If you caught my last review of the Vapiano Garden City then you know you can safely assume that this one will hardly differ. It’s certainly hard to fault a business which prides itself on supporting local producers and whom can claim that most products are collected within a 150km range of the store.
Locavores, you can cheer for yet another dining option for your local tastes and those with dietary preferences can also cheer for a restaurant that is going to accommodate your tummies!
Visiting the Vapiano Albert Lane store was like visiting an old friend. The Vapiano team have made a conscious effort to ensure that each store is consistent with all things great and small, from the interior and (of course) the menu, too the potted plants and even the olive tree centre piece. If you have visited one before, you are going to know the drill. However if you haven’t, allow me to explain!
Vapiano Antipasti board
The Albert Lane View
Insalate – rocket, parmesan and walnut
Firstly, you choose your desired dish. HERE you can choose from VEGAN, gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian options! Everything is so clearly labelled and there are plenty of adaptable options, for example, having gnocchi which any of the pastas to keep it gluten free! (This gnocchi is hand made, of course!).
Secondly, you order. And then, you watch your lunch/dinner be made before your eyes (quite literally). The best kitchens are those where everything is on display – there are no sneaky ingredients being added, no sneaky tasty or grubby items entering the food. All clean, all inspectable but mostly, entertaining (that is, if you are a die hard Masterchef fan like myself).
Lastly, enjoy. And enjoy in fine style at that. The interior is fresh and homely, with the top floor of Albert St receiving plenty of natural light inside the complex which shelters you from the noise of the busy mall. Best of all, if you love a little extra flavour in your food, there is of course plenty of fresh herbs which surround you while you dine in cute little pots all over the tables!
Best of all, they are currently doing $10 lunches on selected pastas and pizzas! Luckily for me, an avid salad fan, my ‘insalate’ of rocket, parmesan and walnut (incredibly filling and great with a side of grilled chicken!) was only $15.
Vapiano Antipasti board
gluten free mushroom risotto
Vapiano Antipasti board
The Antipasti board was the perfect accompaniment to share (though we couldn’t get through it all!) and my company enjoyed a gluten free mushroom risotto, which I can most definitely now approve as a full fat treat-yoself dish when you are looking for one – it was incredibly tasty AND of course, full of cream, rice and mushroom making it a low sugar option! Try getting through the whole bowl with all those filling fats, I bet you can’t (and I also bet you won’t be craving an afternoon treat after such a hearty meal). These three dishes were perfect for lunch between two, though I am eyeing off the same delicious selection for a group to share over drinks on a post-work or pre-weekend evening!
Vapiano Albert Lane, 191 Albert Street, Brisbane, QLD, 4000 (Google Map)
Superfoods are all the rage, and we are always their biggest fan. Anything that can boost our metabolism, increase our energy, clear our skin and detox our insides is a plus, and we are always willing to give it a try. But this isn’t based on those superfoods that trend and fade, these cafe know what’s good, what works and use those that are sticking around for good.
These menu’s have been selected for their variety, their health focus and their use of wholesome, REAL ingredients. The superfoods are a bonus, but the ingredients overall are what had us in awe!
Canter&Colt Green Bowl
Canter&Colt Superfood Spread
Canter and Colt
This 100% organic cafe is tucked away in Samford but is WELL worth the drive! Canter and Colt cafe is an extension of family owned and operated grocery store (Four Seasons), which has been around for over 15 years and now supplies the ingredients for their delicious menu! Having grown up on an organic diet, in an organic store, Carina (the owner) really knows what she is talking about and is on top of all the trends, suppliers and products. Together with her team, Canter and Colt perfectly execute an all gluten free, diary free, sugar free and vegan option menu. You can expect certified organic Montville coffee, cold-pressed juices, acai bowls and smoothies, raw superfood smoothies, raw cakes, gluten free goodies, wholesome organic meals and AMAZING salads!
Superfood or Superjunk? Take your pick! Decisions is the ULTIMATE cafe to suit literally everyone’s tastes buds – from the super healthy, to the super cheaty. We absolutely love this concept and the superfood menu (though we know the super junk menu goes down a hit too!). From zoodle salads to superfood nasi goreng, a MASSIVE selection of salads, a cabinet full of healthy (and not so healthy) treats, cold pressed juices, superfood lattes and sparkling coconut water – they have it all. The highlight though would HAVE to be their ACAI bowls! SERIOUSLY EPIC and will have your taste buds crying with delight. In terms of value for money, these guys aren’t skimping on any of the details, with house made granola, Amazonia acai blend, allllllll the fruit toppings and optional raw treats on top – we recommend one to share (or get those take away containers ready just in case!). This one is definitely a contender for Brisbane’s best acai bowl… but in the mean time, their menu is a superfood heaven!
