Armin Mrkanovic is a fighter. He is a Bosnian-American light heavyweight kickboxer, a cruiserweight boxer, and a middleweight mixed martial arts fighter—all depending on his mood or the season—and he seemingly excels at everything he attempts.
He first started fighting when he was three years old, when his grandfather enrolled him in lessons to help focus his hyperactivity. By 12, the young fighter had earned his black belt in karate and began expressing a desire to start fighting competitively. Despite his mother’s resistance, his grandfather encouraged him to compete one time. “He told my mom that if she’d let me fight just once,” Mrkanovic recalls, “I would get my ass kicked, and I would never want to do it again.” He laughs. Guess how that plan turned out.
Though Mrkanovic trains at Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo with Hector Rocco alongside the likes of Hilary Swank and Usher, he and his wife call Long Island City their home. His mother still lives in Astoria, around the corner from a new business that Mrkanovic opened, Healthy Me.
“People in the neighborhood who know me always stop me and ask what I eat to stay in shape,” Mrkanovic explains, “so I decided to open Healthy Me.” Healthy Me is the organic juice lab on 37th Street near 30th Avenue created by Mrkanovic a year ago. The very first juicer he owned still sits on the front counter. “I was drinking so many cups of coffee,” recalls the fighter. “My wife turned my focus to juicing, and it has changed my life.”
Healthy Me serves smoothies, fresh squeezed juice, healthy wraps and breakfast bowls, along with health remedies and freshly squeezed shots. They even serve coffee by the Brooklyn Roasting Company. “It’s my breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Mrkanovic says. He named the Mona Lisa smoothie after his wife, which features berries, bananas, vanilla almond milk, vanilla whey protein and flax seeds. His personal smoothie of choice, however, is the Superman. The chocolate, banana, peanut butter blend could easily serve as a satisfying meal.
Because of the pediatrician in the building next door, Healthy Me even offers a special children’s menu, with cleverly named smoothies like the Bugs Bunny and Mini Me, as well as a Spiderman Sandwich.
The space is beautifully designed, with carts of fresh fruit, stainless steel appliances, and vibrant murals painted by Linda Rufo. With a menu of all organic products, Healthy Me offers something certain to appeal to men and women of all ages and energy levels.
Healthy Me is located at 30-08 37th St., Astoria, Queens. Phone: 718-274-8500