Lighter Culture

We hope everyone had an amazing weekend! Did you manage to carve out a little time for exercise and R&R?

If you feel like you over-consumed at those Memorial Day barbecues, or just want a reset before that summer vacation, the FITgals are here to help!

There is a new food delivery service in the DC-area called Lighter Culture that we highly recommend you look into. Based on a client recommendation, FITintheCITY tried it, and felt like there were a lot of benefits to the program.

According to Lighter Culture’s Website, the mission is:

“to challenge the Standard American Diet (SAD) and celebrate real food…by making the sustainable, healthy choice the delicious, convenient and affordable choice. We are helping folks save time, stick to a budget and still have a Lighter footprint with plant based whole foods….each meal is between $4.00 – $5.80. This means you get great nutrition information, delicious recipes and your groceries delivered while saving money every week.”

Here is the deal:

1. Create your profile (likes, dislikes, goals – like lose weight, eat more veggies, etc., how many people are you feeding, how much time do you like to spend cooking, do you want Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, or just one or two meals, how many meals per week, allergies, etc.)

2. Set the delivery date and time. For example, if Sundays you are home between 5 and 7 and want to get the groceries for the week, that might be a good time to set your delivery.  (PLEASE NOTE: someone has to be home to get the groceries as they will come in Whole Foods bags and will contain frozen and fresh produce)

3. After you set your profile, the team at Lighter Culture will be in touch with a grocery list about 4 days before your delivery day. If you see anything on the grocery list you don’t like or have stock of (like olive oil, or a spice) you can remove it from the grocery list.

4. The morning of your delivery, you will receive your menu plan with recipes for the week.

5. Your groceries get delivered and contain every item you need to make the meals for the week.

And all of this for FITintheCITY and her husband came to $97 for the whole week! No grocery trip was needed for the rest of the week, and they both had breakfast, lunch and dinner for 5 days (based on the profile created). Now some weeks you will still need to hit up a grocery store for staples like coffee and half and half, but if you really want to see results, you should stick with the nutritionist-created meal plan for the week.

farmer's market

Pro’s: All meals are health focused, vegetarian, and budget-conscious. Lighter Culture saves you time during the week/weekend because you don’t have to go to the grocery store or think about what you are going to eat/make. All meals took about 15-30 minutes to make and were good to great (some were better than others). They really take into account requests and dietary restrictions. Because your fridge will be STOCKED, it forces you to cook – which is the BEST WAY TO CONTROL WHAT YOU ARE EATING. The produce was ripe and in good shape/tasted good. Customer service is excellent. The groceries were delivered on time.

(Potential) Con’s: If you are going to use Lighter Culture to lose weight, you STILL NEED TO PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL. You are making enough (in some cases) for 4-8 MEALS…so you need to portion everything out right when you are finished cooking. Sometimes you won’t feel like eating what you are going to eat (for example, chili on a 100 degree day…). You do have to cook, chop, and prepare everything…so one client found she had more success making 2 or 3 dishes on Sunday afternoon for the next 3-4 days of lunches and dinners since cooking during the week can be challenging.  You will still probably have to go to the grocery store at some point (there is no option to link up with Instacart  to add other items like toilet paper and other staples) and you will probably still eat a few meals out during the week (or at least have to prepare something off-menu for the weekend).

All in all FITintheCITY highly recommends trying Lighter Culture and will definitely continue to use it when she knows she will be in town all week and have limited evening plans (as she hates wasting food).

Have any of our other FITfriends tried this? What did you think?

Here are some of the delicious recipes to get you INSPIRED to check it out!

Purple Cabbage and Ginger Lima Bean Salad

Medium edamamesalad

grain/starch

    • Quinoa, 0.75 cup

protein

    • Sesame seeds, 4 Tablespoons
    • Tahini, 0.5 cup
    • Lima bean, 3 cups

vegetable

    • Purple cabbage, 2 cups
    • Cucumber, 1
    • Carrot, 2

seasoning

    • Water, 0.5 cup
    • Ginger, 2 teaspoons
    • Garlic, 2 cloves
    • Apple cider vinegar (or white/rice vinegar), 2.5 teaspoons

Optional

  • Salt
  • Hot sauce

Directions

  1. Defrost the beans by putting it in the fridge before you go to work, or let it sit on the counter as soon as you get home. For a quicker option, briefly heat it in the microwave for 45 seconds.
  2. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. (Your water measurement should be 2 times the quinoa measurement.) Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
  3. Produce Prep: While the quinoa is cooking, rinse all produce. Chop the cabbage and cucumber into small pieces, and make thin carrot strips with a peeler. If you’re making the dressing by hand (rather than in a blender or food processor), peel and mince the ginger and garlic. If using a food proceesor or blender, peel the ginger and garlic (no need to mince).
  4. Whisk together the tahini and all of the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and set aside, or blend together with a blender or food processor until smooth.
  5. Combine the veggies, beans, and quinoa into a bowl. Distribute the sauce over the salad to taste. This recipe usually calls for soy sauce or tamari, but was ommitted for you because of a soy allergy. Please season with salt to taste. Enjoy!
  6. Kid-Friendly Tip: This one received some strange looks from our child taste testers the first time it was offered. But after a bite, they were hooked on the bright purple cabbage and crunchy lima beans. There’s nothing really not to like about this recipe. But, your child might not love the raw garlic and ginger. If you worry about this possibility, just make the dressing without those and sprinkle it on the adults’ plates when serving.

 


Note: Purple cabbage is often missing from the produce aisle. But, no need to worry – green cabbage will work just as well for this recipe. Missing sesame seeds? Grocery stores often run out, but this dish will be just as tasty without the speckled garnish. No lima beans? Lightly steamed green peas will do the trick.

Green Goodness Soup

grain/starch

    • Red skin potato, 3

protein

    • Green lentils, 1.25 cups

vegetable

    • Frozen broccoli, 3 cups
    • Kale, 0.75 bunch

seasoning

    • Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
    • Garlic, 6 cloves
    • Vegetable stock, 3 cups
    • Water, 2.5 cups
    • Curry powder, 2.5 teaspoons
    • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
    • Dried basil, 2.5 teaspoons

Optional

  • S&p
  • Cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Produce Prep: Rinse the potatoes and chop them into small cubes, about 1/2 inch. Rinse and dice the greens into small pieces.

  2. Add the olive oil to a large pot and bring up to medium heat.

  3. Stir in the curry, cumin, and basil. Heat for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Add the lentils, garlic, vegetable stock, and water to the pot. Bring to a low boil.

  5. After about 8 minutes, add the potatoes to the pot. (You may want to add additional water here depending your preference, adding 1/2 cup at a time.)

  6. When the lentils and potatoes are soft (after 10-15 more minutes of cooking), add the greens and broccoli. Cover and heat until the broccoli is warm.  Add more spice and herb as desired. Extra curry will give this soup an extra kick! Season to taste.

  7. Kid-Friendly Tip: Watch your curry! Some curry powders are spicy, while others are quite mild. It can be difficult to know what you’re getting sometimes. Taste your curry spice before adding it in, or sprinkle it on your own bowl after serving.

 

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