Stephanie Keegan, CEO of Healthy For Life Meals, was kind enough to chat with DeliveryRank about this long-standing, successful enterprise that offers nutritional low-calorie meal plans to people across America.
Healthy For Life Meals was born in November 2001, long before fresh meal delivery or meal prep services even existed. I was living in the grind of Corporate America, traveling around the country weekly, in and out of airplanes and hotels. I’ve always had an intense love for and interest in health, nutrition, and fitness, but with my insanely busy schedule, it was a constant struggle to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The early 2000s also brought a sharp increase in the obesity epidemic and associated health problems, and these issues took the spotlight across the country. The trend in restaurants was all about supersizing…”bigger is better.” Processed and ultra-processed foods were the rule, not the exception. Fast food was more of a daily norm for most Americans than cooking a meal at home. Nutrition and how it affects our health was not a topic that most people knew much about, nor gave much attention.
I heard about a nurse who had started cooking meals on a small scale in her home for patients who needed to change their diets to help control health issues and who had no idea how to cook healthy meals for themselves. I saw the broadscale business opportunity in this, knowing that if I could scale this concept and provide healthy, nutritionally controlled meals to many people experiencing health issues that could be substantially controlled by diet, I could make a significant difference in helping improve their quality of life. The potential to help so many excited me! This idea of how such a simple (to me) concept could help so many people was the impetus of Healthy For Life Meals.
Our commitment has always been to provide fresh, delicious, high quality meals with nutritional control as recommended by the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, National Academy of Sciences, and other industry experts. Integrity of these nutrition guidelines and full transparency of ingredients is something we insist upon, and something that truly sets us apart from the many meal service companies that have entered our industry over the years.
Our team of culinary, nutrition, and customer service professionals operates out of our commercial kitchen facility in Minneapolis, MN, where to this day our mission remains: To improve consumers’ quality of life by providing a solution for managing weight loss and other health-related challenges, and for maintaining a consistently healthy diet. We do this by providing nutritionally controlled, complete meals with a focus on fresh, clean, whole foods, following the most current, scientifically based guidelines of health and nutrition experts.
The two are definitely interconnected! Consistent healthy eating naturally brings on weight loss and all the health benefits that go along with it, like lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, higher energy levels, better sleep, and so much more!
In addition, our menus are designed to also help those with specific conditions including heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease and hypertension. We recognize that many people simply do not have the time each day, nor the desire, and in many cases the understanding, of how to plan, shop, and prepare truly healthy meals. Many customers are with us for the convenience of having fresh, healthy, and affordable meals at their fingertips, and many others are with us specifically to address their weight loss or other health-related issues. We’re proud to have helped many thousands of people achieve significant health improvements over the years.
We offer both traditional and plant-based menus with huge variety – over 105 different meals, and three different calorie levels – 1200, 1500, or 2000 calories per day. Customers can order 3-day (9 meals), 4-day (12 meals) or 7-day (21 meals) plans, and have the flexibility of customizing their menu by selecting their meals for each week-part. There is no subscription required; customers can order as often or as infrequently as they’d like, or if they prefer, set up a subscription service that will renew each week.
Orders are freshly prepared and packaged by our team twice weekly and shipped to customers. The meals are never frozen, even during the shipping process, and stay fresh in the refrigerator for a week. Customers located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area can also pick up their orders at over 30 retail locations.
All of our meal plans provide the optimal proportion of lean proteins, healthy, complex carbs and healthy fats. We use nutrient-dense ingredients: lots of fresh vegetables and fruits; poultry, lean beef and fish; and healthy whole grains, seeds and nuts. We use no artificial ingredients including no sweeteners, flavors or colors; no antibiotics or hormones in meat or poultry; and no harmful preservatives. The specific nutritional content in our meals is based in science and follows the guidelines of the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, and the National Academy of Sciences.
Pricing varies depending on the number of meals chosen as well as portion size. Our most popular plan costs $8.19 per meal, including delivery to your door.
The quality and type of meals we serve, the quality nutrition we provide that’s based in science, the flexibility and variety in menu choices, and the overall value we provide, truly set us apart in this highly competitive meal service/meal prep space. Perhaps most importantly, the decades of success we’ve had in helping people change their lives by improving their health through the food they eat, speaks volumes about why customers choose Healthy For Life Meals.
Do you believe the diet industry is destined to change due to a shift in the attitude of consumers towards intuitive eating?
In order to truly affect change with the obesity epidemic and its related health issues, I believe the diet industry must shift away from much of the traditionally ineffective “diet” culture and practices, and embrace a combination of more education about nutrition itself and how it actually affects the body, with the concept of intuitive eating.
The practice of “intuitive eating” is in theory a great way to break free from the traditionally ineffective and restrictive diet culture, learning to eat what you’d like and when you’d like based on your body's cues, and helping you create a better relationship with food. However, it lacks any education or focus on nutrition and how nutrition makes our bodies function. If you’re used to eating foods laden with sodium, sugar, saturated fats and artificial flavors, it’s easy to confuse your natural intuition about what to feed your body, with cravings for these addictive foods. Following the concept of intuitive eating without focusing on nutrition would likely lead to continued consumption of these high calorie, unhealthy foods containing very little nutritional content, which would certainly not lead to improved health.
More education about nutrition and how various foods and their nutrients affect our bodies is a critical missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to the concept of intuitive eating. Learning how eating nutrient-dense, balanced and varied meals affects every aspect of how your body functions is imperative if there is to be any expectation of improving health through food, and then maintaining those improvements long-term.
One of the most common things we hear from our own customers is how, after as little as two weeks eating the balanced meals on our plan, they stop craving sugary, salty, fatty foods, and they begin craving nutrient-dense foods – fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy grains, etc. They begin to have a more clear understanding of how this type of eating makes them feel, and they want to continue eating this way. It then becomes intuitive eating of the right foods, and all kinds of health benefits ensue.
The diet industry should be ditching its old-school restrictive and ineffective practices, and take a balanced approach between educating people on the basics of nutrition and how it affects the body, and on the practice of intuitive eating. This will be the most effective way of affecting lasting change with the health of Americans.
Having been a pioneer in this industry and weathering the storm for over 20 years, we’ve seen many meal service companies and concepts come and go, while our mission and commitment to better health has remained tried and true. For years to come, we’ll continue improving our customers’ quality of life by providing high quality, nutritionally controlled meals that follow the most current, scientifically based guidelines of health and nutrition experts.
Integrity is the core of our business and drives us to work persistently to provide the best possible value, quality, and customer experience.
If you would like to find out more about Healthy For Life Meals visit https://www.healthyforlifemeals.com/ or follow on https://www.instagram.com/healthyforlifemeals/