Jessica’s Recipe Bag (With a Little Bit of Hello Fresh)

Ever since I first posted about Hello Fresh, I’ve become hugely reliant on them delivering our food and providing a weekly menu of delicious dishes. However, one week our food did not make it because it was damaged during transit. We hadn’t done any shopping and were left a bit stranded as I only found out at 8pm on the day. After contacting Hello Fresh they didn’t offer to send a replacement box the next day, but simply said that we could have £15 off our next box. After a bit of haggling, I managed to get a free box, but alas when that one came they still charged me £15 delivery! I know it’s only food and I could have gone shopping the next day, but it’s quite a big mistake to leave a customer without five days worth of food when they sign up for weekly deliveries – Maybe they should have a few spare boxes in the van, but if wastage is a concern, then I certainly think they should have gone out of their way to deliver a box the next day. Anyway, I was just a bit miffed with them for a while because I was particularly busy that week, so started to look for another company offering the same kind of food delivery service – Basically meals that you cook with all the exact ingredients and recipe sheets delivered to your door.

One of the companies I came across was Jessica’s Recipe Bag, and I’ve been trialing it bi-weekly for 6 weeks now. This one comes in at a slightly higher price than Hello Fresh and don’t do a five day couple bag, but we’ve come to the conclusion that we prefer the meals. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but they seem tastier, fresher and healthier.  Jessica’s recipe ingredients are delivered in a bag (hence the name!), rather than a box (like Hello Fresh) and the bag is delivered on a Monday. The bags are much easier to recycle than the boxes, which just adds another bit of ease to my day! I’ve never once had missing food items from them, and everything has been of exceptional quality. The portions can sometimes verge on the smaller side and I’d love for them to be a bit more generous – Mainly for the man of the house, of course.

Jessica’s Recipe Bag measures out the ingredients to the exact amount, so it truly does make cooking super-quick. The recipes are uncomplicated to make and directions come printed in a little booklet. You do have to have certain stock items in your house such as stock cubes, dried herbs and spices, and this is something Hello Fresh actually provide –  I prefer having my own though as there is much less packaging involved. You are usually emailed a list of the items that you need the week before delivery and they actually have a list of everything that you need for a good stock cupboard on their site.

Due to budgeting reasons, we have decided to go with Jessica’s 3 day bag every other week and Hello Fresh five day box on the other. We like them both, but Jessica just about takes the taste lead (so far). I was particularly happy with my Christmas bag this week, which included lots of lovely free goodies. You know how I’m a sucker for a freebie or two!

Naughty Fat Cat…Jessica's Recipe Bag

Christmas treats from Jessica…

Jessica's Recipe Bag Lunch box

 

Some of the delicious dishes we have made from Jessica’s Recipe Bag…

meal bag

 

 

 

Home Food Delivery

You can order your first three day couple bag on the site HERE and get a reduction. Just £29 – Usual price £42
If you have a family bag they also have a special offer on those too – 4 meals for 4 people – £45 – Usual price £69

Jason Vale 3 Day Juice Detox – Day 3 & Conclusion

Sunday is my favourite day of the week, but it has been slightly marred by the Jason Vale 3 day juice detox! I certainly think it is something that should be attempted during the week. I’m a strong believer of  being slightly more indulgent over the weekend and this detox is certainly not indulgent! Wish me luck…

DAY THREE: SUNDAY

8am: Alex blending away. Blend, blend, blend. Off he goes.

9.30am: I’m awake. Very disappointed that I can’t have my usual Sunday pain au chocolate from our local french bakery. Think about skipping my morning drink, but after my water decided to push on through.

10am: Decide to hit the treadmill. 30mins and that’s it. Sundays weren’t meant for this. They were meant for this…

10.30am: Time for the Juice Master’s Detox Special. I suck it up knowing that its packed with Vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, C, E and K. It’s also packed with Calcium, Iron, magnesium, potassium, pectin and so on and so on… Are you still there?

1pm: Alex is ringing.. I think about picking it up… Not sure I can handle his hunger pains as well as mine. I answer. He’s just ringing to tell me he’s about to have his lunch juice – Thanks for that.

2pm: Time for a Beyond Detox juice. It’s like day one all over again. I get through it. Hurrah! I’m waiting for a Waitrose shopping order to land on my doorstep… It’s due before 4pm, and I’m hoping that I don’t falter whilst unpacking it. I ordered tons of fruit, but there are a few treats in there too.

3pm: I’ve decided to stick to water and not the recommended H20. Drink, drink, drink. I actually have a bit of a headache, which I’m surprise about with this amount of liquid.

4.15pm: The shopping has arrived. There seems to be more fruit than I remember ordering, which means I can’t go off the rails next week. Oh joy!

5pm: I have hunger pains and am not very happy about them.

