Monday, May 19, 2014

The Filipino-American Story: Catherine Velasco to Launch 3rd Business Club Fresh and Fit

Someone has finally heard my prayers! I am just one of those people who seriously want to eat healthy and clean but DO NOT have the time to prepare that kind of meal. There are also some people out there who do have the time or can make the time IF ONLY someone would show them how! 

Look no more, CLUB FRESH & FIT is just that!

Catherine Velasco, Partner & Director of Cuisine for CLUB FRESH & FIT is our The Filipino-American Story...

Tell us what is Club Fresh and Fit?  Club Fresh and Fit is a group with the goal of preparing and eating fresh and wholesome foods while pursuing an active lifestyle. 

Our club members are encouraged and given support to make healthy food choices and enjoy the benefits of Club Fresh and Fit's collaboration with a variety of fitness and wellness professionals.
Catherine Velasco, right with Club Fresh and Fit Partner Sarah Lopez

How did you and Sarah came up with the idea?  I started prepping salads for my cousin who has diabetes.   Since I was prepping for her, I made salads for myself as well.  After telling Sarah, my business partner, how I would prep meals on Sundays for the coming week so that I could have healthy homemade food, she asked if she could join me.  Sarah thought the idea of having healthy breakfasts and salads all week with a one time clean up would appeal to others.  So she posted a picture of one of her salads on Facebook asking if anyone was interested in joining in on our prep day.  To our surprise about 20 women responded to the post and the very next Sunday we had about 15 women in Sarah's kitchen slicing and dicing vegetables!
Club Fresh and Fit Partners, Cathy and Sarah with one of their creations,
Chipotle Mandarin Tilapia Salad

Who are your clients right now?  Our clients are friends, family and their friends and family who are looking to improve their food choices with the goal of being healthier and more active.

Tell us about the menus, what are the meals like?  The menus for Club members include 5 high protein breakfasts and 5 salads that are low in calories, fat and are fresh with no preservatives.  Some of the breakfast items include Greek yogurt parfaits, egg and vegetable muffins, chopped vegetables to add to omelets and fruit purées to add to protein drinks.  The lunch includes 5 different salads.  Salads are rotated to provide variety and have included a chicken Waldorf with a honey balsamic dressing, Thai Crunch with cilantro lime dressing, mandarin chipotle with grilled tilapia, Fresh & Fit Cesar with mango, tomato, black bean, cilantro and yogurt Cesar dressing, strawberry asparagus salad with a raspberry Gorgonzola dressing, pear salad and many more!  All dressings are made from scratch and are typically 1/2 the amount of calories in regular dressing from 50-70 calorie for 2 ounces.  All the dressing are pre-poured and all the ingredients in the salads are measured so that each salad is from 350-425 calories.

Club Fresh and Fit Ingredients, always fresh and natural

Where do yourselves next year with this business?  Next year we see ourselves in a store front with space for club members to prep their meals, elite members to pick up meals and an area for fitness classes, whether it will be spin, yoga, kettle bell or TRX, we want our club members to have the complete package under one roof.  The goal would be for our members to be able to work out and then go home with a healthy meal.

Club Fresh & Fit Soy Chorizo Egg Muffins

Cathy, you also have 2 other businesses I understand…what are they?  I have Residential Facilities for adults with Developmental Disabilities and a staffing agency.

Tell us about these 2 other businesses?  The Adult Residential facilities serve adults that have exited from state institutions and require a personalized and individual program to support their needs.  I have three homes with four beds each.  Currently I serve a total of 11 adults.  The staffing agency provides caregivers to homes such as mine and we will be expanding in the next year to serve others that are in their own homes.

Club Fresh and Fit Chipotle Mandarin Tilapia Salad

Having 3 businesses on your belt how do you decide or choose each type of business?  I chose to open my first Adult Residential Facility 18 years ago after being in charge of my parents four homes for a number of years.  I love serving the population that I do because I know that I make a difference in my residents lives by advocating and providing support for their daily needs.  The staffing agency is an extension of my passion for serving others with a focus on supporting the caregivers who care for others day in and day out.  I have always had a passion for creating healthy and beautiful food with others and Club Fresh and Fit fulfills that dream.

How do you balance your day and stay fit and beautiful?  Balancing my day is only possible when I stay focused on what is important and that is God and family.  I turn to God's word to keep focused and encouraged on the long days that can sometimes be very demanding.  This year I started practicing Bikram Yoga and along with eating healthy, I've managed to stay fit.

Cathy and Sarah hosting a Club Fresh and Fit Food Prep Class

Last December, you and Daniel (partner) sponsored The Filipinos a benefit for haiyan I thank you for that!  We were honored to be part of the benefit and we thank you for the help you gave to the Philippines during such a difficult time.

Which part of the Philippines are you from?  I was born in Dagupan City but lived in the mountainous region of Baguio for three years before moving to Hawaii.

Do you still go back to the Philippines?  I went back for the first time in 2006 and have gone back one more time after that in 2008.  I have a lot of family in the Philippines and would like to go back again soon.

Club Fresh and Fit Kale & Roasted Vegetable Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Do you still speak the language?  I came to the United States when I was three years old speaking only Ilocano.  I was so eager to learn English that I stopped speaking the language but I can still understand it fluently.

What do you love the most about our culture as Filipinos?  What I love the most about the Culture of Filipinos is how family and food is the center of all that we do!


San Diego and Chula Vista
t 619-869-3188

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