Balance Box delivers a variety of nutritionally-balanced, delicious meals straight to your door, each one carefully within a range of set calories. When you’re stuck at home making your way through mounds of pasta, and only leaving the house once a day, a delivery of fresh, healthy meals does everything to lift your spirits.
Balance Box reached out to see if I’d like to trial a 3 day plan. From a choice of Classic, Veggie, Pescatarian, and Free From you can then choose from the Lighter Plan (1200 calories) or the Market Plan (1800 calories). Each day includes breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.
We got our Balance Box meal subscription box late on Thursday evening and it would see us through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The meals and snacks arrive in a silver zip-up cool bag, each meal conveniently packaged in a separate pot. With it comes a menu – so you know exactly what to eat on which day. And if you’re curious about what’s in your meals, all the ingredients are listed too.
This was my Veggie Box Menu:
- Banana Smoothie Muesli Pot
- Crunchy Vegetable & Edamame Bean Salad
- Indian Vegetable & Paneer Curry
- Cranberry & Pistachio Bircher
- Chickpea, Chilli & Feta Salad
- Polenta Crusted Mushroom
- Hazelnut Butter, Mixed Berries and Rye Bread
- Leek & Potato Soup with Oatcakes
- Falafel Tagine
I have to admit, when I first opened the box and after I got over my initial excitement, I did think that the meals, while delicious-looking, also looked rather… small.
On the Friday morning, hungry after a quick run, I tucked into my first meal. Helpfully labelled FRIDAY, I poured the muesli topping onto the Breakfast Banana Smoothie. I’m not a fan of banana, or of breakfast really, but I have to admit, it was delicious. I had thought I’d eat part of it and then hand it over to my husband, but my stomach got the better of me and my husband went hungry.
It was definitely filling. So filling in fact, that I didn’t think I’d be able to eat lunch. But a short few hours later, I was rummaging around in the fridge when I remembered I had a snack waiting for me! I went with a crisp pear, also part of the Balance Box delivery. For lunch was the Vegetable and Edamame Salad. When poured onto a plate, it looked a lot bigger than it had done in the pot. Fresh, tasty and filling.
Again, I felt full straight after eating but a few hours later, whereas I’d usually have been rummaging around in the cupboards hunting for chocolate, I snacked on a Berry Bar and a small bag of pumpkin seeds.
Dinner felt lighter than the usual dinner I’d normally have. My go-to, would normally be carb-laden with either rice, mash potato or pasta. However the Indian Vegetable and Paneer Curry had about an eighth the amount of rice I’d normally eat. I can’t resist paneer – I absolutely love curry and paneer so was particularly excited about this dish. I was surprised that it filled me up.
The first day was interesting. I usually follow intermittent fasting, trying to eat only between 11am and 7pm, so it felt strange to break it. But it wasn’t too hard to break it for the smoothie! One of the reasons why I like intermittent fasting is because I’m not that keen on your typical breakfast options and would never normally have something like the Breakfast Smoothie.
I’ve got a weird phobia of bircher. Yes, I know it sounds weird but I hate the thought of something having been left to go squishy overnight. Especially oats. So I was already prejudice against it. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it’s definitely not something I’d have chosen. I handed this over to my husband and he thought it was great, so I think you must have to be a bircher fan…
I ate my breakfast quite late that day so didn’t need a snack. I was looking forward to the chickpea and feta salad – I fail to see how something won’t taste good if its got feta in (I put feta into everything!). It was good! And filling.
In the afternoon, I decided to eat ALL the snacks – ok, so not ALL the snacks, but the one that I missed from the morning; the peanut butter bar, more nuts and a kiwi.
I was disappointed with the evening meal. This was the polenta crusted mushroom. I love things in breadcrumbs and I love mushrooms but I think this really needed to be eaten fresh. The polenta crust wasn’t as crispy as I’d have liked, but I still finished it. Obviously.
The rye bread and hazelnut butter seemed quite generous for breakfast, especially when I laid it out. I really like assembling food! The berries had got a little knocked about by the time I got to them so I think in hindsight I’d have rather eaten this on the first day. However, the hazelnut butter was delicious and it went really well with toasted rye bread.
I LOVE leek and potato soup and this was great. Just the right consistency and not too potato-ey. I thought the oatcakes were an odd accompaniment as I’d normally have bread with this kind of a meal, but I imagine that’s because bread doesn’t last as well.
Again, I ate all my snacks in the afternoon. The carrot-y snack bar wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be but was still tasty and filling. I also had an apple left which I shared with my one year old.
Dinner was the falafel tagine. Or as our nanny said, taking a bite, “like we’ve travelled to Africa!” This was full of flavour and smelt so good, I had to stop everyone from taking bites.
I really love not having to think about meals, and I ate things I’d not normally. I know that it’s calorie-counted to be no more than 1800, which is something I’ve struggled with in the past when I have tried to keep this under, so it was really great to see what 1800 calories looked like and realise that I could stay full on it too. However, there’s a couple of constraints with Balance Box. The first is that because they’re so freshly made, it’s important to eat them on the days they say, which might be a bit frustrating for those who like a bit more freedom. For me, however, it’s so refreshing not to have to think about what I’m going to eat!
I think this would work really well for those who are looking to kickstart a healthier eating regime, or simply don’t want to have to think about what to eat. Especially during the pandemic, if this helps take away from the everyday stresses, then that’s a big win. It definitely feels like each specific ingredient is added in to provide a balance of nutrients, keep you full and for taste. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the banana breakfast smoothie so would love that again. I also really enjoyed the lunches and thought the Paneer Curry was fantastic.
Would I buy a Balance Box? As someone who does the main cooking for the family, it seems strange for me to eat separately from them, unless I had a very specific goal to reach which required me to reduce my calorie intake. If I was set on losing weight, then I’d absolutely go for this, although I think for it to be effective, I’d have to have it several times. What is fantastic about it, is it gives you an idea of how big portion sizes should be – I definitely overeat at every meal! I’d also invest in a Balance Box if I lived on my own or with a partner who made their own meals. And I’d definitely try the other ranges too – the sample menu from the Classic Box looked especially delicious.
You can order your Balance Box from balancebox.com You can order for 3 days, 4 days or an everyday subscription. Prices start from £22.99 a day for the Veggie Lighter Plan subscription. Orders within London and the M25 are free and cost £4.25 outside. They’ve also got a really great section to help you determine whether you’d be best with the Lighter Menu Plan or the Market Menu Plan too.