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What I Think about Meal Boxes and Kits

When the pandemic first hit and going to the grocery store struck fear in most of us, I started exploring alternative routes to get food.

This is when I first tried out Meal Boxes....

With so many first time promotions, I was able to try different companies for very reasonable prices for months. For reference, I am talking about the generic types of Meal Boxes/Kits that they send ingredients and you cook according to their recipes.




Two servings... they say.... But is it really?

For those of you who know me, you know that I have been a life-long intuitive eater, listening to my hunger and fullness cues without food rules. You also know that I NEVER count calories (I don't recommend anyone does it) and I am the complete opposite of the food police so please hear me out to the end of this.

I was never taught to finish my plate as a child and up until now, I had stopped eating when I was full, regardless of the amount left on the plate if it was 1/2 the meal or two bites. But for some reason, when eating these recipes, I pushed myself to eat one "serving". I may have noticed that it was slightly too much, but it wasn't enough to make me super physically uncomfortable, so I just continued.

After months of this, I started to notice my belly was looking like it was a little more well fed than it has ever looked. PS, I don't own a scale and don't recommend weighing yourself.

After a few negative thoughts, I decided to send my belly some love and get to the bottom of the changes in a non-judgemental way.

Again, I don't count calories (WARNING: if you feel you have any disordered eating habits and anxiety around food, please do not look at calories and make sure to contact a Registered Dietitian and Therapist to help you improve your relationship with food and your body),, but sometimes looking can help shed some light on if you are missing the connection with your body and intuitive eating.


Which brings me to my conclusion...

  • From what I have seen in Meal Boxes/Kits, most of them contain "servings" that are too large for the average person's ideal dinner (that is if you are eating sufficient amount of calories throughout the rest of the day and eating this for dinner).

  • Many meals are not well-rounded with vegetables filling up about 1/3-1/2 of your plate, therefore making one "serving" more calorically dense.

  • Because of the lack of the fibrous, non-starchy vegetables, they also tend to be higher in carbohydrates than an average more sedentary human like myself probably needs (side note: carbs are NOT bad!! But too many when your body does not need them - like any other nutrient- is not beneficial.)


Don't worry, all is not lost!

If you like Meal Boxes/Kits, here is what I would recommend to make it more healthful and appropriate servings:

  • When possible, opt for meals that appear to be more equally balanced with protein, non-starchy vegetables, and carbohydrates (but don't assume this means it is not calorically dense-it may contain butter, oil or cheeses that increase the energy denseness).

  • Try splitting 2 "servings" into 3 and adding your own fresh or frozen vegetables to better balance the meals out (don't underestimate the power of this idea!!!! had I done this the whole time, I very likely would have FELT much better after meals and I also probably would not have seen a little extra belly cushion -be nice to bellies... send them love... they got us through a pandemic)

  • Try eating them for lunch instead of dinner (so you aren't eating such an energy dense meal at the end of the day (if you tend to like the couch like me)-leaving a lighter meal for dinner.

Meal Boxes/Kits are similar to going to a restaurant because they encourage you to give up part of your control of portioning of different ingredients. I am grateful for my experience, but they even tricked me into casually ignoring my body's needs and eating a little too much.

***Learn to listen to your body and honor it above all else!!! -If you have a difficult time honoring or identifying true hunger and fullness cues, please reach out to me for one-on-one counseling.








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