Even though many of us find ourselves working or studying from home, there still don’t seem to be enough hours in the day for cooking delicious and good-for-you meals. Sure, it’s easy to grab fast food for a quick option, but what you save in time you likely sacrifice in nutrition. Fortunately, there is a growing cadre of local companies that provide affordable, tasty, and, yes, healthy meals that you can grab and go or have delivered right to your home.
I will be the first to admit, eating healthier seems to be a constant on my lengthy list of resolutions; however, life always seems to get in the way of accomplishing that goal. Amidst a sea of snack and soda machines and the ease of placing a to-go order, it can be incredibly challenging to stick to eating better and maintaining portion control. It can be far too easy to “supersize” our meals and thus go against what is clearly recommended by health professionals. According to the American Heart Association, over the past 40 years portions have grown significantly in restaurants, as has the frequency of Americans eating out. In fact, adults today consume an average of 300 more calories per day than they did in 1985. By eating health-focused prepared meals, you establish control over portion management and the ingredients you are putting in your body.
If the assorted health benefits alone are not enough to convince you, consider the time and money you could save. After a long day of working, shuttling the kids to practices of all sorts, and taking the dog for a walk, just thinking about concocting a home-cooked meal makes me want to make a quick drive-through run followed by relaxing on the couch. However, those take-out meals can really add up. For instance, one can easily spend at least $12 per meal. On the other hand, consider how much time and effort it takes to prepare a meal from scratch. To top it off, after all is said and done, there’s dish duty. All things considered, using a meal service seems to be an attractive alternative.
Where to Buy
Now for the most glorious part of all of this . . . you don’t have to lift a finger, other than to dial the phone or order online. We have several locally owned and operated businesses that are willing to do the work for you without breaking the bank. All these businesses are following COVID-19 safety protocols and are committed to keeping their customers both happy and healthy.
Aim FitMeals at 125 South Campo Street in Las Cruces is a popular go-to that also serves Alamogordo and Tularosa. Chef and co-owner Chris Baca has officially taken the title of “Best Chef” in the Bulletin’s Best of 2021. Cesar Chavez, a New Mexico State University alumnus, loyal Aim FitMeals customer, and meal prep connoisseur, states, “I usually pick up meals at least twice a week from their store over the last two years. They have a delicious rotating menu, and some notable meals are the green chile cheeseburger, BBQ mac and cheese, and the sweet Asian chile salmon. They also have some awesome healthy treats, such as the oat powerballs, and a protein-packed PB & J sandwich.” Another feature they are known for are their vegan, vegetarian, and low-carbohydrate options that also alternate weekly.
Healthy Meals by Jaime
Aside from savory plates and salads, Healthy Meals by Jaime in Las Cruces offers a unique and handy option of bowls that contain a delicious protein, assorted veggies, and steamed brown rice for the affordable price of $8. Jaime’s salads are also of particular intrigue, including items such as the Kandi Apple Salad that graces the palate with strawberries, Granny Smith apples, and chicken, and the keto salad that offers baby spinach, chicken, feta cheese, bacon bits, and a boiled egg. You also won’t be disappointed with the variety of dressings to choose from to add that final touch atop your meal. Healthy Meals offers a light ranch, light balsamic vinaigrette, poppyseed, and a light raspberry vinaigrette.
Savvy Meal Prep
Savvy Meal Prep in the Las Cruces area is also taking orders. One meal that piqued my interest was the smoky mesquite chicken breast, broccoli and mixed vegetables, and jasmine rice combination. Meals start at $8 and you receive discounted rates the more you purchase. The best bang for your buck is ordering four meals or more for only $5 each.
For folks living in the El Paso area, Phit Phuel, founded and owned by Alexander Levario, has four convenient locations across the city. “I decided to lose weight and get into fitness,” says Alexander. “I meal prepped for myself while living out of town for three years. When I moved back to El Paso, people wanted me to meal prep for them, and the rest is history.”
They offer delivery and discounted meal plans with more than forty different options from which to choose, including gluten-free, paleo, and keto-friendly meals in three different portion sizes: traditional, athlete, and premium. Meal prices range from $4 to $10 with the option to purchase individually without having to pre-order. Alexander says fan favorites are steak and their Nashville hot chicken meal. Phit Phuel offers in-store discounts for all military, law enforcement, medical professionals, teachers, and first responders, and has recently added a delivery service to its repertoire.
I certainly like the sound of saving both money and time all while maintaining a healthier lifestyle. In fact, looking back at that resolution list I previously referred to, this takes care of several all at once. Needless to say, I will be giving local meal services a try and hope you do, too!
Local Meal Prep Services
Healthy Meals by Jaime
On the Go Bistro
Savvy Meal Prep
Written and photography by Desiree Bustamantes
Additional photos courtesy
Originally published on Neighbors magazine | 2021
Posted by LasCruces.com