BRANDON — The mac 'n' cheese has carrots and veggies hidden in the sauce, and the brownies are made with a dried plum base.
There are more than 60 meals prepared and portioned into various sizes made with 39 unique sauces and 13 spice blends.
This is how Fitlife Foods complements healthy lifestyles. Now Fitlife has brought its concept to Brandon.
David Osterweil, a fourth-generation Tampa native, founded the concept in 2011, and the location at 2946 Providence Lakes Blvd., the sixth, is the first to be franchised.
"This is not a diet," Osterweil said. "There is no tofu and sprouts. This is about flavorful food."
Listed on each container is the count for calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein along with the date it is best used by.
All you have to do is grab your favorite breakfast, lunch or dinner out of the giant refrigerator — nothing is frozen — then heat and eat.
Jim Studdiford of Lithia visited one of the Fitlife Foods locations in Tampa trying to eat healthy as part of his workout routine. His wife, Maureen, pointed out that there was a franchise opportunity available and he bought into the concept as the owner.
"When you eat it, it's good food," Studdiford said.
Osterweil said all Fitlife Foods are prepared in a local, centralized kitchen and have a shelf life of five to six days, so many people shop on Sundays and Mondays to stock up for the week.
Small portions contain 160 to 340 calories and cost between $4.95 for some breakfast options and $8.45 for gluten-free selections such as the firecracker shrimp and miso-marinated salmon. Large portions are available for $7.45 to $12.95 with calorie counts ranging from 360 to 700.
"When you limit the salt, butter and oil, it gets really challenging," Osterweil said. "But it's fun for us."
Fitlife's ProjectU is another option for health-conscious consumers who want a support system of planning and coaching to help meet goals from weight loss to energy boosting. Custom programs run for seven or 21 days and start at $22.95 a day.
Tiffany Doyle, the community store leader, was a three-year customer at the original location on S Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. She said she likes not having to worry about having leftovers or eating frozen food — not to mention, she lost 85 pounds on the program.
Member meal accounts give the option of saving money in the long term via a prepaid discount meal plan. Also, if you return 20 rinsed containers for Fitlife to recycle, you get a free meal. Call (813) 685-5301.
Styling duo emerges with new hair salon
Laura Collins' and Patty Lettieri's clients knew how to find them when the hairstyling business owners decided it was time for a change. The duo formerly owned Studio Red but decided to branch off in favor of a classy salon that had an edge. They spent most of July remodeling the studio at 904 Lithia Pinecrest Road, transforming it into a color specialist hair salon called Rock Your Locks.
Cutting, extending and wrapping regulars' hair through the transition, the duo is ready to invite the community to experience the change. An official opening is planned for Aug. 1.
Women's cuts start at $40, with coloring at $50, and the salon welcomes toddlers through seniors.
"We wanted to bring service back to clients who are not cared for," said Lettieri, a 26-year industry veteran who thinks other boutique and chain hair studios fall short on the pampering.
Call (813) 689-4249 for an appointment.
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