[image-1]Last night I got to check out Longevity Fitness and Basic Kitchen’s “cleansing” dinner, a first time event presented by the downtown boutique fitness studio, owned by Jennie Brooks. The five course dinner came with a $45 ticket price (alcohol could be purchased separately) and was a heck of a lot healthier than most restaurant week deals you’ll see around town. And guess what? It actually tasted damn good.

Chef Air Casebier whipped up za’atar spiced beet dip, curried kobucha squash soup, green green salad, miso glazed salmon with rainbow noodles and sesame kale, and ginger pear crumble. Other than a couple rogue ingredients (oats!) the meal was entirely Whole30 compliant, which is pretty useful for those of us trying desperately to be healthy(ish) this time of year.

In addition to the food, each guest received a “cleansing guide” from Longevity’s registered dietitian, Kathleen Oswalt. The guide has tips like “don’t eat sugary treats for breakfast,” as well as eight “cleansing” recipes — from golden milk tumeric latte to a wild salmon power bowl — and a corresponding shopping list.

Here’s the deal: I haven’t eaten meat in four years and I’m currently training to be a yoga teacher. I was totally biased in favor of this dinner, all snark and sarcasm sucked out of me in the face of a genuinely pleasant experience. And that’s OK — it’s OK to know that “self care” and “food sensitivities” and “clean diets” can be silly, but also worth your time. It’s OK to want to eat clean, whole foods when you dine out.

So, Charleston, if you don’t actually want to suck down four courses of fried food (if you do, that’s fine too) when you eat out in town, then you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for Longevity’s next dinner, location and date TBD. Head to Longevity’s website to stay up to date with the next dinner’s deets.

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