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Thursday, January 20,2011

Zone Denver offers healthy alternative for delivered food

By Kaely Moore
At the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, people everywhere tend to make a lot of promises to themselves — resolutions to eat healthier or work out more, reduce personal stress or enjoy living.

 

It’s mid-January, and many of those profound resolutions are already succumbing to the practicalities of everyday life.

With work and school, family life, social life and everything in between, it can be difficult to find the time to chip away at personal goals.

This is especially true for the goals that require planning and preparation, such as coordinating a diet. Often people just don’t take the time to sit down to a healthy meal, opting for an easy out of drive-throughs and frozen dinners.

Zone Denver, a diet delivery service that came to Colorado in 2008 and operates a kitchen in Boulder, offers one solution to the great debate of fast food and fatty versus homemade and healthy, delivering freshly made food to doorsteps all along the Front Range, including Boulder County.

Jeff Sherman, president of Zone Denver, says that his company aims to provide people with the help and guidance they need to stick to their resolutions.

“Eating well is not simply eating,” Sherman says.

“You have to plan for it, you have to prepare it, you have to eat at certain times.”

Sherman says he believes that many people who start a diet are successful primarily because the beginning stages are filled with the excitement of shopping and preparing different foods. Three weeks down the line, it is for these same reasons that dieters begin to feel bored or inconvenienced. Zone Denver, Sherman says, cuts out the planning and delivers nutritional meals fresh the day they are made.

“You wake up in the morning, open your door and there’s your breakfast, your lunch, your dinner, a snack — everything you need for the entire day,” he says. “You don’t have to do a darn thing except drink a lot of water.”

Sherman, inspired by his time as business manager for the original Zone Diet delivery service in New York City, started his Zone service in Seattle in 2002, and then later expanded to San Francisco and Los Angeles. He subsequently sold those companies in favor of bringing the business to Colorado. Zone, he says, utilizes local chefs and kitchen facilities in any market it opens in.

Menu options at Zone Denver are consistently rotated, Sherman says, so that customers are always given variety. From breakfasts of whole wheat French toast to lunches of chicken Caesar salad and dinners of lemon pepper red snapper, meals are tailored to the tastes and nutritional needs of each client, with a 40-30-30 ratio of carbohydrates, lean protein and favorable fats.

“Our people are successful — they lose weight,” Sherman says. “But not everybody that comes on the program is doing it for weight loss.”

Nancy Speck, a 63-year-old Denver resident who used Zone Denver last fall, says that she started with the program because she was tired of cooking.

“When you’re just cooking for one person, it gets pretty boring sometimes what you end up cooking for yourself,” Speck says.

Speck says that she enjoyed the variety and gourmet quality of Zone Denver, as well as the ability to specialize her menu options. She also says that eating better — and not stressing about what to cook — increased her energy levels and helped her to lose weight, even though that wasn’t what she was looking for.

“I wasn’t really doing it for a diet to lose weight so much as just to eat healthier, but I did end up losing about five pounds,” Speck says.

Speck says that she will likely start with Zone Denver again in a couple of weeks, after she’s gotten herself settled into the new year.

Lynnette Campbell, a customer service specialist with Zone Denver, says the nutritional value of the Zone program is beneficial to a wide range of people — not just those looking to lose weight. For patients recovering from surgery, or elderly people who may not be able to make it out to the store, the delivery of a nutritional meal can be instrumental to maintaining overall health.

Sherman says one thing Zone Denver strives for is to teach customers how to eat better on their own by recognizing healthier foods and correct proportions. After people have been successful with the program, he says, they generally have more motivation to be on their own.

“This day and age, I think most people know what’s healthy and what’s not, and how they should eat,” Sherman says. “If they don’t know specifically, they certainly have a good idea. It’s just a matter of, ‘Are you going to actually do this for yourself?’” For more information about Zone Denver, go to www.zonedenver.com.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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