Eat clean this year with a little help!
If you’re still getting over the holiday season and the onslaught of Christmas turkey dinners, seemingly bottomless glasses of mulled wine and endless sweet treats and tempting delights, then you’re not the only one. As much as I love all these things with a passion (a warm apple cider on a cold – cool – Hong Kong day with a sweet mince pie is a near heavenly experience), I’m also slightly disgusted with the sheer amount of rich, indulgent food that I’ve consumed. With Christmas parties and events nearly every other day last month, I was feasting on the regular. Great for my inner foodie – bad for my not so inner waistline. And of course, not so great on my overall health.
So when I was approached by the lovely folks at Genie Juicery and Secret Ingredient to have the ‘healthiest week of my life‘, I thought, why not? I wanted to make sure I had at least one week of clean, conscious eating before or after I mindlessly stuffed myself with every festive delight imaginable.
Of course, we’re already huge fans of both these homegrown Hong Kong brands here at Sassy, so I was expecting a pretty great collaboration between these two. The premise of the whole healthy week is to combine a three day Genie Juicery cleanse with balanced, nutritious meals from NOSH and Secret Ingredient for the following three days. Not heard of NOSH yet? It’s essentially Secret Ingredient’s baby sister, delivering healthy, well thought out lunch meals straight to your office or home address.
I was excited to 1) have week of healthy eating and 2) not have to worry about cooking and planning meals. It began with the Genie juices being delivered to my home on the Sunday night, and they were extra accommodating, arranging the delivery to arrive at 8.30pm instead of between 6.30 – 8.30pm (shouldn’t have booked to go see ‘The Martian’ at 5pm when it’s a two and a half hour film… oops).
I’ll admit – I’m not a huge ‘juicer’. I don’t really hold a devout belief in the many benefits that claim to come with juice cleanses – I prefer to follow (or try to follow) the mantra of “eating in moderation”. But I was up for the challenge and after a couple of weekends of late nights in Stormies (Lan Kwai Fong – I’m not proud) I was more than keen for a ‘detox’. I ambitiously opted for an ‘Intermediate’ cleanse, and the first two juices of the day were a pleasure to drink. I love chia seeds and ‘The Master’ had such a zingy kick from the cayenne pepper and citrus, which really woke me up first thing. The Smooth Operator smoothie with banana, avocado, spinach, apple, vanilla and chia was deliciously creamy and surprisingly filling, which kept me going for most of the day.
Throughout the day I did find some of the juices more challenging… particularly the ‘greener’ ones. I enjoyed the juices in the morning but found that I was pretty hungry by the evenings and had to make more of an effort at dinner time to stick to it. After three days of juicing, I was more than ready for some food. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of doing juice cleanses and prefer to have them as a healthy addition to my regular diet, or as a breakfast or snack substitute. However, I do really appreciate how they make you think consciously about what and how much you eat on a day-to-day basis – good for re-setting those healthy eating goals and encouraging some self-motivation!
After the juicing came the meals from NOSH and Secret Ingredient, which were delivered conveniently each night. I loved bringing the compact NOSH lunches to work with me – they were easy to store in the fridge and seemed to stay so fresh due to the sealed packaging. What’s more, I was surprisingly happy with how substantial the lunches were – don’t expect pathetic leafy salads! Think lean protein packed against fresh veggies and nutritious whole grains like quinoa and brown rice. Filling yet healthy, these lunches are ideal for munching on in the office to keep you satisfied and give you a burst of energy for the afternoon.
After a long day at work, I was relieved to get home and already have every single thing I needed for dinner. We’re huge fans of Secret Ingredient here at Sassy, and I can safely say that they’re still just as good as when we first tried them here. The step-by-step recipes and instructions make cooking so much easier – a blessing when you have tiny Hong Kong kitchen – you don’t even have to think about! Just add ‘A’ to ‘B’ with a sprinkle of ‘C’ and you’ve got a (nearly) restaurant ready meal. As expected, the meals used the highest quality ingredients and were well portioned yet balanced, perfect post-cleanse. The steak was definitely my favourite and if I could, I would happily have a month of meals catered by Secret Ingredient!
If you’re on a New Year health kick and need a little help and inspiration getting back on track, then I would definitely recommend trying out ‘The Healthiest Week of Your Life‘. For $2,400 per person, you get 24 Genie juices, three NOSH meals (ideal for lunch) and three Secret Ingredient dinners. Considering how much you get and how easy it is with the delivery, I would say it’s quite good value, especially if you really want to dedicated a week to clean eating. I felt refreshed and ready to get back on the healthy wagon! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016.
Available online at: www.secretingredient.com.hk/pages/detox-pack; $2,400 for one person, $4,800 for two. Order before 10 January 2016 for 20% off!