Build Your Own Dietitian-Approved Meal at Elixir

May 04, 2023

Mammoth Lakes Tourism food writer Lauren MacLeod reviews the fresh and favorite restaurants of the Eastern Sierra – and tells the stories behind them. If you have ideas for local restaurants she should cover, please let us know!

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” 

The quote decorates the window in front of a rainbow of vegetables, grains, and proteins. It’s the driving tenet behind Elixir Superfood and Juice in Mammoth Lakes. 

Owner Karla Perry, a Mammoth Lakes resident of 23 years, dreamed of creating a unique restaurant that was less “burgers-and-beers,” more “bowls-and-juices.”

“People are stoked,” Karla remarks, “I thought we were going to have to educate people about eating healthy, but people here want healthy, fresh food.”

Elixir specializes in fresh, balanced, and delicious food to energize every adventure. All offerings are organic and gluten-free, including salad and grain bowls, raw cold pressed juice, superfood smoothies, and energizing housemade snacks.

Karla’s own nutrition journey served as inspiration for the menu: “I was a runner in college and I was vegan–but not the healthy kind–and I wasn’t performing at my best. It wasn’t until my senior year that I realized how much (poor) nutrition was affecting my performance,” says Karla. 

She went on to take Master’s-level nutrition courses, using her knowledge to serve balanced, nourishing foods for vegans and omnivores alike.

Seasonality also makes a difference in the nutrition value of a meal. Elixir’s menu features rotating seasonal bowls, juices, and smoothies in order to capitalize on the freshest, most nutritious ingredients.

“Right now we have “Kick It” juice in the heart of cold and flu season, then we’ll roll into Blue Crush for spring: pineapple juice, lemon juice, and blue spirulina. It’s very energizing and good for digestion,” Karla explains.

Stop by now and indulge in the Winter Glory Bowl, featuring miso-glazed roasted vegetables with a miso turmeric dressing. It’s warm, hardy, and flavorful–everything you need to thaw out the winter chill. Keep an eye out for the spring special: the Buffalo Power Bowl with buffalo cauliflower on a bed of romaine lettuce.

Build your own balanced bowl at Elixir

Choose a curated bowl from the menu, or create your own “crazy concoction,” as Karla calls it. 

Want to make a dietitian-approved bowl using your favorite ingredients? Here’s how:

Pick your starch

Starches are high-fiber carbohydrates, which are critical for exercise recovery, balanced digestion, and energy. Don’t fear carbs! Your body actually has higher carbohydrate requirements at altitude due to increased exercise and metabolic rate. Choose Brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potato to make the perfect base for an apres meal. 

Power up with protein 

After a long day on the slopes, you need protein to promote adequate muscle and tissue repair and recovery. It’s easy to get enough protein from both plant and animal sources. 

When choosing a plant-based protein, be sure to combine foods to make a “complete protein.” 

Plant protein sources, like grains, beans, and nuts, contain some of the necessary building blocks to make protein (amino acids), but not all of them. Combining complementary plant foods provides a variety of amino acids, allowing your body to build proteins. 

Some complementary proteins include rice and beans or nuts/seeds and beans. Some plant-based proteins, like tofu and edamame, contain all the essential amino acids needed to build proteins – no need to combine!

For the faithful meat-lovers, Elixir also offers sustainably-sourced animal products like chicken and ahi poke.

Load up on veggies and micronutrients 

Elixir takes “eat the rainbow” very seriously, offering over 20 different fruit and vegetable options, ranging from broccoli to beets to dried cranberries. Vegetables contain fiber for gut health, plus they’re filled with vitamins and minerals to help prevent deficiencies and stay energized. A high-altitude environment can take a toll on the body, so it’s essential to get lots of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system. 

Adding nuts and seeds to your order can also boost vitamin and mineral intake. For example, pumpkin seeds are a dense source of plant-based iron, a nutrient in short supply in plant-based foods.

Insider tips

  • Elixir is open 10am-8pm every day
  • Avoid the lunch rush with Elixir’s new app. Order your favorite bowl or smoothie ahead of time, then whisk it away en route to the next adventure.
  • Join their loyalty program with just a phone number at checkout: buy 10 bowls and get the 11th for $10 off
  • Heading north after a trip to Mammoth? You can visit Elixir Reno as well. 
  • Follow Elixir on Instagram @enjoy_elixir for updates and restaurant happenings

Lauren MacLeod

Lauren MacLeod, RD (she/her) is a Mammoth-based sports dietitian specializing in mountain athletes. She works as a food, nutrition, and travel writer for outdoor and wellness brands. Lauren's favorite trail snack is a PB and J and her dream is that no athlete will ever bonk again. You can find her on Instagram at @themountaindietitian…

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