How To Find Healthy Food Options On Long Island

October 31, 2019

Healthy Eating in Long Island

Healthy Eating on Long Island for All Lifestyles

Making healthy eating choices can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. No matter your lifestyle or dining preferences, you can start taking advantage of healthier options. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose weight, feel better or achieve other health goals - we want to help you find healthy eating options on Long Island.

Eating Out: Healthy Long Island Restaurants

Eating healthy while dining out is a twofold challenge. First, you can try to find healthy restaurant options. Second, you can look for healthy menu options at any restaurant. We have tips for both, and it’s easier than it sounds!

Healthy Restaurants Long Island: Breakfast and Brunch

  • Cause Cafe If you want breakfast with a mission, Cause Cafe has tons of healthy options. They focus on using organic ingredients, local produce and healthy recipes. And their mission is to help providing job opportunities for young people with disabilities. Try the super charged oats with quinoa chia flax or the fresh baked quiche of the day!
  • Fuel Cafe You could get a different smoothie from Fuel Cafe every day and almost never run out of options! Other healthy options include egg white omelettes, protein pancakes and tons of healthy wraps and salads for lunch.

Healthy Restaurants Long Island: Lunch and Dinner

  • Tula Kitchen Healthy eating doesn’t just mean eating salads instead of burgers. Tula Kitchen in Long Island has lots of interesting, healthy options for lunch and dinner - plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free menu items too! Try their Tula Greek bowl, lentil burger or veggie bolognese!
  • Plant Wise Vegan restaurants aren’t just for people who eat a fully vegan diet. Even carnivores can find something to enjoy at Plant Wise, a 100% plant based restaurant in Long Island. Try a whole wheat hummus and falafel wrap or a zucchini alfredo bowl. Yum!

How To Eat Healthy At Any Restaurant

Even if you don’t pick a restaurant with exclusively healthy menu items, it is easy to eat healthy at any restaurant. Here are some tips for eating healthy while dining out:

  1. Skip the bun. If you order a sandwich or a burger, ask about bun and bread alternatives. Many places may offer a lettuce bun or a whole wheat tortilla.
  2. Keep an eye on how it’s cooked. Trying to avoid fried foods at restaurants can be tricky, but even fast food restaurants now usually offer a grilled chicken option alongside the breaded and battered version. Stick to items that are steamed, baked or grilled.
  3. Substitute your sides. This tip is pretty obvious, but swapping fries for a salad instantly makes your meal healthier. If salad isn’t your thing, check out the veggie options. Many restaurants have tasty veggie sides like Brussels sprouts or seasonal roasted vegetables. Try something you wouldn’t normally make at home!
  4. Stay hydrated. Drinking water before eating is a great way to manage your appetite and make sure you’re staying hydrated.
  5. Watch your portions. Many restaurants serve huge meals with portions much larger than the recommended serving size. Learn how to estimate portion sizes, and take leftovers home with you. (This tip is also budget-friendly!)

Ordering Takeout: Healthy Long Island Takeout Options

If you have a busy schedule, eating healthy becomes even more of a challenge. The fastest and most convenient options for takeout are usually not the healthiest, but avoiding fast food is a helpful step to take in your health journey. Here are some healthy Long Island takeout options and tips:

Healthy Food Takeout and Delivery on Long Island

  • Lucky Spice Grill Indian cuisine is a favorite for takeout and delivery, and many Indian dishes are healthy! Lucky Spice Grill offers many traditional Indian dishes, along with some Mediterranean fare and fusion options. Stick to dishes full of veggies and lean meat, and go easy on the naan.
  • Way of Life Cafe For a healthy option that offers online ordering and local delivery or pick-up, check out Way of Life Cafe. This is a great, fresh alternative to fast food. Their featured menu items include acai bowls, quinoa bowls and a huge selection of homemade soups.
  • Healthy Meals Direct As an alternative to eating at a restaurant or ordering takeout, look into a meal prep service like Healthy Meals Direct. Meal prep services provide options for healthy, high-protein meals with balanced portions. You simply choose options from their menu and order a set of meals for the upcoming week. They offer delivery or local pick-up!

How To Eat Healthy When You Order Takeout

All of the above tips for ordering healthy food at restaurants apply to ordering takeout as well, and the tip about portion sizes is especially important. When restaurants fill takeout containers, there is often much more food there than you think. Keep some leftovers or share with a friend! Check out this guide to making healthier food choices when you’re craving certain popular takeout foods.

Learning to Cook: Healthy Long Island Cooking Classes

While it’s possible to make healthy eating choices while you’re dining out or ordering takeout food, cooking your own food is the best way to have more control over what you eat. If you don’t have much experience cooking, check out a healthy cooking class on Long Island to jumpstart your home cooking journey. Book a class with your spouse, partner or friends and enjoy an evening learning together! Here are just a few options we found:

  • A La Carte When you’re searching for a cooking class, look for a place offering a variety of class options. Most cooking classes are advertised according to the menu for the class; some are organized around a theme or a type of cuisine. A La Carte has many simple, healthy cooking class options, including salmon dinners, chicken dinners and personalized sheet pan dinners.
  • Toddler Chefs This may be an unconventional suggestion, but cooking healthy food with your kids is a great way to get your whole family to make healthy eating choices together - and it’s fun! Toddler Chefs hosts various age-appropriate Long Island cooking classes and private parties with menu items like summer rolls, sushi and kababs. They also offer Chinese cooking classes and lessons for adults.

Cooking at Home: Healthy Cooking Tips for Dinner at Home

If you choose to learn some healthy cooking tips and tricks at a Long Island cooking class, you can take those tips home and apply them to your own cooking. If a cooking class isn’t the right option for you, there are lots of ways to learn how to cook healthy meals at home.

Cooking meals at home is great for many reasons. Cooking your own food means you have direct control over what goes into it. You can limit or eliminate fatty oils, dressings and sauces. You can avoid ingredients you don’t like. You can shop for your own fresh produce, meat and other items. Cooking your own meals is also the most budget-friendly option. Vegetables and other healthy groceries are not as expensive as you think, especially if you shop at inexpensive grocery stores like Aldi.

The main downside of cooking dinner at home is that it’s not as quick as fast food or as convenient as takeout. However, the benefits make it worth a try. The internet is full of great resources for quick and easy healthy recipes, and taking a few hours on the weekend to prepare your meals for the week can end up taking less time than it would take to order food or go to a restaurant mid-week.

A simple Google search for “cheap and easy recipes” produces millions of results. Within seconds of searching, we found this list of 35 budget-friendly meal ideas, including healthy options like lentil chili and spaghetti squash burrito bowls. Many recipes take less than an hour to prepare and cook. The key to cooking meals at home is spending a little extra time planning meals. Once you plan what you want to eat, it’s quick and easy to shop for groceries and prep and cook meals.

Your Long Island Healthy Eating Journey

Finding healthy eating choices on Long Island isn’t difficult, but making a lifestyle shift into healthier living can be a challenge. Check out our nutrition resources to learn more about healthy eating!