by Zoe Aron
Although the South is the land of fried food and buttery biscuits, the health-conscious movement sweeping the nation has made a home right here in Atlanta. With a restaurant on almost every corner, quick and (sometimes) affordable food is easily accessible to the working individual. But restaurants can become tiresome and the calories easily stack up, allowing some smart entrepreneurs to find their own niche with healthy weekly meal plan services. These companies all provide delicious and affordable weekly meals that are portion-controlled, calorie-controlled and can be customizable. We looked into some of the best meal plan services in Atlanta to help decide which is best for you.
Atlanta Meal Prep
Ideal for? The busy working parent who wants to improve the eating habits of their entire family
Menu Highlights? Green coconut curry ground chicken meatballs with sugar snap peas, sweet potato & coconut milk & puree; Cranberry shredded 5-hour beef with whipped potatoes & thyme roasted carrots; Roasted chopped 24-hour marinated cilantro lime boneless chicken thighs with cilantro lime quinoa
Atlanta Meal Prep focuses on providing fresh and local meals personalized to fit the needs of every client. Without as much structure as some of the other meal plan companies, Atlanta Meal Prep prepares customized menus without any kind of preservatives for every customer based on their preferences, allergies and specific wants and needs while providing variety in meals. For the carnivores, weekly plans include at least three different meat, poultry and fish options (coupled with vegetables of course). For the vegetarians, weekly plans include at least five different vegetable options. There is a sample menu online and clients are asked to specify which particular items best suit their needs. The items on the menu are separated into categories (paleo, high-protein/regular diet, low calorie, vegetarian and/or vegan, snacks and breakfast) but customers are urged to pick and choose depending upon what they prefer as opposed to just sticking within one category. Pickup and delivery (as long as you are located inside the perimeter) are an option, therefore making the meal service easy and accessible for all. What further sets Atlanta Meal Prep apart? They offer family meals which provide 4-6 servings of their appetizing and guilt-free meals.
Delivery? Yes (no additional fee).
Ideal for? Those of us who are more worried about eating high-quality delicious food than micro-managing and watching every calorie.
Menu Highlights? Asian ginger shrimp bowl w/ stir fry veggies and brown rice, spinach and tomato frittata w/ turkey bacon and gruyere cheese, jerk salmon w/ brown rice and peas & Jamaican sautéed kale and collards
Tired of settling for the poor quality of food being sold in fast food restaurants and other chains, owner of Fit Gourmet Rodney Jennings Jr., “saw a need in our busy, fast-paced world for people to eat better,” and decided to do something about it. According to Jennings, most of the food we eat is “over processed and pumped with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and more that are not treating our bodies well.” To combat this unhealthiness while still maintaining the ease of getting a full meal, Jennings created Fit Gourmet, a weekly meal prep service that creates fulfilling and health-conscious meals that are low fat, pre-packaged and designed to be reheated with freshness in mind. Meals additionally are diabetic friendly, range between around 400-550 calories each and are always low in sodium. There are zero pork products or butter used in the meals and all ingredients are GMO free. Fit Gourmet also has both vegetarian and vegan options and will soon offer gluten-free and pescaterian options as well. With a new menu released every Thursday online and ordering taking place between Thursday and Saturday, meals are ready for both pickup and delivery on Mondays. To work with everyone’s individual body types, meals are offered in packages of six, 12, 18 or 24 meals with additional add-ons (such as snacks or breakfast) available.
Fresh n Fit Cuisine
Delivery? Yes (for an additional fee).
Ideal for? Individuals that like to control and micromanage every single thing that goes into their body.
Menu Highlights? Chicken enchiladas in a mild red sauce with Mayan couscous made with roasted corn, cilantro, cumin, bell peppers and garlic; chicken florentine crepe topped with a creamy low fat mornay sauce on a bed of sautéed spinach served with roasted roma tomatoes; Mediterranean turkey burger with a sundried tomato aioli, fresh spinach and cucumbers on a whole wheat pita pocket with baby carrots and hummus on the side.
