Bistro MD vs Magic Kitchen
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Bistro MD vs Magic Kitchen
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Developed in 2005 by Dr. Caroline Cederquist, bistroMD emerged from her experiences with patients at her medical weight loss clinic. She observed that even the most committed patients struggled when it came to knowing how to eat healthy at home. All of the meals created for bistroMD are designed to help customers reset their metabolism and lose weight by giving their bodies the right balance of macronutrients.
bistroMD offers four primary menu selections in their meal delivery program: Standard, Gluten-Free, Diabetic, and Menopause. From there, you'll choose how many days a week you'd like to eat their entrees - 5 or 7 - and whether you'd like the full program of breakfast/lunch/dinner or just lunch/dinner on each of those days. You can also take a look at the Silver Cuisine, Men's Program, and Women's program - with specific nutritional plans based on each respective group; those links are at the top of the page.
Once your order is placed, bistroMD's team of dietitians will put together a customized plan for your weekly delivery. You can always see in advance what your team has selected for you; if there's something that you don't like, you can remove it from the schedule and replace it with any one of the 150 meals that are available for delivery that week.
All of bistroMD's entrees are cooked from fresh ingredients, and then frozen in a vacuum-sealed pouch, to be shipped in a dry ice container to your doorstep. You'll have a nutritionally-balanced, delicious meal to eat after just a few minutes in the microwave.
There's no contract to sign, but we did see some customer reviews mentioning that they were billed for the second week of deliveries before they'd even gotten the first week's food, so watch for that.
bistroMD does have a satisfaction guarantee too: "we'll do our best to make it right or refund your money". We were pleased to see that their reps actively respond to customer complaints, resulting in a solid "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau. A few customers said that they were only offered a percentage of their price and not a full refund, but most were able to get a satisfactory response to the problems they had.
One of the most appealing aspects of bistroMD's meal delivery program is the price. At the time of our review, there was a promotion offering an attractive 25% discount on the first week's food; even without the savings, their prices tend to be more affordable than many other services, without sacrificing any quality in the food. For example, the standard program that includes 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners (with one night, called "My Night", left as a do-it-yourself option for eating out or practicing your own healthy habits), is regularly priced at $179.95. When we reviewed the site, the promotion brought that down to just $134.96. Compared with all of the other services in our review, which are typically cost at least $9 per serving, bistroMD is a bargain.
Another perk is having access to dietitian support. Individual and group sessions are available with your meal delivery plan at no extra charge. You'll also get weekly wellness updates from their team of doctors, dietitians, trainers and even the "resident foodie".
Of course, bistroMD isn't going to be your ideal meal delivery service if you want a box of fresh ingredients to assemble and cook, or if weight loss is not your primary goal. However, if the idea of getting balanced, tasty meals delivered to your home interests you, and you're hoping to drop a few - or many - pounds, consider partnering with bistroMD to make it happen.
Created in 2005 with a focus on providing restaurant-quality, healthy meals for seniors and others, Magic Kitchen strives to cover a wide variety of dietary needs. All meals are prepared, flash-frozen, and ready to be reheated. You won't need any extra dishes, pots and pans, or kitchen tools - making this a convenient option for people who don't like to cook or who don't have access to a full kitchen.
Each meal usually has an entree with two sides. Some of their more popular selections include Basil Chicken with Rice & Zucchini Saute, Eggplant Parmigiana with Polenta & Spinach, and Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach.
We were impressed with the wide range of dietary needs that Magic Kitchen addresses. You can find them listed under the "Dietary Interest" section:
Depending on your needs, you can choose to order a la carte or through a meal program. A la carte options are broken down by Mains, Soups, Sides, Desserts and Snacks. While most of these choices come in either complete meal packages or in two-serving sizes, you can find some options designated as "family size" - ideal for those times when Grandma might be having company over for a meal or when friends stop by for dessert.
In order to sign up for a meal program, you'll have to contact Magic Kitchen via phone or email - you can't place your order online. While that is less convenient than most of the meal delivery services in our review, it gives you the opportunity to custom-design the exact package that meets your needs. Your cost will depend on the specific plan you create, but Magic Kitchen offers an example program for your reference:
These programs don't require you to sign a contract or make any other long-term commitments; you can have them shipped automatically and have meals sent weekly, every two weeks, or monthly. You can choose your own meals, or have the Magic Kitchen staff select for you within the parameters you select.
If you sign up for Magic Kitchen's email newsletter, you may be able to save money: we got a pop-up offering a discount of 10% off our next purchase. Those newsletters give you access to inside deals, so it's definitely worth it if you plan on being a long-term customer.
We like Magic Kitchen's 100% satisfaction guarantee. If anything arrives in damaged or spoiled condition, they will replace it at no cost to you. Similarly, if any of the foods you try don't meet your satisfaction, Magic Kitchen will either replace it in your next order or give you a credit. The company strives to have 24/7 phone coverage, with core hours of operation from 7:30A-11:30P Central, 7 days a week.
All orders are shipped from Magic Kitchen's warehouse in Kansas City, KS, using dry ice in a reusable, recyclable Styrofoam container. Expect to pay a minimum of $18-$20 for delivery; costs depend on the actual weight of your order and the shipping distance.
So, how do the actual meals measure up? On the one hand, many of the customers who match Magic Kitchen's targeted audience - senior citizens looking for healthy, easy to prepare/reheat meal options - say that it's been a great choice. We were glad to see some caregivers and loved ones saying that their 80-something mother is a picky eater that actually loved what she got with no exceptions. On the other hand, what they have to offer may not be a great fit for most people looking for meal delivery. Some reviews said that the food was watery after being reheated, and even the photos of the entree-plus-two-sides meals were unappetizing in a lot of cases. And, with an average serving cost of $12 and up for most foods, we think many customers will be looking for more than just a TV dinner-style meal delivery plan.
Magic Kitchen does a good job of giving options for seniors and others with strict dietary needs who might only have access to a microwave. But, their pricing is expensive, and their options might not appeal to younger customers who don't mind spending a little time in the kitchen to create a more restaurant-quality meal.
Best Meal Delivery
To help you find the Best Meal Delivery, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Bistro MD and Magic Kitchen.
Who is the best Meal Delivery company? Are you looking for a way to simplify dinner after a long day at work? Using a meal delivery service has become an easy way of getting nourishing, flavorful food on the table without the hassle of grocery shopping.
Of course, the most popular reason for using a meal delivery company is the convenience. Customers love being able to order their favorite entrees, side dishes, or even appetizers and desserts, and to choose how much cooking they'd like to do. Some meal delivery services are reheat-and-eat, while others provide you with all of the ingredients you need to create a restaurant-quality meal in your own kitchen.
As these services have grown in popularity, the types of meals and plans has expanded as well. Has your doctor recently put you on a special diet, and you're not sure how to incorporate it into your lifestyle? Whether you're adapting to a diet that's low in carbs, diabetic-friendly, or even gluten-free, you'll find a meal delivery program that can help.
Are you interested in becoming a vegetarian but unfamiliar with how to create a balanced meal? Once again, there's a meal delivery service for that - use it for a few weeks to get ideas of lunches and dinners that you can recreate, or for as long as you like as you adapt to your clean, green way of eating.
As you consider which meal delivery service is best for you, you'll quickly see that they vary greatly when it comes to price, preparation, and types of food offered. Keep these criteria in mind as you decide which company fits your needs:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best meal delivery services available today. We hope these reviews help you find the service that puts the food that you're craving on the table right away!
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