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The Meal Prep Expert

Where a passion for health meets modern day need

When I actually take the time to prepare meals for my family, not only do our weeknights seem much less stressful, but I also feel good about what my family is eating. However, between work, my kids’ activities, family get-togethers and more, I don’t always have time to prep my family’s meals ahead of time. On those crazy weeks, I love that I can always rely on Lena Dabish though!

Known as the local “Meal Prep Expert,” Dabish owns Clean Eats in West Bloomfield— a healthy fit kitchen that makes innovative, delicious and nutritious meals that are all ready to heat and can even be delivered right to your doorstep. We recently caught up with her to discuss why meal prepping is so important, as well as how those interested in starting to prepare their meals in advance should go about the process.

DANIELLE: YOU’RE KNOWN AS THE “MEAL PREP EXPERT” IN OUR AREA. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE MEAL PREPPING BUSINESS?

LENA: I love being the local "meal prep expert!" Last summer, Clean Eats celebrated our ninth year in business. My meal prepping journey started in 2012 at my local gym with my own health journey. Back then, I was given an opportunity to open up the smoothie bar, cooking off of two plate burners. My operation grew quite quickly, and I moved into my kitchen on Commerce in West Bloomfield a few years ago. My menu has certainly evolved since then, including 30-plus menu items plus partnerships with other local health-forward small businesses, including Planted Detroit, Gabby's Garden and Thyme & Honey. In addition, in 2019, I started Fresh Field Meats, a 100% grass-fed organic meat operation providing Michigan beef and poultry to our community. Right now, both Clean Eats and Fresh Field Meats are available at our storefront as well as Meijer's Rivertown Market and Woodward Corner Market.

DANIELLE: WHY DO YOU BELIEVE MEAL PREPPING IS IMPORTANT?

LENA: These days, everyone is so busy— between working, raising children and day-to-day stressors. At the end of the day, it can be difficult to make the right decisions when it comes to your diet. Having healthy, balanced yet nutritious (and delicious) food on hand to grab makes those decisions so much easier. We've helped many clients over the past several years reach their health and weight goals, and that's something we're so proud of.

DANIELLE: HOW HAS MEAL PREPPING HELPED YOU, PERSONALLY?

LENA: Clean Eats really took off when I began to put the healthy eating practices into my own life. Shortly after I launched this project, I was able to lose the pesky pounds that had accumulated in my late 20s and early 30s. I've learned a lot over the years as to proper portioning, and I'm happy to bring those practices home to my husband and two children. My entire family lives the CE lifestyle, but we also take time to treat ourselves when we know we need to. It's all about balance.

DANIELLE: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO’S LOOKING TO START MEAL PREPPING 2022?

LENA: Start with small goals first. Do you overindulge at dinner time? Try meal-prepping your dinner routine including protein, veggies and a small starch.

DANIELLE: WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU RECOMMEND THAT MEAL PREPPING NEWBIES CHECK OUT?

LENA: If you're planning to use meal prepping to make big changes to your wellness routine, we always suggest seeking out a nutritionist for guidance first. 7.7 Nutrition is our go-to dietitian office, and we share many clients!

DANIELLE: WHAT MEAL PREPPING OPTIONS DOES CLEAN EATS OFFER CUSTOMERS WHO DON’T HAVE THE TIME/INTEREST IN DOING IT THEMSELVES?

LENA: Clean Eats is 100% customizable! You can choose one of the 30+ items on our menu (Spicy Fiesta Chicken, Chicken and Sweet Potato, Teriyaki Seafood Bowls and Chicken Shawarmas are some of our top sellers!), and anything can be modified (we can sub cauliflower rice for organic brown rice or spaghetti squash for pasta, etc.). We also offer protein by the pound and family meals for easy weeknight dinners.

Learn more about Lena’s menu at cleaneatsmi.com. Also, follow @cleateats_mi on Instagram.

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