As you can probably tell by now, I eat a plant-based (PB) diet. I am not vegan or vegetarian. I simply try to make sure that everything I eat is from a whole and natural food. I avoid processed foods, pre-packaged meals, refined sugars, dairy, and meat. To me, a PB diet is not exclusionary but rather densely focused on plants as the main focus of every meal. I eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, beans. I eat fish regularly and I drink water, juiced fruits & veggies, and nut milks. So why don't I call myself vegan or vegetarian? Well, I do not believe that eating a slice of cake at a birthday party or your grandma's gumbo at Thanksgiving will kill you. I believe that consuming non-plant-based foods regularly will have negative effects on your body's health. So you may catch me holding a chicken wing at my family cookout, but I consider that a treat and will certainly try to detox the meat out of my system the following three days. The PB diet is a lifestyle choice I made which has had dramatic effects on my skin, weight, focus, mood, and energy to name a few.
I mostly cook meals at home to ensure that my food is completely whole-foods and plant based with no additives. However, I've found some pretty good dining options around Houston that I absolutely obsess over when I cannot muster up the energy to cook. Their menu is delicious to even my husband, a former hard-core carnivore. These restaurants may not call themselves vegan or plant-based, but they have great PB items on their menu sure to help break you into the healthy lifestyle or appease your company. Everybody wins.
Being healthy can be hard, especially when you are a busy professional always on the go. I keep a running list of restaurants I love and trust in every city in which I have lived. Here's a list of the 5 places I frequent the most in Houston. I know that when I go to these places I will enjoy a healthy, satisfying meal.
Vibrant: Thank goodness I live 5 minutes from this place. The menu is completely dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. All their produce is organic. They do serve meat and eggs. But let me tell you, everything on this menu is a-ma-zing. You will leave thinking "who needs meat?" My faves are the buckwheat pancakes, cauliflower crust pizza, spring kale salad, and matcha latte.
True Food Kitchen: We should all be happy that this restaurant is a chain and can be found in several cities across America. The food is savory, the presentation is stately, and the restaurant ambiance is a cross between a farm-house and a New York City night club - in the day, if you can picture that. And that's obviously why I love the place. Oh, and those edamame dumplings! You can catch me there on a Sunday afternoon, under the yellow umbrella eating an ancient grains bowl.
Green Seeded Vegan: Ok, so this place is not for PB newbies. It's hard-core vegan deliciousness. If you've just finished your 21-day cayenne pepper-lemon-honey-water detox, this is the place for you to refuel. Their menu is simple and totally vegan. You can get sandwiches oozing of tasty mushrooms and sweet plantains, and wraps made out of collard leaves. The place is small, parking is a nightmare, but the food is well worth the hassle.
Flower Child: I remember their cool IG promo posts to anticipate their grand opening not too long ago. And on my first visit there, the food did not disappoint! Firstly, you know I have a thing for restaurant ambiance and aesthetics. Well, Flower child is so darling that sometimes I go there just for the wall of plants. But seriously, try the mother earth bowl and have an olive oil lemon muffin for dessert. Thank me later;)
Juiceland: This is more like an honorable mention because it is not a restaurant. You know what, scratch that! It is a restaurant for PBers like me! Yes, they serve liquid meals in a cup, but they are hearty and mighty! I go hard for a good smoothie and juice spot. I also love that Juiceland has a reward system so I always get $1 or $2 off my favorite, The Originator. They even have freshl prepared plant-based meals to go. Or you can dine in and play Atari or listen to 8 tracks or color at the Westheimer location.
Have you been to any of these places in Houston? Do you have any recommendations of places I should try? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I have a lot of other healthy-ish restaurants that I just could not squeeze into this post. Stay tuned for my next 5 faves in the "Refuel" Collection.