Heavy Subject Update: BistroMD

BistroMD Breakfast

A week ago I posted about weight. Mine. How I had a hell a lot more of it now than I used to. I threw the rock.  It’s been a week now, and here’s my check-in.  And my review of BistroMD, my diet of choice.

Well, I’m pleasantly surprised. Compared with the food from South Beach Diet, which I tried last fall, BistroMD is FABULOUS. Seriously. Last fall I did lose about 10 pounds on South Beach, but it was a bit of a struggle. The food wasn’t nearly as good or filling. South Beach Diet is low sugar, low carbs, and low calories. BistroMD is simply a healthy, low calorie diet.

The Brutality of South Beach Diet

On South Beach, the first week was brutal. – Phase I. No sugar. No carbs. Low calories. BRUTAL. Not only are you calorie deprived, you’re going through sugar and carb detox. Not a fun time. After Phase I, your stomach has shrunk (or you’re getting used to the smaller meals) so you’re not feeling as starved. Even so, Phase II was only marginally better. The quality of food is ok. To compensate for the lack of sugar, carbs and fat they added herbs. LOTS of herbs. Either the meals were bland as hell – or they overwhelmed you with PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY & THYME – to the Nth  degree. The South Beach Diet food was eatable, but it had the quality of a mass produced, frozen dinner.

The Civility of BistroMD

BistroMD is better; a LOT better. Granted, it’s not a low sugar, low carb program, like South Beach. But it’s ‘stats’ are healthy. It’s “reasonable” which helped to make the first week relatively “easy”. I’m still really missing cheese and crackers, chips & guacamole, graham crackers, etc. In fact, Kurt just came home from the store with chips and an apple pie, so there are some sucky times.

The meals are relatively filling (as filling as 350 calories can be), the seasonings are really nice and balanced, and the quality is surprising. The texture of the meats is very fresh-like; the chicken isn’t rubbery, and the pork was really nice and tender.  All around, I really like BistroMD.

BistroMD Bagel w/egg & swiss cheese

BistroMD Bagel w/egg & swiss cheese

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Every week you get a big box via FedEx. The meals are shipped frozen, in individual containers with nutrition labels showing calories, carb, protein content, etc. They come packed in dry ice, so you don’t actually have to be home when the box is delivered, but be careful unpacking. Also, you’re getting a week’s worth of meals so you’ll need to make room in your freezer in advance. There’s paperwork included that lists out your daily menus. I put all the meals on the counter and sorted them by day. I then put each day’s meals into a plastic shopping bag, noting the day on the outside. That way I don’t have to sort through all the boxes at each meal time.

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BistroMD - Sorting

BistroMD – Sorting

BistroMD - dry ice

BistroMD – spook dry ice

Bistro MD - Snacks

Bistro MD – Snacks

 

Unlike other frozen meals, BistroMD recommends that you put theirs in the fridge a day ahead so it thaws. Doing so reduces the time you have to nuke it and it probably helps it heat more evenly, I suppose. The box has directions for both thawed and frozen, so you’re safe either way.

No matter the cuisine you choose, meals are set automatically but you can customize your menu in 2 ways. You can eliminate certain meals on a global basis, so they never show up again. Or, you can go day by day, week by week and make specific changes on the fly. Just make sure you make whatever changes you need by the deadline (mine is Wednesday’s at 5:00pm) for the shipment you’ll receive in 7-10 days.

How Does BistroMD work?

There are 4 weekly plans you can pick from:

  • B, L, 7-days a week and Dinner 6 days.
  • B, L & D 5-days a week
  • L & D 7-days a week
  • L & D 5-days a week

There’s a standard cuisine, or you can specify a special diet; Gluten-Free, Diabetic, Heart Healthy, Menopause. (a bit lower in fat and complex carbs), Low Sodium, and Silver (for those of us who USED to think 60 was old).  With each of the plans above you have the option to get daily snacks, as well.

I went all-in; selecting the “standard” cuisine, 7-days B, L, & D plus the snacks. The snacks are ok. I find that I like fruit and almonds for snacks so if but if I had to do it over again, I’d just do the meals and make up my own snacks for the remainder of the allotted calories.

Quality and Ease Isn’t Cheap

Now for the cost. It isn’t cheap. But – it’s not outrageous, either. Considering it’s EVERYTHING you need for a week. But, it is more expensive than cooking yourself, for sure. Including shipping, my full-boat is about $210.00, including the additional $15.75 for the snacks. The first week you get 25% off so it was only $150.00.  At full price it’s $30 a day. Without the snacks, it’s $27.75 a day. Again, not cheap – but when I was working I was spending $10-$15 a day for lunch.

My sister and I are both trying to drop a few pounds, but she’s opted for Weight Watchers. For her, the point system and her own food works better for her. For me, I don’t want to think about it. The more I think about food, the more I want what I can’t have, and the more miserable I am for longer. With BistroMD (as well as South Beach Diet, Nutrisystem, etc. etc.), all I have to do is to remember what day I’m on. (My friend Martha uses Medifast. Has anyone reading this tried Medifast?)

Bistro MD – The antidote for crepe overload

Crepe buerre sucre.

Crepe buerre sucre. Lynnelle’s favorite Paris vice (after vin rouge)

My plan is to stay with Bistro MD until I leave for France in about 3 weeks. After I get back from France (depending on how many croissants and crepes avec beurre et sucre I consume) I might try the WW to stay aware and simplify making healthy choices. If the croissant count is high enough, however, I may need to go back to BistroMD for a couple of weeks.

Week 1:  Lost 4.5 pounds, 2.5- 3 of which are most probably water weight. I’m pleased.

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