80% of New Year’s resolutions don’t make it to February. Yeeks. Sorry. Not to start our 2019 Healthy Eating Guide off on a negative foot or anything. Are you determined, though, that this will be the year that you finally cut the junk, cut the excuses, and buckle down so you don’t have to move that ol’ belt buckle? We thought so and therefore, we’d like to give you a leg up on throwing that 80% statistic to the ground and showing it who is boss. When you surround yourself with the healthy stuff, it makes it easy to enjoy the healthy stuff, so that said, we’ve got a nice long list of inventive, delicious, inspiring spots that are serving up food that will help you cruise into February with your head held high.
New and Notable Spots
Beer as a healthy beverage? Do we have your attention?
Athletic Brewing is pioneering a revolution in non-alcoholic craft beer, allowing you to make new year’s resolutions without compromises. Beer can be a delicious, refreshing beverage with wide-ranging health benefits without the dehydrating and calorie-dense alcohol. Their flagship beers are fully-fermented, low in calories (50-70!), and are made using only certified organic grains. They are brewed using a proprietary, all-natural process in their local Stratford, CT brewery by a multiple award-winning team. Athletic Brewing offer an approachable complexity which pairs great with social occasions or weeknight dinners! The healthier qualities such as low pH, potassium, calcium, iron, electrolytes also make them a great option for your active lifestyle. They currently offer a non-alcoholic IPA and Golden Ale, with new offerings rotating into their seasonal release schedule at their tap room. Sold at over 400 CT locations, so check out their website to find a nearby store on the location finder. Bottoms up!
Heather Carey, Culinary Nutritionist/Cooking Instructor
The new year brings forth resolution and change, especially when considering your health. If you are looking for a lasting way to start the year right, check out The Green Palette Kitchen, a state of the art boutique teaching kitchen in Southport. People come to The Green Palette Kitchen for group cooking classes, private cooking lessons, or private cooking parties with Heather Carey, a culinary nutritionist and cooking instructor. Heather’s goal with her clients is to teach people how to make simple, healthy food delicious as well as nutritious. She makes nutrition easy to understand by showing you how to prepare food in simple, yet interesting ways in your very own kitchen. After cooking up warming dishes such as Curried Butternut Squash Soup or an Apple Cherry Crumble, guests have a chance to sit and enjoy the healthy meal they have created. “My goal is to teach healthy cooking in an enjoyable and nonjudgmental way that people can actually use in their day to day lives. We all need to eat, what goes in our bodies should be high priority.” Heather’s focus on eating is plant-based, organic and seasonal. Heather also sees people for one-on-one nutrition coaching and counseling.
The stark modern surroundings hint that this is going to be a different experience from the get-go. Usually, going out for Chinese doesn’t equate to healthy dining…until now. LuLu uses organic and local ingredients, wild caught fish, humanely raised meats that are antibiotic and hormone-free, and free-range chicken. You can enjoy the classics like Crab Rangoon, Spicy Fried Rice, Szechuan Fried Noodles, Tangerine Beef, and Cantonese Roast Chicken, buuuut, the ingredients are a notch above. Such a nice twist on an old favorite, wouldn’t you say? Open 7 days.
Maikana Foods and Mini Maikana
“Let food be thy medicine” is the thought behind Maikana Foods' healthy meal delivery service. Healthy and wholesome meals delivered right to your door! Your health starts from the inside out and Maikana provides an easy and simple way to keep up with these beneficial eating habits. With power bowl salads like one that has quinoa, mixed greens, turmeric-roasted sweet potatoes, roasted beets, dried cranberries, steamed haricot verts, chickpeas, toasted almonds and goat cheese with 3-B dressing (beets, blueberry, balsamic) and dinners such as Spaghetti Squash with Traditional Bolognese and Spinach or breakfasts such as Southwestern Tofu Scramble over quinoa, black beans, red pepper and roasted sweet potatoes, you really cannot go wrong. Phew! Hungry yet? Recently launched, Mini Maikana is the best answer to getting kids to eat better! It’s a simple menu with kid’s fan-favorites, all made from scratch with healthy, organic ingredients. Local kids are loving dishes like the Banana Chocolate Oatmeal Pancakes, Spinach and Apple Quesadillas and Vegan Black Bean Brownies. Maikana always uses simple, seasonal and organic ingredients in a way that keeps you nourished and satisfied and all meals are approved by local nutritionist, Katie Diehl. Simply order online and meals are delivered the following day. Extra thought: Add on their stress-relieving Maikana powdered adaptogen superblends to your recipes and smoothies and your healthy lifestyle is complete.