NEW Acai Bowls – Fruit Tingle and Apple & Blackberry
Okay, we have always been their number 1 fans, but Cocobliss’s new Winter menu is rich in superfoods and something we just couldn’t wait to share! You already know they do amazing smoothies, raw treats and chia puddings (probably the best chia/bircher cups in Brissie), but their new Winter Toast Toppers will seriously excite you. Okay, so the new Winter Acai Bowls will also excite you ohhhhh AND the superfood lattes are exciting, but we now we are getting ahead of ourselves, okay, FIRSTLY the toast toppers – Avocado Bruschetta, Avocado & Hummus, Mushroom & Hommus (#omg the best) and Pesto & Mushroom. NOW the new bowls, there’s a few, but we were in awe over the Banoffee Protein Bowl (nice-cream w cacao & caramel #hello), Studio Pilates Green Bowl (another nice-cream variation with all the greens!) and Apple and Blackberry Crumble (acai blend topped with apple and blackberry compote w slivered almonds + fresh apple, granola, coyo!). The lattes are hard to choose from, but you’ve got Tumeric, Spiced Matcha, Cacao Beetroot, Reishi Chai all with their delicious combo of spices & made on your choice of milk/nut milk. SERIOUSLY – SUPERFOOD ALERT #areweright!
If you haven’t yet checked these new menus and venues out, then it’s time to re-prioritise!
Wilde Kitchen – collagen panna cotta
5 NEW healthy menus you need to try!
It’s no secret that we have always been a fan of Wilde Kitchen (@wildkitchen), but this time they are shaking things up and we really, really like it. Their new menu is designed to showcase what they are really about. We all know they spent some time there transitioning from Primal Pantry to their new store, and now it’s time to release their new personality, through their new menu of course! Featuring super healthy and funky ingredients like collagen, broths, lots of fermented ingredients (dying over the fermented beet puree), Paleo hero bread and rest assured, EVERYTHING is premium quality and unprocessed. We LOVE the new Pitaya bowl (#thatlime), fish taco and panacotta (finally one we can enjoy guilt free i.e. refined sugar free #rejoice!).
Get your health fix here: Cnr Macqaurie & Florence St, Teneriffe QLD 4006
We spy healthy options! Our favourite caffeinated friends at Merlo (@Merlo) have redesigned their menu and we couldn’t have be more excited if we tried. Well, until we saw the Buddha Bowl that is! With baby spinach, chickpeas, pumpkin, peptise avocado, cherry tomatoes, goji berries and baba ganoush – we couldn’t stray past it! BUT for those of you who don’t particularly make friends with salad, but alternatively prefer to make friends with corn fritters, you are also in luck! OH AND there is also mashed avo and feta, breakfast burritos, bircher mueslis, fresh fruit and allllll the healthy salads, wraps and sandwiches available always.
Get your Buddha Bowl on at: Queen Street, George Street, South Brisbane and UQ stores (specific locations here)
Gluten Free friends rejoice! Finiky (@Finikypatisserie) has opened their doors in West End and “yes… everything is gluten free”. We love supporting our local business owners and are super excited that 95% of what’s served at Finiky is made on site. There is a great selection of sweet and savoury options on the breakfast and lunch menu as well as a huge selection of cakes and sweets in the cabinet for your choosing – there are also a section of dairy free options. We’re eyeing the avo smash on the sweet potato cake! Too top it off, Finiky also provides catering options! We definitely know what we are doing this weekend (and possibly every weekend to come!).
Find GF goodies at: 243 Boundary Street, West End
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Juice Family (IG @juicefamily) at Northlakes is the kind of family you want to be a part of. You can expect a bunch of pharmacists sharing their expert knowledge through acai bowls. That’s right, these health professionals have come together to provide you with the ultimate healthy options. Focusing on healthy, whole ingredients, the menu ranges from a bunch of juices and bowls, nut butters, raw-tella, berry coulis and bliss balls. Everything is made in store + guaranteed to be gluten free, dairy free and vegan friendly. Oh, and it’s right next door to Ikea, so you can totally fuel up for that Ikea haul everyone needs!
Find them at: Westfield North Lakes, Ground Level, 123 North Lakes Drive, North Lakes, Brisbane
Coffee Hit Master Latte Art Classes
Okay, so it’s mostly about the coffee class… but there is a new menu at the NEW Coffee Hit North Lakes store… but coffee… and making good coffee… it’s important! Are you keen to get your coffee on? Coffee Hit has seen our needs and organised a super impressive (think WORLD CHAMPION) latte artists on board to show you how it’s really done. Not only will you learn a new party trick, we consider this one an investment – learn to make good coffee and you’ll never drink out again (except for weekends, and maybe, well, the skills are there if you choose to use them!
Having recently completed a juice cleanse with incredibly results (including weight loss, restored relationship with food, more mindful eating andno more binging) I thought it would be appropriate to share my experiences and some tips on why I believe it went so well.
A lot of people have been asking – how did you do it? Did you do X or did you try Y? How did you do it without coffee?! And the most important (because it’s the perception I most want to change) ‘I could NEVER do a juice cleanse!’.
