atlanta, city guide, healthy

Local on the Health Scene in Atlanta

An insider’s take on organic southern cooking, the running and yoga booms in the Georgia capital, and more

In our Local on the Health Scene series, we’re asking fit correspondents based in cities around the world to let us in on the hottest workouts, chicest health-focused eateries, fitness trends, and more in their city.

Most recently we featured a local on the health scene in Toronto. Now, we’re heading to Atlanta. Becky Cawood is an Atlanta native and creator of Kale and Tonic, a holistic health website where she offers coaching, recipes, and more. She also teaches yoga and leads cooking classes.

She lives in the Brookhaven area, just inside the perimeter of the city. You will usually find her at the Brookhaven Farmer's Market, walking or running around the neighborhood parks, or catching up with a friend at Town Brookhaven.

THE FOOD



Atlanta is the heart of soul food country; this usually means biscuits, fried chicken, collard greens and a side of “hi y’all!” While not all locals are concerned about organic or locally-sourced food, you can get the best of both worlds—classic southern cooking and healthy eats—here in the south.

As a health coach, I am passionate about showing my fellow ATLiens how they can step into the world of nourishing food and still keep the soul.

Atlanta has a plethora of amazing eateries, and they’re growing. Here are some of my favorite go-to, locally-grown restaurants.

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Radial
Radial

Here you will find unique, innovative breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with sustainable ingredients. The menu will please vegans and carnivores alike, with options such as Korean tofu lettuce cups, Georgia trout, and organic wines.

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Souper Jenny
Souper Jenny

Atlanta’s little gem, Souper Jenny serves up fabulously fresh seasonal dishes. In the summertime, for example, you might find a soba noodle salad packed with superfoods and a lemon miso dressing.

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Buttermilk Kitchen
Buttermilk Kitchen

The amazing brunch you will enjoy here is worth the inevitable wait. You will find a seasonal menu that uses local ingredients such as the market omelet which features in-season ingredients. As a side, treat yourself to the hash browns with rosemary salt.

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Upbeet
UPBEET

If you’re looking for made-to-order organic food that serves any regimen from gluten-free to vegan to paleo, UPBEET will have you covered with macro bowls (and more) that cater to all eating habits.

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Cafe Sunflower
Cafe Sunflower

For delectable vegan and vegetarian cuisine, even if you’re just going meatless for one meal, the Sunflower Cafe is the spot. Make sure to try the Sunflower burger, which is made entirely of plant-based protein and served on a multigrain bun.

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Cafe West Express
Cafe West Express

This place has incredible healing soups, my favorite being the carrot ginger tumeric for that extra glow. They are created from scratch to be deeply restorative and make you feel good.

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R. Thomas
R. Thomas

Greeted by the most beautiful birds when you walk through the door, you will feel as though you have stepped into a tropical island in the heart of Atlanta. With fresh-to-order juices and smoothies, free-range meats, vegetarian and vegan, macrobiotic, gluten-free, and raw food options, they’ve got it all. I am a sucker for the Thai Express (quinoa and veggies served with tempeh or chicken) and a Donkey Kong smoothie (with strawberry, OJ, coconut, and banana).

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Yeah! Burger
Yeah! Burger

This low-key joint in the city’s west side respects the environment and the humane treatment of animals. They truly have an appreciation for fresh, locally-grown food. Choose your meat (or vegan option), bun, and toppings—from local sunflower sprouts to hydroponic, local bib lettuce—of preference.

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THE FITNESS



Just as the local eateries will leave you full for days, the fitness scene in Atlanta provides countless opportunities to sweat. Whether you are in the mood to take a group class or enjoy getting outside for some fresh air, Atlanta has got you covered.

My favorite hiking and running trails are Cochran Shoals, Soap Creek, and Vickery Creek, just to name a few. These are dirt trails that allow you to step outside the concrete jungle and enjoy a few moments in nature without having to drive too far. You will often find running crews such as Run All Out, WestStride, Train ATL, and Big Peach, among many others, out enjoying a run no matter the weather.

Here, some of the newest, best studios:

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Sculpthouse
Sculpthouse

Sculpthouse brings a new meaning to the word intense. Their signature class is Cardio Sculpt, infusing both the Lagree Megaformer and the Woodway treadmill into a 50-minute killer workout.

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Burn Studios
Burn Studios

Burn’s classes—which include cycling, kickboxing, and yoga—are fun, dynamic, and challenging but it’s the community vibe that will leave you feeling motivated and inspired.

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CYB Fitlab
CYB Fitlab

CYB offers one-on-one training sessions as well as group classes ranging from Glute Werk (a 50-minute HIIT-style workout that focuses on the glutes, hips flexors, and core) and The CYB Method (which includes cardio, strength, and stabilization challenges).

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THE YOGA



Yoga is all the rage in Atlanta which is why I’m dedicating a whole section to the best studios in the city. There’s a class for every style preference and mood.

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Empower Yoga
Empower Yoga

If you like to sweat, Empower Yoga is for you. Offering a heated vinyasa-style flow, the instructors and owners here also focus on building a community feel.

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Sacred Chili Yoga
Sacred Chill Yoga

Alternatively, if you’re in the mood to slow down and just breathe, the relaxing Yin and Vinyasa-style yoga taught here is like getting wrapped up in a big hug at the end of a long day.

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Dancing Dogs Yoga
Dancing Dogs Yoga

DDY is the new kid on the block. A kick-butt, feel-good Baptiste (a style of yoga found in the 1940s and inspired by Hatha) power yoga community, it’ll make you sweat and encourage you to do a little self-reflection.

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Infinity Yoga
Infinity Yoga

Here you will find multiple styles of practice, from yoga for athletes to their infamous Infinity Vinyasa Flow (expect “powerful, dynamic, flowing sequences”), with all types of students, from beginners to advanced, young and old.

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Tough Love Yoga
Tough Love Yoga

This yoga studio has made its mark in Atlanta by providing expertly-taught classes to a metal band soundtrack.

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