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Review: Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Foods Direct Meal Delivery Service

Good morning!

I have a review post for you all today — sharing my thoughts on Thrive Foods Direct! Thrive Foods Direct (TFD) is a plant-based meal delivery service created by Brendan Brazier, the vegan tri-athlete and founder of Vega. He just recently launched TFD and was nice enough to send me a sampling of their meal delivery items for me to review on the blog — perfect, since between my full time internship at the hospital, working on the blog about 20 hours per week, fitting in exercise/fun, and planning my wedding, life is a liiiiittle busy right now. :)

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I received 5 of the pre-made meals, plus a container of granola, which Matt and I have been making our way through. Tasty!

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TFD’s meals are all vegan and organic; they are also high in fiber, plant-based protein, and fresh vegetables. There are no common allergens in the meals (everything I got was gluten free) and there is a focus on ingredients that provide a lot of nutrient density for less calories. The meals also all contain less than 1 teaspoon of added oils.

The meals are made in California and arrive in a chilled box, with the instructions to place the meals directly into the fridge (or the freezer, if you want to save them for later). The ingredients are noted on all the packages, along with cooking instructions.

When I received the package, it was dinnertime, so I went ahead and busted into two of them. I ended up combining the Tuscan Beans in a Tomato Broth (LOVED this):

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With the Penne in Fresh Artichoke & Black Olive Sauce, which featured quinoa pasta:

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They were actually really good together! I also steamed some fresh spinach in the microwave to add to the mix, plus some cracked pepper and a little salt — the meals aren’t overly seasoned, so you can add your own seasonings to taste.

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Once I enjoyed half for dinner, I packed up the second half for lunch the next day at the hospital. Perfect!

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The rest of the meals got frozen for later. I ended up eating this Vegetable Medley & Quinoa earlier this week for lunch, although it was probably my least favorite of the meals so far — I didn’t love the flavor.

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Last night, I enjoyed this Eggplant & Tomato Gratin with Quinoa after my run club since Matt was out at happy hour — I was a big fan of this one. I didn’t get a photo on the plate since it had been frozen and defrosted/heated and didn’t look so pretty, but it tasted really good, especially when I added some salt and pepper. I also added some wilted spinach again to get some green in there! I’m usually way too lazy to cook eggplant myself so I liked that it was included in this one. Yum!

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The only one I haven’t tried yet is the Vegetarian Lasagna, made with all sorts of veggies and a brown rice pasta. It’s waiting in the fridge for the perfect moment!

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So, what were my overall thoughts?

1) I really like the idea of a whole foods based meal delivery service, since I feel like a lot of the meal delivery services out there are full of diet, processed food. I love that TFD focuses on healthy, organic ingredients, lots of vegetables, etc. Two thumbs up!

2) The meal service is a bit expensive. I have no idea how it compares to other meal delivery services in terms of price, but if you are crunched for time and like meal delivery services but want a more whole foods friendly version, this could be a great option for you. There are different plans (details on their website), but it looks like their basic service (which would include breakfast, lunch, AND dinner) is $45 per day. So not insane considering what you’re getting, but you can obviously eat much more cheaply.

3) I would have liked to try a larger variety of meals/ingredients. It seemed like I got a ton of pasta/Italian type dishes, which is something I can so easily make on my own in 10 minutes, so if I were actually paying for something like this, I’d really have wanted to get things that were a little more inventive (like the Tuscan Beans, which were delicious, or the Eggplant/Tomato Gratin). I was a little disappointed that what I received wasn’t more creative and unique, especially given the wide variety of interesting vegan and plant-based recipes in the books Brendan has written. (I have his book Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life and I LOVE it — awesome recipes — check it out!) Anyway, looking at their website, I see a lot of variety and interesting options, so I think it was just the luck of the draw that I got more basic, Italian dishes. You can see all the meal options on their website for each week — breakfast, lunch, AND dinner!

So there you have it! My two cents on Thrive Foods Direct. Thanks again to Brendan for letting me try it out — it was much appreciated, especially on many of these late week nights when I’ve come home from a workout and been starving for dinner and able to grab something so healthy out of the freezer.

