Mindfulness in Practice

Internation Yoga Day - mademeals

With International Day of Yoga in our midst, we’re joining in on the celebration of this ancient art of physical, mental, and spiritual practice with much enthusiasm. Practicing yoga is practicing mindfulness through movement and meditation. To us, this practice also embodies our message as a conscious food company and what we try to deliver to our community of mindful eaters every day.

We hear “mindfulness” used as a buzzword lately in modern culture, but what does it really mean to be mindful? How do we use it on a daily basis? And why does it matter? We know mindfulness as being the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

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Yoga, for example, helps us focus on our presence by guiding our breathing, thoughts, and movements. With each stretch and breath, we become aware of our body’s sensations, strains, and overall well-being as reactions to what we’re exerting our bodies to currently do. We have to mentally rise above those strains and exertions to try to achieve inner peace in mind and body.

While some just see yoga as a form of exercise, the mindfulness that goes into a practice like yoga doesn’t have to stop there. We can make a conscious effort to see the effects of our choices in all of our daily actions - from how we commute, to the products we buy, and the food that we eat. If our conscious efforts to be better, do better, and feel better aren’t aligned with all of our daily choices, the practice of mindfulness is incomplete. It’s like stepping out yoga class and following it up with a cigarette and some large-chain greasy fast food, and then throwing the non-recyclable packaging on the floor once we’re done. You see the dilemma, right?

Yoga Day - mademeals

Similarly to yoga, we wanted to create a convenient way for people to eat through their busy schedules and life’s exertions while still rising above that just instinctual need to eat, and instead offer conscious food choices that can positively affect the environment and their community. In a sense, it’s mindfulness through food.

At mademeals, we take mindfulness so seriously, it’s in our motto: “mindful eating made easy”. It’s our mission to serve those who want to consciously make good choices in their meals and those who understand that those same food choices affect their community and the world around them. By choosing locally sourced, sustainably farmed and raised, organic products, each meal we make can help reduce damaging effects to the environment, while directly benefiting our local communities of farmers.

We also aim to reduce food waste through our practices and help hire those in the community that need employment the most, like the formerly incarcerated. We can proudly say that each element of our business plan has gone through the motion of mindful deliberation so that we could stand by our product and our production process.

Yoga Day - mademeals

So while you’re aligning your chakra through your sun salutation this International Yoga Day, don’t forget to make other mindful practices outside of that and think about what goes into your body and what that food choice can do to the world around you.

Mademeals Ingredient Focus: Asparagus

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Summer is here and while most Americans think of beaches and barbecues, others can’t stop thinking about constant sneezing and watery eyes from the allergy season that it brings with it. But just as nature helps us fight colds in the winter with citrus fruits in season, it’s got our backs in the summer as well with ripe veggies for fighting allergies.

Which brings us to our next mademeals ingredient focus: asparagus! We bet asparagus is on everyone’s top list for veggies to throw on the grill this summer, but did you know that this same delicious green veg can help fight your dreaded allergy season symptoms?

That’s right, asparagus carries a powerful flavonoid called quercetin, as well as isorhamnetin and kaempferol, which can help combat the worst allergy symptoms. These substances have blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer effects, sort of like mini-anti-histamine powerhouses.

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And it’s not only its green variety that has multiple benefits - purple asparagus contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins, that have antioxidant effects in the body. If that’s not enough, asparagus is also known to aid healthy digestion, help lower blood pressure, and help support a healthy pregnancy from its high doses of folate, which help fetal development.

And yet, here’s another great benefit to asparagus - it can also help ease a hangover because of its concentration of minerals and amino acids. So if you have one too many piña coladas this summer, skip the greasy breakfast the next day and opt for a side of asparagus instead.

Luckily for you, we have plenty of mademeals dishes that feature asparagus this summer front and center, like our :

  • Black Lime Chicken Bowl w/ Cilantro Pineapple Freekeh & Blackened Asparagus

  • Puerto Rican Style Lasagna "Pastelon" w/ Spanish Asparagus

  • Chopped Asparagus Salad over Baby Spinach w/ Greek Chicken

We use asparagus in a lot of our dishes for its versatility, great taste, and local availability to ensure freshness and seasonality, always!

