Clean Eating: How it can Impact Your Workouts and Health

by Logan Stewart

I’m the first to admit I’ve been pretty hardcore when it comes to working out, and have been for most of my adult life. Running has been my mainstay, and over the years I’ve added cycling, yoga and CrossFit to the mix. And yet more often than not I was feeling like a castoff spaghetti noodle during workouts, limp and weak and unworthy, watching others bask in the glow of their challenging workouts. I had very little or no energy and my exercise abilities had plateaued and were spiraling downward.

As I aged out of my 20s into my early 30s, it got even worse. While my diet isn’t terrible, I knew the root of my issue was probably connected to what I was putting in my mouth every day. Yet I was clueless where to even begin — and old habits die hard, including my longstanding sugar addiction.

justice fitnessThrough Flywheel, I met a couple named Lindsey and Steve Justice. Steve is an instructor and also played professional football for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts. He and Lindsey were both standout college athletes at Wake Forest University; where they also met. They now run their own fitness training facility, Justice Fitness LLC, based out of their home and offer nutrition-counseling services. (I should note here that they actually train some local celebrities, but I’ve been asked to not to share any identities.)

I shared my energy and workout struggles with Lindsey, and she had me track my eating for three days. After evaluating my exercise levels, resting metabolic rate and nutritional needs, she came back to me with the news that not only was I eating many foods detrimental to the physical activity I was doing, I wasn’t giving my body enough nutrition to sustain my physical activity. Her tailored clean eating plan for me included foods I don’t eat often, including quinoa, kale and other greens, beets, sweet potatoes, almond milk and protein shakes from plant-based sources.

To say I was iffy and even a little nervous is an understatement. But I decided to go for it. I noticed changes within a few days. I felt healthier and my skin looked better. Since I started clean eating in December, my energy levels working out have skyrocketed, and would you believe it if I said that beets have become one of my favorite foods?

I am still learning about clean eating, but here are my takeaways so far:

  • Eat plants and foods from the ground, including roots. Anything Mother Nature makes is good. Things humans manipulate and put into packaging are not so good.
  • Meat is okay. I don’t eat red meat or chicken, but fresh, unprocessed meats, including salmon, other fish and chicken, are good for you.
  • Drink lots of water. Drink more than you think is enough. It helps flush everything out.
  • You need carbohydrates, especially if you are active. The carbs I am eating, including black and garbanzo beans, brown rice, quinoa and more, are whole and haven’t been altered in any way, and they pack a punch of nutrition. They will not make you fat.
  • Ingredients matter. Try not to purchase items that have more than a few ingredients on the nutrition label. Think unprocessed and natural.

It’s impossible to get healthy and have the energy and fuel to maximize your workouts without eating right. You can feed yourself junk all day and workout for 4 hours (probably not a good idea either), but the right foods are key to the body and health you want.  I still haven’t quite kicked my sugar addiction, but I’m in a far better place nutritionally than I was before.

I should also mention that I have trained with Lindsey and Steve a few times and their personal training program is superb. For more on Justice Fitness click here or find them on Facebook.

A Healthier Thanksgiving Feast

by: Lauren Robinson

ahealthier_recipeA week from now is Thanksgiving. I’m still having a hard time letting that sink in. Wow. This year is flying!

With this time of year being SO busy for a lot of us, eating healthier almost always falls to the backburner before our New Year’s resolutions kick in. Right? Between now and the New Year, we’re going to parties. We’re hosting parties. Our meal sizes are increasing…and if you have family nearby, you most always have more than one lunch, dinner, etc. in one day.

So, how can we keep some healthy normality to the holiday food temptation madness? Below are some resources for healthier alternatives for your Thanksgiving and other holiday feasts.

Mayo Clinic

Featured Recipes

Pumpkin Soup

Glazed Turkey Breast with Fruit Stuffing

Cauliflower Mashed ‘Potatoes’

Best Honey Whole-Wheat Bread

Tasty Apple Pie (November’s Recipe of the Month)

 

SHAPE Magazine

Featured Recipes

Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Rustic Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cornbread Vegetarian Stuffing

 

AllRecipes.com

Featured Recipes

Onion Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Cranberry Apple Sauce

ABCD Eat Your Vitamins…And Minerals!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy:  Tara Raj

Daily vitamin and mineral intake is not usually a hot topic and yet millions of people are vitamin and mineral deficient.  Many people have no idea which vitamins and minerals their body needs or how much is required to maintain balanced wellness.  There are also a lot of misconceptions as to the proper sources of essential vitamins and minerals.  It’s time to set the record straight and educate!

