Healthy Resolutions

00:00 December 19, 2012

The post holiday diet is something we are all familiar with. Instead of spending the leftovers of your Christmas bonus on hokey workout dvds, fad diet foods, and aerobics classes, why not empower yourself with the knowledge of how the human body processes and stores food. Though it is imperative to leave the holiday eating behaviors to the actual holidays, you can sustain life in a manner that doesn't leave you feeling as though you're starving yourself back to skinny.

When you eat, your metabolism increases because you generate more body heat, a process known as thermogenesis. It is a proven fact that protein, a very valuable and important component of the human daily diet, leaves you with a full sensation, more so than any other food. Protein-rich foods increase thermogenesis and, since proteins take longer to digest, make you feel fuller longer.

Foodies, the Arts District's newest eatery, runs on a farm-to-table concept with all of its fresh fare. Owner John Michael Wade calls the cuisine a “Gumbo mix of healthy, fresh food.” He believes unaltered vegetables and fruits make for a purer eating experience, and he's exactly right. He says that the biggest pre and post lunch rush seller is the smoothie. The smoothie is an awesome way to up your protein as well as consume necessary vitamins and minerals, all the while kickstarting your metabolism. Offered in fresh fruit, protein, and spirulina green formula, it's always in season regardless of the temperature outside.

Make sure to stop by during their smoothies happy hour from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. daily. Along with a full-service coffee bar, Foodies offers wraps, paninis, and salads, all of which are available as a vegetarian option. He advises: “Not a lot of dressings or sauces are used because the ingredients complement each other really well, so people with food allergies are initially pretty safe. They can certainly let us know their dietary issues so we can accommodate substitutions.”

Though smoothies may be an excellent go-to breakfast item, meal substitute, or snack, the salad has been a light lunch menu item for centuries, given the Renaissance era is credited with its invention. Dieting men and women worldwide have relied on the salad to grant them the ability and courage to stay on track.

Between the Bread, the Warehouse District's delicatessen-style eatery and coffee shop, is located just off the St. Charles Streetcar Line by Lafayette Square. In the heart of judiciary offices, among other businesses, baristas suggest their lunch rush is the busiest two hours of the day. Big sellers are their assortment of salads, which include the vegetarian fruit-and-nut-filled Asian salad, the Smoked Salmon Salad with capers and boiled egg, and the protein-based Tuna Salad served over a bed of fresh greens. Most salad menu entries can be altered with the addition of chicken, turkey, or smoked salmon and ordered with dressing on the side.

Snacking is another metabolism-boosting method of action. Snacking throughout the day on healthy foods, like protein-rich nuts and betacarotene loaded vegetables, is a great defense against crippling hunger. Starving yourself to the point of intense hunger leads to binge eating, defeating the purpose of any diet. Compromising one's dietary needs is also a concern when hunger takes the place of rationality.

Carmo is an allergy friendly vegetarian and vegan haven for those seeking sustenance in healthy portions. Their menu items, offered in small and large portion sizes, remind me of an almost tapas style serving presentation. Reasonable doses of healthy fare noted as allergen free, vegetarian, and vegan where applicable, aid guests with dietary concerns. The well-versed staff prides itself in the fact that all items on the menu are locally sourced and organic, and they promote the cuisine as beneficial for fueling the body as well as the brain.

But what if you're stuck in meetings all day and can't break away from the office? Unless you're looking for a viable excuse to break your diet on the three-week-old bag of chips in the break room's free game basket, fear not. Green To Go is a bicycle delivery service developed by a local family looking to share the greater, greener good. Their business motto suggests that a healthier lifestyle can be obtained by eating color, and they recommend “eating the rainbow” to receive the nutrition nature intended you to ingest. The menu, a four-color based diagram of salads, insightfully includes nutritional information as well as weight watcher points to help every dieter decide which option is perfect for them. They utilize local produce whenever possible and establish their stock of seasonal goods on organic properties, making it the most logical alternative to fast food.

The Fit Gourmet is yet another delivery service that prepares and delivers healthy gourmet lunches and dinners to your home or office. Offering protein-rich entrées, hearty vegetable portions, and delicious salads, they have been known to assist clients that confess their guilty pleasures with healthy alternatives and meal suggestions. With no minimum order and no delivery fee, it’s almost too good to be true.

We aren't fail-proof beings, but we are residents of a progressive city that presents many options for fresh and healthy dining. Creating your healthy journey begins in establishing positive eating habits. Arming yourself with the knowledge of what is available to you is the first step in forging your will power. Actualizing your wholesome plan is easy when the right tools to carry out the task are within reach.

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