In college, eating is often an escape. It offers a break between our classes and studying, and it's always an opportunity to enjoy a nice meal and catch up with friends.

There are a lot options on and off UConn's campus for students to choose from, but Nature's Health Store is one that most people have never heard of (more GF muffins for me). I like to think of it as my own personal café, and you can too. Here are ten reasons your next meal should be at NHS. 

1. It's healthy.

As if you couldn't tell by the name, this trendy shop offers freshly made baked goods, soups, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. The store motto is even be wise, be healthy. Your body will thank you for eating locally grown and organic produce, and wholesome ingredients.

2. It's allergen friendly.

Whether you're gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, or a meat lover, NHS has something for everyone. All breads, wraps, and baked goods are made in their gluten free kitchen.

As gluten-free eater myself, I can vouch that these sandwiches and baked goods are legit—no breaking or crumbling like other brands.

3. They serve breakfast.

Breakfast is hands down the best meal of the day. Whether you're in the mood for a breakfast burrito or an omelette, NHS adds a twist by adding things like avocado, hot sauce, and cayenne. Perfect for those weekends when you roll out of bed at noon after a night out or if you're like me, a night in watching Netflix.

4. The desserts are healthy.

Okay this one doesn't really need an explanation. But NHS offers a variety of baked goods made from scratch with simple ingredients like coconut, nut butters and dates. Always gluten-free with some vegan and raw options. You can even get some veggies in your diet with their spinach coconut muffins. 

5. You can find unique international recipes.

I had the privilege to meet and talk with the owner, Bogusia, who is originally from Poland. She spent a lot of time traveling the globe, so all of her recipes have a little touch of the many different places she's been to.

Her popular homemade Polish recipes include perogies and borscht soup.

6. Everything is seasonal.

The best part about healthy stores like NHS is that they rely on fresh produce that is abundant during each season. They just released their Fall Butternut Chili, Pumpkin Muffins and Pumpkin smoothie! Stop in and get your pumpkin fix.

7. Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies.

Smoothies are the perfect meal for anyone constantly on the go. They're a great way to get your fruits, veggies, and essential micronutrients in. NHS offers a variety of 24oz smoothies with superfoods like chia seeds, coconut oil, goji berries, hemp protein and more! You can even create your own concoction. 

8. They make fresh, packaged foods.

Don't have time to sit and stay? Not only are all foods available for take out, but NHS packages a variety of freshly made recipes like their raw cashew hummus, raw burger patty, raw chia crackers, and soups perfect for bringing back to your dorm or apartment. Or if you're like me, perfect for eating in your car because you can't wait to get home.

9. They're also a health store.

NHS carries a variety of health supplements, protein bars and powders, essential oils and more. They offer a variety of gluten-free and vegan retail brands such as Halo Top, So Delicious, Kombucha, and Plant Fusion.

10. The environment is always friendly.

One of my favorite things about coming in here, is the way NHS truly cares and gets to know their customers. I'm on a first name basis (maybe because I come in here way too much) with the entire staff. They even made the effort to support my Instagram page dedicated to health and fitness.

They make sure to only provide the freshest and best quality ingredients ingredients and are passionate about making healthy options that taste great. They believe that health starts in the kitchen and are one of many small businesses looking to change the way people eat. Be wise, and be healthy.

Did I mention they take Husky Bucks?

Location: 603 Middle Turnpike, Storrs-Mansfield, CT 06268