Supplements can be fine as nutritional insurance, but eating a healthy and well balanced diet is the best way to feed the body vitamins and minerals for optimal health.  So what are essential vitamins and minerals the body requires to function? Vitamin A, B Complex (B’s 1, 2, niacin, 6 and 12), C, D, E, K and, Folic Acid.  Not too hard to remember. The mineral list is just as easy and even shorter naming Calcium, Chromium, Iodine, Iron, and Zinc.

A common question asked is “what is the difference between vitamins and minerals?”  According to Helpguide.org vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure. There are two classes of vitamins; water-soluble and fat-soluble. They are classed by how they dissolve in the body. For instance, all vitamin Bs, C and folic acid are water-soluble, so the body uses what it needs and discards the rest through urine. It is important to get these vitamins through diet.  The remaining vitamins are fat-soluble and these are absorbed in the body’s fat and many minerals need both types to fully absorb.

Just like vitamins, minerals also have two classes; trace and macro.  Trace minerals are only required in small amounts whereas macrominerals are needed large quantities.  All of these essential nutrients work together to feed the body for optimal health and function.

All of this is great information, but the real learning is knowing what each nutrient provides the body, identifying the deficient signs and knowing which foods contain these vitamins and minerals.  To simplify this, below are tables naming the vitamins and minerals along with their benefits, deficiencies and their natural food sources.

Vitamin & Benefits Deficiency Signs Natural Food Sources
Vitamin A: eyesight, growth, appetite and taste Poor night vision, dry eyes or skin; lack of taste, hearing and smell; slow healing and nerve damage Dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, lettuce, cantaloupe, paprika, red pepper, and chili pepper
B vitamins: healthy metabolism, nervous and immune systems, and iron absorption – Click here for a breakdown by vitamin Anemia, depression, fatigue, lack of appetite, upset stomach and numbness in fingers and toes – Click here for a breakdown by vitamin Dark leafy greens, lentils, legumes, milk and milk products, poultry, fish, selfish, nuts, red meat – Click here for a breakdown by vitamin
Vitamin C: immune boaster, aids in growth and repair of blood vessels and body tissues, helps reduce cholesterol, helps heal wounds Fatigue, scurvy (bleeding gums; tooth loss; nosebleeds; bruising; painful or swollen joints; shortness of breath; increased susceptibility to infection; slow wound healing; muscle pains; skin rashes) Guava, kiwi, red and green bell peppers, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, kale, broccoli and papaya
Vitamin D: strong bones and teeth Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults (soft or weakening bones, skeletal deformity) Sunlight, salmon, tuna, milk and milk products, eggs, mushrooms, flounder
Vitamin E: antioxidant, helps fight toxins, good circulation Inability to absorb fat, weak muscle and fertility issues Nuts, broccoli, eggs, sunflower seeds, turnip greens, pine nuts, tomatoes, peanut butter, avocado, sprouts, spinach
Vitamin K: blood clotting Extreme bleeding; blood does not clot Most greens (like spinach and kale), broccoli, parsley, romaine lettuce, and brussel sprouts
Folic Acid (B9): prevents birth defects and anemia Fatigue, birth defects or infertility Dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, beans and lentils, carrots, eggs, squash, citrus fruits, seeds and nuts, avocado, okra,  celery, beets, cauliflower

 

