Humans: We are always on going, and what type of food best compliments those who are always on the go? Fast food.
Big chain fast food restaurants have two things going for them; they’re easy and pretty cheap. However, the amount of calories you intake is less than ideal (a McDonald’s Big Breakfast and Caramel Frappe is 1180 calories and has 29 grams of saturated fat!).
I searched the Fox Cities and found two quick, healthier alternatives to fast food — perfect for any morning before you hit the office.
Start the morning off right with something fresh and delicious. In search of a breakfast item that had a bit more substance than an iced coffee, I stopped at Bona Fide Juicery for a mid-morning pick-me-up. Bona Fide has two locations, one in Appleton and the other in De Pere. The juicery is locally owned and has many types of smoothies, juices and smoothie bowls.
The store focuses on making all products 100% vegan, dairy free, non GMO, organic, gluten free, soy free and, of course, clean. All ingredients listed on the menu are the only things that go into your order — no hidden ingredients.
I ordered a Beach Bum smoothie which contains mangoes, pineapple, goji berries, coconut cream and orange juice. All smoothies run from 250-350 calories. The smoothie was $6.50 ($6.83 with tax to be exact) and prepared in about three minutes. It was not only super tasty and bright (perfect for the 85 degree day the Fox Cities was having), but it was easy to transport and take on the go.
I decided to try a chocoholic smoothie bowl next. A smoothie bowl is a meal in its own and reminds me of runny ice cream or yogurt.
All bowls have some type of seed or granola on top along with other toppings that provide sustaining energy throughout the day, good fats that actually help your health, and protein (considered the building blocks of life) that aids in the regulation of your body’s tissues and organs. The base (the part that makes the smoothie bowl a smoothie) was banana, vegan chocolate protein, agave, cacao and almond milk. The toppings (the energy, good fats and protein portion) were granola, banana, chia seeds, honey and vegan chocolate chips. All 16 ounce smoothie bowls range from 280 to 400 calories. Even though my choice was coined as a chocoholic bowl, I did not feel guilty after eating it all. Instead, I felt more energized and excited that I had found an alternative to frozen yogurt or ice cream.
Whether it be for a sweeter breakfast or an end of the day reward, Happy Bellies Bake Shop has something to satisfy your needs. When first opening the shop, the staff was very passionate about using natural, clean, non-gmo and no food coloring added (they use beets to achieve the color of red velvet!) based products. To assist those with food allergies or those looking to stray from a certain item, they decided to use a color coding system that entails what is not in a certain baked good.
The shop has baked, — not fried — donuts, cookies, bars, cakes, cupcakes and muffins. All baked goods are made from scratch and are gluten free, meaning there is no wheat. Instead, according to their website, they use a mix of almond, rice, sorghum, quinoa, garbanzo bean and many other types of flour. Their eggs are also cage-free, and they opt for natural sweeteners, such as organic coconut sugar, raw honey and local maple sugar.
I ordered a vanilla doughnut and a cup of their organic coffee. Organic coffee is simply coffee produced without artificial chemicals or pesticides. I never had a baked instead of fried doughnut until Happy Bellies, and I was not disappointed. All donuts are dairy and egg free (tagged with the color yellow), so the doughnut is heavier than a typical fried doughnut. The sprinkles on top were made from all natural food coloring. The color used is derived from edible plants, which is why colors featured on any of their goods are not always as vibrant as artificial colors.
Happy Bellies cares for the health and safety of their customers, from those seeking to eat a little healthier to those who have a huge allergy list, making it the place to go.
Whether you’re looking to indulge in a healthy manner or are trying to avoid a guilt trip after eating something sweet, the Fox Cities has a ton of options for you to choose from. Both Bona Fide Juicery and Happy Bellies are dedicated to bringing those of the Fox Cities wholesome ingredients in a quick manner, perfect for those always on the go.
What are go-to healthy quick eats in the Fox Cities?
A Summertime Health Groupie