I’m sure I am not the only one that doesn’t know how to cook or have the patience for it. Cooking to some is an enjoyment, whilst others like me don’t know what to do – not creative in the kitchen nor has the budget to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
These days, there are a lot of so-called healthy ‘ready made’ meals available for pickup or delivery. I am sure you have heard many of these popular companies; Muscle Meals Direct, Lite n Easy, Hello Fresh, Eat Fit Food, YouFoodz, Gourmet Dinner Service, etc.
I have a few questions with regards to these types of services available.
- How is this any different to frozen meals you can get from your local supermarket? Eg. Coles and Woolworths
- Are these premade meals good for you?
Personally, I had friends and family members try one of the services mentioned above a few years ago and I found a couple of things I wasn’t sure if this was right for me. Sure, like many, the company offered a range of flexible options to suit your needs. Receiving your week’s worth of meals at one go every week is convenient, but how fresh is it if you have the store your food and microwave each day – three times a day.
Now not all the pre-made meals were fiddly, but some were. Having to heat the pasta separately to the sauce, to reheating the chicken then placed together etc. Who has time for this? I thought this was supposed to be quick and easy. Also I found some local supermarket frozen meals quite salty (yes I had a forkful to get a taste of it).
I was offered the opportunity to trial Eat Fit Food for five working days, three meals a day to see if this would work for my type of lifestyle. The benefits, the core values and how this differs from other services out in the market place.
Here’s how my experience went.
Meals are delivered fresh to your door – well in a cooler bag, prepared by their chefs using local and ethically sourced produce. All meals are careful portioned with the right calorie intake, no added sugar and chuck in a couple superfoods.
I mentioned deliver straight to your door, but dependent in where you live, say a secure apartment building – you will need to provide access to enter the building, or it will be left outside. Generally the meals are delivered three days a week – Mon, Wed Fri at an allocated time period.
This is a bonus, as I feel that two days worth of meals are delivered, makes the ‘refrigerator life’ less. Arrives insulated in a cooler bag with the ready meals packed in reusable/recyclable microwave containers. Perfect size to take it with you to work.
The sheer convenience of someone else meal prepping for meal is amazing! The thought of thinking about calorie counting, what to pay, is this a nutritional balance and figuring out different recipes each time, makes me NERVOUS and IMPATIENT. Convenience 7.5/10 – (I wasn’t comfortable providing a spare key – if I had one)
Unlike other services, the food doesn’t actually arrive frozen, so you don’t need to spend more minutes in the microwave (or in the oven if you prefer it that way). Below is an example of one day of meals, i’ve also included my Eat Fit Food 5D Meal Plan.
Free range poached eggs with gluten free toast, baby spinach & tomato chutney (GF,DF)
Salmon & cauliflower patties with potatoes, spring salad, chilli and almond sauce (GF,DF)
Beef stir-not-fry with cacao peanut satay. Vegetables included chinese cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, snowpeas, cherry tomoatoes, green papya, shallots. (GF,DF)
Cleanse health bar (Cranberry & Psyllium), Corn chips with gua-kale-mole
You know what’s even better! I was full after each meal, as some of the food I’ve seen my reaction is very much “umm…is that it?” I was on the Clean and Lean program so it was designed to be high protein, more greens, free of refined sugars. Some were even serving gluten-free and diary-free.
So when ordering, it’s super easy on the web, select your meal plan/type, choose your option days. So select for example, 5 days to order and your week commencing date. The 5 Day Clean & Lean Program is $375, from Mon to Sun and your meals are carefully selected, changing every week. You even get to view the menu in advance so that you know what you are getting, approximately 1400 calories per day.
I couldn’t fault the meals, as I did enjoy 90% of the meals. The cleanse bar I wasn’t to fussed about nor the Korean chicken bibimbap with chili. But with meals like Lamb with quinoa, beetroot and broccoli salad; Moroccan spiced barramundi with carrot puree, cauliflower and chickpeas or the gluten free toast with smoke salmon and cashew cheese. These were my top picks for the week.
Taste, portions & quantity – 8/10
The multiple plastic containers that you throw away, I’m not sure if that is environmentally friendly. But I washed and kept them for other uses in my household.
You definitely pay a premium, if you breakdown the costs per day, this is what it looks like.
5 days = $375, daily spend = $75, each meal (inc snacks) = $15
10 days = $740, daily spend = $74, each meal (inc snacks) = $14.80
20 days = $1,460, daily spend = $73, each meal (inc snacks) = $14.60
What you have to think about is how much do you normally spend on your weekly grocery shop at Woolies or Coles? Mind you this is controlled diet, soft drinks, pringles, nutella, biscuits and all those miscellaneous treats don’t miraculous appear in your shopping trolley. I personally spend upto $100 a week, but I’m quite minimal in my eating habits.
Weight loss was a key motivation for me and I’m sure for other people aswell. Whoever nothing is set in stone that if you eat what you are given you will lose weight. It is definitely a kick-starter to ease you onto a controlled diet meal plan, but you need to make the effort to do some exercise.
Overall, I think the user experience in order your meal plans online and the variety of type of programs on offer is seamless. The food does seem premium, but you are paying for that including the delivery three times a week.
If I had the budget, yes I would continue with the program for another 10 days and learn to see how I can prepare similar meals at a lower price point.
On a side note, Eat Fit Food has an Eat Fit Farm, Gunu Berrima is a boutique retreat in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia. Foodies this is where you channel yourself for a weekend away a learn to cook using ingredients from the farm.