Hi Philly Food Lovers! I’m Alyssa Beerger - a fitness instructor in Philadelphia and the Philly suburbs. You may be wondering why a fitness instructor (specifically Barre, Pilates, & Yoga instructor) is making a guest appearance on a popular food blog. The answer is, I love to eat too! In case you haven’t noticed, Philadelphia health food is having a serious moment. To prove that point, I recently had the good fortune of meeting Sembat of Phillyfoodlove at local healthy food joint - Bryn & Danes. We were both there trying out a bunch of Bryn & Dane's favorites; smoothies, wraps, salads, and acai bowls. We got to talking about what we do, and the topic of Instagram came up. I realized my followers lean more towards the healthy side and LOVE when I post a salad or a smoothie that I make and attach a recipe, and his followers LOVE the biggest, yummiest and sometimes greasiest looking sandwiches and meals. Yet here we both were, a food blogger and a fitness professional taking the same pictures of a delicious acai bowl. We had a great time at lunch, and later that day he asked if I’d be interested in writing an article about the importance of healthy eating. The rest is history!
I want to start of by saying I love comfort food, fancy food, foodie food, greasy food, AND also healthy food! I eat all types of things, but in my daily life I try to eat a lot of fresh/non processed items and drink a ton of water. My breakfast is usually some kind of egg, or avocado wheat toast. My snacks are things like bananas. I never drink soda. My lunches are typically big salads with homemade vinaigrette dressings. For dinner, I’ll have some kind of protein with a veggie & some kind of carb on the side. On the weekend, I’ll definitely have a beer (or two) and cheese fries, or pasta (maybe some ice cream too) Just FYI, I would still eat a salad or healthier breakfast in the mix of all these “not super healthy” items I just listed. The main thing I want you to take away from this article is eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to give up all the “junk” foods you love. It just means maybe eating them less often and adding in fresher, more nutritious options to your diet.
To anyone who’s trying to start a fitness routine, your diet is SO important to changing your body. It’s well known that our diets affect our health & well being. Food is your fuel. It’s what gives your the energy to do your workout. What you put into your body is what you get out of it. Not sure what I mean? Try switching up what you eat over the next few days (eat/drink less processed foods, and eat/drink more real foods like fruit, veggies, beans. Things that you would find in nature not things created by a company and put into a box). - see how differently you feel! You may even discover how yummy “healthy” foods can be.
I personally do a lot of meals at home (if you're really looking to get serious about being healthy I always recommend cooking at home) - but I also live an active on-the-go lifestyle. Luckily, there are a million places in and around Philadelphia that have healthier options - and they’re also delicious! Here are some of my tried and true go to’s:
1. Bryn & Dane's
This place is great because they have a TON of locations all over the Philadelphia area. Everything is made to order, but they’re pretty speedy! You don’t have to talk to anyone while ordering, just tap a screen, perfect for a quick in and out food grab. I pop in quite a bit when I need to refuel on the go. I’ll typical get a smoothie - usually the Mo’ Green as an energy booster after finishing my morning classes. I also really like the breakfast bowls they have. For lunch, you can’t go wrong with the East Asian Bistro Salad.
2. Snap Kitchen
If you haven’t been to Snap kitchen, do yourself a favor and go. It’s pretty amazing for healthy meals on the go. They have many different locations within Philadelphia and the suburbs. Everything is pre-packaged but FRESH. You can walk in, grab what you want and walk right out. Snap has it all - breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads, soups, small bites, sides, snacks, juices, and even sweet treats. What I’m about to tell you next is amazing. Snap Kitchen has weekly subscription meal plans approved by dietitians available to be delivered to you. It could literally not be MORE convenient to eat healthy! I kinda want to give one of their meal plans a try… maybe I will and then maybe I’ll write another article about it!
Not sure if veggies are your thing? This vegan restaurant will change how you think about vegetables! They have everything from burgers to chicken on their menu, with a healthy, tasty twist. You won’t even miss the fact that your burger isn't made out of meat, because it tastes that good. They also offer salads, breakfast, frozen treats, sides and catering if you're into throwing a vegan party!
Stir-fry & Salad - You can’t go wrong with fresh ingredients and transparent calorie counts. There's no better way to know what your eating than seeing the ingredients listed in the menu, and then being able to recognize them on your plate. HoneyGrow also has a ton of locations in our area, so it should be super easy to check out if you're looking for a hot meal. The Shiso Walnut Basil Pesto stir-fry is currently my favorite.
Follow Alyssa on Instagram @alyssa.beerger