Disclaimer: I received samples of LUVO frozen meals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
Good Food Equals Performance
LUVO frozen meals don’t sacrifice nutrition in the name of convenience. “Whether you’re training for a marathon, or simply maintaining the marathon of everyday life, we’re interested in fueling every body to be the best they can be at work, at home and at play.” Hey! That sounds like me!
Here’s what I like (a LOT!) about LUVO meals and mission: A full serving of fruits and veggies. Appropriate levels of sodium and sugar. High in fiber. Whole grains. Meats raised without antibiotics. Meals made with ingredients your body needs and flavors your taste buds will marvel over. No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Non-GMO soy, corn & canola. Gluten-free and vegetarian options.
First impression: Gluten-free freezer meals? For someone who dislikes cooking very much and in the midst of a training cycle where every hour is HANGRY, I was excited to be part of the BibRave Pros selected to sample some of LUVO’s dinner options. I received two different meals (3 of each): Chicken Chile Verde and Tandoori-inspired Spiced Chicken.
Meh, chicken. Despite my disdain for the poultry, chicken is a constant source of protein in my diet — and we runners need our protein.
But if I’m being honest, I was disappointed that I received two different chicken dishes, and I felt a little jealous that another Pro received a gluten-free enchilada option (*sad trombone*). Additionally, I was disappointed that both meals contained potato starch (why it’s a necessary ingredient for chicken meat, I don’t know). I do know it’s difficult to stay away from white potato ingredients particularly with prepared gluten-free products (though not impossible), and I try to stay away from it as much as possible. That said, these entrees were not a bowl of cereal or a sandwich-for-dinner, so it was a win for me considering I was consuming double meals for like two weeks straight in my most-recent training cycle, which coincided with my boyfriend’s travel work schedule — he’s the cook in this family.
That said, I’m always happy to see more healthy meals in the frozen section, from a completely selfless perspective!
Each frozen meal contains a steam bag that remains in tact while it goes through the cooking process — which takes around 5-6 minutes. Upon opening my first box, it had a punctured bag (despite it exclaiming DO NOT PUNCTURE) and still cooked OK. Two of my tandoori chicken entrees had completely torn bags. Little disappointed about that, but cooked them anyways; I don’t know if the flavors would be any different had they marinated in a closed bag.
Note to anyone who brings these to work: Bring scissors! You’d be amazed how difficult it is to find a pair, despite having thousands of coworkers. I had to cut mine open with a plastic knife so I could eat my lunch.
They plate nicely, right out of the bag and I thought the portion was good for someone (ahem, me) who eats every couple of hours. I also had some fun making my meal into a breakfast burrito BECAUSE WHY NOT?!
Meal #1: CHICKEN CHILE VERDE (with polenta and black beans)
LOVED the polenta and the chile verde sauce – though the pepita seeds got lost in the dish. Disliked the chicken, and the black beans felt overcooked every time. Flavors and spice level, however, were great.
Meal #2: TANDOORI-INSPIRED SPICED CHICKEN (with mango, brown rice, broccoli & cauliflower)
Blah, I do not like mango either, unless the flavor is completely covered up in a fruit smoothie. The flavor of the mango was almost-completely covered by the tandoori-ish flavor and added a sweetness to the meal; the vegetables and rice steamed up nice. Overall, this one packs a little heat, but it’s really, really tasty.
For both meals, I added either sour cream or plain greek yogurt for an added flavor profile. It’s especially helpful with the tandoori entree to balance the spiciness.
LUVO’s website is pretty great — you can read all about their products and story, and learn more on other (more famous) ambassadors and partnerships (food on Delta flights?!). Ingredients for all of their products, as well as informative dietary and nutritional facts are marked with each product. Unsure why both of my entrees are identified as not being gluten-free on the website, but both of my packages are marked as such.
So I went out of my comfort zone a bit and tried something new. I really value what LUVO is doing, in providing healthy and convenient meal options — particularly helpful for athletes, and for myself in really focusing on “righting” my diet.
No discount codes to offer on this these guys, BUT there are are bunch of coupons on LUVO’s website!