Roased Veg

5 Healthy Food Options in Gainesville

The freshman 15 is a trademark for first-year students attending a university and living away from home. More freedom and a less structured schedule tempt young adults to eat whatever, whenever. Dining hall food can become tiresome, which prompts some to eat out more than normal. However, the Gainesville area offers a variety of healthy restaurants for when students want to branch out and take a break from the food provided by the University of Florida.

  1. 1. Vale Food Company

    Vale Food Co. offers six locations in the state of Florida, and the Gainesville restaurant is off of Interstate 75 on Archer Road. The main menu consists of build-your-own style bowls, but there is also a Super Food Station with menu options such as avocado toast and acai bowls. In addition to eating in the store, Vale delivers its products through apps such as DoorDash and Uber Eats. Although Vale can be around a 10-minute drive from campus, the unlimited menu combinations outweigh the travel time. Vale doesn’t cater to a certain ethnic cuisine in particular, so it appeals to a greater audience.

  2. 2. The Good Berry Acai Bowls

    Located near Midtown, The Good Berry allows customers to pack in their vitamins through fruit bowls. In addition to acai bowls, the eatery also sells other variations such as pitaya. Customers can add toppings to their creation to add to the flavor and pack on the protein. When I went to this restaurant during the fall semester, I appreciated the quaint atmosphere and the numerous selections available on the menu. Although acai bowls can fall on the pricy side, one of the perks is not feeling bloated after eating a meal. Acai bowls are perfect for when you’re hungry, but not hungry enough for a large meal. According to Healthline, acai berries contain antioxidants and can even boost brain function.

  3. 3. Just Salad

    Just Salad allows consumers to choose from salads, warm bowls, wraps and more. According to Just Salad’s website, its motto is “healthy for everyone.” The company aims to “cultivate healthier lifestyles” by offering fresh menu items at an affordable price. In addition, the restaurants incentivize customers to buy a reusable bowl for $1 and get free toppings in return. The restaurant’s convenient location on West University Avenue allows students to access the storefront easily as it’s across from Library West. They also pursue a mission of sustainability, which helps people rest easy when spending money at Just Salad.

  4. 4. Bolay

    Bolay is a chain restaurant located in Butler Plaza, which sells customizable bowls for customers. Family packs are also available for groups of four to six people. According to its website, the business aims to innovate the food industry by creating the “oldest, freshest brand in the fast-casual dining market.” Gluten intolerances and allergies are common today, and Bolay caters to those with dietary restrictions. Actually, the menu is 100 percent gluten-free. Bolay also offers a $25 giveaway every week on its Facebook page.

  5. 5. Impulse Nutrition

    Impulse Nutrition can be viewed as an elevated version of Smoothie King. The store offers aloe shots, teas and shakes. If you’re a first-time customer, there’s a coupon for a free energy tea with the purchase of a shake. The shakes come in a variety of flavors that intend to replicate sweet treats that are unhealthy. For example, they sell candy-flavored shakes like Butterfinger. According to Impulse Nutrition’s website, “Impulse Nutrition is a supportive community of caring people who will encourage you along your health journey and support your weight goals and fitness.” The store is located on Southeast 2nd Place in Gainesville and attracts customers focused on health. Meal replacement shakes are a great way to get your daily intake of protein without eating an entire lunch or dinner.

The Gainesville area offers many options to change up your diet. Even if someone is already focused on maintaining their health, these are some restaurants to give out a try. Prioritizing health in college is important with a busy schedule and stress.