A Review of Freshly by a Registered Dietitian

FRESHLY_BrandBook_030816

Meal delivery services are all the rage right now! I mean who doesn’t like having food for the week delivered to their door?

By this point I have tried them all, and while a meal delivery service is a “nice to have” I have not found that it is a forever fix for many of my clients. That being said, it is great for a busy week, the first week back from vacation, or even if you are traveling for work and have a kitchenette where you are staying!

The latest meal delivery service I have tried is Freshly, and I have to say I really liked it! The main reason Freshly appealed to me is for my really busy professional clients who sometimes just don’t have time to make dinner. Their meals are gluten free, focus on using whole foods, and their nutritionals check out with what I recommend for my clients. The best part? You don’t have to cook! The biggest thing I always said about other meal delivery services is that the nutritionals were almost just as unhealthy as dining out, yet I also had to make it. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to eat my day’s worth of carbs in one meal, I want someone else to make it for me 😂 Freshly is a balance between a delivery service with the ingredients to make a meal, and meals from the frozen aisle of the grocery store. They are made with fresh ingredients, and you can just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven. They are obviously better tasting and quality than frozen meals, and their calories are more optimal  too. Is anyone really ever satisfied from a 250 calorie frozen meal? I think not.

As I mentioned above, the nutritionals really check out, and many are carbohydrate controlled, and the saturated fat is pretty low. They are also very moderate in sodium (which is rare for prepared meals) and I love this about Freshly – they give you seasoning options right on the package!

Keep reading for a glimpse into my first week of the Freshly meal delivery service!

NOTE: Just like any other meal delivery service it auto renews and until you manually cancel they will keep delivering and keep charging you. You can skip several weeks at a time, but it’s something to be conscious of! 

IMG_4245MOROCCAN CHICKEN with Cauliflower Couscous

I think this was our favorite meal of the week! The cauliflower couscous was very rustic, and had a lot of texture. The sauce had amazing flavor and the chicken was very moist.

 

IMG_4246

CHICKEN & RICE PILAF with Green Beans & Carrots

The chicken was also very moist, and the veggies were very tasty all mixed in with the sauce.

 

IMG_4251GRILLED CHICKEN RISOTTO with Spring Peas

This was the meal that was probably the highest and saturated fat and carbs, however that was to be expected with risotto! The rice was very creamy, and the chicken was moist. Being a dietitian I really wanted a non-starchy vegetable with this one!

IMG_4254

SAUSAGE & PEPPERS with Tomato Rice

My husband had this one, and I didn’t get to try it, but it wasn’t as good as the Moroccan chicken he had the day before. The vegetables seemed overly cooked and he didn’t love the tomato sauce.

 

IMG_4261

BUFFALO CHICKEN BREAST with Loaded Cauliflower

I LOVE the idea of loaded cauliflower than potatoes here, and it keeps the carbs down and keeps the nutrients high (though the saturated fat is higher from the bacon and cheese here). The chicken left some to be desired though, as it just tasted like hot sauce on chicken – but maybe that’s because it’s not fried (which is a good thing).

 

 

 

IMG_4265ROASTED TURKEY with Quinoa Stuffing

WhileI had this meal in May and not around the holiday’s, it was very enjoyable! I loved the quinoa stuffing and the green beans were very crisp. The turkey was also moist and had a great texture and quality to it, and the gravy was good but not too much (I don’t typically like gravy).

 

 

 

Overall? I would recommend this to someone who is struggling to cook for one person and is trying to avoid eating out, or for someone who is looking to get through a tough week of work /travel stress. They were very good and the nutritionals really check out on this one!!

Have questions? Let me know!

 

Should I Buy Organic?

elaine-casap-86020-unsplash.jpg

Should I buy organic, and is it worth the investment?

This is a question that I am asked all the time as a Registered Dietitian. Organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, and research has shown that it has higher cancer fighting potential because of this. It’s true – buying all organic produce can be pricey – so I tend to recommend following the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” when my clients ask me about purchasing organic and sticking to a budget. This is also what I use when writing the grocery lists for my clients’ customized meal plans.

The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” are two lists of produce to help you choose which foods to buy organic, or conventional. Note: this list changes yearly. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization which determines the list each year, and updates it based on new findings in pesticide use, and contamination of certain foods. The “Clean Fifteen” is made of the top 15 foods which are grown using the least chemicals and pesticides, while the “Dirty Dozen” is made of the 12 foods grown with the most amount of pesticides. If possible, I recommend purchasing the the produce on the dirty dozen list as organic to keep pesticide levels down. As you can see from the list below, the dirty dozen are often things where we eat the skin and the fruit/vegetable, whereas on the clean fifteen the skin is not consumed.

  • Within the Dirty Dozen, the EGW uncovered a few surprising facts. Strawberries, spinach, peaches, cherries, and apples all were found to have traces of at least one pesticide residue. Strawberries were found to have at least 20 different forms of pesticide residue (definitely buy these organic if you can!).
  • In the Clean Fifteen, avocados and sweet corn were found to have less than 1% of any form of pesticide residue, and not one fruit on the Clean Fifteen was found to have more than four types of pesticide residue.

With that being said, it is always better to have fresh produce than no produce.

There is not a drastic nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods, and there are TONS of vital vitamins and minerals within conventional, non-organic produce. Also note that there are many other fruits and vegetables which fall in the middle of the two groups, such as bananas or kale. For these “inbetween foods” I recommended shopping by the season. Organic strawberries will always be more expensive in the fall as compared to organic apples, since they are in season. Therefore, shop around for seasonal, fresh produce to fit your budget and keep the nutrition level high!

Print out this 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list to bring on your next shopping trip!

The 2018 “Dirty Dozen”

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

The “Clean Fifteen”

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet peas frozen
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Using the “Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen” while shopping is a quick and easy way to save money, while still getting the highest amounts of cancer fighting potential from produce and keeping pesiticide levels down. Keep the list on your phone, or a piece of paper in your purse/wallet for easy access during grocery shopping! Want to know more? Contact me.

Citation

-Written by Abigail Palmquist, Blush Nutrition Intern and Brittany Jones, MS, RD, LD, owner of Blush Nutrition