It’s often difficult to make healthy choices when you live in a condo, especially on Taft Avenue, where it would be much easier to grab some fast food or buy some snacks at the convenience store than prepare your own healthy dish—add to the fact that high-calorie comfort food is what most people would reach for when stress eating. However, there are a number of healthy choices to enjoy if you want to go green on Taft Avenue.
1. Go! Salads
There is an abundance of healthy options to try at the Go! Salads stall on the second floor of One Archer’s Place. Salad combinations are quite creative—from Thai (called a Tuktuk salad, with pomelo and a peanut-based dressing) to Pinoy (with longganisa), and more. All salads are packed in plastic containers, so you can easily grab and go. There are also some soups to try and even hummus and pita chips.
Various green shakes are available for those who prefer a liquid serving of veggies and fruits. Add a shot of protein whey for an extra boost. Pick up a bottle of their homemade salad dressings if you want to make your own salads at home. Go! Salads is the only salad place on Taft, so that’s definitely one place to keep on your go-to list.
There are actually two Healthy Corner stalls in Taft, one in the Agno Food Court behind De La Salle University and the other right beside the College of St. Benilde’s School of Design and the Arts. Healthy Corner does the math for you. Choose from a selection of proteins (tuna, beef, chicken, salmon, and lamb) + vegetables (corn, carrots, broccoli) + brown or black rice. Carb-phobics can opt to skip the rice as well.
The proteins are well-seasoned and tender. The flavors are clean and simple, a welcome change after eating one too many burgers. Nutrition facts are available, so there’s no guesswork needed. Freshly-squeezed lemonade is also offered, but hold the sugar syrup if you really want a healthy meal.
3. Bon Banhmi
For those want a sandwich that’s way better than a burger, Bon Banhmi is a great choice. Located under the Vito Cruz LRT station near the University Mall, this small stall is easy to miss so keep your eyes peeled for this hidden gem.
Each Vietnamese sandwich is chock full of fresh, crisp vegetables and flavorful meats. Bon Banhmi’s signature is its deliciously toasted bread that is both crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. Fair warning, the sandwich is slathered in butter and sauces—it’s not the healthiest choice out there. But, it’ll surely beat a burger and fries any day. Insider tip: 6 pm onwards is “happy hour”—you’ll get a free bottle of water with your discounted sandwich.
Speaking of sandwiches, another great option is Subway. Healthy eaters studying and living in Taft surely rejoiced when Subway opened in the area. The sandwich chain recently set up shop in Archer’s Place fronting Agno St.
If you choose wisely and pass on the soda, chips, and cookies, your healthy meal is good to go. Remember, you can ask to double up on your favorite veggies and you can opt ditch the bread altogether and turn any sub into a salad.
5. White Hat
Time for something sweet! There are a number of delicious desserts and shake places along Taft, but few of them are healthy. Cap your healthy meal off with some frozen yogurt with fresh fruit toppings at White Hat, located on the second floor of Archer’s Place.
Bonus: Make your own fruit salad at Save More’s fruit salad bar. Try to get there bright and early so you have prime pickings and the fruits haven’t been sitting out too long. For a quick sweet drink, head to Jamba Juice inside Yellow Cab Taft. Add boosters like Vitamin C just don’t add a pizza and chicken wings to your order!
Venturing a little further from Taft? SM Manila has a Bodhi stall in its food court which serves all vegetarian fare and is known for its veggie meat. Robinsons Place Ermita has Healthy Shabu-shabu where you can choose your own meat and veggies to cook in a bubbling broth.
Eating healthy will help your body and mind function at optimal performance. It is often difficult especially near school zones where fast food and convenience are key. Thankfully, there are options for healthy eaters, all walking distance from Avida Towers Prime Taft that are not only convenient but delicious too! Add to that a quick workout using the outdoor gym equipment, a few laps in the pool, or a quick run in the exclusive jogging path, and you’re good to go! Get ready to say goodbye to burgers and fries and hello to a much healthier and happier you.