I don’t think I have IBS or any specific allergies, but I do get a lot of bloating and upset stomachs. I always say I have a good diet, but I do feel I’m kidding myself sometimes, I can be a bit of a junk food junkie at times and I have a passion for biscuits and cake. When I’m trying to lose weight I generally just cut out the junk, sugar and full fat milk and I can lose a few pounds easily. I do however, feel hungry and deprived when I miss out on my ‘treats’
I decided to give Ilumi a go because I wanted to see if changes in my diet would really help me, both from the bloating and stomach problems and the craving for unhealthy food. I was sent a box of food for one for one week. This was the Boost Your Energy box and included 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 main dishes and snacks for every day. The plan also comes with a handy tip sheet and menu to follow.
Ilumi produce nut-, gluten and milk free food and use no uneccessary additives. They are perfect for people with allergies, or diet related conditions like IBS. The meals are cooked in pouches and then
sealed so they stay fresh for when you open them. They do not need to be stored in the fridge. The most amazing thing about them is that they are full of flavour!
I’ve tried ready meals before, those well known brand boxes that you pop in your microwave for a quick and easy meal, and I’ve never been impressed. The last one I tried, when I needed a quick and easy lunch for one, tasted purely of sugar and salt and had tiny rock hard prawns that were inedible. So, I’m not a big fan. In fact, I find ready meals a bit of a cheat, I love cooking and putting everything together. In my kitchen food is made with love, not microwaves. However, I was prepared to give this box of food a chance, particularly as I would be eating differently to my family for a week, the convenience of popping my dinner in the microwave at the last minute made the task doable. I guess this is one of the reasons why I find dieting so difficult, how can I prepare my meals seperately when I have another six people to feed, and a couple of them are incredibly fussy eaters.
On unpacking my box I was pleased with the amount of food, all this just for me! There was also a couple of bottles of gluten free beer popped in. I stashed it all in the cupboard and read the tips sheet to see if I would need anything else.
ilumi’s Recommended Shopping List
Gluten Free Bread Rolls
Gluten Free Pasta
Selection of Vegetables
I always buy fruit and vegetables anyway and I didn’t bother with the side salad. I did buy gluten free bread rolls and hated them, yuk! I also bought gluten free pasta which was nice and actually cooks quicker than regular pasta so I’m going to buy it regular for my Little Man who is a pasta addict and finds 11 minutes too long to wait for his fix.
The snacks included in the box were oat cakes and oat and syrup biscuits. I had a feeling I might get a little chocolate craving so I added some gluten free chocolaty type fruit bar thingies to my shopping list, just in case.
I also bought some gluten free breakfast cereal in case I didn’t have time to make up the porridge.
So the first day came and I began my energy boosting diet.
Remember, that microwave meal I talked about earlier? Well it was no comparison to these meals. The flavours exploded in your mouth. They were really easy to prepare, just a few minuts in the microwave and put on the plate, but you would not believe that they hadn’t come straight from a couple of hours slaving over a hot stove. They were fresh and delicious. The rice dishes were fluffy and perfect, and I always thought MY rice was perfect!
I didn’t like everything, well that would be too much to expect, but the ones I didn’t enjoy were purely down to my personal tastes, there was nothing wrong with them.
I do believe that if my family were taking part too they’d be very happy…then I had a brainwave, these would be perfect for self catering breaks away. You know the ones where you have to give up your beach or fun time to go back to the caravan or chalet to feed the brood before the next lot of entertainment. Well, with a few Illumi products packed in your suitcase you could whip up a totally delicous meal, worthy of a restaurant, in just a few minutes!
Within a couple of days I noticed that my ‘looking like I’m six months pregnant tum, when I’m not pregnant at all’ had reduced quite a lot…yay, the bloating was improving already. I also found at the end of the week I’d lost 2lb. Although this is not a weight loss diet, I believe I lost weight purely through not eating junk and retaining water. I never felt hungry, the meals were satisfying and I rarely had to add any more veg or salad, they were fine on their own. I didn’t finish all the snacks in the week, not even the chocolate ones. I didn’t snack on anything naughty either, I just didn’t feel the need.
As for the energy boost, well, I didn’t feel that usual ‘don’t want to get up I’ve just eaten’ feeling after the meals. Yes I was full, but not bloated. I also felt a little less tired, I do have three little ones that I have to run around after and often get deprived of sleep, so every little bit of extra energy helps.
On the Ilumi website
you can purchase the full weeks supply of the energy boost diet for just £40, that’s including delivery. You can also purchase meals individually and if you like the taste but want to add your own meat or vegetable you can even buy pouches of just the sauce. Meals start from £2.75 and sauces from £1.50 with packets of rice for one for just £1. I think these are great value, especially considering how tasty they are.
Disclaimer: I was sent a box of food to trial from Ilumi. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Linking up to Well Being Wednesday over on Autism Mumma.