Mineral & Benefits Deficiency Signs Natural Food Sources
Calcium: strong bones and teeth, essential for muscle contraction and heartbeat Muscle cramping, dry skin, brittle nails, bone breakage or fractures Yogurt, cheese, sardines, milk, salmon, tofu, collard greens, molasses
Chromium: reduces food cravings, aids in converting blood sugar into energy, regulates fat and cholesterol, prevents hypertension Anxiety, decrease in energy level, fatigue, weakened muscles, mood swings, increased chance of diabetes, obesity Whole grains, brown rice, broccoli, mushrooms, Green beans, chicken breast, cheese, eggs, fish, sea food, corn, potatoes, diary, fresh vegetables.
Iodine: thyroid function Enlarged thyroid, Hypothyroidism Cheese, cow’s milk, eggs, ice cream, saltwater fish, seaweed, shellfish, soy sauce, yogurt
Iron: transports oxygen through the blood and organs, reduction of iron deficiency anemia Fatigue, weakness, brittle nails, enlarged spleen, infections, unusual cravings for non-food foods Legumes, lentils, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, spinach, turnip, sprouts, broccoli, dried fruits
Zinc: immune booster, antioxidant, aids in preventing infertility, maintains hormones levels, helps preventing cancer Ringing in the ears, diarrhea, chronic fatigue, infertility, poor immunity, poor memory,  low energy, unable to focus, ADD symptoms, slows wound healing, nerve dysfunction Lamb, scallops, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats, yogurt, turkey, shrimp, peas

 

Knowledge is power, so arm the mind with information that helps make the best health decisions possible.  When we take care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of us!

Live well,

Tara

Snack It, Pack It, It’s All Good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy: Tara Raj

It’s that time of year again when kids go back to school and parents go into panic mode wondering what to pack their kids for lunch that is quick, easy and most importantly HEALTHY! This year calls for fresh ideas and real food to keep fighting the child obesity fight. A few important factors in creating healthy snacks for kids:

  1. Variety, variety, variety.  Kids can only take so much of sandwiches and juice boxes. Use the healthy plate idea and go crazy.  Sliced raw fruits and veggies are always easy and delicious. Pair them with yogurt or hummus and kids have a healthy snack with a full belly.
  2. Bake it in.  Take a simple recipe such as muffin, bread or cookies; add nuts, fruits, veggies or seeds and kids are still getting a nutrient dense snack with more fiber and protein.
  3. Buy it.  This option is great for busy parents; however, reading labels is a must. Some top “no, no’s” include artificial flavors and colors, enriched wheat, hydrogenated and fractionated oils, MSG, white sugar and it’s artificial counterparts (sucralose/aspartame), high fructose corn syrup, BHA and BHT, non-organic soy, non-organic corn, potassium sorbate, soy lecithin, canola oil and polysorbate 80. Phew, that was a mouth full! Basically, the rule of thumb here is if it was created in a lab, don’t eat it.

With all that bad, what’s good?  Here is a list of healthy pre-packaged snacks:

  1. Organic blue chips or quinoa chips. Pair them with guacamole, hummus or salsa and the little tikes have a yummy snack!
  2. String cheese and whole grain crackers. It’s just that simple.
  3. Organic yogurt squeeze up snacks. These are easy to grab with no clean-up for Mom.
  4. Serving sized packaged nuts. Buy the roasted, unsalted kind for a low sodium tasty snack.
  5. Organic or non-GMO granola bars. Selecting the right brand is important because many bars contain “no-no” ingredients listed above and are heavily processed. There is a newer brand out called KIND. This bar is incredible; it does not contain GMOs or artificial ingredients. These bars are made from all-natural whole nuts, fruits and whole grains that contain essential nutrients like fiber, protein and antioxidants. This innovative brand is branching out into the market place with KIND bars now available in Target for the first time in the pharmacy section!

Making sure the kiddies get the nutrients they need can be tricky, but not impossible. With the healthy conscience world we live in today, putting together nutritious snacks can be a snap! Follow the healthy plate and know what the healthy options are. Nature is calling, so check out this list!

  1. Natural sugar is nature’s nectar. This is sugar found in fruits, honey and vegetables.
  2. Protein, it’s not just a meat thing.  Meat is not the only source for this necessity. All types of legumes, seeds, nuts, vegetables and dairy are perfect for getting protein. For meat choices, stick to lean unprocessed meats and eggs.
  3. There is more to dairy than milk. Yogurt is a favorite with kids and it can always be spruced up with granola or fruits getting more nutrient bang in the serving! Cheese is ideal because everything tastes better with cheese, but not all cheeses are nutritionally alike. Stick to low-moisture cheeses; Swiss, Ricotta, Romano and Mozzarella, are all great options.
  4. Carbohydrates are fuel for the body. Not all carbs were created equal, so be picky when choosing which carbs to feed the little ones. Quinoa is considered a superfood and is loaded with protein. Steel cut oats are better than rolled oats and stick to whole grain options. Once again, vegetables fit the bill for this too!

