I am absolutely obsessed with prepared meals services these days. The ease and simplicity of throwing a meal into the microwave for a few minutes has become a standard part of my dinner routine. With a full menu to choose from, it’s also a blessing not having to wonder about what to cook every day.
A Life Plus is a prepared meals service headquartered in Sydney that specialises in ketogenic meals. Alongside their keto menu, they also offer various plans for weight loss, gluten free and plant-based meals, which many other services don’t offer. That’s why I was excited to give the A Life Plus experience a try. This review will take a look at what they’re offering, delivery options and how good the food actually is.
A Life Plus Prepared Meals Review
A Life Plus Review Summary
A confusing website to order from, with meals that are mostly very oily or bordering on inedible. For $13+ a meal, I would recommend avoiding A Life Plus.
Ordering - Website - /10
Food - Quality - /10
Ordering - Meal Choice - /10
Food - Taste - /10
Ordering - Delivery - /10
Value For Money - /10
- Good range of Keto-friendly meals.
- Expensive, $13 – $16 a meal with no volume discounts.
- Inedible pizza and burger meals.
- Sauces become very oily / fatty when reheating.
This part of the review is where I usually want to put some background information on the company, but A Life Plus seems to be a bit clandestine. I can’t find any information apart from their address (and I can’t be sure that’s even correct!). If the food’s good, that doesn’t really matter but I do find it a bit odd.
- 1 Getting started with A Life Plus
- 2 Meal variety and options
- 3 Delivery options
- 4 How much does A Life Plus cost?
- 5 My A Life Plus meal delivery
- 6 How’s the food?
- 7 My Final Thoughts
Getting started with A Life Plus
The A Life Plus website is a bit chaotic to navigate. When trying to order, it took me a while to actually find the right menu.
Their meals are split into 6 different menus:
- Produce (Not available at time of review)
Once you’ve selected the right menu for you, you’re asked to select one of their 3, 5 or 7 Day meal plans. These cover Lunch and Dinner so effectively contain 6, 10 or 14 meals. There’s also a range of suitable snacks & pantry products you can add to your order but more on that a bit later.
In keeping with the chaotic theming, there are a wider array of options available with each meal plan. You can choose to have standard or organic ingredients, 250g or 400g meals, or even add breakfast to your order.
You can leave your choices there and the A Life Plus team will send you a selection of meals they’ve chosen. Alternatively, you can hit the checkbox where it says “Click here to choose your own Dishes” and select from a long list of meals.
Without any ability to filter this list, it’s actually really hard to find the meals you want. There is also no dietary or ingredient information available for each meal in the list, so you can’t make any informed choices based on calories, protein content etc. Instead, these are provided in a separate PDF menu so you have to cross-reference between the two.
It’s simply not worth trying any of this on a mobile device. Anyway, I’m not really here to judge them on their IT systems, let’s review more about their food options.
Meal variety and options
There are actually only two real menus to choose from with A Life Plus: Standard and Alkaline. The standard menu is where you’ll find all the ketogenic meals. Some of these meals don’t fit ketogenic principles, so if you want to choose your own meals then it’s important to be careful.
At the time of writing this review, the standard menu had 69 different meals available whilst the alkaline menu had 20 meals in the PDF but only 13 available to select from. It’s incredibly confusing having the list of meals and finding it to be different to the menu. It’s also worth noting the Alkaline menu doesn’t contain any nutritional information.
Sticking to the standard menu, I was able to choose from:
- 6 Breakfasts
- 15 Chicken Dishes
- 13 Beef Dishes
- 5 Fish Dishes
- 5 Pork Dishes
- 4 Lamb Dishes
- 5 Pizzas
- 16 Vegetarian Dishes
- Plus 6 Snack Options
This is a really impressive range, with most meal services offering between 40 – 50 choices. I’m pleased to see a reasonable range of fish, pork and lamb meals because those are often overlooked for the cheaper meats.
