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This Is Our Passion

We created eat+LIVE for people who want to live a longer, healthier and happier life. Our meal kits are a tool to help you on your journey to eating and living healthier.

The journey for many might start with the decision to live a healthier lifestyle. For others it might begin after a diagnosis of elevated blood sugar levels, or a recent discharge from a hospital due to a chronic heart related illness.

A journey was the inspiration for the creation of eat+LIVE.

At the age of 69, Schryse’s mother Lena, was discharged from a world class hospital with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Despite this diagnosis, she was determined to live a healthy, happy and long life.

So Lena followed her doctor’s orders, scheduled all necessary follow-up appointments and filled her new prescriptions. Unfortunately, she did not really understand her diagnosis. She did not know that she needed to do more. When she came back home she continued to prepare and eat her favorite meals as she did prior to her diagnosis. And within 48 hours she was back at the hospital in heart failure.

Now, she knew she needed to do more.

One thing that quickly became apparent was that she needed to change how she shopped and how she prepared her meals.  This meant reducing her sodium intake to below 2,000 mg, eating whole grains, limiting her saturated fat and added sugar.

Accomplishing this healthier eating goal did not happen overnight. Lena practiced and experimented with new ingredients. She modified favorite recipes by replacing sugar with honey, seasoning salt with fresh herbs and spices and white rice with brown rice.

What she found was her favorite recipes came to life, and she actually enjoyed her meals more than she had before. And the best part was her family also enjoyed the meals.

Now six years after that diagnosis, she is living a healthier and happier life!  Schryse’s mom, Lena, is our real inspiration.

The eat+LIVE team wants others to also accomplish their healthier lifestyle goals.


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How The Other Half Lives

You’ve read quite a bit about Eat+LIVE co-founder, Schryse Williams, because it was her mom that provided the inspiration for the company.  Because of her family’s experience, Schryse eats right ALL THE TIME. She carefully plans and prepares her household’s meals to make sure they meet the guidelines for a healthy diet. It’s a picture-perfect dining lifestyle. I love visiting – I’m guaranteed three fabulous meals a day. The unfortunate part is that most of us don’t live the same way.

Schryse is the “eat” in eat+LIVE.

I, however, don’t operate or eat like Schryse. But it occurred to me the other day that we’ve never discussed me. So allow me to introduce myself.

Hello. My name is Nekeidra Frederick and I’m the “LIVE” in eat+LIVE.

My family of five is a typical American crew – busy with work, activities, friends, bedtime routines, etc…I fight everyday to feed my family balanced meals and none of us are likely to pass up a Lucy’s tea biscuit in Cleveland or a Revolution doughnut in Atlanta. As many people know, its very difficult to maintain everything and still eat right routinely.

“It takes a meticulously planned daily schedule to get us through the day, get me through my work outs and avoid the drive thru.”

Average Daily Schedule

6:00 am – First alarm to make sure hubby is home to get the boys to school

7:00 am – Second alarm to get moving, get dressed

7:45 am – Wake up baby girl

8:00 am – Breakfast

8:30 am – Get her to school

9:00 am – Start the day; varies between work, meetings, volunteer obligations (My team plans and executes the marketing for five small businesses)

2:00 pm – Run the list: Did I eat lunch? What’s for dinner? What do kids need? Run errands.

3:00 pm – Kids home. Snack time. Homework. Maybe start dinner

4:30 pm – My workout time

Afternoon activities run from 4:00 – 8:00 pm depending on the day. My nanny and I split the kids/activities each day. I sometimes take a kid with me to the gym

6:00 pm – We eat dinner. I eat at home or take it to wherever I committed to be at that time

7:00 pm – Check homework, reading comprehension

8:00 pm – Get two kids ready for bed. Oldest gets dinner.

9:00 pm – Bedtime. I lay down with the baby girl.

10:00 pm – I finally wake up from “bedtime.” Get ready for bed, maybe find my husband for tea. Maybe not. I could: read a book, journal, catch up on emails. Most likely will goof off on social media and text my friends.