Mother’s Day Every Day


With Mother’s Day passed, those flowers and chocolates may soon wilt and disappear, but the emotions that came with the receipt of those gifts will linger a bit longer in mother’s heart. Having an abundance of gratefulness comes with the nature of being a mom, no matter how simple a gift may be. Many of us may feel some guilt because the gifts we give to undoubtedly one of the most important persons in our life may fall short of what we actually feel for them.

Unfortunately, the aspect missing most from gift-giving nowadays is empathy. Empathy? You may ask. Yes, empathy. The act putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and “trying” to grasp what they’re experiencing. I say “trying” because aside from those who are already mothers, fully understanding the entirety of emotions, responsibilities, worries, and selflessness that goes into being a mother cannot be easily achieved. One thing is seeing it, being in its proximity, or acknowledging it, but experiencing it for oneself is a whole different ball game. So what I mean by missing empathy is that we’re often only sympathetic in gift-giving mom what we “think” she may like, ie. some beautiful flowers to brighten up her day, that mani/pedi she’s been putting off but desperately wants, or maybe even a massage for those aching mommy muscles.

Turns out, that those gifts are all nice, and of course, moms are appreciative of any kind gestures, but those gifts are band-aids to larger underlying struggle of dealing with day-to-day expectations and responsibilities. And they’re not even good band-aids, they’re the kind where the edges don’t stick well and fall off at the slightest sight of water. The greatest gifts that a mom could get are more time and more help. I repeat, time and help! These two gifts are in a way synonymous, because with more help they’d have more time.

As a mother myself, I know that asking for help or support is one of the hardest things to do, especially with modern life expectations of being able to manage a household, sustain a happy marriage or relationship, raise intelligent well-adjusted kids, while maybe working outside the home to help bring in income or managing it all at home - in other words, being “the perfect mom”. Frankly the expectations are completely unrealistic and while you may excel in some, you’ll fail or slack in others. Yet, as business owner and manager or numerous people and endeavors at the workplace, I’m constantly looking to perform better and more efficiently for my own sanity and financial growth. So when I finally resisted to the idea that if I wanted everything done right then I would have to do it myself, suddenly there was more of that elusive free time that mothers dream about. More time for playing with the kids, connecting with your partner, and even personal growth.

While I can’t (nor would) substitute the important roles I play like being a mom or wife, I can substitute the less important, and often times more burdensome, roles like housekeeper and cook. Yet, with food being a vital part to conscious parenting, how could I bring myself to entrust someone else to care as much as I do in what I feed my family? With a private chef no where near our budget, and meal kits frankly not cutting down almost any of the time it takes to cook, I needed to find an alternative to cooking that would take the same care in choosing ingredients that were organic, seasonal, and local to ensure that I was feeding them the healthiest and safest way possible.

Enter mademeals! Being super weary of the safety of prepared meals, I never really thought it an option or alternative to me just spending an entire day meal-prepping for an entire week as the best solution to making sure weekday dinners were quickly served up. But when I heard that their weekly-made organic and locally-sourced meals could be easily heated even in an oven (no microwave needed), the modern, conscious, and tired mom in me rejoiced! No longer did I have worry about whether what I was feeding my family was healthy, and most importantly, did I have to cook! Minutes after my husband or I got home from work and picking up our daughter, a delicious meal that I had to put no effort in creating (besides choosing) was on the table.


The newly extended time that came after dinner (which was never more than 15 mins in the past) before bedtime routine, was almost as exciting as the sense of calm was to not have to worry about food for the next day, and the day after that. Could it be true? I could now enjoy some free time with my family?! Why, yes it was possible! That same modern, conscious, but now not-so-tired mom in me still rejoices. And I have mademeals to thank for that!

So while Mother’s Day comes but once a year, you can actually give a gift to that incredible woman in your life that cares for other, whether she be mother, caretaker, neighbor, stressed coworker, or family member, that empathizes with their needs on an everyday basis. Go beyond the obvious mani/pedi, massage combo and gift her some help from the everyday cooking so that she can have more time to spend with those that she loves.

By: C.C. Amaya,

Business owner, wife, and MOM

Recognizing National Small Business Week


This week, we’re celebrating National Small Business Week in our mademeals kitchen! Between May 5th-11th, we take a moment to appreciate the efforts of small businesses in America and the great lengths they have gone to build this country up to what it is today. National Small Business Week has been observed for more than 50 years to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Having just officially launched in March of this year, after putting 3 years of hard work and sweat into making mademeals a reality, we’ve come to learn first hand the obstacles and learning curves that entrepreneurs face in successfully starting and running a small business.