5.45pm: The oven is on. Noooooo… I HAVE FAILED! Just one drink short of a detox A+. Last night when Alex was struggling I promised he could have dinner this evening. I’ve had enough jealousy for one weekend, so I’m going to join him. I have failed to make it to the finishing line. I could have got past it, but I just didn’t want to. I know I will regret this tomorrow, but…

Just look at what we ate…

CONCLUSION:

The Jason Vale 3 day juice detox should be easy enough to do if you are mentally prepared and if you choose to do it at a time that works best for you. Some people do it to lose weight, but I was doing it to kick-start my healthy eating lifestyle again. After a few days, I feel a lot less bloated, and my skin is quite clear. However, that could be down to the fact that I haven’t touched any wheat (which I’m allergic to). Generally people have said they can lose up to 5lbs over the 3 days.

I’ve found it easier to do than any of the other diet plans that I’ve tried because there isn’t much to think about when juicing. You just whack it all in and go. When I’m cooking on a diet plan, I find I’m constantly thinking about what I have to prepare next. I also tend to think about food all of the time, which I didn’t seem to do as much when juicing.

This is going to be a pretty tough detox to do if you have an extremely healthy appetite, but I presume it wouldn’t do too much harm to include  a  snack of a banana in-between juices if you simply can’t cope. The hardest part for both Alex and myself was not actually chewing food. I know it’s not a necessity in life, but it’s a tradition we like.

So, would I do it again? – Maybe. Am I going to keep on Juicing? – Definitely.

I’m going to aim to have a juice for at least two of my meals a day on a weekday and one a day on the weekends. I’ll see if that has any effect on my energy levels, skin and weight and then decided where go from there.

I love delicious food far too much too much just to drop it out of my life. If I aim for at least a 60% increase in juice, I think I might be onto a winner.

If you want to get juicing yourself then I highly recommend buying  Keeping it Simple! – Jason Vale. I’m genuinely looking forward to trying out more recipes that aren’t part of the detox!

Also find free shopping lists to help you with the detox and various juice diet plans here: http://www.juicemaster.com

 

Jason Vale 3 Day Detox – Day 1

Jason Vale 3 Day Detox – Day 2

Jason Vale 3 Day Juice Detox – Day 2

If I had thought about this properly, I probably wouldn’t have started  the Jason Vale 3 day juice detox on a Friday. However, our juicer didn’t arrive until Thursday afternoon and I didn’t want to keep putting things off. Things have also been made more difficult due to the fact that I had to work a night shift at a Techno event last night – My eating hours are all over the place. Work this evening was cancelled. I have a feeling that I may find things more difficult whilst at home with some glorious (naughty) food sitting right there in the cupboard. Let’s see shall we?

DAY TWO: SATURDAY

4.30am: Ah, finally bed time. I take another few bites of my sandwich. Feel guilty. I usually wake up too early if my stomach is grumbling at me and I really want a decent nights sleep. It was only two mouthfuls… Nobody needs to know!

8.30am: It appears Alex has rejoined me on the detox. I think he’s determined to get through it today and am rudely awoken by his  breakfast, H20 and lunch blending. He hits the studio. I go back to sleep.

11.30am: Time to get up. I head straight for the kitchen and drink warm water, minus the lemon. Blend my Super Detox Smoothie. It’s not bad at all. Takes me a while to drink… I’m just not digging this eating as soon as you wake up. I read that the blueberries contain anti-oxidants and anti-ageing phytonutrients, which help destroy the free radicals that age the skin. I actually knew that already, but… SOLD!

Super Detox Smoothie Ingredients:

1/2 small pineapple
1 handful of blackberries
1 handful blueberries
200g low fat yoghurt.
Ice cubes

2.30pm:  Call from Alex. He’s struggling – I’m not a support center you know… I need to get through this myself! He’s a snacker and is surely just missing his biscuits. He keeps telling me that he doesn’t need to lose and weight, which is true, but I keep telling him this is a detox, and I’m doing it for the cleanse. If I lose weight I’ll be happy, but I don’t have any scales so I shall never know.

3pm: Make H20 (as seen on day one). I’d much rather drink water than this stuff, but rules are rules.

4pm: Make Dreamy Detox for lunch. I’m running on funny eating hours today, due to the late night. Less time awake equals less time thinking about eating solids, I guess. The Dreamy Detox is not one of my favourites. I leave out the celery and take to using a straw to drink with. I think the ginger is a bit much for me. Note to self – Add less ginger.

4.25pm: I’ve changed my mind about that drink. It grew on me.  I’ll give it a B+

Dreamy Detox
 Ingredients:

2 apples
1 slice lemon
1 inch slice cucumber
1 stick celery
1 inch piece fresh ginger
ice

5pm: Struggling to get through this H20 drink. I don’t normally drink enough water, so battle on through. Bravo!

7pm: Alex returns in what can only be classed as a foul mood. He’s hungry. I tell him to eat a banana. I want one, but I want to look better than him! #Jealous

7.30pm: Dinner time. Get excited for a second before remembering it’s just a juice. Time to have another Beyond Detox. Christ this is hard! I just really fancy chewing on something. Alex feels slightly better after his juice and perks up a bit. I have to say this juice is the most filling. It needs to be blended well  or you end up having to use your teeth to sieve out the small chunks of avocado. Yuk!

