As much as St. Louis has been knocking it out of the ballpark when it comes to preparing delicious meals for our tourists and locals alike, the city (and surrounding metro area) is working hard to get into shape. St Louis County Parks, for example, offers a program called ‘30 30 Hikes’ which offers 30 trails/hikes throughout the area that take just 30 minutes to finish. Hundreds of healthy-eating related events are held in St. Louis each year: Live Well STL offers an ongoing event calendar to keep folks updated. Joint efforts from the St. Louis Department of Health and the St. Louis County Department of Health have resulted in numerous initiatives to increase access to healthcare, eliminate obstacles, and support healthy eating and lifestyles.
Given the city’s (and county) reputation for amazing food and meals -- and our ongoing strides to keep everyone healthy -- it’s only logical that St. Louis would offer an abundance of meal prep delivery services to make life easier (and help busy people avoid the fast-food drive thru line after work). Do we really?
What is Meal Prep?
First, let’s look at what meal prep is. If you are interested in getting healthy, losing weight, and feeling better -- meal prep can be your newest best friend. Having a variety of meals easily available helps you reach your health goals in myriad ways: less snacking on junk food, less eating fast food for meals, less hunger because your meals are planned to keep you full, and much more.
What is meal prep? Pinterest is full of ideas (and while many of them look amazing, many of them also are very time-consuming -- trust me, I’ve tried them). In a nutshell, meal prep is the art of everything that goes into enjoying delicious meals -- and, in theory, it should make life easier. Meal prep has taken the nation by storm -- and one popular national brand (Sun Cave) even has storage space right outside of the city.
What About Getting Meal Prep Kits Delivered?
Some so called ‘meal prep delivery services’, such as the national brand Blue Apron, only deliver meal prep kits and then you have to do the cooking on your own. Some supermarkets even sell meal prep kits now (and you take them home and prepare them yourself). The benefits of meal prep kits is that you don’t have to do the individual recipe planning and shopping -- you get all the ingredients you need in one purchase.
Drawbacks of meal prep kits like these are that, more often than not, the ingredients simply aren’t that fresh (especially when they are being shipped across the country). If you’ve ever tried a meal kit prep delivery service, you may have experienced another major drawback for yourself: you simply lack the time to actually prepare the meals even when you have all the ingredients. The boxes stack up -- and eventually get tossed in the garbage...yikes. As The Wall Street Journal reflected on meal kits, the problem with them is that “Americans don’t want to cook...and never really have.” We think it’s far more complicated than that: Americans today simply lack the time to fully devote to meal planning, shopping, prep, cooking, and cleaning. Why? Americans today are working more than ever.
Local Meal Prep Delivery Options in St. Louis?
It’s unfortunate that meal kits aren’t solving the problem of healthy eating, as one major benefit to meal prep kits is they offer portion control. Data has proven that portion control results in significant weight loss when done consistently -- and meal prep kits do offer that.
So...if you want to enjoy a healthy diet (and all the benefits that go along with it) but you just don’t have the time and/or interest in cooking -- what are your other options in St. Louis?
Obviously, you could order delivery from a local restaurant. There are a number of different healthier restaurants in St. Louis to choose from -- from the vegan eats at Lulu’s Local Eatery to the delicious Kombucha over at Confluence Kombucha. Unfortunately, ordering delivery from places like this probably isn’t going to be feasible to do on a daily basis.
Shop the Frozen Aisle at the Supermarket
Frozen meals are always an option: they are complete, offer some portion control, some basic nutrition, are somewhat affordable...and, of course, they’re easy. With services like Instacart, you can even order a week’s worth of frozen meals and have them delivered right to your door. Frozen meals come with some major drawbacks, however: food quality, fat content, empty calories, and so on are just a few.
Complete meal prep delivery, such as what we offer here at Pure Plates, brings you meals that have been planned by a team of nutrition experts, sourced using organic and local produce whenever available, completely prepared (aka no cooking left for you to do), and delivered according to your schedule in super easy to heat containers (BPA free and recyclable) each week. You get the benefits of meal prep kits with none of the drawbacks, as well as: ongoing support to reach your health goals, fresh produce and ingredients, and (with us, at least) meal choices that match your specific dietary choices (Keto, Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan, and so on).
Bottomline? If you’re like most Americans, you really don’t need more hoops to jump through, you just need more time (time to try one of St Louis County’s 30/30 trails, for example). So, if you find you’re really pressed for time but are motivated to keep your healthy diet going -- or want to start a healthy diet -- finding a complete meal prep delivery service may be your best option. Find a local quality meal prep delivery service and skip the meal prep kits, ditch the frozen meals and just focus on enjoying delicious meals prepared with ingredients that are of true quality and that get delivered to you -- without all the strings attached.