Eating well is challenging enough. Eating well on the go? Darn near impossible. First you have to find a spot with suitably fresh and well-prepared food—then you need to have the willpower to resist the draw of crispy-crunchy fries and juicy cheeseburgers.
Or do you?
I’ve found it’s best to start with the right kind of place. Food & Thought has been holding down the fort in Naples for years; so, too, has Ada’s in Fort Myers. Now a new player is sandwiched between them in North Naples: Body & Soul Café. It originally opened last year as InnerG and was rebranded in recent months when the Cordon Bleu-trained chef and certified fitness coach Kellie Akehurst bought it.
The basic format is still the same: the menu is plant-based, gluten-free and predominantly organic. You order at the counter and find a space at the teeny-tiny bar or on a couch that must have been made with a New York starter apartment in mind—or, better yet, take the food to go (there is also a cooler with prepared meals for super-quick service).
At breakfast, expect smoothies, juices and trendy açai bowls (think of them as smoothies eaten like cereal—you add toppings like oats and fruit, then sloop everything up with a spoon), plus some fun items like quiche and French toast sticks. A tightly edited menu at lunch has a short list of paninis, my favorite being the roasted veggie with a lusciously thick sundried tomato spread, sliced mushrooms, caramelized onions and swirls of spinach between warmed pieces of crunchy, crumbly bread. “Body Bowls” are also a popular pick; you choose a base (brown rice, zucchini “noodles” or mixed greens) and add toppings and sauces, such as curry, pesto or Spicy Red Dragon.
Not missing a beat, Akehurst also offers a meal plan with five dinners per week or a daily cleanse (a full-day menu for a true detox). The plans are rooted in a model other local chefs have successfully launched in recent months. The menus for both are written in a four-week cycle, and you can either subscribe or check the website and call in a pick-up that particular week—either way, it’s a treat for your body and soul.
To plan a visit:
Body & Soul Café
9331 Tamiami Trail N., Naples
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.