May 25

Vergas woman crafts healthy shopping lists and meals for clients

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But sometimes people have to learn how to eat an all-knew diet for medical reasons. Huff’s new business, Eat Outside The Box, can help with that.

“They come out (of the doctor’s office) with a new protocol or new prescribed way of living or eating and don’t really know how to do it,” Huff, of Vergas, said in a phone interview on Thursday, May 14. “What I do is I come in, sort or on a one-on-one … Just helping them put (the plan) into action.”

Any reason someone is adjusting a diet — for medical, health or personal reasons — Huff can help them with the process. She has flexible options from just reviewing the new protocol and giving recommendations, to getting groceries, to then making meals with those groceries, or doing everything above plus helping them work out by going to fitness classes or walks with them.

“Maybe they just want me to come in once … maybe they want me to check in with them once a month,” she said about the flexibility. “It’s really going to be based on client need.”

“It’s a health support service and I’m here to sort of help people in what they need to do,” Huff said.

A big perk to Terra Huff of opening her new business, Eat Outside the Box, is that she now has more time to spend with her three grandchildren. "I want to work a job that also works for being a grandma," she said. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Christi Photography)

A big perk to Terra Huff of opening her new business, Eat Outside the Box, is that she now has more time to spend with her three grandchildren. “I want to work a job that also works for being a grandma,” she said. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Christi Photography)

Making clients comfortable before she leaves

Before Huff starts the process of coming up with groceries or meals for a client, she sits down with them to discuss what they like and don’t like to eat, what they normally have and she shows a slideshow of potential meals.

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She creates a plan for the groceries and meals, drawing on her own knowledge or taking inspiration from fitfoodiefinds.com, a Minnesota-based business. When she goes grocery shopping, that client comes with her, and if she’s making them meals, they make it with her, too.

“For each recipe, I’ll have a recipe card with each person’s job, so everybody knows what they are supposed to do. I’ll just be there to sort of coordinate everything and answer questions and help the process go smoothly,” Huff said. “The ultimate goal would be before I leave, they’ll feel more comfortable prepping with their needs than before I got there.”

Terra Huff teaches one of her clients, a family of three, how to make a meal that follows their new dietary restrictions. Her goal is that when she leaves, the family is comfortable with the diet and making the recipes she taught them, Huff said. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Christi Photography)

Terra Huff teaches one of her clients, a family of three, how to make a meal that follows their new dietary restrictions. Her goal is that when she leaves, the family is comfortable with the diet and making the recipes she taught them, Huff said. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Christi Photography)

Huff knows how to find these ingredients and create these meals because “I’ve done a lot of cooking for others … for various diet needs,” she said. She’s “loves being in the kitchen,” she said, so she makes nutritious meals personally, as well. That experience with cooking for others is part of the reason she decided to start Eat Outside the Box.

“I was managing one of the (adult group) homes and none of my staff knew how to cook. If it didn’t come in a box, they didn’t know how to make it,” Huff said.

Situations like that actually helped Huff name her business. As she headed into town with her husband, they talked about her business idea, and Huff said that “sort of in frustration I was just like ‘people don’t know how to eat outside the box.'” Her husband promptly pointed out that that’s what she should name the business.

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In early 2020, Huff started to put her plan of teaching people into action. At the start of the spring, she scaled back in her work at the adult group home so she could work on Eat Outside the Box full-time, which launched on May 1.

“My original plan was to definitely launch like July 1,” Huff said. But, everything fell into place so she’s “definitely open to the idea of taking clients sooner than July 1.”

There isn’t a set radius that Huff is willing to travel to for clients. She did say that if it gets too far, there will be a travel fee, but she’ll go wherever she’s needed. Everything in her business depends on each individual client and their needs.

Whether someone is newly following a gluten-free diet or is just looking to eat healthier, Terra Huff can help anyone find the right ingredients and recipes that follow the diet they need and the taste they want. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Christi Photography)

Whether someone is newly following a gluten-free diet or is just looking to eat healthier, Terra Huff can help anyone find the right ingredients and recipes that follow the diet they need and the taste they want. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Christi Photography)

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