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Good Tastes 

Catherine Wilbert is out to dispel the all-too-common notion that if a food is good for you, it doesn't taste good.

A doctor of naturopathic medicine, nutrition consultant and nationally recognized wellness expert, she regularly gets her message out through seminars, TV segments, radio talk shows and individual consultations. But one of her most effective tools is the retail business she started seven years ago: Vitality Juice, Java and Smoothie Bar (2309 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-3488; 322 Dallwill Drive, Mandeville, 985-727-3482).

At Vitality, customers interested in eating healthy are only too happy to put their money where their mouths are because every recipe is designed to deliver not only excellent nutrition, but also great taste.

"The purpose was to have things that typically you wouldn't think would be real healthy, but have them made over so they are," says Wilbert, who creates and formulates every recipe herself. "Because of my food science background, we've been able to do some amazing things and put Vitality way ahead of the game. We can take just about any indulgence you can think of and make it into a truly functional food that provides real nutrition and health benefits."

Vitality is actually two stores in one: The Nutrition Company, the store Wilbert started to provide quality nutritional supplements at affordable prices, and Vitality, with freshly made foods, all-natural smoothies and organic coffees and juices. Each location (in addition to Wilbert's two corporate stores, there are franchise locations on St. Charles Avenue and in Harahan, Baton Rouge and Albuquerque, N.M.) boasts a wide variety of choices from hot or cold teas and coffees to fruit smoothies, frozen coffee smoothies, soups, grilled sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads and more. Among the most popular items are the store's signature smoothies; it's "guilt-free granita," made with zero sugar and dairy; and its delicious soft-serve, low-carb, dairy-free "ice cream" made with Swerve, an all-natural sugar alternative that Wilbert created. While a typical smoothie contains almost 100 grams of sugar, most of Vitality's contain less than 15 grams of carbs and no refined sugar. Plus, they are balanced meals with an average of 30 grams of protein.

There are other guilt-easing perks as well. All of Vitality's cups, for instance, are made from bio-degradeable poly-lactic acid. "When you eat at Vitality, you do three good things: something for you, something for the environment, and something for organic farmers and growers locally and in Third World countries," Wilbert says.

click to enlarge As Owner of Vitality Juice, Java And Smoothie Bar, Catherine - Wilbert Creates Healthy Beverages And Foods That Taste - Good
  • As Owner of Vitality Juice, Java And Smoothie Bar, Catherine Wilbert Creates Healthy Beverages And Foods That Taste Good
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