Beyond Detox Ingredients:
3 apples
1 large handful of spinach
1 inch raw beetroot
1 inch slice cucumber
Parsley
1/2 ripe avocado
ice

An oh so, happy Alex!

8.10pm: Still trying to get though this drink. Watching a movie and would normally snack… Must. Not. Eat.

9pm: Alex is hungry again. I cook him up a Salmon fillet. I really don’t think this detox is easy for men, or people with larger appetites. I take a mouthful, but can’t actually stomach it. Huh?!

11.40pm: Go to bed. Stomach grumbling at me.

TODAY WAS HARD!

 

Jason Vale 3 Day Detox – Day 1

Jason Vale’s Detox – Day 3 & Conclusion

 

Jason Vale 3 Day Detox – Day 1

I don’t eat nearly enough fruit and vegetables, so last week I decided it was time to kick-start my healthy eating habits with a three day Juice detox. After much deliberating and research, I purchased a Philips Juicer and a Kenwood smoothie maker and then took a trip to the supermarket to arm myself with fruit and veg galore. Not the cheapest of shopping trolleys, but health is health.

For the next three days, I’ll be posting a diary of my eating plan – Let’s see if we can do this thing!

Jason Vale 3 day detox taken from: Keeping it Simple – The Juice Master.

First up the shopping list… For one.

DAY ONE: FRIDAY

8.45am – Wake up… Grumpy as ever about waking up. However, I have a bit more of a spring in my step because I know I’ve got a new juicer to get juicing with. I’m fun like that.

8.50am: I make Alex his juice, as he’s decided to join me for the three day detox… I give him one day! Juice of the morning is the Juice Master Detox Special. It smells massively of celery – One of the worst foods ever! I test Alex’s drink and don’t like it. He manages to get it down and head to a meeting. My hero!

9am: I drink a cup of warm water with lemon. It reminds me a bit too much of Lemsip, which I also dislike, so I take it out and just drink the water.

9.10am: Make juice and place it in fridge… It’s a bit early for me. I left out the celery. Wimp!
Juice Master Detox Special Ingredients:

2 apples
1 carrot
1 slice of lemon (rind on)
1/4 yellow bell pepper
1 inch slice of cucumber
1/4 piece of celery
1 inch broccoli stem
1 inch slice raw beetroot
Ice

9.15am: Wash up. The juicer is not hard to clean at all, which is good because I’m not a huge fan of washing up. A few mins and I’m sitting down to check my work emails.

9.35am: Time to man up and drink my juice. The juice man advises me to drink it slowly and either brush my teeth or swill mouth with water when finished. It’s quite tasty, but I still have the stench of celery up my nose. It’s also quite filling, but am finding it hard to drink, as I normally skip breakfast.

11.30am: I was meant to have an H20 break, but Alex has not yet returned armed with a litre bottle of water and I’m working tonight, so have not yet hit the shower and fear I will look a mess walking down the street to the shops. Just had a few glasses of water and not the extras. I guess I could have added the fruit and veg, but I’m not actually that hungry anyway. This recipe is meant to be more filling than water, but lighter than juice. It also contains lots of vitamins, calcium and iron amongst other goodness.

H20 Ingredients:

1 inch beetroot
1/2 an apple
1 inch slice pineapple
1 inch slice lemon
Add to 3/4 litre of mineral water and shake.

1.20pm: Time for the same juice as this morning. This had better fill me up because I’m starving! I think this is the only drink repeat in such a short space of time, but I don’t really mind as I’m starting to like it even more.

1.22pm: Fat cat thinks he’ll try some, but meows insanely for food after one sniff. I feed him disgusting cat food and feel a slight pang of jealousy.

2.17pm: No sign of Alex. He’s clearly seeking some solids in somewhere because he didn’t pack a juice.

3pm: Craving something to chew on. Call from Alex – He had ‘no other option’ but to eat solids for lunch. #Jealous

4pm: Time for a disco nap before work this evening. This is a great help to take my mind off food.

7pm: Dinner time. I consider foregoing the juice for a proper meal because I feel that work will be difficult if I’m feeling hunger pangs. Talk myself out of it and make the Beyond Detox juice. Drink whilst I’m getting ready and it truly fills me up. This one also tastes good, so no problems getting it down.
Beyond Detox Ingredients:
3 apples
1 large handful of spinach
1 inch raw beetroot
1 inch slice cucumber
Parsley
1/2 ripe avocado
ice

10pm – 4am: I’m at work. I packed a ham sandwich (just in case), which is just sitting there waiting to be eaten. I resit temptation until about 2am… I just take a bite or two before feeling great pangs of guilt. Pack it away and get on with it. I’d normally have a Redbull or V to get me through the night, but also resist this. Can’t wait to get to bed.

END OF DAY ONE. PHEW!

Jason Vale’s 3 Day Detox – Day 2

Jason Vale’s Detox – Day 3 & Conclusion