Kick start your journey to good health with Eat Fit Food.
For many of us, it’s all too easy to rattle off sayings like ‘the modern world is full of demands’. We’re expected to hold down a successful career, but also have a social life. Exercise regularly, but take time out to relax. Be generous with others but take exceptionally good care of yourself. With this kind of high pressure lifestyle, eating healthy, balanced meals can fall by the wayside. Attempting to ease life’s pressures and reclaim the hours in your day is Eat Fit Food.
Founded by Bianca Monley in 2002, Eat Fit Food deliver healthy and whole food meals and snacks to your home or office. Prepared by professional chefs, all meals are portion controlled and are naturally free of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, additives and chemicals. Scroll through their website and you’ll discover a variety of programs, including 5, 10 and 20 day all inclusive cleanses, lean and clean plans as well as individual meal packs.
The Eat Fit Food team challenged us to their five day all inclusive cleanse program. I put my hand up to the task, facing a gluten free, dairy free, red meat free, caffeine free, refined sugar free program. Eeep! Having splurged on wheels of brie, bottles of wine, fresh bread and enough mince pies to sink a ship over the silly season (extending into all of January), it felt like a good time to reboot my body. Here you’ll find a day-by-day account of my experience.
I am motivated and ready to go! I open the front door in the early morning to find two Eat Fit Food cooler bags on my balcony. Packaged inside are all of my meals for the next two days. Here we go.
Breakfast: REJUVENATE apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, watercress, beetroot and ginger juice + scrambled free range eggs served with avocado, smoked salmon and gluten free toast.
With every breakfast comes a little bottle of juice. On today’s menu is the ‘rejuvenate’ – a fruity, pleasant drink that will be replacing my morning coffee for the next five days. Somehow I don’t think it will offer quite the same effect as my morning brew but I’m willing to give it a go.
I crack open the plastic lid to examine my first portion controlled meal of the week. Before me lies eggs, pre scrambled and two smaller containers filled with slithers of smoked salmon and a tiny glob of smooth avocado. The instructions indicate to reheat the eggs for 30 seconds in the microwave. I do so, simultaneously popping my single slice of bread in the toaster.
The microwave beeps, the toaster pops. I spread the avocado on my toast, top it with the salmon, then top it with the eggs. To the cooks credit, my eggs aren’t watery from being reheated, (an initial concern) but deliciously fluffy and almost creamy – without any added cream. With each bite I only wished I had one more slice of toast…
Mid morning at the office and I feel the slight pangs of hunger begin to hit my sides. In between cups of herbal tea, I nibble on two small lemon, ginger and tahini protein balls. Emphasis here on small. As a coffee drinker, all I can think is that I could really use one right about now.
Lunch: Thai tofu salad with rice noodles and cashews
Lunch time, yippy! As everyone else in the office either walks to the local café or whips out huge meals, I eagerly tuck into my tofu meal. To my delight, the serving size is quite generous. As someone who likes tofu, I relish its smooth, creamy texture against the salty crunch of the nuts. The rice noodles come mixed in with fresh veggies. On the whole it is a light, but satisfying meal. I’m not met my that uncomfortable ‘overly full’ feeling nor do I have an ingestion. Winning.
Dinner: Macadamia and lemon crusted fish with watercress, coconut mash and rocket
The name of this meal makes it sound sexier than what it actually is. For dinner I have fish with a thin nut crust, greens and what tastes like faux mash with the faint taste of coconut. It’s unfortunate that the rocket is tucked underneath the fish, as when I serve it on a plate the small cluster of greenery is a little sad looking.
On the whole though, day one is a success! My meals were filling and tasted delicious and most importantly I didn’t bite any one’s head off in a hangry (hungry + angry) rage.
I wake up feeling great! My body is a temple and I feel thinner already. It’s strange that after one day of eating well how your mindset can change. In my motivated, euphoric state, I even decide do a 45 minute spin class.
Breakfast: REVIVE juice with apple, mint, lemon, kiwifruit, spinach & kale + Gluten free muesli served with rice milk, coconut yoghurt and poached berries.
By the time I get home, shower and dress – I am starting to feel ravenous. I put the muesli into a bowl, pouring the little bottle of rice milk over the top. In a thimble sized container is some coconut yoghurt. Another marginally larger container contains the berries. I scrape every last inch of both out and inhale my meal in less than five minutes. My brain starts yelling at me in desperate need of a coffee. I run out the door, ignoring my growing headache and less-than-full stomach.
By about 10am I catch myself wishing it was lunch time. Why must time go so slowly! I scoff down my first allotted snack for the day – a gluten free muesli bar. It’s about as exciting as bird seed.
