There’s a new kind of power lunch and it doesn’t involve two martinis. Delicious bowls of grains and veggies are making it easier for everyone from carnivores and vegans to keep their get-healthy resolutions.

By Nancy Miller | Photos by Danny Alexander

3738 Lexington Road, 502-498-2341
3046 Bardstown Road, 502-409-7900

According to Chase Barmore, founder of LIFEbar, living a plant-based lifestyle is a great way to eat more greens and proteins and to feel better.

“When I opened LIFEbar in 2010, there was nothing like it in Louisville. I did it for my own life and to let people understand that eating healthy doesn’t have to taste bad and that it’s not a sacrifice of flavor,” he says. Everything at LIFEbar is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and peanut-free.

LIFEbar offers three Smoothie Bowls: the Acai Bowl, with acai powder, blueberries, strawberries and banana; the Pumpkin Pie Bowl, with almond butter, butternut squash, banana, vanilla bean protein, pumpkin pie spice, coconut and dates; and the big hit Chocomaca Bowl that has raw cacao, raw maca, banana, almond butter, coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. It is topped with granola, house-made cashew cream, organic blueberries, strawberries, bananas, unsweetened coconut flakes and a honey or raw agave drizzle.

Many of LIFEbar’s customers use smoothie bowls as meal replacements for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

LIFEbar patrons are also treated to their selections of Super Food Smoothies like Frozen Reishi Cappuccino and Strawberry Shortcake, and Green Smoothies (Love Your Kale, Avocado Dream, It’s Easy Being Green) that serve up vitamin-rich vegetables and other healthy goodies. In addition, the menu features Extreme Wellness Shots and Just Fruit Smoothies.

Get the kids in on the action by creating their own smoothie or going for the kale, strawberries and bananas in the Cowabunga.

Inwave Restaurant & Juice Bar
10310 Shelbyville Road

Dr. Kamlesh Dave, a local family practice physician, founded Inwave Restaurant & Juice Bar as a response to the growing number of people suffering from heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

“We want to transform our customers from the inside out, while they’re being swept up in a wave of exciting flavors,” he says. His goals are to offer delicious food that you and your body will love and to create an inviting atmosphere where friends and family can gather. iPads have been installed at most tables on the juice bar side of Inwave so that customers can easily read newspapers and magazines.

Inwave’s Power Bowls are one of the best ways to roll flavor, fun and fitness into one dish. You get to choose basmati or brown rice, or quinoa, creamy black beans or chickpeas, three vegetables, a sauce such as curry coconut, southwest chili or chimichurri and accents (coconut bacon, pita croutons, apple-soaked cranberried, candied soy nuts.)

Dave likes to introduce additions to the menu. Among the newest are vegan chips, mango salsa and pineapple salsa.

You can never go wrong with the Inwave chop salad, the sweet and sour kale salad or the super grains salad. The menu also includes flatbreads, grilled cheese burger with air-baked fries, veggie BBQ sandwich, lentil soy burger and Pav Bahji fries (Mumbai vegetable curry, soy protein and cilantro yogurt.)

Helpful nutritional information, including calories, carbs, fat, proteins and fiber, is indicated for specific categories on the menu.

Green District
126 Breckinridge Lane
225 S. Fifth Street

“The fast-casual market is exploding; it’s the fastest growing area in dining. Green District-A Salad Spot falls in the middle of sit-down and drive through restaurants categories but we emphasize the healthy side of eating,” says Jonathan Clark, general manager. “The City of Louisville has done so much, such as expanding parks and adding bicycle lanes. Responding to people’s interest in a healthy lifestyle was a no-brainer to be part of that.”

Vegans, vegetarians along with meat and cheese eaters can all find something to savor on Green District’s menu. Calorie counts are shown on the menu posted at the restaurants and on the website.

“All produce is Non-GMO. We know when our produce is picked, and then we clean and process it ourselves. It’s fresh, fresh, fresh. Plus we don’t use microwaves or freezers,” says Clark.

Guests may opt for a signature salad, such as You Are What You Beet, Hide and Go Greek or Tequila Mockingbird. Or, they may create their own by choosing bases like lettuce, kale, spinach and quinoa, then adding a protein, if desired, veggies and crunchies.

Dressings are made every morning. “I have heard people say our Green Goddess dressing is addictive. They like to buy it in bulk, but I warn them that it has no preservatives, so they need to use it in a timely manner,” he says.

Not only does Green District welcome guests who dine-in or take their orders home,  but also catering is available for groups up to 250 people.

Lueberry Acai Bowls and Super Foods
808 E. Market Street

“I’ve long been a fan of acai bowls and found myself craving them. But there wasn’t a place in Louisville dedicated to serving them,” says Lue Ahmed, who opened Lueberry Acai Bowls and Super Foods last March. “Acai is harvested only in Brazil. We have a supplier who ships it to us. Some places use the powder form. We use the frozen purée and blend it with other ingredients. I’d compare it to a Dairy Queen Blizzard; it’s almost like a sorbet and can be added to bowls or smoothies.”

His East Market Acai Bowl is a mixture of almond milk, acai, banana, strawberries, blueberries and plums. It may be topped with granola, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, shredded coconut and chia seeds. Other Lueberry bowls are Khaleesi’s Pitaya aka Dragonfruit (pitaya, almond milk, banana, mango, pineapple and coconut) and the Tropic Thunder (orange juice, peach, bananas, mango and pineapple.)

He has enjoyed a smoothie every day since college. At Lueberry he can indulge in six different ones.

Ahmed’s brothers, both of whom have children, urged him to create a healthy dish for kids. His answer was the Nana sandwich, which is made with peanut butter, honey and banana. The peanut butter may be omitted if a child has peanut allergies.

“You can leave Lueberry and not feel sluggish. I don’t like to label it as super healthy or something that’s going to change your life. My goal was to provide a healthier option at an affordable price,” says Ahmed.

I Love Juice Bar
13317 Shelbyville Road

Ashley Bonner started her juicing journey when she was 13 years old. A friend introduced her to the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” documentary. “Before seeing it, I hadn’t been into health at all but that changed my mindset,” she says.

Now the owner of I Love Juice Bar, she’s determined to change the mindset of people who think “green” equates to a lack of taste or worse, an unpleasant taste. “We’re trying to make healthy juices and foods delicious and fun for everyone.”

I Love Juice Bar is plant-based, gluten-free and organic, when possible, and always uses one-hundred-percent whole fruits and vegetables. Everything is made from scratch and no processed foods find their way into the dishes.

Six different Smoothie Bowls, packed with an abundance of super foods are super sellers at I Love Juice Bar. “They’re awesome and are trending right now,” says Bonner. The main ingredient of the hugely popular Acai Bowl is the high anti-oxidant South American acai berry that’s paired with blueberries, avocado, banana, strawberries, almond butter, hemp seeds and honey.

Bonner’s personal go-to bowl is the Aloha Bowl. And why not?  Having mango, banana, spirulina, blueberries, peanut butter, honey and bee pollen, it’s full fresh, sweet heartiness.

“We sell more smoothies than anything else. We try to incorporate good things that you might not eat all the time but taste so good into our recipes,” she says. The Green Smoothie is a colorful, yummy example of that, with its tropical taste of pineapple, banana and coconut milk mixed with kale, spinach and apple juice.

Posted on 2019-01-04 by Nancy Miller