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Eat Yourself Healthy – Sally Joseph

My Healthy ‘New York Food’ Trail – eating healthy in the big apple

My Healthy 'New York Food' Trail – eating healthy in the big apple


For the past 6 weeks I have been in the United States researching how the Yanki’s like to eat and although the press and TV provide a pretty good insight from a far, it’s not until you spend a decent period of time in their country, that you come to experience the all American diet firsthand. It’s easy to understand why American’s (like the rest of the west) are falling victim to a malnutrition epidemic that is inducing every preventable lifestyle disease and illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease irritable bowel syndrome, ADHD, depression and arthritis.

Too many Americans are reliant on fast food outlets to do the cooking for them, as the temptation of an endless choice of drive through chains seems to make better sense than freshly preparing a home cooked meal. Ordering ‘supersize’ is still the norm rather than the exception and every fast food meal comes with a side of fries and a bucket of soft drink aka sugar! If you study what actually goes into their convenience food, much of the ingredients are so far removed from their natural state, it cannot be considered real food.

Along with the rest of the west, America’s demand for fast, convenience food has lead manufacturers to develop products that are ready to eat with just the peel of a packet and the press of a button, but the only way to achieve this is through the addition of toxic chemical preservatives, masses of salt, sugar and processed fats. So my mission whilst travelling in the States – to seek out ‘real, clean food’ in order to maintain my usual eating habits as closely as possible and continue to experience good health.

My criteria for ‘real, clean food’:

  • Those that are as close to how nature intended – nil to minimal processing
  • Free of artificial additives
  • Using cooking methods that maintain the nutritional value
  • Free from the three nasties – gluten, sugar & cows dairy.

My diet whilst in the US would involve a mix of home cooked meals and eating out, so my healthy food trail began with a trip to my local organic grocery store to stock the pantry with a few essentials. If you have picked up a copy of my e-book Eat Yourself Healthy In 28 Days, you’ll know one of the best ways to gauge the health of your shopping basket, is to ensure it contains as few packaged foods as possible – with the majority being fresh, natural foods. The few packaged foods I did buy – such as almond and unrefined coconut milk, gluten free bread and non-cow’s dairy yoghurt, (view my essential healthy grocery list here) still required a close analysis of the labels and nutritional panel, as I was shocked to discover even products sold in health food stores contained some form of ‘added sugar’ – including the most deadly and addictive form – HFCS – high fructose corn syrup!

But my American food experience was not all doom and gloom, as with a little effort, I managed to discover plenty of healthy cafés and grocery items, so below is ‘my healthy Food trail’ compiled during my time in New York City which you can use to guide you if you plan on visiting or live in the big apple.

Day one in New York and I headed off to my local Whole Foods Market – America’s only national health food chain and from what I can gather, unlike Oz, the US does not have a national grocery store like Coles and Woolthworths, other than the bulk buy chain Cost Co – which I might add does stock a range of organic products.


I was totally blown away by the size of Whole Foods Market health food stores – more like our national super markets in size than a health food store!

Perhaps one of my favourite discoveries while in NYC was Organic Avenue. A chain of 11 stores that brings freshly prepared raw, organic food, juice cleanses, food preparation classes, as well as educational events on all things healthy, to busy yet health conscious New Yorkers. Organic Avenue is the brain child of Denise Mari whose inspiration evolved from her love of wholefoods, healing and vegetarianism. I stumbled across their Upper East Side store on a hot New York summers day. I was craving something fresh and green, bursting with nutrition having missed out on my green goddess juice combo I drink each day at home. No sooner was my wish granted when the un-miss able orange flags beckoned me inside.

There was every combination of cold pressed vegetable juice you could wish for, as well as range of smoothie’s blended from a variety of of non-cow’s milk alternatives – including hemp, cashew, almond and coconut milk.

Organic Avenue green juice bar ‘to go’. My favourite was the ‘Green moneky smoothie’ – banana, kale, coconut water,  lacuma, barely and wheat grass powder.

For lunch or dinner I would typically grab the quinoa & kale salad and (no grain) zucchini lasagne or the sunflower falafel and dandelion salad – now this is ‘food as medicine’ at its best!

If I felt like indulging in the odd sweet treat, I would grab one of their incredible raw deserts – my favourite the Chia seed, vanilla tapioca with raw cocoa.

I also discovered a great little health food store and café whilst staying in the West Village of New York called Thyme Life. I shopped there regularly for organic vegetables and health food products such as sheep’s yoghurt, almond and coconut milk, coconut oil, herbal tea’s, organic nuts and more!  They also have a huge selection of pre-cooked, organic, vegan dishes you can take out,  but be sure to get in before rush hour as everything can disappear thanks to the hungry executives that descend on the place after work.

I tried their sunrise pie with quinoa, millet and fresh organic vegetables and spices – delicious!
One thing I am disappointed to report in all the trips to various health food and grocery stores, I could not find a gluten free bread that did not contain some form of added sugar! So if you’re reading this and you know of a GF brand in the US that is sugar free, please send me a comment below!

Midway through my stay in NY, it was my birthday, so I was in foodie heaven when my long-time client and friend Jen  introduced me to this fantastic restaurant called ABC kitchen on 35th East & 18th Stree, Manhattan. They serve the most incredible fresh food made from all organic ingredients – be sure to add it to your must do list!

Fresh produce at ‘ABC kitchen’. My menu choice – the sea bass with wilted spinach and a quinoa and snow pea side which was absolutely delicious( sorry guys I forgot to take a photo of the quinoa!)

They also have an amazing home wares section although be prepared to pay a pretty penny or be content just to browse!

Another place well worth a visit is Eataly – New York’s answer to an authentic Italian market, you’ll be in foodie heaven as you struggle to decide which choice of Italian food you feel like. It may not be all organic, but the produce is high quality and fresh and don’t worry its far from all pasta – something I avoid being gluten free. They also offer cooking classes and wine tasting

Next stop on the menu was a place called Digg Inn, they have 5 stores throughout Manhattan and I was really impressed with their selection of amazing produce. Their food philosophy struck a real cord with me – ‘Bottom line – we believe that you don’t have to be a health food martyr to eat well. Quality, healthful food is about abundance, freshness, and flavor – not deprivation’. –  I couldn’t have said it better myself!


So folks if your visiting or living in NYC and keen to keep your food real and your waist line down while in town, I hope my personal, nutritionist recommended, ‘healthy food trail’ guide – with a few treats thrown in for good measure, will keep you on track and away from those pretzels and burgers, because eating healthy in NYC couldn’t be easier if you know where to go!

When I land back on Australian shores in a couple of weeks, spring will have almost sprung! That means it’s time for a Spring clean of your insides so that your outsides will glow, and you can be bikini ready for summer and be bursting with energy, so be sure to join me on my week by week guide to my Eat Yourself Healthy detox program and just by purchasing a copy you will go into the draw to win a stack of great prizes, so stay tuned for my next post to find out more.

For more health tips and delicious recipes, checkout my e-book, Eat Yourself Healthy.
It's not just a healthy diet, but a way of life, so you can feel better than you have ever felt before .
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  1. good information shared!!!

  2. good information shared!!!

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