Healthy Austin Food for New Year’s Resolution-Makers

Turning over a new (and local) lettuce leaf can be tasty and fun

Many of us are still trying to hit the reset button on those aspects of 2019 that are under our control – Marie Kondo-ing our apartments, vowing to take up paddleboarding, learning French and cutting down on dairy, working less and calling Grandma more.

All of this is easier with a little assistance, and the professionals are ready to swoop in and take care of you no matter what your dietary preferences may be.

An item from the Special Diet Menu at Picnik (Photo by John Anderson)

If You Like It Raw

The Raw Goods food truck is an Austin raw food community mainstay, serving up dehydrated classics divided into categories. There’s plant-based Fields, with concoctions like spaghetti squash with red romaine and rainbow chard in an avocado pesto dressing; the fishy Sea, with creative sashimi like amberjack with blossoms, Thai chili seeds, honey, and seaweed chips in a fruit citrus foam; and Sugar, with an acai bowl, mixed nuts, and crunchy dehydrated buckwheat.

If You’re Going Vegan

Counter Culture has been serving up vegan takes on comfort food classics – like their breakfast burrito with tofu ranchero; lentil loaf; gluten-free, cashew-cheese-smothered mac and cheese; and many, many variations on the tempeh sandwich – since before vegging out was cool. Everything on the menu is meatless, dairy-free, and tasty enough that they have a dedicated audience of omnivorous fans.

If You’re Halfway Through the Whole30

Stop by one of the four locations of local, healthy, fast-casual chain Picnik for an afternoon pick-me-up. While not everything on the menu is Whole30 friendly, the staff is trained to guide guests through every manner of elimination diet and can help you discover the dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free lunch of your dreams.

Pitchfork Pretty (Photo by John Anderson)

If You’re Trying to Maintain the Momentum of That Juice Cleanse

Trendy juicery Juice Society has outposts all over Austin, making it easy to pick up picturesque, cold-pressed juices in flavors like the bright blue Hyperlink (glowing highlighter hues with their secret blend of Blue Majik algae) as well as a pantry full of wellness-influencer staples like powdered herbs, energy tonics, and something called Mindtrip Super Mushroom Granola. Snag a hat that says “THIRSTY” on it so everyone will know you’re serious.

If You’re Paleo

Ordering off-menu is one of the most annoying parts of trying out a new diet, but at South Lamar burger joint Wholly Cow, you won’t have to worry about it. Their Fit Cross burger is one of the most popular paleo burgers in town, a locally raised grass-fed beef patty sandwiched between two grilled portabella mushroom caps and topped with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, mustard, pickles, and bacon.

If You’re Keto

Pitchfork Pretty is here to accommodate you with their mostly plant- and grilled-meats-focused menu full of high-fat, low-carb tastiness. Try their goat loin with spiced ghee, persimmon yogurt, and grilled radish (that’s two forms of dairy, natch). Monday night Banchan and BBQ sessions are particularly convivial, with family-style proteins and lots of tasty little Korean veggie bites – just steer clear of the white rice!

If You’re Committed to Eating at Home and/or Bringing Lunch More Often

While you can always stop by one of the Snap Kitchen outposts to pick up a pre-made meal tailored to your exact dietary specifications (think milk-free, gluten-free, paleo chicken chili enchiladas or a ketogenic, gluten-free breakfast platter), the best thing about Snap Kitchen is their subscription service, which enables aspiring healthy eaters to sign up for a week’s worth of healthy comfort food delivered right to their doors.

If You’re Just Generally Keeping It Healthy

There’s a good reason Casa de Luz is such an Austin institution. Although macrobiotic diets haven’t been the hippest thing in some time, their inclusive, old-school approach to healthy eating (lots of veggies – raw, steamed, fermented, and in soups – plus plant-based proteins and lots of brown rice) is welcoming, warm, and super affordable for kiddos and adults alike.

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