Model Meals Review 2023: All You Need to Know


How did Model Meals start, and who's it for?

Model Meals has been around since 2015. Danika Bryhsa founded Model Meals with her friend Camille May.

34-year-old Danoka Byrhsa had $39 to her name and a sizable 13k in debt. She worked as a  plus-size model for a company in her day job. The company put her in fancy hotels, yet she couldn’t afford $100 when an emergency came.

Her love for healthy cooking, plus a passion for independence, helped her conceptualize Model Meals, where she worked hard to deliver protein-rich meals to local clients.

Model Meals has a tiny footprint, delivering in Southern California, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.

It took years of hard-work promoting Model Meals while working as a model, a coach, and doing brand partnerships. Only after years of struggle was she able to get enough to pay her bills with income from Model Meals.

In July 2021, a private company acquired Model Meals. The entrepreneur in Dana is still alive and has started another company called Self.

On to Model Meals. Model Meals is a service that uses organic produce for its meals. It has Paleo options and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and more.

The whole idea of Model Meals is to provide meals that are Whole30 compliant. The Whole30 program promotes healthy eating for weight loss backed by a massive focus on a Paleo-based diet that excludes dairy, gluten, sugars, and grains from your diet.

The Whole30 program is part of the regular lifestyle for many people.

Model Meal’s unique selling proposition is offering Whole30 program-compliant meals. For the uninitiated, it’s a weight loss program that focuses on the Paleo diet.

What do you get with Model Meals?

The working model behind Model Meals is simple. Each Sunday, you find a new menu going online. You can choose how many meals you want to order based on the menu. Remember that the minimum is $40 with an extra $20 as delivery charges. Model Meals’ meals are delivered on Sundays from 3 pm to 9 pm. Most meals are delivered in cities like Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.

How much does it cost? The entrees range from $9 to $16 with sides, and snacks range from $6 to $9. Everything is affordable. These meals are cheaper, considering the prices.

Like many others, it’s a weekly meal-delivery service, not a meal subscription service. You see the new menu online every Sunday and pick what you like. It’s as simple as that.

You’re not confined to anything. You can choose and order what you want from the list of available items. A few of them will be tagged as freezer friendly. If you click on the description, you get more details, like which meals are not Whole30 compliant. It’s super easy to choose meals with meat and fish sourced from reliable vendors. The meals require reheating in an oven or pan instead of a microwave. Some of us will hate Model Meals because they’re not a meal-subscription service, and others will love it precisely because of that.

The no strings attached model can be great, especially since one-time deliveries from meal subscription services can cost around $19 to $26 per meal. Model Meals costs half of that.

The meat and the fish used in this are sourced with good care. The fruits and vegetables chosen for creating these meals are available seasonally.

The soups are frozen, so they can be reheated any time you want. A lot of the meals can be reheated using an oven or pan and don’t necessarily need a microwave.

Model Meals primarily services Southern California and the Bay area.

Most meals come fully prepared, while some meals need a little bit more cooking and some reheating.

The meals are individually packed and stored inside a box that comes with foil packaging. The foil packaging looks like a lot, but all of it is fully recyclable.

The meals are protein-rich and delicious at the same time.

The easy-to-make delicious meals are wrapped up as 2-minute meals that require minimal cooking or reheating. They’re, for all purposes, ready to eat. The Whole30 program may feel like a climb up the hill with you needing to learn to cook with new ingredients, not knowing whether you did a good job or would even like what you cooked. The Whole30 program is no longer a climb up the hill with Model Meals.

You can switch over to Model Meals, considering the ever-rising cost of cooking gas, the cost of fresh ingredients, and the time spent gathering all the supplies together.

For most, Model Meals offer a quick alternative to cooking hard-to-understand Whole30 meals.

The only complaints are about the delivery. Sometimes the containers had a lid off, spilling its contents throughout the packaging.

The good news is—If you complain about the condition of the shipment, they give you off $17 for the meal. But considering there’s $50 spent on meals, this may not be enough.

Read more: Mosaic Foods Review

Model Meals weekly Menu Offering

Here’s a list of what’s on the weekly menu:

Pasture-raised chicken taco salad with chipotle lime ranch

This is a salad of chicken with tacos. The chicken breast used here is pasture-raised and of high quality. The marinade is made of organic garlic, cilantro, chili powder, virgin olive oil, and lime juice.

There are several vegetables like cilantro, kale, cabbage, radish, mayo made from pasture-raised chicken, lime juice, dill, and salt.

