Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Pure Package

When The Pure Package approached me and asked if I wanted a 3 day trial of their food package plan, I said yes. The idea is that from £40 a day, between the hours of midnight and 6am, a courier delivers your 3 gourmet meals a day plus snacks in a temperature controlled bag, ready for you to wake up to in the morning. Sounds simple enough, so I selected their weight loss programme, since their website proclaims "weight loss is our speciality".

Except it's not that simple. How would the driver get through a magnetic gate? I had to send my key fob off with them, and subsequently haul myself over the 10ft gate every day.

But what about the food? For £40 a day, I was expecting something fancy. Bircher muesli for breakfast one day looked like sludge but tasted ok - as ok as soggy oats go, I suppose. Far better was the rye bread with hazelnut butter and orange segments (opening photo).

To keep you going, a mid morning and mid afternoon snack is provided. Fruit with seeds or nuts featured heavily; of the three days, the kiwi segments with pistachios were the best. An unripe, dry apple with raw, chewy cashew nuts depressed me.

Unfortunately, depression sank further on the first day, when eagerly anticipating my lunch the salad I whipped out consisted of a few canned tuna flakes, a handful of Cos lettuce leaves, a few beans, sweetcorn and cucumber. I wondered if it would have killed them to sling in a tomato or two, maybe a few slices of red onion. For £40 a day I expected more.

At least portion size improved on lunch on the following days. The box of rice noodles with Asian slaw an coconut chicken claimed "also yummy hot!". Without a microwave or oven at work, I suffered through the claggy mess cold.

Another lunch was a tangle of rocket leaves with roasted aubergines, peppers and courgettes, with a shred of buffalo mozzerella. A watery pot of vinegar was provided to dress it. The highlight was the mozzerella.

Some afternoon snacks were savoury. Sugarsnap peas with cannellini bean and roasted tomato dip would have been far better if the peas had been lightly steamed. The dip didn't taste of much.

On the first night, having suffered through almost a day of eating almost nothing and rendering me hangry, dinner turned out to be chicken breast with an orange and date sauce and steamed carrots and broccoli. After two bites it was abandoned. Sickly sweet sauce smothered dry meat, and an orange and date sauce should never be allowed near broccoli. I ate an enormous pie instead.

Day two's dinner fared better, with this cottage pie, though I questioned the addition of goat's cheese in the topping. That plate is normal sized, by the way.

Finally, on the last day, red snapper with an almond crust, courgette salad and steamed beans and carrots. All the hot dinner dishes were cooked in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes; this rendered the fish a bit dry, but at least the vegetables retained bite.

So, as you can probably guess by now, I wasn't a fan. My 3 days had a couple of difficulties; the key fob situation also wasn't helped by being mugged for my entire handbag on the evening of the first day. Their PR suggested that I wouldn't be able to give it a fair run, but my issues aren't to do with this; I couldn't believe that people would pay £40 A DAY for it. So you have your meals all ready and prepared, but I barely spend more than that on the weekly shop. For 90 days, you would spend a massive £2965.50 for the full programme. That's pretty bonkers to me.

There's also the crucial point that the food just didn't taste that good. They don't add preservatives, salt, sugar, refined carbohydrates, wheat or additives, which might go some way to explaining it. Surely we all need salt in our lives? I'm fairly certain that after a while, yes I would get used to a salt-free life, but salt (in moderation) isn't bad for me so why leave it out at all?

I have no doubt that this weight loss package is effective; if anything, it just put me off food completely.



EDIT: In response, the PR of The Pure Package have stated: "The 40 pound a day cost includes three freshly prepared gourmet meals and snacks made by award-winning chefs delivered direct to your door, including delivery charge, ongoing consulting service...it may seem expensive to the majority of people, however I think the figure seems more understandable when you break down exactly what that money includes."

So there you are.

25 comments:

meemalee said...

Lizzie, thank you so much for reviewing this because I've always teetered on the edge of ordering it and now I certainly won't!

Sharmila said...

That basically looks like a weight loss programme comprised of aeroplane food.

Depressing.

I heart cupcakes said...

