Healthy food that's tasty too? Now who'd believe that? But we were pleasantly surprised when we tried some of the stuff that Bunk The Junk, the online healthy food store had to offer. It's affordable and obviously helps you shed the flab.
When was the last time you munched on lettuce leaves and roasted almonds for a few days before surrendering to that cheesy, meaty burger with a pile of french fries on the side? The main reason why we fight a losing battle against diet is because healthy food is normally synonymous with bland, tasteless stuff.
Someone seems to have heard our collective prayers though, for now one can have the cake and eat it too, thanks to Bunk The Junk -- an online service that offers healthy food that's mouth watering too. Some of the delicacies on offer include date and nut squares made from jaggery and whole-wheat flour, the huge chocolate oreo cake and date & nut balls made with walnut and almonds rolled in poppy seeds.
Started by Swati Desai and Chatty Girija in August 2012, Bunk The Junk offers salads, soups, breads, muffins, cakes, dips and jams that are high on nutrition and made from fresh, seasonal ingredients, without using preservatives. While soups and salads are priced between Rs 100 and Rs 300, the breads are available for Rs 45 and above and the wraps cost Rs 270.
Desai and Girija's individual aspirations helped them in putting together this service. Thirty-year-old Desai, mother to a one-and-a-half-year-old son, says, "Chatty and I used to work in an advertising agency. While I was in the films department, Chatty was in the digital section. Since I had weight issues, I always had to exercise and follow a healthy diet.
However, while travelling to work, I would look out for health food stalls from where I could pick up food, satisfy my cravings and watch my weight at the same time. Chatty too dreamt of owning a beer café someday and wanted to quit her job. One day, we just decided to set up Bunk The Junk."
Since Desai would help her sister, nutritionist Niti Mehta, during her cooking workshops, she had a fair idea about what went into healthy food. However, she sought her sister's help while working on the menu for Bunk the Junk. "While setting up the site, we realised that since everybody has a different palate and body type, we need to serve food that not only has the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins but also appeals to everyone," recalls Desai. So the menu includes brown rice poha munchies, flaxseed salad seasoning, onion and almond soup with saffron and Moroccan chickpea and lentil soup.
Desai and Girija were also clear that they would not add flour, sugar or preservatives in their cuisines. "It's a common misconception that healthy food is bland. We wanted to change this notion and offer tasty food that is also healthy," says Desai.
The duo sets up and runs canteens in offices and runs a home delivery service across Mumbai. They also craft healthy menus for parties and conduct workshops at schools and offices. Desai says, "The workshops help us create awareness among kids and adults about healthy food. At the same time, it gives us a fair idea about the kind of food that people like. This enables us to cater to them accordingly."
While Desai and Girija are happy with the kind of response their initiative has garnered, they plan to expand their services in the near future. "We want to set up a commercial kitchen and also tie up with caterers wherein we can serve healthy entrees or desserts for larger parties," says Desai. Here's raising a toast to healthy living!