I fell in love with cooking at a very young age. I started cooking with my grandfather, “pop-pop.” He taught me how to cook everything from Clams Casino to Veal Paprikash. Every morning before I left for school and every afternoon after I got back we watched cooking shows on the Food Network. We would hit the kitchen and try the recipes we thought looked good.

It was an education based on passion and it was fun.

Derek, Owner Market Meals

In high school I began working out a lot and wanted to gain weight. I knew then that if I wanted to transform my physique I had to eat right. I cooked my meals at home and took them with me in a giant lunch box. It had separate sections to separate protein from carbohydrates. It didn’t take long for others, including a teacher, to copy what I was doing. I started somewhat of a trend. During my final years of high school I spent summers working in the kitchen of a restaurant on the Jersey Shore owned by my father’s best friend from college. It was awesome. I saw how everything came together – the real process of working in a kitchen.

I was hooked. I realize now, looking back, I knew then that I was born to create great tasting meals.

Fast forwarding to college, I transitioned into bodybuilding. I researched and studied how to properly nourish my body for peak performance and to transform my physique. I was always fascinated with how Sylvester Stallone looked in Rambo and wanted to look like him. I quickly learned that you can lift all the weights in the world and train harder than anyone else in the gym, but if your diet sucks, then you are just wasting your time.

Diet is the hardest obstacle people face when attempting to transform their physique. When I began my transformation I followed the typical “bodybuilder” diet of chicken, brown rice and broccoli. It gets real boring real fast. After just a month of chicken-brown rice-broccoli for every single meal, every single day, it occurred to me that there had to be a better way. This was the inflection point where my two biggest passions fused together. I used the cooking techniques I learned at a young age to create healthy meals (bodybuilder healthy) that are extremely delicious.

While earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Performance with a concentration in Exercise Science at University of Tampa, my roommates and friends witnessed my transformation. They saw what I was eating and kept joking around about me meal prepping for them. That was all the inspiration I needed to start Market Meals.

I actually started Market Meals while I was prepping for my first bodybuilding show. I was a full time student and working for a supplement company. I had very limited time. I prepared my meals on Sundays for the week. That way all I had to do is heat them up when it was time eat. The convenience of already having meals prepared and ready to eat was essential to my success as was eating meals with the proper ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats. I was training hard and eating right. I lost nearly 40 pounds and achieved a body fat percentage of less than 10% in just 12 weeks, all with the help of eating Market Meals.


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