In May 2022, I started a journey to become the best version of myself and a big part of that was, and still is, taking care of my body. I hired a fitness coach who got me everything I needed, workout plan, specific macros, and even recipes for meals that fit within those macros. There was only one problem, the "healthy" meals neglected one very important issue, my love and passion for food. I could not and would not give up my beloved comfort foods. After all, I had spent most of my life exploring and developing this love of mine and I was not about to throw it all away for the sake of losing my belly; to me that wasn't worth it. This brought me to making meals that were appropriate for me and my goals and tasted incredible. I had no intentions of creating a meal prep business but, a few months of being intentional with my food brought about a slew of recipes and meals that have now become The Culinary Companion and is fuelling our quest to make better food choices, easier.
After four years at The Culinary Institute of America learning the fundamentals of proper cooking and over 25 years in the food service industry, cooking in everything from fine dining, to high volume production and catering, to healthcare feeding hundreds of patients daily brought me to a point where I am today. And after learning to care for myself and seeing the benefits of being intentional and deliberate with my diet, I really wanted to help other people with what seems to be the hardest part of healthy living and nutrition.
For me, the meals were a way for me to get consistent with my daily food intake. I needed a way to make sure I was sticking to the plan I had laid out and these meals were the outcome. They became an easy way for me to be intentional about what I was eating and convenient enough that I didn't have to think about what I was going to eat for the day. They were a huge part of my ability to hit my goals on a daily basis and helped me get to where I am today, down over 60 lbs and 20% body fat. Along the way, I started to understand that many who wanted to under take the same journey I was taking just did not have the same ability I had to create meals the were macro friendly and tasted good. Many people I talked to tried to stay healthy but kept falling short because eating bland, "healthy" food simply could not stand the food. I understood where they were coming from, I didn't want to eat the long lost berry from the Amazon or organic seaweed from Mars.
Or maybe they could make the food, they just did not have the time to do so because work kept them busy, kids were pulling them in lots of directions, or the traveled so much that cooking was not really an option. As a parent myself, I understand running home from work, getting the kids a snack then off to the ball field, gymnastics, band hall or whatever else my kids were doing at time.
After realizing the need for easy, convenient, and delicious meals was so prevalent, I quit my job as a chef for a hospital and became The Culinary Companion. I have set out to simple help the busy parent, the diet conscious gym goer, the time strapped professional that want to make better food choices. I have began to understand the importance of taking care of my body and want to help others do the same.
This is not just about being healthy; it is so much more. As I started to change, my energy was getting better, I was able to serve my family more, I could start showing up more for my family, and as a result, my relationships got better, my mental focus and clarity got better. My ability to perform for those around me got better. It was changing all aspects of my life and I knew that if it could do this for me, it could do this for others as well.
My hope is that these meals help people get control of their diet and take back their lives. The longer I stay on this journey, the more I realize how much we, as a society, need to take back our food and take control of our lives.