Lunch: chicken katsu served with a raw crunchy slaw and dressing.
Oh thank god it’s lunch time. My healthy take of a chicken katsu consisted of three hunks of grilled crumbed chicken, sitting on top of a crunchy slaw. Nestled in the slaw is a small container of dressing. The instructions indicate to heat the meat separately in the microwave. I do so, before mixing the chicken through the salad with the dressing. It tastes pretty good. I am so hungry though that a bowl of saw dust would also evoke the same response. Thankfully there’s lots of slaw there to fill me up, for the next two hours at least.
Let it be known that a small tub of fruit salad sat at home all day – as I forgot to take it to work. No doubt it’s feeling sad and abandoned.
Dinner: Moroccan eggplant, kidney bean & green millet bowl
Arriving home from a busy day at work, I am hungry again. I wish with every faction of my body that I could reclaim those 400 calories I burnt earlier at the gym. You’ll notice that there isn’t a picture attached to this particular course. It’s because I can’t concentrate on anything but eating my dinner. I can confirm though that my dinner hits the spot. This is mostly because it’s warm, with the eggplant and kidney beans almost replicating a more calorie dense meaty stew or casserole.
I wake up with a body numbing headache. Yesterday’s ‘my body is a temple’ mantra has flown out the window. Normally on a Wednesday I do an early morning HIIT (high intensity interval training) class. This morning that is not an option. I focus on getting dressed, sipping on my herbal tea and fantasising about it being caffeine laden. Once again I open the front door to find the next two days worth of food.
Breakfast: REVITALIZE juice orange, carrot, pineapple, turmeric, parsley, celery & lemon juice + poached free range eggs served with roasted tomato and gluten free toast.
I guzzle my orange juice down, convinced that I might get a natural sugar rush if I drink it fast enough. I’m grateful to find my eggs have already been poached. If I’d been made to do it myself who knows what kind of world war three would have erupted in the kitchen in my fragile state. I pop my single slice of bread in the toaster, simultaneously reheating my eggs and tomatoes for 30 seconds as instructed.
Cutting into my eggs, I’m elated to have them perfectly oozy and gooey. I can’t help but wonder how they do it. (Note to self… look up how Eat Fit Food cook their eggs after you have regained sanity). I hastily eat my brekkie before rushing out the door. I have a new game plan – if I’m constantly on the move I won’t have the time to think about me being hungry.
I arrive to work and within 30 minutes my boss sends me this subtle giff.
With sympathetic glances from my fellow colleagues, I start the work day. It feels like everyone is being super nice to me. Thankfully the first half the day flies by. I do however take the time to snack on some crackers, served with carrot dip. The dip is lovely and sweet, a welcomed companion to the saltiness of the gluten free crackers. It’s done its job of tying me over for the next little while. Phew.
Lunch: Falafel served with hummus, 2 gluten free wraps and tabouleh
I can safely say that this is my favourite meal of the program thus far. I have three plump falafel balls heating in the microwave as I spoon thick blobs of hummus onto my wraps. The microwave beeps and I pop the steaming hot falafel onto the plate with fresh tabouli. With each mouthful I let out audible sighs of relief. Glorious, soul enriching CARBS! I am loving each and every morsel – the falafel is flavour rich without being overly seasoned. The hummus is also lovely and creamy, complimenting the acidity of the fresh tabouleh salad. I am full, satisfied and a functioning human once more.
As the afternoon rolls by, I almost forget about my afternoon snack – a humble banana. I eat it only as I leave the office, just in case my dinner is scant.
Dinner: Za’atar crusted fish with roast spring onion, sweet corn & silverbeet
My earlier premonition was correct. Tonight’s dinner looks very, very, healthy. And by healthy I mean extremely low in calories. It’s the type of meal that health buffs swear by and you roll your eyes as you grotesquely inhale your burger with extra onion rings. Thankfully I am not so ravenous that this meal is totally unsatisfying. The roasted corn was the real star of the show – the slightly sweet, slightly charred kennels are delicious. The fish is also well cooked with the greens acting as a welcomed filler.
My alarm beeps and I’m abruptly awake. Two more days to go.
Breakfast: REJUVENATE apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, watercress, beetroot and ginger juice + Breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, beans and avocado.
Having had a good night’s sleep, I feel slightly more at ease. I guzzle down my juice and munch down on my breakfast burrito – comprised of scrambled eggs, homemade baked beans, avocado and two mini gluten free wraps. What i’ve really been enjoying on this program is the variety in my day-to-day meals. Every day has been something different. With a mood improvement from yesterday, I even manage to hit the gym for an hour of yoga.