11:00pm – Pass out.

2:00 am – Kid in my face with an issue. Pick anything.

6:00 am – Already?

Some days I’d eat a really late lunch or even skip it altogether. I had no time to run home and I didn’t want to eat fast food. Fast food isn’t healthy but neither is skipping meals. I think I set the bar too high for myself. My food has to meet the following requirements:

Quality: I like to eat good food

Simple: I have three active children under 9 years old. I don’t have time to dink around with complicated recipes.

Convenient: I have three kids in two different schools. I volunteer and I consult. My kid-free time is of the essence.

Filling: I have three children who never sit down and I work out four-five days a week switching between Crossfit and running

I work out regularly so that I can keep up with my kids.

Exercise helps me relax and focus on myself if only for an hour. Photo credit: Creighton Kelly

While Schryse was whipping up something amazing, I was often spinning my wheels trying to find something decent to eat. And I know I’m not alone. I consider myself to be an average stay-at-home mom. What about moms holding down full-time jobs?!

So how did we fix this dilemma?

We combined our needs to develop eat+LIVE meals.

Schryse and the experts from Cleveland Clinic Wellness control for balanced nutrition in each recipe while I carefully analyze each meal for proper fit. It’s my job to make sure our food is ready for real-life.

I’m very scientific with my proven seven-question method of meal selection:

1. What is this fanciness?
2. How quickly can I cook it?
3. Who thought this was a good idea?
3. Will my husband eat this?
4. Hell. Would I ever eat this?
5. I would eat this everyday!
6. Will this give me enough energy to work out or will I pass out?
7. Will this take long? I need to go __ (pick up the kids, go to the gym, get to the office).

I crack a lot of jokes but seriously, if these meals don’t at least work for us, then what’s the point?

Our creation of these meals has changed my flailing mid-day eating routine. No matter what, there is always something decent to eat on the go. I don’t have to plan out my weekly lunch on Sunday or the night before.

If we don’t sell another meal, at least we’ll have something good to eat.


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For Better Results, Stop Your Diet Now!

Are you supposed to be on a diet this month?
Stop it. Just stop it.

You said you would get it right this year. But by the third day back at work, you got so overwhelmed with ‘catching up’ and ‘implementing the 2016 direction’ that the crackers in your desk combined with the cupcake for Judy’s birthday turned into lunch.

So what did you do to actually realize the original goal of losing weight? The truth is, very little.

It’s hard to stay on a diet. I know. So just stop now and save the energy for something more fun.

As Americans we have been conditioned to endure a horrible roller coaster; start a diet January 1, bust it for good by February 14, try half-heartedly to eat right in March, act like we are going to “get ready for summer in April, and completely give up by June. From there we go downhill for months until we crash into the holiday season. We then round out with a few more pounds before getting completely fed up and then what? We trot out that same new-year resolution and start all over again.

Lean Cuisine says they have a solution but you need to look a little closer.

Lean Cuisine offers wonderfully inexpensive, overly processed and sugar-laden meals. What you’re actually getting is a hungry foraging excursion through the conference rooms looking for snacks and a side of high-blood pressure. That is not an attractive option.

So now what?

We tend to define “diet” as a short-term shift in our eating habits and in my opinion, that’s the first mistake. We have to change something everyday in order to be effective.

Instead of thinking, “I should diet,” say, “I want to feel better.”

Then decide what that means for you. Personally, I eat better because:

  1. I need energy to keep up with my three young kids
  2. I want clearer skin
  3. I want to have a good workout

Keeping these things in mind encourage me to make better choices at every meal. Accomplishing these things make me feel better and I want that feeling that year-round. Not just in January. So I often pass on the brownie – not because I’m on a diet but because I want to feel better.

It starts now with changing your diet. Not going on a diet.

The change doesn’t have to be big. Very few people can maintain dramatic changes over long periods. That’s why diets fail every time.

