Packing A Healthy Punch: 6Meal Dishes Out Nutrition By The Box
One day, Vineeta Grover, an advertising copywriter, decided to add some zing to her regular, humdrum, afternoon meal. Absolutely fed up with the routine ghar ka khana that stared back at her from her lunchbox in office, she logged onto Zomato, chanced upon 6Meal and randomly ordered a couscous and aubergine salad for lunch. Serendipity struck and two months later, Vineeta is glad that she dumped her dabba for the online offering.
Today, of her first encounter with 6Meal, Vineeta recalls, “The food was tasty and filling. More importantly, it was fresh and healthy. Soon after, I met the two sisters – Sonal and Priyanka – of 6Meal and spoke to them about the kind of food that I wanted to eat on a daily basis without compromising on either taste or health, for I knew that in order to eat healthy and remain fit, I didn’t have to compromise on taste. I realised that the kind of food they would give me was non-vegetarian and satisfied my parameters. And this was important to a foodie like me. I decided that it was a good lifestyle change and took the plunge.” On the monthly subscription plan of 6Meal, she says that within 15 days she has lost two kilograms already and is feeling the difference herself.
Sonal and Priyanka launched 6Meal a few months ago to bridge the gap between nutritionists, wellness doctors, good food and the common man. Sonal, an ex-media professional, emphasises, “A nutritionist can prepare a food chart that one has to follow. But often, to make that kind of food without compromising on taste is quite a task. It is tough to procure the raw materials and concoct the dish with all the ingredients in the correct measurements. And this difficulty does serve as a deterrent to healthy eating. So, we started a kitchen where one can get healthy and tasty meals with a lot of variety in them.” The food is freshly prepared every day according to the meal plan drawn up by Priyanka and vetted by nutritionist Alka Lohia. Chef Parijat Neeraj oversees the cooking.
Before launching their venture, Sonal and Priyanka did extensive research on how to serve food that would benefit people who suffered from medical conditions and ailments. The right food, they knew, would improve their health but the menu had to strike a balance between the correct dishes, great taste and variety. “Most of the chefs we were meeting knew how to make tasty global food, but they stumbled when it came to retaining the health quotient. This is where our kitchen hands floored us with their knowledge and expertise and they were willing to experiment,” says Priyanka, the brain behind the menus, who has been a health freak ever since she can remember. After the menus are made, they are carefully examined by Alka so that they meet the nutritional standards.
Initially, 6meal started making food that helped people with diabetes. “Just an insulin tablet can’t do the job. Through our research, we discovered that much of what diabetics eat or don’t eat controls sugar levels in the body. The right food is the key to a better and healthier living. Most significantly, our food can make you feel better; it is not directed to weight loss. But eventually, you will begin to reduce weight because you are eating right. Now our meal plans address many health issues apart from diabetes. They encourage holistic living,” adds Priyanka.
A client can take up a weekly or a monthly subscription that would include 6 meals per day and a consultation from Alka. The meals come in steel tiffin boxes inside insulated bags that are delivered to the client’s home before 8.30 in the morning. To do that with clockwork regularity, the kitchen opens at 5.30 every morning, Monday-Friday. (It is closed on weekends.)
Clients are happy because they get a vast choice of good quality food prepared with seasonal vegetables and fresh produce. “We serve soba noodles, brown rice and couscous instead of the unhealthy carbs. We do not serve red meat but go with the leaner chicken. We serve fish that is high in Omega 3 fat and our paneer is fat-free. If anyone is lactose intolerant, we recommend curd. So there are dishes such as Peri Peri chicken with Pearl parley, egg white and dill sandwich, bircher muesli oats with fresh fruits, kamal kakhdi yakhni and a whole lot more. While serving Indian food we ensure that the oil quotient is controlled – the food is tasty without being unhealthy. Everyone is aware of the necessity to eat right without compromising on taste. 6Meal tries to strike that fine balance,” state the enterprising sisters.