I hate cooking and love social media, so I couldn’t have been happier when I came across an ad for vegan meal delivery service Splendid Spoon on Instagram. The program seemed promising—it appeared that a few of my friends had liked the ad (something I always wonder if is reality or simply a spam bot), and a quick Google yielded positive reviews and accounts of weight loss. My rudimentary research convinced me: It was time to start spooning.
Did I take a look at the menu? Did I consult my physician? Don’t be silly—I’m a millennial.
When the package arrived, I was beyond pleased. Unpacking the refrigerated box was like some sort of carb-conscious Christmas, each offering more appealingly named than the last: Cacao Almond Smoothie. Masala Khichri. Beet Balsamic Bisque. I could feel myself getting healthier already.
Having had a bacon, egg and cheese bagel that morning, I decided to wait a day to begin the program. I woke up the next day eager to start my journey into plant-based bliss, beginning, as I was told, with my intention: “Make your mornings more mindful,” the instructional materials said. “Take a moment to pause, breathe, and state or write your intention before you have breakfast. This practice shifts your perspective and centers your day.”
I wasn’t sure what my intention was beyond to try the first smoothie, so I stumbled through a sort of internal gratitude journal as I twisted the cap off of the PB Maca selection. It was pretty good, but not quite as peanut buttery as I’d hoped. I sipped it while checking email—admittedly not so mindfully—but I felt alright. It was certainly better than my two default breakfasts: fast food or air.
By around 11:30, though, I was starving. I usually eat around 1:15, but I wandered into the kitchen a little before noon, curious to see what the “plant-based bowl” would bring. As the Cumin Sweet Potato soup was heating up, I reviewed the mindfulness instructions for my second meal of the day: I was to eat lunch with my non-dominant hand, free of all distractions.
Reader, I could not. For starters, eating soup is hard enough as it is. Using my left hand resulted in significant spillage, and I felt anything but relaxed as liquefied sweet potatoes seeped toward my closed laptop. Within minutes, the mess was mopped up, my email open, and my spoon in the dominant hand where it belonged.
Things did not get better on the mindfulness front (honestly, I pretty much gave up after day one), but I did enjoy the meals overall. The smoothies were particularly tasty, and though one or two of the bowls weren’t my thing, they were certainly sufficient (and a few delicious, like the red lentil dal and chana potato stew).
A word to the wise, though—the calorie counts of these meals are not high. Each smoothie and bowl was between about 200-400 calories, meaning even those on a restricted-cal diet would need to have a pretty hefty dinner to make up the deficit. (As a result, I lost about five pounds, which was indeed splendid.)
Would I Spoon again? Probably, if I was feeling both unhealthy and unfettered on the cashflow front. (The program is a nothing-to-sneeze at $135/week.) While I see the purpose of mindful eating, however, its presentation just didn’t feel practical to me, particularly in an office setting. But hey—maybe I just need to reset my intention.