The ways we procure groceries, patronize restaurants, and prepare meals have seen a shift amid the measures put in place to combat a pandemic. Fitness routines have been upended and stress and anxiety have skyrocketed, making nutritional choices ever more important.
Some people ensure they have nutritious meals at home by using the services of a meal delivery company. I asked Laureen Asseo, the 29-year-old founder and CEO of Fresh n’ Lean, an organic meal delivery service, about her company and her thoughts on eating well in uncertain times.
Here’s what she said:
The Epoch Times: What inspired you to start your organic meal delivery company, Fresh n’ Lean?
Laureen Asseo: I started Fresh n’ Lean as an 18-year-old college student in 2010, and family was my inspiration. My father faced a health crisis—I was so worried he wouldn’t be around much longer. Thankfully, he was able to regain his health by making diet and lifestyle changes, replacing heavily processed fast food with nutrient-rich, vitamin-packed organic meals. I saw what a nutritious diet had done for him, and I wanted to give everyone the same opportunity, and Fresh n’ Lean was born.
The Epoch Times: People are finding themselves eating at home more often these days. What nutritional considerations would you recommend focusing on at this unique time?
Ms. Asseo: Balance is key to a healthy diet. A balanced meal should include vegetables or fruits, grains, and lean protein. It’s important to consider the ingredients that make up your meal—even those that you would consider healthy, like yogurt or frozen vegetables, might contain added sugar, salt, or processed ingredients. If you have trouble staying on track with your eating, feel free to add meal breaks to your schedule to make sure you’re not skipping them, which could lead to overeating later. Pay attention to your body. Your body sends signals when it’s full from a meal, and you should listen to those signals. And when you’re thirsty, you can never go wrong with water instead of reaching for sugary drinks and alcohol.
The Epoch Times: Recent studies have pointed to a possible link between what we eat and emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression. Do you believe food can be an effective tool to cope well with uncertain times?
Ms. Asseo: I think food could definitely help. Food is fuel for your body, but it’s crucial to choose the right fuel for optimum performance. We’re all used to “stress eating,” of digging into a pint of ice cream after a bad day, but eating for comfort doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Superfoods like fish and blueberries have been shown to boost mental health—they’re said to improve our memory, metabolism, and even our skin along with being tasty. Swapping out usual snack foods like potato chips or ice cream with crunchy carrots or air-popped popcorn can give you something to munch on while helping you stay on track with your health.
The Epoch Times: What has been the most rewarding part of running Fresh n’Lean?
Ms. Asseo: It’s been so rewarding to help redefine fast food, which doesn’t need to be greasy and full of cholesterol; it can also be nourishing and flavorful. Fresh n’ Lean provides busy people a chance to maintain their diet. Where many direct-to-consumer food services offer meal kits, Fresh n’ Lean meals are pre-prepped, so all customers need to do is heat and eat—there’s no meal assembly required. It’s rewarding to help people get the most of their time while also getting the most out of their meals.
The Epoch Times: What advice would you give an aspirational entrepreneur?
Ms. Asseo: Believe in yourself! It’s easy to get discouraged by day-to-day frustrations and naysayers. Not everyone is going to buy into your vision, and that’s OK. Consider what makes your company unique, and what need it serves—you should be clear about the mission and goals.
You’ll also need lots of patience, because many of the changes you’d like to make could take months or years to implement. If you stick with it, weather the tough times, stay on top of industry trends, and work very hard, you’ll put yourself in a good position to succeed. Running a company isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding to turn your dream into reality.