In the lead up to Spring, we are starting to see the sunshine and I feel like my body is reaching out for me to start exercising and turning to healthier food choices packed with vitamins. Our bodies want to get a little bit healthier and fitter knowing that the days are getting longer, and the warm sun will be with us soon.
Local fit chick, Shelly jumped at the chance to try the menu at Vietnamese restaurant, Pho in Kingston upon Thames with me, and see what clean food and drink options they had on offer – as she explained it can be hard when eating out to avoid gluten and processed foods.
We started off by exploring the super selection of juices which were made to order from fresh ingredients. I chose ginger, as it’s a fantastic natural way to help your body with digestion, but also packs a super delicious punch into the smoothie. A hint of freshly squeezed lime added a fiery and sharp flavour, which paired beautifully with the softness and calming feeling of the apple and mint.
We also enjoyed the blood pressure-reducing beetroot along with the antioxidant goodness from the carrot – it was sweet and so calming.
Their refreshing flower teas are a must-try as well, especially the fragrant jasmine and soothing lemongrass.
For a starter we enjoyed the crispy vegetarian and pork spring rolls with peanut sauce and Nước Chấm (a Vietnamese dipping sauce) which is sharp but has a little sweetness. The peanut sauce is hands down the best peanut butter you will ever have, the peanuts contain monounsaturated fats, which are brilliant for your body and vitamin E to help with your heart.
As it’s still pretty cold outside, Shelly tried the comforting tofu chicken and mushroom Phở Chay. A large soup bowl with rice noodles, and a side plate filled with herbs and spices to add to her taste. Perfect nutrition for a fitness enthusiast – full of protein and there was a slow release from the carbohydrates in the noodles and vegetables. The simple broth which was cooked for 10 hours is full of flavour and the herbs on the side plate including mint, chilies, lime and beansprouts all promote a healthy gut, digestion and contain a lot of vitamins.
For my main dish I went for the Bún Chay – a Vietnamese vegetarian noodle salad. A dish filled with salad, vermicelli noodles, tofu, lemongrass, beansprouts, herbs and a few chilies. Even though it was a cold dish it felt so filling and full of flavour. It’s definitely a mega salad that will make you feel happily full, but your body will thank you too! After eating I was instantly filled with energy and that energy lasted for a few hours and stopped me craving a snack later on in the day.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed a meal which ticked all of the boxes.
With all the dishes at Pho you will also be avoiding gluten completely, as they are a certified gluten-free restaurant.
*You will see Shelly here a lot – Pho has been officially authorised as a #FitChick eatery!