Those that were following along back then probably noted there wasn't a whole lot of variation in my day-to-day or week-to-week meal plan. I tend to stick to the same foods because I approach food the same way I do everything else in the day - get it done and over with and move on to the next thing.
I'm pretty content with the way I eat, but I've been looking for ways to break up the routine a bit. So I was really excited to be offered a two-week free trial to PlateJoy, a new healthy menu planning service, as part of their Ambassador program. (Oh, and I get to offer a $10 discount to readers. You can stop reading here if you are only interested in the discount - just click the image below and use code "Run2016" when checking out*).
This is the first meal planning service that I know about that creates a customized meal plan based on your specific needs. Here's how it works:
- Take a short quiz so they know who you are, who else you have to feed, if you have weight-loss goals, how you prefer to eat (gluten free? paleo? ketogenic? whole 30? low fat? vegan? I promise, they've got you covered!), how much you hate mushrooms, how much time you really don't want to spend in the kitchen... you know, the basics.
- PlateJoy then provides you with a meal plan tailored to your needs, complete with recipes and super-organized shopping list. You can easily remove things from the shopping list you might already have in your pantry.
- They'll even deliver the groceries you need right to you if you live in a city serviced by Instacart. Unfortunately, mine is not, so I did have to schlep to a few grocery stores. I do pretty much all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and Costco, and was a bit bummed to have to go out of my way to get things like "fish sauce" and "kelp noodles."
So I gave it a try over the last two days and documented all of my efforts on SnapChat (follow me? www.Snapchat.com/add/DarkSideRunner):
Dinner tonight: Manhattan seafood chowder with shrimp and tilapia. I am not a food photographer and barely know how to work my smartphone camera, so I hope I did it justice.
Anyway, here's the verdict: I'm a huge fan. Every meal I ate over the last two days was really good, and I didn't have to spend an eternity in the kitchen to make them. I had leftovers for lunch, and meals were just as good on the second day as they were on the first. They were very satisfying, and gave me the needed variety I was looking for.
However, I noted one claim that PlateJoy makes is that they reduce food waste. In my two day trial, I was disappointed to see there wasn't a lot of overlap in ingredients, leaving me with partially used cans of tomato paste, opened cartons of broth (did I really need to use chicken broth in one meal and vegetable broth in the other?) and extra veggies that I have to figure out how to use before they go bad. If I'm making a carrot smoothie, why am I using carrot juice and not the carrots I have remaining from my stir fry?
Anyway, a pet peeve of mine is food waste,
How to solve? Easy! Because I really enjoyed what I was eating, I have no problems making these things again to eat the rest of the week in order to use up the rest of my ingredients.
So if you are looking for a highly tailored meal plan to shake your routine up, and you don't necessarily mind repeating recipes through the week (or don't mind food waste, although *I* mind you wasting food), I think PlateJoy can really help you meet your health goals. Don't forget to use code "Run2016" to get your $10 discount!
*In full disclosure, PlateJoy did not compensate me for this post, but they did give me a free trial and I will receive a commission if you choose to purchase. If you're on the fence or have any questions, shoot me an email or leave a comment below! Much obliged.