"...what sets us apart from the rest is that we have a mission to educate." ~ Kim Sawyers
Kim Sawyers is the owner of the meal prep company Clean Course Meals. We asked the CEO, who is the only black female owner of a meal prep entity in New Orleans, to work with us and explain the benefits of meal prepping.
New Orleans ranks as number 38 as one of the most obese cities as of May 2017, according to the Wallethub. "The Big Easy" is known for its tourism culture, libations and of course, it's delectable foods. However, where is the line drawn in managing weight control versus continuous self-indulgence for what only tastes good? Just how healthy are our choices? Where's the discipline needed to carve out a better diet for the sake of our health?
Now, while customers can easily opt to fix their own food, CCM has affordable prices, offers delivery services and serves as a great budgeter if you're always on the go. For two weeks, Sawyers let Where Y'at take on the two week challenge of bettering our diet, practicing control, curving temptations but most importantly, open dialogue about making changes. Just in case you need to "ask for a friend," she's got a sleuth of testimonials to support good tasting food her company offers.
Here's what the two week CCM challenge brings forth:
• All meals gave variety in options to prevent boredom such as chicken, salmon and turkey, for the meats. Broccoli, snow peas, peppers, shredded Brussels sprouts, chick peas and more.
• All meals were flavored well, nothing overdone, but just right.
• Portion size was just enough to keep you satisfied without feeling as if you've committed gluttony.
• Weight control was well into effect which helped to keep weight consistent with personalized goals.
• All meals contained vital components: a protein, carbs and veggies.
• VEGANS and options?! Yeah, they are definitely there, tasty and filling. BOOOOM!
Depending on one's goals, Clean Course Meals and Sawyers will work with you for the design you want for your body's needs. The company is well worth the investment and results do take place. We recommend committing for a full four weeks with no alcohol in order to see even more great results.
We asked Sawyers to give it a little bit more depth on her company and what she believes to be the pros and cons of a rising business. Check out what she had to say below:
On why she decided to start CCM:
Four years ago, as I was getting my Masters in public health, I took my first trip out of the country to Taiwan. I tell anyone, it was one thing to be American in Taiwan, it was the second thing to be African-American in Taiwan, but it was a third thing to be extremely overweight. At the time, I was about 100 pounds heavier than I am today. I stood out in the most unflattering ways. One of our last days there, we took a trip to the beach and a group of Local guys came up to me because they made a bet to see who can lift me up. I had never been so embarrassed in my life. That hurtful moment was my turning point and on the 16 hour plane ride home I can back with a mission to change.
CCM meals started with just me trying to find a healthier way to live and provide for my son. I would Meal Prep for the both of us and saw how it started to save us time, money, and calories. I worked out and learned to eat better. As by lifestyle changed, my body got healthier and when I reach my hundred pound mark. Within two weeks from that day, I found out I was having a set of twins. Great!
60 pounds later, they were here. Losing the weight this time wasn't so hard. I knew what to do. I had already thought my brain how to do it. So I did and I am now the healthiest I've ever been in my life with 3 littlest ones looking up at me!
On what she believes can or will make CCM different from the local competitors:
Clean Course is not your average Meal Prep Company. Yes, we do all your grocery shopping, meal prepping, and we even deliver, but what sets us apart from the rest is that we have a mission to educate. Education is a vital driving force in any community where change is needed.
There are vulnerable residents in our community that need additional education and incentives to make healthy choices for their families. We believe prevention is one of the most significant guiding principles in efforts to build a healthy community and nutrition education is priority in order to accomplish this. We strategically provide healthy eating education in the community through our Clean Course Healthier Families Initiative (CCHFI).
On how CCM or meal prep companies, in general, can help fight against obesity:
It is our goal to decrease the prevalence of obesity and Obesity related issues here in the city of New Orleans. CCM Provides delicious, portion and calorie controlled meals that our customers enjoy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We put a healthy spin on classic dishes that will keep your taste buds guessing and the scale moving in the right direction. When your week is already planned out for you, you become less likely to choose unhealthy, fast food options that are filled with sugar, empty calories, and lack the nutrients our bodies need to maintain a healthy environment.
On areas to which CCM will deliver and fees: Delivery services are provided to the Greater New Orleans and surrounding areas. Delivery charge $8.00
On food package plans and pricing for new customers:
New Customers enjoy 15% off their first Order! We do the shopping, ingredient prep, cooking, and portioning—for you. Then we deliver it right to your door step! Just heat, eat, and enjoy!
Lunch Pack (5 meals) $60 —This pack is perfect for the busy mom/workaholic looking to add healthy, balanced lunches to their week to help promote a healthier lifestyle. Avoid your fast food lunch break run and start your week feeling like a pro! Each portioned meal includes 4-6oz of protein, 1/3 cup of side, and 1 cup of veggies.
The Beginners pack (10 meals)—This pack equips anyone looking to adapt a healthier lifestyle with 2 healthy, portioned meals per day. This package makes eating healthier and sticking to your goals a lot easier! Each portioned meal includes 4-6oz of protein, 1/3 cup of side, and 1 cup of veggies
*The Weight Loss pack (15 meals) $155—Our most popular pack* Are you ready to begin your journey full out? Are you looking to lose weight? Have you reached a plateau? This pack includes 3 perfectly portioned meals per day for 5 days! Add in your Shake-N-Go salads for healthy snacks in between and you're off to an amazing start. Your nutrition is our priority! Each portioned meal includes 4-6oz of protein, 1/3 cup of side, and 1 cup of veggies.
The High Performance Pack (21 meals) $199—Working on GAINZ? Looking for a meal plan to help bring your performance to the next level? These 21 meals are prepared with your extra caloric needs in mind! Enjoy extra protein, healthy carbs, and lots of veggies that will have you feeling energized and pumped to run faster and lift heavier! Each portioned meal includes 6-8oz of protein, 1/3 cup of side, and 1 cup of veggies.
We also offer breakfast, Grab-N-Go salads and Vegan wraps. Please visit Clean Course Meals to check out the full menu!
On the myths that may discourage people of color from investing in a meal prep company:
Honestly, as I mentioned before, it's just not the norm in African American communities to meal prep and shop at farmers markets. If our great grandmothers cooked and ate a certain way, so did our grandmother, and so did our mother, thus so did we. I remember my great grandmother suffering from Type 2 diabetes. I could vividly recall her taking her insulin when I was a child, but her food was always so good. I wouldn't say healthy, but it definitely tastes good. When I started my own family, I cooked the EXACT same way and then heard the words; I was now pre diabetic and would have to take medications if I didn't change.
We, now more than ever, have to create a new norm for our children and their children's children. Some are afraid to try something new while others just need an extra push to go for it. CCM tries to stay as active as we can in the community to provide just that, an extra push toward a healthier lifestyle.
On what she believes will make CCM an even more productive company in the future:
To be more effective and reach more people, we are currently looking to grow and expand our team. If you are interested in working or volunteering with us please email firstname.lastname@example.org Subject line: Volunteer
Now, for all newcomers, you can gladly order online or call to place an order at (504) 327-9694. Place your order anytime between Monday and Friday by midnight. Saturday and Sunday are used for preparation days so that all deliveries can be made the following Monday between 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Vegan wrap photos courtesy of Jeffery Smith Jr. and Sawyers very on Instagram page, CCM.