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vkanders

Pre-Made Paleo Whole30 Misses the Point

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I really don't like what I see on the Whole9 blog today:

 

http://whole9life.com/2013/07/whole30-with-premade-paleo/

 

I think that having all your meals prepared by somebody else, even if technically compliant, misses the entire point of a Whole30.

-It's not a sustainable lifestyle change.

-It reeks of a pre-packaged diet plan

-And what happened to "We want you to spend a month learning to appreciate real food, how it tastes, the work it takes to prepare..."?

 

Is anybody else disturbed by this?

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Mixed feelings here. I get the fact time runs away from you and how easy it could be to make not so good choices then. Having something at home for those times may be a great thing. However, I would only use them as a adjunct to my cooking on rare situations. Maybe the folks that travel a ton and struggle with compliant meals-this may be a good solution.  In my world, I have just discovered that I am worth the time and thought I put into nurturing myself through this great food. So I will continue to cook....

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I agree - you may eat the right way, but you learn nothing about preparing food to suit your needs, or putting together meals.

I also have issues with other pre-packaged meal delivery things - the people using them don't really need to make the effort to learn how to do it themselves after the set time passes.

like you mentioned, i don't think it becomes a lifestyle....

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I have to agree. I didn't look this up, but the ones I checked out last year were ridiculously expensive anyway, so I'm not sure how many people would even go for it. But yes...personally I don't believe eating packaged food on a regular basis fits into this lifestyle at all. It does seem to send mixed messages.

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I don't have a problem with someone preparing a meal for me. I'd see it as a treat to have my own personal Paleo chef once in a while.  :)  I could see it getting me out of a rut and opening me up to more creative meal options that I didn't know existed.

 

I agree that this option is not sustainable for many folks, but for others who work/travel long hours, and have the means to pay for this service, this may provide a vehicle for them to eat Paleo consistently.

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I feel like this opens up the benefits of the Whole30 program to folks who might not otherwise do the program because of extensive travel, the demands of planning and preparing separate meals for family, or an inability to cook.  I really don't see the difference between premade paleo meals and a spouse that does all the cooking, or eating a restaurant every day for lunch. 

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I also see it as a great tool for people who live in remote areas where good ingredients are very hard to come by.  And, yeah, I wouldn't mind having a few meals in my freezer for rainy days.  I think about food way more now than before and I'd love a break on occasion.

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I think there is definitely room for it. If it makes it easier for some to stick to the program while travelling or working weird hours, then it's a good thing. Many of us take short cuts when preparing meals for the week. This is no different.

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I'm all for a frozen meal option. Hooray!

 

And I totally understand there is nothing wrong with convenience, or frozen meals, or having other people cook a meal for you, or going out to eat ... I am not opposed to any of this. It's a step in the right direction, and way better than eating the SAD.

 

OTOH, the contest post for winning 30 days (a Whole30's worth) of meals seems to have a rather glaring omission. I would have expected to see a line saying something like "Of course, we don't want you to eat 30 days worth of only frozen meals. Part of the whole30 is changing your relationship with food, and that includes getting in the habit of preparing it, making time to sit and eat mindfully..."

 

Is it still whole30? Of course. But it seems a slipperly slope, like pumpkin + egg pancakes.

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It looks like the blog post has been re-framed to make it more clear that the intent isn't to provide 30 days of meals for your Whole30 specifically.

 

It used to read, "Chef Richard has offered up a prize package that includes 30 days worth of frozen Whole30 compliant meals."

 

Now it reads, "But that's just the tip of the iceberg, because Chef Richard has offered up a prize package that includes 90 frozen Whole30 compliant meals – that's over a $1000 value, people! Use these meals to supplement your healthy Whole30 days, or keep you well fed during life after your Whole30, or save them for busy days when it's hard to find the time to cook for yourself, like a new baby, a cross-country move, or a camping trip."

 

I think this conveys the intent much more clearly, and appreciate that the Whole9 team listened to feedback and adjusted accordingly.

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I wouldn't want to eat them three times a day, for the entire 30 days.  But I do my entire week's cooking on Sunday, and sometimes I underestimate how much I need (or run out of time or energy), and I find myself with an empty refrigerator on Friday.  It would be lovely to just be able to pull something out of the freezer and toss it in the microwave on those days.  Or to have a couple of them stored in the freezer at work, for days when I can't manage to throw together my lunch before running for the bus.

