Overcome the daily lunchtime challenge at your convenience

It’s 12.30pm on a Monday. You’ve had a bad morning, you’ve still got the rest of the day – and week – ahead of you, and you’re absolutely starving.

Lunchtime for many of us is just a matter of refuelling. On busy weekdays, we’re usually looking for convenience rather than a long, leisurely meal, and despite our best intentions, we usually forget to make a tasty, healthy packed lunch.

So, inevitably, lunch often becomes the biggest challenge if you’re trying to pursue a healthy lifestyle. And even when people think they are making the right choices, they can be wrong.

Take an M&S prawn mayonnaise for example; it may seem to be a good choice but in fact it is highly calorific and loaded with saturated fat.

There are other considerations too. A jacket potato and tuna take-out is reasonably low in calories if you cut out the mayo but it is deceptive. White potatoes are low on the GI index and will ensure you have the mid-afternoon slump which often leads to you reaching for the biscuit tin or chocolate machine for an emergency sugar rush.

Better choices are obviously the answer here to maintain a balanced diet but as we all know, that’s easier said than done – there’s either too much temptation or too little choice and bad decisions are inevitable unless you have steely self-discipline.

Some recent developments in the catering industry look set to be the secret weapon in beating lunchtime mistakes.

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You may have heard of companies that deliver lunches to your desk or home for your convenience. However, many are tight on the purse strings and it is a difficult habit to sustain.

But now there is a new kid on the block, providing tasty lunches at affordable prices for workers in busy offices and young parents at home across London and beyond.

Soup Club is a west London-based company which has gone from strength-to-strength since it was set up in 2009.

Founded by Ian Durrell, Soup Club supplies a diverse range of you’ve guessed it, soup. All are under the 100-calorie mark, have zero saturated fats and are packed with health-boosting vegetables and the essential vitamins that come with them.

Ian was inspired to launch the company after a visit to his GP when he was 40.

He explained: “I went to the doctor and he put me on the scales and said I could do with losing a stone.

“I started making the soups for myself because I love soup and found some recipes and made them palatable. There was no cream, no butter, no flour and no additives. It is all water, vegetables, low in salt, bullion, and herbs and spices.”

Ian began toying with the idea of launching his own business based on his recipes after his wife began having lunches delivered to her workplace – but she was paying a high price.

“I teamed up with a friend from a catering background and devised a few more recipes and we thought there would be a business in it.

“It is affordable, convenient and they have strong flavours. They are suitable for people who want to lead healthy lifestyles and cut down on calories without feeling hungry.”

The soups are so diverse that there is little chance of boredom setting in, says Ian. And this is no cabbage soup diet either. Ian blends as many as flavours as possible to satisfy all tastes – curried courgette and butternut squash and pea, ginger and cardamon are both hugely popular.

And there is a secret ingredient – an Asian herb which shall remain nameless – which heightens flavours and provides the seasoning, meaning salt can be cut out completely.

“Losing weight or eating healthily is a lifestyle thing and eating these soups will help,” says Ian. “A few small things will have much greater benefits on the long term.”

For more information visit www.soupclub.co.uk.