When it comes to health, the people of St. Louis are on to something. St. Louis recently ranked in the top tier of a roundup of the nation’s healthiest cities. The city of St. Louis prepared its Healthy Active Living plan - to promote, among other things, active living and access to fresh, healthy foods.
If you’re one of St. Louis’s health-focused residents, you may be looking for a way to keep your diet as healthy as possible while still finding time for exercise, work, family, hobbies, and, oh yeah...rest and relaxation. Luckily, you’re in the right city for shaving time off preparing meals thanks to prepared meal plan services such as ours.
Pure Plates offers St. Louis residents a variety of prepared meal plans with one focus: to optimize your nutrition….while also optimizing your time.
So, What’s a Prepared Meal Plan?
Although prepared meal plan services like ours are still relatively new (in St. Louis and elsewhere around the country), they’re quickly taking off.
It makes sense. Data shows that in this country, Americans are working more...and they’re more concerned than ever about what they eat.
Once upon a time, McDonald’s was revolutionary. Hot, cooked food available on the fly: no long hours in the kitchen, no running out to the grocery store, and zero clean up. As food became faster, easier to get, and required less prep time, we started gaining weight.
Skip ahead several decades to today and there are a variety of different services to accommodate the growing demands for both healthier food and more time.
You’ve probably heard of ‘meal kits’; in fact, you’ve probably tried them (according to one survey, one in four American adults purchased a meal kit in the year 2016). Meal kits include all the ingredients you need to cook a few meals based on general diet specifications (paleo, vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, etc). With a meal kit, you save time planning the meals you want for the week (and shopping for the ingredients you need). For some people, they work out. For many others, they end up being just another service to cancel and the boxes end up piling up, unused, in the refrigerator.
Why? While meal kits certainly can shave some time off how much work you put into dinner prep, they don’t do it all...by any means. You still have to do the meal prep, the cooking, and the cleaning.
A prepared meal plan is light years ahead of meal kits. With a prepared meal plans from our St. Louis-based prepared meal plan company Pure Plates, this is how it works:
- you simply specify any special diet you are on,
- select your unique options, pay,
- pick your meals up or have them delivered right to your door.
You can trust that your meals arrive with the appropriate portions, nutritional profile, and in easy BPA-free, microwave-safe containers. Every meal we deliver is prepared with fresh (mostly local and organic) produce, fully labeled, 100% gluten free, low in sodium content, low glycemic, and rings in at less than 600 calories -- and, not to mention, completely delicious. Prepared meal plans shouldn’t leave any holes for you to fill in if you don’t want to: for example, we offer all three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as well as a full suite of yummy snack options.
So, What are the Benefits of a Prepared Meal Plan?
As a working mom, I’ve often had to sacrifice control over my family’s food for the sake of saving time. I’m actually a bit embarrassed to admit how many times we’ve picked up the phone and ordered out food (while uncooked meal kits were chillin’ in the fridge). The costs of ‘out food’ are far higher than using prepared meal plans -- and the quality is nowhere near the same. Yikes.
With a prepared meal plan like Pure Plates, you get full control. You know what you’re going to spend each week on food without those ‘surprise, I have no time to cook so it’s Chinese Food yet again’ nights. Further, you can actually plan out what you or your family is going to have for dinner that week. You are ordering meals according to your preferences and needs, and without the obstacle of meal prep, cooking, and cleaning in the way -- you’ll actually get to eat the meals you want to eat.
Finally Start Meeting Your Health Goals
How many times have you created an in-depth (or even slightly involved) meal plan based on your health goals? I know that I’ve wasted time sleuthing Pinterest for healthy meal prep and meal plan ideas….slugged through grocery store aisles for specific ingredients (and paid a ton for some random spice I’ll never use again), only to have the day in and day out business of the week catch up with me….and we end up eating cereal, pizza, and chinese food for most of the week. If I’m lucky, I get around to making one of those Pinterest meals on a Friday or Saturday night. It doesn’t feel good....and it’s certainly not healthy.
With Pure Plates, it’s different. With delivered and prepared meal plans, you can actually meet your health goals. No hours on Pinterest and using Excel spreadsheets, no hours searching for certain ingredients you’ll only use once -- and no trying to squeeze meal prepping, cooking, and cleaning in between soccer practices, yoga, doctors’ visits, conference calls, and so on.
With a prepared meal plan like Pure Plates, you can actually decide you want to nourish your body with healthy foods -- and then do it.
Some weeks, I’ve actually been able to do the whole meal plan/shop/prep/cook thing...and those are the weeks I’ve felt like a true superhero. It’s an amazing amount of work to plan healthy meals, shop for them, prepare them, cook them, and clean up after them.
I remember those weeks fondly (usually, that’s been while I’ve been on a stay-home vacation from work). The next week, however, it’s back to the pizza/cereal/chinese food thing (oh yeah, and frozen waffles).Those weeks, I don’t remember fondly.
For me, prepared meal plans solve a big problem. Consistency. There aren’t anymore healthy weeks and unhealthy weeks. There’s far less food waste. There isn’t any more rushing out to the grocery store at 5:30 pm on a busy Monday. There’s just getting the meals delivered, and enjoying them, week after week.
Obviously, this one is easy: a key benefit here is more time. With a service like Pure Plates, I actually have time to do all the other things on my list each week -- and without the guilt of ordering take-out that’s astronomically high in both calories and sodium.
For me, quality is the biggest drive behind why I choose prepared meal plans like Pure Plates. I want to feed myself and my family food that’s meticulously planned, prepared with fresh and organic ingredients -- and without shortcuts. I don’t want to deal with sodium that’s sky-high (sorry, frozen meals), I don’t want fat that doesn’t serve me, I don’t want food cooked in canola oil: I just want taste and health.
Where in St. Louis Offers Prepared Meal Plans?
We have a guide that gives you an overview of what to look for in a prepared meal plan service. Obviously, we happen to think our meal service right here in St. Louis rocks: we offer nothing but delicious, organic and fresh, gluten free, low-sodium, low-glycemic meals prepared according to your specific health needs. Check us out.
Bottom line? Your health isn’t measured by good intentions (read: food that goes unprepared in the fridge). Your health isn’t measured by the blood, sweat, and tears you put into meticulous meal planning and tedious grocery shopping. Ultimately, your health is determined by what you eat (and what you don’t eat) and the time you have to exercise and rest.