Having your blood tested, getting a nutritional breakdown of every piece of food you out in your mouth and talking about high cholesterol and vitamin deficiencies sound more like a hospital visit than an enjoyable dinner party, but they are at the core of a new trend among health freaks – health optimization parties.
Keeping track of your calorie intake, drinking kale smoothies and eating quinoa salads are all fine and dandy, but if you’re really serious about your health, you’ll want to take things to the next level. That’s where health optimization parties come in. These social events allow health conscious friends and family to get an in-depth analysis of their actual health, while enjoying healthy foods and drinks and talking about the things that really matter, like cholesterol, vitamins and fitness routines.
English newspaper The Telegraph recently reported on the very first health optimization party service to hit the market in London. The bespoke package apparently costs £250 ($337) per person, and caters to a maximum of eight guests. Just like in the case of regular dinner parties, they will gather at the host’s house, but instead of having a drink before dinner, they’ll actually be forbidden from drinking or eating anything for a couple of hours. That’s because that will make the subsequent blood test irrelevant.
That’s right, one of the highlights of a health optimization party is having blood samples taken by a professional phlebotomist who uses needles, syringes and other medical equipment to harvest and analyze everyone’s blood for cholesterol, thyroid function, vitamins, minerals and markers for cardiovascular disease.
After the guest’s blood has been harvested, it’s finally time to enjoy some drinks and fine food. London-based nutritional scientist and Cordon Bleu chef, Toral Shah, will treat guests to a three-course meal that allegedly consists of a seasonal starter, plenty of protein and a healthy pudding. She will also give everyone a talk about nutrition and personal health, as well as a nutritional breakdown of the food on the menu.
Once the eating part is done, guests get to take part in a question and answer session about their lifestyle, fitness routine, eating habits, general health, etc.
Photo: Danbold/Wikimedia Commons
Blood tests take a while, so health optimization party participants won’t get the results on the spot, but as soon as they are ready, they’ll be sent both to them and Toral Shah, who will then provide 30-minute telephone consultations to each of them, commenting on the results and offering personalized lifestyle advice.
Doesn’t all that sound more fun than your average dinner party?
41-year-old Ms. Shah told the Sunday Telegraph that health optimization parties have already generated interest among people aged 35 to 50, who understand that they need to start paying closer attention to their health, and may also have friends or family who are ill.
“Consultants and GPs just don’t have the time to provide personalized nutritional and health advice,” she said. “You can be incredibly health conscious but not really know much about your actual health. And there is so much information out there that it’s hard to separate the dross.”