After my fun weekend of cheese and wine, a little dose of healthy was in order.
Aka, letting someone else make ALL of my [yummy] [healthy] meals for the day so I didn't have to do any of the work. Win/win!
Eatfitters is a local store with a few different locations in Houston, where pre-packaged, fresh, high-protein, low-sodium meals are available for purchase. Customers can discuss their health goals with a nutritionist, who will help them choose their meals accordingly. Different plans are available based on what you're looking to accomplish.
If you're ordering a la carte, the entrees range from around $5 to $12 each, depending on what you get, and the snacks start at $1.50. And there are different plans and pricing options if you're wanting to do one of their weight loss programs.
I visited their Shepherd location, where I discussed my options with a friendly employee. He told me I should pick out three meals and two snacks. Since I don't eat meat, my entree options were fairly limited, but I didn't really mind since everything looked great. I ended up choosing the berry pancakes for breakfast, the Mediterranean salad for lunch, the large garden lasagna for dinner, and the yogurt parfait and hummus & eggs for my snacks.
Since I'm a huge lover of eggs for breakfast, and not really a sweet-toothed person, I was initially a little bummed that pancakes were the only vegetarian breakfast option in the store that day. I couldn't fathom they would be filling enough, much less something I'd enjoy. But I've got to hand it to these protein-packed pancakes - They kept me full all morning, and I enjoyed them more than I thought I would! After heating the pancakes in the microwave for about two minutes, my initial bite was a bit sponge-y. But as I made my way towards the center of the pancakes, the texture became more and more fluffy. They had a pleasing texture and were grainy, almost nutty, and dense. The blueberries did not really play a starring role in the pancakes, but I honestly didn't miss them. Served with two packets of honey to drizzle on top, I actually added just a little more raw honey since the cakes had soaked it all up. No, these were not life-changing pancakes, but they got the job done and were a surprisingly nice change of pace in my morning routine.
Still full off of the pancakes I'd consumed at 8:00, I didn't delve into the yogurt parfait until around 11:00. This was a decent morning snack, though probably my least favorite out of everything I ate that day. The berries to oatmeal/granola/raisins to yogurt ratio was good. None of the goodies became soggy or lost in the yogurt. It wasn't too sweet though, and I actually would have preferred it a little sweeter, as it was almost too tart. In terms of practicality, it was a good, filling snack, and yogurt lovers will appreciate this one. I'm just not really a yogurt person, so I would probably try something different next time.
In the most shocking turn of events, THE SALAD ended up being my favorite meal of the day! I cannot tell you just how much I enjoyed this lunch. The Eatfitters Greek dressing served with the Mediterranean salad was light, creamy, and slightly sweet with a smattering of flavorful oregano. In terms of the contents of the salad, I adored the sweet/salty combo of the dried cranberries with olives. The playful tease of feta and hard boiled egg added a welcome softness to everything, and it all came together perfectly! I 100% did not want this salad to end.
Okay, how brilliant is this? Hard boiled eggs...with hummus in the middle. Like deviled eggs, but infinitely better. I lost. my damn. mind over these, which I had for my afternoon snack. The hummus was garlicky and creamy, with a slight crunch, and it was just perfect on top of the eggs. There's not much more that I can say, except that I loved them! They were a close second to my beloved salad.
I cooked up some asparagus to have with my garden lasagna because I'd gone on a bike ride after work and knew I'd need a little more sustenance. I poured up some wine to have with my garden lasagna because I...wine.
Anywho, I heated the garden lasagna up in the microwave for about three minutes. It was nicely textured, and filled with flavorful squash, spinach, and pleasantly sweet carrots. It was a little soggy (but not offensively so), creamy, and light, yet very cheesy (you know I was loving that!) There was not a lot of tomato sauce, which I actually appreciated since it gave me the opportunity to enjoy the many vegetables and generous amount of cheese. I did have to add some salt to it though, but not too much. My last bite of the lasagna contained a lone surprise piece of broccoli, which I was incredibly excited about!
(Is it sad that the older I get the more excited I am about things like "surprise broccoli"?)
(...don't answer that.)
I plugged all of the food into My Fitness Pal so I could check out my macros. I'm not a big "macros" person or anything and am in no way a nutritionist, but I was curious on how everything I ate stacked up nutrition-wise. (Note: The Mediterranean Salad is not listed on their menu, so it isn't in My Fitness Pal. I entered their Greek Salad instead, which seems pretty similar. Also note: my morning coffees, silk coconut milk, and added honey are also included in there, but the wine and asparagus are not). With all of that taken into account, my calorie intake was a little over 1,200 for all of the Eatfitter meals. Here's what everything looked like:
So as you can see, high protein and low sodium really are the names of the game here! Fiber was a little low, so I do think the incorporation of extra vegetables or maybe beans is a good idea with this program. My iron was low, as it normally is since I don't eat meat, so I think that's more of a Kim issue than anything (believe me, my doctor already has bopped me over the head about this one). And while I know that calories aren't the be-all-end-all of nutrition by any stretch, I do know that I generally eat more than 1,200 calories a day since I am pretty active and load up on veggies, so I'd probably need to throw an extra snack in there or something to make it totally work for me. I'm a hungry gal! (and I may or may not have allowed myself an extra glass of wine and snacks after the fact, while watching the Astros play the Yankees in the wild card game because GAH SO EXCITING RIGHT?!)
My overall assessment of Eatfitters is if you are looking for healthy meals on the go, it's a great option. In my post-Whole30 life where I'm a bit burnt out on cooking all of the things and doing all of the dishes, this was a welcome respite. Is this something I could do every day for several days straight? Probably not, since I've learned I don't mentally do well on that kind of program. But I certainly love that I can stop in and grab a healthy (and delicious) meal that's already prepared for me, a la carte. If you like having your meals planned out, and you don't have a lot of time on your hands to food prep, or if you just want to grab a filling, healthy meal on the go, Eatfitters is a great option!
AND THAT SALAD THOUGH.