Start with doing some research on what healthy eating really means. Then choose one thing to replace. Some people start with beverages like soda. We asked one group of employees to replace their lunches and dinners with Cleveland Clinic Wellness approved, eat+LIVE meals. After one month, they lost weight, lowered their risk of Type II diabetes and most importantly, they felt better.

A few weeks later, many choose something else to change in addition to lunch. Months later, they still feel better about themselves and no one went on a diet.

Oh my gosh, this sounds laborious and time-consuming. It is. But you’ve likely been on the current endless roller coaster for years to no avail. By taking it slow and steady you’ll start to FEEL BETTER and you’ll want that to last.

What will make you feel better about yourself?

Check out eatlivemeals.com for more information on healthy, convenient eating for busy people.


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Eating Healthy is Hard!

Eating healthy is hard.  It is really hard.  I know many can relate to this scenario.  It’s Friday, it’s been a long week, and it’s 5:30PM.  I am tired. I am hungry.  As I drive and think ‘what’s for dinner’? – I pass restaurants with folks sitting on outside patios enjoying Happy Hour – and they actually look happy.  I make my way to our local grocery store to purchase items for dinner.

When I enter the store, not even the real store, but the lobby where the carts are, there is a wall of Frito Lay products in every imaginable flavor.  Once I enter the store I am in the fresh produce area where I select a bag salad, a tomato and an onion.  I then make my way towards the pasta aisle to purchase 100% whole grain pasta and tomato sauce, but before I can make it there, which is less than 250 feet away, I find cakes, cookies, candy and other distractions peppered in the aisle that I am walking to reach my destination.  I select my pasta and tomato sauce and make my way to the check-out where I am greeted by more candy, chips and soft drinks.  This time I made it out of the store with my intended grocery items, but usually when I am hungry, and tired, I end up with a package of Twizzlers or a grab bag of chips.

It is hard.  Impulse food is everywhere.  And often this food is filled with added fat and refined carbohydrates – i.e. sugar and white flour.  I was recently reading a study conducted at the University of Michigan titled “Which Foods May Be Addictive?  The Roles of Processing, Fat Content and Glycemic Load”.  This study had startling findings – highly processed foods or foods with added fat or refined carbohydrates trigger addictive like eating behavior.  They cited animal research where lab rats given intermittent access to sugar showed binge consumption behaviors.  And when the sugar was removed from their diet, they were anxious, teeth chattered and showed aggression – all signs of withdrawal.

If humans react similar to lab rats to the consumption of highly processed foods and foods with added fat and refined carbohydrates, is it really surprising that almost 70% of the U.S. population over the age of 20 is overweight or obese? The real issue – not much is being done to address our nation’s increasing population of overweight and obese Americans.

And everyone knows what needs to be done –

  • Decrease calories
  • Reduce portion sizes
  • Reduce consumption of highly processed foods – high fat, calories, sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Increase physical activity

But, unfortunately  –

  • Our culture provides more high caloric options – there is actually a Red Robin burger with 3,540 calories and 6,280 mg of sodium, which is significantly more than the daily recommended allowance of calories and sodium intake.  On top of that the burger has 69 grams of saturated fat.
  • Our culture increases portion sizes – most steak houses regularly feature 24 ounce steaks when the recommended serving size for meat is 4 ounces or the size of a deck of cards.
  • Our culture increases the amount of highly processed food consumed – there are so many new snack food products introduced each year that there are actual awards for the best and the most innovative.
  • And for whatever reason, we are simply not getting as much physical activity as we used to – a National Health and Nutrition Examination Study found that over ~20 years the % of women not participating in physical activity went from 19% to 51% and for men from 11% to 43%.

