If ending your weekend with meal prep gives you a serious case of the Sunday Scaries, allow us to introduce you to your new security blanket: Honey Bee Meals.
When our first shipment of Honey Bee Meals arrived on a Sunday evening in a massive cooler bag, we were unsure what to expect with neither of us having used any type of meal prep service. What we knew for sure was that they had already given us the gift of a stress-free Sunday evening.
Amy Sherman, founder of Honey Bee Meals (not to mention a Certified Holistic & Sports Nutritionist, CF-L1 Trainer, and basketball coach as well), makes the process of ordering easy and personalized from the start. The process begins when you choose your meal plan based on your goals: Fitness or Performance. Fitness meals are smaller, based on a goal of staying lean, while Performance meals are built to support goals of building your body. You can also choose a Low-Carb option for both types of meals. Next you’ll disclose any allergies, then wait in anticipation of your meal arrival the following Sunday or Wednesday.
Our first shipment on Sunday evening included food for lunches and dinners through the following Wednesday, including a variety of different proteins and vegetables. We also got to try one of the several breakfast options – sweet potato toast with PB&J. As we both eat gluten-free due to some intolerances, the “toast” was a delicious alternative to gluten-free bread and the texture was light, crunchy and very filling with the peanut butter topping.
Our mutual favourite, out of options including icelandic cod, apple turkey burgers, beef meatballs with fresh zoodles, was a Country Beef Hash that made us feel like we were eating a home cooked meal by the fire in our sweatpants and slippers. And the low-carb version, with cauliflower instead of black beans and rice, does not taste low carb at all and is rich and satisfying.
What Honey Bee Meals provides beyond delicious food though, and what is perhaps most valuable, is a healthy and stress-free week: we were well fed and didn’t have to chop a single vegetable in the kitchen. Honey Bee Meals is a great alternative to meal prep when time simply does not allow and we will definitely be ordering again.
We sat down with Amy to find out more about her story and how she founded Honey Bee Meals.
Well TO Do: How did you get started with Honey Bee Meals? What were you doing before this?
Amy Sherman: I played NCAA basketball and received my Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from Emerson College in Boston, MA. As an athlete, I was always conscious about food but didn’t make the most ideal choices. My diet of Lucky Charms, pizza & beer wasn’t cutting it and I was feeling it (both on and off the court).
Upon graduating from university, I moved back to Toronto and began working in corporate communications while completing my diploma in nutrition. I wanted to learn more about the power of food. Once certified, I consulted with clients but the trouble for most clients was having the time (and energy) to cook healthy food. So… I began doing it for them!
My friends and family started seeing what I was cooking and urged me to start cooking for them too. In December 2015 I decided to see what I could do with this concept. I found a supplier for containers, created a menu, sent a few emails, made a few phone calls and launched Honey Bee Meals!
WTD: We know you started out in your own home, but where do you prepare your food now that you have grown? How has the growth process been?
AS: Yes, I started cooking in my parent’s kitchen and am so grateful for their support – although they are pretty happy to have their space back! We now operate out of a commercial kitchen at Dufferin & Steeles. We have grown thanks to the quality of our product (our meals!), our service, and our wonderful clients for sharing their love of Honey Bee Meals.
Growing to a point where I was not doing all the cooking was intimidating because the homemade quality is of the upmost importance. We have a wonderful team in the kitchen and we couldn’t grow without their hard work and efforts. The Honey Bee Team ALL know how to prep, cook and package like a Honey Bee.
WTD: Can you tell us a bit about the process of creating the various delicious meals? And sourcing ingredients?
AS: It wasn’t too long ago that boiling water was a struggle for me! In my attempt to eat better (to feel better) I began figuring out (through trial and error) how to make some of my favourite dishes “Honey Bee Approved.” I swapped flour for almond meal. I swapped dairy milk for coconut or almond. I read lots of blogs, scrolled through lots of social media and taught myself.
Sure, there were a TON of failures but I learned a lot along the way: keep it simple, use good quality REAL FOOD and get creative. We source as much of our produce and protein locally. Our fish is Ocean Wise and we only use high quality fats – you will never find canola or vegetable oil in our food, ever!
WTD: Our mutual favourite meal was the beef hash! Seriously how do you make it taste so good with cauliflower? Do you have a favourite meal?
AS: The Country Beef Hash is thanks to a Mama Honey Bee recipe! She used to make this all the time when we were younger. This is another instance where I have something that I love and with a few adjustments, it can be made Honey Bee approved. The key to the cauliflower (in the low carb version) is not to overcook it – no one likes mushy, watery cauliflower! As you can imagine, I eat A LOT of Honey Bee Meals. One of my favourites is our Chicken Chili with chickpeas, sweet potato and kale.
WTD: What’s next for Honey Bee Meals?
AS: Well, depending what day it is… another delivery! But in all seriousness: our plan is to expand our weekly offerings and service clients with even more choice. We will be expanding our “meal prep/family style” offerings to allow clients the flexibility to utilize our ingredients for themselves and their families. Our goal is to continue to cater the most delicious and nutritionally sound meals to make eating well easy and awesome.
WTD: What’s exciting you most about the Toronto wellness scene?
AS: The most exciting thing about the Toronto wellness scene is that wellness is a priority. Simply put: people care. They care about how they feel. About what they put in their body. About where their food comes from. About how they move. Health, fitness, nutrition and wellness is important to people and that puts a BIG smile on my face.
Thank you to Amy and the Honey Bee Meals team for our delicious and healthy week. To learn more about Honey Bee Meals and sign up for your own deliver, visit honeybeemeals.com.