By Moriah Seymann (’19)
Despite fostering the recent acai bowl craze, Everbowl’s goal is to promote what they call an old style of living and eating “the way we were meant to.” While their catchphrase is “stuff that’s been around forever,” Everbowl, a new local chain, opened their Carmel Valley location in the Highlands shopping center at the end of August 2018.
Everbowl advertises their “craft superfood” that differentiates them from the juice bars like Nektar and Jamba Juice just across the street. The “Whatever Bowl” gives customers the option to customize their bowls. “You can pick the base of acai, pitaya, acerola or graviola, and then you pick the liquid they blend it with, like almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or apple juice,” says Dalia Benson (‘19). After these ingredients are blended, the bowls are topped with granola, and customers can add unlimited toppings. Everbowl’s toppings range from fruit to the “super stuff” options like bee pollen, hemp protein, and almond butter.
Walking into Everbowl could be a little overwhelming if one is unfamiliar with these superfoods and their exotic names. Daniel Acks (‘19) said that, to him, “the menu looked like hieroglyphics.”
In the past couple of years, acai and pitaya have become a popular trend among many stores like Jamba Juice and other juice bars, but Everbowl is unique because it also offers graviola and acerola, other superfruits that most people are not familiar with. Though Dalia Benson (‘19) has only tried Everbowl’s acai bowls, she said that her lyrical dance teacher’s favorite bowl is the graviola bowl. “She says it is really good and fills her up the most,” says Benson.
Some people who are wrapped up in the superfood trend can eat acai bowls all day long. Geena Benson (‘21) says, “my friends at my dance studio get it for dinner.” Dalia Benson (‘19) says, “I have eaten Everbowl for all three meals, it just depends on the time I arrive at dancing or when I’m hungry, but I usually just eat it as a snack between classes.” Gabby Acks (‘21) agrees that acai bowls can be eaten anytime and that they are “just good for on the go.”
It seems that because these bowls are topped with fruit and filled with “superfoods,” that eating Everbowl for three meals a day would be a healthy diet. While it is true that acai bowls are high in fiber and full of antioxidants, each bowl, nevertheless, has between 21 and 62 grams of sugar. Dalia Benson (‘19) is disappointed to discover this, as Everbowl was previously her favorite after-school snack. “It is false advertising since they advertise these bowls as being really healthy and nutritious, but they are filled with a lot of sugar,” says Benson. “As a dancer, I was excited to have a healthy option right by my studio, but when I found out it was not the healthiest option, I stopped being a frequent customer.”
The superfoods themselves, acai, pitaya, graviola and acerola, are healthy, but some bowls are mixed with juices and topped with honey or chocolate chips. Vivienne Blackburn (‘19) says, “they have a lot of sugar in them, but they can be healthy depending on what you put in them.” Kayla Schwartzberg (‘21) argues that, relative to other fast-food options, acai bowls aren’t disproportionately unhealthy. “It isn’t like eating oily chips, french fries or burgers,” says Schwartzberg. “It is really good for you if you want one once in a while in the morning.”
Luckily for acai lovers, Everbowl doesn’t add more sugar which makes their acai bowls less sweet. For those who want sweeter bowls, they can always add natural sweeteners like honey or agave syrup.
Despite the health controversy, SDJA students will certainly be enjoying these delicious treats, possibly forever.