Ultimate Clean Eating guide to NYC

 America also has some of the worlds worst foods…I’m talking cookie spread in a jar (yes like you put that shit on toast) and maple syrup on just about every second thing including vegetables, they also have taken on board some of the most sustainable and ethical practices when it comes to making delicious and healthy food. Places like ABC kitchen pride themselves on the high quality, organic and locally sourced produce that seriously make a party in your mouth along with other restaurants like The Little Beet Table which is a full gluten free eatery and only uses the best quality ingredients. OH and we can’t forget my new addition of bone broth from Springbone (where they have a full food menu made using 100% grass fed and organic meats/poultry) and Brodo — I mean where are these places in Oz?!
It is definitely a difficult city to navigate around when it comes to making healthy food choices when travelling. I’ve hater in the past when I’ve travelling and I get that dreaded travel tummy where you eating crap food and feel crap, but with my latest adventure I have tried and tested many places and these are my absolute favourites. This is next level healthy….there are many other ‘healthy’ guides out there for NYC but I have gone to some of those restaurants and left with a crampy tummy and let’s just say this; it was NOT olive oil even though they claimed it was when I asked if they use canola oil.
I have also compiled some of my favourite other things to see and do while you are there for a taste of the health and wellness scene in NYC
Coco & Cru – Breakfast, Lunch — Noho
This Aussie cafe was a favourite of mine and I did do a breakfast visit back to back. They serve delicious coffee (and decaf coffee as I have recently chosen to quit coffee–but more on that in my next post) and the food is delicious. I ordered the ‘Greens bowl’ without the ancient grains and an extra poached egg. (FYI kale pesto is dairy and nut free)
 
Bluestone Lane – Breakfast, Lunch — Multiple locations
Another amazing Australian addition to the NYC food scene and it will not disappoint. With their own blend of coffee and an Australian style menu, you will be able to have the perfect breakfast with all your greeeeeens. Try the ‘Green baked eggs’ with some avocado on the side and no bread (and no feta if you’re DF).
 
The Little Beet Table – Lunch and Dinner — Nomad
One of my favourite places that I have to visit each and every time I come. With a fully gluten free menu, it’s a healthy foodie haven plus many items are dairy free or can be so. The staff are very knowledgeable about what is in each dish and they will easily substitute things/make them dairy free which is refreshing! You must order the olives, sweet potato wedges, brussel sprouts and charred broccoli. For mains, my favourites are the organic roasted chicken (just ask for no honey on the roasted carrots), the salmon or the red snapper. Frankly I bet every dish is amazing, but those three I can definitely vouch for.
Hu Kitchen – Everything — Union Square, Upper East side
This is my favourite place for every meal. Simple, delicious food without any crap. While some of their dishes do contain small amounts of honey or coconut sugar it is easy to steer clear of them and choose one of their millions of other options. The selling point for me? They don’t use any bad oils, only olive and coconut oil and all their meat is organic/grass fed & finished/wild caught and all their fruits and vegetables with thin skin are organic.
They use homemade bacon, organic eggs, organic fair trade coffee, organic tea, organic Kombucha on tap, sea salt only, cooking oil is coconut oil, real extra virgin olive oil, minimal grains, and everything is from scratch. There is tonnes of info on their website so worth a read.
My favourite dishes are; actually, the list is too long. Everything is delicious. But make sure you try the veggie stir no fry, breakfast vegetable medley, brussel sprouts, charred broccoli, cauliflower puree, tuna salad mix and broccoli and ‘cheddar’ soup.

Ruby’s Cafe
– Breakfast, Lunch — Soho

Another Aussie cafe that has upped the breakfast game in NYC (thank god) and a place when I can get my eggs and avo for breakfast. Try their ‘Green Eggs bowl’ with poached eggs instead of scrambled and add some extra greens. Although I didn’t get to try their lunch, the salads sounds delicious and like they would actually fill you up…not this American butter or iceberg lettuce and tomato rabbit food that everywhere seems to do

 
Two Hands Restaurant and Bar – Breakfast, Lunch — TriBeCa
Firstly, there are 2 ‘Two hands’ .. one is the cafe and one is the restaurant and bar. I tried the restaurant and bar because their breakfast menu had greens for breakfast which of course is a must for me. Try the “Brassicas Bowl” with an extra boiled egg – you won’t be disappointed.
 
