How My Family’s Health Crisis Led to a Million Dollar Diet Delivery Business
Breaking America's sugar addiction is not just the road to better health, it's also the mission of Nadja Pinnavaia, founder of Euphebe, a healthy diet delivery service that she founded sort of accidentally. Here's how it went down.
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]adja Pinnavaia is not a nutritionist or a chef or a doctor. But her family health history prompted a journey into food research that went on to radically change her outlook on eating and kick off a million dollar diet delivery business.
“Several years ago, my father died of an aneurism, and my mother, of cancer. Then, another close member of my family was diagnosed with cancer. I found myself looking for a silver bullet, not just a fingers-crossed-let’s-just-hope-the-chemo-works attitude,” explains Pinnavaia, a European expat. “Meanwhile, my children, who were two and four years old, wanted to eat awful food—chicken nuggets, and things very high in sugar. I’m an Italian mother, and we love proper food. I couldn’t help but think that my children were addicted to crap! I started reading voraciously and learned a lot about the power of food to hurt or help health,” she explains.
Courtesy EuphebePinnavaia’s degree in quantum chemistry and professional experience in finance helped her decipher the data and motivation behind the American food industry. She immersed herself in books such as Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, and Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD. Impressed with the science and filled with hope that food could heal, Pinnavaia founded Euphebe, a company dedicated to real-life results, through real food.
“Euphebe is a made-up word, combining euphoria, and you’ll feel better,” explains Pinnavaia, whose company is based in Brooklyn, New York. The centerpiece is whole, plant-based foods that taste seriously delicious and contain no added “crap”—the stuff, mainly sugar and refined carbs, that are literally addictive and a main driver of chronic disease.
Courtesy EuphebeAs Pinnavaia learned in her research, white flour and sugar can stimulate cancer cell growth, and a lot of the oils and dairy products we eat create an inflammatory environment in the body, putting the immune system under stress. “Euphebe helps break that cycle by reducing cravings and by teaching people that food is fuel, making them aware of what they put in their bodies and what it can do them,” she says.
Courtesy EuphebeEuphebe starts with the E-28 Day Reboot, a month-long deep dive into healthy eating geared toward eliminating sugar cravings for good. It’s comprised of 28 days of lunches and dinners, cooked fresh and delivered frozen, in individual portion sizes, to your door. Each weekly delivery includes salad recipes to accompany your meals, and nutrition-boosting tips that are easy to understand and execute. Designed to make you feel better and look better, the meals are “veganesque, but not completely vegan,” explains Pinnavaia.
Follow the program, and you are pretty much guaranteed to reduce or eliminate, sugar cravings, and to look at food in a different way. Based on scientific principles, Euphebe is not just another weight-loss plan. The food is delicious, filling, and includes zero refined grains, chemicals, or sugar, by any of its many names. You’ll find meals such as black bean pasta, Mediterranean falafel, Shepherd’s pie, and root vegetable torte—food as gourmet as anything you might whip up from Bon Appetite.
Courtesy EuphebeThere are no crazy herbs, supplements, or ingredients you need to buy in out-of-the-way specialty shops. Just as importantly, you don’t have to worry about being hungry or experiencing sugar withdrawal symptoms. Euphebe’s food is chock-full of optimum nutrition—fiber, whole grains, and vegetables galore—so you’re bound to feel energized and satisfied. Yes, you’ll have to say goodbye to soda and limit alcohol intake, but coffee can still be part of your daily life, as long as you forego sweeteners or cream. (Here’s how many calories you’re adding to your coffee when you dump in those extras). The foods are plant-based, but can be supplemented by high-quality protein sources, such as grass-fed beef, free-range, organic chicken, and wild fish. There’s no refined anything, no pretend-nutrition, and no cycling between sugar highs and lows, with insane bouts of hunger and deprivation-induced crashes. If you’re not a scientist, no worries. Euphebe supplies real-life coaches who stay connected with you, for as long as you need them, via phone, and text.
Courtesy Euphebe“When I started this company, I thought, how do we make it easier for people? I broke it down to practical considerations—what can I eat if I don’t have time to shop and cook. We also tackled people’s concerns that healthy foods may taste bad. That’s how we came up with the delivery concept, and why the recipes are created by renowned chefs,” Pinnavaia explains. “But, there’s more to it than that. We’re helping people break the sugar-dependency cycle by going full immersion, and supplying a behavioral/coaching component. The 28-day reboot is about education, motivation, and support.”
Euphebe ships nationwide, and an app is currently in the works, which will make the program even easier to use. And Pinnavaia’s family, her very first test-kitchen participants, are all feeling healthy and loving mealtimes more than ever.