You know when you see an Instagram ad over and over and it actually makes you want to buy something? It’s annoying that this marketing tactic works, but it did get me to try out Freshly, which is a service that sends you healthy pre-made meals and all you have to do is pop them in a microwave. As someone who wants to eat healthier AND hates to cook, I thought this sounded like a great option for me!
The Freshly website (and app) allows you to select the meals that you want from their menu, which has a variety of choices. I’m quite a picky eater, and even I have been able to find things that sounded appetizing to me. I had a coupon to save a few dollars on my first order, so I figured I didn’t have much to lose! I set up my delivery date and marked my calendar. I was ready!
Unfortunately, FedEx was not ready. My first order was delivered disastrously late and I had to contact Freshly customer service. They told me to destroy the meals (they are no longer guaranteed to be fresh after 48 hours in transit) and said they would refund me what I paid for that week. I was annoyed and wanted to cancel entirely, but they offered to send me the next week’s meals for free to make up for the inconvenience. I accepted...
When my next Freshly order finally did arrive on time the second week, it came in a large box that was filled with insulation and cold packs. That is probably my biggest gripe about this service - it comes with a lot of packaging materials and stuff to dispose of every week. It says Earth Friendly but that cold pack can be frozen and reused (ok I did that with ONE but every week you get two in a shipment... how many ice packs do I really need in my life?). If you don't want to reuse it, you thaw it out and tear open the plastic, where you'll find a lot of goo. You're supposed to dump the goo down the drain and toss the packaging. That doesn't feel very earth friendly to me, to be honest.
The meals themselves are packaged individually with microwave cooking instructions, a clear list of ingredients and nutritional facts. It's simple to read and understand.
I think the meals are actually pretty good. The portions are generous and the meat is fresh and juicy. I think their pasta sauce is really tasty! The chicken parm pictured above has yummy cheese and sauce, and replaces the usual carb-filled pasta with a hearty serving of broccoli instead. I am eating way more vegetables now than I was in the past!
Not all meals are the same, however. You have to try them out and see for yourself what you like and don’t like. The BBQ shredded beef didn’t quite meet my expectations; the sauce isn’t really the kind that I like, and the cornbread was [unsurprisingly] soggy and not good. But I really enjoy the Peppercorn Steak, Homestyle Chicken w/Butternut Mac, Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Parm… plus new meals come out seasonally!
Vegetarian options are available, many gluten free options, and I have yet to see a meal on the menu that was over 700 calories. It’s definitely an easy option for healthy lunches during the week, and it comes out to about $10 per meal when you’re paying for six at a time. Compared to the $12 pre-made healthy meals I see at the sports nutrition store, that’s a good deal!
Overall I do like the service and recommend it if you don’t have a lot of time to cook healthy meals for yourself. Try out Freshly with my link to save some money on your first two weeks!