If you follow me on Instagram, you would have noticed my incredibly obnoxious photo of my abs that I posted up a few days ago. You can't blame me. Before I turned to Ritual last year, my stomach has always been a big blob all my life.
I digress. I've been on a Shrek-assigned renegade diet for the past week in preparation for the Commando Challenge that we're taking part in on 15 Nov. That means two months of no cheat days, and it's only been seven days and I'm really tired of chicken already.
So to inspire me to make better tasting food with what I am able to eat, here's a list of my favourite places to eat (relatively) clean in Singapore.
And in case you don't know what eating clean means, it is basically eating whole non-processed foods, that are chemical-free and with as much natural ingredients as possible. You don't have to go to health-specific cafes to have clean food, of course, but it's always better to go to places where the owners are conscious of what goes into their food, where their food comes from and what they use to make their food taste good.
For me, I mostly follow a #ritualstyle diet, which means no bread, no fruit (high sugar content), no sugar at all, and as per my trainer's instructions, rice only after my workouts and I'm intermittent fasting everyday too. My diet's more complex at the moment, and I shan't delve deeper into it
Like the many things I've discovered in the past year or so, Ritual started me on Platypus. Their salad boxes are like magical little boxes that see me devouring greens like my life depended on them. I love them so much that I featured them in my series of places to eat clean when I "took over" HungryGoWhere's Instagram for the day. My favourite order is pictured here - medium box of greens, no carbs, salmon, chicken and smoked duck with Seville Orange dressing. Their salmon and their duck make life worth living.
Three different sized boxes at $6.90, $8.90, $10.90 respectively. Menu, calorie content and locations available here.
For someone with gluten intolerance and a mild lactose intolerance, The Living Cafe is heaven-sent. If not for the fact that the cafe is literally located on the other side of the island from where I live, they would see me there more often. Unlike in LA where raw and organic cafes are a dime a dozen, The Living Cafe makes its mark in the dining scene by paying attention to each customer's dietary restrictions and needs.
I was asked three times what my dietary restrictions were - and the waitress came to ask again, if oats were ok. It's a trait that's very valuable to me, especially when I dine in restaurants that claim not to use any MSG in their food and I'm scratching myself like a monkey less than half an hour after my meal.
Pictured above is their raw "cheeseburger". It's definitely not for the times when you're craving a hunk of red meat, but it's freakin' delicious for a meal that's completely raw and devoid of any meat. With lettuce leaves to play the role of the bun, the cheeseburger patty is made of nuts, seeds, mushroom, oats, onions and flaxseed. There's also a raw cheese sauce slathered over the patty before topping it with more vegetables including carrots, beets and tomatoes.
Their hormone-free chicken pizzas topped with cashew cheese are fo sho' worth trying too.
I LOVE MEAT AND GREEN. My daily conundrum is basically choosing between Meat And Green's salad, or a shake from Ritual.
Their salad base is the same - baby spinach, seasonal vegetables, some nuts (I always opt out of beets. I hate beets) but like the menu says, you get to choose your protein. I've only tried the chicken and the chilli crab and fish (once). I keep going back to the chicken because it's the single perfectly poached chicken in the surface of the planet.
AND they have Sriracha. Life complete.
P.S.: Not clean, but their mac-and-cheese is TO DIE FOR.
84 Circular Road, open till 10.30pm on weekdays and even open on Saturdays!
So Hollandaise sauce is not "eating clean" since it's basically egg yolk and liquid butter but it's f**king delicious. One of my favourite people in the world, Natasha, (whom I stole this photo from) and I are obsessed with this dish - you can have it without the sourdough bread that's underneath this smorgasbord of messy goodness and with the Hollandaise on the side. What makes the dish, I think, is how the egg yolks ooze out of its poached perfection on to the pillowy soft, melt-in-your-mouth braised beef cheeks. There's also rocket for good measure.
22 Martin Road, menu available here.
Unlike some people I know who ball so hard they can make it rain with uni, all I know is good raw fish and shitty raw fish, and in my books, Hanare makes a solid Bara Chirashi Bowl. My usual order - double the fish and half the rice feeds me and Natasha even when we're at our hungriest, and that says a lot because we love our raw fish.
99B Tanjong Pagar Road, $27 for a double fish bowl. (Pictured is the single serving)
One of the newest kids on the block - which whips up a #Ritualstyle meal easily is The Daily Cut. Opened in July 2014, think of The Daily Cut as a salad box without the greens. Instead of a typical high-carb diet you can find in hawker and Asian restaurants, The Daily Cut lets you choose several ingredients to make your meal a high protein one.
My regular box had brown rice, steak (which was really good), avocado, an egg and cherry tomatoes. And I picked the Thai dressing which tasted like it had some fish sauce, some chillies and a sweet sauce mixed together.
Here's the menu:
1 Raffles Place, #B1-31
Other random clean eating tips in Singapore
- Yong tau foo, as much as most Singaporeans think it is, is not the healthiest thing in the food court - the ingredients and soup are laden with some of the highest sodium and MSG content.
- Subway is not as healthy as it claims to be. It's far from "clean eating" with the high sodium content most of its ingredients contain.
- Just because it's greek yogurt doesn't make it healthier. Some companies throw in chocolate in greek yogurt and make it even fattier and higher in calories than some candy bars. Read and understand what you're eating before putting it in your mouth.