Socializing with friends & Family often involves food and it’s much harder to stay on track when going out to eat.
It is helpful to find restaurants in your area that are catered towards healthy eating. When you find wholesome restaurants, you don’t have to fret so much about not being in control of what’s going into the food you’re consuming.
Over the years, I have discovered restaurants in San Luis Obispo, California with menus focused on healthy eating. I went to these restaurants again, this time, to inquire about the healthy aspects of their menus. I got the inside scoop about what goes on behind the scenes & in the kitchen that I would have never known otherwise. Each shared with me their own healthful philosophy and now I’m going to share them with you.
Sally Loo’s is one of my favorite places to go for breakfast or lunch. I love the atmosphere; it’s a great place to go have a bite to eat & catch up with a friend.
My favorite item on the menu is their famous acai bowl. An acai bowl is similar to a smoothie (made with acai berries, a superfood) that is topped with fresh fruit and granola (& sometimes honey or other add-ons). I have tried many different acai bowls in Southern California, and this is still my favorite. Surprisingly, Sally Loo’s is the only place to get an acai bowl in San Luis Obispo county so trying one is a must!
Phil Wahl, a cashier & server at Sally Loo’s, said: “It comes down to the ingredients that we use: “Everything is organic and most produce is locally grown.” Another employee, Lauren Buzzetti said: “You know everything thats going into the food here,” Wahl added: “Even if you get something unhealthy such as bacon or a croissant, you know where it’s coming from,” and you know that it’s made with pure ingredients. Alani Chavet, another employee, said that none of their food is processed, everything is made from scratch including their baked goods and granola; even the sauces for their drinks are made in-house.
I have always liked Natural Cafe because their salads are so good that I actually crave them from time to time.
They offer a little bit of everything: Salads, sandwiches, mexican food, pizza, burgers, all with a healthy spin. Lauren Lango, a cashier & server at the Natural Cafe, showed me a binder with a list of ingredients in each of the menu items which helps customers find out exactly what they are putting into their body when they eat at Natural Cafe. Lango told me how they keep their menu healthy:
- All dressings and sauces are made in-house: They are not processed & don’t come from packages
- Only offer 9-Grain bread and brown rice
- Don’t offer meats with a lot of fat: No beef, all meats are turkey, chicken & fish
- Don’t fry anything
- Make unsweetened iced teas
- Have many gluten-free, vegetarian & vegan options: There is always a vegan soup & soy protein is an option
Bliss is 100% vegan: The menu doesn’t contain any foods made from animal products. Although Bliss is catered towards those who are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, their whole-food options are still flavorful for any healthy-eater. Maya Harcourt, a vegetarian cashier & server at Bliss, said that vegan and vegetarian diets “work for everyone’s body in a different way.” Andrew Rainey, another employee at Bliss, emphasized that what’s most important is what “feels healthy to me” and that feeling is going to be different for each individual; their food “appeals to the individual palate that people have acquired.” Harcourt said: “Everything is whole and made with great ingredients,” and the “preparation [to get these fresh ingredients],” Rainey said, “is most important in it of itself.”
- Bliss sources their produce locally and most of it is organic
- Nothing is processed
- Gluten free desserts. Made with ingredients such as dates, pecans, and walnuts as a healthy spin on the typical sugary and fattening crust
Big Sky Cafe is a sit-down restaurant with an organic, local & sustainable menu. A host & server at Big Sky, Brett Shumate, said what makes their food wholesome:
- All ingredients are fresh & come in daily (including their fruit juices)
- They don’t add any extra fat to their food
- The oils they use are good oils
- Everything can be modified to be gluten-free or vegan
Linnea’s Cafe in downtown San Luis Obispo offers a quaint garden courtyard & live music to create a unique and interesting atmosphere. Matthew Madridal and Chris Burd, baristas & cooks at Linnea’s, told me what makes Linnea’s a healthy option:
- All coffee is organic
- They source from local farms when possible: Kelsey See Canyon apples & Cal Poly eggs
- Use substitutions for milk: Soy, Almond & Rice milk
- Gluten-free, Vegan & Vegetarian options
- They don’t use any mixes for the pastries: even the flour is a mixture of different flour that they put together
All these restaurants focus on the concept of “whole foods” and how this benefits the body. I stand by the philosophy of wholesome foods because it emphasizes the importance of consuming fresh foods for your body rather than packaged & processed foods.