Don’t let snacks be a stress this back to school year. Try some of the options above and plan ahead each grocery trip.

Live Well,

Tara Raj, ACC, CPC, CNWC

 

 

 

 

 

Yogurt Covered Banana Popsicles!

By: Lauren Iazzetti

All parents want the same things for their children: good health, happiness and success in life. If health isn’t first on the list, a child’s opportunity to fully enjoy life is greatly diminished. As parents, we need to find ways to combat the obesity epidemic. According to the American Heart Association, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.

Our busy lives greatly contribute to this epidemic. Driving through our favorite fast-food restaurant in between extracurricular activities, homework, and bedtime seems like a quick fix and much simpler than preparing a home-cooked meal. However, if we take a little extra time to plan ahead, it becomes easier to prepare healthy, balanced meals – and decrease the number of times we circle through the burger joints!

It’s not hard to get your child to eat hamburgers and hotdogs but how do you get them to eat their fruits and vegetables? As a nutrition director, I am constantly trying to think of new and exciting ways to introduce fruits and vegetables in to our children’s diets. A healthy diet is one way to decrease your child’s chance of developing diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.

Greek yogurt is a wonderful addition to a healthy diet. It is an alternative protein, so it’s typically lower in fat than meats, and cheeses.  Greek Yogurt is also an extremely versatile food and is a great substitute ingredient in recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts – an alternative to heavy cream in sauces and a replacement for mayonnaise in a favorite dip.

One hot summer day, my son and I were craving something cool and sweet, so I came up with a recipe that satisfied that urge without adding a ton of calories or the artificial sweeteners of ice cream. This is a great snack for children of all ages!

Yogurt Covered Banana “Popsicles”

1 cup Fat Free Vanilla Greek Yogurt

4 bananas

1 cup granola cereal

4 Popsicle sticks

  1. Insert a Popsicle stick into the bottom of each banana, leaving about 2 inches exposed.
  2. Spoon the yogurt onto a plate, and using a spoon, cover the entire banana with the yogurt, making sure to get a nice thick coating on the outside.
  3. Pour the cereal onto another plate. Roll the yogurt -covered banana in the granola, coating the yogurt completely.
  4. Place bananas on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and freeze for 30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy! Be careful, you’ll want to eat them quickly since the yogurt doesn’t stay frozen for very long.

This recipe can be made with variations.

  1. Forget the granola. Dip blueberries, grapes, kiwis or strawberries in the yogurt and freeze.
  2. Add some chocolate to the mix.  Drizzle melted chocolate on top of the yogurt covered fruit before it goes in the freezer.
  3. Top it off! While the yogurt is still soft, roll the yogurt in shredded coconut, ground almonds, or chopped pistachios

 

Lauren Iazzetti is the Nutrition Director for Thompson Child & Family Focus, a Charlotte, N.C.-based nonprofit agency that changes the lives of fragile children and families through therapy, education and care. Last year, Thompson served more than 16,000 children and families from its four distinct campuses specializing in clinical and behavioral treatment, developmental education and proactive care. With a 127-year-old mission of care, Thompson serves children and families through healing, teaching, worship and play. For more information, visit thompsoncff.org

Ask Claire: How Can I Make Veggies Taste Better?

Dear Claire,

I am trying to shed a few pounds but I have a really hard time eating healthy food like vegetables and fruits because I am not used to the taste. Do you have any suggestions?

-Anti-Veggie Girl

Dear Anti-Veggie,

Absolutely! While I would love to tell you that the taste of vegetables will grow on you, that just isn’t the way it works for everyone. However, there are many ways you can incorporate vegetables into things you love and you won’t even be able to taste them.

