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Healthy Dining Options You Can Enjoy On A Posh Night Out

Finding healthy restaurants can be tough in our world of deep-fried fast food. Reserve a spot at one of these guilt-free venues--your body will thank you!

Eating out has always been a Cosmo girl's favorite pastime. We enjoy it when we're in good company, whether with our boyfriend, family, friends, coworkers, or mere acquaintances. More often than not, we choose to eat out as a form of bonding over other activities.

However, there are days when we want to curb our cravings and eat healthy. There are days when the guilt creeps in and we say, "For a change, I want something healthy today." If you've been feeling that way lately, we suggest you try out these two places that rank high on ambience and are good choices for healthy dining.

Follow Some Healthy Model Behavior

Thinking of going on a romantic dinner with your man at a swanky hotel? You can actually manage a healthy meal. Try a popular hotel in Makati, Dusit Thani, which has collaborated with a celebrated Model Cook to come up with the best and healthiest meals for their customers: Chef Daniel Green, a familiar face on television and author of six books that have been selling like pancakes all over the world.

Chef Green was an overweight teenager who, at age 18, dedicated himself to a three-year diet which transformed his life. He lost 65 pounds without exercising and just by eating healthy. He was working as a buyer for Benetton when he started losing weight by cooking healthy recipes. His diet is the only diet that does not just focus on a particular food group but embraces all food groups...with low fat. That's the battle.

His dishes are all healthier versions of traditional recipes, which helped him lose enough weight to eventually land a number of modeling jobs (including a project with Claudia Schiffer!). But, besides his reputation as a celebrity chef, Chef Green is really quite known for his healthy eating advocacy. He launched "Eat Well, Feel Well" healthy menus in Dusit Thani, available in their restaurant outlets and room service menus, so you can eat a swanky, healthy dinner with your man without compromising taste.

Get A Guilt-Free Taste Of Asia


On the other side of the Metro stands another great option for healthy dining: the newly renovated Cafe Ilang Ilang at the historical Manila Hotel. The restaurant has undergone an exciting transformation: it now features an interactive events kitchen!

The resto boasts of nine live stations where you can interact with chefs and state specifically how you want your food done. The churrasco station—an extensive Western grill station—is an excellent choice for picky eaters because you can have your beef tenderloin, prawn, salmon, and lamb orders cooked just the way you like it. Catch the restaurant on its steak nights, which sometimes feature ostrich meat as healthy substitute to beef because of its lower cholesterol and fat content.

Foodies with a global palate will enjoy the Pan-Asian kitchen, which offers dimsum from China, Korean specialties like bulgogi and kimchi rice, bahkuteh from Singapore, and a delicious bangus belly adobo in the native Philippine section of the buffet. The Japanese station is held in a Tokyo-inspired room with a minimalist design, cherry blossom decor, and a bar in the center.

But, what really caught our attention in this gastronomic smorgasbord is their spa cuisine. Chef Head Santiago details one stand-out healthy dish: "The chicken tangine is a moroccan dish with tomato, allspice, cumin, cinnamon, and olives. We grill, then we do not include the chicken skin. We also use extra virgin olive oil to make the dishes healthier."

And what's even better is they don't use fat, cream, or butter; plus, the chicken they serve is organic. The bean salad, on the other hand, is marinated in olive oil and spices, then topped with an edible rose petal. How cute is that? There's also organic brown rice from Thailand, and Ratatouille made with marinated vegetables in herbs such as thyme, basil, and oregano—which is rich in healing properties.

Save room for dessert because the cafe's variety of sweets is mouth-watering. If you like to keep it light, skip the rest and concentrate on sugar-free desserts. The sugar-free chocolate mousse uses real Swiss chocolate. Other sugar-free desserts—like the strawberry mousse, white chocolate panna cotta, and the delicious bread pudding topped with fresh fruits—use organic coco brown sugar.

Launch the gallery to preview just a few of the healthy eats you can try at Dusit Thani and Manila Hotel for a food trip that won't leave you feeling guilty afterwards. Who says you can't eat healthy while you indulge?


Dusit Thani is located at Ayala Center, Makati City. For inquiries and reservations, call 238-8888. Cafe Ilang Ilang is located in Manila Hotel at One Rizal Park, Manila. Call 527-0011 for more information.

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