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HelloFresh Review

Interested in trying a meal delivery kit service? Here’s my experience using HelloFresh

 

hello fresh

Disclaimer: I work on the HelloFresh social media team now but don’t worry, this post isn’t to tell you why you should choose HelloFresh over their competitors and I’m not being paid to post this. There are no affiliate links and this post isn’t monetized in any way. I’m just posting my experience with my boxes so far, explaining the benefits, and popular concerns.

Background

Meal delivery kits started in 2011 and since then have turned into a tremendous market that many people doubted at first. I’ll admit it, I was a doubter also. In case you’re behind, some of the popular meal delivery kit services include HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Plated, Home Chef, Sun Basket, Marley Spoon and Green Chef. What’s the difference between them all? Different recipes, different styles, different missions. Here are some key things you should know about HelloFresh:

Hello Fresh
Seared Steak with Heirloom Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Orzo Salad

1. They are a meal kit delivery service

Meal kit delivery services like HelloFresh essentially work like this: the company creates recipes that you can make in about 30 minutes. They source all of the ingredients, package the exact amounts needed for the recipe in an refrigerated, insulated box, and ship them (for free) to your home. You unpack your box and cook the recipes yourself.

2. They, like the others, are a subscription service.

This means that whether you get a free box, a promo code, a coupon, or just sign up for a box in general, you are signing up for a subscription service. You can pause up to 8 weeks at a time which means, while HelloFresh is a weekly subscription, you can manually make your subscription bi-weekly, tri-weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly. Again, you have to do this manually for now but it is an option if you want to try the service but can’t commit financially yet.

3. They have a Registered Dietitian on staff.

My degree is in Dietetics so you can imagine why I find this extremely valuable. The recipes are made by a culinary team of chefs with the help and oversight of HelloFresh’s dietitian. What does this mean for you? You have somebody fighting to balance the portions of sodium, fat, carbs, and protein in each recipe. Plus, she creates the nutrition label info so every recipe comes with an ingredient list, nutritional breakdown, and allergen information.

4) The recipes are outstanding and portioned.

Now I haven’t tried any of the other meal kit services’ recipes but I can say this much, the HelloFresh recipes are unbelievable. The menu does change weekly and you’ll probably like some meals more than others, but every week so far there’s been at least one super star meal. Each meal has roughly 5-6 oz of lean protein, a serving of vegetables and a fun twist that I would never think of (orange glazing meatballs?!).

HelloFresh
Seared Sirloin Stir-Fry with Sugar Snap Peas & homemade Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Sauce

What if I already know how to cook?

If you already know how to cook it’s even better, in my opinion. Look through my recipes and you’ll see that while I’m no professional chef, I know my way around a kitchen. If you already know how to cook then you’ll be able to get through these recipes with ease while also learning new techniques and trying new food combinations (I never would have made things like kiwi salsa otherwise). It’s almost like saying “I already know how to read, why buy books?”.

Isn’t it expensive?

That really depends. You could most likely get the ingredients yourself by going to a grocery store and spending 1-2 hours of your time there. Also, I hate when I want to try a new recipe that calls for 1 tsp. of Thyme which means I have to buy a whole bottle. I wouldn’t/couldn’t use a meal delivery kit to account for 100% of my weekly groceries, but it’s an amazing substitute to eating out, dinner dates, and getting out of the rut of making the same meals all of the time.

How Meal Prepping Can Save You Thousands

8 Ways to Save Hundreds on Groceries

Versus going out to eat…

Most meal kit delivery services generally cost around $9.99/meal. HelloFresh meals range from as low as $8.50/meal to $11.50/meal. Compare that with the $20+/meal you’d get at a nice restaurant for very similar meals and meal kits win again! Now, you’re probably thinking “but at least at a restaurant I can sit and be served”. True, but you also pay a premium for that service in both the meal costs and the 20%+ tip. You’ll still wait 30-45 minutes to eat (the approximate cooking time of HelloFresh and their competitor’s recipes) so you essentially have to weigh paying a premium to sit and talk against chopping some vegetables and meat.

Inside the Refrigerated Box: several recipe boxes, HelloPerks and a recipe booklet.
Inside the Refrigerated Box: several recipe boxes, HelloPerks and a recipe booklet.

The Packaging

HelloFresh packages their recipes in individualize, smaller ventilated boxes. Once I get my box at the door, I open it and remove the individualized recipe kits, and stow them away in my fridge until I’m ready to cook. No sorting, no standing in line, just 15 seconds of unpacking.

You do have to deal with breaking down cardboard, emptying the ice packs (once you’ve saved enough of them for later use), and disposing the very limited plastic though.

 

I definitely recommend trying a meal kit delivery service and of course, I highly recommend HelloFresh. There are always tons of promotions and coupons so you can your first box super cheap!

