Not usually one to go for something that sounds like an attack on the body, I made an exception for the Body Blitz menu at itsu [dining] because, put simply, I love sushi.
Reason being: I don't believe in extreme diets, and in fact I think they're very dangerous, but I do agree that it is important to maintain a healthy body weight.
As part of a healthy relationship with food, I incorporate all the food groups at every meal and I love wholegrain carbs. Therefore, a trip to itsu, with its low calorie and low carb philosophy, must, in my opinion, be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
itsu's tag line is: eat beautiful, and there is no better location to sample their delights than at the original restaurant in Chelsea's Draycott Avenue, just a stroll away from the forever desirable King's Road.
There's something about the land of MIC (Made in Chelsea) that just whiffs of wellbeing: think nutritious food, healthy lifestyles and relaxing holiday. This might explain the toned and tanned limbs that adorn this privileged neighbourhood.
The itsu restaurant sits nestled amongst the chic cafes and boutiques of Walton Road and Draycott Avenue. The pace here is calmer than the main shopping streets of Chelsea and Kensington but it very much still has a buzz about it.
Aside from the fact that sushi is made from colourful and vibrant ingredients, it's also, in many respects, a fast food, and so is particularly handy for busy lunch times.
As a result, I've munched my way through many itsu boxes, and I've always thought the quality of their contents are far, far better than many of the other sushi brands.
However, I've never been to their restaurants before, so this was a first.
Upon arrival, I was greeted and shown to a delightfully intimate table, choosing that over the sushi bar set-up, and it was nice to have a choice. The décor was clean and inviting; the dark wood interiors served to highlight the rainbow plates that danced around.
The food was simply delicious: mouthfuls of sumptuous fish, vegetables and rice, all delicately seasoned, satisfied my appetite. I ate in a calm atmosphere and left feeling full.
As well having an enjoyable experience, I know that I'd treated my body to a nutritious meal. This is something that is really important to me, because food and mood go hand in hand, and I always notice how dreary I feel when I don't make an effort to eat well.
A typical sushi meal contains the following nutrients:
• White rice is a good source of selenium, thiamine and niacin.
• Edamame beans are full of fibre, protein and thiamin.
• Ginger is fantastic for Vitamin C.
• Nori, a roasted pressed sheet of dried seaweed used to bind the rice, is high in calcium, magnesium and iron.
• Seeds are a great source of protein.
• Salmon and tuna are both wonderful sources of omega-3 (essential for correct brain functioning).
It's worth mentioning here that the Japanese diet has been attributed to a long life expectancy because of its lack of red meat and fried foods, and the world's oldest women (according to the Guinness Book of Records 2013) Misao Okawa, attributes 115 years of age to sushi.
So there you have it!
Sushi really is a tasty way to get some vitamins and minerals, and, as part of a balanced diet, it could help us to stay in shape, not to mention around for a little longer.
The Body Blitz menu is available until the end of August at itsu [dining] in Chelsea and Notting Hill. Dish prices start from £2.85 each.
For more information, please visit itsu.com