Health Bistro: On Delicious Healthy Food and Why It’s Not for Me (Or, How My One-Week Diet Plan Ended on the First Day)

A few weeks back, I stumbled upon Health Bistro, an online seller specializing in home-cooked healthy meals. They make a special diet plan consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then deliver them every day to your doorstep -- as long as it’s in Manila. Curious -- and also because I had acquired a bit of excess tummy resulting in an over-all makopa-shaped upper body -- I contacted them and placed an order for the next week.
The menu changes weekly and is posted in advance in their Instagram page.

When I think about healthy food, what comes to my mind are images of salmon, chicken breasts, broccoli, brown rice, salt-less food, oil-less food, and fruit juices—things I could “tolerate”, so to speak. Sometimes the word “bland” is associated. My problem is Health Bistro is that the dishes are not too bland at all. They came in yummy, baby-sized servings I got more tempted to eat … well, more.

It was like being given a rib-eye steak, but only a bite. OK, maybe not really a rib-eye. Let’s say, a decent roast chicken. A really herby and moist one. Only to get one bite out of it. The entire quarter in front of you barely touched. And to be sentenced to that alone for the entire meal! The feeling was like that!

Take a look at Day 1, for instance. For breakfast, Health Bistro served Chicken Arroz Caldo—made with brown rice of course. It wasn’t too soupy, it was a bit too gingery, there were only two chicken strips, but overall it was delicious (I have no problems with brown rice because we used to get fed—by force—by our dance coach after training). After a few spoonfuls, I started to feel full already. I finished the soup and felt satisfied. However, barely an hour later, my stomach was growling again!
DAY 1: Let's go!!!
For lunch, there was Chicken Dumplings with Brown Rice—three pieces of dumplings, not even bigger than a fucking siomai. For dinner, I had Squid in Tausi with Brown Rice. The sauce was too HEALTHY I thought the entire meal consisted of rice.
Look at the dumplings!!!
Look at the chicken strips!!!
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not Health Bistro’s fault. Oil-less, salt-less, is definitely the way to go if you want to lose some pounds. But I grew up from a Lola who likes her herbs and seasonings that I found it hellish to adjust. Plus I am used to eating triple carbs in one meal (READ: Spaghetti Bolognese with garlic bread plus rice with chicken) so I didn’t know how to deal with this! I wasn’t ready!

Wouldn’t you know it? When I came home that day, I ate a plate-load of spaghetti (with some Pininyahang Manok).
Technically I busted my diet on its first day!

I tried harder on the next days but I couldn’t ignore my tummy’s revolt either. This is no exaggeration. If you knew me personally and knew how much I could eat despite my 29-inch waistline (nyahahaha) you would fucking pity me!

Health Bistro’s food wasn’t bad—in fact, some dishes stuck to my mind because they were damn good. Tuesday morning’s Egg Sandwich was a real treat—I love this boiled eggs with mayo sandwich thing, it’s the only one I can make by myself at home, haha! Not to mention that same day’s Bolognese; mushrooms topped the pasta instead of ground beef, equally delicious but healthier indeed.
Wednesday’s Chicken Quesadillas tasted like Army Navy’s soft taco—chopped chicken breast and cheese in a pita (well, pita-like) wrap. Friday’s Roast Beef Sandwich was tasty although it should’ve been left a couple more minutes in the heat.
Health Bistro has a promising diet plan but it brought out the worst in me—and I am entirely to blame. On Wednesday, someone treated us to a lunch buffet so I gobbled like a maniac in Yakimix. On Thursday, I ate all 3 meals in one sitting! On Friday, my boss hauled us to Kuse and ordered a whole Crispy Pata for merienda! Over the weekend, my digestive system got so confused, it threw me into a fucking stomach flu.
You see, if I continue doing this, every day will just be a cheat day because of the intense feeling of deprivation. The more deprived I feel, the more I will crave, and the more I crave, the more I will eat and end up being a full-blown makopa! Maybe even a human squash!

So what becomes my game plan now? For starters, I’m skipping Health Bistro this week—at least until I haven’t decided on anything about them—and eat like a normal human being. Next, I’m gonna assemble my kind adorable friends in the health and medical industry to come up with a meal plan for me—a plan realistic enough not to break. Someone said, “no blog food”. I said, “No way, I’d rather be a planet.” The plan can just contain the words “no rice and pasta in one meal” in it. I’d be happy to start with that.

The best thing to do, I think, is to exert more in dance practice. I stopped for a couple of months and in the process, I got transformed into a planet. If I go back to regular Jive drills and Samba walks, who knows? Maybe I could fit into my old Latin pants again!

I don’t think eating horribly is the solution.

Again, to reiterate my point, Health Bistro is not responsible. Me. All me! Their food is delicious, clean, and healthy. It’s just that my stomach abhors it.

Maybe you could try it for yourself. Health buffs? Who knows? Maybe it’s for you.

Health Bistro
Instagram: @healthbistro
1-week meal plan: PhP1,500 for 15 meals (3/day)
delivery charge (min. PhP50, varies per location—mine was PhP60 for McKinley Hill, Taguig)

Have you tried ordering meals from Health Bistro? What was your experience? Any health tips to share? Give us a shout in the comments section below!

pepe samson

About Pepe Samson

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  1. I salute you for taking the blame for crashing your diet (If there was even one to begin with). I stumbled upon Health Bistro and wanted to try it for myself. I was surprised as I started to go though your blog. I thought it was going to end up with something like- "Health Bistro is a total joke." or anything similar to that. But now, I think someday soon I might just give it a try. Thank you for posting this.

  2. Patrick CorralesApril 8, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    You're welcome randomguy! Healthy is definitely the way to go--Health Bistro even helped me by recommending a suitable plan for my patay-gutom self after they stumbled upon this blog post. Thanks for dropping by. :)

  3. Theresa ClementeMay 8, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I share the same dilemma regarding our appetite. I've tried several diet plans and really curious about Healthy Bistro. However, I strongly suggest to drink at least 2-3 glasses of water before each meal. It will make you feel full and you will notice a lesser food intake. And when you feel hungry again, drink water. I've tried flavoring my water with pandan leaves or lemon for variety. I got this technique from Korina Sanchez who lost a lot of weight. Good luck.

  4. Patrick CorralesMay 8, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Great tip Theresa! Especially now that it's summer, we would need to hydrate more. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  5. I'm from Tarlac City, and I want to try this. I also want to ask, can do franchising? Please email me at

  6. Hi John, not sure if they do franchising since it's a delivery service. Send them a mail though at :)


Let me know what you think!