I don’t usually use meal delivery services. My previous experiences have been limited to Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday Lunch Portuguese chicken burgers...three In a row... not one regret. However, the proposition of going a full week eating only healthy takeaway peaked my curiosity.
After compiling a list on Deliveroo of all the healthy eateries in my area, I was amazed to see how many options there were that weren't burgers and chips. So this is how my week went.
I started off my week with beef pho from Photown. Unlike most asian takeaway dishes, the noodle-based dish poses a healthy option, filled with a reasonable amount of protein - approximately 30g. If you're looking to make it healthier, add chilli to your dish. Recent research has found that spicy food can help you burn an extra 116 calories. Meanwhile, beef pho typically contains between 350 and 400 calories, only one sixth of your daily recommended intake.
On Tuesday, I went vegan, ordering Cafe Shenkin’s Vegan Rain Bowl with moroccan carrot, crispy potatoes, brussels sprouts, falafels, artichoke, avocado and a beetroot sauce. After starting the week feeling under the weather, I knew I needed a meal that would be heavy with nutrients to improve my immune system. Brussels sprouts are stacked with vitamin C and vitamin K, pivotal for boosting the immune system while falafels provided the protein in the meat-free feed. That was enough to keep me up and running - a mouthwatering mix of good fats, plant-based protein and complex carbs.
My mum always taught me the importance of including fish in your diet so Wednesday was time, settling on a Salmon Poke from Salmon and Bear Newtown. Reports from the Endeavour College of Natural Health found Poke bowls to be a healthy option with nutritional value varying from bowl to bowl. The bowl also came with coconut rice, a smart replacement for the regular version. Previous studies have found that it could help cut rising obesity rates. There are also ways you can improve its nutritious appeal - adding more greens while keeping away from high-in-sugar sauces will make this the perfect option.
While I love protein-rich foods and chicken has become a staple of my diet, there were several other motives behind my Thursday choice: Bombay chicken salad from Salad Bar. What people don't know about chicken is that it can actually increase serotonin levels in the brain, a chemical responsible for mood control and brain health while studies in the sub-continent found that elderly people on high chicken diets are less prone to Alzheimer's disease. While my dish included a creamy sauce, it was a mint yoghurt dressing, relatively low in sugar and adding in more protein. The meal was topped with kidney beans, an unofficial super food extremely high in fibre.
On Friday, I went with the Kung Fu Chicken Soba from Bruce Leaves. The main source of protein was the white cooked chicken while there were plenty of greens to provide important nutrients. The feed also included soba noodles which is known to have a range of incredible benefits from controlling blood sugar to being a great source of protein and soluble fibre.
In the past, binging on takeaway has resulted in skin breakouts, bloating, low energy and even a change in my figure. Fortunately, I didn't look like my 17-year-old self by the end of the week nor did I feel uneasy in the stomach. Most surprisingly, during the experiment I found the portion size to be well controlled. While you won't typically see this in fast food chains, these healthy options made sure that the meals were well-balanced and your calorie count didn't blow out. The only downside was the cost but it's the extra price you're paying for convenience.