Myx Creative Kitchen
Myx it up, baby! Order online or in store…choose from either the chef’s items or customize them to your own liking! When you customize online you see photos of every ingredient (handy for those with allergies), the calorie count, and how that count fluctuates based on what you add. So cool! Add extra base ingredients, proteins, or sauces. Try their breakfasts (toasts, oats, chia cups, eggs, smoothies), salads, saute bowls and gluten-free pizza and have fun tailoring your meals to your heart’s content. The great thing: you’ll never get bored ordering here because the possibilities are endless.Open 7 days.
Nit Noi Provisions
Nit Noi Provisions crafts slow-simmered broths and Thai soups made with love, and by hand, from family recipes. Nit Noi broths are great on their own, as prepared Thai (take-out/delivery) meals, or as an easy foundation for your own recipes. With locally sourced and organic ingredients, using bones of pastured animals, these broths are healthy, restorative, and excellent for gut health, muscle recovery and immunity. The customizable menu can accommodate all dietary concerns and/or preferences with vegan, paleo, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low carb and keto offerings. Pre-order online, pick up in-kitchen or request delivery to Norwalk, Darien and Westport. Please refer to website or instagram for hours and additional information.
Off the Wheat Sweets and Eats
Off the Wheat Sweets and Eats, located in the Hudson Valley, offers gluten-free sweet and savory baked goods. The taste and texture are deliciously indulgent! Products are baked using Hudson Valley farms’ ingredients, including eggs from pastured chickens, grass fed butter, cheese that is Animal Welfare Approved (when available), and cornmeal and oats that are local and non-GMO. The gluten-free flour blend consists of almond, organic coconut, oat and cassava flours. Sweeteners are either organic coconut sugar or Hudson Valley honey and maple syrup. Their baked goods include several varieties of sweet cakes, cookies and bars, flourless chocolate cake, savory Keto breads and cheesy cheese bombs. Vegan options and special orders are always welcome! Keto breads, cheesy cheese bombs and sugar free brownie bars are always available at Essential Health in West Hartford and Off the Wheat appears at the Westport Farmers’ Market. Delivery is also available for special catering orders. View current line of goods on their website.
What you put into your body is exactly what you get out of it, right? So eat to feel good and live well! And now you can do so at two locations, the newest one in New Canaan. Organika wants to help you to detoxify and repair from the ever-present toxins in the environment (or the holiday season!). It is this love of people and food and hope for humanity that drives their desire to create delicious gluten-free, GMO-free, vegan and vegetarian fare, from beverages and breakfasts to salads, entrees and desserts. Think Acai Bowls and Protein Bowls, healthy pizza and pasta, mounds of fresh salads, and a long list of smoothies. Even build-your-own salads and Hot Bowls! Their raw treats and desserts are made only with unrefined sugars and flours, so you can enjoy them in every way a dessert can be enjoyed. Healthy can taste good and they prove it. Make health and vitality a priority by eating in a preventative manner… and enjoy yourself along the way. Open 7 days.
Poke (pronounced “po-kay”), or diced raw fish, is a traditional Hawaiian food. It’s been glammed up a bit and mixed with other fun items in lunch bowls and now we have the photo-worthy Pokebowl. Pokeworks strives to utilize fresh, responsibly-sourced seafood in their dishes. Try the Signature works such as the Hawaiian Classic (ahi tuna, seaweed, cucumber, sesame seeds) or the Sweet Chili Tofu with blanched kale and edamame. Better yet, build your own bowl, burrito or salad! Choose a protein, add your mix-ins like herbs, veggies or fruit, slather it with a sauce and finish it with a sprinkle of toppings and “crunch”. Your poke, your way. Open 7 days.
