It felt like Christmas came early this year when I got a knock on the door and discovered a huge Styrofoam crate full of food from Diet To Go, a company that puts together meals to fit your diet of choice (low-fat, vegetarian, or low-carb) and ships them directly to you. They take the guesswork out of dieting ~ no shopping, no cooking, no counting calories or carbs, and no estimating portion sizes ~ mindless eating, but in a good way.
One of the things I miss on my low-carb diet is the convenience of prepared foods. The grocer’s freezers are full of low-fat, low-calorie frozen dinners, but nothing low-carb, so I was pleased to have a chance to test drive a week’s worth of low-carb food in return for a blog review.
The low-carb meals are designed to total 30 grams of carbohydrate a day. Most of the ones I tried featured a protein, such as salmon, meatloaf, half a chicken, or an omelet plus at least two vegetables and usually a tasty sauce or condiment. You are expected to add your own fresh salad vegetables. I read on their Website that their traditional and vegetarian meals comply with the USDA’s, the ADA’s, and the American Cancer Society’s guidelines. The only difference in the Atkins-style plan compared to the other two is that it replaces the starches with extra vegetables. (These organizations insist that we need that starch!) Although I couldn’t find the nutrition data for the individual meals online, the low-carb meals also seem to be lower in calories and fat than my typical low-carb regimen. I would have been hungry if I had eaten nothing else, but there was an easy fix. I just topped my food with a big pat of organic, pasture butter and put more EVOO on my salads to increase the fat. It kept me full, kept my insulin low, and made sure that my metabolism stayed in fat-burning mode, which is the real magic in the system. I was even able to include some yummy, low-carb desserts and snacks, but as they say, “your mileage may vary.”
This is real, healthful food. There is a lot of variety and there are many options. Your order can be customized to your personal taste and to accommodate allergies. You can order once or place a standing order for regular shipments. The meals can go in the freezer so they are ready to heat and eat when needed. I can see that this would be a welcome relief to those who are trying to eat a healthful diet while maintaining a hectic schedule or sharing a living space with others who must have their pizza and pasta.
The low-carb meals start at $7.84 each, which is less than the typical tab at most restaurants these days. Delivery via FedEx or UPS adds $18.95 per order anywhere in the US, including Alaska. If you live in certain urban areas, you can pick up your order at a central location and pay no shipping.
Here’s a special offer for Carb Wars readers: Go to http://diettogo.com/ and use the coupon code “fallsale” to receive a 15% discount on everything you order. This code is good through Christmas of 2012.
I would be thrilled to find these meals in the freezer at my local store and I hope that might eventually happen. Until then, my biggest concern is environmental ~ what does one do with those huge shrink-wrapped Styrofoam trunks? If you routinely used this service, you would have to visit your local recycling center fairly often to keep your garage from exploding. (I assume that you don’t want to cut them up to insulate your attic or use them to build igloos for those left homeless by the hurricane.) But, if you are only ordering meals for the two-week induction period of a low-carb diet (and what could be an easier way to do that?), here are a couple of ideas.
1. Put one in the truck of your car. Put all your frozen and cold grocery items in the chest and they will be insulated until you get home so you can buy ice cream on a hot summer day. The container will only take up the space of the thickness of its walls, since you still have the room inside to use as regular storage space when you don’t need to keep anything cold.
2. Make a light box to use for indoor photography. Here are two pictures of one I made from a smaller container. I cut out the bottom with a serrated knife, stapled a piece of thin, white fabric over the opening, and hung it over a photoflood light. I taped a few layers of foil over the area where the Styrofoam touched the reflector to protect it from the heat, just in case. No more hot spots in my food photos! I was waiting to make another one until I got another shipment in an insulated box, so this extra-large one will be perfect!
(c) 2012, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com