Personal chefs bring healthy eating home

Personal chefs bring healthy eating home

Hiring a personal chef

The idea of hiring a personal chef may sound extravagant, but it could actually be a savings for busy people who spend a lot of money going to restaurants.

Liz Geeslin, owner
In Good Taste LLC, Lebanon, Ind.

After a successful career as a horse trainer, Geeslin started her new career as a personal chef in 2003. Certified by the United States Personal Chef Association, she says her specialty is cooking delicious, healthy food. "Why not be excited about what you’re eating? Life is too short for mediocre,” she says.

What does a personal chef do?

Liz Geeslin: "Personal chefs offer personalized in-home cooking. It's not like a private chef who works for one client exclusively. Different clients have different needs, so the meals are based on their needs and goals, while also taking into account their likes and dislikes.

"It usually starts with finding out what foods they like and then giving them the healthiest version possible. I'm not going to give them any food they don't like, so if they're willing to try new things, I'll make their favorite foods healthier, but all within their preferences.

"Usually I make most dishes healthier by cutting out unnecessary fats and sugars. I do a lot of Asian-inspired meals, Mexican and Italian dishes, and some Indian cuisine. I can make a fairly wide variety of things and I'm adding new recipes all the time.

"Eating healthier is all about portion control. People don't need 8 ounces of meat in one meal, 4 to 5 ounces is plenty. Since my meals are prepackaged, everything is portion controlled. I can also weigh out the meals for Weight Watchers points.

"I've never had a complaint about the meals not being enough to eat; they're pretty generous. Another important thing to eating healthier is eating as many vegetables as possible, switching to whole grains when possible and eliminating foods that are mostly empty calories from your diet.

"The pricing is basically a flat fee based on an estimate. The cost includes the cooking, the containers and the groceries. The price is generally comparable to eating out. It will be more expensive for someone who wants all organic food or something more expensive, such as steak, on a regular basis.

"I cook mostly dinner, but the dishes could be eaten for lunch. I can also make breakfast items. But it's primarily dinner and other meals are add-ons.

"I cook in their home based on their schedules, whether it's every week, two weeks or monthly. I make a specific number of meals at a time, usually five different entrees with four servings of each.

"I bring everything, the equipment, food and containers, and take out all my own trash. I'll use the client's range or oven, and I'm typically at the home about 4 to 5 hours."

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