I decided to use the diet delivery service Nourished (www.nourished.me) which is based in Fulham but delivers all around the country - the company offer 4 different healthy diets delivered to your door so you can find one which caters exactly to your needs.
There is "The Damage Limitations Diet" which will help you when you have overdone partying and you want to "trim that tummy, manage those moobs and firm up the thighs"!
Next is "The Good Intentions Diet" - this is what I did and it is a calorie controlled and nutritious diet that is designed to get the weight off and keep it off (a current necessity for me). I have done it a couple of times in previous years and it has always been successful.
The third diet is "The Peak Performance Diet" and this will be tailored to your exact needs in order to get you into peak performance, whether you are running a marathon or doing a triathlon (certainly not me unless you count running to the wine shop).
Finally there is the "Hey, Where's Mine Diet?" - here Nourished will deliver 7 suppers so your partner can eat the same as you and not feel left out!
There is also "Nourished Nippers" where you can order healthy, nutritious meals for your little ones. This is really useful if you want your kids to eat well but don't have time to prepare home cooked meals every night.
To order your diet, you can speak to the CEO Nicci or go through the website www.nourished.me. Your diet will arrive on a Tuesday morning is a cool bag and you are given a menu and instructions as to what food you put in the fridge, what goes into the freezer and how long everything takes to cook. It could not be more simple….even I could follow it!!
Here is a copy of the menu for my week on the diet:
Breakfast on the first day is organic macca muesli with skimmed milk. I am not really a breakfast person but I did enjoy this….a good start. There are 4 different types of muesli / porridge - the organic macca muesli, an organic goji and cranberry, an organic rich muesli and finally an organic apple porridge. You mix them with 0% Greek yoghurt or skimmed milk (the only things you have to buy).
There is a 4 week rolling menu for "The Good Intentions Diet" and I was on week 3. Below is a day's food. You also receive a packet of Nairns biscuits for each day however my darling fiancé Pascal ate them all over tea with a couple of friends!!! Charming - talk about supportive!!
On average the breakfast is 200 calories each day, lunch is roughly 350 calories, the biscuits are 100 calories and supper is 550 calories - this is all approximate but it adds up to 1200 calories each day. Men are on more calories than women (1500) and they receive an extra cereal each day and an oat cake.
Lunch the first day is a salad and boy was I impressed - it was a Bang Bang Chicken salad filled with chicken, noodles, lettuce, spring onions, cucumber and the most amazing dressing. It was a generous portion and I was so busy stuffing it in I ended up wearing some of it!! I would be happy to order it in a restaurant.
Supper was a Naked Burger with Secret Salsa which included mushrooms, peppers, tomato, celery and onion. You put the unopened pouch in a saucepan of simmering water for 12 minutes.
I have to say this was the first ever burger I have had without cheese!! Of course I missed it (I would be lying if I said I didn't want to smother it with copious amounts of stilton) however it was still very enjoyable - good quality meat and the salsa has a kick to it which adds to the flavour. It certainly didn't feel like diet food and I went to bed that night strangely satisfied.
The next day was organic goji and cranberry with 0% Greek yoghurt and then lunch was a Leek and Cauliflower soup with which you empty out into a saucepan and heat for around 5 minutes. Leek and cauliflower soup is not something I would normally choose - I love leeks and cauliflower but normally I would add some kind of cheesy sauce to them. However they worked really well together - the soup was thick, filling and warming and had a little spice added.
Supper was free range chicken and mixed bean chilli - like before you put the unopened pouch in a pan of simmering water for 15 minutes (as it tells you on the menu) and then cut the pouch and serve. This was tender chunks of chicken with beans, tomatoes, celery and chillis and even though I am pretty scared of anything spicy I enjoyed it and polished the whole lot off. The portion is extremely generous and I was full when I was finished. Having not had sugar for 2 days, the cravings had started so I resorted to a peppermint and liquorice tea - I don't know what I did without herbal teas!!
By now I am starting to feel that my stomach is flatter and less boated and I am less sluggish.
Before bedtime I take day 3's food out the freezer so it is defrosted for the next day….day 3 is an exciting day as it is pasta…a very rare occurrence on a diet!
Breakfast is organic rich muesli with 0% Greek yoghurt, followed by Chana Masala - I have no idea what this is but it tasted delicious - chickpeas are the main ingredient however it has a curry taste to it….I think it is actually better than most things you would get in a curry house, certainly healthier! When the weather is as horrendous as it is at the moment, you couldn't ask for a better lunch - it actually felt quite indulgent.
By this point I was cursing Pascal and his friends for eating the biscuits!!
Supper was a favourite - whole wheat penne pasta with a fresh tomato and basil sauce. You cook both separately for 12 minutes and then mix together. You can imagine my initial reaction to the pasta - no cheese??? not even a little??? Apparently not. I was apprehensive as to whether I would be able to eat it and I shocked myself. I even enjoyed it - you could really taste the basil in the sauce and Arabella kept on stealing mouthfuls much to my annoyance.
I am not saying in the future I am never going to add cheese to pasta, because of course I will, but maybe I won't be so heavy handed and this has shown me that other flavours can be enjoyed even when they are not covered in cheese!! A revelation to such a cheese lover like myself.
One of the other good things about this diet is they offer you a work out programme which can be viewed by the website - it is only 20 minutes so perfectly manageable however it is not compulsory and you will still lose weight without it. I continued to do my bikram as I am obsessed and despite being on less calories I still felt energised as I was eating a lot healthier than usual.
Three days down - four to go. I will continue tomorrow but so far so good. I do not feel like I am on an actual diet as there is no starvation here however I am missing actually cooking. I have learnt from this that it is good to add a bit of a kick to your food as that helps speed your metabolic rate and I am surprised that I actually miss cheese more than sugar. I feel good for myself and am eager to continue….