If you’ve been following our New Year’s resolution weight loss articles, chances are you’re doing really well and sticking to your guns while battling that post-holiday flab. If you’re not (or have recently rediscovered the magic of Ghirardelli chocolate) that’s ok—we’re here to help. One of the biggest hurdles in losing weight—aside from doing squat reps—is finding the time to eat healthy. We’ll admit it’s not easy. Who wouldn’t rather spend an extra 20 minutes in bed than get up early enough to prep a low-calorie lunch? But thankfully, this is where Bistro MD comes in. Healthy pre-prepared meals are delivered right to your door so that way you can focus less on cooking and more on which new Hervé Léger dress to wear.
Created by husband and wife team, Ed and M.D. Caroline Cederquist, Bistro MD was founded as a way for them to help others on their journey to lose pounds and live a healthier lifestyle. Both having had weight issues in their personal lives, they wanted to find a way to make it easier for people to improve their health. Collaboratively working together to create the best meals for their customers, Ed is the self-professed foodie, who creates unique tastes and creations, while his wife Caroline uses her knowledge of bariatric medicine and working with patients to make sure the food is correctly formulated for both weight loss and nutrition.
Knowing that losing weight isn’t just about eating what you’re told, Bistro MD sets you up with registered dieticians and trainers to coach you one on one via email, phone, online chat or Skype (in case you need to show them any of your own cooking creations). During the course of the program clients also have access to My BistroMD, a members-only area filled with support, tips and information to help you reach your goals. Users can track their progress, receive recommendations on fitness and eating as well as customize their own menu to suit their dietary needs.
With over 200 entrees made without MSG, transfat, and aspartame it almost seems like a dieter’s dream—penne a la vodka, cheese tortellini, bacon cheeseburger meatloaf—all while losing weight? Well, yes and no. There are a wide variety of favors available, from Asian fusion to down-home southern cooking, but they won’t taste like anything your grandma use to make. Without being loaded down by heavy butters, salt or carb-laden sauces these concoctions are the lighter, more natural versions of fatty favorites. Each dish is handmade and immediately frozen to preserve its freshness, while meats are responsibly sourced using environmentally-responsible seafood, rBGH-free beef and using hormone-free chicken.
Curious about a diet that allows us to eat French fries—even healthy ones—made us want to give this program a go. With a seven or five day program available we opted for the later, just to try it out. We dug into our first meal—and immediately knew this was a health food. While it had beautiful texture, it tasted a little bland and we realized it came unseasoned; perfect for anyone with high blood pressure or cardiovascular health issues—which wasn’t us. A pinch of salt later and we were in dietary heaven. A distinct blend of flavors not commonly found together made for interesting meals. Chicken with mashed cauliflower (apparently fries are okay, but mashed potatoes are a no-go), chicken mushroom crepes, and carrots with sugary stuffed French toast were all on the menu. And while we can’t say we didn’t seriously contemplate switching out one of our healthy meals for a bite at P.F. Chang’s, we definitely never felt hungry.
Our first impression is that this diet needs to be used in conjunction with exercise; there’s no way you’re going to shed pounds if you’re eating lasagna (even healthy lasagna) and just sitting around. To be honest five days isn’t enough time to track any distinct weight loss, but even when eating for nutritional health, these foods are fantastic, giving you an even amount of carbs, proteins and good-for-you fats in each meal. We loved the large selection; when it came to different meals there was something new and the flavors were constantly changing—we weren’t sick of “health food” by the end of breakfast.
While the convenience and ease of microwavable meals is nothing to snub, we did feel like we were missing out on some raw foods. Things like salads, fruits and uncooked veggies were lacking from our regimen and a few days into the plan we were craving the bite and crunch that only crisp lettuce can give. Their seven day plans, however, allots for this, giving you a “my night” meal where you can eat anything your little heart desires. Just try not to go overboard. Overall the plan is definitely a way to eat healthy, with limited time commitment and the ease of being able to enjoy a healthy meal the moment you can spare a second. So it frees up your schedule for more important things—like squats.