CONTRIBUTOR Erin Castle, RD, LD
PHOTOGRAPH BY Erica Navarro
Roper St. Francis Healthcare dietitian Erin Castle recently grabbed a satisfying square meal at the trendy downtown location of this fast-casual local chain. Read on for a taste of which items she chose and why:
The menu promotes four primary food groups: fruits, vegetables, raw fish and rice. “I incorporated each into my lunch,” says Castle, who ordered the Dreaming Green juice and a customizable poke bowl.
While they may seem healthy, commercial juices and smoothies often contain added sweeteners, such as agave syrup or honey. However, Castle appreciated that the Beech juice options included both fruits and vegetables without the added sugar.
“With kale, spinach, apple, pineapple and lemon, the Dreaming Green juice was extremely refreshing,” says the dietitian. The lemon’s vitamin C content aids in the absorption of iron from the spinach. Iron is essential for immunity, energy metabolism and transporting oxygen through the body.
Anticipating toppings of mostly protein, fat and vegetable, Castle chose a carbohydrate base for satiety. “I intended to order brown rice, but they were out, so I opted for white rice instead. Brown rice is a more complex carbohydrate, but it’s okay to enjoy white rice occasionally.”
“I chose fresh salmon for protein, then topped it with avocado, sesame seeds, pickled cucumber and scallions.” Salmon and avocado contain omega 3s, and sesame seeds boast omega 6s, both heart-healthy fatty acids. Scallions have prebiotic benefits that fuel the probiotics in the pickled vegetables; “together, these support a healthy gut.”
The dietitian found the meal to be filling and stopped when she was satisfied, with just a few bites of rice and veggies remaining.
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