If eating healthier and improving your diet is one of your New Year’s resolutions, there are several clean/healthy eating options in Onslow County ranging from vegan and vegetarian and those for meat and carb lovers.
There are also places equipped with healthy eating tips which can put you on the right path.
Onslow County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program Director Aisha Ford said one of the best ways to start improving your nutrition in the New Year is to start making family meal time a priority.
“A lot of times there’s a lot of distractions and we’re on the go and busy,” said Ford. “We don’t make our meal time a big priority so we end up picking things that aren’t the healthiest options. With making the family meal a priority, you’ll have improved nutrition. We’re actually preparing this meal, sitting down together, making our plates, and everybody’s sitting, eating, and setting aside time to do that.”
A lot of people look to fad diets, such as keto and paleo, though Ford said these are not good to follow, despite the results people will see.
“People do lose weight,” said Ford. “That’s what makes them so attractive, but long-term health wise, it’s not good to follow those diets, because, say for example, the keto diet. That is not good for your cholesterol health. So, that diet should only be followed under the strict guidance of your health care provider. It does give results, but it’s not sustainable for the human and it’s not safe.”
Here are some places to visit around Onslow for healthy and clean dining options.
Blend Nutrition Bar
Blend Nutrition Bar is located at 109 Marine Blvd in Jacksonville and according to its website and Facebook page, it provides customers with an energizing healthy and delicious alternative to their everyday eating.
It offers a blend of healthy and delicious options ranging from acai bowls, smoothies, artisan toasts and printed coffee.
Blend is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For more information, visit its website, or call 910-939-5003.
Clean Eatz is located at 1843 Lejeune Blvd. in Jacksonville and according to its Facebook page, it’s a locally-owned, healthy cafe focused on serving good food at an affordable price. It offers dine-in lunch and dinner, grab-n-go meals, meal plans, smoothies and healthy supplements.
Clean Eatz owner Brooke Jackson said they see a huge influx of New Year’s “resolutioners” come January, February and March, and that they are the only healthy eating cafe specifically geared towards meal prepping and vegan eating in town.
“For those who have the New Year’s resolution goals of weight loss or their health or fitness, we are a great option to still have the ability to dine out, and still take your family out to eat, while still being focused on your goals,” Jackson said.
She said their founders were in the body building industry, and that their main goal was to give those who do have a health and fitness goal in mind, or those who have strict dietary, diabetic, or health complications, the option to dine out and be social with friends and family.
“Our mission is to create healthy eating a lifestyle,” said Jackson, “and with that it means converting all those fun favorite meals that you love, like mac and cheese, and just creating a healthier version of it, so we do like a cauliflower keto mac and cheese.”
She said you can still have ice cream and fudge, however, they create healthier pre-portioned versions to avoid overeating or undereating.
Jackson said a lot of customers come in hoping to stick to their restrictive fad diets, but that those just aren’t attainable for long-term goals. Clean Eatz’s meal prepping, however, has huge success.
“They’re still being able to eat those things that they love in the correct portion control,” Jackson said. “We sit down with each customer and we go over their goals, their needs, and we make sure they’re eating enough. We’re partnered with all the gyms in town to give all those customers a percentage off of our meal plans.”
Clean Eatz is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit their Facebook page, or call 910-333-1736.
“We’ve been open and established for about five years now, so just getting out to the community and letting them know that we are here as an option to help,” said Jackson said.
Fresh Blends has two locations in Jacksonville, one in the Jacksonville Mall, and the other beside Target at 1395D Western Blvd.
Fresh Blends, according to their website and Facebook page, has acai bowls, 100% real fruit and vegetable smoothies, raw cold press juices and juice cleanses, and is family owned and operated.
Fresh Blends is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, visit freshblends910.com, or call 910-353-0095.
Napoli Cafe is located at 965 Old Folkstone Rd Unit 102 in Sneads Ferry, and according to their Facebook page, serves coffee, subs and sandwiches, smoothies, and fresh salads.
Napoli Cafe is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information, visit their Facebook page, or call 910-327-1210.
Reporter Morgan Starling can be reached at [email protected]