Silicon Valley’s favorite diet is now available in a three-day meal kit that costs $210 — we gave it a try

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Facebook/Urban Remedy

A low-carb, high-fat diet that’s been described as “Atkins on steroids” is gaining momentum in Silicon Valley. The ketogenic diet – “keto” for short – encourages eating bacon, butter, eggs, nuts, avocados, and other healthy fats, and tech workers say it super-charges the human body.

Eat lots of fat might sound great, but the keto diet is harder to maintain than you might expect.

Urban Remedy, an organic food company that sells ready-to-eat meals, juices, and snacks in the Bay Area and online, launched a pre-made keto meal kit to help people dive in.

The plan includes three days’ worth of low-carb, high-fat meals, so customers don’t have to keep track of their carbohydrate intake in the early days of the diet. The plan costs $210.

I am an experienced keto-dieter, and I decided to give Urban Remedy’s Keto Meal Plan a try. Here’s how it went.


Urban Remedy wants to take the work out of maintaining the keto diet. And it is work.

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The keto diet, which first became popular in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and diabetes, limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day. That’s roughly the equivalent of a cup of white rice. (The US Department of Agriculture recommends 225 to 325 grams of carbs a day.)

On the keto diet, the body switches from burning carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel source – a process known as ketosis, which gives the diet its name. Adherents of the keto diet often fill up on healthy fats, as well as leafy greens and animal protein, in order to prime the body for this state.


I tried the keto diet for two months earlier this year and struggled with its restrictions.

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In the first weeks on the diet, I experienced symptoms including headaches and fatigue, as well as urges to eat every sugary substance in sight. This phenomenon is known as the “keto flu.”

Meal planning became a bore. I felt restricted to the same heavy foods, such as eggs, cheese, nuts, and avocados. There was little variety in my new routine.

Eating at restaurants was the hardest part. I ate taco fillings out of tortillas and scraped the breading off fried chicken. Every menu had just one or two things I could order guilt-free.


But overall, I felt amazing.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

After being diligent for about three weeks, I felt the difference of the keto diet.

Even on days when I ate bunless cheeseburgers for lunch, my energy was sky-high. I drank less coffee and felt more alert. And because protein and fat send signals to the brain when you’ve had enough to eat, my snacking was less frequent and I was more focused on work as a result.

But I’ve struggled to maintain the keto diet since my personal challenge.


Urban Remedy’s service appealed to me because it seemed to offer the benefits of the keto diet without all the meal-planning and carbohydrate-counting.

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Urban Remedy

Such convenience came at a price. The keto meal plan costs $210 for three days’ worth of food.

By comparison, I could order delivery from San Francisco’s low-carb-friendly food company, Kitava, three times a day for three days and spend only $126, plus service fees and tip.


On the day of my scheduled delivery, I unloaded this bounty of keto-friendly foods.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

It looked like a lot of food. The plan included breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I tried to follow along with the schedule on Urban Remedy’s website, but I ended up swapping lunches and dinners on different days depending on what I felt like eating.

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Urban Remedy

In the mornings, I ate two hard-boiled eggs, which I sprinkled with salt.

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I also drank one of the “superfood lemonades” provided. The morning’s elixir, Refresh, contained water, lemon, Stevia, and chlorophyll.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

According to Urban Remedy’s website, chlorophyll cleanses “your body and your mind” so you can be “at your peak self.” The bitter-tasting lemonade is designed to boost energy and clarity.

I was skeptical. A quick Google search revealed that chlorophyll, a molecule that gives plants and algae their green pigment and traps light for photosynthesis, provides the same vitamins you get from eating whole fruits and vegetables. Research on its health benefits is ongoing.


For lunch, I ate salads. But these were no “sad desk salads.” The Thai spicy noodles salad featured a bed of zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” topped with salmon, purple cabbage, red peppers, cashews, basil, mint, and a tangy lime slice with a spicy ginger lime dressing.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The aptly named rainbow salad was served over kale and swiss chard. Fresh veggies like bell peppers, carrots, beets, and pumpkin seeds offered a satisfying crunch.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Every salad came with a separate container of baked, sustainably sourced salmon.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

A variety of ingredients and textures made the salads actually fun to eat. Though they filled me, I still craved my usual indulgences, like fruit, cheese, chocolate and carb-rich snacks.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I came home hungry by dinner. Thankfully, Urban Remedy’s portion sizes were generous. I ate a half-jar of the veggie pho soup and a container of shredded, free-range chicken.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Dinner also came with a second lemonade, a blend of water, lemon, Stevia, and turmeric, a spice that has been touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

In 2017, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry published a new review of existing studies on turmeric, which found the “miracle spice” may have only limited, if any, health benefits.


It’s hard to say if the keto meal plan “worked.”

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

It takes on average five days for the body to use up its glucose reserves (which come from eating carbohydrates) and start using fat as a primary fuel source. So after three days on the meal plan, it was still weeks too soon for me to observe any health benefits of the keto diet.

I experienced some symptoms of the “keto flu,” including headaches and fatigue.


But it did take most of the work out of eating a keto diet. I never once tallied how many grams of carbs I’d eaten that day, or worried about what my next meal might be.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Ultimately, I couldn’t justify the cost. Urban Remedy’s keto mean plan is a helpful tool for people who are eager to start the diet and can afford $210 for three days worth of food.

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider