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
I just ordered my 4th Low Carb Diets-to-Go order and I have to say I LOVE Diets-to go Low Carb. I like their food, I’m not hungry and I find their prices are reasonable. Their prices are reasonable particularly if you don’t have time to prepare meals in advance or when you get home from work. For me Low Carb seems to work better for weight loss and over all I feel better. Plus I’m not tempted to just “grab something” which is almost always way high in calories and take out costs.
I cook on the weekends and pretty much stick to low carb so I order 5 days. I have an insatiable sweet tooth so DTG-low carb and a sweet treat once in while helps keep things balanced.
I have tried other meal delivery services such as Freshology – Frozen (the Low cal/Low Fat option 1200 cal.). In my opinion DTG-LC is a million times better than Freshology taste wise and most certainly cost wise. You pay almost 4x more for Freshology-Frozen. The menu was disappointing in variety and taste most of the time. For that kind of money I expect delicious meals every time.
By the way you have cracked meal trays even with the pricey services like Freshology. They don’t offer fresh delivery in my area but the price for “freshology-fresh” was way over budget for me so it wouldn’t have been an option in any case. FYI…I liked maybe 1 in 5 Freshology- frozen meals and worse I didn’t lose any weight.
DTG-Low Carb gets my vote! I love reading everyone’s posts.
You are right. When I first posted this article I noticed that they had a discount on the Website and asked if it was the same. They said, no, the on-site discount was only on one or two special items and the one on my site was for everything. That must have changed since I posted. I think Jimmy had a better discount on his site anyway, so check that out (they are probably paying him for the ad too!).
I agree that the meals plus shipping are a bit pricey compared to home cooking, but I don't think they are more than eating out. For those who work and have more income and less time, it could still be an attractive alternative. Another advantage is knowing exactly what you are eating.
Why don't you contact the company and ask about ordering just a few meals without signing up. Let us know what they say, OK?
It looks interesting. It appears the "fallsale" discount is available to anyone since it's advertised right on their home webpage. The only issue I have is that there doesn't seem to be any way to place a one time order. It's automatically set up as a weekly order which you can cancel at any time, but that's more trouble than I'm willing to go to right now. The price is still awfully steep for the tiny number of calories you are paying for. They say their low carb plans are designed at 1300 calories a day, and the base price only gives you lunch and dinner for 5 days. So the "standard" price is $109 for 10 meals – WAY more than I pay for food! No breakfast included so you are probably paying the $109 for about 1000 calories worth of food a day. I can get the same amount of calories from decent food at home for about $3-5 dollars a day at a quick guesstimate, LOL.
Great idea, Kay!
My neighbor makes cat beds out of them….cuts a hole, adds blankets and a heating pad. Cozy!!