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My Top 5 Healthy Midtown Lunches

After a fun weekend at the Healthy Living Summit, it’s time to get refocused on actually being healthy again, not just talking about it. But, of course, my fridge is empty after a weekend away, so I will be grabbing lunch today. (Likely at Pump.)

There’s this site called Midtown Lunch, and while it’s sort of awesome, there’s no focus on healthy, locally-sourced or any of those other food words that make my dorky heart go all aflutter.

Let’s ignore the fact that it’s usually healthier and cheaper to bring your own lunch. Sometimes you just gotta grab lunch.

Here’s my top 5 healthy Midtown lunch spots for New Yorkers and those of you who may visit one day. (Apologies to non-NY readers who have no intention of ever coming here. Although, I don’t really understand you…)

Criteria: You’re all smart enough to find yourself a salad or other healthy food in unhealthy places, yeah? These are my favorite health/fresh food-focused places close to Midtown office-land. Most of them range from $10-12.


My Pump obsession is fairly well-documented on this blog. In fact, I pretty much credit Pump and Starbucks and the spinach feta wrap with my weight loss. (I’m only sort of kidding.)

Pump’s shtick is “food without the crap.” They’re set up Chipotle-style: you pick your base (from wrap, salad or brown rice), your veggies, your protein and your sauce, and nothing’s fried.

I usually go with: brown rice, sweet potato, spinach, tomatoes, guacamole and a touch of the sweet red sauce. I’m sort of spice-wimpy, and the sweet red definitely has a kick.

They have multiple locations, in Midtown East/West, Flatiron and Financial District.

Energy Kitchen:

This was the first healthy lunch place I discovered in Manhattan, and I ate here A TON. I’d usually go with an entree + two sides. Their menu is pretty extensive: wraps, sandwiches, burgers, entrees and sides.

They’re pretty light on the sauces, which is definitely healthy, but means that their food is a bit more bland. However, every item is guaranteed to be under 500 calories, which is pretty nice.

They have multiple locations, including in Midtown East and West.


Otarian is more locally-sourced than healthy, though most of its food is pretty healthy, too. This vegetarian eatery’s thing is tracking all their food to keep its carbon footprint as low as possible. Each menu item has info about its carbon footprint right on the packaging.

Otarian is located in Midtown West.

City Chow Cafe:

Located inside several Equinox locations, City Chow Cafe has the standard salad bar, but what I like about this place is its entree + sides option, since I’m not really a salad girl. They also have a burrito bar, which is one of their cheaper options. (Most meals run $9-$11 here; the burritos are usually around $7.)

I typically get their turkey burgers with either brown rice or sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts (when they have them!) or broccoli.

B bap:

I love this Korean rice bar on 9th and 55th (do you notice a theme? I love brown rice) because it helps me put together a completely nutritionally balanced meal: brown rice + protein + veggies. Boom. I also love the location’s floor-to-ceiling windows that let the light stream in. When I worked closer to here, I’d often take a book and sit here and read while I ate.

What’s your favorite NYC lunch–healthy or unhealthy? If you don’t live in NYC (I’m sorry to hear that), what’s your favorite healthy grab-and-go lunch that’s not salad?



Winner Winner Bison Dinner

After skipping Tuesday’s run, I didn’t have high hopes for today’s. I dawdled at work until I just couldn’t work any more, and finally I meandered over to the gym.

They were doing a chiropractic screening, and I thought that would be another interesting way to procrastinate my workout. He poked at my shoulders and lower back, and everything was tight. (I need a massage and yoga so badly right now.) He told me that my pelvis was slightly tilted. (Which Joel had also told me before…because Joel is a damn good trainer who knows his stuff.)

There was a trainer tag-teaming the screening with the chiropractor, and I asked the trainer what he thought I could do for the lower back pain/tilted pelvis. He suggested doing a kneeling twist. You kneel on one knee, and twist in the opposite direction with your opposite arm up. He also suggested a runner’s lunge stretch. He did not, however, suggest finding a male partner to help me untilt my pelvis. Weird.

My workout:

1 mile: running at 6.0 on the treadmill

5 minutes: 6.5

5 minutes: 6.0

5 minutes: 6.6

5 minutes: 6.0

(At this point, I was at roughly three miles and so ready to be done, so I switched up the planned workout. I should have just done another five and five, but…)

2 minutes: 6.8

2 minutes: 6.0

2 minutes: 6.9

2 minutes: 6.0

2 minutes: 7.0

I was supposed to do a mile cooldown, but because I mixed up the intervals, I was actually at around 4.3 instead of 4 by the end of 40 minutes, so I just cooled down for about 0.7 miles. I was still itching to get off the treadmill, so I just kept moving the speed around between 6.0-6.4 so I could get it done. After this workout and a relatively long week at work, I had no desire to cook. Whatsoever. I remembered Jess had tweeted about Energy Kitchen a few days ago, and I had kind of wanted it ever since. I actually used to get it pretty often back when I was first trying to lose weight. That is, until Pump opened. Pump (in my opinion) is a lot less bland than Energy Kitchen. Still, it sounded good to me tonight after a hard workout.


I ordered a side of roasted potatoes.


And a wrap with rice, beans, bison and salsa.

Oh, you probably want to know who won, right?

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Ladies! Can you email me (theodora @ theodorablanchfield.com) and send me your address?

Thanks to everyone who entered! Hopefully I’ll have another giveaway relatively soon.