Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New York City: Healthy Eatin' on the Run!

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Look, I'm as busy as the next person, and I'll be the first to admit that eating healthy is not always the easiest or most affordable option. Plus, temptation is everywhere (I mean... I can walk two blocks and get 2 slices of pizza and a Coke for $2.50). But here's the thing, eating healthy CAN be good. It can be really, REALLY good actually. So good that I get excited about grabbing a healthy lunch or dinner to go.

Today, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite healthy eats-on-the-run in New York City! If you're lucky enough to live here but have never tried these excellent establishments, it's time you got to work. So here we go! Grab a pen... you may want to take some serious notes!

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Dig Inn Seasonal Market 
I give this place 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, a high-five and all that jazz! First of all, it smells delicious every time I walk by, and the food is fresh and hearty. Plus, I can get behind the philosophy on their website: "Bottom line - we believe that you don't have to be a health food martyr to eat well. Quality, healthful food is about abundance, freshness, and flavor - not deprivation!".

Here's why you can consider Dig Inn a solid meal-on-the-go choice:
*Their meat comes from animals that are raised humanely, without hormones and antibiotics.
*They source their produce from local, sustainable farms and actually visit these farms to see for themselves!
*All meals are prepared from scratch!
*They believe in full transparency and post all the nutrition information on their website!

So what's on the menu? You can create your own plate, choosing one meat (like rosemary turkey or wild salmon salad), one green or grain (like tomato brown rice, house greens or baby spinach), three market sides (like kale & apple salad, roasted local Brussels sprouts or organic whole wheat orzo & arugula salad), and one sauce or spread (like tzatziki spread, house hot sauce or guacamole). They also have an array of cold-pressed raw juices. The best part? It doesn't break the bank!

There are 5 locations in the city. Click here for more information.

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Hummus Kitchen
When I lived on the Upper East Side, Hummus Kitchen was my go-to spot when I wanted a light and healthy meal for brunch, lunch or dinner! If you choose to dine-in, the atmosphere is warm and inviting. It almost transports you to another place and time. And if you order out, you can rest assured that what you're eating is of the best quality.

Here's why you should try Hummus Kitchen:
*Their menu is packed with simple, healthy Mediterranean dishes!
*They have a seasonal kitchen, using top end raw ingredients - lots of vegetables, whole grains and beans!
*Their menu highlights the health benefits of certain dishes and provides tasty vegan options!
*Their staple - hummus - is made with organic chickpeas and believe me, it's delicious!

So what are my favorites? The Mediterranean chopped salad is excellent for a light meal - the ingredients are finely chopped and super fresh. Their Moroccan chicken wrap is my favorite dinner option - roasted chicken, hummus, mild Harisa sauce, cucumbers and parsley. And if you're in the mood for brunch, you can't go wrong with the green shakshuka!

There are 4 locations in the city. Click here for more information.

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Energy Kitchen
Energy Kitchen is going to take over the world. Yes, it's true. I've met one of the owners personally, and his vision is exceptional. The company's slogan says it all: fast food, not fat food. I love the idea behind their company, which they explain on their website, "Energy Kitchen was created with the belief that you shouldn't have to compromise health or taste when it comes to fast food".

When you need your food fast, here's why you should stop by Energy Kitchen:
*Everything on the menu is under 500 calories!
*The food is always grilled, baked or steamed... never fried!
*Their beef is grass-fed, free range, 90% lean and all natural!
*Their buns and wraps are made with whole grains!
*Calorie content is listed on the menu!
*All their food is cooked to order so you know it's fresh!

So what's on the menu? I love the kitchen chopped salad, a tasty mix of romaine, grilled chicken, scallions, tomatoes, blue cheese and turkey bacon. Then there's the delectable thai chicken wrap filled with grilled chicken breast, carrots, baked Chinese noodles, cucumbers and spicy peanut sauce on a whole wheat wrap. Even their sides are guilt-free! Try the asparagus salad, corn & edamame salad or the baked fries!

There are 7 locations in the city, but they are also open in Florida and New Jersey (with more states coming soon)! Click here for more information.

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Organic Avenue
I'm having a love affair with Organic Avenue, and it's a downright disservice to humanity that there's not one in my neighborhood yet. What's a girl supposed to do?!? Organic Avenue is known for their juice cleanses, but they also have a solid array of smoothies, salads, wraps, snacks and sweet treats! 

Organic Avenue should be on your list of spots to try (as soon as today) because:
*All the menu offerings are Certified Organic! You can rest assured that what you are eating is of the highest quality!
*Most of the menu items are raw, which means that you take in the most nutrition possible! Nothing is destroyed or lost by cooking!
*The company's founder Denise Mari practices what she preaches! She has been a vegan for the last 13 years, and her excellent health and glowing skin are proof of what the diet can do for you!

So what are my favorites? My lunch of choice is the big kale salad, a lip-smacking combination of shredded kale, arugula, red onion, carrots, hemp seeds, raisins and sun dried olives topped with possibly my favorite dressing in the whole wide world (I think that recipe might be top-secret). I also like to round out my lunch with the turmeric tonic - alkaline water, lemon, ginger and turmeric. This juice aids in digestion and relieves menstrual discomforts, among other things.

As of now, there are 8 locations in the city. Click here for more information.

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