Top 5 Benefits of Using a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service 0
Picture this: you’ve had one of those days when nothing seemed to go smoothly, you arrive home late, the people with whom you share your life are hungry and wondering what’s for dinner. And you have no idea.
You haven’t had time to swing by the store, so you know there’s no chance you’re going to be able to whip up something healthy or satisfying. You sigh and wonder if you should order pizza…again…you hesitate because you resorted to ordering pizza only five days ago.
How a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service Can Save the Day
If this sounds like too many days you’ve had, signing up for a gourmet meal delivery service can be the answer to your angst. Instead of the scenario above, picture this: you simply grab a perfectly prepared gourmet meal out of the fridge and pop it into the oven, microwave or a pot on the stove. Minutes later you and your family are enjoying a savory gourmet meal and you barely lifted a finger!
The meal delivery service industry is exploding, so you have many options. We’ll talk about the benefits in a moment, but for now, let’s learn more about the industry.
What Is a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service?
Professional chefs prepare a variety of meals, either fully cooked or prepped and ready to cook. Meals are packaged into portion sizes. You sign up for a membership online, browse menus and then select the meals you want. The meals are delivered to your home or office on a regular schedule, packed in coolers or special containers to keep food fresh.
If you chose a service that delivers fully cooked meals, you merely reheat them per the package instructions. If you chose one that delivers fully prepped meals, you would need to do some cooking, but the shopping, chopping, measuring and assembling work is already done.
Top 5 Benefits of Using a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service
There are quite a few benefits to using a gourmet meal delivery service. If you don’t like to cook or know how, it can be a lifesaver! Even if you enjoy cooking, here are some reasons why to consider trying a meal delivery service:
Benefit #1 — Using a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service Saves Time
The amount of time you save by not having to plan meals, shop, chop, measure, cook and then clean up a bunch of dirty pots and pans is the most obvious and significant benefit. Even those recipes that claim to be 30-minute meals end up taking much longer when you factor in the planning, shopping and cleaning. Imagine how much time you’ll gain each day by simply reheating a professionally prepared gourmet meal with minimal clean up. And in most households, there is usually some conflict over whose turn it is to wash the dishes — not anymore!
Benefit #2 — Using a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service Saves Money
So how does using a food delivery service save money? Because you waste less food — how many times have you bought ingredients for a meal and then had to throw out the parts you didn’t use? If you open most refrigerators, you’re sure to find some produce past its prime, half-empty jars of sauces and a few moldy or expired ingredients.
And did you know you’re supposed to replace most dried herbs and spices every six months? Anyone who cooks has had to buy some random herb or spice for a recipe that then sits on a shelf collecting dust. Those costs add up fast, so although you’re paying for delivered meals, some of that cost is offset by less food waste.
Another way using a meal delivery service can save you money is that you’re less likely to order take-out or eat out. You can enjoy that gourmet meal at home for far less than what you’d pay in a restaurant, especially when you factor in other costs such as transportation, beverages and gratuities.
Benefit #3 — Using a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service Can Be Good for Your Waistline
Whenever you read anything about losing or maintaining a healthy weight, you’re sure to see something about portion control. You’ve probably read things such as a protein serving should be no larger than your palm, use one tablespoon of X or limit Y to two-thirds of a cup. With a meal delivery service, you no longer need to worry about figuring out portion sizes. Your gourmet chef has already done that for you, and your meals arrive in perfectly sized portions.
Using a meal delivery service reduces your chances of overeating, particularly if you also like to sample as you cook. Those little bites and sips here and there can add up to more calories than you realize.
In addition to saving you money by not eating out as often, home-delivered meals also protect you from those huge restaurant portions and high-calorie temptations. We all know even if we enter a restaurant
with the best intentions to stick to our diet plan, we often succumb to the bread basket, the French fries, caloric sauces or dessert. You’ll also avoid take-out food, which can be loaded with calories.
