The holidays may be all about indulgence, but that shouldn't mean neglecting your health. This December, temper all the decadence with more sensible options from some of Austin’s healthiest restaurants and eateries.
These trendy wellness ingredients are said to help with everything from heart health to weight loss. While we may not have the scientific background to back that up, our tastebuds still heartily promote them.
Açai at Blenders & Bowls
The delicate fruit of an Amazon palm tree, açaí has been touted as a miracle berry, said to lower cholesterol, fight aging, and possibly prevent cancer. While scientists have not verified all of the claims, the tiny treats, like all berries, are a great source of fiber and heart-healthy fats. Find them at any location of this homegrown smoothie chain. The Chill Berry bowl goes antioxidant crazy with strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and goji berries — plus local honey and hemp granola for crunch.
Activated charcoal at Juice Society
As with all hangover cures, we’re not sure if activated charcoal really works. But psychosomatic or not, we don’t question the relief we get by drinking Juice Society’s lemonade. The tangy treat, colored a goth-y pitch black, is a perfect wake-up when your mind is murky from one too many drinks. Stock up at the brand's brick-and-mortar or buy it online along with other wellness products like super mushroom granola, chlorella powder, and ancient herb he sho wu.
Bone broth at Picnik
Bone broth may not be the cure-all that the paleo community proclaims it to be, but broths in general are chock full of nutrients — and have been proven in multiple studies to help tame the appetite, making them a valuable weight loss tool. And on a cold day, there are few better mood lifters than a steaming cup. Burnet Road’s Picnik has two of the best in town: a simple chicken bone and Himalayan salt variety that can be dressed up with cayenne, ginger, or tumeric and a spicy coconut curry broth with a vibrant squeeze of lime.
Drinking vinegar at Sway
Fans of drinking vinegar swear by its benefits, using it to detox, promote gut health, and even fight acid reflux. We like it as an alternative to sugary sodas or as a mocktail that feels just as celebratory as the more potent stuff. The three locations of contemporary Thai favorite have two refreshing versions on the menu, strawberry-basil and turmeric, both topped with sparkling water for that all-important fizz.
Matcha at JuiceLand
Packed with antioxidants and said to help speed metabolism, matcha tea has swept the U.S. over the past few years after being consumed in Japan for centuries. Health benefits aside, it also happens to be delicious, with a uniquely vegetal flavor and a naturally creamy mouthfeel. Austin’s beloved juice bar does it justice in a latte with hemp milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and dates to bring out the powder’s innate sweetness.
Turmeric at Curcuma
Named after the scientific word for turmeric, this cheery East Austin food truck operated under the slogan “food with intention.” The trendy root figures heavily on the menu, used in a rich vegan golden mylk with cinnamon, cardamom, medjool dates, and Himalayan sea salt; a yogurt bowl with goji berries and hemp seeds; and “fat bombs” made with cashew butter, coconut shreds, and lucuma — a Peruvian fruit long used as a natural sweetener. For an extra pick-me-up, order a shot of spicy fire cider, an elixir purported to boost immunity.