Have you ever done a meal delivery service? What did you think? Would you ever try Thrive Foods Direct?

Want to read more about the service? Check out my friend Gena’s TFD review from a couple weeks ago — as per her usual style, it is beautiful written and thorough.

Comments

  1. 1

    I’ve never tried a home meal service. I like that there are options for people out there who are trying to eat better but don’t know where to start. Personally, I don’t think I’d ever do it since I enjoy cooking!

  2. 2

    I’ve tried his foods too and I loved that eating them I knew they were wholesome and good for me. I wish there were other convenience foods like this for when I travel. I agree about the Italian…I love bean and veggie focused meals with lots of flavor.

  3. 3

    I’ve never done a meal service but if I did do one I would love for it to include ingredients that are nutritious and not overly processed. Honestly, if this wasn’t so expensive I’d love to try it because I take frozen meals to work for lunch almost every day. But considering the ones I buy now cost $1.97 each, I don’t think my boyfriend or my wallet would be understanding of the price increase, ha!

  4. 4

    Thank you for your thorough review! I’ve been curious about what you get if you paid for something like this. In general would you say that eating Thrive foods 7 days a week for all of your meals would be smart nutritionally? I know this question is tough, but I figured it was worth asking.

    • 5

      I think it would be smart nutritionally if you wanted to follow a vegan diet – the meals are packed with healthy vegan protein, fiber, veggie nutrients, etc. The only thing is that since everything is vegan, you might need B12 or iron supplementation… and maybe calcium, too.

  5. 6

    I like the concept, but realistically, $45 a day translates to $1350 a month per person.
    That’s a whole lotta dough….

  6. 8

    Holy crap $45! I can definitely see this being a good, convenient option for someone who wants to eat healthy and has no time…but frankly, freeing up just a little time (like you said, you could’ve made these dishes in about 10 minutes) just isn’t worth $45 to me.

  7. 10

    If you have to eat convenience foods, this is probably a healthier way to go, but, wow, $45 a day?!? Seriously, I just spent that much at the grocery store yesterday and that will feed the two of us for the WEEK! (If you include our CSA membership, it’s more like $60 a week.) As far as time goes, if you can spare a weekend afternoon, you can prep most of what you’ll need for the week’s food. So not very practical for most of us.

  8. 12
    Melanie says:

    Tried Nutrisystem before I actually thought or sincerely cared about what I put in my body. It was expensive, tasted awful, was highly processed and loaded with preservatives. You ended up with excess stored everywhere as they wanted you to commit to a delivery plan. While I love the concept of a healthier delivery alternative the price per day is way too high. At about half the cost, free shipping and with no standing delivery committment I would consider it.

    • 13

      Ew yeah NutriSystem sounds gross. TFD does no standing commitment but I’m not sure about shipping?

      • 14
        Angela Ferendo says:

        The shipping is included in the price (no hidden fees) and no commitment. Enter promo code BB1 and it comes down to about $35 per day…..you can also choose to do every other week if you want to spread out your meals. I hope that helps answer some questions. :)

  9. 16

    I’ve never done a meal delivery service – I find it so easy to just whip up a meal at home and I like having control over what I eat on a day to day basis. If I did, I would go for something as unprocessed as possible, but I would still end up making a fresh salad to go with it… and fruit salad for dessert :)

  10. 18

    Great review!

    I agree about the relative familiarity of the ingredients; given Brendan’s corpus of work, which really features a lot of different and exotic foods, I expected a little more variety, too. That said, I did really enjoy my meals, and I think that they’d be a great option for business travel, among other things.

    xo

  11. 20
    Adventurer says:

    Actually, the cost is probably not outrageous given the quality/ingredients; however, any chance there could be garlic/onion-free versions? :-)

  12. 21

    I’ve never tried out a food delivery service but I really wish there were more franchise vegan/organic cafes available everywhere (instead of mcdonalds), into which you could drop in and get some tasty and healthful takeaway.

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