Working with busy professional women (and being one myself), one of the biggest challenges I hear most often is how to eat healthy even when you don’t have time to cook. While cooking has its perks — like getting to know exactly what’s in your food and being able to choose the freshest, most local ingredients — it’s just not always feasible when juggling a career, partner, family, social life, self-care and more. So I put together this list of 11 options for when you want to eat healthy, but just don’t have the time to cook yourself. When life gets away from you, one of the easiest ways you can keep your nutrition on point is to automate it so it’s quick and easy, until you’re able to get back to your usual routine.
The Best Healthy Frozen Meals & Meal Delivery Services
1. Eat Local
Eat Local is a Seattle-based company that prepares healthy meals fresh in their kitchen, then portions them into frozen meals. They’re like a healthier (and more delicious) take on TV dinners, with clean ingredients and the ability to filter selections by dietary preferences. I recommend having a few of these stashed in your refrigerator at all times for busy days when you come home starving. (I know I do.) 🙂
It’s no secret I love and use Instacart. Living in a city like Seattle, it’s the perfect way to save on an hour of driving or looking for parking — not to mention grocery shopping itself. You can simply login online or on the app and add items to your cart throughout the week. If you’re looking to stock up on frozen dinners, I recommend brands like Amy’s, Good Food Made Simple, Love Smoothies, and Evol. Like all packaged foods, you’ll want to check the ingredient list when possible to make sure you’re avoiding chemicals and additives as much as possible. Here’s a link for $10 off through my referral link if you want it.
3. Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh is an alternative to Instacart for those who aren’t in its delivery area. (I even saw Amazon Prime boxes while floating through the canals of Venice, Italy last year, so pretty sure it’ll deliver to you soon if it doesn’t already.) 😉Because Amazon recently acquired Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh has lots of healthy options for frozen dinners or packaged snacks like Larabars, RX Bars, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Wild Zora meat and veggie sticks, etc.
4. Thrive Market
Thrive Market describes itself as wanting to build an online Whole Foods for people who aren’t rich. They offer natural and organic at reduced costs when you sign up for their membership. You can get $25 off your first order through my referral link, if you’d like to try it. The cool thing about Thrive Market is you can not only order delicious health foods, but you can also order healthy household products like skincare, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and even pet products — saving yourself an extra trip you’d have to squeeze into your schedule later on.
5. Nature Box
If you struggle to come up with healthy snacks (or get bored of the same-old options) there are several snack membership programs. You can choose the amount and frequency that works for you, so you get more flexibility in ordering the snacks you want, when you want. It’s a great way to find new favorites, and always ensure your pantry is stocked with healthy options. One of my favorites is Nature Box because it has a healthier lean and you can sort by things like gluten-free, no sugar added, paleo-friendly, vegan, low sodium, good source of protein, good source of fiber, and more.
Munchery is a website with a team of chefs who cook healthy meals fresh each day, then deliver them straight to your door. You can pre-order meals for the entire week, so dinner is at your door every night by the time you get home.
7. Delivery Apps
When days get away from you and you want something healthy delivered to your door without having to order ahead of time, try Postmates or UberEats. These delivery apps feature hundreds of restaurants in your city. Once you place your order, you can track the delivery through your phone (including seeing when the order is picked up by the delivery person and the estimated time of arrival in real-time). Typically there is a small delivery fee of around $3.99, and most orders taken around 30 minutes to arrive.
Freshly delivers between 4 – 12 freshly prepared meals per week for around $10 each. Unlike a lot of popular meal-kit services like Blue Apron or Sun Basket, with Freshly the meals are already prepared and delivered to you fresh. Another plus is that Freshly likely has fewer additives than most frozen meals, promising no artificial ingredients, no hydrogenated oils, no refined sugars, no artificial preservatives, and no items from their list of over 85 banned ingredients. Bravo!
9. Snap Kitchen
Snap Kitchen is similar to Freshly, letting you choose freshly prepared meals that you don’t have to cook yourself. Another perk is that you choose your meals based on dietary preferences like Paleo, Balance, Whole30, etc. You can choose how many days a week you want meals, and whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or snacks on those days. You can either have the meals delivered, or pick them up yourself depending on your location.
10. Balance by Bistro MD
Balance by Bistro MD is another delivery service that delivers fresh meals. With Balance, you don’t have to commit to a certain number of meals, and can simply shop the ones that look good to you for the week. They offer a variety of specialty diets you can sort by, including gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, low-sodium, low-carb, dairy-free and even menopause.
Veestro has a slightly different spin, in that it only offers plant-based freshly-prepared meals. All of the dishes are organic and preservative free with gluten-free options. You can choose to order the meals a la carte for around $10 per meal, or sign up for a meal pack for around $8 per meal.
Choosing the right one for you
My advice: choose one of these options that you can test this week. Even if life isn’t busy right now, it’ll make it infinitely easier when busy season strikes to already know your go-to’s, rather than having to try to find the best option for your lifestyle then!
– – –