Last week I had dinner at a restaurant called Gobo. Oh my, if you are looking for a fantastic, healthy, and insanely delicious meal in the West Village or Upper East Side, then look no further. The restaurant serves what they call “food for the five senses.” This translates into organic juices and wine, creative vegetarian cuisine, and all vegan desserts in an atmosphere that manages to be zenlike and buzzing with great NYC energy at the same time.
Me and my girlfriends started with glasses of organic pinot grigio and freshly pressed vegetable juices, then ordered 4 small plates to share. The plates were anything but small, however, so we had plenty of food and leftovers to boot. We ordered steamed farm vegetables with tahini dressing, avocado tartare with wasabi lime sauce, slow-cooked Malaysian curry with a side of brown rice, and a kale, seaweed, beet and toasted walnut salad. There was no room in our stomachs at the end of our meal for dessert, but I’ll definitely be back for the mango, coconut and tapioca pudding topped with macadamia nut brittle!
I find that the biggest difference between eating healthy foods and not-so-healthy restaurant foods is how I feel at the end of the meal or an hour or 2 later. When I make good choices and don’t over eat, I feel full (but not too) and satisfied. When I go somewhere where the quality of ingredients is not quite as high, or I choose overly rich, heavy dishes, I leave feeling stuffed and heavy, and often bloated if there was too much gluten or dairy in my dinner. The next day I’ll have what I call a food “hangover”, where the huge amounts of sodium and industrial oils that so many restaurants use leave me dehydrated and just feeling a bit “ugh”.
Sometimes a meal will be so delicious that it’s worth it to feel the negative effects afterwards. But for the most part, I prefer healthy restaurants like Gobo or my own home cooking. Learning to make good choices is the first step in taking back your health. Luckily, New York City, with its diversity of cuisines, farmers markets, and gourmet shops, offers endless possibilities for delicious AND healthy eating!