The other week I joked to my friend, “It always either feels like a Monday or a Friday, but nothing in between.” At the time, I was eating a boring salad at my desk and talking to her on speaker while I checked my emails, jotted down my to do list and saved an article draft. Later that night, while wrestling the sleep monster, I thought more about what I had said—and what I had been doing when I said it. I decided to try an experiment. What if I traded in multi-tasking for mindfulness for one week? Would I reunite with Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday?
Well, it worked and in the process I learned about truly eating clean at Hilton Head hideaways (and hot spots that I will feature next post).
When I say “eating clean,” this goes beyond eating non-processed, organic foods. Eating clean means enjoying meals also flavored with environmentally and socially conscious concepts like sustainability, humane treatment and antibiotic and pesticide free ingredients—without your phone and or computer as a dining companion.
Off the beaten path and trailblazing clean eating in Hilton Head, DelisheeeYo first opened its doors in 2010 as a healthy alternative for frozen yogurt and smoothies in the Village Exchange plaza on Palmetto Bay Road. Still serving their signature no-junk added, probiotic-infused fro-yo with organic and regionally sourced ingredients, owner Blake Wearren has added grab and go fresh juices for cleansing, locally made must-haves like eggs, bread (my neighbor Kim Tavino makes the bread and it’s slices of wholesome yummy goodness), honey and dressings, and a complete menu of vegetarian wraps (even gluten-free options), salads, bowls, and soups that satisfy even the most pro-protein carnivores.
“I didn’t eat a salad until I was 20,” admitted Wearren. Now 28 years old and 35 pounds lighter, Wearren says eating clean is truly the answer to the popular question, “How can I feel and look my best?”
Around the corner, in the Village at Wexford, follow the Piped Piper smell of fresh off the grill onions and peppers and you will find Java Burrito. Owners Michael Feketé and Fredrika Liene Hakansson plate up humanely raised, hormone and antibiotic-free, and pasture or vegetarian-fed chicken, beef and pork and seasonal, locally-sourced produce. Plus, they pour (in addition to quality beer and wine) locally brewed coffee from Savannah Coffee Roasters accompanied by 100% all natural organic milk, nondairy substitutes (FYI: They are the only coffee shop I know of on the Island offering almond milk), and all-natural cane sugar (no high-fructose corn syrup) sweeteners.
For Hakansson, it’s not only important we eat food packed with nutrients and void of pesticides and hormones, but to also food that gives back. “We are so proud that when you eat here, you support multiple families in the area,” said Hakansson, who knows most of her vendors/farmers personally. “We believe in truly creating a sustainable community.”
A hop, skip and jump from Java Burrito is Pure Natural Market (located at 1012 William Hilton Parkway). This boutique health food store and smoothie-juice bar is owner Shanti Bringas’ good-for-you gourmet oasis.
“I wanted to provide Hilton Head with a place where you not only get organic, dairy-free delicious food but also information on whole foods,” said Bringas.
As my three daughters and I sip on Pure’s Choc-O-holic smoothie (raw cacao nibs, banana, avocado, raw coconut nectar and almond milk), I am struck with how good I feel. Rather than racing through an after-school snack and then diving into homework, we are chilling at a local under-the-radar, over-the-top healthy cafe—and savoring clean eating at its best.