Pasture-raised chicken taco salad with chipotle lime ranch

MM open-faced grass-fed beef meatball sandwich and garlicky spinach with basil marinara

MM open-faced grass-fed beef meatball sandwich and garlicky spinach with basil marinara

This open-faced meatball sandwich is made of grass-fed beef. It has onion, garlic, parsley, house nuts, and seed butter from seeds like almond, sunflower, olive oil, and a marinara made of tomato, garlic, salt, evoo, oregano, almond, shallots, garlic, and salt. 

Pastured pork tacos al pastor with Avocado salsa

Pastured pork tacos al pastor with Avocado salsa

This pork tacos recipe is made of naturally pastured pork, guajillo pepper, Japanese pepper, cumin, clove, salt jicama, lime wedge, onion, olive oil, garlic, and salt.

 Smoked bacon wrapped pasture-raised chicken with cilantro mango rice

 Smoked bacon wrapped pasture-raised chicken with cilantro mango rice

This smoked bacon meal is made of pasture-raised chicken breast and sugar-free bacon made of natural pastured pork, water, salt, and celery powder. Again there’s coriander, garlic, chipotle pepper, and fruits like pineapple, tomato, mango, and sweet potato.

Pasture-raised grilled chicken green goddess bowl with rainbow veggies

Pasture-raised grilled chicken green goddess bowl with rainbow veggies

The grilled chicken recipe uses pasture-raised chicken breast with salt, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, yam, bell pepper, avocado oil, hemp seeds, pecans, and raisins. The green goddess dressing uses basil, mint, parsley, tarragon, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and avocado oil.

Grass-fed short rib with braised harvest vegetables

Grass-fed short rib with braised harvest vegetables

This short rib recipe is made with grass-fed beef, cumin, coriander, garlic, tomato, lime juice, carrot, celery, brussels sprouts, yam, and ghee. 

Baked wild cod in garlic caper lemon butter sauce

Baked wild cod in garlic caper lemon butter sauce

This baked wild cold is made with a seasoning of salt, ghee, garlic, capers, lemon, jicama, Italian herbs, baby spinach, and olive oil.

Grilled pasture-raised BBQ chicken salad with house ranch

Grilled pasture-raised BBQ chicken salad with house ranch

This exquisite dish includes pasture-raised chicken, salt, apple puree, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, lettuce, tomato, and horse ranch that has mayo, avocado oil, mustard powder, apple cider vinegar, dill, chive, garlic, onion, salt, pepper

Pasture-raised chicken basil meatballs with zucchini noodles

Pasture-raised chicken basil meatballs with zucchini noodles

These chicken meatballs are pasture-raised, well-ground chicken, house nuts, seed butter, carrot, basil, onion, garlic, salt, zucchini, pine nut, lemon juice, and yeast.

Butternut squash lasagna with toasted pine nuts and cashew cheese

Butternut squash lasagna with toasted pine nuts and cashew cheese

The lasagna is made of locally sourced grass-fed beef, tomato, red wine vinegar, onion, garlic, butternut squash, ground cashew cream, yeast, and pine nuts.

 Coconut crusted wild shrimp with mango lime dipping sauce

 Coconut crusted wild shrimp with mango lime dipping sauce

The coconut-crusted wild shrimp recipe has pasture-raised chicken eggs, coconut milk, arrowroot powder, garlic onion, pepper, evoo, kale, sesame seed, and mango lime dipping sauce.

Pastured pork chile verde with smashed potatoes

Pastured pork chile verde with smashed potatoes

This pastured pork chile verde is made of naturally pastured pork, ghee, parsley, salt, pepper, tomatillo, cilantro, onion, garlic, and salt.

Pasture-raised grilled chicken with creamy tuscan sauce and grilled zucchini and asparagus

Pasture-raised grilled chicken with creamy tuscan sauce and grilled zucchini and asparagus

This pasture-raised grilled chicken recipe has chicken breast rich with tuscan sauce, asparagus, ghee, zucchini, garlic, king oyster mushroom, sun-kissed tomato, and coconut milk.

Grass-fed Teriyaki beef lettuce cups

Grass-fed Teriyaki beef lettuce cups

These teriyaki lettuce leaf beef cups are made of grass-fed ground beef, olive oil, carrot, water chestnut, coconut aminos, ginger, date, arrowroot powder, and rice vinegar.

