I wanted to write a more extensive review about Chefs Diet (formerly Zone Chefs) for anyone considering it or another prepared meal program. My motive is simply that I wish it had been there for me. I simply didn't have the time to keep making my meals consistently and therefore couldn't stay in the Zone, so I started exploring pre-packaged Zone meals. Armed with as much information as I could find (not much), I decided to try Chefs Diet. There are definitely pros and cons, and hopefully my point of view is helpful to someone. I am on my 3rd week of Zone Chefs frozen meal delivery at $17/day for lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks. I provide breakfast, for which I bought Cedarlane Zone meals (officially sponsored by Dr. Sears) in an attempt to be Zone-strict.
About me & my Zone. I do believe the Zone is the way my body wants to be fed, but I've had trouble achieving that goal. I tried my best for about 3 months, preparing Zone meals for myself. I lost about 4 pounds at the beginning (I'm 5'6" and about 145 lbs with a goal of 130-135) but hit a plateau, in part because of my inability to plan meals consistently.
1) Chefs Diet is a pre-packaged meal program with at-your-door delivery. There are many options from Chefs Diet that range in price and depend on where you live. The most expensive option is fresh food delivered every other day at about $40/day. The cheapest options are frozen foods (2 meals and 2 snacks) delivered every other week for as low as $15/day. You provide the third meal for yourself. There are a handful of other frozen meal delivery programs that have similarities, and interestingly, one said that the same distributer sent frozen meals for 2 separate companies (including Chefs Diet).
2) Some overall stats/comments. The meals are quite good/tasty in my opinion. There is a large variety. They claim not to repeat meals in a 30 day period, and they stick to this pretty well (I've received 4 wks of food so far). The meals sent to me average about 350 calories or about 3-4 blocks and size-wise are in a container similar to any frozen foods item.
3) Chefs Diet states that it follows Zone principles but also that it is not officially affiliated with Dr. Sears; it doesn't elaborate further. Let me do that for you. First, the meals:
Carbs: None of the meals stick with favorable carbs throughout. There is a portion of veggies with every meal, but the bulk of the carbs (at least half), are unfavorable and include white bread, tortillas, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice, corn, etc. The carb quantity ranges from about 30-45 g (3-5 blocks).
Protein: On average, the meals contain about 20 g protein, so ~3 blocks. A handful have run short, like 15 g or 2 blocks, and a few were as low as 5 g protein for the entire meal, but you can select not to receive certain meals, or add some protein yourself.
Fat: On average, fat is slightly more than recommended, about 8 g (or ~5 blocks). It is usually favorable, oil-based, including olive oil, but occasionally it includes butter or other unfavorable fats.
4) As for snacks, they're ridiculous. They actually say "two bars" on the website, but what you get is a box of packaged snacks. They're each about 100-150 calories. The only Zone items are few packages of soy nuts. The remainder consist of cookies, brownies, nuts, dark chocolate squares, or nuts & dried fruit.
My conclusions: It's not a bad option. It's pretty healthy, tasty, and not too unaffordable, but it has some SERIOUS shortcomings if you want to stay true to Zone principles. My biggest issue so far is battling hunger. I started adding a serving of veggies to each meal for more volume, fiber, and favorable carbs, but I'm still quite hungry most of the time. I do I think I'm one of those "carb sensitive" people, though, so you might be different. It took me until the 3rd day of a strict Zone regimen to start lasting about 4 hours between meals without being especially hungry. For now though, I've decided to stick with it for about 3 months and see how I do. If there were a better, affordable option, I'd take it. For any stay-at-home Zoners, this could be a business opportunity in your local community!
I'm happy to share more information, if you're interested. I'm also happy to receive feedback and recommendations!