If you are ever in Santa Monica looking to stop in a wholesome little café that serves clean, delicious fare- there is a wonderful restaurant called Kreation Kafe located on Montana Ave. Kreation Kafe serves mostly organic foods from local farmers’ markets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you really could stop in any time and expect to find a meal both healthy and delicious!

A certified green business, Kreation Kafe offers freshly made tapas, kabobs, soups and salads. They have great tasting Niman Ranch meat and their grilled chicken kabob is a must. You can also expect to find the best quinoa salad in town, bar none. Even your standard egg breakfast tastes great because it is all so fresh and organic!

The denizens of Santa Monica enjoy Kreation Kafe for its relaxed atmosphere, guilt-free menu options, enticing décor, and star-studded outdoor patio. Not only do you have a nice, open view of the sky while dining at night, but several celebrities can be spotted at Kreation on any given day, including Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, and Mandy Moore. It is also a great place to just relax with hot tea and a good book. I stop in every chance I get!

References:

http://www.kreationkafe.com/

If you tend to think of salads as side dishes, think again. While there are many fine bistros in Santa Monica, there is a great new little place called Greens Up on Montana that is all about salads. Not just any salads, but hearty, fresh salads using locally grown vegetables, customized to your choosing.

Greens Up prides themselves on being locally grown, delicious, and eco-friendly. They make it their personal goal to forge relationships with their farmers as a way of committing to both customers and the planet. Highly dedicated to the independent music scene, Greens Up also features unsigned artists in the community that are just starting out, giving them great exposure to both the people of Santa Monica and those in surrounding cities. Their theory is that the best in music is yet to come, and what better way to discover new music then to feature new bands?

The best thing about Greens Up is that you can create your own salad, however you want it. For my salad I start out with romaine lettuce (it is least likely to have mold growth), and add carrots, red onions, beets, chopped egg, and chickpeas. Typically I stay away from corn (GMO) and mushrooms (fungi), and add some chicken breast. They also have toppings aplenty to choose from like almonds, avocadoes (one of my favorite super foods!), and artichoke hearts, although it costs a little extra. Doused with a helping of balsamic vinaigrette, you have got yourself a salad big enough to last you two meals!

References:

http://www.greensupsalad.com/home.html

Greens Up

Montana Ave. & 7th
703 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica 90403
Phone: 310-394-1111
Fax: 310-394-0437

Store hours: 10 am to 9 pm

There is no denying we all love a good slice of pizza, and occasionally, a slice or two will not be the death of us. You have to admit though, after ordering a pizza from your average Pizza Hut, it does not sit with us well for the rest of the day. Deep-dish crusts, sausage, bacon, and triple cheese are probably the most fat and carbohydrate-packed foods out there, so the reason we feel sluggish after a pizza is abundantly clear.  If you are looking to go the fresh,  healthier and organic route with your pizza, a franchise called Pizza Fusion is a great solution—and they also deliver! This place is my favorite pizza joint in Santa Monica, actually the only place I know of that serves gluten-free and dairy-free, organic pizzas that are super delicious!

Back in 2006, Michael Gordon and Vaughan Lazar recognized that there were not many dining out options for people interested in an organic lifestyle. They created Pizza Fusion to fufill the needs of like minded and health concious people. Providing not only organic pizza, brownies, and beer, Pizza Fusion is the epitome of environmentally friendly run businesses. Believing wholeheartedly that “social responsibility is just as important as profitability”, Gordon and Lazar set out to not only serve quality organic ingredients (listed on the menu in green), but to do what was best for the Planet. Everything from the construction of the building to the booths, the countertops, even the clothes on their employees’ backs are made from 100% recycled products. They even have hybrid delivery cars!

Recognized as one of the only pizza joints around with such a small carbon footprint, you cannot go wrong placing an order from them. Their menu also includes vegan and regular salads with many organic ingredients to choose from , along with meatball sliders and free range chicken sandwiches. So far, Pizza Fusion has locations in seven states across the United States, and even two in Saudi Arabia! Check out their website to find a location near you. Pizza never tasted so good and healthy!

