Bringing Fresh Ideas to the Table

Developing healthier eating habits should not be hard— and Melissa Lanz, creator and founder of The Fresh 20, wants to prove it to you. Melissa wears many hats: She’s an entrepreneur, a devoted mom and a cooking whiz. So she understands that making things simpler is often one of the keys to making them better.


01 At the Store

According to Melissa’s plan, all you need is 20 main ingredients to build a dinner schedule for the entire workweek— specifically 20 fresh, local, preservative-free, organic ingredients. Most of her happy customers say their shopping trip can be completed in fewer than 20 minutes.

There are also certain pantry staples Melissa expects you to have on hand; she has a short list of them posted to They include basic spices, herbs, liquids, grains and condiments.

02 In the Kitchen

In addition to the shopping list, a step-by-step guide is provided to subscribers so everything picked up at the store can be prepped in about an hour at the beginning of the week. That makes the rest of your busy days stress-free when it comes to thinking about family mealtime. The weekly menus are sent out the Friday before.

Melissa points out an added bonus: Waste can be reduced. By planning ahead, you know exactly what you need and will use it as you go. She also encourages the participation of the whole family in the food prep process. Kids are more likely to enjoy the meal if they helped by reading the recipe, measuring or stirring. By making them a part of it, the little chefs will have something truly to be proud of with the end result


03 On Your Plate

The standard meal plan option, termed “Classic,” features three meat dishes (chicken, beef or pork), one fish or seafood meal, and one vegetarian dinner. Other meal choices include Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Paleo, Kosher and Dairy Free. So there’s something for everyone. Plus, all recipes get the stamp of approval by a registered dietitian so you know that they are, indeed, good for you.

Eating meals made with ingredients that are fresh and preservative-free will also certainly affect your weight in a positive way, especially since portions are modest and designed to include well below 600 calories for a full dinner. The menu plans reflect portion sizes based on basic diet principles and a balanced combination of protein, carbs and fat.

If you’re wondering whether Melissa’s low-cal, healthy recipes could possibly appeal to you or your kids, wonder no longer. How do these tasty-sounding dishes grab you: Chile pork kebabs, fresh avocado pesto pasta, and tangy orange jalapeno shrimp with broccoli and brown rice. Yum! Right?

For a subscription price of $14 per month, with the specialty menus priced at $18 per month, The Fresh 20 can help take dinnertime planning off your plate and put a delicious, healthy meal on it! Visit

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Katherine Johnson

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