Unfortunately, the deck is stacked against us and this is not a battle we can win alone.  But, the first most important step is the decision to want to eat and live healthier.  The next steps include a lot of willpower and determination.  And let’s not forget, the seeking and the acceptance of help.  That help could come in the form of friends and family who are willing and support the trying of different foods and the eating at different restaurants.  It could also come from community or paid services like personal trainers, health coaches and dieticians who can use their professional skills to develop a personalized plan for your success.  And the final step is to always remember that this is a journey.  One with good days and bad days.  But a journey that you are determined to follow.


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Lowering Your Sugar Intake Everyday

I, Nekeidra Frederick, love sugar. I love it in all it’s glorious forms; candy, cake, cookies, soda, juices, candy, cookies…I think I already said that.

Actually, many of us Americans love sugar. In fact, they say we consume and average of 92-164 grams of added sugar each day. Apparently, that’s too much.

Ingesting too much sugar on a daily basis can lead to obesity, heart disease and/or type 2 diabetes. In an effort to cut down on the rise in all three of these conditions, the U.S. dietary guidelines are going to be revised later this year.
 
A U.S. government-appointed panel will recommend that Americans should only consume about 50 grams of added sugar a day in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels. 

So lets do some math. At a minimum, we consume an average of 92 grams. New guidelines would have us at 50. Eliminating a minimum of 42 grams per day sounds like an impossible hurdle.
 
I have to give up my afternoon pick-me up? What about my late night treat?

It turns out the culprit for many of us is soda and fruit juices. One 16oz bottle of regular soda has 44 grams of sugar. Wow!

Simply dropping one soda a day sounds great but the difficulty comes in with this statement that I hear time and time again.

“I know soda is bad so I don’t drink it. Therefore my sugar levels are fine, correct?”

It turns out that sugar is everywhere. It hides in plain sight. Our fruit juices, salad dressings, crackers, toddler snacks, sauces, ketchup, soups, mayonnaise, etc… all contain added sugars. You could have a glass of orange juice, toast with jelly and a side of maple bacon for breakfast. At lunch you might order a salad that they’ve tossed in yummy dressing for you and have a few crackers on the side. You’ll then have baked BBQ chicken and tortellini for dinner paired with a nice chicken soup. That doesn’t seem like an abundance of sugar but you’d be surprised at how fast the additional grams in each of these items would add up and surpass your daily allotment. 

Now it doesn’t seem so simple.

The same government-appointed panel is pushing for new labels on products that would separate out added sugars from naturally occurring sugars. This would help people quickly ascertain where their added sugar intake is coming from.

The good news for our eat+LIVE families is that we’ve already taken that guess work out for them. Not only do they have their meals delivered to their door, they are fully prepared and ready to eat. All of our eat+LIVE meals are Cleveland Clinic Go! Healthy Food approved meaning that there is no more than 6 grams of added sugar in any of our lunch meals and 8 grams for dinner. That’s it. If you ate an eat and live meal for lunch and one for dinner, you would only use 14 of 50 grams for the entire day’s sugar allotment.  

I’m no mathematician but that ratio seems to leave a lot of extra ‘sugar’ room for breakfast and a snack. Obviously you can’t go wild but I like the idea of having 36 grams extra versus having to find 42 grams to cut out during the day.


eat+LIVE sampling event at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute

Our Customers Have Picked A Side (dish)

It has been nearly three months since Schryse Williams and I launched this site. We had a well-researched and buttoned-up strategy for how our first 90 days would unfold.

Boy, were we wrong.

The market has shown us something we hadn’t even considered. The fact that everyone can use a great-tasting healthy meal – not just people living with a health condition.

Everyone can use a little help in their quest to be healthier and it starts with eating healthier meals – consistently.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had the pleasure of meeting several of our customers and people interested in our meals. They are men and women looking to replace a bad habit or lighten their daily food-preparation task. A lot of our customers are packing eat and LIVE meals for a healthy and convenient lunch at the office.  And some of our customers with busy lifestyles are preparing eat and live meals as a quick and healthy dinner.  It makes sense. The meals are pre-portioned, fully cooked and in your freezer. Why didn’t we think of that?

