Loving food can be hard sometimes. and I love food. Yes, I am the type of person that might've just had breakfast and already I am thinking about what I am going to have for lunch...and I blame it all on my Mexican roots. As a little girl, we couldn't leave the table without finishing the entire plate of food. When we were teenagers, my female relatives (aka as my grandma) would tell us that the only way to a man's heart was through our cooking. So yeah, go figure. Anyways, throughout the years I've been educating myself on the science and value of food. I've experimented with almost every diet you can think of, from South Beach to Atkins to Weight Watchers. Also I've always had gut problems (which I won't go into details here because this is a freaking delicious food post!!!). Until recently, I've discovered that I am sensitive to gluten. Because of this, I have been even more careful about what I put in my mouth and even more persistent on continuing my research about food and what it does to your body. From all of this, here is one major thing that I've learned and that I would like to share with you: eating healthy can truly be delicious and rewarding.
This New Year 2018, one of my resolutions is to commit myself to myself. I want to be the healthiest version of myself and give my body the nutrients that it needs to perform at its best- emotionally, spiritually and physically. Super cliche, but research has indeed proven that you are what you eat. The nutrients you put in your body determine your emotional state, your energy levels, your concentration levels- I mean literally EVERYTHING.
With that said, since we (by we I mean us the foodies) know that completely cutting restaurants from our lives is not option, here I have listed my favorite healthy restaurants in Austin:
Picnik : https://picnikaustin.com/
If you have any type of food allergy, sensitivities, or dietary requirements you best believe that this is the best place in town to go dine at. They can make any accommodation for you, not to mention that their entire menu is gluten-free (yeah even the bread on that avocado toast from my picture above). Picnik is focused on sourcing locally and using organic, high-quality ingredients in all their food items. As you might've noticed already, I am obsessed with their avocado toast!!! I love avocado and I love bread and being gluten free makes it real hard to prepare myself a delicious avocado toast. This avocado toast is huge and super filling. I also love their breakfast tacos and their Golden Milk Matcha, which contains green tea, butter, MCT oil, turmeric, black pepper, clove, cayenne, cinnamon, maple syrup and whey protein to help boost metabolism, productivity and immunity. Another dish I love is their Harvest Hash! Picnik is truly one of the best gluten-free and healthy restaurants in Austin!
Citizen Eatery : https://www.citizeneatery.com/
Citizen Eatery has a 100% meat-free menu and it is amazing! One thing I love about this place is that their entire kitchen is gluten-free, which means that if you carry a gluten-free diet you never have to worry about cross-contamination. About 99% of their menu is gluten-free and the items that aren't can easily be substituted for something that is, for example the hamburger bun can be substituted for a gluten-free bun. One of my favorite items from their menu are the vegan and gluten-free flapjacks, served with house sunflower seed butter, fruit & maple syrup! I also love their burgers, yucca fries, vegan cheesey cauliflower, grilled pecan pesto beets and grilled asparagus (all featured in the images above). Citizen Eatery is definitely my go-to place here in Austin for a contemporary, scratch-made and gluten-free dining experience!
Flower Child : http://www.iamaflowerchild.com/
Flower Child is definitely one of my top go-to places for a healthy lunch in Austin (downtown peeps, their new location at 500 West 2nd Street is now open!!). They have amazingly fast service and their whole menu contains fresh and responsibly-sourced ingredients that revitalize and nourish the body. Flower Child not only offers a variety of bowls, wraps and greens but also a mix-and-match style menu! My favorite dish is the Mother Earth bowl with all-natural chicken, which is served with ancient grains (however I always sub these for brown rice to make it gluten-free),sweet potato, Portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette and hemp seeds. Probably like everyone else, I am also obsessed with their signature kombucha and flavored lemonades, which are always made with fresh fruit!
Noon Meditarranean : http://www.eatnoon.com/
The answer to the big question everyone has probably been asking themselves- yes, Noon Mediterranean was formerly known as Verts. The name might've changed but their bowls are still amazeeeeee-ing. They make it so easy to order with the Noon Rewards app because you can order online and avoid the line. I love their whole concept of creating bowls with their fresh and flavor-rich ingredients. I don't know if this happens to you but often times, I crave a salad without that tiring salad flavor and this has become my go-to place for creating a salad that doesn't taste like a salad (if that makes sense). I always create a custom salad bowl and fill it with grilled chicken, chick peas, salad mix, pickled onions, peppers, veggies and top it off with their spicy cilantro dressing. If I can't help my craving and looking to sacrifice my gut, I will admit that I get their falafels or sweet potato fries, which I am not sure that these are 100% gluten-free :( .
The Soup Peddler : http://www.souppeddler.com/
For years now, The Soup Peddler has been my go-to place for when I am craving comfort yet healthy food. I am obsessed with their grilled cheddar sandwich, and yep- they can sub the bread for gluten-free bread (but only for the cheddar sandwich)! They also have the best soups ever, my favorite is the chicken tortilla soup. I love that every single time I order one of their soups, it is always served hot! Also, if I go to The Soup Peddler it is a given that I will get their Peach Yogurt Honey smoothie. Okay- just typing that made my mouth water. Time to go get some food now!
If you're really craving to dine out but want to keep it healthy, hope you guys try one these healthy restaurants, you won't regret it! Please let me know in the comments below if ya'll have any other places you like to eat at when trying to stay healthy :)
One thing all of these places have in common is that they have amazing service! How I am treated at a restaurant is more important to me than the food itself so major shout out to all of these places for always being on point with their customer service, especially when I want my food customized due to a food sensitivity or allergy!!