Being a ballerina tends to come with stereotype that we eat very little, when in fact, it is quite the opposite, and don’t get me wrong, I can go for a giant bowl of ice cream or a juicy hamburger any day.
Personally, I have always been interested in nutrition and the amazing benefits that good food can have on your body, so I decided to go to school and get my bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science (which I finished this past April, yay!).
We are definitely the kind of people who like to go out and enjoy the amazing restaurants our sweet town of Sanford has to offer. Over the last couple of weeks, we went to some of our favorite spots around town so I could share the plentiful options these restaurants have that lean more towards the healthy side; and let me tell you, this was one delicious research project!
My first stop was to Roots Raw Juice bar downtown. A lot of people have become more interested in the idea of juicing because of the amazing benefits it has.I personally love freshly made juice because with so many other potentially harmful “diet cleanses” on the market, why not have something made fresh and right in front of you directly from mother nature?
The juice I ordered was called “Good Vibes” and contained cucumber, mint, apple and pineapple, which was great for a hot day.
They also sell smoothies, their most popular being the “Tropical Blast,” made of mango, banana, strawberry, pineapple, and organic apple juice, as well as “life shots.” The 2 different shots they sold in our location were the Wheatgrass and the Miracle shot, made from cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, and lemon. All of these ingredients are great for detoxing your liver, so if you have a little too much fun at one of downtown’s happy hours, I strongly recommend this as your morning-after recovery aid!
My next stop was to The Tennessee Truffle where we got to meet chef/owner Nat who was an absolute pleasure. This is a farm-to-table restaurant that supports a lot of local farms in Sanford, Oviedo, Orlando and Winter Park, just to name a few.
Since their menu is always changing based on what is fresh and in season, some meals in restaurant don’t always appear online, like my Watermelon Salad. This is a great option for my vegetarian friends, and although I am not a vegetarian myself, on a hot Florida summer day this is definitely my go to from now on. The salad consisted of compressed watermelon, B&W farm arugula, charred red onions and corn, marinated feta and a watermelon and serrano sorbet. Yes, sorbet. I will warn you that it does have a bit of a kick to it, but who doesn’t like a little spice in their life?
Now, James and I are never ones to resist a sweet craving and Chef Nat was kind enough to make us their famous smoked brown butter ice cream with an olive oil drizzle topped with smoked sea salt. The best part was that it came out on a covered tray encased with cherry wood smoke for that extra flavor. Amazing.
My third stop was to The Rosie Lee Co. at their brand-new location on Park Avenue in downtown Sanford where I got to meet owner Kim and get a quick lesson on some of her favorite tea recommendations. Not one for caffeine personally, I asked herwhat the best option for me was, to which she recommended the Restore Blend, good for a boost of energy designed to support women by restoring balance in the body and adding Osmanthus to give it a floral aroma and flavor with a touch of sweet and creamy. It almost tasted like a creamsicle!
Her most popular teas are a green tea named Vitality and 2 black teas; Endurance (made from Ashwagandha Root which translates to ‘power of a horse’ and specifically engineered for men to help reenergize and enhance performance, especially after extreme exercise or exertion) and Death Before Dishonor (an organic blend featuring adaptogens, including ashwaganda, eleuthero root, schizandra berry, goji berry, organic nettle, organic cinnamon, and organic oat straw with medium caffeine content). While I got mine without any sugar, she has options such as stevia, monk fruit, and agave for those of you who like to steer clear of regular sugar.
Lastly, we went to one of our favorite happy hours located at The District. Now you might think of happy hour as wings, sliders, and beer but don’t be fooled! The District is both vegan and vegetarian friendly, with items on their menu such as a zucchini wrap, portabella mushroom wrap and gnocchi. The gnocchi, which we shared, were absolutely mouthwatering. Also being a farm-to-table restaurant, the homemade marinara sauce over the gnocchi made it moist and delicious. The meal comes with 2 pieces of French bread, which you can of course also skip if you prefer.
While we did enjoy a few drinks, I had the white cranberry cosmo, which had cranberries in it so that counts, right?
While I definitely enjoy the occasional not-so-healthy meals, I find that I feel my best when I put good things into my body. Just know that eating healthy doesn’t always mean you can only eat lettuce and drink water. Healthy options are always there, you just have to be willing to look for them and try new things!