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Des Moines delivery service Dinner Dispatch opens store amid COVID boom

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When the uncertainty of coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns led to panic buying and sparse shelves in grocery stores last year, co-owners LeAnn Thongvanh and Jennifer Oredson watched sales of their Des Moines-based package delivery service grow.

Dinner Dispatch’s revenue grew 300% in just one quarter, the owners said.

“I think we became one of the panic companies,” Oredson said. “We sold out within 48 hours when we put a new menu out because people said, ‘I’m going to use these meals so I don’t have to go to the store.'”

In the first year, Dinner Dispatch sold around 1,150 meals and 4,600 servings. By the end of 2020, 7,624 meals or around 39,776 servings had been sold.

Due to the dynamics of the pandemic, Thongvanh and Oredson were able to expand Dinner Dispatch from a team of two to 20 employees. They opened their first storefront at 7246 University Ave last month. in Windsor Heights.

Their business is similar to other companies that have grown in popularity over the past few years. Every Monday, drivers drive a 20 miles radius from the store to deliver the kits to 100 homes on the Des Moines metro. They also supply several customers in Ames.

But Dinner Dispatch differs from well-known meal sets like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron in one important way – the food is already cut, seasoned and ready to take away, Oredson said. The whole goal is to make it easier for people to cook and eat well-rounded meals without having to plan, shop, or prepare.

“(Hello Fresh is) essentially a meal plan with a box of groceries. … In other words, you do everything,” Oredson said. “Your part in us is turning a bag upside down into a tin or something. We cut everything, we seasoned everything.

As busy mothers, the two simply wanted to cook: “We are our customers”

Dinner Dispatch’s origins lie in the friendship between Thongvanh and Oredson and their shared experiences as mothers leading full-time careers.

The duo met in 2014 while working for Wildtree, a spice and spice company that offers meal preparation workshops.

Thongvanh, who has two children and worked as a teacher, and Oredson, who has three children and worked as a maternity and childbirth nurse, said they came to Wildtree during a busy time in their lives making healthy meals for their challenging families .

“We are our customers,” said Oredson.

The couple said working at Wildtree inspired them to create an even easier option for those who find it hard to fit cooking into hectic schedules. You launched Dinner Dispatch in March 2019.

“Our people are busy people who eat unhealthy convenience foods far too often,” Oredson said. “And if our service replaces pizza or transit, that’s healthier.”

To begin with, local grocery stores prepared Thongvan and Oredson’s recipes and menus while they waited for an approved food license. Dinner Dispatch sold 10 meals some weeks and 100 other rare weeks.

Until November 2019, Thongvanh and Oredson were able to rent a commercial kitchen at the Robert Mickle Business and Neighborhood Resource Center in the Sherman Hill district of Des Moines. The center has an affordable communal kitchen designed to help food entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

“I’m so glad we started there,” said Oresdson. “There was a lot of freedom to take risks and do our own thing without much financial worries. Whenever we needed time, we could rent there with no major commitments.”

Business picked up speed there.

In those early days, Thongvanh said it wasn’t uncommon for her to slice bell peppers for six hours or Oredson to stare at 15 pounds of carrots for chopping.

It became increasingly clear to both of them that they needed to expand and they started hiring.

Jennifer Oredson, co-owner of Dinner Dispatch, is mixing a meal at her store in Windor Heights on Wednesday June 9, 2021.

From food deliveries to new in-store takeout options

Last month, Thongvanh and Oredson moved Dinner Dispatch to a dedicated commercial kitchen space in the Apple Valley Shopping Center.

In their first permanent location, they added a cool box with grab-and-go options for customers who may have missed the deadline for ordering meals for the week or who want coffee and a snack.

The kitchen is open and spacious with industrial-size cool boxes and prep tables less than 10 feet from the entrance. Customers stopping inside can get a firsthand look while the dinner dispatch team prepares and compiles meals.

