What Are Poke Bowls?
Pronounced “po-kay” these delicious bowls have their roots in Hawaii, where Japanese immigrants would combine rice, fish, and vegetables with traditional Japanese ingredients. Most notably, poke includes one or many diced-up pieces of raw fish. Frequently, seaweed may also be included in your poke bowl along with various onions and sesame oil. And speaking of Japanese, let’s talk sushi for a moment, because if you want to know how to order a healthy poke bowl, you may need a quick reminder about how the common sushi experience works. Especially in Reno!
Now, any lover of sushi will know about all of the wonderful ingredients that can be included in their rolls. Some are packed full of nutrient-rich fish, vegetables, and fruits. Sushi can be really healthy and the same goes for poke bowls. However, as a sushi-lover myself, I know just how unhealthy it can be as well. Cream cheese, mayo, sugary sauces, deep-fried breading… you know how it goes.
Ya, it’s delicious, makes for a savory dining experience, and lights up your tastebuds. However, if you’re looking to watch your weight or keep things as natural as possible, you need to do your research and be mindful of what you oil your body machine with. If you love fresh fish but you’ve never questioned how to keep your calories low while keeping your tummy full, then you need to know how to order a healthy poke bowl!
Are All Poke Bowls Healthy?
Not necessarily. In the end, that’s a choice that’s ultimately made by the guest’s preferences for the variety of ingredients offered. As I said before, think sushi. You can get white rice or brown rice in your rolls. One is more nutritionally dense than the other. If you’re a fan of heat, you can opt for sriracha sauce or spicy mayo. You have choices to make. The same goes for a frozen yogurt bar. You can go with a small cup of fat-free frozen yogurt with raw pecans on top, or you can order a large chocolate peanut butter combo with sugar-drenched fruits, sprinkles, and M&Ms overflowing from the cup.
You get the point. It’s up to you to choose what you want to put in your mouth, and sometimes, you may want to go for some of the crazier ingredients and preparation methods available. After all, those ingredients are delicious. And let’s be honest. We all like to go a bit crazy once in a while.
However, if you’re looking to keep things on the healthier side, then you need to know how to order a healthy poke bowl. This can be tricky but with these tips, you shouldn’t have a problem making the best choices for you and for your body. Being fully aware of the foods you consume will allow you to take control of your body, mind, and your health. And at Pola Poke, we want everyone to have the knowledge they need to make the choices that are best for them.
How to Order a Healthy Poke Bowl
So… how do you ensure you’re ordering a healthy poke bowl? Well, that first depends on what your definition of healthy is and what type of dietary restrictions you might have.
For example, someone on the keto diet may not be able to consume large amounts of sugar. Therefore, even fresh fruits would not be a “healthy” choice for them at that time, as it could throw their bodies out of ketosis. However, spicy mayo would be perfectly fine for them to eat. Meanwhile, someone who’s watching their calories may opt for the fresh fruit and steer clear of the spicy mayo and sugar-rich sauces.
Ultimately, it’s all about the quality of ingredients, preparation, and what’s right for you. However, we have some general tips that can help you create the perfect poke bowl. Our hope is that you’ll be able to craft the best poke bowl and learn to love this amazing food as much as we do.
Your Poke Bowl is Served
The Base of Your Bowl
First, let’s see what goes into an average poke bowl at Pola Poke. We’ll take our own Superfood Bowl as an example. This bowl contains a base of kale and brown rice. Kale is an extremely healthy leafy green option and is rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, it’s pretty much perfect for anyone on any diet as long as they like the taste and texture. Additionally, kale is a great option over many other leafy greens like lettuce. Even mixed greens, which we also offer, can’t hold a candle to the power-packed, nutrient-dense likes of kale. However, I’ll usually opt for mixed greens because of personal preference.
Then we come to brown rice. This is a great option over white rice (which we also offer). Again, this comes down to personal preference. If you have texture preferences, you may prefer white and you’re completely welcome to make that choice. After all, I’m a fan of both. But if I was looking for the healthier option, brown is always the best choice. Of course, you can always choose to skip the rice altogether and avoid those carbs if that’s what you’re looking to do.
Personally, one of the reasons I love poke so much is that, unlike sushi, rice is not a necessity to enjoy the dish. You can’t order sushi without rice. After all, real sushi includes vinegar rice, and when’s the last time you were able to go to all-you-can-eat sushi in Reno and skip the rice. Not happening! Therefore, poke is an amazing option for anyone looking to cut carbs and get a protein-packed meal that’s full of all the things they love about sushi. And for someone like myself who’s had a gastric sleeve procedure, protein-rich, low-fat, low-calorie foods are an absolute must to successfully maintain my weight.
And that brings us to the fish. Oh, raw fish… how I love thee. Our Superfood Bowl contains fresh raw salmon – a fish packed full of flavor, and healthy Omega-3 fats. Other bowls may contain plain tuna or spicy tuna. The same goes for crab… spicy or regular. And when it comes to raw fish, it’s pretty clear that there’s basically no healthier, more satisfying protein available. In my humble opinion. It’s the best thing on the planet. I’m a big fan. However, it’s important to remember that spicy fish may include mayo. So keep that in mind.
While we offer a wide variety of sauces, some are healthier than others. We love to provide a variety of flavor options to our diners but make sure you know what you’re about to add to your poke bowl. If you want to know how to order a healthy poke bowl, don’t be afraid to question what you’re about to put in your mouth. And always feel free to ask about what each ingredient or topping contains. At Pola Poke, our team members have full lists available to make sure each customer is able to make the choices that are best for their particular health or dietary situations.
