November 17, 2022
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Some people dread cooking at the end of a long day, but I actually look forward to it. Sure, it might take a little pep-talk to get me there some nights, but cooking helps me unwind after a stressful day and actually increases my productivity. Unfortunately, I don’t always have that time to set aside for a night spent chopping and stirring—which is why I’ve become a huge fan of testing out meal delivery services. Most recently, I was offered a sample box to test out Trifecta Nutrition‘s line-up of prepared meals.
Below, find the good, the bad, and the downright delicious from my time testing out the company’s nutrition-focused recipes.
A favorite meal delivery service amongst the mindbodygreen team, Trifecta provides fresh, fully-prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner entreès, catering to all dietary preferences and needs. The company’s intention? To simplify healthy eating and make it part of your everyday life. Each meal is carefully curated by medical and diet specialists, and then developed by nutrition-trained chefs using organic, sustainably-sourced ingredients.
While intentionally designed as a meal delivery services for people with weight loss goals, Trifecta is equally beneficial for anyone looking to improve their eating habits with new innovative meals. Plus, it cuts down on time spent meal planning, shopping, and prepping.
Trifecta also has a free app to manage your subscription and deliveries, plus log and track your meals, calories, workouts, and progress. For $10 per month, you can upgrade to a premium subscription, which gives access to macronutrient tracking, training videos, and more. I have not tested the app, but there are a ton of testimonials on the brand’s website from customers who have improved their gut health, lost weight, increased confidence levels, and achieved their overall health and fitness goals while using Trifecta’s membership and meal delivery services.
Trifecta offers chef-curated menus with a variety of meal plans to choose from: Clean, Keto, Whole30-Approved, Paleo, Vegan, or Vegetarian. There’s also a “Classic Meals” option, which allows you to pick and choose from a menu of simple, balanced meals, along with a few meal prep kits, for people who want to save time and money when cooking for a larger family.
Everything Trifecta cooks is made without preservatives, artificial ingredients, refined sugar, or dairy. Designed to optimize your diet, the meals have carefully calculated macro and micronutrients, all outlined on the brand’s packaging. The company also works with farmers to source in-season produce whenever possible, as a way to keep prices down and serve the freshest foods.
Here’s a brief snapshot of what to expect from the different options, including how much each Trifecta plan costs:
Clean Meal Plan: High-quality protein, organic veggies, whole grains. Average calories: 450; Average protein: 29g; Average carbs: 25g; Average fat: 17g ($15 to $16 per meal)
Paleo Meal Plan: Organic produce, paleo proteins. No dairy, soy, grains, legumes, or gluten. Average calories: 440; Average protein: 30g; Average carbs: 35g; Average fat: 20g ($15 to $16 per meal)
Keto Meal Plan: High fat, low carb, high-quality protein. Average calories: 400; Average protein: 32g; Average carbs: 10g; Average fat: 28g ($15 to $16 per meal)
Vegan Meal Plan: Organic produce, plant-based protein. Average calories: 430; Average protein: 21g; Average carbs: 55g; Average fat: 15g ($12 to $13 per meal)
Whole30 Approved Meal Plan: Organic produce, eggs, plant-based protein. Free of dairy, soy, grains, legumes, and gluten. Average calories: 440; Average protein: 30g; Average carbs: 35g; Average fat: 20g ($15 to $16 per meal)
Vegetarian Meal Plan: Organic produce, humanely raised protein. Free of dairy, soy, grains, legumes, and gluten. Average calories: 430; Average protein: 21g; Average carbs: 55g; Average fat: 15g ($12 to $13 per meal)
One qualm I have with Trifecta is that you can’t view the current menus prior to subscribing. That said, there are example meals on each of the individual meal plan pages. Once you do decide to sign up, you’ll choose from the above meal plans and your account will default to a weekly schedule. Don’t worry though, you’ll have the option to skip weeks whenever you want (as long as you do so up to one week in advance). If desired, you can also request to be moved to a different schedule (i.e. every third week of the month).
Trifecta offers a few meal plan sizes with a choice of deliveries either 5 or 7 days per week. Along with selecting the number of days, you can decide on the exact meals you want sent your way: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three. There’s also a third entrée available for people who truly want to eliminate shopping and cooking.
While you aren’t able to pick and choose menu items with Trifecta’s typical meal plans, I was impressed by how seriously the brand takes dietary restrictions, preferences, and allergies. At checkout, you can apply up to two allergy or dietary needs. Once your preferences are set, your menu will be revised to fully replace any meals containing those ingredients, rather than removing the ingredient itself from the meal (to avoid cross-contamination).
From there, deliveries arrive on Friday or Saturday. All menu items will be sent in one large box.
First off, shipping is free in all 50 states, which (in my opinion) should be a given these days, but unfortunately is not. Each meal is packaged in a vacuum-sealed container with everything delivered to your door in one box via FedEx, UPS, GSO, or your local delivery company. The box contains plant-based insulation materials and ice packs made from nitrogen-based plant food.
The fully pre-cooked meals arrive with instructions on how best to heat them on the stove, oven, or microwave. If you prefer to use the air fryer, you can also check out the website for additional cooking recommendations.
Trifecta says your food is packed to stay fresh for several hours, even if you aren’t home to receive it right away. I can attest to this, as I was not home when it arrived, but my food was still extremely cold when I opened the box. That said, it’s recommended that you put your food in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you can to maintain optimal freshness.
The meals last up to 7 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. It’s always best to freeze foods at their optimal freshness, so if you know you aren’t going to consume all meals within a week of receiving them, be sure to freeze any extras right away.
