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Healthy food in Singapore: We asked YOU for tips on eating well for less

By: Rachael De Foe

While we all love the taste – and price – of hawker food here in Singapore, it’s possibly not the best option for breakfast, lunch and dinner when we’re expected to be bikini ready all year round. But is it possible to eat healthily here in Singers on a budget? We asked our lovely readers that very question and the resounding answer was ‘yes!’ – if you know where to look. Presenting your top tips on clean eating on a budget. Plus, see 30 amazing vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Singapore here.

Eating Out

Thunder tea rice
Known locally as lei cha fan (pronounced: lay-char-fun), this yummy chinese dish is all about herbs, vegetables and tofu. It’s great if you’re looking for a detox or weight management option and is said to have some therapeutic effects. There are some DIY recipes online but if you’re planning on eating out there are some options such as the Thunder Tea Rice branches.
328 Joo Chiat Road, #01-04 (also at a number of other locations)

What you had to say about it:
Catherine Van Der Wielen: ‘Try Thunder Tea Rice – add a little sambal for taste, and I personally dont like the basil soup as soup – I drizzle it (without much water, I keep it thick) over my dish like a sauce! Not oily, various green veg, tofu and brown rice! Or if you are not faint hearted, try their sambal prawns/octopus some time – again with brown rice!’

 

Toss & Turn
This is one of the newer dining spots to go by when you’re next at ION shopping center. Toss & Turn is a great lunch spot for a quick catch up and a meal that’s simply delicious. They have salads, sandwiches and soups that will keep your conscience and taste buds happy.
2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, #B4-55

What you had to say about it:
Ann Greenberg Rogers: ‘As for eating out, Cedele opened Toss & Turn in the basement of Ion. Great salads, soups and sandwiches. The grilled chicken feta salad is a huge hit with me. And I am sure it would be much healthier without the pomegranate dressing. Oh well.’

Original Sin
We hear that this is already a favourite with the expat crowd, but just in case you’re not already in the loop, head over to Original Sin for all things vegan and vegetarian. Although not everything on the menu is healthy, they have some really tasty salads. There’s also gluten free and dairy free options, which comes in handy for those with allergies.
Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga Holland Village, #01-62

What you had to say about it:
Alison Kennedy-Cooke: ‘My favourite place for lunch is Original Sin, Chip Bee Gardens – vegetarian and GF and DF options. Always packed with expat ladies at lunch times.’

 

Yong Tao Foo
Who said hawker food can’t be healthy? Both inexpensive and commonly found at food courts and hawker centers, this dish definitely has potential. With all the ingredients on display, you have the ability to customise your meal by picking and choosing what goes into your bowl. Try to fill it up with fresh produce such as veggies to get the best out of this local delight.

What you had to say about it:
Angela Collins: ‘At the Hawkers, try to do the Yong Tao Foo stuff… skip the tofu (its GMO so not as healthful as people think) and have them serve it to you dry (no MSG-laden soup). It’s delicious and about $3.60, especially if you skip the noodles and rice… I just load up on the greens!’

Real Food
We love that this place is both eco-friendly and ethically sourced. Unlike fast food joints, Real Food makes their food with traditional methods from scratch and ‘recognisable ingredients’. Not only do they serve wonderful dishes but they have a mini grocery and also hold occasional events that promotes a positive consumer lifestyle.
The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen St (also at a number of other locations)

What you had to say about it:
Andrea Taylor: ‘Real food in Novena is great’.

Frunatic: Doesn't the Mediterranean meal set look delish?
Frunatic: Doesn’t the Mediterranean meal set look delish?

Frunatic
This new food joint might taste too good to be true but Frunatic is the real deal! All their food is made with their ‘raw food philosophy’ in mind so you can be sure you’re really eating clean when grabbing a tasty bite.
491 River Valley, Valley Point #01-05/06

What you had to say about it:
Angela Collins: ‘for truly decadent, gluten/dairy/grain free desserts there is a place at Star Vista called Frunatic… it’s pretty stellar and NOT expensive at all.’

Grocery Shopping

Shop at the wet markets
The bustling sights and smells of a wet market can sometimes be overwhelming, but we assure you that it’s not only an enriching cultural experience but one of the best places to get fresh produce. If you’re strapped for time then check out online delivery services such as Sabine’s Baskets that does the shopping for you. Read everything you could possibly need to know about wet markets in Singapore here.

What you had to say about it:
Alison Kennedy-Cooke: ‘The fruit and veg at the wet markets are way better quality than supermarkets, and cheaper. There are stalls selling organic produce and real free-range eggs at the new Pasarbella farmers market.’
Gobz Gobi: ‘You can find fresh vegetables at little India wet market.’
Sam Heath: We get fresh fruit and veg delivered by Sabine’s Baskets who gets it all fresh from Tiong Bahru wet markets – so good.’

Opt for organic produce or health food stores
Your body will thank you for buying healthy bits next time you go on a grocery trip. Apart from the major supermarkets (see ’em all here), there’s plenty of places to check out in Singapore if you’re interested in trying organic or health food products. Here’s two of readers’ favourites.

Green Circle's got some really quirky fruits like this rosella
Green Circle’s got some really quirky fruits like this rosella

Green Circle
If you’re looking for organic produce that’s home grown, then Green Circle’s got it. Make an order online and they’ll deliver the fresh fruits and veggies straight to your home. They also do farm tours if you’re interested in finding out about their farming practices or learning how organic farms work.
41 Neo Tiew Road

What you had to say about it:
Melissa Rifkin: ‘Green Circle for organic fruit, veg and misc. Very reasonably priced although limited in what they do have. They also deliver, flat $8.’

Brown Rice Paradise
Retailing organic and natural products, Brown Rice Paradise is fantastic for finding everything from snack foods to household and baby products. Pop down if you need to spruce up your pantry cupboards with something nutritious.
163 Tanglin Road (also at Siglap Centre)

What you had to say about it:
Joanna Nicoletti: ‘Brown Rice Paradise, Real Food Grocer, and The Living Cafe are my favorites for health food and also eating out without packing on extra calories.’
Gretchen Schlie: ‘Brown rice at Tanglin is a winner.’

 

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