I make no secret of the fact that I am not exactly a domestic goddess.
(Apart from the amazing tropical fruit fool I made this week of course.)
My intentions are good – I want to eat lovingly constructed quinoa salads and the like – but the truth is that I just can’t be bothered to construct them. My typical diet relies heavily on toast, normally topped with beans. I like it, but it isn’t exactly a recipe for a bloat-free life.
I was keen then last month to try out the range of gluten-free foods from Ilumi because a) I thought it might help with the whole toast induced bloating and b) I am lazy, and they all come in pouches that can just be stuck in the microwave. Nice.
The ethos behind the brand is to provide well-balanced meals, made with the sort of ingredients we all have in our cupboards, thus banishing the guilt element that comes with traditional ready meals. As you can see from the packaging, there aren’t any nasty additives or anything like that, although it did still feel a little bit odd eating everything out of a sachet – a bit like being on Star Trek.
I love the idea that everything you need for a whole week is pretty much in the parcel, including oat cakes, porridge and even a couple of bottles of beer! At £40 for a week’s box I do think it’s pretty good value for a food delivery scheme too.
To make it feel less like the Dr Spock diet I added fresh vegetables and herbs to each meal, and tried to eat some fresh fruit between meals too, although adding in fresh produce does bump your weekly costs up a little bit. Having everything prepared for you in advance definitely makes it much easier to control portion sizes, and ensures that you get a good variety of meals without having to worry too much about cooking – particularly useful if you live on your own.
I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the consistency of flavour across the range. Some meals were delicious, and could have been cooked fresh by a beloved elderly Granny, others tasted more like they really had come from the set of Star Trek and were either bland or altogether strange. It did add an element of excitement however, turning mealtimes into something of a Russian roulette.
I was also a little overpowered by the garlic. I checked the packaging and I’m pretty sure that every single sachet included garlic as an ingredient. Now I like garlic as much as the next person, but unfortunately garlic doesn’t really like me, and this garlic left a slightly artificial after taste that did linger, as now ex Boyfriend will testify. (He didn’t leave because of the garlic breath as far as I know, although it may well have been a contributory factor.)
Overall though I did feel better for giving my body a temporary break from all that bread, and if you wanted to experiment with a gluten free diet but didn’t want to spend a lot of time shopping for special ingredients or cooking two dinners every mealtime then Ilumi would definitely be a good place to start.
Disclosure: I was sent seven days’ worth of food from Ilumi for the purposes of this review