“We deliver fresh, healthy, individually packaged meals to your house, once a week, all around San Diego,” says Kim Neusch, owner of Get Fresh (858-213-8185; getfreshsd.com). “Before I started this, I was working a lot of hours for a medical device company. I had a lot of health problems, and I knew it was related to my diet; I wasn’t eating healthy. We did lots of take-out at work. I decided to make a change, to cook all my own food from scratch. My husband and I both lost weight and felt better. But it was a struggle to make all that food. I thought, Other people must be in the same boat. So I left my job and started Get Fresh.”
Everything on Get Fresh’s menu is available in a vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free version. “We make everything without animal products until the very end.” The process “also helps us to cut down on fats used during the cooking process.” Even the standard stuff skews healthy. “I might make a lasagna that uses vegetables instead of pasta noodles, and a macadamia-nut cheese instead of ricotta. I’ve had people without special dietary needs try it and say they didn’t realize it wasn’t really ricotta!” And the produce comes from Grower’s Direct in La Mesa. “They’re almost like a farmers’ market, except they’re open all week. They go and get produce directly from local farmers.”
Neusch puts together four weeklong menus for use over each 12-week season. “Then we do a six-week rotation. That way, the customer gets a variety of meals and we can incorporate seasonal vegetables. A recent favorite was our Jamaican stew, made with black beans, garbanzo beans, roasted tomatoes, plantains, simmered with allspice and ginger, and served with brown rice. People could add shrimp to it if they wanted to. The portion sizes are generous — about one-and-a-half servings. We have different customers with different calorie needs. Some elderly clients share the dishes or add a salad and get two meals out of it. Some of our more active clients eat the whole thing.” All Get Fresh dishes are packaged in BPA microwavable and freezable containers. “We have ‘use by’ and ‘freeze by’ dates on the containers. If we send out a quinoa salad on arugula, we’ll have a note on there saying to eat that one earlier in the week.”
The cost for a week’s worth of meals is “about $100, with a $5 delivery fee. Our range is pretty extensive; we go from Carlsbad to Chula Vista. We deliver on Mondays. Some clients have us bring the food to where they work; we’ll put it right into the office fridge for them. Other times, they’ll leave a cooler outside their homes and we’ll fill it using heavy-duty ice packs. We want them to feel taken care of, just the way I would take care of my friends.”
Amanda, community leader and health coach at Fitzee Foods in Liberty Station (619-501-5664; fitzeefoods.com), also offers “fresh, well-balanced, healthy meals using all natural ingredients and locally sourced produce. All you have to do is heat them up. We try to take comfort food and revamp it to make it healthier — our shredded chicken mac and cheese was a favorite. We offer paleo, vegetarian, and gluten-free entrées. ‘Paleo’ refers to Paleolithic times, where all the food was unprocessed. That means no refined starches, lots of protein, lots of nuts, berries, and vegetables. And we offer international dishes like enchiladas or Thai coconut curry chicken.”
Portions are available in four different sizes, with prices ranging from $7.95 to $22.95. (Bulk purchases receive 10 percent off.) “We have a nutrition calculator to help you determine which size is right for you, and anyone here can guide you through the process. You tell us your goals and needs, and we can help you pick out the right entrées. They’re all here in-store. And we also have healthy snacks: our Fitzi Bars [$2.99] have 15 grams of protein; they’re extremely popular. They can serve as a meal replacement and they come in chewy chocolate chip, coconut almond, and apples and oats.”
Fitzee Foods also delivers — nationwide and to 15 local pickup locations. Home delivery costs vary, but pickup-location delivery is just $5. The Liberty Station store also offers free yoga classes, Monday and Wednesday, 6:30–7:30.