Fitlife Foods opens today at 7341 W. Sand Lake Road.
DR. PHILLIPS Within the fitness subculture, many seek efficiency: How can I increase strength but maintain flexibility? What can I do in 15 minutes when I don't have time for the gym? How can I cram as much protein down my gullet as possible, right when I finish my workout?
Fitlife Foods, a Tampa-based company that sells freshly prepared healthy meals, takes a more scientific approach to that last question.
“You walk into Fitlife, and you're going to find breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, all in small, medium or large sizes,” founder David Osterweil said, “and everything's going to be perfectly portioned in terms of its protein, carbohydrates, fats, sugar, sodium – we weigh everything out.”
The first Dr. Phillips location for Fitlife Foods opens today at 7341 W. Sand Lake Road, where customers can win prize packs, sample individual meals by chef Andrew Ruga and ultimately purchase food to take home for quick meals full of taste without compromising on nutrition, Osterweil said.
“We're excited about the Dr. Phillips area,” he said. “There's a number of other great businesses that have been successful in that area, and the neighborhood is absolutely dynamic. We also are always looking for great brands around us in fitness, and when you have brands like Pure Barre, Orange Theory, LA Fitness and the YMCA – great fitness brands – around, well, there's lots of fitness-minded and success-minded people that are looking for great, healthy, flavorful and flexible prepared meals.”
Examples of entrees are pork, steak, salmon miso, shrimp and chicken and roasted sausage with kale. Each package typically includes various vegetables or grains to balance the meal, and buyers can pick from small meals starting around $5 to large meals in the $10 range.
The idea is to give people a one-stop shop to load up on great meals for the week, allowing them to save time by just heating and eating, Osterweil said.
“There's so many times people walk into the grocery store, and then they leave and say, 'Well, what am I having for dinner tonight?'” he said. “When you can walk into a store like ours and you can walk away with four and five days of meals and get it in minutes, just think about how much time you've made in your life and how great you're going to feel now.”
That feeling is what Osterweil hopes people will become addicted to instead of butter, fats and salts, with 39 original sauces and 13 original spice blends to add flavor to healthy dishes, he said.
But possibly the most attractive aspect of Fitlife is the Project U room of each store, where anyone can have a scheduled appointment with a wellness coach to discuss personal goals – absolutely free, Osterweil said.
“We're going to get all your wellness digits – your height, your weight,” he said. “We're going to tell you how many calories your body burns at rest each day … which is so cool, because in this age where you can get access to any information, you can't Google that. And then we'll do some meal scheduling for you, whether it's our food.”
Although sales of course are important as with any business, Osterweil said giving customers a plan to work with for their wellness and nutrition would be their most valuable takeaway.
“Our goal is that we want you to eat the food and then go enjoy your life,” Osterweil said. “There's a lot of information in our day and age where people overthink a lot of things, and we always say, 'Just eat the food and enjoy your life.'”
Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].