It is safe to say that there is no magic pill for instant weight loss. To lose weight in a healthy way is to have a change of lifestyle: with plenty of exercise and the consumption of healthy food. But when one is living a fast-paced lifestyle, it can be a turn-off to eat healthily as time and effort is required to prepare healthy meals. From buying fresh ingredients to the preparation and actual cooking of the meals, it can be a huge hassle. Plus, let’s not forget the headache that comes with cleaning up.
From Banker To Healthy Food Provider
Aina, a former banker had this thought when she was on the journey to lose weight and begin a healthy lifestyle. She wished that healthy food service was available few years back to solve the hassle of obtaining healthy and clean meals. A self-declared food lover, Aina mentioned that food intake was her biggest challenge during the journey. “I was often disheartened by the lack of tasty, convenient healthy meals,” said Aina. As a Malaysian, I agreed with her because it is not easy to get healthy meals when we are surrounded with many delicious local delicacies.
Upon research, Aina discovered that there were many healthy meal solutions readily available in countries like US, Australia, and Singapore. Together with her own weight loss experience and some research, she founded The Lean Canteen (TLC).
TLC is a healthy meal delivery service that aims to provide an easy way for busy people to get healthy and delicious meal. With TLC, healthy and delicious meals are delivered to your doorstep without any hassle. All you have to do is just sit down and wait for your meal.
On The Quest To Please Our Taste Buds
People often have the misconception that if something tastes good, then it probably isn’t good for you, and vice versa. However in this case, TLC is solid proof that eating right has never tasted so good. Before launching TLC, Aina mentioned that the research and development was a tricky phase. She further described that it is not easy to come up with healthy and clean meals without sacrificing the taste of the food.
“It was always our objective to not stray too far from the familiar taste buds of Malaysians because we all know how Malaysians take their food seriously,” said Aina. Speaking from a Malaysian perspective, Aina is right about this point because majority of Malaysians’ taste buds have become so adapted to the local flavourful cuisines.
TLC’s menu comprises of predominantly Asian flavours focusing on Malaysian favourites. What caught my attention were the names of the types of cuisines, for example Salmon Khan, Taj Mahal Wrap, which so happens to be their best sellers. The meals are all freshly prepared from a centralised kitchen and they vacuum pack the meals so that the food lasts longer. Vacuum packing is a priority because it provides a safe and hygienic method of food storage, thereby eliminating food-safety issues.
All the TLC meals are made without butter and preservatives. This is because olive oil contains no cholesterol, while a serving of butter has 33mg of cholesterol. TLC only uses olive oil and minimum amount of salt. In terms of creating new recipes, TLC works closely with their Cordon Bleu-trained chef Deedee Mansor. Most importantly, TLC has their own in-house nutritionist who they seek nutritional advice for each meal so as to display the nutritional value and calorie count of each meal.
There is a saying that goes, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.“ For Aina, she personally loves to cook. “Before this (TLC) I never had enough time to pursue my passion in the kitchen due to work commitments!”, she exclaimed. As a former banker for over five years, she finally decided to quit her job and got over the fear of leaving a stable job and focus on developing TLC. “I realise that the possibilities are endless! In retrospect, I find it so much more rewarding to nurture your own business idea and watch it grow and materialise into a successful venture,” she described.
When she was asked about words of encouragement for people who would like to have their own startup, Aina has this to say: “Be patient, make sure you understand what your unique selling points (USP) are and never forget them. Focusing on your unique selling points is what makes you stand out from other businesses as it gives you the competitive edge.”
That said for TLC, the USP would be healthy food that do not torture your taste buds.