Lunch: Oven baked quinoa patties with fennel, cabbage, grape, mint & green pea salad
Opening the container, I am met by two, very skinny patties. My heart sinks a bit. The slaw is also quite basic, a combination of raw cabbage, grapes, peas and mint. I force myself to eat lunch very slowly. I also drink an entire bottle of water before I start eating. Finishing, I can feel in my stomach that I am satisfied. It’s my pesky overworked mind that keeps telling me otherwise.
Dinner: Vietnamese chicken pho
As a lover of Vietnamese cuisine, this is an exciting meal. Inside my container is a combination of chicken, sprouts, slithered carrots and rice noodles. In a separate bottle is the broth. I pour the broth over the dish, heat it up and sit down to a comforting meal. I don’t normally crave chocolate, but for the first time on the cleanse I’m desperate for it. I open my cupboards to find cooking chocolate. Maybe…no, put it away. You won’t stoop that low.
Snacks: Tamari nuts and an apple
Last day! Woo hoo! The last four days feel like a distant memory as I approach the last day of my challenge. I feel euphoric.
Breakfast: REVIVE with apple, mint, lemon, kiwifruit, spinach & kale + mini breakfast frittatas with tomato, rocket and avocado salsa
Visually, this dish looks like the best of all the breakfasts I’ve had. Unfortunately, it falls a little short when it comes to taste. I heat the frittatas up and by the time they are warm, the egg has turned rubbery. The avocado salsa however is a pleasant accompaniment. The best part of my meal is that it’s quite filling. I go about my day without feeling hungry for the next few hours.
Lunch: Pea, millet and mint fritters with rainbow chard and sweet potato
I can’t help but wonder whether the Eat Fit Food team have saved the best till last. The fritters offer a beautiful green vibrancy and the addition of sweet potato is a welcomed one. It almost feels like too much food after a week of scant serving sizes and minimal carbohydrates. I’m not complaining though.
Dinner: sesame crusted salmon soba noodle bowl with teriyaki sauce
My last meal of the program. I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d make it. I arrive home from work and wish that I was pouring myself a glass of wine. A glass of soda and lime will have to suffice. The instructions on the lid indicate to eat this dish cold, which at first I find a bit odd. The salmon is lovely and fleshy though, working well with the edamame beans. I scrape the very bottom of my bowl, scrounging for every last slice of carrot, every last noodle.
I finish my meal, look at the time, and realise it’s only 7:30pm. I decide to keep myself busy by drawing a bath. It kills all of 20 minutes. Not wanting to stay awake any longer in fear of feeling hungry (again) I go to bed at 8:30pm. Talk about a wild Friday night.
Snacks: veggie sticks with hummus and an EatFitFood gluten free muesli bar
The Verdict on Eat Fit Food
The benefits of the Eat Fit Food 5 day cleanse are palpable. All of your meals are prepped and delivered directly to your door, enabling you to reclaim precious hours in your day. All my meals were nutritionally dense and offered variety in day-to-day eating. Being portion controlled was also a massive thing for me, as it taught me what 1,400 calories worth of food really looks like. A gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and red meat free diet for 5 days also gave my stomach a chance to reboot itself. I wasn’t met by indigestion after eating any of the meals.
The program was definitely harder than what I thought it would be. I like to exercise most mornings and I found myself sacrificing my gym time because I was getting too hungry post-workout. The cost of the cleanse is also a major consideration, at $375 a pop. Doing the maths, it equates to $75 per day. This is a lot more than what I would typically spend on a days worth of food.
A major drawback of the program is the plastic. Every meal came in a plastic container. Sometimes, there was a plastic container inside the bigger plastic container. Sauces had their own little containers, a slice of bread came in a separate one. Understanding full well that the cost of biodegradable materials would equate to an overall price hike, I was still disappointed to be met with so much of it. I found myself washing the containers out and putting them back in the cupboard to be used again.
On the front page of the website are brand ambassadors Michael Clarke, international cricket superstar, and his wife Kyly Clarke. They seem to be exactly who Eat Fit Food are targeting. The Clarke family have non-stop schedules, thick wallets, and a strong desire to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Would I recommend the Eat Fit Food cleanse myself? If you have the financial means, I say go for it. For myself, the 5 day cleanse was an exercise in retraining my brain. After each meal, I was technically satisfied. A lot of my ‘hunger’, I learnt, was coming from my disgruntled brain. As I finished each dish, I could hear my inner self wail, ‘hold on, you haven’t eaten as much as what you normally do!’ The program put me on the right track for small portion sizes and listening to my body more.
For more information and to try one of these cleanses for yourself, jump on the official Eat Fit Food website here