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We Try: YoloFoods’ Asian-Inspired Meal Plan for 5 Days and Here’s Our Verdict

by Voices Wellness 25 Oct 2021
Photo: YoloFoods

Our editor commits to five days of healthy Asian-inspired meals to see if it made a difference to her wellbeing. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.

As somebody who doesn’t follow any sort of diet, I’ve always been impressed by friends who religiously meal prep. A popular choice among busy individuals, meal prepping is the concept of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule. Not only does this save time on days when you get home late from work, but pre-prepared meals also allow you to better control portion sizes to reach nutrition goals.

Having hearty meals ready can prevent you from reaching out for unhealthy snacks and ordering greasy takeout when you’re too exhausted to whip up a meal from scratch. While I consider myself of healthy weight, I was keen to build lean muscles and lose excess fat. Plus, I had hopes of curbing my sweet tooth, which often rears its ugly head during the time of the month.

My five-day journey with YoloFoods, whose meals are developed with the internationally acclaimed dietician and International Olympic Committee qualified sports nutritionist Jane Freeman, kickstarted with a quick email correspondence for them to understand my nutrition goals. While I’ve always had a regular exercise regime in place—I work out at least an hour each day, whether it’s a quick HIIT ‘sess, yoga, or an aerial silks and hoop class, I wasn’t seeing a lot of results when it came to firming up my midriff. The in-house nutritionist and chefs at the homegrown meal plan delivery service suggested that I take on their Low Carb meal plan. The plan would be lunch-only for five days and is designed to help me increase protein, lower my carb intake, and burn fat fast while retaining my muscle mass.

On day one, I received beef bulgogi with sweet potato noodles, spinach, and shredded carrot. It arrived promptly an hour before noon in sustainable packaging and I kept it chilled in the fridge until I was ready for lunch. Although the heating instructions recommended four minutes in the microwave, it took about 18 minutes at 180deg in my oven. The delicious whiff of the beef bulgogi whetted my appetite, as did the sweet potato noodles, which were silky and well-seasoned. I was half expecting to be hungry after my meal, but the portion was substantial. Each lunch set also came with a snack and a tea sachet from The 1872 Clipper Tea Co. During teatime, I made a beeline for the peanut butter cookie snack and that kept me satiated until dinner.

On Tuesday, it was herb chicken with roasted potato, French beans, and Harissa sauce, along with a mango chia seeds pudding for a snack. The herb chicken was surprisingly tender, while the accompanying harissa sauce added a bit of heat. Unable to resist a sweet treat, I enjoyed the pudding right after. Day three’s menu of rendang chicken with coconut basmati rice and roasted cauliflower was by far my favourite. Well spiced though a tad dry, the rendang chicken was so well portioned that I could barely finish it all. The banana bread snack was a bit of a disappointment for me, as it tasted more of coconut than banana.

By day four, I was getting used to these low-carb meals, thanks to the choice of carbs with a high glycaemic index to keep me full for longer. The salmon chicken balls with quinoa, baked spinach egg, broccoli, and house-made chilli sauce were a good mix of flavours and textures, though I wasn’t a fan of the rather under-seasoned quinoa. Lunch on the last day was a flavourful lamb kofta paired with couscous, mint yoghurt, as well as a cucumber, and tomato salad.

To complement my low-carb lunches, I made extra effort to pick healthy choices for dinner too—whether it was a poke bowl with fresh salmon or a salad with lightly roasted meats. As the days went by, I noticed less bloating in my mid-section, along with better bowel movement, which was likely due to the abundance of fibre in these meals. Oddly enough, I found myself craving less for chocolate and was instead happily satiated with juicy fruits.

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