Take smoothies for example. I love making peanut butter and banana smoothies, not only are they delicious but they are filling and healthy. The best part is you can throw in some spinach and you will never even taste it, but get all the benefits from it!

I also recommend using a food processor to puree fruits and vegetables and then add to traditional recipes. You can blend up carrots, zucchini and/or squash, and add it to tomato sauce to eat with whole wheat pasta.

Try baking with them. Breakfast sweets can be packed with veggies, too. Try making some muffins packed with zucchini and carrots in addition to the usual raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon.

Believe it or not, beets are a great addition to any brownie recipe, just purree and add to the batter.

If you love cheese, try this twist on a traditional grilled cheese. Instead of white bread, cheese and butter, use whole grain bread, low fat cheese, and add a few layers of veggies, too. Spinach or arugula, tomato, and avocado make awesome additions.

Eggs are another easy dish to add veggies too, and you will hardly taste them. Just chop veggies really small and sauté them, then add the eggs and cook.

Another suggestion is to change the way you cook your veggies and fruits. Roasting them in the oven really brings out some great flavors, or cooking on the grill with some salt and pepper is also quite flavorful. Just keep trying and you are bound to find something you like soon enough!

Ask Claire: Bananas Before or After Exercise?

Dear Claire,

I ride a mountain bike at the White Water Center and at Sherman Branch. I always see guys in the parking lot eating bananas after their ride. Their story is that the bananas keep them from cramping up after the exertion. My questions are:  (1) is this true? (2) if so, is it optimal to eat the banana after the ride, or would it make more sense to eat it before the ride because it has to have time to be digested?  Any thoughts here?

Mark from Matthews

————————————————-

Hey Mark!

I’ll start with part 1 of your question. Do bananas keep you from cramping? First of all, cramping usually occurs when your body is dehydrated and/or does not have enough potassium.

Other factors that may cause cramping include exercising in extreme heat and electrolyte depletion.

Electrolytes are nutrients such as sodium (salt), potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which are sweated out during exercise. When levels of these nutrients go down, that’s when you might suffer more muscle spasms.

Bananas are a great natural of potassium, so they certainly may help, as long as you are drinking enough water or Gatorade with your workout.

As far as when to eat the banana, I don’t think you can go wrong either way, just take into consideration a few things.

If you need a little snack before your workout, eating a banana 30-45 minutes before will help deliver that fuel to your muscles, so it will help with your performance.

For post workout, a banana is a great source of fuel as well, but it does not have any protein, so you might want to supplement it with something else, like peanut butter. You could even have it blended into a protein shake.

Other foods that have lots of potassium and may help with cramping include beans, leafy greens, potatoes, yogurt, and mushrooms.

Hope that helps your next ride Mark!

 

Think Change ~ Think Different ~ Think Real

Cristina GillespieBy: Cristina Gillespie

“Any meaningful life change starts with habit change” ~ Zen Habits

Your body is the physical representation of the choices you make every day. Take responsibility for your body and break free from the power food has on you. Choose real food and break free from the prison created by the words diet, calories and grams. Find freedom with real food.

I found freedom with real food and so can you. I started looking at food in a whole new way and it soon became hard not to notice how the food I ate directly affected my body. However it was the elimination of foods that I once believed to be “healthy” that opened my eyes to a WHOLE new world and a new sense of freedom.

“28toLIFE – Freedom With Real Food” is a hands-on printed guide and seminar to finding nutritional freedom with real food. It is the compilation of all my research and self-experimentation conducted over the past three years and includes advice and suggestions that I have given clients through my work as a Nutrition Coach. It is a testament to the affect of real food on real bodies.

Looking better and feeling better starts with your nutrition. Come learn how to make the right food choices and make a lasting change. Achieve real physical results with real nourishing food.

Join me Saturday January 19th, 12:00 to 2:00pm at Fight gone MAD.  Sign up at fightgoneMAD.com!

Tis the Season to Eat Hearty and Stay Healthy!

By: Tara Raj

Many people think of Spring and Summer as the nutritional pay days of the year, but that thinking does the Fall and Winter seasons a disservice. This time of year are not only colorful seasons bringing beautiful deep, warm and muted hues. No, these cozy seasons grace the tummies of millions of people with an abundance of nutrient dense produce to enjoy.

