As I have gotten older, I have become more self aware and cautious about my health. For one, my body doesn’t metabolize like it used to. I recall eating a bag of chips almost everyday of grade school and pretty much fast food all throughout college but with some work in the gym, I was able to maintain or lose. However, now at this age, my body does not break down the junk like it used to, but rather stores these bad calories like i’m prepping for winter 24/7, 365! And even though I work out pretty often (4x a week or so), you’d think I would have the figure of a bikini competitor. But you’re wrong lol, my body is a result of decades of horrible food choices. Even working out 4x a week does not negate all of this bad eating. If I want to look and feel better, it boils down to a few things: a) eating in moderation; b) less sugar; c) less sodium; d) more (raw) fruits and veggies; e) watch out for food that would increase my cholesterol; and f) be strategic with my complex and simple carbs consumption. With all that being said, I have been consciously looking for healthier food options in Chicago. Sure, they are more pricey, but spending a few extra dollars for a much healthier meal will help my health in the long run.
Of course, I still indulge often but I have cut back because I have found other alternatives that helped curb my cravings or satisfy my cravings that are healthier!
In no particular order I present to you my top five favorite healthy food spots!
- Snap Kitchen— Every menu item is chef-created and chef-prepared. Each meal is nutrient-dense and portion-controlled. Their snacks and beverages are meant to fuel you not fool you. These already prepared meals are ready to go, just heat them up and enjoy! The flavors are bold and the portion is filling. There are snap kitchens all over Chicago!
- Kramer’s Health Foods — Kramer’s Health Foods has been a staple in the Chicago downtown area since 1936. Kramer’s is a vegetarian cafe serving an assortment of products. This business is a cafe, restaurant, grocery store, juice bar, and more. They have ready to go meals, both hot and cold. I stop by Kramer’s pretty frequently. Whether it is to grab a smoothie or a prepared kale salad, I am always left very satisfied. I haven’t found another spot like Kramer’s!
- BeezZee Health Foods: — With only two locations in Chicago, it’s sort of difficult to make my way to BeeZzEe, but they do pick up or delivery. Beezzee is a restaurant and cafe. They serve coffee, but they also have salads, wraps, rice bowls, protein dense dishes, oh and my favorite – crepes!!
- LYFE KITCHEN: — LYFE stands for Love Your Food Everyday. At LYFE they really pride themselves on greens, grains, proteins and seasonal vegetables to create balanced meals. The meals are well-crated, flavorful and nourishing! It is “health casual” restaurant. You can dine in or take it to go. I love their veggie burgers and sweet potato fries! They also serve vegan truffles that are to die for! Yes, vegan!
I am sure some are wondering why Native Foods did not make the list, but just because you’re a vegetarian restaurant doesn’t automatically make you “healthy”. Although I love me some Native foods, a lot of their dishes are high in fats, sodium, and calories. I have nothing against Native Foods, actually I love eating there, but when I think of healthy options, I do not immediately think of Native Foods.
Well, I hope that helped! Cheers to Eating Good and Living Great!
(Opinions and thoughts are of my own. I was not paid for this post.)