Paleo on the go
Joel Bussjaeger started Chico Creek Paleo Co. to help folks like him, people who lead extremely busy lives but still want to eat healthfully and avoid processed foods. Clients of his meal-delivery service order specially created, precooked meals that they heat at home. The menu items vary by season based on what's available locally, but all are free of gluten, dairy and soy and prepared without sweeteners. Because healthy meals are his top priority, the classically trained chef cooks only with sustainably raised meats and locally sourced vegetables and fruits. Roasted chicken stir-fry with carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and coconut aminos is an example of a recent meal. For more information, visit www.chicocreekpaleoco.com.
Why did you start this business?
When I started the business, I was looking at my schedule and my wife's schedule. She's a nurse and I'm working full time in sales and we're just always busy but we're still trying to eat good meals. You get off work and you come home, it takes an hour to cook dinner and you have to go shopping on the weekend. We have kids. We're just really busy. I was looking at a way to fill those meals, so I started doing meal preps for me and my wife and I thought I could turn it into a little business. I talked to the owners at Upper Park CrossFit and we ran a trial on their clients and they seemed interested in it and it just grew from there.
What is a paleo diet?
There are no grains, no legumes, no beans, no processed foods, no sugars except for natural sugars in fruit and no soy or dairy.
Why would someone have a diet like this?
I weighed about 300 pounds last year; I was a big guy. I was just eating a bunch of processed foods, and you just think you're eating good. Then I started looking at my diet and it was just a lot of junk, so I asked myself, how do I get rid of that and focus on eating real foods? I had a couple of friends who were doing crossfit and were following this diet and they introduced it to me.
What kind of meals do you offer?
Every week I come up with 10 different items so I have five items that are available on Monday and five that are available on Wednesday. I do two chicken dishes, two beef dishes and a pork dish. Those are my proteins every week and I incorporate whatever vegetables are in season that I can get locally and fresh.
Why are local ingredients so important?
If you can eat with the seasons, it's better for you. You're getting a nice mix, a nice variety. Plus, I like supporting the local farmers. They're working hard, so I might as well support as many as I can.