As the first meal plan service in Atlanta, Fresh n Fit Cuisine not only has been around longer than anyone else but also has the most extensive menu options in Metro Atlanta. As the only meal prep service operating out of a USDA-inspected kitchen, Fresh n Fit Cuisine sees themselves on another level from their so-called “competition.” According to Fresh n Fit’s president Elston Collins, most of their products are sourced locally, the paleo line is all organic, the beef is all grass-fed and the vegetables are all fresh and never frozen. Fresh n Fit Cuisine offer five-dietitian approved menus: healthy mix, low-carb, vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo. Upon selecting a menu online, you are walked through the process from start to finish. Specific options include number of meals per day, calories/portion size and number of days per week you wish to have the meals, in addition to selecting multiple weeks at a time. Fresh n Fit Cuisine is perfect for those who like to know exactly what is going into your body, for every single meal on every menu has both all the ingredients as well as complete nutritional facts posted online days before you need to select an option. You must submit your order by Thursday at 4pm for the following week.
Good Measure Meals
Delivery? Yes (for an additional fee).
Ideal for? Those of you that care about making an impact on the community while simultaneously improving your own health.
Menu Highlights? Turkey sandwich with lemon sage spread on rye bread served with a super-food slaw and apple cider dressing; shrimp and grits topped with tomato creole sauce and served with sauteed zucchini and cranberry pear cobbler; balsamic chicken pita with sundried tomato spread aside an italian wheatberry pilaf
Good Measure Meals is more than just your average meal plan provider; it’s a social enterprise for Open Hand Atlanta. This means that 100% of the net proceeds from Good Measure Meals go to Open Hand Atlanta to aid medically appropriate meals and nutrition education for adults and families in need. By making a healthy choice for yourself, you are simultaneously helping others make a healthy choice and lending support and education that can lead to a healthier community overall. Good Measure Meals separates their meals into four different categories: healthy selection meal plans, vegetarian meal plans (both of which are customizable for an additional $10), diabetic meal plans and healthy selection meal plans without fish. Upon selecting a category on their website, you will be prompted to input some information about your lifestyle, such as gender, age, height, weight and exercise amount, allowing them to create a recommended daily calorie intake before you decide which size meal plan you prefer (they offer 1,200, 1,400, 1,700 and 2,100 calories/day options). You then are able to view the menu for the week and choose whether you are okay with the meals how they are, or if you would prefer to customize the options. Each of their meal plans are meticulously created by their registered dietitians and chefs to ensure they are nutritionally balanced, meaning they are low in sodium and saturated fat, and full of lean protein, whole grains, and heart-healthy plant-based fats. They additionally have a full team of registered dietitians on staff that support customers along the way with nutrition coaching and tips to help them meet their personal health goals. Delivery and pickup are both available, but an additional delivery fee must be incurred.
Delivery? Yes (no additional fee).
Ideal for? The person who wants to completely customize their meal plan to their exact specifications.
Menu Highlights? Salmon wrap with celery and carrots; thai style chicken and stir-fry veggies; Spinach and mushroom stuffed shells with chicken
Founded in 2013, Life Convenience, LLC realized that there were three simple statements blocking many in the fitness world from reaching their goals: they didn’t know what to eat, they were too busy to prepare their own food, and they’re just too busy. By partnering with a registered dietitian, a medical director/physician and the best certified personal trainers in the area, Life Convenience ensures portioned and delicious meals that help each client reach their entire health needs. Life Convenience offers different “lifestyles,” or meal plan options, allowing the client to completely customize their meals. The standard plans are the “convenience plan” and “convenience plus plan”, which both have a healthy balance of carbs, veggies and proteins but differ in the fact that the initial convenience portion is 400 calories and the plus portion is 600. Clients also can opt for the custom plan, in which you can entirely customize and select exactly what you want to eat or can just tell them what ingredients you don’t like and let their chefs do the rest. There is a “custom 5” (five ounces of protein plus five ounces of carbs/veggies), “custom 8” (eight ounces of protein plus eight ounces of carbs/veggies) and custom 10 (10 ounces of protein plus 10 ounces of carbs/veggies). Joining the Life Convenience family is as easy as signing up online and then waiting for your food. They offer both delivery and pick-up, but make sure you get your order in before Wednesday at 7 p.m. to receive your food by Sunday.