London Calling: 5 healthy restaurants to check out

I love to travel, it is so amazing to explore new cities and to experience new cultures. Last summer I went to London for a few days with my Mum and my sister and I fell in love with the health food scene over there, it’s like the L.A of Europe! With summer nearly back again (hallelujah) I am reminiscing about my trip to London so I decided to post my top 5 favourite healthy restaurants that you should definitely try to go to if you are there.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much people seem to embrace a healthy lifestyle over there and could not believe this health food mecca was less than an hours plane journey from Dublin. Also, I have a slight obsession with hazelnut butter so when I saw that Whole Foods made their own nut butters and that you could choose your serving size (mine was probably big enough to feed a family of 5 for a week) I could barely contain my excitement.

London really is the capital of clean candy, so prepare to be exposed to some pretty sexy, guilt free desserts.

Tanya’s Cafe

This is a raw food restaurant with two locations in Chelsea. Tanya’s is a celebrity hotspot and it is understandable why it’s so popular. The setting is gorgeous, so relaxed and calm and the staff are so friendly. I went there for dinner but do feel it would be more of a place to try for brunch. If you do go for dinner I would definitely recommend trying one of their desserts, the cheesecakes were yummy and light. Their hot “chocolate” was without a doubt the best one of my entire trip. You will come out of Tanya’s feeling revitalised and clean, even after having dessert!
IMG_9672

Wild Food Café

Wild Food Café is located in Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. I loved this place it has such cool healthy alternatives and their ethos shines through everything from the menu to the staff’s uniforms. It gets very busy so try get in before the crowds (before half 1).  If you get there and it is busy put your name down with the host and explore Covent Garden while you wait for your table, Covent Garden is gorgeous to walk around, this place is must try (it got my mum and sisters approval so it is definitely a winner). Getting a dessert here is mandatory, I got the white chocolate and pecan cheesecake and just did not want it to end! Here and Tanya’s were the most expensive of the places I went and the waiters do already put a service charge with the bill so just be aware of that.

 

Raw Press

I loved the whole vibe around this place plus it is not far from New Bond St so it is nice to go for a stroll after and pretend you can afford to shop there! No but seriously, Raw Press was probably my favourite in terms of interior design it just felt really warm and friendly, not pretentious at all. The staff were so nice too. They sell Hardihood cakes here, which is how I came across it, so promise me you will not leave London without trying one of these cakes!

 

The Good Life Eatery

The Good Life Eatery has a brilliant selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The meals are simple, delicious alternatives and it is brilliant if you are with your friends or family who may be not be too enthusiastic about healthy eating. They aren’t stingy with their portion sizes either, the goodness bowl is great for having a bit of everything.

Inspiralled

The people here are just so cool, relaxed and chilled. You may have seen their products being sold in other health food cafes and stores, they do a wide range of products that are extremely popular! Inspiralled is out in Camden so not as close the centre as the rest of the places I have mentioned but the atmosphere was amazing and Camden is really cool to see. The menu offers a wide range of choices so you will not be stuck Inspiralled is open from the morning to late night everyday, I really enjoyed the buzz about the place in the evening, like a healthy lounge bar! They also make their own ice cream, yes please! Definitely pop in when you’re in London.

IMG_9692

I was impressed with the healthy cafés, restaurants and even bars London has to offer. It is a paradise for clean candy lovers like me but it can be expensive. In my opinion, the health food scene is better than New York (I still love you though New York) I cannot wait to go back and check out some of the places I did not get to like Eathos and Maple & Fitz.

What are your go-to healthy restaurants when you are in London? Let me know in the comments section or on Instagram! @neutralsandnutrition

 

Tara

5 Tips for Reading Food Labels

I have come across a lot of documentaries and books about the rise in global obesity but recently a common theme has emerged, our education about the food we eat. Scientists and nutritionists argue that we should be educated more about food and learn the ability to differentiate between fake healthy foods and real, nutrient dense foods.

Quite often you may think you are eating healthy foods when in fact you are not. Before I became really passionate about healthy eating and started researching more about it I thought having a Caesar salad or a salad covered in dressing was healthier than having a burger and chips. In reality it was not that much better for my body. Do not feel embarrassed if this is you, we are all drawn to meals that promise health and weight loss benefits when in fact they are riddled with sugar and processed ingredients. We are tricked by food companies and their smart choice of words.

Picture/ Pinterest/ Paulina Arcklin.

There are a lot of mixed messages out there about healthy eating so I decided to show you the 5 simple rules you should follow when doing your grocery shop.

1. READ THE INGREDIENTS
Unless its quinoa or cacao, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients don’t buy it. Many supermarket products are full of stabilisers and waxing agents to allow for longer product shelf life. For example, I used to always purchase unsweetened almond milk thinking I was fuelling my body with a healthier alternative and one day I decided to look at the ingredients and realised that I did not recognise half of them.

2. INGREDIENT RANKING
Ingredients are listed in terms of their amount in the product. For example, almond butter should have Almonds listed as its first ingredient because it is the main ingredient. If sugar is anywhere near the top I would avoid it.

3. THE SUGAR RULE
Our recommended sugar intake is around 20g (for women) which is about 5 teaspoons. Look at the 100g/100ml nutritional information at the back of products..if it is more than 4g or 5g per 100g/ml avoid the product.

4. MISLEADING LABELS
Beware of misleading labels such as low fat, gluten free or low calorie. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. In low fat products the fat is often replaced with sugar and it is surprising how much sugar can be found in gluten free foods, some gluten free biscuits have even more sugar than normal biscuits! Gluten free breads can also be full of random, processed ingredients so always make sure you read the ingredients!

5. MORE THAN 5..
Often if there are more than 5 ingredients the product is not the healthiest. Think about it..broccoli only has one ingredient, nut butter only has 1-2 ingredients, nuts only have one ingredient. The more ingredients the further away the product is from its natural state.

I know these are only brief guidelines but they are staple guidelines that I live by when doing my grocery shop. You do not have to bombard yourself with tons and tons of DOs and DONTs, keep it simple. Notice how your trolley will be packed with healthy, wholesome, nutritious foods from just following these 5 simple rules! Don’t forget life is all about balance so don’t beat yourself up if you sometimes find yourself straying from these guidelines.

 

Tara