The vacation is over but seems to have left behind a parting gift of a few extra pounds that somehow seem permanently attached. The doctor told you eating a healthier diet should do the trick. Eating healthy isn’t so hard, you think, but you just can’t seem to make it happen.
This paradox is one of the driving factors of the boom in the healthy meal service industry. Identify the obstacles holding you back from eating better and then examine the benefits of using a healthy meal service for a busy lifestyle to see if that partnership can help you achieve your goals.
Why Is It So Hard To Eat Healthy?
Despite the internet and health outlets everywhere offering advice on how to eat healthy, many of us find it harder than ever to do just that. For many the issue is more than knowing which foods are healthy and which are not. Instead, it is the time, grocery shopping, expense, and specialty diets that can make it a challenge.
Time. Americans live in a faster paced, work driven society. Our days often start well before the sun peeks out from the horizon and end well after the moon lights up the evening sky. With all that awake time in the hours in between, it would make sense that we would have plenty of time to do everything we need to do and then some. However, many Americans will tell you that it is simply not the case. Somewhere between dropping the kids off at school, going to work, sitting in business meetings, attending luncheons, running carpool, and going to soccer or ballet…time to plan, shop, and cook our meals for the week slips away from us.
Grocery shopping. As already mentioned, time feels like a commodity in short supply. So another common challenge for many Americans is finding time to get to the grocery store with the grocery list. Depending on what store you go to, they may or may not carry all the ingredients you are looking for. And large grocery store chains that carry more items are often busy, with crowded aisles and checkout lines, taking more time.
Expense. Large brands have made their processed foods easy to access and even cheaper to buy. While these foods aren’t always helpful to the waistline, they tend to be wallet friendly. Buying healthier fresh or organic foods can be expensive, particularly if you are not purchasing them while they are in season.
Specialty Diets. Individuals with dietary restrictions due to food allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, and more, understand better than most the challenge of finding safe and healthy food that does not break the bank. Foods that cater to restrictive diets can cost almost double what their regular counterparts cost, and that is if you can find them at a grocery store near you.
You are not alone in feeling the pressures of life getting in the way of eating better. A healthy meal service for a busy lifestyle may be just the thing you need to get back on track and stay there.
What Differentiates A Meal Service That Can Provide A Healthy Meal Delivered?
A company that provides healthy meal service for a busy lifestyle typically provides you either with the elements to create a meal in your own kitchen or the complete cooked meal that only requires warming. Within this category of meal service are two main groups, big box providers and small businesses.
Most big box providers simply provide the elements of a meal accompanied by detailed recipe card. The downside to using a big box meal service provider is that they seldom provide all the elements for your meal. For example, the recipe and ingredients in the box could be for making beef stroganoff. And while the pasta and spices for this recipe are included, the customer is usually responsible for buying the specific type of meat required for the beef stroganoff. In addition, preparation of these meals will most likely require pots and pans that are not provided.
Small business meal service providers typically shop for, prepare, cook, pack, and deliver ready-made meals directly to your front door step. These companies are generally of the mom and pop variety and because of this distinction can often provide a more personalized experience for the customer, including catering to food allergies and other conditions that require special care. Meals typically come to the customer precooked and vacuum packed, so no pots and pans are required, making a healthy meal service for a busy lifestyle is the ideal solution.
Why Use A Meal Service For Eating Healthy?
Using a healthy meal service can help you achieve your goal of better health by conquering the common obstacles people face of time, grocery shopping, expense, and specialty diets.
The only time typically involved in working with a meal service is the time you spend researching and comparing until you find the company you want to use, hopping online to choose how many and which meals you would like to order for the week, and heating up your food at mealtimes.
Grocery shopping gets streamlined in a big way. Instead of shopping for tons of different of ingredients that you might use once or twice for a special dish, you can focus only on the staples you need to get through the week and let the meal service handle dinners. You ultimately get to choose how much or how little time you will be spending at the grocery store.
Although working with a meal service can be an expense, so can going it alone. Meal service companies are often able to buy in bulk and may not use all of an item for just one dish, allowing them to distribute the cost of that item amongst multiple customers. In addition to the monetary cost, consider the cost of time you might be losing when you spend hours on end at the computer researching meals and shopping for the ingredients at the store.
A reputable meal service should also have a thorough knowledge of a variety of special diets and be able to accommodate most of them.
Considerations For Choosing A Healthy Meal Service
When choosing a healthy meal service for a busy lifestyle, quality is paramount. This translates to the quality of the food prepared, the attention given to food preparation, and even the ease of canceling meal services.
If your goal is to eat healthy, visit with the meal service about the foods they use in various dishes. Ask what percentage of the meals are made with fresh ingredients verses processed ingredients. Also verify if the company is able to provide important nutritional information for each of the meals they produce.
When it comes to food preparation, ask how many employees the company has and who will be doing the food prep. Particularly if food allergies are an issue for you, confirm that the company uses dedicated cookware and utensils for these dishes and that they have good cleaning practices in place to avoid cross-contamination.
A healthy meal service for a busy lifestyle should make life easy, not harder. So be sure to choose a company that does not require you to enter in to a long term contract or punish you for canceling the service.