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healthy ANDI licious

Walking the Walk: Meals to Live™ Shows Good Taste in Corporate Culture August 10, 2011

You would think I would be tired of eating our meals after so many lunches at the office but I have enjoyed them so much that I have been happy to "take my work home." These have been great for days when I am too rushed to cook.

On my first day at Meals to Live™ I asked my co-worker Vicky if she had tried any of the meals. “Oh definitely, I’ve tried all of them. We eat them here for lunch!” She wasn’t kidding. Vicky led me over to a large freezer full of Meals to Live™ frozen entrées. “You’re welcome to try them yourself. Are you here for lunch today?”

A company whose corporate office staff happily eats the products they sell–the idea seemed almost too perfect to be true. This was the first of many good impressions that Meals to Live™ has made on me this summer.

If you are a picky eater like me, you’ll never buy a product without a scan of the nutrition label. This was the main selling point that Cole Egger, Meals to Live™ Founder and CEO, made to me when he introduced me to the company’s concept and brand in March: labeling transparency. The nutrition facts are clear, simple, and require no serving size multiplication; What you see is what you get–and what you get is nutritionally excellent.

All of the products must meet the nutritional standards outlined by a registered dietitian. Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Expert Jennifer Neily, MS, RD, CSSD, LD also creates educational content for consumers including the Meals to Live™ free live webinar series and Nutrition Quick Tips videos. Since Meals to Live™ products are created especially to meet the nutritional needs of consumers with diabetes, the nutritional standards are based on the most up-to-date research and guidelines to work well for these needs. As a result, the meals tend to be high in protein and fiber, and low in fat and carbohydrates. Several of the meals are also gluten-free and are marked as such on the packaging.

Lunch today at the office: Meals to Live Spinach Omelet

Working as the Social Media Director, I research relevant nutrition articles to share with our online fans and followers. What I’ve found is that the dietary habits recommended for both individuals living with diabetes and for Type 2 diabetes prevention is really advice that all of us could stand to take. The diabetes-friendly diet is really simply an “eat better” diet. Reduce fried foods, saturated & trans fats, refined carbohydrates & excessive sugar and salt. Increase lean proteins, whole grains, heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats (such as found in nuts and fish), and eat a plentiful variety of fruits & veggies.  Meals to Live™ includes lean proteins, whole grains, & vegetables in portion controlled servings high in nutrients and ready in minutes. I’ve been impressed with their ability to stick to the professed mission with our products.

What sets these apart from other frozen meals? With no preservatives, no trans-fats, and a target audience with specific dietary needs in mind, Meals to Live™ also gets it right in my book with the reduced amount of sodium used compared to similar products. Frozen meals are often spiked with salt so I found it refreshing to find a brand with much healthier levels.

As I head back soon to Boston to finish my Master’s in Public Health, I will miss working at the Meals to Live™ office in Dallas. I view Meals to Live™ as a shining example of a company fostering a corporate environment consistent with its mission statement. Cole has really succeeded in creating a culture that makes productivity pleasant. Some of the first things I noticed were that my co-workers all had healthy-looking green plants by their desks, music was not only tolerated but encouraged, and Cole was diligent about thanking us for our work and letting us know that our efforts do not go unappreciated. I was even pleased to walk in one morning and see that the leftovers from an early morning meeting were whole-wheat mini bagels, a large platter of  fresh fruit, & low-fat cream cheese. Doughnuts & pastries would not have seemed fitting for a company created around the value of healthy eating.

I cannot tell you that I am unbiased in my opinions of this brand; I am. But you should also know that no one has asked me to write this post and these are, in fact, my real opinions. To Cole, Mike (both Mikes), Vicky, Christy, Jordynn, Betty, Jennifer, & Dev it has been a true pleasure getting to know you and work with you this summer! Keep up the good work. To the members of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), thank you for letting me become part of your network of knowledge and support.

I could go on for hours writing about the fun I’ve had with Jennifer recording videos, the interesting things that I’ve learned, and the great people I’ve gotten to know but I will leave you with an answer to one final question: What’s my favorite Meals to Live™ meal? It’s a toss up between the White Chicken Burrito & the White Chicken Chile Relleno– I love them both.

Curious? See for yourself what we’ve been up to:
Twitter: @MealstoLive