Small is a misleading adjective to describe  the impact that small businesses can have on their local communities and on the country as a whole. As the foot soldiers of crafts, services, and skills, small businesses are the backbone of the “bottom up” change in this country. Through their own unique missions, they help start the innovations, trends, and climate for ingenuity.

Did you know that more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business? In fact, small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the US each year. However, some jobs are not available to all Americans, especially those who have served time in our criminal justice system. Although their sentences have been served, they may feel as if they’re condemned for life without access to good employment and means to provide for themselves and their families because of their criminal records. That’s why it’s our mission to partner with reentry programs to give an opportunity to those in our community that are in most need of employment.

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Knowing that our choices as business owners not only affect our customers, but our staff and communities as a whole, we’re focusing our business practices towards regenerative efforts for individuals, communities, and the environment. We’ve quickly learned that every business decision we make can have an impact on the world.

So whether it’s your local coffee shop, specialty store, or your favorite prepared meal company (wink), be sure to thank those small business entrepreneurs that help forge our way into the future!

Mademeals Ingredient Focus: Mushrooms

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New season means new seasonal veggies! April is known for the arrival of spring, along with the arrival of fresh new crops at our disposal for our original recipes. One ingredient that our mademeals team is quite fond of and that we use in numerous of our spring recipes is mushrooms! These compact mini vegetables are rich in nutritional value and flavor, making them our ingredient focus of the month.

Mushrooms: Earth’s Greatest Ally

The now warmer and wetter weather makes it the ideal climate for growing mushrooms and even foraging wild mushrooms that pop up throughout the US. Known as “nature’s greatest decomposers,” mushrooms remove chemicals from soil and heavy metals from water far better than any bacteria, animal, or plant. Mushrooms have even been attributed to removing petroleum from soil, aiding to clean-up land-based oil spills.

Mushrooms Are Nutritional Powerhouses

According to the NY Times, mushrooms are a “powerhouse of nutrition” and should not be overlooked as a vegetable to get our daily dose of vitamins and minerals like copper, potassium, magnesium, and B-Vitamins. Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants, the tiny compounds that protect our bodies from damage and free radicals.

There are over 5 million varieties of mushrooms in the world, 10,000 here in the US, but only 50% of those are of the edible nature. Some of the most popular ones that most are familiar with are White Button, Morels, Shitake, Chanterelle, and Cremini.

Lemon Garlic Flank Steak with Mushrooms

Mushrooms in mademeals

As such a versatile and unctuous ingredient, it’s no wonder mushrooms are one of our go-to’s when we’re looking to add that taste of umami in our dishes. Once cooked, mushrooms release an earthy and buttery flavor to its counterparts, making it a great addition to any savory dish. It can even serve as the meaty flavor and nutrient-laden substitute in vegan meals. Currently, we feature mushrooms in a number of our weekly rotating meals. It’s our star ingredient in our popular Lemon Garlic Flank Steak with Mushrooms, String Beans, and Cauliflower Rice.

Stay tuned to our monthly blog post dedicated to our ingredients, where we give you insight on what goes into our dishes! Who else loves mushrooms as much as we do? Which variety is your favorite?

Mademeals For Earth Day


With Earth Day around the corner, mademeals has a lot to celebrate. As the name implies, the worldwide holiday is meant to honor all efforts in support of environmental protection, and we’re no strangers to those efforts. As part of our mission, we vow to support those local farms where we source our ingredients, that practice regenerative agriculture which among other benefits, helps to reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity.

Regenerative Agriculture vs Sustainability

By building our menus around crop rotations that work best for farmers and supporting responsible growing practices, we help support the replenishment of farm soil while reducing reliance on pesticides and fertilizers. But did you know that regenerative agriculture goes a step beyond sustainability?

As Sound Consumer describes, “Sustainability generally is defined as something that improves the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems.” But now farmers around the world are being challenged to think beyond just the sustainable and rebuild what has already been damaged through their agricultural practices. With examples like the regeneration project of the Loess Plateau and Forest Garden Approach (where a collection of trees, shrubs, vines, vegetables, fruits, and herbs are planted and grow harmoniously together), regenerative practices are effectively accomplishing what traditional agriculture can’t and in turn are fixing the problems that Big Agriculture, or factory farming, has created.

