Jared Koch always had an interest in health and even wanted to be a doctor, but he put those plans on hold early in his career to pursue an entrepreneurial path. After graduating pre-med from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Koch delayed enrollment to the Albert Einstein Medical School to launch a successful entertainment company with his brother.
Despite his corporate success, Koch still felt the need to attend to the health and wellness of others. He sold his stake in the entertainment business and began 10 years of wellness study with the likes of Drs. Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra and raw food guru David Wolfe. After becoming a certified nutritionist, Koch created Clean Plates as a resource for his clients who wanted to have access to healthy food options on-the-go. First written as a guide to Manhattan’s healthiest eateries, the book has since expanded to include restaurants in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
“I realized that educating and supporting my clients was important, but what was consistently leading to real change was providing them with practical resources that made it easy and enjoyable for them to find and eat better quality food,” he explains.
Written to appeal to foodies across the board, the Clean Plates books and Web site point food lovers to the healthiest and most sustainable neighborhood restaurants around from quick bites to fine dining. Whether you’re a carnivore, vegan, or somewhere in between, Clean Plates help you make informed eating choices and highlight hot spots that serve locally grown, organic, and sustainably raised animal foods.
My health story: I’m a nutrition consultant, and about three years ago I started Clean Plates as an extension of my work with clients. After I sold the entertainment business I ran with my brother, I started studying nutrition and got certified as a nutritional consultant through the Teachers College of Columbia University in New York. I also teach meditation. I am very dedicated to making it easier and more enjoyable for people to eat and live healthier.
My future health projects: We’re launching an iPhone app this month, as well as a brand new Clean Plates Web site with more editorial content than ever before. I’m also working on a book to be published by Running Press, which will be released in Fall 2012.
My favorite healthy habit: Cooking and eating deliciously prepared vegetables. I honestly crave vegetables if I go a little while without eating them. I also love fruit.
My health hero: People who make the choice and effort to put better quality foods into their bodies.
My practice for what I preach: Other than a tiny taste of dessert every once in a blue moon, or if it’s been slipped into something without my realizing it, I haven’t eaten any refined sugar for several years.
My best health tip: I think I have two. No matter what your diet is today, just adding more vegetables will have a positive impact. Making small changes over time will lead to big results. Also, if you do decide to indulge, eat it, enjoy it, and forget about it. Stress and guilt are worse than some unhealthy food.