WELL­BE­ING

The Mail on Sunday - You - - EDITOR’SLETTER - purepack­age.com; bal­ance­box.com Sarah Stacey

Mother of four Jen­nifer Irvine is ‘ob­sessed with longevity’. Given that she’s only 42 and a pic­ture of bloom­ing, bounc­ing health, that seems a tad pre­ma­ture. But Jen­nifer and her friends talk about it a lot, she tells me. ‘Life is a se­ries of chap­ters. I came through pur­ple hair, a nose ring and friends over­dos­ing in my 20s to be­ing a wife, mother and busi­ness­woman. Now we all want to reach that cer­tain âge – as the French say – still glow­ing, feel­ing great about our­selves and able to en­joy life.’

For Jen­nifer, ‘Be­ing healthy long term is about keep­ing bal­ance in my life in ev­ery way pos­si­ble – from sta­ble blood sugar to eight hours sleep with a nap if nec­es­sary.’ As the founder of a thriv­ing well­ness em­pire, Jen­nifer re­ally has to walk her talk. Brought up on a sus­tain­able farm in the west of Ire­land where she sold eggs from her chick­ens from the age of eight, in 2003 she founded gourmet diet de­liv­ery busi­ness The Pure Pack­age.

The idea hit Jen­nifer when she saw her hus­band, Stephen Irvine, and his city col­leagues work­ing 14-hour days fu­elled by junk food. ‘I’ve al­ways loved good food and I like tak­ing care of peo­ple so it stemmed from that.’ From its be­gin­nings in her own tiny kitchen, the busi­ness is now hugely suc­cess­ful with cus­tomers, who in­clude celebri­ties and elite ath­letes, clam­our­ing for the daily de­liv­er­ies of three de­li­cious bal­anced meals plus two snacks.

But The Pure Pack­age price (cur­rently from £39.95 per day) was out of many peo­ple’s reach, so in 2013 Jen­nifer launched Bal­ance Box, avail­able na­tion­wide, which costs from £19.99 per day for one de­liv­ery, avail­able na­tion­wide, with all meals and snacks for three or four days. Our sin­gle-mother tester couldn’t be­lieve ‘it’s such amaz­ing value for money; there’s a huge range of meat, fish and veg­e­tar­ian dishes in the Four Day Lighter Menu Plan with masses of dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles and ev­ery­thing I needed. I was never hun­gry but I lost 4lb in four days.’

As the brand’s name sug­gests, the menus, which are planned by nutri­tional ther­a­pists and pre­pared by chefs, re­flect Jen­nifer’s belief that food should be eth­i­cally sourced, the finest qual­ity pos­si­ble with the per­fect bal­ance of nu­tri­ents. ‘It makes a mas­sive dif­fer­ence nu­tri­tion­ally, plus you gain an ex­tra hour a day as you don’t have to cook,’ she points out.

Be­ing kind to her­self is high on Jen­nifer’s list of longevity musts. Be­cause the work­ing day is ‘usu­ally crazy’, her evening treat is im­mers­ing her­self in a long shower or bath with Jo Malone Lon­don can­dles and ‘lovely bath oils and body creams’.

Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise is cru­cial. ‘I try to hit 10,000 steps a day on my Fit­bit. I keep a pair of flats in my bag and walk around the of­fice when I’m on the phone, and we do a lot of walk­ing meet­ings as a team; it gets the ideas flow­ing. Plus we have sit­ting balls and stand­ing desks in the of­fice.’ Twice a week Jen­nifer does a 30-minute full-body weight train­ing ses­sion and is ex­ul­tant that her bi­o­log­i­cal age – 50 plus when she started this regime – is now a su­per-healthy 21.

Come the end of the day, Jen­nifer asks her chil­dren, ‘What’s the best thing that hap­pened to you to­day?’ so they go to sleep happy. Af­ter­wards she counts her bless­ings. ‘We don’t do that enough. Good things hap­pen to me. When bad things hap­pen, my at­ti­tude is they give me greater un­der­stand­ing. I’m a lucky per­son.’

De­li­cious, good-for-you and ready made…this salad is one of the op­tions de­vised by Jen­nifer Irvine, left

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