I see plenty of people saying they enjoyed meal delivery services as someone with a busy life and needing some needing inspiration on what to cook for dinner. However there were many different reasons I decided to try out meal delivery services as someone living with a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis often leaves me with debilitating symptoms that make simple daily life activities a challenge. I found myself struggling not only with inspiration on what to make for dinner and fitting in grocery shopping in my busy life but RA made my decision to try out these services – My main reasons were:
- Fatigue often makes grocery shopping or meal prepping difficult. I need to very carefully balance my energy as a single mother living with chronic illness.
- Brain Fog makes me forgetful, even with lists, I can forget items I need
- Immunocompromised during the pandemic has made me want to avoid grocery shopping as much as possible. Meal delivery services also helped me avoid the Christmas holiday shopping rush.
- I don’t drive and have physical limitations to carrying groceries so having them delivered to me is a life saver. The extra costs that are hidden in their fees would be what I’d spend on a cab or uber after grocery shopping anyways.
- Pain means I want simple and quick but also healthy.
- I wanted to learn to cook better and try out new recipes but often feel overwhelmed when searching online for ideas.
- I dislike frozen meals even though they are most convenient.
The Services I Tried
In the end I decided to go with Hello Fresh and Revive Smoothies. I found Hello Fresh’s items easiest to follow, delivered the day of the week best for me, a great price and with the most options that I preferred. Revive Smoothies made mornings with my chronic illness an as a mom significantly easier When I discovered this one I got really excited – smoothies are often one of the only foods I can tolerate in the morning and are great to take my medication with!
What I Loved
- It’s so easy and quick – Sometimes I would make two meals at the same time to avoid cooking everyday. With them being so easy and quick I didn’t feel overwhelmed with steps or clean up after. Prepping more than one meal at a time has helped me balance fatigue and everyday life.
- Portion control keeps the weight off. I’ve found myself knocking a few of the covid-15 I gained by sticking with the meals I ordered and keeping healthy snacks in my house. The portions are perfect for me, I don’t feel too hungry after. I was worried it wouldn’t be enough but it’s just right.
- Trying out different recipes and foods is exciting and adds some flare in a dreary time. I didn’t realize how much I love to cook with shallots and butternut squash until I tried them in these meal kits.
- Inspired me to cook more, even on the bad days.
- Increases my mood, it’s fun and I’ve become a better cook
- I use less dishes and clean up is easier – A serious dream come true.
When I eat I try to avoid foods that cause inflammation – I would prefer if these meal delivery kits would not use white bread, white rice or white flour pasta and use whole grain ingredients instead or at least have the option to switch preference. I would also prefer more options for less red meat dishes as well. Many times I want to try a dish but the protein (beef or pork) makes me omit it. However, I am eating more salmon as it’s made fresh salmon more affordable to me. Salmon is great for rheumatoid arthritis and your overall health.
I have plenty of brown rice and whole grain pasta on hand so I often switch my grains to get better health benefits out of my meals. I also often add extra vegetables if I find the recipe lacking or I exercised a lot that day and need a little extra substance. You really can’t go wrong with added vegetables.
Often my kid doesn’t want to eat the food most of the time so I am preparing meals for him as well but with how simple and fast these meals are it doesn’t seem like the biggest inconvenience. He does love Revive smoothies and I am grateful to get more fruits and veggies to him. Sometimes I just need to make variations of what I am eating or having him cook with me suddenly makes everything more appetizing to him. Many of the delivery kits have family options but again not enough anti-inflammatory options in those kits. I sent a free box to a girlfriend of mine who chose the family option for Hello Fresh, her kids and husband loved it and she is hooked.
Would I Recommend This As A Chronic Illness Life Hack?
Absolutely. Energy and time saver for those of us living with chronic conditions not to mention a way to stay safe in the pandemic.