Let's be honest. If you're not much of a cook, healthy eating can get boring after awhile. Plus, who actually has time to plan, shop and prep a complete meal these days? The following companies will bring full balanced meals straight to your door, saving you time and effort. If "dinner-in-a-box" doesn't appeal to you, try "cooking made easy" instead.
Go ahead, knock out this week's grocery list, sitting on your coach in your PJs.
Cooking made easy
Each week, Blue Apron will send you all the ingredients you need to make three meals, each serving two people. Their fresh, seasonal (and speciality) ingredients are already measured and prepared. From a simple BLT sandwich to orecchiette pasta with basil and yellow tomatoes, to Asian-inspired dishes, you simply follow the recipe, and in less than 40 minutes you have your meal.
(Starting at $9.99 per person, per meal; delivery in most U.S. states.)
Plated offers fresh, pre-measured ingredients and chef-inspired recipes delivered to your door. You choose the meals you want for a given week. Each week Plated hosts a new celebrity chef.
At a minimum of 2 plates per order, you can get four plates of one recipe or two plates each of two different recipes.
($10-15 per plate; delivery from Boston to D.C. and in select midwestern cities like Chicago, Cleveland and St. Louis.)
Another amazing service that makes healthy cooking much easier, Hello Fresh delivers three boxed meals to your door, all packed with fresh produce and protein recipes. Boxes can serve from two to six people, with 30-minute preparation time.
(From $59/week. Hello Fresh ships in Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Australia. In the U.S., get Hello Fresh anywhere from Maine to Miami and west to Chicago.)
Heat and Eat
A gourmet delivery service geared to dieters, Freshology creates portion-controlled, healthy meal programs to meet specific customer needs. From a tomato-basil baked eggs breakfast to ginger-steamed tilapia with baby bok choy and rice for dinner, Freshology is all about providing balanced meals.
(From $39.95/day, Freshology offers programs in Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Miami, among other cities.)
Factor 75 is a personal chef service that prepares and delivers fresh and nutritious meals to your door. Factor 75 does not "force you to choose between taste and health," and unlike other meal delivery services, it is not diet-based, instead focusing on how the foods will make you feel and perform, body and mind.
Ex-MMA fighter Nick Wernimont started Factor 75 based on the principle that 75 percent of fitness results come from healthy eating.
High-quality proteins, low glycemic carbohydrates and "heart healthy" fats are the mainstays of their meals, which are created by nutritionists, doctors and chefs. They know that "not all calories are created equal" and that "you are what you eat." A page on their website breaks down micronutrients needed for optimal nutrition. Every meal is prepared by hand using local ingredients whenever possible and free-range, grass-fed meats.
($10 to $15 per meal, 3-meal minimum; Factor 75 services the Chicago area and other locations around the Midwest.)
Sunfare is all about helping customers improve their energy levels and meet their fitness goals. Prior customers include former NFL center Ryan Kalil and his brother Matt, a current lineman for the Minnesota Vikings.
First, you choose a meal plan and select the number of days per week you want to receive meals. Options include a paleo diet, gluten-free, vegetarian, and Sunfare's primary diet, which is guided by the "30/40/30" principle (30% lean protein, 40% complex carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats). They factor in all sorts of information—including your body type, activity level, sleeping habits, and food dislikes—when preparing custom meals with an appropriate balance of calories and nutrients according to your preferences, schedule and dietary goals.
Meals are delivered on ice, at 7 a.m. on your start. Sunfare service is easy to manage via menus on their website. If you don't like the look of something, there are hundreds of choices to switch in and out of.
(Weekly or monthly plans from $32/day. Delivery to Los Angeles and Phoenix areas).
"A FITzee [person] is a busy professional, entrepreneur, mom, dad, athlete, weekend warrior, fitness enthusiast, and anyone else who seeks a nutritious, all-natural, great-tasting alternative to the world of over-processed foods."
FITzee meals come in 100% recyclable packaging, with pre-made seasonal ingredients, pre-portioned according to your lifestyle to keep you eating healthy, balanced, and in control of your nutrition.
($80-100 per shipment. $40-45 per shipment for customers in CA, AZ, NV, WA, OR, UT, and Denver. FITzee ships worldwide, and pickup is available at their San Diego retail location).
Meet all your fruit and vegetable needs with various organic produce deliveries, such as through Healthy World Organic or Local Harvest, which even have a directory where you can search for all your local places, for which they'll send you all the ingredients—from zucchini ravioli to a Philly cheese steak sandwich and basil-parmesan corn on the cob.
Amazon's overnight grocery delivery service is offered in the greater Seattle area and in Southern and Northern California. They ship items from local merchants as well as pre-made meals and "regular" grocery items.
Takes Typical Delivery Up a Notch
Taking sites like Seamless or Grubhub to the next level, Caviar acts as a liaison between leading restaurants and their customers. Order from your favorite restaurant, and Caviar will pick up your food and deliver it to your door (with GPS tracking).
Available in Seattle, Washington D.C., San Francisco, NYC, LA, Chicago, and Boston.
Order from any restaurant (or store!), and it will be delivered in under an hour.
Postmates delivery pricing starts at $5 and their service areas include San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, Austin, L.A. and D.C.
*Check your local area! *
Kitchfix out of Chicago, offers a Paleo plan and serves up "large" meal options for active males. Luke's Local in San Francisco combines community supported agriculture, personal catering and artisinal goods. LunchOwl in Cleveland brings energizing wraps, salads, and snacks to your office. Healthy Hand offers up vegan meals in New York City. The car service Uber is testing UberFresh, a food delivery service from local restaurants in the Santa Monica area. Munchery serves the Bay Area and greater Seattle and donates a meal to a needy person with every order purchased.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock