Eating Healthy in Florida

Samantha Kern
Fruit and cheese make the perfect snack!
Photo Credits
Photo courtesy of Brenda Godinez /

When it comes to eating healthy, no one really wants to do it. It’s so much easier to find a big greasy cheeseburger and some French fries than it is to find yummy, healthy foods at a grocery store. But what people don’t know is that healthy food doesn’t always have to be salad or a handful of nuts. There are plenty of recipes that turn fruits and vegetables into things you actually want to eat. Besides, the good-for-you food will boost your metabolism and give you more energy for the day ahead than something full of sugar or dripping with grease. 

Organic markets are all around the state of Florida. Organic food products are much easier to find in Florida than northern states, such as Pennsylvania and New York. When people live somewhere their whole lives, they tend to take things for granted, or they just no longer notice the businesses are there simply because they pass them every day. But to others, like those out of state or even those new to the organic and healthy diets, the following are some great stores to look into for organic, healthy foods that contain few or no preservatives. 

There’s Lucky’s Market, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Bravo Supermarket, and Whole Foods Market. At Lucky’s, the fruits and vegetables are right up front when you walk through the door, which means you can’t escape them. At most Sprouts stores, the produce is near the back, but it’s such a large and important section of the store, it’s absolutely hard to miss. The Sprouts in Winter Park is fairly new, so even for those who have been in the area for a while, it’s a place to keep in mind when looking for healthier food options.  

Stores like Walmart, Costco, Publix, Sam’s Club, and Target have fresh foods for customers to look into as well, but the options are limited when it comes to actual organic products for customers to buy and some of these products are still sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals when they are being shipped from longer distances. Although Florida doesn’t produce everything under the sun, they do have a much nicer array of fresh products than northern states do. 

Some Tips to Encourage Healthy Eating

It’s actually super beneficial to plan meals in advance. It can be something you’re in the mood for or something completely far-fetched. What do you normally do for dinner? By doing this, you can say “I want a steak on Thursday and maybe some shrimp on Friday.” From there, it’s important to pick nutritional side dishes. Vegetables are always a great choice and can be cooked many different ways. Potatoes should limited because of the amount of calories in them but it is okay to have a small one now and then. 

Planning lunches can be a little more difficult if you’ve got a hectic life, with work, workout routines, keeping up with friends, kids and their extra-curricular activities, and just keeping an orderly house. Try sitting down and thinking about what is easy to pack. Fruits are easy, just throw them in the lunch pail or cut them up and stick them in the fridge until you’re ready to pack them. Don’t forget to add a source of protein. Whether it’s grilled chicken or a hard-boiled egg, it’s important to keep protein in your diet. 

It makes life so much easier if you do some meal prepping early on in the week to prevent you from eating something that isn’t on your diet plan. Get some containers and throw in fruits and veggies, cheese, nuts, and another source of protein and be ready to go for the week. Packing lunch really can be that simple. Look up some recipes for healthy lunch ideas on the web. Some of them are super creative and taste really good. 

Try making a grocery list. Something so simple can keep you from buying unnecessary items. It can save you money too by buying the items that are only on the list. Although, yes, sometimes it’s easier said than done when sticking to the list and only what’s on the list. Getting into the habit of making a grocery shopping list will not only benefit those who want to stick to healthier options in the food department but it can benefit the entire family. 

Everyone gets a sweet tooth now and then and it can be really hard to stay away from the processed cakes in stores. Try a piece of fruit to curb the craving. If that doesn't work, eat an ounce of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has properties that are great for our bodies, like antioxidants. Dark chocolate also reduces the risk of many diseases, such as depression and stroke, and has been known to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. So now you don't have to feel guilty for eating chocolate. 

The last tip for healthy eating is keep looking for new and fun recipes. Pinterest is a huge help for those that need new ideas but the regular web works well to. There is an endless supply of foods that can be made with items that are good for you. It’s important to be creative with the foods you eat because eating the same thing every day can get pretty boring. A salad every day at exactly 12:00 pm is easy but it gets old really fast. So be sure to switch up all your meals all the time and don’t be afraid to try to new things.