During the harvest seasons orchards are overflowing with delicious ripe fruit ready to be picked and farmers’ markets are buzzing with locals anxious to get their hands on the freshly picked vegetables. From pumpkin to pears, rutabaga to dates, kitchens will be heating up with cold season comfort food recipes. Many Fall and Winter foods are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and can help lower cholesterol.

Many delicious dishes can be made from Fall and Winter produce. Casseroles, soups and pies are just a start. The best thing about casseroles and soups are that they can be frozen and eaten later; for those with busy schedules these dishes may prove to be life savers in a time jam. A few of my cold season favorites include:

  • Kale tomato soup with chick peas and cumin
  • Kale and white bean soup
  • Giada’s Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts
  • Caramelized Butternut Squash
  • Artichoke Spinach Lasagna

All autumn and winter produce is loaded with vitamins and minerals the body needs to stay healthy and fight cold viruses. Here is a rundown of autumn and winter produce and their nutritional value:

  1. Eggplant: A brain food that is high in fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and folate
  2. Cranberries: High in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and manganese
  3. Parsnips: Excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, pantothenic acid, copper, and manganese
  4. Pomegranates: Contain anti-inflammatory and potent antioxidants. Good source of fiber, folate and vitamin K
  5. Winter squash:  Important food source of carotenoids, high in vitamins A, C and B6. It also contains fiber and manganese
  6. Kale: One of the healthiest foods around. High in vitamins K, A and C and also contains manganese and fiber
  7. Cauliflower:  High in vitamins C, K, and B6 and also contains folate and choline
  8. Brussels sprouts: This cholesterol lowering veggie contains vitamins K, C, A and B6. It also contains manganese, folate, fiber and potassium
  9. Artichokes: Good source of folic acid, vitamin C, K, and B-complex. It also contains antioxidants and potassium
  10. Radishes: Very good source of anti-oxidants, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber, sulforaphane, and vitamin C
  11. Rhubarb: Rich in B-complex vitamins, vitamins A and K
  12. Snow Peas: Contain riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, Magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and a great source of fiber, vitamin A, C, and K. It also contains thiamin, folate, iron and manganese
  13. Sweet Potatoes: Contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, C, iron, potassium, and copper
  14. Turnips: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K and a healthy content of calcium, copper, iron and manganese.
  15. Watercress: Contains the most concentrate of vitamin C, an excellent source of vitamin A and K, other antioxidants and calcium
  16. Clementines: Excellent source of vitamin C, fat free, saturated fat free, cholesterol free, and sodium free
  17. Grapefruit: High in pectin (fiber), vitamin A, antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and B-complex
  18. Kiwi: High in fiber, vitamins C, A, K and E, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium
  19. Passion Fruit: Contains vitamins C and A, flavonoid antioxidants, potassium, Iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus
  20. Pears:  Good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin, vitamin C and A, copper, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium, B-complex
  21. Persimmon: Excellent source of vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin, vitamin C,  folic acid, vitamin B-6, potassium, manganese , copper and phosphorus
  22. Tangerine: Rich in vitamin C, high in antioxidants (narigenin, hesperetin, vitamin A, carotenes, xanthins and luteins), and fiber

To shop for fall produce at a local farmers’ market or produce department first know what is in season and visit the CUESA website for a complete listing of all produce by season. Next, whenever possible pick produce that is firm with little to no discoloration, bright and evenly colored. Lastly, know how to store all that yummy goodness just purchased. It is a waste of food and money when produce goes bad. To learn more on how to properly store fruits and vegetables check out The ABCs of Fresh.

Live authentically,

Tara Raj, CPC, ACC, CNWC

Your Guide to Healthy Places to Eat Around Charlotte

By: Annie Hayes

Much of the Holiday rush relates to errand running. One way we can maintain our wellness during this busy time of year is to make the healthiest meal choices possible. Instead of hitting up that same old fast food restaurant drive-through as you tackle your to do list, why not check out some of these possibly less known but entirely more healthy alternatives? Stopping for a proper meal will enhance your day and provide you with far better nutrition to maintain peak health and energy through this hectic season. These restaurants will range in their degree of “healthy”, from simply fresh salads/ subs all the way to true vegan cuisine. One thing is true, though, all of them are better for you than your standard fast food fare! I spoke to each of them to be sure their contact and business hours were up to date. So, nurture your health and your taste buds by trying one out during your next busy errand day! Feel free to share some of your favorites too in the comments below.

