Happy Tuesday everybody! I've got something exciting going on to discuss today. 'Getting healthy' has always been fairly high on my to do list, but always ends up pushed to the side. I can never be bothered to go for a run, and picking up a McDonald's on the way home always seems like the easier option. Not being able to eat dairy often ends up with me having some very lazy eating habits too, I get stuck for inspiration so stick to the same old boring things I know, often not being the healthiest option either. I was so excited recently when I was invited to try out Porridge On Tuesday, a healthy eating and exercise plan tailored to your needs. Now I'm not exactly overweight, and don't feel the need to lose any. All 'eating plans' I've seen before in the past are actually just dressed up diets, and personally, I really don't want to go on a diet. I want to eat healthily, not stop eating, and this is where Porridge On Tuesday really stood out for me. The plan is specifically tailored to what you want to get out of it, it can be for weight loss if you like, or you can choose the maintaining a healthy weight option like I have. Both options are based around changing your diet into a much healthier one, filled with fruit, vegetables, and home cooked meals, cutting out processed food in the process. Perhaps my favourite feature is the fact you can select a dairy free or gluten free plan, or even both.
Upon signing up you are asked what you would like to get out of the programme, and input your height and weight and target weight, or if you would like to maintain your current weight. You then make dietary preferences, if you don't like nuts, then you cross nuts off the list etc. You tailor it to the sort of price you want to spend on meals too, which is great for students on a budget like myself. You select which days you would like packed lunches, and which days you are available to exercise on, so everything is fit exactly into your current schedule.
Once you are in and signed up, you receive your meal plan for the week, which is 3 solid meals per day and 2 snacks, each entirely different and new, and with a recipe for every single one. In the first day alone I ate 3 brand new meals that I would have never thought to make myself, and they were all delicious and entirely healthy. If you don't like a selection, you simply delete it and search for another one, and can search by ingredient if you are looking to use up something in particular. It then generates a shopping list for the week for you with every ingredient you need to make the meals, and can check off any ingredients you might already have in the cupboard before you start. You can also change how many people you might be cooking one of the meals for, and it adjusts the recipe and shopping list accordingly.
The system is so clear and easy to use. I got my meal plan for the first week before it started, printed out my list and took it to the supermarket, and it actually came out cheaper than my usual shop, which I wasn't expecting. Usually I wander around and pick what I think I might like, and often this quick and easy options are more expensive, and generally less than good for you. By using the shopping list I also ended up with exactly what I needed for the meals, cutting out wasted food too, which is always a bonus.
In terms of exercise, it comes with videos for you to complete activities set to a specific time and whether you are looking to build strength, flexibility etc, and your progress as you complete them is recorded on the website along with your meals, keeping track of your calorie intake and how much exercise you are completing. It really appeals to my organisation-loving side, everything is written and stored in once place, showing everything you have done so far and anything you need to do soon.
The plan is priced at what I believe is a very affordable £4.95 a week. I think it would be worth it for the recipes alone, I have spent so much on recipe books in the past and found I don't like/can't eat half of the recipes, and this plan you get 5 per day, every day, tailored to your likes and dietary requirements. It also includes the exercise plans too, with detailed videos similar to those of fitness DVDs, but again tailored to you.
The meal plan is already broadening my eating habits, I am cooking considerably more interesting things than I normally eat (no more spaghetti bolognese 4 times a week!) and am beginning to feel a difference. As an ME sufferer I am always tired and have associated stomach/digestive issues, and I know heaps of sugar and processed food do absolutely nothing for me, but it is hard to break out of the cycle. I am not saying at all that this is a magical ailment curing diet, but it is giving me the push I needed to break out of bad habits, and even a few days of natural based meals and no processed food is generally making my insides a bit happier. I am looking forward to the continued benefits of an all-round healthier diet and lifestyle, and will keep you posted along the way!
Note- Although I have been invited to try out the programme free of charge, my views are completely honest and entirely my own!
Labels: diet, food, healthy, life, meals, review