Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, Atkins, South Beach, straight Raw Foods; some diets present themselves as a little more challenging than others. And while the trends come and go; the wide variety of research on nutritional do’s and don’ts can give dieting a bad rap. But it’s not about changing your food intake for a certain period of time. More so a lifelong commitment (with blunders along the way) to feed your body and mind ingredients that will nourish you and your family for the long haul.
Accurately planning a timely meal that fits into your daily lifestyle is a headache many of us know. We all have unique DNA and sensitives to certain foods. That’s why Nourish chefs create every single meal gluten, dairy, peanut, and refined sugar-free.
Their food philosophy follows these main principles:
Nourish: looking good is great, feeling good is what’s important. NourishNF uses ingredients from local and organic sources. Grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and wild-caught seafood make for the highest-quality ingredients.
Digestion: carefully pre-soaked grains and legumes are easier for your stomach to digest.
Overall Nutrition: using specific cooking methods; specifically high-quality, high-heat oils retain the natural vitamin and mineral content in your food.
Cleaner Version of Comfort Foods: classic recipes substituted for healthier choices without compromising on an ounce of the flavor you love.
Each week the entire rainbow is delivered through a rotating menu that satisfies even the pickiest eaters. Asian turkey lettuce cups, Hawaiian pineapple chicken, Thai vegetable shrimp curry… the taste of summer. You can view previous meals and peek into what they have planned ahead. We haven’t any links to secret recipes at this time- but we’ll keep an eye out.
Their services include more than just done-for-you meals. In-home chef options allow you to customize special dietary restrictions and put you in the waitee vs waiter chair, for once. Those evenings when even the sight of the kitchen exhausts you- we’ve been there. Instead, focus on time around the dinner table to decompose. Whether that means filling up four tummies or it’s just two to wine and dine in your household.
NourishNF chefs are teaching their techniques to others through small group cooking classes. Classes allow guests to experiment and ask questions first-hand. NourishNF is used to delivering meals to the office, workout centers; and any other pit stop for busy parents on the go. Founders, Haley and Marla, met at the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver where their passion to help others feel their best motivated a partnership in NourishNF. There take on the ease of ready for you meals, as well as their holistic approach to nutrition make them a perfect partner for DispatchMom.
Marla Tenney and Haley Peck, co-owner of Nourish Natural Foods
DispatchMom: How did the decision to launch NourishNF come about?
NourishNF: I’ve been a foodie since day one, always playing with food and creating tasty and unique combinations. After dealing with a handful of health issues, I decided to go back to school for my Masters in Nutrition and learn more about the body by looking at the root causes of many illnesses, health issues and mysterious symptoms, which all seemed to lead back to what we put in our bodies. I went with my gut to blend my two passions of nutrition and cooking into one, which is when I decided to start Nourish and help other people get access to clean, wholesome and nutrient-dense meals without having to do any of the work!
DispatchMom: What do you enjoy most about having your own business?
NourishNF: Having my own business has been one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences. What I love the most about it is that I am doing something truly driven by passion, which makes it so enjoyable for me. Starting out as a Nutritionist and then Chef, I definitely did not expect to be a business owner, so there has been a big learning curve, but I am enjoying every minute of it because I get to share my passion for food and nutrition every day.
DispatchMom: What kind of feedback have you heard from busy families, always on the run, about your meal planning kits?
NourishNF: Most families I work with are in awe that the meals they are eating are actually good for them. It is really such a relief for most busy parents to not have to worry about planning meals for their family for the week, searching for recipes, making several trips to the grocery store, reading labels, or knowing what is “okay” to feed their families. Many of them even report having more energy and feeling better than they have in a while after incorporating cleaner meals into their week.
DispatchMom: What are your personal experiences and philosophies on how the nutrients we feed ourselves play into every other part of our lives; mentally and physically?
NourishNF: I have had first-hand experiences with both mental and physical shifts through the food I’ve consumed. I had suffered for years with immense brain-fog, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and migraines, later to be diagnosed with Lyme disease. After seeing several nutritionists and naturopathic doctors, I learned that there were certain foods I was eating that were causing inflammation in my body, making my symptoms more severe. At the same time, I learned about so many other foods and herbs that helped make my symptoms almost disappear and that supported my mind and body as a whole. Ever since, I have been an avid believer in using food as medicine, of course combined with other lifestyle shifts as well.
DispatchMom: How do you decide which meals meet all nutrition requirements while still categorized as comfort meals?
NourishNF: Our goal is to include as many whole-foods, vegetables and starches into our meals as we possibly can without using any pre-made ingredients, which that alone will create the foundation for a nutrient-dense plate. Whether that means using zucchini or carrot noodles in place of pasta, or an almond/ cassava flour blend in place of gluten/wheat. We have found that even the smallest shifts such as using Celtic or Himalayan sea salt in our cooking rather than standard table salt can help increase your mineral and micronutrient intake without sacrificing the delicious salty taste. I have gone through a lot of trial and error in finding alternative ingredients that I know and trust, which we use in a variety of different ways in our recipes in order to keep the heart and soul of the dish alive!
DispatchMom: What’s one thing you would recommend for the parent who wants to step-up their families weekly nutrition?
NourishNF: The best advice that I was given when shifting to a healthier lifestyle was to start by adding in more of the good stuff rather than taking away the bad stuff, and then slowly working from there. I recommend starting slow and starting first thing in the morning! I swear it sets you up for a more successful day/ week. If you usually eat an egg with toast in the morning, try adding some garlicky sautéed greens or avocado with it. If you’re a smoothie person, try adding in a small handful of spinach or some fibrous chia seeds. You’ll soon realize how simple and easy it really is. Once you start nourishing your body and your brain, you are going to want to keep it up!
DispatchMom: A fan favorite and your own favorite?
NourishNF: A fan favorite is definitely our crispy chicken thighs (pretty much a cleaned-up chicken nugget), which is served as a main protein on one of our veggie bowls, as well as on our Caesar salad. A personal favorite of mine has got to be our chickpea and vegetable curry. Not only is it a very grounding meal for me, but it is extremely flavorful and is one of those dishes where you are eating way more veggies than you would think!