BodyFit reader gets thinner with help from us

TV soap expert and diet enthusiast Sharon Marshall tries The Pure Package to help shift a few stubborn pounds.

I’ve never been good with diets. I tend to start off quite strongly on Mondays

with good intentions about muesli, but by Wednsday I’ll be bored and end up buying a Fray Bentos pie. So the idea of The Pure Package – a diet which couriers three freshly made, healthy, gourmet meals, plus snacks, to your door each day, does sound rather good one. I went for the Summer Stunner package – designed to get you looking your best for the beach. The nice people at The Pure Package ring you up before you start to get an idea of your normal diet and then asked for any allergies and any dislikes. All I requested was no cucumber: I hate the green, slimy, horrible stuff, except for when it’s very thinly sliced and presented in Hendrick’s gin and tonic. Talking of gin, they do ask you to try and go alcohol free when on the diet. I didn’t quite manage that I’m afraid, but I did faithfully eat everything I was sent for five days, and nothing else.

It’s possibly the nicest “diet” I’ve ever tasted. A sample day menu starts with some pear bircher muesli, and with sesame beef & shitake salad for lunch. Dinner was a highly agreeable seabass, vegetables and couscous, and there were tangerines, pumpkin seeds and a breadless summer pudding for snacks. It’s delivered, overnight, in a smart black cool bag, so I’d wake each morning to find my entire day’s food ready cooked and waiting for me on the doorstep.
It’s perfect if you’re on the go a lot. I had six long train journeys during my trial, and it was great to smugly pull out chilled pea, feta and scallop soup and a handful of fresh figs for the journey from my cool bag, instead of the fat and salt laden offerings on board. And it helps you stick to your diet. The food was filling and fabulous and I didn’t have to have any snacks beyond what was delivered – and yes, after just five days on the diet I was couple of pounds down too. They do 90-day packages and I’m sure three months into this I’d be positively skinny, glowing and beach ready.

Cons? Well it’s a touch on the pricey side. A 10-day programme works out £39.95 per day. It’s great value for a personally tailored diet prepared and couriered to your door each day, but also the same cost as hiring a personal trainer for a day. They drop the price if you sign up for longer, but you’re still looking at £2965.50 for a three-month programme with the full set of meals. The company does offer some cheaper options, dropping one of the main meals, but perhaps it could look at offering cut-proce deals for couples, or workmates. Check their website as they sometimes offer deals such as a complimentary day.

Having said that, you do get value for money – their chefs are award-winning, and when I showed the menu to my work colleague Dr Chris, he agreed its health balance and nutrition were excellent. Each day the cool box contained at least seven portions of fruit and veg, plus alkaline foods, such as figs, to balance the body’s pH, and snacks like pumpkin seeds to supply minerals like zinc.

So, is it worth it? Yes, if you want a short term kick to achieve a goal, or re-educate yourself on portion sizes, or learn what to eat if you need to change your diet for health reasons. I’d have loved it as a pre-wedding gift last year – it’s a perfect gift for bridesmaids or for friends to club together and buy for the bride-to-be.