A review by Abbie on WOOP's Balance meal that launched this week.

Firstly, we did not accept any kind of payment to participate in this, but I did get sent a meal from WOOP to test out. So I like to think that what I’ve written is completely impartial.

This week I had my groceries, WOOP, Hello Fresh, some socks, my partners birthday present, my daughters new 'big girl' bed (wahoo) and some shoes delivered to our house. This tells me two things; ease up on the spending ;) but also, convenience is key in this digital age.

At Feel Fresh, we are LOVING the food delivery services. We have busy clients. Busier than a one-armed brick-layer in Baghdad with an itch. (For those that appreciate a Honey Badger reference). They value good nutrition but literally do not have the time or energy at the end of the day to plan, shop and cook a meal for themselves or their families. Or they equally value doing other things with their time. For those that can afford this - it's a win-win solution.

I believe there is a growing nutritional focus, a desire for better health, a trend in eating fresh foods while reducing processed foods, but simultaneously we are busier than ever. When a convenient option is (literally) brought to our doorstep, that’s when we all take notice.

Back to the product review. Balance is a new product from WOOP, based on a Mediterranean style of eating which is very quickly gaining attention. The 'Mediterranean Style Diet', quite honestly, for me, is the one 'lifestyle' way of eating that actually makes sense. It has the ability to be followed by the general public, is affordable and the health benefits are backed up by research, and its effect on inflammation? Oh hopefully we are all capable of keeping this one easy to understand - please nobody bastardise it.

Some of the copy surrounding WOOP Balance struck a chord with me:

"These days it seems like every fortnight, there's a new fad diet. Should you love fat, or hate it? Are carbs evil? What about meat? Dairy? It's ridiculous."

Yes WOOP! You are speaking Feel Fresh Nutritions language.

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The meal I cooked was a "prawn poke bowl with chilli lime dressed edamame bean and wasabi avocado cream".

  • Taste 10/10,

  • Colours 10/10,

  • Fibre 10/10,

  • One serve was more than enough for one person. In fact, I got over chewing before the meal was done - a satisfying feeling,

  • There was a lowish amount of carbs at 32g for the meal (could ditch the small amount of rice to reduce that if that's your focus),

  • The protein was 36g - a big ole tick,

  • And best of all, very easy to put together.

Thankfully, I wasn't instructed to use olive oil at every stage. Nothing (at all) against olive oil....just sometimes splashing it 4-5 times on the pan at various stages of the meal can really bump up the dietary fat component.

It's also great that we can recycle soft plastics these days - otherwise I'd find the packaging hard to swallow.

Alright, back to 'Balance' being based on the traditional Mediterranean style of eating. The key elements of the Mediterranean diet are underpinned by three dietary strategies that are also associated with lower chronic disease risk:

  1. Increased consumption of omega-3 fats from fish and plant sources.

  2. Substitution of saturated and trans fats, for non-hydrogenated unsaturated fats.

  3. Consumption of a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to increase fibre, antioxidant intakes and consumption of very few products made from refined grains.

    One WOOP meal, and they have encompassed the all three key elements. Well done to food and nutrition writer Niki Bezzant who designed the meal.

I have an inkling that meal-delivery services still haven't hit saturation point yet, but there are still plenty of options to suit. Plate-Up delivers pre-made meals, Kai Box caters for vegans, Bargain Box, My Food Bag, Hello Fresh and Woop differ in pricing, quality ingredients, various stages of pre-cut vegetables and pre-made sauces. Want to lose weight? Have allergies? Dietary preferences? You can customise your order.

For a nutrition team that gets asked to supply nutritious options that are ‘affordable, tasty, and quick’ all (haha the live long) day, (AND require close to zero no effort) we are keen to see which of these companies nails just that. Tis a hard job pleasing every request, but so far, these companies are nailing it.

Thanks for reading, and as always - keen to hear your thoughts!
Abbie :)

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