My husband, Ken, and I moved to Shreveport in 1991 and quickly started a family. With active children and a husband who traveled for business, I found it hard to find time to prepare family dinners. That’s when I started cooking in bulk quantities, following a once-a-month cooking plan, where I would cook 30 meals in one day. Our freezer was always full. After a busy day, it was such a relief to know that dinner was prepared and all I needed to do was heat it up and make a salad. In 1997, along with a partner, I started working as a Personal Chef so I could help relieve some stress for other families. We were the first personal chef service in the Shreveport/Bossier area certified by United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA). The concept was similar to Healthy Chef Meals, we would plan menus, grocery shop and prepare several dishes (main entrees with sides). Most of the items were freezer friendly. The big difference is we would prepare the meals in our client’s home. And, because we cooked for one family at a time, our prices were much higher. With Healthy Chef Meals, we cook bulk quantities in our commercial kitchen so we are able to provide a similar service for a much lower price.
My vegan adventure began in 2010 when our then 16 year old daughter decided to try vegetarianism. As many mothers would do, I researched this subject to ensure she was getting the proper nutrients for her to thrive. As I read, I joined her by eliminating meat from my diet. As I continued to study, I was drawn to the vegan information that was included in books, movies and websites. The health benefit statistics I read were truly amazing to me and I soon removed all animal products from my diet. Since starting this journey my weight has stabilized, my energy level has increased and I feel great! Also, knowing that I am contributing to a more humane and chemical free world is tremendously satisfying.
The men in our family have not fully embraced this adventure. However, they do enjoy many of the vegan meals, snacks and desserts I prepare. In other words, I have discovered that a person does not need to be a strict vegetarian or vegan to enjoy plant-based meals.