Improvements, Upgrades and Updates to Our Meal Plan Service

  • By Jess Dang
  • February 9, 2015

Announcing improvements to @cooksmarts meal plan service

We kicked off 2015 with lots of healthy hits from our #eatmoreveggies series.

However, creating fun and healthful cooking content wasn’t the only thing that was keeping us busy in the new year.

Since last December, we’ve rolled out many improvements requested by members to our meal plan service. Here are all the ways we’ve made our meal plan service even better!

A ‘Log It to MyFitnessPal’ button

Log @cooksmarts meals to @myfitnesspal

We know that a lot of our community uses MyFitnessPal to keep track of calories, so we worked with their team to help you easily log our meals into their app. Every meal now has a ‘Log It to MyFitnessPal’ button to make it even easier for you to use Cook Smarts to meet your health goals!

A few notes:

  • MyFitnessPal does not always match ingredients and ingredient amounts perfectly, so definitely review and make sure everything looks okay before saving and logging the recipe.
  • One of the best parts about our service is we try to help you save time by repurposing meals so you might make twice as much chicken or rice because you’ll use it over two nights. For example, you might bake 2 lbs of chicken – eat half tonight and half another night. Our nutrition label takes this into account but MyFitnessPal won’t be able to do this. You’ll have to halve the chicken amount manually in their recipe builder, so it doesn’t double the chicken calories and other macronutrients.
  • We have a own nutritional label on every meal but it won’t necessarily match MyFitnessPal’s numbers. We match our info to the USDA and MyFitnessPal has their own data. If you make a lot of substitutions we highly recommend logging to MyFitnessPal for a more accurate read. However, for more complicated meals, like the ones with dependencies, you are more than welcome just to type in our numbers into our app.

We also created a little video explaining how you can get the most of out of this new feature.

Partnering with PopCart for grocery delivery

Get your @cooksmarts meals groceries delivered by #popcart
We know that you’re busy people and some of you just want your Cook Smarts groceries to arrive right to your door. Unfortunately, we’ll probably never get into the business of grocery delivery but we’ve partnered with PopCart who helps our grocery list talk to their grocery partners to bring you this service.

If you fall into the delivery areas of one of PopCart’s grocery partners, you’ll see a ‘Get These Ingredients Delivered’ button at the bottom of your grocery list. Here’s a list of PopCart’s current service areas, which will definitely grow and expand.

Adjustable serving sizes

Customize serving sizes for each @cooksmarts meal

Our ingredients and meals used to always be for 4 servings, but clearly every family has different needs. Now you can adjust for any number of servings you want and it’ll be reflected immediately in our grocery list. We updated our video tour to show you how to use this feature.

A much improved grocery list

Check out @cooksmarts improved grocery list
Our grocery list was not the smartest (poor thing) but it’s definitely getting more intelligent and streamlined. Like ingredients now collapse into one line (because no one wants to see garlic listed 4 times).

We added an alphabet key so you know what ingredients belong to what meals. Members requested this feature to help them more easily make substitutes at the grocery store.

We’ve still got quite a few things we want to improve on the grocery list, and you can check those out here.

Easy sharing to Facebook

Share your @cooksmarts meals to Facebook!
Our members wanted to easily share their favorite meals and also help us get the word out. Now every meal has a ‘Facebook Share’ button so you can share that meal to your Facebook timeline or any groups you’re in. Anyone that clicks on that link can see the photo, description, and ingredient list. If they want the steps, all they have to do is sign up for a free account – easy!

Plus a few extras . . .

  • You can now set default diet and serving size preferences in your account page. Note that this setting does not retroactively change old meals
  • Our ‘Weekend Prep’ section is now front and center so that you don’t forget to get a head start on the week if you’ve got the time
  • All paid members can easily access our ‘Favorites Menus’ in one place using this link

While we do lots of testing before rolling out new features, clearly there are lots of devices, browsers, and operating systems out there so sometimes little glitches and bugs happen. We thank you for your patience as we work through everything.

Lastly, we’re so grateful to our incredible members who give us great suggestions for improvements.

As a self-funded, bootstrapped company, we clearly can’t do everything, but we are a small but mighty team always committed to listening to our community.

One of our members suggested we keep a Trello board of everyone’s suggestions. I love this idea – now everyone can see what our community has suggested and also what we’re working on.

If you want to check out these improvements, just sign-up for a free Taste Taste account. You’ll get access to 3 free meal plans and get to test things out for as long as you want.

If you like our meals and the way the service works, you can upgrade anytime – subscriptions start at just $6 / month!

You’ll cook more, save money, live healthier, and join a community of thousands of awesome kitchen heroes!


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