Benefit #4 — Using a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service Can Be Good for Your Health
In addition to portion control, home-delivered gourmet meals are often packed full of fresh, nutritious, locally sourced ingredients. The best gourmet meal delivery services pride themselves on using seasonal ingredients and offering dietary choices such as low-fat, low-carb and low-sodium meals.
Meals are well-balanced with the correct amounts of proteins, fats, carbs and veggies. It’s far easier to stick to a healthy eating plan if someone else does the heavy lifting!
Benefit #5 — Using a Gourmet Meal Delivery Service Expands Your Dietary Horizons
How many times have you thought or heard a family member groan and say, “we’re having that again?” In addition to preparing traditional favorites, the best gourmet meal delivery services prepare innovative, exciting dishes that you might never consider or cook yourself. After all, these are gourmet chefs who constantly try new ingredient combinations and preparation techniques to come up with delicious new menu options.
Menus frequently change as well — usually each week you’ll have new options to try. If you have picky eaters in your household, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of preparing the same-old, same-old “safe” foods because you just can’t deal with the mealtime battles. You can turn it into a game by making it a fun, mystery or guessing game as to what they’re going to eat each night. Allowing your picky eaters to help choose the meals may engage them and make them more willing to try new things too.
As you can see, you can enjoy gourmet meals in the comfort of your own home! Saving time, minimizing hassles and eating healthier are just a few clicks away when you sign up for a gourmet home delivery service.
What’s the Best Diet for Diabetics? 0
If you are trying to prevent or manage your Type 2 diabetes, you likely already know the role your weight plays. Carrying too many pounds puts you at a much higher risk of developing or not managing your Type 2 diabetes.
The Good News for Diabetics
The good news is that if you’re overweight or obese, research has shown that losing even just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, combined with regular exercise, can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by about 58 percent! Other good news is that you can choose from a variety of diabetic diet plans with proven success rates — the challenging part is trying to determine which is the best diet for diabetics.
Diabetic Diet Plans – An Overview
Just Google “diabetic diet plans” or peruse a book store shelf and you’ll be bombarded with plans promising all sorts of wonderful-sounding results – Lose weight without dieting! Lose weight and eat whatever you want! Pounds melt away while you sleep! Not only are most of these diets unsuccessful, some are even dangerous to your health.
In a nutshell, the most effective diabetic weight loss diets all have some things in common:
- Reduce your overall caloric intake and eat nutritious, minimally processed, low-fat foods.
- Eliminate junk food such as soft drinks, chips, cookies, candy and fried foods.
- Get 30 minutes of regular exercise daily (even walking counts).
But for most of us, this advice is too vague and often a little confusing. How many calories do we need to cut? Which foods are considered “nutritious” and which aren’t? The U.S News & World Report has a panel of experts who regularly compares diabetic diet plans, including diabetic weight loss diets, and then they rank the diets using a variety of criteria.
Let’s take a look at some of the winners.
The Mediterranean Diet
People who live in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea tend to have lower rates of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions compared to Americans — and they live longer. So, what do they eat? The Mediterranean Diet isn’t really a structured diet compared to other diabetes weight loss diets — it is more of a template to follow when cooking and eating. The Mediterranean Diet recommends:
- Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, spices, herbs, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil daily.
- Fish and seafood twice a week.
- Moderate portions of eggs, dairy foods and poultry occasionally.
- Red meats and sweets on special occasions.
The Pros: The Mediterranean Diets gives you the freedom to choose which foods to eat as long as you stay within the general guidelines, it doesn’t ban entire food groups, it’s pretty straightforward, there is no need to carefully count calories, eating out is manageable and it doesn’t cost a lot. Given these pros, it’s an easy “lifestyle” diabetic prevention diet that you can follow indefinitely.
The Cons: For some, it is too unstructured, and you must have time to cook and shop.
Best for Those Who: Enjoy shopping and cooking, don’t want to make significant dietary changes, eat out or travel a lot, and can adhere to a relatively unstructured diabetic diet plan.
