Danielle is like most New Yorkers trying to maintain a consistent health and fitness lifestyle in spite of consistently increasing hours spent at her office.
A 4:30 a.m. alarm kick-starts her day, where it’s to the gym by 5:15 to squeeze in a mix of weights and spin which precedes her anything-goes subway commute to work, where the financial executive will spend anywhere from 10 to 12 hours each day.
Despite all healthy intentions, nutrition usually winds up becoming compromised by time constraints. Even with a fridge ambitiously filled with greens and lean proteins and a once-gallant effort at trying meal-prep services — those food subscriptions in which recipes and ingredients are delivered to your door — lunch via meal cart followed by takeout for her take-home dinner is Danielle’s daily diet norm.
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Now the latest convenient cooking evolution may be a busy professional’s best option. Prepared-meal services, in which a variety of diet-friendly dinners are prepared, cooked, then shipped to your apartment are the latest time- and calorie-saving food prep option.
“I remember hauling grocery bags from Trader Joe’s to the subway and trying to go through the turnstiles — not a lot of fun, especially when it was bad weather,” said Joe Lopez-Gallego, who with his brother Andy launched Kettlebell Kitchen in 2013. “Our service now makes it more convenient and affordable to come up with healthy meal solutions.”
A pair of Army vets, the New York-bred bros’ motivation behind the combat-to-cooking angle of Kettlebell Kitchen (kettlebellkitchen.com) was blending their two passions — fitness and cooking.
While at West Point, Joe played water polo and was a certified fitness trainer. The brothers recall their days serving in Iraq when the meal options were MREs: “When we were deployed there was no real food provider,” Joe said. “I kept thinking, “This is so artificial. Not what we should be eating. There’s got to be a better way.”
Don’t let the name intimidate you, Kettlebell Kitchen wasn’t created for flexing meatheads hovering around the squat rack (although you can pick up your KBK order at a host of gyms). Both athletes and financial executives can benefit from prepared-meal delivery services.
KBK — just one of a number of similar services which include Icon Meals and Insainly Fit Meals — can cater to your dietary needs, from keto, low-carb, Paleo, even vegetarian. It’s as simple as popping it into a microwave and digging in, all for the cost of a Midtown lunch special.
“It helps ordering a meal in which you know what the ingredients are, designed for your particular goals, and it’s gonna be easy and ready,” Andy Lopez-Gallego says. “You don’t need to waste your time searching for the right meal. Have one ready for you in the refrigerator, at home or at work, eat quickly and get on with your day.”
A new way to meal prep
Although meal-prep services have recently become hugely popular — sales are projected to reach $10 billion by 2020 — they require time, which a lot of folks can no longer afford. A recent survey found that Americans on average spend just over a half-hour each day preparing meals and cleaning up.
And not all Americans like to cook: A 2017 study found that just 10 percent of Americans actually enjoy cooking. Just another reason to outsource your meal prep, says motivational speaker Bedros Keuilian.
“We’re living in a really great time,” Keuilian, the author of “Man Up: How to Cut the Bullshit and Kick Ass in Business (and in Life),”says. “I believe in buying speed, and so if I could use a meal-prep company that is already willing to do it and I can pay them, great. … All those little things buy back hours and minutes, and before you know it you’ve opened up so much time to spend with your family, do personal growth, get your workout in.”
As for Danielle, premade meals have immediately changed her midday and post-work diet habits. And all without having to turn on the stove.
“I never knew this kind of stuff existed,” she says. “I never have time to cook, and I’m sick of grabbing sandwiches. Taking these to work makes me feel like I’m an athlete.”