Are Meal Delivery Services Easier (And Better) Than Fast Food?
I’ve always wondered about Meal Delivery Services. Are they expensive? Convenient? Fast? So I tried 2 weeks of Trifecta Nutrition’s Organic Meal Delivery Service… and here’s what I found out…
I’ve always wondered about meal services… And what I’m talking about are those places that ship a weeks’ worth of food to your house so you can stop allocating all of that precious brain power to what you’re going to eat and whether or not it’s going to meet your nutritional goals. The concept sounds appealing, but I still have a lot of questions… like… are they as convenient as they seem? Does the food taste good? Can you lose weight? Are they expensive? How hard is it to cancel the service once you’re finished?… So to get answers, I’ve decided to try a couple of these meal services and share my experiences with all of you.
The first service I tried was Trifecta Nutrition. This is a company that delivers organic, ready-made meals, directly to your doorstep. Everything is fresh; and by that I mean nothing they send has ever been frozen. You can choose from different types of eating plans such as Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Clean, Vegetarian, Classic, or you could go A La Carte. There’s even a little questionnaire on their website to help you determine which plan best fits your objectives. With all of the tools they offer, it’s actually pretty easy to do business with these guys.
One of the tools I like is their Mobile App. It’s very similar to MyFitnessPal. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was MyFitnessPal, just private labeled, with Trifecta’s name slapped on top of it. It easily allows you track all of your Trifecta meals as well as anything else you’d decide to stick in your pie hole.
So let’s get right into the pros and cons of the Trifecta Nutrition meal service; starting off with the good stuff.
1. Portion Control. One of my biggest issues with food is measuring out a reasonable portion size. What seems like a perfectly conservative portion to me is apparently Super Sized to everyone else. So to have something that removes the guesswork about portion control… is a huge benefit in my book.
2. Balanced Nutrition. It’s not that I dislike vegetables, but I don’t make them very often either. And that’s entirely out of convenience, or inconvenience… depending on how you look at it. They’re a pain in the ass to cook. And if I do something simple like one of those microwave steam packs, I always have more vegetables than I’d eat in a single sitting… so I end up throwing half of the bag away. To be honest, I’ll sometimes go for days without eating anything but protein and carbs… but with vegetables included in each meal, I’m always following a balanced nutrition plan.
3. Convenience. It doesn’t get any easier than this… I go to the refrigerator, choose a meal, rip off the sticker, poke a few holes in the top, and microwave it for 3 minutes. From the time I think about eating… to the time I’m actually eating… is about 4 minutes. That keeps me from eating junk food, which is usually faster and easier than cooking. I guess you could do your own Meal Prep for the week, but realistically, most of us are far too busy for that. Trust me… you’re not going to meal prep.
4. Taste. The meals are actually pretty good. Of course I like some more than others, but all in all, I haven’t had a bad meal from Trifecta yet. I have to admit I put Sriracha on all of their food, but I do that with practically everything I eat anyway **ICE CREAM B ROLL**.
5. Quality. Everything sent to you is organic. Now I don’t go looking for organic foods when I’m grocery shopping. I honestly don’t really care, but we can all agree that pesticides on plants and steroids in your meat… along with a bunch of additives and preservatives… probably isn’t the healthiest option. Grass fed beef… free range chicken… organic vegetables… definitely quality ingredients. So not only are the meals good, they’re also good for you.
6. Maintaining Objectives. I like lower carb meals… but I don’t want Keto… just a moderate amount of carbs. And I like meals higher in protein. Choosing the Paleo Plan from Trifecta ensures all of my meals meet my desired macro configuration. I don’t have to think about it, don’t have to do any math, and I don’t have to count macros across the entire day. I know each and every meal I eat is going to be easier on the carbs and heavier on the protein… exactly as I want it.
7. Meal choices. I think I counted 9 or 10 different options in the first week of food they delivered. That’s a pretty good variety and I never felt like I was eating the same thing over and over. And surprisingly I got about 10 different options the following week… So you’re not going to have to worry about variety. This is even more impressive since I said I didn’t want any fish or shellfish when I placed my order. So you’d have even more options if you didn’t exclude those.
8. Easy Cancellation. And I’ll explain a little more about that one later.
Now on to the bad stuff…
1. Packaging. Trifecta could make it a whole lot easier to open and use their product.
2. Price. It was $391 for a full week of meals… and I chose 4 meals a day. So 7 days in a week, 4 meals each day… that comes to 28 meals in total… If we do a little math, each meal averaged out to $13.90. Now that’s going to sound like a lot of money to some, but if you’ve ever gone grocery shopping for organic products, you know they’re literally twice the cost of their non-organic counterpart. Trifecta is probably going to say their meals are cheaper than that because I’ve included shipping costs into the price of the meals. But as a consumer… I take the total amount it cost me to get a product to my door, and I divide that by the number of products I received… and that, to me, is what each item costs. I don’t care how much money went to the product itself, what went to taxes, or what went for shipping… $391 came out of my wallet for a weeks’ worth of food. Period. Now I did find a coupon online that saved me about $70 off of my first order… so that was helpful. And while I personally chose the 4 meal a day plan, you could choose 3 meals a day… or even an A La Carte Option… so there are a number of possible configurations; each affecting the overall price. But as far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to do a meal service… do the meal service and eat the foods they ship you.
3. Expiration Date. Now this could be looked at as good or bad, but because nothing is frozen, and it’s organic, you have about a week and a half before the expiration date comes due. So when you do Trifecta… you’re either in or you’re not. However, I was informed by Trifecta that since each meal is vacuum sealed, it’s possible to freeze them, which allows you to go beyond the printed expiration. But then again, if I wanted frozen food, I would have gone shopping in the freezer section of my local grocery store.
And those are really the only 3 bad things I have to say about the Trifecta meal service.
So now let’s talk about weight loss. And the easy answer is Yes… you can lose weight on the Trifecta program… but there’s a caveat… I’m 6′ 2″ and 290 pounds. Since the meals don’t come in Small, Medium, and Large… the same amount of calories in each meal is sent to me as is sent to a man half my size. Fortunately the calories of each meal seems to run between 350 and 450 so eating fewer meals would obviously even things out if you require fewer calories, but I felt like this was something to take into consideration when planning your weekly meal options.
Now let’s talk about macros. To do that, I’ll randomly select 4 meals from the Trifecta Option Wall…
And lastly… You’re obviously not going to use a meal service forever. So cancelation is just a matter of time. I honestly expected this process to be grueling since you have to give 7 days prior notice and there’s no way to cancel through your portal on Trifecta’s website… you have to call them. And I was dreading the call since it usually means you’re transferred to a very pleasant person that tries to get you to stay by offering an array of promises and discounts. But surprisingly that didn’t happen. Not only did the person on the other end of the phone speak English… but I was able to cancel the service quickly and easily and I’ve had no additional surprise charges to my credit card.
So in the end, if you’re looking for a meal service that’s convenient, has good tasting food, and has a decent amount of variety… Trifecta Nutrition should be at the top of your list. Because if you’re going to be honest with yourself, when are you really going to whip up some grass fed beef with roasted cauliflower? Or some free range chicken sausage with caramelized onions? You’re not. You’re going to do what everybody else does and get that mangy piece of beef from the grocery store… the one with the orange sticker on it… the one they practically pay you to take home because it expires in 30 minutes.
But whether you have food delivered to your door, or you decide to cook it yourself… one thing always holds true… You Are Never Too Old to Live Like a Viking.