Two of the newest and most popular healthy food trends nowadays are Instagram-ing pictures of avocado toast, juice cleanses, and smoothie bowls. Village Juice in Winston-Salem, NC brings healthy foods like salads, smoothies, and a variety of toast to the people of the Piedmont Triad and, of course, Wake Forest students.

Arianna Gershon

The Allure

Here on campus there is little available fresh fruit other than apples, cantaloupe, or bananas at the Pit. The fruit we are offered in our dining hall is usually canned and soaked in sugary juice like canned pears or mandarin oranges, leading us to crave the nutritious goodness at Village Juice. 

I always feel the need to go for a Sunday salad to cleanse my body of the Chick-Fil-A and Moe's that I eat during the week in between classes. Not to mention, their creative twists on salads make Benson salads look sloppy and unappealing.

Village Juice's menu also offers a lot of vegan and dairy-free friendly options. All of their smoothies, smoothie bowls, and juices use dairy-free products like almond milk or coconut milk. They also use goat cheese and almond butter on their toasts to avoid using lactose heavy and/or animal products. For me, this is an awesome reason to venture over to their eatery because I can actually order off of the menu without asking for special requests.

Toast Takeover

Whether you like vegan, savory, or sweet toast, Village Juice has you covered. Their flavor combinations like pear and goat cheese, almond butter and banana, and avocado and egg will make you feel like you're eating at a fancy five star restaurant, even with something as simple as toast. Bonus: great Instagram material.

The best thing about their toast is the bread. When you're living in a dorm room, something as simple as warm, fresh, and toasted bread really hits the spot. For me, it is especially comforting to eat multigrain baguette-like bread, which is impossible to find on campus.

Each toast offers a protein and vegetable/fruit option to make sure all nutrition needs are met. I also think it's really cool that when you view their menu online, they link their food providers, such as Gnomestead Hollow, to each product. Village Juice is a great way to support organic and local farms. 


In huge news: Village Juice's juice's are now being sold on the Wake Forest University campus. The P.O.D. and Campus Grounds sell a majority of these juices, which is awesome for Wake students because we can get the Village Juice experience without hopping in the car. 

The Village Juice outlines a juice cleanse program on their website, which designates what juices to drink at certain times of the day, and the purpose of doing this. Anyone on campus who wants to cleanse their body of the "college chemicals" that come from processed foods and lots and lots of coffee, can easily access this program and its resources. For those college students who aren't cleansing, these juices can also serve as a refreshing and rejuvenating beverage during a boring class. 

My personal favorite juice is "Coffee Bender" because it is dairy-free yet super creamy, and I am obsessed with all things coffee flavored. When I first walked up to the Village Juice counter to purchase this juice, I was so amazed by the flavor that had to ask a worker to confirm that there was actually no dairy.

Thanks to their awareness of the increasingly popular dairy-free lifestyle, I was able to enjoy this juice with absolutely no worries. I find myself buying it first thing in the morning because it wakes me up, and it is not too rich with the milk and coffee, which makes it easier on my stomach than something from Starbucks. It's the perfect combination of caffeine, milk, and spices.

Smoothie Size

While you can get your daily fruit servings in with a smoothie that tastes and looks amazing, the ever popular smoothie bowls are one item on the menu that you could go without if you're watching calories. Village Juice definitely offers a all-around healthy variety with their menu — the only reason why this type of smoothie can be unexpectedly problematic is the serving size.

banana, muesli
Avery Kelly

While fruits are very healthy foods, they, like everything else, should be eaten in moderation because they do still have a lot of sugar (even though it's natural sugar). Village Juice says that their Dragon Fruit Bowl, for example, contains "organic dragon fruit (pitaya), coconut milk, pineapple, organic mango, banana, date, lime topped with toasted almond crumble, coconut, banana, organic seasonal fruit." With all of this fruit and coconut milk, it is safe to say that the sugar content in a bowl is probably upwards of 2-3 times the amount in your favorite candy bar.

This is a a whole lot of sugar to eat first thing in the morning

This is an issue for Wake Forest students like myself because the seemingly healthy bowl is not low calorie. Sugar that is not burned off leads to fat, so students worried about the "freshman 15" might seriously have a problem if they eat smoothie bowls too often. 

That doesn't mean you have to give up the awesome smoothie flavors that Village Juice has to offer — instead, try ordering a normal size smoothie. It'll give you the same kinds of ingredients, only with a smaller serving and less sugar. You can also make your own smoothie bowl at home to control the serving size and the amount of sugar. 

Keep in Mind

And as always, the healthy eating rule still applies: everything in moderation is okay. If you eat a smoothie bowl every now and then, it is definitely better for you nutrition wise than eating sugary cereal first thing in the morning. Just be aware of the amount of sugar that bowl gives you for the day.

In my mind, the regular size smoothies at Village Juice taste just as good, if not better than a smoothie bowl. They take morning favorites like coffee, citrus, and even, cacao to blend up smoothies that are all dairy-free and Village Juice-unique flavors. You can get the nutritional value and refreshing taste of a smoothie bowl with less calories. 

The best bet health wise is going for the Village Juice toasts, juices, salads, and regular smoothies. With these super foods in tow, you'll be able to take on even the busiest of Wake Forest weeks.