AS THEY SAY, you can’t out exercise a bad diet.

One issue we see with our personal training clients is their perpetual struggle with eating clean while eating out.

Eating clean is tough enough when you’re eating in and have total control of everything you put on your plate, but the task of abiding by your clean eating resolution becomes even more challenging  when you’re at the mercy of a restaurant or cafe.

Living in Dublin, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out and staying healthy.

You just need to know where to go. So whether you are following a paleo, low carb, vegan or raw diet or whether you simply want to make better food choices and not negate all the hard work you have been doing in the gym, we have you covered with our five favourite go-to places in Dublin for lunch. We eat out quite a lot and visit all of the below places quite often and would never recommend anywhere that we didn’t think


Borlottie, based in the IFSC as well as Baggot Street, offers healthy breakfast and lunch options to discerning Dublin diners. Their salads are delicious as are their hot boxes.

I would definitely recommend the Mexican quinoa hot box with cajun spiced chicken and sweet potato drizzled with a sticky Thai dressing.

They also stock tasty protein treats as well as fresh fruit juices. It ticks all the boxes for me. It has a heavy emphasis on fresh food produce, offers protein cooked that day in their kitchen, serves up good fats with lots crisp fresh greens and does that all within minutes of ordering.






The Vanilla Pod Eatery

The Vanilla Pod Eatery, opened in April 2011, is based in The Iveagh Mall, Carrickmines. The Vanilla Pod offers health conscious patrons, breakfast, lunch, dinner, juices, smoothies and treats at affordable prices. They are also fantastic when it comes to allergies with all of the food on the menu clearly marked for food allergens!

They pride themselves on producing high quality, fresh, healthy, tasty food, made to order. Their Super Food Salad which contains Baby Spinach, Gold River Organic Leaves, Roast Beetroot, Green Beans, Feta Cheese, Walnuts, Sweet Potato, Sugar Snaps, Roast Tomato, Broccoli, Roast Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with Balsamic Mint Dressing is so satisfying and wholesome yet still so light!

Their brunch, served at the weekends, is delicious and there is a real feeling of ‘why wait until Monday to eat healthy’ which we love. We certainly recommend Julia’s Granola with Natural Yoghurt, Fresh Berries & Honey






Howards Way

Based only 5 minutes drive from SMART Training, Howards Way Churchtown is a wonderful little eatery where customers are served good quality, fresh and tasty dishes by friendly, attentive staff. They are also really accommodating when it comes to allergies or food intolerance. I have no shame in saying that we have probably tried everything on the menu!

They do a mean breakfast and I can personally testify that their scrambled eggs are perfection. The ‘Morning Boost’ is also a light way to start your day – A Blueberry, Bananas & Fresh Orange Juice Smoothie, Served with Granola & Greek Yogurt!

Their lunch menu is littered with healthy options, and all of their sandwiches are served with a choice of two house salads. Their house salads include the Mixed Leaf Salad with Honey & Mustard Dressing, Crunchy Cole Slaw, Chickpea, Pesto, Rocket & Red Pepper salad and the Vine Tomato salad with Cucumber & Garlic. Their Open Chicken Sandwich on Tomato loaf is my go to post work out dish!






Looking for something fresh and healthy but don’t want to sit down to order? This Irish company has you covered. Chopped offers you fresh, clean, nutritious food on-the-go! Their quality produce is prepared from your personal choice of ingredients – the the Create Your Own menu- or from the full menu at their deli counter. Your selected salad is then sent to the chopping station to be freshly chopped and dressed by their Choppers, who do so in theatrical fashion.

They currently have 25 stores across Ireland and prepare over 20,000 salads a week as well as healthy blended wraps, sandwiches, delicious smoothies and home made soups. The closest Chopped to SMART Training is the branch in the Dundrum Town Centre, however they also have locations in Sandyford, Ballsbridge, Grafton Street, Rathmines and Tallaght.

Their Piri Piri House Salad is something special, as is their Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie.





Jamie’s Italian

Jamie’s Italian, was the location for our work Christmas Party last year and it did not disappoint! Based in the Pembroke District in the Dundrum Town Centre is a fantastic option for a sit down healthy lunch or dinner. Not only is there is a good selection of ‘Healthy Options on both of their Lunch and Dinner menus but it is also very reasonable at €15.95 for two courses Monday to Friday 12pm-5pm. The decor of the restaurant has to be mentioned here, marrying rustic Tuscan charm with a modern industrial look gives the place a great ambiance and makes it a lovely place to relax.

You can see from 5 seconds spent on their website that Jamie’s Italian makes a conscious effort, wherever they can, to make sure that as many of their meals as possible are balanced, and contain the correct amount of each food group.

The Tomato Bruschetta of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, whipped ricotta, basil & extra virgin olive is simply delicious as is their Slow Roasted Squash Soup which is topped with a dollop of yoghurt & served with a hunk of homemade focaccia. Their Classic Super Food Salad of avocado, roasted beets, mixed pulses & grains, sprouting broccoli, pomegranate & spicy seeds with harissa dressing & cottage cheese is not only fresh and tasty but the portion sizes are huge so you will definitely leave feeling satisfied.




30-Day Kick Start Programmes

If you feel have a goal in mind and feel that you could use a bit of guidance or support of some of the best Personal Trainers in the counrty, we offer a 30 Day Kick Start programme in our Churchtown based gym. We offer both Personal Training and Group Training programmes. During the 30 days, you’ll learn what you need to know to continue on your own path following the 30 days, or you can always sign up for 1-on-1 Training or Semi Private Training or even Group Training at SMART Training to continue working with a personal trainer.