Mademeals in Practice


As a prepared meal company, there is more than one way that we aim to address environmental protection. With other elements to our mission, like reducing food waste, using compostable, biodegradable and recyclable packaging, and donating excess meals to local homeless shelters, we’re working towards those worldwide efforts in sustainability and environmental protection that seem more and more attainable each day. After all, at mademeals, we believe our food choices can change the world. We aim to help busy individuals nourish their bodies, regenerate the environment, and contribute to their community through the healthy, high-quality prepared meals that we deliver to customers every week. We want to continue to build a mindful eating community, to bring more awareness to the idea that we’re not only feeding and nourishing our bodies, but that we also have a role in nourishing the earth with those same choices.

While simple acts like picking up garbage, planting a tree, and recycling still add to the larger picture of environmental protection, few stop to think that even every day decisions like meal selections can have an even greater impact on the environment than they imagined.

Are you participating in any Earth Day events? We’d love to hear from you! Sign up to stay up to date with our latest food news and announcements.

Are You Sustainable?


What does it mean to be sustainable? What happens to containers once people throw them away? How can the average person truly impact the environment because of food waste? 

 These are all valid questions that everyone could be asking themselves when they eat out or even see one of those social media videos on pollution. But how often do we ask ourselves these environmental questions? The human race is on its way to irreversibly changing the planet because of the lack of understanding of the impact one person can have. Every one of our choices, from the food we eat to how much of that food we end up throwing out, counts as a personal impact to the wellbeing of the landscape around us.

It’s reported that in just 2013 alone, Americans produced more than 254 million tons of trash, but only about 3o% of it was recyclable. This puts an impending pressure on the environment, which simply cannot keep up with rate that people produce garbage. The earth is the home to more life forms than just humans, yet the majority of other species do not contribute to the Earth’s pollution. 

But where does our trash even go? Let’s face it, a large factor contributing to our  high volumes of waste, is the fact that most people have little knowledge as to what happens to their trash. If the general population had more information about how little of their trash is actually biodegradable and recyclable they would consider having more eco-friendly practices. 
Less than 85% of household trash is recyclable and can not be dissolved into the Earth. A lot of that is composed of trash related to food waste and everyday household products. The simple act of reducing our food waste would make a great dent on our contribution to the amount of garbage in our landfills. By using a food service like mademeals, the individual can not only bring down their food costs, but ensure that no additional food is wasted since each meal is a single serving. All mademeals containers are also biodegradable and produced from recycled materials, which is one less reason to feel guilty about not cooking.

What's The Point Of Eating Healthy?

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There is a major epidemic currently in most large cities, specifically among the middle class’s eating habits. Recent surveys have shown that due to the hustle and bustle of people’s lives they are more likely to eat out. However, the fact remains that most fast food options are not healthy which in response is also causing a decline in people’s health. 

Meal services, like mademeals, give the consumer an overall experience that one can only obtain from premium restaurants. Most New Yorkers on average spend about 30% of their income on food. While millennials spend about 44% of the money they get on food. But does this increase in spending actually point to an increase in the quality of food or just the amount? 

By eating clean not only is one taking care of their pockets, but they are also taking care of their bodies. Eating healthier eliminates numerous health risks such as obesity, high cholesterol, and even certain types of cancer, which obviously leads to less health issues and money spent on healthcare. A balanced and nutritious diet is also known to help the body fight off its own illnesses. By going with a prepared meal service, like mademeals, our customers save themselves the issue of figuring out what to eat, while eating wholesome foods that benefit their health and bottom lines. 

Most individuals that do eat out complain about the extra calories and additives that restaurants put into their foods that leave them feeling sluggish. Eating food with higher nutrients leaves the body feeling cleaner and lighter, which then turns into more energy. In addition, having a varied diet ensures that the body receives various essential vitamins and minerals while also reducing your overexposure to harmful amounts of minerals. 

Surprisingly, eating healthy can also lead to enhanced moods and reduce stress. Certain foods rich in vitamins and minerals like fruits, whole grains, nuts, fatty fish, and vegetables, have been associated with an overall lower risk of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium have also been known to help reduce cortisol levels, which is the hormone for stress. 

With so many benefits to a wholesome diet, one would question what else is needed to convince people to eat better. At the end of the day, time and money are still huge factors in determining what ends up on your plate. So if time is short and money needs to be well-spent, why not go with a prepared meal service like mademeals that can deliver on both criteria?

