The last meal I had was chicken cacciatore with mushrooms and bell peppers, spaghetti squash with fresh basil pesto, and sauteed eggplant with basil. It was not a bad meal to end my run with FD. For some reason, I have never thought to serve spaghetti squash with pesto. It worked pretty well, which is quite the thing for me to say. I think the more recognized pairing of spaghetti squash with red sauce is fairly abhorrent. Don’t give me squash and make me pretend it’s pasta. But I guess since pesto is a lighter texture with a brighter herb flavor that it pairs better with squash. As for the eggplant, I couldn’t taste any basil. It was just sauteed eggplant as far as I was concerned. The chicken was, for a second day in a row, not dried out. So, +1 point.
This brings us to my final score: 27 out of 35. If this were a school quiz, that means FD gets 77% or a C+. A decent grade but not a great grade. The score would be higher if I had known beforehand that I was not going to be a fan of either their fish preparation or their muffin preparation. FD probably would have gotten a solid B grade in that case.
As I mentioned in a comment to Jennifer on an earlier post, I have mixed feelings about FD. I am *not* their target audience. I’m not on a diet and I try to eat healthy without too much prodding. I try to pick out breakfasts and dinners are good for me. My lunches, I admit, are my Achilles’ heel. I don’t want to prep/pack lunches before work. And I’m usually too lazy or short on cooked meals to make my lunches the night before. My lunches typically feature Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, or something equally stupid. My bad. But that’s a different discussion for another day.
I try not to overeat. I believe in eating until I’m satisfied. Learning about portion size through FD has been fascinating. One serving of anything is probably smaller than what I think it should be – which means that I’m eating a better amount of fruits and vegetables in general than I originally thought. It’s also been interesting to experience that I don’t do well with 1400 calories or less per day even though I have a desk job.
I now have lots of leftover FD containers to reuse (but I will reuse smartly – I will try not to use them in the microwave) that are the perfect size for lunches. This is a weird positive, I know. But I am not the the only one who feels this way? I gave a couple of boxes to my sister after she started eying them. haha.
I think I can see myself using the service if I were too sick to take care of myself properly, or maybe if I’m coming home to an empty fridge after a vacation. That’s not very often though.
Having said that, I think my best friend is FD’s target audience. She works long hours at a stressful job. A successful job, mind you, but much more stressful job than what I get paid to do. She goes through periods where she’s good about eating right, but there are more periods where she’s too tired to take care of herself. She has contemplated doing FD. In fact, she’s the first person to mention FD to me. I’m inclined to encourage her to do it, now that I’ve personally tested it out.
But here’s the bad part… The Fresh Diet is not a financially smart idea for the most of us. There’s no way I could afford the service on a regular basis. Once or twice a year, maybe, and even then I’d probably only be lured in if there were a sale going on. There are different plan levels, but the regular cost of the 7-day Premium plan (which is the one I purchased) is $419.93 or $59.99 per day. For me, that’s harsh. For my best friend who makes significantly more than I do, she can swing it if she wanted.
In the Boston area, there are a couple of alternatives. The two that I know of are 1) Macro-Mediterranean and 2) The Foodery. Macro-Mediterranean is definitely affordable in comparison to FD. I would love to try it. My sister did and was pretty satisfied with it, and they’ve started to offer chia-quinoa smoothies. They also have a plan option for people who are gluten free. My only reservation is that they use a lot of soybeans in their meals, and I’m allergic to soybeans. (Fermented stuff like soy sauce or miso are usually ok though.) It is a macro based diet, so no meat options.
The Foodery is priced in between Macro-Mediterranean and The Fresh Diet. The pros? They are 100% organic, and they are a locavore service. All of their meals are 550 cal, for those who are watching their weight. There is no meal plan. You just order whatever meals-of-the-week you like and in the quantities you want at $23 per meal. These are full meals with sides. There are no breakfast options at the moment. The biggest con? They only deliver to Boston, Cambridge, and… Andover? Well, hopefully this pro-sustainability company will grow and offer their service in more locations soon… oh, that’s another con actually… someone must be home to receive the delivery.
I made a mini-spreadsheet of all three services. I tried to price them in terms of the comparative amounts of food. I’m dorky that way.
(click on the image to make it easier to read.)
Anyway, I’m glad I tried FD at least. It gave me new ideas for breakfast and lunch. I absolutely cannot complain about having fresh food everyday -fresh food that wasn’t repetitive (the downside to cooking for myself once a week in large batches) and food that I didn’t have to cook (hey, as much as I love cooking, I also like having other people cook for me), even if it meant that I came across the occasional bland or overcooked meal. It was especially handy to have FD meals on those days when I was short on time.
So, should you try it? Yes. Definitely… but only if you’ve got a coupon handy or you make more money than I do. (^_~)
[Note – my reviews were written at the time of consumption, and then saved into one post throughout the day. I am not getting paid in any way for my review. I paid for the product out of my own pocket to satisfy my curiosity.]