At Brilliant, we’ve been on a health kick to end all health kicks. We’ve had sessions on the science of sleep and the dangers of deprivation, we’ve been moving and shaking in ways we never knew we could at our monthly movement sessions, and we’ve also taken the bull by the horns when it comes to eating nutritionally-rich food whilst at the office – which is exactly what we’re here to blog about, today.
Since the New Year, we’ve been enjoying the culinary delights of Lean Lunch – a Leeds local organisation that deliver delicious, freshly-prepared, healthy lunches straight to the office. I mean just look at these bad boys…
This month I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Lean Lunch co-founder Sat Mann who with his wife and co-founder, Charlotte, brought this wholesome organisation to life in July 2017.
Sat kindly showed me around their kitchen and premises in Kirkstall and allowed me to indulge in pesky questions as we had a meandering chat about the roadblocks they’ve faced trying to get workers eating better, about the Lean Lunch core principles and the responsibility of employers to keep their staff happy and healthy.
Whether you’re interested to soak up some of their nutritional wisdom or you’d like to start sowing the seeds for superfood lunch solutions to your superiors (one for the alliteration fans) then read on, quality food comrades, read on!
Food Envy Disclaimer: If you’re reading this on your lunch break with a meal deal (or worse) in your hand, there will be images of more delicious food throughout this article. I apologise for any inconvenience or cravings caused.
Here we go…
Lunch at work – when did price become priority one?
“When we initially started researching our idea and sending out surveys on what was important to people – taste, health, ordering online etc. people were generally of the mindset of 1. Spend less than £5 and 2. Sort yourself out on the day.”
One of the things Sat found when first doing research for Lean Lunch, which he tells me comes up time and time again is simply price point. People are sceptical to spend £5 on their lunch. So doggedly used to a £3 pound deal of the same wraps and sandwiches we are as a UK workforce that the idea of a MUCH healthier, fresher, more delicious option for a few pounds more, is, to some, unthinkable.
We all know the reasons for eating healthier – the positive effects on energy levels, warding off heart issues, diabetes and trying to lower the scary stat that 26% of adults in the UK are classified as obese etc. etc. But, regardless of the glaring benefits of eating well at work, we’re generally still unwilling to change to the tune of just a few pounds a day.
One of Sat’s main goals is to re-address this attitude of seeing lunch as something you spend as little money as humanly possible.
“When you think about making your choice for lunch – that’s one of your three chances every day to nourish yourself with feel-good food.”
And we can certainly attest to the fact that Sat and his team of chefs and nutritionists provide feel-good nutritious food.
It isn’t all about health, wellbeing and convenience – there’s more!
You’re probably already completely sold on Lean Lunch based on the fact it’s super healthy and ridiculously convenient, but prepare to be triply sold. Sustainability is also incredibly important to Sat, Charlotte and the entire Lean Lunch team.
So, what do Lean Lunch do to be as sustainable as they can, I hear you cry?
- Locally sourced ingredients = low food mileage
All the food is made from Leeds local and independent suppliers to cut down on the
- Make to order = less food waste
Because every meal is pre-ordered online they cut down on any waste as they never need to make too much.
- Pedal-powered delivery
As they’re entirely Leeds local every delivery is brought by bicycle. Not only low emissions but cool as funk, too (see above).
- Compostable packaging
Though Sat concedes not every single piece of packaging they use is fully compostable as much as they humanly can is made of plant-based material.
For anyone who’s read Simon Sinek’s Start With Why – you may not be surprised to hear that Sat has read it. And that for him, it’s both health and sustainability.
“For every decision we make as a business, we start with the question what can we do to hit those two outcomes?”
For us as individuals and as an agency, why wouldn’t we want to get involved in that? Why indeed!
A Healthy Workforce – who’s responsible?
It’s true that many organisations preach a culture of wellbeing but often fail to deliver on that. Just in my experience of speaking to friends and family across a number of industries, it’s clearly in vogue to talk about the subject, not in the least as a tool for attracting potential employees when recruiting.
Sat found in his own research that many times ‘Wellbeing Strategies’ would be talked about but end up falling by the wayside. And that health initiatives would often be promised but there would only be sandwiches and crisps on offer at the office canteen.
For us at Brilliant, we’re incredibly lucky to have management that appreciates the benefits of healthy food, exercise and proper rest not just for our overall health but for our creativity and productivity as a workforce. I can say that in 2019 sleeping well and eating much better I’ve seen a marked improvement in my energy, my clarity of thought and as someone who exercises quite a lot – my fitness levels.
If you’re a Leeds-based worker or employer you’ve got no excuse for having low-quality meals with Sat and the team within cycle-distance. Get out of your bad lunch habits and register your company, now.
Thanks to Sat for hosting me and to the whole team for sorting us out with super tasty meals on the reg!