As promised, the new Refinery healthy menu is here and ready for your palate’s approval! Saddleback Director of Food Services, Chris Juers, gives us an inside look at why he chose the items that he did, the health benefits of these items, and what guests should expect from the menu in the future.
How did you choose the items on the new menu?
My choices for the menu were very much influenced by my conversations with Pastor Rick and some face time he scheduled with the doctors. With all their input and references that were suggested, plus my own personal research, I tried to create a menu that tastes good and has the benefit of being good for you. I think sometimes people, myself included, might think they have to sacrifice flavor and the enjoyment that comes from food; yet through my years of experience in the food services industry, I’ve found that does not have to be the case.
There was a statement that influenced me strongly – it is a simple concept…. put foods into your body that work for your body, not foods that work against your body!
What is it about these items that make them “healthier” choices?
The first thought I focused on is to remove as much processed sugars, saturated fats, and items that are filled with “empty” calories. I wanted to remove the things we know can have some truly adverse affects on our body.
We have made a conscious choice to put together ingredients that help build a strong metabolism and bring more nutritional value. We are marrying as many “raw” food elements into the menu so as to promote the healthy enzymes and antioxidants that help build the bodies systems, especially the immune system.
Do you hope to add more choices in the future? What should people expect?
My hope is that we can continue to build on our current foundation. I know it will take baby steps, but as long as we are moving forward, then I know we are headed in the right direction.
What to expect soon is the introduction of custom, fresh-baked, gluten-free and dairy-free bakery products, such as muffins, bars, and macaroons. Soon to follow is a smoothie menu that will be a tasty way to fuel your body with many needed nutrients. We are also working with a dietician and will be coming out with a dietary fact sheet that will include calories, carbohydrates, and sodium levels.
My prayer is that the Lord will guide us to meet each person in whatever “place” they are at. Just as he did when he awakened us to the joy of salvation he lovingly provided, so I believe he will increase our stepping out in faith in the area of personal health. I pray we see in our congregation the influential and lasting effects of a changed heart and the energy we glean from living healthy.