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Five more healthy places to eat

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It’s awesome to see food outlets, popping up all over town passionate about serving good quality, nutritious food and so last year I went on a healthy eating adventure, stopping in at five of Canberra’s healthiest cafes…

If you loved checking out the first five places then do I have a treat for you! Here are five more healthy Canberra hangouts for you!


Elemental’s paleo-style cafe has just thrown open the doors on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, and already people are raving about the creations of Aussie Paleo Chef, Daniel Barrett.

From the Breakfast Quesadilla (soft tortilla, coconut cheese, spicy chicken, lime leaf jam fried egg, guacamole and harissa) to the Pork Belly Burger (bacon, fermented vegetables, avocado lemon aioli, sweet potato galette), you don’t have to be a paleo devotee to enjoy the offerings.

Pork Belly Burger - bacon, fermented vegetables, avocado lemon aioli, sweet potato galette.

Pork Belly Burger – bacon, fermented vegetables, avocado lemon aioli, sweet potato galette.

Stay tuned for a more detailed review once we’ve had a chance to chow down! You’ll find it inside ORI at 28-30 Lonsdale Street.


Balance is a theme in nutrition that I’ll be preaching till the day I die. And balance, is the theme for one of Braddon’s newest foodie additions, Eighty/Twenty.


Loving the philosophy at Braddon’s Eighty/Twenty

The most important criteria, among others, that a cafe needs to meet to be classified as ‘healthy’ is the vegetable content of its dishes. In my opinion, regardless of what else you eat, an adequate intake of vegetables each day is one of the best indicators of long term good health.

Eighty/Twenty has a fabulous range of vegetable based dishes from salads, sushi, and meals like ‘The Hulk’ green bowl. Yum! The meals are also really unique in their combinations and flavours, which I really like. I wouldn’t make a trout and asparagus dish at home, so it’s nice to get something healthy and fancy like this when I eat out.

The other thing that I liked about this cafe was the different menu options for breakfast. Now I love the good old cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs as much as anyone but I absolutely adored an amazing breakfast of eggs, eggplant hummus and dukkah. It was such a nice change.

Spud Bar

This place blew my expectations out of the water. I really liked it. It was whole, fresh, simple food that tasted great.

Spud Bar - Garema Place in the City

Spud Bar – Garema Place in the City

I was a little put off initially with paying $13 for what essentially is a loaded potato, however, it was totally worth it. It had just the right amount of toppings, lots of vegetables and fantastic flavour.

The Mexican Chicken Spud from Spud Bar

The Mexican Chicken Spud

I took the whole family and we enjoyed two takeaway potatoes between the four of us and it was plenty of food. We tried the Mexican Chicken Spud with sweet potato and the Pulled Pork Spud with regular potato. Both were really enjoyable and hours later…I had no afternoon munchies. It’s not surprising when my lunch was pretty much all vegetables and whole foods!

The Pulled Pork Spud at Spud Bar

The Pulled Pork Spud

You don’t have to choose one of the pre-determined spuds. You can be totally unique and build your own spud from their toppings bar. I think I’m gonna do that next time I go back.

My Rainbow Dreams

I feel completely ripped off that I only found out about this place a week ago. Seriously, if I could eat every meal from My Rainbow Dreams, I would happily convert to vegetarianism. It was totally delicious and of course their food was packed with nourishing, fresh vegetables.

My Rainbow Dreams Cafe in Dickson

My Rainbow Dreams Cafe in Dickson

Their cafe has a unique, new age Hindu-type feel with friendly, smiley staff and unpretentious decor. The vibe, however, was amazing because it was absolutely buzzing with people. It’s the underlying rule for choosing a food outlet—never eat in an empty cafe.

Haloumi Burger and Immune Boosting Juice at My Rainbow Dreams Cafe

Haloumi Burger and Immune Boosting Juice

I met my friend Lisa from The Muesli Bar for lunch and ordered a Haloumi Burger (yes haloumi, the only food epic enough to be its own food group). On wholemeal sourdough there was grilled haloumi, pesto, hummus, roasted capsicum and lettuce. It was one of the most delicious burgers I’ve eaten in a long time. I also had an ‘Immune Boost’ (orange, strawberry, kiwi, carrot and lemon), juice to go with it. I have, and always will, say that eating fruit and vegetables whole is better than drinking juice (of any kind) but there’s certainly nothing wrong with having a lovely fresh juice every now and then especially if it’s got some vegies in it as well.

Lisa's rice paper rolls - she likes that they weren't just full of noodles. They were full of vegies!

Lisa’s rice paper rolls – she likes that they we’re just full of noodles. They were full of vegies!

Lisa has a small crush on their rice paper rolls, which I will be trying next time I visit. I’m also going to be trying the Rainbow Wrap, the Indian spiced lentil burger, the gourmet salad bowl… Actually I’m going to work my way through the entire menu. Feel free to join me.

Nutrition Station

Nutrition Station is a very unique food outlet inside Fitness First in the city. It’s not your typical healthy cafe and you don’t go there for coffee and a good meal. It’s a tiny little fitout, next to the group fitness area so you can hear the peppy personal trainer hollering enthusiastically at her minions while you order your superfood smoothie.


Nutrition Station

Nutrition Station is a reasonably new franchise popping up all over Australia that sells a range of products targeted at gym goers and those living an active lifestyle. They sell things like protein shakes and smoothies, protein pancakes, protein oats and other foodie products with protein in them. Now there is evidence to suggest that an adequate intake of protein is important for weight maintenance, lean muscle growth and overall health, however, I do feel that they may have overdone the emphasis on protein…just a little. The average Australian diet exceeds protein intake recommendations without the use of protein powders and supplements.

Smoothie ingredients at the Nutrition Station

Smoothie ingredients at the Nutrition Station

I was expecting that a food outlet called ‘Nutrition Station’ would sell heaps of fresh whole foods such as fruit and vegetables. Most of the smoothie ingredients were nuts, seeds and dried or processed foods like goji berries, acai powder, protein powder and nut butters. It’s my professional opinion that whole, fresh foods will always be the best when it comes to making up the primary components of your diet.

However, like I said earlier, you don’t go to Nutrition Station for a meal. You go to grab yourself an epic smoothie and if you’re into unique and interesting flavour combinations then you’ll like their smoothie menu. If you don’t like their smoothie menu, they’re happy to make one according to your favourite ingredients.

My choc-mint powerhouse smoothie - delicious and refreshing after a tough workout.

My choc-mint powerhouse smoothie – delicious and refreshing after a tough workout.

I had a Choc-mint powerhouse smoothie with chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, honey, mint and natural peanut butter. It was something else but actually tasted a lot better than I thought it would. With a whopping 31 grams of protein, it met 50 per cent of my daily protein needs. Woah!

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