Make us your home page

Fitlife Foods offers healthy options for time-starved shoppers at new Wesley Chapel location

David Osterweil, 38, is founder and CEO of Fitlife Foods, which opened a Wesley Chapel location.

Fitlife Foods

David Osterweil, 38, is founder and CEO of Fitlife Foods, which opened a Wesley Chapel location.

WESLEY CHAPEL — David Osterweil is a husband and a dad, a CEO and a marathoner. That means he has felt like a lot of people do: too busy to prepare healthy meals.

But he has a solution: Fitlife Foods, which opened its first Pasco location this month.

The store is "for success-minded people who value their health, value their time and, most importantly, value great flavor," said Osterweil, 38, who founded Fitlife.

"My wife works full time. I work full time. We have two small children," he said. "You open up a (magazine) and you see this exotic (recipe) and think, 'Who has time to make this stuff?' "

So Osterweil decided to start a business that could make it for you. He would need a chef — somebody who could concoct dishes that taste good but are good for the body.

"We're not necessarily about tofu and sprouts," Osterweil said. "We're about enchiladas or chicken tacos or barbecue beef with mac and cheese."

He found a chef who could swing it: Andrew Ruga, who graduated from the New England Culinary Institute and served in the National Guard.

While on a tour in Iraq, where Ruga drove through fields filled with improvised explosive devices, he used his downtime to create a chicken salad recipe that he submitted to a contest sponsored by the cooking show Emeril Live. He won.

After Osterweil partnered with him, they opened the first Fitlife Foods in South Tampa in 2011. Now, the business has 11 locations throughout the Tampa Bay area, plus in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Plantation.

"When you walk into a Fitlife, you're going to see 60 different fresh, made-from-scratch, never-frozen meals," said Osterweil. "Grab one meal or get meals for the next four to six days, which is the shelf life of our food."

Each meal is intended to serve one person, and most come in small, medium and large portions. Most of them are gluten-free. Several are vegetarian or low-carb. They range in price from $5 to $13.

Customers can heat them in the store or in their own microwaves. The most popular options are the chicken enchilada and the miso salmon, which is served with quinoa, sugar snap peas, carrots and a miso glaze.

The store also sells breakfast options and snacks.

"We do original sauces, original spice blends," Osterweil said. "We're always trying to get the right amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat, to give people optimal energy."

The store also has a free program called Project U, in which participants meet one on one with a wellness coach who identifies their "baseline wellness digits," Osterweil said, such as "how many calories your body burns at rest each day" and your weight. The coach also helps customers develop a meal schedule.

The business is intended to cater to customers who are "time starved, or trying to achieve a fitness performance goal, or are just trying to get healthy," Osterweil said.

Pulling that off while you're busy is a challenge, he acknowledged.

But, he added, "we make it easy."

Fitlife Foods is at 1821 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

For information, call (813) 365-3255 or visit

Fitlife Foods offers healthy options for time-starved shoppers at new Wesley Chapel location 05/18/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 6:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  2. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times


    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]
  3. The Iron Yard coding academy to close in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Iron Yard, a code-writing academy with a location in downtown St. Petersburg, will close for good this summer.

    Instructors (from left) Mark Dewey, Jason Perry, and Gavin Stark greet the audience at The Iron Yard, 260 1st Ave. S, in St. Petersburg during "Demo Day" Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at The Iron Yard, which is an immersive code school that is part of a trend of trying to address the shortage of programmers.  The academy is closing this summer.  [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Florida's unemployment rate drops for fourth straight month


    Unemployment in Florida hit a 10-year low in June, clocking in at 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent in May. The state added 19,400 jobs over the month, and saw growth in most industries. But there's one glaring missing piece to the economic recovery puzzle: wage growth.

    Florida's unemployment level dropped to 4.1 percent in June from 4.3 percent in May. |  [Times file photo]
  5. Is sinkhole damage sinking Tampa Bay property values?

    Real Estate

    On a scale of desirability, the house for sale on Whittner Drive in Land O' Lakes would rank fairly low. It's a short sale; it sits on an unstabilized sinkhole and it's within a few miles of two houses that collapsed into a gargantuan hole July 14.

    A gated community in Hernando's Spring Hill area, Pristine Place has long been susceptible to sinkholes with nearly a third of its houses with documented sinkhole damage by 2012. Today, however, many houses with repaired sinkhole damage are selling for more than houses without any issues. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times file photo]