Monday, December 22, 2014

Fagan Eats Paleo Product Review: Pete's Paleo

Pete's Paleo packaging.  
So, I learned about Pete's Paleo meal service from the Balanced Bites podcast, and I just had to give it a try.  You ever have those weeks when you just have too much going on to do a weekly cook up?  It is so easy to get derailed, fall back into old habits, and to make bad food choices when you aren't prepared.  Enter Pete's Paleo.  

Pete's Paleo is a meal delivery service based out of San Diego, but it delivers, fresh meals nationwide.  The meals are made by Pete--a professionally trained chef, and the author of the book, Paleo by Season.  All the meals are Paleo friendly--dairy free, grain free, and soy free and fresh, never frozen.  

Ordering is really simple.  They have a variety of meal options.  You can order 5, 10, or 14 individually portioned meals or family-sized meals.  The meals consist of a protein and two Paleo-friendly veggie sides.  The meats are organic, pasture-raised, and grass fed.  And the veggies are local and seasonal.  Yum, yum.  

When I placed my first order, I selected the 14-meal plan option with 7 snacks.  The deadline for placing your order is on Monday night at midnight.  The meals are then prepared and shipped on Wednesday for delivery on either Thursday or Friday.   When I placed my order, I received a UPS tracking number on Wednesday. Funny thing is though that same week a huge rainstorm made its way into the Bay area, on Thursday.  Because of the storm (and probably the holiday season), delivery of my food was delayed and it didn't arrive until Monday.  I contacted Pete's Paleo and told them about the delivery's delay.  They advised me to throw the food away.  I was so bummed, since I had so been looking forward to its arrival.  But they did offer me two choices:  I could either get a refund or I could get another delivery that week.  I chose the delivery, of course!   I did appreciate just how professionally they handled the whole situation.  When I spoke with the representative of the company, she had already been aware of the issue and had previously been in contact with their delivery representative at UPS.  

The next delivery came without an issue.  


This is what the packaging looks like.  

And this is what it looks like on the inside.  

My package of Paleo-deliciousness arrived on Friday.  The food came in a cardboard box with insulated packaging and gel packs inside.  It weighed about 20 pounds.  When I picked up the unopened box, I noticed it was cold.  Yay!  That meant the food was still very cold too.  

I have to say I was very impressed with the packaging.  There is an insulated bag inside the box, which is very thick (and I think reusable too).  Inside the insulated bag are the Paleo meals and two frozen gel packs (also reusable).  The company has definitely thought this nationwide delivery thing through.  

Each individual meal is packaged in a thermal type bag.  Inside are three vacuum-sealed packages.  One protein and two veggie sides. 


This is what the packaging looks like.  Aren't these colors beautiful?!
  
The meals come with a numbered list, so you know what's in each thermal package.  A number on each package corresponds with a number on the list.  Our 14-meal package consisted of beef, venison, chicken, bison, turkey, and lamb entrees.  

Each meal is already cooked.  You can heat it up in a pan on the stove or in the microwave if you've taken it to work or something and do not have access to a stove top.  


This is what the pile of Paleo snacks looks like.  

The meals also came with 7 Paleo snacks. 4 of the 7 snacks were Paleo trail mixes.  The other three were different:  a mustang bar (pictured), a bacon ball, and a Rickaroon.  If nothing else, Pete's Paleo has introduced me to the religious experience that the Rickaroon is.  So delicious.  The snacks are quite generous.  For example, I looked up the Mustang Bar on the Paleo treats website, which is obviously not something prepped in house by Pete.  One Mustang Bar sells for $7 per bar. That seems quite expensive to me, but it was tasty and satisfying when I needed it.  

As for the meals--and perhaps this is the part of the review you've been waiting for--they are oh so delicious!  I've tried about 4 by now (i'm trying to save them) and I have loved each and every one.  It feels like such a luxury to be able to eat something pre-prepared that's Paleo without any kind of hassle.  I do love cooking.  But there are days I come home from work with little extra energy and having these meals in the fridge or the freezer to rely on is such a gift.  

The meals last about a week in the fridge or you can freeze for up to two months.  So, if you freeze them, you can have them on hand for emergencies.  The cost for about 14 meals (with a first time buyer discount) and shipping was about $240.  Obviously, I can't afford to do this every day or every week--nor would I want to--because I enjoy cooking--but I certainly will be ordering again in the future to have on hand for those nights when I just need something fast.  

If you can afford it, I most definitely recommend giving it a try.  It's convenient.  The food is not only nourishing, but delicious.  
As a little aside, I wasn't paid to write this review or compensated by Pete's Paleo in any way.  Hope you all find this helpful!