’m not sure how much weight I’ve actually lost, but I’m guessing somewhere around a pound, which is right on target. More importantly, I feel great compared to Monday! I’m sure the sunshine and spring blossoms have contributed too, though…

So what’s my final verdict?

I understand that running this type of business must be extremely challenging. Think about the hundreds of distinct tastes and allergies you must try to satisfy, while providing a balanced, healthy diet using ingredients that are fresh and tasty yet cost efficient and able to last up to 5 days in the fridge. Also, everything needs to be able to fit into the box they provide, which means no large containers or bulky food items.

Nevertheless, based on my experience, my criticisms of Bodychef are as follows:

  • More balance and protein: Lunches were too small compared to the dinners, and I could’ve used more protein in general (which would have helped control my appetite). I was told when I called that lunches can be made larger and dinners smaller to correct this imbalance, so I would make this request in the future.
  • More flavor: Dinners were a bit bland, so I added cumin, fresh ginger, salt, pepper, dijon mustard etc. to spice things up a bit. Although, I guess it’s better that the food was bland rather than over-spiced!
  • More green vegetables and fresher produce: Bodychef has probably chosen certain types of food because they work best in the delivery context, and have avoided other foods because of higher costs. Regardless, I wish that they would have provided more fresh produce, particularly greens, as well as a broader selection of fruits and vegetables. Why was my one green salad for the week so tiny? Surely greens aren’t the calorie culprits! If space is a concern, place the greens in a bag rather than plastic container. I also received two tiny chopped salads for Thursday – the one for dinner tasted slightly off.  Maintaining freshness is, I assume, where many food delivery programs fall short.
  • More variety/more superfoods: This is an extension of the above. Instead of so many crackers for the dips at lunchtime, why not include some celery, bell pepper and carrot sticks? Or replace one of the two broccoli portions with kale or spinach (if we’re talking superfoods)? Or substitute a portion of red grapes with berries or pomegranate seeds? Or serve nonfat Greek yoghurt with honey rather than cheese cubes for dessert after a day that also had soft cheese and grated cheese?

Overall, however, this program has been a positive experience for me. The best way I can describe it is that I feel like I’ve hit a “reset” button on my body. The program/menu was all very well organized, and most of their food tasted pretty good – I started to really like the whole cracker/spread thing for lunch, even!

Personally though, I would not want to do this for an extended period of time. I love to food shop and cook too much, and I prefer fresher, healthier and a greater variety of foods than the ones they provided. But I would certainly recommend doing a food delivery service for a week or two if you’re trying to develop healthier eating habits and want to get a better sense of portion control, and struggle to do this on your own.

Although I will not be continuing as a Bodychef customer, I do feel inspired to be my own “bodychef” over the next two weeks, before I fly to Vietnam for my next travel and culinary adventure. This weekend, aside from finally getting back into my weekly long run, I plan to do LOADS of cooking! I’m looking forward to making some of my favorites, including my Ostrich chili, quinoa herb pomegranate salad, and other good stuff, which I will then divvy up into the containers that I saved from this past week’s meals and snacks. It will be a cost and time efficient way to stay on track with my healthy eating and, in my opinion at least, far more enjoyable than doing another 5-day home delivery program.

So can I out-chef the Bodychef?

I’m pretty sure that I can do a much better job creating a menu for myself, but obviously not all of my improvements would suit the company as a whole. Either way, challenge accepted! 🙂