After spending most of her working life in the public service, Sophia Carlini has taken…
Time poor, watching your nutrition, or just looking for a simple and delicious meal that’s ready in a flash? We roadtest locally-produced Gym Meals Direct.
What’s the single biggest hurdle most people cite when it comes to their health, particularly their nutrition? It’s said to heal all wounds; it flies when you’re having fun, and it’s a resource that once lost, can never be found again. Yep, it’s time.
Luckily, we’re also of a place and age where, for a pretty penny, you can have someone take care of that for you. From conjuring up delicious recipes for a meal plan to chopping all that veg, to carefully cooking and portioning, right up to having it delivered to your front door. Think of Gym Meals Direct as your personal nutritional Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way.
However, if you ever are to come across a member of the Gym Meals Direct team, be warned that you won’t find a Julie Andrews or Emily Blunt lookalike demurely stirring a cauldron. Rather, you’ll find three rather passionate Canberra boys, Hesh, Mick and Mitch – the masterminds behind the operation.
“We’re three locals that were raised here in Canberra. We love this city, and we love food” says Mitch. “We’ve all come from different professional backgrounds, each bringing specialities like the design, marketing and technology, as well as experience and comprehensive knowledge of the Canberra hospitality scene.”
This, plus their love of fitness and food, has provided a strong foundation for a business that’s fuelling more Canberrans by the day. While they offer a cracking Bolognese and Satay Chicken, the secret sauce behind Gym Meals Direct is actually a melting pot of local talent and resources.
“Everything we do, we do right here in Canberra. From sourcing the best ingredients to marketing, operations, creative and logistics” says Mitch. “However, the real work is done in the kitchen. GMD is run by an incredible, dedicated and hard-working team of professional chefs, cooks, kitchen hands, packaging staff, delivery drivers and logistics specialists, who all work together seamlessly to create and deliver the end product.”
And what a result it is – from their Moroccan Lamb Fillet to Pepperberry Steak, to the Lemon Basa and Coconut Curry Chicken – each dish is carefully crafted to suit your taste buds and your nutritional needs. There truly is a selection for everyone, including the vegetarians and vegans, gluten free, nut free, and dairy free.
There’s a note of tradition that can be detected in each and every dish. It’s the fact that the meals are built on the fundamentals of proven nutrition, rather than fad diets. It’s the nostalgic flavours from all over the world. It’s the classically trained chefs from multiple culinary disciplines, with over 80 years’ experience. And then, of course, there’s the fact that each meal is delivered fresh, which is always more inspiring than picking up a block of frozen cardboard for dinner.
Being the altruistic philanthropists that we are, three members of the HerCanberra team – all with very different needs and life experiences – selflessly agreed to put Gym Meals Direct through its paces:
Ashleigh – Gym Junkie
As a self-confessed foodie, a fitness writer, and the girlfriend of a nutritionist, it’s fair to say that I take my healthy eating fairly seriously. When it comes to my food, I like it high protein, with quality carb sources, plenty of veg, and packed with flavour. I’m a pretty active person and I have a hefty appetite, so there’s also got to be enough substance and volume to keep me energised and satisfied.
Gym Meals Direct had me at ‘hello’. One glance at the menu told me everything I needed to know. There was plenty of variety in the flavours, stacks of vegetables and protein, and flexibility when it came to nutritional needs. The latter really stood out for me – rather than having to weigh up each set meal, I was able to choose what I liked and then tailored it to my needs. For example, I loved that I could select a Butter Chicken with greens – a lower carb choice – for my dinner, but I could also choose sweet potato or rice if I wanted to eat a higher carb lunch before an afternoon training session.
And the flavour? Ten times better than anything you’d find in the frozen food section, and (dare I say it), on par with what I or my live-in nutritionist can whip up at home.
Amanda – Dance Mum
I am not joking when I say that I have another full-time job as Dance Mum Taxi. With two girls who clock up a total of 18 hours of dance per week, let’s just say that family mealtimes at the dinner table are a rarity from Monday to Thursday.
Gym Meals Direct has become our go-to on the days when the girls aren’t sent off with a homemade meal that I’ve whipped up in my ‘spare time’. It means that I know that they’re getting a nutritious dinner even if I haven’t cooked it myself.
What do I like about them?
Well, the taste, for a start – let’s face it, there are a whole lot of heat-and-eat meals on the market, but not all of them are packed with flavour.
Secondly, the balance of protein, carbs and vegies – so many ready meals skimp on the greens, and I really want to ensure that my kids are getting their fill.
And last – but certainly not least – the convenience. I can send them off to dance with a meal and they can just pop it in the microwave and scoff it down before or between classes.
It sure beats anything the nearby KFC or Subway can dish up.
Beatrice Smith – Busy Single
As a single person who is often food shopping for one, it frustrates me that waste seems unavoidable. Unless you’re keen to eat a variation of the same meal for days at a time or turn down all last-minute dinner plans (which, erm, why would you?) you find yourself staring at a fridge of half-used produce and off-leftovers by the end of the week.
It wastes money, food and is hard on the environment but most of all, it sees me buying expensive lunches and dinners often, which is a no-no budget-wise.
My obsession with single serve meals started a few years ago, so I was curious to try Gym Meals Direct’s offerings. What most excited me was the Chicken and Spinach Lasagne, not just because I love Italian food, but more because we can all agree that most restaurants’ portions of this dish (plus the usual lashings of Bechamel sauce) make it very much a ‘sometimes’ food. A chicken-based lasagne that was nutritionally balanced and portion-controlled? Yes, please. The result was satisfying and totally delicious.
Check out the Gym Meals Direct menu at gymmealsdirect.com.au.
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