People have told us the meals are great because:

1. “I can still eat healthy today even though I didn’t have a chance to go to the grocery store.”

2. “My husband is traveling and I don’t feel like cooking for just me.”

3. “I am traveling and I don’t want my spouse to eat junk food while I’m gone.”

4. “It’s less sodium then a Lean Cuisine.”

5. “This is a perfect fit with my weight loss program.”

As we close out or first 90 days we are energized with possibilities. While we started with a great vision for eat and LIVE, our growing community has opened our eyes to a wider base of people in need of healthier options.

What an awesome learning experience.


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We’re Approved!

Our new brand of home-delivered healthy meals carries the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Go! Healthy food label – and we couldn’t be more excited.

What a journey this has been to get to this point. Following our approval from the Clinic, we opened our virtual doors and hung our sign, “open for business.” The response has been reassuring.

We are on to something.

Right away, we began to hear from people telling us about their need for our service or about how their mom could use our help. Women called us for more details on how to order. Men appreciated that we’ve cooked them a filling meal – one that they don’t have to hide from their spouse. Doctors have responded on behalf of their patients. We even each got a call from our parents who are proud of what we’re doing and offered to lend a hand.

This week we began shipping to residents in over 20 states. Depending on the state, some people will get their meals in 24 hours while others will receive their meals in 48 hours. But that’s not that impressive.

Our customers appreciate that we, unlike any other prepared meal on the market, have been nutritionally vetted and will carry the exclusive title GO! Healthy food label. Cleveland Clinic dietitians and wellness experts developed Go! Healthy foods based on rigorous nutrition standards. Products carrying the Go! Healthy food label must meet these national nutrition guidelines.

Our eat+LIVE meals include a careful balance of calories, sugar and sodium levels, but it’s their delicious flavors that make them truly unique. With dishes such as Tex-Mex Chicken and Southern Style Red Beans & Rice, eat+LIVE meals include everyday American favorites with flavorful infusions from regions across the country. The Cleveland Clinic Go! Healthy foods label allows customers the freedom to mix and match favorite entrees, sides and vegetables without the hassle of watching sodium or added sugar.

Following a diet that meets the Go! Healthy food nutrition guidelines will not only help people live better, but it can also help reverse some previously diagnosed conditions.

All eat+LIVE meals meet the following Go! Healthy requirements:    
1) Minimal saturated fat: Less than 4g of saturated fat for entrees and less than 2 g for sides 

2) No trans fat

3) Minimal added sugar: Less than 4g of added sugar for entrees and less than 2 g for sides 

4) Minimal sodium: Less than 600mg sodium for entrees and less than 480mg for sides

5) Only 100% whole grain

Our meals can help a person change their life for the better — with just one phone call. And people are calling!


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It’s Simple. Eat Better To Live Better.

Did your doctor tell you to eat better? Do you know how to shop to fit your new diet?

Consider having your food delivered to your door until you figure it out. We’ll help!

Unfortunately, there are an increasing number of Americans that are being forced to dramatically change their eating habits in order to just stay alive. Sometimes it is diabetes or congestive heart failure or even severe obesity. Whatever the diagnosis, health care professionals recommend a quick diet change. Many of us find that prescription almost impossible to fill due to limited knowledge, resources or even desire.

That is where eat+LIVE comes in. 

Finally, everyone can eat great tasting food and not worry about the sodium or sugar levels landing them in the hospital. Finally, everyone can eat great tasting food while losing weight. Finally, everyone can be happy while eating well.

How did we do it?

It’s simple, really. It’s actually not hard to eat great-tasting healthy meals but many people find preparing great-tasting healthy meals a truly daunting task. So we decided to find the best ingredients and do the preparation for you. Then we ship it right to your door so all you do is the easy part, heat and eat!

The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute took notice.

Our nutritional information fit their requirements for real healthy eating. Our meals were given the “thumbs up” in taste tests across various states. It was a perfect match.