I was so excited when Cassie and Megan reached out to me to share some of my favorite healthy things to eat and do in my hometown. My love for McKinney runs deep, and as a future dietitian, my greatest passion is to help people create a healthful lifestyle that works for them and is easy to maintain. Keep reading to learn about some of my favorite healthy dining-out options and things to do around McKinney that will help you on your way to a healthier life.
Healthy Options for Dining Out
This restaurant is brand new to McKinney!!! I have been going to their Allen location ever since they opened, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out they were opening a location in McKinney! They offer a wide variety of fresh juices, smoothies, and grab-and-go food. Everything is made from real ingredients, so no nasty chemicals and preservatives! Their spring rolls, pad thai noodle bowl, and sprout sandwich are my favorites. However, their specialty, if you can guess by the name, is juices. If you want a nutritionist’s advice about juices, try staying away from the ones with apple or pineapple in them. These ingredients can make the juice extremely high in sugar. In fact, some juices with these two ingredients can have as much sugar as a can of soda! Crazy, right? I recommend sticking to juices that are made predominantly from vegetables and contain little if any fruit. This will ensure you get the maximum amount of nutrients with the smallest amount of sugar. My favorite juice here is the Fresh Greens with celery, kale, spinach, cucumber, parsley, and lemon. It is heavenly! The menu also provides a breakdown of calories for each item, and you can go on their website to get more nutrition information on all of their products.
This is a great place if you are needing to grab a quick meal but don’t want to get fast food. Most of the items on their menu are build-your-own, so you can have total control over what you are putting into your body! I personally love to do a poke bowl with sushi grade salmon, chopped greens, edamame, pineapple, avocado, sesame seeds, sushi ginger, green onion, and the traditional Hawaiian dressing on the side. They also list out the number of calories for everything on their menu, and the website has a full nutrition panel and list of allergens for each item.
This place has an extensive menu for both breakfast and lunch, but my personal favorite is the avocado toast with smoked salmon on wheat bread with a poached egg on top. They serve it with some lemon juice already on it, but I always add a little more to give it even more flavor. I also always get their side of sliced strawberries!
Frios Gourmet Pops
This is the perfect place to go for a healthier treat! The main thing I love about this place is that they don’t use any artificial coloring or flavors or high fructose corn syrup. They also use local ingredients whenever they can! Stick to the Fruity Flavored Pops for the healthier options (my favorite is the avocado lime). You can also go on their website to get nutritional information on each of their flavors!
Patina Green Home and Market
If you haven’t been to Patina Green yet, you don’t know what you are missing. This place is a foodie’s paradise! Patina Green is probably my favorite place to eat in all of McKinney, and the owners have been good family friends since I was in the fourth grade! As far as I know, this was the first restaurant in McKinney to devote itself to the farm-to-table ideology. Everything they serve is made from ingredients that are seasonal, sustainably grown, and most of which comes from farmers in the local area. In fact, the chef even keeps a small vegetable garden in my parent’s backyard because we live so close to the restaurant! The menu can change daily depending on what the local farmers have available, but everything I have ever had here has been amazing! In the fall, I love the roasted cauliflower, raw cheddar, arugula, and green tomato sandwich on hippie health bread. All of their sandwiches can also be made on gluten-free bread. While you are there, you can also pick up some amazing groceries like free-range eggs, fresh produce (especially of the heirloom variety which actually provides different antioxidants than their more common forms), pickled onions (which Chef Robert makes in-house), various healthy drinks, locally baked bread, and more! Oh and don’t forget the incredible antique shopping you can do while there!
Layered Coffee. Bakery. Kitchen
I probably come here way too often, but what can I say… they have great coffee (which they roast themselves)! I also love their food. For breakfast, I love to get their avocado toast with radishes and microgreens and the goat cheese, peach, and honey toast, both of which are on a multigrain bread. I always ask for a side of fruit because they have the best selection of fruit out of any restaurant I have ever been to! For lunch, I love their hummus and their red quinoa salad with roasted red peppers, spinach, feta, red onions, cilantro, and a light vinaigrette.
Healthy Things to Do and Places to Go
The McKinney Farmers Market
Whenever I am back in McKinney, there is a pretty good chance that you can find me at the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. This farmer’s market is temporarily located just north of the downtown square on Hunt St. and Tennessee while construction is ongoing at their permanent location at Chestnut Square. This farmer’s market has some amazing vendors! I always try to get as much of my produce as possible from farmer’s markets because it is always fresher and quite frankly just tastes better! There are also some local artisans selling their products here too, plus musicians, so it’s not all food.
If you ever want to go on a nice walk or jog outside, then go here! Towne Lake is absolutely beautiful, and depending on the time of year there can be lots of ducks and geese! I love taking my dogs here to give them some exercise and get my own body moving!
Craig Ranch Fitness Center
My family and I have been going to this gym for years, and I absolutely love it! In addition to circuit training, they offer a wide variety of other amenities, including a lap pool, basketball and tennis courts, multiple private rooms for workout classes, outdoor and indoor running tracks, a rock-climbing wall, a spa, and more! There are also multiple personal trainers on staff here if you want some one-on-one training. I personally love their yoga classes because the instructors are incredible! They offer a variety of classes for different experience levels from beginners to more advanced (I have been practicing yoga for seven years, and some of these classes still kick my butt!).
Eat, Drink & Be McKinney Contributor
Annie Cavalier, founder of My Healthful Life, was born and raised in McKinney and spent much of her childhood in McKinney’s historic downtown square. She has been interested in health and wellness from a young age, but it quickly became a passion when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when Annie was only 12 years old.
Annie is currently a senior at The University of Texas at Austin studying nutrition and dietetics and plans on attending graduate school and receiving her license as a Registered Dietitian after she graduates from UT. After having many people come to her asking for nutrition advice, Annie decided to create her own website, My Healthful Life, so that she could share some of her personal tips on how to create and maintain a holistic, healthy lifestyle. While she has lived in Austin for the last three years attending college, she still views McKinney as her one and only true home.
Make sure to check out Annie’s website and follow her on social media for more health and wellness tips and delicious recipes!
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