Oredson is largely the mastermind behind Dinner Dispatch’s 250+ recipes. Your visions go through a test committee before they are offered to customers.

“I really need to curb my desire for new recipes,” Oredson said. “My passion is recipe development and optimization. If you leave it to me, I’ll never calm down. The list of recipes that I develop in the background is endless.”

Oredson’s favorite is the Asian sriracha chicken salad with honey; Thongvanh is the beef stroganoff.

While their business is primarily geared towards busy families, the couple said the service has evolved as more and more customers give away dinner dispatch meals to friends and family who have an illness, childbirth, or surgery, which is work at Can make cooking difficult.

“Sometimes there is just never the right gift,” Thongvanh said. “Food is always something that gives comfort and is a blessing to prepare a meal in times of crisis or change. So we love to see these gifts. “

LeAnn Thongvanh, co-owner of Dinner Dispatch, will have a freshly wrapped meal set ready in her shop in Windsor Heights on Wednesday June 9th, 2021.

How does dinner delivery work?

Meal packages are delivered weekly based on the customer’s recommendations for that week. You can choose as many items as you want from a fresh and frozen food menu, updated weekly.

The menu includes recipes such as spicy sausage and sweet potato hash, roasted pork fillet with snow peas salad or chilli and beef tacos.

Prices differ depending on the meal and portion size, and discounts are offered to customers who also order groceries for a month. Delivery is based on the mileage and is limited to $ 10.

Dinner shipping requires orders placed by midnight Wednesday for delivery the following Monday. You can find more information on the Internet at www.dinner-dispatch.com.

Hannah Rodriguez covers retail for the registry. You can reach her at herodriguez@registermedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @ HRodriguez15.

Healthy Eating

Riyasat, AMNM collaborate to promote healthy eating

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Doha: Riyasat, located in opulent St. Regis Doha, is setting new standards in upscale Indian cuisine by introducing the concept of a healthy superfood menu today.

Building around the impression of purity, purification and support for emotional health, the menu focuses on offering guests a choice of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free exciting specialties.

The idea of ​​introducing this exclusive new health conscious superfood menu was made possible in collaboration with Alfardan Medical with Northwestern Medicine, AMNM, which emphasized the use of beneficial ingredients for the mind and body.

Chef Jolly, his team at Riyasat, and AMNM’s licensed nutritionists worked closely together to select the perfect combination of ingredients to create this exceptionally flavourful, healthy menu.

Since quality plays an important role in the development of this menu, most of the products and ingredients are locally sourced, sustainable and carbon-free.

The menu has been carefully crafted with a range of micronutrients in collaboration with Ghinwa Zoubeir, AMNM’s clinical nutritionist and health coach.

Zoubeir said: “Health literacy and culinary elegance combined. The unique collaboration between Alfardan Medical with Northwestern Medicine and Riyasat is a new frontier that sets new standards for the dine-in world in Qatar and beyond. The foundation that we have laid will be a launch pad for a new trend in gastronomy. “

“Studies show that everything we eat is related to our well-being, mental health and general well-being. Ayurvedic practices and Indian traditions discovered this a long time ago. Vedic food is believed to cure the root causes of our health problems.

“The tastes and flavors of this menu will take you back in time and remind you of how your grandparents cooked using simple, unprocessed, locally produced ingredients. The reality is that healthy food is delicious, ”she added.

Surjan Singh, known as Chef Jolly, said: “Health has become an important factor in our lives today. The deeper we dig, the more we realize that people are looking for healthier dining options and an experience that suits their daily lifestyle. Lots of people have asked about vegan and gluten-free options.

“Here we are! We want our guests to know that their health and lifestyle are also important to us. We are very excited to work with wonderful experienced health professionals in the field like AMNM.”

Expect bright colors and great electrifying flavors. Think bright, plant-powered bowls with a variety of interesting starters and hot dishes full of goodness like sweet potato, spinach, turmeric, ginger, omega-rich seeds, and more.

