Model Kate Moss once famously stated that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” to which my response is HELLO, Kate, have you ever tasted perfectly cooked lasagna noodles baked to bubbling ecstasy chock full of robust meat sauce and fresh ricotta? Pretty sure that tastes better than skinny, jus sayin’.
Though to be honest, I don’t know how skinny feels because I’ve always been more consumed with how things taste.
Cooking and eating for good health or even weight loss can seem a bit daunting, not to mention a time-consuming task for many, myself included; and this is coming from a professional private chef!
Though I’ve been in the business of creating meals for others for their weight loss and optimal health, I know that everybody doesn’t have access to a private chef or nutritionist that can calculate how much of what types of food you should consume to meet your health needs.
Enter a frozen meal service like bistroMD where food tastes as good as skinny feels.
The team behind bistroMD have built a plan that allow people to eat healthfully while still enjoying the food they put on their plates each day. Read our best prepared meal delivery service review to see why bistroMD is number one!
“Eating well does take more time than many of us have: to shop for, prepare, and cook meals when you are tired and strapped for time. There’s a reason fast-food restaurants are so popular, and the time factor is a big part of it,” Dr. Caroline J. Cederquist, bistroMD’s co-founder once noted.
Cederquist is an expert in this field. She and her husband Ed began the company when Caroline, a bariatric specialist, began noticing that patients at her weight loss clinic were often overwhelmed and unsure of where to start when they were told to begin healthier food prep at home.
With bistroMD, she thought she could provide them (and other dieters) an easy entry to healthier meals.
The company’s co-founder and resident foodie Ed Cederquist works hard to utilize natural ingredients from both the local farmers’ markets and marketplaces around the world to create dishes that are tasty and fresh.
All of the recipes utilized by bistroMD are both designed by medical professionals and cooked by trained chefs.
Caroline Cerquist’s medical background led her to focus a large part of the company on tackling the issue of Metabolic Dysfunction and how an individual’s hormones affect the way they metabolize food. A central aspect of all bistroMD plans is finding “the right balance of macronutrients in the diet” for each subscriber.
How bistroMD Works
While meal delivery programs are currently extremely trendy, bistroMD has been part of the game for a long time. Each week, subscribers can choose from over 150 meals that are specially prepared by bistroMD’s chefs.
One of the best things about bistroMD is that it allows customers to customize their meal plans to best suit their lifestyles.
Users with special and specific needs have the option of choosing plans that are gluten-free, diabetes-friendly or, what we found impressive, even menopause-friendly plans.
The bistroMD nutrition information is clear and approachable, so you know exactly what you are getting and how you benefit from it.
And don’t worry if you are a snacker who constantly needs to have treats nearby. BistroMD has a snack program, which is helpfully called EATS or Essential and Tasty Snacks. EATS allows customers to snack on things that are good for you and in a way, the company says, allows them to lose weight faster.
The EATS snack program provides customers with 14 snacks per week (so you can indulge twice a day!)
bistroMD Meal Plans
Subscribers choose between five different custom meal plans that are designed for different dietary and lifestyle needs. Users can choose between the following:
Customers also have the option of selecting a seven-day program, in which enough food for an entire week (that’s seven breakfasts, lunches, and dinners) is sent.
Once you sign up and are enrolled, you have until the previous Sunday at midnight to change any of your orders and to update your meal plan. Each package also comes with a printed out menu for the week, so your meal intake can be easily tracked.
BistroMD’s five-day program, or workweek plan, provides customers with five breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. This is the perfect plan for those who want the flexibility to eat what they’d like on the weekends.
Customers who would like even more flexibility and freedom when it comes to their bistroMD plans can hop onto a call with a bistroMD specialized in order to coordinate a meal plan that works for you.
Many people, for example, would prefer receiving only bistroMD lunches and dinners. A customized plan will allow you to do that while still meeting your weight loss and health goals.
The plans are further customized between men and women in order to account for the differing ways each processed food and lose weight. The plans are based on a daily intake that averages 1200 calories a day. (For men, the average is closer to 1400 calories a day.)
