Grandcestors: Paleo Meals

Grandcestors is a Paleo health foods company based out of Colorado, with a mission to make simple, great tasting, and convenient pre-made meals.  Their menu adheres to the Paleo principles and is devoid of any grains, milk, legumes, soy artificial sweeteners, or any preservatives. They use only natural ingredients and expertly balanced Macronutrient contents in their meals to give you an ideal proportion of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein.

There is so much confusion out there regarding what is healthy, and frankly the food industry as a whole is largely to blame. Enter the GRANDCESTORS meal. The only ingredients in a GRANDCESTORS meal are vegetables, high quality proteins, spices, and healthy fats (coconut and olive oil). We created these meals to give people a delicious, nutritious alternative to the rest of the convenient food choices available.

Uninventing the Meal.

Our intent is to Uninvent The Meal—take the science out of ingredients and use only whole foods that are found naturally—combined in the most healthy, delicious ways our creativity will allow.

Paleo Quality. Macronutrient Balanced.

Paleo Quality ingredients are not enough- we also balance our meals to make sure that they have the optimum amount of healthy carbohydrates, high quality proteins and healthy fats.

Convenient.

We created these meals to give people a delicious, nutritious alternative to the rest of the convenient food choices out there.


Grancestors Products include:

Le Poulet Granscendant, Cottage Pie, Chorizo Burgers, Grandcestral Stuffing, Colorado Hash, Grumbo, Not Yer Momma’s Meatloaf, Chicken Tikka Masala

“The first complete Paleo Meal, Convenient, Clean and Delicious.”

 

About Grandcestors

Doug Michaels Head Chef and CEO of Grancestors Paleo Certified Pre-made meals

Doug Michaels Co-founded Grandcestors with one goal in mind- to create the healthiest, most delicious and most convenient meal that humans can eat. Granted, there are many different opinions out there about what constitutes healthy these days, but to Doug- the baseline of nutrition should be based on Paleo Quality ingredients that are macro nutrient balanced and in a reasonable portion. There you have it, the Grandcestors meal in a nutshell. Did we mention that it takes only three minutes to heat one up?

Grandcestors meals are made by hand with fresh vegetables, completely clean ingredients and sustainably raised meats. The meals are individually vacuum sealed and frozen during production. Unlike the typical mass produced frozen meal, these meals are actually cooked as meals, with flavors melding and transferring to each other- not just random pre frozen components thrown together. You will be able to taste the difference!

Grandcestors meals are available at a select few, but growing number of Grocery stores throughout the country. They may also be purchased direct and shipped on dry ice via their website. Try a few today and see just how convenient eating healthy can be!

 


The Grandcestors Mission

Our mission is to reduce barriers to eating healthy. Our meals are designed to be as convenient, delicious, and affordable as possible. When it isn't possible to cook a fresh meal for yourself whether it is while you are at work, or a busy weeknight, we want to be there for you!

Interview with Doug Michaels, Head Chef and CEO of Grandcestors, June 2015

Can you tell us about yourself and how you started Grandcestors?

This company is the culmination of all my life’s passions- entrepreneurialism, cooking, and fitness. It is not my first business, but it is the first business that I am truly passionate about what we do. When I got into CrossFit 7 years ago, I quickly realized that many of my previous ideas on nutrition needed some… adjusting. One thing I love about CrossFit is tracking your results. Eating this way gets me results- I care less about the anthropological reasons/justifications behind the Paleo diet than I do about the fact that eating this way makes me feel great and gets me better results in the gym.

Where do you get the ingredients?  Is it really true you personally hunt and gather for the meals?  If not, would you consider it?

Haha- I am not sure anyone has the time to hunt and gather the amount of ingredients it takes to supply Whole Foods with these meals! We buy the vast majority of our produce fresh, and the proteins we source from local, sustainable producers. It is a challenge to find certain, fairly ubiquitous items that are truly paleo. For instance, canned tomatoes. Everyone sells them, but almost all have additives that are not paleo. For instance, did you know that the citric acid in most tomatoes is an additive? Most citric acid is derived from GMO corn, using GMO mold. We source a brand of canned tomatoes that is simply just tomatoes, nothing else. But it is a pain to get, and expensive...

Where can I find Grandcestors products?  Do you have them in stores?  Do you ship and how far?

Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Bristol Farms/Lazy Acres, various independents and we also deliver direct to the continental 48 states. 

How often do you eat your own meal packages?  Which one is your favorite?

Near daily. Or at least, I have some slight variation on what is in the package that I cooked recently in my home kitchen and am living off the leftovers. Hard to pick a favorite, kind of like my kids… But if you put a gun to my head, I might say Grumbo. Or Cottage Pie. Or Le Poulet Granscendant.

Talk to us about Grandcestors as a company.  Who are some of the people you work with?  What's your goal for creating Grandcestors?  

I started this company with two friends and my brother. Currently it is mostly me running around doing what needs to be done, and my partners are mostly investors, but they are interested and chip in as time allows, usually on a project by project basis. I work from home. The meals are produced at a USDA inspected co-packing facility in central Denver.

What's the difference between Paleo and Zone?

Paleo refers to the quality of the ingredients, and zone is more quantity, or more specifically, proportions. So Paleo defines the set of ingredients we are allowed to use, and Zone is how much we use of everything. To be fair, we are very strict Paleo, and only loosely based on Zone diet principles. Essentially we try and shoot for a target macronutrient profile (proportion of calorie contribution to the total for Fat, Carbs, and Protein).

Let's talk Paleo.  How did you come to find the Paleo lifestyle? 