Riyasat is open for lunch and dinner every day from 12:00 to 12:00. Interested dinners can reserve by phone on +974 4424 4856 or directly via WhatsApp on +974 5053 4103.

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Read more PHCC laboratories join the elite group of global laboratories

June 13, 2021 – 8:33 am

With a recent coveted accreditation, the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) laboratories have become one of the world’s largest group of network laboratories accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) outside of the United States, and also the largest conglomerate in the public sector with such recognition, said Kiran Govindan Kutty, Laboratory Manager, Clinical Operations at PHCC.

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Healthy Eating

The #1 Worst Breakfast to Order at McDonald’s

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Breakfast is always a treat, and a drive through the drive through can be a fun way to get up and shine. Unless you’ve made menu choices that are too decadent, which can make you feel heavier for the rest of the day. No fun!

The good news is that, with a little wisdom, choosing a fast food breakfast that won’t ruin your day can be easy. If you’re heading out for a McDonald’s breakfast, we’ve researched the menu. Read on to learn about the worst breakfast you can order at McDonald’s, as well as some options that will fill you up without feeling like you have let yourself down.

RELATED: 7 Healthiest Foods You Can Eat Right Now

And if you’re curious about the nutritional values ​​of your favorite food, find out what the worst ranch dressing is on grocery store shelves.

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Yes, we kept it simple and based our worst breakfast order choice at McDonald’s based on calorie count. Calories aren’t the only way to gauge how good or bad a particular food is for you – but especially for fast food items that are naturally high in fat, sodium, and other nutritional information, a calorie check can be one be an easy way to narrow down which items to choose and which to avoid.

RELATED: You Should Be Burning This Many Calories Every Day, Experts Say

McDonalds drive-thruShutterstock

Let’s start by pointing out that the fast food giant has some decent products that, if you grab them occasionally, are unlikely to ruin your nutritional and wellness goals.

mcdonalds egg mcmuffin and hash brown on trayMoab Republic / Shutterstock

Even most of McDonald’s breakfast combo dishes are workable if you’re not in transit per se. A choice like the McGriddle bacon, egg and cheese combo weighs 570 calories, which is almost a third of the calories in the standard 2,000-calorie diet. While it doesn’t really fit most definitions of “healthy”, most people are probably okay with enjoying it every now and then.

Jamba Juice Purely OrangeCourtesy of Jamba Juice

The right fruit juice can offer great health benefits, so we’re not against juice overall. But ordering McDonald’s orange juice with a combo meal – or regular lemonade – consumes more calories and more sugar than a coffee.

RELATED: A Major Side Effect of Drinking Coffee Out of a To-Go Mug, According to Experts

McDonalds Egg McMuffin and Breakfast Burrito in wrappersShutterstock

It might seem like a given, but by choosing not to include meat in your McDonald’s breakfast, you can keep the calories (plus fat, sodium, and others) low.

Bacon slices close-upShutterstock

Consider requesting bacon. That’s because a single McDonald’s sausage patty drives the calorie count of a breakfast item about 120 calories higher than bacon. (That’s not to say we strongly recommend bacon – read that eating bacon could cause this type of liver disease, new studies reveal.)

At 450 calories, the sausage burrito meal has the fewest calories of any McDonald’s breakfast combination. (The Egg McMuffin Meal has the same thing.)

RELATED: 15 Unhealthy Fast Food Breakfasts That You Should Never Eat, According to Nutritionists

McDonalds big breakfastCourtesy McDonald’s

It may not be shocking that number 1 on the McDonald’s breakfast menu is the Big Breakfast of Hotcakes. This is a belly breaker – McDonald’s describes the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes as “a warm biscuit, hearty hot sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, and golden brown hotcakes with a side of real butter and the sweet taste of maple”. (Note that they don’t say “real maple syrup,” which may tell you you don’t even have to read the syrup packet to know there’s a lot of fructose in it.)

