Friday, July 20, 2012

"Plan B" Meals for Busy Weeks



Ever feel completely overwhelmed with life? That's how I've felt the past few weeks. Don't worry, I'm learning to manage it. I'll talk about that more in July with a post on dealing with feelings and emotions creatively through journaling and an artistic therapy called mandala. 

But one thing that's been stressing me out lately is food. I haven't had any desire to cook on a regular basis. I'll feel like it occasionally for dinner or breakfast... but overall... I just don't feel the desire or creativity to make food. 

It's an odd conundrum for a food blogger. Not really sure how to have a food blog, without food... so one thing that's come to the rescue in the past few weeks is Pure Foods/Fresh Start. It's actually a diet food service that sends meals to people trying to lose weight. And while weight loss is currently a goal for me... I just needed safe food. I wanted safe, gluten-free meals I could have readily available so we wouldn't go out to eat as much. We were spending wayyyyyyyy too much money, eating the same boring meals at Chick Fil A or Wendy's because Carrie just hasn't felt like being a food blogger. 

So enter Pure Foods/ Fresh Start. No, they haven't paid me anything. Nor have they sent me free samples or items to try. I've purchased the meals and tried them the past three weeks. So here are a few positive and negative highlights about the company and the food if you're interested: 

Positive: 
  • The company is a diet foods company, therefore the meals are "healthy" by being lower in fat, low in sodium, high in fiber, and generally rank low on the glycemic index. These definitions of "healthy" may not meet your personal goals... but I think in general the meals work well for me. 
  • They offer a pretty generous selection of gluten-free entrees. There are breakfast, lunch, and dinner options (I think about 30 overall?) You pick and choose which entrees you want. 
  • You have a lot of options about how many meals you want. You can choose 5 days worth of meals, 7 days worth of meals, 3 full meals a day, 3 meals + snacks, 2 meals, 1 meal... however you want it... they offer you the option of customization. 
  • Great actual food packaging and quick delivery. I found this blog which shows how the meals are packaged and how they arrive. The meals are in pretty decent reusable containers and will keep for two full weeks in your refrigerator or you can freeze them for even longer storage. 
  • CONVENIENCE!!!! Anybody on a gluten-free diet/lifestyle knows how hard it can be to eat out or to have to prepare every single meal you will ever eat. Right now, the convenience and the fact that they are healthy, correctly portioned meals, is hugely important to me. 

Negative:
  • This ain't your grandmama's cooking... not that grandma was well-versed in gluten-free cookin'... but low sodium, low fat means adjusting your taste buds. The meals don't taste bad (and really I'm not that picky), but they definitely made me realize how much fat & salt I had been using in meals at home and on the road. 
  • Some meals are better than others. I'm not a fan of the baked cod & black bean salad. But I do like and enjoy most of the meals. 
  • Shipping Container/Packaging -- this really isn't that big of a deal, but the company uses a lot of weird packaging to ship the food to you. It's shipped in a big box with big bags of some type of frozen gel, which keeps it all cool and it's in a big bag, and lots of styrofoam to keep things cold, which works great for the food, but it's not very "green" or environmentally friendly... but I'm not sure of a much better way either! 

Want More Info:
The Company: http://www.purefoodsfreshstart.com/
Phone: (866)52-MEALS (526-3257)

Email: Julie.Hanes@purefoods.com


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To send me recipes to try or for gluten free baking help, feel free to email me at gingerlemongirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sincerely,
Carrie

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