E-Meals: Candice Wood of Stressfree Recipes

Article by contributing author Nicki Escudero
Even doctors need a little help sometimes when it comes to healthy meal planning. In addition to being an OBGYN with Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix and a resident professor with the University of Arizona, Dr. Candice Wood is also a busy mother of young children—not exactly someone with a lot of time for researching recipes and ensuring balanced diets for her family.
© Adam Nollmeyer -All Rights Reserved -  http://acmephotography.netShe created Stressfree Recipes with her husband, Dr. David Wood, which takes care of the meal plans for her. The site’s elegant algorithm scours more than 2,000 recipes (and growing) and devises complete meal plans for users based on taste preferences and dietary needs, as well as provides users with shopping lists. Candice envisions the site to be similar to music site Pandora, so that as your taste preferences are recorded, and you’ll receive better recipes over time.
After conceiving the site (www.stressfreerecipes.com) almost three years ago, Stressfree Recipes has grown to a team of about 10 people. The site launched this March and has more than 300 members, and users may try the site for free for 30 days and no credit card is required. Candice shares her inspiration for Stressfree Recipes and the benefits it provides with AZ Tech Beat.
What inspired Stressfree Recipes? 
Shortly after my first daughter was born, I was up late at night feeding her and realized how much life changes when you have a child. I always felt really strongly about cooking good things, and now I felt more responsible with a child. I didn’t have the time anymore, and I thought there should be a way to put some recipes together. My husband and I thought we could use our knowledge as doctors to make eating right easy.
What are the important components when choosing a recipe for the site?
I use a lot of recipes I love, and I personally went through every recipe I collected. I wanted things to be healthy, but I was also very particular about taste. I wanted them to be simple, accessible, healthy and delicious.
Besides receiving daily hand-picked recipes via email, why should people get memberships on the site?
We have a digital shopping list, so with a touch of a button, you can quickly add or remove items. Users tell us what they like or don’t like, and our recipe algorithm keeps track of that and adjusts recipes accordingly.
We wanted to [save families time], teach people that eating healthy is delicious, and [expose] people to new things [that] they never would have found without us.
[Also,] you can put any of your own recipes into our database and our recipe box, and we’ll give you the nutrition facts for the recipe, and those recipes will be put back into your meal plans.
Is there a way to adjust calorie count per meal?
It’s all controlled by serving based on height. We’re not pushing this as a weight loss site because there’s still so much autonomy for people using it.
What are some of your favorite recipes on the site?
I love the Tofu Tacos, Prosciutto Wrapped Turkey Burgers, Crab and Mango Lettuce Wraps, Black Bean Tostada Burger, and Mango Arugula Salad.
What are the benefits and challenges of working with your husband?
It’s definitely interesting. I think it’s funny, because when we approached my dad to be an investor, his immediate response was, “Yes. You don’t even have to tell me what you’re doing, I’m impressed you’ll be spending so much time together.”
It’s been different for us, but it’s definitely made us stronger and brought us closer together and has given us such a sense of accomplishment because we’ve gone through a lot of hurdles.
Learn more about stressfreerecipes.com.
Nicki Escudero is the editor of Phoenix People, www.phxpeople.com, which highlights interesting people from around the Valley who make a positive impact on the community. Visit every Monday for new profiles ranging from Phoenix Suns players to MTV rock singers.
Photography courtesy of: © Adam Nollmeyer -All Rights Reserved acme photography.net