Sunday afternoon. Not only do you have the sh-sh-shakes, your head's pounding, your skin's looking speckly and your lips are drier than Anubis's sandal. Why did you do this to yourself? Do you deserve this? You promise to detox. At first you're inspired. You trawl through the internet pearling out heart-friendly buzz words like "yogi" and "Paltrow" and "kale", and as you bombard yourself with countless images of white teeth and tight abdominals, you convince yourself that you'll make the first steps and cook yourself a healthy dinner. Off to the supermarket!
Sunday evening. Somewhere between the fluorescents and Taylor Swift, you lost your way down the grocery store alleys. Seeing no trace of these three bean salads with roasted chard that everyone keeps oohing and aahing about, you find yourself panicking. They've hidden the health food section in the packaging vortex of atomic tomato Samboys and honey roasted cashews, and upon seeing slabs of Lift on sale you blacked out, never even seeing a single grain of quinoa or caressing a beansprout. You don't even remember walking home from the store, arms full of groceries, and God knows how you ended up on the couch spooning Ben & Jerry's from the tub and binge watching season six of 30Rock. It's grim, it's dark and it's carbo-loaded – all memories of promised health kick are like ghosts of waistlines past.
Sometimes it's okay for this to happen – lord knows we all love ice cream, but if you're serious about getting your groceries in the green, it's super important to know where to go so you won't get distracted by the seductive glaze of a chocolate cake on sale. There are some fabulous health food stores that are dedicated to educating even the most hapless health newbie, and where the cake tastes naughty, but is ever so nice. So pull your finger out of the peanut butter tub and get holistic about your health; here are the best health shops in Melbourne.
This Brighton gem is a one-stop-shop for everything organic - not just food and produce! Their smoothies are pretty darn legendary and the freekah & vegie salad makes for the perfect healthy lunch.
Wholefoods Food Store | 320 Bay Street in Brighton
Pocket-sized store full of heirloom fruit and veg, as well as super friendly staff. Great coffee store (North) next door if you're hankering for a caffeine hit, too.
Clay Fine Food & Health | Shop 719 Rathdowne Street in Carlton North
Every grain you've ever heard of, as well as a few extras, can be found here. Their homemade muesli is a must eat.
Spelt Quinoa | 40 Johnston Street in Fitzroy
Hippy happiness at Friends of the Earth, just don't forget to BYO jars and bottles to stock up on bulk pastes, grains and goodies.
Friends of the Earth | 312 Smith Street in Collingwood
One of the bigger health food shops of Melbourne, this is the Safeway of health food stores. There's a fresh juice store, vegan Snickers bars and homemade peanut butter. Bless.
Aunt Maggies | 270 - 272 Carlisle Street in Balaclava
Aunt Maggies | 72 Glenferrie Road in Malvern
Aunt Maggies | 188 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy
Pick up anything for your health food feast at Terra Madre. They support a load of local producers as well as having in-store naturopaths to teach you how to feel good about yourself.
Terra Madre | 103 High Street in Northcote
A family-owned business with clean and beautifully arranged shelves for easy access and perusal. A Thornbury favourite.
Naturally on High | 697 High Street in Thornbury
A fantastic little store in the cirty that stocks local produce, international quirks and bites as well as the juiciest strawberries going round. Check out Gelati Primavera next store too for some quality licking.
Spring Street Grocer | 157 Spring Street in Melbourne
Super cheap organic food store that prides itself on stocking veg that's entirely chemical free.
Joe's Organic Market | 64 Victoria Street in Northcote
As well as an extensive array of health food, they also have some super cute homewares and hampers for sale. Perfect for a healthy present to yourself (or someone significant, whatever).
Vegetable Connection | 85 Victoria Street in Northcote
Great if you're looking to go super clean and lean; there's a lot of stuff here that's tailored specifically for a raw foods diet.
Botanical Cuisine | 58 Sackville Street in Collingwood
From the paint on the walls to the wine on the shelves, everything in here is bio-friendly. Organic wine makes justifying a health kick a lot easier, too.
The Organic Food and Wine Deli | 28 Degraves Street in Melbourne
If you'd rather get your health fix in milligram form, then Great Earth's huge range of supplements and vitamins will be perfect for you.
Great Earth | 90 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne
Great Earth | 272 Swanston Street in Melbourne
Great Earth | 255 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne
Great Earth | 46 Tunstall Square in Doncaster East
Great Earth | 795 Burke Road in Camberwell
Great Earth | 497 Riversdale Road in Camberwell
Great Earth | 401 Whitehorse Road in Balwyn
Don't knock it till you try it, but cashew condiments are the new kale chips.
Prahran Health Foods | 201 Commercial Road in Prahran
Super friendly and passionate staff who don't mind taking a few minutes to help you pick what's right for your salad. There's also a juice bar and a bunch of organic wines and beers for sale.
Ripe Organics | 23 Victoria Avenue in Albert Park
Ripe Organics | Prahran Market in Prahran
Ripe Organics (or Vic Market Organics) | Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne
Organic and dietary friendly delights that'll soothe that soul of yours.
Passionfoods | 219 Ferrars Street in South Melbourne
Group of physios and chiropractors that also stock a few healthy bites.
Vitality Health | 282 Richardson Street in Middle Park
Organica specialises in take home meals, so if procuring individual ingredients stresses you out - Organica is the place for you. Check out the lasagne. Bless.
Organica | 546 Malvern Road in Prahran
Run by fully qualified naturopath, the Staple Store is 100% wholefoods and 110% deliciousness. No plastic bags allowed, though, so grab some Go-Greens.
The Staple Store | 19 Glen Eira Road in Ripponlea
An eclectic approach to wholefoods living, they stock a huge variety of products you've never heard of, but always wanted to try. You can also use their super handy home grocery delivery system!
Kew Organics | 79 Willsmere Road in Kew
Fruit, veg and a whole bunch of cleansing programs (juice, smoothie etc). They also have a good variety of body-conscious protein powders and supplements.
Melbourne Street Organics | 1430 High Street in Malvern
Ridiculously cheap with some great gluten-free mueslis available. They've also got a wholefoods cafe on site - nom.
Glo Health | 358 Glenhuntly Road in Elsternwick
Australia's biggest distributor of healthy, organic products. They order things in if you can't seem to find them anywhere in the other legions of health stores around, and they stock all your fave eco cafes.
Eco Farms | 17 Mephan Street in Footscray
Fabulous little health food store, abundant with bio-dynamic goodness and lettuces way bigger than your head. Coffee and crammed shelves - it's cuteness personified.
Plump | 24 Ballarat Street in Yarraville
Awesome for your superfoods. They focus on organic bulk flours, grains, seeds, nuts, legumes & dried fruits – perfect for a muffin top without the muffin top.
Miss Spelt's Grains and Goodies | 2/7 Green Street in Healesville
TUL Note: Ella Stening is a freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia. She can be found compensating for her addiction to eating out and drinking lots of wine by writing about it all over the web. Or with her cat, Louis.
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