When I first walked into Embody Fitness Gourmet after it opened last September, it was a hot sticky day, the kind that melts the asphalt in the road. I could barely breathe and was in the midst of my usual daily stress. My car had almost died and the AC was acting quirky so I rolled into the parking lot off Riverside Ave across from the gas station. I ordered a GT Surge, a blend of crushed ice, green tea, freshly pressed lemon and agave nectar accented with fresh mint. Suddenly, my mind drifted off as the cool mojito-like flavors hit my tongue. I was transported to some palm-tree beach far away. Now, that the days of hot sunshine are long gone, I pull over and grab a homemade bean and kale soup as well as another GT Surge, if only to return to the summer in my mind. It seems these days, after much bad news and crazy weather, I need to escape often.
A tiny but pristine tiled spot in Westport’s Bridge Square, Embody has become my go-to place for fast healthy stuff like unique shredded veggie/hummos wraps, juices, smoothies, and now soups like white bean, squash and kale. The food has gym-themed names like “shredder” and “blaster” but the ingredients are pure. While a typical smoothie might contain refined sugars and loads of calories, an Embody smoothie includes whole fruit and high protein powder, fiber and omega 3s. Their raw blends include the Colada Raw which features raw avocado, cashews and pineapple blended with pure coconut water. My favorite after the gym blend is the POM Pure, pomegranate juice mixed with strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, flax and whey protein. The “New Beginnings” section of their menu contains different day-long juice cleanses “for those who wish to be absolved of their sins and re-assimilate into a healthy living pattern after a period deviation – like returning from vacation, or a particularly fun weekend.” All you need to do is call or text your order in advance and they will prepare all you need for the day.
Owner and founder Gillen Bryan, a Stamford native who studied finance, decided to open his fitness themed café in 2007 in Darien as the economy was tanking, as a way to help others eat healthier and live better. Now with three locations and more in the works – it looks like Gillen’s vision of providing healthy, quick easy meals has caught on and has become a road-side welcome in any season.
54 Riverside Ave, Westport, CT
Catherine Siroka, is a mother of 2 boys and the editor and publisher of Macaroni Kid, a local parenting newsletter. When she’s not dreaming of eating chocolate or sitting on a beach, she welcomes your thoughts. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.westport.macaronikid.com.