So I’m going to put it out there for all of you to read, see, share and try for when you do your own cleanse (which I 100% recommend!).
1. Order a good cleanse!
Obviously the most important step is to make sure you have chosen the right cleanse for your body, and with a brand you trust. My #1 recommendation is Sol Cleanse, because it’s local, organic and served in glass jars (you can read more about Sol Cleanse’s benefits in my previous post here). You also have to choose the right type/style of cleanse. Sol Cleanse have various levels available. My most honest recommendation is whether you are super healthy or not, starting on Level 1 (the easiest level) is most ideal, to desensitise yourself to the experience and to enable success. In Occupational Therapy, we call it the ‘Just Right Challenge’ – don’t choose something that’s going to be too hard, and don’t overestimate your ability to cope with a brand new, foreign and somewhat frightening experience (that being, the juice cleanse!). So, choose your cleanse really honestly.
2. EAT (if you want)
I know, completely counter-intuitive for a juice cleanse, but I ate and I am now 5kgs down. It’s about knowing what works for your body – for some, not eating is fine and can be a thrilling experience. For others, especially those who love the textural experience of food (I’m talking about that crunch or the chewing motion), veggie sticks are going to be your best friend. I stuck to raw and steamed vegetables throughout the cleanse, with a little bit of tahini. It’s all I craved, and because they were healthy cravings, I allowed my body to thrive from that. And I am glad I did, because since the cleanse has finished, vegetables and tahini is all I crave! It’s like the meal reminds my body of being in an optimal state of health, and it loves it.
3. Drink Coffee
Okay so now you are probably thinking, did this girl cleanse at all? Well yes, I did, but I adapted it to my body’s needs. Not drinking coffee can be a massive deciding factor for doing a cleanse and fair enough! Coffee gives us ENERGY and if you’re working full time + have kids, a blog or have a lot going on, it’s a real necessity. I say, DON’T let the idea of not drinking coffee hold you back from an amazing cleanse experience! Have your one coffee a day (though I only ever have long back) and nourish your body with organic juices for the rest of the time! If you only have one coffee a day, then your not addicted. And if coffee isn’t something you are wanting to stop completely post cleanse, then bloody don’t worry! If it is a vital part of your routine and is going to get you through the day – let it!
P.s. your body is going to be withdrawing from carbs, sugar and food in general, so if you are going to cut coffee be prepared for some serious withdrawal symptoms (totes fine if you want them/plan to give up coffee after the cleanse).
So you order the cleanse and you get 6 juices per day. Say one day, you feel like a little more? Then make it! Or purchase a high quality juice alternative (e.g. Impressed Juices from Woolies). Having an extra juice is going to be better than breaking the cleanse and binging on bread instead.
If you feel like you need something more than a juice? Well make a smoothie! It’s only going to provide you with fiber you otherwise aren’t getting anyway, and you can substitute that in for the night time almond milk too. Just stick to rough calories (you are pretty much safe if you don’t go hard on the nuts).
My favourite smoothie creation during the cleanse (and after!) was water, a touch of almond milk, vegan activated protein (from Amazonia), 1/4 banana and 1 date – perfect substitute for when I couldn’t stomach another juice (or the almond milk) and wanted some time in my happy place (that is my kitchen – also a part of routine, also something to keep me sane!). So by the end of the cleanse, I had 4 more juices left so just decided to keep the cleanse going and didn’t eat until dinner – so pretty much did a 4 day cleanse in the end! Well.. and then my cleanse kept going anyway (but more to come on this later!).
5. DON’T exercise!
This whole experience is abut pacing, which is about knowing your body’s limit and working within that. Remember you are consuming SIGNIFICANTLY less than usual, so your body is going to be tired and exhausted, while it’s spending time rejuvenating and cleansing. On the first day I literally napped for two hours in the afternoon, then ate some veggies and went to sleep. Your body is, in all truth, getting used to the feeling of being hungry, so there is literally no point to stress it out even more with exercise. With stress comes increased adrenaline, heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol, which in high doses (i.e. lots of stress) can be extremely damaging for our body and it’s function. Obviously, that isn’t what you want while you are trying to allow your body to cleanse and recover.
On the last day of my cleanse, I did go for a light walk, because I had adapted and felt up to it – but it really was a super conscious decision which I knew was not pushing myself too hard. Keep to the mentality of ‘how will this make me feel after’ and most importantly ‘do I have enough energy right now’.
So there you have it, 5 of the tips that got me through.
Stay tuned for my last blog to this Juice Cleanse Series – it’s going to be all about post cleanse benefits and how to keep that health kick going!
Ice cream is always tempting, but especially so in Summer! While Froyo is a delicious treat (we completely endorse occasional treating), you can’t always trust it ingredients. Turns out, homemade ice blocks are SO much easier, and cheaper, and more healthy! Continue reading →