Two years ago my number 1 Top Tip would have been ‘Avoid the CBD at all costs’, but boy have things changed!
I remember when I worked in the city, I would religiously pack my own lunch + my own green tea bags and if I HAD to I would duck by coles to grab either Chobani, frozen peas and Ryvita or an avocado, tin of salmon and bag of spinach. I kid you not.
Thankfully the growing interest in healthy lifestyles means a greater demand for healthy options! I love a good shopping day in Brisbane’s CBD, but obviously a day of shopping grows a hungry appetite for some nourishing fuel!
Having recently visited the The Myer Center for lunch, I was surprised with the plethora of options available! With a relative budget ($30 between two) I was able to find myself a range of delicious gluten free & sugar free options PLUS even managed some sneaky superfoods!
Below are the 5 Top Tips I followed to ensure myself and my gal pal enjoyed a very nutrient rich and #guiltfree lunch!
1. Vege Rama, Myer City Food Court
This tip is indeed an outlet in itself (however can be linked to Tip 2 also!) and rightfully so, Vege Rama’s options are both incredibly accomodating, nourishing and delcious. Though it prides itself on a plant-based philosophy and offers predominantly vegetarian and vegan options, there is most definitely going to be something that will catch your eye. Remember, even if you are the most carnivorous of them all, enjoying a vego option for one meal won’t damage #gainz but rather it will be an enlightening change for your body! From decadent salads, wraps, lasagnes, veggie bakes and curries, Vege Rama is most definitely my first point of call! Everything is clearly labelled with dietary information + their thai curry is most definitely recommended (w brown rice over saffron and a slightly spicey chickpea curry = me sorted!).
2. Avoid Deep Fried Everything
This tip is applicable for any store, at any time. Even if it is deep fried vegetables – it isnt good for you (note reference from Tip 1 – those momosas are not #guiltfree and if chosen should be the treat on your plate and one of those ‘moderation treats’ at that). Deep frying foods not only adds non-beneficial and quite detrimental fats (e.g. from vegetable and canola oils) to the food, it sky rockets the calories AND strips the deep-fried item (e.g. vegetables) of their most valuable nutrients. Just don’t go there.
3. Salad up at Sumo Salad
It sure cops some slack from some health critics but as I always say, choose carefully and choose for you. I love the full fat feta, leafy greens and chicken pesto salad + the lentil tabouli filled with fresh parsley! Clearly labelled with dietary information, made fresh and mostly designed by Pete Evans – I’ll happily admit that I love a Sumo Salad! What I tend to avoid when ordering is any thing once again deep fried and anything drenched in dressing (or both). If you are looking for something particular, the option is always there to create your own salad or choose a predesigned option to be made fresh in front of you!
4. No sushi
It’s a hard truth to learn that the secret behind the ‘pro’ rolling is in fact the added sugar syrup in the rice. Yep. It’s called ‘sushi vinegar’ and top tips for making this at home involves a 1:1 ratio of sugar to vinegar. THAT’s why the rice is so sticky, why they stay in shape and why it tastes so good! Even the brown rice is drenched with the sugar syrup so unfortunately, it’s not always the best option. In saying that, I wouldn’t pass an organic brown rice sushi if it was the option that was available, just mindfully and moderately consume it.
5. Search for Health Food Stores (like Go Vita!)
While many frequent these stores for groceries, you cannot forget the other on-the-go goodness they have available too! Skip your Coke Zero or ‘low fat fad soda’ and grab a kombucha or coconut water instead! These kind of stores even have a range of organic drinks too which is much nutritious and recognisable for your body to digest then artificial colours and sweeteners.
Go Vita can also really come in handy when you are tempted by those muffins, cookies or cakes in the displays along side/near your lunch. Go Vita in the Myer Centre is located right next to the food court and has a MASSIVE range of organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegan etc. treaties to grab for your 3.30 slump or if it’s one of those days, a lunch dessert! From bliss balls to raw treats and slices, I was actually finding it difficult to make a choice (thankfully felt on point with my choice of the bliss balls below!). It is most definitely one of my recommendations to check out when your hanging out for a snack or healthy treat.
Note that just because something is Gluten Free in the window of the bakery, does not mean it is healthy! For example, fudge is gluten free which is due to the fact that its made from sugar and more sugar! Mostly everything in health food stores are going to be nutritious and a whole lot less deceiving than the ‘GF’ window goodies – so keep your eyes peeled for health food stores around lunch/grazing time.
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