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Meal Kits + Shift Work

Can meal kits make life better for night shift workers? I decided to try out a subscription and see if it made things easier. Here's what I found out.

This post is *NOT* sponsored. Night Shift Wellness loves to share brands that make shift work easier and we think this is one of them! Scroll to the bottom for an exclusive deal available to Night Shift Wellness readers.

My co-workers introduced me to meal kit subscriptions. They swear by them as a sanity saver. Below are three examples of my colleagues—all shift workers—who really, really ♥️ meal kits.

  • One doctor I work with has three kids; his wife is also a doctor. Their family orders a family-sized meal kit each week. He says this makes an enormous difference in their life and lets them cook with their kids.
  • Another doctor resorted to meal kits after the staff razzed him for ordering every single meal as takeout. Every. Single. Meal.
  • A phlebotomist I work with says she never had time to plan healthy meals, do the groceries, and then all the prep for her husband, toddler, and pregnant self. She jokes that the only reason she eats vegetables is her meal kit subscription.

There are several meal kit options available in my area. I was wavering over which one to try, so I turned to my friend Emma who had tried every single option. For her, the clear winner was GoodFood, a brand I knew several of my coworkers were using. It wasn’t the cheapest, but Emma loved the variety and quality of the meals. The website is easy to use. The meals are delicious. The delivery options are great.

How does it work? You buy a subscription online, select your preferences, and they deliver meal kits to your door on a designated day. You choose how many meals you want per week and can select from 5 categories:

  • Classic Meals
  • Easy Prep Meals
  • Clean 15 (Low Carb)
  • Vegetarian Meals
  • Family-Style Meals

For my first week, I opted for three meals of two servings each from the Clean 15 category.

Everything you need to make the meals is delivered in a cooler box. The ingredients are divided to make it a no-brainer. Each kit contains all the ingredients you need, along with a set of simple, step-by-step instructions with photos.

My Meal Kit Choices

There are tons of options available each week. I opted for:

  • Grilled Maple-Mustard Chicken Breasts
  • Summer Beef Meatballs with Sweet Potato ‘Spaghetti’
  • Grilled Tofu Buddha Bowl

Meal #1: Grilled Maple-Mustard Chicken Breasts

How did GoodFood know that it was mid-July and I didn’t want to turn on my stove and instead wanted to hang out and BBQ on my porch in my flip-flops?! Oh, right, they have a whole team thinking these things through. Maybe I’m an easy sell, but I was already impressed that they just knew that crunchy, saucy salad with grilled chicken was exactly what this girl needed.

The instructions were incredibly easy and it took no time at all to whip this up. It felt a lot fancier than what I normally pull together for myself and it was SO tasty. Honestly, those nice folks must put a lot more thought into meals than I do—there were contrasting colours, textures, and flavours. There was crunchiness, sweetness, tanginess… there was even garnish! Five stars, highly recommend, would make again.

Meal #2: Summer Beef Meatballs with Sweet Potato ‘Spaghetti’

Another winner. This was so simple and SO good. Spiralized sweet potato ‘noodles’, flavour-packed meatballs, and a sassy sauce of cherry tomatoes.

I made this one between Night One and Night Two of hospital shifts. For me to cook at 5 pm before heading into my second shift, it has to be realllly easy. And this delivered. I had my first meal of it for supper and brought in the rest for a delicious 3 a.m. meal.

Again, I was impressed by how this meal had been summer-ized and was seasonal perfection! Fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, fresh parm. Fresh-ilicious!

Meal #3: Grilled Tofu Buddha Bowl

^^^^ The picture doesn’t do it justice because I made this at 10 p.m. so there was no daylight to capture its beauty.

Guys, this is where things got interesting. I could pretend that I’m really open-minded and progressive about loving all foods but I’m not. Tofu just isn’t my jam. I didn’t finalize my choices online—which is supppper easy to do—so I ended up getting a Grilled Tofu Buddha Bowl meal kit shipped. This was totally avoidable and easy peasy to fix, but I flaked out partway through meal selection and forgot to choose all three meals. My bad.

I was off to a very strong start with the other meals, so I decided to dive in with a positive attitude. I didn’t end up loving all of this meal, because even with the fun spice blend provided for the grilled tofu, I couldn’t get on board with a block of curdled soybean. But, everything else about this meal was completely delicious. Matchstick beets, shredded daikon, marinated kale, and garlicky snap peas—I’d totally make it again, just with no tofu. There are so many other delicious options—no need to pick the tofu one!

The Bottom Line

I ordered my box for a week when I had a string of night shifts and I am 100% sure I ate a LOT better that week because a big ol’ box of great ingredients with instructions was dropped at my door. It made it a no-brainer to cook healthy meals.

I was impressed with GoodFood meal kits. I think they are a game changer for shift workers.

There is still some cooking and assembly required—and then the dishes, of course. But I found myself spending zero time meal planning and zero time grocery shopping. I spent between 20 and 30 minutes preparing each meal, and the results exceeded my expectations. I felt like a fancy pants chef and I had generous leftovers to bring with me on my shifts. So much winning.

As a con, I am somewhat concerned about the amount of packaging involved in these kits, but the GoodFood website recommends dropping the cardboard box, insulation liner, bags, bottles, and baskets in your recycling bin. Also, the solution in the ice packs is a water and salt gel, so you can pop them in your freezer, or snip off the ends and pour the all-natural solution in the toilet.

This concern is counteracted with another pro: I definitely had less food waste using their meal kits. I tend to overbuy ingredients, but GoodFood sent exactly what I needed to prepare each tasty dish.

The bottom line? I highly, highly recommend night shift workers try meal kits. If you live in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, or the Maritimes, then I recommend starting with GoodFood. I think you’ll love it!

Are you ready to try GoodFood for yourself? Get $40 off your first basket—no strings attached—using this link. <<< (full disclosure: affiliate link) You can choose what kind of meals you want, how many meals you want to receive, and the number of portions. Just go for it!

Last updated: 2024-03-09

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Lauren McGill

I work at the intersection of healthcare and storytelling. As a medical writer, I help healthcare experts publish content so they stand out as thought leaders.

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