Let’s be honest, we as a society prefer simple. We want efficiency. We desire quick solutions. With busy schedules, simplicity becomes even more critical for your personal happiness and that of your family. Lucky for us, there are many ways to do this with healthy foods.
Recent marketing research shows consumers prefer 24/7 simple access instead of full ownership and rights of responsibility. This is where companies like Spotify, Pandora, Adobe and others have stepped in to say, “we will offer you more with less hassle for you”. I see this evolution also happening in health.
We can subscribe to our health in multiple ways. Smart watches and health apps are the start in tracking sleep, what we ate, how long we worked out, number of steps taken each day and more. There are apps to research workout tips and meal plans. But the ultimate luxury has come with food ordering and subscriptions. We can store coupons, order food online, have it shipped and pick it up from a store of choice. Things like Kroger’s ClickList can simplify a grocery trip. We have subscribed to simplicity.
One of my 8-week challenge participants asked me the other day ways she can save time and have healthier options with a hectic schedule. The first thing that came to mind was just “meal prepping”. However, I know this is sometimes even a challenge. But, there are alternative solutions!
Food subscription services
Welcome to the age of food subscriptions. I break down some of the most helpful options, some I have used myself and others I found online or know someone who has used them. Each has a different purpose and can strengthen the healthy relationships in your home.
- Subscription Boxes. The first ever “subscription” box I received was Stitch Fix. It was kind of fun to get clothing sent right to your door! Unfortunately, this was during my college growth stage and a majority of the items did not fit. Nonetheless, there are many companies now offering food subscription boxes for snacks, healthy items, drinks, spices, etc. Here is a comprehensive list from Buzzfeed of 19 Food and Booze Subscription boxes.
- Pre-assembled Subscription Meal Kits. These are innovative and I wish I had developed this idea! Many families, including mine growing up, would get stuck on what to make for dinner that was not “the same thing as always”. Companies like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron have changed that. They send you the ingredients, recipe and meal plan and you have the opportunity to try a new dish with your loved ones! Here is a list of 13 subscription meal companies from Greatist.
- Meal Prep Companies. For athletes and physique competitors, meal prep companies are like gold. And there are more and more coming to market each day. Some will let you order day of and pick up from a store location. Others you place an order and your meals are shipped one or two days of the week. Then there are ones who build you a customized meal plan for your health goals. These companies typically have a weekly menu but more are offering customized meals to fit your macronutrient needs. Depending on where you are geographically, there may be one in your local city. Some do ship only for specific states or nationally. If I am traveling for meetings or going out of state, this is a great option to order before you go and you can have meals delivered right to your hotel! Some examples of different ones (I am not sponsored or affiliated with any right now) include: The Meal Prep Co, Icon Meals, Bite Meals and many others.
- CSA Farm Shares. This one might surprise you. Many local farmers are diversifying how they sell their meats, especially ones with smaller, niche market farms like organic or free range. You can have an agreement with a farmer to purchase a specific amount of produce or meat from them once a year or monthly, depending on the size of that farm and availability of product. It allows you to get fresh foods and know exactly where it comes from. Contact your local Farm Bureau to see what might be available near you. In Ohio, there are many to be found, including this New Century CSA program.
These are just a few options for you and your loved ones. These can all be financially reasonable compared to eating out. It also creates that healthy bond with your loved ones. I still believe meal prepping at home is the most feasible for all times of day. So, here is a little bonus!
If you crave sweets in the evening or for a bedtime snack, try this protein casein pudding. It can be modified but the easiest form is two things: whey protein casein powder and water. Add one scoop of whey per person, then slowly incorporate water stirring with a spoon until thick mixture. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove for your modified “pudding” or “protein ice cream”! Some ingredients to incorporate include: nonfat Greek yogurt, almond butter, peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut flakes, or a few sprinkles or chocolate chips.
Pro tip: You can *try* to use regular whey protein. However, it does not thicken up like casein and can become more liquid in texture.
Let me know what you think!