I was recently given the chance to review the FitChef Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner – Two Week Vegan Kit. Here’s what I thought…
The Fit Chef tagline is You Are What You Eat and along with their hashtag #eatclean helps stand by the fact that they are committed to making food that uses only easy-to-understand whole-foods ingredients, devoid of any man-made chemical preservatives, colourants, additives or highly refined ingredients. More importantly, they don’t add any sugars (whether artificial or concentrated), or refined salt.
Once you’ve placed your order on their website, FitChef will confirm the delivery date and notify you via SMS, email and/or phone. Your meals are then delivered in insulated boxes so that they remain frozen for many hours, which means they can deliver to your work if that is most convenient for you.
Their vegan option retails for R1506 (for two weeks worth of meals), leaving Saturdays Sundays open for you to eat as you wish. A typical breakdown of the products that you may find in your box would look as follows:
Vegetarian Meals – (17)
- 2 x Spanish Red Kidney Bean With Quinoa
- 3 x Vegetarian – Grandma Vegetable Curry with Brown Ba
- 4 x Chickpea Potjie with Mixed Vegetables
- 4 x Lentil Tomato Breedie & Sweet Potato Mash
- 2 x Red Kidney Bean Goulash with Pumpkin & Spinach
- 2 x French Peas & Carrot Mash with Sweet Potatoes
Drinks & Smoothies – (11)
- 1 x Booster Shots – Pack of 12
- 1 x Nourish Fruit and Vegetable Juice- Bright 1
- 1 x Peanut Butter Blueberry Bomb Guest Smoothie
- 1 x Ready to Drink – CHERRY – Cherry, Apple, Pear Smoo
- 1 x Ready to Drink – COBA – Carrot, Orange, Butternut
- 1 x Ready to Drink – GAP – Grape, Apple, Beetroot, Ba
- 5 x Fruity Green Smoothie (FGS) Spinach, Apple, Pear &
Snacks – (2)
- 1 x FitChef Super Snack Trail Mix
- 1 x FitChef Goji Berry Bar
Breakfasts – (2)
- 1 x Toasted Wheat Flakes 500g
- 1 x Swiss Muesli 500g
Soups – (3)
- 1 x Beetroot Soup
- 2 x Vegetable Soup
Let’s break them down one by one…
The meals are described as being “vegetarian”, but they are essentially vegan. My understanding is that the vegan option is new in the range and that the vegetarian option has been around for a while. In terms of size, the portions are meant to be balanced in terms of nutrition, but (depending on which meal I chose) some left me feeling fuller than others. The options with more protein in (kidney beans, chickpeas or lentils) definitely won in terms of taste and satiation. Generally, the flavour/taste of most of the dishes is good (especially if you have time to warm them in a dish in the oven and not a microwave). I found that microwaving the food sometimes left it tasting bland (when cooking it from frozen). Defrosting it, decanting it into a pyrex dish and warming the same dishes in the oven was far better! My only concern is a one-size-fits-all approach. I’m not certain that with my current training regime at the gym that this would work well long-term. But that’s where the meal plan comes in: more about that later! The only dish I would discount out the mix was the French Peas & Carrot Mash with Sweet Potatoes which needed a serious protein boost of some sort of nut-based dressing or tofu, etc. The three soups made up the 20 meals and portion-wise they were spot on.
The pack of 12 Booster Shots was the absolute best part of this kit: 12 individual “shots” of lemon, apple, and ginger that fought off any chance of me getting the sniffs. Some serious immune boosting stuff! I really enjoyed the ritual of taking one of out the deep freeze in the morning, let it defrost and then downing it after breakfast. The other juices and smoothies were a great way to pack a quick nutrition punch and were by far the most “convenient” of the contents: a perfect “on-the-go” source of nourishment.
The two snacks were (in one word), “cute”. It felt a little odd that there were only two snacks in a box for two weeks worth of meals, but they were great for what they were.
And finally, the breakfast cereals were standard muesli/flakes which you could choose to have with your own choice of plant-based milk. The suggested serving size for the Wheat Flakes is 30g and the Muesli is 50g which is very little – but again, this would depend on what your goal was (weight-loss vs. muscle building etc.)
This means that you are essentially getting (from Mon-Fri x Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Dinner) a total of 30 meals. That breaks it down to R150 per day which isn’t bad at all considering you are paying for convenience.
The meal plan threw me slightly although I was warned by the Customer Service Team that it was a vegetarian version. The vegan box is for meals from Monday-Friday, whilst the vegetarian meal plan states the options were from Monday to Saturday (with a “Free Eating Day” on Sunday). Your day starts off with a smoothie followed by breakfast (the cereal). For lunch, you can have any meal labelled “LifestyleSmart” or “LifestylPlus” and for dinner, you can have and meal labelled “ActiveDiet” or “PortionSmart”.
The meal plan also suggests no sugar, no milk (great!), no bread, no soft drinks, no fruit juice and no alcohol. All great suggestions in my opinion. Although for me personally I love freshly squeezed fruit juice and make it part of my daily diet: but that’s just me!
I am convinced that once the vegan option starts to pick up in sales and when customers start to offer feedback, the plan will become far more customized to what an average vegan is used to. This will hopefully include a vegan meal plan.
Overall I would say this is an excellent way to start introducing portion control into your daily routine and it’s number one selling point is convenience which is something we could all use a lot of in this crazy day and age!
I’m happy to answer any other questions if you want to ask them in the comments below, and I will edit the article to include those answers.
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