Three Food Options that Make Healthy Eating Easy



Story by Ronnie Kaufman

Pasta, or salad. A side of fries, or a side of vegetables? To order dessert, or to just get the check?

These are the kinds of decisions many students are faced with when dining out: The healthier choice, or the choice to splurge and eat one of the more decadent items on the menu. 

Among all the restaurants in Orange County, there are (thankfully) places where you don’t even have to make these kinds of decisions. Everything, or a majority of items on the menu, are healthy choices. Even better, these restaurants are well known for actually making healthy food taste good, and worth the prices of dining out.

Here are three places to eat healthy in Orange County.

1) Lemonade, self-described as “seasonal Southern California comfort food in a fast-casual cafeteria setting,” is a popular destination for eating healthier.

The Southern California chain features a few different food categories, where you go down a line (like a cafeteria) and choose what you do and don’t want. There’s the marketplace section, which features cold, seasonal salads with options such as a pineapple chicken salad with green beans, coconut, jalapeno, and jerk dressing. Then there’s the hot market vegetables, the “land + sea” section with meats and seafood, the sandwich section, and the braise and hot portions sections. For those who want to indulge in something a little less healthy, Lemonade also features a number of items that aren’t to be missed, such as its impressive variety of flavored lemonades and white truffle macaroni and cheese.

“I think [Lemonade] is a really cool concept,” said Morgan Yuvienco, a sophomore creative producing major.  “When you think cafeterias, you think of the nasty ones in high school. But Lemonade is cool, hip, and healthy.” 

Lemonade mostly has locations in Los Angeles, but currently has a location at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, with more Orange County locations opening soon.

987 Newport Center Drive

At Fashion Island Mall

Newport Beach, CA 92660

2) Green Tomato Grill, a local establishment that succeeds in their core principles of “serving fast, healthy, affordable and sustainable food to the community” is another popular choice for healthy eating.

Unlike Lemonade, everything that Green Tomato Grill serves is healthy. It serves items like grill bowls, wraps, and flatbread melts. There’s also a make-your-own option for all of the above. Even the smallest parts of the meal are healthy; for example, the sauces are all either “vegetable or Greek yogurt based and made from scratch.” Everything is made to order and open to customization, so Green Tomato Grill is perfect for those with dietary restrictions.

“I recently tried Green Tomato Grill, and I loved the variety of options they had,” said Tammy Taller, a sophomore public relations and advertising major. “Everything just seemed so healthy, and I was surprised that it tasted good, too.”

Green Tomato Grill is only located in Orange, but is in the process of opening a location in Brea. 

1419 North Tustin Street

Orange, CA 92867

3) Acai Joint is one of the many eateries that have jumped on the acai trend, providing healthy acai bowls and juices in Orange.

Acai Joint provides a higher-quality acai bowl than chains like Jamba Juice and more choices than the nearby Growl Juice Pub. The bowls start with a blended base of acai, almond milk, and a variety of other fruits. They’re then topped with granola, more fruit, and honey or peanut butter. Acai bowls can be a filling meal and provide a healthy alternative to sweeter items like ice cream.

Acai Joint is only located in Orange, but due to the recent popularity of acai, there seem to be similar places popping up all over. 

3505 East Chapman Avenue, Suite J

Orange, CA 92869

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