KIM SINGLETARY | PHOTOS BY THERESA CASSAGNE
Owner, Sensible Meals
New Orleans native Ingrid Rinck was a single mom with three kids working as a personal trainer when her family received some very difficult news.
“My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes,” she said. “Only about 5 percent of diabetics are type 1.”
Often diagnosed in children or young adults, type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes occurs when a person does not make enough insulin, which results in dangerously high blood sugar levels. There is no known way to prevent it, but it can be managed with help from a very careful diet and exercise.
“I literally had to start portioning out his food or he could die,” said Rinck. “So I started cooking differently and I realized that I was losing weight eating this way. Soon, other people started asking me to cook for them too. That’s where the idea for the business came from.”
Rinck formed Sensible Meals in 2014 near her home on the north shore. In just four years, the company has become the largest of its type in the country, employing over 1,200 people, 90 percent of whom are women.
“I like to give other women, including other moms, opportunities,” she said. “We’re also big on giving back to organizations like the American Heart Association and those associated with juvenile diabetes.”
Operating out of giant kitchens in Hammond and Mandeville, as well as 11 free pickup locations around Louisiana, Sensible Meals also ships meals nationwide.
“It feels good to know that we’re changing people’s lives,” said Rinck, by giving them something affordable, something sustainable, that’s helping them live healthier lives.”