I first tried Pure Package’s Japanese Body Boost programme at the end of a gruelling five days of London Fashion Week. Despite my best intentions to be healthy during the week (almonds in my bag and dried nori seaweed strips to snack on) by day two I was running between shows, stuffing Pop Chips to keep my energy levels up. Eating badly and working fifteen hour days for five days straight is a recipe for dis-ease at any time, but add in the tightly packed show spaces, breathing in everyone else’s germs and that meant that my chances of getting ‘fashion flu’ were pretty high.
Fortunately, Pure Package came to the rescue with a recovery programme of delicious and inventive Japanese-style nutrient dense meals that were full of flavour. Arriving on my doorstep each morning, with minimal – if any - preparation required, I spent the following three days blissfully eating my way back to fighting form via the antioxidant, immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties of Japanese cuisine.
I admit, miso soup and shiitake mushrooms with brown rice crackers for the first day’s breakfast took some getting used to – I’m more of a muesli or boiled egg and soldiers girl - but the anti-viral and immune enhancing properties of the mushrooms, full of protein and iron, and the warming soup set me up for the day. Other breakfasts included omelette wrapped in nori and edamame beans – great for if you’re eating on the run.
I rarely feel hungry mid morning (it’s the 4pm choc craving that’s my weakness) but I was keen to try the snack of sea vegetable salad and dipping rolls. The Body Boost programme is big on sea vegetables - no less than thirteen varieties over three days, feted for their high calcium, low calorie, mineral and vitamin-rich properties. They’re great for mopping up heavy metals from pollution and are rich in phytoestrogens that may help to regulate hormones.
Lunches were always a treat and a vast improvement over chilled aisle sandwiches or plastic bowl salads which are my usual default. Steamed prawns lightly dressed with Yuzu (Japanese citrus) juice served with soba noodles and hijiki (seaweed) salad or salmon sushi, rich in Omega 3 and anti-flammatory properties were genuinely spoiling.
To prevent any mid afternoon energy slump, fruit featured, as in a salad of ginger-infused kiwi and papaya that slaked my sugar cravings. Like good, dark chocolate, papaya is full of antioxidants with the added benefit (unlike choc) of protein-digesting enzymes.
I found I wasn’t desperately hungry by dinner, so ended up eating later than usual, something that I rarely do but the light food meant that I didn’t feel stuffed. Black rice with five times more mineral and protein than white rice and stir-fried antioxidant brassica vegetables to accompany snapper in miso sauce made for a delicious dinner. On day two, I swapped dinner (teriyaki salon with rice and steamed veg) for lunch (salmon sushi box) because I tend to prefer to eat lighter in the evening.
By the end of three days I found that I hadn’t eaten all the snacks so had food left over, which kept the healthy Japanese eating momentum going to the extent that I booked a couple of business lunches in Japanese restaurants and stocked up on edamame, nori and wakame for home.
What I didn’t expect was weight loss; it was never my aim – I was more bothered about strengthening my immunity and getting back on track, but having shed a couple of pounds by the end of the week, I recognised that I’d been eating low calorie without thinking and certainly without feeling deprived in any way. Next time fashion week comes around, or in fact any time I’m at risk of getting run down, I’ll not hesitate to turn to the Japanese Body Boost again.
£195 for three days, including daily deliveries to postcodes within the M25, available here .