Eating Organic: The True Health Benefits

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For the last decade or so, people have become more interested in what they have been  putting in their bodies. From hair care to actual food, the thought of exposing oneself to unnecessary harmful chemicals has made people think differently about the products they consume. With that, the move towards eating solely or primarily organic food has grown immensely. 

Organic food is regulated in a way that normal food is not. Throughout the growing process, farmers are not allowed to use synthetic fertilizers or use most pesticides that are used to grow other foods. This makes a huge difference in what one puts into their body by simply eliminating those two harmful elements that the body would have to process. Most importantly, it can give the consumer the peace of mind by knowing how their food was grown.

Livestock that is humanely-raised also provides individuals more health benefits since the meat is produced as naturally as possible. The meat contains lower levels of bacteria and usually has higher levels in omega-3 fatty acids. This could result in higher metabolism since the body is getting more of the nutrients from the meat. 

Eating locally and organically actually has proven to have an effect on one’s immune system as well as one’s overall health. Since local produce and livestock live in similar pollen environments and water systems as the consumer, it tends to affect the consumer’s body less obstructively. Meaning the same materials one is surrounded by at home is also being used in the production of their food. 

There are still studies going on, looking into the long term effects of eating organic. For more information, check the USDA's information about organic foods. It is also recommended to purchase produce from local food markets and looking more diligently into where one’s food could be coming from. The founders of mademeals are committed to sourcing only the freshest seasonal produce and humanely-raised livestock from small local farms to ensure the utmost health of all its consumers. 

How My Chronic Disease Changed My Perspective On Food

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When I was in college, my leisurely strolls in between classes were spent scrolling through body building websites, calculating the optimal amount of calories to eat that would allow me to put on a few extra pounds of muscle. I baked tons of chicken breast, and went through endless trays of brown rice and broccoli. I would chug an extra glass of milk before I left the house, because, well, protein.

    And it worked - to an extent. I gained muscle. I felt ‘swole’. But how healthy was I? I mean, the doctors told me I was A-okay. A healthy young man with strong bones. But how closely were they looking? How could they know what direction I was heading with my health? And most importantly, how could they know any of this without knowing what I was eating? 

    Fast forward 10 years; I’m a recruiter, working with some of the fastest growing startups in NYC and SF. Between hunting down talent on tight deadlines, scheduling endless calls, running to meetings, and organizing events... I barely had time for myself. I did okay with finding a few times a week to work out, but my meal plan consisted of grabbing sub sandwiches and cruising crowded buffet lines. 

In June 2016, I began noticing something strange with my digestion. Reluctantly, I scheduled an appointment with a gastroenterologist. After some testing and 2 weeks of waiting, the results were in. I had a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, Colitis, as well as a less serious case of Gastritis. My heart sank as I thought about my future, and what might happen. “How could I have a chronic disease? I’m not even 30 yet…”. It was a tough period. But it was also a blessing.

I began swimming through literature and research, learning everything I could about my condition. After reading a bit, the seemingly obvious solution began to crystalize— nutrition.

Every day, tens of millions of Americans suffer from some form of digestive issue. Yet many of us turn to medications to solve our problems, rather than looking at the food we’re eating. But why are there so many digestive problems?

Currently, close to 1.6 million Americans also suffer from some type of inflammatory bowel disease and studies show that Americans are more likely to suffer from these diseases simply because of improper diet and exposure to pollution and industrial chemicals.

Our bodies are designed to utilize nutrients for power. The human body is an incredibly complex organism with the capacity to heal itself, given that it has the proper resources. But over the past 30-40 years, as factory farming has become one of the most profitable industries in the world, we have seen a steady and dramatic decrease in health as a nation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to draw the conclusion that our increased consumption of chemical laden and processed foods has a direct relationship with our declining health as a nation.

By eating mostly whole, organically-grown foods, we can avoid ingesting chemicals that harm our bodies and cause sickness and disease. We can promote internal healing and prevent illness without medications or chemical compounds.

I have seen a dramatic change in my health after switching to a mostly organic food diet, and although I still eat meat, I have decreased the amount in my diet, and make sure to only eat humanely-raised, organic-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish.

Food is medicine, and at this time in our nations history and level of health, it is critical that we spread this message and help heal each other.