Once you’ve picked the plan that best suits your lifestyle, you’ll then receive a customized plan from the bistroMD team of dieticians.
Your next move is to set up your meal preferences and to pick the meals you’d like to receive each week. Don’t worry if you decide later that a different bistroMD plan would work better for you, you can switch to another one with ease.
One of the most highly touted bistroMD meal plans is the new Balance by bistroMD program. Balance is unique because each meal is tailored to the customer and, as with all bistroMD dishes, no cooking is required.
Best of all, the team that designed Balance by bistroMD understands that you, the subscriber, is ultimately in charge of the plan. Read our full review of Balance by bistroMD.
“Looking to lose weight and need some help for busy days when you don’t have time to cook, or just don’t want to? We’ve got you covered. If it’s eating better that you’re after, we can help with that as well,” they write on their site.
Another unique feature bistroMD offers customers is its Silver Cuisine by bistroMD plan. (Click to read our full Silver Cuisine review.)
Silver Cuisine by bistroMD stands out from the pack because it specifically caters to customers that are over the age of 50. This plan is perfect for those of us who are caregivers for our parents but can’t cook everyday or for people who want to just enjoy retirement without spending most of our evenings cooking.
Because bistroMD takes a holistic approach to diet when creating all of their programs, their specialists work to prepare meals that address your goals by organizing them to suit your lifestyle, dietary restrictions, and time commitment.
Another big advantage to using bistroMD is that the plan comes with a built-in support system. Subscribers also have access to an unlimited number of free consultations with the company’s dietitians and support staff.
bistroMD Menu Offerings
The entrees are filling and well-balanced and the sides are a perfect complement. Here are just a few dishes that have attracted our attention.
While perusing, it’s important to note that bistroMD does not use trans fats, preservatives or food coloring. Another plus is that all of the meat the source is hormone-free.
Here are a few of their delicious offerings:
- Lasagna with Garden Marinara: Let’s face it, giving up pasta and cheese is truly one of the hardest things about dieting for many of us (and by many of us, we mean us). Fortunately, bistroMD has managed to create a lasagna that manages to not skimp on cheese while also containing protein and veggies through the inclusion of chicken and veggies that include carrots and zucchini.
- Artichoke Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata: Breakfast can be a particularly challenging meal to make both interesting and tasty. This frittata is not only both of those things but also protein-rich and filling. The balance between the frittata itself and the accompanying turkey sausage is just perfect.
- Roasted Corn and Scallop Chowder: This relatively new addition to the bistroMD menu is positively restaurant worthy. We loved the way bacon complemented the chowder and the accompanying roasted broccoli florets ensure that you’ll get your greens in as well.
- Turkey Breast with Cranberry Chutney and Wild Rice Blend: We like to best describe this dish as a mini-Thanksgiving dinner without the hours of cooking (or awkward family chitchat) that usually accompany such things. The roasted turkey is topped with loads of cranberry chutney and there are butternut squash and wild rice on the side.
- Grilled Salmon with Lemon Dijon Dressing: Our favorite aspect of this dish is its simplicity and the tanginess of the dijon. An added bonus was that the grilled salmon actually did taste as if it were fresh off the grill!
Those requiring bistroMD’s diabetic menu should of course plan to talk to their doctor first (as they should before starting any new diet plan and as the company itself recommends.)
Once you’ve gotten the go-ahead, diabetics can expect to receive meals that are low on carbohydrates and high on lean meats and whole grains. Read who we’ve voted as our top-rated low carb prepared meal delivery services.
This is to ensure that your blood sugar remains stable while you enjoy meals that are fulfilling and tasty. Because maintaining a healthy weight is essential for diabetics, this plan focuses on ways you can do so in a way that is safe.
The bistroMD menopause plan is built along those same lines. Because your metabolism changes during menopause, diets that may have worked for you previously may no longer do the trick. It is not unusual to gain weight during menopause, which can be distressing to some.
