Lean Kitchen in Guntersville started out with a simple goal; offer healthy, non-intimidating prepared foods as an alternative to the drive-thru, or for people who don't have the time or patience to meal prep.
Co-owner, Trenten Hammond, named off some of the options sold at their storefront in Guntersville, as well as the seven different cities to which they make deliveries.
"Protein doughnuts, muffins, protein bites, teriyaki chicken, taco, meals for everybody," he said. "We understand everyone is on the go. There are days if you're running your kid to practice, or if you're running to work real quick, we want to give you the option to stay accountable with your diet plan."
It is a situation with which mother of three, Alison Irvin, is all-too-familiar. She described her daily routine to WAAY-31 via Skype in the middle of her daily errands.
"I drop my son off at the bus stop, I take my three year old to preschool, I take my one-year-old to day care at the gym and then I go work out," said Irvin. She went on to explain the latter half of her day. "We come home, have lunch, nap, play, some days we go to hockey or cheer, come back home to eat, get a bath and then go to bed."
She said she clearly understands the temptation to rely on the drive-thru and admits she sometimes has no choice but to make a quick pit stop.
"I would rather be 30 seconds late and pack healthy food in the car, but I'm not judging anyone who goes to a drive-thru because I know it is unavoidable. My kids eat fast food, I eat fast food."
This comes at a time when many fast food chains are trying to avoid the negative stereotype associated with the drive-thru. Chains offer milk and juice as an alternative to soda, or apples instead of fries. However, a lot of parents aren't making the same effort.
A new study from the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity shows 74% of kids still receive unhealthy drinks and/or side items with their kids' meals.
Lean Kitchen hopes to fight the trend by meeting people in the middle, offering the ability to eat things like tacos and doughnuts while still on the move. It is something Irvin would welcome, but for now she relies on her own planning.
"When I get home from the store I try to cut up veggies - cucumbers, zucchini, sweet potatoes - so we have veggies ready to grab and go."
Hammond said he hopes to meet the needs of more people just like Irvin by offering the opportunity to franchise his business and expand his healthy food mission beyond Marshall County.
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