RFD HALL OF FAME…Meet Avery Couchman
I believe that the FOOD WE SERVE at RFD can be a powerful agent of change. We have a new manager who is a living example of this. Avery has been working at RFD-WeHo for almost two months. At a weekly manager’s meeting, he shared with us that he was making some serious changes in the way he was eating. We sat down together for a Q+A while sharing a Real Food Bargain. In between laughing and trying not to talk with our mouths full, Avery spoke about his “food journey.”
Q: How/what did you eat growing up and before working at RFD?
A: I’m from Portland and Portland is a foodies’ dream. As a child I grew up eating a fairly healthy meals. We ate salmon and other fish two to three times a week, lots of fresh salads and veggies. My aunt and uncle had an Angus farm so although we did eat beef, we were lucky to have such good cuts. The only problem we had in our family, like many other families in America, we were consuming way too much food in one sitting. We were not aware of portion control. When I was old enough to make my own food choices, I continued to eat good foods BUT I began allowing myself to “indulge” too often. I’ve always been a foodie and I always will be but I notice that if I’m stressed I tend to eat the richer foods which I know are not good for me. Prior to working at RFD, I managed a hotel restaurant where I was in constant contact with food. Although I do pride myself on helping to create beautiful menus at the hotel, the tasting of all the fried rich foods took a toll on my waistline. By the time I realized it I had gained 25 lbs in one year!! I needed to make a change!
Q: How did that change once you started working at RFD?
A: I made a conscious effort to start with the simple foods that RFD offers. Eating a variety of vegetables with tons of color! Although I needed to allow myself to taste all items on the menu, I noticed that I began craving vegetables more often. I started noticing I was craving veggie’s on my day’s off too! My body wanted greens!
Q: You said you lost almost 15 lbs. That’s great! What do you feel like now?
A: I feel like myself again. I still need to lose another 15 lbs but so far so good. I will begin working out too, which will only help me on my journey.
Q: Have you noticed any other positive effects to eating vegetarian?
A: My skin looks clearer and I feel as if it looks younger. I’ll credit the carrot and kale juice I’ve been drinking since I came to RFD! I’ve also noticed the whites of my eyes are brighter!
Q: Are you eating ‘completely’ vegetarian or are you still eating meat, too?
A: I am still eating meat on occasion. Mostly on my days off as a treat but I am still consuming more veggies regardless of what else is on my plate.
Q: What would you tell other people who might want to eat a more vegetarian diet? Do you have any advice for them?
A: Don’t’ be too extreme. Find balance within yourself before beginning any new lifestyle change. Increase your consumption of rich leafy greens for sure! I have to admit, I was unaware and uneducated about the vegan and vegetarian world prior to working at RFD and although I consider myself a foodie, I had no knowledge of what this particular cuisine could offer me. I wanted to remove the myths about veganism so I could allow myself every opportunity to get healthy. I felt I needed to be surrounded by a conscious group of people, which is what I feel I have opened myself up to at RFD.