I don’t mention food enough on my blog, especially since I like to think of myself as a bit of a foodie!
When I heard Vapiano were running their campaign ‘eat pasta, run faster’ it sounded right up my street. So naturally, I just had to pop along to try their menu!
It was also my first time visiting Vapiano in the newly refurbished corn exchange, and I think Vapiano makes for a wonderful place to visit for a casual lunch with friends or family. Vapiano, derived from an Italian proverb meaning to ‘relax and you’ll live healthier and longer’, have reinvented casual dining; offering freshly cooked Italian food with a self-service concept.The Manchester restaurant sits in a great location – the corn exchange in the city centre – and has a big, beautiful open space split over two floors.
Fresh herb plants are dotted everywhere around the restaurant, reminding you that their focus is on fresh, healthy, home-made food.
Upon arrival you are handed a smart-card to scan when ordering food and drinks from the bar and the pizza/pasta/salad stations, where your chosen dish will be made freshly in front of you. You can wait while your pasta is being made – I loved this, as I enjoy being nosy – but the pizza takes a bit longer so you’re given a buzzer to be called back once it’s ready.
Having your own smart-card means there’s no fuss when it comes to settling the bill. You can just head to the host as you leave and pay for what you ordered on your card. Super quick and easy and perfect for large groups!
We started with the antipasti to share. Washed down with a refreshing Aperol spritz for me and Peroni for him. We then took to reviewing the ‘eat pasta, run faster’ diet plan, created by Sarah Schenker, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. Sold by the campaign, we both opted for pasta dishes recommended by Sarah – bolognese and ravioli, as Sara recommends balancing your carbohydrate intake with plenty of protein. I was intrigued by this campaign, not least because I’ve been trying hard lately to eat healthy and I was hoping I could learn a thing or two!
I was glad I opted for spaghetti bolognese; one of my favourite pasta dishes – simple and classic, and oh so delicious! Cooked fresh on site, you are able to choose what pasta you prefer in your dish as well as customising the dish to suit by adding more or less: cheese/ chilli/ bread etc.
Sarah recommends Bolognese as a great option for runners, as ‘not only does it deliver plenty of carbohydrate to build stores of glycogen in the liver and muscles, the tomatoes deliver beta carotene needed to protect cells from oxidative damage (increased in runners) and boost immunity. The meat provides high quality protein needed for muscle strength and repair. It is also a good source of easily absorbed iron needed for the transportation of oxygen in red blood cells’. Winner!
The ravioli is a superb recovery meal, as the ricotta cheese provides amino acids which help repair muscles and prevent soreness. I shall remember this as cheese is often the first thing I avoid when training as I know it’s high in fat.
For those of you who may be currently training, or just want to get back to the gym and eat a more healthy, I have attached Sarah’s 5 day plan below.
I’m personally slacking on the fitness front of late, but the healthy meal plan and tips suggested by Sarah have spurred me on somewhat. Although the dishes where recommended for runners, which I’m not, I’m positive that the plan is suitable for all those who are looking to stay healthy and get fit and can be incorporated into any fitness plan. I’m thinking of taking up dance again and this plan would be ideal to accompany a fitness plan of dance classes and weight training.
Have you tried Vapiano and if so what did you think? Also, let me know if you like the plan devised by Sarah and whether you will be trying it out.
Thanks for having us Vapiano!
Disclaimer: Our meal was complimentary of Vapiano but as always, all thoughts & opinions are my own.