What I am about to explain is nothing like your typical apron food delivery service. The big players in the market just end up being glorified grocery delivery services. A lot of people go to these services for convenience because of busy lives or stressful workdays. The problem is that the time requirement with most of the services still require 30+ minutes to get food to the table. They also require measuring, cutting, chopping, and mixing. These are all things that remove the convenience of the delivery. On the other hand, one thing that was always appealing are the variety they provide to weekly meals. My wife and I always find ourselves falling back into a never ending repeating menu of Naan Pizza and Salads. When you are feeling lazy or suffering from decision fatigue you can just rely on one of these meals to get you through. My wife and I did not want to pay $10 for a meal that I still have to prep and cook though so we never committed. This was when I met a man named Mark Rigdon while coaching my athletes at Ironman Chattanooga. He told me of his sister’s Nashville based company MyVeggieChef. Kristie Holdren, a certified Nutrition Health Coach, uses her expansive knowledge to build a colorful vegan meal delivery service.
I got home from Ironman Chattanooga and figured why not give this one a try. The prices seemed reasonable, the variety was there, and most importantly it was plant-based. Plant-based meal delivery is where the other players fall short. I went to a couple of the providers and while their menus were bigger there was only one true vegetarian meal. Other criteria that my wife and I had were ease of prepping or cooking, time to table, and taste.
Ordering from MyVeggieChef is made simple through the combination of pictures and a few select words. Under the menu page there will be this week’s menu and the upcoming menu. At the top of the page you will see an easy button to “order now”. MyVeggieChef gives you the option to order through subscription or week by week. This first order I was not ready to fully commit so I went with the week to week option. The cool thing is that they don’t add on any stupid charges for doing it week to week. The price of the meals is the price of the meals whether you have a reoccurring subscription or order week to week. If you go with the subscription option you can choose to have meals delivered every 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks.
Once you decide which path you want to take you will land on a page with pictures for this week’s menu. This screen will allow you to mix and match the quantity of each meal. For example, let’s say there is something on the menu you know you won’t like then you can increase the quantity of another. If you are Mark then you can just have all 5 of your meals be the butternut squash and black bean burritos! My wife and I liked the prospect of all 5 recipes the week we ordered so we just stuck with the default 1x quantity. Saturday morning the FedEx man showed up with a big box. Inside was a cooler that had all of the frozen meals. We took one of the meals out and placed in in the fridge to thaw and the other four meals into the freeze for a later date.
Note: Just order before Tuesday the week of delivery in order to get that menu. You can’t screw this up.
This is where MyVeggieChef really stands out against its competitors. If you are really looking for that convenient and tasty meal service, you can’t go wrong with MyVeggieChef. All of the meals are delivered frozen in Ziploc bags or disposable/reusable Tupperware. The first step of meal prep is to take the meal out of your freezer and place it in the fridge the night prior. Kristie recommends 24 hours of fridge time to thaw out the food. A couple of times we took out the bag in the morning and left it on the counter to thaw. By the time I got home from work it was thawed out and I just placed it into the fridge to stay cool.
One thing that made this service stand out was that all of the chopping and mixing was completed prior to delivery. The only requirement on our part was to cook! A couple of the recipes had diced veggies that required some sautéing. After that you just needed to add any other ingredients to the pan and boom, food is ready. All in all, the meal would take around 15 minutes to cook and clean up. There was one meal that took a little extra time to cook because it had rice and some of the ingredients need to simmer for additional depth of flavor.
My wife and I were very hesitant about serving size. We both just assumed that the portions were going to be small. We both imagined the ridiculous serving sizes most packaged products recommend. We were both extremely surprised after cooking the first meal. When MyVeggieChef says you get 4 servings per meal you really get 4 solid serving sizes. Every night we had plenty of leftovers for lunch later in the week. Keep in mind that I am an athlete and I eat a lot. Even during my heaviest training blocks there would still be leftovers.
Taste… extremely important aspect to the meal delivery service. This was one thing that I was not afraid of when ordering. I could tell from the pictures, ingredients, and the experience of the head chef that the meals were going to be tasty and satisfying. My wife and I were not let down the slightest. This Nashville based company plays off of the southern roots to keep the flavor high as well as satisfaction. Every meal, I mean every single meal, was absolutely top notch restaurant flavor filled food. The great thing is that since MyVeggieChef does all of the mixing and chopping the experience for every customer will be similar. You can’t mess it up by using the wrong ingredient like those other services.
