Nutrition Delivered: Options For a Successful Meal Plan

Nutrition Delivered: Options For a Successful Meal Plan

I think we can all agree that food is at the center of the universe when we announce our commitment or recommitment to our health.

Our options for fitness and physical activity are wide-ranging with options for gym memberships, on-site personal training and group fitness classes with Anywhere Fitness. For some, the larger battle comes at mealtimes without a plan to eat nutritiously dense food. No plan and fear of the kitchen may have you permanently stuck.

I think we can also agree that this is where we tend to get into trouble. When we find ourselves without a plan for appropriate consumption (and timing) of nutritious fuel, we putter out at the most inopportune times and we inevitably hinder our success.

Thankfully, there is hope, for those woefully uninspired to make the effort to shop at the grocery store for our healthy meal plan. The call for help has been answered and the food delivery service was born in three different ways.

  • Do you want your groceries delivered?
  • Do you want your pre-selected recipes and ingredients delivered?
  • Do you want your pre-prepared and cooked meals delivered?

GROCERY DELIVERY

Shipt, one of the newest kids on the block and based in the Heart of Dixie - Birmingham, Alabama. We’re technically neighbors, their headquarters is in a downtown highrise and we’re in a basement in Hoover! According to the Shipt website, Shipt is an app that provides grocery delivery from your local store via a local community of reliable shoppers. Become a member, order from your phone or computer, and they'll bring your order straight to the location requested.

As you can imagine, Shipt members leverage the service to avoid the customary hassle of the grocery store. However, most members also take advantage of the time savings the door step delivery service provides. Working with an Anywhere Fitness personal trainer and our team of nutrition experts, we can help you calculate your caloric needs, find recipes, and create a grocery list to plug into Shipt. After the work day, while you’re in your Anywhere Fitness class, your groceries are shopped and on their way to you to be delivered just in time to relax for the evening.

Grocery shopping will likely always remain the most widely accessible and utilized way to gather your nutritious ingredients, but there’s also another unusually creative way to plan your weekly meals in our next option. But first, let’s review some of the pros and cons of this service.

PROS

  • Overall convenience and time saver.
  • Reduces the urge to splurge and buy things out of sensation.
  • Birmingham members can choose to have their groceries delivered from Publix, Western, or Whole Foods.

CONS

  • There’s certainly a subscription fee and an ever-so-slight upcharge on individual products.
  • The store may be out of stock of a particular item you’re needing. Shipt won’t visit multiple stores to complete your order, so you might need to put in another order for a different store brand or location.
  • If you think you’ll need groceries tomorrow, snag your preferred delivery window today. Shipt is a popular service in the Birmingham metro and delivery windows fill up.

Currently, Shipt is offering new customers $10 in free groceries on their first order. That’s reason enough to snag a membership!

RECIPE AND INGREDIENTS DELIVERY

You’re feeling adventurous in your palette, but don’t want to spend your paycheck on spices and bottles of special sauces you’ll likely never use again?

Introducing our favorites: Plated, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh. This trio offers flavorful and healthy recipes that, depending on the recipe, ingredients, and season could save you money as compared to a visit to the grocery store. Josh Elledge with SavingsAngel.com asserts that the meal delivery trend is a $1.5 billion industry that could save consumers money if used every so often versus every week.

Chef inspired and curated meals that are fun to prepare with pre-measured ingredients make this option extremely popular with families and for those on-the-go. You may also find the educational component to this option empowering as you become more familiar with your kitchen and how to make your staple meals a little more enticing.

PROS

  • Easy and fun to cook with simplified step-by-step recipe cards with photos of each step.
  • Overall convenience and time saver if you’re simply looking to skip the grocery store.
  • You’ll receive ingredients in pre-measured portions to significantly reduce food waste.

CONS

  • You’re restricted to the meal options, anywhere between 8-15, for each week.
  • Depending on the ingredients of the meal, and grocery store sales, specials, and coupons, you may find that this service pricey.
  • A common misconception is that meals made from scratch or at home are the healthiest. You’ll have to do your homework for the meals you choose and decide for yourself, or with the help of an Anywhere Fitness trainer, if it’s right for you and your fitness goals.

PRE-PREPARED MEAL DELIVERY

Nourish, another Birmingham, Alabama based company that delivers nation-wide is receiving lots of attention lately, and for good reason. They nailed it! Nourish provides full meals prepared by Chefs with combinations of healthy choices and playful renditions of traditional favorites for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. This clever idea is clearly the winner in this category if you’re looking to check all of the boxes on your health-conscious and convenience check list.

PROS

  • Your pre-prepared meal can be heated and ready to devour in around 2 minutes. A timely post-workout meal option.
  • Individual and family meal packages are available to meet your needs.
  • Similar to the ingredient and recipe delivery options, Nourish reduces unnecessary ingredient and food waste with portioned meals.

CONS

  • Cost is always going to be a factor in meal planning, and with the added above and beyond convenience with Nourish, you’ll pay a slight premium. When you re-frame costs to include time and money, you’ll come to learn that the savings here really add up.
  • Portion sizes are, as you can imagine, predetermined for you. If your meal plan calls for doubling your caloric intake or taking in just a little bit extra beyond your meal, you’ll need to find a way to compensate for this.
  • Nourish does have to provide some limitations each week, so you won’t have complete control over your menu. Although you’ll get to choose from a variety of entrees, you can’t be too picky with Nourish.

Consumers can become, well, consumed with their options and companies know that the market is ripe with health-conscious people eager to find solutions over quick fixes. There’s no right or perfect way to maintain a balanced diet, except for the unique day-to-day plan that you’ve designed for yourself.

Finding an option that best fits your needs can seem like a daunting process to even consider, much less when your solution may involve a combination of any of the above. Our expertly trained staff at Anywhere Fitness can help you make sense of your nutrition plan and get you going in the right direction with a complimentary fitness evaluation. Mention to your trainer that you were here on the AF Blog and would like assistance with nutrition and meal planning.

Stay well.