Philip Munk and Alana Thomson. Photo by Barry Gray.

How a food blog evolved into a ready-to-eat meal service

(Above: Philip Munk and Alana Thomson. Photo by Barry Gray.)

What began as a personal online cookbook has turned into Stittsville’s new healthy meal prep service, Healthy Balance.

Alana Thomson was a personal trainer before she started focusing more on nutrition. Thomson created a food blog that soon received a large following begging her to provide them with more recipes and healthy creations. When she connected with her business partner Philip Munk, a professional chef and an amateur athlete, Healthy Balance was created.

“We thought we would put those two together and that’s how we were born,” said Thomson.

Sous chef Alana Thomson and Chef Philip Munk in the Healthy Balance kitchen with healty foods that have been prepared. Photo by Barry Gray
Photo by Barry Gray

 

Healthy Balance provides a delivery service that serves clients in central Ottawa, Stittsville, and Kanata with prepared meals.  They focus on choosing quality ingredients and using local options when they can, to prepare portion controlled, ready-to-eat meals.

“Our angle is healthy foods. We don’t use any processed foods at all, everything is home made so that’s what people enjoy, and my business partner is a professional chef so the food isn’t only healthy, it’s tasty,” said Thomson.

Not only does Healthy Balance have a delivery service, but they’ve also just partnered with Living Science Wellness Centre to put on workshops focusing on preparing healthy meals.

“We want to offer groups of women and men to come together, to teach people how to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families,” said Thomson.

The weekly workshop is open to a maximum of eight people. Everyone leaves with four entrées, each four to six servings with an array of side dishes. Thomson and Munk plan to have a whole series of workshops, not only focusing on creating whole meals, but to have specific themes where people will learn how to cook things like side dishes and specialty meal items.

“Some people might find themselves having a lot of food intolerances so we can so specialty workshops for that. We really want to have a wide gamut of different types of things,” said Thomson.

Food prepared in Healty Balance kitchen. Photo by Barry Gray.
Photo by Barry Gray.

 

Workshops are held in the Living Science Wellness Centre’s newly renovated kitchen in the business park on Iber Road, owned by registered nutritional consultant practitioner Bruce Bonner, and CEO Susan Stephen. The Wellness Centre was previously in Westboro but as the business grew, they sought out a new location, finding Stittsville to be the perfect place. The Wellness Centre approaches the body as a complete being, taking into account mental and social factors.

“The inspiration (behind the Wellness Centre) is my husband’s vision to have one place where people can come, get healthy, and have lots of interesting mind-body-spirit practices that are all on the holistic side. It’s kind of like a one stop shop,” said Stephen.

Healthy Balance isn’t the only one using the kitchen at the Wellness Centre. They also provide in house classes, workshops, and use it for supplement companies to showcase their products. The modern space was designed so that clients could receive a supplementary nutrition component in addition to the services that are provided at the Wellness Centre.

There is a vision of healthy living behind every ingredient of this new partnership, that delivers to clients a healthy mind and body starting from the kitchen.

Sous chef Alana Thomson in the Healty Balance kitchen. Photo by Barry Gray.
Photo by Barry Gray.
Chef Philip Munk in the Healthy Balance kitchen.
Photo by Barry Gray.

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