On top of the various meals, you can also buy interesting snacks, drinks & pantry ingredients that fit the ketogenic diet. I was pleased to see them support some more niche brands such as 99th Monkey and Fine Fettle
Special diets and food intolerance
Clearly, A Life Plus is suitable for anyone trying to follow the Ketogenic diet. However, I find that they can be a little generous with the term “ketogenic” and it’s possible you’re not following the right principles if you select the meals yourself.
There’s also a solid range of plant-based vegetarian and vegan meals, although the range does get quite small for a vegan diet. There are definitely other services that are more suitable for vegans.
Whatever your diet is, A Life Plus will be able to put together a menu of meals for you, so it’s worth giving them a call and seeing what meals are available. Each meal is prepared fresh, so there is some flexibility to alter recipes to meet your specific dietary needs.
However, it’s important to consider the following caveat:
Although we take great care in preparing our meals to cater for your needs. It is the client’s responsibility to refer to the nutritional panel and ingredients of each meal before purchasing the meals. The main allergens are stated in the product pages, however please double check each ingredient for anything you may be allergic to when you receive the product.
We follow a strict procedure separating the allergens/dietary requirements away from your meals however cannot guarantee a total absence of these products in any of our meals.A Life Plus FAQ
Shipping is easy because it’s free for any orders above $50 to any of the A Life Plus delivery zones. Even if your order is less than $50, delivery is still only $10 which is a fee many services charge anyway. So, where do they deliver?
You’ll find delivery areas in the following places:
- Sydney Metro
- Sydney Regional & Blue Mountains
- Melbourne Metro
- Melbourne Regional & Geelong
- Brisbane Metro & Byron Bay
- Adelaide Metro & Regional Towns
That’s fairly comprehensive across Australia, albeit with the glaring omissions of Darwin and Perth. This isn’t unusual as the delivery networks become much more difficult when shipping food from East to West.
Check if your postcode is eligible for A Life Plus delivery with their postcode checker.
Each region has different cut-off dates for orders, which are then delivered around 5 days later. This isn’t the service if you want your meals to arrive tomorrow, you definitely need to do some extra planning.
How much does A Life Plus cost?
There are quite a few different variables that impact the final cost of your order, so it’s hard to condense it down into a single cost. Here’s a summary of the most common pricing elements:
|3 Day Meal Plan (250g)||6||$78.00|
|5 Day Meal Plan (250g)||10||$130.00|
|7 Day Meal Plan (250g)||14||$182.00|
|3 Day Meal Plan (400g)||6||$96.00|
|5 Day Meal Plan (400g)||10||$160.00|
|7 Day Meal Plan (400g)||14||$224.00|
Unlike most other services, there is no discount for larger orders. Regardless of how many meals you order, you’re paying $13 for a 250g meal or $16 for a 400g meal. That is quite expensive compared to similar prepared meals services. At this price, I would really expect a much higher quality of ingredient and meals… so let’s see how I found the A Life Plus experience!
My A Life Plus meal delivery
I had no issues receiving the A Life Plus order, with the box arriving on the expected day. They gave a window of arrival between 12:00 am – 7:00 am, so it was waiting for me when I woke up to bring it inside and upack all the contents.
The packaging itself is a little bland, although it’s hard to have any complaints about a cardboard box.
You’ll notice, however, that there are 9 meals in my photo. Somehow, A Life Plus missed one of my meals when packing my order. I didn’t even notice myself at the time, I only discovered this when they emailed me to let me know. So, negative points for missing a meal but positive points for pro-actively reaching out and offering credit to my next order.
Recycling the contents
The A Life Plus website provides a short mention of a welcome letter when you join the service, which would include recycling details for everything received in the order.
I received no such welcome letter.
So, I’m guessing a little but the packaging is very standard for a prepared meals service. The cardboard and plastic can go in the normal recycling, whilst the thermal liner needs to go into a special soft plastics recycling bin.
