Meal Delivery: Convenient Catering Or What The Heck Am I Eating?

 Photo courtesy of www.cateredfit.com 

Photo courtesy of www.cateredfit.com 

Full disclosure, I am a very boring cook. In our house, we eat a lot of chicken, turkey tacos, and pasta. I'd love to say this is totally a result of my son's food allergies but the reality is that I'm just not great in the kitchen. My lack of enthusiasm for making meals usually results in poor choices, those dino nuggets I polish off after the kids wander away from the table, and a shameful amount of food wasting. I've fantasized for years about having meals delivered, imagining the ease of gourmet, healthy food perfectly portioned and waiting for me without any of the prep . This past week I finally bit the bullet and signed up for a week of paleo meals with catered fit, www.cateredfit.com. A rep for the company was offering samples at my gym and they were tasty, add in a discount for trying out a week and my curiosity about the paleo craze and I jumped right on board. My kids called it "Uber food" which cracked me up but was kinda spot-on. Here's the lowdown:

THE PLAN: Right away when you sign up they send you a very helpful email so you can create a login and start picking your meals. They have a ton of options to choose from including paleo, meatless, classic and a combo of all 3. They can work around allergies and foods you don't like to eat and they even offer an upgraded Athletes portion if you need a little more food than what's in their standard dish. Want more? You can add on desserts, snacks or juices. Meals are delivered every evening in a cooler bag and then you leave the bag out the next evening to be replaced. The convenience factor is exceptional!

THE FOOD: So I picked my first few days ahead of time and I was not disappointed. I got a nice warm breakfast each morning. I tried Paleo pancakes, waffles and a french toast. These were all things I would never attempt to make myself and they kept me from existing on coffee until 3 pm and then eating everything in sight. The lunches were actually a bit heavy for my taste. The paleo chicken salad was great. But I wasn't a huge fan of the turkey meatballs or the turkey salisbury steak. I usually skipped the sauces that came with the meals. The syrups were overly sweet and the savory sauces were really strong for my palette. The dinners were a perfect size leaving me satisfied but not overly full. The Turkey dinner was really flavorful and kinda reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner without the guilt! By the third day I had forgotten to book my future meals online and they were pre-selected for me. Let's just say the flounder that arrived that evening was not what I had envisioned in my meal delivery fantasies. However I did get to try a pork dish that I would never have ordered but really enjoyed.

THE (BACK TO) REALITY CHECK:  What did I learn? Besides that I definitely hate fish, even if someone else cooks it!! Eating right with successful meal prep is less about the food and all about the prep. Am I whipping up paleo waffles on my own? No. But I am eating a small breakfast and packing  a snack for after my workout instead of existing on coffee for 6 hours. Bringing my own prepackaged meal to my weekly Mexican dinner-out with the kids was kinda depressing and probably not something I could do long-term. But it showed me I could resist the chips and order grilled chicken and veggies next time.  Forgetting to pre-order the meals for my trial week of meal-delivery was a perfect example of where I tend to go south with my attempts to eat well. So really that flounder taught me a valuable life lesson... In the words of the great John Wooden,  Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail.

Here's a yummy recipe to help kick-off a meal prep plan of your own. Make these overnight oats the night before and you have a delicious grab-and-go breakfast option!

ToneitUp.com :Banana Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 2 Servings

  • 2/3cup rolled oats ( sub gluten free oats for a lower carb option)
  • 2Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 4tsp. chia seeds
  • 2tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1scoop vanilla Tone It Up Protein ( sub protein powder of your choice)
  • 1banana, sliced

STEP 1: Combine everything in a bowl. 

STEP 2: Split mixture into two mason jars. Let sit in the fridge overnight.

STEP 3: Wake up and enjoy!

  Photo courtesy of www.toneitup.com

 Photo courtesy of www.toneitup.com