A blend of food and medicine – the story behind Epicured
Food and medicine have always been founder, Renee Cherkezian’s two passions. Through her years of clinical experience as an administrative and surgical nurse, she witnessed a number of patients challenged by restrictive diets, missing the opportunity to be treated holistically with food playing a primary role. She wanted to find a way to use her passion for cooking to help meet the needs of those with chronic disease, particularly patients with IBS, IBD and SIBO.
After teaming with friend and healthcare focussed entrepreneur Rich Bennett, Epicured was born. Epicured are the first United States based low-FODMAP and gluten free fresh meal-delivery service that bring the best of the clinical and culinary worlds together to provide healthy, delicious food. Epicured appoints Michelin-star chefs to team with doctors and dietitians, to bring those following the low FODMAP diet in the United States gourmet, restaurant-style, dietitian-approved meals.
How many people have IBS in the United States?
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, IBS symptoms are estimated to affect 10-15% of the adult population, yet only 5-7% of adults have been diagnosed with the disease. Additionally, IBS is most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists and one of the most common disorders seen by US primary care physicians. These statistics point towards a growing need for IBS support, and as we continue to discover better ways to both diagnose and report IBS prevalence, we will likely see these numbers rise.
Introducing the four FODMAP Friendly Certified Energy Bites
When creating the newly certified Energy Bites, Renee had the concept of a nutrient-dense, ‘all-day snack’ in mind. She wanted to produce Energy Bites with plant-based, identifiable ingredients that combine to create a snack ‘so delicious that you wouldn’t believe it was actually healthy!’. There are four flavour combinations on offer:
Mocha Energy Bites: Fantastic for all of the coffee lovers out there. When you combine French Colombian-inspired espresso and cacao with chocolate, almond butter, gluten-free oats and chia seeds, you get a match made in heaven.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Energy Bites: Name a more iconic duo – this energy bite combines semi-sweet chocolate with smooth peanut butter, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds and gluten-free rolled oats for a filling snack.
Almond & Cranberry Energy Bites: For a crunchy, sweet snack, these bites are your go to. Indulge in gluten-free rolled oats, packed with smooth almond butter, peanut butter, crunchy raw almond chunks, sweet cranberries, flaxseeds and coconut flakes.
Lemon & Coconut Energy Bites: If you’re looking for a refreshing energy bite with a bit of a kick, look no further than this combination of gluten-free oats, fresh lemon juice, shredded dried coconut, a sprinkle of turmeric and maple syrup.
All energy bites are FODMAP Friendly certified, gluten free, plant-based, vegan, raw, unprocessed and preservative-free.
Why aren’t the Epicured meals FODMAP Friendly certified?
Because the Epicured meals are made fresh and not frozen, logistically it would be difficult to maintain freshness while shipping the meals to the Melbourne-based FODMAP Friendly approved laboratories for testing. However, they are working closely with the FODMAP Friendly team to achieve recipe accreditation, so stay tuned!
What are the Partners in Health network?
Epicured are dedicated to helping doctors and dietitians to improve patient outcomes and promote their practice by joining the Partners in Health network. If you’re a practitioner in the digestive health space, consider joining this exclusive inner community. Why? You can receive custom discounts for patients, access to their monthly clinical newsletter, complimentary CPE-approved webinars and opportunities to be featured in the Epicured emails and social media channels.
Where can you purchase Epicured products?
Their products can be purchased online and shipped within the United States. For those who live in NYC, you can find their meals at eight different AmazonGo retail locations.