My Top 5 Pre-Workout Supplements for Beginner-Novice Level Trainees

Looking for a new pre-workout? Try one of my Top 5 Pre-Workout Choices.

My pre-workout choices are based on quality ingredients, reputable brands, great prices and amazing results. I’ve tried many pre-workouts in the past and these are the ones I would recommend to new clients, fitness enthusiasts and even just the weekend warriors. Below you’ll get my top 5 pre-workouts, some that I like that didn’t make the cut and others to definitely look out for!

 

volt
Neon Sport Volt

1. Neon Sport Volt

Now a MusclePharm subsidiary, I tried Neon Sport Volt several years ago as a sample in my bodybuilding.com order and it quickly became one of my favorite pre-workouts. It has a modest amount of caffeine, beta-alanine, amino acids, agmatine sulfate and l-citrulline. It’s roughly $20 for 36 servings but I’ve been able to get it on Amazon for as little as $15.  I stack Neon Sport Volt with Xtend Perform for a ridiculous pump, long lasting energy, and decreased fatigue time. So far this is my favorite pre-workout stack, definitely give it a try.

 

c42. Cellucor C4

Coming in second is Cellucor’s C4 Pre-Workout. While it’s not nearly as stimulating as Neon Sport Volt (due to it’s lower concentration proprietary blend), it’s a great Pre-Workout for beginners, weekend warriors or just anyone looking for an extra boost. C4 comes in a wide variety of flavors including Mojito, Strawberry Margarita, and then your staple flavors (watermelon, blue raspberry, etc.).

 

assault.jpg3. MusclePharm Assault

Barely behind C4 is MusclePharm Assault. Assault is another low intensity Pre-Workout that provides just enough stimulation to power through an intense workout but because of its three proprietary blends it’s hard to know exactly how much of each ingredient you’re getting. I’ve also found it easier to get great deals on C4 than Assault and at the end of the day I look for the best deals on quality products.

 

 

n.o xplode4. BSN N.O Xplode

BSN N.O Xplode is another great option for beginners and regulars alike. My first time taking N.O Xplode was INTENSE but I’ve noticed that after a week or so I get little to no stimulation out of a single serving (unlike Volt where I feel a jolt of energy every time I take it) and I have to double up on scoops which means my pre-workout only lasts half as long. N.O Xplode has sodium bicarbonate in it which makes it a fizzy cocktail that delivers the nutrients to your bloodstream faster. I personally love the “fizz” effect and wish more companies followed suit. A typical 30 serving container goes for roughly $30, more or less and again, at the end of the day if I can get 30 servings of a quality pre-workout for $15-20 I’ll ALWAYS choose the latter. Every single time.

Does Your Pre-Workout Have These Ingredients?

dr. jekyll.png5. Pro Supps Dr. Jekyll

I jumped on the Pro Supps bandwagon very briefly a year ago when Mr. Hyde was dominating the pre-workout market. The amount of caffeine in Mr. Hyde is absurd though and I would never recommend it to anyone without knowing that they could handle 300 mg of caffeine in a single serving. I generally recommend closer to 100-150 mg of caffeine for a pre-workout which is roughly the amount in the pre-workouts above. Dr. Jekyll, on the other hand, is a much less intense Pro Supps pre-workout that has 100mg of caffeine, 2 g of beta alanine, and an amino acid blend. It’s much better suited to beginner/novice level trainees. If none of the products above meet your needs then Dr. Jekyll is definitely a pre-workout that should be on your bucket-list.

What You Should Eat 2 Hours Before Your Workout

Ones to Look Out For…

1) JYM Pre-Jym
I’ve heard raving reviews of Pre-JYM but have never tried it. At $35/30 servings it doesn’t fit in my monthly supplement budget, especially when I don’t think pre-workout mixes are a necessity. Definitely worth a try though!

2) MyProtein MyPRE
MyProtein sent me their pre-workout MyPRE and I LOVED it. The flavor was a 7/10, the mixibility was closer to a 6/10 but the results were fantastic. Great pump, razor sharp focus, and long lasting energy.

3) Scivation Xtend Go

With 7g of BCAAs and 100 mg of caffeine, Xtend Go is a great option for those of you just looking for a pick me up without worrying about any ingredients that make you feel uncomfortable. It’s very subtle, natural energy and a cost effective approach to pre-workout.

4) Amino Energy 
Just after Xtend Go is Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy. With 5g of amino acids and 100 mg of caffeine it’s another great option if you’re looking for a subtle, natural energy boost that you can drink any time.

The Natural Approach
Black Coffee (10-12 oz.), preferably iced to reduce the risk of mid-workout heartburn.
Black Tea (12 oz.) with lemon or honey on ice.
Complex Carbohydrates (1-2 servings) including fruit, oatmeal, whole grains, etc.

Do you have a pre-workout that you like more than the ones that I listed? Let me know about it! Comment here, tweet me, or talk me to me on Instagram!