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. :)
I received 5 of the pre-made meals, plus a container of granola, which Matt and I have been making our way through. Tasty!
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):
With the Penne in Fresh Artichoke & Black Olive Sauce, which featured quinoa pasta:
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.
Once I enjoyed half for dinner, I packed up the second half for lunch the next day at the hospital. Perfect!
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.
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!
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!
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.