ABC kitchen – Brunch, Lunch, Dinner — Gramercy Park
Firstly, you MUST book but you also MUST go! This was absolute heaven. I definitely ate way too much but don’t even care because the food was THAT amazing. They are so passionate about offering the best, freshest and most sustainable ingredients and we seriously need places like this in Australia. The whole back of their menu listed where every ingredient came from. Farm, city, person and all! They are involved in supporting the farm-table movement and their menu is free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, hormones, is GMO-free, and naturally and humanely sourced from regional farmers and fair trade cooperatives, celebrating community and the future of the slow food movement. BOO YA!!!! How good is that?
Get yourself (brunch menu) the roasted portbello and celery leaves, black sea bass, and/or roasted hake. Plus the roasted brussel sprouts without the mustard dressing and the tender broccoli. To die for!!

 
Springbone Kitchen -Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, BROTH!!! — Greenwich Village
Okay so if you follow me on my Insta-stories you will be well aware that I was hella obsessed (and still am) with this place and the whole idea of broth in a cup in NYC! My first mission when I get home is to master the art of making delicious broth so that I can be sippin’ it like a boss.
Anyhow, Springbone prides themselves on everything I stand for: real ingredients, minimal grains and sugar (well I prefer ZERO sugar…but we are in the land of sweet everything), more vegetables and better meat. No GMOs, antibiotics, or canola oil EVER. YES PLEASE! oh and their meat is 100% free range/grass-fed.
My faves is the Classic chicken broth, Liquid gold, Grandma’s Chicken and rice (with cauliflower rice)..and I added guac to it one time for extra fats, the Mexican bowl my mum had and loved it (with cauliflower rice), and the 100% Grass-Fed Burger with a portobello mushroom cap with guac and an egg – HOLY GUACAMOLE! Amazeballs. OH and try and the roasted brussel sprouts and the carrot fries in grass fed beef fat – yep you heard me right.

 BrodoBROTH!!! — West village, East village
Another amazing broth cafe that prides itself on quality ingredients and using only 100% grass fed/organic chicken bones, and organic vegetables. Plus these guys have drink combos that I could only dream about! With half the menu literally just being add-ons so that you can take your broth to the next level in taste and in health benefits. My fave is the chicken broth with parsley and chilli oil for some inflammatory benefits and a boost of extra fats to hit to the metabolism and to clear out those sinuses in the winter time!
 
Other must-sees:
CAP Beauty – Chelsea
This place is natural beauty heaven!! They stock only the finest natural beauty products, makeup, skin care and beauty supplements. Even if you don’t need anything it is worth checking out! Plus they stock some of the Moon Juice snacks. Try out the activated dulse and vinegar almonds,  the activated turmeric pepitas and coconut and the herb and cheese crisps.
Credo – Soho
Another natural beauty boutique which has a wide range of products, both for skin care and also makeup. You’ll spot the blue exterior from a mile away and be presently surprised on the inside with the vast variety of products out there that don’t harm our skin! The staff are knowledgeable and friendly when it comes to asking about benefits of different products, or what products to turn to for certain skin types. They have a large stock of brands that I didn’t even know existed! Another must see.
MNDFL – Greenwich Village
This is a must see for any health and wellness lovers. The new meditation studio in Manhattan is the perfect way to escape and unwind with the hustle and bustle of New York! You will be greeted with a warm welcome and given complimentary tea (try the ginger and turmeric – to die for) and taken on a guide around their studio. When classes are not in session, the space is also open to all for their own meditation practise or just for a bit of an escape of the manic subway. Their front lounge area is full of books, magazines and cushions for you to truely relax and unwind. They have many different teachers, all with different practises and backgrounds so there are endless opportunities for you to learn different meditation techniques. Best part? It’s close to Springbone so you can stop and get a both after to nourish your soul even further 😉
Inscape – Flatiron
This new studio is truely amazing. The space in which you meditation in is a dome like room with epic mood lighting and surround sound. You truely escape New York in this space. Only downside? The meditation is a recording which was a bit of a bummer because I like going to a meditation studio to have a real life teacher talking to me…but that’s just personal preference. Either way, the space is worth a look at.
Eataly – Flatiron
While the produce might be a little pricier that other markets, it is worth the walk around. This is so much more than just a market. It is an experience, a museum, a place of knowledge and profound produce where people come together to celebrate amazing food and wine. While you can simply go there to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, cheese, sauces, oils and really anything Italian, you can also book a table in one of their restaurants to have a delicious taste of Italy. This is an absolute must see
SMXLL

 
Wholefoods – multiple locations
I couldn’t forget this one! While they have done some incredible marketing of “America’s healthiest grocery store”, you will still find things full of canola oil, and sugar. They might be the healthiest out of the American supermarkets, but not everything in there is by any means healthy. However, navigate successfully and you will get your hands on some epic American health products like my new favorite Brads Probiotic Kale Chips and Siete Grain Free Chips! Plus the whole experience of going into a BIG Wholefoods is pretty epic. You’ll find all the slightly wacky stuff here, plus all your organic fruits, vegetables and meats.