To help keep that weight off, bistroMD’s menopause menu focuses on your body’s changing metabolism while also preparing your system for the changes it is going through. Those who need the menopause menu can expect dishes like the Beef Steak and Ale Stew and the Oven-Fried Catfish with Spicy Tomato-Leek Sauce.
Finally, bistroMD also offers a Heart Healthy menu for those who are concerned about their salt intake or have a history of heart disease in their families. But those on the heart-healthy meal plan should not worry about missing out on flavor. Items on this specialty menu include items like Roasted Cauliflower and Lentils with Charred Red Pepper Sauce and Merlot Meatballs with Grits.
Unlike many meal plans, bistroMD ships to all 50 states. Customers in Alaska should be aware that deliveries can only be sent to Anchorage, Fairbanks and Eagle River. All packages are sent via FedEx and the packaging is all recyclable. Depending on your location, your bistroMD box will typically arrive between Wednesday and Saturday of each week.
All bistroMD meals arrive frozen and tightly packed into a box. Each meal is packaged separately and should be placed in your freezer as soon as you open your package. The company suggests that you plate your food after heating.
Any order placed before Tuesday at 12 pm EST can expect to receive their box on that very same week. Shipping your bistroMD box is $19.95 and those in Alaska and Hawaii will be charged additional shipping fees. Don’t fret too much about shipping costs though, a bistroMD coupon will provide free shipping (these coupons are pretty easy to find, just do an internet search.)
The full program of 7 days worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners currently costs $134.96 while the full program for five days goes for $112.46.
Those who prefer to order just lunches and dinners can either sign up for a 7-day plan for $112.46 or a 5-day plan for $89.96.
Food for Thought: Should you buy bistroMD services?
As big snackers, bistroMD’s customized snack program EATS, which stands for Essential and Tasty Snacks, is one of our favorite components of their program.
We all know the low energy feeling that hits many around the 3pm slump and bistroMD’s snacks are specifically designed to combat that.
As the company promises, the snacks allow you to “avoid that feeling of needing a mid-afternoon nap or the temptation of choosing a sugary laden snack that will cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop off, causing you to be hungry again or have cravings again.”
Not having to deal with blood sugar spikes and crashes during the day sounds like a game changer!
We’re also psyched about bistroMD’s approach to weight loss and reassured by the medical background and expertise of its founder.
The company sets reasonable expectations for users and aims for a weight loss of one to two pounds a week. Because of the company’s focus on metabolism and hormones, users should expect and realistic and scientific approach to dieting and lifestyle.
We also appreciated the number of resources bistroMD makes available to customers and the access users have to consultants and dieticians.
Subscribers will also receive regular newsletters containing tips, health news and more.
Additionally, because bistroMD is such a well respected and established institution in the world of meal programs, we know that we are working with a company was first established in 2005, which is light years in the world of meal boxes.
bistroMD, therefore, has years of experience and plenty of time to have worked out the kinks in their system.
There are, however, some downsides we should mention.
While we’re big fans of bistroMD and its menu overall, we do have to admit that sometimes the frozen vegetables need a little more thawing and jazzing up than those that come with other meal services.
Be aware that some of the dishes have more moisture than you might expect and adjust accordingly.
And while we love how inclusive bistroMD is of those who need heart-healthy, diabetic-friendly and menopause oriented meals, we have to say that the company is not particularly vegetarian or vegan-friendly so those who are looking for more of a plant-based meal plan should be prepared to look elsewhere.
Cost is also a factor when deciding how long you want to go with a bistroMD plan.
Ordering boxes week after week can get pricey but bistroMD’s pricing is comparable to other plans of its caliber.
How to Order from bistroMD
Once you have selected the type of plan you want and the number of meals you’d like, you’ll then be instructed to create a login name and password on the bistroMD.
After that is set up, you can check on your orders, select your meals each week and check out all of the extra info the bistroMD site has to offer.
Once the details of your order are squared away, you’ll be instructed to check out and officially enter your payment information.
One great thing about the bistroMD site is that it is filled with discount codes and coupons, so be sure to take advantage of those as you pay.