Updated: Jul 13, 2020
So we recently moved into our very first home. A total departure from our nomad on the road lifestyle of the past four years. As the nutrition expert in the house, I naturally plan for and prepare all of our meals. But even nutrition experts want a day off. I successfully "negotiated" a night off with my partner, Basir. "Friday night is your night," I said to him. "just make it happen." I sat back and watched as the task overwhelmed him. He turned to google for potential solutions and stumbled across precooked meals by Marlene Kookt.
The concept, in theory, is brilliant, "healthy" cooked meals delivered to your doorstep. Marlene Kookt's definition of healthy is including at least 250 grams of vegetables in every meal, sourcing their vegetables locally, seasonally and organic (unfortunately only when possible) and making everything from scratch without preservatives. Another clever touch is that the food is delivered in porcelain dishes to minimise waste. Despite the well thought out concept, it did not fly in our house because it requires some planning in advance.
You need to order the meals before 11AM on the day you want delivery. My partner Basir never managed to remember to place the order before the cut-off time. Can you believe it?!!? I must also confess that the motivation was low since the price of Marlene Kookt is right up there with eating out at a restaurant. As such, staying in for dinner, at restaurant prices, on a Friday night was also not that appealing. Especially since we have a lovely restaurant just a five-minute walk from our home, Fleurie.
The motto at Fleurie is "real food for real people made by real people". So if we were going to eat non-100% organic, well we might as well make it a night out and support our local who also tries to do "Healthy" very similar to Marlene Kookt style.
But the bigger problem persisted. How do you get your man to be able to cook at least one meal out of the week without your direct involvement? I'm a foodie at heart who has always loved creating in the kitchen. As a child, I spent hours with my grandmother cooking so for me its second nature to whip up a truly healthy meal in no time. But sitting back and watching as my partner drowned in anxiety over being in charge of one meal a week, made me realise its really not a comfort zone for many people but rather an area of major anxiety. Moreover, I wondered whether a "Healthy" solution existed. One, I could implement at home but also recommend to my coaching clients, who like my partner, get overwhelmed by the idea of cooking. Something like "training wheels" for making somewhat "healthy" home cooked meals?
I realised very quickly that in order to have one night off a week, relinquishing control of our robust Bulletproof and Organic Diet, I would need to lower my standards A LOT. And this is what happened...
When we moved into our home we received a welcome package from the municipality and with it a 50% OFF promo code for Hello Fresh. Ok, so they are not organic (minus) but they do a good job at breaking down the idea of preparing and making meals (plus) and they encourage eating vegetables (plus). So I took it upon myself to order the subscription on behalf of my partner because planning in advance, let's face it, is not his strong point. Hello Fresh delivers on Saturdays. So when you initially sign-up, you might need to wait a week to get started depending on when you order. It is a subscription model so once you invest the initial time to register, the weekly deliveries go on autopilot. I selected their standard box of 3 meals for two. I also liked the idea of not committing to a pre-cooked meal in advance. In this way having the flexibility of deciding when I wanted a night off whereby relinquishing control of the kitchen to my partner, Basir.
The days passed and we waited in anticipation. Saturday morning it arrived, one box on our doorstep. Inside were 3 separate paper bags filled with ingredients and their respective recipes. "Basir!!!" I shouted, "it's here!!!" With all the excitement of a kid on Christmas Day but Basir (to my disappointment), was not interested at all!
Later that day, his sister Melanie stopped by and we were the ones in the kitchen testing out the recipes. The recipes were in Dutch so it was great to have her in the kitchen with me. It was messy. The instructions were far from clear even for a Dutch native speaker. Melanie kept saying "It's not clear, I don't understand what they mean?" which says a lot because she's a smart cookie. Hello Fresh left critical details out like quantity of water required for the recipe... dud?! Hello?
They also left out ingredients. All of the recipes required their default seasoning, a Bouillion cube which was NOT included. I only have fresh herbs from my balcony garden, sea salt and whole peppercorns in my home so a Bouillion cube is not just laying around. I was also surprised that they thought people who need their services would have a bouillion cube sitting around their kitchens too.
We did, however, have a fun time and a laugh! Luckily, both Melanie and I can navigate a kitchen so we easily improvised and enhanced the recipes. Her comment "They have very nice looking packaging and pictures but it is not easy to follow" pretty much sums it up. We concluded the concept was definitely not failproof for Basir, who by the way had zero interest. It also definitely does not meet my high "Healthy" standards. None of the ingredients are organic let alone wild or grass-fed meats, which is why I only lowered my standards to test their vegetable and least offensive seafood recipes.
Health Coach still wants a "Healthy" night off so we're still on the hunt for a solution we (Basir) can implement at home here in the Netherlands. If you know of a healthy food concept we can try please drop me a private message and/or comment below.
AND if you are on the verge of launching a solution and want some "Healthy" proofing by an expert, HELLO?!! Call Me!!! ;-))