 

There isn’t such thing as a ‘healthy’ sugar

Honey along with other sweeteners like agave syrup and maple syrup have been perceived as healthy and natural sugars and substitute for processed sugar, however, it has been proven to be as bad as high fructose corn syrup!

The Journal of Nutrition found that honey basically has the same effect on the body as high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar. An experiment that was conducted at the University of Minnesota involved participants to eat daily doses of either honey OR corn syrup OR cane sugar for two weeks and in the end, all the sweeteners had the same effect on their health.

Basically, the body sees all sugars as the same, metabolically. That includes the sugars found in nature as fruit, sugar, and sugar beets as well as the’ healthy’ sounding sugars of brown sugar, honey, molasses, agave, and evaporated cane syrup. Like all these sugars, corn syrup which is found in a lot of packaged, highly processed foods is digested in the same way as all the other ‘natural’ sugars. According to data out there at the moment, corn syrup doesn’t actually seem to be worse for you than other sugars, like we once thought. Many companies have stopped using corn syrup due to consumer demand and replaced it with sugars that are perceived as healthy like honey and agave syrup- however, this tool has been used to mislead customers into thinking their buying ‘healthier’ foods. Yet they aren’t. They are still loaded with sugar! Things like agave contain up to 90% fructose!! (while table sugar is 50 fructose/50 glucose)

You’re wondering about the vitamins and minerals found in honey? Well yes, while there are some benefits to honey, you are still best sourcing those vitamins and minerals from far better and more nutrient dense vegetables, good quality meats and of course, fats. Same goes for fruits. Many people think that you have to have fruit because of the vitamins and that you can’t just cut fruit out. But you can! Because you replace eating fruit with veggie eating and you still get all the vitamins if not MORE!

But isn’t honey paleo?! Just because the cave man did eat something doesn’t mean we have to in 2015. While they would have eaten honey, they would have hunted ages for it and only ever been able to have a tiny bit at once as it was very rare. So naturally, they actually didn’t eat a lot of it, and when they did, it was stored directly to fat – for reserves.

What about this healthy ‘MANUKA HONEY’? While this honey delivers benefits like antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits which are great to use on your skin, it has been used for centuries to heal the internal body as well. However, this, like in the cave man days was never used in excess, and if we are talking fructose – it’s still the same as any other sugar and our liver won’t know the difference.

So what to use?
As described in why I chose to quit sugar rice malt syrup and stevia are the best option as they contain no fructose, therefore not dumping sugar onto the liver. However, I still don’t advocate eating a lot of sweet things because whether the sweetener is fake or natural or non-sugar derived, the sweet taste still releases the same triggers in your brain which can result in addiction issues. …. This is why when people ask me about quitting sugar, you really need to quit EVERYTHING that is sweet in order to ACTUALLY quit it (like Sarah Wilson recommends). This is important in actually breaking your addiction (we all have one, even I did – I was addicted to fruit and the sign for me was when I wanted that sweet orange after dinner before bed. I noticed this when I quit) or you won’t be able to ‘reset’ your body and change your taste buds.

So, to round-up : all sugar is processed the same in our bodies (i.e. dumped on the liver) , whether it is perceived natural or not –> not adding sugar and switching your food choices to savoury is the best option –> if you need sweeteners, go for rice malt syrup or stevia as they are the safest non-fructose options. However, working with less sweetness in your diet is the best option as it reduces the risk of relapsing or encouraging an addiction to sugar (if you’ve quit) or it will still release the same trigger in your brain as normal sugar – therefore you still will be addicted to sugar/sweetness as such.

My advice: just quit. Do it properly for two weeks and you’ll notice a change (even science says you will!). Your taste buds will adjust and you’ll actually never crave sweet things

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Why do people have so much hate for PB?

