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It’s hard work staying fit, and those who know would tell you how what you eat is as important, if not more, than your exercise regime. The folks at Pod Supply know this only too well. They cater to some of Bollywood’s top stars and Mumbai’s biggest industrialists, so you know you can count on them for top notch quality and service.

They might charge a pretty penny (packages start at Rs 80,000 per month for 4-6 daily meals), but hey, if you can afford it, there’s really nothing like eating dishes prepared with exacting precision. The Pod in Pod Supply stands for Personal Optimized Diet, and highly optimized it is.

Being on a low carb diet already, all I had to do was share my list of must-have and definitely-avoid ingredients with these guys, and my daily intake during a three-day trial they offered me was planned out meticulously. No compromises on taste and flavour, and plenty of variety were in store.

Fair warning – I didn’t give chefs Harsh Dixit and Mohit Savargaonkar a lot of flexibility with ingredients. My current diet includes absolutely no form of grains (which rules out rice, roti and bread), and very limited sugar (which is pretty much the natural variety – nothing artifical; no honey, jaggery or stevia even). Quantities of even onions and tomatoes — which we consider staples in the average Indian diet — are regulated. So the duo had quite a challenge at stake. Their response? “Not a problem. This is similar to Keto; I’ll sort you out,” Savargaonkar told me on the phone, after browsing through my diet chart as well as an application they asked me to fill online, meticulously documenting my medical history, lifestyle and more.

Here’s how my meals panned out:

DAY 1

Boxes for the entire day reached me at breakfast hour, and I devoured my kale and cheese omelette with much relish. Lunch was a Mexican chicken salad with a wholesome portion of veggies and a side of creamy guacamole. Filling, yet not too heavy, this was perfect for an afternoon meal at my desk. I didn’t care much for the bell peppers in my meal, I told Savargaonkar later that night. Sure enough, they didn’t make an appearance at all for the next couple of days. My evening snack was another omelette, this time with tomatoes, caramelized onions and cheese. i have to say I preferred the earlier one, but perhaps that might stem from the boredom of having to eat eggs daily due to the lack of breakfast options my diet offers me. The guys even threw in a couple of bowls of vegetable broth, in case I got hungry in between, but there was no need for those. My dinner was what I was excited about all day – Norwegian salmon in tomato sauce with sauteed veggies. A little bland for my liking, but I can’t deny how good I felt about eating this clean. I was asked for my feedback at the end of the day, and I have to say the guys really took it into account.

DAY 2

I had the best masala omelette of my life for breakfast, and another hearty grilled check-veggies meal at lunch. As discussed, the second omelette didn’t show up, and neither did the unnecessary broth (in all fairness, these were all listed in the ideal diet plan I had shared initially that didn’t take my appetite into account). Instead, I waited it out till dinner for another pretty fantastic meal that I attempted to recreate myself a week later with limited success. Juicy hunks of Shish Taouk chicken were served with broccoli tabbouleh (I worship anyone who can make broccoli taste that good) and again, a side of guacamole. Twice in two days, but you won’t hear me complaining about avocado.

DAY 3

Pod Supply saved the best for last. I devoured a portion of Spinach bhurjee that kept me satiated enough till lunch hour, where I brought out my portion of Goan salmon curry. Come on, it was never going to be as epic as the real deal, but given what I’d been shovelling down my throat as an excuse for healthy eating all these days, it was nirvana. My evening snack was exciting too. There were egg cups loaded with caramelized onions and cheese – a huge portion that I didn’t manage to finish, but it was great fuel to keep me going till late dinner. My last meal was a chicken massaman curry which, just like the other curries, was subtle, yet flavourful enough. Keeping in mind my strict constraints, all the curries were literally just a couple of spoonfuls at best, only managing to coat the fish or chicken pieces to add enough flavour – no extra.

What we like: Customized, innovative meals that don’t always feel like diet food

What we don’t like: The prices

MW verdict: Pod Supply is a fantastic service if you can afford it. Dixit and Savargaonkar are both friendly chaps who take a keen interest in your likes, dislikes and requirements. If they are cooking for 50 clients a day, chances are they might be making 50 versions of the same dish, and you won’t hear them complaining.

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