I let the pros do the cooking
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I let the pros do the cooking

Editors Note:

It’s been several years since my fitness heyday. It’s not too far in the rear view, but it is definitely behind me. I was a lifelong athlete whose years of laps in the pool — and dedication to studies — led to a full scholarship to college. We had nine swim workouts a week, plus dryland, weight room and meets. I ate more in that breakfast after the 5:45 a.m. workout than I eat all day now. Yay for meal plans at buffet-style cafeterias!

Then, once I was an established professional in Brevard County, I regularly did CrossFit workouts for eight years and was helping others find their fitness in my role as a CrossFit coach. I was immersed in a community of people actively making life choices that put their health and wellness at the forefront, including how we ate. I’m so grateful that one of the lifestyle choices I made during that time is still with me — using a personal chef service. Or call it a meal service. It’s sustenance without me having to cook it.

A few years ago, Chris Paladino of Fia’s Fresh Meals was a member of the gym where I was a trainer. I overheard him talking about starting to make paleo meals to order at his restaurant. Ironically, he owned a pizzeria and Italian restaurant. Pizza, rolls, pasta and a lot of stuff that is not paleo.

I’m pretty sure as soon as I heard that out of his mouth, I cut off the rest of his sentence and said, “I’ll be your first customer.” And I was. Every week since, I’ve submitted our menu order — my husband also orders a few meals — pick them up, stack them in the fridge and take them out when hungry. I used to order 14 meals for me weekly. Yup, lunch and dinner every day. Now, it’s less as I prepare some of my own lunches.

I had programmed cooking out of my life. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but I filled that time with other tasks. Plus, a professional chef was always going to be way better at it than me. Nowadays, having a meal service is more common. It’s gone national with brands like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Although I think with those, you still have some cooking…

So, back when I started personal cheffing and people raised an eyebrow, I’d ask if they had a cleaning person or housekeeping service? Did they hire someone to mow their lawn? Well, I hired someone to cook my meals. Having a personal chef is no longer something reserved for the rich and famous. Of course Chris doesn’t come to my kitchen and cook for me daily, but it’s the same end result.

It’s been neat to watch the business and the menu evolve. Some of my favorite meals are the “Perfect Veggie Burger,” eggplant or plantain turkey lasagnas and cauliflower crust pizzas. No shortage of yum.


As featured in our DIGITAL MAGAZINE.

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