Sprout Seoul: Natural Healthy Whole Food Service
Last year, I thought my life in Seoul was pretty busy. At the end of May 2016 I had finished a couple of months at a new job in the big city and was still struggling to make time to meal prep and hit the gym. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep after work! This year, my hours are longer and I’ve added a 45 minute commute each way. When I started my new contract I made time to meal prep every Monday night, but my diet got a bit boring. Sprout Seoul Natural Healthy Whole Food Service reached out to me about a week ago to partner up. My crock-pot’s been dying for a break, so I thought I’d switch things up and go veggie for a few days!
About Sprout Seoul
Sprout Seoul claims to provide “ready-made, affordable, freshly prepared alternatives of some of the foods you may already love. We’re offering a tasty variety of sugar-free, additive-free, plant-based wholefoods for your palette.” They have a store-front atop a hill in HBC, making it easy for me to walk from my little spot in Itaewon to pick up my food.
How to Order from Sprout Seoul
Head over to Sprout Seoul’s Order Form. I had a 3-day package inclusive of daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack or dessert. You can buy individual meals and snacks as well. If you’re not keen on going totally vegan (or are trying to save money) you could do the 3 day plan. You could split each entree into 2 meals and just add a chicken breast to lunch and dinner. Dedicating myself to a vegetarian diet was something I didn’t think I could do. Surprise! I’ll be continuing with the 5-day plan moving forward. I can be flexitarian on weekends, right?
Be sure to mention *The Toronto Seoulcialite* when you order to get a free snack!
Meal Plan Options
3 days, 12 items: 75,000 (Save 6,000!)
5 days, 20 items: 115,000 (Save 20,000!)
7 days, 28 items: 150,000 (Save 39,000!)
Directions: Sprout Seoul Food Pick-Up & Delivery
Pick up is available on Sunday and Monday from 3pm-8pm. We took the plunge and walked up HBC hill on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon. Sprout Seoul wasn’t too hard to find. You can take the #2 little, green shuttle bus or you can walk! If you’re taking the subway to Sprout Seoul, take Exit 2 of Noksapyeong Station and walk straight veering left at the kimchi pots and up the hill. Stay on that main HBC street (Sinheung-ro) following as it continues to veer left. At the plateau, turn left and walk down about half a block until you see their storefront on the main floor.
Delivery is once per week on Mondays. Express Bike delivery is available in Seoul and is delivered either Monday afternoons or evenings. Taekbae is delivered on Tuesdays in most areas.
- Monday Afternoon Bike Delivery: 2pm-6pm to Yongsan-Gu (KRW 4,000) and other areas in Seoul (KRW 20,000).
- Monday Evening Bike Delivery: between 6pm-10pm to Yongsan-Gu (KRW 4,000) and other areas in Seoul (KRW 20,000).
- Taekbae delivers all across Korea on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (KRW 8,500).
- Group Delivery: in Seoul area only as it’s not available for Taekbae. Delivery fee is based on number of orders.
How Does the Food Taste?
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I had had previous, less thrilling, experiences with food subscription services in Seoul. The food from Sprout Seoul is extremely filling. It’s loaded with power foods like kale, chickpeas, chia seeds, lentils, and beans. You will slow down and actually take your time enjoying the food. Each meal/ snack has its own international flavour and flair. In my first 3 days I had meals influenced by Mexican, Indian, Greek, Middle Eastern, and Singaporean cuisines. The food was so good (and surprisingly saucy!) that I’ll be continuing with Sprout Seoul to lose my last 10 challenging pounds. Follow my progress through diary entries on The Toronto Seoulcialite’s evil twin sister site That Girl Cartier.
Does Sprout Seoul Live up to the Hype?
My Food and Fitness posts tend to be the most popular. Everyone seems to expect they’ll lose weight in Korea. Not only that, they seem to expect that they’ll move, indulge in sugary, salty Korean BBQ and the weight will just fall off. That’s not the case! I lost 50 lbs in Korea, but it certainly hasn’t been easy. I do tend to indulge on the weekends, but it’s all about balance. I’m very strict throughout the week, hit the gym frequently, and aim to know the nutritional content of all of my food. Sprout Seoul doesn’t currently advertise their nutritional information (calories/ macros), but it’s in the works and will be published soon. I was a little wary to follow a vegan meal plan as my diet throughout the week is typically low in carbohydrates and high in animal protein (meat and dairy). I think that any change someone makes to their lifestyle will encourage a change within the body, but I was surprised at how my body has reacted already!
- Improve overall health and well being by eating natural whole foods, free of over-processed ingredients, chemicals and additives.
I tend to shop around the outside of the grocery store in an effort to take the processed out of my progress. I was skeptical about whether my health and well-being would improve. It was scary to add so many carbs to my everyday diet. With Sprout Seoul I actually feel like I’m nourishing my body. I eat each meal really slowly because they’re so filling. This means I’m eating 8 small meals a day rather than 3 squares and a snack. I have more energy, so I’ve cut my coffee intake from 2 cups to 1. I’ve been able to peel myself outta bed in the morning and run 3 km or more as my warm up instead of my usual 1 and done pre-weightlifting.
- Convenient ready to eat meals, packaged to-go.
The packaging is super convenient. I can stack each day in my fridge then grab and go for work. It’s really handy not having to think about what to eat at 6 AM when I’m winding my way to the gym. The hot meals even come in their own microwave-safe containers!
- Lose weight / improve BMI.
Any change in your diet will lead to a change in the makeup of your body. I was very surprised, however, to weigh myself on Day 3 of Sprout Seoul to find that I lost 3 kg! I’m sure that my change in energy levels has contributed to more effective workouts. I don’t crave junk food so I haven’t hit up the convenience story for any sweet “If it Fits Your Macros” treats. I did share some bingsu with a friend one night, but haven’t had any of my normal cravings. Ps. if you’re a once-a-day kind of person you may be a little more “regular” than normal on this diet!
- Contribute to a sustainable eco-friendly Earth.
This is definitely a nice bonus, but on the whole I’m pretty responsible with regards to sustainability (you know, beyond the fact that I eat meat/ animal products). I’m not well-educated on this point, but
- Enjoy delicious meals with international flavours.
It’s a food subscription service, so of course they’re going to claim to provide delicious meals. Thankfully, Sprout actually does live up to the hype. I haven’t been disappointed with a single meal. The international flavour claim ups the ante as no two dishes have tasted the same.
Want to know exactly what I ate? Stay tuned for links to diary entries (Sprout Seoul Menu Day 1 & Day 2 & Day 3) and reviews of each Sprout Seoul dish I ordered! Thanks to Sprout Natural Healthy Whole Food Service for keeping The Toronto Seoulcialite fit, nourished, and healthy! While this article has been written in partnership, all reviews are honest and opinions are my own.