I Tried It: Goop-Approved Provenance Organic Meals Had Shocking Effects on My Skin

vegetables farmers market meal delivery system clear skin
A selection of fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market. Valencia oranges, carrots, beetroot and salad radishes ready for a roast vegetable salad. Getty Images

As far as healthy eating goes, I’ve certainly had a journey with it. Now that I’m entering my mid-to-late 20s (just let me have this, OK?), I’ve become more attune to what works with my body. I don’t abide by a strict diet, but there are a few things that I try to avoid if I can: gluten, dairy and soy. The latter being the toughest for a number of reasons: first, soy is an additive in most foods, especially packaged and prepared foods and almost insured to be in processed foods. Secondly, I suck at food prep for my lunches. I just can’t do it. So what inevitably ends up happening is that while I can avoid soy during breakfast, I have trouble avoiding it when I go to grab lunch and when I’m most likely ordering takeout when I get home (my schedule isn’t heavy on “extra time”). But a few weeks ago I stumbled on a very tempting solution while perusing my search function on Instagram: Provenance Meals.

Their organic meal deliveries differ from some of the other prepared meals services in that you can make ultra-specific requests — and you don’t have to be vegan for your allotted nourishment (whether one meal or all three, plus a snack) to be dairy-free. Getting clean animal protein was a huge bonus, but the idea I really loved was that I could get paleo-friendly (i.e. soy-free) meals from a service that didn’t feel like it was meant for fitness buff. I mean, I like to be fit and exercise, but for me the nourishment, heck, the actual experience of the food itself should feel and look beautiful — as if I went to the farmer’s market. If you take a peek at Provenance’s Instagram or website, you’ll see what I mean. They provide locally-sourced organic noms (do people still say this?) that you can feel good about getting on board with.

Are you eating clean with our Fig and Beet Salad with Pistachios and Seed Crisps for lunch today? We marinate fresh figs with herbs and serve them on a bed of fresh greens with beets and pomegranate. Topped with crunchy pistachios and our housemade "parmesan" seed crisps. Naturally sweet figs have antibacterial, antifungal, and even anticancer properties 👊 . . . . #committoclean #provenancemeals #organic #glutenfree #dairyfree #mealdelivery #newforkcity #eatupnewyork #eatlovenyc #notasaddesklunch #jerf #wholefood #feedfeed #greatistyou #plantbased #plantstrong #gogreen #superfood #glutenfreevegan #veganfoodshare #buzzfeedhealth #buzzfeast #huffposttaste #huffpostparents #huffposthealth#iamwellandgood #wellandgoodnyc #foodandwine #naturalwellness

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After a quick gander through their site, I was sold, and I signed myself up for a four day trial of three meals a day. Full disclosure: the breakfasts and the snacks were my most favorite, but that’s because I favor those categories anyway. Breakfast is the best meal of the day and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Where was I? My thrice-daily nourishment was delivered twice throughout the week. The first delivery contained everything from fancy Indonesian sambal eggs and an Egyptian spiced vegetable salad with chicken to chia watermelon fresca and barbecue popcorn. And the second delivery? Just as good with inclusions such as a matcha chia pudding with passion fruit and cacao that I regularly think about and rainbow spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce that hit the spot on a very hot day.

The whole experience felt luxurious, but not for the obvious reasons. Sure, I felt fancy pulling out my prepared meals that were as good for me as they looked. But, if I’m honest, the time and mental space freed up from not thinking about what I was going to eat or worse, having to make an opportunity-cost compromise by picking up something that doesn’t totally fit with my eating ideals felt like a gift. I truly had no idea how much time I spend obsessing over food that I’m going to eat until I didn’t have to think about it anymore. Also, the extra time freed up from not preparing anything is a pretty great sweetener.

LAST CALL for clean eats on Monday. Cod with Romesco & Marinated Spanish Olives, Matcha Granola with Pumpkin Seed Milk, Jerk Lentil Hand Pies with Passion Fruit Slaw, Baked Eggs with Israeli Salad and Za'atar Hummus, Corn Fritters with Braised Collards and Pepper Chia Jam, Green Earth Farinata with Creamy Green Goddess Dressing, Grilled Peach Kale Salad with Hazelnut and Creamy Balsamic, and more. Order by midnight tonight for delivery next week. . . . . #committoclean #provenancemeals #organic #glutenfree #dairyfree #mealdelivery #nyc #newforkcity #eatupnewyork #eatlovenyc #jerf #wholefood #feedfeed #greatistyou #plantstrong #superfood #buzzfeedhealth #buzzfeast #huffposttaste #huffpostparents #huffposthealth #iamwellandgood #wellandgoodnyc #foodandwine #naturalwellness

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But, what the four days really made clear to me, was the effect soy actually has on my skin. I have mild rosacea, which means I tend to veer a bit red and blotchy (made worse by sugar) and I also get hormonal cysts on my chin like clockwork every month. These, I had previously identified, were fewer and further between as I ate less soy. The entire week, my skin was clear and redness-free. And the week after my trial with Provenance, the proof was in the pudding. No hormonal cysts. And not the week after either, because I continued with keeping soy to a bare minimum.

Sure, the added benefit of a slightly slimmer body was great. But the fact that this month my epidermal nemesis didn’t rear its ugly with an angry lump that I cannot help but try to excavate made the process entirely worth it to me.

I left the experience knowing one thing for certain: at minimum, I’ll be relying on Provenance for my lunches from here on out.

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