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A Café That Cares

Healthy Food Options at The Courtside Fresh Bar and Grill at The Athletic Club

By Sarrisa Haley, Wellness Manager, The Athletic Club –

A Café That CaresThe way to wellness has many paths. The widest and most traveled roads are Exercise and Diet.  Anyone who has taken a vacation from either can recognize the importance of consistency and diligence. The Athletic Club also recognizes that while a calorie by any other name would burn the same, there is a difference in the quality of the calories consumed.

The human body is bombarded on a daily basis by pollution, radiation, and toxic chemicals. Some we cannot avoid like cell phones, computers, air quality, or artificial lights. Some we can control like diet sodas, processed foods, hydrogenated oils and refined sugar and flour.

The organic Food Movement began meagerly in the early 1900’s. In the 1940’s, pesticides and herbicides were introduced to the United States farming industry. These chemicals were accepted and embraced as consumers saw produce availability, quality, and quantity increase while prices decreased. In 1962, Silent Spring was written by Rachel Carlson. In her book, she outlined the dangers of pesticides on nature and humans. Her writings contributed to the eventual banning of the use of DDT in 1973. Her writings also spurred a rise in consumer awareness of the impact of chemicals on both the environment and their bodies. The 90’s Organic Food Movement continues to grow in popularity to this day as consumers learn more about Genetically Modified Foods, pesticides, preservatives, and the humane (or lack of in some cases) practices of farmers and food producers.

Ways to Become More Aware of What You are Eating
1. Check The Label!
Research has shown that certain food additives and preservatives are KNOWN to cause cancer and other diseases in lab animals and humans. Print this list of the top 10. Get to know what to look for. Check the labels of the food you’re feeding yourself and your family. Avoid foods that contain them.

2. Eat More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Some foods don’t have labels to check. However, it is not a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) began posting a list called the “Dirty Dozen.” The list includes fruits and vegetables that contain measurable levels of pesticides and should be avoided or limited. They recommend buying organic of all things on the list. Generally pesticides can be reduced by peeling fruits and vegetables. All produce should be washed under fresh running water for at least 10 seconds. Conversely they post the “Clean 15” which are the fruits and vegetables that contain the least amounts of pesticides. Consumers are encouraged to choose their produce from this list.

3. Learn About the Food You Buy
Where does it come from (seeds to the location grown)? Is there a better alternative? Can you buy and support local organic farmers and markets? Can you reduce the ingredient list to just a few pronounceable things? Here is an extensive list of local farmer’s markets in or near Overland Park, KS. Feel good about what you’re eating, meet the people who tend to the crops and animals, be conscious of what you put in your body. It really does matter.


The Dirty Dozen of 2013:
1. Apples
2. Strawberries
3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
8. Nectarines (imported)
9. Cucumbers
10. Potatoes
11. Cherry Tomatoes
12. Hot Peppers

The Clean 15 of 2013:
1. Sweet corn
2. Onions
3. Pineapples
4. Avocados
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet peas (frozen)
7. Papayas
8. Mangoes
9. Asparagus
10. Eggplant
11. Kiwi
12. Grapefruit
13. Cantaloupe
14. Sweet potatoes
15. Mushrooms

Top 10 Worst Food Additives/Preservatives
1. Mono sodium Glutamate (MSG)
2. Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, Splendor, NutraSweet)
3. High Fructose Corn Syrup
4. Artificial Food Coloring
5. BHA
6. BHT
7. Sodium Nitrate and Nitrate
8. Potassium Bro mate
9. Refined Vegetable Oils (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated)
10. Trans Fats

Providing Our Community with Healthier Options
The Athletic Club is home to The Courtside Fresh Bar and Grill. Here are some of the things we are doing to provide our community with healthier options:

• Oven roasted and seasoned whole fresh turkey breast is sliced for our deli sandwiches to offer a Nitrate free deli meat.

• Our Chicken Salad is made with fresh chicken tenders.

• Real mayonnaise is mixed with tuna, egg, and chicken salads to avoid the long list of chemicals that are found in salad dressing and light versions of mayo.

• The outdoor patio doubles as a fresh herb and tomato garden providing mint for Monitors, basil for homemade Pesto and Pasta sauces, and tomatoes for our homemade salsa.

• All salads use organic mixed greens
and spinach.

• Hand-cut French Fries and hand breaded chicken tenders are made fresh to order and use a Trans Fat free blend of Canola and Peanut oil for a lighter fry

• House recipes using all fresh ingredients, no preservatives or Trans fats are used for:
o Salsa
o Mango Tortilla Salsa
o Habakkuk Relish
o Ranch Dressing
o Asian Vinaigrette

Join Us for Lunch or Dinner
What we eat and drink is a huge part of our overall health. The Athletic Club wants to help you live better. Stop in and see us for lunch or dinner. Hours, menu, daily lunch specials and catering menu are available online at www.athleticclubop.com.

Here’s to you and your health!

The Athletic Club | 913-669-1858 | www.athleticclubop.com

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