I Tried Daily Harvest Meals and Smoothies For a Week, and My Stomach Has Never Felt Better
I've never been the one to purchase a meal plan and actually stick with it. There were a couple times where I spent a significant amount of money on "healthy" premade frozen meals, and ended up not enjoying what I was eating. In my mind, premade frozen food never tasted good, and it actually kind of pushed me to eat more just because I was not satisfied with what I was getting. So I slowly gave up on the whole concept, until I decided to try Daily Harvest a week ago.
Daily Harvest is an online service that sends preportioned frozen healthy food to your door. There are options including overnight oats, soups, smoothies, grain bowls and even matcha lattés. All of these are not just organic but also gluten free, which worked in my favor, as gluten is my only dietary restriction. I was aware that the company was getting a lot of recognition, but because of my previous experience, I was really skeptical to try it. I got a mix of bowls and smoothies for my week. I was determined to try to become a smoothie-in-the-morning type of person.
My box included a mixture of sweet and savory options, including:
- Ginger + Greens Smoothie
- Mint + Cacao Smoothie
- Cold Brew + Almond Smoothie
- Ginger + Greens Smoothie
- Berry + Chocolate Smoothie
- Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash
- Brussels Sprouts + Lime Pad Thai
- Butternut Squash + Chimichurri
- Cauliflower + Leek Stew
- Butternut Squash + Rosemary Purée
- Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites
- Apple + Cinnamon Oat Bowl
- Kabocha + Spice Lattes
My meals arrived in a simple but cute white box, which is recyclable along with all the meal cups. In general, the preparation couldn't have been easier. For a week, I had the smoothies in the morning on my way to work, harvest bowls for quick lunch options when I didn't have time to meal prep, chocolate bites when I wanted healthy snacks, and oat bowls on the weekends when I wasn't in a rush.
As I mentioned, my previous experiences with premade meal services haven't been tasty, so I was surprised in the best way possible with every Daily Harvest meal I tried. For the smoothies, you obviously need a blender and I used the NutriBullet ($50 on Amazon). Because everything is already frozen, you don't need to dilute your smoothie with ice. All you need to do is fill the cup to the top with the liquid of your choice (I used almond milk) and dump everything in to the blender. Voila! You've got yourself a thick smoothie full of good fats such as avocado, almond butter, and black sesame to keep you full through the morning rush.
The savory harvest bowls are even easier to make: you dump them into a bowl and microwave. Some of the harvest bowls were not as filling as others, so I added some protein such as chicken or salmon to those meals or just had the bites as a snack.
Through the week, I wasn't late to work and didn't have any stomach problems, which is a huge deal for me. You can blend your smoothie and heat up your harvest bowl, then pour everything right back into their cup containers, which is great for on-the-go consumption. The fact that my stomach was not in pain made me realize how much healthier these plant-forward meals were than many other options. This service automatically helps you increase your vegetable and fruit intake; the smoothies have no added sugar and the harvest bowls are typically less than 400 calories. Additionally, I realized that I was less stressed about meal planning. There are many days I don't have the time or the energy to go to the grocery store and meal prep, which leads to lots of frozen meal and takeout consumption that I'm not really a big fan of. The fact that all these healthy organic preprepped and precooked gluten-free meals got shipped to my doorstep gave me ease and convenience of not having that added stress of figuring out where I could get some healthy food in my body. Also, since the frozen food you get delivered has long storage life, you have the flexibility to pick and choose what and when you want to eat.
Although I finished the week as a happy consumer, I wouldn't consider Daily Harvest to be cheap. The weekly delivery is between $7.49 and $7.99 per cup, while monthly delivery costs $167.76 ($6.99 per cup). However, I still think it's a good price point for what it is (especially if you're living in New York and order in a lot). Recently, the brand made it possible for customers to add as many cups to their current order as they want and got rid of the restriction of nine, 12, or 24 recipes per order. Even though as of right now I don't have the financial capacity to live on Daily Harvest, I see myself ordering more smoothies and bites from the company. I will definitely be needing those chickpea Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites!
Disclaimer: Daily Harvest sent me these meals at no cost, but all opinions are my own.