BTW: just in case you want to know the exact ingredients in the Gluten-Free crust and Vegan Cheese:

Gluten Free Crust:

Filtered water, Better Batter gluten-free flour (white and brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, pectin), cane sugar, organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, instant dry yeast.

Vegan Soy Mozzarella by Follow Your Heart:

Filtered water, canola oil, tofu, soy protein, inulin, agar, sea salt, natural flavor, carrageenan, calcium lactate and lactic acid (both vegan)

Pizza Fusion

Santa Monica Location

2901 Ocean Park Blvd. Ste 123

Santa Monica, CA 90401

Phone: 310-581-2901

For other locations:

www.pizzafusion.com

For those of you living the raw food lifestyle, a great alternative to dairy milk is almond or nut milk. I enjoy almond milk in general simply because of the taste and most importantly, because it is dairy free. I recommend all humans after the age of three years old to refrain from all animal milk products (our pancreas stops producing the enzyme lactase after infancy). Recently, I was very excited to hear from my dearest friend Rose, the process of using a nut bag from Rawglow to make your own almond milk from home.  Fresh almond milk is milder on the stomach than soy, and allows for gentle, seamless digestion. Almonds are extremely rich in minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium and copper. They are also very high in vitamin E and selenium, which are excellent anti-oxidants.

Here is a step-by-step process to make your own organic almond nut milk. Ideally the overall process requires about 6-8 hours for the almonds stew in water, and 1-2 for it to drain, but you can leave them soaking for less if you’re short on time. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup of raw almonds (organic preferred)

4 cups of water

1 tsp of pure vanilla extract (optional)

Honey or stevia (optional)

You can also use other ingredients to make different flavored milk such as 2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs or unsweetened cocoa powder for chocolate milk or add 1 tsp cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg for a cinnamon taste and for chai milk- add 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp garam masala, and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. For optimal flavor, please add vanilla.

Step 1: Place one cup of almonds in nut bag

Step 2: Seal nut bag and place in one cup of water to steep for 6 to 8 hours.

Step 3: Rinse almonds with water and place in blender with 3 cups of water.

Step 4: Blend almonds for a full minute, or until smooth.


Step 5: Lay sprout bag open in container, and holding it in place, pour the pitcher contents into the nut bag.


Step 6: Squeeze the pulp from the almonds in the nut bag, so the raw almond milk drains into the bowl or container.


Step 7: Add a sweetener for taste, or blend with dates.



Step 8: Use the leftover almond pulp for raw cookie recipes!


References:

http://www.rawglow.com/sproutbag.htm

http://www.choosingraw.com/raw-101-homemade-almond-milk/

The harrowing process of meat production in the United States has been hotly debated for many years. While some Americans choose to strike all meat and dairy products from their diets, others devour it with reckless abandon. There are those though, who enjoy beef, but would rather have the meat free of pesticides and antibiotics before it is packaged for consumption. If you fall into this category, I highly suggest Alderspring Ranch grass fed, organic beef. If you’re a meat lover as I am, their pure quality beef is unparalleled!

Alderspring Ranch is a small, family owned, USDA-inspected farm in Idaho. Having farmed 100% pasture-raised beef for the past 15 years, their facility contains free range livestock, allowing their cattle to graze on alfalfa hay and fresh grass in wide- open fields, as opposed to cooped up spaces in large meat-packing industries. The result is a truly uniquely flavored, highly nutritious beef that is carefully hand-cut and packaged to perfection in-house.
Certified by the Idaho Department of Agriculture, the cattle from Alderspring Ranch are never fed any type of corn, grain, animal, or industrial byproducts. While antibiotics are sometimes used sparingly on the ranch for sick cattle, these animals are always pulled from the Alderspring organic program and sold elsewhere. Antibiotics in animals have been known to cause harsh strains of drug-resistant bacteria in humans, which can cause serious, life-threatening diseases. In fact the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences estimates that the annual cost of treating these types of drug-resistant infections sits at $30 billion in the United States alone.

