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Why I Founded Freshly: Because Healthy Shouldn’t Be So Hard

Carter Comstock
May 17, 2019

I’m not your traditional health expert. I don’t have a degree in nutrition, I’ve barely taken science classes, and I worked in sales before starting Freshly.

But I’m a curious health nut who’s tried it all — just like you. I’m every consumer who’s been frustrated by trying to “be healthy.” I’ve done Keto, I’ve done Whole 30, I’ve done paleo. I’ve talked to people about good fats and bad fats and calories and carbs and Atkins and South Beach.

And my biggest takeaway is that these diets can make a positive impact, but they’re not always sustainable, nor are they intended to be. People want to live healthier lives — but they don’t always know how to do it.

My co-founder Michael Wystrach and I started Freshly in 2012. We were quickly lumped into a meal-prep category and lauded for helping people save time.

But for us, the mission of Freshly goes much deeper than convenience — we live at the intersection of heath and convenience, providing people with fully prepared, nutritious meals that make it easy to eat healthy.

Maybe it’s in my genes?

My dad, Dr Frank Comstock MD, has always been a major influence on me. From a young age, he was fascinated with wellness and wanted to help people achieve optimal health.

He was an E.R. physician for over 30 years — working in that environment, he started to wonder why western medicine was so reactive. We’d wait until something horrible happened to get checked out and not always know why something went wrong in the first place.

Twenty years ago, my dad went back to school to get board-certified in Age Management Medicine, focusing on the latest nutrition, hormone and supplement information. He then opened his own wellness practice to help people optimize their health and longevity.

Along the way, I watched him and caught the bug, trying to optimize my high school athletic performance. I felt momentum and became infatuated with optimizing other areas of my life through healthier habits. I’ve been my own guinea pig ever since.

Now, I’ll admit it… I’ve definitely become obsessed with health & wellness. But my health journey has been enlightening and it helped shape Freshly’s mission, both what it is today and what it will grow into.

Putting the “health” in “healthy lifestyle”

Over the years, I’ve experimented with different food and supplements, tried different fitness and mindfulness routines, and supplements — and I’ve learned what works for me by paying attention to how I feel.

There are a lot of dietary sensitivities and intolerances in my family, like celiac disease, which helped me become even more attentive to the correlation between what I eat and how I feel.

But the health and wellness space is riddled with silver bullets and a desire to achieve “perfection,” and I find that those “solutions” actually get in the way of progress and better personal health.

Now, I’m an entrepreneur, so like you, I’m pretty busy. I don’t have time for a super prescriptive diet or excessive workout schedule.

So, I’ve come to favor more sustainable, attainable approaches, a series of consistent habits and tiny tweaks that are practical but still enable me to feel incrementally healthier. Over time, the cumulative effects of these small lifestyle changes are life-changing.

I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss, who introduced me to the “minimum effective dose” — essentially, what’s the least I can do of something, while also seeing results? Take meditation, for one. Yes, a 30-minute session is great. But a three-minute one also makes an impact, and that’s far easier for me to fit into my day on a consistent basis.

When it comes to food, I think about simple swaps that could make any meal or snack a little healthier and vegetable-forward. I’ll swap coconut milk for regular milk, and I’ll eat a sandwich or a burger with lettuce instead of bread. These small swaps make my food healthier, and they help to fuel me better throughout the long days and nights.

Here at Freshly, our nutrition team optimizes recipes and makes these small swaps for you — cauliflower rice instead of white rice, zucchini noodles instead of pasta. We always favor real, natural foods, and we don’t use any processed foods, artificial ingredients, refined sugar or hydrogenated oils.

For me, health isn’t a vanity thing. I’m not saying that looking our best shouldn’t be a motivating factor. But the more important data I assess is my energy levels, my mental health and clarity, my skin, how my joints feel.

It just so happens that when I’m working out, eating clean, sleeping and meditating, I also tend to feel better about how I look, too. Call it a win-win.

By now, you might be thinking, Wow, this guy’s a total health nut. And you’re not wrong. I know I’m super passionate about this stuff. But it’s a good thing, because, like my dad, I want to help people discover ways to lead healthier lives — particularly through what they eat. That’s why I love my job at Freshly.

So how’s this — I’ll continue to stay on the latest trends in wellness, try things out and tell you how they make me feel. And I want to hear from you, too. So leave me a comment below; Tell me what you’re trying to accomplish, what’s working for you, and what’s not working for you.

I’ll apply all of your feedback and my own learnings to the R&D here at Freshly HQ. Together, we’ll develop new products that’ll one day land on your doorstep.

We’ve already made great strides with our meals, and there’s more where that came from. You can count on us to keep working to make healthy eating a little easier for you.

Ultimately, I like to think of health like finance. To prepare for retirement, you don’t do a three-day binge and then find yourself wealthy, just like you don’t become “healthy” overnight. It takes time. Financial success is the result of a series of consistent, small choices over a long period of time. It’s a journey — let’s do it together.

Freshly delivers healthy, chef-developed meals weekly to make eating well easy and delicious. Check out our rotating menu.

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Why I Founded Freshly: Because Healthy Shouldn’t Be So Hard