Healthy meals straight to your door

Raw Fairies

Having your entire food supply for the day delivered before breakfast can feel like an exciting treat — or a terribly dispiriting affair. Is that really it? Until bedtime?

The good thing about Raw Fairies, the UK's first raw food delivery service, is that the no-cooking approach has led to incredible creativity in these chefs: a burrito made out of sunflower seeds; pizza made from flaxseed; quiche with a nut crust. The Fairies use mysterious and unappealing-sounding techniques such as soaking, sprouting and dehydrating to produce intriguing and delicious food. They also make great claims for what raw food can do for you: an end to tiredness, beautiful skin and hair, improved "mental, emotional and spiritual health".

I did it for two weeks, at a time when not having to plan, shop for food and cook was a great relief. The smoothie for breakfast was perhaps not enough for my appetite, but it was lovely – especially the blueberry and mango with lucuma powder (from a Peruvian fruit). Lunch was salad, such as Greek horiatiki salad with sunflower greens and lemon tahini dressing, or seaweed, cucumber and beetroot salad with sweet miso and ginger dressing. The dressings were tasty and somehow satiating, the ingredients of a very high quality. Dinner was another salad plus something more substantial, such as almond avocado burgers with raisin and ginger dressing. You can complement your food with some of their excellent sweets. I highly recommend the raw chocolate macaroons.

The food felt adventurous, was oddly filling, and I felt highly focused and alert. I could do anything! Unsurprisingly I also lost a considerable amount of weight – 5lb. (Critics of raw food diets say it simply does not provide sufficient energy for living.) But by the end, I was craving heat. I tired of the coldness, not the rawness. I wanted soup, a steaming broth: any kind of hot liquid to warm my chilled bones. It was an assault on the guts, and felt like a fetishised way of eating, both the delivery nature (decadent) and the rawness (extreme). And yet you can't discount how delicious it was: perhaps just add in a bowl of soup before bed. KV

Bodychef

There are two kinds of box scheme: one where your fruit and veg arrive with few food miles and almost no packaging, and one where almost every piece of food you'll eat for the next five days comes in some form of plastic, which is Bodychef's style of delivery. Filling the fridge with all the pots of pâté and salad dressing makes you feel very guilty, though Bodychef will recycle most of it if you live within the M25.

I tried the £73 superfood menu, which comprised of three meals plus snacks for five days, equalling around 1,600 calories a day. Everything came weighed in neat little portions, ready to be put in the microwave or a pan of water, or stashed in a handbag if hunger pangs struck. Which, sadly, they quite often did. Bodychef's breakfasts were great: decent yoghurt with granola and fruit, porridge and good, tasty fruit compote – the kind of breakfast that you always mean to have; something that sets you up for the morning and sees you through to lunchtime. Which was where my troubles started.

If you tend to eat dinner late – generally having a more substantial lunch – then cracking open your four Ryvita and teeny pot of pâté at one o'clock is likely to fill you with despair. When faced with a child's-size tuna salad (it's lettuce! Surely a few more leaves really wouldn't hurt!) I did wonder how I was going to get through the afternoon. Suppers are decently portioned, but you can't really swap them for the lunch if you work in a office – food for the evening requires boiling and steaming.

Quality varied too: the turkey chilli was watery and uninspiring; a turkey escalope in a creamy sauce tasted delicious. By the end of day five, I was relieved it was over.

Where Bodychef works best is as a kickstart to better eating – this is good-for-you stuff without many gimmicks or odd substitute foodstuffs. If only the portions weren't so small, and it wasn't so inflexible and expensive. VF

rawfairies.com prices start from £22.50 a day. bodychef.com prices start from £44.99 for a three-day trial.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.