Gongti restaurant Tribe Organic recently launched TRIBE Nutrition, a service delivering a variety of healthy meal plans to your door (read our introduction to TRIBE Nutrition here). While I had enjoyed one of their new meals at the press launch, I was keen to experience a whole week of healthy, organic eats.
Since I don't have much desire to either lose or gain weight, I chose the Fresh Lite program, designed to help people stay "well fed, not well fat." If you choose to have three meals and two snacks delivered every day (there are also options for other combinations of meals or even single meals), the program comes in at RMB 1,260 per week (actually six days), or RMB 210 per day.
Now, before you balk at the price, think about it this way: If you regularly eat lunch and dinner at either Western or mid-range Chinese restaurants then you're probably already running up a daily bill close to RMB 210. Considering you won't need to spend any other money on food, it's actually pretty great value. Delivery is also included in the price. You choose a half-hour delivery slot (weekdays 6am-midday, weekends 6am-1pm) when ordering and Tribe will deliver at that time throughout the week. My delivery guy was prompt and pleasant every morning.
The programme is designed to provide around 1,500 calories per day. A typical day might start with a breakfast of blueberry smoothie bowl with a side of coconut pancakes, a mid-morning snack of green juice, lunch of a whole chicken breast with veg and soba noodles, a mid-afternoon snack of veg and a nut or bean dip, finishing with a dinner of steak and broccoli puree. Fresh salmon fillets made plenty of appearances, as did tasty grilled prawns.
Ingredients are organically, responsibly, and locally sourced, and Tribe partners with local organic providers including TooToo, Lohao City, and Green Yard.
I found the meals to be quite heavy on the protein (not many carbs going on, naturally) but then again, this combined with the lack of refined sugar meant that by the fourth day I had much more energy than usual. Note to self: less cake, more steak.
Not every dish delivered was perfect – a couple could have done with a touch more seasoning or spice, and some didn't benefit from the advised re-heating prior to eating. Use your discretion though and the latter shouldn't be a problem.
The stylish packaging is biodegradable, although it still seemed a shame to see so many packages go into the bin every day – perhaps Tribe could consider delivering in reusable containers that the customer returns every morning.
Overall, as a person who thinks about food 24/7 I found the lack of choice a little vexing but for those who genuinely don't have the time to think about their food but still want to eat healthily, TRIBE Nutrition is an obvious choice.
More stories by this author here.
Photos: Robynne Tindall, courtesy of TRIBE Nutrition
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