Another thing that intrigued me was the other foods included in the plan. The Boost Your Energy diet even includes gluten-free beers and biscuits so you don't have to compromise your evening beer or mid-afternoon biscuit habit. Breakfast was their gluten-free porridge and there were also oatcakes thrown in as another healthy snack. You can of course add your own snacks to the plan like fruit, vegetables, salads or other gluten-free products.
I must admit that my only slight concern was that by providing meals that can be cooked in minutes and don't need to be refrigerated, there would be a compromise on taste. When I served up my first meal, a chicken cacciatora with white rice, my fears were instantly allayed.
It was delicious, like tender, melt in your mouth chicken, a hint of red wine and garlic, with rice that was wholesome and tasty. I was so full by the end of it I wondered how this could be considered 'healthy' or 'nourishing' when I felt that intense feeling of satisfaction and fullness I usually only get from a carb-fest involving copious amounts of bread and or chips.
I couldn't fault any of the meals - I loved the aromatic thai red chicken curry, the Tom Kha Gai Soup and the slow-cooked beef casserole...
My lunchtimes have turned into a swarm of colleagues gathered to see what delicious treat I have for lunch today, and it's so easy to pop the soups and other dishes in the microwave and enjoy a filling and yummy meal. I usually eat salads or sandwiches and have a rumbly tummy by 3pm so it was a lovely feeling to feel full well into the early evening.
Tom had the beers and said they were absolutely lovely and the biscuits were really good too. There was nothing I had on this plan that felt anything less than a well-prepared, home cooked meal (or tasty snack). Ilumi make everything from scratch in their kitchens so it's no surprise that their convenient ready meals taste as good as anything I could ever cook at home (okay, better!)
You can buy their pouch 'ready meals' individually from as little as £1.50 (my favourite Tom Kha Gai Soup is £1.90) and the Boost Your Energy Plan which comes with enough food for a week (as well as the meal plan) is £40 including delivery. I think that represents excellent value for money at less than £6 a day, especially when some people spend that on just buying lunch every day. I'd have no hesitation in recommending their delicious foods and I know I'll be picking some more up myself - even if you don't religiously follow a gluten-free diet they are perfect as cupboard backups or those lazy evenings when you don't fancy cooking!)