By Malika Bowling
Let’s face it, once the holidays are over, we are facing short, blustery days with no holiday on the horizon until May! Many of us walk into the new year with our clothes feeling a bit tighter. Sure that egg nog and extra cookies seemed like a good idea at the time. If that’s you and you aren’t happy with that number on the scale, don’t fret. Here is your guide to healthy eating without sacrificing taste!
Never Enough Thyme
With two locations in both Alpharetta and Forsyth, this restaurant is the perfect spot to kick start your healthy eating habit for the new year without sacrificing any taste. There are a plethora of salads and a couple rice bowls made with healthy ingredients like quinoa and even full entrees like honey balsamic salmon or lemon roasted cod. Of course, even if you are dining with guests that don’t want to eat healthy there are burgers and hearty sandwiches like prime rib and dishes like meatloaf topped with merlot mushrooms.
One of the best things about Perisan food is that they use so many amazing spices to kick up the flavor of their food. You won’t find foods covered in overly rich, creamy sauces, just quality ingredients that let the flavor of the items shine through. The Persian Basket Salad with caramelized pears and a mustard vinaigrette can have a protein addition of trout or chicken kabob for a healthy meal.
If you are looking to go vegetarian or Gluten Free, the menu at Persian Basket has plenty of options to satisfy your appetite. Try the Persian spiced shrimp. Don’t miss out on their signature dish, Mirza Ghasemi – a delicious smoked eggplant dip with caramelized onions.
If your kickstart to healthy new year eating includes eating more meals at home you are in luck because Persian Basket has a market attached to it with plenty of prepared foods to go that are easy on the wallet. On their site, PersianBasket.com you’ll find spices, nuts and meats in addition to full packaged meals that feed two for just $12 plus shipping. Family meals are just under $50. Order online and have them shipped to you.
The word is out on the Local Expedition, which is a popular lunch spot in Alpharetta on Windward Parkway. The restaurant prepares fresh, flavorful dishes with a global perspective. Here you’ll find Mediterranean dishes like hummus and falafel or Chinese chicken salad or even a Southwestern salad. Most popular on the menu, are the plates that come with your choice of protein (vegan falafel, chicken breast or portobello mushrooms) on top of basmati rice, with pita bread plus a side. Don’t want to give up wings? You don’t have to. TLE’s chicken wings are smoked and much more healthy than other wings.
Protip: we love the “Just Sides” plate with more than a dozen rotating sides to choose from like Butternut Squash with Kale, Sweet Potato with Black Sesame, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, or Maple Carrots with Parsley just to name a few.
This beachy style restaurant is a ray of sunshine in the otherwise bleak time of year known as January. Bright colors draw you in and the freshly made salads, power bowls and array of tasty sauces is just what you need to snap you out of a post holiday funk.
Salads include chickpeas, avocado, seasonal fruit and low fat dressings like lemon vinaigrette and honey tarragon. Power bowls (also Gluten free) contain quinoa, plantains, black beans and other filling items. Of course there are tasty tacos, burgers and the Lobster Roll for if / when your health kick needs a break.
Crazy Love Coffee
We love this cozy coffee spot in the heart of downtown Roswell right on Canton Street. Get the Gluten Free southwest quinoa bowl or the Strawberry pecan salad. Muesli or a rolled oat muffin are also on the menu for those dedicated to healthy eating. One of our favorites is the Avocado toast with tomatoes, scallions and cilantro.
After many years of being an in-town only establishment, we are thrilled Souper Jenny has a Roswell location to fill the void in the North Fulton area. As the name suggests, the menu is soup heavy. But don’t worry, these are hearty soups! Think items like Turkey Chili or Winter Vegetable Chowder. Even heartier is the Beef lasagna soup.
Souper Jenny also carries salads like a California Cobb with grilled chicken and an Israeli Couscous with toasted pecans and an apple cider vinaigrette dressing.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And health experts agree that eating a well rounded, protein packed breakfast is a nutritious way to start the day. First Watch has you covered with locations in Alpharetta, Cumming and Johns Creek. Plus First Watch serves their breakfast / brunch menu everyday until they close. Nice to know if you are a late riser.
Coffee is specially made for them but if that’s not your thing, kick off your morning with a kale juice or a Morning Meditation juice made with Turmeric ginger, beet and lemon. Then more on to an egg white Power Wrap or an egg white omlette with Cremini mushrooms. A pesto chicken quinoa bowl is a really popular item. Of course there are several salads and frittatas to choose from as well that are quite healthy while giving you that protein packed kickstart to your day.
Fun fact: First Watch builds all their restaurants so that all windows face away from the sun. No need to worry about any glare while you are enjoying your breakfast / brunch.
If the gym isn’t your thing, these seven spots will help you get your figure back without disappointing your taste buds.