Why I traded meal kit deliveries for true homemade cooking.
Wake up. Snooze button. Wake up. Grumble. Snooze button. Is that the time! Get up, get ready, run out the door. Breakfast? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Tackle the rush hour traffic, greet colleagues, check emails, attend morning meetings, draft some business proposals and ‘break’ for lunch (translation: tap foot impatiently in the queue at the deli downstairs, exchange $7 for a questionable sandwich and head back upstairs to eat at my desk).
More emails, more meetings, stay late to finish a presentation, go to the gym, bust some moves at a Zumba class, get home, order takeout. While dinner’s on its way, I’ll pick up where I left off organizing my friend’s bachelorette party or work on one of my side projects.
Ding dong, dinner’s arrived! I eat while looking over my work for tomorrow, send replies to the meesages that have piled up throughout the day, read a few pages of the book that’s been on my nightstand for months, then it’s lights out at 11pm.
I don’t have time to cook. At least, that’s what I told myself.
Let’s start at the beginning…
I was scrolling through Facebook one day when it hit me. My news feed was full of friends running marathons and following lean muscle meal plans to achieve their health and fitness goals, while I skipped breakfast and lived on Chinese takeaways.
I was overwhelmed with guilt. These people are doctors and accountants – some are even new parents! If they could find the time to follow a healthy balanced diet plan, so could I.
My Instagram feed also played a huge role in the early stages of my diet transformation. Healthy and nutritious food was everywhere, from fruit and vegetable smoothie recipes to easy lunch ideas for work. Inspiration was there, I just had to do something about it.
I loved my job and my busy lifestyle, but my nutritional choices and overall health needed some serious TLC. I narrowed it down to two problems: 1) I struggled finding something healthy to eat at lunchtime, and 2) I couldn’t find the time to make healthy nutritious meals in the evenings.
After speaking to a friend, she suggested meal kit delivery services, saying she knew someone who swore by them. I jumped at the chance to trade takeout and sloppy ready meals for healthy and nutritious food, and ordered my first kit the next day.
It was brilliant at first. I could see what was going into my food, I felt more in control of my diet, and because everything was pre-sliced, chopped, weighed and portioned, it took the hard work out of cooking.
It was amazing to think healthy food to make at home had been so accessible all along. I was really pleased with my metamorphosis from Captain Takeout to kitchen queen – plus it was quite nice receiving a delivery that wasn’t a bill or another reminder of my student loan! Thanks Facebook – maybe peer pressure isn’t so bad after all.
The hidden drawbacks to meal kit delivery services
I carried on for a few weeks, enjoying the meals and feeling ten times better about myself and the choices I was making.
It was only after looking at my bank statements and taking the trash out for the third time that week that I realized something was amiss.
I’d noticed from the outset that every ingredient was packaged individually, and while this was a little annoying, I chose to continue. However, over the course of a few weeks I became increasingly concerned with the impact on the environment. The meal kits claim to include locally sourced ingredients, but it seems counterproductive when they use so much packaging. Even my takeouts were healthier for the environment!
Not only that, but the meals started to lack variety after a while, and the convenience aspect suffered a blow when some of the recipes turned out to be more complicated and time consuming than I would have liked.
However, the real shock came when I checked my bank balance. I was on course to spend $300 that month! For three meals a week, it was immediately clear that meal kits were not designed for eating healthy on a budget.
Cost, convenience and carbon footprint. The three C’s rapidly became the three N’s. No, no, nope.
The other thing that irked me is that there were no meal plans for single people; it was all geared towards couples and families. With so many single, career-driven millennials in the US and beyond, meal kit delivery services simply aren’t catering to this segment of their target audience.
While I personally found meal kits to be unsustainable for my finances and the planet, I’m grateful they got me into the kitchen and cooking at home. I was left with a choice: go back to expensive takeouts that left me feeling guilty and sluggish, or spend some time researching healthy fast food choices.
Time to find an alternative…
A lazy afternoon of Googling one Sunday introduced me to myktchn. Stocked full of cool kitchenware and discount kitchen supplies, it dawned on me that the meal kit recipes I’d been having delivered would be really easy to make on my own with the modern kitchen accessories on the myktchn website. It stocked things I’d never seen before that would make kitchen prep a breeze, like a pineapple peeler (hallelujah!) and a 3-in-1 avocado slicer.
Meal kits saved me the chore of chopping and slicing, but with kitchen gadgets like these I could have all my ingredients prepped and ready to go in minutes. Rather than spending $300 a month for not even half the week’s meals, I could make a one off, long-term investment in handy kitchen tools and equipment that would help me stick to a healthy eating diet plan and ultimately save me time and money.
I mulled it over. I’d have to make time to go to the supermarket once, twice, maybe even three times a week. However, after the packaging debacle with the meal delivery kits, I was more than happy to make a difference in my own small way and buy my fruit and vegetables loose and plastic free.
There’s also something to be said for choosing fruit and veggies yourself – the reddest tomatoes, a just ripe avocado. With meal kits, there’s no way to guarantee quality before it arrives (something else I had an issue with on a couple of occasions).
I started slowly and bought a few key items that would help me make long-term adjustments across all my meals: a portable juicer, a collapsible lunch box and a 5-in-1 kitchen shredder. I was able to initiate big changes straightaway, whizzing up healthy breakfast smoothies in minutes and taking healthy lunches to work – goodbye deli queues and sub-par sandwiches. I prioritized my health all day, not just at dinner. And it felt great!
Why myktchn is the one and only
That was six weeks ago. And honestly, I can’t imagine going back. Not only am I really enjoying cooking my own food, but I’m completely in control of my diet and saving more money than I ever was with takeouts, or would have with meal kits.
With its discounted must have kitchen utensils and healthy eating information, myktchn has opened up a whole new world for me. I found the tools I needed to prove that I do have time to cook. I can be in and out of the kitchen in twenty minutes, sometimes less, and rather than being addicted to pizza and Chinese takeaways, I’m obsessed with my watermelon knife and leaf stripper – two of the most useful kitchen gadgets ever, and things I didn’t even know existed until I discovered myktchn!
So how’s my diet looking now? Pretty darn good. Taking inspiration from examples of healthy food on the myktchn website, I’m having smoothies or apple cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast (strawberry banana pancakes at the weekend), using steel food containers to bring vegetable quesadillas or chicken citrus salads to work and whipping up hearty masterpieces like zucchini noodles or green bean casserole for dinner.
I don’t always follow myktchn recipes, but I love that they’re there when I need them. Sometimes I’ll add or swap out ingredients to shake things up, or I’ll keep things really simple and just fry up a fillet of fish with some green veggies. I feel totally inspired – thanks to my new cookware, I love getting creative in the kitchen. I’ve even started growing a herb garden by my kitchen window!
I still have time to do everything I did before, but I feel like a new person – healthier, happier and subscription free. I’m slowly building up my collection of kitchen tools and equipment, and so far everything I’ve bought has made it onto my must have kitchen items list. They make everything so easy that I honestly don’t know how I’d live without them.
Who knew an online kitchenware shop could have such a profound effect on lifestyle, health and wellbeing? Home cooking has seamlessly transitioned into my busy life thanks to myktchn, and all it took was a few unique, well designed and super handy kitchen gadgets to get started!
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