February 20, 2019 Healthy Living

Healthy Eating Should Be Fun. Here’s How I Used Zipongo to Help.

One of my favorite things about CDPHP® is that we’re always searching for ways to meet members where they’re at. This means whether someone is perfectly healthy, newly diagnosed with diabetes, or managing multiple illnesses, CDPHP is trying to help them live their healthiest life.

Enter Zipongo® – a new offering from CDPHP that helps members take the guesswork out of healthy eating, and makes it fun! Zipongo is not a diet app – there’s no tracking calories, fat, or macros. It doesn’t encourage you to exclude food groups in an effort to obtain an unrealistic ideal. And, it doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars at the grocery store on food you and your family don’t even like.

Zipongo IS a tool that gets to know you. To begin, you take the NutriQuiz so that Zipongo knows exactly where you are in your health journey. The questions are intuitive and establish a baseline – some examples include asking how often you eat pizza, how often you use condiments, and how often you consume sugary foods and drinks. It will also ask you about your dietary preferences. Maybe you’re a vegetarian, gluten free, or perhaps you’re managing hypertension. Zipongo wants to know all of that so that it can recommend only the recipes you want to – and should – be eating.

Once you complete the NutriQuiz, Zipongo will set up a meal plan for you – it can be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three! Don’t like something Zipongo has recommended? Not a problem – simply switch it out for another recipe from an extensive selection. Once you’ve landed on a meal plan that seems like it will work, Zipongo will create a shopping list for you (seriously!) and you can even send it to Instacart* to place an order to have all of that food delivered right to your door.

Sounds cool, right?

Well, I can tell you from firsthand experience, it is cool, and though I’ve only been using it for a few weeks now, I’m noticing a huge difference in my ability to plan ahead and how I’m navigating the grocery store. I work full-time and have two small children. Time is at a premium and I often treat trips to the grocery store alone like tiny vacations. However, this hasn’t always resulted in the best choices, particularly if I’m feeling stressed – or worse, if I go when I’m hungry.

After taking my NutriQuiz, it confirmed what I pretty much already knew – I just didn’t want to deal with it. I was consuming far too much added sugar from my beloved coffee drinks and sweet evening treats. I’ve always prided myself on drinking tons of water and not adding calories to my diet from soda or other sugary beverages, but as it turns out, I’m not doing as great of a job as I could be.

Other areas I need to work on are increasing my intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber. Again, fruits, veggies, and fiber, not surprising, but it was eye-opening that Zipongo was suggesting an increase in grains. I am someone who tries to limit my carb intake, as I’ve noticed that they go right to my belly and make me feel bloated. However, I’m interested in seeing if upping whole grains vs. refined grains makes a difference, so I will be working on this.

Here’s a look at how two of my Zipongo-approved meals turned out:

#1 20-Minute Taco Skillet

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Taco Tuesday is a staple at Casa Burkart, but I took this opportunity to put a healthier spin on our usual ground beef tacos. I really liked how this skillet incorporated more veggies than we usually have on our taco nights. I will admit that I skipped the zucchini – I just couldn’t quite bring myself to add it to a Mexican dish.

The verdict? I’d definitely make this again! My husband and son loved it (my picky daughter eats about eight things total so I’m excluding her from the results). To make it a little easier on my son to eat, I made his into a quesadilla. I served mine and my husband’s over shredded lettuce with a few tortilla chips on the side.

#2 BBQ Chicken Sandwich

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I love a good BBQ chicken sandwich! This was another recipe where I wouldn’t have thought to include carrots, but it totally worked and gave the sandwich a little extra crunch. I used my slow cooker to make the BBQ chicken and then assembled the sandwiches as directed.

I do wish I could have included a nice slice of cheddar cheese on these, but it would have certainly driven up the fat and calorie content. The ranch dressing did help add some creaminess to the sandwich.

Overall, I am enjoying Zipongo’s takes on some of my favorite go-to recipes, while also exploring new ingredients and flavor combinations. One of my absolute favorite features so far is CookItNow – you simply select which ingredients you have on hand at any given time, and Zipongo will recommend recipes with exactly those items. This not only takes the guesswork out of healthy eating, but helps me narrow down my options quickly, which comes in handy on busy weeknight evenings.

Ready to give Zipongo a try? Simply log in to your member account and click on the CaféWell or Life Points® box. Choose the Zipongo program card in CaféWell to add the program to your list. You can then use the website to browse recipes or download the app and use your CaféWell username and password to log in and take the NutriQuiz. If you don’t remember your CaféWell username or password, no problem! Go to your CaféWell profile settings for help.

Natalia Burkart
About Author

Natalia joined CDPHP in 2015 as a communications writer/editor. Born and raised in the Capital Region, Natalia earned a BS in marketing and management from Siena College and an MBA from Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University). A self-professed news junkie and lover of iced coffee, Natalia currently resides in North Greenbush with her husband, two kids, and a faithful yellow lab.

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