By NASA MARIA ENTABAN
FASCINATED by her habit of bringing home-made healthy lunches to the office, Alexandra Prabaharan’s colleagues began requesting that she pack extra for them, and eventually they began paying her for lunch.
Early this year, the certified nutritionist decided she would turn this habit into a business, and last month, she launched Lunch2u.my, a healthy lunch delivery service.
Alexandra doesn’t serve your typical ‘boring’ healthy food such as oats and muesli, as she is a lover of tasty food herself. She is also a believer in balancing the food’s health aspect and flavour.
“For starters, I made sure my food was really tasty,” explains Alexandra, 30.
“Also, I’m not a nutritionist who is telling you how to eat, I’m someone who understands nutrition.
“I love food that tastes good, and any time I prepare something, I always use spices and herbs that will bring out the flavour but without the calories.”
At the moment there are six meals on the Lunch2u.my menu – tandoori wrap,Thai rice salad, tuna sandwich, egg sandwich, pasta salad and couscous with chick peas, but Alexandra plans to expand the selection in the near future.
“My mum is French, so the eating habits are very different at home,” says Alexandra. “We eat a lot of salads, lean meat and boiled vegetables that are just tossed lightly with garlic and a bit of butter. Growing up, her mother had always drilled into her mind the concept of eating well to prevent diseases.
“You don’t want to end up with diabetes or heart disease just because you didn’t think about your health,” she says.
“It’s because of her that I was used to eating healthy and because of that, it became a passion.”
Alexandra got used to ‘balancing out’ her meals from years of doing food reviews. Sometimes she would taste up to 20 dishes at once, and then she would have to balance out the heavy meal with something lighter for lunch or dinner that same day.
“Malaysian food is very tasty but it’s unfortunately extremely unhealthy. If you were to eat all our delicious food, for all our meals, every day – it’s really a recipe for disaster.
“Most of our meals are fried, they’re doused in a lot of sauce, high in carbs, it’s a lot of meat, barely any vegetables, it’s very tasty but not good for you,” she explains. “Which is where the need for balancing your unhealthy meals with healthy ones comes in.”
While changing the way people see healthy food is one of her goals, right now Alexandra is focusing on getting word out on the service and giving nutrition talks.
“Not everything has to be fried to taste good,” she says. “But our local food is not all terrible, I love eating out and I’m no saint when it comes to eating and that’s why I believe in the concept of balance.
“Don’t cut out all the foods that you love, just make sure you try to balance them out with something healthy,” she says.
*Lunch2u.my delivers meals between 11.30am and 1pm to several areas in the Klang Valley. They cater for bulk orders out of their delivery service areas as well. Go to Lunch2u.my for further information.