New Orleans is reinventing itself once again. This time in the area of lifestyle choice, health and wellness, and our infamous food and extra-curricular activities. There have been a variety of efforts across the city to help our community gain traction in the area of healthy living, specifically when it comes to what we’re eating.
If you are here in June, (and let’s be honest, even if you’re not) I’d definitely suggest you participate in the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge. Held every year, this program encourages participants to only eat food grown, caught, or raised within 200 miles of the city. There is a list of participating restaurants to make it easy on you, and a wealth of events that are associated with the challenge so you can hang out with your locavore friends and do your part to support!
Even if you don’t keep it entirely local, there are plenty of options to keep it healthy. With the local restaurants above, and this list of healthy restaurants, you can certainly make quite a dent in the dangerous category of butter-intake. And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about vegetarian and vegan options. Not only is there an extensive list at HappyCow.com but you can also search using either UrbanSpoon or Yelp and get similar results.
The collective effort of New Orleanians is not going unnoticed. On the national scale, in February of 2011, the New Orleans Mayoral administration took the initiative to become a part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program. Let’s Move! is a national program that is aimed at raising a healthier generation of kids. They address a variety of health aspects with a particular focus on obesity and healthy eating as well as emotional health, and of course, physical activity.
Another, locally-based effort is Be Fit NOLA, which is a growing directory of businesses, activities, and sports leagues for New Orleans residents and visitors alike. They have everything from vitamin shops to martial arts dojos listed on the site, and pre-measured running routes that are mapped out for you in all parts of the city. With all of these resources at hand it’s getting easier every day to eat well, be well, and live well, on within the Big Easy.
Thomas Rush is an entrepreneur in New Orleans who currently serves in several capacities, most recently as the founder of Few and Far, an online retailer for adventurous gentlemen, and COO of Yvelise Limoncello.