Your Guide to Healthy Living in OC, 2016

Seared Tuna from Model Meals | photo courtesy of 100eats

Seared Tuna from Model Meals | photo courtesy of 100eats

Fresh and healthy eats in OC to get your hands on this new year

Resolutions, goals, diets... whatever you want to call them, most of us have an idea of what we'd like our new year and our new selves to look and feel like this time around. The time of indulgence has passed along with the holidays, and now it's time to freshen up those plates. Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations or put too much pressure on ourselves, but hey, determination is never a bad quality, right? Us local foodies know the struggle all too well - food is life, food is everything, heck, food might be what gets you up in the morning! SO, with that said, here are some of our favorite healthy options in Orange County for you to still get your foodie fix AND feel like you're exploring the exciting world of good eats and treats. 

Radical Botanicals

Where to get your hands on it: 
4th Street Market, Santa Ana

Menu and more:
radbot.co

Zuchinni Linguini | photo courtesy of 100eats

Zuchinni Linguini | photo courtesy of 100eats

Searching for an organic cold-pressed juice, an Acai Bowl, or maybe a veggie friendly lunch? Look no further, Radical Botanicals has got you covered. Their hand-made drinks, smoothies, and savory eats feature fresh veggies, fruits, herbs, flowers, and more. Their menu is changing daily, which is just more proof that their ingredients are as fresh and local as can be. Located in Santa Ana's 4th Street Market, it's a quick an easy local stop...

Chocolate Puddin'-Yo Mouth (Avocado Pudding) | photo courtesy of 100eats

Chocolate Puddin'-Yo Mouth (Avocado Pudding) | photo courtesy of 100eats

We love Radical Botanicals' fresh meal options, like the savory Zuchinni Linguini made with raw zuchinni, tomatoes, and topped with their creamy sunflower seed and dill dressing. On the sweeter side of things, their 'Avocado Puddin' is unbelievable, including real cacao, coconut oil and... you guessed it, avocado. They also offer what they call a "RadBot" cleanse, their 3-day "Radification Cleanse" which is sure to get your year off to a solid and healthy start. Fruit is nature's candy after all, so swing by and treat yourself. 

Model Meals

Where to get your hands on it:
www.modelmeals.com/order

Menu and more:
www.modelmeals.com

Pan-Fried Wild Petrale Sole | photo courtesy of 100eats

Pan-Fried Wild Petrale Sole | photo courtesy of 100eats

You've heard of take-out, you've heard of delivery, and even personal grocery delivery services, but this is a whole new level. Model Meals offers the ease of convenience of quick take-out and delivery food, but eliminates the processed ingredients and high calorie count.

Egg, Chorizo and Sweet Potato Scramble | photo courtesy of 100eats

Egg, Chorizo and Sweet Potato Scramble | photo courtesy of 100eats

Chef Cathy McKnight has specialized in incorporating the use of whole foods into her daily menus for over 20 years in the restaurant and catering field. Nowadays, the former Chopped Winner and her knowledgable and credible team, focus on their revolutionary meal delivery company: Model Meals.

Blanched Haricot Vert | photo courtesy of 100eats

Blanched Haricot Vert | photo courtesy of 100eats

Their vision is simple - to make clean eating mainstream, and easier for anyone and everyone. All of their menu items are Paleo friendly and Whole30 compliant; that means they're made with tons of fresh vegetables, fruits, properly-raised meats mostly by Electric City Butcher, and healthy fats. And, they're completely free of grains, dairy, soy, hormones, refined sugars, harmful chemicals and preservatives.

Seasonal Farmers' Market Salad | photo courtesy of 100eats

Seasonal Farmers' Market Salad | photo courtesy of 100eats

Their weekly menu is consistently changing too, so you never get bored of the same meals, and you can mix and match your proteins and sides accordingly. But, the absolute best part... the prepared meals are delivered directly locally at East End Kitchen in Santa Ana, CA and straight  to your front door, every Sunday evening. Yep. It's that easy - no shopping, no cleaning, and no crazy commitments. They're currently delivering to all of LA and Orange County, but are consistently growing. Honestly, we don't know why no one thought of this sooner.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings with Persimmon Butternut Puree | photo courtesy of 100eats

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings with Persimmon Butternut Puree | photo courtesy of 100eats

Cubed

Where to get your hands on it:
Union Market Tustin

Menu and more:
www.cubedpoke.com

Ahi Poke | photo courtesy of swsh_stephen_thekroft on Instagram

Ahi Poke | photo courtesy of swsh_stephen_thekroft on Instagram

This one stop Poke spot is coming to you this spring at one of OC's hottest new foodie spots - Union Market, The District in Tustin. When a lot of people think healthy, they feel limited amongst a world of plain vegetables, salads and flavorless chicken breast. This is just not the case - fresh fish has some of the highest levels of proteins compared to other meats and food, plus eating it raw preserves many of its natural vitamins.

