Monday, 27 January 2014

Review: Ilumi 'Boost Your Energy' Diet

Ilumi Boost Your Energy Diet
~Ilumi 'Boost Your Energy' Diet~
A nutritionally balanced selection at a good weekly price.

As some of you may know I changed my diet over a year ago to remove refined sugar. I also limited gluten levels, and later removed oats. I did this to try to balance my digestion, to clear my skin and to balance my hormones. So I was excited to try the Boost Your Energy Diet plan from Ilumi. This diet plan is said to boost your energy by helping your digestion. The food contains nothing but good ingredients so you are receiving the proper nutrition needed in a diet plan.

On receiving the delivery of food from Ilumi I was amazed at the quantity and selection for the cost of £40 a week including delivery. Now, I am on a very low budget when it comes to my own eating plan so this was pretty reasonable considering what was included.

Not only did I have 7 lunches, 7 evening meals, snacks and breakfasts but also 2 bottles of gluten-free lager which I had been wondering about trying for some time now. Now all of this is in a ready-meal format, but is more like Waitrose or M&S when it comes to its quality.

My Review

Okay, as I am currently sugar-free and oat-free, it was a slight challenge, but as the oats for the porridge and the oatcakes were gluten-free,  I decided to go the week to see if it affected my skin (oats prior had brought me out in a huge lumpy acne). I also allowed myself the small selection of biscuits that had sugar in and halved the packet with my house-mate.

Each of the cooked food items come in lightweight food pouches or containers. The pouches are easy to open without scissors, the instructions are on the front of the packet (this makes a good change) and the ingredients are clearly labelled so you know exactly what you are ingesting.

I also received a handy menu for the week to keep me on track with the eating plan.

Snacks and Breakfast 


Porridge

For anyone who likes the routine of having the same breakfast every day this is ideal. Also you would obviously have to be a porridge lover. Over the course of the week I was quite pleased I had no acne issues from the oat-cakes, biscuits or porridge. I did have to add hummus to my oatcakes as I do find them quite dry without. The biscuits were too sweet for me, and ideally I personally would not have added them to a boost your energy diet plan because sugar hikes the blood sugar levels and can cause other issues. The porridge was okay, but personally I found it a bit boring every day. I had it with almond milk, sliced bananas, sultanas and chopped walnuts. In my normal diet I would vary it through the week including buckwheat muesli, buckwheat pancakes and savoury scones - but this is me and if you are wanting a speedy fast breakfast and are busy, the breakfast options on this plan are perfect. The porridge was very filling and I was not needing a snack until later in the afternoon.

Lunches


Warming Winter Soup

I loved the soups, they were the perfect balance of flavour and pure natural ingredients. Very warming in the winter, filling and of the quality of fresh soups I have bought in supermarkets. I had my first experience of tasting pea, mint and pancetta soup and this is now a new favourite of mine. 


Ilumi Slow-Cooked Lamb Casserole
Lovely lunches provided on this plan, chunky meat and
great mixture of flavours and sauce. Very satisfying and filling.

The lamb casserole was delicious, lovely chunks of lamb in a beautiful rosemary and mint gravy, with sliced potatoes and carrots. I liked all of the lunch options on this plan. I ate them mainly on the go at my computer when I was working. So, they would be ideal for someone taking to work and heating up in the microwave. 


Ilumi Ready Meal
Unlike other ready-meals the food has great ingredients,
no added nasties and you get a full container of food.

Dinners

Now, the dinners. For the first 2 evenings I enjoyed the change in my diet. Lots of rich sauces are on the evening meal selection. I am not used to so many curries and admittedly this plan did contain a lot of curries. While some were okay, I would say that the evening selection was, for me, pretty uninteresting. After a while all the meals began to taste the same, and the sauces were so rich that they overpowered the meat or other products in the dish. 


Chicken Rice Dish


So it was chicken and sauce that I tasted most of the time. What I would have appreciated far more would have been chunkier pieces of meat in the dinner plan. The pieces were so small that I felt dissatisfied with the texture, and I was pretty much swallowing the food instead of chewing it. So for me, these dishes need big improvement.


Chicken and Rice Dish
The flavour-full smaller chicken pieces and
too much emphasis on sauce left the evenings meals lacking for me.

While they are filled with great ingredients, obviously immaculately prepared by the chefs, they simply left me wanting more. I was craving simpler foods, with less sauce, with vegetables not just rice as a side option. I did add my own vegetables a couple of times, but I would have preferred the main meal with vegetables instead of rice for some of the dishes.

The gluten-free lager was a great addition and it was nice to have a treat with dinner.

This Plan Is Perfect For:



Full-time Mums wanting to get healthy who are too busy to make nutritional food from scratch.




People on a gluten-free diet wanting an easier way to eat.





Those who work full time, who want to be able to take easy lunches to work and have easy dinners when they come home.




Anyone who has a busy week planned and needs a break from cooking.





Anyone wanting to see if going gluten-free will increase their energy levels and promote a healthy balance within.


Overall Feedback


Great selection of food, lunches perfect.  Good selection for the price. Easy to heat up. Fast food for people on the go. Nutritionally balanced.



Breakfast was okay albeit a little too boring for my normally varied palette. Dinners need a lot of improvement and need to consider texture as well as sauce. The biscuits were too sweet and too high sugar for energy I felt.


Suggestions  

As the texture of the meat was negligible and cut up into small pieces, I imagine chunkier cuts may cost more to produce. I would personally pay an extra £10 a week for chunkier food in the evening dishes and  would have liked a few less sauce-rich options if I were to do the plan in the future.

Energy Levels

It was difficult to assess whether this diet plan boosted my energy because I was already on a low-carb, primarily gluten-free diet prior to trying it, but I imagine anyone who tends to eat more stodgy unhealthy food may find themselves having greater energy on this diet and may lose weight as a result.



*Post Disclaimer: I received a Boost Your Energy Diet food selection from Ilumi for review. All opinions are my own. 

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