I’ve lived in Denver for one month now, and by the end of the first week it was clear to me why Colorado as a state and Denver as a city own the top of the healthiest lists. From activity to fresh air and an attitude that supports wellness, how could anyone not feel their best here?
Year after year, Colorado remains at the top of the list for healthiest states. The CDC’s map of obesity trends starts in 1985, and it wasn’t until 1990 that Colorado even showed up for having less than 10 percent of its population qualify as obese. The most current map is from 2012 and puts Colorado as one of only nine states with an obesity population under 25 percent. Fitness and hiking clothes seem to be The Official Denver Outfit, as everyone at brunch, the park, the grocery store, and the office seem to be dressed down and ready to move!
While there are no doubt more, these are seven killer reasons that Denver residents look and feel so darn good!
Very Bicycle Friendly. I’m confident I’ve seen more bicycles in the last four weeks than I’ve seen in the last four years. Whether for commutes, fun, or exercise, bicycles own the roads in Denver. As recent as 2011, bicycle commuters were 2.4 percent of Denver’s population, a number up 183% since 1990. Bike racks and lanes exist everywhere, making it a no-brainer for cyclists to get out and ride to work, to the grocery store, or just out for fun. B-Cycle has 83 rental stations and 700 bikes throughout the city, making it pretty impossible not to bike.
Vegetarian Food Abounds. You can throw a stone and find vegetarian and even vegan dining options. Bonnie Brae makes a titillating homemade vegan ice cream, Native Foods has a mock fast food menu that will knock your socks off, and the locally-based Chipotle even puts sofritas (organic tofu braised with chilis and spices) on the menu. Every restaurant we’ve visited (and there have been a lot!) has hearty vegetarian options that even the most carnivorous will consider noshing on. The Goodness Truck roams around near Ft. Collins serving their grilled brie sandwich — to die! And all around the area you can dine at farm to table events.
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For many of us, our smartphone serves less of a purpose as an actual phone and instead, is becoming increasingly more about the services it connects us to and the other gadgets or processes it replaces. We don’t use watches to check the time, we don’t use alarm clocks to wake up in the morning, we don’t use phone books, we don’t write letters on paper, or pull out an atlas for road trips. We don’t carry an MP3 player, digital camera, or day planner anymore, either. All of these things (and more) are part of the device we already carry everywhere we go.
Apple founder Steve Jobs often talked about the place technology has in our lives. He said on multiple occasions that the best implementation of technology is the kind that empowers you to do things, but without requiring a new learned process or behavior.
One thing we can add to that list that wasn’t possible just a few years ago: ordering and paying for food. We’ve talked about Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service you can access from your computer, tablet or smartphone, but that’s just the beginning.
Large restaurants and grocery stores are launching new mobile apps that enable you to order and pay with your smartphone.
Already, you can build your perfect Chipotle burrito and pay for it before ever stepping foot in the door. In fact, they’ll have it waiting for you at the register. Talk about grab and go.
Pizza Hut also has a mobile app you can use to craft the perfect pie. Delivery or carry out? Cash or credit? And most importantly, how long until it’s ready? Their mobile apps have you covered.
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Food costs at a restaurant are the most critical to the business’ bottom line. That’s why many restaurants cut corners and you’ll often find their kitchens piled high with nameless, low-quality ingredients to ensure they can mass produce meals at a value while still turning a profit. That’s not how it works at Chipotle though, where they say it’s “worth it to spend a little bit more.”
We spoke with Chris Arnold, PR director for Chipotle Mexican Grill, who told us Chipotle has some of the highest food costs in the restaurant industry. Even still, they are able to “invest more in quality food and still be very profitable.”
Chipotle just became the first American restaurant to work toward clearing its menu of all GMO foods, something that will equally drive food costs while improving quality. The company knows there will be cost implications, exactly how much at this time they can’t say, but it’s not uncharted territory for them. “Making decisions that result in higher food costs is nothing new to us,” said Arnold.
The brand was a supporter of Prop 37 last year, the California bill that aimed to require labeling of GMO ingredients on all foods sold in the U.S. It was then that the brand started to hold itself to the same standard it was asking of others. Arnold explained that their first move was purely disclosure, to let their customers know which foods had GMOs.
“We think people have the right to know what’s in their food,” said Arnold.
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While this week has already been frightful enough for our friends in New York and along the East Coast, and we’re grateful for their safety, we can’t help but hope that everyone everywhere gets a chance to partake in the fun side of scary with Halloween tomorrow. It’s got to be one of the silliest holidays of the year with as much opportunity for indulgence as any other, but also plenty of opportunity for healthifying the heck out of it!
At the very least we knew we had 31 reasons to love this spooky holiday, because, you know, it falls on October 31. First on our list is a Halloween full moon. The official full moon for October was last night, but there is sure to still be plenty of eery glow to light your trick or treat path. Second is all the walking the entire family gets by trekking from house to house.
Why else do we like Halloween? Let us count the other 29 ways…
Homemade Caramel Apples
Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Fitness-Inspired Halloween Costumes
The Trick or Treat Goodies
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Chipotle, how do I love thee? Let me keep counting the ways! This place keeps getting better and better. Chipotle just announced that effective this June, 100 percent of their stores’ sour cream and 65 percent of their restaurants’ cheese will be made from pasture-raised cows.
A pasture-raised cow is one that has daily access to outdoor pastures. Additionally, the animals are never fed hormones, only a vegetarian diet. The leading Mexican grill chain has made some bold and progressive moves in the last year, challenging the existing quality found in typical fast-food. Chipotle has already made a commitment to serve only naturally raised meats that contain no hormones or antibiotics. As a further commitment to health and sustainability, Chipotle buys its produce from farms located within 250 miles of each location. They also support family farms with The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which helps farms with sustainable practices and promotes healthy eating for kids.
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