I had all my meals made for me for a week and it was GLORIOUS
It was a learning experience.
Every Sunday, I watch my housemates, siblings and pretty much everyone around me pull bath sized pots out of the cupboard and cook.
For an hour or so, they potter around the kitchen, slicing, stirring, and seasoning, and every week I think to myself, "Christ, what a way to spend your last evening off".
Yep, I gloat about the full hour that I get to enjoy while they slave away in the kitchen, knowing that the real eejit is me.
Come Wednesday, I've run out of whatever fresh food I bought that weekend and I'm resorting to the non-perishables in the backs of the cupboard.
I scrape by - for the sake of an hour.
Having tried meal prepping in the past, I've never been able to stick to it. Yep, I'm lazy - I admit it. But more than that, I'm unorganised and that makes planning ahead pretty much impossible.
So true to form, I took all the effort and planning out of the equation and signed up for a meal-prep service that does all the hard work for you.
Having seen Clean Cut Meals pop up on Instagram a few times, I decided to get in touch to see if they could help.
After asking about my dietary requirements and what I wanted to achieve from the programme, we decided the Fat Loss plan was probably best suited as it was calorie controlled and covered all my meals. So, I placed my first order.
The following Monday, I got a text from the courier that my food was out for delivery and just a few hours later my box of goodies was delivered.
The large cardboard box came with five dinners, five lunches and five breakfasts and I have to say, it looked like a lot of food.
Packed inside the box also were multiple ice bags to keep the food chilled, which would be seriously handy if I didn't have access to a fridge.
My delivery piqued the interest of a lot of my colleagues who were curious to see what meals were included.
From chicken stir-fry to some sort of turkey curry, I can honestly say that it all looked absolutely delish.
Day one, I started with my granola. Not normally a breakfast eater, I found it difficult to finish the pot but I think that also says a lot about the portion size.
At lunch, I was the talk of the office kitchen as everyone was having a goo to see what I was eating (by day three this became simply a part of my routine). When I say I was satisfied with the meal, I mean I was loving life and feeling great about my decision already.
Throughout the week that feeling continued as I happily ate my way through my meal plan.
Each meal was both delicious and filling. Not normally someone to leave much food on the plate, I found myself offering up the remainder of my meals to anyone who would take it, as I physically couldn't fit anymore.
Throughout the day, snacking was also not so necessary thanks to the calorie-controlled yet very filling meals I was having. With a few rice cakes scattered throughout the day, food wasn't really on my mind as it might have been normally.
At the end of day four, knowing I only had one more day left, I was disappointed that I would be returning to my usual routine (or lack thereof).
And while at the start of the week the price tag would have had me hesitant to say I'd sign up myself, I was honestly converted.
Costing €89.95 per week (i.e. five days of food), the plan is more than I'd usually spend on food for that many days - but not by much.
After buying groceries, I buy my lunch most days and then panic-buy whatever is left on the shelves to feed me for dinner, so this plan would probably only cost me €20 more than I would normally spend - but is it worth it?
PT, fitness influencer and brand embassador Dee Fitzpatrick has been using the service for over six months with great results.
“Clean cut meals have been a huge factor in helping me reach my fitness goals. Between work and training I am constantly on the go, so having a well-balanced and accessible nutritional plan has kept me healthy, energetic and active for the past six months.
“The quality and wide variety of the meal plan make it easy to stay on track and I genuinely can’t recommend them highly enough to anyone who might be struggling with their nutrition.”
Yes, they’re expensive, yes, it’s the easy way out, but if that doesn’t bother you it’s well worth it.
*I got a week's meal plan on a complimentary basis in return for my review. However, the company was told in advance that my appraisal would be an honest one, and they otherwise had no control over or input into this feature.