Ever since I started working for When in Manila, I gained a LOT of weight. I’m sure many of our contributors can relate to this. We always work on food features. If you don’t work out, you will definitely gain weight once you join the team. One day, my boss mentioned CHEFitness, a meal diet delivery service that he personally trusts. (Jodi Sta. Maria is one of their clients, too!) This got me curious about what CHEFitness offers, so I tried out their service for two weeks.
Liza Fielder is the #girlboss behind CHEFitness. Through CHEFitness, she combines her two passions in life: food and fitness.
She is a trained chef and has worked in the seven-star hotel Star Burj Al Arab Hotel’s Al Mahara fine dining seafood restaurant, and Al Iwan Arabic restaurant.
As for fitness, Chef Liza has always enjoyed having a very active lifestyle. She was part of the dance troupe as a student. She studied as a personal trainer under the American Council on Exercise at the FIT Manila and pursued a second career in personal coaching together with culinary advice to those interested in improving their healthy lifestyle.
You might have seen her on television, because she has been featured on TV for her cooking demos and health fitness workshops.
What CHEFitness Offers
Chef Liza told us about what the clients can order. “The clients can choose from 1200 calories standard meal plan and can go higher or even get customized meal plans.”
For example, clients can ask for customized meals that are high in protein and low in carbs. There are also customized meals available for bodybuilders. After all, Chef Liza herself is a bodybuilder—she knows what she’s talking about!
The “therapeutic meals” cater to people with different types of ailments like gout, diabetes etc. They also offer vegetarian and pescatarian meal plans.
My Personal Experience with CHEFitness
From Sunday to Thursday, I received a brown bag like this.
Inside it are my three meals and two snacks for the following day. It was very convenient. Whenever I was heading out, all I had to do was bring this brown paper bag to work or school. I didn’t have to go to restaurants within the day, so it was also very economical.
This is what the breakfast meals and snacks often looks like. Taped around the plastic container are coffee or tea packets.
These are my favorite breakfast meals and snacks:
Fresh fruit crepe with piñacolada sauce – Mangoes and apples under a blanket of crepe with chewy toppings!
Protein pancake in Blueberry Cream Cheese
Bibingka pancake – I was the right balance of sweet and salty!
These are my favorite meals:
Classic bolognese in whole wheat pasta – I didn’t feel like I was on a diet at all! The sauce was meaty and cheesy. I finished the entire thing in less than ten minutes.
Fisherman’s pie & cous cous – Imagine tender fish filet mixed with mashed potatoes, creamy sauce, and herbs.
Seared chicken in roasted onion sauce
Chicken burger in teriyaki sauce
String beans & pumpkin in coconut milk
Beef shawarma in hummus garlic sauce
I usually don’t like wraps, but this is an exception! The vegetables were fresh and crisp, and the sauce was so flavorful!
While I wasn’t able to try this myself, this Oatmeal Purple Yam is one of Chef Liza’s famous dishes.
Overall, my two weeks under the CHEFitness Program was so much better than what I expected!
1.) I enjoyed the meals.
As evidenced by all the meals and snacks I mentioned, you can probably guess that I enjoyed the meals.
2.) It was cost-friendly.
A huge chunk of my salary goes to food. With CHEFitness, all three meals and the two snacks start at 300 pesos, plus 50 pesos for delivery.
3.) It was healthy.
When I’m too busy or lazy to prepare home-cooked meals (which is often), I usually turn to fast food. Before I knew it, I was already addicted to fast food. And I won’t lie–as I was in the CHEFitness program, I really craved for fast food or anything fried. But because I had my CHEFitness meals with me, I skipped fast food. By the end of the two weeks, I realized I was no longer craving for fast food.
4.) It was convenient.
No need to stop by restaurants or cook at home. The brown bag arrives a day before, and you grab it from your refrigerator as you head out to work or school the next day.
5.) I think it made me lose weight.
As a rule, I don’t like measuring my weight. Once I start measuring my weight, I just know I’ll be fixated with the numbers. I haven’t measured my weight in years. After my two weeks under the CHEFitness Program, four different people told me I look like I lost weight. These people didn’t know I was under the CHEFitness Program (or any diet delivery program).
Tips from Chef Liza
Chef Liza was kind enough to grant us an interview! I wrote about my personal experiences, but I wanted to get additional insights from her.
Jodi Sta. Maria is one of your celebrity clients! Can you describe what kind of diet plan she took/takes? What kind of body type will that diet plan suit?
Yes, Jodi is one of my celebrity clients and I can say she loved my food as she sends me feedback every now and then and also referred friends who became my clients, too. She doesn’t eat red meat like pork and beef, so I must say that Jodi is a real health and fitness buff. Her meal plan is based on her goal which is staying lean–so 1400 calories, low carb is basically her request. So far, she’s really in a good shape and certainly a sweet, down-to-earth celebrity.
What’s the most fulfilling feedback you get from your clients?
It’s always been fulfilling when ever a clients sends me good feedback, but it is most fulfilling when your client is reaching their goal in fitness, sending their before and after photos. Being part of their journey and transformation is the most rewarding of all and that’s the reason why I continue to inspire them even more to never give up.
Among all those meal plans mentioned, what would you suggest to someone who will try out a meal plan for the first time? Especially for someone who’s really into unhealthy food and fast food?
For someone who’s doing it for the first time, I normally suggest the standard 1200 calories so long as they don’t have any specific requirements like allergies to a certain food or ingredients. The portion is good enough and clients are guaranteed to feel full without the feeling of guilt.
You work out and eat clean. But do you ever have cheat days?
Oh yes, I do have cheat meals now that I am off season and not preparing for any competition. I only stopped this year but for the last 3 years of my bodybuilding career, cheating is one of the hardest things to do because preparing for upcoming competition is tough and being strong mentally with food temptation is the rule of the thumb.
If you have cheat days, how do you bounce back?
If I had a cheat day, I make sure that I train even harder the next day. Train bigger muscle groups like leg or butt day and add a little more cardio to make sure the fats and extra calories will be utilized as energy and not to be stored as fats.
How do you control your cravings for unhealthy food and drinks?
Well, I think of my goal and how hard it was when I first started. When I was on season, it was really hard because you get to have more cravings due to restricted dieting. I try to stay away from temptations, only buying items that I need when I’m doing the grocery shopping. But I think once the discipline is there and you know what’s best for you cravings for unhealthy stuff will be lessen and you become focused and careful with the food that you eat. To me it has become a lifestyle already and I seriously prefer to look fit, feel great about myself and take care of my health than to eat whatever I want.
In your social media account, you sometimes share photos of you when you were overweight. Can you describe how you changed your lifestyle?
I used to live an unhealthy lifestyle, back when I was working as a chef abroad I was surrounded with workaholic people and living a healthy life was not an important factor then. Until I came back and I realized how much I’ve gained. I decided to regain my fitness back and even studied personal training.
If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, we highly recommend CHEFitness! It’s convenient, delicious, and effective.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Chefitness15/
Personal Facebook Account: Liza Fielder (https://www.facebook.com/lizasikat)