One Step at a Time: getting fresh

Fitness columnist Abbie Wenthe on making her new main squeeze


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Back home in West Des Moines, Iowa (yes, people actually live there and enjoy it), we have a smoothie shop called Fuel. It has all-natural frozen yogurt and toppings; pre-workout and post-workout protein drinks; and smoothies galore. Wheatgrass and all those other good-for-you super foods are a key source in every drink Fuel sells. The store is locally owned and was a main hangout spot during high school. Going back home to Iowa is always glorious, but adding a blueberry blitz smoothie to the trip makes it even more worthwhile.

After going all freshman year with no access to those smoothies with fresh and healthy ingredients (Sorry, Baja’s “tropical coolers” just don’t cut it, I needed to find a place for a refreshing smoothie).

The downtown Columbia area is full of artsy boutiques and one-of-a-kind restaurants that I have barely explored since moving here last fall. I normally stick to restaurants like Chipotle and Noodles & Company when I’m in between classes, but this year I decided to walk farther downtown and explore what else CoMo has to offer. I had heard of Main Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe but had never actually been there myself and always wanted to give it a try. So earlier in the year I got my other health nut roommate to accompany me downtown to see what Main Squeeze was all about.

It's the hipster dream. Organic, vegan, local and all-natural are the only types of food found on the expansive menu. Eating at Main Squeeze lets out my inner hipster, and I feel like I belong in the School of Journalism a little more.

After being a little overwhelmed by the expansive menu and all the choices for food and drinks including wraps, sandwiches, salads and soups, I placed my order. Something that adds to the laid back and fun environment of Main Squeeze is the way they make sure the food gets to the right table. Instead of giving a number or buzzer, they give out a toy like a Transformer or mini dinosaur.

After eating our main meals, my roommate and I couldn’t resist ordering a smoothie from the seemingly never-ending list of possible concoctions. They offer freshly squeezed juices, power smoothies and regular smoothies all with fun, catchy names. I decided to go with the Barney smoothie, which has raspberry, blueberry, soy protein and soymilk and when blended actually comes out Barney purple. The smoothie was absolutely delicious and fun to drink with the unusual color.

Main Squeeze is all about detailing every ingredient that goes into its meals and drinks, specifying them on the chalkboard menu. I feel good about eating there because the food is all-natural and local but the fresh ingredients give me energy to power through the rest of the day. Since everyone is busy with tests, papers and assignments, try walking down the street a little farther and get an energizing and organic boost from Main Squeeze instead of going to Starbucks for the typical venti coffee. I guarantee that paper will get written and that test will be studied for, all with a good night’s sleep.

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