I was pretty excited when I was asked to do a review of the Fresh n Lean delivery service. I will openly admit, I am not vegan.. however, I have been vegetarian in the past, so I know the challenges that come with eating in that style. I also love organic food, so that is an easy sell for me!
Also- I thought I was an ideal candidate- after all, if a carnivore can enjoy a vegan meal, certainly anyone can!
I had really great interaction with the folks at the service. They are very interested in making sure you are happy with their product.
On their website you can choose a variety of plans to ensure your dietary needs are met. I only asked that there was no eggplant if possible, I have a slight allergic reaction to it, so I didn't want to take a chance.. (it makes my lips swell up.. lol.)
I received my package on the 3rd and it was delivered Fedex at about 11:30. That is an early delivery for Fedex, usually they come later in the day, so I wasn't home. No big deal though. We got home at 2 and the package was waiting in the front yard area.
It was about 100 degrees that day, a little cooler than July for us, but it was a monsoony day. The package was still very cold, ice intact. I am sure it could have survived more if pushed. I wouldn't suggest it over 115 but that is just Arizona life..
The packing was kind of hard to open. It was a box with a styrofoam cooler inside.. it had a lid that was taped on and it took me about 5 minutes to hack through the tape.. there was no way I could lift it out of the box either.. lol. Not a deal breaker- just maybe there is a better way to open it..the packing was definitely designed to protect the goods.
I got to thinking about the packaging. It felt like kind of a lot when you are considering your impact on the Earth, however, if you were going to prepare all this stuff your self from the grocery store, I am sure you would rack up just as much, and maybe more... so in the end maybe not so bad. I also plan to reuse the ice packs and cooler for other things.
If I was ordering weekly, I probably could not use all the packaging, but I do think it is less impact in the end.
Now the food!
I got in and started looking at the meals. They were all in great shape.
Everything needed refrigeration except the one package of granola, which I left on the counter.
My first meal was the breakfast muffins. They had instructions to cook on them, so I put them in the microwave. I found them really tasty and satisfying.
I will say- if I had to choose again, I would go with the low carb plan- although many of the meals appear to be high in protein, they are also high in carbs. For most folks that is ok, but they do have a plan if you are watching sugar etc. The muffins were 18 grams of protein, which is pretty darn good, but they had 40 of carbs. A little more than is good for me. But SO tasty.
I have a package of mango and chia pudding. I am going to say that I know that chia is fabulous for you, but somewhat of a taste not everyone is up to. I will try it, but I am not 100% sure how that is going to go. And you know, that happens. I know you can exclude something if you don't like it. I love that the choices are up to date on what is hot in food now. Chia is really healthy.
Decided on St Barth's White Beans today for lunch. A super hearty plate- at 80 carbs and 20 something proteins this is a meal that means business. I wasn't sure I would like it- to be honest it did not look that appealing- but when I tasted it- wow. The flavors! I really like the squishy texture of the beans, paired with the broccoli. It wasn't mealy broccoli. It was delicious fresh in season tasting broccoli if that makes any sense. There were some sweet flavors like a squash and something else.. it was an unexpected flavor. I was kind of wishing I had saved some for my daughter because she would have really liked it.. she is a bean fiend! lol
I did not look at the ingredients too much so I would enjoy the tastes, and it was a nice surprise!
I shared this one with the toddler. She likes all these ingredients, but only wanted the pasta. Toddlers.. what can you do?
After whipping through my sample menu this week, I will admit- I have not yet eaten the mango chia pudding. It is in the fridge and is still within its expiration so there is hope.. I enjoyed everything I ate this week. I took the meals to work for lunch and I ate the breakfasts at home.
I have been very active this week so the carbs ended up being great for me. I shared my experiences every day with a couple of coworkers who were dubious.. I have to say that the meals although incredibly fresh tasting and delicious, did not always look that great.. Every bite and every flavor was really a delight but the colors were kind of dull and with the way things are mixed, if you just went on a visual assessment- well, honestly you would maybe be dubious too.
I realize though, when I was vegetarian, this was the nature of my home cooked meals too. You start off bright and vibrant but when you add all the flavors and cooking, it is an inevitable effect. I think we are so used to processed and artificial colors that we forget what real food looks like!
I raved every day about my meals. I remember the days of cooking beans and counting all my vitamins and protein and feeling overwhelmed at getting the balances right to eat healthily... I was very active back then, and going vegetarian was a challenge for me after being raised a carnivore. I think a service like this really takes the cooking drudgery away from you.
It also makes shopping less of a chore. I had access to so many flavors and did not have to shop for certain spices or whatever was needed for recipes. I like to do that when I have time on my hands, but this week, I just didn't have the time, and this was heaven sent!
I loved being able to pull a container from the fridge and having a balanced meal without doing any work. It was my first week on the job and I had enough to work on! This made life easy, and I was well fed.
So overall- I will say that considering the cost, effort and quality of ingredients- I am a huge fan of the Fresh n Lean delivery service. I am seriously considering getting myself an a la carte subscription of the low carb meals so I can enjoy some more peaceful lunch making without the fuss!
Is your curiosity piqued? They have offered a coupon for you below so you can try this too!!
Save 15% off meal plans (excluding ' A la Carte' menu) : BELLA
Thanks so much for letting me try this!