Diet-to-Go Meal Delivery: My Thoughts After 3 Days

Diet-to-Go Meal Delivery: My Thoughts After 3 Days

Have you been tempted by meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Sun Basket, but afraid the food wouldn’t fit your diabetes meal plan? Curious, I tried Diet-to-Go’s Balance Diabetes program for three days. Here’s what happened.

 

Let me say upfront that, in general, I’m not a huge fan of prepared food. I rarely eat frozen dinners or premade meals from containers. I’m too much of a control freak (or a food snob), I guess. However, Diet-to-Go offered me some meals to try while we were remodeling a bathroom and the house was complete chaos. Not cooking amid the mess for a few days before heading off to Washington, DC for Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) training sounded pretty good.

The Diet-to-Go Box Arrives

FedEx delivered my box of Balance Diabetes (Balance-D) meals on the date I requested. Lined with bubble wrap and filled with ice packs, the cardboard box contained three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners. It also had information about how to contact Diet-to-Go’s health coaches, how to join their Facebook group, and how to reheat the meals. Also included was a Snack Smart card with ideas for savory and sweet between-meal snacks. So far, so good.

I decided to check my blood sugar before each meal and two hours afterward to see the impact of the meal on my diabetes management.

Day 1

The first day of Diet-to-Go meals featured:

  • Breakfast: Cinnamon Walnut Cereal and Chobani Less Sugar Greek Yogurt (Gili Cherry)
  • Lunch: Blackened Salmon on Spinach Cauliflower Purée and Brussels Sprouts
  • Dinner: Turkey Picadillo, Brown Rice Pilaf, and Apricot-Glazed Asparagus

 

Diet-to-Go Balance Diabetes - Turkey Picadillo
Diet-to-Go Turkey Picadillo, Brown Rice Pilaf, and Apricot-Glazed Asparagus

You could serve the breakfast cereal hot or cold; I opted for cold given the 90+°F temperature outside. I found the cereal to be too sweet but I was excited to discover a fruit-flavored “less sugar” yogurt that didn’t involve a sugar substitute.

Lunch came with a lemon wedge to squeeze over the salmon after heating. Unfortunately, the lemon was bitter and I wished I hadn’t used it. I wouldn’t have called the salmon “blackened,” but it was moist (not overcooked) and I would definitely eat it again (without the lemon). The Brussels sprouts tasted fresh and I loved the purée.

For dinner, I combined the turkey together with the rice pilaf. The result was a sloppy joe-type mixture with raisins providing a hint of sweetness. The bright green asparagus was delicious, but I trimmed off the ends because they were a bit woody.

At the end of Day 1, I was pleasantly surprised that the food had been better than I expected. I ate some pistachios in the late afternoon and had a few walnuts and a couple of prunes after dinner. My bedtime BG was towards the lower end of my range.

Calories Carbs (g) Fiber (g) BG change*
Breakfast 250 39 3 +4
Lunch 420 19 9 -46
Dinner 350 39 6 -3
TOTAL 1,020 97 18

Day 2

The second day of Diet-to-Go meals featured:

  • Breakfast: Kale and Swiss Frittata and Chicken Sausage
  • Lunch: Turkey Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Green Beans
  • Dinner: Chicken Fontina, Green Peppers and Onions, and Broccoli with Almonds
Diet-to-Go Balance Diabetes - Chicken Fontina
Diet-to-Go Chicken Fontina, Green Peppers and Onions, and Broccoli with Almonds

The breakfast frittata was heavy on the kale, but that’s a good thing. The sausage didn’t look very appetizing but had good flavor. I felt like the meal needed some fruit, so I ate a few apple slices too (which are not reflected in the nutritional information below).

After microwaving the lunch meal, the turkey wasn’t quite hot all the way through. I heated it more and the green beans overcooked. Oh well. It was still tasty and I’d eat it all again. The mashed potatoes did make my blood sugar spike, but I still stayed within my range.

I didn’t eat all of the Chicken Fontina because it featured mushrooms (which I don’t like). The broccoli, however, was perfectly crunchy and I inhaled it. There’s nothing worse than mushy broccoli. (Except mushrooms.)

Snacks on Day 2 included a couple of Date Almond Energy Bites after breakfast and a few pistachios in the afternoon.

Calories Carbs (g) Fiber (g) BG change*
Breakfast 250 8 1 -8
Lunch 380 33 5 +24
Dinner 460 18 6 **
TOTAL 1,090 59 12

Day 3

The third day of Diet-to-Go meals featured:

  • Breakfast: Sunny Breakfast Box with Chobani Less Sugar Greek Yogurt (Gili Cherry), Peaches, and Almonds
  • Lunch: Chicken Pesto Salad and Whole Wheat Roll
  • Dinner: Thai Turkey Tenderloin, Stir Fry Rice, and Green Bean Medley
Diet-to-Go Balance Diabetes - Chicken Pesto Salad
Diet-to-Go Chicken Pesto Salad and Whole Wheat Roll

The “Less Sugar” Chobani yogurt was featured a second time for breakfast, so I’m glad I liked it. The peaches tasted like grade-school fruit cocktail (minus the maraschino cherries) and added unnecessary carbs in my opinion. I would have been perfectly happy to sprinkle the almonds on the yogurt and call it breakfast, skipping the fruit entirely. My blood sugar spiked afterward and I blame the peaches.

I loved the chicken salad at lunchtime. Featuring olives and peas, which I didn’t expect, it provided a nice change of pace from my go-to Pesto Chicken Salad with Grapes. I would have preferred a few crunchy Nut-Thin crackers to the soft roll.

My husband ate the Thai Turkey Tenderloin meal because I wasn’t home for dinner. He said it was much spicier than he expected.

My afternoon snack on Day 3 was string cheese plus a few walnuts.

Calories Carbs (g) Fiber (g) BG change*
Breakfast 330 29 5 +21
Lunch 390 27 4 +14
Dinner 400 36 5 ***
TOTAL 1,120 92 14

* Difference between BG measured before the meal and two hours afterward.
** Meal had ingredients I didn’t like, so I did not eat all of it or test my BG afterward.
*** I had a business dinner and my husband ate the meal.

Summary

While the Diet-to-Go meals were better than I expected them to be, I don’t see myself becoming a prepared meal junkie. I like to cook and prefer to have more control over what I eat. I also tend to eat more fiber than these meals provide. However, I will say if you eat a lot of frozen dinners anyway, you might want to give meal delivery a shot. Not having to think about what to eat can alleviate stress, that’s for sure. Also, if you don’t cook or hate grocery shopping, delivered meals might work well for you.

Disclosure: I received nine free meals from Diet-to-Go’s Balance Diabetes program for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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