I am a firm believer in cooking. To paraphrase Michael Pollan, I believe it may be the single most important thing we can do to improve our health and general well-being. As a health counselor, I know that eating nutritious whole foods, or “clean” foods free of potential inflammatory triggers (such as gluten, dairy and refined sugar) is the fastest path to feeling well. But I also know that modern life can be stressful and fast-paced, and eating healthy can be pushed to the end of the priority list, only considered once the body’s blood sugar starts to take a nosedive. At that point, it can often feel “too late” to make a healthy choice and the body starts craving a quick bite or drink that will bring insulin and energy levels up, however temporarily. So begins a cycle of ups and downs, cravings for sugar and refined flours, and an overall lack of attention to what the body really needs.
This is why I started Provenance Meals - to truly make a difference in people’s lives by helping all of us busy people in NYC (and hopefully more cities very soon!) get convenient, nutritious, and super flavorful meals throughout the day.
Our nutritional philosophy at Provenance is straightforward. Based on the simple truth and belief in cooking, when you eat real food prepared using traditional cooking techniques, good things start to happen to your health. Here are our guiding principles:
- Food is the best medicine. Eat real food that will nourish your body and make you feel good. If it doesn’t make you feel good, it probably isn’t good for you. If you struggle with maintaining good health, take a look at the foods you eat and consider whether they are boosting your wellness or detracting from it.
- Cook from scratch using traditional methods. Our ancestors prepared vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting them. These traditional methods of food preparation enhance the bioavailability of nutrients and increase their digestibility.
- Choose organic. Organic, non-GMO food is better for you and safer. From our spices to our vegetables, to the food that the chickens eat who lay our eggs, we always choose organic.
- Choose local. Sourcing locally means food travels less distance from farm to fork, is fresher, and harvested when ripe - therefore more nutritious and better tasting.
- Work with small and sustainable purveyors. We choose to work with small producers that share the same food philosophy as us and won’t take shortcuts that can lower quality or damage the environment.
- First, do no harm. We believe we all play a part in making the world a better place for future generations. On top of sourcing locally and sustainably, we are committed to reducing our waste by composting all food scraps, packaging our meals in compostable and recyclable containers, delivering in reusable cooler totes, and ensuring all extra meals or leftovers are donated.
Tastes change, trends come and go, but how you feel in your body will always be more important. And remember we’re are all very different. From body types to the various stages of life, we all need different nutrients and support from our food. This is why we don’t limit our options to just one way of eating. Instead we believe in going with your gut. Modern health gurus, from Kelly Brogan, Frank Lipman, Chris Kresser, Sarah Gottfried, and Mark Hyman - all point to eating a more plant-centric, Paleo-style diet. One that incorporates clean food, nutrient-dense bone broth, lots of green vegetables and avoids pesticides and inflammatory triggers like gluten, dairy and refined sugars. We will always offer choices that follow those guidelines.
It’s up to you to listen to your body and choose what’s right for you. For example, feeling a bit blah after a long cold winter and craving a reset? Eating only plant-based meals may be just what you need, with increased liquids to hydrate and cleanse. Or feeling tired and lacking energy? Your body may be in need of more protein.
Renew your body’s cravings for delicious whole foods and put yourself on a path to improved health. Because with improved health, there really is nothing you can’t accomplish.
Caroll Lee - Founder of Provenance Meals
Caroll is an avid cook, mother of two, Board Certified Health Counselor and the founder of Provenance Meals. Her passion in life is to feed people real food -- food that is raised, grown and prepared in traditional ways that are good for your health and good for the planet. Caroll practices holistic nutrition, understanding that a healthy diet must be combined with other sources of nourishment—loving relationships, enjoyable physical activity, meaningful work and spiritual connectedness—to reach true health and happiness.