Meal Planning and Preparation Has Never Been Easier
Update: A friend of mine pointed out I wrote this pretty well slanted toward the positive. Caught! I did write a pretty favorable piece here because I have been impressed with this food delivery service. I will say I am in no way being paid to write for this company or its service. There is also a drawback to using such a service--the packaging. Lot's of it. But if it counts, all of the packaging is recyclable. I do plan to continue using this service. It is working well for this time in my life. Enjoy the article.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about when coaching new patients to better diets is that meal planning seems insurmountable. It's so much work and often the first thing that gets dropped on a busy day at work or running the family. Dinner time rolls around and we are often just too damn tired to cook a meal. So we fall back into old habits and eat like crap; food created from whatever we can scrounge up from the fridge or the cupboards that takes only a few minutes. That way works and really we never know if we have all the ingredients to make that dish we were thinking about two days ago.
Does that about sum it up?
I must admit I also dislike meal planning. I do enjoy making a great recipe. But let's face it, we don't always have the right ingredients to make something on the fly. The only way around that is to meal plan.
What if I told you there might be a better way?
I found one of those food box delivery services that is fitting my needs right now. Believe me, I keep an eye out for anything that will help me prepare food. This applies to single people or married or families so pay attention.
We've all seen these food services on TV or in the FaceBook stream. Services like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, BistroMD, Green Chef, Plated, to name a few. Visit this article for an excellent review on 13 different food delivery companies. I've been keeping an eye on them for awhile and it wasn't until about three weeks ago that one dropped into my FaceBook feed I couldn't ignore. The reason it jumped out at me was the ORGANIC label. I figured if I was going to order a food service it should be organic.
Green Chef opened up a whole new world for me. I'm single and am meal planning and shopping averse. I can't stand doing it to be honest. Even though I coach my patients on doing it because I do believe it is the single most effective tool in recapturing your life through nutrition. So I explored the Green Chef and found I had several options to choose from based on the type of diet I wanted to follow. Any of them are great because it is clean organic food. The choices are:
I chose the Paleo option.
If anyone knows me they know that I tend to be a pretty picky eater. Yet, I decided if I was going to use this service I will eat whatever they ship me. I went Paleo because I'm tired of eating grains right now. Later I may decide to switch to one of the other options. But for now Paleo works.
I received my first box last Friday. The box contained three meals with all of the ingredients included. Each meal is designed to feed two people. For a single guy, this means I'll get six meals out of it. My plan is working so far.
Inside I found everything was wrapped with a layer of insulation. Peeling that back was a layer of ice packs on top. When I unpacked the food contents there was another layer of ice packs on the bottom.
What the service indicates is the package will be delivered anytime between the hours of 8 am - 8 pm. You don't have to be home to receive it because it will likely stay cool until you can fetch the package. However, on a summer day if your front stoop sits in the sunlight I might try to get it sooner than later.
I unpacked the box and spread the contents out. What is really cool is three recipe cards are also included. These cards are color coded and correspond to the food contents for each recipe. There is no need to waste time sorting by what ingredient goes to the recipe. That is all done for you.
Monday night I made my first meal. Here's where it got interesting. I made the green card which is a shrimp dish. In my entire life I have never been a fan of shrimp. I made it anyway. They even had me make the crackers shown from scratch, all ingredients included.
The recipe was awesome! I loved it.
I made the blue card yesterday.
OMG. I loved it.
The recipe cards have a time indicator to let you know what you should plan for. So far I have found them to be spot on time wise.
A really cool thing is my creation looked like the picture on the recipe card. Yep.
This service also has family plans. The price is about $98 per week. I figure it saves me time and gas. Most importantly I didn't have to plan it out and all the ingredients were there. My thought is if I'm eating these healthy meals six days a week I may actually get healthy. I'm also learning some interesting food combinations and getting practice making various meals.
If you are interested in ordering, follow this link. Full disclosure if you sign up for the service I do get a credit to my account. The same would go for you. They create a link you can share and if people use it you will get credit too.
I'll keep you posted on how this program is going for me. I've seen the recipes coming for next week and it includes lamb and salmon. Two proteins I never eat. We'll see how it goes.