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Also, I don't think you can fairly compare the frozen meals to your average grocery store type. It's my understanding that quality ingredients are used and does not come along with the usual list of unpronounceable words like in normal frozen foods. I see it no differently than those places that offer for you to come in and put your meals together to take home and freeze.

 

Certainly not something I can afford but for those who can and feel the need to supplement their meals, I think it's a great idea.

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A lot of us find cooking to be a huge challenge. It's a skill that takes time to learn and can be very frustrating, especially if you are teaching yourself and/or you have other people relying on you to put meals on the table.

 

So, if using W30 compliant premade paleo meals helps someone who wouldn't otherwise attempt a W30 or someone who might have to end their W30 early because cooking is an issue, I say go for it. BUT, spend some time with YouTube or a good cooking instruction book or magazine and teach yourself cooking skills at during a lower pressure, less stressful time like weekends. That way, you can set yourself up for sustained success.

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As the one who does all the cooking in my household I would love a month off of cooking or even a month of breakfasts! I do have to say I have learned a lot just doing one week of cooking according to the Whole30 plan, but I think getting meals from a service would help me to get ideas for meals I could cook.  I could never afford to keep the service, but if I won I would not complain at all!!  

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I get your point about the spirit of the Whole30, but, Wow! This looks great. I'm recently widowed, and have 2 kids, a 4 year old and a 10 month old baby.  I've done the Whoe30 before, and know what it takes to cook, but it's been really struggling to keep up with cooking 3 meals a day since my husband passed, and on this Whole30... Plus the yard work, cleaning, fixing crap that breaks around the house, taking care of two pets, dealing with the finances, yadda yadda yadda. I would love to be able to supplement my cooking with compliant pre-made meals.  

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I can see both sides. After reestablishing a healthy relationship with food and setting good habits, I wouldn't mind having a few frozen compliant meals around for very busy days.

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I don't see much wrong with pre-prepared meals as long as it's not something you rely on all the time (I think doing it for an entire Whole30 misses the point).

One thing that confuses me is that Lara Bars are allowable. It just seems that it sort of goes against everything whole 30 stands for doesn't it?? I mean I can't even get them here in Australia but to me it'd be like paleoifying a bar, which is again against Whole30.

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It's good to see a lot of good "reasoning" on this topic. Maybe the pre-made meals will help some know what to prepare when they can. It's extreme to say it goes against everything the Whole 30 stands for.

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I don't see much wrong with pre-prepared meals as long as it's not something you rely on all the time (I think doing it for an entire Whole30 misses the point).One thing that confuses me is that Lara Bars are allowable. It just seems that it sort of goes against everything whole 30 stands for doesn't it?? I mean I can't even get them here in Australia but to me it'd be like paleoifying a bar, which is again against Whole30.

I agree about the larabars.....and we can get them in Aus, you'd have to order online! I was tempted to order some to try after reading about them, but thought it wasn't necessary and not really the point of doing a whole30. If I want something like that I can make my own anyway...

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Larabars and other bars are sort of allowed, but not meant to replace real food.  For those who can have them, they are meant for emergencies or for high-intensity activity. 

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I like the Premade Paleo meals in a pinch.  You know you have travel coming up or a week of endless meetings and life is just getting in the way of your Whole30. Enter Premade Paleo.  Yes, the education part is important but sometimes you need that extra bit of help.

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I missed this topic the first time around in July so I am glad that the conversation continues.

 

I too have mixed feelings about this.

 

I think it would be wise to do one "old fashioned" Whole30 first - to shift your thinking about food, learn how to independently source and prepare food, to break old habits, and to fully understand the objectives of a Whole30.

 

After that, I would say pre-made paleo would work in a pinch. Would I recommend someone to have 1000 dollars' worth of premade meals in one month? Heck no. But as we see topics like airplane food, squeezing in meals during work conferences, hectic family situations... these might work as one-offs in a pinch.

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i keep larabars on hand, or make my own version, for my kids, but during w30 i don't usually consume them myself unless there really isn't anything else compliant around and i'm about to chew my arm off.

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as a newbie I think a lot of us are looking for people leading by example and we would like to think the more experienced folks have all the wisdom and have it all sorted all the time....mmm, not likely in real life ;)

Aren't we all just doing our best though and if someone wants a pre made meal once in a while, why not? part of modern life is being so busy that we can do with the odd short cut and still keep on track.

I am so pleased to see so many people out there trying to make a change for the better, full of admiration for those who keep it up and sharing their ideas with us, thanks from a New Zealand newbie

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