Poke Tacos | photo courtesy of OC Weekly, GoldStar Events

Poke Tacos | photo courtesy of OC Weekly, GoldStar Events

We love anything on their menu involving Ahi. Ahi Tuna Poke is most commonly seasoned with sesame oil, low sodium soy sauce, seaweed and dried pepper. Leaving one serving with almost 20g of Protein, and only 4.2g of natural fats. This is the kind of eating you're going to want to do to fuel your body, maybe post-gym session, or before a long work day in the office. Cubed's Poke is incredibly delicious on top of fresh rice and vegetables, or even wrapped up in one of their Poke Tacos. 

Nekter

Where to get your hands on it:
Multiple OC and LA Locations

Menu and more:
www.nekterjuicebar.com

photo courtesy of Nekter

photo courtesy of Nekter

"I regret that juice cleanse"... said no one ever. Nekter Juice Bars are frequently found all over Orange County and there's a reason - no one does it better. Stop in for mid-day pick me up and grab one of their fresh pressed juices such as 'The Buzz' or 'The Sublime', both of which will provide you with a natural energy boost.

Acai Bowls | photo courtesy of Nekter on Instagram

Acai Bowls | photo courtesy of Nekter on Instagram

If you're in need of something a little more filling, order a smoothie or perhaps an acai bowl. We especially love the 'Acai Tropical' bowl featuring housemade vanilla cashew milk. 

The Advanced Cleanse | photo courtesy of Nekter on Instagram

The Advanced Cleanse | photo courtesy of Nekter on Instagram

If you're looking to go full throttle, their juice cleanses are unbeatable - decide how many days you're up for and they'll set you up. Sometimes our digestive systems just need a break, and Nekter is always there to help you reset your body and break your cravings for processed foods.

Lemonade

Where to get your hands on it:
Multiple OC and LA Locations
Newest Spot: Pacific City, Huntington Beach

Menu and more:
www.lemonadela.com

Spaghetti Squash, Fall Menu | photo courtesy of Lemonade on Instagram

Spaghetti Squash, Fall Menu | photo courtesy of Lemonade on Instagram

Make Lemonade's healthy, fresh, and seasonal menu part of your New Year's resolution. Voted one of America's 10 Best Gourmet Chain Restaurants by The Culture Trip, Eater and Zagat, Lemonade features great produce and ingredients when they've reached their peak. Ripe fruits, crisp vegetables, and other seasonal ingredients fill their ever-changing menu with a colorful lineup of salads, pastas, and more. Nobody shows off California flavors better than the team behind Lemonade.

Seasonal Side Dishes | photo courtesy of Lemonade on Instagram

Seasonal Side Dishes | photo courtesy of Lemonade on Instagram

Cal Shabu

Where to get your hands on it:
Costa Mesa, CA

Menu and more:
www.californiashabushabu.com

Seafood Selection | photo courtesy of Cal Shabu

Seafood Selection | photo courtesy of Cal Shabu

At California Shabu Shabu, you're the chef! One of the most interactive dining experiences is also one of the healthiest. Pick and choose your own proteins and veggies, cook away, and dip into their delicious sauces. Feel free to customize your meal to the highest degree. If you've never tried out the whole hot pot cooking style, don't be weary - the team at Cal Shabu is extremely knowledgable and happy to help. Give them a heads up that you're aiming for the healthiest way of preparing your meal, and they'll be sure to assist. 

End of Meal Soup Bowl | photo courtesy of Sarah King

End of Meal Soup Bowl | photo courtesy of Sarah King

By preparing all of your meats and veggies in boiling water and simple seasonings, you're consuming them in a pure, whole form. There's nothing better for your body than to be fueled by real, fresh food. So if you're in the neighborhood, grab a spot at the bar with your friends and cook your own dinner together, at a home away from home.

Shrimp and Salmon | photo courtesy of Sarah King

Shrimp and Salmon | photo courtesy of Sarah King

Here are some other places to grab healthy and fresh bites in Orange County...

Greenleaf Chopshop
Multiple OC Locations
www.greenleafchopshop.com

Shrimp Entree from Greenleaf ChopShop | photo courtesy of Greenleaf

Shrimp Entree from Greenleaf ChopShop | photo courtesy of Greenleaf

Birdie Bowl
The OC Mix, Costa Mesa
birdie-bowl-juicery

Sunshine Bowl from Birdie Bowl & Juicery | photo courtesy of Birdie on Instagram

Sunshine Bowl from Birdie Bowl & Juicery | photo courtesy of Birdie on Instagram

Urth Cafe
Multiple OC and LA Locations
urthcaffe.com

Personal Pizza from Urth Cafe | photo courtesy of Urth Cafe on Instagram

Personal Pizza from Urth Cafe | photo courtesy of Urth Cafe on Instagram

Mar
4th Street Market
www.eatmar.com

Ahi Poke Bowl from Mar DTSA | photo courtesy of Mar

Ahi Poke Bowl from Mar DTSA | photo courtesy of Mar