Eating healthy is a challenge. Eating healthy with a busy schedule can feel impossible.
Prep by KUG is a small business designed to make eating healthy easy.
Kristin Uribe Grizzard, 32, was born in New Orleans but moved to the Coast at a young age. She attended Mississippi State University and earned her physical therapist assistant certification in Mobile. After five years working in the field she sought to help people with diet in addition to exercise.
Grizzard got the idea for Prep by KUG (KUG is her initials) by cooking for herself and her friend while on a Whole 30 diet.
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"I got the name in college you know, everyone called me K.U.," she said. "So when I got married, it became KUG."
After awhile, more friends started dieting, and Grizzard found herself cooking more, and it's gotten busy enough that her husband, David Grizzard, helps with chopping, shopping and talking with customers.
She opened her business Oct. 5 with only a handful of customers. Now she cooks
at least five meals a week for more than 40 customers. She uses 600 and 750 reusable and recyclable meal trays a week.
"God gave me a gift and a passion and I didn't want to waste it," she said.
This meal-prep plan is ideal for anyone on a Paleolithic or Whole 30 diet, but works for those looking to add healthy meals to their routine.
The Paleolithic diet, sometimes called the caveman diet or paleo for short, is a popular trend in dieting that emphasizes more meats and proteins, with a focus on ingesting healthier, not fewer, fats. This includes mono- and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Greater intake of non-starchy vegetables is also a staple of the diet.
The Whole 30 diet is similar to the Paleolithic diet, with its high protein/low carbohydrate focus, but it eliminates grains, sugar, dairy, legumes and alcohol.
This is a stricter, 30-day diet based on whole foods and the paleo guidelines. "Whole 30 is more of a reset button than a diet," Grizzard said. "It's a great way to learn to eat better and maybe cut out some bad habits, I used to drink Diet Cokes like crazy, and I don't drink soda anymore, so Whole 30 can help with stuff like that."
KUG's meal packages work in customizable groups of five or 10.
A five-meal-per-week plan costs $75 and a 10-meal-per-week plan costs $150.
Meals are available to pick up on Thursdays from the kitchen inside South Coast Seafood off of Government Street in Ocean Springs.
"Some people start the week on a Friday, some wait until Sunday," Grizzard said. "All our food is good for up to a week.
"Some people freeze them and eat them later. That works too."
The list of food options changes each week, but crowd favorites are often brought back by popular demand. Menu items may include coconut and pineapple grilled shrimp kabobs; chicken salad lettuce wraps with grapes, pecans and homemade mayo; chicken fajita-stuffed sweet potato; maple bacon pork loin with sweet and crunchy green beans; and sesame teriyaki chicken with purple sweet potato hash.
Some customer favorites are chicken pad thai, a pepperoni pizza casserole and chicken pesto with roasted tomatoes and zucchini noodles.
"I'd say the most popular is Chipotle chicken sweet potatoes -- that's a meal that people seem to bring up a lot," she said. "That and the pizza casserole."