So what are the absolute basics of a healthy diet?
- Drinking pure, clean water. Unfortunately, in Jacksonville we have some of the most contaminated drinking water in the country.
- Avoiding pesticides in fruits, vegetables and animal products. Buy organic dairy and meat products and use the Environmental Working Group's guide to which veggies have the most and least pesticides to inform your produce selections. Click here for a good summary of the most and least contaminated produce.
- Eat whole, minimally processed food that includes nuts, seeds, legumes, good fats, vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy, grains and eggs.
Often patients need personalized recommendations on what foods are healthy for their particular health concerns, but above is a basic template for a healthy diet.
Luckily, we have many good options for food in Jacksonville, which I've listed below. Some are local stores and some are national chains. I also shop online about once a month or two at Vitacost.com for pantry staple items. You can see my favorite items I buy from Vitacost below, and also get a coupon here for $10 off your first order of $30 or more. I like that Vitacost is located in Florida, so you can get fast 2 day shipping, often for free. Click here for the coupon.
Here are my top spots to food shop in Jax, along with some of my favorite items at each location:
Markets & Stores
Riverside Arts Market - Go here for the music and local crafts, but pick up some local food items and produce while you are at it. I like Fresh Jax for their spices and hot sauces.
Native Sun - My favorite here is their delicious deli (lunch, anyone?) as well as 100% organic produce selections. They carry unique local products; one of my favorites here is SunRAWise raw vegan cheese. Pick up a Kevita probiotic drink while you are at it!
Grassroots Market - Great place to grab a quick snack in the Riverside neighborhood, as well as a fresh squeezed juice from their juice bar. They carry many local products and often do samples and demos of them. They carry Shaki Kitchen products, try their chocolate mousse. YUM.
Earth Fare - I like their natural, hormone and antibiotic free rotisserie chickens and delicious salad bar. They also will send you coupons if you sign up for their "Tomato Bank."
Whole Foods - Their 365 store brand can be a great deal. I always pick up 365 brand frozen organic vegetables when I'm there to stock up my freezer.
Beaches Green Market - Unfortunately I don't get to this market too often, but there are many great vendors including Olive My Pickle and This Chick Can Cook.
Freshfields Farms - This place can be a madhouse, it is always busy. They don't carry a ton of organic produce, but what they do have has great prices. I usually get salad greens and organic berries when they are in season. They also carry White Oak Pastures grass-fed beef at a great price.
Costco - I like Costco. They treat their employees well and they care about the quality of their products. That said, they also carry a lot of junky food here as well. However, you can find great deals on good food here, just choose selectively. I usually get avocados, organic chicken sausages, wild caught frozen salmon, frozen organic cherries, coconut oil, and olive oil.
Jacksonville is a big city! I certainly don't go to each of these places every week for groceries, but stock up on my favorites while I'm there. I also occasionally pick up items at Publix, Trader Joe's or Fresh Market as well.
Meal Delivery Services
Sometimes you just need someone to cook for you! Try these locally owned delivery services.
J. William Culinary
This Chick Can Cook
Produce Delivery Services & Community Supported Agriculture
These services will deliver local produce and other items right to your home or office. Talk about convenience!
Front Porch Pickings
Black Hog Farm
Grow Your Own
Permaculture Jax is a great way to get started if you want to learn to grow your own food. Once I have a yard I plan to start a garden! Right now I only have potted herbs.
Vitacost.com - I shop here for many staple items in my pantry. My favorites to buy here are flax seeds, chia seeds, almond flour, hemp seeds, organic teas, ume vinegar, tamari and coconut aminos, Flackers flax seed crackers, herbs & spices, coconut milk, Real Salt, dark chocolate, tahini & nut butters, tomatoes in glass jars, natural soaps & cleaning supplies and toiletries like natural toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. Click here for a $10 off coupon on your first order.
I get my drinking water delivered from Blue Ridge Water company in Orange Park. They offer Mountain Valley Spring water. Their number is (904) 384-0053 (they don't have a website).
What did I miss? Where do you shop for healthy food in Jacksonville?