How using Dinnertime can help you create healthier eating habits

My 3-day review of Dinnertime, the Dubai based online food-delivery, cook at home service.

Dinnertime is a service that takes the ‘thinking’ out of your dinner time meals, while supporting home-cooking. They deliver the ingredients and provide the recipes and all you need to do is follow the cooking instructions and create the meal. I was asked to find out if this service would be useful for the clients I coach.

I chose the Quick & Simple meal plan; the option I think is most relevant to my clients needs.

On day 1 the ingredients for the 3 days of Dinnertime meals arrives at my door.

The shopping bag is full of healthy, fresh whole foods ranging from locally sourced items, store bought meats and local non-organic and organic vegetables.

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Chicken Stir-fry ingredients

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The 3 meals prepped and cooked included the following:

  • Salmon fillet and avocado salsa
  • Beef sausages with Turkish Macaroni rice salad
  • Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles

I have to say, the portion sizes were great, plenty to keep a lunch-tub worth for the next day and it follows my cook once eat twice approach. I encourage my clients to use this approach as it is an effective time-management tool.

3 Benefits for Using Dinnertime:

  1. It can help you create a new routine that will result in healthier lifestyle and eating habits.

If you find it difficult/too time consuming/expensive (fill in your own reason here) to cook at home and you regularly opt for take-outs/ eating out/ pre-made food and have been doing so for a while, you have more than likely created a habit loop for yourself that is difficult to change. Having the meal already decided for you and sitting in your fridge at home is a small step in the right direction to helping you change your habit routine.

For example:

CURRENT HABIT LOOP

Cue (hungry) – Routine (order a take-away to save thinking time) – Reward (meal delivered within 20 minutes)

NEW HABIT LOOP

Cue (hungry) – Routine (cook pre-delivered ingredients to save thinking time) – Reward (Nutritious home-cooked meal within 20 minutes)

Continue with this routine over a period of time and you begin to crave home-cooked food over take-away. This new habit gets you to reconnect with the food you eat as you have to spend time cooking it, which is essential for long-lasting healthier lifestyle change.

“Cravings are what drive habits. And figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.” – Charles Duhigg, The Power Of Habit

 

  1. It makes healthy eating accessible, interesting and taste-good.

The 3 meals I trialled provided a wide-range of fresh foods to eat over the 3 days. Sometimes it is easy to get stuck into a routine of eating the same thing over and over again, usually because it requires minimal effort – you’ve made it so many times you could probably do it with your eyes closed.

Eating a variety of foods is the simplest way to access a range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals – all essential for a well-balanced, healthy diet. I encourage my clients to eat at least one meal a day using the colours of the rainbow and you can see from the photo’s that there is plenty of colour provided with these meals. Additional to this, these 3 meals were easily put together by following the step-by-step instructions.

 

  1. It helps you keep your healthy-eating good intentions that you set yourself at the start of the day.

As Dinnertime takes the ‘thinking’ time out of cooking it means less energy is required to cook dinner. This is especially useful at dinner time when energy levels can be low. Have you ever said to yourself in the morning “today I’m going to be super healthy” then after a day’s work use the excuse “I’ve been so busy today I deserve to just get a take-out”? This is called ego-depletion and happens to us all unless we put some structure in place to help us out. Having your ingredients in the fridge and meal already planned out for you is like a mini-support system to help you keep those healthy eating intentions. It’s perfect for those weeks if you are a teacher and have the DSIB Inspectors in, out-of-office all day meetings and time consuming training weeks.

From a health coach perspective, I do think that using Dinnertime is a great way to help you keep or start healthy eating and lifestyle habits. It could easily be used alongside my health & nutrition coaching program that supports my clients to transform their habits and behavioural change to achieve their health goals and make life-long change.

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For more information on Dinnertime use this link.

For more advice on how to create new healthy habits and behaviours in your life please feel free to contact me by sending an email to heidi@heidijonescoaching.com

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