Getting started with Eatology is pretty easy. The basics of what you have to decide is how much food you want and how often you want it. You'll have an option to choose your meals later (or let them decide).
You can choose a Single Order to just try them out, or you can get on a subscription plan to have them delivery weekly. Subscriptions come with a 20% discount. One thing I like about Eatology is that they are transparent about their pricing. So many meal kit and meal delivery services hide the actual prices you pay in hopes that you'll order more. Eatology says right on their packages how much you pay for 2-b or 3-b meal sizes.
I picked up a 10 meal 3b plan on autoship, so was paying $128 (including shipping) per meal shipment. That works out to about $8.53 per meal. That's a bit more than I'm used to paying per meal just making food for myself. For example, for breakfast if I have 3 eggs and some bacon, it's about $2-$3 for breakfast, about 1/3 of the cost.
I could easily eat much more than $10 for dinner, but I'd also get a big chunk of steak or chicken for that price. For budget paleo, you could have a couple chicken legs and some sautéd kale for less than $5.
But the idea behind Eatology is not to save money – it's to save time. Honestly, if I can save an our per day and get real work done on my business, that would probably be worth $60 per hour. Plus time saved at the grocery store, Eatology can save you money too! You just have to be productive in that extra time you create for yourself each week.
Picking Your Meals
While you go through the ordering process, you have the option to pick your individual meals, but I don't recommend it. I'd just let them pick your meals for now. There are no pictures for the meals, and it was very hard to tell what was actually going to be good or not. After tasting, I found that some meals sounded great, but were not that good. Other meals (when I randomly selected) surprised me.
There are tons of options too, so it's a bit overwhelming. To save yourself the trouble, just get whatever, and keep a list of what you like, then you can start customizing from there.
About The Paleo Zone
When I first looked into Eatology, I thought it was just a healthy meal delivery service. When I looked deeper, I found out it was all about Paleo. After watching the Paleo Zone videos, I think it's kind of a combination of both.
The “Paleo Zone” stuff within the marketing material for Eatology was a little confusing. Paleo zone, as far as I understand, is all about meal portion control, eating times, and hitting the ideal body…balance?. And that's just the thing. In the explanation videos, the presenters are talking about “blocks”, as a structure for eating, and they talk about our “goals”, but don't explicitly state what those goals are. I'm unclear if the blocking system is supposed to help us lose weight, perform better in the gym, or just have our bodies run more efficiently.
After taste testing Eatology for the past two weeks, I think they do a good job of presenting a weight loss meal delivery option since the meals are pre-portioned and delivered to your door. They also do a good job of just delivering paleo friendly foods, which takes the hassle out of always having to Google, “Is this food paleo?”
As for energy? I don't think I'd have enough energy to perform well at the gym eating just Eatology meals. I like to lift and to sprint-walking. I'm not a crossfit master, but I need those calories for the gym or I can feel myself get sluggish. When I was losing weight a few years back, I had to drag myself to gym or pump myself up with caffeine. Anyway, long story short, I don't think Eatology is enough food for men going hard at the gym.
For weight loss though, I think they could be a great option, as would most meal delivery services. maybe they'd be good for a lean-bulk situation as well, depending on how many calories you need.
Shipping & Packaging from Eatology
Eatology was coming from Texas, and I'm in California, so I was very surprised at how cold everything was when it arrived. From the tracking data, it looked like it took three days to arrive, so I was even more shocked that everything still came frozen. The meals look like they had been packed with dry ice. I'm not sure how much dry ice was in there when it got started(or if there was any), but there was none when it arrived.
The meals were frozen hard as a rock though (that's good), and there seemed to be some dry ice shavings still left around the packages. The meals were so cold, I had to get an oven mitt to transfer them to the freezer.
Something I wasn't expecting was how convenient having frozen meals are. I almost felt like I was cheating at dinner time! Usually I start cooking around six, then finish cleaning up around 7. With froze meals, I just took two meals out to thaw out at about 4 and continue working until six. I pop them in the oven at six, and they're done by 6:30. Eating takes around 10 minutes, and then there's no cleanup at all.
Eatology meals saved me a ton of time. Plus, they were handy to keep in the freezer, and won't go bad like having food on hand in the fridge. When I was busy with work and didn't feel like cooking, I was happy to have some frozen meals ready to rock and roll.
