I stay wary of challenges, I don’t share black and white pictures of myself on social media timelines, I have not sat on the yoga mat for 30 days in a row to be part of a hashtag revolution, neither have I doused myself with a bucket of ice (even for a cause). In short, I am not on the trending bandwagon. So, when the thought of signing up for Kcal’s Vegetarian Plan for four weeks came to me, I, of course, didn’t consider it a challenge, but saw it as a chance to delight my taste buds with newer flavours. Since, I have never gone on a diet either not because I am an ideal weight (whatever that is supposed to be, considering it does change over generations and seasons), but because I love food, I eat in moderation, and trust the dictionary definition of diet (noun): the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats; I was let’s say just looking forward to eating well without worrying about my nutrition, protein, calorie, carbs, et al intake. So, here’s how it started and how I went along.
I was happy when Dona Maria Mesmar, nutrition manager, Kcal, shared my view, “Kcal meal plans are not only for those looking to lose weight but also for anyone looking to start a healthy lifestyle and improve their nutrition and health. Once you’re on the plan, you will feel lighter within the first two days, you will notice a boost in your energy levels, improved mood, and a general feeling of well-being. Not to mention the time you save when you don’t have to buy, prep, or cook your food.”
Like other healthy food-based platforms, the portal, when you sign in, asks you to feed in your age, height, weight, allergies, likes/dislikes, physical activity details, etc. No judgements here, I simply mentioned my moderate exercise levels (brisk walk, occasional yoga) and stated my intention to stick to my current weight. Voila, your plan would be ready and land in the inbox soon after. The at-your-doorstep meal included delivery of three meals and two snacks (AM and PM), and I selected the four-five pm in the evening as the time for the drop-off. Within a few days, I felt relieved not having to endlessly Google on how to add the required fruits, greens and even grains in my diet; as the meal boxes had given me sample (and relish) vegetables like sweet potato to asparagus, fruits like berries to honey melon, and grains like couscous to quinoa. Did the meals feel boring and repetitive, at any time? No. I was impressed with the interesting combos churned up by the chefs — pineapple guacamole, coconut and broccoli soup, roasted pumpkin dip, etc. The cuisine varied from an Indian biryani to a Bahraini-style stew. What did I love most, the breakfast choices from blueberry almond pancakes to oats, apple and cinnamon pudding!
As a vegetarian, I’ve often struggled at home and even restaurants to explain that green eaters need not always stick to broccoli and cottage cheese, and our meals can be as exciting and varied as those of meat-eaters, which this plan confirmed. “Our meal plans are powered by specialised chefs and nutritionists who have created options that cater to unique needs. The Vegetarian Plan takes away the worry of missing out on high protein meals and you can rest assured that you’re consuming all the necessary nutrients to achieve your goals. Every meal is designed to be tasty, nourishing, and calorie-conscious so they can be enjoyed as part of a sustainable lifestyle,” added Dona.
The email reminders with the daily menu kept me excited to know what lay ahead. The drawback was the amount of effort and material used in packaging each meal. It looked lovely and arrived in recyclable boxes. However, I wish there was a way to figure out a more frugal way of sending the meals. In short, I am feeling lighter and energetic, and I’d recommend if eating healthy and tasty is what gets you going, then remember the two things can happen simultaneously.