Fitness Shack’s Real Food Kitchen

. July 30, 2019.
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Easy eating paleo

Let’s be honest, half the time during a workout is spent planning our next meal. Too often, though, that meal ends up being something unhealthy, nullifying the workout.

To combat those cravings, fitness centers sometimes offer a nutrition station with healthy and appetizing post-exercise goodies.

Too often, though, our fitness-fatigued minds are fooled by juices disguised with cute and clever names. But, alas, taste buds cannot be fooled, and trying to look happy whilst choking down a “lean green machine” (aka liquidized kale) feels more like powering through another grueling workout rather than a post-exercise reward.

So with a skeptic’s eye, I entered the Fitness Shack’s Real Food Kitchen to partake in an entirely paleo menu. Essentially, a paleo diet consists only of foods that our ancestors would have eaten thousands of years ago. No processed foods, refined sugar/vegetable oils, or legumes. Heavy on the meat/seafood, nuts, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and eggs.

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The beginning

A seminar urging physicians to adopt preventive practices sparked the interests of co-owners Dr. Renee Mason and David Faulkner. As well, Dr. Mason constantly found herself answering patients’ questions about how she stayed in such great shape.

Mason has provided the same advice doctors have given for years: Diet and Exercise. However, she decided to take it further by actually giving patients a place to put her words into action.

Thus, The Fitness Shack was born. Now open for five years, The Fitness Shack has thrived. Three years ago, the Real Food Kitchen came along.

“This provides an outlet for people to learn and develop a different lifestyle,” said Faulker. “The Real Food kitchen was born from Renee’s yoga certification and our awakening to a more primal diet.”

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No ifs, ands, or buns here

Those with a gluten or lactose intolerance: rejoice! The Fitness Shack boasts a completely gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free menu.

While the menu features classics like sloppy joes and turkey burgers, they aren’t served in the traditional format, with a bun. Instead, the sloppy joe’s beef lays across a baked sweet potato, adding a nice texture to the dish. The turkey burger comes bunless, too. Perhaps use a lettuce wrap or just eat it cold— no judgment here.

Unlike restaurants that list only calorie counts to appease the health-conscious consumer, the Fitness Shack takes it a step further by listing the calorie, protein, fiber, fat, and net carbs content.

Healthy eating, quick and doable

The kitchen at the Fitness Shack closely resembles a typical kitchen in an everyday American home. The meals are all pre-made, labeled with expiration dates and stacked in the fridge. Customers can call ahead to place an order or just stop in for a quick grab-and-go meal.

Each Thursday afternoon the following week’s menu is released. Entree prices range from $6-10 while snacks and sides range from $3-6.

It’s a dining option designed for busy people trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. People can purchase a week’s worth of entrees and the only cooking skill required is the ability to work a microwave.

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Keeping it fresh

Meal prep can be a snooze and The Fitness Shack understand that. People want variety and the Shack delivers by offering a different menu each week with a few staples: pancakes, matcha energy balls, gluten-free snacks, sweet potato fries, salads, and turkey meatloaf.

It’s clear why these classics remain in the rotation. I would order a life-time supply of the matcha energy balls and sweet potato fries.

Though all the food is paleo diet compliant, the Fitness Shack does not emphasize a strict food regimen, aiming, rather, to help customers live a healthier lifestyle. By rotating in items such as Korean bibimbap, salmon burgers, pizza soup and others, customers won’t get bored. The diverse menu demonstrates that healthy eating can still be an enjoyable experience.

While some menu items might be considered adventurous, the menu consists of many meals most of us are familiar with at home, with a few tweaks to fit a paleo lifestyle.

Move aside, “superfood-of-the-moment” juice. The Fitness Shack makes healthy eating enjoyable again.

6am-8pm, Monday-Thursday | 6am-5pm, Friday
7am-12pm, Saturday | 8am-6pm, Sunday
5441 S Main St., Sylvania
419-913-7042 | fitnesssylvania.com