For our founders, like many of you reading this, dinner was a challenge. All of us on the founding team have had some struggle to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle (more details on those stories in our blog), and we each found that a sustainable, consistent diet, more so than exercise, was the number one key to a healthy lifestyle (a tough truth for former athletes). The key to a sustainable diet? Food you actually enjoy eating!
The words "diet" and "enjoy eating" don't traditionally go together. Most people associate healthy eating with boring salads and bland chicken breasts, to be eaten forever until looking good is so miserable you can't even enjoy it. But learning what actually is healthy (if you haven't done any research or met with a registered dietitian, you'd be surprised) and how to prepare healthier versions of our favorite foods, like mashed cauliflower, zucchini noodles, roasted sweet potatoes, baked chicken, etc..., was the actual secret to sticking with a healthy diet.
Here comes the problem - although we had learned to cook our own favorite dishes, the reality of a busy life always seemed to throw off consistent meal planning, creating a ceiling on our progress. Some chaotic combination of last minute grocery shopping, takeout, and grocery store salad bars/buffets were barely getting the job done, and good choices are hard to make when hungry/desperate. We knew the solution but had trouble executing it consistently (sound familiar?). Back in 2014 when meal kits were just becoming popular, we all tried out a couple of them to see if they were a good solution. Although they took the "what am I going to eat?" and the grocery shopping out of the dinner equation, they were still very time consuming to prepare and not particularly health-focused, with lots of high-carb filler components that didn't fit our diets.
That's when 80Fresh was born. Since we personally learned that nutrition was responsible for 80% of reaching health and fitness goals, we figured, why can't we do something geared towards those with a busy, active lifestyle that need some help getting easy dinners that will help them reach their goals? Why do the only convenient solutions have to be takeout, something that's been sitting in a grocery store buffet for who knows how long, or a re-heated, pre-made meal? So we found an awesome chef that specializes in healthy recipe development and started to create our menu. To optimize convenience and the taste of a fresh, home-cooked meal, we prepped some of the ingredients, including peeling and chopping vegetables and making sauces, while keeping some components uncooked, like the meat in most dishes (as re-heated meat has inconsistent quality), making sure that nothing took more than 10 minutes of active time to finish an awesome, home-cooked meal. This ended up being about 80% of the work, so we knew it was meant to be!
We started in late 2015 with four deliveries and hope to help lots of people fight against or reverse the "inevitable" weight gain that everyone thinks we have to endure as we get older. We want to prove that healthy food doesn't have to be all salads and chicken breasts, that it can be delicious and satisfying so you're not depriving yourself of the joy of your favorite foods. We want to create meals you would choose to eat over anything else, because they give you more than just great taste. Most of all we want to make that really easy, because for the price of a typical takeout meal, why shouldn't it be?