Allison Stanton of Healthy Meals Supreme: “In my opinion, there is no greater/faster way to fail in life than by pretending to be someone you are not”
Be Authentic. In my opinion, there is no greater/faster way to fail in life than by pretending to be someone you are not. This is not to say I don’t believe in the old saying of “dress for the position you want” — — just remember to be you while you do it. Everyone brings something unique to the table. Don’t be afraid to let people see the true you. A great example of this brings us back to the NY Tattoo Show in April that I mentioned earlier. Talk about a fish out of water! I knew nothing about tattoos. I could appreciate the work, the talent and the art that is involved, but I don’t have a tattoo and am unfamiliar with so much of the industry. So, what did I do? I walked around, spoke to artists, watched some work, admired their super artistic talents, and got to know a whole new industry. I didn’t pretend to be an expert and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions, and I think people appreciate that more than someone walking around acting like they know it all.
I had the pleasure to interview Allison Stanton. Allison is the Director of Operations, at Healthy Meals Supreme. Prior to joining Healthy Meals Supreme, she served as a senior business analyst at RLA Marketing, the NYC Facility Director at the Focus Room in NYC, an account executive on the Tommy Hilfiger line for the Movado Group and a project manager for Whisper Soft Mills. Allison began her career as an assistant buyer for Linens ‘N Things. Allison earned a BS in Finance from Pennsylvania State University.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
It was the right opportunity at the right time in my life. I had been working with a toy company for the previous 10 years. That company was starting to go through major transitions that I knew eventually would not be ideal for my career path or family life. I was then approached by Healthy Meals Supreme to head up operations. After much thought, I felt their concept was great and that it filled an unmet and very important market need that truly would help people. I wanted to be a part of it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Healthy Meals Supreme attends all sorts of conferences around the US, either as participants, presenters or exhibitors. In fact, HMS recently presented a scientific poster at the 2019 American Geriatrics Society meeting in Portland, Oregon documenting the positive outcomes for people when they eat medically-tailored meals.
In addition, the company will also present clinical posters at the 2019 National Kidney Foundation meeting, the 2019 American Diabetes Association meeting, the 2019 American Society of Nephrology meeting and the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. All pertain to the subject of food as medicine.
Looking back to this past April, Healthy Meals Supreme was exhibiting and sampling meals in Queens at the NY Tattoo Convention. You may ask, “Why would a healthy, home delivery meal service company exhibit at a tattoo show?”
Well, it seems that tattoo artists, like many other professionals, work very long and intense hours and in places where it’s very difficult to eat healthy or stay on a diet. We went to the tattoo show to introduce these hard-working artists to Healthy Meals Supreme meals and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The artists show that it’s possible to easily eat healthy and delicious meals while on the road.
Well, this was my first time attending a tattoo convention. The tattoo artists, some of them Ink Masters, were friendly, welcoming, and had amazing talent. I’m still in awe from watching the creation of some of the finest artwork I’ve ever seen.
It was also by far the most entertaining work-related convention I’ve ever attended. Why? People would willingly drop their pants in the middle of conversations to display their tattoos. Let’s just say, though all totally G rated, I will never forget my first tattoo convention.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? –
We have a good number of teleconferences because we have many who work remotely. One day I signed on to a call and because of the way the light was in my office that day, all that my team could see of me on the screen was a shadowy silhouette. It reminded me of when you watch programs on television and the producers are trying to conceal someone’s identity. Thanks to that day, my nickname at the company is now the “Princess of Darkness”. Moral: always do your tech checks before the call.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Healthy Meals is a customized, food is medicine, freshly prepared, ready-to-eat, home delivery meal service. What makes us different?
Let’s start from the beginning. The company’s creation is a direct product of the story of Joe Martinez, the founder, who years ago accidently discovered that he had type 2 diabetes.
Though a registered pharmacist, there was so much confusing information out there, he didn’t know where to start. He did know, however, that healthy eating was essential to improve his health.