 

Some varieties of peanut butter are literally a death food. Filled with toxic oils, sugar and preservatives

LET’S START OFF WITH SOME OF THE DOWNFALLS

Peanuts are high in omega 6 fat and many people get way too many omega 6 fats already in their diet and no enough omega 3 fatty acids. While omega 3 fats reduce inflammation, omega 6 CAUSE inflammation. So, being aware of your consumption is key in order to not let things get too out of whack as a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is an important ratio to remain in balance like humans were first established. The ratio is often found at 20:1 in the modern diet of omega 6 vs omega 3 which is CRAZY seeing as a healthy ratio is close to 2:1.

Peanuts often contain mould and can cause allergies. As peanuts are grown in the ground, they are very moist and can contain mycotoxins or mould. Mould can create inflammatory immune reactions.

HOW TO CONSUME PB IN A HEALTHY WAY:

Buy organic. Make sure you buy organic peanut butter as this eliminates toxins that are in the soil and just takes another baddie off the list and gives you another reason to hoe into the jar!

Consume it with omega 3 rich foods! While it may seem a bit ridiculous to have an omega 3 fish-oil supplement at the same time you have a scoop of the goodness, just ensure that you consume plenty of omega 3 rich foods in your diet to try and balance out that ratio and reduce inflammation.

Bottom line – if you eat plenty of omega 3 fats in your diet, you aren’t allergic to them, and you don’t go too overboard with the spoonfuls, then you really don’t need to worry about eating peanut butter.

Peanuts are known to boost metabolism and fat loss if consumed with other right foods as part of a real food diet because they are a high-protein snack that are easily burned carbs. Just ENSURE that you do not get the peanut butter than has ANYTHING added to the ingredients! You want JUST PEANUTS. My favourite brand is Mayvers organic peanut butter made here in Australia.

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Melbourne

There’s no doubt that Melbourne seriously aces the food scene. I travelled for 7 months around the world and all I wanted was to come home and have poached eggs that WERE NOT overcooked and a breakfast salad that actually existed. How hard is it to poach eggs people? Seriously. Anyway, point is, that once I find my fave places to eat-there’s really no going back. I mean who wants to leave a beautiful breakfast/lunch/dinner with a sore tummy?! NOT ME!!!
And trust me guys, if I can survive these places (DF, GF, SF), then most people will be able to.
SMLXL
SMLXL
  1. Left Field. There are no words to describe Ryan’s talent in the kitchen. He cooks using REAL ingredients and will tweak meals for ANY food requests, even FODMAPS. Oh and he uses olive oil/coconut oil – none of that Canola crap (thank god). Get yourself the sautéed greens and thank me later
  2. High Societythis place as a seriously extensive menu where everything is served on GIANT plates and they pride themselves of using the best quality ingredients to create healthy dishes…. and they only use olive oil! WEW! Get the sautéed greens without the toast plus an extra egg or the cumin roasted pumpkin dish and you are in for some serious enjoyment!
    SMXLL

  3. Serotonin. Nutrition bomb or my fave is a DIY breakfast bowl with all the goods- kale, broccolini, sauerkraut, eggs, avocado, chilli. But beware, there’s no meat on their menu. However, it’s a great breakfast spot.

    SMXLL

  4. Little Big Sugar Salt. Okay so not in the nicest of areas, and a little bit hard to see from the outside, but there are seriously #Byron vibes in that house-turned cafe. Not only is their menu wording hilarious (get their ‘bowl of health’ with an extra poached egg), but they offer delicious big side dishes you can share with friends. Get the thyme and hazelnut mushrooms and the zoodles. Left here with a happy AF tummy so you can trust me when I say these guys use the GOOD food

  5. MOM Cafe. An AMAZING healthy cafe in Prahran that serves up the most delicious breakfast and lunch. Their turkey chipolatas are TO. DIE. FOR. not to mention the kale pesto. Seriously next level. It’s a little more pricey than the usual breakfast out but that is because of the quality ingredients that they use. No nasty oils and no gluten!

  6. Cecconi’s: Have a special event? Come here. I do! Why? because I can trust them. They get my whole SF, DF, GF and there is nill judgement there plus they dish up a plate that is as delicious as it looks and my tummy is one happy chappy! I will usually get their fish dish and ensure that is it DF and GF (so usually it is a white fish with some vegetables). Plus I get a bowl of steamed green beans with JUST olive oil. Nothing else. The kitchen and floor staff are wonderful – it may be a little pricier but not for the food and service you receive.
    Want to see more places that I eat at? Follow me on Instagram!

 

SMLXL