Planning ahead is the key to success when it comes to eating well after having a baby, but these past few weeks have been really tough on this new mum over 40.
Sleep deprivation has pushed me to the lowest of lows and I have made unhealthy impulse food choices with a diet of ready-made porridge, chocolate, coffee and quick-fix instant noodles.
This sorry mess is a far cry from my pregnancy or pre-pregnancy diet, which included caffeine-free beverages, lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein and whole grains. While I did succumb to the odd chocolate chip cookie at work, that was of course, purely to keep my energy levels up.
Just as I was about to spend another day slouching about in my PJs watching Netflix, eating chocolate, checking my social media feeds and taking selfies with Cyrus, along came Mr Lee’s Guilt-Free, No Nasties Cup Noodles. Even Cyrus was impressed when the parcel arrived and he didn’t want to give it back.
Now you might think why is this not an advertising feature?! Well I’ll explain more…
Mr Lee is not some fictitious character, he’s a Bournemouth entrepreneur called Damien Lee, who just happens to love noodles. But he’s more than that. He’s also a single dad to two young boys, James and Joshua, who has fought a battle with Stage 4 cancer and won.
Damien was determined that cancer wouldn’t beat him – even though doctors told him he had just weeks to live. He knew eating right was part of his therapy, so he began taking out all of the sugars and nasties from his diet and started eating foods that would help him fight cancer: more protein, less sugar and bad carbs.
After his grueling treatment regime, he was told he was in complete remission and the story of his noodles began.
Damien was inspired to create a meal based on a food he loved, but low in calories, salt, saturated fats and sugar. He has now created a product that is 100% natural and also gluten-free.
Mr Lee’s Noodles use freeze-dried ingredients compared to the dehydrated version some other brands use. While the process is more expensive, it does lock in all the nutritional value and flavours.
As a busy mum over 40, who struggles to cook with Cyrus in arms, I couldn’t wait to see how easy the noodles were to make and see how different they were.
With six flavours to try, we were spoilt for choice. There was Hong Kong Street Beef, Penang Chicken Curry Laksa, Tai Chi Chicken, Shaolin Monk Vegetable, Dragon Fire Mushroom and Warrior Fighting Shrimp.
I taste-tested them when I was at my lowest physically having contracted a nasty nursery bug from Cyrus! It was vital I got my nutrients and the one-pot meals definitely appealed to me, despite my dwindling appetite.
I like foods that are visually appealing and emotionally comforting and the Penang Chicken Curry Laksa definitely proved a firm favourite for this reason.
Mr Lee’s noodles are all that and more because they are packed with anti-inflammatory and energy-inducing ingredients, such as ginger and turmeric, which I try to eat every day. The pots are also packed with veg and I definitely felt like I was getting my full serving, unlike a lot of noodle cups out there.
While it’s difficult to eat every colour of the rainbow every day, these noodle pots go a long way to empowering busy mums and dads with a healthy option that takes just minutes to make. They are also safe to eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding too.
It’s a rare cafe where you are served up a gluten-free, no nasties meal. Yet if Mr Lee’s vending machines take off, you could soon find your five-a-day freeze-dried and winging their way to you.