Author’s Note: Before I start this article with the impression that I’m any authority on healthy living, let me first say that I’m currently writing this from atop a pile of fun-sized Snickers wrappers. Consider this list as more of a self-affirmation that I will one day escape from the frosted-coated clutches of sugar and finally kick the habit… At least until eggnog goes on sale, of course.
As we’re currently in between feasting holidays on the calendar, it’s a good time as any to finally make some progress on that new year’s resolution from 10 months ago! You’ve still got a chance to turn things around on some of those healthy promises you made. Here’s an entry-level guide for healthy spots to visit, seeing as time, much like the waistband in my sweatpants, is fading away.
Turf is a meeting space, a sweat studio, and home to a kitchen that consistently pumps out delicious and healthy fare. Upon first entering, I immediately realized I likely wasn’t fit enough to be admitted, but the staff was so friendly and helpful, that my insecurities were immediately put at ease. Whether you’re looking for a post-workout smoothie, or a hearty bite (the vegan cheeseburger is fantastic), I walked out feeling a little taller, a little more centred. However, I might’ve just been tripping off that Saltspring Island Kombucha I had.
If you’re ever in North Vancouver and feeling a little groggy, Buddhafull is a must-visit. An acai bowl is the perfect healthy gateway food to ease you into that fit life. Hey, nobody said you had to just sit there gnawing on a chunk of kale! With fresh cold-pressed juices, warm immunity tonics, and even a healthy take on samosas, this is the ideal spot to start if you’re waking up from a rough evening. Extra points for being nestled beside North Van’s Fun Alley, a mural project that doubles as a colourful backdrop for your new #healthy Instagram portraits.
Even if you’re not striving to be healthier, any Tractor location is the perfect “I need to eat NOW” solution. Warding off hangry spirits for the last ten years, Tractor keeps their community well stocked with hearty reasons to pat your belly and softly whisper: “that’ll do.” In case you’re struggling with what to try, get the lemon kale salad, add chicken breast and sweet potato falafels. A nourishing bowl that will likely last for a second meal unless you’re in rage mode, in which case, just take it all.
A rather unassuming storefront on Broadway is home to some of the best vegan eats I’ve had on my journey to appear fit. An all-organic menu sets the stage for snacks that will have you pining even while you’re considering a cheat day. Seriously, their non-tuna, tuna sandwich, the ‘Sunny Pate’, eclipses any sammy I’ve had with legit chicken of the sea in it. Ditto for the meatless ragu. If reading that last one made you wince a bit, you need only try it to quell any doubt that Italian can be extraordinary without meat.
Never been friends with Salad? Then allow Field and Social to break the ice. The popular lunch spot routinely features guest collaborations with local chefs that give fresh creativity to their list of delicious classics. A cobb salad that will hold you through a long workday, and a kale caesar that will make you turn up your nose at the thought of romaine. While making salads at home is often awkward, boring and leaves me asking, “what’s the point?” Field and Social will give you a new lease on the glory of greens.
The new kid on the healthy block, this smoothie, juice and snack bar in Chinatown turns into an eatery with an alcohol license in the evening. Slinging health-conscious fare like the Omega 3 smoked mackerel salad and the open-faced beetroot sandwich with bell pepper humous and portobello carpaccio, it should definitely be on your radar when you’re feeling guilty about your food choices. Catering to multiple dietary plans (gluten-free, vegan, KETO or carnivore) there are plenty of ways to, as they put it, “put some health in your heart”.
Ok so, it’s a start. With the help of these miracle workers, I can and will face my culinary demons. Apologies if you thought this was just another clickbait listicle. Little did you know the author would be working through his personal baggage in the margins. Eh, whatever, I figure if you clicked on this, then you’ve had moments of weakness as well. Now let’s band together and stay strong in the face of Christmas food together.
Update: Eggnog is already on sale. Oh, come on!
Turf: Located at 2041 W 4th Avenue, catch the #4 UBC or #7 Dunbar bus travelling Westbound from Downtown.
Buddah-full: To visit the North Vancouver location from Downtown, take the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay and it’s a short walk!
There are 3 Tractor locations in Downtown, all located close to Skytrain Stations.
To reach the Marine Building location (335 Burrard Street), take the Expo Skytrain line to Burrard Station will get you there.
For the Robson location (547 Robson Street), exit the Skytrain at Granville Street Station and it’s a short walk to Robson from there.
The Pender Street location (700 West Pender Street) is less than a block away from the Canada Line Skytrain Waterfront Station.
Lotus Seed Vegan: On West Broadway between Heather and Oak Street (735 West Broadway), from Downtown you can catch the Canada Line Skytrain to Cambie Street Station and its under a 10-minute walk West from the station.
Field and Social: There are three locations Downtown, located near Skytrain stations.
To find the Yaletown location (1030 Mainland Street), take the Canada Line to the Yaletown Roundhouse Station and walk for under a minute.
The Dunsmuir location (415 Dunsmuir Street) is around a 5 minute walk from the Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station.
The location in Royal Centre (1055 West Georgia) is across the street from Burrard Station, ideal if you’re coming down town on the Expo line.
Kevin & Kevin: To get to Chinatown from Downtown, you can hop on the #14 Downtown or #16 29th Avenue Station on Granville Street headed Eastbound and disembark at East Hastings and Gore. It’s a quick two-minute walk from there.
By Mark Shelling