Hello, my fellow foodies!
It's a new year, so that means New Year's Resolutions! One of the more popular resolutions: Living better and eating healthier.
If you're like me, a busy bee, eating healthier can be quite challenging! Through all of the hustle and the bustle, I find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet because I'm often opting for fast food instead of cooking a fresh meal. To me, it's just more convenient and one less thing to worry about. It also doesn't help that Uber Eats is a thing...
Does this sound like you, too?
Turns out, we're not alone! Late last year, the National Center for Health Statistics with the CDC released data taken between 2013 to 2016 and found that 37 percent of Americans consumed fast food, primarily out of ubiquity and price.
In the past, I have tried those "convenient" meal kit services like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. Thought it was great at first, I still found myself too busy to make meals every day! Unfortunately, I went back to fast food, despite wanting to eat better.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there are a couple of restaurants and shops on the First Coast that offers natural, fresh and healthy food options that are already prepped! That means all I had to do was microwave it! Talk about everything I've been searching for!
With the new year and new goals, it's the perfect time to share these restaurants with you to help you stay healthy:
What makes Kathy's Table stands out is the fact that they make affordable healthy food that tastes gourmet. That's because they have a chef with a fine-dining background that works to incorporate bold flavors into the menu, while making sure it follows a strict gluten-free and dairy-free diet that are available to vegetarians, vegans, paleo eaters and pescatarians.
Kathy's Table offers five-different meal plans, depending on your weight and fitness goals: skinny, healthy, paleo, Arnold and Super Arnold.
Within each plan, you'll be given the option to choose whether or not you want five to 25 meals a week. You then get to choose what type of meal you'd like: breakfast, lunch/dinner, juices, protein bars and desserts.
Each menu rotates every two weeks, but you will get a new week's worth of food every Monday. You can either pick your food up in store or have it delivered to your door.
You select the foods you want per menu every other Thursday.
If you're not sure what meal plan to get, you can also order online a la carte or shop in the store.
Price: Each meal averages about $7 to $13 depending on the plan.
Location: 7035 Philips Highway Suite 3, Jacksonville
1010B 3rd St. N., Jacksonville Beach
Hours: Sunday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Another great meal prep company that takes healthy food to a gourmet level is J. William Culinary.
Unlike most meal plan services, you don't have the option of choosing from different plans. Instead, you choose based on the number of meals you want in the week and customize it from there.
You get the option of signing up for seven meals for $63 to 30 meals a week for $252. Meals prepped daily include paleo and keto friendly meals, gluten-free and dairy-free meals, as well as low carb meals.
Family meals for six-to-eight people are also available. Each one costs $39.
Every Tuesday, a new menu is available to select from and you'll need to confirm your order by Thursday. You can pick-up every Monday or have it delivered every Saturday.
Each meal is also vacuum-sealed, allowing you to store each dish for up to 10 days in the fridge, or six months in the freezer.
Price: $63 to $252 depending on the number of meals, family meals $39
Location: 4260 Hershel St., Jacksonville
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday & Sunday are closed
Though Superfit Foods doesn't offer delivery, it makes its meals quite accessible with the more than 20 pick-up locations across town.
The company focuses solely on meal prep, which gives you a wide array of choices when it comes to food selection.
They have three different meal plans (lean down, sustain and build up) which includes four different meal types to choose (breakfast, main [lunch/dinner], boost meal for on-the-go and snacks).
Each plan could also be customized based on your preferred diet, whether you love meat, only eat vegetables, are a vegan or pescatarian.
Delivery to its locations are every Monday and Thursday.
All of their meals are available for pick-up and delivery.
Price: Each meal ranges around $8.
First Coast Foodies bonus: Get 11 percent off your first meal purchase using the code 'MEALDEAL.'
Location: 315 11th Ave N Ste. A, Jacksonville Beach
Hours: Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Saturdays and Sundays
Located in Riverside, Vale Food Co. prides itself in offering customers more affordable food items that are all natural, fresh and healthy.
Personally, it reminds me of Chipotle in the sense that when you walk into the restaurant, you're presented with a number of food items that you'll select from to customize your own food bowl.
Vale Food Co. also offers customers two unique meal plans: weightloss meal plan and maintain meal plan.
These meals are made daily and can be delivered.
Price: Bowls cost around $10; Meal plans average around $60 depending on the number of days of the week
Location: 90 Riverside Ave. No. 603
Hours: Monday to Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Do you know any other meal prep companies? Feel free to join the conversation on the First Coast Foodies Facebook page! Also check out other restaurants we've highlighted on our website, which you can find on the First Coast Foodies homepage!