Registered dietitian Claire Siegel about her daily routine, the Whole30 lifestyle and Snap Kitchen’s new meal-planning service.
By Lauren Jones, Photos courtesy of Snap Kitchen
Claire Siegel begins her mornings at 6 a.m. As a blogger, dietician, Whole30 coach and newly certified yoga teacher, her daily routine includes a bit of everything. From presunrise writing sessions for her blog, The Petite Professional, to spearheading menu launches at Austin-based Snap Kitchen, for Siegel, life has become a well-polished balancing act.
Siegel began her career as Snap Kitchen’s Houston-area dietician, and two years ago, she became the company’s lead dietician, a role she believes perfectly fits her interests.
“Getting to tell stories about the dishes is something I get really excited about,” Siegel says. “I want to make healthy eating accessible and fun for people.”
Siegel spends her days at Snap Kitchen headquarters, where she develops marketing content, leads tastings, brainstorms meal ideas and searches for local third-party products to sell in-store. An avid Snap Kitchen customer herself, Siegel finds the opportunity to share healthy eating tips incredibly rewarding.
“I try to be the voice of simplicity and ease in a very confusing space,” Siegel explains.
From fad diets to clever marketing tactics, it’s no surprise that even defining healthy eating has become a bit of a debate. According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping 80 percent of Americans fail to meet daily fruit-and-vegetable recommendations. For Siegel, helping people live healthier and more convenient lifestyles is what drives her.
“We are doing home-cooked, real food, and it tastes good,” Siegel says of Snap Kitchen’s dishes. “We aren’t selling lame frozen foods.”
At the beginning of the year, Snap Kitchen launched its newest venture: a meal-planning program, one that Siegel and the rest of the Snap Kitchen team have worked long and hard to see to fruition. Already known for its 21-day Commit program, Snap Kitchen took customer feedback and user experience to heart when designing its latest iteration.
“We always had the Commit program, which included three meals and two snacks,” she says. “Customers could co customization at the store level, but it wasn’t an easy experience. Now we have transformed it into a super-easy, customizable digital experience, and the food is delivered for free.”
The meal-planning service is perfectly suited for each type of Snap Kitchen customer, and for those sticking to New Year’s resolutions, it’s a lifesaver.
“For the meal prepper, we get to introduce time savings, but also introduce a lot of variety,” Siegel says. “Then, on the Paleo and Whole30 side, the amount of cooking you have to do is scary and can be a huge barrier to entry, but we provide a way for people to be more successful.”
In the last year, the Snap Kitchen team did extensive research on dietary trends and found many of its customers were requesting low-carb, Paleo and Whole30 options. Siegel is a Whole30 coach herself and is thrilled so many people are taking an interest in the lifestyle.
“The Whole30 isn’t what it was even three years ago,” Siegel says. “It used to be this weird thing you had to explain to people. I think it’s awesome it’s trending and I’m so happy something so positive is so popular.”
For Siegel, it’s a lifestyle that promotes balance and developing a healthy relationship with food.
“[Whole30] is about getting to know yourself,” Siegel says. “You develop of strong level of self-knowledge that makes you impenetrable to the craziness around diets. … It gets you back to basics. It’s not about measuring or tracking; it’s getting in touch with your hunger and satiety cues.”
So, what are Siegel’s staple Snap Kitchen meals? Her go-to meal is the newly released Whole30-approved oven-baked chicken tenders with turnip mash, and when she was in the midst of yoga training, she often reached for Snap’s Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and chicken salad. At the end of the day, Siegel preaches balance as the key to good health.
“My personal mantra is to be gentle with yourself,” she says. “At the beginning of the year, we are all so on [our health goals]so, we are extra hard on ourselves, but it all evens out. It’s a message I like to share with people.”