If you’re willing to accept a little help from technology, there’s really nothing to worry about when it comes to changing your diet. For many people, changing one’s diet can be extremely stressful. Especially when they feel like they have no control over it, such as when they are told they must follow a specific protocol to help manage a chronic condition, or they resent the disruption to their normal routine. Admittedly, the initial change may have been an adjustment, but thankfully, many enterprising chefs have decided to let them cook at your place, and (sort of) you can benefit from your new deal Take the guesswork out. Meal delivery and meal delivery kits are becoming more and more popular for many people. From time-pressed students, to busy families, to those who need to follow a strict diet, these services are great!
These types of services are convenient enough to fall into two basic categories (although some are a mix of both). Some will prepare the entire meal and serve it reheated, others will provide fresh, prepared ingredients with detailed cooking instructions, and you will prepare the rest of the meal yourself. We’re not recommending one service over another, we think the best way to think about them, other than what’s best for a particular protocol, is how much do you like, or how much time do you devote to being in the kitchen? Does part of using a delivery service appeal to you because you don’t have to cook? That’s totally fair, and that’s why these services exist in the first place! There’s absolutely nothing to say either, nor can you use more than one service. No matter where your meals come from, we eat them many times a day, many times a week, right? For someone who likes to cook but only cooks when they have time on the weekends, this might mean using one service a few days a week and another on weeknights when they’re in a rush, offering complete Prepared meals save time. It might sound like a hassle, but with easy-to-use mobile apps and a desktop site, it’s certainly easier than flipping through cookbooks and websites and trying untested recipes, then wading to the dreaded grocery store to gather everything you need many.
After looking at so many menus offered by the companies we’ll discuss below, we can say that their prices are all fair for their offerings. If you’re the kind of cook who wastes tons of food on the weekends, we’d even say they save money too. As always, we are not affiliated with any of these services and only aim to help our patients and readers change their diets and make informed decisions while learning new eating strategies. It doesn’t hurt to improve their quality of life while we get involved.
We used several broad criteria when selecting these services to recommend. First, we look for companies that support specific dietary regimens, such as: Paleo, Keto, Autoimmune Programs (AIP), Vegan, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, etc. And then, of course, we checked the pricing because that’s just the logic that took over. We think it makes the most sense to judge them on their own merits, rather than comparing them to each other, as in many cases it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Companies offering organic, antibiotic, hormone and non-GMO foods are particularly attractive to us for a variety of health and environmental reasons. Finally, if their goal is to serve local and/or sustainable meat and produce, all the better!
Do nothing further.
SunBasket.com – This service meets many of our criteria. As far as the protocols they support, there are many, including: Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan, and their proprietary menu called Lean+Clean (We haven’t reviewed it specifically and can’t recommend any one specific protocol. That’s not to say We don’t encourage you to do your own research, if you’re interested, please do!). They use sustainable, organic produce in their recipes and pledge to use only hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. Their seafood is always recommended as top choice or good choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Their recipes are designed to be on the table in 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for weeknights. Orders are delivered weekly using 100% recyclable packaging. Their classic menu offers 18 menu items to choose from for $6.16 each. The family menu has 6 menu options for $6.62 each.
Plated.com – We’ll start by warning that they don’t offer protocol-specific menus, but rather “globally inspired, chef-designed menus”. That said, they offer so many mix-and-match dishes that, depending on the dish and protocol, the service might still be right for you. They offer 20 recipes to choose from, and there’s even a “Rate and Review” option to help you plan future menus for you. This is something we only noticed Plated doing, and believe it’s another reason to check them out, even though they may not have your specific protocol listed, they still most likely have dishes that meet all of your criteria. They are committed to sustainable fishing and only serve meat that is hormone- and antibiotic-free, supplemented with organic ingredients wherever possible. They use a bulk pricing method, which means the more services you buy, the cheaper they become. 2-3 servings are $11.95 each, and 4 or more are down to $9.95. They offer free shipping on orders over $60.
GreenChef.com – This service really stood out to us due to their emphasis on gluten-free cooking. They are the first meal delivery service to be certified under the Gluten Intolerance Group’s GFFS program. This gives us confidence in recommending gluten-free dieters to check them out. In addition to the gluten-free menu, they also offer: Omnivore, Carnivore, Paleo, Keto, Vegetarian and Vegetarian menus. Many of these are family-sized. They use all organic ingredients. Their pricing is fairly straightforward but depends on what menu you order and how much you’re feeding. From their website:
Our pricing is based on the plan you choose and the number of diners per dinner.
2-Person Plan: 1 box contains 3 dinners for 2 people (total of 6 meals/servings per box).