Yalla Organic Food
Quality ingredients in a “quick and healthy culinary experience at an affordable price”. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Inspired by flavors of the Mediterranean, Yalla Organic is vibrant and fresh. Construct what you love to eat…pita? Salad? Wrap? Bowl? Add their Magic Hummus (also available in Red Pepper or Carrot), a protein like falafel, chicken, shakshuka, top with greens and veggies, add a sauce (lime garlic? pickled mango?Yalla Tahini?) and lunch is served! Top it off with some Pistachio, Chocolate or Vanilla Halva Bites. Available for pick up or delivery. Open 7 days.
Tried & True Spots
Food with Roots and so much to B. Good (so to speak)! This company stresses their community, their farmers and the people who make it all work together. As for their food, they use bushels of seasonal ingredients from neighboring states and local farms. Kale and Grain bowls, Breakfast Egg Bowls, Seasonal Salads chock full of veggies, nuts and beans, Wraps, Burgers with antibiotic-free and natural meats, Sandwiches, and cups and cups of fruity smoothies. Moms will be happy to know that kids’ menu items come with sides such as broccoli, apple sauce, or sweet potato fries. Order online or shop in the store. Quick healthy food options await. Note: they post all of their nutritional information online.Open 7 days.
An institution in the vegan/vegetarian/feminism realm, this bookstore and cafe serves up a healthy plate of organic, seasonal, ethnic good food along with good vibes. With a seasonal menu, you will find homemade breads, quiches, acclaimed soups, salads, entrees such as Spicy Thai “Chicken” or Mushroom Stroganoff and decadent desserts like Chocolate “devastation” cake that keep customers continually satisfied. Lunch, dinner and brunch are served, along with a wine and beer list, some of which being organic. All have been selected for a taste that is unique and memorable...just like the restaurant itself. Closed Mondays.
Catch a Healthy Habit
Raw, vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free, organic, or soy-free options and all super-healthy. Head here for “pizza” with almond, olive and tomato crust and cashew cheese or “lasagna” with zucchini pasta and “tacos” in Romaine shells. Getting the picture? Over 20 smoothies, 10 different juices (plus create-your-own), desserts, salads and soups round out this extensive *and raw* menu. This raw food restaurant stresses the health benefits of unadulterated (ie heated) ingredients. Their cleanses are offered each month, just stop by or call to arrange. As an added bonus, CAHH also hosts documentary screenings, talks by noted speakers in the fields of health and nutrition and raw food prep classes. Open 7 days.
Claire’s Corner Copia
Serving foods with ingredients that you can pronounce has long been the mantra at Claire’s Corner Copia. Thriving since 1975, Claire’s offers a treasure trove of healthy eats and supports a variety of environmental initiatives. Theirs is a Kosher certified kitchen, they use compostable cups and takeout boxes, anything plastic is BPA free, they are GMO-free, to name just a few ways that Claire’s is working to make the world a better place and their community healthier. Offering breakfast, sandwiches, soups, salads, flatbread pizzas, Mexican entrees, veggie burgers as well as vegan and dairy-free desserts, Claire’s caters to a variety dietary needs and preferences. Open 7 days.
Cross Culture Kombucha
Kombucha is a bubbly tea that is raw, non-alcoholic, and made by fermenting sweet tea with a live kombucha culture. After fermenting, the beverage contains loads of healthy organic acids, beneficial bacteria, vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes. These work together to support nutrition absorption, digestion, liver function and detoxification, joint health, immunity, pH balance, and overall well-being. Cross Culture Kombucha is made with high-quality ingredients and is preservative-free. They use a single-fermentation process, creating flavors simply with tea blends (Jasmine Green, Earl Grey, Original Green and our Limited Edition Tea), and never add juices or additional sugars. Cross Culture is Danbury's first kombucha brewery and they happily purchase ingredients from local suppliers. Check their website for locations where they are sold.
The Granola Bar
All day breakfast and lunch includes not-your-average eggs, avocado toast with a myriad of toppings, sandwiches and wraps, salads, smoothies, parfaits and, of course, 6 varieties of granola including a Vegan Grain-free. Add to all this healthy fun, a long list of artisanal coffee drinks (Turkish Latte, Turmeric Latte, Matcha Latte to name a few) and an array of baked goods and you have a place to sit and linger or grab and dash. Many fans of the restaurant commend their dedication to serving fresh, healthful dishes and offering a multitude of gluten-free and paleo options for diners. Open 7 days.
