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This Intrepid Entrepreneur is Revolutionizing the Frozen Food Industry

Business

Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori is completely changing our perception of frozen foods with her variety of prepared frozen smoothies and parfaits. Drori founded Daily Harvest two years ago, when she was nine months pregnant, and has since taken the grocery delivery service by storm. Drori sat down with our Founder Iman Oubou to talk about how she has managed to start a business that has gained the attention of the likes of Gwenyth Paltrow and Serena Williams, all while simultaneously starting a family.


Cold Brew + Almond Energizer Smoothie

In case you’re not familiar, here’s how Daily Harvest works: You visit the website and choose what you would like to stock up on. DH’s menu now includes pre-fixed smoothies, parfaits, overnight oats, soups and sundaes.

Blackberry + Majik Chia Parfait

Then, you enter your email, zip code and select your plan: options include weekly packages offering six cups, 12 cups or 24 cups or a monthly package of 24 cups. You then build your box by selecting your preferred ingredients, which, according to Drori, are all 100% plant-based, whole (not sliced!) fruits and vegetables. After filling up your “box,” you select your delivery day – which is a minimum of five days, and viola! You are signed up for an auto-renewed subscription of your selected meals. On the delivery day, you open your door to the frozen packaged deliciousness that arrive on dry ice.

Drori explains to Iman exactly why she’s here to debunk the way Americans think about frozen foods and how their nutritional value is superior to the hot pockets and TV dinners that we often associate the frozen food aisles with. “What’s interesting is when you think of frozen food, we think of dinosaur chicken nuggets,” Drori says. “When you ask someone what’s in their freezer, they usually say vodka and ice cream. Let’s take a blueberry for example; it’s picked green, before it’s ready, they never have time to fully ripen, and they degrade in nutrient content by the time they go from the vine to your belly. We pick all of our fruits and vegetables at their nutritional peak.” In contrast, a blueberry that’s picked and not frozen has 50% less vitamin C than its frozen counterpart, according to Drori.

As far as competitors? Drori doesn’t really have any at the moment. She credits and shows gratitude to companies like Blue Apron and Plated that came before her in the grocery delivery space, but it’s her complicated way of delivering her nutritional goods on dry ice that really sets her apart from any other company.

According to Drori, “delivering things is not easy and that’s why it took me a year to get it up and running. I’d say that our number competitive edge comes down to our brand. We tried to do something in a different way, and it doesn’t really look like other things that you’ve seen in the frozen aisle. That’s why we don’t have any competitors right now.”

While Drori’s business model itself is impressive, her scrappy, no-nonsense persona is just as inspiring. Drori spoke to Iman about her experience preparing and hand-delivering her customers’ orders during the early stages of the business, to breastfeeding her way through investment meetings with venture capitalists. “I’ve nursed in front of VCs. My thing is: if it makes you uncomfortable, it’s probably not a good fit,” Drori claims. But it’s things like her fearless way of breastfeeding during meetings and going into work while nine months pregnant that has led her to finding out what works best for her fruitful business. “You go into these more traditional venture capitalists and you’re nine months pregnant and talking about your whole female team. It’s about finding the right fit, because we’ve had many awkward conversations and really wonderful ones where people were would say, ‘wow, you’re really doing this, we’re excited!’”

Drori also tells Iman how her mind is constantly racing with a whirlwind of thoughts. Even the busiest businesswomen, however, needs to find their moment of tranquility every day. For this founder, her peace of mind comes from the hour-a-day that she dedicates to being a mom. “I make sure – hell or high water, that I am home at 5:30 p.m. and [my employees] should not contact me from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., since that’s when I put my kids to bed. One hour in the evening to decompress for a headspace moment,” she reveals. Though the day picks right back up from 7 p.m. to midnight, that hour is Drori’s time to be a mom and maintain a balance in her hectic life.

To learn more about Drori’s day-to-day life at Daily Harvest, her tips for fellow entrepreneurs and to hear the crazy things she’s been asked as a female in a male-dominated industry, check out the full video here.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.