Family Plan: 1 box contains 2 dinners for a family of four, serving parents and children as a family (8 meals/serving total per box).
Vegetarians $10.49 per meal
Omnivore $11.99 per meal
Vegetarian $11.99 per meal
Carnivores $13.49 per meal
Gluten-free $13.49 per meal
Paleo $14.99 per meal
NOTE: Depending on the protein preferences you set for your Omnivore or Carnivore Plan, you may receive menus that belong to different meal plans. Don’t worry, we’ll always charge you the lower price of the two plans.
Family Omnivore $11.99 per meal
Family Carnivore $12.99 per meal
Note: Prices above do not include shipping and handling of $9 per box.
CavemanChefs.com – This is a Colorado based company that serves the Denver metro area directly, but they offer next day delivery to areas outside of that area. One thing we found interesting is that they offer pick up locations on many of the CrossFit boxes in the area, many kill two birds with one stone. What’s better than exercising and then coming home to dinner? As their name suggests, they specialize in preparing Paleo meals or even Paleo catering, which is especially great when you’re hosting an event but don’t want to disrupt your eating schedule. As we browsed their website, we noticed that they also offer menus for SIBO, low foodmap, Keto, Whole30, and PaleoAIP. In fact, according to their website, they are the first meal delivery service in the US dedicated to SIBO! They offer up to 10 meals per week to choose from. Additionally, they are advocates for environmental stewardship, sustainability, and humanely raised meat. They offer 100% grass-fed Kobe beef and lamb. In addition to 100% antibiotic- and hormone-free pork and chicken, there’s wild-caught Alaskan and Villazo salmon. They use local, organic and seasonal vegetables wherever possible. One thing we noticed that really sets them apart from other services is their willingness to work with clients to customize meals, which means if you have allergies or other dietary restrictions, they will help. It’s not that other companies are inflexible, but some of their business models don’t allow substitution or omission, so they may not be right for everyone. You can call or email to speak with their professional chef staff to ensure your safety and health! We’ve found this to be particularly attractive for people following very strict protocols. We added a link to their pricing page as they offer a lot of options including ordering by the pound and we thought it might be easier to look at it as they display it neatly on their website rather than trying to chain Sentences. Explain!
SupperBell.com – is another Colorado-based delivery service with a familiar name at the helm, chef Frank Bonanno. Many who live in and around the Denver metro area may be familiar with his restaurant family, which includes Luca, Mizuna, Bones, Osteria Marco, and more. If you’ve ever dined at any of these, you’ll understand why we recommend this service to their chefs! They offer a filter for their menu so you can choose from: Gluten Free, Nut Free, Paleo, Vegan, Light’NFit, and Dairy Free. These filters can be applied to Main Dish, Side Dish/Salad, Breakfast, Home and Kids. Speaking of kids, there’s even something for the youngest! SupperBell offers its own line of baby food! They’re called Baby Fresh and offer 4 stages of organic food from purees to solids for babies from 6 months to all ages. They work with many local sustainable suppliers such as Seattle Fish Co., Polidori Sausage, The Spice Guy and 5280 Culinary. Their pricing and ordering system reminded us of restaurant takeaway as you can place your order on the day (before 3:00pm local time) and the dishes are not all priced at the same price but a la carte and later in the day Delivery between time windows pre-selected by the customer. There are no contracts, the minimum order is only $10, and the delivery fee is $2.95 in the delivery zone.
Finally, we saw a website and Facebook page for a new service called SimplyAIP. They haven’t started deliveries yet, but will be launching their service this spring (2018). They’ll be focusing on autoimmune protocol-friendly meals, treats, and indulgences, which we’re excited to see! Their Facebook page is already chock-full of information, recipes and blog links. We highly recommend you check them out, they are very useful! There often is a real sense of community among AIP’ers, and we hope their pages are no different. They also currently have an email sign-up on their webpage so you can be on their list for important opening information and notifications. We think they will be a great new resource for those following the AIP protocol!
All in all, we’re really excited that these services exist and strongly recommend that you do your own research to see which ones fit your specific needs and budget. We know that changing your eating habits, or following a strict daily routine, can be stressful and intimidating for most people, especially at first. Even if you don’t use meal delivery 7 nights a week, you can use this time to learn the ins and outs of your new protocol and get some future dining inspiration in case you need to feel more comfortable and confident with your protocol. We’re big fans of saving time and being as stress-free as possible, and these services fit our bill. Imagine freeing up your time for other activities to enhance your health, such as going to the gym, taking a yoga class or meditating. It certainly makes cooking sound less appealing when there are convenient, healthy and reliable options like this!