Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Lean with LEON

Working in the city, there is a requirement for fast service, I'm yet to come across a patient Londoner (myself included). It can be a struggle trying to fit in a workout (which beats the 3pm slump-yay) and a healthy nutritious lunch into a one hour lunch break! Now, I'm a big champion of preparing your meals the night before and staying organised, however wouldn't it be nice to have a freshly prepared, hot, nutritious lunch and power smoothie in the middle of your busy day? The answer - erm YES! Listen up busy bees.. I have a time saving lean tip for you.....

Now this is where I introduce to you a fast food restaurant that has become my haven - yes I'm not joking fast food. The twist? It's healthy fast food! Again.. I'm not joking. LEON restaurants are magical wonderlands where you can order your nutritious (lean approved) food, receive it and be met with a smiley service, all in about 50 seconds! Their aim is to give good food to the most people. For busy city workers this is a dream come true. I can now fit my lunchtime resistance training and post-workout nutrients into one lunch break- win! I was so thrilled with my experience at Leon that I decided to e-mail the lovely people behind the magic and find out more!

I met with Justin, the Operations Manager at Leon, for a club salad and good chat, at the Cannon Street restaurant. I described to Justin my amazement at how the staff at Leon are so happy and outgoing each time I visit, from working in the hospitality service in past years, I know it's a tough gig and it can be hard to stay chirpy. Justin explained that the people they hire have fun at work, they love what they do and they work as team. Impressively Justin could name all of the staff who were working and knew exactly what was going on in their social lives, if they were studying, their travelling hopes and dreams...  I've never known an organisation who cares so much. Justin also showed me Leon's values.. one of which was magic!

Chicken and Chorizo Club Salad

Onto the food..The great thing about Leon is that they work with nutritionists to create seasonal, healthy menus, packed full of the right ingredients and super-foods.( Finally, somewhere that serves brown rice!!!) I cannot express enough my joy, to find a place that doesn't try to pass off a white pasta salad (smothered in mayonnaise) as a healthy dish...
Leon is revolutionary with a range of hotboxes and salads to bunless burgers on the menu, there is a huge range of choice and everything is fresh and locally sourced the very day you walk in. Being the good guys they are at Leon, your food comes in recyclable containers.. and if taking away, your food is packed into a brown paper bag for you - cute! Pictured above is my very favourite Leon meal, the chicken and chorizo club salad, packed with superfoods like broccoli and boasting a good doze of protein, this is my perfect post-workout meal.

What I find really amazing about the Leon experience is that in some ways it makes me feel like I'm a local in a small village, it's almost like we've all been friends for years! The staff at Leon have a great bit of banter and will greet you with a genuine smile (something not always possible in London), a visit to Leon is a definite mood booster. Nothing is ever too much trouble at Leon,  as I found out when I spilt my morning coffee all over the place (clumsy) and Jòrgé ran to my rescue.

In conclusion Leon is an all rounder - it's got the culture, food and service, I really do urge all you girls/guys on the go to give Leon a try, it wont take a minute - literally. Let me know what you try and how you found it! I'm sure you will feel amazing after getting some super-foods into your system. Eat your way to lean, team! I was also given the very lush Leon first cookbook (there is a big collection), which I am very excited about, so look out for some posts on the recipes that I will be cooking up!

The Lean Elite

P.s If your flying away soon to catch some sun - they've just opened a new restaurant at Heathrow!