He couldn’t find any nutritionally appropriate meals that suited his busy lifestyle and that he could eat long term, so he created them himself and experienced great success. He wanted to share that success with others. And that’s how Healthy Meals Supreme was born.
I think the biggest thing that makes our company stand out is how Healthy Meals Supreme literally provides the easiest way for people to eat right and take back control of their health, be it better managing A1C levels, blood pressure or weight loss.
Here are 6 ways how HMS is true to this statement:
- Firstly, though you can subscribe, it’s not a requirement to see the menus or to order for the current week.
- Customers save time and energy as there is absolutely no meal prep at all. All you do is heat and eat.
- Also, customers know exactly what they are eating including from a nutritional standpoint. Every meal page has a nutritional chart and the average nutritional values of an order are calculated by the real time nutritional calculator. No need to guess. It’s all there.
- Another nice standout is that customers can customize their order. Don’t like something in a meal plan? You can instantly substitute.
- I also appreciate that all of the meals and meal plans are created by a super talented team of culinary medicine experts.
- And finally, all the meals are prepared in house by HMS staff, not distributors, and the food is always delivered freshly prepared, never frozen or freeze dried.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are very excited about our new Ketogenic line of meals and desserts. Healthy Meals Supreme’s Keto Healthy Meals is the ketogenic meals delivery service for people who want to bypass all the frustration of finding suitable recipes, calculating calories and cooking.
There’s mounting scientific information suggesting that the keto diet is an effective way to eat healthier and get back into shape.
Specifically, many studies have shown that eating ketogenic meals stimulates weight loss and may improve cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as extend the feeling of fullness, decrease the urge to snack, and lower triglycerides.
The keto diet is also known to be a very important tool in the ‘gut’ treatment of people with neurological conditions.
So we decided to step up and do our part to make it easy and effortless to follow, and stick with, a delicious keto diet.
Let’s face it, for an average working person, it’s nearly impossible to take the time out and do it successfully. Once again, with Healthy Meals Supreme, customers can eat better without hassle, save time and achieve nutritional success with zero frustration!
HMS’s new keto meal line includes 21 meals and 10 desserts and follows accepted ketogenic guidelines. All fish is wild-caught, not farm-raised. All meat is grass-fed.
All the Keto Healthy Meals have an average of 75% good fat with a total of 29 grams of net carbs per day. In addition, the keto desserts have an average of 90% good fat with 1 gram of net carb per dessert.
Customers can find HMS’s Keto Healthy Meal plan at www.healthymealssupreme.com under meal plans.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Embrace change. Embrace challenge. Sounds cliché, but don’t be afraid to just go for it in life. I lived for a long time afraid of change. Not just in my professional life, but also in my personal life. Change is scary, the unknown is just that: unknown. It’s easy for us to get comfortable and talk ourselves out of trying something new. However, what’s that saying? You will never know if you can do something until you try. And especially in the work place, you will never know if that idea you are afraid to mention in the staff meeting could be the key to solving the problem if you don’t share it out loud. So that’s my advice. Embrace change and challenge.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Hire the most competent people you can on your team. When you have a large team, you need to be confident that they are going to get the job done, because you can’t do everything yourself. So you need to have confidence in your team members’ skillsets.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have been blessed in life to come from a great family filled with a lot of wonderful people. Not just my mom and dad, but my aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended relatives. Each and every one of them has helped me at some point along the way. If I have to choose just one person to say a special thank you to, it has to be my Uncle Joe. He is the one who is constantly encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
The more people we are able to reach with Healthy Meals Supreme and help on the path to eating healthy food, I feel is a blessing. Our country has an obesity epidemic right now. It’s led to higher rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes just to name two of the most critical. Society is moving at light speed and it’s hard for people to put their health first. We have to start though because the alternative is too frightening to think about.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Be Authentic. In my opinion, there is no greater/faster way to fail in life than by pretending to be someone you are not. This is not to say I don’t believe in the old saying of “dress for the position you want” — — just remember to be you while you do it. Everyone brings something unique to the table. Don’t be afraid to let people see the true you. A great example of this brings us back to the NY Tattoo Show in April that I mentioned earlier. Talk about a fish out of water! I knew nothing about tattoos. I could appreciate the work, the talent and the art that is involved, but I don’t have a tattoo and am unfamiliar with so much of the industry. So, what did I do? I walked around, spoke to artists, watched some work, admired their super artistic talents, and got to know a whole new industry. I didn’t pretend to be an expert and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions, and I think people appreciate that more than someone walking around acting like they know it all.
