Sunday, 20 May 2012

Lite n' Easy Review

Sunday, 20 May 2012
Lite n' Easy (LNE) is a portion controlled meal delivery service that is advertised as an easy and convenient way to eat healthy and potentially lose weight. When Dawnstar (aka Mr Redpene) and I learned that cooking wasn't really an option while I was in the moon boot, we decided to give LnE a try to make sure we were eating properly and to prevent me from gaining too much weight while I was inactive.

Now that I'm slowly returning to the kitchen, my dependence on this service is lessening, so I thought it might be timely to share my opinions of it.

Benefits
  • Calorie controlled - LnE offers 1,200, 1,500 and 1,800 calorie plans. If you  just eat their food and nothing else, you don't have to track calories at all. Easy.
  • Some flexibility - packages are offered over 5 or 7 days with breakfast, lunch and dinner options or combination of two meals. Dawnstar would usually get a, 1,800 calorie five-day lunch and dinner package while I opted for the five-day 1,500 calorie breakfast lunch and dinner.
  • Variety - there's a four-week cycle that is updated each season and each day there's a choice of two breakfast and lunch options. Pick the one that suits your tastes and off you go. Dinners are all frozen meals and you make your selections when you order -  you feel like mac n cheese five nights a week, you can have mac n cheese five nights a week.
  • Quality - The fresh, refrigerated food was excellent quality and is cleverly planned. The fresher shorter life products are to be consumed shortly after deliver while products with longer shelf lives are to be consumed towards the end of the week.
  • Friendly office staff - the people I spoke with on the phone a few times were very friendly and helpful.
  • Weekly dry ice supply - Dawnstar loves playing with dry ice. The food is delivered each week in an esky and dry ice is used to keep products frozen and refrigerated until it is unpacked. This meant once all the food was put away, Dawnstar could play with the dry ice to his heart's content. He also managed to get some fun photos, which you can see here.

Shortcomings 
  • Special dietary considerations - the product is not suitable for anyone who doesn't have a 'vanilla' diet - the meal plans feature a lot of bread and dinners all have a heavy carb content (rice, potatoes or pasta). From what I can recall, there may be a limited vegetarian menu but I think it would get boring very quickly
  • Some food is yuck - the cakes are all bran-packed. Chocolate cake - you think "hooray", but it tastes wrong. Sneaky coriander shows up every now and then. The hamburger patty is well, it's a frozen hamburger patty. Oddly though the frozen steak was good, and the date and walnut cake.
  • The ordering system - the LnE system has failed us a few times while ordering; we still got a delivery, but not the specific meal options and days we had chosen. This could mean if we weren't starting to eat food until later in the weekly cycle, some of it was already past its use-by date.
  • The delivery driver - the guy that delivers our orders is rude. The deal is each week you return the eskies from the week before when the new deliver is made. As we live in a nice apartment complex, we prefer to keep the empty eskies in our apartment and take them down when the driver is here. The driver gets cranky when he has to wait.
  • Online communication - I emailed LnE  through their online comments form about the issues we've had and to date had no response from the company 
  • Leftovers - It's become painfully obvious that there are certain fruits we don't like to eat regularly. For me, I don't like eating oranges (happy to have them juiced) and apples only occasionally. I can also cobble together several days of lunches from frozen food that wasn't consumed when it was mean to be, for several reasons (for example illness or lunch dates ). The freezer is quite full.
  • TV dinners - there are only so many days in a row I can eat a microwaved dinner from a paper tray before I start to go a little insane. I know there are some people out there who are very happy to never cook, but this was unappealing to me.
The overall result

As you know from this blog, I haven't lost that much weight while following LnE. This is in part due to the food I'm eating in addition to LnE meals, the inability to exercise and mostly because it hasn't been my intention. I happily maintained weight during my confinement. I know that for my body to shift fat I have to basically eliminate starchy carbs and eat higher protein meals and loads of non-starchy veg. 

Moving forward, I'm going to continue to use LnE while the convenience of prepacked breakfasts remains appealing. I'll clear up freezer space and reduce waste by cobbling together meals from the leftovers.

I'd love though if I could just order the LnE yoghurts. They are so good.

I would recommend it to people who need to learn about portion control - I think for Dawnstar and I we have both significantly dropped the amount of food we consume as a result of this service. Also, if you're one of those lucky people who can happily eat carbs and lose weight this will be a great option.


Note: All of these opinions are my own, based on my experience of two months of using the service. Lite n Easy are welcome to respond to any of the comments I have made above.

4 comments:

Craig Askings said...

I'd love to know who supplies their corn chips. Tasty little things.

LHF said...

Good read!
Glad Dawnstar didn't eat the dry ice.

Snoskred said...

I'm blogging about my experiences with Lite N Easy over at my blog, with food photos as well.

The problem for me is I generally would not get hungry until the evening and if I did get hungry I would grab something junky. I'd have one huge evening meal and then snack until bedtime.

So I have found so far that 1500 cals for me is too much food, that in general I like the food and snacks and bits and pieces Lite N Easy send me, and that I do not like the chicken they use very much although I love the chicken tenders, not a fan of thigh etc in the dinners..

I found your post while looking into ordering it and what you said was one of the things that convinced me to give it a try - the portion control thing. I was very bad at that. Am surprised to find that now I do not get hungry at all with eating the smaller meals. :)

Will add you in to my google reader and keep up with your goings on. :) hope all is ok it seems to have been a little while since you posted.. :)

Cheers!

Penelope Redpene said...

Hi Snoskred

Thanks for your message. I hadn't posted for a while as I ended up getting sick with a horrid cold and a chest infection. too tired to do anything and work has been an absolute bitch. I'll resume posting again soon.

Cheers :)