Ole Miss grad brings his Singapore-started wellness restaurant to Oxford
By Liz Barrett
For more years than we’d care to take credit for, Mississippi has been ranked No. 1 on the list of Most Obese States in the Nation (34.9% of the state’s population was obese as of August 2012). Trey Herron is on a personal mission to change this.
Originally inspired by his father, who lost 200 pounds through the use of nutritional shakes and supplements, Herron has been helping others improve their health since he was a student at Ole Miss. Born in Brandon, Mississippi, his passion for nutrition led him to Singapore, where over three years he built a team of coaches that has opened 45 nutrition studios throughout Asia. When Herron returned to Ridgeland, Mississippi, two years ago, he and his wife Mamie were more than ready to open their first U.S.-based Skinny’s Nutrition Studio.
Since then, they have opened a location in Destin, Florida, and four additional locations in Mississippi—one in Ridgeland, another in Jackson, one in Flowood, and the newest one here in Oxford, in the former location of Deli News and 6 ‘n Tubbs.
“My goal is for Skinny’s to have a neighborhood coffee shop feel, but with shakes, teas, Wi-Fi and nutritional counseling,” says Herron.
Size Yourself Up—Then Down
A free Wellness Evaluation and Body Analysis is provided to anyone who is interested in discovering their current state of health and tips for how to improve it. Points covered in the analysis include current weight and target weight; body mass index; body fat; visceral fat; a recommended daily amount of calories based on body composition; and more.
“I never charge for any of my analysis, coaching or support,” says Herron. “I even have customers who call from the grocery store to ask about the food they’re about to purchase. I give everyone my cell phone number and I’m always available to help.”
The nutritional shakes at Skinny’s are all low-fat, low-sugar, contain 24 to 27 grams of soy protein (whey and allergen-free proteins are also available), and have 210 to 250 calories each. “The protein powders that we use are all water-mixable, which cuts down on the sugar and calories that milk adds to a typical smoothie,” says Herron. There are more than 40 shake flavors to choose from, including Butterfinger, Chocolate Mint, Blueberry, and Strawberry Lemonade. Only fresh, frozen fruit is used in the creation of each Skinny’s shake.
For $6, plus tax, customers receive a shake and a tea, known as a “drink and shrink” combo. The tea is an energizing combination of green and black teas available in lemon, raspberry or peach, which is topped with a beneficial mango-flavored liquid aloe. Frequent patrons can sign up for a prepaid program in which they purchase nine smoothies and receive the 10th free (no membership card needed). Ingredients and recipes to make the shakes and teas at home are also available for those who enjoy creating their own and saving a little money.
The Skinny’s Lifestyle
Wondering about Herron’s success rate with his customers? Just take a look at the Skinny’s staff.
“Most of the folks who work at Skinny’s are success stories,” says Herron. “People kept asking them what they were doing to lose weight, so they decided to start teaching others full time.”
The most important point that Herron wants to drive home to Skinny’s customers is that he is promoting a lifestyle, not a diet. “Diets are temporary fixes with results that don’t last,” he says. “Lifestyle changes stick with you and create real results.”
In addition to a free Skinny’s Fit Club boot camp, which will start soon, Skinny’s will be running a four-week Lose to Win Contest beginning on Tuesday, February 5. The cost to enter is $39 and all entry fees will go into the winning pot. A weekly nutritional class will be held, and at the end of the contest the biggest loser will win 50% of the pot, second place will win 30%, and 3rd place will win 20%.
So for those who have New Year’s resolutions to get into shape, or even if you’ve been working on getting healthier for years, drop by Skinny’s and get a Wellness Evaluation. You may be surprised at the results!