The freezer gel packs likely need to go into the soft plastics recycling after being emptied out into the sink or a garden bed.
How’s the food?
First impressions weren’t particularly good. Even from the photo above, the food looks a little bit anaemic. I don’t hold this against food services as it’s hard to keep food looking its best during transport. It’s far more important to consider the taste.
Let’s start with the good.
Most of the meals tasted roughly equivalent to something you would cook up yourself at home. The vegetables were generally well cooked, leaving a small amount of crunch and being enjoyable to eat. There was a nice chilli, as well as a tasty thai red chicken curry.
Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end.
I found a lot of the meals very oily and fatty, which probably goes some way to explaining why they look the way they do. This made them a bit unpleasant to eat, leaving that fine coating of oil flavour in your mouth. A particular offender was the Rosemary & Garlic Lamb which was mostly fat and I’m convinced the promised peppercorn sauce wasn’t in the meal. There was tzatziki though. Warm tzatziki. Need I say more?
Here’s the chilli con carne rice bowl. The yellow liquid on the left was mostly cheese (I think) but it’s hardly appetising. Same with the liquid under the grilled chicken which was incredibly oily.
I wish that was the worst of it.
Cooking the prepared meals
Each meal requested 3-4 minutes on high in the microwave, after peeling off the plastic film. This is quite unusual as most services just ask you to peel off a corner, poke a few holes or leave the protective film completely on.
I would advise experimenting a bit with your microwave as I found that even 3 minutes was overkill, zapping the meal to within an inch of its life. I do have quite a powerful microwave but I think 4 minutes straight in any microwave is going to overcook the food.
The pizza debacle
“David, why would you order Pizza from a microwave meals service” I can hear you cry. The answer is simple – curiosity. It also gives me something juicy to write about here on Food Box Mate.
I ordered the Meat Lovers pizza and here’s what showed up.
Problem One – You see that pure, thick layer of cheese? That does not bode well.
Problem Two – Upon opening up the pack, it became quickly evident that there was no meat at all in the meat lovers pizza. Just tomato. They don’t even offer a basic margherita pizza!
Problem Three – This pizza did not like being reheated in the microwave. It was soggy and miserable. Suspecting this would happen, I only put a test piece in the microwave. The rest went into the oven, hoping it would improve things.
Problem Four – The oven did not improve things. With a thick layer of tasteless cheese, the occasional bit of tomato and a soggy almond flour base, this really was as bad as it gets. My friend even tried adding some fresh herbs on top to give it a chance of tasting nice. It did not work.
With pizza, I can generally understand that reheated (morning after) pizza is delicious so it could work in a prepared meals service. The same can not be said for a burger. I’m yet to have a good burger from any prepared service because bread & fresh ingredients do not store/travel well. A burger should not be on the menu.
So, of course, I had to try the A Life Plus burger out of morbid curiosity.
To their credit, the burger itself turned out to be reasonably edible. However, without any bread it’s hard to call it a burger. The caremalised onion and cheese reheat far quicker than the burger, so you just end up with this slimy overheated mess on top.
The lettuce itself had lost any crisp it once had, with the tomato feeling very lost on the plate. Scroll straight past the burgers when ordering from A Life Plus.
Dishes I loved
- Spaghetti Meatballs with Napolitana Sauce
Dishes I wouldn’t recommend
- Caramalised Onion Burger
- Any Pizza
- Rosemary & Garlic Roast Lamb
My Final Thoughts
So very disappointing.
From the impossible to use website, missing meal, oily dinners and inedible pizza this was not a good experience. Some of the meals were tasty, although that alone isn’t enough to redeem A Life Plus in my eyes.
There’s plenty of opportunity for a service that delivers genuinely healthy ketogenic meals across Australia but A Life Plus have a long way to go before being a genuine contender with some of the major services like My Muscle Chef or YouFoodz.
I have a credit for a meal with A Life Plus, although I’m happy to let them keep the $16 I paid in return for never sending me another meal.