At 1,340 calories, this is one of the highest calorie items on the entire McDonald’s menu. It even beats the 1,270 calories of the Double Quarter Pounder Combo Meal.

Those heavy carbohydrates, the saturated fat, the fried foods: this isn’t a recipe for feeling energized for the day. Unless you share this with a few other people, stay away from McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hotcakes.

RELATED: The Best Pancakes in Every State

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McDonald’s says the Sausage Burrito, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, and an Egg McMuffin all have 310 to 320 calories. As an alternative, a single order of hash browns is only 140 calories.

All of this shows that knowing what to ask for can also be better for your health when it comes to fast food breakfast!

Get the nutritional news you need by signing up for our newsletter and checking out The # 1 Worst Blizzard to Order at Dairy Queen. Also read:

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Healthy Eating

The 5 Reasons and 6 Tips to Make It Happen

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There is no better gift than good health. On this Father’s Day, help your father or someone important in your life say goodbye to flesh – forever. Although he loves the barbecue season, there are so many important reasons for him to avoid meat, be it for his health, the environment or the animals. Below is an overview of why pop should part with the (traditional) burger and simple tips to ease the transition to a meatless life.

Why should men give up meat?

1. Eliminating meat is good for your heart health.

“As men get older, their bodies naturally begin to store fat in the middle of their abdomen,” says Trista K. Best, MPH, RD, LDN, at Balance One, referring to this study. “This accumulation of fat can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. The fat in meat, saturated fats, along with physical inactivity and other lifestyle choices increase fat storage in this area. “

Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, Cardiology Dietitian, author of the cookbook The Truly Easy Heart Healthy, added, “A recent study showed that taller red meat with smaller ventricles, poorer heart function, and stiffer arteries, all of them Are signs of poor heart health. This may be because red meat contains high levels of saturated fat and TMAO production that stiffen the arteries and promote dangerous plaque build-up, leading to narrowing of the arteries and future cardiac events. ”Yikes, we’re passing that on.

2. Meat can increase your risk of cancer.

Another compelling reason for men to reduce or eliminate meat? No other organization than the World Health Organization has classified red meat as a Class 1 carcinogen, which is equivalent to smoking cigarettes. Read this to Dad: WHO says, “Eating processed meat is” carcinogenic to humans “and consuming red meat is” likely to be carcinogenic to humans. ” Skip the dogs and opt for meatless choices on this Father’s Day.

“According to a study published in Nutrients, eating red and processed meat was associated with a higher risk of stomach cancer, which men are more prone to than women,” said Brittany Lubeck, MS, RD and advisor to Oh So Spotless. If you need more evidence that a plant-based diet is the way to go, check out this article on how a Harvard study found you can lower your risk of cancer (spoiler: it’s a healthy plant-based diet).

3. You don’t have to worry about breaking up meat and affecting your testosterone levels.

If dad heard that vegan food can affect his testosterone levels, think again. “Men no longer have to worry that a plant-based diet will lower their testosterone levels because this theory has proven to be untrue,” says Lübeck, citing this study on the relationship between plant-based diets and testosterone levels in US adults .

4. Avoiding meat generally reduces the risk of a long list of health conditions.

It is not only the risk of heart disease and cancer that affects meat consumption, but diabetes and obesity as well. “Contrary to popular belief, men need to watch their meat consumption to avoid excessive consumption of saturated fatty acids, which put them at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer,” says Lübeck. “A plant-based diet was also found to reduce cases of metabolic syndrome, obesity and coronary artery disease.”

Best adds, “A vegan diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome in both men and women. One study shows that the stroke death rate in men following a plant-based vegan diet was 22 percent lower. “

Research has also shown that a predominantly plant-based diet can also reduce the risk of dementia. Some doctors are even telling their clients to go plant-based to reduce their risk of contracting coronavirus.

