How to Be Healthy in New Orleans

Swimsuit season is approaching quickly and if you haven’t had the subsequent panic attack yet, I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself. Uncurl from the fetal position and put down the ice cream because I’m here to help you start making the right choices. It’s no secret that New Orleans has some of the honest-to-God best food in the nation. The only problem with that accomplishment is the deep-fried, slathered in sauce & gravy recipes that give us the reputation. But there’s still hope for you New Orleanians who want to (at least attempt) a healthy lifestyle. If only until next the next fest.

Here are a few great restaurants and exercise programs that will have you swimsuit ready and maybe even help you find a summer romance.




You make your lunch at Fresh Bar
You make your lunch at Fresh Bar

 Fresh Bar

So I know that I always seem to be talking about this place but in my defense, it is so good and I think you need to know. Located on Magazine Street near the Fly, Fresh Bar has make your own salads (well someone makes them for you but you pick everything out), wraps and delicious soups like Tomato Basil (better than La Madeleine’s I promise) and Crab and Corn Bisque. Made in easy to travel containers, you can even order online, pick up and head to Audubon Park for a healthy and most importantly, delicious lunch. See Fresh Bar online menu to learn about all your options.

Meals from the Heart Cafe

From Meals from the Heart's Facebook Page
From Meals from the Heart’s Facebook Page

This little find is somewhat hard to find but once you do, you’ll want to come back. Located on N. Peters in the French Market, Meals from the Heart Cafe’s mission is “to offer fresh organic food or those with vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options.” Now if any of those previous words scare you, don’t be afraid. I’m a bonafide bacon addict but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy black bean burgers and crab po-boys either! Stop into this little joint and try something new! Check out their awesome menu and plan your next lunch outing.


Yummy salad at Carmo
Yummy salad at Carmo


With the summer months approaching and vacationing at an all time high, Carmo is like being taken away to a tropical island and given the King’s menu. They offer their guests the exotic, organic and locally grown items in delicious packages like rum-cured, smoked yellowfin tuna or their Rico sandwich with grilled plantains, melted cheese, smoked pork and salsa. Have allergies or dietary restrictions? At Carmo they don’t mind substitutions so give their menu a try and tell us all about it!



Just opened in April, Seed is the veggie lovers haven in New Orleans. Even if you don’t like veggies, I think it would be hard to find nothing to like on Seed’s menu. I mean who doesn’t want to try an eggplant po-boy? Love broccoli and tomato based soups? Try cauliflower soup for a change and thank me later. Need a little sweet? Try their carrot cupcake, it’s so sweet and spicy that you wogin’t even realize you’re eating something healthy. Here’s their neat menu for your enjoyment!

Raw Veggie Spaghetti from Seed's Facebook
Raw Veggie Spaghetti from Seed’s Facebook


***If you have trouble finding healthy option on menus, Ochsner Health Systems has partnered with a number of popular New Orleans restaurants to help people find the healthiest choices.  Be sure to look for the Eat Fit NOLA symbol on your menu so you can know that you are eating healthy and portioned controlled options!




It looks like he's doing yoga too!
It looks like he’s doing yoga too!

Sculpture Garden Yoga

Available in City Park, if you like to do yoga and pilates and want a space to do so outside, then meet the class every Saturday at the Sculpture Garden. The classes are an hour long, only $5 and close to some great Mid-City brunch spots. Remember that looking great is one thing, but getting outdoors and working out is going to make you feel amazing too!


City Park or Audubon Running Tracks

When you live in New Orleans you may not realize how lucky you are to have some of the most beautiful parks right in your backyard. City Park has a number of tracks and running trails for runners and Audubon has tracks that ride along the Zoo, baseball and soccer fields, and let’s not forget the beautiful Fly waiting for you at the end to relax with amigos and plan your ballin night out.

What? We’re getting healthy not running for sainthood.

Adult Kickball

I know we have mentioned this before on RB&L but I think this is such a great way to have some exercise and fun at the same time. If you’re like me, exercise is four letter word so I like to make it as fun as possible. Organizations like PlayNOLA and WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) have a number of teams throughout the city. There is only the initial registering fee (can range between $60-$80) but you can enjoy an entire season of fun and get to make some awesome friends. If you don’t like kickball, PlayNOLA has a wide variety of sports and recreation to offer.

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

Races and Marathons

If you want to do something athletic and support a number of great causes, you could start doing races and marathons. I know the idea of running multiple miles for hours on end sounds like a perfect description of hell on earth, but once you’re out there and the asphalt is disappearing under your feet, you’ll feel like an Olympic champion. However, I would recommend a little training beforehand or you might end up dying in the street. Here are some of the upcoming races, runs and marathons in the city.

  • May 17, American Cancer Relay for Life @ The Big Lake at City Park
  • May 24, Greek Festival Race @ the Lakefront– 1 M or 5K
  • May 25, Fat Boy New Orleans Run @ City Park- 5K
  • May 31, New Orleans Prostate Run / Women’s Shelter Run @ The Big Lake at City Park
  • June 16, Father’s Day Race @ Audobon Park- 2M

For a schedule of the race and marathon seasons, check out In The NOLA for more info.


See, I told you it was possible! Now you have no excuse to get out there, have fun and make healthy choices. God, I sound like my mother so do me a favor and just tell me how you’re staying healthy in our Comments section. Have Fun!

About Morgan

Morgan was born in Georgia, raised in Louisiana, a Southern gal through and through. A graduate of the University of New Orleans, she loves her Saints, her city and inserting thinly veiled sarcasm throughout all her writing.

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