Running Out Of Weekly Meal Ideas?

As a Registered Dietitian, a big part of my role is to help individuals with meal planning. Many individuals want meal plans; however, meal plans often result in providing simple, easy recipes which are easy to make in which the client can realistically incorporate into his/her current lifestyle. An individualized meal plan requires alot of time and effort to create; if followed, the client’s goal can be achieved. What is the problem? These individualized meal plans (with specific caloric intake with specific carbohydrate, protein and fat requirements) only work if you have a certain type of lifestyle (i.e. rigid with no room for flexibility). Most individuals I see enjoy social engagements and could not stick to a meal plan long term.

Many individuals who come to see me enjoy cooking; however, they need new inspirations from time to time. Have you tried a meal prep service? I recently had the opportunity to try HelloFresh. Here is what my 2 cents:

From friends, I have always heard that the portions are sufficient in the sense that there will always be leftovers for your meal the next day. I am currently a household of 2 individuals with a puppy but knowing my husband, I know that I probably would have to order the 4 person meal service in order to have enough food. My husband is a workout fanatic and he is naturally blessed with a fast metabolism; by looking at him, you would know that he has a huge appetite but he eats more than the average mid-30s individual. πŸ˜‰

Signing up through the HelloFresh website was easy. I chose the 3 meals a week option. Out of the 5 options, I picked to have pork tacos, almond encrusted chicken and a pan seared steak.

The box arrived on time on Monday. There is alot of packaging so your goods inside are very well protected. The meat was sitting on a big ice pack; therefore, it stayed fresh. Each recipe was further separated into a brown paper bag. The recipes were included in a booklet.

All the recipes were delicious. We tried the pork tacos first followed by the pan seared steak and finished off with the almond encrusted chicken.

What Did I Like About HelloFresh?

  1. For busy families, using a mealprep service will save you time and headache as each recipe does really have all ingredients preportioned for you.
  2. Every one of us has experienced a crazy weekend where there was no time to shop so if you know that you are going to have one of those crazy weekends, you may want to place an order with a company of HelloFresh. It’ll save you from ordering pizza and/or a night of Chinese takeout! πŸ˜‰
  3. For a person who is comfortable in the kitchen, the prep time stated by the recipe is generally accurate (i.e. they are relatively simple and straightforward); however, if you aren’t as comfortable with knife skills and/or navigating around the kitchen, the recipe may take you longer than what is stated on the recipe card.
  4. Because the recipe booklets are visually appealing, you can always keep it for future reference. The recipes pre-determined by HelloFresh could teach you little tips and tricks. For example, my husband never though to use mayonnaise to bind the crushed almonds to the chicken. He always uses egg as a binder;Β  however, he finds that using mayonnaise is easier to work with as it’s less “drippy” and the end product is tastier. These meals could become part of your favourite go to meals to make. πŸ˜‰ As part of Canada’s New Food Guide, the “All Foods Can Fit” philosophy is being emphasized. Some individuals would say that eggs as a binder is healthier (yes, it is); however, if we don’t always have almond encrusted chicken and we want a little bit more flavour, using a little mayo won’t hurt you.
  5. Protein portions are sufficient. I found that I had a good amount of protein leftover so that I could pack for meals the next day. HelloFresh certainly did not skimp out. πŸ™‚

What Did I Not Like About HelloFresh?

  1. I would have liked to see more vegetables. For the pork tacos, to make a piquo de gallo, there were only 2 little roma tomatoes. Between 4 individuals, we were supposed to split 1 little avocado. Between 4 individuals, a small bag of spring mix was expected to be sufficient. As always, I try to remind individuals the “Space on a Plate” method where half the plate should be vegetables, 1/4 of the plate should be carbohydrate and 1/4 of the plate should be protein. Protein and carbohydrates are not an issue but I would have liked to see more vegetables for the pork taco recipe.
  2. With the pan seared steak and the almond encrusted chicken, the accompanying vegetable was green beans for both meals. Although I love French green beans, with a service like HelloFresh, I would have expected more variety. It would have been nice to see broccoli or cauliflower with one of these meals instead of having green beans with both.


Food For Thought: Overall, there are more pros than cons when it comes to using a meal prep service for myself so I would definitely consider ordering again from HelloFresh when needed.Β  What are your thoughts on meal prep services? Have you tried HelloFresh? Have you tried other companies? What is your feedback? Let me know.


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