Remember, meat does not need to be raw in order to be added to a poke bowl, so lean proteins such as baked chicken breast are a healthy ingredient to include. At Pola Poke, we offer chicken breast as an option for anyone who may be looking for an alternative to fish. Plant-based proteins such as tofu are another great choice. Additionally, including probiotic-rich foods are a great way to ensure that your poke is healthy. These ingredients will keep your gut happy and optimize digestion.
Additionally, most of our bowls contain cucumbers, scallions, and red onions. These are all healthy, tasty, nutrient-rich vegetables. Keep your bowls packed full of these. They’re always a solid option when you’re looking to order a healthy poke bowl. If you love veggies, do yourself a solid and get these in every bowl you order.
Fresh Toppings and Sides
Then, we come to our fresh toppings. Our Superfood Bowl includes avocado, edamame, pickled ginger, and seaweed salad. Avocados are great and are packed full of healthy fats. The same goes for macadamia nuts which are included in some of our other bowls. However, someone looking for a reduced-calorie option may want to avoid these additions. Edamame is a great plant protein but someone looking to avoid adding estrogen to their diet may consider edamame a no-go.
Again, the definition of “healthy” is different for each person and their dietary situation. Pickled ginger is a solid option for pretty much everyone as long as they dig the flavor. Personally, I add it to every bowl I get. But then we come to seaweed salad. Sounds great right? And it is! Seaweed is packed full of iron, low in fat, and contains protein, calcium, and more. However, many seaweed salads are served in a light soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. If you’re trying to keep sodium or sugar levels low, it’s best to ask for nutritional information.
Personally, at the time of writing this, I’m heavily focused on sticking to a low-carb, low-sugar diet. As our seaweed salad does have some sugar in the mix, I’m currently opting out of it to stick to my regimen. However, I have to say that it’s damn delicious and I’d recommend adding it to every bowl you get. It’s so freaking tasty!
Additional Toppings & Garnishes
Finally, we top our Superfood Bowl off with furikake (a mix of sesame seeds, nori, and seasonings) as well as dried seaweed slices. These are both low in calories, but like soy sauce, some seasonings can contain a lot of sodium. Other seasonings may contain sugar as well. If you’re looking to order a healthy poke bowl that’s low in sugar and salt, always feel free to ask.
After all, at Pola Poke, we’re quite literally here to serve you, and we want you to have a pleasant, healthy poke bowl experience every time you chose to dine with us. This is about you and you’re the star here. So play around, experiment, have some fun with your food, and see what works out best for you. It’s all good and we’ve provided options for all types of customers and all types of diets.
How Many Calories Are in the Average Poke Bowl?
According to My Fitness Pal, an average Poke Bowl can contain anywhere from 150-850 calories. And of course, the bigger the bowl and the more ingredients you add, calories can increase wildly. Most meals above 1,000 calories would be considered in excess of what nutritionists recommend you eat in one sitting.
However, as we’ve said, you can lower the calorie count by cutting out sauces that contain sugar as well as going easy on the spicy mayo. Frequently, calories tend to hide in our condiments and that’s why it’s so important to check first to see the nutritional value of each condiment you add to your poke bowl. You may be surprised at what’s lurking in seemingly innocent condiments.
The same goes for toppings. At Pola Poke, we offer coconut as a topping on some of our bowls. However, for added complex and complementary flavor, we use sugar-coated coconut. If you’re trying to keep your sugar intake low, it’s important to know that coconut may be a sugar-packed addition that you may want to avoid. As we said, if you’re keeping your carbs in check, even fresh fruits like mango and pineapple are off-limits for you. On the other hand, a person on a standard or non-restrictive diet may find the fruits to be a delicious compliment to their Pola Poke bowl.
In the end, it’s all up to you. At Pola Poke Bowls in Reno, we give you the options and the tools to make your poke bowl exactly how you want it. Whether you’re looking to go the healthy route or you’re looking to experience a cornucopia of flavor, we’ve got what you’re looking for. Use the information available to you and always ask for assistance if you need it.
Don’t be shy! We’re here for you. We’re here to make your poke experience one you won’t forget. One you’ll keep coming back for. And one that’s going to satisfy your tastebuds and your lifestyle. And if you’re still not sure how to order a healthy poke bowl at Pola Poke, just ask our helpful staff. We’ve got your back!
Get Your Fresh Food Fix!
Pola Poke is proud to bring fresh poke, acai bowls, smoothies, and craft coffees to Reno, Nevada! We’re a locally-owned business created and operated by a Reno native.
Our sustainably and responsibly sourced bowls offer the perfect combo of healthy and tasty. Customize your bowl to kick start your wellness and nutrition for the day. Choose from our menu or make it your own poke bowl with a variety of fresh, delicious ingredients. Our menu offers the perfect selection of healthy lean meats, veggies, and toppings to satisfy every fish-lover and we’re the perfect choice for keto and protein-rich diets.
So what are you waiting for? An invitation? Well, here it is! Come join us and see why everyone in Reno is raving about Pola Poke Bowls! And if you’re too busy to come say hi, we offer online ordering for your convenience. What more could you ask for?
Enjoy Fresh Poke in Reno
Pola Poke Bowls
3594 W. Plumb Lane Ste A
Reno, NV 89509
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