When you order from smaller, more intimate farms like Alderspring, you can be 100% sure you are getting the purest quality beef around. All orders ship out every Monday, and usually arrive at your door within 2 to 3 business days. You have the option to choose from packs of 10 to 40 pounds of flash frozen steak, roast, sausage, or ground beef, delivered straight from their ranch in insulated boxes for absolute freshness. Would you have it any other way?

References:

http://www.alderspring.com/env_benefits/html/env_benefits.html
http://www.mercola.com/beef/benefits.htm

If there was a way to get the freshest seafood in the world delivered right to your door over a block of dry ice, do you think I’d keep it from you? While fish is reputed to have necessary nutrients like omega-3s and vitamin D, not all of it is served free of hazardous contaminants such as heavy metals (mercury). This is why I love Vital-Choice!

Vital-Choice is an online home-delivery service that delivers only wild seafood and organic fare. Shipped from sustainably harvested and well-managed fisheries, Vital-Choice delivers the freshest salmon straight from Alaska. What differentiates Vital-Choice from other places is their method of finding the highest quality salmon. Rather than letting the salmon sit for hours after catching it, they initiate a “flash-freezing” method right after harvesting it, which preserves the flavor, nutritional quality, and texture. The freshest salmon, after all, is salmon that is frozen until it is ready to be cooked.

Additionally, Vital-Choice offers only pure, wild seafood, meaning their fish grow in an adaptable environment free of pesticides, antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms. Also, their mercury levels are far less than those in more commercial species like tuna and halibut.

Having ordered from Vital-Choice for many years, I have to say their seafood offers the most nutritional benefit. Often times I’ll order the spicy sardines, a great source of ribonucleic acid (RNA), which helps maintain healthy cell division and function in the body.  Another favorite of mine is the sable fish (black cod), which contains higher amounts of omega-3 oils than salmon! Lastly, I’ll order a sweeter health snack for the week, like their frozen organic berries (free of mold) —great to blend up for protein shakes!

References: www.vitalchoice.com

Finding restaurants in Los Angeles that use Farmer’s Market produce and high quality ingredients can be difficult. Luckily, there’s a great place in Santa Monica that serves fresh meals from local farmers that do not use pesticides or fertilizers. At Huckleberry Café, you will not be disappointed!

Run by husband and wife duo Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, the Huckleberry Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a generous assortment of gluten and dairy free meals you can order as sit-down meals or to go. A quaint, casual cafe located on Wilshire Boulevard, Huckleberry’s is one of the best in town for organic, locally grown produce. All meals are cooked in-house using seasonal vegetables and ingredients.

Since opening its doors the cafe has reached citywide fame with mentions in LA Weekly, and visits from actors like Reese Witherspoon, and even our governor! I personally eat there about twice a week. I just can’t get enough of their butternut squash with cauliflower salad, or their Neiman’s Ranch chopped chicken. Just as savory is their Kale salad with balsamic vinegar–a lunch must-have if you’re in the area!

On most days though, I order the carrot and avocado salad and chicken veggie soup. Since they are usually pretty busy, the best way to get your meal quickly is to call and order ahead of time, and they’ll have it ready by the time you arrive. The valet service in the back parking lot is an added bonus!

References

http://www.huckleberrycafe.com/

veg-outWe all know going green and organic is best, but sometimes finding fun places to go that subscribe to this mantra through and through can be challenging. You may ask yourself “where can I find a great high quality vegan organic food that doesn’t taste like tree bark and make me feel like I am eating in an ashram?” Well, I have found just the place! Real Food Daily.

Founded by Ann Gentry, she has spent the past twenty-five years striving to raise the standard of vegetarian cooking in this country. Ann is the creator, founder and operating owner of Real Food Daily, the only restaurant in the Los Angeles area that serves a 100 percent vegetarian (vegan) menu using foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods.

With two California locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, Real Food Daily continues to draw crowds who enjoy delicious, balanced meals made with fresh organic ingredients. RFD attracts the someday to the everyday vegetarian, celebrities and trendsetting young eaters with sophisticated palates and the mature diner seeking gourmet health supportive cuisine.

Remember that old saying “eat your vegetables!” Sage advice.

Source: http://www.realfood.com