5. It’s just not that cool.

For your health. For the animals. For the planet. Eating all that meat is, unfortunately, partly a social matter. “Meat and men seem to go hand in hand. A study by the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that men who were worried about the status of their manhood decided to eat more meat to restore their manhood, ”explains Lübeck. Just as smoking was once “hip”, the meat and grill culture also has a certain association with masculinity, although there is no shortage of incredible vegan bodybuilders and athletes who live on a plant-based diet.

Also, instead of complaining about the meat = masculinity factor, how about a sobering statistic with this meat platter: “Men would benefit greatly from limiting their meat consumption, as research-based science shows that high consumption of red meat is associated with it is at increased risk for heart disease. “[In a study published last year by Al-Shaar et al.] for every additional serving of red meat per day, it increased coronary artery disease by 12 percent! ”That heaped rib platter doesn’t look so good anymore, does it?

bonus: If your dad goes against the grain and adopts a plant-based or predominantly plant-based lifestyle, he can inspire those around him to do the same. (Read: Uncle John.)

Tips to help dad stop eating meat

1. Start slowly.

“Going plant-based doesn’t have to be made cold. This is a change that will only be sustainable if the individual is fully on board and convinced of the benefits, ”shares Best, highlighting research showing that eating a healthy plant-based diet in adults in the US can help lower risk for all causes of death.

“That’s why I recommend weaning yourself off the meat slowly,” she continues. It is best to eat plant-based foods one day a week for a full week, followed by two days the next week. “He can do this until he’s got a full week, or if he feels it’s getting easier, he can drive for several days at a time until he gets to his destination,” says Best.

2. Customize the way you look at the plate.

A little creativity in eating goes a long way. “Instead of the meat being the center of the meal, think of it as a side dish. Then [tell your dad to] are you considering taking a survey on how much red meat? [he is] eat in an average week and have a realistic expectation to slowly titrate back, ”suggests Routhenstein. “It can be easier to initially swap out red meat for grilled chicken or even dark chicken breasts. Focus on the plants first by filling your plate with veggies in a playful way – grill the veggies, use a spice mix you would use for the veggies’ red meat instead, or try different plant favorites from different cuisines. “

3. Try the “cut it in half” tip.

Routhenstein says if dad is used to eating two red meat burgers while grilling, it may help to have one red meat burger and then a grilled burger with black beans or vegetables. Following this rule of thumb can make it easier for your favorite person to switch to a more plant-based diet. “Or when [he is] Make a homemade burger, fill it up with cauliflower rice, frozen spinach, spices and mushrooms, which adds more plants but also reduces the actual consumption of red meat. “

4. Make friends with vegetable sources of protein.

“Some options for men who want to replace meat with vegetable protein are tofu or other soy products, beans, lentils, quinoa and nuts,” says Lübeck, adding that a vegetarian burger or an impossible burger are other options (like the Beyond .). Burgers and other similar products), but she cautions people to watch out for the saturated fat in some of them. “Adding a delicious fruit and vegetable smoothie with a serving of protein powder to your day is a great way to meet your daily protein goals when you’re eating less meat,” she adds.

5. Eat more vegetables.

But let them taste amazing. “Eating more vegetables is easier than it sounds. If you are already a grill master, you can cook your vegetables on the grill, ”says Lübeck. “Vegetables can be placed on skewers or directly on the grill. Some vegetables that are particularly well cooked on the grill are zucchini and other pumpkins, onions, peppers and mushrooms. “

6. Get dad to try new recipes.

Whether you buy him a herbal cookbook, or better yet, cook with him in person, this is a great way to ease the transition to a meatless life. “If he tries a new herbal recipe every week, he can discover new foods he didn’t know he liked and shut others out,” shares Best, adding that he will have to do so after a month or two quite a few herbal recipes that he likes. “I recommend using one of these recipes as a meat alternative for the grill, like mushroom caps.” (Fellas just love to grill.)

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