I've never been a healthy eater. In the past, it was pretty routine for me to grab a fried egg and cheese sandwich on my walk to the office, followed by Cool Ranch Doritos at 10am (they were free!), Hunan Chicken for lunch, birthday cupcakes for my coworker, buffalo wings, fries and beer at happy hour, and 20-piece McNuggets at 9pm. I'd then wake up very early the next morning with a stomachache and hit the gym to work off all the calories I consumed the previous day.
Health and wellness? As if! As long as the numbers on the scale remained the same, I wasn't concerned at all. Until I had a yearly checkup with my doctor who had some not-so-great news for me. I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and since my mom's side of the family has a strong history of diabetes, I was also teetering on the brink of that health issue too. He told me I needed to make changes to my diet immediately (even though I worked out like crazy) to lower my blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce my risk of developing diabetes later in life. I had to learn how to cook, eat clean, monitor my salt intake, cut back on wine and beer, and eat more veggies and lean meats. So, I turned to HelloFresh to teach me how to cook... at the age of 40.
So, what's HelloFresh? It's one of the most popular meal kit delivery services and subscriptions that helps you save time and money! Not sure what to cook next week and don't feel like scanning recipe sites looking for ideas? Don't have time to run to the grocery store for last minute ingredients? They've got you covered! Whether you're feeding your family or yourself, you'll get high-quality, pre-portioned and fresh ingredients, along with easy-to-follow recipes that you can choose week by week. It’s no wonder HelloFresh is consistently one of our readers’ favorite meal kits, coming it at #1 on this year's list of Best Meal Kit Delivery Subscriptions.
A new cook? No problem. HelloFresh is perfect for first-time cooks and seasoned chefs. When you sign up, choose your plan preference—Meats & Veggies, Veggies, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian—the number of people you'll be serving (2 or 4) and the number of recipes you'd like to receive per week. Then, confirm your plan and scroll through the meal choices—each week you'll get to choose from over 30 different recipes.
Develop Healthier Habits
Want to know what I used to consume on the regular? Pad Thai, Hunan chicken, fried chicken & waffles, Popeye's, basil chicken with fried egg, Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich and waffle fries, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and V8 (not low sodium either). My friends and family have always lovingly referred to me as a "human garbage disposal" and that's about right. I love food, I love to eat, and it's constantly reflected in my high blood pressure numbers. I guess ignorance isn't always bliss.
Well, now that I'm middle-aged (time flies, huh?), I decided to change my eating habits or suffer the consequences later in life, so I turned to HelloFresh to teach this old dog new tricks. HelloFresh sources high-quality ingredients which include totally fresh produce (fruits & veggies), organic items, and meat, seafood and poultry from sustainable suppliers. They offer vegetarian, pescatarian, and reduced calorie menu plans, and you can customize your order so if you're like me and don't eat pork, beef, or fish, simply use the HelloCustom option and swap out sides or proteins to create your perfect dish. They also offer a Fit & Wholesome plan which has meals that add up to around 700 calories per serving and they're dietitian approved.
Since I'm trying to be healthier, I went with the Fit & Wholesome plan for a balanced, healthy lifestyle, and each meal has around 700 calories. The first week I received the Bulgogi Chicken, Spicy Chicken Satay Skewers and the Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Soup. I love Asian food so much, and that's why it should come as no surprise to anyone that I ordered a Thai and Korean dish. Whenever I'm trying to be healthy, instead of ordering Thai veggie spring rolls, I'll get chicken satay because it's not fried, and I added the satay to my box to see if mine would be half as good as my local Thai spot... and while it was satisfying, it wasn't the same. And Bulgogi Chicken (which is basically Korean BBQ chicken) comes with a chicken breast, roasted carrots, jasmine rice and tangy Bulgogi sauce. And lastly, since it's the season for soup and root veggies, I tried my hand at the soup, and it was very comforting. I must say, I did quite a good a job and every dish was 700 calories or less.
Now look, if you follow strict diets like Paleo or Keto, you're vegan, gluten-free or allergen-free, HelloFresh does offer some options, but if you're all or nothing with these diets, you may have better luck with a meal delivery service that caters to these dietary needs.
I want to be as transparent as possible with my experience reactivating my account, so you don't make the same mistake I did. I've been in an on-again, off-again relationship with HelloFresh since the pandemic started because sometimes, I don't end up cooking all the food and it sits in my fridge before I throw it away. That's why I cancelled my last subscription... because I was finally going out to eat again, traveling a bit, and it made more sense for me to either pause or do the 2 meals per week plan.
Well, this time I went to the site to check out the menu since it had been a hot minute, and it immediately asked me to re-activate my account, so I re-activated because I thought it would allow me to read the menu and explore my options. What I didn't expect to happen was that it immediately charged my card for a weekly shipment, chose the items for me and shipped it out! When I finally realized what happened, I hopped online to try and cancel, but it was too late... the box had already shipped.
Not only were they sending me items I wouldn't have chosen for myself, but they shipped it to my old address, too. I went back and forth with customer service, they refunded me the money, and the box arrived at my ex's house instead. Thankfully there are new residents there, so they're probably very confused, but I didn't bother picking it up, so I hope they enjoyed their random HelloFresh shipment! I told customer service they need to have a pop-up explaining if you re-activate your account, you'll be charged and shipped a box—or maybe they should just do away with the automation because it doesn't offer the best customer experience.