Clean eats vs cheat day treats!

Whether you’re keen to keep it clean or desperate to satisfy your sweet tooth, life is all about balance. The good news is, the occasional treat can actually be a good thing and whatever your culinary craving, you’re sure to find it here at Watergardens.

We’ve all been there: one day you’re juicing kale at the crack of dawn and maxing out your five-a-day vegetable intake; the next you’re craving a carb fest. But don’t give yourself a hard time – it’s all part of being human.

While eating lean and green does wonders for our health, happiness and energy levels, depriving ourselves of an occasional treat can make life start to feel a bit… well… boring.

To combat the boredom, more and more Aussies are embracing the 80:20 eating plan, which states that you should rely on healthy food options 80 per cent of the time (think fresh seasonal produce, lean organic protein, unprocessed wholegrains and good quality essential fatty acids).

The remaining 20 per cent? It’s yours to indulge in a few of the things that don’t fall into the ‘healthy’ category, but while still being mindful of fat, sugar and portion sizes. According to nutritionist Teresa Boyce, it’s all about guilt-free moderation, which she says is a more realistic long-term approach for most people.

Not sure where to start? From lean green smoothies and superfood bowls to decadent day-off dessert pizzas, we’ve got it all at Watergardens.

Get your healthy on

Sumo Salad is known as a go-to for those seeking a healthy hit and its colourful and nutritious range of salads always offers plenty of choice. Look out for the sugar-free raw slices and fruity chia pods too. When you’re trying to dodge the bread, a healthy bowl is a great option. At Little Sparrow you’ll find a wholesome Superfood Bowl packed with avocado, kale, quinoa, toasted nuts and more. Along with a wonderful range of nourishing salads, Soul Origin’s summer menu offers a protein-rich bowl with sweet potato falafels on a bed of quinoa, brown rice and leaves in a creamy tahini dressing. Um, yes please!

Swap the norm for something different

Love the flavours of the Middle East? Swap your usual kebab wrap for a bread-free Kebowl at Ali Baba. Think salad, nutty Persian rice and the grilled meat of your choice (with garlic sauce) – all without the bread. Meanwhile, Hunky Dory elevates old-school fish and chips with low-fat grilled seafood options served alongside the likes of kale and broccoli salad with miso vinaigrette and toasted seeds. Liquid lunch on the run? Head to Boost Juice, where you’ll find a range of freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and blended drinks. Up your green intake with the Pure Eden – a refreshing blend of kale, mint, spinach, coconut water and more.

Live a Little

Whether young or old, vegetarian or carnivore, Italian or Indian, pizza certainly has the power to please the masses. La Porchetta is home to all things melty-cheesy and offers a great range of pastas to curb those carb cravings too. Hint: start with the eggplant chips with aioli. For a deep-fried treat, try the wonderfully sweet-sour lemon chicken at Switch Lifestyle, which comes on a bed of fried rice. Switch’s southern fried chicken with chipotle mayo is tough to beat, too. Got a burger craving? Luckily, Grill’d sits in both camps (healthy and naughty), but if you want to get the most out of your 20 per cent days go all-out with one of those crispy bacon cheeseburgers.

Ready for sweets?

Little Sparrow peddles a wonderfully whimsical range of cakes and pastries to accompany your caffeinated brew, but for a total blowout try the Nutella pancakes with homemade honeycomb, Frangelico chocolate sauce and vanilla fairy floss. Switch Lifestyle also does a great range of shakes (think cherry ripe or salted peanut butter and caramel flavours), while Ba’get will get your heart started with its sweet and punchy Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk. Doughnut time? Grab some pals and head to San Churro for a churro ice cream sandwich – two churro spirals dusted in cinnamon sugar with a scoop of ice cream in the middle. Ay caramba!