- Communication is Key. Whether at home, with family, friends, or in the workplace, we all need to have good communication skills. At all levels of your organization, communication is probably one of, if not the most important skill needed — whether you are face-to-face or work with a global team remotely. At Healthy Meals Supreme, most of those on our management team work remotely. However, because each and every one on this team has great communication skills, the work flow and process is efficient and seamless. We have a really great working rhythm and a really wonderful time, each doing their part, to help people live healthier lives.
- Embrace Change — I’ve mentioned this earlier. But it’s important, so let’s discuss this again. Change can be difficult. Change can be uncomfortable. HOWEVER, change is necessary for growth, for new ideas to emerge, for success. For the last decade I worked in the toy industry. It was very comfortable. I knew my role. I knew my colleagues. I knew the industry. Then I was approached by Healthy Meals Supreme and now, I am in the food industry. What a delicious change!
- Try to learn something new each day. Ask all the questions you have on your mind. Seek guidance from others. And listen! As my colleague’s grandfather used to say, you don’t learn anything if you are the one doing the talking.
- Keep the “I” out of “TEAM” From the very beginnings of Healthy Meals Supreme, the entire core team has pitched in, no matter if the assignment was part of their classic deliverable or not. There was no one who said “sorry, that is beneath my pay grade so I am not doing it.” This remains the philosophy of the team until today. We get the job done and we’re having a great time doing it, knowing that we are ultimately helping people.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Our veteran’s healthcare system is in shambles. My brother is a retired Marine and though our country has come a long way with how we care for our vets, it can still be improved.
While my brother was overseas defending our country, he was injured and his hearing was severely damaged. The VA doctors told him that “oh no, the hearing loss must be hereditary, not from service.”
After almost 5 years of challenging the system, my brother finally was able to get hearing aids through the VA. When I saw them though, it was like looking at my grandfather’s hearing aids from the 1980’s.
Now, I have a friend with hearing loss who lives in an affluent area and comes from a wealthy family. You can’t see her hearing aids until you are almost looking inside her ear.
Because she has the means, she is able to get top of the line assistance. Meanwhile, my brother and the other veterans of our country, who risked their lives on a daily basis for our safety, have to fight constantly to PROVE they were injured.
We need to provide better assistance to our veterans. They deserve top quality healthcare. This is a movement that should be started and one that I would like to help lead personally, as well as professionally through Healthy Meals Supreme, as food is known to help support existing medical therapies.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
We’ve all heard this one, nevertheless, it is the life lesson that rings truest for me. “Life is all about the journey, not the destination”.
Sometimes we get so caught up in getting to our “goals” we forget to enjoy the little things along the way. I have a great job and a wonderful family, complete with two beautiful daughters. Whatever the future may bring, I feel confident and at peace knowing that my current path is rich with love, laughter and adventure.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
Julia Roberts. I have admired her since as far back as I can remember. I have watched all of her films (ok, not Flatliners. I am not into any scary films). To me, Ms. Roberts is the embodiment of elegance and class. She is smart, talented, successful, and from the bits the public gets to see, she is also a loving, absolutely wonderful mom. The one thing that sticks out to me when I think of Julia Roberts is her humility. She is not flashy, she isn’t always searching for the limelight. She keeps her private life private. To me that is beautiful and shows the true nature of who she is. Julia, if you are reading this, bring the family. We’ll make a day of it!