Packing A Healthy Punch: POD Supply Is The Answer To Your Dreams For A Fit Body
A few weeks ago, I entered the office to find an elegantly minimalistic bag placed on my desk. Mysteriously nondescript in appearance, I snuck a look in to discover it was filled with neatly packaged boxes of food that were labelled to indicate the name of the dishes as well as the ingredients used to prepare them. This was my first brush with Personal Optimised Diet (POD Supply), a company that specialises in providing delectably nutritious meals to those who wish to adopt a healthier way of life. The brainchild of CEO Siddhesh Sharma, co-founder Anmol Singhal and chefs Mohit Savargaonkar and Harsh Dixit, it gives patrons the option to customise their diets in a way that allows them to gorge on their favourite foods replaced with salubrious substitutions that are very similar in taste. And so, whipped up by the resident chefs, I wolfed down six incredibly scrumptious meals for the next three days which did complete justice to my meat-loving palate. From beet meatballs with stir-fried vegetables and steamed rawas with black rice to shredded chicken in mustard dressing and Nachni crisps with smoked paprika hummus, I purged my body of months of greasy burgers and cheesy pizzas.
I spoke to the 4 boys about what makes POD Supply the coolest new kid on the diet block. Here’s what they had to say….
What prompted you to start POD Supply?
Siddhesh Sharma (SS): “Health and fitness are an integral part of my life and I always pay close attention to what I eat. I realised that there was a lack of basic awareness about nutrition, especially in India, which triggered the widely prevalent myths that are circulated with regard to certain diets. I always desired a tailor-made meal plan that would help me achieve my fitness goals without compromising on taste. What prompted me to start POD Supply was the realisation that there may be many others like me. I am proud to call it a one-stop shop for our clients’ sustenance needs. With our team of talented chefs and nutritionist, we design a customised diet strategy and strive to execute it to perfection.”
How do you chart a meal plan for your clients?
Anmol Singhal (AS): “When an individual signs up with us, we ask them to fill out a questionnaire designed to understand their lifestyle, fitness goals, medical history, and food preferences. We use these answers as a reference to chalk out their diet plan with our in-house nutritionist and chefs which is then presented to them. After discussing the food items at length, we work towards formulating the ideal meal.”
How different is this service for vegetarians as compared to non-vegetarians?
Harsh Dixit (HD): “There is absolutely no difference between the solutions we recommend for vegetarians versus non-vegetarians. Having said that, we do maintain optimum levels of hygiene to avoid cross-contamination. Since we cater to Indians, we have to be mindful of the religious sentiments of people and ensure we follow safe practices. We always keep the ingredients separate in our kitchen.”
Can you give us a general breakdown of what the 4, 5 or 6 meals constitute?
HD: “It is subjective since we take painstaking efforts to fully acquaint ourselves with each individual’s body type, nutritional needs, lifestyle, sleep cycle and preferences. With the emerging food trends, everyone is cognizant of their dietary restrictions and what best suits their body. We study these restrictions to find alternatives to any obstacles in our path. Our meal plans are all-inclusive and incorporate the best of keto, paleo, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and low carb ingredients as well as diets for those suffering from diabetes and hypertension.”
How do you think your prospective customers will react to your business model?
SS: “We are confident of the value of our proposition as we are true to our name and deliver a completely personalised experience. Each meal is exclusively made for a specific person, keeping in mind his/her fitness goals, cuisine preferences, allergies – a fact that you realise on the very first day you eat with us. We realise that this is a novel and premium approach to nutrition but if you break down the cost of each meal and examine the quality of the ingredients we use, you’ll see that the service is good value for your money. Additionally, we are the only meal preparation service in India that invites our customers on a detailed tour of our kitchen to inspect what goes into preparing the dishes. 90% of prospective clients who have seen our space have signed up with us immediately.”
Can you describe the typical POD Supply customer?
AS: “We have customers ranging from 23 years to 85 years of age. Our clientele includes actors, professionals, industrialists, politicians, athletes and bodybuilders as well as patients with health problems who sign up with us to achieve their respective fitness goals. Some of them just want to adopt a healthier lifestyle whereas others suffering from serious illnesses understand the importance of nutrition and approach us to fight these ailments.”
Do you have any celebrity clients?
Mohit Savargaonkar (MS): “Ranveer Singh has been our client for the past three years and is so accustomed to our meals that he requested we accompany him to Paris while he was shooting for Befikre. He honestly believes in our product and endorses it to everyone he meets. He’s even recommended that we try getting Shah Rukh Khan hooked on to our services.”
Does dieting alone work or does one have to exercise rigorously for results to show?
SS: “There is no substitute for physical activity but I maintain that 80 percent of the body is made in the kitchen. Having said that, one does not have to work their body to the bone – you could just go for a brisk walk or climb two floors instead of taking the elevator. Any form of exercise to complement your diet will give you fantastic results.”
Can you name a few ingredients that you absolutely exclude as part of this meal plan?HD: “Refined sugar, refined flour, processed ingredients, cold cuts of meat, canned products, hydrogenated fats and high-fat dairy products are food items that you would never find in our kitchen. We only use low-calorie healthy alternatives for our preparations.”
What is the average time that one ideally signs on with you?
MS: “It completely depends on one’s fitness goals. We have clients who come to us for a short span and terminate our services once they have achieved the desired result. We also have clients who have subscribed to us right from the beginning and we switch up their diets from time to time.”
Can you shed some light on your cheat meals?
SS: “To be honest, when you eat with POD Supply you won’t crave a cheat meal because you never really feel like you are on a diet. Our USP is that we combine nutrition and taste in a way that makes you feel like you are eating your favourite food every day. For those with a sweet tooth, we do some lip-smacking protein cookies and brownies without using dairy or sugar.”
What are some of your most innovative dishes?
HD: “We explore global cuisines and create dishes from the local organic produce that is delivered fresh to our doorstep every morning. All our standard recipes come in four versions which cater to different types of diets. For example, our Hazelnut Dark Cacao is usually sweetened with honey but if we have to serve this to a client on a vegan diet we replace it with agave nectar/maple syrup. It’s all about being as personalised as we can and accommodating everyone’s needs.”