Not to be dramatic, but a special delivery direct to my doorstep last October changed my mind, body and spirit.
Inside the reusable, eco-friendly tote bag made from recycled paper was a complete “5 Day Fall Reset” cleanse from Good Clean Food Delivered, the Basalt-based meal service (recently rebranded as Tuesday Foods). I had never challenged myself to a proper detox program before, but came across a promotion on social media just ahead of the start date and immediately signed up for the last remaining slot.
Feeling the pandemic-induced effects of “languishing” — a term the New York Times later defined as “a sense of stagnation and emptiness” — I wasn’t eating as healthy or staying as active as I normally operate and was seeking something to inspire a major shift. My diet has never been restrictive, but with a sudden boom in the plant-based lifestyle and all of the benefits that come along with it, a cleanse was the perfect entry point into making a change.
The easy-to-follow instructions and on-call support Tuesday Foods included with its signature glass jar bundle promised: “In as little as three days, you will start to feel increased energy, less bloat, decreased cravings, brighter skin, stable moods, rejuvenated sleep, clearer thinking and increased motivation.” While day three was the harshest on my system (and for most participants), by day four, I was sold.
Mistakenly believing cleanses were too extreme for my hangry self, Tuesday Foods is committed to nourishment and provides a full day of sustenance anchored by a matcha latte, super food smoothie, detox salad and filling soup — with plenty of snacks to fill you up in between like hydrating crudité, nut milk, mineral broth and seedy tahini bars.
Upon completion of my cleanse, I not only felt proud of the accomplishment, but also lighter and brighter overall (my waistline and skin also got a noticeable boost). Tuesday Foods makes it simple to stay on track, too, with the foundation of its business in the form of prepared, plant-based meals delivered every Tuesday, which stay fresh through Saturday.
Founded by certified health coach and vegan chef Kelly Hollins and Lisa Cohen, an accredited nutritionist and weight-loss expert in in 2019, Tuesday Foods has experienced explosive growth over the past year.
“We started with a handful of (our collective) clients and we’ll never know what our trajectory would’ve looked like if it hadn’t been for the pandemic,” Cohen reflected during a phone interview earlier this month. “It brought so many things to the forefront… people were afraid to go to the grocery store … they became more interested in their health and supporting the immune systems … and they weren’t eating out. So, when you’re stuck at home, cooking three meals a day for yourself or for your family — that became really difficult. We were able to take that load off of people’s plates.”
The two longtime locals and friends, who first met in the mid- 2000’s taking yoga classes with Aaron King, have turned a once grassroots business idea — cooking up healthy dishes and cleanse programs in their own kitchens, packing it all in Cohen’s garage and spitting deliveries up and down the Roaring Fork Valley — is now a 10-member team with a commercial kitchen in Willits and a satellite operation in Boulder to serve Front Range clients.
Tuesday Foods was initially built on a schedule of custom, regular cleanses — with a blueprint for eating clean in between.
“I feel like it was a slightly selfish endeavor. (Lisa and I) love doing cleanses and really crave it, but there really wasn’t anything that we wanted to purchase so we created our own,” said Hollins. “There’s no decision-making — it’s all planned. You don’t have to think about what you’re going to cook or buy … it’s already done for you. I find that taking all of that off the task list is so clarifying. It’s a reset emotionally, mentally and physically.”
“Whether you’re eating with us every week, which is actually cleansing on its own, or doing a program, we are equipping your body with all the nutrition it needs to support your gut microbiome,” Cohen added. “We know that eating plant-based is important, but it’s the variety that counts. Research recommends eating least 30 different plant-based foods per week and our rotating menus can serve up to 100 different plants in one delivery alone. Instead of counting calories, we measure protein, fat and carbohydrates to provide a fully-balanced diet of good, clean food.”
With one cleanse under my now loose fitting belt, I have leaned on Tuesday Foods over the past three months — alternating between weekly deliveries and using the the many resources available on its website to DIY. And I’ve never felt better.
Katie Shapiro can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @bykatieshapiro.