A picture of a meal kit delivery box bursting with food is drawn over with items circled, scratched out, hearted, and otherwise modified to show someone's dissatisfactions and things they liked about the box.

Can A Meal Kit Delivery Service Work For IBS?

My friends keep telling me how great meal kit delivery services are. You choose your recipes online, get all the ingredients delivered to your doorstep, and all you have to do is cook them. This whole principle did intrigue me. Especially since I don’t particularly like grocery shopping and I never know what to cook.

But can a service like that even work for IBS? I did have my doubts. A lot of them, to be honest. Nonetheless, I decided to try it anyway and share my experience with you.

A limited choice of recipes

The first problem I ran into when trying to order my weekly meals was the choice of recipes. Some seemed like something I could eat, but a lot of them didn’t. So, I guess you either end up eating a lot of the same food in a week or take the risk of triggering your IBS.

In the end, I decided to make multiple portions of the more or less safe recipes they had. I personally don’t mind eating the same thing multiple times in a row, but if you do, that might be a problem.

Superfluous ingredients

Do you know how most recipes contain ingredients that are IBS triggers? Like onions, garlic, and so on. I’ve gotten so used to just ignoring them in every recipe I make. But with the meal kit delivery service, they were suddenly sitting in my kitchen.

As I see it, there are 2 choices: Either you throw all or part of them away to keep your food safe, or you use them anyway because you feel bad about wasting food. For the first recipe I made, I chose the second option. It wasn’t a smart decision, but I really don’t like wasting ingredients! And I did end up regretting it later on.

I guess that one solution would be to just use a small piece of the onion, for example, and keep the rest for another day. Or make 2 versions of the same meal if you live with other people who don’t suffer from IBS. But again, I’m not sure how well this would work in the long run.

The psychological dilemma

For me, this meal kit delivery experience raised some psychological dilemmas I hadn’t had in a while. One of them I just talked about, since I had no good solution for the superfluous ingredients the delivery service sent me. I hate wasting food, and I don’t want to trigger my IBS.

Another dilemma I had was to choose safe over healthy. It’s something I constantly struggle with, but when I saw all those yummy looking veggie recipes they had, I felt bad for choosing less healthy ones instead to suit my IBS.

Meal kit delivery vs. ordering food

One thing my fiancé said when I suggested the meal kit delivery was that it would be so much easier to just order food. And at first, I thought that he might be right.

However, I’ve changed my mind about that (and he did, too!) First of all, not all of us have healthy restaurants nearby that deliver food. In our little town, we can choose between pizza, burgers and Asian food. And I’m not ready to eat those multiple times a week (or ever)!

Getting meal kits delivered is also not as expensive as ordering food. You pay more than you would at a grocery store, but it does save you a lot of time. And time is also money, right?

Plus, it’s actually nice to cook together after a long workday (as long as it’s super quick and easy).

Reduced stress

Even though the meal kit delivery service was pretty problematic when it came to staying safe, it did have one major advantage: the reduced stress.

On busy weeks, my fiancé and I struggle to find time for grocery shopping. I work from home and could technically go during the day, but we only have one car and he’s the one who takes it. Having all the ingredients delivered to our house definitely helped with that.

When we’re both stressed, we’re also never motivated to get creative in the kitchen. This often results in eating crappy food for days on end, which is neither healthy nor good for my IBS. Having pre-planned recipes made it so much easier to actually cook! You don’t have to think or choose or measure anything but just follow the instructions.

And I also love that you can simply keep the recipes you liked and make them again, even without the delivery service. Somehow this is way easier for me than looking up recipes online!

Will I order again?

All in all, I find that a meal kit delivery service is tricky when you have IBS. It’s just not made for us IBS sufferers!

However, I did enjoy the concept of it a lot, and I’m not quite ready to give up on that. I think that in the future, I would only order recipes that will work for me, even if it means just ordering one or 2 per week (for those super busy days).

I would also put aside potential trigger ingredients and make my fiancé use them for something else or his own version of the same meal. But I probably will order again, just not all the time.

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