MM Classic breakfast with grain-free paleo roll, sausage, eggs and raspberry jam

MM Classic breakfast with grain-free paleo roll, sausage, eggs and raspberry jam

This MM classic breakfast made of grain-free paleo roll and sausage is not Whole30 approved but is part of paleo meals.

The recipe uses pasture-raised chicken eggs, ghee, turkey sauce, potato starch, arrowroot powder, pink salt, active dry yeast, olive oil, raspberry lemon, and date.

Pros and Cons of Model Meals

  • The food is sourced from small farms.
  • The meals are made of local ingredients, sourced fresh, and organic
  • Model Meals makes it easy for you to order; they text you on the status of the order. The delivery comes with ice packs to keep the contents inside fresh.
  • The packaging is minimal and reusable.
  • The meals are priced between $8 and $16.
  • There is a strong commitment to high-quality and organic growing methods, which is reflected in the organic produce they use
  • The packaging is compost-friendly
  • You get a variety of meals every week with Model Meals
  • It's anti-inflammatory and has gut-healing properties
  • There are no grains
  • No dairy
  • No refined sugars
  • No GMOs or additives
  • The portions are tiny. The portions resemble portions you may expect from an evening or morning snack. According to the website, the meals have a 4 oz portion of meat with generous amounts of vegetables on the side.
  • They can justify the tiny portions they serve owing to the prices they charge for a meal, between $8 to $13.
  • As a full meal, there needs to be more meat.
  • The container for the sauce is easy to recycle, and it isn't great for areas that don't offer city composting
  • You get ready instructions on how to heat the meal with an oven. The oven needs to be preheated first, which can be a bit of a lag.

Model Meals packaging

Meals are delivered in an insulated box with ice packs inside to keep the contents cool for up to 36 hours from packaging the meals. The meal containers are 100% compostable. They are made of plant-based material, free of allergens and non-toxic.
They are also gluten-free and can be used inside microwaves and ovens.

The compostable material is made of PLA plastic, a derivative of cornstarch, wheat straw, and sustainable paper.

The lids are made of PET plastics and are a proven recyclable material. They are a safe form of good grade plastic.

The lids are, however, not microwave or oven safe. It’s best to remove them when reheating the meals.

Read More: Splendid Spoon review and Trifecta Nutrition review

Model Meals FAQs:

No, far from it. They don’t want to lock you into anything. The meals are high-quality, giving you the freedom to not worry about cancellations or paying for meals that you don’t want.

The meals are fully prepared, they are portioned right, and they are ready to eat. You can heat it up. But even then, what you need to do to get things going is minimal. Everything is fully cooked with reheat instructions.

The meals come with Whole30 approved ingredients. The Whole30 program is a formal program and has a list of companies that are participants in the program.

In addition, there are also meals that Model Meals’ offers outside the program for those following a Paleo diet but not entirely Whole30 compliant.

Forget subscription services that line up an entire catalog of unchanging meals on their websites. With Model Meals, the menu changes twice every week. On Saturday at noon PDT, they post the new menu delivered on Monday. This Monday is nine days after Saturday. On Tuesday, they post the menu for Thursday, which is another nine days away.

Creating an account is pretty straightforward. You need to enter your email id and zip code, and you’re good to go.

Activate it through email, and you can start ordering.

With the code first meals, you can get a 25% discount.

Some freeze well. Some don’t. And thankfully, Model Meals clarifies which is which. To know which meals can be frozen, there’s a freezer-friendly tag on them. They recommend freezing meals like almond chicken strips or mashed potatoes. They don’t lose flavor even when they are reheated. You also get a best by date on the label.

For doing deliveries on Monday, order by Saturday noontime.

For Thursday deliveries, order by Tuesday by noontime.

Upon placing a successful order, you get both email and text notifications informing you each step of the way when the delivery agent picked up meals and when they’re going to be delivered. They have partnered with GSO for doing their deliveries, and you get a tracking link to check the delivery status at any time you want.

For all orders over $200, they provide free delivery. For any order less than $200, they charge a flat shipping fee of $20.

You can always plan for the future and place the order for two weeks’ worth of meals at a single go and save on shipping.

Each meal is enough for one person. They are typically 4 oz in volume with 1 to 2 Tbsp of healthy fats.

The portion sizes are around 4 oz. That’s the reason the food isn’t high on calories. Should you doubt the nutritional value of your emails, there’s everything you need to know on the labels. The meals are created in close collaboration with experienced nutritionists.