I was introduced to this style of eating by the founder of my CrossFit gym, Matt Chan. Matt is an elite CrossFit games competitor, with several top ten finishes under his belt, and six appearances at the games. Basically I have been cooking what I call “healthy” for many years, but that used to include whole grains. Now grains are in the same bucket I put pizza, ice cream, alcohol and french fries in. Sure, I eat them occasionally, I just try and limit them as much as possible.

Has getting your Certified Paleo affected Grandcestors?

Being that our meals are sold in grocery stores, the USDA actually inspects our labels before we are even allowed to produce a single meal. To put it mildy, they are very picky about anything on your label that could be considered a nutritional claim and honestly, if it weren’t for our Paleo Certification, it is highly doubtful the USDA would even allow us to use the term Paleo on our packaging, so it is a big deal!

Running a business is always stressful!  How do you spend your free time?  What's your favorite snack on the go? What is your WOD today?

I spend my free time with my kids and basically doing anything outside. I play ice hockey a few times a week, I CrossFit regularly, and I throw in as much skiing/snowboarding/boating/biking/hiking/running as time, creativity and soreness from Crossfit allow! :)

Walk us through a day in the life of Doug.

Great question… I own two businesses, I have four kids (2 of my own and 2 step), and I am pretty active so I honestly can’t remember the answer to this question at the end of the day, much less give you an average!

Any advice for those wanting to get to a better health?

Eat real food and get off the couch as often as possible. If you can’t enjoy both of those lifestyle changes, then it won’t last, so look for real food you like, and activities you really enjoy.

Any advice for those wanting to fight/hunt large animals with your bare hands?

Always make sure to chalk your hands! :)

What does it mean for a meal to be “macronutrient balanced”?

Answer: Macronutrient is a fancy word for Carbohydrates, Fat, and Protein. It is always possible to get too much of a good thing- so even though a large grass fed steak is allowed in the paleo diet, it is our strong belief that meat alone will not give your body what it needs to thrive. Noble Savage meals are created to provide the ideal baseline mix of the above three macronutrients. Roughly 40% of the calories from each meal are from carbs, 30% are from Protein, and 30% are from Fat, giving your body exactly what it needs to thrive and feel full.

How do I know what is in each meal?

Answer: Our ingredient statements and nutritional info for all of our meals are listed in detail on Meals Page

Isn’t eating Paleo really expensive?

Answer: Shelf stable, corn based products may be cheaper than eating fresh meat and vegetables. But, looking at your food choices that way is very short sighted. If someone offered you gas for your car that cost half as much, but was likely to result in a completely preventable, very expensive repair to your car, would you still buy that gas? It is a false economy. If you would protect your car that way, it seems obvious you should protect your body in the same way. It is also possible to eat a paleo diet and be budget conscious. Roasting your own chicken and baking some sweet potatoes can be done inexpensively- cheaper than many fast food family options. It does take some planning, however, which is where our meals come in. We make eating Paleo convenient.

Tell me about your packaging

Answer: In our effort to make eating paleo as convenient as possible, we are using a vacuum sealed packaging technique. By removing all of the air, we improve shelf life, and virtually eliminate freezer burn, so our meals can go in and out of the freezer without issue. When you microwave the meal, the plastic film keeps the steam in, expands like a balloon, and self vents. This helps the meal heat evenly as quickly as possible. It also looks cool, like an old school jiffy popcorn pan.

Is heating this plastic safe?

Answer: Yes, the plastics we use in our packaging are BPA free and are designed for this purpose.

I don’t have a microwave, how do I reheat these meals?

Answer: Simple, just peel off the plastic and slide into a skillet. Warm it up over low heat until heated through- done! Our plastic containers are not oven safe however, so please remove them from the container before attempting to reheat in the oven.

Sounds great, how do I get my hands on some meals?

Answer: We are currently selling our meals at Whole Foods in the rocky mountain region, as well as Door to Door Organics everywhere they deliver in Colorado. We are working on establishing wider grocery distribution to eventually cover the entire United States, but in the meantime we do offer direct delivery via our website.

Connect with Grandcestors

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Additional information

Languages Spoken

English, French

Shipping

Continental United States

Business Type

Privately Owned

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About Us : 

Established in 2010, The Paleo Foundation was first organized for the purpose of helping Paleo Diet Adherents easily identify products that met the basic tenets of the diet.  Since then, thousands of products have been certified through the Certified Paleo, Paleo Approved, Paleo Vegan, and Paleo Friendly Certification Programs.


Disclosures:

100% of  Paleo Foundation revenue is generated through Paleo Certifications. We do not accept donations, corporate sponsorships, or financially benefit from the sales of any paleo certified products, product giveaways, or partnerships with industry contacts or retailers for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of an impartial certification standard. 


How we determine Paleo Certification Standards:

The Paleo Foundation develops Certification Standards from a mixture of input from various experts in the Paleo Movement, community input, and from logically and critically assessing arguments for the inclusion or exclusion of specific foods. After all, the Paleo Diet is a theoretical template, and therefore logic must be taken into account when making determinations for an entire community. 


Paleo Approved, Certified Paleo, Paleo Friendly, and PaleoVegan Certification Programs:

Each Paleo Certification Program has a different set of standards. For the absolute strictest standards, Paleo Approved certifies farms, ranches, and single-ingredient products. Certified Paleo, the most popular of the Paleo Certification programs certifies products that contain Paleo Diet ingredients, but have some 21st century processing methods allowing for shelf stability. The Paleo Friendly Program allows for products that are generally regarded as gray-area products such as kombucha, dark chocolate, and even grass-fed dairy.

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