Let's Talk About Taste & Texture
It's a little hard to gauge what to expect from a meal delivery service at this point, since Eatology is the first one I've tried. There are over 50 meal delivery services that deliver across the USA, and probably more locally.
Being 100% honest, the meals were not that good. Just considering flavor alone, I would say that about 2/10 that I tried were “amazing”. The rest were just okay, and there was one or two that were actually a little hard to finish. The was a breakfast one that I tried that had bananas in it, and it was cloyingly sweet. The “Persian style chicken” was really dry and just tasted like cinnamon. A couple of the ones that contained green veggies were really bitter.
I also didn't like how they prepared the sweet potatoes a lot of the time. They was super mushy, like baby food. I realize some of this is meal choice, and I could maybe improve my choices in the future, but so far, what I thought sounded appetizing, didn't end up being so.
The pizza roll was awesome, and the Caribbean pulled pork was awesome as well. Those I would order again!
Part of the issue with the meals was the texture. The carrots and veggies were cut up like kid food. I can't stand carrot cubes! A lot of the meat was dry, but somehow soaked with lots of water in in the bottom. Maybe that's just the nature of frozen meals reheated.
I tried the microwave at first, because who wants to wait 30 minutes in the oven when this is supposed to be “fast” meals to save time. The results were not appetizing, and everything seemed soggy. Cooking in the oven yielded much better results. Thawing beforehand, then cooking in the oven yielded the best results.
Meal Size & Portions
I chose the 3-Block version, which is the bigger version that Eatology offers. I found the meals satisfying, but not overly filling. There are different types of eaters. Some people like to eat 5 small meals per day. I prefer to eat 2 big ones. I found myself wanting to snack after dinner, but if I could resist the urge to graze, I didn't get hungry. Just “snack-y” as I say.
I'm a grown man, 5'11” 185 lbs. A lot of dudes are bigger than me, and would probably need to consume two of these meals for a dinner portion. My girlfriend is shorter and thinner than me by a lot. She didn't finish her meals, partly to disliking the flavor, but even when she liked it, it was too much for her. She would have done better with a 2-Block size.
What About the “Health” Factor?
Yes, these meals were healthy, and in more ways than one! Everything appeared to be fresh, and it was all “clean” ingredients. There were plenty of meat and veggies, including green veggies. That's basically paleo LOL.
Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of the food. I think if I was more into the Paleo thing, and wanted to follow a specific diet to lose weight or gain muscle, I could stick to the Paleo Zone system and be more enthusiastic about the Eatology meals.
I ran into a bit of trouble canceling Eatology, which is always frustrating. First off, there's no way to cancel within the online systems. I should be able to just log in, cancel, then resubscribe when I'm ready. The login system was pretty confusing – I couldn't even figure out if I was in my own account or not. There's no “login page” on their website.
After contacting Live Support, I was told they can't cancel my account, and I have to send an email. So I sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Four days later, I got a response that my account had been canceled.
Comparing Eatology To Other Meal Delivery Services
Eatology was actually the first meal delivery service that I've tried, so I can't accurately compare at this point. I imagine that some of my complaints about the food are pretty common across many frozen meal services, so take those comments with a grain of salt. I'll update when I have more information to accurately compare. For now, you can read the full list of paleo meal delivery services (there's 21 of them!).
I actually have much more experience with meal kits, you know, like Blue Apron? There are actually a few different paleo-style meal kits that you can order online. You'd have to cook the ingredients yourself, but for me, that's the fun part. The meals taste fresher, and you get to spend time in the kitchen. I hate the rush and bustle of busy life, and like to take 30-40 minutes per day to cook my meals. I know not everyone can afford the luxury of time, but it's something I enjoy.
My favorite of these meal kits was Sun Basket, and they do have a paleo option!
I really wanted to like Eatology, but I just wasn't that into the food. Maybe it's because I'm not focused on staying with paleo diet (I like the idea though!). I'll be sure and verify this potential bias as I try out other paleo frozen meals though, and update accordingly.
I was super happy with the efficiency of delivery and the convenience of having frozen, health meals ready to go in the freezer, and will continue to enthusiastically test out other meal delivery services and review them.