There’s been an influx of successful health-focused stores and cafes in South Tampa over the last few years. Why do you think there is such a demand for health and wellness in South Tampa?
This is what I love about South Tampa! The community in general is very health-conscious and has an open mind when it comes to health and wellness, which makes it a great general market for new businesses that are health-focused. I love how open our community is to welcoming health and wellness presented in ways different from the norm. At LS Organics, we incorporate algaes, mushrooms and herbs into our smoothies, and clientele can’t get enough of it!
What is your top tip for time-stretched parents who want to pack wholesome, nutritious lunches for their kids to take to school?
Plan ahead! Front-loading your work will save you time throughout the week and make packing lunches a breeze. Take time over the weekend to plan out what the next week of lunches looks like, and prep what you can ahead of time. Healthy pre-packaged foods such as yogurts, crackers, veggie chips and hummus will help take some of the stress off of you. Include an equal amount or more of nutrient-dense fresh produce as well. A great source I recommend to clients for health-focused kids’ lunch ideas is Weelicious.com.
Where is your favorite place to buy fresh, healthy ingredients or produce?
At LS Organics, we sue a lot of local farms to source our fresh organic produce, which we use in our smoothies, meals and sell in-store. Whenever an item is out of season or there’s a lack of abundance in something in particular, my go-to is actually Whole Foods. Since they’ve partnered with Amazon, their prices and quality on organic produce has improved dramatically. I do prefer to keep it as local as much as possible and use what vendors at local farmers’ markets have to create seasonal dishes.
The whole philosophy of your business revolves around wellness. Where do you like to go in town to be well?
Personal wellness has always been extremely important to me, and since opening LS, I have to get my wellness in as time allows. That means incorporating a lot of outdoor and at-home workouts. It is worthwhile for me to take time out of my schedule to incorporate wellness practices that bring me back to “neutral” and help quiet my mind and rejuvenate my body. I love the Restorative Healing Wellness Center and their ozone sauna, which incorporates oxygen, aromatherapy and micro-currents. I also enjoy a good sweat sesh at the newly opened Sweatology! Their detox sauna beds allow me to sweat it out while getting an infrared LED therapy facial at the same time.
Outside of your own place, LS Organics, where do you like to go for a healthy meal in Tampa?
Of course, LS is my No. 1 for a daily healthy go-to, but I do leave room to enjoy a few South Tampa faves. I’m a creature of habit, so every Friday night you can find me at SoHo Sushi having a fresh sushi roll, edamame and asparamaki. Boca is another favorite healthy go-to. I order the shishito peppers (heavily charred!), and I love their shrimp Thai salad.
For a guilty pleasure or cheat day, where do you like to go?
I love Mexican food! I would eat queso like soup if that was socially acceptable. We used to live in L.A., so Mexican restaurants in Tampa had a lot to live up to. One place that’s grown on me is Urban Cantina in Downtown Tampa. I’m for sure ordering queso, fajitas and Corona Light, and I always ask for everything extra spicy! They actually recognize me and know all of the quirks of my order, which is comforting and a little embarrassing at the same time.
Football season is upon us. Where to you like to go to catch a Buccaneers game?
First of all, go Bucs! My husband is the team dietician, so Sundays are reserved for God and NFL football. If the Bucs are in town, you can find me at the stadium. If they’re away, I’ll get together with some of the other football wives at someone’s house. I also enjoy American Social since it’s so close to where I live.
What are some of your favorite local boutiques or shops around South Tampa?
I’ve had the chance to meet so many creative and beautiful local business owners! I really like Boho Hunter in Hyde Park Village. Their style and vibe makes them one of my favorites. I also love going into West Third. Their clothing makes me want to find events to go to ust so I can wear their clothes. I love the light, bright and airy decor in Blue Moon Trading Co. Every time I walk in there, I’m inspired to decorate a new space!
When you have visitors from out of town, where do you like to take them?
South Tampa has so much to offer now! Living on Harbour Island, I love being able to show the shops, restaurants and beautiful views to visitors that my direct neighborhood has. I’m also highly looking forward to Water Street Tampa! For breakfast, Pinky’s and their oatmeal pancakes have always been a staple for us to share with friends. Of course, Armature Works and its surrounding area including Ulele are fun to explore and take guests to. Hyde Park Village and the ambiance at On Swann is one of my favorites, and I love taking guests there! Seminole Heights has a great selection of restaurants and shops to visit as well. There are just so many great choices now!