One of my favorite things to do after some fun physical activity is to go and gorge myself on something delicious: usually high-protein, high-fat, and covered with bacon. This is … not good. Actually, it’s pretty terrible. Before and after strenuous exercise, your body needs good, wholesome nutrients: fruits, unprocessed grains, and — yes — lots of dark green leafy things.
Runners, hikers, and even bikers (more Huffy than Harley) have found a great refueling station in Yorktown’s Trailside Café, right next to the North County Trailway. Yorktown residents Justin and Ghenya Fagan opened the café in 2015 after Ghenya, originally from Russia, found herself just the tiniest bit aghast at the amount of sugars and processed foods stocked on American shelves.
Starting with just juices, smoothies, and salads, the menu quickly spread to include hot and cold sandwiches, oatmeal cups, organic-vegan coconut yogurt, gluten-free muffins and scones, and their most popular item, acai bowls made with almond and coconut milk, frozen acai, fresh fruit, and any other of their available toppings. Acai bowls are not overly sweet, and deliciously cool on a hot day after a long run. Try adding a light drizzle of honey over Trailside’s homemade granola for a sweet, healthy ice cream substitute.
Banana pecan chocolate chip muffins
“They’re totally low in sugar and full of antioxidants,” says Cathy Pilkin, Justin’s cousin and current supervisor at the café. On the topic of nutritious substitutions she’s quick to chime in. “I myself love chocolate chip and cookies like that, so the baked goods are a good alternative; made fresh every day and with no refined sugars they’re good for you.”
Trailside Café also partners with local health centers to offer weekend classes outside on their patio. Last year saw morning yoga, and this year they’re expecting to work with a local gym so customers can get a quick workout before grabbing their morning juices. “The bike path brings in a lot of likeminded customers looking to refresh and refuel.” Pilkin says that’s the kind of lifestyle they want to foster.
Photo by Dave Zucker
The Trailside Café ethos is about taking the work out of being healthy. To that end, the café boasts an in-house detox/juice cleanse program that allows patrons to pick up a full compliment of six 16-oz juices for between one and seven days, at just under $50 a day. (Additives like flaxseed protein, bee pollen, hemp, and chia seeds might run a little extra.) Without having to plan or slave over an expensive juicer preparing appetizing meal replacements, the hope is the more people will be comfortable with and willing to try a cleanse.
If you’re in Yorktown, whether for exercise or just by chance, definitely stop in to check out Trailside Café. You don’t have to want something healthy, just pick something delicious. Trailside will do the rest.
1807 Commerce St., Yorktown
Mon-Sat 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
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