To ensure I got the most comprehensive experience, I tried meals from both the refrigerator and from the freezer. Once prepared, I didn’t notice any discernable difference in freshnes.
For this review, I tested Trifecta’s clean meal plan, with 7 dinner entrees. Unfortunately, one of my entrees did break open in the delivery process, so I was only able to taste six of the meals. I froze half my meals at delivery so I could enjoy them over the course of two weeks. I tend to alter and supplement meals from delivery services, but the only addition I made this time was serving each dish over a bed of arugula, kale, or spinach—just to up my greens intake.
I’ll admit I’m on the pickier side when it comes to food. For example, because I prepare at least 90% of my food for myself, I often find meal delivery, takeout, and restaurant options to be heavy on the salt. I did not have this issue at all with Trifecta. I loved that each of the meals was clearly labeled with ingredients and nutritional information, so I knew I wasn’t loading up on excess sodium, additives or preservatives.
Every meal I tried:
Southwestern Style Turkey Bowl with sweet potatoes, onions, and bell peppers
Pollo Guisado white meat chicken with tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and citrus
Tropical Garlic Shrimp with bell peppers, lemon, and coconut
Jambalaya with spiced rice, white meat chicken, pork, and andouille sausage
Spicy Southwestern Style Turkey Skillet with sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and guacamole
Spicy Green Chili Chicken with brown rice, corn, and poblano peppers
When you first look at Trifecta’s ingredient lists, they’re so clean that you might expect the food to be bland. I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The standout meals for me were the pollo guisado and the tropical garlic shrimp—both of which I was actually not super excited about from the description. Since my meals arrived in October, the tropical and citrus flavors threw me off a bit. To my surprise, the flavors were bright and fresh, while still warming enough for the cooler fall weather.
I’m a very active person, so I struggle with is getting enough protein. I eat healthy, but I’m always a bit skeptical of meat sources. As a result, I often load up on vegetables, carbs, and extra plant-based protein sources. Trifecta’s commitment to using only grass-fed, pasture-raised meat and sustainably sourced seafood made me feel good about the quality of the food I was eating—and less worried about cramming in extra tofu or chickpeas.
According to the countless testimonials, yes, Trifecta is good for weight loss. We’ve even included it on our nutritionist-reviewed roundup of the best meal delivery services for weight loss as our top pick overall. Each meal is macro-balanced with an average of 250 to 500 calories. The meals also tend to be very high in protein, which has been shown to keep you full and regulate your appetite1. Most importantly, all meals are dietitian-approved.
With the Trifecta app, you can take your weight loss goals a step further, plus connect with a community of people with similar health goals.
Trifecta is one of the healthiest meal delivery services I’ve come across yet. Not only are the meals chef-prepared and catered to nearly every dietary preference, but the mostly-organic ingredients are high quality, gluten-free, GMO-free, and low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt. The brand sources local foods whenever possible, paying close attention to what’s seasonal.
Above that, each meal is portioned with your optimal health in mind as it relates to calories, fat, protein, and carbs. If you’re struggling to eat healthy, Trifecta is an excellent option.
Yes, I’m thoroughly impressed by Trifecta’s sustainability efforts. Each meal is minimally processed and made with sustainably-sourced ingredients. The brand is passionate about limiting food waste, which is another great reason to opt for meal delivery in general. If there is any leftover food—which Trifecta aims to avoid—all extra meals are donated to Feeding America.
The packaging is also green, especially when you compare it with the plastic waste often produced by buying food online or in the grocery store. Trifecta uses 98% biodegradable packaging, eliminating as much plastic and styrofoam as possible, with the goal of reaching 100% biodegradable trays and packaging within the next year.
To be transparent, I was not expecting to enjoy the meals as much as I did. Like I said, I’m particular about my food and ingredients, and I do love to cook. But Trifecta surprised me with its quality, freshness, and taste. Plus, you can’t beat the simplicity of having pre-made meals ready to heat at the start, middle, or end of your day.
These meals net out somewhere between $12 and $16 per serving, which is about on par with my favorite healthy takeout options, but probably more than what I’d spend on groceries for one person. I wouldn’t splurge on this every week, but it’s worth it for the weeks when I’m short on time and don’t want a refrigerator full of wasted groceries.
Our final verdict:
- Meals are very filling
- Fresh, sustainably-sourced, seasonal ingredients
- Caters to many dietary preferences
- Not many options for customization
- One meal spilled in delivery
Dietary restrictions: PaleoGluten-freeVeganVegetarianDairy-freeSugar-freeGrain-freeWhole30
Meals per week: 5 to 28
Price: $12 to $16 per meal
Shipping fee: Free
Who should try it:
If you have weight loss goals, certain dietary preferences, or simply want to take the guesswork out of eating healthier, Trifecta is a great meal delivery option. I enjoyed it even though I love to cook, but these fully-prepared meals would be even better for someone who wants to spend a very minimal amount of time in the kitchen.
Who should skip it:
Trifecta might not be the right choice for people who want to hand-pick specific meals, or don’t like reheating pre-cooked meals. I will also say that while the meals taste great and are made with healthy, high-quality ingredients, the recipes are not super inventive. So if you’re looking for something with out-of-the-box ingredients, Trifecta may not be for you.
I’d recommend Trifecta to anyone with specific health, fitness, or nutrition goals. It’s one of the best prepared meal delivery options for people who are short on time, don’t enjoy cooking, live alone and hate leftovers (I feel you), or are having trouble sticking with a specific dietary plan, such as paleo, whole30, keto, or vegan.