I was honestly and surprisingly satisfied with the entire experience. MyVeggieChef gave my wife and me an easy meal to cook and enjoy. We ended up using the prepared meals on days we knew would be stressful. It prevented numerous pizza deliveries and cheap Chinese food filled nights. In the end we loved MyVeggieChef’s variety, convenience, and colorful menu so much that we decided to sign up for the subscription. I recommend everyone to give MyVeggieChef a shot. MyVeggieChef has been gracious enough to offer all of my readers a 10% discount! This will make shipping free and make the serving cost only $6.00!!! That is half the price of the competitors. You might as well try it once…
10% COUPON CODE: coachcolinlovesmyveggiechef
To start off, I borrowed that title from a USMES teammate, Jim Weinstein. USMES is having an internal “90 day vegan challenge” to prove the benefits of a plant-based diet. Now, I am a pretty open person but giving up meat and honey was going to be a challenge. So why switch to a plant based diet? One of the driving factors was the increase in vegan talk on the podcasts I listen to. I want everybody to know that I do listen to a wide variety of podcasts (Paleo Solution, Rich Roll Podcast, Tim Ferriss Show, Ben Greenfield, Endurance Planet, etc…) so I am not overwhelmed by just vegan podcasts. Obviously, Rich Roll podcast is purely vegan but when guests on Tim Ferriss’ and Lewis Howes’ podcasts started talking about plant based diets I figured it was time to try it out.
A plant based diet is nothing new to humans or the world. Officially, the term Vegan was established in 1944 by Donald Watson while creating a newsletter Vegan News. It wasn’t until the past 20 years though that the vegan diet really began to gain popularity. Even the USDA is hinting towards a vegetarian diet with their MyPlate system (using the term protein instead of meat).
What makes a vegan?
The most important part of a vegan diet is abstaining from all products that are derived from animals (to include insects). A true vegan would also avoid non-edible products that came from animals, like leather boots. I am not going into this diet because of animal cruelty but rather to see if my body prefers a plant-based diet. Obviously, I am not for pro animal cruelty… it is just not the basis for my diet change.
How will I know if my body prefers a plant-based diet? The best way to test this theory is through pre and post blood analysis as well as journaling. Blood testing is a good way to get fun numbers and make the experiment objective. Being an engineer, objective data is crucial in determining the success or failure of an experiment. Subjective data is also important, especially when dealing with the human body and being an athlete. Motivation and mental state plays a huge role in how the body performs. There aren’t any easy ways to measure this so this is where the subjective part comes in to play.
To get a baseline of my health I have partnered with a company called InsideTracker. InsideTracker is an athlete focused blood analysis company. The company offers 6 different levels ranging from DIY kits to full out 30 biomarker Ultimate analysis. I ended up going with the mid-range Performance package which tests for 20 different biomarkers. Also, one great feature that is offered is a “White Glove” service. This “White Glove” service makes the blood draw 100 times easier by having a phlebotomist come to wherever you want to draw blood. Knoxville doesn’t have a Quest Diagnostic location so I opted for the “White Glove” service and had a phlebotomist come to my work. It honestly couldn’t have been easier. A nice lady arrived, took some blood, and 10 minutes later she was gone. I should receive some results next week! You can get 10% off of your next blood test by using the code “IREPATHLETICS” at checkout.
Finally, I also chose to take on this diet at this point because of an internal USMES led Vegan Challenge. This provides the necessary support system to transition to this type of diet. It is led by some amazing nutritionists Jim Weinstein and Lori Nedescu (The Cadence Kitchen).
I am also very excited that one of my favorite food groups, Roots Hummus, is vegan! Roots and I will be working together to establish some amazing vegan recipes and maybe 1001 ways to use hummus??? Also, very very exciting news is that Infinit Nutrition has developed a vegan friendly recovery blend. This blend uses faba bean and sprouted brown rice protein. They will be releasing this to the public in a couple of weeks!!! Check out their website and investigate all of their vegan friendly options!
The big thing is overcoming the society’s view on vegan’s as animal loving hippies that are trying to force society to conform to their ideas (a run on, I know). All vegan’s are not like this. Actually most Vegan’s are quite the opposite. Don’t judge someone on their diet and don’t assume you know what proper diet is unless you are actually a licensed dietitian.
I challenge everybody to join in on this challenge. Can you make it 2 weeks? How about 1 month? Maybe even until the New Year????
In triathlon it is called the fourth discipline. It is the one discipline that can make or break your race. Nailing your nutrition provides you the opportunity to set a new PR and also to make you crawl on your hands and knees to the finish line. The thing about nutrition is that it is highly individualized. Now, there are some general guidelines on servings and of minerals and carbs you should consume during the race. For example, the general guidelines that should be followed during race are:
When you are all done getting your nutrition optimized, treat yourself to 10% off using the coupon code below.
If anybody has questions about INFINIT send me an email, leave a comment below, or contact me through social media. I have been using INFINIT since I started competing. I have used all of their male products so I can answer a lot of the questions. If I don't know the answer I will get one for you!