Fresh Fitness Food might ring a bell if you’ve seen busy Londoner’s waltzing the streets with snazzy black bags packed with nutritionally delicious meals. Yes, we’re incredibly jealous too. Fresh Fitness Food lunchboxes are entirely bespoke and if you peek close enough you’ll see that lucky person’s name printed on each individual box! We had to find out more so we hunted down Fresh Fitness Food Founder, Jared Williams. Getting to Know Jared Can you summarise in 2 sentences what Fresh Fitness Food can do for Londoners? We provide bespoke fitness nutrition for athletes and professionals in London. Based on your individual requirements our expert chefs prepare your daily meals which are then weighed to the gram before being delivered to your preferred location. We read that you have had a few well known clients through your door – are you able to reveal any? Haha, we have! We’ve had Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews and Binky Felstead, Matt Willis from Busted, DJ Shy FX and some more actors and radio presenters who I’m afraid can’t be named. Critical Decisions What sparked the idea for Fresh Fitness Food? There were two things that prompted Fresh Fitness Food: passion and frustration. I’ve always been a real foodie… having grown up in a Cornish Pub and often visiting Spain, I’ve been submerged in cultures where food has the dynamic to bring people together socially. I noticed from a young age how the type of food people eat has the potential to change people in a positive way. It was during my 4 years practicing as a lawyer in the city that my frustration began to emerge. I wanted food that had a positive impact but I couldn’t get it. Working long hours meant I didn’t have the time to meticulously prepare the meals my body desired and the only convenient food delivery services were wildly unhealthy, feeding a vicious cycle of long working hours, lack of nutrition, lack of energy for exercise and sleep deprivation. So I guess in the entrepreneurial sense. “Fresh Fitness Food was the solution to my own problem.” How was your journey bringing it to Fruition? Difficult. I started the business from a flat in Notting Hill and at the beginning I did everything from creating the menus to designing the website, cooking the food, sourcing packaging, delivering the food and generating client leads. There were very tough moments as there are with any new business venture but if you believe in what you’re doing then passion will prevail and that’s something I stand by today. What are the biggest benefits for your customers? Results and convenience. When I first started the business my focus was squarely on results. I wanted to help people be happier and healthier whether that be through addressing type-2 diabetes or gaining abs. However, when witnessing the journey to results I saw the impact convenience has on the likelihood of achievement. If you were to prepare food as precisely as the body requires it can take up to 10 hours per week and if you are a busy person you don’t want to spend the little spare time you do have preparing food and washing up. Time is a precious commodity so although people can’t buy it in a literal sense, they can most definitely reclaim it by delegating the ground work to us. You should eat the way you and your body want, not the way the busy London lifestyle dictates! “Time is a precious commodity so although people can’t buy it in a literal sense, they can most definitely reclaim it” When many city professionals come to us for results quite often it means breaking the vicious cycle I mentioned earlier. We find that once clients eat more consistently other things begin to fall into place as they become more self-aware and conscious of their overall health; clients suddenly have the energy to exercise, they begin to think about how much water they drink and are now more determined to get 8 hours of sleep because they want to recover and grow. This cycle is a lot prettier and in terms of improvement many people can get addicted to achieving results. That being said, there are worst things in life to be addicted to than actively pursuing self-improvement and good health! Critical Challenges What’s your view on the current market for healthy food deliveries in London? It’s different today from what it was when I first started out; the landscape has very much changed. Previously the concept of a ‘healthy take away’ seemed bizarre to many whereas now you can very easily order healthy food online. Despite this, Fresh Fitness Food still holds a unique position in the market as we provide the solution of a consistent service which is tailored to each individual’s needs. A lot of healthy food delivery services have the umbrella brand of ‘healthy food’ whereas we make a clear distinction between food and nutrition. We also speak widely to the fitness community concerned with body composition and performance so in this way we ensure our food serves the goals of our clients. How are you able to tailor food for different people? We’ve actually built our own software which forecasts suitable nutritional values for each individual client by using industry standard calculations and ratios. This means that nutritional requirements can essentially be broken down into a code for each client. We then combine this with our own approach which is built on our team’s experience as well as the experience of industry experts we have connected with. Using all of this information we create a client file with a bespoke package. In this sense if someone is giving or receiving nutritional advice our service would be a very natural add-on to ensure dietary requirements are met. What sets you apart from other healthy food providers? What’s really unique about our service is our packaging. Whilst many restaurants and food delivery services spend 90% of their time cooking the food we spend twice as long on packaging the food. This is where our bespoke service comes into play. When every element is weighed down to the gram it’s essential to devote time to achieving exact portions in line with the clients food plan which means paying attention to the fine details, including replacing larger pieces of broccoli with smaller pieces of broccoli. There are so many different views on clean eating. How do you know which rules to follow? ‘Clean eating’ is a very interesting term – it has a different meaning for everyone. Some might think it means ‘all things natural’ but you can have natural food that are very unclean such as tobacco (just to clarify, we do not include tobacco in our meals!). Our menu consists of fresh produce and variety. We believe in little things such as looking down at your plate and seeing lots of different colours. An outsider might regard this as ‘clean’ as we do have a lot of lean protein, vegetables and good fats but we see it as balanced. We focus on diet inclusion rather than exclusion.You shouldn’t take things out of your diet without knowing why you’re taking it out. Do you cater for gluten free dieters? Yes. In terms of which of our dishes can be gluten free, the answer is ‘any of them’! Our menu can be entirely gluten free if needs be. I want to stress that Fresh Fitness Food does not believe that everyone should follow a gluten free diet but we do recognise the very real problems faced by those with coeliacs disease or an intolerance of gluten. We sidestep the politics to focus on the individual and think ‘what does this client need’? If it’s a gluten free diet, then that’s what they get. But if we feel that food containing gluten will benefit a client, then it may well be included. A lot of the time it also comes down to a person’s relationship with food. Depending on that relationship some people benefit from an ‘all or nothing’ approach whereas others benefit from including, what we call, ‘non-negotiable’ food. ‘Non-negotiable’ food is something a person is not willing to give up even if they are on a diet. And guess what? That is OK! If it’s what keeps that person going and holds the diet together then it’s not going to cause any harm to include it. As long as a positive impact is made in a consistent and sustainable way then people will see the real change that happens over time. Success Secrets What difference does your diet make to your exercise regime? Your diet provides your fuel and fuel is essential for exercise. Many people may go too far when it comes to getting that fuel and others go too far in the opposite direction, not realising that under eating is counterproductive.Food and exercise go hand in hand so people shouldn’t treat their bodies like robots and expect to perform to a certain level when, they quite simply don’t have the energy required. Rebel Wrap Up What would be your advice be to those trying to curb the sugar addiction? ‘Curb’ is a nice word – certainly better than ‘exclude’. An addiction is an extremely personal matter which must be addressed in an individual way. The danger is that sugar is overly processed. It is also cleverly and persistently marketed to the point that people turn to it because it’s comforting. Despite this, sugar is also a fantastic fuel. There is definitely a place for sugar, you just need to work out what place is best for you and ensure it fits with the bigger picture. Maybe a low sugar diet would work by putting in place a framework that is sustainable and enjoyable but sugar doesn’t have to be completely omitted. A great example is when we fed Olympic boxers and rowers. If they ate just vegetables they’d be eating a whole car full in order to reach the full amount of calories they needed! Any final words? Enjoy your food … or you are doing it wrong!