 

Ballantyne 

Boneheads Restaurant

www.eatboneheads.com

7926-E Rea Road

Charlotte, NC 28277

(704) 910-5180

M-F: 11am-9pm

 

Uptown Charlotte

Halcyon Flavors from the Earth

500 S. Tryon Street

Charlotte, NC 28202

(704) 910–0865

Mon: 11am to 3pm Tues through Sat: 11 am to 10pm Sunday: 11am – 5pm

www.halcyonflavors.com

The front of the uptown Mint Museum

 

Dilworth

Luna’s Living kitchen

lunaslivingkitchen.com

2102 South Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28203

(704) 333–0008

Mon-Thu: 11am-3pm, 4pm-7pm, Fri-Sat: 8am-3pm

Vegan organic macrobiotic American juice bar

 

Huntersville/Davidson

Café 100

100 Huntersville–Concord Rd.

Huntersville, NC 28078

M-F: 7a-2:30p

www.thecafe100.com

(704) 274 – 2151

Homemade family meals

 

Elizabeth

Crisp Foods Inc.

Crispfoods.com

1971 E. 7th St.

Charlotte NC 28204

Mon-Sun: 11am-9pm

 

Gastonia

Sprouts Cafe

organic-marketplace.com

(704) 864-0605

1012 S New Hope Rd Gastonia, NC28054

Mon-Sat: 11am-3pm

Healthy Salads and Wraps

 

Marvin/Waxhaw

Stack’s kitchen

521 North Broome St.

Waxhaw NC 28173

www.stackskitchen.com

(704) 243–2024

Serving breakfast Mon-Sun

 

Matthews/Mint Hill

Woodlands Pure vegetarian Southern Indian cuisine

www.woodlandsusa.com

7128 Albemarle Rd.

Charlotte, NC

Mondays: 11:30-10p Closed Tuesdays. Wednesday through Sunday: 11:30 AM to  10 PM

(704) 569–9193

 

Myers Park

Yama Asian Fusion

yamaasianfusion.com

(704) 295-0905

720 Governor Morrison Street, Suite 130, Charlotte, NC

Open for Lunch everyday but Sunday. Dinner every night

 

Indian Trail

Genaro’s Rotisserie

genaros-rotisserie.com

14039 Independence Blvd, Ste A5

Indian Trail, NC 28079-9636

M-Sun: 11a-9p

 

Fort Mill

Passion8 Bistro

www.passion8bistro.com

3415 Hwy 51,

Fort Mill, SC 29715

(803) 802-7455

Farm to table organic cooking-Yahoo Local

Tues-Sat: 5-10 pm dinner only

 

Rock Hill

Lell’s Cafe

lellscafe.com

(803) 366-8803

760 Cherry Rd.

Rock Hill, SC 29732

Tues-Fri: 7a-2pm Sat: 7a-noon (Breakfast only on Sat)

 

South Park

Crunch Salads

Crunchsalads.com

(704) 362-0077

Southpark Mall

Charlotte NC 28211

Open for Lunch and dinner Mon – Sun (closes early Sunday)

 

University City

ZiZi’s Take Out

Awesomevegan2go.com

7945 N Tryon St. Unit 110 (at Gold Hill Pavilion beside Wal-Mart)

Charlotte, NC 28262

(704) 595-9170

Tue-Sat: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM Sunday: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM. To go only

 

Weddington

Ilios Noche

iliosnoche.com

11508 Providence Rd, #I

Charlotte, NC  28277

704-814-9882

Mon-Sun Lunch and dinner

 

West Charlotte/Airport

Airport Pressley Park Restaurant

Pressleyparkrestaurant.com‎

740 Pressley Road

Charlotte, NC 28217

(704)  525-9393

M-F: 5:30 am-3pm Breakfast lunch only