Monday, June 30, 2008

Higher Gas Prices Affect Dieting

(Health and Fitness), With escalating gas prices and food prices
people are scrambling for options to stretch a buck. Dining out is
attractive but in the end can cost more than dining in. With no time to
cook and groceries getting expensive, DINING IN, San Francisco's
fastest growing premier personal chef service has become the Bay area's
answer to saving time, money, calories and improving overall health
during stressful times.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Western
Information Office
reports gas prices are 15.5 percent higher from last
year, as prices for food away from home increased 3.7 percent. With the
added 4% health insurance charge added to tax and tip for dining out,
most busy Bay area professionals are turning to fast food with no time
to cook , while looking for a way to save money. DINING IN - San
Francisco Bay Area's fastest growing premier personal chef service has
become the solution for those who are challenged juggling money, time,
lifestyle, their diet and their grocery bills in a changed economy.
Rising gas prices make life challenging for Bay area residents who
drive more. They are sacrificing healthy eating to compensate for fuel
costs. Already delivering to all of San Francisco, East Bay, Oakland,
the Peninsula, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Marin, DINING IN has tripled
business in the last three years. DINING IN's healthy, fresh,
calorie-conscious, organic food delivery service has recently expanded
delivery to San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Campbell and Los Gatos
homes and offices. This extended service outreach enables people to
make better eating choices.

"As prices rise for food, gas and luxury items, it is important that
people don't skimp on taking care of their health. At the end of the
day - it is our health that allows us to work so hard, keep up with the
daily demands, enjoy life and feel great. Given that the costs of food
is steadily rising about 15% up from last year, DINING IN makes sure
that you eat a healthy meal and no money goes to waste! The best thing
about our service is that each entree is portioned per person, so there
is no throwing away rotting food, cooking too much and never eating it
or spending an excessive amount on take-out,' states DINING IN
Founder/Executive Chef Traci Higgins.

According to a 2005-2006 U.S. Census Bureau study, San Francisco spends
$7,942 annually on food - which is higher than Los Angeles, Phoenix,
Seattle and San Diego for cities in the West, with the average American
purchasing fast food 16 days per month. Over the latest 12-month
period, prices for medical care services advanced 5.2 percent an
indication that fast food is NOT the right economical or healthier
answer. DINING IN's mission is to keep the Bay area healthy with
portion control, fresh ingredients and special attention to nutritious
menus. By creating healthier food choices which also enhance time
management and lifestyle, DINING IN is all about helping their clients
with quality living.

"When I first started the service I was trying to save money by
ordering less food. I realized that I spent more money going to the
grocery store to buy food than I would have otherwise, and it was
rarely good for me. I decided the purchasing a few extra meals per week
is actually saving me money," states Courtney Hahn, DINING IN client
and director of a collection agency.

Passionate about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, Chef Higgins
will be participating in the AVON Breast Cancer Walk in San Francisco
July 12-13th. Her healthful mission continues with education and
demonstration. She will be doing free cooking demonstrations Saturday
July 26, 2008 at Williams-Sonoma Union Square (340 Post Street, SF -
415-362-9450). Her upbeat cooking demonstration, HEALTHY MEALS IN
MINUTES will feature Chef Higgins demonstrating fresh and healthful
ways of cooking 12 Noon-1 p.m. and an encore presentation 1:00-2:00

As a working wife and mother herself, Chef Higgins knows how important
it is eat right and balance time and nutrition for optimum
productivity. "Once I get my daughter out the door I make a list of
priorities for the day. I go down the list one by one and crossing them
out feels great. I try to go to the gym from 4-5 pm, pick up my
daughter and then we all heat up our DINING IN meals at 6:30. We play
for a few hours then off to bed early. I feel horrible if I do not
exercise and do not eat a balanced diet. The first thing to go is my
energy! I save about 8 hours a week by having my meals made. I do not
have to go to the grocery store more than once a week, (saves gas);
never have to cook (saves energy) or do dishes (saves water). Eating
well makes me able to keep up the demands in my life! (saves time),"
explains Higgins.

Chef Higgins is a multi-hyphenate entrepreneurial business woman,
Executive Chef, Speaker, Culinary Instructor, Health Educator &
Advocate, who has worked in the test kitchens of Cooking Light, Weight
Watchers, America's Best Recipes and on the television show "Follow
That Food" with Gordon Elliott for the Food Network. Higgins has
traveled the country performing cooking demonstrations and insightful
lectures on health and wellness to doctors, dietitians, health
professionals and nurses and has been active in many diabetes
educational forums and conferences. She is credited in three cookbooks.

Saving time, money and calories is not only a positive lifestyle
change, but one that is also changing in positive ways at DINING IN.
More exciting new menu options will continue to be launched this
summer. DINING IN is also offering kid-friendly menus for busy families
but will be expanding its menus to include The Daily Diet to launch in
July - an "all-inclusive" diet program for those serious about weight
loss. The program includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks, all
within a particular caloric range and fat content.

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