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Monday, June 19, 2017

HEALTHY BITES

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Finding your way to some fresh alternatives for healthier food and beverage options.

It’s hard to eat healthy, regardless of where you live. In Louisiana – in particular Shreveport/ Bossier City – it’s even harder.

We love our food, and we love it in the unhealthiest of ways. Fried to frosted, smothered to stuffed, we are surrounded by culinary temptations which not only satisfy our taste buds, but also stretch our waist size and raise our cholesterol level.

However, if you have the desire, there are options for a healthy dining experience. Three area eateries, all with your health and well-being in mind, have recently opened.

Chicken Salad Chick Shoppes at Bellemead 6535 Youree Drive Shreveport

Being a business owner and a new mother, Lacy Galligan doesn’t have a lot of free time to cook. Yet, it’s important to her that she and her 14-month-old daughter, Samantha, eat healthy.

It’s a good thing Mom is co-owner of Chicken Salad Chick, a restaurant where healthy ingredients and preparedness are important.

“It’s something that I happily feed my own child,” Galligan said. “It’s very clean eating. There’s no MSG (monosodium glutamate). Everything we do pretty much is prepared in-house, especially the main chicken salads and the main sides. You don’t have to worry about MSG. None of that is in the food.”

At Chicken Salad Chick, which features 12 different kinds of chicken salad, the customer chooses how “healthy” she/he wants to eat.

“You can get just scoops of chicken salad,” Galligan said. “You don’t have to get the bread. We do serve them with crackers, but they are wheat crackers, so you can literally get just scoops with wheat crackers."

One thing you can’t get is “fried” chicken in your chicken salad.

“Steaming is so much better than frying,” Galligan said. “Frying, you have all the fats and oils that go into it. When we steam, we don’t use anything but water.”

A main ingredient for chicken salad is mayonnaise, which can be high in calories. Therefore, Galligan asked franchise officials about using light mayonnaise.

“They were really unhappy with the ingredients you would find in light mayonnaise.” Galligan said. “It’s kind of like sugar sometimes versus artificial sweetener. Sometimes it’s just better to go with the real thing. Take the calories and know what you’re getting, because that way at least it’s healthy, and you know clean-wise what you are putting in your body.”

That’s important for everyone. Especially the mother of a young child.

For more information on Chicken Salad Chick, you may visit www.chickensaladchick.com

#The People's Market 2369 Airline Drive, Ste. 300 Bossier City When Doug Mercado and his wife moved to Bossier City from California last October, they recognized a big difference.

And not just the climate. “We noticed the absence of 'clean' food,” Mercado said. “Food that’s not over-fried, over-salted, full of preservatives. A more natural way of eating. There wasn’t a whole lot of options for us and our family.”

Instead of complaining, Mercado did something about it. He opened a restaurant.

The People's Market serves a menu full of healthy items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant offers table service and grab-and-go options, as well as meal prep and catering services.

Mercado said dishes are made using all-natural, non-genetically modified organism (GMO) products. He said meats, dairy and produce are locally sourced.

“People gotta eat,” Mercado said. “Any way people eat, whether it’s a family meal, individual, whether it’s setting up meals for the week – any way you have to ingest food, we want to be a part of that. We want to be your food of choice. We feel that if given the option, at least a couple days a week people are going to chose a healthy option, and that’s going to help them look better and feel better.”

Personal appearance and health are some things with which Mercado is very familiar. His career has not been the food business, but in physical fitness.

“There are core relations with the way we eat here in the South and our growing obesity epidemic and our unhealthy outcomes,” Mercado said. “We are almost dead last in every major category when it comes to health, and a lot of that can be tied to the way we eat and what we eat.”

For most of us, the road to healthy eating starts with counting calories. However, Mercado insists that is only part of the route to get you – and your weight – where you want to be.

“We focus on the macro-nutrients – your carbs, proteins and fats,” Mercado said. “More importantly, we are also focusing on your micro and fire nutrients – your Vitamin A, Vitamin D and magnesium. There is more than just calories when it comes to eating.”

For more information on The People's Market, you may visit www. thepeoplesmarketbossier.com.

It's Hard no longer regardless

Well + Fed Louisiana Juicery and Café 678 Egan St. Shreveport

It’s a mother’s demand that, growing up, put a scowl on many of our faces: “Eat your fruits and vegetables!” Now, those who never liked eating fruits and vegetables love drinking them – thanks to a process called coldpressing.

And thanks to Well + Fed Louisiana Juicery and Café, which serves coldpressed juices.

“In the cold-pressing, the vegetables don’t get hot, so they stay in their raw state,” said Lindsi Martin, the café’s coowner. “That’s where you get the most nutrients from your fruits and vegetables. The more raw, the better. That’s why cold-pressing is so important.”

Martin got her first “taste” of coldpressed juicing three years ago at a yoga seminar in New Orleans. It wasn’t long before she was making and selling juices out of her kitchen.

“I think people want to be healthy,” Martin said. “They want to eat fruits and vegetables, but unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like fruits and vegetables, so we’ve made them super-nutritious that taste good also.”

By popular demand, Martin’s business – which she runs with partner and registered nurse Ashley Everage – has expanded in both size and offerings.

To Eat Healthy, of where you live

“We have bread that we bake in-house that we top with different things like avocado, peanut butter, a vegan cream cheese that we make,” Martin said. “We have smoothie bowls, which are essentially a thicker version of a smoothie in a bowl topped with organic fruits such as strawberries and blueberries, and it has a local granola on it and vegan honey, which is made out of apples. Everything is vegan and gluten-free.”

Even though Well + Fed Louisiana has grown from a “kitchen” effort to a full-fledged business, Martin and Everage have not – and insist they will not – lose sight of their original goal.

“We wanted to help improve the health of people in this area. I think that’s always sort of been our mission.”

For more information on Well + Fed Louisiana Juicery and Café, you may visit: www.wellfedla.net.

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