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Food / Lifestyle

Operation Slender: Eat Healthier And Lose Weight with These 6 Meal Delivery Services

January 10, 2017

No. More. Eggnog. A new year means a new you—and that person doesn’t eat four sour cream-smothered latkes in one sitting. Whether you’re aiming to lose the pudge or simply eat healthier in the new year, it’s time to embark on a new journey, one devoted to better eating most days of the week (we all need a cheat day here and there or three). To help you begin, we’ve taken a look at six super-healthy meal kit and delivery services that’ll have you slurping noodles, going Whole30 and souping (yup—it’s a thing now). Prepare to be transformed!

Splendid Spoon
Step away from the juicing craze and get on board with souping by signing up for home deliveries from this vegan, gluten-free plan. Plus, you might feel fuller, longer with this trend (it’s more satisfying to chew actual chunks in soups rather than sip a fiber-free juice drink). There are three soup paths to take: try their cleanse option (replace your meals with five small bottles of soup for a day); swap in their soup bowls instead of your regular lunch choices—or choose a combination of these two with their full program. Ingredients are non-GMO and locally sourced within a 200-mile distance when possible and soups are flash-frozen to seal in more vitamins. Recent soup options include lentil and kale with curry and cinnamon and steel-cut congee with cashews and black mushrooms, as well as a cleanse drink made from vegan bone broth.
Price: $55-$80 per week, depending on the option on Splendid Spoon

Fashion models swear by the Sakara eating plan but of course results may vary. At best, a dewy glow can be yours as this plant-based meal delivery service has you ‘eating your water’ via hills of hydrating produce. Expect a chic, black bag at your doorstep that’s full of greens (one to three cups with each lunch and dinner) and other organic whole foods in dishes like Dill Crunch Salad with fennel, apple and cucumber and the Thai Burger, made from chickpeas and sweet potatoes, plus a side of rainbow cabbage slaw. Two waters and tea are also included, in case you’re still thirsty. But don’t look for a snack in the Sakara pack: the company wants clients to rest and repair between meals, rather than toss more food down the hatch. Still hungry? Drink more water (you could be dehydrated) or choose clean foods to nibble, like raw veggies, a few nuts, berries or an apple. Conveniently, Sakara also sells approved snacks in its online Clean Boutique and has a guide to making your own in their branded e-zine The S Life Mag.
Price: Three of five days plans start at $80 a day for three meals at Sakara

Purple Carrot
Put on your apron and grab a skillet! Purple Carrot preps ingredients and packs them tidily with recipes so you can whip up a plant-based meal in 40 minutes or less for one to two people or a family of three or four. Plants have power, claim the folks behind this meal kit company, and sticking to a vegan diet might reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. If anything, you’ll be in the kitchen cooking, an act that saves time, money, aids weight control and brings your crew to the family table. You could soon be dining on barley lentil pilaf with celeriac ‘chips’ and mint dressing, drunken noodles with tofu and Chinese broccoli or vegetable biryani with green beans and mushrooms. There’s also an amusing blog where you’ll learn how to take a vegan camping trip, bake a purple carrot birthday cake and do easy exercises in the office (psst—take the stairs!).
Price: From $68 for 3 meals a week for 1-2 people at Purple Carrot

Green Chef
If you’re looking for certified organic with nearly all ingredients sourced locally, this meal kit company is the one. The recipes can also be customized to your diet of the moment or the various members of your family (paleo, pescetarian, vegan, and gluten free). Boxed ingredients arrive weekly to make dinners for two or four people, including lemon-herb salmon orzo, spaghetti squash fritters with quinoa and bell pepper salad and Hungarian tofu ragu. Recipe cards and their little ingredient packetss are even color coded so your six-year-old can match the steps with the yellow and red circles. Green Chef wants you to save time and money with its system and reports you’ll spend 70% more at the grocery store to make the same meal—and you won’t have to drive around town searching for specialty ingredients. And if you’re worried about the piles of packaging that accompanies most plans, Green Chef walks you through how to recycle, repurpose or compost each item (cardboard, jute insulation, ice packs, paper bags and plastic bottles).
Price: About $72 a week for six meals that feed two Green Chef

Hungry Root
This one-stop shop is packed with options: individual meals (under 500 calories), sides, snacks and sweets, plus you can ‘bundle’ these to form 7-minute meals for one, two or three days. Veggies are the star, of course, and apparently just 6% of us is eating enough of them. Hungryroot wants to change this by building many dishes around a spiral of veggie noodles (sweet potato, carrot, beet) to which you can add chicken and tofu. Toss in cauliflower rice, nutty date energy bites and black bean brownie batter for the full experience. Order from the site or pick up their noodles in some Whole Foods stores and on Amazon Fresh. Packaging is BPA-free and the cooking you’ll do is minimal—just a few minutes on the stovetop or in the microwave. As you wait for your food to heat, check out the blog by chef Franklin Becker where he expounds on the miracle of carrots and fatty foods that are actually healthy.
Price: From $6 for snacks & spreads up to $145 for a multi-meal bundle at Hungry Room

PreMade Paleo
Fresh and frozen meals from this full-service company follow the Whole30 plan, a clean eating regimen that omits grains, lactose, legumes, gluten and refined sugars. You can also find auto-immune protocol (AIP) dishes, which means no nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant) or seed-based spices. Calorie counts are spartan (300-500 for the regular size portions), though you can super-size your meals by ordering the Warrior option (400-600 calories). Pick meal plans, stews, chili and family portions, plus individual ingredients, sides and snacks like wild boar andouille sausage, organic broccoli and butternut squash and paleo trail mix. Food comes in good ol’ Styrofoam (it’s necessary for meals that are packed in dry ice and shipped for a long haul) but the company lists places that will reuse and recycle the containers.
Price: From $50 for a three-meal sampler to $950 for the 60-meal warrior plan at Premade Paleo


Jennifer Kelly Geddes

A mom of two teens, Jen has worked at Parenting magazine, EverydayHealth.com, Seventeen and Dr. Oz The Good Life. She's also penned custom content for Chewy, Fisher-Price, Febreze and Pampers.