The Fresh 20

Inspired by Conor McClure’s post about the Whole 30, I am sharing what my wife and I are doing.

In an ongoing quest to eat like adults, we tried Blue Apron. The food was good and fresh. The meals were delicious and we’ve saved many of the recipes we prepared.

But eventually we stopped making the food. While they ship everything you need (short of salt and pepper) in the box, there is a lot of chopping and slicing.

The meals were delicious but rarely had enough leftover for lunches the next day. This is the second part of the healthy eating struggle.

Because of this, paired with issues retrieving packages at the condo we rent, we gave up on them. This is not a failing of them. But a failing in ourselves.

We both work full-time. We’d rather collapse on the couch and not cook for hours in the kitchen. But we also don’t want to order pizza every night either.

Enter The Fresh 20

The Fresh 20 is built around a week of meals where you shop for 20 ingredients (which they say can take about 20 minutes). The meals are listed with easy-to-follow recipes. Each of the week’s meals has a list of ingredients with portions listed. Though the very best part is the shopping list they offer.

Last night, we went to the grocery store and found all 20 ingredients. And we don’t shop at a fancy grocery store. We often struggle to find certain common herbs. But we routinely find everything we need with little effort. These aren’t gourmet ingredients we’d have to shop around to find.

There is minimal prep work, usually chopping or marinating. This is all spelled out for the five meals on the sheet with the meals listed so there are no surprises.

We use the Classic menu and I’ve been very happy with the variety of meals each week. There are also gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free and kosher meal plans. They also have plans for lunch and single people.

We have been doing this for about three weeks and every meal has been great. Their recipes feed a family of four, which is perfect for the two of us. This gives us dinner and lunch the next day.

Three months of The Fresh 20 will only run you $18. The annual plan is $54. Once you sign up, you’ll not only have access to a new meal plan every week, you’ll also be able to see their entire archive of meal plans. We are eating a plan from early June this week.

To be clear, they do not send you any food. They make simple, easy to follow (and shop for) meal plans. While it’s not easier than ordering pizza, it’s cheaper and more satisfying. I highly recommend trying it out. You can sign up for a free meal plan on their website. And when you fall in love with it, I know you’ll sign up and eat like a healthier adult.


  1. “There are no quick fixes and I need to make major, sustained changes which dieting won’t do.”

    Changing what you eat will do it. This may sound crazy to you (I thought it was until I did it) but my wife and I began a low carb / high fat diet last summer. The extra pounds dropped off very quickly, our energy levels soared and we have not felt this good in many years.

    It is basically a paleo-type plan, but closer to a ketogenic diet (look it up). Dietary fat is not the villain, it’s carbs (sugar, starches, grains, processed foods) that keep the weight on. Lower your glucose by restricting carbs. This lowers insulin which will convert you to a fat burning machine.

    I highly recommend Gary Taubes’ book “Why We Get Fat” — he lays out the science behind carbs and fat, and why we have so much obesity and diabetes in the U.S. Also “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz is excellent.

  2. Ahh and you couldn’t give the burnt-out-adult-friendly Pick Me Meal Club a try? For shame. Ha, but kudos for finding something that fits what you needed. We did Blue Apron too and funny enough thought we were the only ones who noticed the no leftovers thing. Kinda a deal breaker for the working people.

    • I didn’t know you existed. There are so many competing things out there for every single product or category. Leftovers for lunches are key for any meal planning.

  3. I wish it was a bit more anti-grain :/ That being said, good for you for taking this stuff serious!

    • Anti-grain? What’s that? I love grains. Breads. Muffins. Croissants. Donuts. Anyway.
      My wife and I have been slowly eating better and exercising more. There are no quick fixes and I need to make major, sustained changes which dieting won’t do. So while it’s slow going, it’s rewarding.

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