By Tracie Landram
Since their creation in 2012, Meal Prep Service (or meal kits) have taken the world by storm. It’s easy to see why! Meal kits have solved many of the age-old problems of making dinner. They are creative, delicious, easy-to-make, and reduce food waste. In fact, in 2019 Blue Apron generated about $455 million dollars worth of revenue. That’s a lot of dinners!
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that we encourage having a plan when it comes to macro counting and your meals. So it would seem that a healthy meal kit option would be a great resource for members who are looking for an easy and healthy solution. With so many meal kit options available, there are some things to consider when ordering your meal kits to ensure that they are supporting your goals. Coach Tracie Landram has dished (#foodpuns) her best tips on how to order meal kits that will be delicious but still macro-friendly!
What is a Meal Prep Service?
A Meal Prep Service (MPS) is a one-time purchase or subscription that provides you with pre-made meals or the ingredients to prepare meals designed to save you time and energy by outsourcing the food preparation.
These are the most common meal services:
- Meal prep kits – includes all of the pre-weighed ingredients with instructions for cooking and assembling the entree(s) in your home kitchen.
- Pre-made meals – includes fully cooked, pre-portioned meals that just need to be reheated.
Meal Prep Services are available through national shipping partners, but many have started showing up in regional grocery stores as well, making them an easy grab-and-go option for busy adults.
What are the Benefits of a Meal Prep Service?
- Saving time and energy (planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning)
- Portions are pre-measured with the macros calculated
- Can be cost-effective compared to take out
- Services can be tailored to dietary preferences (high protein, gluten-free, low carb, dairy-free, etc.)
- Portions are controlled, so you’ll be less likely to overeat
How Can I Use a Meal Prep Service During a Stronger U Session?
- Look up nutritional information BEFORE ordering.
- Sort meals by preference (low carb, high protein, gluten-free, etc.) to find what fits you best. Many options may be higher in fats; this is common for adding flavor and stability to food when shipping.
- Pay attention to serving size. Are you selecting individual meals or kits that make multiple servings?
- Create a plan for how you’re going to prepare and store any extra portions. Will you use them for lunch the next day?
- Extra portions are great for quick meals, lunches at work, travel, or just having a couple stocked in your freezer for when life gets in the way of making dinner!
- When planning your daily macros, input the MPS meal first, then structure the rest of your day around it.
- Don’t be afraid to supplement your MPS meal by giving it a boost! Need more protein? Add extra meat. Want more volume? Add a bag of steamed veggies.
Other Resources and Tips
- Think LOCAL! You may have a local Meal Prep Service in your area that offers pick-up or local delivery.
- Local health food stores and gyms may have affiliates with regional meal prep companies or even carry their products in-store.
- Assemblers UNITE! Instead of selecting full meals, purchase pre-cooked bulk items offered by the pound, which are typically sorted by macro (bulk protein, bulk carbs, bulk veggies). No cooking needed – just assemble, weigh for accuracy, and heat or freeze for later!
So, is meal prep services a solution or a short-term fix? It depends on how you utilize it. If you never learn to cook or prep food for yourself, this service may be a crutch. On the other hand, if you lean on these services to help supplement or diversify your own cooking, it may be just what you need to stay on track! Meal Prep Services can easily be incorporated into your Stronger U nutritional plan. Our priority is to achieve a healthy eating style that is sustainable for you, and integrating a meal prep service can help to simplify eating in a busy world. Consider these tips when scheduling your Meal Prep Service deliveries, so that you are positioned for success. Looking for more information or customized tips for your life? A Stronger U coach is ready to help you achieve your goals, process through dilemmas, and support your journey. Head to Stronger U to sign up for your 12-week session that will kickstart your journey to change your life!