MiMi for £40 a day I'd cook you healthy meals using wonderful ingredients rather than this poor sad looking food.
Lizzie - wow you suffered for us - some of that food looks awful! And I can't believe that three months would cost just short of £3000, for that you could hire a personal trainer and go to the nutritionist at the docs and still have a lot of money left over for a holiday to show of your new bod!

James B said...

£40 a day, for that food! I'm sure the weight loss program does work, as you would never eat the food for long, but paying £40 a day you wouldn't be able to afford anything else.

Ino said...

Good God, that sounds awful. Just be grateful you didn't have to pay for it! I get so grumpy when I'm hungry, not sure I could manage this for very long without going crazy...

Kavey said...

I came across this a while ago, I think perhaps they donated a prize to Blaggers Banquet.

And I must admit, I couldn't imagine paying £40 a day for anything other than bloody FANTASTIC food.

What you've got there looks like something a company working on bulk buying should be able to do for a few bloody quid a day!

Not appetising, not attractive and certainly not worth £120 in total!

An American in London said...

I'm generally skeptical of weight-loss programmes, and your experience hasn't changed my mind. Loved that you had a pie for dinner on chicken breast night.

Sorry to hear about the mugging! I was feeling sorry for myself recently bc my smart phone was stolen at the cinema last weekend, but mugging is def worse.

Gourmet Chick said...

I was offered this to "review" as well and have to admit I said no straight away - just not the diet type I love my food too much - as I think you do to by the sounds of it! PS totally agree with your pie for dinner approach and that is crap about the mugging

Su-Lin said...

Well, obviously one would lose weight....because one wouldn't eat the whole time. :(

No salt is just ridiculous. And the price!!!

Krista said...

Ouch. I liked the thing I did for a week, but of course I'm going to forget the name. It wasn't £40 a day--more like £25 of £30? But the food was all vegan tofu-y, so stuff you wouldn't normally buy during a normal shop. Unusual, really. Very low in calories but they had me drinking these green smoothies all the time so I was always full. But the logistics of getting it delivered every day...such a pain. I had it delivered to work every morning which meant I starved until 10 or 11 am when my breakfast finally arrived! Green fairy? Green goddess fairy? Something like that.

Paul said...

£40 a day would be reasonable if all the food was like the pie! What a depressing offering, shame as I'm sure there is a market for this kind of thing, if done well.

Going With My Gut said...

I'd rather stay fat. Thanks.

Wen

Amy said...

One word - bleurgh!

Abi said...

That enormous pie looks delicious. Kudos.

Ginandcrumpets said...

£40 a day? £40? A day? £40? I don't think I'm ever going to be not stunned by that figure. £40. Amazing.

Mzungu said...

Love the pie ..... But who in their right mind would pay £40 a day for crap food ... Beggars belief how companies like this stay afloat ...

Kek said...

Whoa. That's crazy. There's a popular company here who do a weekly package of home-delivered meals for $170 (about 90 pounds).

I still wouldn't buy it - I like eating real food.... :/

Holly Grantham said...

Oh god, this looks awful! Most of the stuff I wouldn't touch even if you PAID me £40...

Riocaz said...

Lizzie you deserve hugs for the mgging and even more for suffering through that awful looking food.

Tales from the Tiny Kitchen said...

OMG. How depressing??? Just think of how much healthy delicious food you could buy with £40 per WEEK! This is a complete swizz. I really hate the idea that healthy food should taste of nothing. Total rubbish - just look at what Yottam Ottolenghi can do with a few lentils and herbs FFS. Great post, thank you for warning us of the perils of this almighty con.

Graphic Foodie said...

£40 A DAY? I'm just thinking of the million things I could cook with that budget, hell, half of that budget. I'm not adverse to a little "streamlining" in my diet every now and then to keep the waist in check but when I do, I sure as heck have more on my plate than Cottage Pie day. Eating healthily does not mean resorting to this.

Becky said...

I kept reading and re-reading, £40 a day, looks as bad as you say it tasted. This is why people think eating healthily is expensive horrible and live on junk food.
Thanks for suffering so that others might not have to

Anonymous said...

I have bought the cook book and do it myself. I have nothing but praise for The Pure Package dietary recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Fat idiots

Anonymous said...

I've tried TPP. It is badly portioned, boring, most dishes tasteless and way too many carbohydrates. They use vacuum packed rye bread as an example.