The DASH Diet
Doctors who are trying to help patients with high blood pressure often recommend the DASH Diet, which is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It turns out that the DASH Diet can also be one of the best diets for diabetics!
The DASH diet is similar to the Mediterranean Diet in that it recommends the same basic food groups such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. The most significant difference is the DASH Diet restricts high-sodium foods, allowing only 1,500 milligrams daily.
While DASH doesn’t knock out entire food groups, it is more restrictive than the Mediterranean Diet because so many foods are high in sodium — it bans even foods such as olives, pickles, salted nuts and almost all condiments and salad dressings.
The Pros: Almost identical to the Mediterranean Diet.
The Cons: Avoiding sodium is difficult, especially when eating out or eating any prepackaged foods and meals. You’ll also have to replace salt with herbs and spices and make your own salad dressings and condiments.
Best for Those Who: Have or are at high risk of hypertension, have time to cook and shop, are willing to make significant changes in avoiding sodium and don’t eat out a lot.
The Flexitarian Diet
While not as widely known as some other diabetic weight loss diets, the Flexitarian Diet basically says we should follow a vegetarian diet most of the time, but it’s okay to enjoy a steak, burger or other meat on
occasion. You’ll find the details in registered dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner’s book, "The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life." The Flexitarian Diet recommends:
- Eating primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non-meat proteins such as beans, peas or eggs.
- Restricting calories to 1,500 per day on a three-four-five plan: 300 calories at breakfast, 400 at lunch, 500 at dinner and two 150-calorie snacks.
The Pros: It’s affordable, restaurant-friendly, doesn’t completely ban any food groups and is pretty straightforward.
The Cons: You must count calories and it severely limits meat proteins, so it can be harder to follow if you are cooking for others who are not following the diet.
Best for Those Who: Enjoy vegetarian cuisine, can easily avoid meat and count calories.
The Jenny Craig Diet
Although a few other diets such as The Volumetric Diet and the Mayo Clinic Diet ranked a little higher on the U.S. News and World Reports’ list, we’re including the Jenny Craig Diet here because it offers something none of these other diabetic diet plans do — prepackaged meals and personal consultants.
Jenny Craig offers a diabetic weight loss diet specifically for Type 2 diabetes. On this plan, you’ll:
- Eat three prepackaged meals and one snack per day for the first half of the program.
- Meet with a personal consultant weekly who will provide guidance on how to stick with the plan and help you choose the following week’s meals.
- Begin cooking some meals on your own using their recipes once you reach your halfway weight goal.
The Pros: The one-on-one support can make a big difference in helping you stay on track, the prepackaged meals save time and minimize the possibility of choosing wrong, and no need to count calories until you begin cooking for yourself.
The Cons: It’s expensive — in addition to enrollment and membership fees, the prepackaged meals average $15 to $23 daily, plus delivery fees if you have them delivered. You’ll also have to fess up to your consultant if you went astray, eating out is difficult and there is less freedom of choice. It is also not feasible as a long-term lifestyle diet.
Best for Those Who: Have difficulty following a plan on their own and will benefit from the personal support, have little time to cook or shop, don’t eat out much, feel overwhelmed by too many dietary choices and are looking for a short-term diabetic weight loss plan with specific weight loss goals.
How to Choose the Best Diabetic Weight Loss Plan
The best diet for diabetes is the one that fits your lifestyle, personal preferences, is approved by your doctor and will ensure your best chance of success.
If you know you won’t have time or interest in shopping or cooking, or you need support, then choosing a structured plan such as Jenny Craig might be your best bet. If that’s too restrictive and you’re able to shop and cook, then consider the Mediterranean or DASH diet.
If you’re okay with avoiding meat or banning certain food groups, then choose the Flexitarian or a basic vegetarian diet. Some diets such as the Paleo diet ban alcohol, so if enjoying a small glass of beer or wine on occasion is important to you, that’s permitted on the plans we listed.
Regardless of the diabetic diet plan you choose, losing even five to 10 percent of your body weight will reduce your risk or better manage your Type 2 diabetes!