Diet to Go – Reviewed
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that the “Juicing my way to better health” plan was a complete bust – and will try alternate methods (prepared food delivery) to incorporate a better diet for people with little to no spare time in their lives.
Week 1: Diet to Go
The first company to get evaluated by Hoboken411 is Diet to Go.
Here’s the box as it was delivered:
(see what’s inside, and a quick review after the jump!)
(Diet to Go, continued…)
Ordering and Delivery…
If you want to order Diet to Go – and don’t choose to make changes to your menu – it’s fairly simple. If there are menu items you don’t want – the process is a bit complicated, but not impossible. I’d recommend you speak with an operator on the phone, which might be easier.
The delivery was prompt – and on the exact day they promised. Two boxes – one Styrofoam container packed with frozen food and dry ice (all the dishes were still properly frozen) – as well as a “fresh” food box, with other dry items not needing to be frozen. Some of the labels on the frozen food had worn off, making the “sorting process” a bit of a chore, but I was able to figure it out by process of elimination. They recommend that you put the first three days in the refrigerator, and the rest in the freezer until halfway through the week. There is no particular order you should eat the meals, but DTG provides a menu as a suggestion.
First impressions – pleasantly surprised
I felt a bit weird about all these meals because I had no idea what the preparation process for cooking them was… or how clean & sanitary the facilities were. Call it blind faith I suppose.
For one, I eliminated most of the fish dishes, because I was a bit afraid of ordering cooked meals that are shipped – and suspected that fish might be the first thing to “go bad” if an error was made.
However, I forgot to get rid of the shrimp fettucini – and decided to try that first. Incredibly, didn’t have a “fishy” smell – and the taste was quite acceptable. Definitely a huge step above typical supermarket frozen food – but also a completely different breed from “restaurant” food – and of course much healthier.
Here are my trademark “bullet-style” observations so far (halfway through the week):
- You’ll notice the lack of sodium. After having a couple dishes – the first thing that came to mind was “this isn’t overly salty” and the seasonings were enough to notice that the food was actually quite tasty. A couple memorable meals for me were: Chicken Creole (very filling) – Chicken Parm – and especially the Tomato Veggie Pie with Cous Cous (my favorite so far!) However, one dish (the black bean soup) was salty beyond comprehension. I couldn’t eat it. I stuck with the curry vegetable salad that came with it, which was really good.
- Items were indeed fresh. I have to say, the vegetables that accompanied (or included in) the dishes were very well prepared, and nothing tasted “cheap” or processed. A very good sign that they care a bit about what they’re selling.
- Breakfast items not necessary. The breakfast dishes that came with the order were a bit of a pain in the neck. Because most of them involved bread-based products – and were “grouped” in their packaging, making it hard to figure out what to eat and when. There was some fresh fruit & yogurt items, which I haven’t bothered eating yet (I wake up late – and usually go straight to lunch). So my recommendation is eat breakfast on your own (they offer just Lunch & Dinner as an option) – eat some cereal, a fiber bar or some fruit instead. If I choose this company for my long-term prepared meal plans, I will do just that.
- Try it first, then customize. If I choose Diet to Go – in addition to removing the breakfast – I will hand-pick my top 5-7 meals and just stick with them. I know variety is the “spice of life” – but equally important is a smidge of comfort, routine and quality. Man – I keep thinking of the Tomato Veggie Pie – was fantastic!
Well, I screwed up my next order by missing the “cutoff” date. Next on the list was eDiets.com – but I placed the order anyway, which should arrive on July 9th.
In the interim – I re-arranged the schedule a bit, and instead of ordering the “three week plan” from Pure Foods Fresh Start last – I did the “three day sampler” which will arrive sometime this week. Which means I’ll be on my own again for a few days, and will probably order pizza and other unhealthy foods.
One thing you need to keep in mind is, that these “diet plans” most often are “auto-ship,” and if you want to sample them, you need to be sure that call and cancel promptly – or you’ll have a refrigerator filled with food you may not want.
Overall Score for Diet to Go
I will rate each company at the end of the whole evaluation – using a score of 1-10 – and in comparison to the others – using the following categories:
- Ordering / Customer Service
- Delivery / Packaging
- Food Quality / Taste
- Chances of sticking with them long-term
As it stands now – with no comparison, I’d rate DTG 7,7,7,8,7 respectively for the time being (My total cost with a coupon was about $135 for the week).
See the full chart sometime in August!