Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Healthy Choices by Sugarleaf

With all these new restaurants popping up, it's getting harder and harder for me to stick to a healthy, balanced diet. So when I saw a deal for Healthy Choices by Sugarleaf on Metrodeal, I thought, "Why the heck not?" I had been hearing some really good things about their Greenhills branch for a while and had been wanting to check this out for a while.

So one weekend, when Jericho and I found ourselves mucking around Makati, we stopped by the MEDIcard Lifestyle Center opposite the First Academy building and sat down for a quiet, relaxing lunch.

Sugarleaf's pink and green sign greets you from across the hall, with their organic health food store welcoming you when you step inside. Their restaurant is located on the second floor, but we took a minute to check out the fresh produce, the dried nuts and berries, and organic supplements you need to live a healthy, happy life.

The restaurant itself was quite cozy and very private, with only a couple of seats available. Most of the people that eat here are either patients undergoing some kind of treatment, the yoga practitioners at the yoga studio in the same building, or people like me who are just looking for good, healthy food.

Looking through the menu you'd read that Sugarleaf promises that all their dishes are made of organic vegetables. Why should this matter? Well, for a start...
  1. Organic produce are grown and handled in accordance to strict procedures and standards
  2. Organic products are more nutritious and taste better
  3. Produce that are free from pesticide residue, growth promoters, genetically modified materials, and synthetic chemicals
  4. Organic produce has more health benefits and reduce health risks like cancer
  5. Organic farming protects the environment and enhances biodiversity
  6. Organic products provide livelihood for marginalized farm families
  7. Organic vegetables, with the proper handling, have longer shelf lives

Jericho ordered their Beef Goody Wrap (P278). On the menu it's described as mildly spiced with garlic, pepper, and curry with a creamy tomato sauce, but what he was served with was dry, crumbly ground beef with bits of bell pepper, tomatoes, and lettuce. There was also no tomato sauce. It says on the menu that a wrap is ideal for sharing, but it really isn't, unless you plan on ordering some of their other dishes and use this as an appetizer.

I tried their Organic Soya-Chia Milkshake Smoothie in Choco-Banana (P150) and found it quite refreshing and delightfully thick. All I needed was a dollop of peanut butter with this and I'd keep coming back just for this for my healthy, chocolate pick-me-up!

Jericho had Sugarleaf's Goody Kefir-Chia Milkshake Smoothie in Strawberry (P150). It was a lot more watery compared to my soya-chia milkshake smoothie - more like a juice - but with bits of fresh strawberries and still very refreshing, even with the taste of kefir overpowering the fruity drink.

Kefir is one potent probiotic with potent health benefits, and with talented kefir brewers like Jeren of Goody Kefir, this otherwise obscure beverage is now fast gaining popularity amongst health buffs around the Metro. See? Food can be delicious and good for you, too!

Since we were eating healthy, I ordered a Crabstick and Mango Goody Wrap (P188) for good measure. Although I appreciate that all the vegetables used to make the wrap are organic, I still find this too expensive for a simple California warp.

What more than made up for the high price point was the delicious Goody Kefir dressing slathered on top. I could taste hints of mint in the light, refreshing dressing. This would be perfect on a salad or as a sour cream alternative on your baked potatoes. That was some excellent stuff.

For dessert, Jericho had their Cashew Sans Rival (P55). Although it is quite small it's nice to note that they use a suchero natural sweetener, making a dessert like this suitable for diabetics. Trying a bit of the sans rival, I found it overwhelmingly sweet, like eating a muscovado bar sprinkled with cashews. Jericho seemed to enjoy this though. To each his own, I say.

I opted to try Jello's Coco-Kefir Ice Cream (P160) and went for a bold Cherry Pistachio flavor. The ice cream itself takes a bit of getting used to, since the coconut aftertaste comes through with each mouthful. I could taste bits of the cherry and pistachio at times, but mostly it was the flavor of coconut that overtook my taste buds.

Sugarleaf is also an authorized retailer of the 6-in-1 Mastone Slow Juicer (P14,000). They can arrange for a demo delivery and provide a basket of organic products to start you on the road to juicing health!

When mucking around Makati and looking for a healthy option for lunch or dinner, give Healthy Choices by Sugarleaf a try. It's a bit of a hit and miss there for me, but I'm definitely going back to try their juices and other dishes and see what I like and what I find to be an 'acquired' taste.

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Images taken by Jericho San Miguel

Healthy Choices by Sugarleaf
+63 2 812 7323
G-2/F MEDIcard Lifestyle Center,
51 Paseo cor. Sen. Gil Puyat
Makati City
Monday - Saturday: 8am - 10pm