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Times of the Islands Magazine

Making Waves: Beyond Fast Food: From Meal Plans to Curbside Delivery, Eating Well Has Never Been Easier

Nov 21, 2021 07:59PM ● By ANN MARIE O’PHELAN

Let’s face it, eating right doesn’t always come easy. Most folks are rather busy these days with work, home, and family responsibilities. Instead of stopping at a fast-food drive-through, a convenience store, or heating up left-over leftovers, there are other great choices out there. 

One convenient option is a meal-delivery service. The Lean Box in North Fort Myers offers fully prepared healthy meals that are ready to eat and come in microwaveable containers. They deliver just about everywhere in Southwest Florida: Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Naples, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, and Punta Gorda.  

“All of our meals are cooked onsite using organic meats and the freshest ingredients. Meals are available for delivery but may also be picked up from our location or eaten in,” explains president Dayana Espaillat, who has been in the food business for more than 20 years and serving Southwest Florida for more than 11 years.  

Those with special dietary needs or considerations can take advantage of options such as weight-loss programs, ala carte options, meals by the pound, and discount plans. The menu is rotated every 60 days, and there are a few signature meals that customers love—Thai Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Turkey Lasagna, and Chicken Parmesan with Spinach Pasta are among the favorites, according to Espaillat. In addition to meal prepping and delivering, the Lean Box offers catering services for office lunches, holiday events, dinner parties, and more. “We like to say, ‘Offer your guests a healthier option, without sacrificing flavor,’” explains Espaillat. 

The Green Apron Café also provides a healthy option for a busy lifestyle. “We strive to meet the demands of many dietary and nutritional needs of our customers. We prepare our dishes several different ways to accomplish this goal,” says owner Katie Biondi.  

The Green Apron offers either an eat-in menu for lunch at its 771 Airport Pulling Road location or a prepared-meal menu for pickup or delivery. Both menus include items that are gluten free, high protein, ketogenic, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy free. Because the selections change weekly and include many seasonal recipes, customers always have a great variety of entrées to choose from.  

“Our most popular item from our lunch menu is our Balsamic Chicken with Lemon Quinoa Bowl, and the most popular meal on our prepared-meal plan is our Salmon Rockefeller with cauliflower mash,” says Biondi. 

Also popular is the signature Harvest Salad. This spinach salad is made with roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, and carrots with couscous, candied pecans, and cranberries, served with homemade honey Dijon dressing.  

In the winter months, Green Apron changes its salads based on the availability of seasonal fruits and vegetables. “One of our most popular salads during this time is the Winter Salad, made of baby kale and spinach, pomegranates, sliced d’Anjou pears, and red cabbage served with a lemon vinaigrette dressing,” says Biondi.  

Prepared-meal customers can pick up their food in a choice of three different locations or have it delivered right to their home or office. If you live outside the delivery/pickup area, the café also ships locally and nationwide. “All meals arrive cold and oven ready—there is no cooking!” says Biondi. 

Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey's now offers heat-and-serve family meals for either two to four people ($47.99) or six to eight ($94.99) people. These meals feature an entrée, such as chicken parmesan or spaghetti and meatballs; three sides; and a choice of salad. Call for next-day delivery or pickup. 


Green Apron Café 
771 Airport Pulling Road, #3, Naples 
The Lean Box 
4432 Hancock Bridge Pkwy., North Fort Myers 
Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s 
2477 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel 
Looking for Vegan Takeout on Sanibel? 
Offering smoothies, soups, sandwiches, salads, and the sweet stuff. 
The Sanibel Sprout
2407 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel 


Ann Marie O’Phelan is a Southwest Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.