Green & Tonic
Explore and enjoy their breakfast, lunch and snacks, all with “dynamic ingredients while keeping the bad stuff out.” Cafe and takeout selections abound, with copious veggies at their core; breakfast bowls brimming with quinoa, granola or acai (chose from 13 other toppings, too), toasts loaded with avocado and hummus, salads and soups with roasted veggies, greens and grains. There are even some good-for-you desserts to satisfy that sweet tooth. Eat healthily and creatively! Open 7 days.
G-Zen is a 100% plant-based, sustainable, vegan restaurant. They source many of their organic ingredients from their own farm called Shadle Farm in Durham CT, hence offering “Seed to Table” cuisine. Enjoy their Buddha Brunches on Saturdays, healthy cocktails like a Vitamin C Boost Zen-tini or an Organic Mimosa, Artisan Cheese Plates with house made cashew cheese, Dim Sum plates, raw tacos, organic soups. The list is long and inventive. There is full service dining (complete with organic wines and beers) and take-out. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Head to this well-loved restaurant for vegan and vegetarian lunches and dinners. They have dairy-free, gluten-free and raw options, so there is something for everyone. Seitan, tempeh and tofu, in all their forms, take up residence here alongside veggies, beans and nuts to create meals that will feed you body and soul. They also make custom *vegan* cakes and have their own vegan cookbook, so you can create goodness in your own kitchen. Closed Monday.
Nature’s Temptations is a Natural Food Market, Juice Bar, Café & Deli that promotes health and wellness in their local community. They also support local causes that contribute to the betterment of the environment and community. We like that! You’ll find a host of products for specialized diets including wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw, and kosher. They also have a lengthy organic juicing menu and offer juice cleanses for 1, 3 or the recommended 5 days. Stop by and support a local business that’s been nourishing and supporting the community for over 25 years. Open 7 days.
“Where the Modern Cave people dine”. Don’t you just love that? At NewBrook paleo kitchen, you don’t need to give up taste and style while eating healthfully. Their chic and intimate café accommodates eat-in dining, take out meals, and elegant 6 course tasting dinners on select evenings. Although their food is always free of gluten, milk, corn, and soy, the offerings are flavorful and creative. A recent menu included choices such as: Build-your-own Cauliflower Pizza, Fig Caesar Salad, Truffle Tuna, and Leek and Artichoke Frittata. Come indulge in an organic cappuccino with almond milk paired with one of their acclaimed gluten-free desserts, or simply pick up satisfying snacks or frozen house-made paleo foods from their grab-and go-freezer. Closed Sunday and Monday.
New Morning Market
This is no ordinary market...yes, they have grocery items, a huge organic, 100% Non-GMO produce department, and a cafe BUT they also have a “Vitality Center” (think massages and meditation), events (think yoga, nature-inspired and food classes, a Singer-Songwriter series!) and even a FarmShare Program. As they point out, their “hope” for the past 43 years has been that “all people will nurture themselves, their families and their communities in a healthy and sustainable way that contributes to the wellness of all who share the Earth.” Their website also offers healthy recipes and smart articles to enhance your wellbeing and help you to “do good”, in the words of New Morning.
Organic, fresh, and vegan...just keep adding in the good stuff and stop worrying about what to take out, as the folks at Pure Alchemy say! Power your day with your choice of dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and Paleo options that are available on this exciting menu. It will be hard to choose, we promise! Offering plenty of fresh smoothies, juices, salads, wraps, “burgers”, bowls, and desserts, you’ll also be getting to know menu-players like kimchi, hemp seed, chaga, wheat grass and turmeric, too. Open 7 days.
At The Stand Juice Company, ingredients are sourced locally and are the products of close relationships to the many local farmers and artisans throughout Connecticut. With a healthy outlook and appreciation for the land, The Stand is thrilled to provide organic plant-based foods: smoothie bowls, big salads (“leafies”) and “sammies” such as Hummus-Avocado or a veggie Reuben and a myriad of juices to people who have already, or have the desire to start incorporating healthy eating into their lifestyle. Open 7 days.