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Spinach and squash frittatas, chicken carnitas with pico de gallo, pollo en chimichurri

A few years ago I met Mark Dee at the first meetup I organised and have since become really good friends. Earlier this year I saw him at another meetup and saw that he lost a lot of weight by eating healthy and doing minimal exercise. I couldn’t believe his transformation and we all asked him plenty of questions on his journey to becoming fit and healthy. He told us that he stopped consuming carbohydrates, fast food and alcohol then replaced them with healthy food. He soon discovered that many of his friends also wanted the same thing: lose weight, eat healthy and become more fit. That’s when he decided to get into the business of delivering healthy food with Munch Manila.

Munch Manila believes eating healthy should be easy, stress-free and delicious. All the meals are planned and developed by a team of chefs and nutritionists so that busy people don’t have to think about it. It’s delivered to the home or office the day before consumption or on the day itself, if preferred. But what really sets Munch Manila apart is that it is delicious and you can easily tell just by looking at the food. Mark believes that eating healthy should also be delicious because we should not deprive ourselves of great-tasting food.

Munch Manila’s offering is very diverse. They have Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Mexican, Latin-American, Spanish, Indian, Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern dishes. They only use healthy oils such as those coming from coconuts and olives and stay away from hydrogenated oils because they are rancid and promote inflammation. Mark tells me that it is the inflammation that we should be really worried about and not the cholesterol. The meals are planned and prepared using a philosophy that combines the best from various diet systems available today (calorie counting, paleo, ketogenic). There are three meals each day with one serving of fruit and a Nyogi (pure coconut water).

Mark believes that with Munch Manila I, too, can live healthier and lose weight. He enlisted me in a 30-day challenge where Munch Manila provides the food for five days (excluding weekends) for four weeks and at the same time acts as my personal nutritionist. He gave me advice on what to eat and not to eat. The first to go were the sweets and alcohol – something I will definitely miss as I have a sweet tooth and enjoy cocktails. Next were the fast food and that I should continue to eat healthy on the weekends. He also advised me to go on intermittent fasting which restricts eating to the hours between 12 noon and 8pm. Intermittent fasting puts the body in fat-burning mode so that it burns fat more efficiently.

I’m on my second week now of the 30-day challenge and I love that Munch Manila doesn’t compromise on taste and serving size. I enjoy eating delicious food having grown up in a household where both of my parents are excellent cooks and I’m glad it doesn’t feel like I’m on a diet. The food servings are big so I only eat as much as I need. Another great thing about this programme was that it forced myself to eat more vegetables. I love my meat and I hardly consume vegetables so this was a step in the right direction. It was also a revelation because I found myself enjoying cauliflower rice. And the best part is that I feel better and healthier.

I’ve got two weeks more to go and I will write about more about the results after I complete the programme. If you’re interested in giving Munch Manila a try you can contact 0939 934 7209 or email munchmanila@gmail.com.

Update (12/5/2014): I’ve completed the 30-Day Challenge. Read the results here.