7 Delivery-Diet Programs for Every Appetite and Health Goal

7 Delivery-Diet Programs for Every Appetite and Health Goal featured image
Hungryroot/Daily Harvest
This article first appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

One thing we’ve learned while staying at home: the power of food delivery, and we’re not talking pizza. There’s a great big world of farm-to-your-door, subscription-based programs out there that focus on overall wellness, making it easier than ever for us to fuel our bodies with nutrient-dense ingredients and mouthwatering recipes. These seven top our list.

Sakara Life
Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise, cofounders and co-CEOs of Sakara Life, believe in the power of food as medicine, and base their ready-to-eat, plant-based meals on that credo. “We grew up in Sedona, which is the mecca of mind-body-food connection,” says the duo. “We knew people who ‘ate sunshine,’ and our moms used to give us chlorella tablets as kids.” A mix of ancient nutrition customs (think macrobiotics and Ayurveda) and modern science make up the brand’s 9 Pillars of Nutrition, and popular recipes include the Chia + Coconut Protein Waffles and Five Herb Pesto Pasta. If you want more than just good meals, Sakara’s Clean Boutique offers everything from supplements to tea, and limited-edition collaborations with brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Tata Harper take “beauty nutrition” to the next level. Plans starting at $25 per day

Expert insight: “A good starting point is to consider which meals you struggle with most,” says nutritionist Jennifer Hanway. “If you never find time for a healthy breakfast, then a smoothie delivery subscription could be great for you, or if you struggle with a balanced meal in the evenings because you work late, then a program offering lunch and evening meals would be better.”

Purple Carrot
For those who want to learn how to cook, or those who already have skills in the kitchen but want to make nutritious, balanced meals in 45 minutes or less, Purple Carrot fits the bill. The program encourages people to not only eat more plants for their health, but also the health of the planet, as meal kits have a smaller carbon footprint than equivalent meals bought from a grocery store. Each week, you receive fresh ingredients and a detailed recipe book for breakfast, lunch and dinner (there are also snacks)— two of the most sought-after meals include Japanese Gnocchi with Miso Tomato Butter & Nori Spice, and Beet Burgers with Smoky Tomato Aioli & Potato Wedges. Only a few additional ingredients are needed from your pantry, and most of them are household staples, such as olive oil. Plans starting at $72 per week

Expert insight: “One thing I love about these types of programs is the nutrient density and variety of ingredients included, which is key to boosting gut health, preventing food sensitivities, and ensuring we are getting adequate antioxidants and phytonutrients,” says Hanway. “At the grocery store, many of these ingredients can typically be cost-prohibitive—or you cannot buy them in small quantities—especially if you are making meals for just yourself.”

Daily Harvest
Tired of calling a handful of trail mix her lunch, founder Rachel Drori went on a mission to eat healthy, delicious food without spending an entire day meal-prepping. What resulted is Daily Harvest: pre-portioned, frozen foods packed with organic fruits and veggies picked at their nutritional peak and frozen on the farm within 24 hours. What began as smoothies has grown into a robust assortment, including soups, bowls, bites and more, plus two new additions: flatbreads made with cauliflower, broccoli and sweet potato crust, and plant-based ice cream. You can choose how many items you want to receive in each order—9, 12 or 24—and how often— weekly or monthly—with the ability to switch things up along the way. Items starting at $6

Expert insight: “One benefit of these programs is that you get exposure to foods that perhaps you wouldn’t have tried before, so maybe it will open your mind to a new recipe, superfood or something else,” says nutritionist Brooke Alpert.

If you’re like me and you enter the grocery store with the best of intentions but leave with a bag full of snacks, Hungryroot can help get you on the right track with its personalized, modern approach to grocery shopping. Here’s how it works: Fill out a questionnaire describing your preferences— vegan, gluten-free, pescatarian, tree nut–free, etc.—and the brand will select (or you can choose) a well-rounded variety of groceries for you to cook meals with during the week in 10 minutes or less. Fan-favorites are the Black Bean Brownie Batter, Cashew Cheddar, Thai Peanut Sauce and Chickpea Almond Cookie Dough, and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. Plans starting at $60 per week

Splendid Spoon
For those who want to grab and go but keep it healthy, Splendid Spoon’s plant-based smoothies, soups, wellness shots and grain bowls make it possible. Vegan, as well as gluten-, dairy- and soy-free, each of the 40-plus recipes— crowd pleasers are the Cauliflower Tikka and Coconut Curry Rice Bowls, and Raspberry Cacao Smoothie—is made with fresh fruits, veggies and high-fiber proteins, and ready to eat. “We offer accessible, nutritious fare to everyday Americans,” says founder and CEO Nicole Centeno, a French Culinary Institute– trained chef. “We want them to know they can still achieve a wellness-driven lifestyle with a 9-to-5 job and the daily demands of life.” Plans starting at $65 per week

Urban Remedy
Neka Pasquale didn’t set out to create a meal plan business—her acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice led her there after discovering the healing power of foods and seeing patients’ “life-changing results” in the wellness retreats she led. Urban Remedy’s ready-to-eat meals aim to revitalize the body and refocus cravings by eliminating common inflammatory foods like white sugar and dairy. “Down to our salt, every ingredient is chosen for its healing benefits,” Pasquale says. A variety of shakes, juices, bowls, wraps and salads—the Soba Noodles are particularly tasty—the plans come in three- or five-day options, or one-day “reset” cleanses, and some are even curated and inspired by supermodels Kate Upton and Cindy Crawford. Plus, you can now also find several items at Whole Foods. Plans starting at $155

Expert insight: “I think it’s important to only subscribe Monday through Friday, or take breaks, as I don’t like for people to become disconnected to choosing, preparing and eating their own food,” says Hanway.

Eat Sunny
Dreamed up by a wellness and beauty writer in partnership with an executive chef, Eat Sunny creates meals much like a cosmetic chemist formulates a skin-care cream—just like hyaluronic acid’s ability to nourish the skin, foods with antioxidants, probiotics, fiber and protein can nourish the body. The hearty, ready-to-eat vegetarian and flexitarian meals—the Grass-fed Beef Ramen with Veggie Noodles and Stuffed Sweet Potato are top picks— include anti-inflammatory spices and beautifying extras like collagen, biotin, spirulina and adaptogenic powders. The brand is also the first of its kind to focus on distributing through plastic surgery and dermatology offices, and is endorsed by doctors recommending it to patients as a way for them to prepare for or heal from aesthetic procedures. Plans starting at $189

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