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Fresh diet meals offer alternative to frozen, shelf-stable

A growing subset of the weight-loss product market is fresh, not frozen, diet meals for delivery and pickup. Among these businesses are three local options: Healthy Bites, Power Supply and Diet to Go. Although none of the three scored all that well in a blind taste test by Washington Post staffers, they do offer a fresh, preservative-free alternative for people who want to eat more healthfully but don’t have the time (or desire) to cook.

Healthy Bites →

Meals by this D.C. company, which include whole grains, lean protein, fruit and vegetables, are based on the glycemic index to keep blood sugar levels steady, says founder Bonnie Coberly. Five days of lunches and dinners cost $127. Meals are available for pickup; delivery is available for an additional fee. There are vegetarian and children’s meal options. Sample meal: chicken sausage, onion-and-pepper saute with garlic kale and quinoa.

Review: “Portion’s a good size, [but it could] be better in flavor department.” (Order at www.healthybitesfood.com.)

Power Supply →

The Alexandria company is founded on the principles of the Paleo diet, which shuns grains, dairy and legumes. Meals are based on vegetables, meats and healthful fats to “fuel active lifestyles,” says co-owner Robert Morton. Five days of lunches and dinners costs $119. There is no delivery option, but meals are available for pickup at CrossFit gyms across the region; you don’t have to be a member of a gym to buy the food. The meals are appropriate for people with gluten and lactose allergies, but there is no vegetarian option. Sample meal: Coconut Salmon Stew. Review: “Screams diet food, but vegetables cooked decently. Good portion for lunch or dinner. Pretty colors.” (Order at www.dc.mypowersupply.com.)

Diet to Go →

Low-fat, portion-controlled meals by this Lorton-based company are based on guidelines set by the American Heart Association, the Agriculture Department, American Dietetic Association and American Diabetes Association. Five days of lunches and dinners cost $95.99. Meals are available for pickup; delivery is available for an additional fee. There are vegetarian and low-carb options. Sample meal: Szechuan Turkey Burger. Review: “Okay for lunch, portion-wise. Best thing: BBQ sauce. . . Salad: Like yard clippings in a very colorful neighborhood.” (Order at www.diettogo.com.)

— Maggie Fazeli Fard

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